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Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption by Emily P. Freeman, Sarah Bessey, Trillia Newbell and more Paperback – August 5, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"Wading through the waters of Soul Bare, I felt I'd been entrusted with something precious. These pages are filled with the all-too-true and all-too-resonant stories of real people who have loved, lost, sinned, survived, hoped, and healed. The fact that these contributors happen to be gifted writers only makes the reading that much better. They are in essence 'going first,' bringing their scars into broad daylight so the rest of us will follow―and Lord knows we need to. It's way too easy to hide behind small talk and Christian cliche. You can get away with it for quite a long time, but real life begins in real relationship. And relationships are born of vulnerability. We've got to learn to drop our masks and be human together. I'm grateful beyond words to the brave women and men who shared their humanity and God's goodness on the pages of this book. It's an absolute gift." (Christa Wells, award-winning singer/songwriter)
"These stories are brave, honest, and lyrical: a mosaic of shadows and light. As I turned these pages, I felt like I was being invited to glimpse a sacred cross section of the human experience. Suffering. Celebration. Despair. Hope. Sin. Forgiveness. And through it all an unmistakable thread of relentless redemption." (Micah J. Murray, writer)
"If you harbor any doubts that God is present in the broken places, let this prayerful chorus of voices dispel them. Soul Bare is a psalm to what is hard and holy, a glorious song of praise to a God who reaches into darkness and blesses even our deepest wounds." (Esther Emery, writer)
"So often Christian books offer us a well-intended formula for healing―one we've heard so often, we've got it down pat. But what happens when the formula fails in real life? What happens when the right ingredients or the proper measures still leave us empty in despair instead of full with promise and hope? Soul Bare won't offer you a formula. You won't turn the final pages armed with a ready-made antidote for brokenness or a cure-all salve for sin. What you will find is raw realness: uncensored stories by real people wrestling with the grit of real life. Lean in deep to Soul Bare. Your wounds have a place here. Your heart will find a home between these pages. You will see your real self in these stories. And you will glimpse our real God." (Michelle DeRusha, author of Spiritual Misfit)
"What does it mean to be 'authentic'? We give the word a lot of reverence, but actually stepping out in authenticity remains a frightening prospect for many of us. There are those parts of our lives that we would rather not acknowledge, that we would rather forget, that we assume would isolate us if they were found out. Soul Bare is proof that authenticity never isolates, but always invites new growth and community. Any reader is bound to find him or herself in these pages somewhere." (Matt Appling, author of Life After Art and Plus or Minus)
"I held my breath, I cried, I shuddered, I whispered prayers, I ached. Most of all, I fell more deeply in love with Jesus through these words and stories. I can't help but think how wide and deep and long this love is that finds us all so broken and yet so beautiful." (Idelette McVicker, founder and editor-in-chief, SheLoves Magazine)
About the Author
Cara Sexton describes herself as "part monk, part punk." She lives with her husband and four children in beautiful southern Oregon where she cultivates a passion for creativity and inspiration, as she daily gathers the manna of ordinary magic from even the unlikeliest of places. Cara writes creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, and her work has appeared in the books Finding Church and What a Woman is Worth, as well as in many magazines and online publications. She has worked as nonfiction editor for Duende literary magazine and is currently writing a spiritual memoir while also completing her BFA degree in creative writing at Goddard College. When she isn't writing, she is probably decorating, daydreaming, kissing freckles, scouring flea markets for vintage trinkets, or preparing for her next big adventure.
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Overall, this is a great book to read for encouragement if you are in a difficult time of life. One of the things I took away from this book is that if you can make yourself vulnerable and teachable in every situation, you will come out on the the other side with your own story of redemption.
Cara ends with this beautiful description of “what it means to be soul bare…”
"…This is what it means to seek God with all our heart and mind and soul. It does not mean, as anyone who has ever lingered in Christian subculture may suspect, that we have reached a pinnacle of faith–that we have simply believed hard enough.
It is to be lost and found, over and over again. It is to recognize the upside-down nature of the things of this world. It is to know that even when we are lost, we have a finding place. It is to know the word ‘help.’
Even when we have no words, even when we have only blindness and cannot take ourselves to the Word made flesh, He comes anyhow, somehow…He comes, and against all odds, we see."
You need two copies of this book...one to page flag, mark up and keep forever and one to give away to a friend.