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Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me

by Ian Morgan Cron

"When I firstdiscovered the grainy picture in my mother's desk--me as a towheaded two yearold sitting in what I remember was a salmon-orange-stained lifeboat--I wasoverwhelmed by the feeling that the boy in the boat was not waving and laughingat the person snapping the photo as much as he was frantically trying to getthe attention of the man I am today. The boy was beckoning me to join him on avoyage through the harrowing straits of memory. He was gambling that if wesurvived the passage, we might discover an ocean where the past would becomethe wind at our back rather than a driving gale to the nose of our boat. Thisbook is the record of that voyage." Whenhe was sixteen years old, Ian Morgan Cron was told about his father'sclandestine work with the CIA. Thisastonishing revelation, coupled with his father's dark struggles with chronicalcoholism and depression, upended the world of a boy struggling to become aman. Decades later, as he faces his ownpersonal demons, Ian realizes the only way to find peace is to voyage backthrough a painful childhood marked by extremes--privilege and poverty, violenceand tenderness, truth and deceit--that he's spent years trying to escape. Inthis surprisingly funny and forgiving memoir, Ian reminds us that no matter howdifferent the pieces may be, in the end we are all cut from the same cloth,stitched by faith into an exquisite quilt of grace. "Simultaneously redemptive and consoling with bright moments of humor . . . this story is chock-full of sacredness and hope. Cron is one of only a few spirituality authors who could articulate these themes as poignantly."PUBLISHERS WEEKLY"Ian Cron writes with astonishing energy and freshness; his metaphors stick fast in the imagination. This is neither a simple memoir of hurt endured, nor a tidy story of reconciliation and resolution. It is--rather like Augustine's Confessions--a testimony to the unfinished business of grace."DR. ROWAN WILLIAMS, Archbishop of Canterbury"Ian Cron has the gift of making his human journey a parable for all of our journeys. Read this profound book and be well fed, and freed."FR. RICHARD ROHR, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs"Ian Morgan Cron is a brilliant writer. This is the kind of book that you don't just read. It reads you."MARK BATTERSON, author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

Scarred Faith

by Ian Morgan Cron Josh Ross

In an original and thought-provoking work, Pastor Josh Ross invites us to enter into the suffering around us--and to embrace our scars and God's restoring work.While many books declare God a great liberator, Pastor Josh Ross reminds us that He is also a God who enters into the sufferings of the world, bringing the message of hope that many need in their darkest hours. Scarred Faith meditates on this profound idea, showing how the doubts and pain within us can actually aid deep faith. Faith can be stirred within the walls of church buildings, but it is formed and nourished in the waiting rooms of hospitals, while holding kids affected by AIDS, and when being forced to venture outside one's social comforts. Deep faith is scarred faith--the story of scripture depicts a rended world in which God works to repair our brokenness. As Pastor Ross reminds us, often what we need isn't a God who will deliver us from a pit as much as a God who will get down into a pit with us. In Scarred Faith, he offers an unforgettable message: Grief opens us up to the greater suffering around us, allowing participation in God's story of restoration. It is this partnership that makes our doubts and pain allies of deep faith, opening our hearts to allow redemption in spite of all the questioning. Reflective and heartfelt, this contemplation of social justice and the opportunity offered by suffering will change the way many Christians view themselves and their world.

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