Moving…

Hi friends! For all who’ve followed along and read things over here, I am moving…

You can now find all my writings/thoughts/posts at http://carolinemccain.com/

I hope you’ll click over, and follow along!

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Change

“I know better than to believe that the changes are over, and I know better than to believe that the next ones will be easier, but I’ve learned the hard way that change is one of God’s greatest gifts and one of his most useful tools. I’ve learned the hard way that change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we’ve become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I’ve learned that it’s not something to run away from, as though we could, and I’ve learned that in many cases, change is not a function of life’s cruelty but instead a function of God’s graciousness.” 

- Shauna Niequist, “Learning to Swim,” Bittersweet

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God I look to You

For me, there are certain songs, that in certain seasons, become anthems of sorts. The songs that I listen to over and over again, because the lyrics just give voice to what my soul is saying. These are the songs that have upwards of 143 plays in my iTunes.

This season, that song has been “God I Look to You” by Jenn Johnson, of Bethel Live.

 

God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom; You know just what to do

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Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me

I read this book by Ian Cron back in the fall. (I mentioned it as one of my favorite reads from 2011).

Simply put, Ian Cron is a beautiful storyteller. What’s amazing, though, is this isn’t fictional. This isn’t some conjured-up story about a boy in some far off place. No, this is real, flesh-and-blood heartache, alcoholic dad, searching for meaning and losing it , and then finding faith, and grace, in the midst of it all. It’s one of those books that makes itself available to you. You don’t have to force yourself to read it. It almost just reads itself.

Cron writes with humor, honesty and beauty. His story is all at once heartbreaking, and hilarious. I tore through this book, and laughed and cried my way through it. Cron does not shy away from dealing with the heavier things of life; he instead plunges straight into them. Much like what Cron found on the other side of despair and pain, the reader is left with hope in the grace of God.

This book deserves to be alongside Anne Lamont, Donald Miller and Frederick Buechner, for its real, authentic look at life, and its mix of joy, grace and pain.

***I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.***

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A few more (old) book reviews

Just a warning, I have two book reviews that are long overdue, and I’m gonna be posting them today.

I’m a part of two book-reviewing programs, and I’ve kinda stopped doing it over a while. But, now that I’m reading a lot more again, I’m trying to fire it up. (Free books. Why not?)

First up: Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere

I read this book for the first time about a year ago, shortly after it came out. It was a good read then, and I felt inspired by Lisa Bevere. She calls out to women of faith to rise up and change their world. Using the imagery of a lioness, she demonstrates how women are strong, capable and fearless leaders — and most important, needed, in the church and in the world today. The book was good, a simple read. However, it got fairly repetitive.

However, this book was even better when I chose to do it in a group. Over the summer, I had a chance to hear Lisa Bevere speak at a conference. In her message, she said that it was time for women to rise up and start leading.  I was at the conference with some of my closest friends, and afterwards, we started to meet together every other week to pray and grow together as friends. Inspired by Lisa, we chose to read this book first.

Most of us found the book to be repetitive, but the message was clear: we are called to live and work and fight and grow together. As women, and as believers in the world, are voice, our perspective and leadership are needed.  But we are called to do it, not alone, but together.

If you’re going to read the book, I’d highly encourage you to read it in a group of other like-minded women. Lisa’s book, read together, will help you learn to fight for, instruct and grow each other.

***I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. (As part of their Blogging for Books program).

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Two moments that matter

“There are two moments that matter. One is when you know that your one and only life is absolutely valuable and alive. The other is when you know your life, as presently lived, is entirely pointless and empty. You need both of them to keep you going in the right direction. Lent is about both.

The first such moment gives you energy and joy by connecting you with your ultimate Source and Ground. The second gives you limits and boundaries, and a proper humility, so you keep seeking the Source and Ground and not just your small self.”

- Richard Rohr, “Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent”

 

These two moments, in seemingly opposite directions, are what Lent is about.

Lent, like Advent, and like all of life, is a paradox. It’s rife with tension. The tension of realizing our life is all at once full of possibility, and, without Christ, full of depravity. The tension of searching for God, and searching for ourselves.

And so we give up for a while searching for ourselves, and instead search for God… and yet, at the end of the day, we wind up finding ourselves anyway.

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A song for Lent

from The Brilliance. Their Lent EP should be releasing any day now…

“Dust We Are and Shall Return”

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