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What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together. Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined. This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.
The author describes her twenty-year friendship with Lucy Grealy, tracing their introduction at a writer's workshop, the integral part their friendship played in their writing careers, and her witness to Grealy's medical deterioration.
A New York Times Notable Book “This is a young woman’s first book, the story of her own life, and both book and life are unforgettable.” —New York Times “Engaging and engrossing, a story of grace as well as cruelty, and a demonstration of [Grealy's] own wit and style and class."—Washington Post Book World This powerful memoir is about the premium we put on beauty and on a woman's face in particular. It took Lucy Grealy twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance after childhood cancer and surgery that left her jaw disfigured. As a young girl, she absorbed the searing pain of peer rejection and the paralyzing fear of never being loved.
Most marriage books assume the author did it right. Most marriage books barely mention friendship. Most marriage books use “intimacy” as code for “sex.” This is not one of those books. In Real Marriage, Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, share how they have struggled and how they have found healing through the power of the only reliable source: the Bible. They believe friendship is fundamental to marriage but not easy to maintain. So they offer practical advice on how to make your spouse your best friend – and keep it that way. And they know from experience that sex-related issues need to be addressed directly. Five chapters are dedicated to answering questions like: Should I confess my pre-marital sexual sin to my spouse? Is it okay to have a “work spouse”? What does the Bible say about masturbation and oral sex? Stunningly honest and vulnerable, Real Marriage is like a personal counseling session with a couple you cannot surprise, you cannot shock into silence, who will respond to every question with wisdom, humility, and realism. If you want to have a long-lasting, fulfilling marriage you should read this book. Wrestle with this book. Pray over this book. Share this book. And discover how God can use it to change your life. Endorsements: “If you’re married or plan to be someday, do yourself a favor and read every page of this book.” —DRS. LES & LESLIE PARROTT Founders of RealRelationships.com and authors of Love Talk “Whether engaged, newlywed, or veteran, Real Marriage will serve as an invaluable resource. I highly recommend this book.” —ANDY STANLEY author of The Grace of God and Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church "One of my greatest concerns is that culture is going to continually define and redefine what marriage is and is not, and the church is going to simply sit on the sidelines and react rather than seeking to actually become proactive by confidently teaching what the Bible has to say about it. That is why I am so thankful that Mark and Grace Driscoll wrote this book. Their approach to marriage, its benefits and challenges are transparent and challenging and I honestly believe that every married couple who will work through what they lead us through in this book will not just merely have a marriage that survives in this world but rather thrives in it." — PERRY NOBLE Senior Pastor, NewSpring Church "Our thanks to Mark and Grace Driscoll who have served this generation well by tastefully but boldly addressing the real issues facing real marriages. Taking the unchanging truth of God’s word and sprinkling in is the story of God’s mercy in their own marriage they have filled every chapter with real helpfulness. This book is powerful, biblical, practical and healing for marriages that hurt. My wife and our adult children read it to great profit." — DR. JAMES MACDONALD Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel and Bible teacher for Walk in the Word
We don't question our desire to be open with our close friends about our feelings, even if those feelings are difficult to express. We recognize that being honest with our loved ones will only deepen our bonds and help us feel peace in being able to express our innermost thoughts. Why then is it so challenging for us to come as we are, however we are, when approaching God in prayer? In Praying the Truth: Deepening Your Friendship with God through Honest Prayer, William A. Barry, SJ, helps us deepen our friendship with God by examining how to approach God, at any time and with any problem, in complete honesty. Fr. Barry reflects on how secrecy can hurt families, the Church, and ourselves and how what we are keeping secret can get in the way of our connection with God. He acknowledges that we may fear God’s reaction when revealing our most intimate truths; but just like with friendships, we risk not developing our relationship with God if we are dishonest about who we are and how we feel. Praying the Truth helps us realize that if we do not approach God in complete honesty, we may be holding back a part of ourselves that needs to be healed. By learning how to communicate honestly with God, our friendship with God and our faith in God’s promise to love us unconditionally will be strengthened. "Thanks to Praying the Truth, I am beginning to understand that prayer is simply hanging out with God! As I read this book, I felt as if the author seemed to be sitting beside me, just talking to me as I read." -- Anonymous reader
The death of a friend is a source of pain and grief for anyone. For David B. Burrell, it is also a source of reflection on the role of friendship in our ongoing pursuit of truth. In this small but penetrating book, Burrell offers five essays that explore friendship as the bond that links us to the religious traditions we embrace in our search for truth. Known for his many and lasting contributions to philosophical theology, Burrell here makes a definitive statement for that field while also continuing the cross-cultural discussion among Christians, Muslims, and Jews.Burrell considers how friendship can be constitutive of the spiritual exercises one employs to seek truth, and he examines the influences on his thinking of Bernard Lonergan, Stanley Hauerwas, and Augustine to show how friends can open our minds and hearts to interfaith dialogue and the mutual illumination it offers. He also explores cross-cultural understanding through a comparison of the teaching of Aquinas with that of Islam's al-Ghazali, suggesting that their complementary perspectives can fruitfully expand our view of friendship to include our relationship with God. In the end, he offers a model of friendship as a relationship which gives us the courage to maintain our philosophical pursuits and which helps us to persevere in the face of the radical unknowing which characterizes philosophical theology.Just as Burrell learns from death that friendship cannot end, he celebrates how each of
Ever feel like we’re just fumbling through the LGBT conversation, always asking but never really finding answers to questions like: What does it look like to be friends with my lesbian neighbors? How should I love my gay child and his partner? What if I’m invited to a same-sex wedding? What did Jesus say—and not say—about homosexuality? What is the role of the church in the same-sex debate? We don’t have to fumble. While the questions are hard, answers can be had. Just ask Glenn Stanton. Stanton, of Focus on the Family, travels widely meeting with and debating LGBT advocates across the country. In doing so he has had the privilege of becoming friends with a number of them. He says, "We disagree on certain convictions, but we still admire and esteem one another . . . Since when was it decided that people who see the world in polar opposite ways can't be friends?" He shares his personal journey building bridges with the LGBT community and offers candid insights on hard questions. In Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor, Glenn Stanton shows us how to speak the truth in love on this difficult but important issue.