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Confessions of a Christian Mystic (Hardcover)
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From the author of Praying for Strangers and four Southern gothic novels comes a chronicle of faith and spirituality that is personal, raw, wise, revelatory - and very funny.
With a unique mix of passionate revelation and quirky humor, River Jordan takes us on a journey through her Southern childhood to her present-day life as a novelist. Her stories run the gamut from dancing disco nights and midnight desert rides to surprise visitations with the Divine. Included are comforting letters to personal friends and loved ones about faith, death, heartbreaks and their futures. Confessions of a Christian Mystic is a highly original work about an extraordinary faith that never loses touch with current culture or everyday realities. Jordan invites us to join in on her wild ride searching for the holy mysteries of God. This haunting work will leave you deeply comforted and full of hope.
Hailed as "a book for our times," Confessions gently leads us closer to that Divine mystery that shapes us and gives us life.
About the Author
River Jordan is an established literary figure, speaker, teacher, and radio host. Her work has been featured by: Publishers Weekly, Booklist, NPR's Book Talk, Guideposts Magazine, and The Southern Literary Review. She has written four novels and her most recent book is nonfiction: Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit. Her work has also been featured in anthologies such as Southern Writers on Writing, Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South & Women Behaving Badly, and A Second Blooming. Jordan has spoken at The Southern Festival of Books, Festival of Faith and Writing, and other conferences, book festivals, churches, universities and retreats. She travels the country speaking on The Power of Story, is a regular contributor to Psychology's Today's Spirituality blog, and is the host and producer of the literary radio program, Clearstory, which airs from Nashville, TN where she makes her home.
Praise for Confessions of a Christian Mystic
"River Jordan is the South's Anne Lamott: hilarious, authentic, irreverent, and breathtakingly insightful about all things spiritual. Through achingly honest reflection and regular shots of humor, Confessions of a Christian Mystic connects with those bewildered, broken places in all of us and reminds us of the beauty, mercy and grace that sustains us."—Joy Jordan-Lake, author A Tangled Mercy (and other novels)
"There will be signs and wonders. River's book is one of them."—Lauretta Hannon, author of The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life
"Raw-boned. Unflinching. Gut-level honest. This is the kind of real that explodes! River Jordan bears her soul as she recounts her lifelong search for God and meaning. Read it and be prepared for the barn doors on your own beliefs to be blown wide open."—Bren McClain, author of One Good Mama Bone
"In her latest book, River Jordan confesses to having a pathological hunger for God. To guide those who would seek Him, she says the world must have its mystics-its Joans and its Johns. And I would add, its Rivers. Jordan raises the bar that writers like Anne Lamott have set, as she shows us how to find the mystical divine-which she calls 'God's wild card'-in the messy stuff of everyday life. This is a must read for everyone who loves the beauty of language and the power of story. Both can lead us to communion with God when those words are in the gifted hands of River Jordan."—Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer's, and editor of A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be and Southern Writers on Writing
"River Jordan once again explores the spiritual aspect of the human journey through her tender lens. She nudges us out of our comfort zones and into realms of personal discovery. With a master's hand, she peels open every raw corner of her own experiences so that we close the book forever shaped by this soul-stirring story. Delivered in small but powerful doses, River's words offer good medicine to any heart that has known hunger or hurt, love or loss. This is a book for any heart that dares to remain open in this great, big, beautiful, cruel world."—Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials
"If you're burned-out on the quick-fix schemes and robot-speak of today's Christian literature, get in the truck and take a mystical road trip with River Jordan. (Don't worry, mystic just means searching for Something Bigger and River is honest enough to admit she hasn't figured it out yet.)
"Raw and real as a gravel road through rural Alabama, River's Confessions is guaranteed to stir your soul and lead you down the wandering path home.
"Here's a book for all us hard-luck, outlaw, C-minus Christians hoping, wandering and trying to hold on. Its the antidote, if you will, to all that church-y syrup and motivational BS packaged as 'inspirational' when it only makes us feel even more messed up than we did before. Stripped-down and honest-to-the-bone, River Jordan's Confessions of a Christian Mystic will not only bring you closer to Jesus - that misfit friend of sinners - it just might help you find yourself."—JM Blaine, author of Midnight, Jesus & Me
"In Confessions of a Christian Mystic, River Jordan's adventures in faith are both honest and revelatory. We are extraordinarily fortunate to travel alongside River Jordan as she speaks to us with wit, wisdom, and clarity about the path she has taken, the mystical understandings she has discovered, and wounds revealed and healed. In chapters that connect us with everything from our faith to our doubt, this is a book for everyone forging ahead on their own mystical journey. With her storytelling magic, Jordan brings us into her world while asking the important questions about faith, purpose, and love. A profound book to keep on your shelf, and to give to those you love."—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author
"In Confessions of a Christian Mystic, writer and novelist River Jordan shares her lifelong spiritual journey to find her place in this world and to understand the nature of the next.
This book is an honest look at the messy nature of belief, and Jordan reminds us all that glimpses of the divine are there for us to see if we have the wisdom and the strength to peel back the layers of doubt. The series of essays in this collection range from the wonderings of an innocent child about whether God lives in the clouds to the heartfelt worries of a mother with grown children wandering in harm's way. In each, the author's spiritual glass is more than full enough to quench the thirst that comes from wanting to know. Confessions of a Christian Mystic is a book for our times, and one that you should read with an open mind and a full heart."—Raymond L. Atkins, author of Set List, South of the Etowah, and Sweetwater Blues
"From growing up surrounded by a band of strong, faith-filled Southern women to encountering God while sleeping in an Airstream trailer, Confessions of a Christian Mystic allowed me to glimpse behind acclaimed author River Jordan's veil, proving my supposition that she has led - and continues to lead - an extraordinary life. Part American history, part autobiography, while filled with River Jordan's penchant for lyrical writing, Confessions of a Christian Mystic is an intimate glimpse at one woman's spiritual journey and encourages us to look at our own journeys with the same introspection and gratitude."—Jolina Petersheim, bestselling author of How the Light Gets In
"I am a puddle. Confessions of a Christian Mystic brought me to tears with River Jordan's unsettling honesty and transparency. At this same instant, though, I want scream for joy and to run up and down the hallways, shove copies of Confessions into everyone's hand, and insist they sit down right now and read every word. They've got to. For their own sanity, for their salvation, and for their survival.
"This collection is more than a masterful piece of creation. It is, as sincerely and honestly as I can express, a life changer.
"To borrow River's words, it is 'hauntingly clinging.' I don't think I'll ever shake my personal ah-ha's and the me-too's as I moved from chapter to chapter to chapter. River's willingness and fearlessness to be so vulnerable and exposed have validated my soul's experiences. I, too, have seen the gold fill the room and have known the Spirit was there and moving. I have been consumed by the literal light and been changed by my own take-my-breath-away encounters with God and His inexplicable time-and-place shifting powers - but dared to only share what I had seen and felt with just a very, very few - and almost all of them looked back at me as if I was losing it. River has looked at the same things viewed by everyone else on the planet but has seen some things entirely differently. She, also, has been brave enough to tell this same world what they have not seen. But should. And, could.
"I don't know what to say or how to say it, except... She gets it. And, she's put it out there. I can't wait for the rest of the world to get it too."—Lea Anne Brandon, Director of Communications, MS Department of Child Protection Services
"River's ability and willingness to prove into the deepest part of herself is what has always characterized her work, and Confessions of A Christian Mystic is no exception. In fact, it is the epitome of her collective work, always a glimpse of her very human soul. She reminds me to live in the now and not to be distressed in the ordinary life that demands so much of my attention. I'm assured that prayer is often a state of being rather than hidden in the closet, and that both are equally accepted and needed. River shows her map, torn and dirty, with footprints in no particular order and yet they always lead back to the very heart of our existence. This richness, rawness, heart light, heartbreak, a glimpse beyond the veil speaks and speaks and speaks."—Karen Schwettman, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA
"In River Jordan's Confessions of a Christian Mystic, I find good company. And as she says herself: the company we keep matters. The conversations and influences within that fellowship fuel our lives. I find wonderfully good company among storytellers, poets and mystics, dreamers, too. They provide for me a sense of connection to the deeper meaning of things and walk me closer to that place we all yearn for--where love is unconditional and we feel understood--which nurtures fortitude to understand and love in return.
"River's confessions are a gutsy baring of her soul; a stripping down to essentials of what makes us human and seekers after the God who birthed us and desires us to be in relationship with him. She writes of fire, ruins, forgiveness, and hope; of love that transcends death and the light that breaks through the cracks in everything. In her personal mystical search, River has uncovered a wealth of nourishment and more. She leads us to the well that waters all our spirits and to an everyday discovery that the Eternal Mystery lives right here under our noses."—Mary Louise Tucker, Orcas Island, WA
"Confessions of a Christian Mystic is a flawless mix of personal memoir, musings on faith, and love letters to the messiness of humanity. I fell head over heels for River's melodious prose and loved basking in her reflections. I can't wait to put this on the shelf with the likes of Anne Lamott, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Nadia Bolz-Weber."—Catherine Bock, Parnassus Books Inventory Manager and Adult Buyer
Praise for Praying for Strangers
"Extraordinary . . . Jordan writes eloquently about her experiences and the lessons she learned . . . The idea of praying for strangers is admirable, and a reader looking for inspiration may find hope and grace in this account of the blessings of a prayerful life."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review (Praying for Strangers)
"Gently beguiling . . . [a] very personal journey in self-discovery."—Booklist (Praying for Strangers)
"Praying for Strangers will bless you and alter the way you see those seemingly random people that God places daily in your path."—Ron Hall, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Same Kind of Different as Me (Praying for Strangers),
Witty, intelligent, and gorgeously written, Confessions of a Christian Mystic is a book that is sorely needed right now in a time when so many of us are trying to rectify our beliefs and convictions with a strange new world that seems to offer us moral quandaries every day. River Jordan is like Thomas Merton, Patti Smith, and Anne Lamott all rolled up into one compassionate, timely, and bracingly honest gift.
—Silas House, author of Southernmost