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Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places

Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places

by Lynne Hartke


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There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places.

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors' appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well.

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life's hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800727741
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,034,591
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lynne Hartke is a breast cancer survivor who celebrates the difficult and the beautiful with her husband, Kevin, in Chandler, Arizona, where they have pastored a church for over thirty years. When not out on the desert trails avoiding rattlesnakes, Lynne is blogging, speaking and volunteering with several cancer organizations, and keeping up with their four grown children and three grandchildren. Lynne is currently training to hike from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the North Rim (a distance of 23 miles) in one day—because cancer taught her to grab onto life with both hands.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction 11

1 Cancer Makes a House Call 15

2 Stupid Strong 23

3 When Theology Has No Handhold 31

4 I Will Live until I Die 41

5 Allee, Alice, All Come Free 49

6 Love in the Bending Low 55

7 A Hard, Forgetting Place 63

8 Difficult Beauty 69

9 A Stack of Gratitude Stones 77

10 Laughter and Faith Hold Hands 85

11 Remember the Sound of Rain 93

12 The Narrow Place 101

13 The Final Solo 109

14 Sunrise, Sunset 117

15 The Bigger Shadow 127

16 Not Half of Two 135

17 When Anxious Thoughts Multiply 143

18 The Dance of Surrender 153

19 A Mystery Bigger than the Unanswerable 159

20 The Most Brave 167

21 Finding God in Community 173

22 The Bully in the Mirror 181

23 When Foundations Shake 189

24 The Gethsemane Hour 197

25 An Ordinary Life 203

26 Chocolate Rain 211

27 The Better Offer 215

28 No More Good-Byes 219

Note to the Reader 229

Questions for Reflection 231

Scriptures for Desert Sojourners 241

Notes 247

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