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Cotton Patch Rebel
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Clarence Jordan seemed to be born with an ability to see things just a little bit differently than other people did--and sometimes that got him into trouble. Like his views on racial equality: they just weren't popular with many other White people in the Deep South of his day. Like his views on war and how to deal with violence and hatred. For Clarence, the Gospel was very clear about these issues. Moreover, he believed that Jesus's teachings were not just abstract principles but were meant to be applied directly to everyday life. That got him into trouble too, especially among certain church-going people. Along the way, Clarence became a progressive farmer, a sought-after preacher, a Greek scholar, an author, a precursor of the Civil Rights movement, and a family man. An irrepressible sense of humor enlivened all these aspects of his life. Today, Clarence Jordan is best known as the author of the Cotton Patch Gospels and as the inspiration for Habitat for Humanity. The story of the making of this extraordinary man is not so widely known. Cotton Patch Rebel tells that story. ""How I rejoice that young people will now be introduced to this amazing man, Clarence Jordan, and his prophetic witness for racial equality and peace! Ann Trousdale tells his story in a down-to-earth, yet inspiring way, and reminds us all of the difference one life can make. I cannot wait to share copies with the young people in my life."" --Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, Clement-Muehl Professor of Preaching, Yale Divinity School ""Cotton Patch Rebel beautifully describes a radical experiment in creating the beloved community. It is a story about the arc of a life defined by justice, spirituality, courage, and by the reality of difficult times. Trousdale writes with rare fidelity to an extraordinary life and skillfully provides clear and straightforward context for younger readers. It makes us want to be a better person. Inspiring, instructive, and deeply real."" --Tobin Hart, author of The Secret Spiritual World of Children and The Four Virtues ""Every now and again someone comes along whose life is a demonstration of the Good News. Clarence Jordan was such a man, and his story . . . gives us hope that the Christian life, though hard at times, is full of blessings. Trousdale tells that story to a new audience, to young people who are growing up in a difficult age and who need to know that living as Jesus taught is the surest path to a joyful life."" --David Snell, President & Co-Founder, The Fuller Center for Housing ""Trousdale's marvelous storytelling ability makes the tale of Koinonia Farm and Clarence Jordan leap off the page. Children will discover how faith is put into action in this lively story of courage, perseverance, friendship and creative problem-solving. Reading this book will also help children understand America's history with racism and encourage them to make the world a place where all people respect and care for one another."" --Karen-Marie Yust, The Josiah P. and Anne Wilson Rowe Professor of Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary Ann M. Trousdale is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She is also a retired professor at Louisiana State University, where she taught courses in children's literature and storytelling. She has published widely in the areas of children's literature, the oral interpretation of literature, and children's spirituality, focusing particularly on using literature to support children's spiritual lives and religious understanding. She lives with her dog in Louisiana.
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