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Publication Date: 15 Nov 2018
Publisher: IVP
Words: 46000
Page Count: 208
ISBN-13: 9781783597406, 9781783597413

Catching Contentment

How To Be Holy Satisfied
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ISBN: 9781783597406
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ISBN: 9781783597413
If anyone has a right to feel angry with life, then the author is a strong candidate. Having battled with lung disease from a young age, suffered at the hands of bullies, and, reluctantly, given up her much-loved teaching job, she has plenty to complain about.

But she has made a point of exploring contentment. She has drawn particularly on Paul's letter to the Philippians. 'Contentment is something we can all catch hold of,' she believes, 'whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.'

This is a message which we need to hear, whether we are lifelong sufferers, like the author, or facing deprivation or injustice of another sort. Or we may simply have fallen into bad habits. We cannot fail to be uplifted, and hopefully transformed, by the author's discoveries as we learn to buck trends within society and the church.

Acknowledgements xii

Introduction 1

Part 1: Confident contentment 7
1 Confident in our faith 9
2 Confident in our identity 19
3 Confident in our hope 30
4 Confident in our future 39

Part 2: Courageous contentment 51

5 Courageous waiting 53
6 Courageous brokenness 62
7 Courageous disappointment 74
8 Courageous perseverance 85

Part 3: Captivated contentment 95
9 Captivated by worship 97
10 Captivated by satisfaction 107
11 Captivated in darkness 118
12 Captivated by surrender 129

Part 4: Contagious contentment 139
13 Contagious discontentment 141
14 Contagious reconciliation 151
15 Contagious shining stars 164
16 Contagious God-chasing 174

Conclusion: Holy satisfied 185
Notes 191
Related Posts 2
  1. Ruth van den Broek shares her thoughts on Catching Contentment by Liz Carter Ruth van den Broek shares her thoughts on Catching Contentment by Liz Carter Entering a brand New Year, many of us will be making aims, goals and resolutions for the months ahead. For many, January will mean fresh starts and new opportunities, but for some the pain and confusion of last year lingers on. Whether excited or daunted by what lies ahead, Liz Carter’s Catching Contentment brings hope. It certainly did for writer and blogger, Ruth van den Broek. Like Liz Carter herself, Ruth lives with a chronic condition
  2. Making the conscious choice to find contentment  Making the conscious choice to find contentment Liz Carter shares her thoughts on books, writing, journaling, and the willingness to tell her story. One of the most comforting aspects of reading is realising that other people have similar feelings and experiences. It’s one of the best ways to feel more at peace with yourself and whatever it is you’re going through.
About the Author
Liz Carter has first-hand experience of a chronic degenerative disease and a first-class degree in theology, a combination which uniquely qualifies her to write this potentially life-changing book. A former teacher married to a church minister, she helps lead services in Telford, England and speaks at New Wine. She has touched hearts with her searingly honest sharing, teaching and writing on subjects like suffering and contentment.
Press Reviews

This is the best book I've read in the last five years! It's honest and real and full of truth, but truth that builds up and encourages; a journey into knowing that God doesn't always heal us physically, or change the painful circumstances of our lives, but he will always 'come into the dust' of our sickness and pain with us, bringing his transforming love and comfort.

- Jennifer Rees-Larcombe, author and speaker, Beauty from Ashes

For years now I have watched Liz living with disabling physical pain, of a kind that most of us would not wish on our worst enemy, and yet in the middle of it she has doggedly determined to walk out a vibrant faith in the God she worships. Despite the often well-meaning yet badly executed attempts of others to pray or exhort her into health, she has dug down into the riches of Christ, the eternal truths of the Bible and the persistent presence of her God and discovered the possibility of supernatural contentment.

If you live with chronic illness or disability, you will unearth real treasures here. Everyone should read this and be encouraged into finding the contentment that Liz has learned the hard way and now reveals in her highly readable book.

- Anne Coles, former leader at New Wine

This refreshingly honest book about holding on to faith whilst living with disabling ill health names struggles which many share but few express. In her charming and challenging voice, instead of cliches, Liz offers her own story, complete with the raw darkness and light of experience. It's a gift worth receiving.

- Zoe Heming, Lichfield Diocese Disability Advisor, vicar and speaker

Liz has been incredibly open and honest in her beautifully written book. Not only does she weave in biblical wisdom, but she shares directly from the heart. I was so touched and inspired by the way she has fought for, and caught, contentment in the midst of incredibly difficult daily circumstances. I found this book a wonderful addition to my own quiet time before God, and can heartily recommend it.

- Claire Musters, speaker and author of Taking Off the Mask

Catching Contentment opened my eyes and introduced many new ideas and concepts that I'd never truly thought through before. The overriding message I'd take forward from it is that life truly is a journey of surrender to Christ as we move forward and let the past go. When we ask for, and accept, Christ's forgiveness, we can tap into his future desires for our lives and seek to be content as we wait for his promises to be fulfilled. I loved the practical reflections which draw us into the topic and help us reflect on our identity and contentment in a personal way.

- Michelle Parnell, writer at Mummy From the Heart, the UK's leading Christian Lifestyle and Parenting Blog

Beautifully written, with compelling storytelling and punctuated with profound biblical truth. But its real beauty goes far deeper. In a culture consumed with the pursuit of comfort and quick-fix solutions, it delves into the reality of pain, with moving first-hand personal experience. It is deeply authentic, disarmingly vulnerable and teaches us all to hope, trust and fight for contentment in every season of life. No matter what your experience of suffering, this book is for you.

- Phil Knox, Evangelical Alliance

Not a quick fix, or cheap answers for shiny, happy people, but Carter invites us into a compelling journey of fiercely pursuing God, even when we are wearied by disappointment and loss. As someone who also struggles with chronic illness, I found empathy, hope and spiritual sustenance.

Biblically anchored, persuasively written theology, this book is a must-read for any Christian who wrestles with a nagging desire for something more.

- Tanya Marlow, author of Those Who Wait, and Coming Back to God When you Feel Empty, writer at

The story of a faithful Christian who finds confidence in God in the midst of pain and distress. Liz Carter's quest for contentment, with its realistic and grounded awareness of how she, and others, suffer is an effective antidote to the trivia we are often fed about God protecting us from suffering because we are Christians. Her testimony that you can find contentment in God, even when living a life of pain, is both challenging and encouraging.

- Roy McCloughry, National Disability Adviser to the Church of England

How we need this book at this time! In our consumer world, lack can so easily erode faith and breed discontentment. The 'ocean of meaningful words' inside of Liz has spilled out in this wonderful book - a treasure trove which plunders the Scriptures and the great Christian thinkers. With stories that inspire, prayers to nourish the soul and questions to search the mind and heart, this gives the reader an opportunity to form a biblical attitude and mindset to understand and endure suffering. It is a passionate reminder, from someone who lives each day with challenges and limitations, that as we fix our eyes on Jesus and pursue him wholeheartedly, a profound shift will happen and we will experience true freedom and contentment.

This book will excite you afresh about giving your all to pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly, counting everything else as nothing for the prize of gaining him.

- Nadine Parkinson, Tearfund/New Wine Relationship Manager and Developer of Tearfund Change A Nation

Two of the biggest questions in our culture are: Where can I find contentment? and How could a loving God allow suffering. In this profound book, Liz Carter tackles both questions head on and discovers that reflection on the second holds the keys to answering the first.

Full of profound observations, this will be an important resource for those who are living with illness and pain, those who minister with and to them, and those who need to think these things through - which covers all of us! It unmasks the lie that fulness of life means always getting what we want, and holds out the hope of finding true contentment in God.

- Revd Dr Ian Paul, theologian, author and speaker

We live in an age of profound dissatisfaction with everything: health, relationships, self-image, lifestyles, finances: the list is endless. But here is a book that courageously digs deeply to help us find lasting contentment. This is not a book of platitudes or theories: Liz lives with a long-term painful and limiting condition, and writes out of her disappointment, pain and darkness. She bravely confronts the issues that she and other sufferers grapple with, digging out wells of truth to live by. Contentment is not a passive thing: it is a conscious choice based on God's truth embraced and applied.

I am grateful for this important and thought-provoking book.

- Wendy Virgo, speaker, author, and wife of Terry (for 50 years!)

Combining a knack for storytelling with an obvious love of theology, Liz Carter has written an honest, searching and wonderfully helpful book. Having lived with illness for a long time, Liz is an excellent guide to the difficulties and pitfalls which come with a challenging life and, having loved and served the Lord Jesus through it all, she is even better at directing our gaze to him, over and over. Liz writes with keen and profound observations, teaching us to find hope and speak truth to ourselves through our personal ‘dark nights’. She doesn't shy away from how it feels to be in the midst of disappointment or despair, but encourages us that God comes down into the most difficult of moments in our lives and brings his love to us.

This book is not just for those who suffer with illness; it's for anyone who has failed to be ‘content in all circumstances’, anyone who needs encouraging in their walk with God, and anyone who has experienced suffering in its various forms. In short, this is a book for everyone. I'm incredibly grateful that Liz has invited me as a reader into her story and her life, and I know I have been changed as a result.
Ruth van den Broek, blogger

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