The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things  -     By: Leighton Ford
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The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things

Inter-Varsity Press / 2008 / Hardcover

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Distractions and fear and busyness were keeping Leighton Ford from seeing God's work in and around him. So he began a journey of longing and looking for God. And it started with paying attention. In "The Attentive Life," he invites you to journey with him. Using the tradition of praying the hours, Ford walks with you to help you pay attention to God's work in your life. The way toward God starts with intention and attention--and eventually becomes a way of life, awake and alive to the peaceful, powerful presence of God.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830835164
ISBN-13: 9780830835164
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Your attention, please. That's what God wants, Leighton Ford discovered. It's the path to becoming like Christ. Distractions, fear and busyness were keeping Ford from seeing God's work in and around him. He was missing God. So he began a journey of longing and looking for God. And it started with paying attention. In these pages, he invites you to journey with him. Using the rich monastic tradition of praying the hours, Ford will walk with you, helping you pay attention to God's work in you and around you throughout each day and in different seasons of your life. If you're busy, distracted, rushing through each day, you might be feeling disconnected from God, unable to see how he's working. You might be missing him. But the way toward him starts with a pause and a prayer—with intention and attention—and becomes a way of life, awake and alive to the peaceful, powerful presence of God.

Author Bio

Leighton Ford is President of Leighton Ford Ministries, which seeks to help young leaders worldwide to lead more Jesus and more Jesus. For many years, Ford communicated Christ around the globe through speaking, writing and media outreach, addressing millions of people in thirty-seven countries on every continent. He served from 1955 until 1985 as Associate Evangelist and later Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and was featured as the alternate speaker to Billy Graham on the broadcast. Ford describes his current mission to be "an artist of the soul and a friend on the journey." He served for nearly twenty years as chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, an international body of Christian leaders. He chairs the Sandy Ford Fund and has served as a board member for World Vision U. S., the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He received the 1990 Two Hungers Award, recognizing his contributions to addressing the physical and spiritual hungers of people around the world. In 1985 he was selected as Clergyman of the Year by Religious Heritage of America and singled him out as being "among the most influential preachers of an active gospel." The author or co-author of numerous books, including and Ford lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife Jean.

Author Bio

Leighton Ford heads Leighton Ford Ministries, which seeks to help young leaders worldwide to lead more like Jesus and more to Jesus. For many years, Ford communicated Christ around the globe through speaking, writing and media outreach. He describes his current mission to be "an artist of the soul and a friend on the journey." He is the author of Transforming Leadership.

Publisher Description

Your attention, please.

That's what God wants, Leighton Ford discovered. It's the path to becoming like Christ.

Distractions and fear and busyness were keeping Ford from seeing God's work in and around him. He was missing God. So he began a journey of longing and looking for God. And it started with paying attention.

In these pages, he invites you to journey with him. Using the rich tradition of praying the hours, Ford will walk with you, helping you pay attention to God's work in you and around you throughout each day and in different seasons of your life.

If you're busy, distracted, rushing through each day, you might be feeling disconnected from God, unable to see how he's working. You might be missing him. But the way toward him starts with a pause and a prayer--with intention and attention--and becomes a way of life, awake and alive to the peaceful, powerful presence of God.

Publisher's Weekly

Ford would seem an unlikely candidate to write a gentle, moving introduction to traditional monastic spirituality. As Billy Graham’s brother-in-law and frequent stand-in, Ford’s evangelical bona fides are unquestionable. Yet he describes the details of life at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery in South Carolina, with the eye of the avid amateur painter he also is. Reading this book you’ll find yourself scribbling down prayers from obscure medieval figures like a certain St. Fursey. Ford is also appealing as he describes odd gestures he’s willing to make in search of the God who’s present in the everyday: hugging a tree, hugging himself in an airport with passersby all around, revealing his own struggles with his image and how to pursue God rather than his own self-aggrandizement. He does make a distinctly Protestant addition to the tradition of monastic spirituality, insisting that the most rigorous of spiritual practices are for all believers. The few missteps are slight: Ford’s references to his heavy travel schedule and frequent vacations do threaten to make this feel like a spirituality for the upper-middle class only, and his readings of scripture tend to the emotive and literal. (May)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"Leighton Ford writes with insight, faith and balance. This book, like Jesus, transcends all denominational lines. Drawing on the wisdom of many traditions, The Attentive Life is a warm invitation to wake up, not just to the reality of God but to what is deepest inside of us. This is a gold mine of wisdom and balance, a challenging thought on every page. I heartily recommend it to readers of all faiths."
"Awakening is a central metaphor for the spiritual life. In a compelling voice that comes from years of spiritual journeying, Leighton Ford shows us how to wake up and pay attention to the presence of God--through the hours of our days and the seasons of our lives."
"My heart sings when I realize that Leighton Ford's intelligent experience continues to look with longing for more. His attention keeps getting arrested by words, ideas, images, details of the natural and supernatural landscapes. . . . This book is a primer in how to respond actively to Jesus' challenge: 'Behold! Look! Listen! Take notice! There is still so much for you to discover.'"
"I thank God for The Attentive Life. It provides an antidote to the primary spiritual problem of our day: distraction. The Attentive Life is the mature reflections of one who has spent a lifetime walking in the way of Jesus."
"This is a book of such quiet beauty and deep simplicity it is difficult to describe. I was both pierced and healed by longing in the reading of it. The word soul is thrown around far too easily these days, but this book will touch the soul if you let it."

Product Reviews

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  1. Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Wonderful Tapestry
    April 27, 2014
    GrpLdr
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Leighton Ford masterfully weaves his experiences in learning about and observing the hours of prayer into a map anyone can follow for journeying deeper in discovering what is in one's own heart and in preparing one's heart to receive God. He calls us to pay attention to God and to pay attention to ourselves. He draws parallels between the hours and practices of prayers and the days and seasons of our lives. He contrasts those threads with the threads of activity and rest in our lives. He invites the reader to do more than admire the intricacy of the map, but to step into the map and begin the journey for oneself. The book is a guide to which the reader can refer as needed along the way.
  2. Canada
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    excellent antidote to crazy culture
    June 6, 2012
    canadian zooey
    Canada
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As a lifelong lover of words, this is one of the most beautiful, brilliant books I've read. It's also among the best antidotes out there to the neurotic, hyperactivity of most of modern, ahem, 'culture'. Reading it is to rest in and learn from the stillness, depth, clarity, gentle humour and high perspective of its author, Dr. Leighton Ford.

    "Often we keep ourselves busy and distracted because we fear that if we slow down and are still, we may look inside and find nothing there," sums up his cultural critique.

    In a section entitled 'One Who Paid Attention: C.S. Lewis Looking Along a Beam', Ford writes of Lewis's realization of "two ways of looking at life: looking at the dancing and moving events, the happenings and surroundings of each day, and looking 'sideways' so to speak, 'along the beam' to see not only what is happening but why, and what it is that gives meaning to the happenings of our lives." We need to both look 'at' and 'along' the beams each and every day, Ford encourages us.

    He blames French philosopher René Descartes for bedevilling us with dualism: the idea of a division between mind and matter.

    "Many of us now assume," he writes, "that knowledge is either 'scientific' and based on facts or 'mystical' and based on fancy, and never the twain shall meet."

    Again he brings in my most favourite author on the planet, C.S. Lewis, to provide the counterargument: "God must have loved material things: after all, He made them!"

    Ford writes that he hopes "this book will help us to pay close attention both to the beams that surround us and the Source that upholds us, in such a way that time and eternity, this world and the next, are always intersecting." In other well-chosen words, "that not just the experiments of the scientist or the intuitions of the mystic will save us and transform this world."
  3. Huntsville, ON, Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Help for the 'second journey'
    November 17, 2011
    Jules
    Huntsville, ON, Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I enjoyed Leighton's description of his own 'second journey' using the observation of 'hours' as a daily marker and also a life passage marker of being attentive to and interacting with the presence of our very intimate, personal God. It gave me lots of opportunities to be reflective of my own life as I venture on my 'second journey'. It's great to walk the journey with other people of faith like Leighton.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 14, 2009
    Anne Wenger
    If you have found that your life is so full of activity that your attention is habitually divided and you can be easily distracted, this book will give you practical helps to learn to pay attention. That will influence your personal relationships, beginning with the most foundational one with God Himself. It was recommended to me, and I will definitely recommend it to others. It may not interest anyone who is not ready to focus on that which is of greatest value in life.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 29, 2008
    Cathie Sutfin
    Leighton Ford must have been writing this book for me personally. I have been sharing his quotes and observations with other Christians, especially with my prayer and study groups. I first found "The Attentive Life" at my local library and quickly found I needed my own copy to contain my homework. Praying the hours is just what I needed to focus my attention on God's work in my life right now. I'm trying to find a way to incorporate this book as part of a study for my Women of Spirit group. I was unfamiliar with Leighton Ford but will probably seek out some of his other writings.
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