Winner of a Christianity Today Book Award! Much of our faith and practice is about words--preaching, teaching, talking with others. Yet all of these words are not enough to take us into the real presence of God where we can hear his voice.
This book is an invitation to you to meet God deeply and fully outside the demands and noise of daily life. It is an invitation to solitude and silence. The beauty of a true invitation is that we really do have a choice about embarking on this adventure. God extends the invitation, but he honors our freedom and will not push himself where he is not wanted. Instead, he waits for us to respond from the depths of our desire. Will you say yes? This expanded edition includes a guide for groups to use both in discussing the book content and in learning to practice silence together.
Winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award! To seek to fill a book with words about moving beyond words into solitude and silence is a daunting task; it is laughable really, if one sees the irony in it all. I have found myself . . . drawn to the task and yet somehow strangely resistant. On the one hand, I have been drawn to the task because my journey into solitude and silence has been the single most meaningful aspect of my spiritual life to date. . . . On the other hand, I am aware of the continuing challenge solitude and silence represent in my own life. Even though it has been well over ten years since I first said yes to God's invitations to enter more intentionally into these disciplines, I still find it challenging to protect space for these times apart which so deeply satisfy the empty places of my soul. Ruth Haley Barton describes how she has discovered the real presence of God--the God who is present through the practice of solitude and silence. Her book invites you to meet God deeply and fully outside the demands and noise of daily life. It is a call to the adventure of spiritual transformation--an adventure that will lead you to freedom and authenticity, allowing you to become the person God created you to be. In Invitation to Solitude and Silence Barton offers spiritual guidance for your journey, helping you to hear God's call more clearly and showing you concrete ways to say yes. Chapter by chapter she combines teaching and reflection on different aspects of the journey with activities and disciplines that will help you to practice solitude and silence. Barton offers the prophet Elijah as a biblical guide for your journey. And she offers her own perspective to help you understand the ups and downs you might experience along the way. The beauty of a true invitation is that you really do have a choice. You can say yes or no. God is waiting for you to respond to him from the depths of your desire for relationship, belonging and transformation. Will you say yes?
Ruth Haley Barton (D.D., Northern Seminary) is founding president of the Transforming Center, a spiritual formation ministry to pastors and Christian leaders. A trained spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), teacher and retreat leader, she has served on the pastoral staff of several churches, including Willow Creek Community Church. A sought-after teacher, preacher and consultant to leadership teams, she is currently adjunct professor of spiritual transformation at Northern Seminary. Educated at Wheaton College, Northern Seminary and Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies, Ruth is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life, including and (all InterVarsity Press). She is also the coauthor of (Willow Creek Resources), and author of an online resource titled spiritual guidance via e-mail. She contributes regularly to
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