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4 Stars Out Of 5
Nice read to open eyes and ears to "hearing God"
April 27, 2011
Learning to Hear God by Jan Johnson is a personal retreat guide. This book is divided into multiple sections for finding quietness, God's tone of voice, His unusual speech,and Hearing God in the word. The introduction gives a basic guideline of a personal or small group retreat, what to expect, what to do and not to do, and a timeline.
This book has valuable insight into biblical study for the "everyday person wanting to get more out of scripture" as well as ideas and thoughts on "how to hear God." It asks pointed questions such as, "are we a listener or someone who acts on what he hears?" to better help us gain insight in our christian walk. I enjoyed the book after muddling through the first chapter-would recommend to those wanting to hear what God's is saying for their life. This book was given through a blog review program by Navpress.
Learning to Hear God, by Jan Johnson, is a personal retreat guide designed to teach retreatants to 1) cultivate quietness, 2) listen to God and the tone of his divine voice, and 3) hear God in the Word. The book format is a loose approximation of the lectio divina style of prayer.
This is an interesting book to review because, while I don't feel I made great progress toward the three stated purposes, I do feel my time with the book was well spent.
First off, spiritual reading in the form of a personal retreat forces the reader to make time for God. Retreat chapters cannot be read in my usual "5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, until I eventually finish the chapter" reading style. I found it challenging, but extremely rewarding to arrange my schedule such that I had one full hour to "retreat" each week. (I actually ended up needing only 40-45 minutes for each unit, but had blocked a full hour for each. Having those remaining minutes to enjoy a coffee in silence was an added bonus!)
The other great plus of this book: each chapter sent me back into the world with one great new challenge or focus for the week. You may remember the firing of the prayer committee members that I wrote about here. And I also hope to share about God's "unusual speech" soon. Having a take-away concept to ponder each week was a highlight of my Learning to Hear God experience.
So, while I didn't make great gains towards the author's stated goals, nor have I ever particularly enjoyed the lectio divina format, I always found myself looking forward to the next chapter in the days between sessions. And I know I will continue to reflect on the concepts I encountered here. This personal retreat was certainly a positive experience.
I received this book free from NavPress Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255.