Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us  -     By: Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
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Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us

Inter-Varsity Press / 2005 / Paperback

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Product Description

Fasting. Solitude. Contemplative prayer. Lectio divina. Have you heard about these practices and wanted to try them? Have you wandered from one practice to another not sure quite what to do?

In the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook Adele Calhoun gives you directions for your journey toward intimacy with Christ. While the word discipline may make you want to run and hide, Calhoun shows how desires and discipline work together to lead you to the transformation you're longing for---the transformation only Christ can bring. Instead of just giving information about spiritual disciplines, this Handbook is full of practical, accessible guidance that helps you actually do them.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 292
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 10 X 7 (inches)
ISBN: 0830833307
ISBN-13: 9780830833306
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Fasting. Solitude. Contemplative prayer. Lectio divina. Have you heard about these practices and wanted to try them? Have you wandered from one practice to another not sure quite what to do? Are you overwhelmed by all the to-dos of your spiritual life? We have good desires--for a more intimate prayer life, perhaps, or deeper insight from God's Word--but we don't know how to get there. So we give up our pursuit, tired from wandering aimlessly, and end up feeling guilty and more distant from God instead of closer. In the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook Adele Calhoun gives us directions for our journey toward intimacy with Christ. While the word discipline may make us want to run and hide, the author shows how desires and discipline work together to lead us to the transformation we're longing for--the transformation only Christ can bring. Instead of just giving information about spiritual disciplines, this Handbook is full of practical, accessible guidance that helps you actually do them. Mothers, fathers, plumbers, nurses, students--we're all on a journey. And spiritual disciplines are for all of us who desire to know Christ deeply and be like him. Here is direction for our desire, leading us to the ultimate destination: more of Christ himself.

Author Bio

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun (MA, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) has worked in Christian ministry for over thirty years and is currently copastor, with her husband, Doug, of Redeemer Community Church in Needham, Massachusetts. She was formerly pastor of spiritual formation at Christ Church in Oak Brook, Illinois. A trained spiritual director, she has taught courses at Wheaton College and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the early 1970s she helped pioneer student work with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. She has also worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in New England and Canada and with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in the West Indies and South Africa.

Publisher's Weekly

This discussion of spiritual practices that have defined Christians over the centuries certainly lives up to its name. Sixty-two spiritual disciplines or practices are explained, grouped in seven themes, including worship, prayer, sharing life with others, hearing God's word and listening to God's voice. Calhoun, a pastor of spiritual formation at Christ Church in Oak Brook, Ill., writes as one who has lovingly studied, appreciated and collected some of the most influential Christian spiritual material over many years. Her language and style are respectful to Christians from many traditions-Orthodox, Catholic, reformed and evangelical. Readers could dip into this handbook at any theme or practice and find enough prayer and reflection suggestions to keep them engaged in holy mystery for a long time. The practices range from personal and introspective, such as engaging in silence and solitude, to extroverted and service-oriented, as in stewardship and care of the earth. Calhoun also offers a multitude of options for companionship-spiritual direction, a mentor, accountability partners, prayer partners, spiritual friendship and small groups. This handbook is a treasure of "tried and true" spiritual practices written well enough for everyone from the novice to the master to use. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"A treasure of tried and true spiritual practices written well enough for everyone from the novice to the master to use."
"We are living at a time when the Prostestant church is rediscovering the truth that transformation in Christ occurs through the disciplines of formation. Finally, Adele Calhoun has pulled all of these together into one volume, complete with clear definitions and practices of a variety of ways that God uses to grow our lives. No longer do you have to root through scattered pieces of paper, nor a chapter here and there to get the big picture of the tried and true disciplines. This is one resource you will want to have at your fingertips."
"I love this book! Adele has provided a treasure trove of spiritual disciplines that will nourish your soul, striking a delicate balance between accessibility and depth that comes from her own faithful practice. Read it, engage the disciplines, and allow God to transform you in the deepest levels of your being."
"I have long profited from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun's gifts in the field of spiritual development, and I am delighted that she has compiled her experience with spiritual disciplines into book form. I highly recommend it and I look forward to using it as a resource at our church."

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book . . . assuming you read it and implement it into your life!
    August 25, 2014
    Doug
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    David "danced before the Lord with all his might."

    Isaiah, cried out Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips . . . and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.

    Moses and Miriam sang "I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted" after crossing the Red Sea.

    A sinful woman "stood behind Jesus at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them."

    These are only four responses of the various forms of worship found in the Bible. From raising hands to falling on our knees, there are dozens of postures, attitudes, and actions that can be used to praise God. Calhoun does a great job briefly outlining (2-3 pages) over 60 spiritual disciplines. Some of them are more familiar (intercessory prayer, fasting, journaling) while others are more uncommon (breathe prayer, Solitude, Labyrinth Prayer). Yet while they are quite different, they each can help Christians come to know and experience their Creator on a deeper level.

    It is true, in attempting to cover as many disciplines as possible Calhoun has described some unique ones for sure; but to suggest that this book is "promoting occultism" is absurd. Hindus have not "cornered the market" on meditation . . . the Psalmists speak often of meditating to God! Just because a person didn't grow up practicing some of these disciplines doesnt make the book Gnostic.

    I've read this book several times, taught from it, and consulted it as I have attempted to find different ways to honor and glorify God. Again, it's not deeply theological or overly profound, but it does a great job of introducing spiritual disciplines, explaining why they are important, and even offering suggestions on how to model them.

    I do have a word of caution: the purpose of spiritual disciplines is not because you are trying to "repay" God, or because you think He will then owe you (i.e. If I fast for 7 days then God will give me the job I want). They are an opportunity to come to know Him more fully, and to prepare you for His plan (not to convince Him to follow yours). Calhoun addresses this in her introduction.

    I recommend this book to anyone who will read it and implement it!
  2. Tacoma, WA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    promotes occultism
    January 18, 2014
    Sahl
    Tacoma, WA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Yet another pop christian publication promoting occultism. You can't take occult practices like Hindu yoga breathwork, Trancendental Meditation, and Anciet Greek occult labyrinths, and just paint them over with Christian-sounding terminology to make them acceptable. What's next: "Christian" Ouija-boards? These types of Gnostic teachings have been infiltrating the church since the beginning. Don't be deceived.
  3. Decatur, Il
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 19, 2012
    Grandma Pat
    Decatur, Il
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book was recommended to me by a friend...I would pass this recommendation on to others. What I have read so far of the devotions and practices is good. Obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit for today's disciples.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 26, 2011
    Pete
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Very practical look at a number of spiritual training exercises- both traditional and often overlooked opportunities for everyday growth
  5. Irvine, CA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    March 1, 2011
    Matthew Pevarnik
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I hear all the time, well what should I do to get more intimate with the Holy Spirit/Jesus/God? I tell people, pray, read your Bible, and if you don't know what to do fast until He speaks to you. But for most Christians, these practices wear out quickly and don't seem to have the same excitement they once had (repent! :)) I thank the authors of this book and God for providing so many different ways that One can connect to Him to really work out all the sins/ungodly habits along the way and chip them off the block to be more like Him(Jesus).

    I highly recommend this book if you are looking to come into a deeper/holier/more intimate relationship with God. There is no reason to spend your life missing out on the best God has in store for you! Nothing on earth compares to Him and this book has TONS of amazing ways to draw closer to God.
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