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Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us
Inter-varsity Press / 2005 / Paperback
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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.
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.
Adele Ahlberg Calhoun (M.A., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) has worked in Christian ministry for over thirty years and is currently copastor, with her husband, Doug, of Redeemer Community in Wellesley, 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.
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.
"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."
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