*The Listening Life - eBook  -     By: Adam S. McHugh
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*The Listening Life - eBook

IVP Books / 2015 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: IVP Books
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780830879694
ISBN-13: 9780830879694

Publisher's Description

Logos Association Bookstore Award, Best Christian Living Book for 2016 Bookwi.se's Favorite Books of the Year, Non-Fiction "Be quick to listen, slow to speak." —James 1:19 How would our lives change if we approached every experience with the intention of listening first? In this noisy, distracting world, it is difficult to truly hear. People talk past each other, eager to be heard but somehow deaf to what is being said. Listening is an essential skill for healthy relationships, both with God and with other people. But it is more than that: listening is a way of life. Adam McHugh places listening at the heart of our spirituality, our relationships and our mission in the world. God himself is the God who hears, and we too can learn to hear what God may be saying through creation, through Scripture, through people. By cultivating a posture of listening, we become more attentive and engaged with those around us. Listening shapes us and equips us to be more attuned to people in pain and more able to minister to those in distress. Our lives are qualitatively different—indeed, better—when we become listeners. Heed the call to the listening life, and hear what God is doing in you and the world.

Author Bio

Adam S. McHugh (ThM, Princeton Theological Seminary) is an ordained Presbyterian minister and spiritual director. He has served at two Presbyterian churches, as a hospice chaplain and as campus staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He is the author of and lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Editorial Reviews

"Listening is one of the best gifts we can give or receive. Listening changes things. Listening, the way Adam McHugh describes it, could just change the world."
"This book is an essential antidote and a welcome aid to listen well—to God and to one another."
"I say this more often than I actually do it, but this is a book that I will read again. It is easier to read about listening than actually listen, as McHugh says, but this was a very good reminder of why listening is important, and how we can better listen to God, those around us, and ourselves."
"Adam McHugh helps his readers to see that the skill of listening well begins with the heart, silent and open first to God for His word, then ready to hear others before speaking."
"McHugh is the author of The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction, in which he outlines a dozen traps people can fall into if they don't approach listening in the right way. . . . Good listeners are patient and unselfish, and they can recognize when it's their turn to speak. When they do so, they provide reassuring commentary or ask gentle, probing questions. That is the express lane to conflict resolution."
"Hearing is the first sense we develop and the last to go in death. But listening is not a natural capacity. The Bible is clear on this point. We do not automatically listen to God, others, or even ourselves. McHugh's book can change the way you approach your daily conversations. It may even change your life. You should listen."
"Throughout his wise and witty work, McHugh ( Introverts in the Church) lobbies readers to prick up their ears. 'Listening,' he writes, 'comes first.' McHugh predicates this marvelous book on what lousy listeners we are, then proceeds to offer means for changing our habits. . . . McHugh writes humbly about learning to hear deeply, because 'the beginning of discipleship is listening.' He writes intimately, telling his own stories in the same tone as he retells tales from the Bible. McHugh mixes more formal writing with conversational sections, liberally quoting colleagues and resources (from John Coltrane to Homer Simpson) and including personal anecdotes, aphorisms, and loving admonishments tied together with keen humor. This is a persuasive book for those with ears ready to listen to what McHugh has to say."
"Adam McHugh has been a significant contributor to the conversation about how introverts experience the world. His new book, The Listening Life, has the power to reshape how both introverts and extroverts make space for deep listening in a world that swims in the shallows. Highly recommended."
" The Listening Life is the kind of book that made me at times not want to turn the page—because I needed to! What the book did was still my soul and remind me to be still before God—to silence the noise and open the closed doors to hear. In hearing we learn that in listening to God and to one another we enter into the graces of love. On every page Adam McHugh offers wisdom that slowly marches us into a deeper kind of life, one marked by listening to God in a way that teaches us how to listen to one another and to ourselves. There are two kinds of people: those who talk and those who listen—the former need to read this book slowly and listen well to the lesson about reverse listening, while the latter will discover fresh light on a discipline now deepened."
"If it were possible to combine the voices of Dallas Willard, N. D. Wilson and Jim Gaffigan, then what you would get is Adam S. McHugh. His writing is profound, lyrical and self-deprecating in all the right ways. There are few books I want to start again once I've finished. The Listening Life is now one of them. I adore this stunning, important book and want to give it to everyone I know."
"Adam McHugh is a voice worth listening to. His new book will be a gift to anyone who wants to cultivate what Jesus called 'ears to hear.'"
"Like many introverts, I can be vain about my listening skills, but reading McHugh's book forced me to reconsider my self-perception. It's true that being more quiet than talkative means that I am more available to hear, but do I really listen? Or do I only half listen to the person talking while the rest of me is listening to my own brain chatter? . . . . McHugh writes with considerable charm and a great deal of wisdom and he gave me lots to think about. . . . The Listening Life was not written for me. But it had something to say to me anyway. So I listened."

Product Reviews

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  1. Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Build closer relationships with God & people
    February 15, 2016
    Debbie from ChristFocus
    Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "The Listening Life" is about truly listening to God and to others and how this can transform our relationships. The author started off by describing why good listening is important. He looked at Scripture to see how people listened to God and how God listens to His people. This section reminded me why I love my God so much: our God listens!

    He talked about listening directly to God and to God through Scripture, creation, and other people. He described bad and good ways of listening to others. Not rules but more starting with a right attitude. He also discussed listening to yourself (in a biblical way) and suggested how different church would be if people knew they would be heard, not preached at.

    The book had a casual tone with a cadence that was pleasant to read. He looked at Scripture, but he also suggested ancient Christian practices and things he's found to help as he's learned to be a better listener. I'd recommend this book to those who want to build closer relationships with God and people.

    I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
  2. Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Gift of LIstening
    January 1, 2016
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The word listen appears in Scripture over fifteen hundred times, and the most frequently voiced complaint in the Bible is that the people dont listen. It may well be the most frequent complaint of present-day mothers, also, and, as a mother of four, I was in love with Adam McHughs The Listening Life before I was half-way through the first chapter. Listen to me! I have beseeched my brood. Are you hearing my words?

    However, as I continued to read, I was carried into Adams argument that discipleship is a journey of ongoing listening, and suddenly, the books message was for me and the entrenched selfishness of my own heart. Theres a good reason for the fact that, in the Latin, the words listen and obedience have the same root. It turns out that all my prayers for wisdom in parenting and living life could be understood, like Solomons words in Hebrew, as a request for, a listening heart or a heart with skill to listen. Adam McHugh helps his readers to see that the skill of listening well begins with the heart, silent and open first to God for His word, then ready to hear others before speaking.

    Jesus set the example by listening widely (to the sick, the outcast, the despised), deeply (with probing questions and a heart for underlying need), and hospitably fully present to the speaker. The believers listening to the voice of God is best done with the feet as we embody our listening through acts of obedience. In this way, listening to God becomes a spiritual discipline as we read and are read by the Scriptures; as we listen to creations sermons about abundance and the mercy of God, about the fading nature of human life and beauty in contrast to the constancy and permanence of God.

    Listening to others is best done listening to, rather than listening for in the manner of a cross-examining attorney trying to catch an inconsistency or to collect data. The Listening Life parades all our self-promoting, self-centered habits of NOT listening and then describes (with convicting examples) the mindset of keeping the conversational arrow pointed unselfishly toward the other person. To be honest, I would like to just memorize the chapters on listening to others and listening to those in pain, so that I would always have an assortment of thoughtful and probing questions and comments on the tip of my tongue to remind myself that my conversations are not supposed to be about me. Then I recall that listening is a matter of the heart, and I see the truth: its my heart that needs changing, and no memorized list from a book no matter how helpful is going to bring that about.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer framed the matter beautifully:

    Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking when they should be listening.

    The Listening Life imagines a world in which the usual pattern of listening is reversed, where leaders listen to followers, where the rich listen to the poor, and the insiders listen to outsiders not as part of a program or with a prescribed agenda, but one person at a time with listening as an end in itself.

    True listening is a path out of the spiritual fatigue and distractedness that we bring to every interaction. As we listen to God, as we pay attention to the messages our own hearts are trying to communicate to us, and as we turn our focus outward to hear the hearts of others, we are giving a gift that comes directly from God and in the process, we receive a gift as well.

    This book was provided by IVP Books, an imprint of Intervarsity Press, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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