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Listening Hearts 20th Anniversary Edition: Discerning Call in Community Paperback – Deluxe Edition


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Listening Hearts 20th Anniversary Edition: Discerning Call in Community + Grounded in God Revised Edition: Listening Hearts Discernment for Group Deliberations + Listening Hearts: Manual for Discussion Leaders
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Product Details

  • Series: Listening Hearts
  • Paperback: 167 pages
  • Publisher: MOREHOUSE PUBLISHING; 20 Anv edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819224448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819224446
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Suzanne G. Farnham is the founder of Listening Hearts Ministries and a popular speaker and retreat leader. Joseph P. Gill is a US attorney, active lay leader and trainer in Listening Hearts Ministries. R. Taylor Mclean is an active lay leader in Baltimore,MD and serves as president of the Listening Hearts Ministries board of trustees. Susan M. Ward is a former Listening Hearts trustee, who lives in Baltimore, where she is an active lay leader.

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Customer Reviews

A very easy reading book.
Roxy
At the very least, it serves as a starting point for someone considering a time of discernment.
Douglas R. Briggs
It was also very helpful in how to help others discern their call.
L. Schilling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Douglas R. Briggs on December 14, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The issue of discernment, or attempting to understand God's will for us in our lives and the direction it should take, is one on which regrettably too little attention has been spent in the Church until recently. This book answers that dearth of material by presenting what proves to be both an emanently practical and highly instructive method and motive.
The method was developed in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland with great assistance and input from members of the area Quaker community. The Society of Friends influence shows prominently, as the main focus of the process (and it is a process, as opposed to a goal in and of itself) is to discover and arrive at consensus regarding God's revealed will through reflective prayer rather than convince anyone of anything via cerebral justifications. For this group, the method became the first step in the ordination process, though they are quick to note that the method need not be limited to those seeking ordination, but rather can be used by anyone seeking a discernment of God's will for his or her life.
Listening Hearts is replete with quotations and an exhaustive bibliography. At the very least, it serves as a starting point for someone considering a time of discernment. The book is not discouraging of ordained vocations, but instead acknowledges that often discerners too quickly latch onto ordination as the only answer to a vocation in the Church. The method emphasizes prayer and heartfelt reflection as the main means of determining God's will, which is as it should be.
Those seeking a time of discernment should read this book for "the other side" of the discussion -- a viewpoint which urges caution, deliberatation, and openness to the multiplicity of God's purposes. It provides a strong balance, essential to any spiritual journey.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Fowler (jandk@cyberramp.net) on March 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
The method used in creating this book is as moving and powerful as the material itself. The authors centered on prayer and meditation and worked with the Holy Spirit to create a book of sayings that ring true at every turn. But, the book is much more than a group of sayings. It lays out a path for discernment that begins with God, and leads through the self to the community. This path is clearly paved with the Holy Spirit and is ready for all who are willing to make themselves available to God's will.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book about 10 years ago as I began to wrestle with questions of vocation. I felt called to ministry, possibly ordained ministry. I had far more questions than answers and didn't know where to begin.

Recommended by my pastor, this book gave me a vocabulary and suggested a process for listening to who God calls me to be. It also offered important advice on the benefits of listening in the context of community.

The book is accessible but rich. I found that individual chapters bear rereading at various times in my life. I attribute this to the prayerfulness of the authors, who used many of the discernment ideas they describe in the book to write the book itself.

The bibliography is a list of classics on Christian discernment and spirituality that have stood the test of time. Many of the books listed in the bibliography have become important parts of my journey as well.

I am glad I read the book and recommend it to others beginning or continuing their own discernment process.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marc on May 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Six years ago, my priest used this book with a group of seniors at Gordon College to help us learn more about listening to God in the context of testing our call to ordained ministry. This book is simply incredible. God used it powerfully in my life!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Too many people see 'vocation' as a narrow thing, something that is designed only to ask 'should I become a priest?' or 'should I enter the ministry?' In fact, there are many ways of being God's servant and following God's call in the world, and the ordained ministries are but one narrow band of this. 'Listening Hearts' is designed to take a community approach to seeing what God's call is in the world.

The word 'vocation' comes from the Latin vocare -- to call -- and thus has a wide range of meanings, biblical and spiritual, as well as outside accumulations onto the concept. The authors here derive inspiration from the Quaker practice of silence and reflection (a clearness process) as well as other spiritual processes, many of which are elaborated in more detail in works referenced in the bibliography, a great resource for those interested in issues of vocation.

A call is different from a job -- a career can be a vocation, in the sense that it encompasses more than 'just a job'; teaching is a career and a vocation, for example. To be a teacher involves more than just being paid to be in a classroom; indeed, one can be a teacher without being employed as one in a school. The same holds true for God's call in ministry -- just as a career (again derivative of more ancient meanings, literally meaning a path one follows, like the career of the earth around the sun) can be narrowly defined or more broadly held, so too can a vocation to ministry be understood in terms of many aspects of living one's life. C.S. Lewis famously discouraged a friend from becoming a priest, fearing that it would cease to be a valid vocation and slip into the 'just a job' kind of situation.
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