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Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us Paperback – December 19, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"A practical guide to a wide range of disciplines from the classical practices of prayer, worship, meditation, and scripture study to more contemporary disciplines such as mentoring, journaling, unplugging, and accountability partners. A readable and accessible introduction to the practice of the spiritual disciplines." (Elizabeth R. Pearson, The Christian Librarian, vol. 52, 2009)
"Encourages and challenges individuals with its specificity and personal tone. Welcome by anyone wishing to enhance life through discipline--especially spiritual discipline." (Carolyn Egolf, Congregational Libraries Today, January/February 2007)
"For readers seeking to go deeper into the Christian life, or find renewal, or healing, or fresh insight, Calhoun's handbook will be a needed guide. Both the new Christian and the battle-worn veteran will find thoughtful, original paths to improve their walk with God." (Jim Miller, pastor, Vineyard Church, Nacogdoches, Texas, in the Lufkin Daily News, May 5, 2007)
"[The book] gives a wide range of practices that can prove helpful for anyone." (Anita Cain, Aspiring Retail, March 2006)
"A treasure of tried and true spiritual practices written well enough for everyone from the novice to the master to use." (Publishers Weekly, September 26, 2005 (starred review))
"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." (Greg Ogden, executive pastor of discipleship, Christ Church of Oak Brook, and author of Discipleship Essentials and Transforming Discipleship)
"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." (Ruth Haley Barton, cofounder, The Transforming Center, and author of Sacred Rhythms and Life Together in Christ)
"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." (Dr. Timothy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC)
"Spiritual Disciplines Handbook offers a serious and extensive look into developing a variety of spiritual disciplines to help readers draw into a closer relationship with God. . . . Recommended." (Michelle Lovato, CBA Retailers+Resources, December 2015)
Top customer reviews
UPDATE: I have continued to use this book several times a week. After reading through the disciplines that most interested me--contemplation, meditation, rest, silence, solitude--I began to branch out into some I was not as keen to read on--submission, compassion,humility. My fear in exploring these areas was that the book would begin to encourage a hyper-self critical attitude that would exacerbate my own tendency to find fault with myself. This fear has thus far been completely unfounded--in each of these areas Calhoun continues to gently encourage self exploration that leads to a much deeper awareness of motives to bring before God and ask for His direction in changing. Really a transformational book.
It said not to read like a text book, but I found it difficult not to. I am part of women's group of 6 and I have suggested we us this book as a group study that we are going to do starting this fall.
The author does a fantastic job balancing two objectives: to serve as a spiritual friend encouraging the reader to listen to their God-given desires to draw near to Him and point the reader in a good direction to fulfill these holy desires; and yet provide a thorough encyclopedic reference for the spiritual disciplines. Although some of practices may seem esoteric or mystical (and have parallels in other faiths), Calhoun is a very solid Christian and is not teaching anything that is contrary to sound doctrine. I would recommend the book for any Christian longing to know God better and looking to explore new spiritual disciplines as a means of spiritual transformation.
Tired of the old evangelical way of "quiet times" to connect with God? Did you know that time with Him could look any other way? Adele Ahlberg Calhoun provides a long list of spiritual disciplines that have been used throughout the church ages by those who seek to be transformed by the presence of the living God. Each discipline comes with helpful explanation and extremely practical suggestions for how to practice each one.
Most recent customer reviews
This book contains an encyclopedic introduction to the history, practices, and modern resources...Read more