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.
"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."
"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."
"Encourages and challenges individuals with its specificity and personal tone. Welcome by anyone wishing to enhance life through discipline--especially spiritual discipline."
"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."
"[The book] gives a wide range of practices that can prove helpful for anyone."
"A treasure of tried and true spiritual practices written well enough for everyone from the novice to the master to use."
"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."
The Spiritual Disciplines and Desires
Introduction: Discovering Your Desire
Part 1: Worship
Rule for Life
Part 2: Open Myself to God
Practicing the Presence
Part 3: Relinquish the False Self
Confession and Self-Examination
Part 4: Share My Life With Others
Part 5: Hear God's Word
Part 6: Incarnate the Love of Christ
Care of the Earth
Control of the Tongue
Part 7: Pray
Prayer of Recollection
Appendix 1: Spiritual Growth Planner
Appendix 2: A Series on Spiritual Disciplines for the Congregation
Appendix 3: Suggestions for Spiritual Mentors
Appendix 4: Using the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook with Small Groups
Appendix 5: Names for Worshiping God
Appendix 6: One Anothers
Appendix 7: Postures for Prayer
Appendix 8: Spending Time with God
Appendix 9: Suggestions for Fasting Prayer for the Church
Appendix 10: Seasons, Stages and Ages of Transformation
Index of Spiritual Disciplines