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The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making [Paperback]

By Elizabeth Liebert (Author)
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Item description for The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making by Elizabeth Liebert...

Overview
How can Christians invite God into their decision making? Liebert, who teaches spirituality at San Francisco Theological Seminary, says that discernment is about aligning human will with God's. Unlike ordinary decision making, it requires prayer and the accountability of a faith community to help us know which way to go. Drawing on Christian thinkers through the ages, from Ignatius of Loyola and Jonathan Edwards to Frederick Buechner and Thomas Merton, Liebert teaches that discernment is both a spiritual gift and an acquired habit that can be honed through regular practice. To that end, she provides extensive exercises to help readers identify and work through discernment issues in their own lives. Readers should plan to take time with this book, because the exercises yield their richest rewards through careful and slow implementation-ideally over a period of 11 weeks. While the author cautions that absolute certainty is rarely possible, a diligent practice of discernment can lead to confirmation. Liebert's wise spiritual counsel will aid many seekers as they determine their next step.

Publishers Description

We all make decisions constantly--some with careful reflection, some without much thought. But what if we understood these decisions, minor as well as major, as matters of faithful Christian living? In this helpful and encouraging book, Elizabeth Liebert introduces the practice of discernment and guides readers through the process of faithful decision making. Following the way of discernment means becoming increasingly able to notice where God is at work in the world and in one's own life--and becoming increasingly generous with one's own life in response. After briefly exploring the Christian tradition of discernment, Liebert then turns to practical steps and exercises that will help readers as they seek God's call in the midst of their decisions, allowing readers to internalize some of these practices and incorporate them into their daily lives.

From Publishers Weekly
How can Christians invite God into their decision making? Liebert, who teaches spirituality at San Francisco Theological Seminary, says that discernment is about aligning human will with Gods. Unlike ordinary decision making, it requires prayer and the accountability of a faith community to help us know which way to go. Drawing on Christian thinkers through the ages, from Ignatius of Loyola and Jonathan Edwards to Frederick Buechner and Thomas Merton, Liebert teaches that discernment is both a spiritual gift and an acquired habit that can be honed through regular practice. To that end, she provides extensive exercises to help readers identify and work through discernment issues in their own lives. Readers should plan to take time with this book, because the exercises yield their richest rewards through careful and slow implementationideally over a period of 11 weeks. While the author cautions that absolute certainty is rarely possible, a diligent practice of discernment can lead to confirmation. Lieberts wise spiritual counsel will aid many seekers as they determine their next step. (Aug.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making by Elizabeth Liebert has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Century - 12/28/2010 page 29
  • Publishers Weekly - 06/09/2008 page 47
  • Library Journal - 07/15/2008 page 53
  • LJ Best Books of Year - 12/15/2008 page 64
  • LJ Best Books of Year - 12/01/2008 page 64


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   170
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6.12" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2008
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664228704  
ISBN13  9780664228705  


Availability  4320 units.
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More About Elizabeth Liebert


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Elizabeth Liebert is professor of spiritual life at San Fransisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. She has published several books including Changing Life Patterns: Adult Development in Spiritual Direction with Chalice Press.

Elizabeth Liebert currently resides in the state of California. Elizabeth Liebert was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General


Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making?

Discernment Clarified  Nov 3, 2008
Elizabeth Liebert not only explains the history of discernment she offers practices that allow the reader to experience what she is describing. Because of the experiential component, it is a book to be savoured so that the reader can absorb personal knowledge of the practice. I highly recommend this book to anyone who want both understanding and experience of the spiritual practice of discernment.
 
Practical Guide to Discerning God's Desires for Us  Oct 26, 2008
Elizabeth Liebert, Professor of Spiritual Life at San Francisco Theological Seminary, provides an excellent resource for all who seek God's desire in their decision making. The book is designed as a personal retreat, with suggestions for practices to help discern how God is moving within a decision. Readers are encouraged to work their way through the suggested practices and are given guidance to help interpret their experiences. A personal journal is a key adjunct to the book - a place to record thoughts, reflections, pros and cons, opinions, results of research, etc. Liebert encourages readers to confer with others who can pray for them and listen respectfully to their thoughts and desires to hear God's voice in the discernment process. Readers are encouraged to take their time working through the various exercises and to trust in the slow work of God.

Part 1 offers the first of many practices, the Awareness Examen, which helps one look for the traces of God's actions in daily life. The Examen offers thanks for all of God's gifts, asks for light to see clearly, reviews one's sense of God's presence and absence during the day, expresses gratitude/requests healing, and asks for grace in the coming day. Discernment is explored in real life, grounded in Biblical and theological foundations. Suggested exercises are designed to uncover the deepest desires of the heart, to open one's self to co-create with God, and to put response to God's call at the top of the list of priorities.

Part 2 explores the practice of discernment in decision making. It begins by helping the reader to frame the discernment question, clarify assumptions, gather relevant data, and select the processes for discernment. Processes include approaching discernment through memory of moments when God has "blessed, supported and guided us throughout our lives," and through insights garnered through intuition, body awareness, imagination, reason, religious affections (feelings), and inspiration through nature. The book provides detailed, step-by-step descriptions of how to tap into each of these ways of knowing. The last chapter offers ways to confirm one's tentative decision.

This book is an excellent resource for understanding and using the various discernment processes described in the exercises. It provides a framework for "doing" discernment, allowing God to confirm a discerned decision, and getting ready to implement.
 

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