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Home » Books » Health & Wellbeing » Self Help » Personal Growth

Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment : The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way

Art of Spiritual Living

By Nancy L. Bieber

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Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Published In: United States, 01 October 2010
Stay spiritually grounded and open to divine wisdom as you shape your life.

"To make wise decisions, we need the aid of that wise and loving Spirit whose wisdom and light exceed our own. With the Spirit illuminating the complexities of our decisions, we can see and understand more about ourselves and our choices."--from the Introduction

Spiritual discernment is the traditional name for listening and responding to divine guidance. In this book you will approach decision making as an active participant, a co-creator with God in shaping your life. Drawing on twenty-five years of experience as a psychologist and fifteen years as a spiritual director, Nancy L. Bieber presents three essential aspects of Spirit-led decision making:

  • Willingness--being open to God's wisdom and love
  • Attentiveness--noticing what is true, discerning the right path
  • Responsiveness--taking steps forward as the way becomes clear.
With gentle encouragement, Bieber shows how to weave these themes together to discover the best path for you.

Each chapter is enriched by practical spiritual exercises to help you understand yourself and your specific situation, as well as to strengthen spiritual discernment as a daily way of life. An appendix includes a detailed guide for using the book in group study.

Reviews

"Prayerfully and skillfully facilitates the readers' recognition of 'truths (they) already know ... hidden anywhere in life, ' thus opening us to the heart of discernment as the process of living the values of our lives."--Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND, author, Discernment: A Path to Spiritual Awakening; codirector, Companioning the Dying: Opening Fully to Living"Weaves practical insights for cultivating discernment with page-turning stories and repeatable practices. [It] will create ... healthy decisions that are the ripe fruit of ongoing practices for discernment."--Kent Ira Groff, founding mentor, Oasis Ministries; author, What Would I Believe If I Didn't Believe Anything? and Facing East, Praying West"A brilliant lead and many lessons."--Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, founder, Center for Action and Contemplation; author, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See"Compelling and beneficial ... filled with insight and wisdom, as well as practical practices in discernment. This is a volume you'll return to often."--J. Brent Bill, Quaker minister, retreat leader and photographer; author, Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment"Offers readers clarity and practical tools--just what we yearn for when facing uncertainty and change.... It will reassure those seeking to understand their own experience of being led by the Spirit."--Eileen Flanagan, author, The Wisdom to Know the Difference: When to Make a Change--and When to Let Go"Balancing self and other, honoring self and other, embracing self and other is a great challenge for many of us. [This book] helps us take up that challenge in a manner that moves us further along the path of godliness. Read this book. And, more importantly, practice its method."--Rabbi Rami Shapiro, translator and annotator, Ecclesiastes: Annotated & Explained; author, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice"I loved this! A priceless book for living a spiritually centered life. User-friendly and reassuring ... the practices offer gentle guidance for making any decision, large or small. A must have for everyone on a spiritual path as well as anyone supporting that journey."--Kay Lindahl, author, The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice; founder, The Listening Center "Prayerfully and skillfully facilitates the readers' recognition of 'truths (they) already know ... hidden anywhere in life, ' thus opening us to the heart of discernment as the process of living the values of our lives." Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND, author, Discernment: A Path to Spiritual Awakening; codirector, Companioning the Dying: Opening Fully to Living "Weaves practical insights for cultivating discernment with page-turning stories and repeatable practices. [It] will create ... healthy decisions that are the ripe fruit of ongoing practices for discernment." Kent Ira Groff, founding mentor, Oasis Ministries; author, What Would I Believe If I Didn t Believe Anything? and Facing East, Praying West A brilliant lead and many lessons. Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, founder, Center for Action and Contemplation; author, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See Compelling and beneficial filled with insight and wisdom, as well as practical practices in discernment. This is a volume you ll return to often. J. Brent Bill, Quaker minister, retreat leader and photographer; author, Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment Offers readers clarity and practical tools just what we yearn for when facing uncertainty and change . It will reassure those seeking to understand their own experience of being led by the Spirit. Eileen Flanagan, author, The Wisdom to Know the Difference: When to Make a Change and When to Let Go Balancing self and other, honoring self and other, embracing self and other is a great challenge for many of us. [This book] helps us take up that challenge in a manner that moves us further along the path of godliness. Read this book. And, more importantly, practice its method. Rabbi Rami Shapiro, translator and annotator, Ecclesiastes: Annotated & Explained; author, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice I loved this! A priceless book for living a spiritually centered life. User-friendly and reassuring the practices offer gentle guidance for making any decision, large or small. A must have for everyone on a spiritual path as well as anyone supporting that journey. Kay Lindahl, author, The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice; founder, The Listening Center" Psychologist, counselor and spiritual director Nancy L. Bieber often recommended this exercise: Imagine you are on your deathbed. What do you regret never having done? When she at last posed that question to herself, the answer was: writing. One month later, an editor asked the Lancaster-area resident to write a book. Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment: The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way, Bieber's book has just been released by SkyLight Paths Publishing. Bieber recounts this experience in the book's introduction, marveling, "Would-be writers just don't receive those kinds of phone calls especially just after deciding to be a writer." She writes, "The inner voice that insisted I write was the Spirit nudging me." She'd long been ignoring it. But now, feeling trepidation, she was forced to make a decision. Her book "presents a spiritual process for wise decision making and for beginning to live out the decisions we've made," she writes. "Making decisions is inherently sacred work," she continues. "To make wise decisions, we need the aid of that wise and loving Spirit whose wisdom and light exceed our own.... Spiritual discernment is the process of opening our lives and decisions to God and being attentive to what we see with the aid of the divine Light." A practicing Quaker who leads retreats at Pendle Hill and for Oasis Ministries and who teaches at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Bieber understands "God's will" or "God's plan" for human lives as "constantly being developed. It rises within us and is something we develop in partnership with God as we learn to see and understand more clearly." To that end, the 195-page paperback, priced at $16.99, addresses three parts of the process: willingness, attentiveness and responsiveness. Chapters cover concerns such as "Facing Our Fears," "Testing Our Decisions" and "When We Have to Wait." Throughout, Bieber draws examples from her three decades of experience helping people facing personal crises, as well as the lives of herself, family and friends. Tellingly, the first chapter is titled "Opening With a 'Yes.' " Each chapter includes spiritual exercises to help in decision making. These include posturing the body, writing in a journal and practicing visualization. The appendix includes a guide for groups using the book, as well as suggestions for further reading. "It's been an amazing journey this last year," Bieber said in an e-mail message about the experience of living the thesis of her book as she was in the process of writing it. And as fellow author Rose Mary Dougherty notes in a back-cover blurb about the book, she completed it "prayerfully and skillfully."--Jo-Anne Green"Intelligencer Journal: Lancaster New Era" (12/03/2010)" Every year the market is inundated with new books on Christian spirituality: prayer, fasting, meditation, lectio divina, vocation, spiritual direction and healing. Every year it becomes increasingly more difficult to sift through the wheat from the chaff and quite frankly it can be overwhelming. However, two recently published books are essential for serious readers seeking thoughtful reflective books on the various spiritual issues among Christians. Discovering Our Spiritual Identity is not just an ordinary book on Christian faith but one which encourages the reader to stop, reflect and then act. Trevor Hudson is a pastor in the Methodist Church in South Africa and is the author of numerous books, most recently Listening to the Groans. He also works closely with the Renovare Spiritual Formation Institute and travels to the United States several times per year to lead retreats and small conferences. Hudson created this book as a workbook. Every chapter concludes with a series of four or five questions for further reflection. Ample space is provided within the book itself for writing. I envision this book being used for small groups and personal devotion and would make an excellent resource for a parish or small prayer group. The book is divided into sixteen chapters each of varying length and each chapter has an identical format: Signpost, Reading, Holy Experiments, Following the Signpost Together and Reflection Questions. The easy-to-read format allows for slower reading and reflection, this book is a not a quick read. Hudson forces you to stop and savor every chapter as if it were a fine meal, sharing his thirty plus years worth of pastoral stories and vignettes. Hudson is certainly well-equipped to write such a wonderful volume and should be commended. I must confess that on my first reading I did not stop and answer the questions but will go back and slowly ponder each chapter, thinking and reflecting on those questions for "deep reading." Hudson's book would make a good compendium to Bieber's Decision Making and Spiritual Discernment. Both books are similar, but not identical. The books actually compliment each other nicely. While Bieber is not a pastor as is Hudson, her many years in pastoral counseling and coaching provide her with the wisdom to write this book. Decision Making and Spiritual Discernment includes ten chapters on the process of how we make decisions in life. Like Discovering Our Spiritual Identity, Bieber s book is very practical, leading the reader through steps such as facing our fears, listening to our heart, paying attention to friends and family, and the importance of attentiveness. Bieber deals with big decisions in life such as vocation, job and family and I could envision this book to be used among college students seeking advice on their future vocation or careers or in a Christian formation group seeking advice on living a faithful life in Christ. Like Hudson s book, Decision Making includes many questions after each chapter as a way to continue the conversation. I found however that Bieber includes a lot of useful information at the conclusion of the chapter, more so than in Hudson s book. Both books include a thorough reading list for readers who seek more information, and both books are superb for those interested in Christian spirituality and particularly issues of guidance and discernment.--William Mills"ENGLEWOOD REVIEW OF BOOKS" (01/31/2011)"

EAN: 9781683360247
ISBN: 1683360249
Publisher: Skylight Paths Publishing
Dimensions: 21.59 x 13.97 x 1.6 centimetres (0.42 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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