Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sneaking a Peek At Our Next Life-Changing Book

I always took pride in being a pretty good listener.  Especially since that's what I do for a living.

Clients and friends told me so.  A few family members.  And I believed them.  Until two years ago when I read Adam McHugh's The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction.

Turns out that some of my rather prideful assumptions were, well ... wrong and somewhat out of kilter. 

The Listening Life is our 2nd Book Open House selection.  To say I'm excited would be an understatement.




I can't help but believe that Adam's award winning book will upend, shake around, and pivot much of what you perceive about your own ability to listen.  In your personal relationship with God.  As you connect with others, especially those in deep pain.  As you consider what nature whispers.  As you pay attention to your body, your emotions, and those ongoing 'scripts' you believe.

And how we do listening in the church, oh the church.  God have mercy on us all.

The section on How To Be a Bad Listener is worth the cost of the book alone as you discover how bad listening often masquerades as good listening.  You might spy yourself in the scenarios he paints ... you'll smile, you'll wince, you'll find yourself convicted.

I'd venture to say that the discussion that emerges during this second Book Open House will enlighten and give us all plenty of those priceless 'aha' moments.  Comfort and hope mingle as we share our stories ... and realize, once again, 'Phew, I'm not the only one.'







Adam muses, 'The question that drives this book is, how would our relationships change, and how would we change, if we approached every situation with the intention of listening first?  What if we approached our relationship with God as listeners?  What if we viewed our relationship with nature as one of listening?  What if we approached our relationships using our ears rather than our mouths?  What if we sought to listen to our emotions before we preached to them?' 

McHugh's the kind of guide you'd choose if you were taking a long, winding journey to someplace unknown.  He's wise, he's got a keen sense of humor.  He knows where he's headed, because he's the first to admit the mistakes he's made in the past.

If you like reading with a highlighter or pen in hand, you'll be using yours full throttle.

This is a soul-stirring and convicting read, yet not at all ponderous or preachy.  Adam's anecdotes will crack you up ... his wry humor is even interlaced in the books's end notes.  Christianity Today listed The Listening Life as one of the 'books most likely to shape Evangelical life, thought, and culture' in their 2017 Book Awards.  It's that much of a game changer.

I'd love if you'd ... 

1.  Grab your paperback or Kindle edition of the book.  {As I hit the publish button, the Kindle edition is only $3.99!}   

2.  Mark your calendar for Thursday, April 19th.  Our weekly discussion kicks off that day and will run for 5 - 6 weeks.  

3.  Share this invitation with your FB tribe, blog, Twitter feed, small group, and book club.

4.  Subscribe so you don't miss a single post.

I can't think of a single soul that won't benefit from reading this book, but you're absolutely welcome to drop by and participate even if you don't read the book.

Anticipating ...  


P.S.  Curious what a Book Open House looks like?  Click here to check out our first.

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listening at

44 comments:

  1. You've finally sold me. Clicked and downloaded to my iPad.

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  2. Listening is very difficult and tiring. I used to run management courses in listening. Being a listener requires great concentration and skill.

    God bless.

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    1. I was waiting for the punchline and then I realized that this is the serious side of you, Victor!

      Which, by the way, is valued just as much ... and perhaps more!

      ;-}

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  3. "Eeeeeee" (Annoying fan-girl squeal and scuffling scramble to find the book on my newly organized book case!!)

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    1. I'm picturing this even as we speak ...

      ;-}

      Too cute!

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  4. I'm so excited this book is in my library system. I can participate in this one!!!

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    1. Oh I'm so happy! Yay!

      Can't wait to get your librarian viewpoint as well as your personal insights, Val ...

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  5. You would be a good salesperson, Linda! I loved the first book and found out recently my pastor went on a retreat years ago that Ruth Haley Barton led. He told me the story because being silent for him was like torture until God blessed that time.

    I will join in the discussion but will not be able to read the next book selection at this time. It sounds amazing! I hope you will post some quotes again to spur on the discussion.

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    1. Yes, please please hang out with us even if you can't get to the book. Absolutely!

      And a Ruth Haley Barton retreat? One of the best things I ever did for myself. For sure.

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a great choice of a next book discussion. You already know I am a great fan of the book.I won't have a chance to reread it, but will jump in with comments as often as I can. Hope you are weathering all the pesky storms hitting the Northeast! Hugs to you, my friend!

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    1. Yes, please be here, my friend, whenever you can. I know you'd bring much wisdom to the table.

      And readers, do check out Pam's posts on The Listening Life. A rich feast for sure ...

      http://www.lindastoll.net/2016/06/this-friend-is-serving-up-bountiful.html

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  7. Sounds like a great book to discuss. I was able to order it from my library so hopefully it will be here in time. Looking forward to this one.

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    1. I'm glad you're in, Mah. I always appreciate what you have to say!

      Really!

      * smile *

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  8. This sounds like another eye-opener, Linda. I have not yet decided whether to purchase it or not. Either way, I just know I will learn a lot from your posts and the comments. :) Like Mary, I hope, too, that you will post quotes. You choose such enlightening ones. :) Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Trudy, hi! Be sure to check out your library system ... Valerie and Marilyn have found the book in theirs. Cool! I love to hear that public libraries are carrying Christian books.

      And either way, YES, I'm simply going to put quotes on the table and let you guys share your stuff. So much wisdom and humor and insight from you all ...

      I'm definitely in learning mode these days.

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    2. Hi Linda. Though our library has a lot of Christian fiction, they don't have this book and many other Christian nonfiction books. Anyway, I just ordered the Kindle one. I'd rather hold the "real" books in my hand, but I'm beginning to like nonfiction books on Kindle. It's handy to pull up on my desktop my Bible app, the book, and a page document to use for jotting down notes at the same time. :) The one thing you wrote about listening to our emotions instead of preaching at them really grabs my attention. I definitely need that! I'm looking forward to this new adventure of going deeper! Love and hugs to you!

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    3. Oh I'm so glad you could get ahold of the book, Trudy. At $3.99 it's a steal!

      Enjoy and savor ...

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  9. Linda,
    Not sure if I'll be able to read the whole book, but if you'll allow me to pop in and glean wisdom....I can always you wisdom on how to be a better listener!! Looking forward to it!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. You're always always welcome here, Bev ... with or without a book in hand!

      ;-}

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  10. Just whipped out my copy you gifted me one special occasion. Ruth’s book was a prequel to this. I think we are learning about LISTENING, one of the hardest things to do, and hope I get it some day.

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    1. I know, I know ... don't you just love how they dovetail? I can't help thinking that God is trying to teach us something big.

      Gratefully, He never loses His patience with those of us who are slow learners ...

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  11. So excited about this one, Linda, as I've been practicing contemplative prayer, inspired by our last book club read. And guess what? I already have the book! I don't know why I never finished reading it, but I'm ready to plunge in with new vigor. Come on, April!
    Blessings!

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    1. I love how people are digging out the book yet once again! And let's hear it for plunging in with new vigor.

      Come to think of this, what better way to kick off springtime?!

      'Listen first.'

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  12. This is exciting! Time for a confession... I started reading this book last year but only got as far as chapter 2. I loved it but wanted to take time to reflect on it instead of rushing through it. Then I got distracted by other books and never came back to it. I look forward to joining in with you- this will motivate me to get back to it and complete it this time! (Just noticed Martha's comment above is similar- I'm glad it's not just me!)

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    1. Well, you're in good company, friend, as Michele, Carol, and Martha are all reaching for their book-shelved copies.

      This is going to be oh so good!

      ;-}

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  13. So exciting! Wishing you all the best!

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  14. I can’t wait to read this! Recently, I’ve been trying to do more listening when people talk; telling myself to “shut up”, rather than spouting off “words of advice”. Most people are looking for a listening ear, not advice.

    {via email}

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    1. I'm guessing that dispensing advice is alot easier than listening well.

      We tend to be quite self-absorbed, finding our own thoughts more fascinating than the cry of another's heart. How sad is that.

      I'm glad you're going to be reading along with us, K! You have much wisdom to share ... I hope you'll jump in to the discussions.

      xo

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  15. Linda,
    Oh my - -listening to our emotions instead of preaching to them -- I love that!! I think I need this book. :) And I have no doubt that you are an excellent listener and highly underestimate your exceptional talents in that area! :) xo

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    1. Adam says many profound things that simply take your breathe away. It'll be hard to choose just the 'right' quotes to share during our discussion because the book is rich in thought-provoking challenges.

      And I think most of us are ready to have our feet held to the fire just a bit, ya' know?

      I would love to hear your take on what we'll be reading, Valerie. Certainly!

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  16. I just put it on my kindle because I need it. Thank you for picking out great books! :)

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    1. 'Because I need it.'

      Most of us would agree that no truer words were spoken, Sarah ...

      ;-}

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  17. Ooooh, that looks like a good one, Linda. I think I need to add it to my summer-porch-reads list. Until then, I look forward to dropping by here and reading your insights on it. :) xoxo

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    1. Summer-porch-reads sounds so inviting, Brenda. Three of my favorite things rolled into one compelling phrase!

      Come quickly!

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  18. Sounds like a great book. Listening is the core of our ministry, Member Care and the hardest part of it because most of us want to give our answers instead of listening. It was easier over seas to take the time to listen since we had few electronic distractions, few cars. Since it was so quiet you could actually hear the jungle that surrounded us, amazing how many bugs make a noise.

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    1. Betty, you're so right, we love the sound of our own voices, don't we. Sadly. Adam's going to go there and I am so excited about getting together to discuss where we need to go!

      I've never been to the jungle and I'm fascinated with your observations.

      Wise.

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  19. Wow, I need to check this out. I think Lisa (from Lisanotes.com) reviewed this book a few months ago and her post intrigued me so much that I made "Become a better listener" one of my goals for the year. Going to check this book out!

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    1. Doesn't Lisa always have the most interesting selection of books to share?

      ;-}

      Yes, please check out the book ... I hope you'll be joining in on the conversation ... would be fascinating to hear how this applies as you live in a country I know little about.

      But I guess listening is a universal invitation, isn't it ...

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  20. Looking forward to this one, Linda. Your invitations are always such opportunities for growth! Off to Amazon I go ...

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    1. Cool! I can't wait to hear your input. I know it's going to be worth paying attention to.

      ;-}

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  21. I have the book and have absolutely loved what I have read so far... maybe this book discussion it just what I need to pick it up again and actually finish it (a big struggle these days is to pick up one pick and read it until the end). I thought of you yesterday when I read this post: http://www.verityvaree.com/ourblog/2018/4/7/learning-how-to-listen-well (which I'm sure you read since I think it was Emily Freeman who pointed me to that post.
    BTW, falling in love with Emily's podcast. :)
    Blessings,
    Simply Beth

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    1. Yeah, there's nothing like a good discussion to get us motivated to pick up a book yet once again. I do miss my book club evenings back in NY ... and while not a substitute for that cozy in-person fellowship, these open houses sure are alot of fun.

      Will check out the post you've shared. And yes, I'm a huge Emily fan, too!

      ;-}

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Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

Doesn't seem to be a place to leave your comment? Or your comment doesn't show up within an hour or so?

I'd love if you'd email me your contribution ... I'd be delighted to hand post it as soon as possible.

lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...

Linda