Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Listening Life * Book Open House #3

Dear Partners in Learning-to-Listen ~

Your observations are keen, your wisdom is distinct.  Some of your comments have hit me right on the side of the head, others have lodged somewhere in my heart ... or left me smiling out loud.  I'm honored to share this discussion on Adam McHugh's The Listening Life with you.

Your willingness to share some of what you're gleaning makes this Book Open House shine.  I love doing community with you.




Adam muses ...

Chapter 2 - The King Who Listens
'Although we are tempted in times of agonizing silence to think of God with an icy stare on his face, refusing to make eye contact, I have found it comforting to think of God simply sitting with us in our pain, quietly listening.  Maybe what feels like awkward and anxious silences to us are actually full and gentle silences.  We are reminded that listening is not inaction.  When God is listening to us, even if we do not experience the results we hope for, he is actively disposed toward us.  We must also remember that the fact that God hears prayers does not make him servile to our demands.  Prayer words are not incantations with innate power to change divine weather patterns.  When God doesn't give us our specific prayer requests, it may be an indication that he is working different things into us: things like trust, dependence, humility, patience, wisdom, even intimacy with him.'


Chapter 3 - Listening to God
'Throughout the Old and New Testaments God employs an impressive arsenal of communication tools: words spoken from heaven, words written on tablets, preaching and prophetic words, answered prayer, visual demonstrations, counsels and consensus, thoughts, dream, visions, symbols, words from others, signs in creation, angels, music and song, spiritual gifts, the breaking of bread and immersion in river water, common sense, conviction of sin, impressions on the conscience, and of course, a chatty donkey.  The Bible does not offer a systematic treatment for how God speaks and how to recognize his voice.  It assumes that God speaks in manifold and mysterious and unexpected ways.  God speaks from outside and God speaks from within, God asks questions and gives answers, God speaks in noise and in silence.  The universe crackles with the sound of God's voice.'






*

if it's Wednesday morning,

19 comments:

  1. Great quotes!
    In this section, I also appreciated Adam's thoughts on "embodied" listening. "Our whole lives become receivers for the Word of God." And the idea of "listening with my feet" really appeals to this do-er and dog-walker!

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    1. Hi Michele! Glad you're kicking our conversation off today!

      Our whole lives, yes. Not just the ear drums. Amazing how this can play out for each of us in the most unique ways depending on how God created us to be ...

      Love that. Love Him.

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  2. I hadn't expected the book to go into how to hear God and understand God as a listener! And hadn't seen the perspective before how God speaks and directs in the silence too. Very comforting and enlightening!

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    1. In the silence. Yes. Don't you just love that?!

      Makes me wonder how much I've missed along the way because of all the chronic noise that's so easily surrounded me ...

      ;-{

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  3. Our church has been reading through Job together, and that first quote reminds me of Job's situation. So many times Job wanted to find God and plead his case before Him, but God was right there and aware all along.

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    1. mmmm ... He's already hearing our pleas before we've even thought of articulating them.

      Praise God, He already started to answer before we even thought of whispering Him name ...

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  4. Standing still is the beginning of listening.
    Yes! I need more stillness in my life :)

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    1. Sarah, maybe we've been running to fast for far too long?

      Just thinkin' ...

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  5. It really touches me that God is speaking even in the silence. The picture of Him sitting quietly beside us in our pain and listening so intently is comforting. I love that He is always actively disposed towards us and working on our behalf, even in the stillness. I want to keep that picture in my heart. Love and hugs to you, Linda!

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    1. Listening so intently. Amen. Not trying to fix us, just loving us through it all.

      Yes, Trudy, this is a beautiful image and a comforting reality, isn't it ...

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  6. Linda, I know I've said it before, but this book must go on my next order. (I like to order several at a time, so I can take advantage of free shipping on my reading addiction. hehe). I think this would be one my husband might like as well. Look forward to putting it on my next order. We'll probably be done with the "open house" here by the time I get it in, but still, thank you for the recommendation. I'm loving the quotes you're sharing. --- And, thank you also for the sweet comment you left for me over at #ChasingCommunity yesterday. Your words bless my spirit, friend. Thank you! I'll still be writing there, so please continue to pop by when you're able, and I'll do the same. Thankful for you, friend. xoxo

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    1. Yes, Adam's writing is certainly appealing to men, he comes from that perspective which I appreciate. A few readers are reading and discussing with their husbands. I've given The Listening Life to friends and family. Go for it!

      And bless you in the process, Brenda ...

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  7. First of all, yes, this is your Roomie, Linda :-) Can't wait for our next face to face! I sat up and took notice when he talked about "listening prayer". I wasn't aware that this was a new category of prayer! My CT prayer partner and I have been practicing this for a number of years now and it is such a change from my typical talking prayers! Someone recently said we sometimes treat God like a vending machine - insert prayer, receive answer. Sadly, I was beginning to treat God that way. When my friend and I listen to God, we do start with our requests so we get them off our minds and can begin to really listen to what's on God's mind. How refreshing! And it never ceases to amaze me how He speaks to each of us so personally and yet how intertwined the messages are. The whole experience has drawn us closer to Him and to one another in a very special way!

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    1. I'm thinking that listening prayer may be new to some in certain denominations, Cyndi ... but, yes, it has been around forever and understandably so. Once we start quieting down and putting our request list to the side, our connection with God has a huge potential of opening wide.

      And we find it's what we've been yearning for forever ...

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  8. Oh, how I love the pictures painted of the God of the world and how deeply He loves us!

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  9. I was just thinking of how chapter 3 especially tied in well with your last book club on silence and solitude-something I am still working on. I am a bit behind on the reading but loved how he talked about Jesus listening wide and deep. What a gift and a challenge. I also was convicted by his statement in chapter four: "Spiritual deafness is not an issue with the ability of the ear to hear but with the softness of the heart."

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    1. No worries about being behind, TJ! Continue to read at whatever pace you enjoy. I appreciate your insight about the books connecting. For sure, one has led into the next.

      I love when that happens ...

      And I'm so glad to have you along for the ride ...

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