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


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Making a Start 1 PART I Willingness 1 Opening with a "Yes" 15 2 Facing Our Fears 31 PART II Attentiveness 3 Surveying the Situation 49 4 Listening to the Inner Self 65 5 Noticing God's Nudges 81 6 The Habit of Attentiveness 95 PART III Responsiveness 7 Testing Our Decisions 115 8 Step by Step 131 9 When We Have to Wait 147 10 The Harvest of Discernment 161 Epilogue: A Letter for Decision Makers 175 Guide for Groups: A Six-Session Course of Study and Practice 178 Suggestions for Further Reading 192 Acknowledgments 195 Index of Exercises 196

About the Author

Nancy L. Bieber is a spiritual director, psychologist and teacher with thirty years of experience in working with individuals and groups in transition and change. She is author of Decision Making and Spiritual Discernment: The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way (SkyLight Paths). A core leader with Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development, she leads spiritual formation retreats and workshops around the country. She also teaches at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Nancy L. Bieber is available to speak on the following topics: The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way: Decisions and Discernment Contemplative Practices for Daily Life The Ancient Gift of Spiritual Direction. What Difference Does It Make? Strengthening Spiritual Life in Community Remembering Who You Are: The Prayer Pause


"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

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