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Invitation to Solitude and Silence
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Dallas Willard
Preface
First Kings 19:1-19
1 Beyond Words
2 Beginnings
3 Resistance
4 Dangerously Tired
5 Rest for the Body
6 Rest for the Mind
7 Rest for the Soul
8 Emptiness
9 Facing Ourselves
10 Pure Presence
11 Receiving Guidance
12 For the Sake of Others
Appendix: A Day in Solitude
Sharing Silence: A Guide for Groups
Sources
Gratitudes

About the Author

Ruth Haley Barton is a spiritual director, teacher, author and retreat leader trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation (Washington, D.C.). She is founder of the Transforming Center, a ministry of spiritual formation to pastors and Christian leaders, along with the congregations and organizations they serve. Educated at Wheaton College and Northern Seminary, Barton has served at several churches, including Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Her books include Sacred Rhythms, Longing for More and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership (all InterVarsity Press). Dallas Willard (1935-2013) was a professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for over forty years. A highly influential author and teacher, Willard was as celebrated for his enduring writings on spiritual formation as he was for his scholarship. His books include The Divine Conspiracy (Christianity Today?s Book of the Year in 1998), The Spirit of the Disciplines, Hearing God, Renovation of the Heart and others. His books have received numerous Christianity Today Annual Book Awards and other recognitions. Willard served on the boards of the C. S. Lewis Foundation and Biola University, and was a member of numerous evaluation committees for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. He received bachelor?s degrees from both Tennessee Temple College and Baylor University and a graduate degree at Baylor University, as well as a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Philosophy and the History of Science.

Reviews

"Ruth Haley Barton has gifted us with a vital way to deeper intimacy with God and our own true self in God through the neglected disciplines of solitude and silence. Along with her own honest biographical witness, she offers us a variety of concrete practices that can help the reader enter solitude and silence with greater ease and understanding of the ways God is present for us in such times, often in the face of our resistances. What she has given us can contribute significantly to a more mature and full spiritual life. She convincingly shows us the vital spiritual importance of an intentional rhythm of work and rest, solitude and community, silence and word."--Tilden Edwards, Founder and Senior Fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Bethesda, Maryland
"I find books in the genre of the contemplative life are often written by mystics who occupy some rarified, ethereal realm in which I don't seem to live. Not so with Ruth Haley Barton's Invitation to Solitude and Silence. Ruth takes us on her journey into solitude and silence as one, like most of us, who must learn to commune with God in the muchness of life."--Greg Ogden, Author of Discipleship Essentials, and Executive Pastor of Discipleship, Christ Church of Oak Brook
"I have not otherwise found a more excellent and accessible guide for those who seek, as Elijah, to know and be known by God in solitude and silence. . . . I have given this book to all of our employees and it has become an integral part of what we call '8:30 Stillness.'"--Gary A. Haugen, president of International Justice Mission
"If you would really like to know the 'rest appropriate for the people of God' (Heb 4:9), then make the decision to leave all outcomes to God and enter the practice of solitude and silence with Ruth Barton as your guide. As you do so, call upon Jesus to be with you, and trust him for that. In a relatively short period of time you will come to know the 'rest unto your souls' promised by him who is meek and lowly of heart."--From the foreword by Dallas Willard, author of Renovation of the Heart
"Invitation to Solitude and Silence provides wonderful spiritual companionship on the quest for intimacy with God. Read it through to stir your appetite, then return to savor each chapter, engaging the practical steps into the silence where your soul can find rest in the Father's arms. Written in a style reminiscent of the spiritual guides of centuries past, yet current, vibrant, and alive with personal reflection and scriptural application. Ruth Barton has whispered a call to overcome the fear of solitude and follow the soul's deepest longing to experience God's presence. A passionate, transformational resource that will foster both personal spiritual growth and spiritual formation in a group setting."--William R. Cutrer, Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"The author's own journey serves as a backdrop for a welcoming invitation to experience the spiritual restoration of solitude and silence. Her compelling invitation combines both a clear explanation of the purpose of solitude and seasoned guidance on how to practice it."--James C. Wilhoit, Ph.D., Price-LeBar Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College Graduate School

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