The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things

The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things

by Leighton Ford
     
 

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Your attention, please.

That's what God wants, Leighton Ford discovered. It's the path to becoming like Christ.

Distractions, fear and busyness were keeping Ford from seeing God's work in and around him. He was missing God. So he began a journey of longing and looking for God. And it started with paying attention.

In these pages, he invites you to journey with

Overview

Your attention, please.

That's what God wants, Leighton Ford discovered. It's the path to becoming like Christ.

Distractions, fear and busyness were keeping Ford from seeing God's work in and around him. He was missing God. So he began a journey of longing and looking for God. And it started with paying attention.

In these pages, he invites you to journey with him. Using the rich monastic tradition of praying the hours, Ford will walk with you, helping you pay attention to God's work in you and around you throughout each day and in different seasons of your life.

If you're busy, distracted, rushing through each day, you might be feeling disconnected from God, unable to see how he's working. You might be missing him. But the way toward him starts with a pause and a prayer—with intention and attention—and becomes a way of life, awake and alive to the peaceful, powerful presence of God.

Editorial Reviews

John Ortberg
"This is a book of such quiet beauty and deep simplicity it is difficult to describe. I was both pierced and healed by longing in the reading of it. The word soul is thrown around far too easily these days, but this book will touch the soul if you let it."
Ronald Rolheiser
"Leighton Ford writes with insight, faith and balance. This book, like Jesus, transcends all denominational lines. Drawing on the wisdom of many traditions, The Attentive Life is a warm invitation to wake up, not just to the reality of God but to what is deepest inside of us. This is a gold mine of wisdom and balance, a challenging thought on every page. I heartily recommend it to readers of all faiths."
Ruth Haley Barton
"Awakening is a central metaphor for the spiritual life. In a compelling voice that comes from years of spiritual journeying, Leighton Ford shows us how to wake up and pay attention to the presence of God--through the hours of our days and the seasons of our lives."
Luci Shaw
"My heart sings when I realize that Leighton Ford's intelligent experience continues to look with longing for more. His attention keeps getting arrested by words, ideas, images, details of the natural and supernatural landscapes. . . . This book is a primer in how to respond actively to Jesus' challenge: 'Behold! Look! Listen! Take notice! There is still so much for you to discover.'"
Richard J. Foster
"I thank God for The Attentive Life. It provides an antidote to the primary spiritual problem of our day: distraction. The Attentive Life is the mature reflections of one who has spent a lifetime walking in the way of Jesus."
Libraries Alive LW
Ford examines how distractions of our post-modern world rob us of the time we spend with God. Through this easy-flowing book, he leads one into the practice of attentiveness, pointing out that the best and deepest things of life come through attentive waiting. Appropriate for both new Christians and those of long-time faith.
Church Libraries JZ
This book will take more than one reading to absorb its richness. Personal illustrations, an abundance of thought-provoking quotes, and memorable object lessons make this a book that may become a contemporary classic.
Praying Daily (prayingdaily.blogspot.com)
. . . A wonderfully compelling invitation to a life of prayer . . . Ford know how to share the "hours" with witful intelligence, charm and winsome conviction. This delightfully well-written book [will] provide any group with a host of insights, provocations, and layered viewpoints for discussion.
August 2008 Lamplighter
This book is special. It stretches the soul and makes "everything a prayer."
The Christian Courier
Filled with examples of those who "paid attention," Ford's evangelical bona fides are unquestionable and well worth reading.
Alice Brasky on Book Bargains and Previews
Using the richt tradition of praying the hours, Ford will walk with you, helping you pay attention to God's work in you and around you throughout each day and in different seasons of your life.
Byron Borger
The Attentive Life chronicles [Ford's] new desire to "be attentive" and more deeply nurture a viable set of practices that facilitate such spiritual intimacy with God. The Attentive Life is a perfect example of the kinds of things the Formatio line is about. We highly recommend it.
Anita Cain
"Those who appreciate contemplative, gentle, insightful focus into the spiritual life will enjoy this partly autobiographical work."
Heidi L. Ippolito
"Ford expresses in an almost poetic manner the peace that comes with the continual observation of and attentiveness to the presence of God."
Publishers Weekly

Ford would seem an unlikely candidate to write a gentle, moving introduction to traditional monastic spirituality. As Billy Graham's brother-in-law and frequent stand-in, Ford's evangelical bona fides are unquestionable. Yet he describes the details of life at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery in South Carolina, with the eye of the avid amateur painter he also is. Reading this book you'll find yourself scribbling down prayers from obscure medieval figures like a certain St. Fursey. Ford is also appealing as he describes odd gestures he's willing to make in search of the God who's present in the everyday: hugging a tree, hugging himself in an airport with passersby all around, revealing his own struggles with his image and how to pursue God rather than his own self-aggrandizement. He does make a distinctly Protestant addition to the tradition of monastic spirituality, insisting that the most rigorous of spiritual practices are for all believers. The few missteps are slight: Ford's references to his heavy travel schedule and frequent vacations do threaten to make this feel like a spirituality for the upper-middle class only, and his readings of scripture tend to the emotive and literal. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Ford's credentials include 30 years of service with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, as well as frequent appearances on Graham's Hour of Decisionradio broadcast. A spirit of ecumenism informs Ford's gracefully written guide to thoughtful prayer and attentiveness to God's voice, based on the very ancient Christian ritual of praying the canonical Hours. Each section is accompanied by a short reflection on "One Who Paid Attention," including the likes of Henri Nouwen, C.S. Lewis, and Ford's dog Wrangler. Ford includes an appendix with suggested prayers for observing the Hours. For most collections.


—Graham Christian Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830835997
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
11/10/2014
Pages:
229
Sales rank:
791,351
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Ruth Haley Barton
"Awakening is a central metaphor for the spiritual life. In a compelling voice that comes from years of spiritual journeying, Leighton Ford shows us how to wake up and pay attention to the presence of God--through the hours of our days and the seasons of our lives."
Ruth Haley Barton, president of the Transforming Center and author of Sacred Rhythms
Ronald Rolheiser
"Leighton Ford writes with insight, faith and balance. This book, like Jesus, transcends all denominational lines. Drawing on the wisdom of many traditions, The Attentive Life is a warm invitation to wake up, not just to the reality of God but to what is deepest inside of us. This is a gold mine of wisdom and balance, a challenging thought on every page. I heartily recommend it to readers of all faiths."
Ronald Rolheiser, author of The Holy Longing
John Ortberg
"This is a book of such quiet beauty and deep simplicity it is difficult to describe. I was both pierced and healed by longing in the reading of it. The word soul is thrown around far too easily these days, but this book will touch the soul if you let it."
John Ortberg, pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and author of The Life You've Always Wanted
Richard J. Foster
"I thank God for The Attentive Life. It provides an antidote to the primary spiritual problem of our day: distraction. The Attentive Life is the mature reflections of one who has spent a lifetime walking in the way of Jesus."
Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and Life with God
Luci Shaw
"My heart sings when I realize that Leighton Ford's intelligent experience continues to look with longing for more. His attention keeps getting arrested by words, ideas, images, details of the natural and supernatural landscapes. . . . This book is a primer in how to respond actively to Jesus' challenge: 'Behold! Look! Listen! Take notice! There is still so much for you to discover.'"
Luci Shaw, poet and author of Breath for the Bones and The Crime of Living Cautiously and writer-in-residence, Regent College

Meet the Author

Leighton Ford is President of Leighton Ford Ministries, which seeks to help young leaders worldwide to lead more like Jesus and more to Jesus. For many years, Ford communicated Christ around the globe through speaking, writing and media outreach, addressing millions of people in thirty-seven countries on every continent. He served from 1955 until 1985 as Associate Evangelist and later Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and was featured as the alternate speaker to Billy Graham on the Hour of Decision broadcast.

Ford describes his current mission to be "an artist of the soul and a friend on the journey." He served for nearly twenty years as chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, an international body of Christian leaders. He chairs the Sandy Ford Fund and has served as a board member for World Vision U. S., the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He received the 1990 Two Hungers Award, recognizing his contributions to addressing the physical and spiritual hungers of people around the world. In 1985 he was selected as Clergyman of the Year by Religious Heritage of America and TIME Magazine singled him out as being "among the most influential preachers of an active gospel."

The author or co-author of numerous books, includingTransforming Leadership and The Attentive Life, Ford lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife Jean.

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