Renewal in the Wilderness: A Spiritual Guide to Connecting with God in the Natural World

Renewal in the Wilderness: A Spiritual Guide to Connecting with God in the Natural World

by John Lionberger

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God Is Waiting for You in the Wilderness

How can I say I see divinity in the wilderness? How can I say I feel God’s presence in a chorus of loons, in the throaty chuffing of a family of otter, in the primal call-and-response howling of wolves, in the splendor of a bald eagle, in a gibbous moon’s shimmering wash of orange light on dark moving water, in the healing silence of wild places or in a day when my soul has known the amazing grace of utter peace for six straight hours? How can I say I see God in those things? But how can I say that I don’t?
—from Chapter 1

You don’t need to spend forty years—or even forty days—in the wilderness to encounter God. This practical guide reveals the power of experiencing God’s presence in many variations of the natural world—from a backpacking trip in a truly remote wilderness to an afternoon spent in a nearby park to a single moment savored in your own backyard.

While exploring wilderness wisdom from several faith traditions—Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and more—you will discover how the universal experience of being present in nature can lead to startling discoveries both about God and about yourself. Drawing from his own significant moments in the wilderness and stories from the many people who have accompanied him on wilderness treks, John Lionberger asks probing questions and offers inspiring suggestions that will spur you to look at all aspects of the world around you from a new point of view.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594734243
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/13/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

John Lionberger, MDiv, a former agnostic whose first real encounter with God was in the wilderness, is founder of Renewal in the Wilderness, an interfaith wilderness ministry ( He is also head chaplain at Three Crowns Park, a retirement community in Evanston, Illinois.

Table of Contents


1. God in a Hummingbird
The wilderness is a place of transformation.
2. It's in Our DNA
The wilderness is an ancient, universal experience.
3. Presence in the Present
The wilderness brings us into the present moment, into God's presence.
4. Scraping the Hull
The wilderness returns us to our essence.
5. God in a Box
The wilderness takes us beyond our expectations
into God’s surprises.
6. God on the Edge
The wilderness takes us beyond our comfort zone, tests us, and teaches us.
7. Healing Waters
The wilderness leads us to solitude and silence so we can know ourselves and God.
8. The Rapture of Being Alive
The wilderness opens us to the transcendent.

Suggestions for Further Reading
About Renewal in the Wilderness

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