Invitations are powerful. They shape and form us, and challenge our understanding of ourselves, of others, and of God.
Some invitations are welcomed – invitations to dinner, to a cruise, to speak or to a sporting event. Other invitations are not so appreciated: invitation to court, invitation to jail, an invitation to the principal’s office or to explore other career opportunities.
Invitations shape who we know, where we go, what we do, and who we become. The can challenge and remake us. They can erode and devastate. But they can also heal and restore.
There is something about being invited by God, welcomed into his presence, and offered the experience of healing. And face it, these days so many of us are broken we need time to do that!
With that in mind I want to recommend to you Adel Ahlberg Calhoun’s new book, Invitations from God: Accepting God’s offer to Rest, Weep, Forgive, Wait, Remember and More.
The problem for so many of us, is that we do not take advantage of these invitations. Especially as pastors. We are so busy leading, preparing, and helping others, that to slow down, rest, or enjoy solitude and silence is foreign to us. We are burning ourselves out.
We cannot be strong forever. We were not designed to carry life’s load. That’s God’s job.
Though not written specifically for pastors, as I read this I kept thinking that I wish I had learned to be aware of these invitations earlier in my ministry and then to accept them. It might have prevented burnout, frustration, exhaustion, and fear that resulted from difficult periods of ministry.
If you are not in ministry, that’s ok. Each of the invitations Calhoun explores we all need to participate in. We are all broken, tired, angery, hurting, needing forgiveness and needing to forgive!
What I appreciate about Calhoun’s book is that each chapter offers not only an explanation of each invitation, but that it also offers the reader a scripture to focus on, roadblocks that keep us from accepting and participating in each invitation, areas that we can explore as we participate with God, and specific practices that we can engage in during our time of waiting, or forgiving, etc.
The writing style is clear, clean, and concise, and full of stories that engage you. You will often find yourself in each chapter as you read and process. You will learn that it is ok to weep, to get away, to work for your own wholeness, and to live free in Christ.
The book is published by InterVarsity Press (who provided this book for review) and retails for $15.00. Pick up a copy and explore an invitation from God you may never knew existed!
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