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Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential
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Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  34 reviews
God has called you--first to himself, to know and follow him but also to a specific life purpose, a particular reason for being.This second call, to a defining purpose or mission in life, is often termed a vocation, from the Latin root meaning "calling." And while it has implications for your work or occupation, it also reaches wider. It includes your giftedness, your weak ...more
Paperback, 201 pages
Published December 15th 1999 by IVP Books (first published November 30th 1999)
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Mar 10, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone, but primarily recent grads searching for meaning in their careers and lives
Quite simply, I loved this book. It was one of those books where I just had to keep pausing in my reading and thinking about an amazing point that Smith had just made or a challenging question he had asked. As Daniel commented in his review, it tends toward being perhaps too organized with the lists and such, but that helps you to take more away from the book. More than a book about vocation, I think that Courage and Calling is a book about living with purpose and passion.
Take time to reflect.

I've read a variety of books on the subject of calling, and most tend to fall into one of two categories. First, you have the books that talk about the nature of vocation and perhaps give a theological rationale for it. They are nice, but they are mostly informative. The second type is more a workbook that helps you figure out what it is you're good at, but rarely do they establish a solid rationale and framework that helps you understand your calling in the broader scheme o
Feb 09, 2009 Scott rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
This book sounds as if it would be one of those "God has destined you for greatness" types. But it isn't. It's about the continual, lifelong process of discerning your vocation/calling. This subject can be beaten to death, but Smith offers a fresh, life-giving take on things. I had Smith as a Prof. at Regent and I find him to be so wise, practical and challenging. I have heard a lot of these things before, so I skimmed large parts of the book- otherwise the book might receive higher praise from ...more
Apr 11, 2007 Taija rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who desires to follow God's call on their life
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book my last year in college with three wonderful women. The discussion among us as we read and examined our lives through this book was incredible. I cannot think of a better book to read before, during, and even after a "crossroads" of sorts. It is difficult to summarize what I gained from this book and even more difficult to distinguish what was gained from the book versus the discussion stimulated by it. I can only encourage you to read it with someone so you can benefit from bot ...more
p24 Typical narrow understanding of a calling: "your only excuse for staying home and not going to the mission field is if by staying home you can do more to further the cause of missions than by going..."
p39 A common but unfortunate message: "God isn't looking for ability, but availability"
p73 "We will not be a source of wisdom, unless we bless"
p144 "We suffer with hope"
p150 "is something lost by abandoning oral confessions..."
p155 Being a hero v. Accepting limitations
p157 "Nothing represents m
The book mainly focuses on vocational calling, although it also speaks briefly into various areas of calling. Smith shares that there are three callings we all have: the call to love, the call to walk with God, and daily callings. Vocational calling, he claims, involves all three and simply answers the question how we as individuals are to live out these callings.

I often felt that the focus was a bit too heavy on vocational calling and how to practically walk toward that. Based on the title, I
Mark Oppenlander
This is a solid book on the concept of Christian vocation, written by Dr. Gordon T. Smith, a long-time professor and administrator in Christian higher education. He has also been a pastor both in his home country of Canada and overseas. He currently works at Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta.

I work daily with students who are struggling with the question of career, calling and vocation. For this reason, I have given a lot of thought to the topics and themes explored in this boo
Jan 21, 2013 Daniel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
update: just read this book again only this time read the revised and updated version. I still think Smith has some great pearls of wisdom. But here is where I find reading to be so reliant on context! his tedious-ness stood out to me more as did the lack of more concrete examples to his principles. also he is definitely writing to a specific audience, one that is Christian and has already gotten a one sided message about calling. his additions in the update were interesting but not necessary. I ...more
Steve Hazell
I had to read this book for a class I was taking so I may be biased in my review from being forced to read it. I thought much of the content was great however the writing was terrible. It was SO repetitive and dry. From a content perspective I would give it 4.5 stars but from a literary perspective 2 stars. I just averaged those for my rating.
I really, really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars. The writing is scholarly and repetitive. But the ideas! I am still processing the ideas and absorbing the concepts days after completing the book. Thinking of "vocation" as something that I "must" do instead of my "career" is requiring some internal adjustments. I settled on a "3", but may upgrade later to a "4".
Andy Dix
How to finally figure out and start living one's purposeful life!

If I could give this book 10 stars I would. This is a book I wish I was gifted enough to write. Don't just read it, live it daily!
Courage and Calling is one of those Christian formation books that's helpful no matter what stage of life you're in. Smith fleshes out calling, vocation, and purpose from the perspective that God has given us unique and specific ways to follow Him and experience Him in our life's work.

Very helpful for people at all stages of life questioning their call.
A wise and practical look at the vocations God calls us to as individuals and a helpful guide in understanding how we are meant to serve Him in all that He has made us to be.

I would recommend this book to anyone who finds themselves in a time of transition, whether deciding what to do after high school or university, or looking for a new job or career later on in life or even in thinking through what to do with your retirement. If you are concerned with how to serve God with your life, wherever
This was a required read for class that I really enjoyed. It breaks down God's cling and aids in interpreting your calling and helped me reinforce my decision to pursue this degree.
Jul 27, 2007 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: searchers for purpose
far better and more applicable than a purpose-driven life, this book isn't just another "how to get to God" book. g.smith gives a good balance of scriptural passages, research from multiple disciplines (psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc.), and his own perspective on how we can live and work today while remembering our true God-given calling.
Apr 20, 2009 Joseph rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ivp
I find Gordon T. Smith to be full of wisdom--that is where I feel the strength of this book lies. Reading this book over the past few months was like attending a very good seminar on the topic of Christian calling and vocation that was very practical and timely. Not the most engaging or exciting read, but very helpful as a whole.
I read this book over a 24-hour women’s retreat and remember that it was calming and reassuring in my never-ending struggle to figure out what to do with my life. If I remember correctly, the book explored the idea of vocation—that God calls us to specific tasks (not necessarily in the form of career) in different seasons of our life.
Allen Lim
This is a really good book dealing with the issues of calling, and how to effectively live out your calling. In general, smith is very insightful about many issues, and this book has helped me to clarify some issues I had about my own work, and plans for the future.
Adam B.
There was a lot to like in this book, and I enjoyed it, but at the end it wasn't all that I had hoped it would be. I did appreciate the encouragement throughout to know ourselves and recognize how vital that knowledge is if we are to live out our calling and vocation.
Joshua Castleman
I really liked a lot of the content in this book and the only thing that barely held it back from 4 stars was I really think the writing could have been a bit better. Great stuff though, definitely helpful and enlightening, and liberating in some ways.
Kate E.A.
Aug 29, 2007 Kate E.A. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one.
I am being forced to read this for school.

In the end I felt this book gave me absolutely no information I did not know and I also disliked the tone of the writing. Trashed before finishing -- I moved on to the next book for the class as directed.
Zac George
I loved this book. The author's definition of vocation and how you discover that throughout your entire lifetime was really helpful. Highly recommended; I'm sure I'll keep coming back to this one as I enter more transitional periods of my life.
Dayo Adewoye
This is a great book. It's one of those books you just have to pause from time to time to absorb a weighty point raised in them. It is a modern treatise on the subject of calling and one that every serious christian must seriously study.
Carolyn Ogrosky
This is one of the most helpful books I've read in a long time. The author gave great theological as well as practical advice to the person, like me, who is still in search of discovering her vocation. I highly recommend this!
This book has some excellent insights. On vocation and calling. Author is a bit redundant in his writing style but still worth the read if you are on the path of self discovery and Gods plan and purpose for life.
This book was incredibly helpful for me during a time a waiting to see what direction God was leading me to follow. It is one of those books that I refer to whenever I have a decision to make.
good in that the author defines vocation and calling differently. also, the author reminds me of how I look at the deepest hurts in the world and where my passion is in applying God's love in that.
this book had some very interesting concepts in it, but I didn't care for the way it was written. a lot of stuff is really repetitive and drawn out when it didn't need to be.
Totally excellent book...came at the perfect time for me to start to untangle my confusions between calling and career. Profound look at vocation!
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