Draw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave BaabTwo Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationSabbath Keeping FastingPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent Devotional

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Initiating

Lynne Baab • Wednesday December 6 2023

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Initiating

I have always believed that the ability to take initiative is a key friendship skill. When I did the interviews for my book on friendship a decade ago, numerous interviewees told me they attributed times of loneliness to their inability to take initiative. Numerous other interviewees said they sometimes feel they reach out to their friends more than half the time, but they felt it was worth it because of their rich friendships.

If you are one of those people who find it challenging to reach out, this can be a topic for prayer. Not just once, but every day. Who are...

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Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: The most important listening skill

Lynne Baab • Wednesday November 29 2023

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: The most important listening skill

Here are three listening scenarios. See if you resonate with any of them.

1. You are shopping for groceries and run into a former neighbor who you used to like a lot. They pause with their shopping basket, and you chat with them for a few minutes. You know you can’t talk long because you need to get home to do a few things. The entire time you are catching up with this kind and interesting person, you feel inner pressure to get moving.

2. A close friend is telling you about marriage challenges. You have heard permutations of this story many times...

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Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Praying about longing

Lynne Baab • Tuesday November 21 2023

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Praying about longing

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up humming a song. These words kept coming to mind:

But I’ve wandered much further today than I should And I can't seem to find my way back to the wood So help me if you can, I’ve got to get Back to the house at Pooh corner by one You'd be surprised there’s so much to be done Count all the bees in the hive Chase all the clouds from the sky Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

I looked the song up online. I listened to it and learned it was written by Kenny Loggins and recorded by...

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Friendship, Loneliness, and Prayer: When to Talk

Lynne Baab • Wednesday November 15 2023

Friendship, Loneliness, and Prayer: When to Talk

If listening is a major way to show love and care in conversations, should we always listen and never talk? No. How do we know when to listen and talk when we are conversing with a friend, and we want to nurture our connection with them? Ah, that’s the challenging part that requires wisdom. We can ask God for wisdom and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us.

When I ponder why I talk in conversations, I can think of many reasons:

(1) I’m often looking for support and encouragement. To receive it, I have to reveal what’s going on in my...

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