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: Praying about listening roadblocks

Lynne Baab • Tuesday December 12 2023

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Praying about listening roadblocks

One of the communication textbooks I consulted for my book on listening used the term “roadblocks to listening.” The authors gave a list of four roadblocks, and sadly, I think there may be more. Today, I’ll focus on the four roadblocks from the textbook. Here’s an overview of the four:

Offering solutions Judging Denying Interrogating [1] I’ll flesh out these four roadblocks with a concrete example: I am talking with my friends who have just moved into a house. It needs more repairs than they anticipated. In addition to all the unpacking and organizing that needs to be done, they have to find contractors. They 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: 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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Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Types of reflecting, a listening skill

Lynne Baab • Tuesday October 31 2023

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Types of reflecting, a listening skill

The listening skill reflection or reflecting can range from simple to complex. I want to open this post with a story about the most challenging form of reflecting, drawing implications:

When we moved to New Zealand in 2007, we rented out our Seattle house. We put a lock on the door of the family room in the basement and stored our furniture and my hundreds of books there. After two years, our tenants wanted to buy the house, and the timing felt right. So we returned to Seattle and had a giant sale of most of the stuff in that family room,...

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