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: When thanks aren’t enough

Lynne Baab • Thursday January 18 2024

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: When thanks aren’t enough

“Thanks for a delicious meal.” “Thanks for doing that favor for me.” “I’m grateful for your help with the project at church.”

“Thanks for changing my life.”

We use “thanks” or “I’m grateful” in response to specific actions and also to convey gratitude for huge, life-transforming support and encouragement. These things don’t seem equivalent. Knowing how to convey our gratitude for big, significant gifts is challenging. We don’t have a word that conveys really, really big thanks.

We sometimes say, “I could never thank you enough.” I feel that way when I think of certain friends who have given me far, far more than...

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Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Praying to give affection extravagantly

Lynne Baab • Tuesday January 2 2024

Friendship, loneliness, and prayer: Praying to give affection extravagantly

Talk not of wasted affection; affection never was wasted. If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters returning Back to their springs, like the rain shall fill them full of refreshment; That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Have you ever given a small gift to a friend or family member, they thank you at the time, but then you never see or hear anything about the gift again? “What a waste,” you might think. Have you ever sent someone an email or text message to say you’re thinking about them, and you get no reply?...

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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: 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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