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15 Lessons from Proverbs on Being a Good Friend

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I envy people who have many friends. I envy people who even have one close friend. I envy people who intuitively know how to interact with people to build and maintain friendships. For most of my life, I never had a friendship last more than two years, and most of those relationships were significantly shorter. Then, I found a friend who stuck with me through thick and thin for more than five years. I thought I’d found the friend of a lifetime, but even that relationship imploded because I finally became too much to handle. I can be intense, especially with bipolar disorder adding mood swings and erratic behavior to the relationship. The truly sad part is when a relationship implodes (and it has happened more times than I wish to admit), I never know what I did wrong. I’m truly clueless about relationships and social skills. In addition to grieving the loss of a good friend, I spend...

Tony Kriz (@tonykriz) Explains How Ideas Are Like Play-Doh and Need to Be Poked

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I’d like to introduce you to Tony Kriz. He’s not afraid to grapple with challenging, contradictory, or seemingly impossible concepts. In his book, Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides, he speaks openly about the spiritual questions and failures of his Christian journey with God. After all, Immanuel (“God with Us”) isn’t exactly with us in a way our physical minds can grasp. Watch this short video, in which Tony explains why our tendency to group with like-minded people makes us feel safe, but limits our growth. We don’t want others to challenge our ideas, especially our ideas about God, so we isolate ourselves from anyone who could question us. But Tony says our ideas are like Play-Doh and they need to be poked. This doesn’t threaten the idea; it actually strengthens it.   Homogenous Christianity and the Need to Mix Things Up Book Excerpt from Aloof by Tony Kriz The vast...

Jennie Allen (@JennieAllen) Has Advice for Introverts

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You may not know it, but I’m an introvert. Most writers are introverts. Going to a party or public gathering sucks the life out of me. By the time I get home, I’m ready to crawl in a hole for a week, just to recharge my batteries. I really only have one friend I interact with, plus a handful of acquaintances I chat with online. Making friends takes a long time. It’s not like I can decide to have a new friend by Friday. With that struggle weighing heavy on my heart, I nearly cried when I read this passage from Jennie Allen’s book, Restless: Because You Were Made for More.   Intentional Living Five years before Sarah Henry had her strokes, she sat on my bed and watched me pack for a trip. She was impatient that I was leaving. I was one of her only friends because she had recently moved to Austin. She wondered out loud if she would ever have friends like she had in college. I looked at...

Reckless Faith by Kevin G. Harney (@KevinGHarney)

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Reckless Faith Embracing a Life without Limits Kevin G. Harney 2012 203 pages   Available from Amazon in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle editions. Available from Christianbook.com in hardcover (currently on clearance, with limited availability), paperback, ePub, and a DVD to correspond to each lesson. I read the hardcover edition.   Life can seem boring—get up, go to work, come home to watch television, and go to bed so you can do it all over again the next day. In his book, Reckless Faith: Embracing a Life without Limits, Kevin G. Harney suggests that we have become domesticated, as human beings and as Christians. Life and faith are meant to be adventurous. Instead of vicariously experiencing adventure through movies, we are meant to get out there and lead great adventures. The author invites us to have reckless faith, but he advises responsible recklessness, meaning we need to look...

Do You Ever Feel Invisible?

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Do you ever feel invisible? I know I do. It’s a lonely feeling so sometimes I pretend invisibility is my superpower. The place I feel most invisible is on social media. It’s so easy to watch the apparent success of popular people on social media and wonder why no one ever responds or interacts with you. That’s why I’ve made a habit of trying to call people by name on social media. I want them to feel noticed and appreciated. I want them to feel visible. I greet new contacts by name and look for ways to interact with their content. I say something about their bio or image. I respond to their posts or share their content. Sometimes I go through part of my followers and send them a blessing and a photo with a Bible verse on it. Occasionally I ask people how I can pray for them. Instead of feeling invisible, I’ve decided to help other people feel visible. In return, I get a much greater...