Tag Archives: community

Craving Connection book cover - (in)courage community

Finding Friendship as Adults {Book Review}

When we were young, it was so easy to go up to someone and make a friend, right?

“Hi, wanna play?”


Boom. Friendship initiated.

Of course there were challenges, conflicts, and collapses, but some aspects of friendship were just easier. When you saw someone every day at school or every week at co-op or every week at art class, you could easily keep up with each other’s lives.

But as adults, it’s not as easy to go up to someone and ask, “Hey, wanna be friends?” (I’ve often considered it.) And the energy it takes to maintain a friendship seems to increase.

But friendship doesn’t become any less important. God made us to connect with others, encourage others, and grow together.

Many writers from the (in)courage community have come together to create a 30-devotion book full of thoughts on connection and adult friendship – Craving Connection (B&H Books, 2017).

Craving Connection book cover - (in)courage community

I remember when I first found (in)courage about five years ago, I felt welcomed. With several different writing styles, experiences, and voices, it could be a place for everyone without judgment and with godly encouragement — and relatable to real-life, which can sometimes be hard to find among devotions. Many of the contributing writers found in this book are the same names I’ve been reading since five years ago — some were blog writers then, some were readers conversing in the comments, and now they’re authors of their own books.

The thirty devotions, written by thirty different authors, share personal stories of friendship challenges and friendship successes and what God has shown them connection can mean in their lives and the lives of others.

The devotions are split into three main sub-sections:

  • Connecting with God More Deeply
  • Connecting with Friends More Purposefully
  • Connecting with Community More Intentionally

Each devotion starts with a focus verse (designed well in a sidebar box), an initial thought to consider, and an action step to create connections in your own life as you read. After the devotion, each ends with three connection questions, a prayer, and an action ‘challenge’ to take what you’re reading and apply it to real life. The book has lovely design aspects with border accents, sidebars, and quote highlights, which help make it a lovely gift book.

With thirty authors, there is definitely some diversity (racial/cultural, abilities, and a little bit of economic) in the book. I feel the book would be able to reach even more people if more diverse backgrounds were included. As a special needs mom, I’d love to see more stories that did touch on special needs go deeper and more opportunities in generally to really look through a window into other perspectives, other voices, and other life experiences. That said, most readers will be able to find aspects of life they can relate to and relate to well. (I did, too.) And you’ll never feel judged reading this book. Instead, you’ll read of ideas on remaining intentional in the hard but needed work of connected with others. You’ll see grace, see the value of connection, and see writers who are growing in life just as you are.

And that’s a gift. I’m thankful for the (in)courage community.

Want motivation to connect more?

(in)courage is hosting 5 weeks of Craving Connection Challenges, starting on February 7th! They’ll share an excerpt of the book and inspiration to complete the associated connection challenge. Read more over at (in)courage!

Craving Connection Challenges at (in)courage

What can you do to support a friendship today? What friendship or community are you thankful for today?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own, and this is my honest review.

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Greek Words in the New Testament

About Church and Community

One aspect of faith I’m consistently learning more about is the idea of ekklesia – of being called out to gather together.

We’re doing a New Testament Greek Words series at Do Not Depart month, and I studied a bit on ekklesia and wrote about it there today.

Join me there, and please read the other posts in the series for looks at other words my cowriters have studied.

Greek Words in the New Testament

Depression and Biblical Themes

On Why Community Matters with Depression

I’m over at Do Not Depart today sharing my post for this month’s #DepressionTruths theme and discussing why community matters when it comes to depression and other mental conditions. Especially the faith community.

I also share some encouragement and resources from To Write Love on Her Arms. I hope you have time to read through those.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on depression and community over at Do Not Depart this weekend.

Depression and Biblical Themes

The Positive Power of Community {Book Review – All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse}

The Positive Power of Community {Book Review – All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse}

I love historical fiction. History fascinates me, and even with reasonable liberties taken, a good author can retell historical events through the power of a fictional character’s story.The Positive Power of Community {Book Review – All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse}

All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse (Bethany House, 2014) introduces us to Gwyn Hillerman, a young nurse who lives and works with her father (a doctor) on the Alaskian frontier in 1935. Gwyn’s mother abandoned Gwyn and her father, deciding a high society life of status and conveniences in Chicago outweighed living a life of real purpose. Meanwhile, Jeremiah Vaughn, a young doctor in Chicago, is wrongfully accused of malpractice and stripped of his medical license. When he receives an invitation from Dr. Hillerman to join him in Alaska, he accepts the fresh start. Will Gwyn and the good doctor refuse Jeremiah if they find out the truth?

This novel focuses on the relationships—relationships between native Alaskans and the Hillerman family, the natives and the new “colonists,” Jeremiah and Dr. Hillerman, Jeremiah and Gwyn. The side relationships are often as interesting as the main love relationship plot.

As any story needs, this book has conflict, and the “bad guy” the authors write is truly despicable. I cringed each time he came on the scene.

Themes of trust and community regularly surface in this book. A few times, I felt the narration was a bit too direct in telling the circumstances rather than showing (through inner dialogue rather than action), particularly with character motives. This novel also seemed a bit more “preachy” compared to other Christian fiction I’ve read, but the themes and truths remain inspirational.

“Even with all her fears, worries, and selfish pride, God was wiling to use her.” – p. 43

This novel is a good read, especially for remembering how a community of people can come together to overcome challenges.

“How could they conquer prejudice and hate when fear made them so quick to judge?” – p. 245

How have you witnessed the positive power of community in your life?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I did not received any other compensation.

When You Can't Find Community

When It’s Tough to Find Community

I grew up not really knowing what I needed from a church community. As I progress in years as a believer, I continue to see the increasing importance of community.  When You Can't Find Community

But, community isn’t always easy to find.

Maybe you have medical issues keeping you from attending services or group events.

Maybe you’ve tried joining small groups, only to witness unhealthy group dynamics.

Maybe you just can’t find a solid church community near your residence.

Join me at Do Not Depart today as we discuss what we can do if we find ourselves struggling to find community. I’d love to hear about your experiences and your advice, too.