Lean on Me: Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community  -     By: Anne Marie Miller
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Lean on Me: Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community

W Publishing / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

We've all experienced times when we must navigate dangerous waters. When you feel overwhelmed by waves of stress and desperation, who will throw you a lifeline? Exploring the importance of auhentic relationships, Miller offers insight on the meaning of "community" and shows ways it can anchor us through the ebb and flow of our lives.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: W Publishing
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 084994600X
ISBN-13: 9780849946004

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Publisher's Description

"Reading this gut-honest book will be like cold water to your parched soul." Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times best-selling author of The Best Yes

"Anne's story is a disturbingly searching, deeply convicting, and delightfully arousing call to community, the kind that only Jesus makes possible. Read it and you'll want to relate as perhaps you've never related before, with both vulnerability and commitment. Leave safe relating behind, and connect with healing power." —Dr. Larry Crabb, best-selling author of Connecting

Life has a way of throwing unexpected obstacles in our path, tripping us up, and bringing us to our knees. When these crises hit, who do you call? Who do you lean on? Anne Marie Miller found herself in one of those valleys on the floor of a hotel bathroom while on a business trip. Months of stress accumulated and took its toll. In a moment of desperation, she picked up the phone and called a friend for guidance. That simple phone call was the first step in a transforming journey of evaluating what community truly meant and looked like in her life.

We live in a world and a generation where the word "community" is often discussed. But how genuine and authentic are your relationships really? Anne Marie noticed an important tension all of us must recognize in order to have life-giving friendships: "We desperately want to belong yet at the same time, we yearn for independence."

In Lean On Me, Anne Marie Miller takes us along as she sets out to dig below the superficial and explore what choices are necessary to find intentional, vulnerable, and consistent community. Jesus was passionate about truth-speaking relationships. And with Anne Marie’s narrative and practical insights interwoven together, you will feel more equipped in your quest for these types of relationships as you seek people to lean on and as you pour love into those around you.

Author Bio

Anne Marie Miller lives with her husband, Tim Miller in Franklin, Tennessee. Under the name Anne Jackson, she wrote two books: Mad Church Disease and Permission to Speak Freely. Anne speaks at colleges, conventions and churches on the topics of social justice, sexuality, health, addiction, and biblical themes of grace and restoration. She writes for Relevant Magazine, and has been featured in publications such asChristianity Today and Outreach.

Product Reviews

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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Lean on Me
    December 25, 2014
    Courtney
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Lean on Me: Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community is a memoir written by Anne Marie Miller. This story is one person's experience in finding and maintaining community among believers. Anne Marie highlights how community can be helpful in hard times and how community often helps one to overcome obstacles.

    When reading this book, I had to keep telling myself that this was a memoir and not a how-to book. I feel as though the title and description market the book as more of the self-help variety, so readers may be frustrated if that's the expectation that they had. Although I appreciate the author sharing her story with us, I didn't particularly find it enjoyable to read. The book didn't hold my attention and I felt like I was trudging through it.

    I have to clarify that I'm very invested in community and wish to be deeply invested in the lives of those around me for years to come. I wholeheartedly believe that community is an essential component of a well-lived life and applaud the author for emphasizing this point, especially in dealing with life struggles and pain.

    I'm not sure that I would recommend this book to a friend. There may be other books on the topic that offer a stronger foundation in community living, but individuals may resonate with the author's story if it is similar to their own.
  2. Georgia
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Lean On Me: Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community [Book Review]
    December 18, 2014
    incitefaith
    Georgia
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Anne Marie Millers, Lean On Me could have not have come at a better time in my life. Annes story pretty much solidified much of what I went through last year in finding genuine, life giving friendships and consistent community. Chapter after chapter hit home for me. I think all of us at some point have searched for intentional, vulnerable, and consistent relationships in our life, but Anne, through our own story, pain, and struggle reminded me why community is so important through the difficult patches of life.

    Lean On Me reminds us how important our need is for God and others.

    I, wholeheartedly recommend this book to any one who is in a season of loss and looking for a glimpse of hope. I will definitely be revisiting this book again in the future as a reminder how imperative it is to find others willing to do life with you and that being vulnerable, while scary, is exactly what Jesus needs from us.

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller
    November 28, 2014
    ldesherl
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This book is a personal experience book about the pursuit of finding what is called community. This author describes her personal experiences in her successful pursuit of what she calls committed, vulnerable community. She uses these words frequently throughout this book. She opens up about her past, her emotions about it, and how her committed, vulnerable community (her circle of friends), have facilitated her healing process. This is not another "how to build community" book. The author occasionally presents advice and principles throughout this book, all based on her own experiences with both. The end of this book presents a short chapter on advice concerning how to experience this community for oneself, a chapter of resources where this author got researched information, and a reader's guide to facilitate personal reflections and applying the principles of this book to one's own situation.

    This book was not quite what I expected. I was anticipating more of a "how to" guide on how to build community in the context of the local church environment, directed to the church leadership who have decision-making power on making that happen. While this is a Christian book and the author writes about her own faith journey in the context of seeking and finding community, she clearly does not address her book to local churches about how to "do community" but to individuals. As her life situation was much unlike mine with much more personal freedom to pursue a broad circle of friends, I did not feel that I could relate to her. I was glad for her that she found a circle of friends so like-minded and caring, that she "submitted" to them and answered to them on her life. As she gave many examples of how she "let her hair down" and bared her soul to them about her needs, I wondered to myself, "How can you find anyone, in this super-busy, fast-paced age, to give you the time of day? How blessed you are!" For, during the time I was reading this book, I was trying to get a hold of a person in my own local congregation about an important matter. I did not get any response. So I was thinking, "Committed, vulnerable community, a lovely but unrealistic idea in our hyper-busy, fast-paced age!" as I read. This book, though it is easy to read, provides no easy answers but I did not expect them. I was a bit put off by the author's belief that that selfishness is why we do not pursue committed, vulnerable community, while I know it is true. We make time for what matter to us.

    I recommend this book, but not for all people. Married people may or may not find it interesting and helpful. I think that this book would bore teens and they are not its target readership, anyway. I highly recommend this book for single people, never-married, divorced, or widowed, as much of this book is written about this writer's years after her divorce. I even recommend it for non-Christians, for there is much here that addresses the felt emotional needs of people and how God can satisfy them through a community of His people. I do not think this book will add much to a busy Pastor's library as it is not directed specifically to Pastors.

    I received this book free of charge by Booklook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

  4. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A memoir of finding our people and place in this world.
    November 9, 2014
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "Oh no," you may be thinking, "Not another book about that ubiquitous buzzword: community!"

    Oh yes. And we need this book precisely because the author admits that community is a buzzword, the kind that sizzles a lot and promises a juicy steak. You smack into the idea of ideal community everywhere, but the genuine article is rarer than rubies.

    We want community- we long to be seen, heard, loved, guided and included.

    But then again, what if community turned out to be stifling, oppressive, intrusive, and demanding?

    As Anne Marie knows, the desire to be embraced and the need for independence wage war within us.

    So how do we integrate? How do we share ourselves with others, how do we trust our hearts to others?

    "Talk with your doctor today, and see if community is right for you." Only, you can't prescribe a daily dose of it.

    Community doesn't come in a bottle, even if it is part of our cure.

    Lean on Me approaches the idea of community in a unique way, through memoir.

    Anne Marie tells us about the darkest months in her own life, when desperation drove her to make an SOS call- for community.

    She sought to build a team of friends because she knew she needed them, and she got far more than she ever imagined.

    She found people who reminded her over and over that her identity is in Christ.

    She found people who based their unity with her on that same identity.

    She found people who understood her current circumstances and helped her look toward hope.

    She found people who spoke the truth and encouraged her own bold honesty.

    She learned about giving and receiving love and care.

    And by telling us her story, the particulars of times and places and people, she hopes we'll begin to call out for our own community.

    And because it's a memoir, it's good reading. You'll cheer when you get to the last few chapters. :-)
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