And He Was My Friend
by Dr. Gene Russell
The Mulberry Books

"Being a pastor allows friendship to take on a new dimension. You are a pastor and friend to all. That comes with the calling."

Part memoir, part spiritual and philosophical guidance manual, this book explores the many physical, spiritual, and emotional facets of friendship. The author's work invokes various scriptures to explore friendship, journeying through multiple scriptures that build a solid foundation for forming meaningful relationships and understanding what it means to be a true friend: "a friend is concerned about being faithful and loyal." It also advises that friendship "lives in the heart, grows in the mind, and travels in one's speech." With the gentle reminder, "Respect is a strong word in the Christian vocabulary," readers also receive instruction about respect and appreciation that can be utilized to form more understanding in their daily and social lives: "appreciation is a necessary ingredient, one formed from love and appreciation."

At its core, however, this book investigates the selflessness involved in friendship, especially in its advice about how one must willingly admit mistakes and approach friendship with flexibility and teachability. It also reminds readers what friendship means to different people. Its positive, exploratory approach provides a road map for readers who may struggle to understand friendship's true nature and meaning. Because of the author's confessional narrative about the difficulty of forming and keeping meaningful friendships throughout a well-lived life, readers may easily empathize with the text. This book would be especially helpful for Bible study and church groups seeking a community-oriented, scripture-based learning activity focusing on social nuances. This book could also serve as a strong guide for youth groups, helping young people navigate the awkward, ever-changing landscape of platonic relationships.

Return to USR Home