Nurturing 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 GrowthA Renewed SpiritualityDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Grief AND thankfulness in the Apostle Paul’s prayers

Lynne Baab • Friday December 6 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the Apostle Paul’s prayers

In several of his letters, the Apostle Paul prays for the people he’s writing to. Ever since I memorized the prayer in Colossians in my early twenties, these prayers have been helpful and instructive to me. They have shaped the way I pray.

For this series of posts focused on the idea that mature people hold grief in one hand and thankfulness in the other, I decided to look at some of those prayers that have been so important to me. I saw something new. Take a look at these two prayers:

“For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have...

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Grief AND thankfulness in the story of the ten lepers

Lynne Baab • Wednesday November 27 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the story of the ten lepers

As a young adult, I disliked the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. I read it as describing one more thing we should do. I had been raised with an enormous list of “shoulds,” and I had found freedom in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A life-changing book of the Bible for me as a young adult was Galatians, where the Apostle Paul lays out so clearly that we are free from the demands of the law.

Even in my forties and early fifties, when I discovered the power of thankfulness (which I wrote about here), the ten lepers was...

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Grief AND thankfulness: Wow, I just found grief in my favorite passage on thankfulness

Lynne Baab • Thursday November 21 2019

Grief AND thankfulness: Wow, I just found grief in my favorite passage on thankfulness

I have long collected biblical passages that call us to thankfulness. Now that I’m on a journey of holding thankfulness in one hand and grief in the other, I’m exploring the ways grieving is built into some of the passages. I had never seen this before.

Consider Colossians 3:12-17, a passage my husband and I chose for our wedding ceremony, and a passage I have preached on at several weddings I have performed.

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other;...

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Grief AND thankfulness: Feeling responsible

Lynne Baab • Friday November 15 2019

Grief AND thankfulness: Feeling responsible

When something bad happens, and I have a big learning moment from it, I try to be thankful in the midst of frustration, sadness and pain. This combination of pain and learning is an unexpected pattern that fits with the grief AND thankfulness call I’ve been feeling.

Here’s my latest example. On Saturday night I was pouring boiling hot broth out of a crockpot into a bowl. The crockpot slipped a little bit – not that much! – but it bumped the bowl, which tipped onto my left arm. I have a big and very nasty burn on my left arm.

The next...

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