Friendship, listening, and empathy: A Prayer GuideTwo Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeSabbath Keeping FastingA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationPersonality Type in CongregationsPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Praying about Jesus’s miracles: The feeding of the 5,000

Lynne Baab • Wednesday June 12 2024

Praying about Jesus’s miracles: The feeding of the 5,000

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;      he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;      he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness     for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,     I fear no evil; for thou art with me;     thy rod and thy staff,     they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me     in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil,     my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me     all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for...

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Praying about Jesus’s healings: Jesus heals on the Sabbath

Lynne Baab • Wednesday June 5 2024

Praying about Jesus’s healings: Jesus heals on the Sabbath

A woman is bent over. Maybe from osteoporosis? Jesus heals her on the Sabbath day, and some of the Jewish leaders who see the healing get mad at Jesus. He has “worked” on the Sabbath! Jesus replies, “Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 13:10-17). I often feel bent over with worries and stress. Sometimes my back goes out, and I am physically bent over for a few days. I identify with the woman in the story, and I truly love Jesus’s words...

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Praying about Jesus’s miracles: the woman who touched his cloak

Lynne Baab • Wednesday May 29 2024

Praying about Jesus’s miracles: the woman who touched his cloak

Three things are quite difficult for me: being interrupted, being in a crowd, and listening to someone when I feel the need to move on. The story of a woman touching Jesus’s cloak in a dense crowd evokes all of these (Mark 5:21-43).

Jesus has returned to the Jewish side of the Sea of Galilee after being on the eastern, Gentile side. A crowd surrounds him. Jairus, a synagogue leader, approaches him to ask for healing for his daughter. Jesus follows Jairus through the crowd, but Jesus stops when he senses that someone has touched him and power has gone out of...

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Praying about Jesus’s miracles: The man lowered through the roof

Lynne Baab • Wednesday May 22 2024

Praying about Jesus’s miracles: The man lowered through the roof

Christians have probably imagined themselves in biblical scenes ever since the Gospels were written and read aloud. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) gave instructions for what he called Gospel Contemplation. He suggested placing ourselves in Gospel stories and imagining the smells, sounds, and sights as a way to encounter Jesus.

One of my favorite miracle stories, the paralyzed man being lowered through the roof by his friends (Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26), has allowed me to put myself in a Gospel story in three different roles.

1. A bystander. I like to imagine that I got to the house early enough to get...

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