Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing 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 GrowthDeath 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

Receptivity plus offering my (messy) song to God

Lynne Baab • Thursday January 20 2022

Receptivity plus offering my (messy) song to God

"The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang best.” —John James Audobon

In my journey of letting go of perfectionism, those words from Audobon have had great impact. I came across that quotation about 20 years ago, and about 15 years ago, I embroidered it on a wall hanging that has been in a prominent position in my home for most of the intervening years.

The quotation summarizes so many of the major lessons from the Bible that have shaped me:

Spiritual gifts.As a young adult, I learned about the three major spiritual gifts passages (Romans 12:3-8, 1...

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Receptivity and Offering: The good versus the perfect

Lynne Baab • Friday January 7 2022

Receptivity and Offering: The good versus the perfect

In 2022, I am offering to God my willingness to purse good rather than perfect. I am asking God to help me receive love and acceptance so I can embrace the messiness of the journey of good.

These thoughts were precipitated by a podcast I listened to recently by Rob Bell, an author, speaker and former pastor of a rapidly growing church in Michigan. (If you want to listen to the podcast, the material on good versus perfect begins at 9 minutes 20 seconds.)

Bell begins the podcast by talking about the creation story in Genesis 1, noting that the rhythm of each...

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Receptivity and Offering: Welcoming God's transformation in 2022

Lynne Baab • Friday December 31 2021

Receptivity and Offering: Welcoming God's transformation in 2022

I first read the prophet Malachi in my early 20s. When I got to chapter 3, I was stunned by the parallels with some of the events of Jesus’ ministry: John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus, and Jesus enters the Temple and drives out the money-changers and the people selling animals.

The first two verses of Malachi 2 seem to foretell those events: “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says...

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Receptivity and Offering: Preparing for Christmas

Lynne Baab • Wednesday December 22 2021

Receptivity and Offering: Preparing for Christmas

If you’re like me, the Christmas season will involve some conversations – in person, online, or on the phone – with people who might be challenging. The section I wrote on receptivity for my book on listening seems particularly relevant for holidays:

Being receptive requires a kind of holy curiosity that enables us to wonder what God is doing in a situation before – and after – we arrive. Being receptive helps us slow down a bit and pay attention to what’s already happening in the lives of the people we encounter, their thoughts, feelings, concerns, passions, and desires.

Love motivates us to...

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Featured books

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New: Yes, Jesus Told Us to Pray in Secret. But He Also Prayed with His Friends.

Lynne Baab • Saturday October 9 2021

By Lynne M. Baab. Originally published in Christianity Today, July 8, 2021

Listening for God: The Joy of Spiritual Practices

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

Originally published in Horizons: The Magazine of Presbyterian Women. May/June 2019, 11-14.

AWARD WINNER - To be a Neighbour Must Include Listening

Lynne Baab • Friday February 5 2016

This article won a 2017 award from the Australian Religious Press Association for the best social justice article. Social justice didn't cross my mind as I wrote the article. I was just thi...