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

Draw near: Desire

Lynne Baab • Tuesday November 29 2022

Draw near: Desire

“In the modern period and in Europe and America, we’ve tended to think of religions in terms of belief. That means cognitive assent, cognitive understanding. . . . But most human beings don’t live in that kind of modern, somewhat sterile world. We’re always oriented to our desires. Whether they’re simple desires like ‘I’m thirsty or hungry,’ or whether they’re a desire to see a beloved child or lover, our whole life is about desire. A lot of hymns capture this more affective, aesthetic, openhearted way of experiencing our life and our faith. . . . [Desire] is the openness of...

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Draw Near: Praying for trust and prayer as trust

Lynne Baab • Tuesday November 22 2022

Draw Near: Praying for trust and prayer as trust

If you’ve ever visited Trafalgar Square in London and looked toward the National Gallery, you might have noticed a church off to the right. That is St-Martin-in-the-Fields, where Rev. Samuel Wells is the vicar. He was previously the Dean at Duke University Chapel, and he is one of my favorite columnists in The Christian Century. I love it when he writes about the challenges of serving a church in central London, often full of tourists. I also enjoy his reflections on what our Christian faith looks like in practice.

In a recent column, Rev. Wells argues that there are two kinds of...

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Draw near: Contrasts

Lynne Baab • Tuesday November 15 2022

Draw near: Contrasts

Steadfast God, The idols of the age are glitter and dust, but you are my rock. The idols of the mind are appearance and mirage, but you are my rock. The idols of the marketplace are in or out of fashion, but you are my rock. The idols of this age collapse when people lean on them, but you are my rock. I have awakened to a new day and want to put this day in your hands. I want to think with your thinking, wish with your wishing, and strive with your striving. —Cornelius Plantinga, Morning and Evening Prayers, page 34

I gave you some prayers last week from a...

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Bonus post: Dave Baab’s philosophy of watercolor sketching

Lynne Baab • Sunday November 13 2022

Bonus post: Dave Baab’s philosophy of watercolor sketching

I get a lot of kind and encouraging compliments about my blog posts. Many of them go like this: “Lynne, I really enjoy your blog. You write good stuff, but your husband’s watercolors are outstanding, amazing, wonderful! He is so talented!” One friend said he enjoys trying to figure out why I choose the watercolor for each post. I truly love that so many of you enjoy his art so much, and I’m happy to have a sense of teamwork with Dave in these blog posts.

Dave has an art exhibition going on right now at our church, Bethany Presbyterian in Seattle,...

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Lynne Baab • Saturday October 9 2021

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