A 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

Creativity, imagination, Jesus, and prayer for people we love

Lynne Baab • Thursday August 6 2020

Creativity, imagination, Jesus, and prayer for people we love

Sometimes when I’m praying for family members and friends, I try to think of one word to summarize what I long for in their lives. Recently one of my favorite words is “shalom,” with its broadest meaning – well being in every area of life. For several friends and family members, I find myself praying the word “joy.” For several friends who struggle with anxiety, I simply pray “peace.” For my intrepid granddaughter, when I feel anxious about her safety, I pray the word “protection.”

From my recent reading about Jesus and imagination in Cheryl Forbes’ book Imagination: Embracing a Theology of...

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Creativity, imagination and empathy

Lynne Baab • Friday July 31 2020

Creativity, imagination and empathy

I have long believed that imagination is required for empathy. In order to enter into another person’s feelings and thoughts about their life, I have to be able to imagine someone else’s reality. Here’s the definition of empathy, from a communications textbook, that I use when I’m teaching listening skills:

“Empathy is the cognitive process of identifying with or vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. . . .When we empathize, we are attempting to understand and/or experience what another person understands and/or experiences.” [1]

Notice the verbs in that definition: identifying with, vicariously experiencing, understand, experience. Imagination plays a key...

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Creativity, imagination and Jesus

Lynne Baab • Thursday July 23 2020

Creativity, imagination and Jesus

I invite you to ponder this statement: “Through his parables, Jesus was trying to expand the imaginations of his followers.” [1]

Do you agree? Would you say expanding the imagination of his followers was the major purpose of the parables? A secondary purpose, related to the central purpose of nurturing faith in  his followers? Not his purpose at all – why would Jesus care about our imaginations?

The quotation comes from Imagination: Embracing a Theology of Wonder by Cheryl Forbes. My favorite portions of the book relate to Jesus’ use of imagination.  Forbes writes, “You cannot turn a page in the Gospels without reading...

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Creativity and Imagination: One author’s perspective

Lynne Baab • Friday July 17 2020

Creativity and Imagination: One author’s perspective

I’m thinking about an article I might write. I use my imagination to ponder quite a few things: the needs of the reader, the way I might structure my article, the stories I might tell, the main point I might get to at the end, and the way I could open to article to hint at the main point and draw the reader in. However, I never write the article. I have used my imagination, but I have not been creative. Creativity only occurs when we bring our imagination into the light for others to see.

That’s the approach to the relationship...

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Featured books

Featured articles

New: Listening for God: The Joy of Spiritual Practices

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

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

New: Christians and Food Waste: Slowing Down and Savoring God’s Gifts

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

(Originally published in Presbyterians Today, July/August 2019, 8.)

New: Developing a Missional Approach: Being Sent into the World as Jesus was Sent

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

Originally published in Tui Motu InterIslands, Independent Catholic Magazine, New Zealand, September 2017, 26, 27.