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

Spiritual diary of self-isolation: responding to terror by listening to Jesus voice

Lynne Baab • Sunday March 29 2020

Spiritual diary of self-isolation: responding to terror by listening to Jesus voice

For the past three weeks, I’ve been writing devotionals for my church every Friday, using the daily lectionary. Here’s the one that was sent out yesterday.

To the church in exile,

God’s peace to you. Today I’m going to start by describing the opposite of peace – terror.

The word “terrified” means to feel extreme fear. For me, anxiety is a kind of background murmur – not pleasant at all – and I have felt it far too often in the past month. Extreme fear is worse. It shouts loudly and impacts my whole body. I feel terror in my stomach, my chest and...

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Spiritual diary of self-isolation: Wrestling with God for a blessing

Lynne Baab • Thursday March 26 2020

Spiritual diary of self-isolation: Wrestling with God for a blessing

Today I’m praying for friends in New Zealand, the UK, New York, California, and many other places where self-isolation, sheltering in place, or lockdown is starting. Whatever you call this stay-at-home phenomenon, it is a HUGE adjustment. Since my husband Dave and I have been doing it for three weeks, I have a lot to say about the spiritual implications.

Today I want to springboard off of the story of Jacob wrestling with God. Jacob says, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:28). I want to encourage all Christians to wrestle with God in these strange times....

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Spiritual diary of self-isolation: The lifeline of limits on thoughts

Lynne Baab • Saturday March 21 2020

Spiritual diary of self-isolation: The lifeline of limits on thoughts

At the two and a half week mark, I am doing reasonably well with this new and difficult pattern of self-isolation, as long as I think about each day as it comes. When I wonder how long we’re going to have to do this – a few months, many months, a year, longer than a year? – I can literally feel the fear sweep over my body. Physical tension builds in my chest, and my whole body becomes rigid.

When I wonder who will die that I know and love, or when I think about the future of the world economy, I...

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Spiritual diary of self-isolation: God's grace as a lifeline

Lynne Baab • Thursday March 19 2020

Spiritual diary of self-isolation: God's grace as a lifeline

A lifeline is the line or rope used to keep contact with someone in a dangerous situation, such as a diver or astronaut. What is the danger in the covid-19 pandemic? Obviously the virus itself, but for Christians an additional major danger is that we will lose hope in God, that we will let our anxieties obliterate Christ’s “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Two weeks ago my husband and I chose almost total self-isolation because my husband has a chronic lung disease. In my post two days ago, I wrote about two lifelines for me in the past two weeks:

1....

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