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

Grief and gratitude in Advent

Lynne Baab • Thursday December 2 2021

Grief and gratitude in Advent

“We have a prevailing feeling, especially in the west, that spirituality must always be uplifting and positive. This tendency arises out of a confusion about what love truly is. We know that God is love, and that we are called to live lives of love, but we often think of the fake love of Hollywood movies and catchy pop songs. Love is not a positive happy feeling. It is not always uplifting and encouraging. Love is selflessness, it is the rapture of being lost in the well being of others. So, it follows naturally that if we have love for creation,...

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The pivot between grief and gratitude

Lynne Baab • Saturday November 27 2021

The pivot between grief and gratitude

Imagine you are crying about something, perhaps the death of a family member, the loss of a dream, an argument with a friend, or something deeply frustrating that’s happening in your body. Perhaps you feel distant from God in the midst of this sorrow, and you wonder if God sees what you are experiencing. Then imagine some time passes, and you are now laughing at a joke, relishing a delicious meal, or gazing awe-struck at a blazing sunset. What got you from one place to the other?

Almost all of the psalms of lament pivot from sadness/grief/anger to thankfulness/praise/joy. Some of them...

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Grief and thankfulness at the same time or back and forth?

Lynne Baab • Friday November 19 2021

Grief and thankfulness at the same time or back and forth?

Two years ago I began a journey of trying to hold grief in one hand and thankfulness in the other. The journey resulted in a series of blog posts (see below) and a new book. As a part of the journey, I found myself asking a question. Do we hold grief and gratitude in two hands equally at the same time? Or is one hand or the other sometimes more prominent?

I looked at lament psalms that describe grief. They almost always follow a pattern of sadness/anger/grief followed by thankfulness/praise. These psalms imply that we grieve and then we move out of...

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Grief and gratitude in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Gerard Manley Hopkins

Lynne Baab • Friday November 12 2021

Grief and gratitude in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Gerard Manley Hopkins

A few days after my always-helpful husband, Dave, proofread my recent book on grief and gratitude, he told me that he was seeing grief and gratitude everywhere. He was studying Ezra and Nehemiah, and they are full of both, he said. As the Jewish people returned from exile in Babylon, there were so many challenges and so much to grieve: Jerusalem’s city walls and temple lay in ruins, the rebuilding took much longer than expected, and the people kept falling into idolatry. Yet the first celebration of the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles presented such lovely opportunities to express thanks...

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Featured books

Featured articles

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...