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

Grief AND thankfulness at Christmas 2019

Lynne Baab • Thursday December 19 2019

Grief AND thankfulness at Christmas 2019

When I was a young adult, I read a book that changed my life: Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald Sider. I learned about the great disparities in patterns of poverty and affluence around the world, and for the first time I saw the gap between my affluence and the poverty in developing nations. I learned that 25,000 children each day die from the effects of hunger. That’s more than 1,000 per hour, more than 150 per minute. That figure haunted me.

My husband Dave read the book too, and it influenced our prayers, financial giving, and lifestyle habits...

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Grief AND thankfulness in the Christmas story

Lynne Baab • Thursday December 12 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the Christmas story

As a child I loved the carol “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” I loved the song’s two main themes: the perseverance of the wise men in following the star and the symbolism of each of the three gifts: gold to crown a king, frankincense to anoint a king (Messiah means “anointed one"), and myrrh for burial of the redeemer of the world. I understood the significance of the themes of this song by late elementary school. Even in junior high and high school, when each year I grew more distant from God, “We Three Kings” would remind me of the...

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Grief AND thankfulness in the Apostle Paul’s prayers

Lynne Baab • Friday December 6 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the Apostle Paul’s prayers

In several of his letters, the Apostle Paul prays for the people he’s writing to. Ever since I memorized the prayer in Colossians in my early twenties, these prayers have been helpful and instructive to me. They have shaped the way I pray.

For this series of posts focused on the idea that mature people hold grief in one hand and thankfulness in the other, I decided to look at some of those prayers that have been so important to me. I saw something new. Take a look at these two prayers:

“For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have...

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Grief AND thankfulness in the story of the ten lepers

Lynne Baab • Wednesday November 27 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the story of the ten lepers

As a young adult, I disliked the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. I read it as describing one more thing we should do. I had been raised with an enormous list of “shoulds,” and I had found freedom in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A life-changing book of the Bible for me as a young adult was Galatians, where the Apostle Paul lays out so clearly that we are free from the demands of the law.

Even in my forties and early fifties, when I discovered the power of thankfulness (which I wrote about here), the ten lepers was...

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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...