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

When we intentionally put away our phones, is it a fast or a sabbath?

Lynne Baab • Thursday September 26 2019

When we intentionally put away our phones, is it a fast or a sabbath?

Our lives are “thickly technological,” writes Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Theological Seminary.[1] Because of this shift, intentionally stepping aside from technology is becoming increasingly important. This might mean turning off cellphones for a period of time, not turning on laptops or tablets, refraining from checking email or social media, or choosing not to use another form of technology that plays a role in our lives.

When we do that, are we fasting from that form of technology or having a Sabbath? I have heard people use both terms, and I want to explore some of the issues related to which word...

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The surprise of fasting

Lynne Baab • Friday September 20 2019

The surprise of fasting

Two conversations helped me understand why the surprise of fasting matters. The first was with a couple who had decided not to have a pet. They said they were committed to saving the money the pet would cost – food, vet bills, etc – so they could give the money away to help people in need. They got a great deal of satisfaction from their choice.

I had a similar conversation with someone who had decided to become a vegan in order to place the smallest possible amount of stress on God’s creation. She said her choice gave her a great deal...

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Ending a fast

Lynne Baab • Friday September 13 2019

Ending a fast

I talked with a youth minister about the 30 hour famine sponsored by World Vision. He had led it with many groups of high school students. This youth leader was excited about what his students learned as they fasted from food in solidarity with the hungry in our world.

He said that one of the biggest challenges was ending the fast. The students wanted to gorge. If they did, they would often would get stomach aches.

This youth leader had learned over many years that preparing for the end of the fast was just as important as preparing to begin the fast. A...

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An unplanned fast from reading

Lynne Baab • Friday September 6 2019

An unplanned fast from reading

I wrote most of this post on Thursday, August 29 in the morning.

My life consists of a great deal of reading. For work, I write (and read and edit) blog posts and articles. I also read chapters and essays from students. Dave says I’m like a race horse. I work hard and intensely, then I relax a lot. How do I relax? I read novels, nonfiction books, newspapers and blog posts online, magazines, and the Sunday newspaper in paper form.

Imagine my surprise when an ophthalmologist told me last Friday she wanted me not to read for a week. This has to...

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