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

Grief AND thankfulness: How to pray for people we love

Lynne Baab • Friday January 24 2020

Grief AND thankfulness: How to pray for people we love

Let’s imagine you have a friend whose beloved mother just died. Your friend is really grateful for the medical care her mom got in her last months of life, and your friend is also grieving deeply. She wonders how long she’s going to feel this bad, and also wonders if maybe she should try to hurry the grief along faster.

Or maybe you have a friend or family member who just lost a job, suffered a major career setback, has a new major health issue, or had a big argument with a significant family member. How can you pray for friends and...

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Grief AND thankfulness compared with consolation and desolation

Lynne Baab • Saturday January 18 2020

Grief AND thankfulness compared with consolation and desolation

The words “consolation” and “desolation” have a variety of meanings in everyday use. In Ignatian spirituality their meanings are quite specific and shed an interesting light on this journey of grief AND thankfulness that I’ve been writing about. (The first post in this series describes the challenge of hold grief AND thankfulness in each hand.)

Consolation and desolation, in Ignatian thinking, are about our trajectory in any specific moment – whether we are moving toward or away from God. According to Vinita Hampton Wright, writing on the Ignatian Spirituality website, we experience consolation when we are “moving toward God’s active presence in the...

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Grief AND thankfulness: The role of lament

Lynne Baab • Saturday January 11 2020

Grief AND thankfulness: The role of lament

As a young Christian in my twenties, I was taught to pray using the ACTS pattern: adoration, confession, thankfulness, supplication. Several decades had passed before I realized the prayers in the Bible, especially in the Psalms, contained other prayer components, such as lament, silence and statements of trust. (I wrote a blog post about that.)

For the past two months, I’ve embraced the challenge of holding grief in one hand and thankfulness in the other hand. For the hand that’s holding grief, I have been wondering what exactly is the connection with lament. Are lament and grief the same? Is lament the...

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Grief AND thankfulness in my conversion story

Lynne Baab • Friday January 3 2020

Grief AND thankfulness in my conversion story

I have three ways of talking about what happened to me at 19. Most often, I say I became a committed Christian then. Sometimes I say I came back to the Christian faith, and occasionally I say I became a Christian then. I may not be clear on how to describe it, but I am so grateful for God’s call to me.

I attended church almost every Sunday of my childhood. My dad was a faithful Episcopalian, and my mom fell in line with his commitment. Because my dad was in the military, we moved A LOT (12 houses in my first...

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