Friendship, listening, and empathy: A Prayer GuideTwo Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeSabbath Keeping FastingA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationPersonality Type in CongregationsPrayers 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 NovelBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Draw near: Praying for the ability to listen to unexpected voices

Lynne Baab • Tuesday March 21 2023

Draw near: Praying for the ability to listen to unexpected voices

My mother has a green thumb, and her home and garden are full of thriving plants. When she shows me a new plant, she’ll often say, “This plant is happy here,” meaning that the plant is thriving in the western sunlight of this particular window or the more diffuse light in the living room. Her plants tell her where they like to be.

I’ve read about sculptors who say that the stone tells them what it wants to be. In an article about her spring quilt, Avis Collins Robinson said, "I let the fabric’s colors and textures tell me how they want...

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Draw near: Be the Gardener of my soul

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 21 2022

Draw near: Be the Gardener of my soul

“Spirit of the Living God, be the Gardener of my soul. For so long I have been waiting, silent and still—experiencing a winter of the soul. But now in the strong name of Jesus Christ, I dare to ask:

     Clear away the dead growth of the past,      Break up the hard clods of custom and routine,      Stir in the rich compost of vision and challenge,      Bury deep in my soul the implanted Word,      Cultivate and water and tend my heart,      Until new life buds and opens and flowers. Amen.”           —Richard Foster, Prayers from the Heart

Richard Foster’s prayer draws on so many...

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Quotations I love: Make it beautiful

Lynne Baab • Wednesday April 28 2021

Quotations I love: Make it beautiful

“If it can’t be happy, make it beautiful. . . . I hope that, in the midst of your sorrow and the bleakness of what you’re facing, you can yet find a way to make it beautiful. . . . The pandemic has been an experience of powerlessness and sadness for most of us. It hasn’t been happy. But we can still make it beautiful.” —Samuel Wells, vicar of St. Martin-in-the Fields, next to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery in London

I love Samuel Wells’s distinction between happiness and beauty. I find it easy to conflate the two. I have seen so...

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Quotations I love: Listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers

Lynne Baab • Wednesday April 7 2021

Quotations I love: Listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers

“Let all creation help you to praise God. Give yourself the rest you need. When you are walking alone, listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky, the sun and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to proclaim the greatness of the one who has given them being.”      —Saint Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), founder of the Passionist Order and preacher

At 20, one year after I became a committed Christian, I spent a lot of...

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