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

Draw near: Praying to the gracious, tender, truthful Spirit

Lynne Baab • Tuesday October 25 2022

Draw near: Praying to the gracious, tender, truthful Spirit

Imagine that you feel called to be a minister. You train for it and take a position in a church. You struggle with ill health for a lot of your life, serving a church for a while and then withdrawing to cope with illness. What might you ask for from the Holy Spirit?

Rev. Thomas Lynch (1818-1871), a minister in England whose health impeded his ministry, wrote two dozen hymns that were published in various hymnbooks in the 1800s. I am not familiar with any of them except one specifically addressed to the Holy Spirit. I have loved this hymn for several...

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Draw near: Praying to the Holy Spirit

Lynne Baab • Tuesday October 18 2022

Draw near: Praying to the Holy Spirit

I wonder how many of you remember this praise song:

Spirit of the Living God, Fall fresh on me, Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.

In the 1980s we sang it often at church, so I assumed it came from that era. I just learned that it was written in 1926 after the author, Daniel Iverson, heard a sermon on the Holy Spirit at a revival meeting. Rev. Iverson was a Presbyterian minister who served congregations North and South Carolina and Georgia, then planted seven congregations in Miami. (You can listen to a contemporary version of his song here, with a fascinating change...

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Draw near: Yearning, beseeching and beholding with Desmond Tutu

Lynne Baab • Tuesday September 13 2022

Draw near: Yearning, beseeching and beholding with Desmond Tutu

“Saint Julian of Norwich says prayer ‘is yearning, beseeching and beholding.’ We are made for God, we yearn to be filled with the fullness of God, and so we come asking the one who is always eager to give. We place ourselves in his hands as suppliants, in the attitude of those who know they have nothing that they have not received, before the One who is ever the gracious one, ready to give beyond our asking and our deserving. We are like parched land thirsty for the gift of rain – yearning, beseeching, waiting and asking and assured that we...

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Receptivity and Offering: Welcoming God's transformation in 2022

Lynne Baab • Friday December 31 2021

Receptivity and Offering: Welcoming God's transformation in 2022

I first read the prophet Malachi in my early 20s. When I got to chapter 3, I was stunned by the parallels with some of the events of Jesus’ ministry: John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus, and Jesus enters the Temple and drives out the money-changers and the people selling animals.

The first two verses of Malachi 2 seem to foretell those events: “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says...

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