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

Quotations I love: Knowing how to “tune in” and “tune out” of conversations

Lynne Baab • Wednesday May 26 2021

Quotations I love: Knowing how to “tune in” and “tune out” of conversations

“There are many causes of ineffective listening and all of us are guilty of some of them at some time. In fact, it is almost impossible to maintain a high involvement in listening all the time. We need to ‘tune out’ to give our minds a chance to rest, but we also need to be able to ‘tune in’ when we want communication to succeed.” —Terry Mohan, Helen McGregor, Shirley Saunders, and Ray Archee, Communicating! Theory and Practice

Ten years ago this month Dave and I were getting organized for a six month sabbatical. I had already conducted interviews with church leaders in...

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Quotations I love: A primary task of listening

Lynne Baab • Saturday May 22 2021

Quotations I love: A primary task of listening

“One of the primary tasks of the listener is to stay out of the other’s way so the listener can discover how the speaker views his situation.” —Robert Bolton, “Listening Is More Than Hearing” [1]

Can you think of a conversation where you started talking about a topic, and after you talked about it for a while, your perspective changed? Certainly our perspective can change from hearing another person’s opinion, but sometimes, in one of those rare and beautiful conversations with a good listener, we find that our views on something change as we talk through it.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of...

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Creativity, imagination and empathy

Lynne Baab • Friday July 31 2020

Creativity, imagination and empathy

I have long believed that imagination is required for empathy. In order to enter into another person’s feelings and thoughts about their life, I have to be able to imagine someone else’s reality. Here’s the definition of empathy, from a communications textbook, that I use when I’m teaching listening skills:

“Empathy is the cognitive process of identifying with or vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. . . .When we empathize, we are attempting to understand and/or experience what another person understands and/or experiences.” [1]

Notice the verbs in that definition: identifying with, vicariously experiencing, understand, experience. Imagination plays a key...

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Spiritual diary of self-isolation: responding to terror by listening to Jesus voice

Lynne Baab • Sunday March 29 2020

Spiritual diary of self-isolation: responding to terror by listening to Jesus voice

For the past three weeks, I’ve been writing devotionals for my church every Friday, using the daily lectionary. Here’s the one that was sent out yesterday.

To the church in exile,

God’s peace to you. Today I’m going to start by describing the opposite of peace – terror.

The word “terrified” means to feel extreme fear. For me, anxiety is a kind of background murmur – not pleasant at all – and I have felt it far too often in the past month. Extreme fear is worse. It shouts loudly and impacts my whole body. I feel terror in my stomach, my chest and...

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Featured books

Featured articles

New: Listening for God: The Joy of Spiritual Practices

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

(Originally published inHorizons: The Magazine of Presbyterian Women. May/June 2019, 11-14.

New: Christians and Food Waste: Slowing Down and Savoring God’s Gifts

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

(Originally published in Presbyterians Today, July/August 2019, 8.)

New: Developing a Missional Approach: Being Sent into the World as Jesus was Sent

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

Originally published in Tui Motu InterIslands, Independent Catholic Magazine, New Zealand, September 2017, 26, 27.