Lynne Baab • Friday July 31 2020
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.” 
Notice the verbs in that definition: identifying with, vicariously experiencing, understand, experience. Imagination plays a key...Read full article »
Lynne Baab • Sunday March 29 2020
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...Read full article »
Lynne Baab • Thursday January 30 2020
Imagine that your friend is talking about something important. You hear hints of grief and thankfulness, and you want to listen well and draw out those two ideas. Here are some suggestions for helping your conversation partners explore grief AND thankfulness, going from the basic to the more complex.
1. Pay attention to – and avoid – typical roadblocks to listening. My personal favorite is giving advice, which turns conversations away from emotions and thoughts and focuses on practical solutions (and away from my conversation partner’s thoughts to mine!). Another common way of stopping listening is to take the conversation back to...Read full article »
Lynne Baab • Friday August 17 2018
Stress is ramping up. I use the term “new/old” to describe the stress people today deal with. “Old” sources of stress include all sorts of stressors that have always been around, such as illness, grief, unemployment, and family discord. New sources of stress include political polarization, the tyranny of smart phones, and the rising cost of housing and education. Understanding the new/old sources of stress that people face today is a key skill for pastoral care.
In my previous post, I wrote about trends in pastoral care, and in the post before that, I introduced the idea that our understanding of Christian pastoral...Read full article »
Lynne Baab • Thursday May 30 2019By Lynne M. Baab
Lynne Baab • Friday February 5 2016This article won a 2017 award from the Australian Religious Press Association for the best social justice article. Social justice didn't cross my mind as I wrote the article. I was just thi...
Lynne M. Baab, Ph.D., is a teacher and writer. She has written numerous books and Bible study guides. Lynne lives in Seattle, and you can contact her at LMBaab [at] aol [dot] com. Read more »
Lynne is pleased to announce the release of her book on midlife, A Renewed Spirituality: Finding Fresh Paths at Midlife, for kindle. Her 2018 book is Nurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care for the Twenty-First Century, and her best-selling book is Sabbath-Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest. You can see her many other book titles here, along with her Bible study guides.
Lynne recently spoke on "Spiritual Practices for Preachers" (recorded as a video on YouTube). The talk is relevant to anyone in ministry and focuses on how to draw near to God simply as a child of God as well as engaging in spiritual practices for the sake of ministry.
Lynne preached recently on Reverent Submission, trying to reclaim the word "submission," which has a bad rap in our time.
Soon before she left her position in New Zealand as senior lecturer in pastoral theology, Lynne recorded a one-minute video for her departmental website describing what's most important to her in her writing and teaching.
"Lynne's writing is beautiful. Her tone has such a note of hope and excitement about growth. It is gentle and affirming."
— a reader
"Dear Dr. Baab, You changed my life. It is only through God’s gift of the sabbath that I feel in my heart and soul that God loves me apart from anything I do."
— a reader of Sabbath Keeping
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