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

Grief and thankfulness at the same time or back and forth?

Lynne Baab • Friday November 19 2021

Grief and thankfulness at the same time or back and forth?

Two years ago I began a journey of trying to hold grief in one hand and thankfulness in the other. The journey resulted in a series of blog posts (see below) and a new book. As a part of the journey, I found myself asking a question. Do we hold grief and gratitude in two hands equally at the same time? Or is one hand or the other sometimes more prominent?

I looked at lament psalms that describe grief. They almost always follow a pattern of sadness/anger/grief followed by thankfulness/praise. These psalms imply that we grieve and then we move out of...

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Psalm 84: Doorkeeper, sun and shield

Lynne Baab • Wednesday September 23 2020

Psalm 84: Doorkeeper, sun and shield

What would it feel like to be a doorkeeper in God’s house? I wonder what that picture says to you. Sometimes I think of standing at the door of a beautiful place, welcoming others in, greeting them individually, complimenting them on something lovely about them, then getting them settled into God’s house. Other times I imagine a scene without people. I picture myself standing at the doorway of an extravagant, light-filled place, looking inside, soaking up the serenity and feeling a deep peace and goodness.

I love words that create visual pictures, and this post focuses on a few verses in Psalm...

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Psalm 84 and Deuteronomy 32: Water

Lynne Baab • Wednesday September 16 2020

Psalm 84 and Deuteronomy 32: Water

Today I want to bring you water. Cool, clear, refreshing water. Water that cleanses and heals and energizes. I want to bring it to you as an individual and to your family. I want to bring it to our hurting city, country, and world. I want to bring it to the West Coast where fire rages and smoke seeps into homes.

Of course, I can’t really bring water to anyone. But God can. And God might use me – or you – to bring it.

The Bible is full of passages about water. I want to follow up on last week’s post about...

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Psalm 84: The sweetness

Lynne Baab • Tuesday September 8 2020

Psalm 84: The sweetness

I need some sweetness right now. The past six months have been unbelievably intense for me, as for you, I’m sure. The pandemic has evoked so many roiling emotions, with grief sweeping through me in powerful waves as I learned about each new crisis: severe overload for health care workers, widespread job loss, economic disruption, disproportionate effect of the virus on people of color, loneliness, mental health issues, and on and on. My grief reached its nadir with the deaths of precious people who should never have died – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

Now, six months after the pandemic...

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Featured books

Featured articles

NEW: Spiritual Practices for People in Ministry

Lynne Baab • Sunday June 26 2022

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NEW: Hospitality, the Bible, and Jesus

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NEW: Yes, Jesus Told Us to Pray in Secret. But He Also Prayed with His Friends.

Lynne Baab • Saturday October 9 2021

By Lynne M. Baab. Originally published in Christianity Today, July 8, 2021