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

Receptivity and offering: Our hearts

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 7 2022

Receptivity and offering: Our hearts

As a child, I had a love-hate relationship with the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter.” We sang it often in the Episcopal churches of my childhood. Even as a ten- or twelve-year-old, the first verse seemed ridiculous to me. Bethlehem is in the Middle East! The winter isn’t cold enough that the earth would be frozen as hard as iron!

In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan Earth stood hard as iron Water like a stone Snow had fallen Snow on snow on snow In the bleak midwinter Long, long ago

I would start getting less angry in the second verse, because I always liked to think about...

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A potpourri of quotations about receptivity and offering

Lynne Baab • Tuesday May 31 2022

A potpourri of quotations about receptivity and offering

I have had a great time writing weekly posts about receptivity and offering since mid-December 2021. I am more convinced than ever that life in Christ is a two-beat rhythm. God acts, we respond. In that first movement, like the downbeat in a measure of music, God acts in our lives through the Holy Spirit, challenging us, comforting us, encouraging us, guiding us, empowering us, and affirming us as God's beloved in so many ways. In the second movement, the upbeat of the measure, we respond. Some of those responses involve offering something back to God. At various times, we offer...

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Receptivity and offering: Our attention

Lynne Baab • Tuesday May 24 2022

Receptivity and offering: Our attention

If you look around online, you’ll find a growing body of articles and books on the question of attention. All of them highlight the challenge of the internet and cell phones. The experts writing those articles are right that attention is a topic of particular concern today. Here’s a quotation from one such article:

“‘My experience is what I agree to attend to,’ the pioneering psychologist William James wrote in the late 19th century. His observations about the mind, both detailed and sweeping, laid the groundwork for the ways Americans talk about attention today: attention as an outgrowth of interest and, crucially,...

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Receptivity and offering: Moments

Lynne Baab • Monday May 16 2022

Receptivity and offering: Moments

“An illusion haunts us that a long duration – as a year, a decade, a century – is valuable. But an old French sentence says, ‘God works in moments.’ We ask for long life, but ’tis deep life or grand moments that signify. Let the measure of Time be spiritual, not mechanical. . . . Moments of insight, of fine personal relation, a smile, a glance – what ample borrowers of eternity they are!” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet

“The new life into which we are baptized is lived out in days, hours, and minutes. God is...

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