Friendship, listening, and empathy: A Prayer GuideTwo Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeSabbath Keeping FastingA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationPersonality Type in CongregationsPrayers 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 NovelBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Prayers of releasing/receiving/returning while walking

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 6 2023

Prayers of releasing/receiving/returning while walking

Twenty years ago, in August, I marked my six-year anniversary as an associate pastor at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Seattle. A couple of things happened in 2003 that felt like nudges from God, briefly bringing to my awareness that perhaps I was approaching the time to leave that pastoral position. I did my best to ignore those nudges because I REALLY did not want to leave. I loved the congregation, my colleagues, and my ministry responsibilities.

In December 2003, Dave and I went on vacation to San Francisco, and I walked the outdoor labyrinth at Grace Cathedral. I had visited the cathedral...

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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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