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

Draw near: Feeling unworthy as an obstacle to prayer

Lynne Baab • Tuesday August 9 2022

Draw near: Feeling unworthy as an obstacle to prayer

“For many years I believed I couldn’t even approach God in prayer until I had dutifully catalogued a litany of the sins I had committed since the last time I had prayed. Quite often the process of prayer made me feel unworthy, unholy, and exhausted by my own inadequacy. And I was taught, and indeed believed, that these were the things I was always supposed to feel – inadequate and unworthy – so that I could be properly grateful for the extension of divine grace. The consequence was that sometimes it simply felt better not to pray.” —Britney Cooper, professor at Rutgers...

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Receptivity and offering: Extract a lesson from regrets

Lynne Baab • Thursday March 17 2022

Receptivity and offering: Extract a lesson from regrets

“Though we would like to live without regrets, and sometimes proudly insist that we have none, this is not really possible, if only because we are mortal.” —James Baldwin, American writer and activist, 1967

Numerous times when people have talked with me about something they’re struggling with, I have suggested they imagine that a friend has come to them with the same problem. What would they say to that friend? To my surprise, I learned that the effectiveness of this strategy is actually backed up by research. Daniel Pink mentions this research in the article on regret that I’ve been writing about for...

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Receptivity and offering: Sharing regrets with others

Lynne Baab • Thursday March 10 2022

Receptivity and offering: Sharing regrets with others

As a young adult, I was curious what it meant that humans are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). I started asking older and wiser Christians what they thought, and the uniform answer was that humans are rational like God. In the decades since then, an idea has exploded on the theological scene that humans are social because the Trinity is relational. Many theologians now argue that the image of God in humans is our drive and need to nurture connections with other people and with God. The level of sociability from one person to another varies, of course. The pandemic...

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Receptivity and offering: Reframing regrets by separating thoughts from feelings

Lynne Baab • Thursday March 3 2022

Receptivity and offering: Reframing regrets by separating thoughts from feelings

I regret that a little more than a decade ago I neglected to respond to two – or maybe three – consecutive letters from a friend. We had been in-person friends as young adults, and she moved away. Our friendship became a letter-based friendship, and we had a pattern of writing long letters to each other. We normally waited a month or two to respond, and we had a good rhythm for two decades. In 2010, I had a mysterious health condition that made me unbelievably tired for many months. I neglected so many things, including answering this friend’s letters. (I...

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