People Are Sick

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People are sick.

In just my circle of friends, there is celiac disease, diverticulitis, diabetes, heart conditions, thyroid disease, or stage 4 cancer.

Almost every disease story begins with symptoms, but my friends remind me that symptoms aren’t symptoms until you know.

Diabetes is I’m just really thirsty.

Diverticulitis is It was something I ate.

Heart palpitations must be Simply a patch of anxiety.

And cancer is I must have the flu.

Until we know. Continue reading

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The Irony of Saying So

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On Sunday, my pastor preached from Psalm 107 and challenged us to more boldly tell our personal experiences of God’s goodness. We are “the redeemed of the Lord”, he reminded us, “let us say so.”

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble

“We need to share our stories”, he said, “because there are plenty of folks who need to hear about a good God.”

We listened from our pews. We shook our heads and took notes. I noticed some folks even cried. The redeemed-est, I guessed. Continue reading

When Real Life Sneaks Into Sunday School

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I’m a licensed and experienced teacher, mom of four, former homeschooler, and have taught Sunday school too many times to count.

And I’m actually nervous about this week’s elementary lesson.

The scheduled text is on Peter and the Beggar. It’s the story where Peter and John approach the temple to pray and meet a beggar at the gate. They heal him in the name of Jesus, and send him off  “walking and leaping and praising God.”

I’ve taught this group several times. I’ve even presented this story before. But like all teachers , I’m anticipating my students’ questions, and this is where the nerves are kicking in…

I’m imagining a few raised hands this week… Continue reading

When the Pew is Just Too Hard

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At the Call to Worship, I stood and sighed.

The calendar was on its last page and I was on my last leg, tired from holiday prep, tired from my work, and honestly, too tired for church.

Don’t get me wrong… I love my job. I love ministry. I love my church. But there are times when the pew is just too hard.

Continue reading

If I Had a Hammer

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All he wanted to do was hammer something.

Eli* wasn’t a regular church-goer and wasn’t sure how to find the book of Galatians in his Bible, but he heard there might be an opportunity to build things, so he signed up.

“When are we going to build stuff?” he asked as we settled in for our group devotion.

“Soon,” I said, but I wasn’t sure. Not at all. We were barely 24 hours into the youth-group service trip when I realized things were out of our control. Our group was randomly split up at lunch, placed in prayer groups with people we didn’t know, and assigned to various work-sites without our consent. Clearly, we weren’t in charge.  Continue reading

When You’re Wondering if Your Personality is an Effect of the Fall

 

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An online quiz promised to tell me what kind of cookie matches my personality. I was hoping for chocolate chip, but I got oatmeal raisin. The shame. Maybe I’ll do better with my spirit animal …

We’re obsessed. Chances are, if you’re like me, you know your Myers Briggs letters, or your Disney princess, or maybe even what Hogwart’s school fits you best. I’m Gryffindor.

Of course it’s harmless and fun, but with all this talk, I’m finding myself ranking my personality high or low, evaluating, comparing, wishing…. Continue reading

Ordinary Time

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Week four of a New Year’s resolution is not for sissies. Week four is when you notice your biggest supporters, Motivation, Novelty, and Determination, have all packed up camp and headed to wherever they hide. I’m guessing they ran way ahead of me to the final days of December. Or rushed on to Lent. Or are waiting for me in the countdown to swim season. Bye, Felicia. 
Continue reading