The Same 88 Keys

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My piano teacher ended every lesson the same way. After thirty minutes of my plunking on her Steinway, she would scoot me off the bench to watch her play some impressive, advanced piece. At the end of the last note, she’d look up at me, gesture to the keyboard, and say, “Now remember, you have these same 88 keys on your piano at home.”

She was trying to encourage me, but sometimes, especially after a rough lesson, it felt like an accusation: You have everything you need… so why aren’t you playing better? What’s wrong with you?

After four years of lessons, it was evident that I lacked many things, but mostly I needed a deeper desire and a different DNA. No matter how hard we tried, those 88 keys just weren’t enough. (more…)

GNO: Cher Curtis’ Favorite Things

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I am Cher Curtis, a daughter of the King, and a stay-at-home grandmother. A  REALLY  stay at home grandmother. In June I developed a serious knee infection that has required two surgeries – one more to come in February – and months of recuperation. My experience has changed me from a Martha to a Mary, from “doing” to “being,” from giving to receiving.

I have been blessed to be served by the faith community at CPC, friends and neighbors, and my amazing family.  My precious husband Lee never complains about cooking, doing laundry or bringing me green tea in bed.  My daughter Libby and granddaughters, Cate and Addie, my son Doug as well as son-in-law Todd and daughter-in-law Emily have organized, cleaned and loved me well as I have embraced the life of a couch potato! My disabled daughter Sarah still comes home for her weekly overnight, and has really bonded with her daddy who cares for her so tenderly. The experience of the past four months has definitely colored the selection of my favorite things!


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GNO: Stephanie Nelson’s Favorite Things

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Stephanie has finally embraced her inner Wizard of Oz and returned to Kansas in 2016 after almost 20 years of being apart. She is serving as the Pastor of Family Ministries at Alert Covenant Church, where she gets to teach kids of all ages, and they even let her stand behind a pulpit sometimes. Her greatest vices are Kate Spade bags, dark roast coffee, and nail polish. Continue reading

When You Just Need A Little Honesty

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If you’re like me, you try hard to remain positive, look on the bright side, and count your blessings.

But some days, you just can’t  …

I’ll never forget one day during my student-teaching in a second grade classroom. Early in the year, one student, a stringy-haired boy with scabby knees, was having a bad day. He eventually crawled under a table and refused to come out. I was eager to prove myself to the lead teacher, so I rushed across the room to coax him.

None of my persuading was working:

“Come on out, you’re missing all the fun! Your friends are looking for you at the Craft Corner. You are so good at reading…!”  In fact, the more I talked, the further under the table he scooted.

Finally, the veteran teacher walked over, asked me to keep an eye on the rest of the class, and did something that changed me forever… (more…)

When We Feel Beautiful in an Ugly World

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I looked into the face of a murderer this morning and my stomach turned.

Last week, I looked into the face of a rapist and my blood boiled.

For months and months, I’ve been looking into the faces of ISIS terrorists, kidnappers, corrupt politicians, and abusive parents. And I’m struggling to stay grounded.

I scroll through the images and articles and I feel it pulling me. A current works to get under my feet and sweep me away with the rest of the world. The anger, the divisiveness, the panic …  Do you feel it?  Continue reading