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

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GNO: April Johnson’s Favorite Things

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I’m a Michigander by birth, and am still one at heart and in my pronunciation of certain vowel sounds, but for the past few years St. Louis has become a home for me thanks to some wonderful people, many of which I’ve met through my church/workplace, Central Presbyterian. That almost makes up for the humidity and lack of lakefront acreage. Almost.

I spend quite a bit of time laughing at my own jokes, being jealous of people with dogs, and wanting to hug my mom. If you ever want to talk about books, the brain, or an interesting podcast you listened to recently, I’m your girl. Continue reading

The Leveling Place

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It’s flattering when someone asks you for advice.

It’s terrifying when you remember that you have none.

Not long ago, a friend invited me to coffee so I could share any wisdom I might have about teen anxiety and depression. It was a reasonable request, for she knows I have lived that roller coaster. I’ve also read books and tried strategies. “Surely, I can offer some help,” I thought.

So, as my friend’s question floated across the tops of our steamy mugs, “What do you think we should do about our son?”, we both expected more than what came out of my mouth… Continue reading

Dream

It’s called Five Minute Friday. Each week, we write freely on a one-word prompt. Then we link up at the amazing Kate Motaung’s site. It’s a flash mob of writers- having fun and sharing their take on one word. This week’s prompt is DREAM.

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I had a dream I was flying.

In the air, I saw old friends and dodged hissing snakes. When I tried to scream, my teeth fell out, but I couldn’t catch them with my feathered hands. Then, I turned a corner and plummeted to the ground, waking up just before I met my death on the rocks below.

Dreams don’t obey laws of physics, or reason. They reach backward and forward until we lose sense of when we are and mock our bondage to time. Continue reading

My Father’s World

It’s called Five Minute Friday. Each week, we write freely on a one-word prompt. Then we link up at the amazing Kate Motaung’s site. It’s a flash mob of writers- having fun and sharing their take on one word. This week’s prompt is WORLD.

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A playground crawling with kids, blue swings, and the mommy bench.

A dark alley covered with garbage, homeless men, and the drug dealer.

This is my Father’s World.

Cowboy birthday parties with cupcakes, party favors, and innocence galore.

Teenage pool parties with suspicious minds, unjust rage, and ten steps back.

This is my Father’s World. Continue reading

When Jesus Meets the Addict

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We whisper about it in church hallways. We turn our head away from it at the parks and we hide it in our homes. We warn our kids about it and hate it in ourselves.

Addiction.

It’s nothing new. From tobacco to technology. From crack to caffeine. From over-working to binge-watching. From generation to generation, we’ve traded one addiction for another.

It’s an effect of the fall, we say. We shake our fists at the devil and hang our heads. Come, Lord Jesus, we say, and dream of the day when we can be free. Continue reading