Sins I Could Have Committed, but I was on the Other Team

The teachers never checked the area between the gym and the cafeteria—the perfect place for high-stakes penny pitching. Fifth-grade boys lined up during recess and threw pennies at a brick wall.

A View from the Pew: “Hollywood Squares” Prayer Meeting

I can’t help but think of “Hollywood Squares” every Wednesday night when my wife and I log onto our church’s midweek prayer time and devotion via Zoom.

Crossroads: God Sees It All

As a child, my mom always knew everything I did. (At least it felt that way!) I talked during a fire drill when I was in the first grade, which was a big no-no. I got in trouble at school, and when I got home that day, my mom asked me about school. She asked me if anything had happened and I said no.

Formations 07.26.2020: A Mother’s Love

Hosea 11 begins with God lamenting Israel’s rebelliousness. Like a wayward child, Israel has rejected seemingly everything that God has ever done for them.

Connections 07.26.2020: Yes, But…

The short parables in this week’s lesson are fascinating, and they give us much to think and talk about. They also give us much to do something about.

What Makes You Cry

It was summertime, sometime in the late 1960s. I was, as many children did (and I hope still do), participating in the public library’s summer reading program. I was reading Fred Gipson’s 1942 novel Old Yeller.

Blah, Blah, Blah

How do you pray when life looks like gibberish, when so many words are running together—pandemic, police brutality, protest, Confederate monuments, masks—and you can’t make sense of any of it?

Crossroads: Everything that Grows

Spring and fall are my two favorite times of the year. Seeing the wonderful colors of leaves as they change in the fall fills me with delight. Likewise, seeing everything bloom and grow in the spring reminds me that new life comes every year.

Formations 07.19.2020: God’s Indictment

As I read the words of God’s indictment in our lesson text, I wondered how many times people have read them over the centuries and thought, “The prophet is talking about our world today.

Connections 07.19.2020: The Waiting

The waiting is the hardest part. In the parable found in this week’s lesson text, Jesus tells the story of a farmer who sowed good seed in a field, only to have an enemy sow weeds in the same field.

Cancer Is Not Evil

The most significant source of strength I draw from as I deal with cancer is not some coping mechanism that comes naturally to me. I don’t have three keys for stress-free living to offer my readers. Instead, the most important, most helpful sources of inspiration and strength for me have been my beliefs about God.

Flame: God as our Anchor Craft and Prayer Activity

Here is a prayer activity that older children could do independently to help them think about trusting in God for their strength. It could be used especially if you were exploring stories that involve the sea or storms!