Home > Beckie > I’m teaching Sunday school next week. (What are they thinking?!)

I’m teaching Sunday school next week. (What are they thinking?!)

First of all, certain friends of mine, stop laughing.  (You too Jim.)  I’ve never led a Sunday school discussion before.  This is incredibly intimidating.  It’s not that I don’t love discussing the Bible.  I was a total geek in my Old and New Testament classes at Baylor.  And I’ll discuss any religious idea with anyone willing.  But, I think and talk about the Bible differently than most people.  I don’t know why.  I just know I sound different.  I think I made Jim nervous when he and I were first dating.  I remember saying something, looking at Jim and quickly having to explain myself because of the look on his face.  Actually, I think this happened a lot…

Of course, I’ve already studied and read the lesson for next week.  It’s mostly about Grace.  Could I have had a more perfect lesson handed to me?   (Did LeanneDee do this on purpose?)  When you teach, you learn.  I have certainly thought a lot about Grace since Jim’s diagnosis.  I was often reaching and grasping to feel God’s Love and really realize Grace.  I needed to feel it and know it so badly.

We are studying the Winter 2011-2012 Uniform Series, International Bible Lessons for Christian Teaching – lesson ten.  (Click here for really good online reading supplements from Faith and Life Resources.)  The student handouts are pretty good.  But, I’m not real impressed with the teacher’s guide.  It doesn’t seem to mesh very well.  At one point in my career, I was an informal educator, so this could get really interesting.  🙂  Honestly, if anyone has tips on how to lead a Sunday school lesson, I really would appreciate them.

I will update this post next week as to what I did, and how it went.


Sarah: My goodness, I love my wonderful, sweet daughter.  She thinks I’m Barbie.  (To the rest of the world, I’m Skipper.)  The first time she said it, I handed her Barbie.  She laughed, poked me and said, “No, you Barbie!”  My jaw hit the floor.  Seriously?  I laughed, told her, “thank you” and swooped her up in a gigantic hug.  This will be the only time in my life someone will think this.  Jim would have had a field day!

  1. January 31, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I have done two Sacrament talks and several Sunday School lessons about Gospel principals. If you let the Spirit guide you, it’s a snap.

    • January 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Thanks. I’ll have to remember to take a deep breath and let go.
      You are such a thinker. I bet those lessons you lead were really good.

  2. Susan Hill
    January 31, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Beckie, you will be wonderful! You are walking your faith every day! You may not realize it, but you inspire a lot of people just by the smile on your precious Barbie face. You are a courageous woman of God. Blessings, Susan

    • January 31, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Susan, Thanks! I try to make sure it’s an honest smile. I couln’t do this if I didn’t think God truely loved and was within all of us. “Barbie face” hee-hee. 😉

  3. Catherine Mitchell-Baker
    January 31, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Hi Beckie !* Hugs* I know you will be wonderful ! I can’t think of a better person to be teaching that class ! I know that God has graced our Family by sharing you with us ! I mean that with all my heart ! What an ADORABLE Pic of Miss Sarah ! I saved it to I could print it out for Grandad & B … I hope you don’t mind ! Love you !

    • January 31, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Catherine, Thanks. That was a really nice compliment. I’m thrilled that you are going to print Sarah’s picture for Grandad & Momma B. I thought it was pretty cute too. 😉

  4. January 31, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Beckie. Very cute photo of your baby barbie (lol).

    I too view God, the Universe and everything in it, differently from other people. I am a christian because I went to and still occassionaly go to Church and my daughter attends a Catholic School, so technically this makes me a christian, correct??hmmm…..well this is what was drummed into me from an early age when I started to go to Sunday school with my older sister, that to be labeled a “christian” from the churches point of views means you must 1. Go to church every sunday. 2. Read the bible every day. 3.Pray to God every night. 4.Be a “good” person and be “nice” to people. 5. OBEY your parents.

    I started to get confused about these RULES when I began to notice the “christians” in my church being verbally cruel to my older sister, hearing CHRISTIANS gossiping about other people in the church, having to OBEY my father even when he was sexually abusing me and finding out that my friend in church was living with an alchoholic and abusive father who beat up his wife, and yet he was on the Church council. BUT WAIT I was told that if you went to God, every Sunday, and prayed and read the bible God would forgive your sins, and this would make you a “good Christian” as oppossed to all those evil humans out in the world, who did the best they could with what they had, shared the little they had with people worse off than themselves, volunteered in Social welfare services, daily assisiting their elderly neighbour or giving a helping hand to strangers, or accepting people from different cultures and religion.

    BUT WAIT, these people are NOT Christians BECAUSE they don’t go to church every sunday, or pray every day, BUT, they also aren’t hypocrites about their faith, they still make mistakes, they still get angry they still may hurt people BUT they are not in my eyes hypocrites because they don’t hide behind their church and say “but God understands I’m only human”. In my eyes you don’t need to go to church every sunday, you don’t need to pray every day (though in my mind every day I speak with God, and I often have great conversations with God) some “Christians” have told me that if I hear a voice in my head talking back then this must be the devil talking to me because only “christians” can hear God speak to them. Well, if I were God I know for heck what I would be saying to the many Christian hypocrites I’ve met over my 40yrs (I’m 45 yrs old but the first 5yrs don’t count I was’nt going to church then.

    “There but for the grace of God, go I” (full meaning on this link. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/there-but-for-the-grace-of-god.html).
    I was lost but I found God again through my trials and tribulations. I had turned my back to God but God was ALWAYS there, waiting for me, the ultimate, the supreme, the most loveing and devote parent a child could have.

    We are all children of God, every single human on this planet, and yes we do make mistakes, we do loose our temper, and we can be the most cruelest, contemptous and the most despicable person on this planet. I feel that in God’s heart the most wicked thing to do would be for a person to continue to lie to God, to pray for forgivness but then to continue to do evil and wicked things to people, KNOWING full well that what they are doing is only serving their own best interests and not GOD’s. I believe we are here on this planet to look after each other and to look after what God has given us.

    I have done, in my past, terrible things to people and God opened my eyes to my cruel ways, my ways that were damaging my soul and my heart. I went through Dantes hell and fought each day with the Devil who each day appeared to me as an Angel of God, for that is what the Devil is, he is God’s reminder to us that we are human, we are fallible, and we can be bought for a price. “To err is human but to forgive devine” (Alexander Pope). In my darkest hour I sat on my own and raged and screamed and wept from the bottom of my soul. I prayed for God’s forgivness and God heard. I now feel more at peace with my God, I also now have been diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 and Depression and Post Traumatic Stress. My daughter has a diagnosed mental illness and my partner has luekema. I have lost all of my possessions in a house fire, but immediatly after there was the community I lived in where people I didn’t know gave us clothing from their wardrobes, a room to sleep in, food to eat. I began to see God’s Grace through all the love that was being shown to me and my family. I began to see that all that I have lived through, was worth it to finally feel and understand the true word of God, the song AMAZING GRACE. is a song which I can relate to, “I was lost but now I am found, I was blind but now I see”…..

    Anyway Beckie good luck teaching sunday school. I look forward to finding out how it went. Peace be with you and your family. xxxxxx P.S I still get angry, I still yell at my daughter when I’m frustrated, I still swear and I still get things wrong alot of the time and God is still teaching me every day humility, modesty and most importantly GOD’s DIVINE LOVE FOR ALL HUMANITY (oh yeah and when I’m really frustrated I have a cigarette)

    • February 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Over here, we would call you a “recovering Catholic.” I have many “recovering” yoga friends that have said much the same as you. The guilt-factor seems to be almost over-whelming. For a sensitive person, it’s just too heavy. Growing up, most of my friends were Catholic. (I would have been friendless in Northern Ireland.) I thoroughly embarassed myself the first time I went to Mass. I kept running into the back of my friend because she kept stopping (the water & the genuflect), then I tripped over the kneeling bench in the pew. Normally, I’m a pretty coordinated person. And then, massive confusion when the latin started.

      All five of the items you listed doesn’t make a Christian. It’s sad that was emphasized so heavily, instead of the truth. Christ makes a Christian. That’s it. But, what you listed does keep you under control, something I believe the Catholic Church has been guilty of for centuries. I also have a significant problem with confession. Like many things, it is great in theory, but bad people use it to wipe their slate clean so they can keep doing bad. Soooo disrespectful to God. I’m trying really hard not to get on my soapbox about Catholicism. On my mom’s side, there were Quakers that came to Pennsylvania. I think my thinking is potentially both genetic and learned. Quakers are “ritual-free.” As long as I can remember, rituals have made me nervous. I understand it is a security blanket, in a good way, for some people, but to me it’s distracting. I also grew up looking (a leaf) and listening (a spring) for God, not too much talking on my part. Like you, I pray, but it’s more of an on-going, respective conversation. Your thinking about being here to protect each other and His creation is dead-on with what I believe. I got an environmental degree and worked to protect groundwater. Forget the water-hog developers, I literally had to make neighbors behave. 1st generation environmentalists protested, 2nd generation environmentalists made protective laws and our 3rd generation has to enforce those laws. I can’t tell you how many times I had someone in my office lying to me, and all 5 feet, 100 lbs. of me wanted to reach across my desk, grab them and say, “Will you just behave!” If everybody would simply follow the Golden Rule, then I wouldn’t have had anything to do!

      People everywhere are Sunday Christians. It’s convenient and fun that day, but not the rest of the week. I remember being very frustrated by this as a preteen. Sunday school was social hour, so the kids couldn’t even behave while at church! However, I was lucky. I grew up in an incredibly liberal Baptist church. The services were great. Rev. Burchette even married my parents and Jim & I. Plus, I have wonderful free-thinking parents. I know I’m lucky because I never have had to undo any of my thinking, just add to.

      You have to feel sorry for the hypocrites. Yes, they are usually mean people. But, they live their life that way. How sucky is that? And I vote that you are a Christian. You seem to get it. You’ve been through too much. So, I don’t know who’s in your head, but I really, really doubt it’s anything evil. (And I can’t believe anyone would actually tell you it’s the devil. At that point, I might hold up a mirror – facing them. I’d rather throw a rock, but Jesus said not to do that.) Everyone does bad sometime. Thank God, literally, that we can hand our yuck to Jesus, He will get rid of it and we can get on with life. It’s so very hard to stay focused all the time. Yeah, I get more mad than I should, and that’s where Sarah has picked up her stomping. I swear when I get over-the-top mad, but I’ve gotten better. (I really laughed at your last sentence. 😉 ) Personally, I don’t smoke, but I usually have a stash of Oreos or M&Ms somewhere…

      (If this somehow gets posted twice, I’ll deleted one. WordPress seems slow today.)

  5. Joni
    February 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Wow. As I read these posts I am so humbled. To be an “insider” in the church and be just as frustrated as one who is looking at the church and supposedly Godly people is quite an experience. I desperately want everyone who has seen the grace of God to live it out in their lives because that is where you find joy. In the obedience to God’s plan. “That God would love as sinner such as I, would long to turn my sorrow into bliss, nor rest till He had planned to bring me nigh, HOW WONDERFUL IS LOVE LIKE THIS.” Lryrics to one of my favorite songs. How humbling that He would have given His son if I had been the only one in the universe who needed a redeemer.

    I know why you would be asked to teach. You exhibit God’s grace daily and that draws people to want to know Him more. That is what our job is as Christians…..to live lives that draw others to Christ. Otherwise God would have just zapped us up to heaven at the moment we accepted the sacrifice His son made for us, because there would have been no reason to leave us here on this sinful earth.

    I am leading a Beth Moore study on the book of James right now. It is amazing and I am learning a lot. You carry on and enjoy as you teach. You will surely find inspiration that is new and exciting, God is like that you know.

    • February 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      I always want to hug you after I read your comments. I went to YouTube and listened to that song. I see why you like it. I never had thought about why God leaves us here. Thank you for that perspective. I wish I could make your Beth Moore study. You are such a good leader. The Methodist church doesn’t have childcare, I don’t suppose you do? I’d be there in a heartbeat if Sarah can handle it. Thanks for your encouragement.

  6. claw67
    February 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Beckie. How was your Sunday School lesson? I’m sure it went well, though I hope you didn’t trip over the chairs and fall on any children? 🙂 I loved your comment on your first experience of Mass.

    Yep, here in Australia we also have many recovering Catholics, funnily or ironically don’t know which one, I’ve sent my daughter to a Catholic School because as much as I don’t like the Dogma ( A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true: “the Christian dogma of the Trinity”.) I know you understand the meaning, though again not being a Catholic…..(just kidding) it’s the INCONTROVERTIBLY TRUE statement I wanted to point out. That the Catholic Church dares to place a human on a Throne and Crown him King (as what is done during the ritual of ordination of a new Pope) and to make that person and what he says as the liberal truth, is what I find most damaging towards God and people who wish to find God.

    Anyway, apart from this, I and my partner decided to send our daughter to a Catholic School because we know she will continue to have instilled in her good moral principals. And these are most important for people to have to be able to be the best person they can be in the broader society. She will also get the discipline (thank goodness though not the discipline given to children once upon a time within the Catholic Church) and she will be given good boundries in which to play and learn in. And Father Bernie is such a lovely Priest. On top of this my partner and I will ensure she doesn’t become indoctrinated within the belief system that the Pope is infallible, and we will ensure she questions what is taught to her.

    P.S. I read another post you put up about your husband looking at the Doves in your tree and pretending to shoot them as he walked away. I think your husband and mine would have gotten on very well, sounds like your husband also had that wicked kind of humour, that tongoue in cheek humour. My partner can say things with the most straight face and even after being together 2yrs I still can’t work out whether he means what he says.

    P.S.S I love chatting with you. Last post I forgot to click the NOTIFY button when I replied to your post, so this is why its been a week to get back to you.

    I look forward to chatting again. Take care Regards Claudia

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