Changes in latitude- I used to teach at a Los Angeles Lutheran Jr.Sr High School in Sylmar, CA. I loved it. It was not just a job, it was a calling. Forging relationships, fostering discipleship, praying with and for young people was an unforgettable experience. Helping kids get into God's Word and into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him was what life was all about.Yet, when my wife and I had our first child, we decided to move back to Iowa so we could raise our kids around grandparents and cousins. We also thought that grass was nice for kids, not just apartment complex parking lots.
Burn Baby Burn- When I started teaching at a public school, I missed being able to openly minister to kids. I guess God's Word is so much a part of who He made me, that like Jeremiah 20:9, it burns in me, right down to my bones. So I started "malloryprayer.blogspot.com" as a sort of personal journal for recording prayers and devotions.
Avast! There be rough water ahead- Since 9/11/01 I have watched our country and it's policies get more and more radicalized toward the far right. I for one fell that it seemed like one faction of Christians were being politicized for a pro-business, pro-war, pro single-party agenda that was eroding, ignoring or destroying our Constitutional.
Jesus said "Love your neighbor," it was the code of Hammurabi that said "eye for an eye. On the one hand, Fundamentalist Christians are right to believe that Jesus' work on the cross is for our eternal life, but at the same time, I believe that Jesus is about love, forgiveness, healing and helping in the here-and-now as well. American Christianity seemed to become more and more judgmental, exclusionary and hypocritical.
So I started addressing my frustrations on this blog. I dropped the bland, banal, safe facade and put on the persona of a pirate rogue. I'd rather be scalding hot or frigid cold than luke-warm.
All that High School BS- After years as a Youth Group Counselor at my church, I stepped down because I needed to devote more time to my own kids. But not long ago, the woman who had taught Bible Study for the high school aged youth retired and I was asked to fill in. Since then, I started using this website as a repository for the lessons I teach Sunday mornings and the insights kids teach me.
Parental Advisory- Being a Missouri-Synod Lutheran, I appreciate that parents and pastors may not agree with or appreciate some of the opinions that I post here, so I have a link so that students can view only the High School Bible Study entries without being exposed to my politically liberal (though usually still theologically conservative) sentiments. Although, I once had a former student share with me that they were so disillusioned by the fanatically conservative Christians that they encountered that they may have lost their faith if I hadn't let them know that those weren't the only voices out there.
Which brings me to the disclaimers:
- This site is not an official site of St. John Lutheran Church in Charter Oak, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, or the Iowa District-West. The views expressed here and the links provided here are the sole responsibility of me.
- This is not an official Boyer Valley Community Schools website. The views expressed here and the links provided here are not necessarily those of the school, it's administrators or board. This site is the sole responsibility of me.
Unlike many evangelical Christians, I am of the opinion that a separation of church and state is not a bad thing. If anything, it protects the church from government intrusion and protects each denomination or church body from other church bodies. Sure the Pilgrims came here to escape religious persecution, but they were being "persecuted" by King James (of the King James Bible). And as soon as they set up their colony, they proceded to persecute enverone who's beliefs didn't align exactly with theirs.
Separation of church and state does not mean that students are denied their First Amendment rights to practice their religion at school or to freely speak about religion. It means that as a paid employee of a public school district and essentially an agent of the State of Iowa, it would be wrong for me to use my position as a teacher to take advantage of my classes (as a captive audience) to try prostelitize or otherwise indoctrinate them. In other words, if you're either already a Christian or interested in knowing Jesus and you approach me outside of class time, I will be more than happy to answer any question you have, listen to you, mentor you or pray for you- but I never want to force my beliefs on you. I don't believe that Jesus does, so why should His followers?
On a Mission from God- I'm not sure why God decided to have me be a high school teacher let alone a cheerleading coach. I always wanted to be an editorial cartoonist. I guess He did let me do that, just in a smaller way than I hoped. But I do know that His Word burns in my bones. I know that if there's anything in life that I want to do more than making fun of stupid politicians with funny drawings, it's helping kids know Jesus, know Jesus better, and gettin His Word from their heads to their hearts. That's why this website is here. Hope you find something somewhere that you can relate to.