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About the Blogger

Lara Blackwood Pickrel considers the following things crucial to her character:

-A passionate love for black jellybeans and salsa! (never together)

-A desire to help people of all ages to find wholeness through relationship with God, one another, and themselves

-A love for words, books, and eloquent turns of phrase

-Her husband, Chuck Pickrel (who makes her laugh for all the right reasons)

-Her dogs, Shelby and Faith (who remind her that there is always time to snuggle)

-Soulfriends and the accountability upon which they insist

Lara is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and

currently serves as one of the pastors with the good people of First Christian Church in Smithville, MO.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sydney Bleam permalink
    February 7, 2010 1:27 am

    Hey Lara,
    just wanted to say how lucky Hillside is to have you! Everyone loves you and i dont know what we would do without you! You are an incredibly gifted writer and sn over all amazing person!

    P.S love the picture!

    -Sydney Bleam

    • February 15, 2010 1:41 am

      Thanks, Sydney!! I’m blessed to be “had” by Hillside!! 🙂

  2. March 5, 2011 12:06 am

    Hi Lara–my mom was raised in the Disciples’ church, but we never lived in a place where there was one. She talked about it a bit — I don’t remember the part about the black jelly beans, though! 😉

    • March 11, 2011 2:24 pm

      I’m pretty sure the black jellybeans are only loved by me (and a few other rare but fabulous souls)!

      What tradition did you end up in, since Disciples’ churches weren’t a local option?

  3. Jerry Laub permalink
    December 8, 2015 5:14 pm

    Lara, I see you are a contributor to the BL4Y series published by Cokesbury. I teach a high school Sunday School class in a United Methodist Church in Springfield, OH, and have used this series for several years. Several months ago I send a letter (yes, I’m old school) to Jason Sansbury, editor of the series, with the suggestion that he start a Facebook group, or other social media group linking BL4Y writers and users so that we could exchange ideas. It seems to me there could be several benefits from such connections: teachers could let writers know what activities worked and what didn’t; teachers could share with other teachers tactics they used with particular lessons; but most of all, because the lessons are written so far ahead of their use, having an immediate connection to the end-users could allow writers opportunities to communicate about current events; example: “How to talk to youth about events in San Bernadino.” It just seems to me we should be using all available resources in this age of instant communication. Jason did reply to my suggestion, but maybe a nudge from one of his writers might help move him along. Sincerely, JERRY LAUB.

  4. Dave Rogg Sr permalink
    August 26, 2016 11:29 am

    I wanted to praise you for the essay you wrote in “Talking Taboo” and to say the best line was “Exhausting though it may be, I love preaching the gospel.” I’m not a pastor, but I can so relate to that comment as I’m involved with so many people that I “preach” the gospel to.The biases and persecutions you face, when you drive through them, only show that you are a solid pastor and woman for God! Great essay, and I love the way you think and approach life.My encouragement to you is to never give up and let anyone tell you your less than. Slam those Moles, sister! In Christ’s love, Dave Rogg Sr. (Dayton, Ky.)

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