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    christmas-stories-header

    I have written and illustrated three Christmas stories that are perfect for Pastors, Ministers, Teachers, or Administrators who need a multimedia Christmas story to tell for a class, service, ceremony, gathering or assembly. I wrote them for use during my church’s annual candlelight and communion service.

    These stories are available for $10 each. You’ll receive a zip file containing a PDF of the story text, a PowerPoint presentation containing all of the illustrations, and individual jpg image files of each slide (in case you don’t do Powerpress).

    The Very Last Room

    What would you do if your family had taken the very last room in Bethlehem… just before Mary & Joseph arrived? This story follows a young boy and his family on their way to Bethlehem to be taxed. They end up taking the very last room available in the city forcing Mary and Joseph to take the stable out back. You’ll love how this story comes together and the strong evangelistic message it shares. The story is fully illustrated and stylized to fit the time period, but with a modern twist.




    The Birthday Story

    “The Birthday Story” is the Nativity Christmas Story as told by Mary to her young son, Jesus. Based on Luke 2:19 (“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”) The story comes from the perspective of Mary recalling the events that led to her son Jesus’ birth day.

    The audience thinks they’re hearing a modern day story… until various details reveal that this is a retelling of the Nativity from a different perspective. Children and adults will enjoy hearing about the trials of making a journey to Bethlehem on a donkey with a child on the way… and the hope a mother has for her son, the Messiah. Helps all ages remember that Jesus’ birth was real… and so is our reason for celebrating Jesus, not only on Christmas, but every day of the year.




    The Christmas Repair Service

    A magical Christian Christmas parable that will help children with selfishness, anger, obedience and the reason we celebrate Christ’s birth in the first place. Told with a bit of magic and a lot of fun. Every child will go away realizing that our beliefs should affect our actions… and that we need Christ to change our hearts because we can’t fix ourselves. This story is considerably longer than the two above and costs $15.





    sermon-podcast-nlcast

    I used to be a pastor. I still am, technically… I’m just not working as a pastor right now. I was a pastor to children and though there are things about ministry I don’t miss, there is quite a bit that I do. You want a list? I’ll give you a list.

    Things I miss:

    • Using all of my gifts and talents at one time for one purpose.
    • Serving God through full-time ministry.
    • Having a purpose.
    • Connecting with kids… especially the misfits and troublemakers.
    • Teaching people from the Bible.

    [click to continue…]

    I Am Anti-Spider

    May 15, 2014 · 0 comments

    anti-spider

    I am anti-spider. Have you seen these advice animal pics where spiders are cute and kind but then people are hurting them? I believe it’s part of the pro-spider agenda. I just want to make it clear that at JamesKennison.com we are 100% anti-spider. I would go as far as to say that I believe that being a spider is WRONG! I am absolutely #AntiSpider.

    I have been called me an Arachnophobe… and I’ll admit it’s partially true, but I have nothing against spiders personally, I just don’t want them around myself or my kids. The following are a series of short stories and observations that I have made over the years that I hope will educate you to the horrors of spiders. [click to continue…]

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    In April of 2013 I stepped down from my children’s pastor position due to the issues that arise when you can no longer hide your depression and anxiety disorders. It’s been just over a year since I’ve prepped a service, led a game, worked a puppet, preached an illustrated sermon or taught a memory verse. I miss the kids… but not Easter, Halloween and Kids Camp! But that’s a topic for another post.

    These days I find myself on the other-side of children’s ministry. Now I take my two children, 9 and 6, to someone elses kids church. We’ve been to several in fact. The view is quite a bit different out here than it was in there and I’d like to share as much as I can remember with you. It’s a unique perspective. I’m not another quirky parent demanding fundamental changes that only benefit my particular child. I’m a 13-year children’s ministry veteran who for now is standing in your check-in line. Here are some things that I noticed that were important to me:

    [click to continue…]

    desk

    I read that sitting all day is bad for you. I do a lot of sitting in my line of (no) work so I rigged up my existing desk to be a Standing Desk to see how I liked it.

    [click to continue…]

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    Vizify was a online profile service that took info from Twitter. The service is closing soon having been purchased by Yahoo and I was asked to archive my profile. I figured ‘what the heck’.

    Vizify tracks what you tweet about most. My #1 keyword was KIDS but I was interested to see what other words were prominent. After clicking I saw a bit more than the topics I tweeted about. I got to see a representative timeline of my bout with depression.

    The most obvious is the large gap between October 2012 and mid-May of 2013. That was the worst of it when I wasn’t even able to get out of bed. I also noticed two other little drop-outs (though they’re not as stark as the big one) between Q3 and Q4 of 2012, then a gap between Q1 and Q2 (a smaller one).

    Those purple dots say a lot more than Visify intended. I’m glad to see the dots on the right side. There’s a lot more tweets about my kids and my trial run with putting out regular videos on YouTube.

    Were Vizify to continue there they would be adding a few very large and dark purple dots to the PODCAST and EPISODE and SHOW lines because I’m happy to announce that Nobody’s Listening podcast is returning. You can find more about that over at podcast.nlcast.com.

    Thanks for reading.

    (Click to make the pic bigger)

    I Need Beta Readers!

    March 21, 2014 · 0 comments

    beta-reader

    From Wikipedia: “A Beta Reader is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements before the story is released for public consumption.”

    I need a few (4-7) families with a kid or kids (8-12) who would be interested in reading Bad Hero and taking notes.

    Naturally parents are encouraged to read the book as well and feedback is encouraged and welcome.

    The children need to be between 8 and 12 years old. They must be able to read the book without assistance, and (the most important part) take notes while reading and possibly complete a questionnaire after.

    I’ll be looking for feedback on things like plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability.

    Bad Hero is easier to read than Harry Potter but a little more complex than Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Email james@nlcast.com
    Subject: Bad Hero Preview
    Include how your family qualifies.
    I will follow up with specifics once we’re ready.

    I’ll post again when the slots are filled. Thanks!

    **UPDATE**

    The slots are filled. Thanks!

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    Hello gentle readers. I realize that I have not added anything to the site since mid February. I have been distracted by a new obsession lately. That obsession is writing. The past several months I’ve written Bible Stuff articles and let out some inner stuff about Depression and the patterns of Church Culture, but now I’m on to brighter and possibly more productive expressions.

    I have written a 36,400 word novel for pre-teens (8-12, it’s called Middle Grade) called Bad Hero[click to continue…]

    why-im-defensive-about-my-depression

    Most of the time when I write about Depression I do so hoping that it will help someone who is going through a place I have been. Other times it is to come alongside people who are in recovery and just share experiences. Today my article is for me. I need to write this. I’ve needed to do something with this subject since the day I reached out to a pastor in my area and was absolutely floored (and crushed) by his response.

    Why I’m Writing This

    Jenn and I were in the market for a new place to do church. I searched the internet for a local place that we might be able to heal in. I was a pastor who had stepped down due to complications with depression, anxiety and bi-polarism and needed a church that could accept who I was and what I and my family were still going through. I emailed this pastor a brief overview of our story and what we were dealing with. I wanted to see if he would accept us. We’re going to go through the reply he sent me.

    I do not wish to single out this pastor. I see him as a type of person rather than a particular one. He has come to represent all of those in the church who feel the same way as this man, but haven’t had the platform to share it. They say when you see one roach that there are hundreds more behind the walls. In the same way I operate daily believing that most people in the church view depression, it’s cause and cure as this man does. This is my attempt to answer their condemnations one-by-one. We’ll see how it goes. [click to continue…]

    The Difference Between Being Depressed and Having Depression

    Most people don’t realize that there is a difference between being depressed and having depression. I know this because when people find out that I have struggled with depression they often ask, “What were you depressed about?” or have suggest a simple remedy: “You should get out of the house more!”. I don’t blame the people. We only have one word for depression after all. Thankfully the dictionary reminds us that the same word can mean two different things:

    de•pres•sion

    : a state of feeling sad

    : a serious medical condition in which the person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.

    Most people don’t realize there are two definitions for depression. I hope this post helps to change that. Maybe this will become a place to which the depressed can refer friends and relatives who don’t seem to understand what depressed people are going through. [click to continue…]