Title:
I Love to Tell the Story
Author:
Susan Barnett Braun
About the Author:

Susan Barnett Braun grew up in the small town of Seymour, Indiana. She earned a BA in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in elementary Education from the University of Alabama. She taught elementary school for eight years in northwest Indiana. She wrote grant proposals which won a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship.

After becoming a mom to three daughters, Susan found her calling in the home for several years. But as her children grew up, writing pulled Susan towards the keyboard again. She has had work published in Parents, Children's Ministry, The Secret Place, Evangel, and Standard. She also writes online as a Featured Arts & Entertainment writer for Yahoo/OMG.

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Like most people, I wanted to document my childhood memories for my kids. Why? When I was a teacher, before I had kids, I used to tell the kids stories from my youth. They loved them and begged for more. Same thing when I had my own kids. I wanted to document these tales, but the problem always came in finding the time and the motivation to actually get around to writing them down.

Since many of my most vivid memories revolved around church, I decided that that was the perfect theme. And I Love to Tell the Story was born. Each chapter is titled with a hymn that reflects its theme. As I delved into the writing, I had a lot of fun reliving the decidedly memorable life I had led as a youth :) . I realized, too, that many aspects of my conservative midwestern upbringing don’t exist anymore in the 21st century. I became nostalgic thinking about the many cultural markers of the 1970s — Lawrence Welk, the Flintstones, heck — even macrame and latch-hook!

Another incentive I had in writing this book was to put out a positive Christian memoir. So many that I read started out fine, but then dissolved into abuse, disillusionment, or even worse. I began to wonder if anyone had grown up in the church and actually enjoyed the experience … surely I wasn’t alone, was I?

Description:

Is it possible to emerge unscathed from an evangelical upbringing? Yes, as surely as David slew Goliath!

I Love to Tell the Story is Susan Barnett Braun’s account of growing up Baptist in a small midwestern town, touching on many cultural icons common to those who came of age in the 1970s. Braun recounts childhood obstacles, which loom as large as the walls of Jericho in her eyes. She encounters a trio of Sunday school mean girls who make King Herod look tame. She worries about being “ugly as sin” due to her chubbiness, glasses, and braces. She’s so consumed with the idea of Jesus’ imminent return that she wonders whether it’s even worthwhile to brush her teeth at night.

Humorous, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, I Love to Tell the Story will stay with readers long after the last Vacation Bible School craft stick cross has fallen apart.

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