Have you ever tried something new, that you either had interest in or your parents encouraged you to try? When I was a little girl, my parents encouraged me to play softball, partly because my sister was already playing and partly I suppose because they wanted me to participate in something that involved teamwork. Needless to say, I was a terrible softball player. I lacked the focus to pay attention to what was happening in the game, the coordination to catch and throw the ball, and the desire to improve. So I was put in the outfield, where very few 5 year olds could actually hit the ball, and I would sit in the grass, take off my glove, and play. I'd weave pieces of grass together, or make whistles, and completely ignore the rest of the team. In some ways, I think it was my subtle, or not so subtle way of telling my parents I didn't want to play softball.
Once again it is December and Christmas is almost here. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is always my favorite time of year. It isn’t Christmas day that I love, so much as the time of preparation before Christmas day. It is the baking and decorating. The shopping and Christmas carols that play over the radio and in the malls. There is a feeling of anticipation and expectation that is felt in the month or so before Christmas that is unlike any other time of year.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as the weather in the states grows cooler, your family might be making plans to go visit grandparents or relatives. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because not only do I get to eat as much pie as I want, it also provides an opportunity for me to thank God for all the blessings that he has given me. Surrounded by family, friends and great food, it is hard not to be thankful for God's blessings in our lives.
One day, when Jesus was with his disciples some people came to ask him if he was the one everyone had been waiting for, or if someone else was coming later. Rather than saying, “yes, I am” or “no, I'm not,” Jesus said, “The blind see, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Matthew 11:5) Why do you think he answered the way he did? Do you think he answered their question?
When was the last time you visited the library? It could be the public library or the library at school. When I lived in Memphis I used to go to the Library almost every week. I would take the children I babysat for story time, and they would walk up and down the aisles and aisles of books, randomly pulling picture books off the shelf, while I sorted out which ones we would check out and which ones we would leave on the cart to be re shelved.Think about the last book you checked out. Was it a novel or a picture book? Maybe you checked out a book because you had to write a report for school. Did you enjoy it? Was it useful?
When I was a girl, my family would pack up our red Toyota truck, and drive across the country to go camping for weeks at a time. It was always a lot of fun for my sisters and I as children, because we got to run and play outside, explore new places, and just be kids.At the end of the two or three weeks, though, we were ready to be sleeping in our own beds, watching TV, and having a refrigerator full of food ready to be eaten. Now imagine if you had to spend your whole life on one long camping trip? The children of Israel did just that for forty years.
I'm sure many of you have seen The Emperor's New Groove. In the movie, Kuzco is the emperor of the Incas and decides to use his power to take away the home of a poor man who takes care of llamas, so that he can have two homes. If you have seen the movie, what do you think Kuzco learns about friendship, family, and the value of others?
When I was a child, I remember sitting in church with my parents. Unlike some children, I was not allowed to have a coloring book or activity to occupy my time, and there was one very big rule: Be Quiet. Unfortunately, I was not naturally a quiet child. I think you all know what happens when a child doesn’t obey, so I think you can all guess what happened when I wasn’t quiet. That’s right, I was punished. So this month, this article is for all the children out there who wiggle, and whis- per, and can’t seem to sit still even though you know what will happen if you disobey.
Sunday was Easter, and you might have had a special dress to wear to Bible class, or your mom might have made you dress in a tie and dress shirt, even though you would rather be in jeans.
Sometimes it is hard to follow Jesus. Your mom may ask you to clean your room, and you choose not to obey, or you are unkind to another kid at school. Whenever we decide to do what we want to do, instead of what we know we should do, we don't follow where Jesus leads us. There are also times when we disobey, because we care more about doing what we want, than the consequences we will face later. We have been learning about how Jesus is our shepherd, and we are his sheep.