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Keys For Kids Ministries is a children's ministry organization, offering Keys for Kids, Down Gilead Lane, and much more.

Keys For Kids Ministries

    • May 27, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 653 EPISODES

    Listeners of Keys For Kids Ministries that love the show mention: homeschooling, influence, god, night, every day, reading, start, love, stories, story, help, thanks, good, listening, great podcast, life, time, show, thank you keys for kids, uncle charlie.

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    Latest episodes from Keys For Kids Ministries

    A False Accusation

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:16; Colossians 3:9-10Jack and Ryan sat on the couch with their tablet, watching a video about how to get through a maze on their favorite app. Mom walked into the room behind them just in time to hear Ryan say, "Thanks for not telling Mom I was the one that broke the lamp in my room, Jack. Blaming it on Jodi was a good idea." "Whatever, no problem," Jack said as he shushed Ryan to be quiet. Mom walked around the couch and slowly took the tablet from the twins. "Mom!" they both exclaimed. "We're going to miss the maze trick!""I think you two are missing something way more important than that," Mom said. The two boys' eyes became as wide as saucers as they realized she'd heard what they said about breaking the lamp. "I was going to tell you…" "He made me promise not to tell!" they both said at the same time. "You both lied to me," said Mom. "When you're about to get in trouble, lying and blaming someone else can sometimes feel like it's the best and easiest solution. That's why God made an entire commandment about this one thing--He called it false testimony." Mom held up the tablet. "Do you believe the guy in the video you were watching?" she asked. "Yes," the boys said in unison. "What would happen if you tried his trick in your game and it didn't help you get through?" asked Mom."I wouldn't watch that channel anymore," said Jack. "And I'd get advice from someone else." "The same thing happens to us when we make false accusations," said Mom. "When we lie and say others did things they didn't do, we hurt people, and they stop trusting us. Those are not the kind of relationships Jesus wants us to create. He's working in our hearts so we can show others what He's like--and He's always truthful and trustworthy. He was even willing to sacrifice Himself so we could be saved. But when you lied, you were only thinking of yourselves, not your sister." Ryan looked at his brother. "Jack, we better go find Jodi and make this right." -Manda Van KalsbeekHow About You?Do you ever lie to get yourself out of trouble? Have you blamed someone else for something you did? Lying and blaming others can sometimes seem like the easiest solution, but it just makes things worse. It can destroy relationships and the trust others have in you. Don't make false accusations to get yourself out of trouble. Instead, remember that Jesus will help you be loving and trustworthy like He is and tell the truth. Today's Key Verse:Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (NIV) (Colossians 3:9-10)Today's Key Thought:Don't make false accusations

    Eddie's Raincoat

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:15; Matthew 5:38-42Eddie wanted to play in the rain, but his raincoat was too small. If only he had his big brother's cool camouflage raincoat. That would solve his problem.Eddie poked his head into Dylan's room. "Dylan? Can I wear your raincoat?" Dylan didn't answer. He was still asleep. What if Eddie took Dylan's raincoat as his own? Dylan needed a new one anyway. It wasn't stealing if Eddie asked first, right?"Can I have your raincoat?" Eddie asked. He took Dylan's snoring as a yes. He grabbed the raincoat and scurried out to the backyard. Eddie splashed in every mud puddle. He didn't hear the door open a few minutes later."That's my raincoat!"Eddie felt sick to his stomach. "You gave it to me!""No, you stole it!"Eddie stepped back and tripped. The raincoat made a ripping sound as Eddie fell down. Dylan ran inside. Before Eddie could stand, Dylan and Mom were at the door. "Eddie, please come here," Mom said. Eddie trudged over. The tear in the coat went all the way down the side. "Why did you steal Dylan's coat?"Eddie shook his head. "I didn't!""Yes, he did!" Dylan said.Mom shushed Dylan. "Eddie, you acted like it was yours. Isn't that stealing?" Eddie hung his head. "Do you know what Jesus says about stealing?" asked Mom."It's bad? I know one of the Ten Commandments says not to steal."Mom nodded. "Instead of stealing, Jesus tells us to give. He even says that if someone wants to take your shirt, you should give them your coat too. He gave His own life to save us, even though we didn't deserve it, and He tells us to give to others in the same way. Stealing is the opposite of what we're called to do as His followers."Eddie handed the raincoat back to Dylan. "I'm sorry I took this."Dylan shook his head. "You keep it. It's ripped now anyway."No one kept the camouflage raincoat. Eddie went back to his small coat, and Dylan got a new one. But after that morning, Eddie started giving things to Dylan, and Dylan started giving things to Eddie. One thing Eddie knew for sure was he wouldn't be stealing any more raincoats. He wanted to give like Jesus. -Becca WierwilleHow About You?Have you ever taken something that didn't belong to you? How did you feel about it afterward? Sometimes we think stealing something we really want will make us happy, but true joy doesn't come from things. Joy comes from Jesus, who gave His life for us and who teaches us to show others His kindness, generosity, and love.Today's Key Verse:If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. (NLT) (Ephesians 4:28)Today's Key Thought:Give, don't steal

    Family Loyalty

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022

    Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:22-28Caleb and Jake Parker were cousins who lived across the country from each other. When they got together, they had a lot of fun, but that didn't happen too often. This summer, however, Caleb was staying with Jake for an entire month while his mom had knee surgery."You boys are so much alike," Mr. Parker remarked as he drove them to Wacky Wednesdays, the summer kids' club at church. "You like the same things and you look enough alike to be brothers.""Except Caleb's a Pirates fan and I'm a Dodgers fan." Jake laughed. "He's dreading the game on Saturday even though we're sitting right behind home plate because he knows we're gonna win." Jake poked his cousin. "You could become a Dodgers fan just for the summer." Caleb looked horrified. "No way! I'm a Pirates fan forever and ever." The boys had been debating about their teams since the day Caleb arrived.Mr. Parker turned onto the highway. "Are you boys still learning about the Ten Commandments at Wacky Wednesdays?""Yeah," Jake said. "Today we'll be talking about the seventh commandment." "It has something to do with adults...ery or something like that," said Caleb. "I don't understand what that word means.""Adultery," Mr. Parker corrected. "That verse is talking to husbands and wives. God is telling them to be loyal to each other. Do you boys know what loyalty is?""Sort of," the boys both answered, but they didn't sound too sure.Mr. Parker smiled. "Actually, you guys just showed me loyalty--Caleb, you are loyal to the Pirates, and Jake, you are loyal to the Dodgers. No one could talk either one of you out of being loyal to your own team. And that's the way I feel about your mom, Jake. No one could talk me out of loving her. I am loyal to her. That's what that commandment is saying husbands and wives should do--be loyal to one another so their marriage will reflect the love and faithfulness Jesus shows all of us.""Thanks, Dad. You're a good explainer. Now I understand what loyalty is.""Right," said Caleb, "Go Pirates!""No," Jake said. "Go Dodgers!" -Linda WeddleHow About You?Who are you loyal to? Your soccer team? Your school? Your friends? The Lord tells husbands and wives to be loyal to each other. Jesus loves us and promises to always be faithful to us, and He tells husbands and wives to demonstrate that same kind of faithfulness in marriage. Even though you're young, you can trust Jesus to help you be faithful like Him throughout your life. Today's Key Verse:You shall not commit adultery. (NKJV) (Exodus 20:14)Today's Key Thought:Be loyal to your family

    A Hateful Heart

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-24Oscar was putting the finishing touches on the longest mini race car track ever built in his bedroom when his mom called down the hall. "Oscar! It's time to go visit your dad!" Oscar sighed and trudged into the kitchen. "Can't you go without me, Mom? You could drop me off at Milo's.""Oscar…" Mom sighed and set down her purse. "You never want to go visit your dad. Why is that?" Oscar felt tears coming to his eyes, and he wiped at them angrily. "I…I just…" Suddenly the words just burst out. "I hate him!"Mom looked a little startled, but her voice remained calm. "You hate him?""Yes, because he murdered someone!" Oscar was almost shouting. "He murdered someone and he deserves to be in prison and I hate going there and I hate him for doing this to us!"Mom let out a long breath. "I understand how hard this is for you, Oscar. It's hard for me too. If I didn't have Jesus helping me through this, I don't know what I'd do." She looked at Oscar. "Did you know Jesus talks about murder in the Bible?""I know one of the Ten Commandments forbids murder," Oscar said. "Yes, but did you know Jesus said hating another person was a form of murder?" Oscar felt his cheeks flush. "He did?" Mom nodded. "Every human life is precious to God. He created each person in His image, and He loves us all so much that Jesus died on the cross to save us. Jesus compared hate to murder because both go against Him, our Creator and Savior." "I guess that means I committed murder in my heart by hating Dad," Oscar said quietly. Mom put an arm around him. "We've all sinned against God, Oscar, but the good news is that Jesus forgives. Talk to Him about how you feel, and trust Him to replace your hate and bitterness with His love." Oscar nodded. "Mom? I changed my mind--I want to go visit Dad. I think he'd like to hear about the race car track I'm building." -Courtney LasaterHow About You?Are you harboring hatred in your heart? By comparing hate to murder in the Bible, Jesus makes it clear that hating someone is a very serious sin. He tells us to love one another because He created us and loves us so much He died to take the punishment for our wrongs. Confess your hateful feelings to Him, and trust Him to replace them with His life-giving love.Today's Key Verse:Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. (NLT) (1 John 3:15)Today's Key Thought:Don't hate others

    Why Can't I?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-4"But, Dad, why can't I?" asked Ella when her dad insisted she turn off a TV show she wanted to watch.Her brother Jonah looked up. "Yeah. I heard that's a good show.""I don't think it's a good thing for either of you to watch," said Dad. Ella collapsed on the couch. "It's not fair! All the rules we have just make my life completely unbearable!" She had a tendency to be a bit dramatic.As the kids and their dad ran some errands the next day, they drove past their church. "Look!" Jonah pointed to small trees that had just been added along the edge of the property. "Dad, why did they tie those little trees down like that?"Ella giggled. "Do they think they might try to run away?" "Remember when we visited Nana and Papa last summer and took a walk through the woods behind their house?" Dad asked."Sure. Jonah and I both beat you when we raced to that crooked tree near the stream!" said Ella."That's okay, Dad. Everybody gets a little slow in their old age," Jonah teased.Dad laughed. "Well, one of you mentioned that the tree was crooked and leaning over a lot.""I named it the Snake Tree," Jonah said."It was probably damaged in a storm years ago when it was about the size of those new trees at the church," Dad said. "The grounds keepers at church staked those young trees to hold them in place and help them grow straight and tall in spite of storms and winds." He grinned at the kids. "That's kind of like what parents do.""You mean…" Ella hesitated. "Like you giving us rules to follow and being careful about what we watch?" Dad nodded. "The Bible tells parents to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. It's my job to love you and help you grow in a way that reflects how Jesus loves you and helps you grow--and that means doing what I think is best for you and disciplining you when you do wrong. I want to help you grow strong in your faith in Him." Ella sighed. "I know. And even though I don't always like your rules, I'll obey them, because the Bible tells children to honor and obey their parents!" -Mike A. DizeHow About You?Do you appreciate your parents? You may not like their rules or enjoy being disciplined when you break them, but remember that God put them in your life because He loves you. Their job is to point you to Jesus and help you grow strong in Him. Thank God for them, and obey your heavenly Father's command to honor and obey your parents. Today's Key Verse:Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. (NKJV) (Colossians 3:20)Today's Key Thought:Honor and obey parents

    The Sabbath Day

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:8; Mark 2:27–3:6Charlotte's family had just finished Sunday dinner at Grandma's. "Charlotte, would you help me with the dishes, please?" asked Grandma, handing Charlotte a dish towel. "I'll wash, you dry! Now, what did you learn in Sunday school today?" "We've been learning about the Ten Commandments, and today was about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Some kids started arguing about what you should or shouldn't do on Sunday. Heather said her family doesn't do any work or chores around the house, but Jason said his dad takes Sunday to do odd jobs he hasn't had time to do during the week. I was a little confused about it all. What do you think, Grandma?"Grandma thought for a moment. "That can be a touchy subject for believers. In fact, people were disagreeing about the Sabbath in Jesus's day. One Sabbath day, Jesus and His disciples were picking some heads of grain because they were hungry. The Pharisees, who had set up strict rules about what you could and couldn't do on the Sabbath, accused Him of breaking the law because He was doing work by picking grain. Another time those same Pharisees were upset that Jesus healed a crippled man on the Sabbath.""You mean Jesus got in trouble?" Charlotte asked in surprise."With the Pharisees, yes! They were more focused on following rules than following Jesus." Grandma rinsed a soapy dish and handed it to Charlotte. "I think God intended the Sabbath to be a time of rest and refreshment from our daily work and routines," Grandma said. "It refreshes us to remember what Jesus did to save us and to worship Him with other Christians. But the Sabbath can look different for different people. Our family likes to spend time doing things together. Some people enjoy hobbies on Sunday, while others just like to take a nap!""Like Grandpa!" Charlotte laughed. "A couple of Sundays ago, Dad helped our neighbor fix his flat tire. Do you think that was okay?""That sounds like Jesus! The Bible tells us Jesus healed people on the Sabbath. He was more concerned about loving others than following the list of rules made by the religious leaders of the day. I think your dad showed Jesus's love to your neighbor and that was his way of keeping the Sabbath holy." -Kendra AngleHow About You?Does your family take a break from the normal routine of work and school on Sundays? Keeping the Sabbath day holy means taking time to honor Jesus by going to church, relaxing with your family, and even helping others. We can rest because we don't have to do anything to earn God's favor--Jesus earned it for us! God made the Sabbath day for our benefit, and each family has a different way of keeping it special. Today's Key Verse:Then [Jesus] said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (NIV) (Mark 2:27)Today's Key Thought:Honor Jesus on the Sabbath

    A Special Name

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:7; Philippians 2:5-11Peggy sat on the porch step as tears trickled down her cheeks. "What's the matter, honey?" Mom asked as she sat down beside her."The Holden brothers started calling me names again. I was just walking past their house on my way to Jamie's and they started saying, 'There goes Miss Piggy.' They always make fun of my name when they see me. I'm Miss Piggy or Piggy Peggy or Peg Leg the Pirate to them.""I know that must hurt a lot," said Mom. "You know your name is extra special because you were named after your grandmother Peggy. She was such a kind, godly woman, and every time I say your name, it reminds me of her. It's sad those boys want to make fun of such a beautiful name."Peggy sniffled. "Sometimes I wish I had a different name." "Our names are important to us," Mom agreed. "When people make fun of our name or use it in a rude way, it can make us feel angry and upset. God knows how you feel, Peggy.""He does?" said Peggy.Mom nodded. "People use His name in disrespectful ways all the time. When they use the name of God or Jesus in a flippant way when they're surprised or upset, they aren't showing the proper honor His name deserves.""What's flippant?" asked Peggy."Flippant means not showing a respectful attitude. One of the Ten Commandments says, 'You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.' And then in the New Testament, Paul reminds us that one day, everyone will bow at the name of Jesus because His name is above all other names.""I guess God does understand how I feel when the boys make fun of my name. I really don't want to change my name. I just want them to stop making fun of it.""I do too," said Mom. "I think I'd better give Mrs. Holden a call. But remember, your name is special no matter what people say, and you have another name that's even more special.""I do?" asked Peggy. "What name is that?" "Christian," said Mom. "It's a name that means you belong to Jesus and have His goodness and love in your heart. When you show His love to others--even when they're mean to you--you're honoring His name." -Kendra AngleHow About You?Have you heard God's name used in a way that was disrespectful? Maybe you've even used it that way yourself. The Bible is very clear that God and His name deserve our respect. After He died and rose again to save us, Jesus was given the highest place of honor, and one day every person on earth will bow at His name. Respect His name when you speak it and also in the way you live as a Christian. Today's Key Verse:Therefore God exalted him [Jesus] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. (NIV) (Philippians 2:9)Today's Key Thought:Honor God's name

    God's Image

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022

    Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26-27; Exodus 20:4"Grandma, what does 'graven image' mean?" Sapphire asked as she paged through her grandmother's Bible. "One of the Ten Commandments says not to make any graven images. I've read that verse before, but I don't think my Bible says it like that.""A graven image is a statue or other physical likeness that people make out of something like gold, silver, or stone to worship," said Grandma. "They were very common in the nations around Israel during Bible times, and many people in some parts of the world have them today." "So it's an idol," said Sapphire. "Yes, it often refers to the image of a false god that doesn't exist. But God was also forbidding the Israelites to make images of Him, because no human-made image could ever portray God as He truly is.""People don't do that in our time, do they?" asked Sapphire. "I haven't seen any images of God like that." "Well, maybe not physical images," said Grandma. "But it's possible to get a false image of God stuck in our heads.""Like what?" asked Sapphire. "Well, for example, it's possible to make an image of God in our minds that looks a lot like us. We often feel more comfortable with people who look, act, and think like us, and we might wrongly think God is more comfortable with people like us too. But God made people of every race, culture, and language in His image, and He loves them all the same." Grandma smiled at Sapphire. "In fact, that's one reason why God forbids graven images of Himself--because if we want to see what His image looks like, all we need to do is look around! Every single person on earth bears His image in their intellect, creativity, and free will, to name a few things. But there's one person who shows us God's image more than any other. Do you know who that is?"Sapphire grinned. "I'm guessing it's Jesus?" "Right!" said Grandma. "Jesus shows us exactly what God is like because He is God. In Him we see God's character and His great love for all people. We worship Jesus, who became one of us and is always with those who trust in Him. That's better than anything you can carve out of stone." -Courtney LasaterHow About You?Do you want to know what God is like? His image can't be captured in wood or stone because His greatness is beyond our imagining. His likeness can be seen in the people around you, because He created all people in His image. But to get a full picture of what God is like, look to Jesus, who is revealed to us in God's Word, the Bible. He is God in human form, and He is always with us.Today's Key Verse:For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. (NLT) (Colossians 2:9 )Today's Key Thought:Jesus shows us who God is

    Top Priority

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022

    Bible Reading: Exodus 20:3; Matthew 22:35-38"Hey, Mom, I'm going over to Robby's to shoot some hoops," called Vincent as he bounded down the porch steps."Hold on, young man," said Mom. "I have some questions for you.""Okay, but make it quick. The guys are waiting," Vincent said as he dribbled up and down the sidewalk. "For starters, could you please hold that ball still for just a minute?" asked Mom. "Have you finished the chore list I gave you this morning?" Vincent twirled the ball on his index finger. "Um, most of it.""Did you do your Bible reading today?" "Aww, Mom. Can't I just play ball with my friends for a while? I'll do that later.""I know you think you'll get to it later, but from what I've seen lately, all you think about is basketball. You're either playing it, reading about it, or watching it.""I think about other things," Vincent retorted. "You make it sound like I worship basketball.""That's an interesting way to word it," Mom said. "Worship can be defined as excessive admiration for someone or something. And basketball seems to be all you care about."Vincent stopped twirling the ball. "I guess that does sound bad." "Playing basketball isn't bad. In fact, I'm glad you've found a sport you really enjoy. However, when it becomes the top priority above everything else, that's not good. The Bible warns us about how easily we can make gods out of things we love instead of worshiping the one true God, who gives us those good things. The first of the Ten Commandments says, 'You shall have no other gods before me.' That means Jesus should be your top priority. He's the one who saved you from sin and gave you eternal life. Basketball may bring you temporary happiness, but only Jesus can give you joy that lasts forever." Vincent looked down at his basketball. He knew his mom was right. He had let basketball become more important than anything else. "I guess you're right," he said. "But it's hard. I want to follow Jesus, but I love playing basketball too."Mom smiled. "You can follow Jesus and love basketball, Vincent. You just need to keep your priorities straight. Enjoy basketball as a gift from Him--but not at the expense of everything else." -Kendra AngleHow About You?What's your top priority? It's easy to let sports, hobbies, or even friends become the most important thing in your life. Those are all things God gave us to enjoy, but none of them should become more important than Him. Jesus loves you, and He knows nothing can fulfill you apart from Him. Enjoy the gifts He's given you, but worship Him alone.Today's Key Verse:Seek first [God's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV) (Matthew 6:33 )Today's Key Thought:Put Jesus first

    The Safe

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022

    Bible Reading: Proverbs 2:1-8"Uncle Frank is Dad's uncle, right?" asked Ben as his mom unlocked the safe in Uncle Frank's house and took a stack of yellowed papers from it."That's right," said Mom. She set aside one paper. "This has information the hospital needs for Uncle Frank's records." She put the other papers back in the safe and locked it. Then they left and went to the hospital.While Mom took care of business in the hospital office, Ben went down the hall to Uncle Frank's room. "Hi, Uncle Frank," he said.The elderly man raised his head from the pillow. "Uhhh," he muttered, peering closely at Ben. "Oh," he said after a moment. "It's little Jimmy."Ben shook his head. "No, I'm Ben. Jim is my dad. He's grown up now." Uncle Frank looked puzzled and didn't say anything. Not knowing what else to do, Ben took the bulletin he'd gotten at church that morning from his pocket and held it out. "Um…would you like to look at our church bulletin?"Uncle Frank took the bulletin and held it close to his face. He began to read the verse printed at the top. "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High"--he put the paper down and closed his eyes--"will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." When Mom came into the room a little later, Uncle Frank had just finished reciting all of Psalm 91. "Uncle Frank didn't remember me. He thought I was Dad," Ben said on the way home. "But he recited a whole chapter of the Bible! How could he remember all that when he didn't even know me?""Old age often robs people of memory, but many elderly people can recall hymns and verses long after they forget almost everything else," said Mom. "When you memorize God's Word, you store it in your heart, and it's available when you need it.""Like Uncle Frank's papers were stored in the safe in his house?" asked Ben.Mom smiled. "Something like that, only better. A safe in a house can be broken into, but treasures hidden in your heart can never be stolen from you. They're always there to remind you that, no matter what happens to you, God's promises are true and Jesus is always with you." -Barbara J. WestbergHow About You?Are you storing treasure in your heart? You can store up great riches by memorizing God's Word. Think of each Bible verse you learn as a valuable treasure hidden in your heart. Even when you grow old, it will still be there to remind you of Jesus's love for you and give you comfort and encouragement. Learn today's Key Verse as a reminder of the importance of knowing God's Word.Today's Key Verse:I have hidden your word in my heart. (NIV) (Psalm 119:11 )Today's Key Thought:Memorize Bible verses

    Rubbed the Wrong Way

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022

    Bible Reading: Psalm 32:1-5A cat's loud meow came from the living room--again and again. "Ava," called Mom, "what are you doing to Luna?" Not waiting for an answer, she left her work in the office and went to investigate. "Why did Luna yowl like that?" she asked as she walked into the room."I was just petting her," said Ava. "When Luna turned around to face the other way, I didn't change the direction I was stroking her, so I was rubbing her fur opposite from the way it naturally lays." Ava grinned. "That made it all stand up. I thought it was funny, but Luna didn't like it!""I'm sure she didn't!" said Mom. "It must feel uncomfortable for a cat to have its fur rubbed the wrong way. Don't do that anymore."When Ava returned home from school the next day, she didn't look happy. "How was your day?" asked Mom.Ava avoided her mom's eyes. "Fine." "Really?" asked Mom. "It doesn't seem like it was fine." Ava looked at her mom, then burst into tears. "Oh, Mom! I cheated on a test. There were some really hard questions, and since I sit in the back corner, I was able to pull some of my notes out of my bag without anyone noticing. But now I feel awful!" Mom gave Ava a hug. "And do you know why you feel that way?" Ava sniffled. "Because I know it was wrong?" Mom nodded. "Remember how Luna hated having her fur rubbed the wrong way? When we sin, it's as if our fur is being rubbed the wrong way. That's because sin goes against who we are as Christians. Jesus freed us from sin, so it's the opposite of how we should be living our lives as God's children. That's why it makes you feel uncomfortable and guilty, and you don't feel right again until you confess your sin to Jesus. When you do, He will forgive you." "I guess I need to do that now," Ava said, wiping her eyes. She sighed. "I'll have to tell Mrs. Naveen I cheated too, won't I?" Mom nodded. "I'll call her tonight, and then you can talk to her tomorrow.""Okay." Ava smiled at her mom. "I feel better already." -Deborah S. MarettHow About You?Do you feel uncomfortable about something you've done? When you feel guilty because you know you've done wrong, think of it as having your fur rubbed the wrong way. Sin goes against who you are as God's child. But you don't need to continue feeling guilty and uncomfortable. Confess what you've done to Jesus, and He will forgive you.Today's Key Verse:People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (NLT) (Proverbs 28:13)Today's Key Thought:Confess sin

    Not Alone

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022

    Bible Reading: Matthew 18:1-3; Mark 10:13-16I wish Mom wouldn't leave me home alone when she goes out at night, thought Ivy as she huddled under the ragged sheet on her bed. She felt her stomach rumble. Her mother had told her to find herself something to eat, but there hadn't been much in the cupboard other than a few crackers and peanut butter. Ivy hugged Ruffles, her teddy bear, close. "I'm so glad I got you back," she whispered. Ruffles was very old and worn, and Ivy's mother had tossed him into the trash. Just in time, Ivy had seen him there and rescued him.Ivy sighed. I wish every day were Wednesday, she thought. That was when Mrs. Adams came to the community center after school and taught a children's Bible club. "I love to hear about Jesus. He cares about everybody, even little kids and sick people," Ivy murmured as she remembered the Bible story Mrs. Adams had told the week before."A man came to Jesus with a terrible disease--leprosy. It was a very contagious disease, and those who had it were covered with ugly sores, so lepers were sent to live alone outside the city," Mrs. Adams had explained. "No one wanted to come near them or touch them. But Jesus loved the sick man, and He reached out, touched the leper, and healed him. Jesus loves you that much too. He came to our broken world to save us and give us a new life with Him, and He promises to be with us in our troubles."Ivy looked at her teddy bear. Mom thought Ruffles was ugly because he's old and his stuffing is leaking out, so she threw him away, she thought. A tear slipped down her cheek. Sometimes I wonder if she thinks I'm ugly too. Sometimes she acts like she doesn't even want me. Ivy thought again of the story of the leper, and another one Mrs. Adams had told about Jesus inviting little children to come to him when others tried to shoo them away. "Thank You for loving me, Jesus," whispered Ivy. "Thank You for being with me all the time, even when I don't feel you there. I'm so glad I'm never really alone."Ivy's lips curved up in a smile as she hugged Ruffles closer to her, and soon she fell asleep. -Carolyn E. YostHow About You?Are there things in your life that make you sad? Do you feel alone--as though no one cares about you? Jesus cares. He left heaven and came to earth to rescue you. He understands everything you're going through, and He promises to stay with you no matter what. You don't ever need to be alone. Trust Him as your Savior today. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.) Then tell a trusted adult how you feel so they can help.Today's Key Verse:[Jesus said], "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children." (NLT) (Mark 10:14)Today's Key Thought:Jesus loves you

    The Winning Team

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2022

    Bible Reading: Psalm 37:1-2, 7-9; 1 Corinthians 15:56-58"They'll never win! Look at the score," moaned Marco. He was spending the evening with his grandfather, who had suggested they watch a basketball game on TV. Marco loved basketball and couldn't sit still as his favorite team ran up and down the court. He jumped in delight when they scored but collapsed on the sofa when they missed a shot at the basket."They're doing awful," Marco said in disgust when his team dropped several points behind. "We should be cheering for the other team." Marco stood up. "Maybe I'll go play with Sparky for a while." "Is that how you support your team?" Grandpa teased. "Come back and cheer them on.""It's not like they can hear me," muttered Marco, but he trudged back to his seat.A little later, a commercial came on. Grandpa hit a button on the remote, and the commercial zipped rapidly by."Hey!" Marco pointed at the screen. "Is this game recorded?" Grandpa grinned and nodded. "So you already know how it's going to end!" said Marco."I like it that way," said Grandpa. "There's less pressure with no surprise endings." He smiled and pointed to his Bible on the table. "That's one reason I'm so glad to have the Bible. It tells how the biggest match of all will end.""Grandpa! There's no story of a basketball game in the Bible," said Marco."No," said Grandpa. "The match I'm talking about is much bigger than a basketball game. The Bible tells us about a battle being fought to win the world! Satan wants the hearts and minds of everyone, and sometimes it seems like he might be winning. Then the pressure for us to give up and desert our team--God's team--can be pretty great, especially when it seems like everyone is against us.""But we already know how the battle will end, don't we?" said Marco.Grandpa nodded. "We know Jesus is going to win that battle, because He already defeated Satan when He died on the cross and rose again to save us. When it's over, those who belong to Jesus will celebrate the victory with Him. That's one victory celebration you don't want to miss." -Heather TekavecHow About You?Does it ever seem like the whole world is against you because you're a Christian? Do you wonder whether it's really worth the effort to follow Jesus? If you know Jesus as your Savior, be confident that you're on the winning team. Be faithful as you trust and obey Him, even when it's not easy. He's already defeated Satan, and when the final battle is won, you'll enjoy the rewards of His victory.Today's Key Verse:Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 15:57)Today's Key Thought:Jesus will be the final victor over Satan

    A Special Diet

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2022

    Bible Reading: Romans 14:1-7, 22-23"Mom, how come Christians have such different ideas about right and wrong?" asked Avery one day. "You and Dad won't let us watch some movies that Stella's parents think are okay. And Naomi says her family avoids doing certain things on Sunday that we do almost every Sunday. Why can't Christians agree on what's right and what's wrong?""There isn't a simple answer to that, but…" Mom hesitated. "We're having Uncle Paul and Aunt Sue over for dinner tonight, right? And we'll all eat quite differently. Aunt Sue has diabetes and avoids starchy foods. Uncle Paul is on a diet to lower his cholesterol.""And Daddy wants to lose weight." Avery giggled. "I guess he'll eat a big salad and not too much of the other stuff."Avery's brother Cole spoke up. "Yeah, but what does that have to do with it?""Well, people have different physical conditions, so they have different dietary needs," said Mom. "And because Christians have different backgrounds and levels of maturity, they have different spiritual needs.""You mean, what's right for one person may not be right for another?" Cole asked."Possibly," said Mom. "God may convict one believer about a certain activity because it would cause him--or those around him--to stumble in the Christian walk. Or someone may have a tender conscience about something because she had a bad experience related to it, or because of the way she was brought up. Then it would be wrong for her to take part in that activity, though it might not be harmful for someone else.""So, each person can decide what they can and can't do?" Avery asked."Well, many things are spelled out so clearly in the Bible that there's no room to argue about them. As to things not specifically mentioned, we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to show us the best choice for us. We also need to be understanding of Christians who have different convictions than we do. They're our brothers and sisters in Christ who are loved and accepted by God just like we are--even though none of us is perfect.""Okay." Avery grinned. "One thing I know the Bible is clear about is for kids to obey their parents. So for now, I'll just ask you what I can do." -Sherry L. KuytHow About You?Do you trust God to help you decide what things you should or should not do? Many issues are not specifically spelled out in the Bible, so don't be critical of the way others handle them. On the other hand, don't do something you have doubts about, even if other Christians are doing it. Be willing to accept your parents' guidance as you form your own convictions.Today's Key Verse:Everyone should be sure about their beliefs in their own mind. (ERV) (Romans 14:5)Today's Key Thought:Develop convictions

    The Race of Life (Part 2)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022

    Bible Reading: Philippians 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 4:6-8Panting, Asher crossed the finish line in the big race at school. "Good job!" exclaimed Grandpa, who had come to watch. "Second place--that's great!"Asher grinned. "I wanted to take first," he said breathlessly, "but I knew George would probably beat me. Second's okay too." Several weeks later, when Asher got home from school, his mom told him Grandpa had been taken to the hospital. "We'll go see him after dinner," Mom said, "but you need to know that he's very, very ill."Mom was right. Grandpa was very weak, and as the days passed, he didn't seem to improve. Asher knew his parents were concerned about it.Asher was solemn as he entered his grandfather's hospital room one afternoon. "Hi, Asher," Grandpa said weakly. "Good to see you!""I'm glad to see you too." Asher gave Grandpa a shaky smile. "I miss you, Gramps! I wish you could come home.""I miss you too," said Grandpa. He took Asher's hand. "I think I'll be going home soon, Asher," Grandpa added softly. "Home to be with Jesus. I'm eager to see Him."Asher gasped. "Grandpa! You don't mean you're gonna die, do you?""That sounds awful to you, doesn't it? But remember that I'll be with Jesus.""But…but…" Asher stuttered.Grandpa smiled. "Asher, how did you feel when you were almost to the finish line in your race a couple months ago? Not there, but almost there."Asher couldn't help grinning as he remembered the race. "Pretty bad. My legs were sore, my chest hurt, I was hot and sweaty, and I wanted a drink." Then as he thought about it, he added, "But in a way, I felt great. I knew the race was almost over, and I knew I'd done my best.""That's exactly how I feel," said Grandpa gently. "Jesus saved me and helped me run a good life race for Him. Now my body is tired and sore, but I'm happy because I can see the finish line up ahead. I look forward to finally seeing Him and all the wonderful things He has prepared for me. Don't feel bad for me, Asher. It's almost time for me to get my prize!""Okay," Asher whispered tearfully. "I know it's going to be a really good one!" -Sherry L. KuytHow About You?Do you ever think about growing old and dying? Or perhaps you're concerned you might die at a young age. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you don't need to be afraid. Death for a Christian means crossing the finish line and seeing Jesus waiting for you with open arms. So trust Him to help you run a good race for Him, and look forward to the day when you see Him face-to-face.Today's Key Verse:To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (NKJV) (Philippians 1:21)Today's Key Thought:For Christians, death means seeing Jesus

    The Race of Life (Part 1)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022

    Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Hebrews 12:1-2"Gramps!" Asher called as he burst into his grandpa's house. "Next month we're going to have a big race at our school, and I'm going to be in it. I can't wait! There will be prizes and everything."Grandpa chuckled. "You'd better slow down, or you'll be worn out before the race starts," he teased. "If you're serious about running, it would be a good idea to cut down on junk foods. I ran a few races in my college days, and I remember the coach emphasizing the importance of a good diet."Asher groaned. "My gym teacher said the same thing, but I love candy and ice cream and potato chips! In fact, I love all the things they say are bad for you. How am I gonna live one whole month without all that good stuff?""Well, you can eat it if you want to. It's up to you," said Grandpa. "Of course, if you're really serious about winning, you'll probably want to cut out anything that would keep you from reaching your goal."Asher thought for a moment. "I do want to win, and I'll do everything I can to come in first--even give up candy and stuff like that. The prize will be worth it."Grandpa nodded. "You know, Asher, the Bible compares our Christian lives to a race. Our goal is to run a good race before we cross the finish line and see Jesus face-to-face. To do well in the race of life, we may need to give up some things too.""Like what?" asked Asher."Well, we might be holding on to sinful habits that are slowing us down--things like lying, gossiping, or a bad temper. Or maybe we're too focused on our own comfort and enjoyment, and we need to pick up the pace and find more ways to show the love of Jesus to those around us."Asher sighed. "That sounds even harder than giving up junk food for the race at school!""Maybe, but don't forget that you're not running the race of life alone," said Grandpa. "Jesus is right by your side, and He will help you run a good race. Nothing we give up in this world can compete with the prize He won for us--eternal life with Him." -Sherry L. KuytHow About You?Are you running your best race in life? Or are you holding on to things that slow you down? Don't let anything get in the way of your goal to run a good race. Let Jesus help you keep your eyes on the prize as you trust and follow Him each day. He saved you so you could have eternal life with Him. Nothing you give up can compare with the reward of seeing Him at the finish line. Today's Key Verse:Let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us. (CSB) (Hebrews 12:1)Today's Key Thought:Run a good race in life

    Just Like Clockwork

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022

    Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:14-22Kaya walked into the living room and slumped onto the couch. Grandpa looked up from his work on the grandfather clock and laid aside a tool. "What's wrong?" he asked.Kaya picked at the fuzz on her jacket. "Oh, nothing. It's just that when the Millers came to church last Sunday, they were talking about all the amazing things they've seen God do in Brazil. After the service, I went up to them and explained that I wanted to help them with their missions work.""That's great, Kaya!" Grandpa said. "What's wrong with that?""Well, I thought that maybe I could join them out in the jungle for the summer, but instead they said they needed help with their mailing. I just spent the last hour stuffing envelopes with letter updates for the Millers' ministry partners. I wish I could do something actually useful for missions work!"Grandpa furrowed his brow. "Come here," he said. Kaya joined him. "Do you see this gear?" Grandpa handed Kaya a small gear about the size of the dime.Kaya cradled it in her palm. "It's so small!"Grandpa gently opened a panel in the back of the clock. "Oh, wow!" Kaya exclaimed. Inside the grandfather clock was a labyrinth of gears, springs, wheels, and hooks."It may not look like much," Grandpa said, "but this gear is essential to the working of the clock. When the clock didn't chime this afternoon, I opened it up and noticed this gear was out of place. I was just about to fix it when you walked in." Grandpa carefully put the gear back in the clock and shut the panel. Moving around to the front, he pushed the minute hand past the twelve, and the clock chimed. "The body of Christ is the same way. Each person who trusts in Jesus is part of His church, and we work together to help more people know about His love for them and what He did to save them. Even things that may look insignificant on the surface are an integral part of how Jesus uses us to reach others.""So even though I may not think stuffing envelopes is that exciting, I'm still serving Jesus?" asked Kaya."Exactly!" Grandpa grinned. "Even the small parts make a big difference." -Olivia SummersHow About You?Do you feel like your service is unimportant? Do you wish you could be making more of a difference? Whether you're volunteering in the nursery, washing church dishes, or raising money for missionaries, God views your work as important. Sometimes the most unnoticed things are the most foundational. Be faithful with the service opportunities Jesus has given you, knowing you are helping His body of believers share His love with the world.Today's Key Verse:Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are actually very important. (ERV) (1 Corinthians 12:22)Today's Key Thought:Your service is important

    Talking Tongues

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022

    Bible Reading: Proverbs 15:1-4; James 3:3-6"Mom, guess what! Karl's got strep throat!" Nico had just recovered from strep throat, and now others were coming down with it. Nico found his mom on the phone in the living room. "Was that Mrs. Burk?" He asked when Mom hung up. "Sounds like they're going to move to Texas.""Oops! I didn't hear you come in," said Mom. "Don't tell anyone they're moving. Mr. Burk's boss is on vacation, so he hasn't had a chance to tell her yet."Nico didn't tell anyone about the Burks--not until Sunday morning, that is. Then it just sort of slipped out when he told his friend Haru they'd soon have a new Sunday school teacher. "But don't tell anyone," added Nico quickly. And Haru didn't--at least not for a few hours. Then he told his sister Ari, who told her best friend Karen. Not knowing it was a secret, Karen passed the news on to her parents, who mentioned it at a committee meeting.By the end of the week, several more children in Nico's class had strep throat--and several more people knew the Burks were moving. "Nico," said Mom, "I didn't tell anyone the Burks were moving. Did you?""Well…just Haru. But I told him not to tell," said Nico."Mrs. Burk says the news is all over town. They're afraid Mr. Burk's boss may hear it before he's able to tell her," said Mom. "News spreads fast.""Like strep throat?" asked Nico."Something like that," said Mom. "Once you exposed your friends to strep throat, there was nothing you could do to stop it. And when you tell a secret to even one person, the story is almost sure to spread. That's why we need to control our tongues. Even if we're not saying anything bad about someone, sharing secrets they don't want others to know can hurt them, and it shows that we can't be trusted to keep confidences. Does that sound like Jesus to you?" Nico shook his head, and Mom continued. "Jesus is trustworthy, so we need to depend on Him to help us be trustworthy too."Nico sighed. "I'm sorry. Next time I learn something I'm not supposed to tell, I'll pretend it's a contagious disease--like strep throat--and be careful not to expose anybody else." -Linda WeddleHow About You?Do you keep secrets? Or do you think it won't hurt if you tell just one person? Occasionally, you may be told something parents or a trusted adult need to know--like if someone is being abused or is engaged in harmful behavior, for example. Then be sure you do tell. But generally, when you're taken into someone's confidence, don't talk about it to anyone else. Show others that you are trustworthy like Jesus. Today's Key Verse:A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. (NLT) (Proverbs 11:13)Today's Key Thought:Keep confidences

    Immediate Help

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022

    Bible Reading: Acts 17:24, 27-28Feeling a little nervous about babysitting at the home of a family friend, Anna rang the doorbell. Mrs. King greeted her with a smile. "All ready to work?" she asked. Anna nodded. "Good." Mrs. King brought her inside and pointed to a list of emergency numbers on a table by the door. "If you need anything, help is only a call away." After Mrs. King left, Anna played several games with the two kids in her care. "Your mom said you could have toast and jelly for an afternoon snack," Anna told them after a while. "Why don't you pick out another game while I get it for you." She went to the kitchen, fixed toast for each of the kids, and took it back to the family room. As they began to eat, they were all startled by the loud buzzing of the smoke alarm. Oh, what do I do now? Anna thought in a panic. She jumped up. Lord, please show me what to do. Right away she knew she needed to get the kids out of the house.As they hurried to the door, Anna noticed the list of emergency numbers and grabbed it. Once they were safely on the far side of the yard, she took out her cell phone and dialed the number for the fire department.With the siren blaring, a fire truck soon rounded the corner. Neighbors came to watch as firefighters hurried into the Kings' house and then came back out, smiling. "Everything's fine," they said. "Smoke from a piece of bread caught in the toaster tripped the smoke alarm." Anna was relieved, but she was also embarrassed because she had called the fire department over burned toast. "You did exactly the right thing," the firefighters told Anna. "Never take a chance when there could be a fire."When Anna got home, she told her family about the excitement. "You know what?" she said. "After I called the fire department, it still took a little time for the firefighters to get there. But when I asked God to show me what to do, right away He helped me remember that it's important to get out fast if there's a fire." She grinned. "Mrs. King told me help was only a call away, and she was right. I can call on the Lord for help anytime." -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Isn't it amazing that the Almighty God who made all things is right there, ready to help you at all times? He wants you to call on Him when you're concerned about the best way to handle all kinds of situations. Talk to Him about anything that troubles you. He's always ready to listen. He hears every prayer and will help you in every situation.Today's Key Verse:He [God] is not far from each one of us. (Acts 17:27)Today's Key Thought:God is always available

    Mother's Voice

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2022

    Bible Reading: Proverbs 6:20-22As Aurora and her mom walked along a nearby lake one chilly spring day, a wispy mist rose up from the water. "Look, Mom. That lady is feeding the ducks." Aurora motioned toward a woman seated on a bench. "Let's go watch them.""Okay," said Mom, so they walked toward the woman. A mob of ducks milled around her, frantically pushing and shoving to get the corn she offered them."There's one with babies!" Aurora laughed as she pointed to a mother duck with several little ones. "They're so cute and tiny."Mom nodded. "Yes, and notice how close they stick to their mother.""How do they know which one she is?" asked Aurora. "Ducks all look alike."Hearing her, the woman on the bench turned. "To you they do, but not to them. And ducklings know their mother's voice."Aurora noticed two ducklings at the edge of the group, tripping along and peeping at the top of their little voices. "Oh, poor things! They must not have a mother."The woman pointed to the duck family. "They belong with the others. They got separated from the brood a minute ago."Quacking loudly, the mother duck headed for the water. The five ducklings with her followed. The two other ducklings hesitated, then hurried toward the water too. They fell in line with the others as the mother duck led them far out into the lake."Wow! They really do know her voice," said Aurora. "And they do what she tells them, don't they?"The woman nodded. "Kids should listen to their mothers' voices as well as ducklings do," she said with a grin.Mom chuckled. "I agree," she said as she and Aurora turned to leave."I agree too," Aurora said as they walked along. She laughed when Mom looked at her in surprise. "Okay, I admit I don't always act like it, but I know mothers really do want what's best for their kids." "I'm glad you know that," Mom said. "I know I'm not perfect, but I pray every day that Jesus would help me teach you to follow Him. He made me your mother so I can help you hear His voice."Aurora reached out and squeezed her mom's arm. "I'm so thankful He did." -Marya DeckerHow About You?Do you listen to your mother? Do you follow her advice? Even baby animals--like ducklings--listen to their mothers. How about you? Do you hear and obey your mother or other caretaker God provided for you? God puts mothers in children's lives so they can demonstrate the kind of love Jesus has for us. Mother's Day is a good time to thank Him for those who love and care for you.Today's Key Verse:Do not turn away from your mother's teaching. (Proverbs 1:8)Today's Key Thought:Thank God for mothers

    By Myself, Daddy

    Play Episode Listen Later May 7, 2022

    Bible Reading: Colossians 1:9-14Silas watched as his little brother struggled to tie his shoes. When Silas tried to help him, Daniel scowled and pulled away. Silas sighed and waited patiently for the little boy to give up. Finally, Daniel allowed Silas to help him, and the two of them headed for the park. "Dad, Daniel never wants me to help him tie his shoes," Silas said that evening, "but he can't do it alone. How long will it be till he can tie them by himself?"Dad smiled. "It won't be long. He just needs a little more time. I remember when you were learning new things. You were a lot like Daniel. You would hardly ever let me help you. If I tried, you'd get angry and say, 'No! By myself, Daddy!' And you'd push at my hands.""I would?" Silas grinned. "You're sure you're not mixing me up with somebody else?"Dad laughed. "It was you all right. You were very independent. Maybe I should thank you for that, because you taught me something.""Really?" Silas was surprised. "What did I teach you?""As I watched you, I saw myself. I was a new Christian at that time, and I was trying to live the Christian life all by myself. I hardly ever read my Bible or spent time in prayer. I didn't even go to church very often. I wasn't seeking help from God or from my Christian brothers and sisters. As a result, I was struggling with my temper and other bad habits.""But you knew you were doing bad stuff?" asked Silas. Dad nodded. "And I struggled because of it. Then as I watched you resist my help, I suddenly realized I was resisting the Lord's help. In my spiritual life, I was saying, 'I don't need any help.' It's a lesson I'll never forget." Dad smiled at Silas. "God is patient with us, so be patient with Daniel, but don't be like him. Accept the help God offers through His Word and through Christian brothers and sisters. And remember that you have God's Holy Spirit inside you who helps you turn away from sin and is shaping you to be more like Jesus.""Okay," said Silas. "I'll remember that whenever Daniel doesn't let me tie his shoes!" -Deborah S. MarettHow About You?Are you finding it hard to live the Christian life? Are you struggling with fears? Laziness? A bad temper? Pride? No matter how capable you feel, you can't live the Christian life alone. Study God's Word. Meet regularly with other Christians. Take time to pray. Trust God to help you be the honest, kind, loving person He's made you to be. Today's Key Verse:All glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. (Jude 1:24)Today's Key Thought:Accept God's help

    Moppet's Choice

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022

    Bible Reading: 1 John 4:7-11, 20-21"Can you think of anyone who needs a friend?" Abby's Sunday school teacher asked the class. "During His time on earth, Jesus sought out those who were rejected or ignored by others so they would know they were loved by God. When we reach out to those who are lonely, we're showing them the love of Jesus, who sacrificed His life so we could have a place in His family. Who can you show God's love to this week who might be feeling lonely?" Abby tried to think of someone, but there wasn't anyone at her school who seemed lonely. Her class was small, and the kids all knew each other well. When Abby got home, her dog, Moppet, met her at the door. "Hi, Moppet," Abby crooned. As she sat down to pet the little dog, Abby's brother Topher walked through the kitchen. Moppet promptly jumped up and followed him.Frowning, Abby glared after them. "Why does Moppet always prefer to be with my brother?" she muttered under her breath. Sighing, Abby got up and went to her room.Later that day, Abby noticed that her brother didn't seem very interested in the TV show he was watching. I wonder if Topher is lonely, she thought with a start. We've only lived here a little while, and he doesn't seem to have many friends yet. Abby remembered how she felt when Moppet often chose to follow Topher instead of her. Is that how Topher feels? she wondered. Sad and lonely because everyone else in our family feels at home and has made friends except for him? Abby thought again of her teacher's words. I couldn't think of any lonely people this morning, but I didn't even consider my own brother. She sighed. Maybe that's why Moppet chooses to follow Topher around--because he knows Topher needs a friend.Abby went to the kitchen and got two glasses of milk and some cookies. She put them on a tray and took them to the living room. Topher looked up in surprise when Abby offered him cookies and milk. "What's that for?" he asked. Abby shrugged. "I just thought we could have a snack and hang out."Topher smiled. "Okay," he said, and they sat down to watch his show together. -Linda WeddleHow About You?Do you know someone who's lonely and could use a friend? It might be someone at your church, your school…or even in your own family! Ask God to show you someone who needs a friend. Then reach out to them and let them know you care. Through your kindness and friendship, you can let them know that Jesus loves them and has a place for them in His family.Today's Key Verse:He who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:21 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Be a friend to others

    The Demonstration

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022

    Bible Reading: Philippians 1:9-11"Guess what?" Grace bounded into the kitchen, followed by her friend Ava. "Ava and I volunteered to give a demonstration at the next youth club meeting.""That's great," said Mom. "What will you demonstrate?"Both girls looked at her with a blank stare, and then burst into peals of laughter. "We didn't even think about that," said Ava. "It just sounded like fun to get up and give a demonstration!" All was quiet for a moment. Then Ava snapped her fingers. "I know. Let's give a demonstration on flower arranging. My mom has a book that shows how to do it. I'm sure she'll let us use it.""Good idea," said Grace, so the girls went to Ava's house and spent the afternoon studying pictures and instructions and practicing arranging flowers.Finally, they returned to Grace's house to show her mom a bouquet they had made. "This is the kind of arrangement we plan to demonstrate," said Ava."Beautiful!" Mom exclaimed. "That's really lovely.""We have three weeks to practice and get our speech ready," said Grace. She held up the bouquet. "We want to give this to Ava's aunt. She just had surgery and can't even get out of bed. Can I go visit her with Ava tomorrow morning?""Sure," said Mom, and the next morning the girls took the flowers to the hospital and spent an hour talking with Ava's aunt."How did your demonstration go?" Mom asked when Grace returned home."We won't be doing that for a few weeks yet," Grace said, surprised her mother had forgotten. "Today we just took the flowers to Ava's aunt."Mom smiled. "I know you did, and that's the demonstration I'm talking about. You girls demonstrated something far more important than flower arranging.""We did?" said Grace."A lot of people talk about God's love, but you and Ava demonstrated it by your thoughtfulness," Mom explained, giving Grace a hug. "The flowers you arranged are beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as the love you showed by giving them to Ava's aunt and spending time with her. Your actions demonstrate that Jesus is working in your life to help you love and care for others the way He does."Grace's face slowly broke into a huge smile. -Barbara J. WestbergHow About You?Do your actions show God's love to others? Are you friendly and kind to other kids? Do you help out whenever you can? Do you put others ahead of your own plans and wishes? We need to tell others about Jesus and His love for us, but we also need to show it through our actions. So let others see Jesus in you. Demonstrate God's love to someone today.Today's Key Verse:Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:18 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Demonstrate God's love

    god jesus christ mom devotional demonstrations cbh keys for kids keys for kids ministries childrens bible hour
    Rascal's Song

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022

    Bible Reading: Psalm 68:3-4, 32-35What pet should I get? Eli wondered. His parents had agreed that he could have either a bird or a guinea pig if he would care for it properly. He thought about getting a bird. It would be cool to have a pet that sings, but he could hold a guinea pig and play with it. It was a hard decision, but Eli finally decided on a guinea pig and named it Rascal.Each day, Eli checked Rascal's food and water and spent time petting him. "I'm glad I got Rascal! He's fun to play with," Eli told his parents. "Now if he could just learn to sing, we'd be all set."One morning, Eli rushed into the kitchen. "Mom! Come to my room! There's something you've got to see!" Mom hurried with Eli to his room. "Listen!" said Eli as Rascal began to make whistling sounds. "He's singing! I thought about getting a bird because it would sing, and now Rascal is singing! Do you think all guinea pigs sing like that?""I read online that they often make squealing and whistling sounds when they're happy," said Mom."I guess Rascal must be happy then!" Eli said.Mom nodded. "He sounds happy to me, and I noticed he began whistling when you stepped into the room. He seems to recognize you. Perhaps he's singing to express affection in his own way and to thank you for taking such good care of him."Eli grinned at that thought. "That would be cool.""Doesn't it make you feel good to know you're taking care of all his needs?" asked Mom. "And that he's happy and content and showing his gratitude?" Eli nodded. "You know," Mom continued, "God is pleased when we sing praises to Him. Many of the psalms David wrote are songs of praise. They're in the Bible to remind us to praise and thank God for all He's done for us. Through Jesus, He's rescued us from sin and given us eternal life, and He provides us with everything we need. That's a lot to be thankful for!"Eli smiled and nodded. "I guess we should be like Rascal and sing praises to thank God for the way He cares for us." -Ronda L. SherrillHow About You?Do you appreciate all the care God gives you? Do you thank Him for the many blessings He has provided--food, clothes, toys, family, friends, protection? Do you thank Him for forgiveness, new life in Jesus, and a future in heaven with Him? Try doing what our Key Verse suggests--sing a joyful song to God! He loves you and likes to hear you sing His praises.Today's Key Verse:Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. (Psalm 59:16 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Sing praises to God

    The Lighthouse

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022

    Bible Reading: Matthew 5:14-16; John 8:12Up…up…up…Aiden and his classmates were getting tired as they followed the lighthouse caretaker. Way up in the top room, the caretaker pointed to the powerful lamp. "This runs on electricity," she said, indicating the heavy cables that went into the lamp. "Its light can be seen for many miles." Walking over to a counter, she pointed to an old lamp on display there. "This is the one that was used before they had electricity here. It ran on kerosene. Back in those days, the caretaker's most important job was to make sure the lamp didn't run out of fuel.""But that lamp is so much smaller than the one used now," observed one of the kids. "It couldn't shine very far over the ocean, could it?""Actually, it could." The caretaker picked up two odd-shaped pieces of glass from the counter. "These are prisms. They're cut in a special way to bend the rays of light that hit them and reflect them back--not once, but several times. By using prisms, the beam of light from the lamp can be magnified up to a thousand times. Even with the smaller lamp, a sailor far out at sea could see the beam of reflected light."That night, Aiden told his dad some of the things he learned on the visit to the lighthouse. "Years ago they used a much smaller lamp than the electric one they have now," he said. "They used prisms to reflect the beam of light, and it could be seen by sailors miles out at sea.""That's interesting," said Dad. "And do you know what that reminds me of?" Aiden chuckled. "Probably something to do with the Bible. Maybe that Jesus is called the light of the world?"Dad grinned at him. "That too, but I was actually thinking of the prisms. If Jesus is the light of the world, who are those prisms?""Umm…I know. Christians!" Aiden said. "We shine with Jesus's light.""Right," said Dad. "When we treat others with the kindness and love Jesus has shown us, we reflect His light for the rest of the world to see. Each of those prisms was important, and each one of us is too.""Yep." Aiden grinned. "It's our job to reflect God's light to everyone." -Linda WeddleHow About You?Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If so, you have His light shining within you. How can you reflect that light to those around you? Are you telling others about Him? Are you using the talents He gave you to glorify Him? Are you treating others in a kind and loving way? Trust Him to help you shine out so others can see the light of His love.Today's Key Verse:You shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:15 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Let your life reflect Jesus

    No Stains

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022

    Bible Reading: Colossians 1:12-14; 1 Peter 1:18-21"New and improved," read Evie's mom as she picked up a bottle of spot remover at the store. She grinned at Evie. "I saw this advertised on TV the other day. It's supposed to work wonders. According to the satisfied customer in the commercial, it removes the most difficult stains.""Oh, could we try it on my blue shirt? Please?" asked Evie. "It's got that spot that won't come out. I try to hide it with my arm, but I can't always keep my arm in the right place to cover the spot. Maybe this stuff would take it out.""Well, it's not cheap," said Mom. "But okay, I guess we can try it. Don't get your hopes up too much, though. Just because you hear something on TV doesn't mean it's true."They took the spot remover home, and after carefully following the directions on the bottle, Evie washed the shirt. She was disappointed with the results. "I guess the money spent on that expensive stuff was wasted." She shook her head. "I can't believe it! They can launch rockets into space, but they can't find a way to get this little spot out of my shirt."Mom laughed. "Nope. Their best efforts have failed." She looked thoughtfully at the shirt. "You know, there's another area where everyone's best efforts fail.""Where's that, Mom?" asked Evie."Everybody is born a sinner and does things that are wrong--it's as though the stain of sin is on each person's life," Mom explained. "People often try to hide it by being good. Sometimes they manage to keep other people from seeing it, but it's still there! There's nothing a person can do to remove the stain of sin.""Nope," said Evie, "but I know you're going to point out there is something that can wash sin away. It's the blood of Jesus.""You're right," said Mom. "God offers salvation freely to all who admit their need for Jesus and trust Him as their Savior. He alone can wash away our sin and make us clean."Evie nodded. "And we don't have to pay a thing for our salvation. Jesus paid it all when He died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve." -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Did you know you were born a sinner? Every person sins against God by doing things that are wrong. Do you try to cover up your sin or get rid of it through your own efforts? You'll never be able to do that. Sin can only be washed away by the blood of Jesus. If you've been trying to hide your sin with good behavior, admit your failure today. Trust in Jesus, and He will make you clean. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)Today's Key Verse:Jesus Christ…loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. (Revelation 1:5 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Jesus's blood washes away sin

    Bitterness Bubbling Over

    Play Episode Listen Later May 1, 2022

    Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:26-32Jake stomped into the kitchen. Slamming his backpack on the ground, he grumbled, "I have the worst science teacher ever!"Mom dried her hands on a towel and turned to face him. "Calm down, Jake. What's wrong with your science teacher? When I met Mr. Harnetty at the parent-teacher conference, he seemed very nice. But he mentioned you often have a bad attitude in class.""Mr. Harnetty is too hard! He assigned a project over the weekend. It's so unfair!" Jake pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from his backpack and shoved it toward Mom. "He said we're supposed to make a volcano and write a lab report on it."Mom studied the instructions. "I think we have just enough time to make it before dinner."With a disgusted sigh, Jake got started. Skimming the instructions, he put air-dry clay around a water bottle to cement it in place. Then he added baking soda and red food dye to the water bottle. "What's the last step?" Mom asked."Adding a cup of vinegar." While filling the cup, Jake muttered, "This is so lame." He dumped the vinegar into the bottle and leaned back to watch the volcano. Without warning, the volcano erupted in a burst of red, coating Jake with slime.Mom gasped. "What happened?"Jake wiped goo from his eyes and looked at the instructions again. "Ugh! I forgot to punch holes in the water bottle!""Hmm," Mom said as she sat down at the table. "You know, I think your attitude about Mr. Harnetty has been a lot like this volcano.""What do you mean?" Jake narrowed his eyes."You seem to be storing bitterness in your heart--bitterness that explodes and leaves a nasty mess everywhere. But Jesus fills our hearts with something different--He makes our hearts overflow with kindness and forgiveness, not bitterness."Jake studied the ground. "I guess I was bitter at Mr. Harnetty because he gives us so much work, but I should be kinder and more forgiving--especially since he's just trying to help us learn." He looked back up at Mom. "I'm going to email Mr. Harnetty an apology for having a bad attitude. Then I'm going to write a lab report about the best science project ever!" -Olivia SummersHow About You?Are you quick to hold a grudge and slow to forgive? Do you store up bitterness against others and let it smolder until it bursts out? The Bible tells us to forgive others the way Jesus forgives us. Instead of being bitter when you feel like you've been treated unfairly, give your burdens to Jesus. Then trust Him to fill your heart with His love.Today's Key Verse:Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Let go of bitterness

    Calm in the Storm

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2022

    Bible Reading: Philippians 4:4-7Sadie snuggled under the covers as rain drummed against her bedroom window. Jagged streaks of lightning flashed across the black sky, and thunder crashed. Sadie pulled the quilt over her head. But the storm inside her heart seemed far greater than the storm outside, and tears rolled down her cheeks. The awful news had come. Sadie's parents were getting a divorce. They had been separated for several months, and Sadie had been praying they'd be able to work things out. Now there would be no chance of restoring their family to the way it was, and Sadie felt she would never be happy again.A few minutes later, Sadie heard her door opening softly, and Mom came in. "Is the storm bothering you, honey?" Mom asked. Sadie wiped her eyes. "Not really."Mom sat down in a chair next to the bed. "When you were small, you were very afraid of thunder and lightning," she said."I was?" Sadie asked. "I don't remember that. How did I get over it?""When a bad storm came, I used to sit beside you in this chair," Mom replied. "Just having me here seemed to make your fears go away.""Oh." After a moment, Sadie said, "I still like having you here, but you don't need to stay tonight, Mom. I'll be okay.""I know you will, but another storm hit us today, didn't it? I know the news was terrible for you. It was for me too. That's not the way I wanted things to go." She stroked Sadie's hair. "I know how upset you've been lately, and I've prayed that God's presence will help you through this tough time. I'd never make it without Him, and I hope you'll remember that He's always here to help you through any of life's storms." They talked a little longer, and then Mom returned to her own room.Sadie looked at the empty chair. She tried to imagine Jesus sitting there, watching over her. "Dear Lord," she prayed, "thank You for being with me--and with Mom too." Suddenly she knew that even though her problem was still there, things were different now because she was trusting Jesus to take care of her.Sadie rolled over and was soon sound asleep. -Sherry L. KuytHow About You?Do you have a difficult problem in your life right now? Have your parents divorced? Has a family member died? Is someone you love seriously ill? Have you been abused? Perhaps you feel lonely and neglected. As you go through hard times, Jesus is right there with you. Trust Him to be with you in life's storms and help you through them. He is always with you and offers you His peace.Today's Key Verse:You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Trusting God brings peace

    A Special Number

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022

    Bible Reading: Psalm 150Bella covered her ears. "I am so tired of that song!" She and her brother had been asked to play a special number for the morning worship service at their church. Choosing a song for the occasion was proving to be a problem."This is a cool piece," said Lance. "It has a good harmony."Bella made a face. "It's an old song, and we need something newer. You just have bad taste."Lance was indignant. "Look who's talking! You want to play that song we learned at camp. Nobody knows it, and it sounds horrible!""Does not," said Bella."Does too!" Lance insisted."Just forget it then!" snapped Bella. "I have better things to do than sit here and argue with you!" She placed her flute in its case and snapped it shut."I don't hear any practicing," said Mom as she entered the room. "Lance won't cooperate," said Bella. "He wants to play that old hymn. I think a newer song would be better.""People won't even know the words of the song she wants to play," Lance argued.Mom sighed. "It's so easy to disagree about music styles and preferences and forget why we sing and play songs in church." She looked at Lance, then Bella. "Why do you play at all?" "We…we were asked to play," Lance replied.Bella sighed, knowing that wasn't a satisfactory answer. "We sing and play to praise Jesus."Mom nodded. "We worship Him because He is our Lord and Creator who has saved us from sin and given us eternal life. He is worthy of our praise. But I certainly didn't hear any praises when you were talking together about what to play. If your goal is to praise Jesus, I think you'd better check your attitudes first."Lance and Bella looked at each other as their mother left the room. "Mom's right," Bella said. "Honoring Jesus is the important thing--both with our song and our attitudes." She smiled at her brother. "Let's play the hymn you chose. We can play my song another time.""You're sure?" Lance asked as he picked up his guitar.Bella nodded. "I'm sure." -Linda WeddleHow About You?Do you sing or play songs at church to praise Jesus for all He has done for you? Even if the music doesn't always fit your personal preferences? The purpose of music in church is to allow God's people to praise and worship Him together. It's about Him, not us. Don't let your preferences get in the way of why we sing and play songs in church--because Jesus is worthy!Today's Key Verse:Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:6 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Praise and honor God with music

    A Way to Serve

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022

    Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 2:18-19, 26; 3:1Isabella lay across her bed as she read a letter from a missionary printed in her church bulletin. Wow! she thought. I wish I could help people too. She sighed. But there's not much I can do. I'm just a kid. Maybe I'll be a missionary and serve God when I'm older."Isabella! Come here, please," Mom called. Isabella went to the kitchen, and Mom handed her a bowl. "Mrs. Nelson's back is bothering her, so I made her some stew. Can you bring it over to her?""Okay," said Isabella, taking the bowl.When she got to their neighbor's house, Isabella noticed that breakfast and lunch dishes were still on the table, so she loaded them into the dishwasher and set the table for dinner. Then she sat and kept Mrs. Nelson company while she ate her stew."Thank you for all your help--and for visiting with me," said Mrs. Nelson when Isabella was leaving. "Most young people don't seem to have time for us old folks." When Isabella got home, her baby brother was sitting on the floor of the kitchen, crying. "Isabella, would you please feed Jacob?" said Mom as she chopped vegetables."Sure," said Isabella. "Come on, Jakey. It's time to eat."After dinner, Isabella showed her mom the missionary letter. "Did you read this letter in the bulletin, Mom? It's so cool to hear about all the ways these missionaries are helping people in their village and telling them about Jesus. I wish I could serve the Lord like that."Mom smiled. "You've been serving the Lord all afternoon, Izzy," she said."Me? Serving the Lord?" asked Isabella."You helped Mrs. Nelson and spent time with her. And you helped me with Jacob.""But, Mom, that was just helping people," said Isabella. "I want to do something for God, but I'm not big enough yet.""How do you think missionaries serve Him?" asked Mom. "They do it by doing things for people. We serve God by serving others, and that's what you've been doing, just like the missionaries. Your helpful, caring actions point to Jesus, who loves us so much He came to earth to rescue us from sin. By helping others, you're serving Him."A big smile slowly spread over Isabella's face. -Barbara J. WestbergHow About You?Do you think you're too young to serve God? You're not. The Bible gives several examples of children who served Him. One of them is found in today's Bible reading. You can serve God too. When you help and care for others, you're showing them the love of Jesus, who served us by dying for our sins on the cross. You serve Him through every loving action, big or small. What can you do to serve today? Today's Key Verse:[Jesus said,] "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:You can serve God now

    It's Free!

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022

    Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:4-9"You're late. The game is over," said Parker's brother Hunter as he put his glove and baseball cleats into a duffel bag. "Hey! Where'd you get that drink?"Parker held up his slushy and shook it with a grin. "I got it at that new ice cream place on my way over here. It was free!" Immediately, Parker was surrounded by hot and thirsty baseball players asking questions. "Where did you get it?" "You had to pay something for it, didn't you?" "Did they tell you to come here and advertise?" "What's the catch?"Parker laughed. "There's no catch. The ice cream place is giving away free samples today. They said they hoped I'd come again whenever I want a slushy or ice cream.""Free slushies? Yeah, right," one of the players said sarcastically."You expect us to believe that?" said another. "There's a catch somewhere."Some of the boys walked over to the water fountain for a drink. Others just went home. But some, including Hunter, took off running toward the ice cream shop. Back home, the boys talked about what had happened. "Some of the kids drank warm water instead of cold slushies," said Hunter. "They were so sure the slushies had to cost something.""Yeah," said Parker. "Why didn't they believe me when I said they could get them for free, Dad?"Dad shrugged. "I don't know, Parker.""Maybe they hear so much bad news, they just don't believe it when the news is good," Hunter suggested. "They can't believe someone would actually give something away."Dad nodded thoughtfully. "That sometimes happens when people hear the good news of Jesus," he said. "Some just can't believe He'd give us eternal life as a free gift. They think there's a trick to it and they have to earn their way to heaven." "But the Bible says eternal life a gift," said Parker. "When you're offered a gift, you can't pay for it. A gift is always free."Dad nodded. "That's right! All we have to do is believe and accept God's gift.""Just like those slushies," said Hunter. "We couldn't pay for them." He grinned. "Maybe they'll give free samples of something else tomorrow! I'll accept those too." -H. Lee MackHow About You?Have you heard the saying that the best things in life are free? In fact, the very best thing you could ever receive truly is free--it's God's gift of eternal life. There's nothing you can do to earn it. God offers it to us as a gift, which means it's free! It's free because Jesus has already paid the price for it. You simply receive it when you trust in Him. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)Today's Key Verse:When people sin, they earn what sin pays--death. But God gives his people a free gift--eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 (ERV))Today's Key Thought:Eternal life is free

    Growing in Jesus

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022

    Bible Reading: John 15:1-9; James 1:2-4"I love spring!" Mia announced to her older sister, Jade, as they prepared to do work in their garden. "Being able to play outside again makes me happy." Mia sighed and kicked a garden stone. "But it also makes me sad, because I miss our neighbors. We used to play a lot in the backyard before they moved away. But now I won't be able to play with them anymore.""I miss them too." Jade smiled sadly. "But working in the garden always makes me feel better, and now you're tall enough to help me with the pear tree. Can you bring me those pruning shears?"Mia brought over a pair of clippers, and Jade began to cut back the branches of the tree. Mia gasped. "What are you doing?""I'm pruning the tree," Jade answered.Mia was surprised. "But won't cutting the branches hurt the tree?" "Pruning may look likes it hurts, but it helps plants grow better," Jade replied and trimmed another branch. "Because we pruned it, the pear tree will be stronger and healthier, and it will have even more fruit in the fall.""Really?" Mia's eyes widened."Did you know that God is a gardener?" Jade asked. "Just like how we're pruning the pear tree to help it grow better, God helps us grow in our relationship with Him--and He sometimes uses hard times in our lives to do that.""Hard times like friends moving away?"Jade nodded. "In the Bible, Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. Because He died for us and we trust Him as our Savior, we're connected to Him through the Holy Spirit, who prunes us and helps us bear fruit.""Fruit? Like strawberries?" asked Mia, looking at a package of seeds.Jade laughed. "No, fruit of the Spirit--like love and joy and kindness and patience. So even though the things we're facing right now may hurt, God has a purpose in our struggles. He will use them to help us learn and grow.""Jade?" Mia asked. "Do you think we can mail some of these seeds to our old neighbors? I want to remind them that God uses hard times to help us grow." -Abby CionaHow About You?Are you facing hard times? Maybe you're feeling lonely, a family member is sick, or you miss a friend who lives far away. Remember that Jesus is with you in life's struggles. He's given you His Holy Spirit, who is working in your life to help you grow and bear fruit. He can use even difficult circumstances to help you know Jesus better and make you more like Him. Today's Key Verse:When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (James 1:2-3 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Jesus helps us grow

    The Snooze Button

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022

    Bible Reading: Romans 13:11-14Grant stirred and fumbled for the snooze button on the alarm clock. As soon as the noisy alarm stopped, he burrowed deeper under the covers. A few minutes later, the beeping sound of the alarm roused him again. Once more, he hit the snooze button and nestled back in his bed. Before the alarm could sound a third time, his mother was at his door. "Get up right now, Grant! You'll have to hurry or you'll miss your bus.""Oh!" Grant sat up quickly, then stumbled from his bed. He hurried to get ready and ran outside just in time to catch the bus.That evening, Grant informed his parents that he needed a new alarm clock. "My alarm didn't go off this morning, and I almost missed my bus."Mom laughed. "It went off all right.""Are you sure?" asked Grant. "I didn't hear it.""I'm sure," said Mom. "I heard it, and you actually did too. But you didn't wake up fully, so you just don't remember. I finally went in and woke you up myself because you kept hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep.""That sounds a lot like the way Christians sometimes live," said Dad, picking up his Bible.Grant frowned. "You think Christians hit the snooze buttons on their alarm clocks more than other people do?"Dad grinned at Grant's puzzled look. "Well, the book of Romans tells us that Christians need to wake up," he said. "Why don't you read it for us?" Dad handed the Bible to Grant and pointed to some verses.When Grant finished reading, Dad said, "God warns that our time on earth is getting shorter and shorter, so we'd better wake up and live the way people who trust in Jesus should live. Ignoring God's warning is like hitting the snooze button, and we fail to put the short time we have left to good use."Mom nodded. "Someday, it will be too late for those who don't know Jesus to trust in Him and be saved. As Christians, we need to put sinful, selfish ways behind us and live in a way that points others to Jesus, who freed us from sin. We need to wake up and embrace the new life He's given us." -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Have you hit the snooze button in your Christian life? Are you living to please yourself instead of God? Time is passing quickly, and people need to know about Jesus now. Wake up and start living like the person He's made you to be--one who points others to His love, patience, and forgiveness. Let others see Jesus in you--in the way you talk, act, and respond to the things that happen each day.Today's Key Verse:Awake to righteousness, and do not sin. (1 Corinthians 15:34 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Wake up and live for Jesus

    Tried and True

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2022

    Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21Riley carefully measured a cup of sugar into a bowl. "I like making cookies," she said, "and Dad says my cookies are second only to yours." She cracked an egg and grinned at her mom."You do a great job," Mom said as she frosted a cake, "and I appreciate you helping me make treats for my Bible study." Riley furrowed her eyebrows as she stirred the mixture. "Mom, how do you know the Bible is true? I mean…couldn't it have some mistakes?" Mom looked surprised. "No, it couldn't.""Well, Addie's dad is a pastor, and they believe most of the Bible, but he says some of the things just couldn't have happened--like some of the miracles. He says God has set up certain laws of nature, and those things don't fit in." "God did establish laws of nature," said Mom, "but God Himself is not limited by them. He has power over them." She paused as Riley took the baking soda from the cupboard. "Riley, why don't you put a few extra teaspoons of baking soda in the cookie dough today?" Riley frowned. "Why? What for?" Mom shrugged. "Maybe it would make the cookies taste even better. And maybe if you added an extra cup of milk to make the dough nice and soft, you'd get some nice, soft cookies." Riley stared at her mom, then laughed. "Are you trying to ruin my cookies because you're afraid Dad will like them better than yours? Won't work, Mom! I've made these before, and I know this recipe is just right the way it is." "You've tested it and found it to be accurate." Mom pointed to a Bible on the counter. "That's also been tested and proven to be accurate. For example, the Bible tells of things that will take place, and many of them have already happened--like Jesus being born and then dying for our sins to save us. He fulfilled many prophecies in the Old Testament that promised God would send a Savior one day. The Bible points us to Jesus, and as we experience His love and power in our lives, it confirms that what God tells us in His Word is true.""I get it," Riley said. "The Bible is tried and true--just like my recipe!" -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Have you wondered if the Bible is really true? It is! There were eyewitnesses to many things recorded there. Many events foretold in the Bible have already happened. But perhaps the greatest evidence that the Bible is true is its message about Jesus. His truth and love have changed people's lives. The Bible has stood the test of time, and it will continue to stand forever.Today's Key Verse:The word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:The Bible is true

    The Same but Different

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 23, 2022

    Bible Reading: Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5Kyle and Kent were identical twins. They looked so much alike that the only way to tell them apart was by the dark birthmark on Kyle's shoulder. They even enjoyed doing all the same things. They both loved to run and were part of the elementary boys' running club in their area.During devotions one night, Kent asked, "Dad, Kyle and I are so much alike. How can God tell us apart? We look the same, and we even like the same things, except for broccoli. I don't know how Kyle can stand the stuff!"Dad laughed. "Well, let's read some Bible verses that talk about that." He turned to Psalm 139 and read a couple verses out loud. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." He looked at the twins. "So you see, even though God made you the same, He also made you different. He knows and loves each one of you and gave you unique talents and gifts to be used for His glory.""But…I'm not sure our talents are all that different," said Kyle. "We both seem to be talented in exactly the same things.""Think of it this way," said Mom. "Kent is better at sprinting short distances while you are stronger at running cross country. So even though running is a talent for both of you, you are stronger in different areas."Dad nodded. "That could be true in other ways too." He flipped through his Bible. "Here's another verse--Ephesians 2:10. 'For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'" Dad looked at the twins. "Even though you're alike in many ways, Jesus has given you different strengths so you can point others to Him in your own special way. He made you and saved you, and He'll help each of you serve Him using the unique gifts He's given you."After devotions, Mom made them some popcorn and they sat down to watch a movie. "I know what one of Mom's talents is," Kyle said. "Making great popcorn!""Yeah," said Kent. "And we're both really talented at eating it!" -Lisa FullerHow About You?Do you ever feel like you're no different from anyone else? That you're not that special? You are special to God. The Bible says He knit you together in your mother's womb, which means He made you and loves you. He created you to have unique talents and abilities, and He will help you use them to point others to Him. You are God's special creation!Today's Key Verse:For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:You are special to God

    Clean-up Day

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2022

    Bible Reading: Genesis 1:1, 26-31; Romans 8:19-23"There's a cleanup at the beach today to celebrate Earth Day," Dad said at breakfast. "Volunteers are needed to walk along the beach and pick up any trash they find. Why don't we go help?"Diego made a face. "I don't want to pick up other people's trash! It's not my job to clean up after them." "It's true we're all responsible for our own trash and should not throw it on the beach," said Dad. "But, sadly, littering is still a problem, and one way to help fix it is to work together to clean it up. We all need to help take care of the beautiful world God gave us."Diego still didn't look convinced. "Think of it this way," Dad told him. "Remember what happened to your bike last winter? You left it lying under a bush behind the garage, and by the time the snow melted, it was all rusted. Your mom and I trusted you to take care of it."Diego sighed.  "But I didn't.""Well, God made this world for us to enjoy--and that's way more important than a bike," said Dad. "The trash that people leave pollutes God's creation. It makes the beautiful beach look messy, and it may even kill or injure fish, animals, and birds that live in or near the ocean." Dad paused. "Do you remember who God created in His own image and put in charge of all the living creatures in Genesis, the first book of the Bible?""Adam and Eve," said Diego. "So, does that mean we're in charge of them too?"Dad nodded. "As people made in His image, God has given us the job to take care of His creation--and as people who trust in Jesus, we've also been given the job to share the hope of Jesus with the world. One small way to do that is to pick up other people's trash, because that's like what Jesus did for us--He removed our sins! And even though we can't fix everything that's wrong in the world, Jesus can, and one day He will when He returns to make all things new."Diego thought for a moment. "Okay. Let's go help with the beach cleanup." -Jacqueline J. LeaycraftHow About You?Are you thankful for the beautiful world God created for us? Are you doing what you can to take care of it? Today is Earth Day. Check to see if there are any activities in your area that you can participate in to help protect the earth and keep it clean--or come up with your own! But don't limit caring for God's creation to Earth Day. Celebrate the gift of His creation--and His promise to one day restore it to perfection--every day of the year. Today's Key Verse:In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Care for God's creation

    A Big Family

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022

    Bible Reading: Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:4-7Ellie lingered in her Sunday school classroom after the other kids had rushed out the door. Clutching her Bible, she stared at her teacher, who was putting books and papers away. "Can I help you with something, Ellie?" asked Miss Robyn.A tear escaped down Ellie's face, and she quickly brushed it away with her sleeve. "Miss Robyn, did you know that Keisha isn't here this morning because she's visiting a family that's going to adopt her?" she asked. "I know that's good for her, but…but she'll have to move away." Ellie's voice shook a little. "I don't want her to move. She's my best friend, and I'll be so lonely without her."Miss Robyn put an arm around Ellie's shoulder. "I know it's difficult to have a friend leave, but try to be happy for Keisha. She didn't have any family left on this earth after her mom died, but now she's going to have a home with a family who loves her. Best of all, Pastor Carlson knows the family, and he told me they love Jesus too."Ellie nodded. "I know, and I am happy for her. She'll have a mom and a dad and a brother and two sisters! She'll have a bigger family than I do--I only have a sister." Ellie sighed. "It's just that I'll miss her so much when she's gone!""Yes, but you can still keep in touch. You can text her and have video calls with her," said Miss Robyn.Ellie smiled a little. "That would be fun. Being adopted is a good thing, isn't it?""Yes, it is," said Miss Robyn with a smile. "Did you know that everyone who trusts in Jesus is also adopted? All those who know Him as their Savior are adopted into God's big family--so they're all brothers and sisters in Christ."Ellie gave her teacher a big smile. "I forgot about that. I'll remind Keisha that she's already been adopted because she knows Jesus, and I'll tell her I'm adopted too! And that means we're sisters, doesn't it?""Yes, it does" said Miss Robyn. "And you'll still be sisters even after she moves away."Ellie smiled again. "I like that--and Keisha will too." -Beth Anne IngramHow About You?Have you been adopted by God? Do you have lots of brothers and sisters because you're part of God's big family? If you haven't yet trusted Jesus as your Savior, why wait any longer? He wants you to become His child so you can enjoy everything that comes with being part of His family. Trust in Him today. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)Today's Key Verse:See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:Be adopted by God

    Crash Course

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022

    Bible Reading: Mark 12:28-34"Mom!" Landon screamed, running toward her car. A truck had hit it as she was turning into their driveway. Please, God! Landon prayed as he approached the driver's side. Please let Mom be okay.As Landon opened the car door, his mom gave him a shaky smile. "I'm all right," she assured him, stepping out of the car. "Everything is okay, Landon."The truck driver got out, and he was okay too. Landon gave a huge sigh of relief and quietly breathed a prayer of thanks as his mom and the driver took care of reporting the accident to the police and other necessary details.Every once in a while for the rest of that day, Landon gave his mom a hug and said, "I love you, Mom." "I love you too, Landon," she replied with a smile.That night, as Mom was tucking him into bed, Landon hugged her again. "Mom, when I saw that truck hit you, I was so scared! I guess I thought you'd always be here, but today I was scared you were hurt--and could even die.""We tend to take each other for granted, don't we?" replied Mom. "Every now and then, we're reminded we shouldn't do that."Landon nodded. "From now on, I'm going to tell you I love you more often."Mom smiled. "I've always known you love me, Landon, but it's wonderful to hear it." She looked thoughtful as she tucked Landon's blankets around him. "I wonder if we often take God for granted too," she said. "Sometimes, in the busyness of life, we can lose sight of how much Jesus means to us--how He loves us and died for us and promises to always be with us." "Are you saying we should tell Him we love Him every day too?" asked Landon.Mom nodded. "We can do that by spending time praying and offering thanks to Him every day. We also show our love for Him when we help and care for others." "I guess those are all things I could do more often," said Landon. "Me too," said Mom. "I didn't enjoy being in an accident today, but I think we both learned an important lesson from it." She grinned. "I guess you could call it a crash course on love!" -Lisa MeisterHow About You?When was the last time you told your loved ones that you love them? It's easy to take them for granted and assume they know how you feel, so don't hesitate to let them know that you love and appreciate them. Let Jesus know you love Him too. He already knows your heart, but you can still tell Him you love Him and that you appreciate all He's done for you. Why not pause and tell Him right now?Today's Key Verse:Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Love God

    Not Sugar

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022

    Bible Reading: Isaiah 5:20-21Marcus watched as Jayla placed a cake in the oven to bake. "I'll clean the bowl," he offered, licking his lips."Nope." Jayla quickly ran water into the bowl. "Raw batter isn't good for you. You'll have to wait till the cake is done."But when the cake was done, it did not look good. "I'll try it," said Marcus. He cut out a small piece. "Yuck! Not even frosting will help that!"Jayla tried the cake and made a face. "What's going on?" Dad asked as he and Mom came in from the garage. "Jayla's cake tastes funny," said Marcus.Dad startled at the sight of the sugar canister sitting on the counter. "Oh no! It's my fault, Jayla--I'm so sorry. Yesterday I picked up a few groceries. When I got home, a box of salt was leaking. The sugar canister was empty, so I poured the salt into it. Then my phone rang and I forgot all about it.""See? You should have let me clean the bowl," said Marcus. "Then we would have known your cake wasn't good before you baked it!""Does this remind anybody of Pastor Holt's message last week?" Mom asked. "He talked about the verse in Isaiah where people said evil was good and bitter was sweet, remember?" "Yeah," Jayla said. "Kind of like how the label on the canister said its contents were sweet, but they sure weren't!" "At least you can bake a new cake," said Dad. "If people say something is good when God says it's evil, that's much more serious.""Like…what sort of things might they say?" Jayla asked. "Well, how about if someone says we can do whatever we want as long as we're true to ourselves?" Mom said. "That's calling evil good, isn't it?" said Marcus. "Yes," said Mom. "In the Bible, God says He sets the standard of right and wrong. We need to live according to His truth, not our own feelings and desires.""Some kids say being a Christian just means you think you're better than everyone else," said Jayla. "It's saying that something good is evil."Dad nodded. "Even though Christians aren't perfect, Jesus has saved us and is working in our lives so others can see His love through us. And that's a very good thing!" -Linda WeddleHow About You?Do you know which things God says are good and which He says are evil? In today's world, many people try to make good sound evil and evil sound good. That's why it's important to use the truth of God's Word as the standard for your life. Listen to what God says in the Bible, and trust Him to help you live out His truth and love. Today's Key Verse:Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Follow God's standards

    Fantastic Frigate Birds

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022

    Bible Reading: Psalm 104:1-4, 24-26; Romans 1:20Mina grabbed her second warm roll from the bowl on the table. "I can't believe your family actually lives in the Caribbean! It's so beautiful there--well, from the pictures I've seen, anyway." Mrs. Callaway smiled. "When God called us to be missionaries there, we were certainly surprised." "But we love living there and are so glad God is using us to help more people know about Jesus," Mr. Callaway said. "I really like to learn about interesting animals--do you have any favorites where you live, Timothy?" Mina looked up from buttering her roll. Timothy was about her age and had lived almost all his life in the Caribbean. "Sure I do! Have you ever heard of the frigate bird?" Mina shook her head. "They live in tropical climates, and one of the largest colonies of these birds is right off some of the smaller islands of the Caribbean. One of the cool things about the males is how they attract females during the mating season. God gave them this bright red throat pouch under their beak that they inflate like a balloon. It looks kind of funny, and they make a sound like someone banging on a drum."Mina's eyes were wide. "That's fantastic! How big are they?" "About the size of a goose, but their wingspan is over seven feet long." Timothy stretched his arms out. "Let me guess, they eat fish?" Mina pointed to the fish on her plate, and Timothy laughed. "Yep! And squid." "Ewwww." Mina shuddered. "God's creatures are pretty amazing," Mr. Callaway said. "Timothy learns about a new one every few weeks, it seems." Mrs. Callaway chewed her fish thoughtfully. "Talking about these birds reminds me of a verse from Psalm 104 that says, 'How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.'" "The earth is full of fantastic creatures!" Mina exclaimed. "I'm thankful that God isn't a boring Creator--He made some awesome animals!"Mrs. Callaway nodded. "Because He is an awesome God." -Savannah ColemanHow About You?Do you like to explore the wonders of God's creation and learn about interesting animals? The Bible says God created the world and everything in it to point people to Him. He is a great and awesome God, and He loves you! Praise Him for the fantastic creatures He has made--and for the great things He has done for you through His Son, Jesus.Today's Key Verse:How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:The earth is full of God's glory

    Seeing and Believing

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 17, 2022

    Bible Reading: John 20:19-20, 24-31"Let's play hide-and-seek!" said Ethan. He was at his friend Jin's house where there were lots of great places to hide. "Mei can play too."They found Jin's sister, who agreed to play. "I'll be it first," Jin volunteered. He covered his eyes and counted. "One, two, three, four…" As he continued counting, he heard Ethan and Mei running and giggling. Jin thought he heard one of them go to the basement. "Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five!" Jin yelled the last number. "Ready or not, here I come!"Jin headed toward the basement, watching and listening for any sign of Ethan or Mei. Suddenly he noticed the window next to the fireplace--and through the long curtain he could see the outline of a person! He recognized Ethan's red sweatshirt through the thin fabric and pulled back the curtain. "Found you, Ethan!""How did you know I was behind the curtain?" asked Ethan."I saw you," Jin replied. "This curtain is thin, and I could see your red sweatshirt through the fabric. That's how I knew it was you!" "I guess seeing is believing," said Ethan. "I guess so," agreed Jin. He grinned. "Hey! Remember our lesson at church last week from the book of John? Remember what happened after Jesus died on the cross?""Yeah," said Ethan. "A lot of people didn't think they'd ever see Jesus alive again.""But He was resurrected--He rose from the grave," said Jin. "Before He went back to heaven, He appeared to a lot of His friends. When they saw Him with their own eyes, they knew He really did rise from the dead like He said He would and that He was the Son of God who came to save them." "So for them, seeing was believing too," Ethan said. "And knowing that Jesus appeared to His friends helps us believe in Him too.""Yep." Jin nodded. "And Mr. Michaels said that even though we can't see Jesus with our eyes like they did, we can see Him working in our lives." Suddenly the two boys heard Mei's muffled voice from somewhere in the basement. "Hey!" she yelled. "I'm still hiding! What's taking you two so long?""Let's go find her!" said Ethan. -Jeanette BrooksHow About You?Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead even though you can't see Him with your eyes? After He rose, many people did see Him with their eyes. You can believe their testimony in the Bible. If you're a Christian, you can see Him in your own testimony too. Have you seen evidence of His work in your life? How has knowing Him changed you? Yes, Jesus arose. Believe it!Today's Key Verse:Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (John 20:29 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Jesus arose--believe it

    A Light in the Dark

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 16, 2022

    Bible Reading: John 8:12Rain pattered against the window as Will sat on the couch, reading. The rain got louder and louder as the wind picked up, and then a flash of lightning lit up the sky, followed by a crash of thunder. Suddenly the room plummeted into darkness."Hey!" Will shouted."It's the storm. It knocked our power out," said Will's dad, walking over to the window. "Look, the whole block is out."Will got up. "Ow!" he said, banging his knee against the coffee table. "I can't see anything!""Hold on," said Dad. There was a rustle of movement, a scratching sound, and then a burst of light as Dad lit a candle and set it on the coffee table. Warm orange light filled the room. He lit a few more candles, and soon the room was much brighter.Will collapsed back on the couch and rubbed his knee. "It's a good thing we had the candles. I don't want another bruise."Dad laughed. "Walking in the dark isn't smart. You can get lost or hurt yourself." He pointed at Will's knee. "We need light. We're helpless without it.""That sounds a lot like the verse we learned in my class at church last week," said Will. "It talked about Jesus being the light." Dad nodded. "In the Bible, Jesus says He is the light of the world. Without Him, we are walking blind in the darkness of sin. But with Jesus as our light, He chases all the darkness away. Through His life, death, and resurrection, He shines His love and forgiveness on us so that we can see and follow Him. Without Him, we're lost."Will rubbed his sore knee. "But what if the light goes out?"Dad shook his head. "Jesus is the light no darkness can defeat. He has promised us eternal life with Him, and nothing can separate us from His love."Just then the lights flickered back on. Will smiled and picked up his book. The storm was passing. "Better leave the candles, Dad. We need the light." -Cathryn FreeHow About You?Have you ever been lost in the dark? Maybe you got up in the middle of the night to get a drink and stubbed your toe or thought you saw something moving in the shadows. But what happens when you turn on the light? You can see, and suddenly it's not scary anymore. Without Jesus, we are lost in the darkness of sin and death. But just like turning on a light in a dark room, Jesus shines His love in our lives. He forgives our sins, saves us from Satan and death, and guides us in our walk with Him each day.Today's Key Verse:[Jesus] said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:Jesus is the light of the world


    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 15, 2022

    Bible Reading: Romans 5:6-11Derek stood at the glass counter as his mom handed over his grandmother's emerald necklace. A man took it and handed her some money. Derek heard her sigh as she placed it in her wallet. They walked silently out of the shop.On the bus ride home, Derek finally spoke. "Mom, why did you sell Gigi's necklace? I thought you loved it.""I do, but I love you more. The money we got for it will help us get by until I can find work," his mom replied.They stopped at the market near their apartment to buy some groceries. Mom even splurged and bought Derek his favorite candy bar.At Sunday school the next day, Derek's teacher, Mrs. Brown, asked if anyone had any prayer requests. Derek hesitated but then raised his hand. "Please pray that my mom can find a job so she doesn't have to sell anything else she loves," he said quietly. Mrs. Brown prayed, and after class she took him aside. Derek told her about the trip to the pawn shop, Gigi's beautiful necklace, and even the candy bar. Mrs. Brown didn't say much but gave him a tight hug. A few days later, Derek entered his apartment building after school and stuck his key in the mailbox. Inside, he found a small package addressed to his mom. He ran upstairs and found her looking for jobs online. "This came today, Mom. What is it?" Derek asked. Mom opened the package and poured the contents onto her desk. It was Gigi's necklace! As shiny and beautiful as ever. His mom began to sob. "I don't understand. I thought you sold it!" Derek exclaimed.Wiping away tears, his mom said quietly, "I did. But it has been redeemed.""Redeemed?" Derek asked. "That sounds like a church word.""It is," Mom said. "It's just like what Jesus did for us, Derek. The Bible says we were sold into death by our sins--just like I sold this necklace--but Jesus's death on the cross bought us back. He redeemed us and gave us eternal life--just like someone bought this necklace back for me." She smiled at him. "Their kindness has reminded me how very much God loves and cares for us." And with that, his mom slipped the necklace over her head and gave Derek a big hug. -Laura KuehnHow About You?Do you know that, if you trust in Jesus, you have been redeemed--bought back from sin and death? When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for your sins so you would never have to. If you have not accepted Jesus's payment for your sins, you can do so right now. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.) You are a special treasure to God and were worth the cost.Today's Key Verse:In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace. (Ephesians 1:7 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:Jesus died for you

    The Servant

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022

    Bible Reading: Mark 9:35; 10:45; Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 3:18"Why do I have so many chores?" Madison complained as she pushed the vacuum cleaner down the hall. "I feel like a servant in this house!"Madison's mom looked up from the dishes she was washing. "A servant? You talk as if that's a bad thing."Madison stopped and stared at her mom as if she had lost her mind. "Of course it's a bad thing! Who would want to be a servant?""Jesus would," answered Mom. "He came to earth to serve, as well as to save." "How was Jesus a servant?" Madison wanted to know."Well, He washed His disciples' dusty feet, and that was considered a very undesirable job--a job only a lowly servant would do.""I guess so!" Madison wrinkled her nose at the thought of touching someone's dirty feet."Jesus also fed people when they were hungry. He comforted and healed the sick many, many times." Mom smiled at Madison. "And I imagine, if it was needed, Jesus would have vacuumed the house."Madison laughed. "I'm pretty sure they didn't have vacuums in Jesus's time!"Mom laughed too. "True. But think about it, Madison. Jesus, who is God, King of Kings, and Creator of everything that exists, lowered Himself to come to earth as a human and serve us! Our hearts were dirty with sin--dirtier than the disciples' stinky, dusty feet--so Jesus became a servant and died on the cross for the wrong things we've done so He could wash our sins away. If He hadn't done that, we would have no hope of eternal life." Madison looked down at the vacuum and then back up at her mom. "I guess you're saying I should quit complaining and start vacuuming!""That's exactly what I am saying, because that's what Jesus would do," Mom replied. "And because we trust in Him, we're His servants. We serve Him by serving others and faithfully carrying out the responsibilities we've been given."Madison put her ear buds in her ears, turned on her music, and started the vacuum. With a grin for her mom, she headed down the hall to finish her chores. -Bonnie CarrHow About You?Do you ever feel like there's too much you're expected to do? Do you ever wish your parents, your teachers, or your coach wouldn't ask so much from you? We all feel that way at times, and it's important to have time to rest, but remember that Jesus calls those who trust in Him to be servants like He was. He served us by becoming human and sacrificing His life to save us. When we help others and do the tasks we've been given, we're really serving Him.Today's Key Verse:For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:Be a servant for Jesus

    Where the Fish Are

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022

    Bible Reading: Matthew 4:18-22"Our teacher told us to start thinking of people we could invite to vacation Bible school this summer," Asher told his dad after church. "We talked about being fishers of people in class today--which means telling others about Jesus, not real fishing," he said with a grin. "Mr. Benson said that's what vacation Bible school is for--to share Jesus with kids who haven't heard about Him." "So who are you going to invite?" asked Dad. "No one." Asher shrugged when Dad raised his eyebrows. "All my friends already know Jesus." "Hmm," said Dad. "Speaking of real fishing, I hear they've been biting lately. Care to go?""All right!" exclaimed Asher. "I'll get ready right now."Dad nodded. "I'll get the fishing gear. Meet me out back when you're ready."When Asher ran out the back door a little later, he stopped short and stared. Dad was sitting in a lawn chair, holding his fishing rod. The hook lay on the grass, and Dad watched it intently. "What are you doing?" Asher asked."Shhh!" said Dad. "I'm fishing. Don't scare the fish away."Asher looked at the hook and then at his dad. "Dad! Didn't anybody tell you that fish live in water?" Asher said, rolling his eyes. "C'mon. Let's go where the fish are."Dad looked up. "You know, that's a very good idea." He reeled in his line and got up. "Okay. The fish aren't far from here. We'll go to Pearson Lake." He looked at Asher and added, "You need to go where the fish are to be a fisher of people too. Apparently, they're not in your group of close friends, but I think you'll find they're not far away. I'm sure there are lots of kids who need a friend--especially one who will introduce them to Jesus."Asher sighed. "Yeah," he murmured, climbing into the car. As they drove down the street, he suddenly pointed. "Maybe the new kid in that blue house would come. And I guess I could ask Mary, who sits across from me at school--I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask a girl.""See?" said Dad. "I knew you could think of someone. Why don't you ask the new kid if he wants to come over and play your new video game sometime?" Asher smiled. "I'll do that." -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Do all your friends already know Jesus? That's wonderful if they do, but don't take it for granted. Talk to them about Jesus, but don't stop with just those you know best. Jesus wants to help you bring others to Him. To do that, you may have to go outside your circle of friends. Look around. Who needs a friend to introduce them to Jesus?Today's Key Verse:Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!" (Matthew 4:19 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Share Jesus wherever you are

    God's Strength (Part 2)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022

    Bible Reading: Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10Andrés looked closely at the small log Dad had brought home to show him. There was a long piece of straw sticking out from the wood. "Weird," said Andrés. "How did that straw get into the wood?""The tornado that passed by the other day did that," said Dad. "One of the guys at work found this on his property. His place was right on the edge of the storm.""Wow!" said Andrés. "The wind drove that flimsy piece of straw right into the hard wood. And the straw didn't even get bent!""That took a strong, special kind of power," said Dad. "I've been thinking about that all afternoon. As a result, I've decided to teach the Sunday school class I've been offered.""Really? What does teaching a class have to do with this wood and straw?""Well, this straw was weak, but powered by the storm, it became very strong," Dad replied. "I'm weak too, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hold the interest of the kids in the class. When I thought about the straw in this log, I was reminded that a special kind of power is also available to me. Through that power--the power of the Holy Spirit--God can use me to help those kids know more about Jesus.""You'll be a good teacher," said Andrés. "Thanks for the vote of confidence. I hope and pray you're right." Dad smiled. "I thought about you too, Andrés. Mom told me you've been having trouble figuring out what to say to a friend who's going through a rough time." "Yeah--my friend Mason. His dad died a couple weeks ago, and I want to be there for him, but I don't know what to say." "It can be hard to comfort someone in a situation like that, but remember that you have a special power available to you too," Dad told him. "Because you trust in Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit's power. Even though you feel weak in such a tough situation, He will help you comfort Mason."Andrés nodded. "Okay. You teach your class, and I'll talk to Mason, and God will help us both!" -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Are you afraid you won't be able to make a difference in sharing Jesus with others? Do you want to tell people about Him and show them His love, but don't know how? You won't be doing it on your own. You have a special power--the Holy Spirit! He is working through you to help more people know about Jesus and see His love in their lives. Depend on Him to give you the strength and power you need.Today's Key Verse:I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:God gives power

    God's Strength (Part 1)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022

    Bible Reading: Mark 4:36-41Andrés glanced nervously out the school window. It's been looking stormy all day, he thought. I hope there isn't going to be another tornado alert. Sighing, he tried to concentrate on his math lesson.As Andrés began the first problem, a bell rang. "Take a large book and file quietly into the hall," Miss Grey told the class.The kids quickly obeyed, taking their places in the school's inner hall and putting the books over their heads as they had done during tornado drills before. But something seemed different today. Andrés could hear a siren blowing from a nearby fire station. It was the signal to the town that a tornado funnel had been seen nearby.Andrés had never been so scared before, but as he sat trembling, he recalled something Dad had said the weekend before. They had gone swimming, and as Dad walked out into the deep water, Andrés's little brother Liam clung to his father's shoulders. "Are you scared in the deep water, Liam?" Andrés had asked.Liam shook his head. "Nope. Dad's got me."Dad had laughed. "Good boy! I'm in control here, and I'm glad you trust your father." Then he'd added, "I hope both you boys will remember that you can always trust your Father in heaven too. He's in control of everything, even when bad things happen that we don't understand. We just need to trust Him and remember that, no matter what happens, we have eternal life through Jesus." As Andrés remembered that, he felt better.A few minutes later, Andrés heard a roaring sound. It began softly, but got louder and louder. Is that a train? Andrés wondered. We're not even close to the tracks. Then he remembered hearing that a tornado sounded a lot like a train rushing by. I'm still scared, Andrés thought, but God is my heavenly Father, and He's in control. I can trust Him--even if a tornado hits.Finally the all-clear siren sounded, and the kids returned to their classroom. "A tornado passed by not too far from our school," the principal announced over the intercom a few minutes later. "It caused a lot of damage, but thankfully no one was hurt." Andrés smiled and silently thanked his heavenly Father for watching over them. -Hazel W. MarettHow About You?Are you afraid of storms? They can be frightening, can't they? That's because they are powerful and can cause a lot of damage. But God is even more powerful. When the lightning flashes, the thunder rolls, and the wind whistles through the trees, remember that God is in control of all those things--and that He saved you and is always with you, even when He lets you go through difficult experiences. Trust Him.Today's Key Verse:Even the wind and the sea obey Him! (Mark 4:41 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:God is in control

    Pulling on the Leash

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 10, 2022

    Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:1-3Mia panted as she tugged and pulled to get her Labrador puppy to go into the house. Prince was only six months old, but he was strong.Mom looked up from her computer and laughed. "I'm not sure who took who for a walk," she said.Mia frowned. "Prince always wants to go for a walk, but when I take him, he pulls on the leash the whole way! He acts like he's the one who should decide which way to go.""He's still just a puppy," said Mom."I know," said Mia, "but I wish he'd learn to listen to me. He should learn to heel like my friend Nevaeh's dog does.""Maybe we should take him to obedience school," said Mom. "Or at least start some obedience lessons on our own." Mom studied Mia a moment, then said, "Sometimes Christians act a lot like Prince. On our walk through life with Jesus, we pull and tug to go our own way too. We think we should decide for ourselves what's good for us, and we don't want to listen to God or to the people He puts in our lives to guide us--like parents--who really know best." She gave Mia a pointed look. "Like last week when I wouldn't let you go to Jessica's party."Mia sighed. "I didn't want to admit it, but you were right about that. Jessica's parents weren't home, and I found out today that some of the kids got so loud, the neighbors called the police.""Well, I'm very glad you weren't there," said Mom."I am too," said Mia. "I guess I am like Prince. I wanted my own way, but you knew it wasn't a good idea for me to go to that party. I'm sorry for acting like I thought you were being mean."Mom gave Mia a hug. "It's hard for all of us to remember we're not wise enough to choose our own way and need God's guidance," Mom said. "That's one reason why God gave kids parents--so we can share the wisdom God's given us with you as we teach you about Jesus and encourage you to trust in Him."Mia nodded thoughtfully. "From now on, I'll do less tugging and more listening." -Karen E. CoganHow About You?How do you respond to direction from your parents, grandparents, or other adults? Do you listen to them, knowing they want what's best for you? Or do you pull and tug, trying to go your own way? Parents aren't perfect, but God provided them for you because He loves you and wants you to learn to depend on Jesus. Appreciate and obey those God has placed in authority over you as they teach you to walk with Him.Today's Key Verse:Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls. (Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Obey those in authority

    It Happened to Me

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 9, 2022

    Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7Harper's back at school today, Emma noticed. Maybe her mom is doing better. But a few minutes later, Emma learned that Harper's mother remained in critical condition after being in a serious car accident a week before. Many of their classmates stared curiously at Harper and avoided speaking to her. A few of them awkwardly attempted to comfort her. At least they're trying, Emma thought. But since Dad was in a bad car accident last year, I think I know just how Harper feels. Maybe it would help her if I tell her about Dad's accident.Emma walked over to Harper. "You doing okay?" she asked.Harper shrugged. "Dad thought it would get my mind off Mom's accident if I came to school, but it's not really working.""It's hard, I know," said Emma. "My dad was badly hurt in a car wreck last year.""Oh." Harper sighed. "Then you know how I feel!"Emma nodded. "I was so scared, but I knew lots of people were praying for him, and that helped me. Wouldwould you like me to pray for your mom?""Really?" Harper tried to smile. "I don't think anyone ever prayed for us before.""I'll pray for your whole family," Emma assured her. "Would you like to pray together now?""I don't know much about praying," said Harper."That's okay," Emma said. "I'll pray. Then maybe I can tell you more about how Jesus helped our family through that tough time."Harper nodded and followed Emma's example as she closed her eyes and bowed her head.When Emma got home from school that day, she told her mom about Harper's mother. "I told Harper how knowing Jesus helped me when Dad had that accident. She listened to what I said because she knew I understood how she felt." Emma smiled. "It's almost like God used Dad's accident to help me know what to say to Harper.""Yes," said Mom. "That's what the Bible says. Jesus comforts us during hard times, and He tells us to comfort others when they go through hard times too. One way we can do that is by telling hurting people how Jesus helped us like you did. Let's pray it will encourage Harper to trust Him."Emma nodded. "Let's pray for her right now." -Linda WeddleHow About You?Have you experienced difficult things? Maybe there's been a serious illness, a death, or an especially hard time in your family. Jesus cares and offers His comfort--through His Word, through talking with Him, and sometimes through other people. You, in turn, can comfort others. Pray for those who are going through a tough situation. Trust God to help you reach out to them and tell them about His love.Today's Key Verse:He [Jesus] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. (2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT))Today's Key Thought:Comfort others with God's love

    Out of the Tube

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2022

    Bible Reading: Proverbs 10:31-32; Ecclesiastes 10:12-13I gotta go, Ian texted his friend Spencer after helping him with a homework question. I'm babysitting Colton, so I'd better see if he finished his snack. Ian put down his phone and returned to the kitchen, but his little brother was no longer there. "Colton, where are you?" Ian called."In here." The little boy's answer came from the bathroom. Ian hurried in and found toothpaste all over the counter. More was oozing out of the tube as Colton stood on a stool, trying to push it back in. "Colton!" Ian grabbed the tube away from his brother. "You can't put toothpaste back. Once it's out of the tube, it stays out. Don't be such a dummy!"Colton began to cry. "I'm dumb," he sobbed. "I'm a dummy!"When Ian saw how upset his little brother was, he wished he hadn't been so harsh. "No, you're not, Colton, you just have to learn some stuff.""But you said"Ian rumpled his brother's hair. "Forget it. I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry."When Mom and Dad came home, they asked how the babysitting went. "I'm a dummy," Colton whimpered."No, you're not," said Ian quickly. He knew he'd have to explain what had happened. "We had aa toothpaste explosion, that's all," he said, and he told his parents about it."And I'm a dummy," Colton repeated. "Ian said so." "I told you you're not," Ian replied. "I told you I'm sorry for saying that.""Colton, you shouldn't have been playing with the toothpaste," Dad said, "but Ian, you should have been watching him more carefully. And it sounds like you already know you were quick to say hurtful words.""Yeah, and I really am sorry--I just wish Colton would believe me!""Words are like toothpaste squeezed out of a tube--you can't take them back," said Mom. "You can only clean up the mess with forgiveness. I know Colton will forgive you once he understands you're sorry you hurt him. But there's someone else who's always ready to forgive--and who will help you speak loving words instead of hurtful ones. "You mean Jesus, don't you?" Ian sighed. "I need to ask Him to clean up the mess I made." -Linda WeddleHow About You?Do you often speak in anger? Do you scold or make unkind remarks to brothers or sisters? Do you jokingly say things without considering how others will feel about them? Words can never be unsaid--they can only be forgiven. The Bible says your speech should always be "with grace." In other words, speak in a way that shows others the grace and love of Jesus. Today's Key Verse:Let your speech always be with grace. (Colossians 4:6 (NKJV))Today's Key Thought:Speak in a kind way

    Part of God's Family

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022

    Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:19-22"This trip is so much fun!" said Clara as her family drove back to their hotel during spring vacation.Her sister Sydney grinned. "Yeah! That water park today was really cool! What are we gonna do tomorrow, Dad?""Tomorrow we're going to church," Dad answered.Sydney frowned. "We don't usually go to church when we're on vacation." "Yeah," said Clara. "Won't we feel out of place in a church where we don't know anyone?""Actually, we do know someone--or at least, Pastor Burke does," Dad replied. "He has friends who live in this town, and your mom and I would like to meet them, so we're going to their church tomorrow. I think we'll feel at home there." The girls were not convinced, but they knew better than to argue.Early Sunday morning, Mom woke Clara and Sydney. They had breakfast at the hotel and then headed to church. "Can't we at least skip Sunday school?"Clara asked. "We won't even know where to go.""Pastor Burke's friends have a daughter your age, so she'll take you there," Mom assured them.When they arrived, they were welcomed at the door by Pastor Burke's friends Mr. and Mrs. Ortiz and their daughter Gabriella. "Look at those posters on the wall!" Sydney whispered to Clara as they followed Gabriella to her Sunday school class. "They have the same Wednesday night program we do!" The girls were also a little surprised to find they enjoyed the songs they sang--both in Sunday school and in the morning church service--even though they hadn't heard some of them before."That wasn't bad after all," said Sydney as they got into their car after church."No," said Clara. "Actually, I liked it a lot. I liked their songs almost as much as the ones we sing at home. And Gabriella and the other kids were nice."Dad smiled. "When we're away from our own church, we might feel like we're the only Christians in the world, but that's not true. There are people everywhere who love Jesus, and it's nice to meet some of them.""Yes," said Mom. "After all, we all belong to God's family! Meeting Christians in unfamiliar places reminds us we're never alone." -Linda WeddleHow About You?Have you ever visited a church in a place you didn't live? Was it a lot like your church at home? Chances are that some things were familiar and other things were different, but the important thing is that you were able to meet others who love Jesus. A church in a new place can be a home away from home because all those who trust in Jesus are part of God's family.Today's Key Verse:You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household. (Ephesians 2:19 (NIV))Today's Key Thought:Christians belong to God's family

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