Valley Baptist Church
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Making disciples that change their world.

The Kids' Page

 
 
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Lying

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [Genesis 3:1-5]

"Bad Imaginary Friend"

Lots of us have imaginary friends. John had one and he talked to him every day. John’s imaginary friend was named Duncan. Since John was an only child, he had lots of time for Duncan. Whenever mom and dad were too busy, he and Duncan made up lots of fun games together. They would play in the yard and turn it into a wonderful forest full of wild imaginary creatures. Sometimes they were spacemen fighting the evil Lord Gnulle and his army of mutants. Duncan and John always won. Other times Duncan would just get in his jammies and watch movies with John and make funny remarks about the adults. 

One day John and Duncan were working on a fort in a part of the yard where nobody ever went. Duncan had already talked John into taking scrap wood from building sites near by even though John didn’t really feel ok about it. “Go ahead.” Duncan said. “Look, they have so much wood. They won’t miss a few boards.” John never let himself think he had stolen the boards and Duncan said was ok so he took them. 

At home, he got busy building the fort. Duncan said it was ok to use John’s daddy’s tools because they both knew that John’s daddy wanted John to learn to use tools so this was a perfect way. Suddenly as he worked, John cut his finger. It was bleeding pretty badly so he ran crying into the house to have mommy fix it. As mommy was putting the band-aid on she asked, “How did you cut your finger John?” 

“Don’t tell her it was on your daddy’s saw.” Duncan whispered. “Tell her you cut it stacking firewood.” 

“But that’s a lie.” John answered his friend. Mommy didn’t see the chat happening because parents can’t see what happens with your imaginary friend. 

“Don’t worry. I have a magic dust and I will throw it on her to turn the lie into the truth.” Duncan whispered. 

“I cut it stacking up some of the firewood like you wanted me to do mommy.” John said feeling really guilty inside and just then, he saw Duncan blow the magic dust. 

“Well, I am glad you were doing something good sweetie.” Mommy said. “Just try to be more careful next time.” 

Wow it had worked. John’s mom really did believe it and when she did, it almost made it true. Well at least until John went back to building his fort and saw the blood on the saw. So he cleaned it up then the lie became the truth. Duncan and John worked all afternoon but as suppertime came close, it looked like rain. 

“We better go in and tell mommy what we want for supper.” Duncan recommended. “I want macaroni and cheese.” He cheered which seemed odd to John because imaginary friends don’t eat. 

“Ok, we better put daddy’s tools up or I will get caught and be in big trouble.” John told Duncan. 

“Oh leave them.” Duncan said. “We will need them tomorrow to finish the fort and this way it won’t take so long getting them out. Anyway, daddy never uses them during the week so we can clean up on Friday.” So John listened to Duncan and left the tools out. He thought about it later when he was watching TV with his parents and it started to rain but it was too late to run out there now and daddy would know for sure. Then, just like Duncan said, they used the tools the next day and everything was fine. 

Saturday daddy found the tools. He called John into the garage. “John, did you play with my tools and leave them out?” daddy said holding his favorite saw. “See? It’s rusting. Was it out when it rained that night?” 

“Tell him no.” Duncan whispered. “Tell him that he left them out the last time he worked on the fence and that you found them and put them up for him.” 

“But that’s a lie!” John objected to his imaginary friend. 

“I will use my magic dust to make it the truth like we did before.” Duncan reassured him. So John said what Duncan wanted him to and when he finished the lie, he heard Duncan blow the magic dust. Daddy stared at John like he could see right through him. John even saw daddy’s eyes shift like he could actually see Duncan and John got really scared. If daddy has magic and knows about Duncan, he will be in big trouble. 

“Ok John, we will talk about it later.” Daddy said. 

“We did it!” Duncan said triumphantly. “The magic dust worked and changed the lie into the truth.” John still felt really bad in his spirit and the play that day was not so fun. 

“John lets talk about the tools.” John’s daddy said coming into his bedroom and sitting on the bed. Then he did something John didn’t expect. He picked John up and hugged him and let him sit on his lap. “Now, you have always been an honest boy and you know you can tell me the truth no matter what, don’t you?” 

“Yes daddy.” John said feeling himself close to tears. “Daddy, I left the tools out. I lied to you in the garage.” He said sniffling a bit. 

“NO DON’T TELL HIM THAT. WHAT ABOUT OUR SECRETS?” Duncan complained loudly but John didn’t listen. 

“Who taught you to lie like that?” John’s daddy asked. 

“My imaginary friend Duncan.” John said feeling much better getting it out. 

“John, remember in the Bible where the serpent convinced Eve to lie? Well that serpent was kind of like Duncan because Eve hid things from those she loved, first her husband and then God. But God can see in our hearts and knows when we lie because nothing is hidden from him. God knows you and Duncan used lies to cover up things.” Daddy said holding John so he felt safe even though he was being corrected. 

“Yes daddy I know. I have felt awful about it all day.” John confessed. 

“Well, the Bible teaches us not to listen to spirits that make us sin. If Duncan is making you sin then its time he either met the Lord or you got a new imaginary friend. Maybe one that goes to our church.” Daddy said and then he prayed with John and John repented of lying and of listening to a spirit that told him to sin. He hopped down from daddy’s knee and ran out to have a snack with mommy. 

“Oh and John?” His daddy said standing up from the bed. “Tell Duncan his magic dust doesn’t work because I could see him blowing it the whole time.” He said and John’s jaw dropped. 

“You could see Duncan? And you knew about the dust?” he gasped. “How much can mommies and daddies see?” he gasped. 

“You never know John.” Daddy said chuckling. “You just never know.”

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. [1 Peter 5:8-9]

Joy

Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. [John 10:7-10]

"The Happy Pony"

Princess was a very pretty pony. But none of her friends understood why she never competed for ribbons like all the other beautiful ponies. They all stayed in the common stables in town when they were not with their owners or training or racing or being shown for prizes. 

“My master shows me in every pretty pony show in the kingdom,” Polly Pony said with great pride in her stable. She even kept her hair in braids and her ribbons on in the night when all the other ponies were ready for bed. That was how proud she was. “If your master was proud of you Princess, he would show you so all would know how pretty you are.” 

“My master races me in all the races. When I win, he give me treats and promises me many more races.” Peter Pony said pawing the ground as though he was running that very minute. 

“You have only belonged to your master for a month.” Polly said to Peter. “What happened to Prancer Pony, he belonged to your master before?” 

“I think master sold Prancer because he stopped winning races.” Peter said sadly. “I liked Prancer, we were good friends. I think he had to go pull carts at the factory.” And Peter looked very sad. 

“You know, my master used to care for me and my sisters.” Priscilla Pony said sadly. “But when Porsche and Petunia stopped winning….” She said and then a sad realization came over the stable. 

“Don’t worry ponies.” Princess said in a joyful voice. “I am sure your masters love you and will keep you for all of your lives so you can play with the master’s children and be part of their holidays and know the joy of being part of his family.” 

“Wait,” Peter said with fear and despair in his pony voice. “It makes sense now. I always win so Master always give me treats but then I have to train for hours and hours each day. I never see master. I love him so much but I only see him on race days. He doesn’t even ride me, just one of his workers. Why won’t my master play with me and train me and ride me? It’s like I am property, not his prize pony.” And he cried. Instead of knowing the joy of the love of his master and the pride of his great wins, Peter Pony felt small and lonely for his master. 

“Do you know all those things Princess?” Polly Pony asked. 

“Yes Polly. My master cares for me and all his horses and animals with tender care. He would do anything for us. Why once last winter, he went out in that horrible snowstorm to save Sammy Sheep who had gotten lost and was freezing in the woods. The master himself could have died but he was ready to give his life to save even the least of his own.” 

“My master didn’t even come to the stable during that storm.” Priscilla said with sadness and despair in her voice. “I wanted to be with him because I was so afraid. Are you ever afraid, Princess Pony?” She said wondering about how Princess had gotten such a wonderful master. 

“Yes, I get afraid. We all do. But when I do, my master knows it and he comes to me and comforts me and I know that nothing in the universe can harm me as long as I am his.” 

“Who is this wonderful master?” Peter said wishing he could serve such a one that cared so much for his ponies. 

“His name is Jesus,” Princess announced happily. “And he wants all ponies to know his love. I was owned by an evil master such as yours before Jesus saved me from him. But now I am not only the servant of Jesus, I am his friend and he loves me as his very own. He bought me at a great price from my evil master.” She said remembering the day she met him with tears in her pony eyes. 

“I wish he would buy me.” Polly Pony said her face almost to the ground with sadness and feeling almost like she was dead. 

“Well I have good news.” Princess said. “My master has room in his home for all of us. He doesn’t want any ponies to suffer or not know the joy of a loving master. Why just today, he saved Prancer and took him from slavery into the family of Jesus. And right now he is doing the same for Porsche and Petunia. If any of you will come to him, all of you can be bought by Jesus and be owned by a master who loves you. 

And they all wanted that and Jesus was faithful to her promise for he had given all he had to save the ponies and they all became his and were treated as loved and loving friends and they had his family to love and play with and they were never thrown away for not being fast or pretty enough. 

“Finally,” Polly said with a loud and happy whiney. “Finally we all know what Princess knew. We know the joy of knowing Jesus for our master.”

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” [John 10:11-18]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foul Language is Bad

He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend. [Proverbs 22:11]

"A Swear Word in Heaven"

In heaven, running and playing was what all the children are supposed to do. Ever since Jesus came and got them, Georgie and his family were blissfully happy in heaven. And for Georgie, there was so many things to see and do and you never had to be afraid or come in after dark or worry about getting hurt or bad people because you can’t be hurt or get sick or meet any bad people in heave because heaven is full of people that love Jesus just like he did. So if he ran screaming in joy through the streets, nobody complained and in fact, the angels and Jesus himself might run into the street and play kickball with him. That is just the kind of place heaven is. 

One day Georgie was trying to figure out how old he was. Since there is no getting older or days or months in heaven, he might be a bazillion years old for all he knew. He never worried about it but he was playing with little diamonds that he collected from the streets and using them to count. That’s when he saw it. It was not like anything he had ever seen in heaven. It was very small, maybe a foot high and wide. It didn’t have a head, no wait, in fact, it only had a head. It was just one little round hairy ball in the middle, with ears on the side, no arms, two very thin and scrawny crow like legs sticking out and these two HUGE feet, bigger than ducks feet which is picked up and flopped down with a PLOP PLOP PLOP as it walked down the middle of the street in heaven. 

“What is that thing?” Georgie’s sister asked and Georgie sure didn’t know. Just then, his daddy stepped behind the children and pulled them back. 

“It’s a swear word.” He said solemnly. 

“A swear word?” Georgie said puzzled. “In heaven? How can that be, how did it get in here?” 

PLOP PLOP PLOP the swear word in heaven just kept plodding along making slow and stead progress. Behind him, his footprints were green and yucky and smelled bad. Every so often, it stopped and shook and suddenly a big belch of fowl brown smoke oozed out of it and everyone on the street just went “Ewwwwwww”. 

All of God’s people were very unhappy about the swear word in heaven and that was bad because nobody was ever supposed to be unhappy in heaven. Everybody knew that nobody knew what to do about it. Georgie ran to the one who always made him feel better. He ran to Jesus. Jesus was sitting on a park bench teaching about 30 people about what it was really like the day he gave his life for their sins so they could be in heaven when Georgie ran up and sat right at his feet. It was ok. In heaven, you can hug God anytime you need a hug. He likes it. But as Georgie was holding Jesus by the ankles, they all heard it. 

PLOP PLOP PLOP. The swear word in heaven was coming. They heard it before they smelled it but when they smelled it, they remembered why swear word always were so yucky. It rounded the corner and one plop after the other walked up to about five feet in front of Jesus and it stopped. 

“Do you know who I am?” The swear word said to Jesus. 

“Yes, you are a swear word. I know all about you. I have cleaned you up before.” Jesus answered. 

“Well here I am in heaven. And I am going to ruin it for everyone.” It said with a nasty laugh. 

“No you won’t. I know that because I know why you are a swear word and not a praise word.” Jesus said with a soft sternness in his voice. 

“Nobody knows that. If they did, nobody would let a swear word in heaven, in their houses or anywhere where people are.” The swear word said with a small billow of that awful smoke oozing up. 

“There is a door in your tummy, open it.” Jesus commanded and Georgie looked closely. Sure enough, there was a tiny door in the middle of his fat round body, which was really all there was to him, with tiny little hinges and a handle with no lock. Slowly the swear word, raised his huge foot so it flipped the handle and the door swung open. A gasp went through the people of God at what they saw. They saw nothing. The swear word in heave was empty inside. “That’s why you swear isn’t it? Because you are empty inside and you want people to think you are something so instead of blessing them and loving them, you are a swear word which only pushes people away.” 

“So what?” The swear word said defiantly. “Nobody can fix my emptiness.” A gasp went up because everybody knew that everybody knew who could fix the emptiness inside of an empty soul. Jesus smiled and from his eyes came that glow that became a light beam of pure love that poured from his divine heart, out his eyes, passed Georgie who stuck his finger in it, just for a little sample and then it poured into the open door of the heart of that empty place in the creature. Just like that the swear word in heaven burst with light that drove all the awful smoke from the air. The hole inside him filled to overflowing with the sweet water of life that every occupant of heaven drank of every single day. 

“What happened?” It said with a confused but joyful song in its voice. “What am I now?” 

“You are no longer a swear word in heaven.” Jesus pronounced. “You are now a praise word in heaven and here is your family. Rushing down the hills were not three, not seven, not thirty-eight but millions, no zillions, no bazillions of happy glowing praise words that overran heaven every single day. They rushed to their new brother and hugged him with their feet and giggled and the song of praise words that went up carried all of heaven into a concert of praise that lasted for centuries. Georgie watched the joyful celebration of a saved praise word, he still hugged Jesus’ feet and together they watched the happy thing make its way to its new home in heaven where it will never be alone, never lonely, never bored and always full of happiness, joy and fun because in heaven, a praise word is always loved by everyone. 

“He will be all right now Georgie,” Jesus told him. 

“I know Jesus but one thing I can’t help but notice.” Georgie answered. 

“What’s that?” 

“It still has awfully big feet.” Georgie answered, and then he ran off to laugh and play some more.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. [Colossians 3:7-10]