Do you remember the last family gathering you attended? Maybe it was on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Well, for Mary Rhinehart it was her annual dinner that she prepared for her relatives on the first Sunday of each New Year. Her dinner consisted tender succulent meats and several kinds of green vegetables and delicious rice and potato dishes. And, she out did herself with her sweet, tangy fruit pies and banana puddings.
The whole family was there from grandpa Amos and grandma Bea to the newest members of the family, the 8 month old twins Tyler and Tara, and all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and sisters and brothers in between. The parents of the twins realized too late that in their hurry to get to Mary's house they had left the twins' baby food on the kitchen counter. But not to worry, Mary was a quick and innovative thinker. She used her food processor to puree bits of the meat as well as the veggies and potatoes. She even used her food processor to puree some fruit from the pies. The twins were able to enjoy the same meal as the rest of the family in a way that was digestible for them; and that's how it is with the Word of God and children.
God's Word is relevant for all ages and I know it pleases Him when we as parents, teachers and friends provide children with the tools they need to be able to feed on, understand and digest His spiritual nourishment from the Bible.
Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. Mark 10:14 (NLT)
Until next time!
God made the world and everything in it,
We call it the universe,
Nothing was made before there was God
He was, and is always, the first
We’ve always been taught
Everything has a start
And also has an end
A day has its start it begins with the sun,
When the moon comes out that day is done.
The alphabet starts with the letter A
And ends with the letter Z
But God has no start
And God has no end He is and always will be
That’s what makes Him God
Our Creator, He’s so great
We accept these things about our God,
Believing them by faith.
By S. Francis-Salley
Harriet’s Purpose by Shirley Francis-Salley
Have you ever seen a railroad without a track, or a train to run upon it?
There was such a thing a time ago and slaves fled to freedom on it.
The conductor’s name was Harriet, Mrs. Tubman, if you please!
She ran the “Underground Railroad” through woods full of shadows and trees.
She helped slaves escape to freedom, right from under their master’s noses.
She led them to the “Promised Land” that’s why they called her Moses.
Why did Harriet Tubman take on such a dangerous task?
What would make her do it? Some of you might ask.
The reason that she did it was God gave her that job to do.
That was Harriet’s PURPOSE, and God’s got one for YOU too!
Even though I am a child,
I know you have a purpose for me.
I want to know my purpose
So I can do the things that please you., amen
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Does God Really Answer Our Prayers?
In June I saw this really cool red cell phone and I wanted it for my birthday. I told my parents about it and I even showed them a picture of it. They told me they would keep it in mind. I felt like I should do more about the situation since Mom and Dad didn’t sound too convincing, so I prayed each night. My birthday was 2 months away so I knew God had plenty of time to answer my prayer.
Well, my birthday was last week. My mom made a big cake and fixed my favorite dinner. I was very happy and even happier when my dad handed me my present. I knew what it was. After all, I had prayed every night for it. As I unwrapped my gift my heart was beating very fast because I was excited. When I opened the box I saw a shiny, silver colored, watch. I was very surprised and disappointed, but I didn’t want my parents to know. I said it was real nice and I thanked them.
I was very confused. I didn’t understand why God didn’t answer my prayer. I think I was even kind of angry with Him. But there was nothing I could do about it. So I stopped praying to Him and I tried to forget about the cell phone. A couple of days went by and something happened. I was watching my little brother while my mom was upstairs sewing some curtains. There was a box of chocolate cookies on the top of the refrigerator in the kitchen and my little brother wanted them, but he wasn’t tall enough to reach them. Mom had told me not to give him any snacks because that would spoil his appetite for dinner.
My brother asked for the cookies and I said, no. But, that didn’t stop him. He kept coming back to me every 10 minutes asking for the cookies and I kept saying no. He was very angry with me. I didn’t tell him that it was Mom who said he couldn’t have any snacks. I just let him blame me. When Mom came down to the kitchen she noticed the box of cookies on the top of the refrigerator. She said, “Oh. No! I forgot to take those cookies back to the store where I bought them. They’re no good. I’m glad nobody ate them they are filled with little bugs.” My brother wasn’t angry with me after he heard that. He was very glad that he didn’t get the cookies.
That night when my parents thought I was asleep I overheard them talking. Dad said, “I really wanted Michelle to have that phone for her birthday but we just couldn’t afford it last week. Mom said, “Even though she tried to hide it, I know she was disappointed. Did you see the look on her face?” Then Dad said well she’ll have a different look on her face on Christmas day. We’ll be able to afford that cell phone, then. I was so happy.
As I lay on my bed, I began to think about my brother and the cookies. He had kept on asking for the cookies. But he didn’t get them and he got angry. Now he’s glad he didn’t get the cookies. Then I thought about me, every night I had prayed to God and asked him for the cell phone. I didn’t get it and I got angry. Now, I know why I didn’t get it. I also realized that God really does always answer prayers. Sometimes He says, Yes (and it happens right away). Sometimes He says, NO (and it doesn’t happen at all). And, sometimes He says, Wait (and it happens later).
by Shirley Francis Salley
It’s All About Your Character by Shirley Francis-Salley Carla and Laura had auditioned for the lead role in the play, now they were about to find out which one of them would be chosen. Carla told herself that she would get the part because everyone knew that she was the best at playing funny characters and she had the awards to prove it. Laura was disappointed when Carla's name was called for the lead and she was chosen to be Carla's understudy but, she studied her lines and was at every rehearsal, on time. Carla was very good at playing the lead role but she was late for every rehearsal with excuses about some other thing she had to do at school. By now Mrs. Adams the drama director, was quite annoyed with the way Carla was treating her responsibility. This continued right on down to the last two rehearsals and the director made a change. She gave the lead role to Laura. Carla couldn’t believe her ears when she was told she was out of the play.
“But I’m the best; you know I am Mrs. Adams. Laura can’t play the part like I can!”
“You’re right Carla, you are the best but, you are not dependable and you are not concerned about anyone but yourself and so, you’re out. Alright Laura, take it from the top.”
Do What You Gotta Do by Shirley Francis-Salley
Twelve year old Robie awoke and looked up at the calendar. It was Friday. The day of the amusement park bus outing had finally arrived.
“Yes!” he said as he made a ball with his fist and pulled his arm down to his waist. It was the same move he did whenever his school’s basketball team made a “got it goin’ on” move on the court. I thought this day would never get here, he said to himself. Seems like I’ve been waiting forever.
Hours later Robie’s friends Willie and Jay stopped by for him. “Ma!” yelled Robie. “The guys are here and I’m ready to go.”
“Come here a moment,” his mom called.
Robie went to his mom’s room to see what she wanted. She hugged him.
“Be careful, son and remember what I told you. This is your first big outing without your dad and me. Be on your best behavior and have a great time.”
Sitting in the back of the bus, Robie thought about what his mom had said. His thoughts were interrupted by what one of his friends was saying.
“That kid sitting in the front, the one sitting right behind the teacher, has a lot of money. I saw it.When we get to the park, let’s beat him for his dollars!”
By the looks on the guys’ faces, they liked the idea—all except Robie.
“What’s the matter, Robie? Are you down with us or not?” asked Jay.
“Yeah, I’m down.” he answered.
Robie was quiet for the rest of the bus ride. He was too busy thinking about what he had agreed to. He knew it was wrong but these guys were his friends. How could he let them down? They’ll hate me if I back out. What should I do?
As the bus sped along he looked up just in time to see a big billboard advertisement about some cookies. It read, MOM KNOWS BEST.
His mom’s words echoed in his mind, “Be on your best behavior.”
Robie made a decision and said out loud, “I won’t do it.”
“Won’t do what?” asked Willie.
“I won’t be down with the plan.”
“We knew you couldn’t hang. You’re just a wimp. We’re not down with you either. Get lost, softie.” Said one of the other guys.
Robie changed his seat and rode the rest of the way in silence. At the park he was alone. His so called friends had deserted him. He didn’t want to be with the other kids. He didn’t know them that well so, he stayed by himself. He saw the guys having fun, going on rides together, and laughing all over themselves. It hurt his feelings to be put down by them, but he had done what he had to do.
That Monday at school Robie heard that Jay, Willie and some other guys had gotten suspended for taking a student’s money at the amusement park, and they wouldn’t be attending their graduation ceremony.
I’m glad I said no, to those guys or I would’ve been in BIG trouble too, he thought.
At home that afternoon, he told his mom the whole story.
Mom said, “I’m glad you made the right decision. I know how it feels to be left alone, especially when you just want to be ‘one of the guys’. But, you can’t follow the crowd just to be liked. Doing the right thing and obeying me caused God to protect you. I’m going to be mighty proud of you when they call your name out at your graduation!”
Photo from: funny-pictures..picphotos.net
Cory's Family Reunion By Shirley Francis
Cory looked up from the book he was reading as he felt Grandpa Albert’s arm around his shoulder. He loved the way his grandpa always smelled like peppermint candy.
“Gramps, I don’t want to say the opening prayer at the family reunion this weekend.”
“Why not Cory?” asked Grandpa Albert.
“I’m afraid,” said Cory. “There MUST be someone else who can do it better than me. Why do I have to do it?” Cory shrugged his shoulders. “I won’t know what to say.”
Grandpa Albert said, “Listen to me son. This is a great honor that has been passed down through our side of the family as far back as I can remember. When I was your age I did it. When your daddy was your age he did it, and now it’s your turn. You’ll be fine.”
Grandpa Albert unwrapped a piece of peppermint candy and popped it into his mouth.He offered one to Cory and added, “Besides, everyone is expecting you to do it because they know that Grandpa Al’s boys always say the family reunion prayer. If it will make you feel better I’ll stand with you while you pray. How’s that Cory boy?”
Cory shrugged his shoulders again. “I guess so Gramps.”
After Grandpa Albert had gone Cory spent time thinking about their conversation. After a little while he said to himself, Okay, then I guess I have to do it. I can’t disappoint my family. Besides, Gramps said he would stand with me. If Gramps did it, and Daddy did it, God will help me do it too.