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Posted 1/13/15 at 3:37 PM | Children's Bible Hour
Elise and Julia rummaged through a large jewelry box as they helped their grandmother sort things in preparation for a garage sale. "Look at this pretty necklace," Elise exclaimed. "Is it real gold, Grandma?"
Grandma rubbed her thumb gently over the shiny metal. Then she peered at her thumb. "No, honey," Grandma said. "This is just cheap jewelry."
"How do you know?" asked Julia. "It looks like gold."
Grandma held out her hand. "See the black that rubbed off on my thumb?" she asked. "Real gold wouldn't tarnish like this."
"Is this a diamond ring?" Julia asked.
Grandma took the ring and inspected it. "Well," she said, "I'm not really sure about this one. It's probably only cut glass, but I guess it could be a diamond."
"Then you should keep it," said Elise quickly.
"Elise! Grandma said it's probably fake," scoffed Julia. "Let's sell it."
"But she can't sell it at a garage sale if it might be a real diamond," protested Elise. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 9:10 AM | Children's Bible Hour
There was a dull boom in the distance, and the Taylors' house trembled. Joella put her hands over her ears and ran to her father. "What was that noise, Dad?" she asked anxiously. "I heard it a few times earlier today."
Dad led Joella to the window. "See that column of smoke?" he asked. "A construction crew is using dynamite to make a tunnel through the mountain."
"I wish they'd quit exploding that stuff!" said Joella. "It makes me afraid."
"It is noisy, isn't it?" agreed Dad.
"We saw on TV how men used dynamite to break up big rocks, remember?" asked Joella. "Those rocks just crumbled! But the dynamite won't hurt us, will it?" She scooted closer to her father. "I'm scared!"
Dad slipped his arm around her. "It's not going to hurt us, honey, as long as we stay away from it," he said. "You're perfectly safe here at home." FULL POST
Posted 12/19/14 at 9:43 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Do you mean that new kid at school?" Juan leaned on the window sill as he talked on the phone. "No way!" Dad, who was working on the lawn just outside the window, could hear the conversation. "Yeah, but he's short. We don't want him on our team," Juan continued. "He doesn't look like a basketball player to me. He doesn't even speak good English!" He paused for a moment. "Well, I'd say to forget him." Juan hung up the phone and went to find his father, who had now started the lawn mower. "Hey, Dad! You were going to teach me to play golf," called Juan above the noisy motor.
Dad stopped the mower. "I changed my mind, Juan," he said.
Juan looked puzzled. "Why?" he asked. "Can't we mow the lawn later?"
Dad nodded. "Yes, we could--but you don't look like a very good golfing prospect. You're not dressed like a golfer, and you don't talk like one, either. You don't look like a golfer to me." FULL POST
Posted 12/17/14 at 9:59 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Look!" exclaimed Tyson as he ran into the house. "I found a bird that can't fly. Can I keep it, Mom? I found this old cage in the garage."
Tyson's mother looked closely at the bird. "It's a sparrow, Tyson," she said.
"I suppose you can keep it a few days to see if its wing will heal."
"Okay." Tyson nodded. "I'll let it go soon. Do sparrows sing?"
Mom smiled. "Oh, they cheep and twitter," she replied.
"Well, I'll put it right next to Biddy's cage," Tyson decided. "Biddy has a beautiful song. She can teach the sparrow to sing."
A few days later, the sparrow's wing seemed fine. "Good thing," Tyson told his mother as he took it out to release it. "Instead of this bird learning to sing like a canary, Biddy's been starting to sound like the sparrow!"
That afternoon, Tyson's friend Landon called. After hanging up, Tyson went to find his mother. "Can I go to the mall with Landon?" asked Tyson. FULL POST
Posted 12/16/14 at 11:15 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Colton can't come over this afternoon," said Travis. "He has to go with his mom on door-to-door visitation and pass out church fliers and stuff."
"Really?" Mom was interested. "Are Colton and his family Christians?"
Travis shrugged. "I don't know. They talk about faith in Jesus, but they don't believe He's God. That doesn't make sense to me. They seem to think they have to do a lot of good works to be saved--like handing out the church fliers. I don't understand it. I don't think Colton does, either, but he does whatever he's told--says it can't hurt."
Dad cleared his throat. "It sounds to me like he needs to drop the oars and catch hold of the rope," he said.
"What do you mean?" asked Travis.
"There's a river with a big waterfall near the town where I grew up," said Dad. "Just above the falls, the water is very wild and dangerous. It's unsafe for boating, and I remember one time when a man in a rowboat got caught in the swift current." Dad paused, remembering. FULL POST
Posted 12/15/14 at 8:48 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"You know, Mom," said Alexa as she helped her mother clear the table and put food away after dinner one evening, "I'm confused."
"About what?" Mom asked.
"Well, Courtney acts like she's better than some kids at school, and she says mean things to them," replied Alexa. "She told me she accepted Jesus as her Savior recently, but if she really did, she should be nicer. We've been studying the fruit of the Spirit in Sunday school, but she acts like she never heard of it."
As Alexa loaded the dishwasher, her grey kitten jumped up on the counter, causing a big mess. "Coco! Get down!" scolded Alexa, and Coco jumped down and walked calmly away. "Now I have to clean up this mess!" Alexa sputtered.
Mom laughed. "Yes, you do," she agreed.
"Well, sometimes I wish I didn't even have a cat. He can be such a pain!" grumbled Alexa as she wiped the counter. When she finished, she stomped outside and sat down on the porch. FULL POST
Posted 12/12/14 at 10:56 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Where are you and Joshua going for lunch today?" asked Allison. Her sister Carmen's fiance had arrived, and they were ready to leave.
"We're going to that little restaurant called Your Special Spot," he said with a grin, "only we call it Our Special Spot."
"You go there a lot, don't you?" asked Allison. "Why do you always go there?"
"We don't always go there, but it is our favorite place," replied Carmen. "It's cozy and quiet--a good place to talk."
"We went there on our first date," Joshua said, squeezing Carmen's hand.
"And that's where Joshua proposed to me," added Carmen. "We love spending time together in our special place."
After they left, Allison wandered into the living room. "Carmen and Joshua spend a lot of time together," she murmured to herself. She grinned. "I guess that must be because they love each other." FULL POST
Posted 12/11/14 at 8:47 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Hey, Brad! Look over there by the bushes," said Matt.
"Wow!" exclaimed Brad. "Mr. Jones must have a new watchdog. He's big, but he looks harmless."
"Yeah. I think we can still take our shortcut through there," replied Matt. He took a step forward.
"But look, Matt." Brad pointed to a sign on a tree. "It says, Beware of the dog.' Maybe he's an attack dog!"
"Nah! Just look at that baby face." As Matt started across the yard, the dog began to growl. "Nice doggy, nice doggy," Matt said soothingly.
Brad frowned. "Let's not go any closer. That chain looks pretty long!"
"Oh, if you treat him right, he'll be nice," said Matt with a shrug. "You just need to have a way with animals." Suddenly, the dog lunged at Matt's leg. "Help!" yelled Matt as he jerked his pant leg from the dog's clenched teeth. FULL POST
Posted 12/10/14 at 9:26 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Here we are," said Mom as she pulled the car into a parking space at an antique store. "There are lots of breakable things here, so be careful, okay?"
"I'll be careful," Janie said. "I love to visit antique stores and see all the old stuff." Janie especially liked to look at colorful hand-painted plates, delicate cups and saucers, and sparkling cut-glass bowls and vases. "Old things are more interesting than new ones," Janie said as they went in. "I always wonder what kind of lives they had."
Mom laughed. "It would be interesting to know who owned these things," she agreed. "Were they rich or poor, young or old? Too bad these old things can't tell us." She pointed to a platter. "Wouldn't that be pretty on the shelf in the dining room?"
"Mom, can we get it?" Janie asked eagerly.
They checked the price, and Mom agreed to buy it. After paying the shopkeeper, they took the platter home, and Janie proudly showed it to Dad. FULL POST
Posted 12/9/14 at 9:48 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Hey, Seth!" Joe called down the hallway to his friend. Seth opened his locker and waited as Joe hurried to talk to him. "I've been meaning to ask you--do you want to play ball with my church team?"
"Some other guys asked me to play with them," Seth said, still pulling books from his locker. "I'm gonna be the pitcher on their team."
"But you should play on my team!" protested Joe. "We're good friends."
Seth grinned and nodded. "Friends forever," he said.
"The other guys from church really want you to play with us, too," said Joe.
Seth slammed the locker shut. "Yeah, and if I do, they'll think I have to come to church with them," he grumbled. "To tell the truth, that's why I'd rather play with the other guys! I told you before--I don't want to hear about all that church and Jesus stuff!"
As he spoke, a noisy group of boys rushed down the hall toward Joe and Seth. "Hey, Joe," called the tall boy in the lead. "Seth here is going to be on our baseball team. Want to play with us, too? We joined a Sunday morning league. How about it?"
"Thanks," said Joe, "but I . . ."
"But on Sunday mornings, he goes to church and Sunday school," Seth interrupted.
"Joe goes to Sunday school? Now isn't that sweet?" called a boy in a blue shirt, and the others began to laugh as they turned to leave. FULL POST