Keys for Kids

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Posted 4/16/14 at 9:28 AM | Children's Bible Hour

Tried and True

Photo: Flickr/Julie Gibbons - Creative Commons

Lori 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 as she grinned at her mother.

"You do a good job," agreed Mom, "and I appreciate your taking that task off my hands today. I need the extra time to prepare for my Bible study class."

Lori looked thoughtful as she stirred the mixture. "Mom, how do you know the Bible is true?" she asked. "I mean . . . couldn't it have some mistakes?"

Mom looked surprised. "No, it couldn't," she said.

"Well, Addie's father is a preacher, and they believe most of the Bible," said Lori, "but he says some of the things just couldn't have happened. Like the story of Jonah and some of the miracles. He says God has set up certain laws of nature, and those things don't fit in." FULL POST

Posted 4/15/14 at 9:37 AM | Children's Bible Hour

Real Darkness

Photo: Flickr/cariliv - Creative Commons
Inside the Jewel Cave

"How was this cave discovered?" Ryan's dad asked the tour guide as they took an elevator into the depths of Jewel Cave near Custer, South Dakota.

"It's an interesting story," replied the guide. "In 1900, two prospectors heard wind rushing through a hole in the rocks. When they enlarged the hole, they found a cave full of sparkling crystals. The Jewel Cave National Monument was established in 1908 to protect this beautiful cave."

The elevator stopped, and they stepped out. Following a paved, lighted pathway, they climbed up and down more than 700 steps. Ryan was fascinated with the colorful rock crystals hanging like giant icicles. Away from the light, deep darkness enveloped the caverns. "With many miles already mapped, Jewel Cave is one of the longest caves in the world, and more has yet to be explored," said the guide as the tour group stopped in one of the chambers. "In a few minutes, I'm going to turn off the lights, and you'll see what real darkness is like." FULL POST

Posted 4/14/14 at 9:25 AM | Children's Bible Hour

Secret to a Friendly Church

Document labeled
Photo: Flickr/RestrictedData - Creative Commons

"Once upon a time there were three Baars: Mr. Baar, Mrs. Baar, and their daughter, Merry." Jodi snuggled close as her mother continued reading from Jodi's favorite storybook. "One day while driving home from church, Mr. Baar growled, I'm never going back there again. No one spoke to me.'

"Mrs. Baar nodded her head until her curls bobbed. No one talked to me, either,' she declared.

"Merry Baar bounced up and down in the back seat. In her little, high voice she said, None of the kids talked to me.' So the Baars tried other churches, but they were always disappointed as they hurried in and then back out again after the service. All the Baars agreed that churches were very unfriendly.

"One day, the pastor from the last church they had visited came to their home. We were so pleased to have you with us last Sunday,' he said. We hope you'll come again. We have many fine people in our church.' FULL POST

Posted 4/13/14 at 4:56 PM | Children's Bible Hour

Where the Fish Are

Blue fish
Photo: Lee Nachtigal - Creative Commons

"Our Sunday school contest isn't fair," complained Stephen one morning. "It's called Fishing for Jesus. There will be some outreach activities--like to give out tracts and stuff--and we're supposed to bring visitors to our class. But my friends already go to Sunday school, so I don't have anybody to invite." Stephen sighed. "The prize is a fishing rod, and I sure could use that!"

"Hm-m-m," murmured Dad. He looked thoughtful. "Speaking of fishing, I hear they've been biting lately. Care to go?"

"All right!" exclaimed Stephen. "I'll get ready right now."

Dad nodded. "I'll get the fishing gear. Meet me out back when you're ready."

When Stephen 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?" Stephen asked.

"Sh-h-h!" Dad cautioned him. "I'm fishing. Don't scare the fish away." FULL POST

Posted 4/12/14 at 8:56 PM | Children's Bible Hour

Pulling on the Leash

Labrador dog
Photo: Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz - Creative Commons

Amanda 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 setting the table and smiled. "I'm not sure who took who for a walk," she said.

Amanda frowned. "Prince always wants to go for a walk, but when I take him, he pulls on the leash the whole way!" she complained. "He acts like he's the one who should decide which way to go."

"He's still just a puppy," said Mom.

"I know," grumbled Amanda, "but I wish he'd learn to listen to me. He should learn to heel like my friend Patti's dog does."

"Maybe we'll have to take him to dog obedience school," said Mom, "or at least start some dog obedience lessons on our own." Mom studied Amanda a moment, then said softly, "Sometimes people behave a lot like Prince. They pull and tug on their leashes, too. They think they should decide for themselves what's good for them, and they don't want to listen to God or to parents who really know best." She paused, then added, "Like last week when I wouldn't let you go to Jessica's party. I'm not sure you've quite forgiven me for that yet!" FULL POST

Posted 4/11/14 at 8:28 AM | Children's Bible Hour

God's Strength - Part 2

Photo: NOAA - Public Domain
Tornado cloud

Scott looked closely at the small log Dad had brought home to show him. There was a long straw sticking out from the wood. "Weird," said Scott. "How did that straw get into the wood?" Then he nodded. "The tornado that passed by the other day did that, didn't it?"

"Yes," said Dad. "One of the guys at work found this on his property. His place was right on the edge of the storm."

"Wow!" marveled Scott. "The wind drove that weak, little 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 that I'll teach the Sunday school class I've been offered."

Scott frowned as he looked at his dad. "Really?" Scott asked. "What does teaching a class have to do with this wood and straw?" FULL POST

Posted 4/10/14 at 9:52 AM | Children's Bible Hour

God's Strength

Photo: NOAA - Public Domain
Tornado cloud

Scott glanced nervously out the school window. It looked 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 Scott began the first problem, a bell rang. "Tornado drill," said Miss Grey. "Take a large book and file quietly into the hall, children."

The class 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. Scott could hear a siren blowing, and as he listened, he knew it came from a nearby fire station. It was the signal to the town that a tornado funnel had been seen nearby.

Scott had never been so scared before, but as he sat trembling, he recalled something Dad had said just the weekend before. They had gone swimming, and as Dad walked out into the deep water, Scott's little brother Brian clung to his father's shoulders. "Are you scared in the deep water, Brian?" Scott had asked. FULL POST

Posted 4/9/14 at 10:17 AM | Children's Bible Hour

It Happened to Me

Photo: Flickr/William Mewes - Creative Commons

Nicole's back at school today, Emma noticed. Maybe her mom is doing better. But a few minutes later, Emma learned that Nicole's mother remained in critical condition after being in a serious car accident a week before. Many of their classmates stared curiously at Nicole 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 serious wreck last year, I think I know just how Nicole feels. Maybe it would help her if I tell her about Dad's accident.

Emma walked over to Nicole. "You doing okay?" Emma asked.

Nicole shrugged. "Dad thought it would get my mind off Mom's accident if I came to school," she said, "but it's not working too good."

"It's hard, I know," said Emma. "My dad was badly hurt in a car wreck last year."

"Oh." Nicole sighed. "Then you know how I feel!" FULL POST

Posted 4/8/14 at 9:21 AM | Children's Bible Hour

Toothpaste Lesson

Toothbrush with toothpaste
Photo: Flikr/Kenneth Lu - Creative Commons

Tim ran to answer the phone. "Hi, Spence," he said, sitting down on the couch to talk. "What's up?" The boys talked quite a while, then Tim said, "I'm babysitting Josh, so I'd better see if he finished his milk and cookies. I'll talk to you later." Tim hung up the phone and returned to the kitchen, but his little brother was no longer there. "Josh, where are you?" called Tim.

"In here." The little boy's answer came from the bathroom.

Tim hurried in and found toothpaste all over the counter. More was oozing out of the tube as Josh stood on a stool, trying to push it back in.

"Josh!" exclaimed Tim, grabbing 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!" He continued scolding as he cleaned up the mess Josh had made.

Josh began to cry. "I'm dumb," he sobbed. "I'm just a dummy!" FULL POST

Posted 4/7/14 at 9:05 AM | Children's Bible Hour

Part of God's Family

Photo: Flickr/Mel Silvers Creative Commons
Church sign says, "What is missing from ch__ch? U r."

"This trip is so much fun!" declared Amy when they stopped at a motel one Saturday night while on a spring vacation trip.

Her sister Joelle grinned. "Yeah! That water slide today was really cool!"

Amy laughed. "Br-r-r-r! In more ways than one," she said. "What are we going to do tomorrow, Dad?"

"Tomorrow we're going to church," answered Dad, "just like we do when we're at home."

"Do we have to? I'll feel so out of place in a strange church," complained Amy.

Joelle nodded. "Me, too," she agreed.

Dad smiled. "Pastor Burke told me he has friends who attend a church in this town. We'll try it," he said. "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 Amy and Joelle. They had breakfast at the motel and then headed for the church they had heard about. "Can't we at least skip Sunday school?"Amy asked. "We won't even know where to go." FULL POST

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