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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #5565 on: March 24, 2009, 08:14:38 AM »

"No Garbage"

Mali got out of the car and hurried up the steps, dragging her sleeping bag and backpack. "Hi, Mom," she said, going into the house.

"Hi, honey. How was the sleepover?" asked Mom, who had started making lunch. "Did you have a good time?"

"It was great," answered Mali. She began to tell her mother what they ate, what games they played, and who was at the party.

Mom smiled. "I'll bet you didn't get much sleep, did you?" she asked when Mali paused to catch her breath. "You probably got to bed way too late!"

Mali grinned. "We got out our sleeping bags and watched some movies. We saw one about a boat trip and one about robots and . . ." Mali stopped talking. Her mom looked at her curiously.

"And . . . ?" prompted Mom.  "What else did you watch?"

"Oh, just a DVD that Jennifer brought," said Mali. "I didn't like it so much. She brought it out after Addie's mom went to bed." Seeing her mother's eyebrows rise, Mali quickly added, "But it was okay, Mom. It was a little scary but not too bad, and it had only a few bad words. Besides, it had some really interesting parts-some good stuff."

"I see," said Mom as she finished mixing the salad. She looked at a pile of carrot peelings on the cupboard. "What shall we do with these?" she asked. "They're just the peelings, but I'm sure they must contain some good vitamins, too. Maybe we could add them to the jello. What do you think?"

"And eat them?" asked Mali. "You didn't wash them, did you? They're garbage! Why would you dump garbage in something good, like jello?"

"Is that any worse than what you girls did last night?" asked Mom. "You dumped garbage in your minds, didn't you?"

"But I-I . . ." stuttered Mali. "I wasn't in charge there. What could I do?"

"I know it's hard speak up," said Mom, "but couldn't you have excused yourself and looked at magazines? Or brushed your teeth and gotten ready to sleep or something? Wouldn't that have been better than even a little bit of garbage?"

Mali sighed. "It would have," she agreed. "Next time I'll remember that."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you careful about what your eyes see and your ears hear? Do you think that if only a small part of books or movies are bad, it's okay to read or see them? But you wouldn't eat garbage-even a small amount-would you? Don't feed your mind garbage, either. Make sure your choice of books, movies and music is pleasing to God.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

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« Reply #5566 on: March 25, 2009, 11:33:59 AM »

"Time with a Friend"

"It seems like so many of the guys want to play basketball all the time," complained Timothy one afternoon. "Bryce and I always did stuff together, but now he spends more time with other kids than with me!" As Mom started to speak, Timothy reached into his backpack and changed the subject. "I got an 'A' on my math test!" he announced with a grin. "Since I did so well, can I have an extra half hour of TV tonight? There's a quiz show that's fun to watch."

"All right," agreed Mom, "but first do your homework-your Bible reading, too. We all agreed to read and think about a few verses each day, remember?"

"Okay, Mom," said Timothy as he hurried off.

Soon Timothy returned to the family room and turned on the TV. "Is all your work done already?" asked Mom. "Bible reading, too?"

Timothy frowned. "Well . . . um . . ." he stuttered. "I'll read it later."

Mom turned the TV off. "That wasn't the agreement," she said.

"But, Mom, Bible reading is . . ." Timothy hesitated. "It's . . . well . . . it's boring," he finished.

Mom sat on the couch beside Timothy. "Are you happy when Bryce goes off to play with other guys instead of spending time with you?" she asked.

"No," muttered Timothy. "Of course not."

"Friends want to spend time together, doing things or just talking. We call that having fellowship with one another," said Mom. "We should also have fellowship with Jesus. We should spend time with Him-talking with Him and listening to what He says to us. I think He feels bad when we don't have time for Him."

"I guess so," Timothy replied slowly as he stood up and moved toward the door. "But won't Jesus know I'm sort of bored?"

Mom smiled. "If Jesus were standing here and wanted to tell you something, would you want to hear it?" she asked. Timothy nodded. "Well, He has something to say to you, and He speaks through His Word," said Mom. "Try reading it with that in mind." She glanced at the clock. "Let's look at our Bible verses together tonight-there's enough time before the quiz show. And then I'll fix some popcorn for us to munch while we watch the program."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you have time for TV, video games, playing with friends, and phone calls? Do you also have time for Jesus? He says those who love Him are His friends. He's a friend you can talk to any time and any place. He wants to speak to you, so be sure to "listen." You do that as you think about what He is saying in verses you read from His Word, the Bible. You'll be blessed as you give Him time each day, learn about Him and what He wants you to do, and just enjoy fellowship with Him.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3

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« Reply #5567 on: March 28, 2009, 09:21:54 AM »

"Rules for Living"

Abby looked up from her Sunday school book. "It seems to me that the Bible is full of rules," she observed. "Doesn't God want us to have any fun?"

"We can stay within God's rules and still have lots of fun," said Dad. He put his newspaper on the sofa and took off his glasses. "It may not always seem like it, but God's rules actually help you enjoy life."

Abby looked out the window and changed the subject. "It's a windy day, Dad," she said. "Can we go out and fly the kite I got for my birthday?"

"Sure," agreed Dad. "Let's take it out to the park."

Abby ran to get the kite from her closet. Then she and Dad walked down the street to the large, open field connected with the neighborhood park. They saw that many kites already dotted the sky with their bright colors.

Dad helped Abby get the kite in the air. Then he put the spool of string entirely into her hands. Abby held it tightly. She laughed as she felt the wind lift and move the kite. "My kite pulls and tugs at the string as if it were alive," she called to Dad.

"I wonder how high it would soar with the wind if you didn't hold it back," replied Dad. "Wouldn't the kite look beautiful?"

"Dad!" protested Abby. "You're not suggesting I let it go, are you? If I did that, my kite might be lost, or it might crash and get torn. I don't want that to happen. I like my kite!" She held the string even more tightly.

Dad smiled. "If you let it go, it would crash," he said. "I'm not suggesting that. I was just thinking of how pretty it would look-until it crashed, that is."

After flying the kite for a while, they decided it must be time for lunch, so they headed home. "I really do like my kite," Abby repeated as they walked along.

"Good," said Dad. After a moment, he asked, "Remember what you said this morning about God's rules?" Abby nodded. "Well, honey, His rules are something like the kite string," Dad told her. "The string keeps the kite safe, and God gave rules to keep us safe and to allow us to enjoy life in His care. When you feel like you'd rather be free of His rules, remind yourself of what would happen to your kite without the string."

"Whoa! I'll do my best to follow His rules," decided Abby. "I'd hate to crash!"


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you think you'd have more fun if you didn't have to follow rules? Or do you realize that following God's rules keeps you from "crashing"? Disobeying and getting into trouble is not fun for anybody. Obeying God's rules may seem hard at times, but overall, it worth it! Obeying actually protects you and allows you to have fun as you enjoy God's loving care.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Keep His (God's) statutes and His commandments . . . that it may go well with you. Deuteronomy 4:40

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« Reply #5568 on: March 28, 2009, 09:22:57 AM »

"A Beautiful Picture"

It had not been a good week! First, Allison didn't get the part she wanted in a skit her class was going to perform. Next, her dog died. To top it off, Allison discovered that a stain in her favorite shirt hadn't washed out. Feeling terrible, she went to tell her mother about it. "Everything's going wrong," Allison said tearfully.

"That's too bad, honey," said Mom. She had just returned from shopping and had placed a big square package, wrapped in paper, on the table. "Don't be too discouraged," Mom added. "A few days ago, we read verses about trusting God to work things out for our best, remember?"

"For our best?" asked Allison. "I don't see how having those things happen can do any good at all, let alone be for my best!"

Allison watched as Mom took a pair of scissors from a drawer, pulled the package toward her, and began to carefully cut a small hole in the center of the paper. "What are you doing?" asked Allison. "What's in the package?"

"I bought a picture to hang in the living room," said Mom. She smiled and held the package up for Allison to see. "What do you think of it?"

"Unwrap it so I can see it," said Allison.

"Look through the hole in the wrapping," said Mom. "That's what I cut it for-so you can look at the picture."

Allison frowned, but she squinted and tried to look through the hole. "This little hole is much too small," she said. "I can't see enough of the picture to tell what it looks like!"

"You're right," Mom agreed, "but . . . what I really want you to see is that life is like this picture."

"In what way?" asked Allison in surprise.

"We can see only a small part of our lives. We see what's happening now, but we don't know what will happen in the future," explained Mom. "It's as though we're looking at it through a small 'hole' in the wrapping. But God can see the whole picture. He knows exactly what we need to experience in life to make our life's 'picture' as beautiful as it can be. We just have to trust Him." Mom smiled at Allison. "Now go ahead and unwrap this picture," she added. "I think you'll agree that it really is beautiful."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you troubled by things that have happened in your life? Do you wonder how the stuff that seems bad to you could possibly do any good? Keep in mind that you can see only a very small part of your life, but God sees the whole thing. He knows the beginning and the end. He knows what is needed to make your life the best it can be.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

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« Reply #5569 on: March 28, 2009, 09:45:31 AM »

"Science Project"

Tyler's mother paused in the open doorway of his room. "I heard your voice as I came down the hall," she said. "Were you talking to yourself?"

Tyler grinned and shook his head. "Just chatting with the 'Exhibit A' plants for my science experiment," he said. "Some people say talking to plants affects their growth, you know. So that's what I'm doing with some of them."

Mom nodded. Walking over to the window, she picked up one of the plants. "Are you using the same amount of light and the same food and soil with the plants you talk to and the ones that you don't talk to?" she asked.

"Sure," replied Tyler. "Otherwise I won't know if the talking makes any difference in their growth. But I have some other exhibits, too-I have plants in the basement and others outdoors. They get different amounts of light. I have to keep track of all the differences and then make my report."

"It'll be interesting to see what happens," said Mom. Noticing a Sunday school paper on the dresser, she asked, "What did you learn in Sunday school today?"

"Well, let's see . . . Oh, yeah. I learned what a dummy Pete is when it comes to Bible stories," said Tyler with a grin. "He doesn't know anything!"

Mom frowned and set down the plant she was holding. "Pete hasn't been coming to Sunday school very long. He's a brand new Christian, and he hasn't had as much Bible teaching as you and most of the kids in your class, has he?"

"No, I guess not," admitted Tyler.

"You said your report has to take into account all the differences in the way you treat these plants, and you know what I think?" she asked. "I think you should also consider differences when you compare kids. They all have different backgrounds and training. Remember, too, that God has given some people the ability to learn more quickly than others. So do you think it's fair to expect the same amount of growth in each one?"

Understanding the point, Tyler shook his head. "I guess not," he said.

"Never forget to take those differences into account, Tyler," said Mom. "Better yet-don't judge your friends at all. Leave that to God. He's the only one Who can make fair judgments anyway."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you tend to compare your friends with each other? Do you expect them all to be the same when it comes to learning facts and figures or growing spiritually? God has given everyone different capabilities and different backgrounds, so they're all unique. And you are different from all of them. Treat them all the way you like to be treated, and leave the judging to God. Concentrate on making your own life pleasing to Him.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1

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« Reply #5570 on: March 29, 2009, 09:02:08 AM »

"A Time to Remember"

Kate and Wendy had been friends for a long time. They lived on the same street and went to the same school. Now Wendy's family was moving away.

On their last day together, the girls played at Kate's house while Wendy's parents packed. "I'm already lonely," said Kate after a while. "I keep thinking about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Who will I play with then?"

"I wish I didn't have to go," said Wendy with a sigh.

Just then Kate's mother called them in for lunch. This is our last lunch together, Wendy thought sadly. Then she had an idea. "I know what we can do," she said, lifting up her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "We both eat a lot of these, right? So whenever we do, lets think of each other and remember all the stuff we did together."

"Good idea!" agreed Wendy. "We'll be peanut butter and jelly friends!"

Kate's mother smiled at the girls. "Your sandwiches will be reminders of your friendship," she said. After a moment, she asked. "Does that make you think of anything you heard at church yesterday?"

"Well . . . oh, I remember!" said Kate. "At our communion service, Pastor Mayne read about Jesus eating the Passover Supper with His disciples just before He was crucified. Jesus said the bread and wine were reminders of His body and blood."

"Oh, that's right!" Wendy nodded. "He told His disciples that when they got together and ate and drank those things, they should think about Him and what He did. And He said they should remember that He'll come back again someday."

"Good for you, girls!" exclaimed Mom. "I can see that you were listening at the communion service."

Kate smiled. "So now, whenever I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I'll remember you, Wendy. And when you have one, you'll remember me," she said. "Is it a deal?"

"Deal!" agreed Wendy getting up to hug her friend. "I won't forget!"

"And you'll both remember Jesus whenever there's a communion service, right?" asked Mom.

Smiling, the girls nodded.


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you thought about the meaning of the communion service? When the bread is passed, think of Jesus' body and how He was willing to suffer pain and take the punishment you deserve. When the juice is passed, remember that He was willing to shed His blood-to die-so that you can have eternal life. Use the quiet time at the service to remember that Jesus loves you and is coming again some day. He's your "forever friend."


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. 1 Corinthians 11:24

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« Reply #5571 on: March 30, 2009, 08:09:12 AM »

"Like an Oak Tree"

"This giant oak tree is the landmark for which Oak Park is named," the tour guide told the kids on their field trip. Jon listened attentively. He loved history and learning things like this.

Back home, Jon told his mother about the tour. "That big oak tree survived the Civil War, a flood, and six fires," he said.

"Wow!" exclaimed Mom. "That's interesting."

"It kept on growing," said Jon, "even though the odds were a hundred to one against it. The oak is one of the slowest growing trees in the world, but it's also one of the hardiest. It survives things that cause other trees to die."

Mom smiled and nodded. "You know, you're something like that tree," she said after a moment.

Jon was surprised. "Me?" he asked. "I didn't survive a war or a flood or even one fire-let alone six!"

Mom laughed. "No," she agreed, "but I still think you're like that tree."

"How?" asked Jon.

"Well," said Mom, "for one thing, the oak grows slowly, and you . . ."

Jon grinned and interrupted her. "You always say I'm growing up too fast," he teased.

Mom smiled. "That's true-physically," she agreed. "But I was thinking of the way most of us grow spiritually. We're Christians, but don't you sometimes wonder if you're making any progress in becoming like Jesus?" Jon nodded as he recalled some trouble he'd recently gotten into. "You may grow slowly in Christ," continued Mom, "but like that oak, you do grow steadily. And you survive worse things than war or floods. You survive attacks from Satan."

"But I keep doing wrong things," Jon admitted.

"I know." Mom nodded. "Satan sometimes succeeds in getting you to do wrong, but the fact that you feel bad when you sin-and especially that you don't want to repeat it-shows that you're continuing to grow."

"Really?" Jon smiled. "That's pretty cool."

"God doesn't give up on you, Son," Mom told him, "so don't you give up on yourself, either-even when the 'growing' gets tough!"


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you ever wonder if you're growing spiritually-if you're really becoming more like Jesus? Does it seem like you're often doing wrong things-like Satan's attacks are too much for you? With God's help you can resist the Devil and send him away. If you do give in to him and do something wrong, confess your sin. God says to "humble yourself" before Him-yield and submit to Him. When you do that, He'll "lift you up." He'll help you overcome temptation as you trust Him.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

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« Reply #5572 on: March 31, 2009, 08:03:11 AM »

"Boiling Over"

"Carrie yelled at everybody today-Luis, Gina, Patti-and everyone else we were playing with," Angie told her mother after school one day. "I'm her best friend, and she even yelled at me!"

"I'm sorry to hear that, honey," replied Mom. She shook her head. "You know," she added, "I feel sorry for Carrie. Her temper has given her lots of problems. She needs to learn to control it."

"She sure does," agreed Angie. "When Carrie gets mad, it makes such a mess of things. Luis got mad, too, and Gina cried. They both said they didn't ever want to play with Carrie again!"

When Angie came into the kitchen the next morning, Mom was stirring oatmeal in a pot on the stove. She stopped stirring to pour some juice for Angie. A moment later, the oatmeal boiled over. "Oh, no!" gasped Mom. She rushed over to the stove, grabbed the pan and moved it to another burner. But that only spread the gooey mess that was erupting from the pot.

"What a mess!" exclaimed Angie, getting a sponge. "Here-I'll help you clean it up."

Mom smiled. "Thanks," she said. "I'm glad to have help." She wiped the bottom of the pot. "You know, this reminds me of what you said yesterday . . . about Carrie, remember? Well, the Bible pictures anger as hot or burning. Carrie's anger boiled and spilled all over her friends yesterday, just like the oatmeal boiled and spilled all over my stove."

Angie nodded. "Carrie got herself into a sticky mess," she said, "and it will probably be harder to clean up her mess than yours." The phone rang, and Angie went to answer it. Soon she came bounding back. "That was Carrie," she reported excitedly. "Can I go over there after breakfast? She feels bad about yesterday and wants to go make up with the kids. She thinks it will help if I go with her. Okay?"

"Yes, of course," agreed Mom. "I'm so glad to hear Carrie wants to make things right. I'll be praying that the others will be willing to give her another chance to be their friend."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you let your temper flare up and "boil over"? Do others get "burned" by it? Some people think it's their right to show anger, but the Bible says it's a foolish thing to do. It's not the way to make friends, find happiness, or please the Lord. Something may happen to cause you to be angry for a moment or two, but God says to stop that anger. Don't let yourself slip into keeping an angry attitude. Ask God to help you control your temper.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Cease from anger and forsake wrath. Psalm 37:8

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« Reply #5573 on: April 01, 2009, 08:59:21 AM »

"Who's Being Fooled?"

Sara yawned as she came into the kitchen. Her brother Joe glanced at her mischievously, then looked out the window. "Snow on the ground!" he exclaimed. "How can that be at this time of the year?"

"Huh?" grunted Sara. She ran to the window to see for herself.

"April fool!" Joe chuckled in delight. "Got ya!"

"Oh-h-h!" Sara grinned at her brother as they sat down to eat.

That evening, Sara and Joe talked about the April Fool jokes that had been played at school. Dad smiled. "I hope no one carried the jokes too far," he said.

"Nobody did," Sara assured him, "and we were careful not to tell any lies. But it's fun to have one day a year to fool kids-and be fooled. We all expect that." She paused, then added, "But then there's Dana. She fools people every day. She seems to want grownups to think she's such a great Christian."

"Yeah.  She always plays up to them," agreed Joe, "especially to our Sunday school and Kids' Club teachers. And to Pastor Pratt. But you should see how she acts at school!"

Sara nodded. "None of the kids like her because she's so sneaky," she said. "If someone loses money or a pencil or something, nine times out of ten, Dana shows up with it later. Of course, she always has a wonderful explanation for where she got it."

"Yeah," said Joe, "and today she was all smiles and sweetness to Mrs. Potter. Then as soon as Mrs. Potter turned her back to the class, Dana stuck out her tongue at her."

"She always does stuff like that," complained Sara.

"Careful now," cautioned Dad. "Are you sure you're not exaggerating? I've always liked Dana. She seems to be a very nice girl."

Mom nodded her agreement. "She almost always takes part in church activities," she said.

"See what I mean?" grumbled Sara. "She's even got you two fooled."

"Well, if what you say is true, she hasn't fooled everyone," said Dad. "There's one who can never be fooled-not on April Fool's day nor any other day of the year. God knows exactly what's in her heart-and in each of our hearts. Let's pray for Dana instead of talking about her."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you fooling someone into thinking you're a Christian-although you've never accepted Jesus as Savior? You may fool your parents, pastor, teachers, classmates-you may even fool yourself-but you can never fool God. He knows exactly what's in your heart. Admit your need of a Savior, and accept Jesus today.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
The Lord knows those who are His. 2 Timothy 2:19

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« Reply #5574 on: April 02, 2009, 09:39:08 AM »

"A Walk in the Woods"

Everyone in Amber and Jessica's science class had to identify several different wild flowers, so the two girls decided to go on a hike and see how many they could find. As they walked up a wooded hill, Amber remembered that she had decided to invite Jessica to Sunday school. "You don't go to church anywhere, do you, Jessica?" she asked. "How about coming to Sunday school with me next week?"

Jessica shook her head. "My parents believe you can get close to God walking in the woods instead of sitting in a stuffy old building and reading a boring, out-of-date book," she said. "I think they're right."

"Well . . . we can learn a lot about God through creation," agreed Amber, "but we need to know what God says in the Bible, too. And it's not outdated!"

Jessica shrugged. "My dad says it's better our way." She pointed. "Look over there, Amber! That field is practically covered with flowers!"

"Wow!" exclaimed Amber. "Let's see if we can find a picture of those in the wild flower book we brought from school. You have it, don't you?"

Jessica shook her head. "No, I didn't bring the book," she said. "I thought you did." But Amber also shook her head.

"Oh, well," said Amber after a moment, "Mr. Post says it's a really old book anyway-remember? It was probably written before we were even born. It will do us a lot more good to look at the flowers than to read the stuff in such an out-of-date book."

"But Mr. Post said the book is still good," protested Jessica. "The information about the flowers would still be correct. Wildflowers don't change!"

"God doesn't change, either," Amber said softly, "and the Bible is still good. What it says is still correct. I think you should come with me to Sunday school and find out more about it."

"Well, I . . ." Jessica didn't know what to say.

"We need to learn about flowers from the guide book, and we need to learn about God though His Word," insisted Amber. 'Even though we appreciate God's creation and learn things from it, we still need the Bible. It's the book that teaches us about Him. So how about it? Will you go with me this week?"

Jessica hesitated. "Okay, you win," she said after a moment. "I'll go with you."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you think you can learn more about God by looking at His creation than by studying the Bible? Do you use that as an excuse to skip church and go fishing or hiking? Yes, it's important to appreciate creation, but it's even more important to learn what God says in His Word. Enjoy nature and all the things He made, but also learn from the Bible all the things-even beyond creation-that He wants you to know. It tells about God, the Creator,  and how you can truly know Him.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
The word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

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« Reply #5575 on: April 03, 2009, 08:46:39 AM »

"My Fault?"

"I didn't mean to hurt your oh-so-special skateboard, Kyle! You don't have to get so mad!" Jared defended himself.

"I told you to leave it alone!" sputtered Kyle.

"Well, a skateboard is meant to jump and ride rails and stuff," muttered Jared. "All you do is coast down the street on it. Why don't you try out this ramp I built?"

Just then, the boys' father came out to the garage. "Look, Dad!" exclaimed Kyle. "Jared got all these scratches on my new skateboard. I told him not to take it on that ramp, but he wouldn't listen. He messed it all up!"

"I couldn't help it, Kyle-I didn't fall on purpose," said Jared quickly. "Besides, look what happened to my shirt when I fell off the board. There are grass stains all over it!"

"Well, Kyle," said Dad as he examined the skateboard, "the other day, you showed me a bunch of decals you've been collecting. If you use them to cover most of those scratches, the board will look great! I'll help you with it, okay?" Kyle looked relieved as he nodded. Then Dad turned to Jared. "Do you want some white paint to put over those stains on your shirt?"

"Paint!" exclaimed Jared. "Of course not! These stains will have to be washed out-not covered up."

"I agree," said Dad, "but do you know that the wrong things you do shouldn't be covered up, either? You shouldn't have scratched up Kyle's skateboard, and we're making the best of it with the sticker idea. But instead of accepting your responsibility and apologizing, you made excuses. You even made yourself a victim by complaining about your shirt. You were trying to cover up the wrong thing you did, weren't you?"

"Well, I . . . I guess so," admitted Jared. "I . . . I'm sorry, Kyle."

"When we do wrong-when we sin-we need to confess it to God," said Dad, "and when we've hurt someone else, we also need to confess to that person and ask for forgiveness." Dad smiled as he added, "Mom will do her best with that shirt, but it might never be quite the same again. However, when we confess our sin, God is ready and willing to forgive and completely wash it away."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
When you've done something wrong, do you accept responsibility? Or do you look for someone else to blame? Don't do that! Learn to say, "It's my fault. I'm sorry." Admit it when you've done something you shouldn't have, and ask God and others to forgive you. That's far better than making excuses or blaming others for what you've done. God will forgive you-and if you're truly sorry, others usually will, too.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE: (Psalm 51:2-3)
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity . . . for I acknowledge my transgressions.

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« Reply #5576 on: April 04, 2009, 10:17:58 AM »

"The Best Glasses"

"What are you reading?" asked Dr. Trent as he entered the examination room and saw Trisha with an open book on her lap.

"It's the Bible," said Trisha.

"The Bible? Why are you reading that?" Dr. Trent asked. "With all the exciting books out there, I should think you'd find an old book like that pretty boring."

"Oh, no," Trisha said. "It's not like that at all. I'm on a quiz team, and at our next contest, we'll have questions on the life of Daniel. I've been studying for that whenever I get a chance. The Bible stories about him are really interesting." She closed her Bible. "Besides, reading the Bible helps me . . . well, it's like . . . oh, I don't know." Trisha felt frustrated because she couldn't express what she was thinking.

"I have something for you," said Dr. Trent. He held up a new pair of glasses.

"Oh, good," said Trisha as she removed her old ones. The doctor placed the new glasses on Trisha's face, checking behind her ears to see how they fit. "Wow!" Trisha said immediately. "What a difference these make!"

Dr. Trent smiled. "You didn't realize how much you were missing with your old glasses, did you?"

"No," said Trisha. "Everything is so much clearer now." As she looked around the room, she glanced at her Bible, and suddenly she had an idea. "That's why I read the Bible, Dr. Trent," she said.  The doctor raised his brows, and Trisha grinned. "See . . . reading the Bible is something like getting glasses," she explained. "It helps me see things more clearly. Actually, it's even better than glasses because the Bible helps me see things like . . . well, like what is right and what is wrong. It encourages me to choose the right things to do."

"Reading the Bible really does that?" asked Dr. Trent.

Trisha nodded vigorously. "Sure," she said as she stood up to leave. "You should try it for yourself-it's better than the best glasses you've ever had! You'll see that the Bible tells the way to heaven and how to worship God. And it teaches us to love others and to be kind and honest. It teaches us how to live."

Dr. Trent smiled. "In that case, maybe I should try it," he said. "We'll see."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Did you know that the Bible can help you make right choices? It gives instructions for living-how to be saved and how to find peace, comfort, help in trouble, and much more. Read it each day and think about what it says. It will help you see more clearly what pleases God and what brings lasting joy to your life.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Direct my steps by Your word. Psalm 119:133

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« Reply #5577 on: April 05, 2009, 09:03:53 AM »

"The Broken Train"

"Oh, Nate, don't cry," Sierra comforted her little brother when he showed her that his train was broken. "Let's go see if Grandpa can fix it."

They took the train to Grandpa. "No problem," he said after checking it over. "I'll make it good as new." He took the train and headed for his workshop. The kids followed, and Nathan hopped onto the workbench to watch.

When Grandpa started bending a wheel on the train, Nathan protested. "Grandpa, don't do that!" he exclaimed. "You'll break it for good."

"Don't be silly, Nate!" said Sierra. "Grandpa's fixing your train, not breaking it!" Grandpa smiled and nodded.

"But you're not doing it right," Nathan informed Grandpa a moment later. "That piece has to go onto the engine . . . like this." He reached for the train.

"Nathan!" warned Sierra. "Stop trying to tell Grandpa what to do!"

"Why don't you go outside to play a while?" suggested Grandpa, setting the train down. "This is going to take some time, Nate."

"But I want my train now," said Nathan. He grabbed it and headed for the door.

"Nathan, come back!" scolded Sierra, but he went on. "Silly kid!" she said. "He gave you his train to fix and then took it back without letting you fix it."

"He'll probably bring it back soon," said Grandpa patiently. "We all do things like that sometimes."

Sierra shook her head. "Not me!" she said firmly.

"You're sure?" asked Grandpa. "You told me last week about a problem with one of your classmates. You said you prayed and gave it to God, right?"

Sierra looked puzzled. "Yes. Why?" she asked.

"Well, you brought it up again just today," Grandpa reminded her, "so did you leave it with God, or did you take it back?"

"I . . . I guess I took it back," admitted Sierra. "I hate to think I'm as silly as Nathan, but I guess I am." She frowned. "It's hard not to worry," she added.

Grandpa nodded. "If you start to worry, why not pause and quietly talk to the Lord?" he suggested. "Ask Him to help you and give you His peace." They both turned toward the door as Nathan came in and handed Grandpa his train.


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you bring your problems, worries, and needs to God in prayer? Having done that, do you start worrying all over again? Once you have given something to God, don't try to take it back. Ask Him to give you peace as you handle the situation the way you believe He wants you to-without worrying. Trust Him to work things out for His glory and your good.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

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« Reply #5578 on: April 06, 2009, 08:20:25 AM »

"Time Capsule"

It was the one-hundredth birthday of the town of Brenner. Emma stood on tip-toe, stretching to see the officials on the platform as they unlocked a time capsule which had been created and stored a hundred years before. Soon the mayor took several papers and mementos from it and held them up.

"Wouldn't it be fun to have a time capsule for our family?" Emma asked on the way home. "Can I start one? I'll put in family treasures for future generations."

"Sure," agreed Mom. "That should be fun."

As soon as she got home, Emma found a box. She took some coins and a dollar bill from her bank and placed them in it. Then she packed in a DVD, a sweatshirt, and a storybook. Next she added an old teddy bear, swimming goggles, some jewelry, a cookbook, and a couple of games. "Finding things for this box is fun, and there's still room for a few more. If you want me to put in anything special, let me know soon," Emma told her parents. "When the next generation sees this stuff, they'll get an idea of what their ancestors were like."

"The things you have there will be interesting to future family members," agreed Mom, "but if you want to make a statement about our life, I think you're missing the most important thing of all."

"A family photo!" guessed Emma's brother. "Then they'll know how we looked."

"What about a newspaper?" suggested her sister. "That would tell them a lot about our lives."

"Or how about report cards?" asked Emma.

Mom shook her head. "I think you should add all of those things," she said, "but I'm thinking about something that makes life important and worth living, even without any of the other things in the box. Who knows what that would be?"

"A Bible!" exclaimed Emma after a moment. "I should have thought of that. Since I just got a new Bible, I can put my old one in the box."

"Good," said Dad, "and how about a church bulletin? After all, we'd like our descendants to know that we were interested in things that really matter-in things like serving God and not in just earthly treasures."


HOW ABOUT YOU?
Is your greatest treasure some earthly thing-such as money, clothes, toys, or good grades? God gives so many things to enjoy, and you should be thankful for them. But don't forget that all such things will pass away. Store up treasure that lasts, not by putting a Bible in a time capsule, but by pleasing and serving the Lord in your daily life.


TODAY'S KEY VERSE:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth. Matthew 6:19

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