...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
ISAIAH 40:31

A Blog for Kids and Everyone.

This is a journey through God's word. The Bible is so amazing! There are a lot of great stories. Some that we know well and some will surprise us. We will have a lot of fun as we color, watch short cartoons and tell funny stories.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Naaman is Healed and Gehazi get greedy (2 Kings :5)

  The Armenean army was constantly attacking parts of Israel and taking captives. During one such battle, a young girl was taken and given to Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, as a maid for his wife. The king of Aram thought very highly of Naaman and he was showing his appreciation  to him for being such a loyal subject.
  There was one problem however. Naaman had leprosy. Leprosy is a skin eating disease that eventually leads to death. The young Israelite girl watched Naaman as she did her maidly duties. She knew that God may have allowed her to be taken captive for this very moment. She approached Naaman's wife. "Our God is amazing." She began. "He can certainly heal your husband of his disease." Naaman's wife listened intently. "There is a prophet in Israel named Elisha." She continued. "I'm sure if you find him and ask him, God will work through him and heal your husband." The girl's words gave Naaman some hope. He left right away to seek a face to face meeting with the king of Aram.
  "I think you should go find this prophet right away!" The king said after Naaman had told him what the young girl had said. " I will write you a letter of introduction that you can give to the king of Israel. Also take 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold and 10 sets of new clothes with you." The king added as he sent Naaman on his way.

  Naaman reached Israel and gave to letter of introduction to one of the palace guards who in turn gave it to the king. The letter said, " With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of leprosy." When the king of Israel read the letter, he became very upset. "This man sends me a leper to heal! Who does he think I am? God? I think this is all a trick or an excuse to invade us again!" The king shouted.
  News of the king's reaction reached Elisha. So Elisha sent a message to the king. "Don't get all upset. Send the leper to me. When he is healed, that man will know that the God of Israel is the one true God."
 So Naaman took his horses, chariots, gold and silver to Elisha's house and knocked on his door. Elisha's servant answered. "I'd like to speak with your master." Naaman requested.
  "Elisha the prophet said to to go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River." The servant replied. "But I have come all this way. Can't he even come out to meet me?" Naaman replied angrily. The servant answered back. "Didn't you come here to get healed? Then do as Elisha has said." Then he closed the door. 
  Naaman turned and stalked away. "I thought he's at least come out to greet me and maybe wave his hand over me, say a prayer and call on the name of the Lord and I would be healed. Go wash seven times in the Jordan river he says! Why seven times? And aren't there cleaner and larger rivers in Damascus that I can wash in?" Naaman shouted as he stomped off in a rage.

 Sometimes we tell God what we want and how we want Him to do it. I'm sure God is very amused by us sometimes. :) The Bible says that God's thoughts are above our thoughts and God's ways are way above our ways. (Isaiah 55:9) God wants us to trust Him, even if it seems unusual. In all God does there is a purpose. Perhaps in Naaman's case, God wanted to help Naaman with his control and pride issues. Trusting God means acting in faith. If we are not doing what God asks, we do not trust Him with the outcome.

  "Maybe you should give it a shot.." One of Naaman's officers said. "Yes! What do you have to lose?" Another added. "If the prophet asked you to do some amazing thing, wouldn't you have done it?  So why not do this simple thing and be cured."
Naaman swallowed his pride and took his officer's advice. He went down to the Jordan river and dipped himself seven times. On the sixth dip there was no change.... but on the seventh dip, Naaman rose out of the water and he was completely cured! Naaman went back to Elisha's house and this time Elisha came out to greet him. "Now I know that there is no other God than the God of Israel" Naaman said."Here take this silver and gold as a token of my appreciation." He added.
  "No," Said Elisha. "I will not accept any gifts." No matter how much Naaman urged him, Elisha refused to accept any of the gifts. So Naamn went on his way filled with joy at what the Lord had done.
 But Gehazi, Elisha's servant, said to himself. "My master should not have refused such precious gifts. I will chase after Naaman and and get something from him." When Gehazi finally caught up with Naaman he said to him. "Guess, what? My master has changed his mind because two young prophets have shown up to his home unexpectedly. He would like 75 pounds of silver to help pay for their needs."
  "Why certainly!" Exclaimed Naaman. "Take 150 pounds of silver!" Naaman said as he asked his officers to bag up the silver in two sacks. The men offered to carry it all the way back to the house but Gehazi said. "That's ok. I got it." He hid the money inside the house when he got home so that Elisha would not find it or know what he had done.
  Elisha confronted Gehazi right away. "I know what you did and God knows it too!. Now you and your family will suffer from the same leprosy that Naaman had. When Gehazzi left the room, his skin was already as white as snow from leprosy! God knows all and sees all.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Elisha, the Woman From Shunem and two other miracles (2 Kings 4)

  As Elisha was passing through the town of Shunem, a wealthy woman offered him a meal at her home. From then on, the woman would prepare a place at the table for him everythime he passed through Shunem.
  Finally one day the woman said to her husband. "Elisha is truly a man of God, we should give him a place to stay whenever he passes through Shunem. We can turn that spare room upstairs into a bedroom for him." Her husband agreed.
  One day Elisha was passing through Shunem and went up to his room to rest. He told his servant, Gehazi, to tell the woman how grateful he was to have a room. Then he told his servant to ask her what he could do for her to show his appreciation.
 "I'm good." The woman replied. "I have everything I need..... but thank you."
  Elisha and Gehazi put there heads together and thought. "There must be something we can do for this woman." Then Gehazi spoke up. "She has this large house and no children and her husband is old."
 "Yes! That's it!" exclaimed Elisha.
 Elisha went to speak to the woman. "By this time next year, you will be holding a son."
"Please don't tease me like that, oh man of God." the woman responded.
 Sure enough, the woman became pregnant and was holding a beautiful baby boy in her arms at that time the next year.

  One day, when the boy was a little older, he went out to meet his father who was working in the fields. He started to feel sick and told his father that his head hurt really bad. His dad told one of the workers to take him back to his mother. The woman held her son on her lap, but he died. Sadly, she carried him upstairs and laid him on Elisha's bed. Then she saddled up a donkey and took one of her servants to travel to meet Elisha. While she was a long way off Elisha noticed her. "Go see what is wrong Gehazi, for the Lord has not told me." Elisha told his servant. The woman didn't want to tell Gehazi what was wrong. Finally when she reached Elisha she fell at his feet and said. " You told me that you would not tease me with a son. You got my hopes up and now......" Before she could finish, Elisha told Gehazi to grab his staff, hurry to the woman's home and place the staff on the boy's face.
  The woman looked at Elisha, "Please come. I won't go home without you." So he went with her.
Gehazi arrived first and placed Elisha's staff on the boy's face, but nothing happened. Soon afterward Elisha and the boy's mother arrived. Elisha went up to his room and closed the door. He lay across the boy's lifeless body, matching his hands, mouth and eyes with his own. Soon the boy's body began to warm up. Elisha got up, walked around his room and did it again. Then the boy coughed seven times and sat up!
  Elisha called the woman up to his room.When the woman saw her son sitting on the bed, she fell at Elisha's feet crying tears of joy! Then she picked up her son and carried him downstairs. Elisha and Gehazi said goodbye and left for Gilgal where there was a famine in the land.
  In Gilgal, Elisha was sitting with a bunch of prophets. He told one of the young men to pick some vegetables and make a stew. After eating some of the stew, on of the prophets said. "There are poisonous gourds in this stew!" Elisha calmly said. "Bring me some flour." He put a dash of flour into the stew and it was ok. All the men ate and it did not harm them.

 One day Elisha was speaking to a group of 100 prophets. A man brought him a sack of grain and some loaves of bread. Elisha told him to begin distributing the grain and bread so that all the prophets could eat. "But there is not nearly enough for all the men!" the man said. "Don't worry," replied Elisha. "There will even be leftovers!" ....and there was. Hundreds of years later, Jesus would feed 5000 men with a few fish and bread.

 There is a definite theme throughout these stories. and it
is to listen to the needs of others, even when they don't say them out loud. That is called being sensitive to their needs. The woman from Shunem knew Elijah needed food  and shelter as he passed though the town. Elisha knew the woman wanted a son... and when she came to him after her son had died.... he heard her heart. Elisha also knew that the prophets would be hungry and he fed them. God calls us to be sensitive to the needs of others. As you go through your day and encounter people along the way, pray that God would help you hear what they are not saying with their mouth.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Elisha the Bears, a Poor Widow and a Little Flask of Oil (2Kings3 &4)

 Elisha left Jericho and was on the road to Bethel. A bunch of young men began taunting him. Elisha knew he was in a bit of trouble because there were 42 of them and they kept getting more aggressive with their verbal attacks. Elisha also knew that even though it was 42 against 1, that he had God on his side. As the young men kept taunting and mocking him saying, "Go back you baldy! Go away you baldhead!" Elisha said to them. "In the name of the living God of Israel, curse you!" Just then two large bears came out of the woods and attacked the young men.

 We should always remember that if we are on God's side, He is on our's.

 Meanwhile, since King Ahab had died, his son Joram had become king of Israel. The country of Moab had always given a yearly tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 1000,000 rams, but since Ahab died, they stopped giving. This made Joram very upset, so he got together King Jehosaphat of Judah and the king of Edom to join him in battle with Moab. However, they ran out of water on the way there, and the land was very dry and barren. "What have you gotten us into Joram?" the king of Edom asked. "Now we are all sitting ducks for the Moabites to come and wipe us out!"
 The kings decided to call on Elisha. Elisha told them that by this time tomorrow, this dry valley will be filled with pools of water, even though there will be no rain. He also told them that they will defeat the Moabites. And sure enough, the next day there were pools of water everywhere.
 The Moabite army that was positioned on a hillside, looked down into the valley. The sun was shining just right on the pools of water and it made them look like pools of blood! "The three armies must have attacked and killed each other!" They said to themselves. Then they ran down into the valley to gather up the items of value that were left. But upon reaching the valley, they were surprised by the three armies and quickly defeated. Just as Elisha had prophesied.

 One day a widow of one of Elisha's fellow prophets approached Elisha. "My husband has died. He was a man of God as you are, but now I am broke and a creditor has now come and threatened to take my two sons as slaves."
 "Tell me, What do you have in the house?" Elisha asked.
 "Nothing except a small flask of oil." She replied.
 Elisha then said, "Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then you and your sons go into the house, shut the door behind you and begin filling the jars from your small flask, putting the jars aside as you fill them."
 So her sons gathered as many empty jars as they could from all over the neighborhood. The widow filled them until every last jar that was brought to her was filled to the brim. "Bring me another jar." The widow said. But the sons told her that there were not any more jars. And then the oil stopped flowing.
 The widow excitedly told Elisha what had happened. Elisha responded. "Okay, now go and sell all the oil, pay off your debts and there will still be enough left over to support you and your sons.

  Isn't God amazing! God can do more with the little bit that we have than we could have ever thought! If the sons would have only collected two jars, then the oil would have stopped flowing after the two jars were filled. Come before God with open hands and open hearts. Not open hands with hopes of getting something from God, but in a posture of surrendering what we have to a God that can do amazing things!

Friday, January 26, 2018

(2 Kings 1 and 2) Chariot of Fire

Well we just finished another book of the Bible. So now 2 Kings begins with the the death of King Ahaziah who succeeded king Ahab.. Then the next chapter continues with the two prophets Elijah and Elisha walking and talking on the road from Gilgal.
"The Lord has told me to go to Bethel. It's a long and arduous Journey. So if you don't want to come, you can stay here."  Elisha knew that the Lord was going to take Elijah home to heaven any day, and he didn't want to miss learning something or witnessing great things that he had heard that Elijah had been doing or he didn't want to miss an opportunity to be a part of something amazing that God was doing through Elijah. So he answered, "No, Wherever you go, I will go."
 After a while in Bethel, Elijah said. "The Lord has told me to go to Jericho. You should stay here while I go ahead." Elisha again replied. "No, wherever you go, I will go." So they went on to Jericho.    One more time Elijah speaks up."Now the Lord has directed me to the Jordan River. Elisha quickly responded. "I am sticking with you no matter what, Elijah." When they came to the Jordan River, Elijah rolled up his cloak and struck the water. The river divided and the two men walked across on dry ground! When they got to the other side Elijah asked. " What can I do for you before the Lord takes me away?"
 "I not only want to be your successor, but I want God to do twice as many things through me!"
 "You have asked a very difficult thing Elisha," Elijah answered."But if you are with me when the Lord  takes me home, then you shall have what you asked for."

 They began walking again and suddenly a chariot of fire swooped down. It was being drawn by two horses of fire. It passed between Elijah and Elisha and Elijah was carried away and taken to heaven, Elisha was awestruck at such a sight! He stood there for a bit, then he noticed Elijah's cloak lying on the ground. He picked it up and headed back toward the Jordan River. When he reached the Jordan, he rolled up the cloak, cried out to God and struck the water. The river divided just as it had done for Elijah. It was Elisha's first miracle. It wouldn't be long before he performed his second. Fifty prophets of the Lord saw Elisha crossing between the parted waters and exclaimed. "Surely Elisha is Elijah's successor!"
 When Elisha got to Jericho, the leaders of the town approached him with a serious problem. "Our water supply is tainted!" They told him. "people are getting sick and we don't know what to do because the spring that feeds our water supply is contaminated!"
 Elisha said. "Bring me some salt in a new bowl" So they brought it to him. Elisha took the salt and went to the contaminated spring and threw the salt into it."This is what the Lord says." Elisha shouted so all could hear. "I have made this water clean again. So there won't be anymore sickness, disease or death." And sure enough, the spring was pure.  This was his second miracle. Then Elisha left Jericho.

Did you notice how close Elisha followed Elijah? He wanted to be a witness to God's work, He wanted to learn about God's work and he wanted to be a part of God's work. We should follow Jesus that close! God has an amazing plan. What a blessing to be a part of it! And to be a witness to it! Following Jesus can be hard sometimes, but it is always exciting. How do we follow Him? By reading His word. (The Bible says that Jesus IS THE WORD) The better we know the word, the better we know Him and what He wants from us. Read your Bible, pray and hang out with others who do the same.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Jezebel and King Ahab.... Their Final Chapters (1 Kings:21 and 22)

  For the next three years their were several wars between Aram and Israel. King Ahab and the Israelite army were victorious, however The Armameans continued to occupy some of the Israelite territory. Meanwhile, King Ahab took notice of a vineyard that was right next to his palace. The king thought how nice it would be to turn in into a vegetable garden. The king approached Naboth, the owner of the vineyard, one day and asked him if he could buy the vineyard. Naboth replied, "The Lord forbid that I should ever sell this property to anyone. My ancestors have passed it down
thorough generations." So Ahab left in a huff. He was angry and sullen. When He got home, he didn't eat dinner and laid on his bed with face to the wall. Jezebel asked Ahab why he was acting like a spoiled kid. "I asked Naboth to sell me his vineyard next door, and he refused." Ahab pouted.
 "Aren't you the king?" asked Jezebel. "Get up and eat! Don't worry about a thing. I will get that vineyard for you!"

 So Jezebel wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to all the big shots in the city. In the letters, she commanded them to call all the people together to honor Naboth. Give Naboth a special seat up front, then hire some sleazy characters to tell a bunch of lies about him. She knew that the people would be so upset, that they would take him out of town and stone him to death....... and that is just what happened. Then the big shots sent a message to Jezabel telling her that Naboth was dead.
 When Jezabel heard the news, she said to Ahab. "You know that vineyard that you were whining about? You can go take it now. Naboth is dead!"

 God told the prophet Elijah what Ahab and Jezebel had been up to, and by the time Ahab went out to the vineyard to take possession of it, Elijah was already there with a message for Ahab from God. "Isn't killing Naboth bad enough? Must you rob him too?" Elijah continued. "The Lord says this is the last straw! Now your entire family will be destroyed."

 No one sold himself so completely to evil in the Lord's sight as Ahab, for his wife, Jezebel, influenced him. Ahab was guilty of evil even though his wife was behind all the wickedness. God wants to be the influencer in our lives. If we let others lead us astray.... that is on us. We are guilty. Don't point fingers at anyone else. We are responsible for our own actions.

 For three years there was peace in Israel. Ahab was still looking over his shoulder wondering if God was going to destroy him. But none the less, he approached king Jehosaphat of Judah and pitched him the idea of attacking Aram. "Sure my brother!" Jehosaphat replied, "But let us ask the Lord first."

 Well Ahab, instead of inquiring of the Lord, summoned 400 of his prophets and asked them if attacking Aram was a good idea. "Go right ahead! You will celebrate a glorious victory!" they said. But Jehosaphat wanted a prophet of the Lord to chime in, so he brought Micaiah into the conversation.  The prophet Micaiah told the two kings that the 400 prophets were just telling the kings what they wanted to hear, and that they were completely wrong about a glorious victory. Ahab was so mad. He told the guards, "Lock this man up until I return from battle in victory."

 Ahab thought he could outsmart God. He knew that the Arameans only wanted to kill him (the king of Israel) so he told Jehosaphat to wear his royal robe into battle. Ahab thought that the Arameans would kill Jehosaphat, thinking that they had killed him. When the battle began, the Arameans spotted the king wearing the royal robe and moved in on him to get a clear shot. But the closer they got, the clearer it became that it was not Ahab.... so the captain prevented his men from shooting arrows at Jehosaphat. But one soldier shot an arrow randomly into the air. It carried into the center of a group of Israelite soldiers, found a gap in Ahab's armor and killed him. God sees all, knows all and is control of all things. We can't run from Him. We can't hide from Him. And we can't fool Him.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Elijah"s Disappointment (1Kings:19)

 So Elijah had just witnessed God's amazing power in discrediting the prophets of Baal. He ran all the way to the Gates of Jezreel. He even beat king Ahab there... and he was in a chariot! The king went to his wife Jezabel and told her all about Elijah and how the prophets of Baal had all been killed. She became furious!
   Meanwhile Elijah waited outside the gates of the city for word that the king and queen were now convinced that the true God of Israel was who He said He was. Elijah waited in excited anticipation. He knew that if the king and queen would turn from their false idols, that all of Israel would turn as well. Elijah looked up and he saw the king's messenger a long way off. He couldn't wait. He rushed toward the messenger to hear his message.
 "Queen Jezabel has issued this statement." Elijah waited to hear the words that he had waited so long to hear. And the messenger continued. "May the gods also kill me if by this time tomorrow if I have failed to kill you, just like you killed my prophets! In the words of the queen"
 Elijah was astonished. "What?" He knew he had to get out of there quick. He and his servant quickly left the gate of Jezreel. After a while Elijah told his servant that he wanted to be alone. So Elijah left his servant and continued on his journey the rest of the day on his own. The more Elijah walked, the more depressed he got. He kept going over in his head how he had failed. How things hadn't turned out like he planned. And how he was all alone.

  Sometimes we have such high expectations, that when things don't go how we planned, we get really down. Remember that no matter what, God is good and He is in control. It is OK to have expectations, but if we remember that God sees the bigger picture, and that His plan may not be ours, we can accept disappointment with the knowledge that God has this.

  Elijah finally got so tired of running that he fell asleep under a tree. As he fell asleep he prayed that God would just take his life because he was such a failure. While he was sleeping and angel appeared. "Get up and eat Elijah." The angel nudged him. Elijah woke up and he saw some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! Elijah ate and fell back asleep. The angel nudged him again. "Eat some more, for you have a long journey ahead of you." Elijah ate and drank some more and then he walked for 40 days until he reached Mt. Sinai. (Remember Mt. Sinai was where God gave the ten commandments to Moses)
  At Mt. Sinai, Elijah found a cave and rested there. He probably had negative thoughts in his head during the whole journey, because when he finally rested he prayed to God. "God, haven't I served you with all my heart? But still the people continue to turn their backs on you. They have killed all the prophets and now I am the only one left! They have also torn down your altars and replaced them with idols. I have had enough, God. I can't do this anymore!"
 God told Elijah, "Go stand outside." As Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by. A mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was so fierce that rocks were torn from the face of the mountain.  But the Lord was not in the wind. Then a strong earthquake shook the mountain. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then after that was a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper and Elijah heard the voice of the Lord.

  God was reminding Elijah that He was in control. Not only of nature, weather and fire, but also of circumstances. And that if we let ourselves be still long enough, we can hear from God. (Psalm 46:10) Then God reassured Elijah that he was not the only prophet left. There were 7,000 others. Then God told Elijah to go back to where he came from, anoint a new king of Israel and then anoint Elisha to take his place as prophet.
  Elijah did as Lord commanded. He found Elisha plowing a field with his oxen. He threw his cloak over Elisha's shoulders and walked away. Elisha left his oxen standing there and chased after Elijah. He knew that God had called him. "I am just going to run back real quick and kiss my parents goodbye." Elisha said, "Go right ahead." Elijah answered.

Monday, October 9, 2017

God shows up.... big time (1Kings 18)

  After the prophets of Baal spent all morning trying to get their god to answer them, Elijah called the people of Israel over to the altar of God. (Which he was repairing as he spoke) Elijah took 12 stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel to repair the altar. Then he dug a trench around the altar. He had the bull laid on the wood on the altar and requested that 4 buckets of water be poured over the bull, the wood and the altar. So they did as Elijah requested. Then he told them to do it a second time and they did. Finally he asked for a third drenching and they did it again. By this time, the trenches that were dug around the altar were overflowing.
  It was evening by now and Elijah went to the altar and prayed. "Oh Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel. I am your servant and I have done all that you commanded. Oh Lord answer me so that these people will know that you are the one true God."
 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the bull, the wood, the stones and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! The people were in awe. They began to cry out "The Lord is God! The Lord is God!" Then the prophets of Baal were all put to death.

 In Elijah's prayer we can see that this whole thing was God's plan. He had commanded Elijah to soak everything so that there would be no question that it was Him behind the fire and not some trick.  We
should never put God in a box. In other words, God can do more than we can even imagine. Ephesians 3:20 says it so well..... Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish so much more than we might ask or think.

  Elijah turned to Ahab. "t hasn't rained for 3 years, but I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!. Go home and enjoy a nice meal before it hits." Ahab headed home and Elijah took his servant and climbed to the highest point on Mt. Carmel. Elijah fell face down to ground and began to pray. Then he said to his servant. "Go and look out toward the sea."
  The servant returned to Elijah and said. "I looked out to sea, butI didn't see anything."
 "Go look again." Elijah replied, but again the servant saw nothing. The servant looked toward the sea six times, and then on the seventh time he saw something.
 "Master, I see a cloud rising from the sea. But it is no larger than a man's hand." he reported. 
 "Hurry to Ahab!" Elijah shouted. "Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don't hurry, the rain will stop you!" 
 Elijah's servant caught up with Ahab and told him about the impending storm. Ahab quickly left for his home in Jezreel. The winds were kicking up and the skies were getting darker and darker. Ahab had his horses pulling his chariot as fast as they could go! "Faster, faster!" He shouted.
 Now the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran faster than the horses pulling Ahab's chariot! Elijah beat Ahab to the entrance gate in Jezreel!

 Wow! Imagine being able to run that fast! God does some amazing things. Ahab just witnessed three of them in a matter of a couple hours. 1. God's fire from heaven 2. The end of a three year drought. 3. Elijah's turbo-speed sprint. 

  Next time we will see if witnessing these three miracles has an affect on Ahab's life and his attitude toward or God, or if his wife Jezebel has more influence on him.