...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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 2,3 &4)

 As Ruth was collecting the grain that was left behind, the owner of the field stopped by. His name was Boaz and he just so happened to be a relative of Ruth’s father-in-law who was killed years earlier. He noticed Ruth in the field because she was pretty and also because she was a hard worker.

 As children of God, we should be noticed as doing the best we can at everything we do. (Col 3:23)

 Boaz went over to where Ruth was working and said, “Stay in this field to gather grain. Don’t go to any other fields because they are dangerous. I have told my men not to bother you. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water that they have drawn from the well.”
 Ruth fell at Boaz’ feet and thanked him for being so kind to her, even though she was a foreigner in the land. Boaz told Ruth that he heard all about how kind she had been to Naomi.

 As children of God, our deeds to others should go before us. So that they glorify Him. (1 Peter 2:12)

 At lunchtime Boaz called her over to eat with the harvesters. He gave her so much food that she couldn’t eat it all, so she brought the leftovers home to Naomi along with a lot of grain that she had picked up in the fields. The reason she had so much grain was because Boaz had ordered his men to leave more grain than usual behind so that Ruth would have plenty to take home.
 When Ruth returned home, Naomi was amazed at all the grain she had gathered. “How were you able to gather so much grain? What field did you work in?” She asked.
 “ I worked in the field of a man named Boaz.” Ruth answered. “He was so kind to me.”
 “Boaz!” Naomi exclaimed. “He is a cousin to my husband. He is our relative! God bless him!”
 Ruth continued to work in Boaz’ field day after day until the harvest was complete.
 Naomi told Ruth that Boaz was the family redeemer, which meant that he was able to buy the land that Naomi would lose if someone didn’t step in. Ruth had fallen in love with Boaz by this time and approached him about redeeming the land and marrying her. It was a package deal. Boaz said that he would redeem the land and marry Ruth, except that there was a closer relative that had first choice.
 So Boaz waited for this certain relative by the city gates. When the relative came by, Boaz called him over to sit with him. Then he called ten leaders over as witnesses.  “So, I’m sure you know that Naomi has returned to Bethlehem. She has to sell the land that her husband had, or she will lose it. You have first dibs on the property if you want it.” Boaz explained.
 “Yes, I do want it.” The relative proclaimed. “When can I purchase it?”
 “Not so fast.” Boaz interjected. “ There are a few things you should know. You also must marry the woman from Moab, Ruth. And you must have a place for Naomi as well.”
 “Whoa, wait a minute! I would risk losing my own estate. I cannot redeem it.You redeem it Boaz.” The man said.
 Boaz then said to all the witnesses. “ You have heard it. I am buying Naomi’s land and I will be marrying Ruth, the Moabite widow so that when she has a son, the land will remain in her family.” And that is what he did. Boaz and Ruth are ancestors to Jesus. What a blessing!

 So what is this whole redeemer thing anyway? When a person is too “poor" to take care of his or her property. It must be sold. The nearest relative has an opportunity to purchase the land if they want. By doing this, the redeemer saves the “poor” land owner from a possible life of slavery. To redeem means to pay a price and free the owner of any obligation. That is what Boaz did for Naomi and Ruth. And that is what Jesus did for us! What a great time of the year to be studying this story! The Easter message is all about Jesus and what He has done for us! Jesus has redeemed us because we are too “poor” to redeem ourselves. His blood payed the price for our sin. (A price we could never pay) He was fully man and fully God, so He is our relative. He has saved us from a life of slavery. He has bought us with a price.
 Have a blessed Easter everyone!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1-2)

Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, ( Ruth and Orpah) had lost their husbands. Naomi heard that her home town of Bethlehem had been blessed with good weather and now had plenty of crops for food. So Ruth and Orpah began to make the journey with her back to Bethlehem.
 On the way Ruth said, “ I think that it would be best for you to go back to your mothers’ home instead of coming with me. May God bless you with another husband because of the kindness that you have shown me.” Then she kissed them good-bye and all three women began to cry.
 Ruth and Orpah both said, “No. We want to go with you to your people.”
 "But your family is in Moab. Your friends and your future are there as well.” Naomi said. "I can’t have any more sons for you to marry, and even if I could, it would be many years before they would be old enough to marry you.” (It was the custom for widows to marry the brothers of their dead husbands. That is why Naomi said this). "I am old and bitter.” Naomi continued. "You are still young and have a chance for a bright future. God has caused me to suffer and I have no future.” Naomi kissed them good-bye again, and they all cried again.

 Then Orpah went on her way back to Moab. But Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. “See, Orpah has gone back to her people, you should do the same.” Naomi told Ruth.
 But Ruth replied. “ Please do not ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go. I will live wherever you live. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. May God punish me if I let anything besides death separate us.”
 Well after a speech like that, what could Naomi say? Naomi and Ruth headed down the road together. When they finally made it to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirring. “Is it really Naomi? Has Naomi come back to us?’ The women asked.
 "Don’t call me Naomi any more.” Naomi said. “ Call me Mara from now on because God has made me suffer so much, that I am now bitter.” (Mara means bitter. Naomi means pleasant) Naomi continued. “When I left here ten years ago, I was so full of life and hope. Now I have returned empty because God has caused such tragedy to fall on me. My husband and my two sons are dead. I am bitter.”
 Naomi took Ruth to her home, which after ten years, needed a lot of work to get it back to living conditions. So they began to fixit up.
  They had returned to Bethlehem right at the beginning of the first harvest season. So Ruth said that she was going to go into one of the nearby fields and pick up some of the grain that the harvesters had left behind. (This was a legal way of providing for the poor and it was called gleaning)
 Naomi was a little nervous, because some of the men who worked in the fields were rough and tough, but she agreed. “ Go, but be careful my daughter!” So Ruth left to go gleaning. As it happened, she found herself working in the field of a man named Boaz. He was a relative of Naomi’s husband.
 While Ruth was in the field working, Boaz showed up. “Good morning. God bless you!” he shouted to his men working in his field.

 "God bless you!” The men replied.
 Boaz went up to the lead harvester. “Who is that girl over there?” He asked as he pointed at Ruth.
 "She is the young woman from Moab that came back with Naomi.” The foreman replied.  “She has been working very hard all morning and only took a short break.”
 When God allows bad things to happen to us, we can become better or bitter. Ruth became better. She reached out to Naomi, even though they were both hurting from the loss of their husbands. Ruth also demonstrated faith in God. Naomi became bitter. She became consumed with what happened to her. Being bitter causes us to think only of ourselves. The more we dwell on it, the more bitter we become.
So when something bad happens to you...... do you become better or bitter?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Recap of the Book of Judges and Intro to the book of Ruth

Well, that wraps up the Book of Judges. The Book of Judges covered a span of 325 years. During this time there were twelve judges. One of the Judges was a woman named Deborah. She was a judge for 40 years.

 The judges were not kings. God was the king of Israel. The judges were appointed by God to handle disputes and arguments. During the rule of each individual judge, the Israelites experienced a measure of peace. But after a judge died and before a new judge was appointed by God, the Israelites turned their backs on God and did whatever they wanted. This caused chaos in the land. Samson was the last judge. After he died, the Israelites were back to their old tricks, doing whatever they felt like. They began to ask God for a king. Finally, 13 years after Samson died. The Israelites got their first (human) king. God tried to discourage them from wanting a king, but He finally gave in.
 God wants to be king of our lives. More specifically, He wants Jesus to be our Lord. What does that mean? Jesus as Lord means this:  That Jesus is the boss. Jesus is the ruler. Jesus is the master of our whole life. Not just a part of our lives. The more we know Jesus, the more we know what He wants. Doing what Jesus wants, doesn’t get us into heaven. Jesus is our Lord, our boss, our ruler, our master because He bought us. He paid for our sins with His blood.

 We will talk about Israel’s first king, but there is an amazing story during those 13 years between the  Samson’s death and Israel’s first king that we will look at first. It is the Book of Ruth. It is the story of a woman named Naomi, her husband (Elimelech), and her 2 sons. They lived in a town named Bethlehem. Does that sound familiar? That’s right. Bethlehem is where Jesus was born. There was a bad famine in the land. That means that there was no rain, so the plants wouldn’t grow. The people and animals had very little food and many of the animals died.
 Naomi and her family decided to leave Bethlehem for a country called Moab. The Moabites did not like the Israelites, but Naomi’s husband heard that they had plenty of crops there.  So they left Bethlehem for Moab. After a while in Moab, Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, died and Naomi was left with her two sons. Then her two sons married Moabite women. One was named Orpah and the other was named Ruth. Ruth is the woman that this book Bible was named for. About ten years later, Orpah and Ruth’s husbands died. This left Naomi feeling very alone. Sure she had Orpah and Ruth, but they were Moabites. They belonged in Moab. She was an Israelite.
 Then Naomi heard that God had blessed the Israelites again with good crops. She decided that they go back to her home town, Bethlehem. This is basically where our story begins.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Samson’s Final Victory (Judges 16)

Last time we were with Samson, he had finally told Delilah the truth about his strength. Delilah was only with Samson because of the money she could make by helping the Philistines capture him. The truth about Samson’s strength was: That Samson was raised up as a Nazarite. His hair was never cut. Because God was going to use Samson to help overthrow the Philistines and free the Israelites from their domination, and because Samson’s hair was a symbol that he was dedicated to the Lord, God gave Samson amazing strength.
  Samson told Delilah that his strength was in his hair and that his hair was never cut.  As Delilah let Samson lay on her lap, she signaled to a man that was hiding in the other room. He came into the room with a knife for Samson’s hair and the money for Delilah.

 “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” Delilah screamed as she awoke Samson.
“No problem.” Samson thought. “I’ll just do as I have all the other times and put these Philistines out into the streets.” But he didn’t realize that this time, the Lord had left him.
 So the Philistines captured Samson, gouged out his eyes and sent him to Gaza where he was bound in chains and forced grind grain in prison. But before long, his hair began to grow back.

The Philistine leaders decided to throw a huge party. They wanted to offer sacrifices to their god, Dagon, for finally giving them victory over their greatest enemy, Samson. The people were all yelling and screaming with joy. “Dagon has given us victory! The one who has killed so many, is now in our power! Praise to Dagon! Praise to Dagon!”
 Half drunk by now, the people began to demand. “Bring out Samson! We want him to perform for us!
So Samson was brought from prison and placed in the center of the temple between two large pillars. A servant led him and Samson asked him to place his hands on the pillars to rest. The servant did so.
 The temple was filled with thousands of people. Most of the guards and leaders were there to celebrate and to make fun of Samson.
 Then Samson prayed. “Dear God, please be with me this one last time. Strengthen me to get revenge on these Philistines who have blinded me. Please God Almighty. Please!”
 Samson pressed his hands against the pillars and God gave him back his strength. He pushed with all his might. “Let me die with these Philistines!” He cried out. And the temple came crashing down killing the Philistine leaders, many of the people, the guards and Samson. Samson killed far more Philistines in his death than he did while he was alive. This led to the eventual fall of the Philistine empire and the rescue of the Israelites. Just as God told Samson’s parents would happen. Samson rescued his people from the Philistines.

 Wow! What a story! Not just a story.... A true story! “OK," you may ask. “So what? How does this have anything to do with me?” A lot. Remember at the beginning of the Samson story. God told Samson’s parents that He was going to use Samson to carry out his plan to rescue the Israelites, so they dedicated him to God. Samson was given the gift of great strength to carry out the purposes of God. Do you know that God is still working out His plan? He wants to use each of us and the special gifts or talents that He gave us to carry it out. Are you a good singer, speaker, artist, helper, friend, organizer etc..... God gave you a gift. He gives everyone a gift. That gift is not for yourself, but for others and for God’s purposes. Samson, knew he was strong. He used the gift that God gave him to get girlfriends and do whatever he wanted. God gives us a choice. He gave Samson a choice. But God also has a plan and He is not going to let our choices stop his plans. He still used Samson to carry out His plan. Samson could have done life God’s way and his life would have been a lot easier, but he did things his own way and ended up blind and in prison.
How about you and me? Are we joining God in his plan by using our gifts for Him, or is He going to work His plan in spite of us.  If it the latter, we may be in for some uncomfortable times.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Samson and Delilah (Judges16)

After Samson killed many of the Philistines, he went and lived in a cave just outside the town of Lehi where many of the Israelites lived. The Philistines wanted revenge on Samson and raided the town of Lehi. The Israelites cried out to the Philistine army. “Why are you doing this to us?”
 “We are looking for Samson. to pay him back for what he did to us!” The soldiers answered.
So three thousand Israelites went to the cave where Samson was living.  “The Philistines will continue to terrorize our town unless we tie you up and turn you over to them.” They said to Samson.
 Samson agreed to let them tie him up and hand him over to the Philistines. As the Israelites returned to Lehi, the Philistines cheered when they saw that Samson was tied up. Samson stood before the soldiers, then he broke free of the ropes that bound him. They snapped like they were made of paper. Samson found a donkey skull on the ground. He used the jawbone from the skull and killed 1,000 Philistines that day. Then he threw the jawbone away and that place was named Jawbone Hill from then on.

 One day the Philistines heard that Samson was spending the night in their town with a woman. They camped out by the city gates and planned on killing Samson when it got light the next morning. But Samson couldn’t sleep. He went to the city gate where the men were sleeping. He ripped the city gates right out of the ground! He carried them on his back all the way to a hill across town.

 Later, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The Philistines offered Delilah eleven hundred pieces of silver if she would find out what makes Samson so strong. I guess Delilah didn’t love Samson, because she agreed.
 That evening Delilah asked Samson. “Tell me my dear, what would it take to tie you up so securely that you couldn’t break free?”
 “If I am tied with seven bowstrings that have not been dried, then I will be as weak as anyone else.” Samson answered.
 Delilah went straight to the Philistines and told them Samson’s secret. Delilah tied Samson with seven undried bowstrings and then called the Philistines that were hiding in another room. Samson jumped up and easily broke the bowstrings.
 The next evening, Delilah said to Samson. “You lied to me. Please tell me the truth this time.”
If I am tied up with rope that has never been used before, then I will be as weak as anyone else.
 So guess what Delilah did? yep. She went right to the Philistines. They provided her with brand spanking new ropes. She tied Samson with them and called the Philistines from the other room. When Samson saw the men, he jumped up and snapped the ropes like they were thread.
 Well you would think that Samson would start to catch on that Delilah didn’t have his best interest in mind. But no. The next night, Delilah begged Samson to reveal the secret of his strength, and how he could be subdued. Samson said. “If you braid my hair, and take seven of those braid and weave them into the fabric on your loom. Then I will be as weak as anyone else.”
So after Samson fell asleep, Delilah braided his hair. She took seven of the braids and weaved them into the fabric on her loom. Then she called out and the Philistines charged in. Samson jumped to his feet. He yanked his hair out of the loom and chased the Philistines out of the house.
 Now Delilah resorted to tears. “You have lied and made fun of me.” She cried. “Please, please, please, if you love me, tell me the secret of your strength.”Day after day, Delilah, cried, pouted and nagged Samson. Finally he said. “Ok, ok stop your whining! My hair has never been cut. I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me and I would be as weak as anyone else.” The Philistines hid in the other room as Delilah lulled Samson to sleep as he lay on her lap. Delilah was sure that Samson told her the truth this time. Next time we’ll find out if he did.

God warns us in the Bible about who we becomes friends with. Bad company corrupts good character. (1 Cor. 15:33) Which means if your best friends are not good, sooner or later, you’ll become more like them. The Bible also says not to marry someone who believes differently then you do about Jesus. (2 Cor.6:14) Because two people serving God together, gives Him glory. One serving and the other not serving Him is harder than one person serving God by themselves. I know what you are thinking... “well Jesus had dealings with a lot of bad people.” Yes that is true, but His friends were His apostles, Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Samson the Lion and the Wedding (Judges 14)

 So Samson grew into a very strong young man. God had great plans for Samson. He was going to use Samson to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. Remember how God used Moses and his leadership skills to free the Israelites from the Egyptians? Now God was going to use Samson and his physical strength to free them from slavery again. This time from the Philistines.
 Samson travelled back and forth from his home to the city of Timnah. One day while in Timnah he saw a beautiful Philistine woman there. He went home and told his mother and father that he wanted that woman for his wife. Samson’s parents tried to talk him out of it because the Israelites were only supposed to marry Israelites. Especially since Samson was being raised as a Nazirite for God.  Some of the rules for Nazirites were 1. No alcohol. 2. Not to touch anything dead. 3. To never get a haircut. So Samson, being set apart for God, surely should not marry a Philistine woman, but his parents finally gave in and said yes.
 One day while Samson was going back to Timnah, a lion attacked him. Samson killed the lion with his bare hands! He continued to Timnah and talked with the woman that he wanted to marry. Things went well and Samson left with joy in his heart.
 Some time later, Samson’s parents were in Timnah making the final wedding preparations. As Samson was walking toward Timnah, he decided to check out the dead lion that he had killed. He noticed that bees had made some honey in the carcass. He stuck his hands into it and scooped out some honey and ate it. He brought some to his parents to eat, but didn’t tell them where he got it because he wasn’t supposed to touch anything dead.
 While Samson’s father was making some last minute wedding preparations, Samson decided to throw a party. He invited the 30 men in his wedding party. He told them a riddle. He made them a bet that they couldn’t guess the answer in seven days.
The men actually threatened Samson’s wife if she didn’t get the answer to the riddle and tell them. For seven days Samson’s wife cried. “If you loved me, you tell me the answer to the riddle. You must not really love me!”
 Finally, Samson gave in and told her the answer. She went right to the 30 men and told them. The next time they saw Samson, they answered his riddle. Samson was furious because he knew that he was tricked! He killed 30 Philistines. Then he left Timah and went to stay with his mother and father.

 After a few weeks, Samson cooled down and went back to Timnah with a young goat to make up with his wife. A young goat back then, was like a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. I don’t think a young goat would would melt a woman’s heart now a days.
 Samson knocked on his father-in-law’s door. His father-in-law answered and said. “I didn’t think that you were coming back so I gave my daughter in marriage to your best man.”
Now Samson was really mad! He burned the Philistine grain fields and the piles of grain that had been stored. He burned their olive trees and their grapevines.
 “Who did this?” The leaders inquired. “Samson!” The people replied. And so the leaders of the Philistines took Samson’s wife and her father and burned them to death. This is how the Philistines and Samson became bitter enemies. Samson was determined to get revenge. He went out and killed many of the Philistines.
 Do you see God working in this story? Even though Samson made many mistakes, God is using his mistakes to work out His plan of freeing the Israelites from the Philistines.. The word for this is God’s sovereignty. God has a perfect plan. We are not perfect, but He wants to use us anyway. Isn’t that amazing! Now I’m not saying that we can do as we please and God will use us anyway. There are consequences to disobedience as we will soon see in Samson’s life.
 A lot of people discover that God has a plan for their lives as they get older. Samson’s parents knew that God had a plan for Samson before he was even born. The fact is. God had a plan for you before you were born ... just like Samson. Discovering God’s plan for our lives is an exciting adventure!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Birth of Samson (Judges 9-13)

Like we said last time, after Gideon died, the people went back to their old ways. They began worshipping Baal and living wicked lives. Why would the people worship a wooden statue? Because a statue doesn’t expect much. The people wanted to do their own thing and they knew that God would require obedience and sacrifice.  Here is an example of just how wicked their lives had become.
 Believe it or not, Gideon had 71 sons! After he died, the sons took over as the leaders of the Israelites. One of his sons, Abimelech, wanted to be the ruler all by himself. He went to the town that his mother was from (Shechem) and persuaded the people there that it would be better for them if he were their king. The people agreed. The town took up a collection from the Baal Temple for Abimelech and he spent the seventy silver coins that they gave him on some soldiers.
 Abimelech took his soldiers to his fathers house and killed sixty-nine of his brothers. One of his brothers named Jotham escaped.
 Jotham climbed to the top of a mountain and shouted to all the people of Shechem. “If what you did by making Abimelech your king, is pleasing to God, may you find joy and peace while he is your king. But if what you did is dishonoring to God and to the name of Gideon, who defeated the Midianites for you, then may your time under Abimelech’s rule be filled with sorrow, pain and unrest.” Then Jotham went and hid because he knew his brother wanted to kill him.

 After three years, God decided it was time to stir up some trouble between Abimelech and the town of Shechem. The whole town began to badmouth the Abimelech. But he had spies in the town. They reported back to him what was happening. Abimelech knew that it was a matter of time before the whole town would revolt against him, so he wanted to make the first move. He took his army and stationed them outside the Shechem city limits.  The men of Shechem were no match for Abimelech and his men and when they came out defend their city many of the Shechemites were killed. The rest ran back and told the people to hide in the temple. Abimelech told his men to gather some branches. They laid the branches at the base of the temple and burned it down, killing the people in it. The rest of the people ran to the center of town where there was a huge tower. They took refuge in it, but Abimelech told his men to get more branches. He laid the branches at the base of the tower and has Abimelech was leaning over to start them on fire, a woman dropped a brick off the roof of the tower. It landed on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull.
 Abimelech was barely alive. “Take your sword and kill me!” He told one of his soldiers.. “I don’t want it known that a woman killed me.” So the soldier finished him off.
 God punished Abimelech and the town of Shechem for murdering Gideon’s sons. (Judges 9:56&57)

The Israelites went through several more judges (rulers), but they continued to turn their backs on God. God grew angry and took His hand of protection off the Israelites and they fell into the hands of the Philistines and became their slaves for forty years. Do you realize that God’s hand of protection is upon you and me? Our lives are so fragile! God is the sustainer of all things. Which means that He keeps everything and everyone going.

 Well the Israelites finally realized how self-centered they had been living, and they cried out to God for help. God is so compassionate, caring and forgiving. He decided to raise up a judge that would rescue the Israelites from the Philistines.
 God sent His angel to the wife of a man named Manoah. The couple had not been able to have children, but the angel assured them that they would have a son. The angel also said that their son must be dedicated to God as a Nazirite. (Which meant that he could never get a haircut, never drink alcohol or never touch any dead thing).
 When their son was born, they named him Samson. God blessed him as he grew. His parents kept their part, and never gave him a haircut.