Friday, December 30, 2005

Looking for all the right Questions

If you have ever been around a todler for more than an hour you have heard the pensive plea "Why?"

From our first days of speaking, we ask questions. As we grow up we are taught to have answers rather than questions. But, an answer is never as powerful or as moving as a quesiton. What was the last question you asked?

Jesus was the Master of questions. "Who do you say that I am?" he plied Peter. This timely probe gave Peter the chance to confess his faith in his Saviour and Lord. It also set the stage for Jesus' momentous declaration that upon "this rock" of faithful confession in Christ the Church would be built.

The truest seekers of wisdom - both secular and Divine - are question askers. Standing in front of a quiet peasant about to die the Roman Governor of Judea sneered, "Truth!" You can almost hear the "HA!" But then Pilate pauses, considers and turns to the Christ, "What is Truth?"

Jesus asked his listeners, "What profit is it to become filthy rich in this life and loose your soul eternally?" Paul furthered the question, "How will we escape, if we neglect such a great salvation?"

They make you think, don't they? Questions.

Make 2006 a year of questions, and watch your mind broaden and your faith deepen.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Cheating in good faith!

Last Week I took the kids to Zoo Doo in Richmond. One of the features is a miniature racetrack for Shetland ponies. Each person at the race received a ticket for a horse.

Mikey’s horse won. He didn’t seem surprised. I said, “Mikey, you have number 2! Your horse won. You get a prize!”

His relaxed response amazed me, “I talked to God and told him to let number 2 win.”

That night as I tucked Mikey into bed I told him how proud I was that he prays about things. I said, “Mikey I thought that was wonderful that you prayed that your horse would win.”

Again his reply was unexpected, “But that’s cheating!”

I had a good laugh about that. Is prayer cheating? I suppose it is, if you have the faith of a child!

What are you getting for Christmas? I bet Mikey already knows what he’s getting!

What better gift could there be than prayer?

Jesus replied, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt 21:22)

God gave the greatest gift by offering his Son in our place. But, he hasn’t stopped giving. He promises that he will continue to give as long as we continue to ask!

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 7:11)

In this Christmas season don’t set your sights too low. Lift your eyes and pray. God is listening!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

10 Little Words

Each week I visit each class in Hilliard's primary school and share some practical thoughts with the kids from the Bible. Last week I talked about the 10 most important words we ever learn.


I played hang man with all four classes (I shared this on with the 6-7 class as well, later in the week). They were amazed that there could be 10 words all 2 letters long that actually meant something important! It was a great lesson. Lots of fun.

Here is an outline of what I said to the kids. Of course the presentation was very different for the Kindergarten than it was for the 7th grade class...

1. We played hangman with "The ten most important words you will ever learn - if you learn them!"

2. I told the story of Noah.
God talks to Noah, tells him to build a boat. Did God say how big? Yes. Did God say how wide? Yes. Did God say what kind of wood? Yes.
So Noah gets the plans from God, sits on his couch with the remote control in his hand, watches TV and every-so-often looks out the window to see how the Ark is developing. Right?
The kids all shout NO!!! Then I had them explain to me that Noah built it. With what help? His family. No one else? No.
Then I talked about him preaching about the coming flood. and building. and preaching. and building. and preaching. for 120 years. How many people helped? 7 (plus Noah). Then we did some maths (kids love maths in groups) - How many years total spent in man hours? 120X8... 960 years. That's a lot of work.

3. I talked about Jesus dying for us. It was a great plan. But, Jesus had to DO it.

4. I talked about how many things I can remember without writing a list - 3... God gave us 3 things to do. We call it the Great Commission. 1. Make Disciples. 2. Baptise them. 3. Teach them.
I challenged the kids, Can you remember those three things without writing them down? We repeated it. I erased it off the board. We repeated it again.

5. I talked about how building the boat relates to Salvation. God told Noah to build a boat. Who did it? Noah. God told Jesus his plan. Jesus had to do it. Is it OK to ask God for other plans? Sure, Jesus did - but then he said Not my will but yours be done.
There is also another, very strong, lesson in the story of Noah's Ark that really makes people think. The people who built the boat got on the boat. They had been building their faith in their hearts as they built the life-saving vessel with their hands. No one got on the boat that wasn't involved in building it. I believe the same will be true the second time God cleanses the world. Those who have spoken about the second coming but did nothing about it will not have the faith to stick with God when everything looks like "it is never going to rain!" But, thouse who have been building the Kingdom with their hands - discipling, baptising and teaching - will have the faith to trust God in the last days. The workers will be the only ones to get in the boat.

6. The challege
- What were the three things God said had to be done before he would return? The kids shout it out. Make disciples! Baptise them! Teach them! Then I challenge them. Who has to do it? WE DO. What happens if we don't? It doesn't get done in our lives. If it does get done without us it is likely the boat will float without us. When it comes to the Great Commission - IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME.

The kids and teachers loved it. I'll be using this one again!

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...