Right now, the best way to get trained is to contact your local Conference. The NAD provides one of our amazing presenters every year to go out to the conferences and equip local leaders with the tools to be certified. You can usually get certified ON A WHOLE TRACK during an event provided by your conference!
by: Nancy E. Walker-Guye
Jannah and Daddy lived together in a cozy, little apartment. One night after supper, Daddy said.
“You look tired, Jannah. Are you catching a cold?”
“I’m fine,” Jannah told Daddy. But she honestly did feel tired, and she knew the reason she
was tired. A still, small Voice (the Holy Spirit) whispered in Jannah’s ear, telling her to tell her
daddy what she was doing. But Jannah kept quiet.
“All right.” Daddy kissed her forehead. “Good night, sweetie. Sleep well.”
“Good night, Daddy.”
Daddy switched off the light and left Jannah’s room. Jannah stared into the darkness. She
listened to Daddy shower, brush his teeth, and go to bed. Soon he was snoring. He was always
tired from working so hard—at work and at home—so he always went to bed right after her.
Jannah tried not to yawn. Sleep was boring. Staying awake was fun. She took a flashlight and
a book out of her bedside table drawer and read until she fell asleep.
The next day at Sabbath School, Mr. Adams pointed to some pictures on the bulletin board.
“Do you remember what these pictures mean, Jannah?” he asked.
Jannah looked at the pictures of healthy food and children playing and nodded. “They’re about
how to live healthy lives—the way Jesus wants us to.”
Mr. Adams smiled. “Exactly!”
Jannah frowned when she looked at the picture of a boy asleep in bed. It reminded her that
children need enough sleep to be healthy.
The next morning, Daddy shook Jannah awake. She groaned. “It’s too early to get up.”
Daddy chuckled. “No it’s not, silly. You always get up at this time. What’s this?” Daddy asked.
Jannah opened her eyes. Daddy was holding her flashlight. He picked up her book from beside
her pillow. “And this?” Daddy frowned at her.
The still, small Voice told Jannah she should tell the truth.
“Have you been staying up late reading? Is that why you’re so tired?” Daddy asked.
Jannah nodded. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said. I’m sorry, Jesus, she prayed silently.
“Am I going to have to stay up every night to make sure you go to sleep?” Daddy asked.
Jannah would feel awful if Daddy lost sleep because of her. “No Daddy,” she said. “I’ll stop
staying awake to read. I promise.”
“I’m glad,” Daddy said. “Now hurry up and get dressed.”
Although she was terribly sleepy, Jannah felt much happier now that she had told Daddy the
truth. The still, small Voice was telling her that she had made Jesus happy too.
That night, after supper, Daddy told her it was bedtime—a half hour earlier than usual! Jannah
wondered why, but she obeyed and got ready for bed.
When she was in bed, Daddy sat down beside her. He was holding a book that she had never
seen before. “Where did you get that?” she asked.
Daddy smiled. “I borrowed it at the library, so we could read it together before we sleep.”
Seeing him smile after all his worried frowns made Jannah happy. “What a fun idea!” she said.
She curled up in bed and listened to Daddy read. His deep, gentle voice made her feel sleepy.
When Daddy had finished the story, she could hardly keep her eyes open. “Good night
sleepyhead,” he said as he kissed the top of her head.
“Night,” Jannah mumbled. She didn’t even hear Daddy close her bedroom door. She was
already fast asleep.
By: Perri Wiggins
Do you want to come over?” Kyle asked Aaron after school.
“No,” Aaron replied.
“Why not?” Kyle asked.
“It’s Sabbath. I have to stay home on Friday nights,” Aaron said.
“I forgot. You go to church,” Kyle said. “I wish you didn’t.”
“I wish I didn’t too,” Aaron said.
Aaron felt left out. His school friends went to Friday night games, Saturday movies,
and school parties. He never got to go.
By the time Aaron got home he was very unhappy. In fact, Aaron was just plain mad
because Mom and Dad wouldn’t let him have fun. He couldn’t even go to his best friend’s
house on Sabbath. It just wasn’t fair.
“Mom, you never let me have fun. I’m the only Seventh-day Adventist at school. I’m
not going to church ever again!” Aaron hollered and stomped down the hall to his room.
“All right,” Mom said.
“All right?” Aaron asked. He stopped and turned around. He was surprised.
“I want it to be your choice,” Mom said. “I want you to go to church and Sabbath
School because you love God. I don’t want you to go only because we tell you to go.”
So that night Aaron went next door to Kyle’s house for the first time on a Friday night.
“I thought you couldn’t come over,” Kyle said.
“I want to have fun like you,” Aaron said.
Kyle’s family sat watching TV. Aaron thought watching TV on Friday night would be
lots of fun, although Kyle’s family didn’t look like they were having much fun.
Kyle and Aaron sat on the sofa and watched TV. Aaron tried to have fun. But it wasn’t
fun at all. He knew he was doing something wrong. He knew the Ten Commandments
said to keep the Sabbath holy. He knew he was not obeying Jesus by watching TV on the
Sabbath. He knew he wanted to love and obey Jesus.
“I thought we would have fun tonight,” Aaron said.
“This is what we always do,” Kyle said.
“I should go home to my family,” Aaron said. “I was wrong. I do love the Sabbath.”
Aaron walked back home. Dad was reading stories from
to Mom and
Danny, his little brother. Danny and Mom drew pictures as they listened. A plate of apple
and orange slices sat on the coffee table. They were having more fun than Kyle’s family.
“Come join us,” Dad said.
Aaron drew pictures with Mom and Danny.
“I didn’t have fun at Kyle’s house. They watched TV. That’s all they did. I thought I was
missing out on all the fun. But I wasn’t. They are missing out on the fun,” Aaron said,
when the story was over.
“I’m happy you came home,” Mom said, smiling. “I missed you. Would you like to
invite Kyle to eat Sabbath lunch with us and then go for a hike in the park?”
Aaron ran to Kyle’s house. “Would you like to come eat with us and then go for a hike
after church tomorrow?” Aaron asked.
“Yes!” Kyle replied. “Now that sounds fun!”
“Would you like to come to my Sabbath School and church first?” Aaron asked. He was
scared to ask, but he wanted Kyle to learn about the Sabbath and how much Jesus loved
“OK,” Kyle said.
Aaron was happy for Kyle to meet his friends at Sabbath School. After church they sat
down to eat. “When we go for Sabbath afternoon walks,” Aaron said, “Mom plans a
nature activity. They are really fun.”
“I thought you said you never have fun. I want to go to Sabbath School with you every
week,” Kyle said.
“May I pray?” Aaron asked. “Dear Jesus, thank You for our food. Thank You for the
Sabbath so my family can go to church and on nature walks. Thank You for making me
brave to tell my friend Kyle about Sabbath School. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Aaron felt good. He was with his family on the Sabbath. He felt in his heart that he
made the right choice. He was happy to be a Seventh-day Adventist and keep the
Sabbath. The Sabbath was a fun worship and family day.
By: Neoma Foreman
I sure made a mess of things, Mike thought, blinking away the tears that stung his eyes. Grandpa is hurt bad, and it’s all because I didn’t wear the right shoes like Grandpa told me to. Mike picked up a rock and hurled it halfway across the stream that soaked his flipflops. He wiped his tears with the back of his hand as he squatted by the smooth-flowing creek. Cupping his hands, he picked up what water he could hold in his hands and dripped the water on Grandpa’s lips.
Every year during spring break, Grandpa and Mike went camping. They rode horses into the mountains and camped in their favorite spot. Grandpa insisted that Mike wear his boots, and he did when he rode his horse. But when they made camp, he chose to wear flip-flops.
Two days before, a snake had slid across his feet. Startled, Mike screamed and kicked at the snake. The snake landed on his horse’s back. His horse had bolted and scared Grandpa’s horse as well.
Grandpa had been holding his horse’s reins. The horse dragged him across a huge rock and slammed him into a tree. He couldn’t move his leg. Now, here they were almost two days later—no food, no horses, and 10 miles from their ranch home.
Grandpa flinched and muttered. “Got to get help, Mike. Whistle for the horses.”
Mike whistled and whistled, but nothing happened. Mike went back to the creek and lifted water to his own dry lips. It helped his dry throat, but did nothing to calm his fears.
He bowed his head. “Please, Jesus, heal Grandpa. Don’t let any wild animals hurt us, and let me find our horses today. Amen.”
Mike sat down beside Grandpa. “I could walk to the ranch, but I’m afraid to leave you.”
Grandpa groaned as he tried to change positions. “If those horses went home, someone will come looking. I don’t want you traipsing off by yourself. You might get lost.”
He closed his eyes. “If I had a horse, I could build a travois (stretcher). We just built one in school. I think I’ll make one anyway. I have to do something. I can pull you by myself if I have to.”
Mike searched until he found two long, straight tree limbs that were strong. He spent the early morning wrapping a rope back and forth between the two branches and adjusted the limbs to his shoulders.
I can do this for Grandpa. I have to. It’s not good, but it’s the best I can do. If there is no sign of the horses by noon, we will start.
Mike sat on the hillside. It was one of his favorite spots. He liked to stand on this hill and look across the valley. Spring was the best time to enjoy this view. White and yellow wildflowers peeked at the sun as if praising God. He breathed deeply.
Mike’s heart jumped at the unnatural crack of a twig. Brown ears came over the
brim of the hill behind him. A horse lumbered into sight.
“Bumper!” Mike jumped to his feet. “Are you OK?” He ran his hands over his horse and found nothing wrong. “Thank You, Jesus. Oh, thank You, he still has my canteen and food and my other rope.”
Mike attached the long poles to either side of Bumper and lashed them to the pack on the back of his saddle. After walking the horse to get it used to its strange load, he tied him to a tree. Mike got some food from his pack. He warmed a can of soup over the fire.
After it was warm, he took some to Grandpa.
“Grandpa, Jesus is taking care of us. My horse came back, and we have food.” He held a tin cup to Grandpa’s mouth and helped him take a few swallows.
Mike let Grandpa rest a bit before he fed him the rest of the soup. “We can head for home, Grandpa. I made a travois like we learned in school.” He put the stretcher by Grandpa.
Grandpa looked up, his eyes brighter. “It will be hard,” he groaned. “But with God’s help, we can do it.” He gritted his teeth and pulled himself toward the travois. Mike helped and finally got Grandpa onto the blanket. Mike got on his horse, and they headed toward the ranch.
The sun was setting when they arrived at the ranch, but people were everywhere. Grandma had called in friends and neighbors when Grandpa’s horse had wandered onto the ranch an hour earlier. They had planned to start searching as soon as the sun came up the next morning.
Instead, a neighbor drove Grandpa to the hospital, where his leg was set in a cast. The doctor kept him overnight and then sent him home with a set of crutches.
Mike helped him into the house. “I’m sorry, Grandpa. If I had worn my boots like you told me to, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Grandpa threw his arm across Mike’s shoulders. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. It might have happened anyway. With God’s help, you managed to get me back to the ranch.”
“Maybe so, but it was a floppy choice that I won’t make again,” Mike said.
Grandpa chuckled. “Floppy, huh? As in flip-flops?
Mike grinned and nodded.
“Now you know why I don’t think flip-flops are proper shoes for camping. Parents—and grandparents—usually have good reasons why they tell you to do something. I doubt you will wear them next year.”
Mike gave Grandpa a hug. “No I won’t! I don’t want to have this kind of camping experience ever again.”
By: Annie Applefield
Jackson and Logan were playing in the backyard. “Let’s play hide-and-seek,” Jackson said.
“OK,” Logan agreed. “You hide first.”
As Logan covered his eyes and counted, Jackson scampered off and found a hiding spot near the bushes.
“Eight . . . nine . . . ten!” Logan called. Then he turned and sneaked out of the backyard.
He poked his head out from behind the bush. He didn’t see Logan. “I wonder where Logan is,” he said to himself.
Jackson waited some more.
And some more.
And some more.
Finally, Jackson came out of his hiding place and began to cry. He ran inside.
“Daddy! Daddy!” Jackson ran into his daddy’s arms.
“What’s wrong?” Daddy asked.
“We were playing hide-and-seek, but Logan didn’t even try to look for me!”
Daddy wiped away Jackson’s tears and gently said, “Maybe that is how Jesus feels.”
Jackson’s jaw dropped open. “Is Jesus is waiting for me to find Him?”
“Yes, He is,” Daddy answered.
“Where should I look?” Jackson asked.
“Where do you think He is?” Daddy asked.
Jackson bit his lower lip. “I think,” Jackson said, pointing to heaven, “He is up there.” He pointed to his heart and said, “And in here!” He swept his arms in a wide circle and said, “And everywhere I go.”
“That’s right!” Daddy said, giving Jackson a big smile and hug.
“I won’t be like Logan, Daddy! I won’t stop until I find Jesus!”
Jun had a big smile as he walked into his church school class. “Guess what, Mrs. Lane? I memorized three Bible verses this week.”
Mrs. Lane looked surprised. “That is a lot, Jun. Did any of the rest of you memorize verses?” she asked the class.
“I forgot,” Michael said. Several of the other children admitted they had forgotten too.
Amelia looked up shyly. “I didn’t forget, but I only memorized one verse.”
“That’s good, Amelia,” Mrs. Lane said. “I think we will have our Bible story and then we can hear the verses.”
The children sat in a circle as Mrs. Lane told the Bible story. Then she asked Jun to recite his verses. He stood up proudly and in a strong voice recited the three verses. Next Mrs. Lane asked Amelia to recite hers.
Amelia’s voice was soft, but she spoke clearly. “‘Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ First John four, eleven” (NIV).
“Thank you both,” Mrs. Lane praised. “Boys and girls, do you remember the Bible verse we learned last week?
Let’s say the verse together.” “ ‘I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you’. Psalm one hundred and nineteen, eleven” (NIV).
“By memorizing Bible verses, we keep God’s Word in our hearts,” Mrs. Lane explained. “Now, I think we want to hear the meaning of Jun’s and Amelia’s Bible verses. Jun, will you tell us what your verses mean?”
Jun frowned. “I don’t know. I just learned them so I would know the most verses.”
“I see.” Mrs. Lane smiled. “You thought the important thing was just to know a lot of verses.”
Jun nodded his head.“What about you, Amelia?” Mrs. Lane asked.
“I thought a lot about what verse to learn,” Amelia said. “I felt I needed to learn this verse. I think it means, since God loves us first, we need to love Him and that causes us to love others.”
“Yes, God loves us so we need to love Him and then others,”
Mrs. Lane agreed. “I think Amelia understands her verse. What do you think?”
“I guess I didn’t think of the meaning,” Jun said. “I just wanted you to think I was good at memorizing all those verses.”
“I think we have all learned a good lesson today.” Mrs. Lane smiled at Jun. “It’s OK to be proud of the things we can do well, but the reason for memorizing Bible verses is not to impress people. The point is to understand more about God.”
“I will look at my verses again,” Jun said. “Maybe next Sabbath I can tell you what they mean.”
“We will plan on that,” Mrs. Lane said. “I hope the rest of you will memorize one verse for next week. Learn what it means too.”
By: Katee Amen
The sun is setting Mom!” Oliver called excitedly. “It’s time for our Friday night Bible story.”
Oliver and his mom and dad had a family tradition of gathering a bunch of blankets, lighting every candle in the house, and reading a Bible story to welcome the Sabbath. Oliver loved this tradition because it felt like they were camping. Sometimes his mom and dad would even light the fireplace, and they would make s’mores!
“You’re right Oliver! You better go get the blankets while Mom and I light the candles,” Dad said.
“Can we make s’mores tonight?” Oliver asked, hopefully.
Mom thought for a moment then replied, “I suppose that would be OK as long as you help clean up afterwards.”
“Deal! Thanks Mom!” Oliver shouted as he ran up the stairs to grab the blankets.
After Oliver arranged the blankets just right and Mom lit the candles, Dad picked up his Bible and started looking for a story. “Tonight I am going to tell you the story of the good Samaritan,” Dad said.
“What’s a Samaritan?” Oliver asked.
“A Samaritan is a person who does good things for others even when they are strangers,” Mom answered.
“Samaritans were also a group of people who lived in Jesus’ time,” Dad added. “The Samaritans and the Jews did not like each other.
“OK so what does that have to do with the good Samaritan?” Oliver asked.
“Well that’s what we will learn in our Bible story tonight.” Dad smiled and began telling the story. “A man traveling between Jerusalem and Jericho was robbed and hurt very badly. After the evil men stole all the Jewish traveler’s possessions and beat him up, they left him on the side of the road to die. The traveler was all alone, and he didn’t think anyone would find him in time. Finally, he saw a Jewish priest walking up the road.“
‘Help me!’ the man cried. But the priest moved to the other side of the road and kept walking as if he didn’t even see the wounded traveler. More time went by and the traveler became weaker. He saw another man coming up the road. This time it was a Levite.
“The traveler thought, Oh good! It’s a Levite! He will help me!
‘Help me!’ the traveler cried as loud as he could. The Levite stopped and looked at the traveler, but the Levite walked on without helping.
“More time passed and the traveler thought he would surely die. Then he saw another man coming up the road. He recognized this man to be a Samaritan.
A Samaritan! He won’t stop for me, especially if a priest and a Levite didn’t stop. I’m a Jew. He won’t help me.“ As the Samaritan walked by, the traveler didn’t even call out for help. But to his surprise, the Samaritan stopped. The Samaritan poured oil on the traveler’s wounds and bandaged them. He then put the traveler on his donkey and took him to an inn where he continued to care for the traveler. When the Samaritan had to leave, he paid the innkeeper to take care of the traveler until he couldreturn.”
Suddenly, there was a loud crash
from outside. Oliver and his parents ran to the front window and gasped. A car had crashed into the light pole across the street from their house.
“Stay inside and call nine one one,” Dad instructed. “I’m going to make sure everyone is OK out there.”
Dad ran outside to see if anyone was hurt. The ground around the car was covered with glass from the broken windshield, and smoke was coming from somewhere under the hood.
“Are you OK, sir?” Dad called as he got closer to the driver.
The driver slowly opened his door. He seemed to be looking for something. “I can’t find my glasses! I can’t see without them!” the driver replied.
“Stay in the car. I think you are hurt. I will look for your glasses.” Dad started lookingaround the car for
the driver’s glasses. Suddenly he heard a voice behind him.“Tom,” the voice said, calling Oliver’s dad by his name. “Here are the man’s glasses.”
Oliver’s dad turned around to see a man he had never met before holding out a pair of glasses. “Thank you!” Dad replied, taking the glasses and returning to the driver.
“Here are your glasses, sir,” Dad said. “That nice man over there found them.”
“What man?” the driver asked, looking around.
Dad turned around, but the stranger was gone.
Oliver’s dad waited with the driver until an ambulance came and took him to the hospital. As he waited, Dad kept thinking about the stranger who had called him by name as if he had known him. He then looked down at his feet and realized he hadn’t put on shoes before running out of the house. He had been walking all over the broken glass barefoot, but he hadn’t cut his feet.
When Oliver’s dad walked back inside the house, Oliver bombarded him with questions. “What happened? Was the driver OK? Are you OK?”
Dad retold the story of the stranger who had known his name and helped him find the driver’s glasses.
He showed them his bare feet and told them about all the broken glass.
“Dad!” Oliver exclaimed. “You’re like the good Samaritan in tonight’s story!”
“And it sounds like your guardian angel was there to help you,” Mom added.
Dad paused. “Yes, I think you are right! Let’s pray and thank Jesus for sending my guardian angel to keep me safe and to help me be a good Samaritan to that driver tonight. Let’s pray for that man’s healing
By: Enjoli Canfield
Enjoli felt a slight breeze stir the humid air. Her Sabbath dress clung to her. Damp hair clung to the back of her neck. Enjoli’ parents were new missionaries in the Philippines, and they had gathered at a new, small church for Sabbath services. Enjoli glanced around at the people who had gathered to worship Jesus. She looked at the cement slab and four pillars that held up the roof. The roof provided some shade, but it was still hot and humid. As Enjoli brushed an ant off her leg, she heard someone say, “We will now break for Sabbath School.”
Enjoli wondered where the kids her age met for Sabbath School. She watched the adults gather for their Sabbath School.
This is strange, she thought. Why are the kids staying with their parents?
Some of the youngest children were squirming in their mothers’ laps while the older children just sat around or played in the loose dirt.
“Mom!” Enjoli whispered, tugging on Mom’s sleeve.
“What?” Mom leaned toward Enjoli.
“Why aren’t the kids going to their Sabbath School class? Why are they still with their parents?” Enjoli asked.
“Honey, this church is a new church. They don’t have a Sabbath School teacher,” Mom replied.
“You mean there’s no Sabbath School for all these kids?” Enjoli asked, feeling disappointed.
“That’s right,” Mom answered. “You can just stay with me like the others. Let’s be quiet and listen. I want to hear the Sabbath School lesson.” Mom sat back up and turned her eyes to the front.
Enjoli listened as her dad taught the Sabbath School lesson in English. It was interesting to hear the translator share Dad’s words with the members, but eventually her mind drifted to the problem of no children’s Sabbath School.
There has to be a solution, she said to herself. I can’t believe there is no Sabbath School!
* * *
The next week passed quickly. Enjoli couldn’t forget about the Sabbath School problem.
Finally, she came up with a solution. On Sabbath morning, she walked into the kitchen where she found Mom slicing mangos for breakfast.
“Mom,” she said as she plopped down on a chair.
“I’m going tobe the Sabbath School teacher for the children,” Enjoli stated.
Mom stopped cutting the fruit and turned toward Enjoli.
“You see,” Enjoli continued, “I feel bad for those kids. A lot of them don’t know about Jesus like I do, so I want to teach them. I know I’m only eight years old, but Jesus was only a little older than me when He taught the priests in the temple, right?”
Mom smiled. “I think that’s a great idea! Do you need any help?”
“Well, I might need some paper and pencils,” Enjoli said thoughtfully.
An hour later, Enjoli sat in the car. She held a small pile of paper, pencils, and her Bible on her lap. On their way to church, Enjoli’s family picked up church members who didn’t have any other way to get to church.
When it was time for Sabbath School to start, Enjoli was ready! She quickly gathered the other children. “We’re going to have our own Sabbath School over there!” She pointed and coaxed the other children to follow her.
Enjoli wanted to start with a song. Hmm, what are some easy songs I can teach them? she asked herself.
Well, there’s always “Jesus Loves Me.”
“OK, I’m going to teach you a song called, ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ ” Enjoli knew that most of the children didn’t understand what she was saying, but she started to sing. To her delight, the children caught on quickly and started to sing with her. Next, she taught them, Father Abraham. Shrieks of laughter filled the air as they learned the motions and spun in circles.
Enjoli decided it was time for a story. Thankfully, one of the moms offered to translate for her. She told them the story of Noah’s ark. To her surprise, many of the children had never heard the story before. After she told the story, she handed out the paper and pencils her mom had given her. “On the paper, you can draw some of the animals that went into the ark,” she explained.
All too soon, Sabbath School was over. With a happy heart, she told the children to come back next week.
“Mom!” she exclaimed, as she sat down next to her mom for the church service.“
Shh, wait until after church to tell me,” Mom smiled at her excited daughter.
As soon as the family was in the car to go home, Enjoli told her family all about her Sabbath School. “It was so exciting to share Jesus with some of them for the first time!” she concluded.
“We’re really proud of you, Enjoli,” Mom said. “I came and watched you for a while. You were a great Sabbath School teacher, but more importantly, you were being a missionary and letting Jesus shine through you.”
Enjoli sighed happily.
I want to be a missionary to other kids my whole life
, she decided.
By: Annie Applefield
It was lunchtime at Oliver’s preschool. Oliver opened his lunchbox and spread his meal in front of him on the table. He happily munched on the food his mommy had packed for him. Everything was fine until the new kid, who was sitting next to Oliver, took a cookie from the baggie lying between them.
Oliver’s mouth fell open.
He didn’t even ask me if he could have one! That is wrong! I would never do that! He thought to himself.
Oliver didn’t know what to do.
I would like to yell at him for taking my cookie! Oliver thought.
He opened his mouth to say something mean, but Oliver decided to close his mouth without saying a word.
The new kid reached into the baggie and took the last cookie, broke it in two, and put half back in the baggie.
I don’t believe it!
Oliver thought angrily.
He took even more!
What should I do?
Oliver didn’t really know what to do. He decided to pray.
Dear Jesus, what would You do? he prayed silently.
Oliver felt himself calm down. He felt much better. He opened his lunchbox to put the wrappers away and saw another baggie of cookies— the cookies his mommy had packed for him!
Oliver’s face turned red. I have been eating the new kid’s cookies! he realized.
I’m so glad I didn’t say anything mean to him.
Oliver turned to the new kid and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was eating your cookies. Want to share mine?”
The new kid smiled. “Thanks!” he said, and reached into Oliver’s baggie.
Thank You, Jesus, that I remembered to pray before I said something mean. Oliver prayed.
Instead of making an enemy, I made a friend.
We’ve come to the final command, rounding out the four specific opportunities God tells us to use to pass the faith along to our children. Interestingly, this is actually the first thing I would have put on the list… I would have started at the beginning of the day and then worked by way through “along the road” to “when you sit at home” then “when you lie down.” Isn’t that interesting? Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to be a linear thinker. So what do you think God intends by putting this last in the list?
I don’t really have a great guess. But here’s my logic. You’ve surely heard the expression that you can “wake up on the wrong side of the bed.” Some days we wake up and feel like we’re ready to conquer the day. Other days we’d rather pull the blankets up over our heads and just stay put! The Lord know and he understands.
Mornings can make or break our day. And maybe that’s why this is last on the list. Yes, the others are important, but don’t forget moms and dads… make it a priority to build your child up in the things of the Lord FIRST THING before the day gets away from you. When someone probably woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you can put the focus right back where it belongs: on the hope we have in Jesus and the wonderful Gospel.
Here are the ## ways you can incorporate spiritual teaching “when you get up:”
1) Have God’s Word at the breakfast table. I think this is the best setting for a quick devotional or Scripture reading. Chances are you’re having to move fast for parents to get to work or kids to get to school. But taking a few minutes to acknowledge that you need to put God first will set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
2) Consider posting encouraging scripture verses on the bathroom mirror so that everyone can see them as they are getting ready for their day.
3) Play energizing Christian music or praise and worship to set the tone – there is nothing better than praising God and remembering His goodness as a family in the morning hours.
4) Pray a special blessing out-loud over your children. You may choose a special prayer that you will pray each and every day, but touch them, hug them, and look them in the eye so they know you are blessing them through the power of God as you all go about your day.
Mornings have gotten a bad rap. Commercials and pop culture want us to buy into caffeine or highly sugared breakfast treats being the answer to our sluggish behavior or bad mood, but I sure believe that God can transform us as we create intentional space to honor him with our morning routines… with or without coffee! 😉