Archive for June, 2011

King Josiah Obeys God

Josiah became king of Judah when he was only eight years old. After eighteen years he sent his secretary, Shaphan, to the priest, Hilkiah to collect the money for the repairs to be made on the Temple.

“I have found the book of the law in the temple of the Lord,” said the priest, and he gave it to Shaphan to read. He took the book back to King Josiah and read it to him. The king wept and cried and tore his robes. The book had been hidden in the temple so many years that the people didn’t know how to live for God. In fact they worshipped other gods, gods that men made out of wood and metal. The gods had eyes but couldn’t see, ears but couldn’t hear, and mouths that couldn’t speak. The handmade gods had no power at all to help the people.

Josiah’s heart pounded and he paced back and forth. He said to Shaphan, “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and the people about this book from the temple.” And that is what Shaphan did. He went to Hulda, a prophetess.

She said that the Lord said, “I am going to bring disaster on this place! My people have forgotten who I am.” But because Josiah tore his robe and humbled himself, he avoided the terrible disaster. He gathered his people together and read the book of the law to them. The people looked at each other and thought about how they lived. Like Josiah, they cried out to God and pledged to obey the words of His law with all their hearts. Josiah collected all the handmade gods in the temple and burned them and ground them into dust. He made the pagan priests move out of the temple so that only the one true God would be worshipped and adored.

Something good happens when you and I read God’s word. Like Josiah and his people, we learn what is good and right. We learn how much we need God. When we confess to Him the wrong things we’ve done and ask Him to help us live for Him, He will do it. He will give us new hearts, and we will be able to love as He loves. I hope that is your desire. It’s mine too.

Lord Jesus, I am praying for the ones reading your story. Let them know how much you love them and help them live to love You and others. Amen.

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Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. All of a sudden dark clouds covered the sky. Wind and rain pounded down on the water and drenched the boat. Waves tossed the boat up and down, this way and that way.

Amazingly, Jesus rested his head on a pillow in the back of the boat and slept through the furious storm. Water made puddles on the floor and the disciples freaked out.

“Lord!” they said to Jesus. “Don’t you care if we drown?”

Jesus got up, looked at them, and said, “Where is your faith?” Then he stood, raised His hands over the tumultuous waters. “Quiet! Be Still!” He shouted. The storm calmed and the lake grew flat.

“Who is this?” one of the disciples asked. “Even the wind and waves obey Him.”

Jesus still calms storms today. What storm is pounding down on your life? Health or relationship issues? Fear or anger? Say His name, like the disciples did, and you will know He is with you. He may not take your problems away, but He will walk with you through them. You can trust Him to be your BFF.

Lord Jesus, I pray for the person who is reading this story today. Quiet the storm in his/her life. Amen.

God’s Peace

It’s Friday morning rush hour. Cars whiz by this way and that way. Moms and Dads are in a  hurry to get to work. College students have to get to class before the professor begins his lecture.
Suddenly the world stops while a mother duck leads her ducklings across the busy street. Hearts soften, and faces crack open with  smiles as a family of ducks announces God’s presence in Anytown, USA. For a few  quiet moments people roll down their windows, smell the jasmine, and experience peace, a peace that passes understanding, God’s  peace.
Not so for the people several cars back. Drivers get frustrated  because they don’t know what’s holding things up. A young man gets out of  his car and walks down to investigate. His heart softens when he sees the  ducks. God’s creation penetrates his impatience and peace overcomes  him.

Gracious and holy God, thank you for  pleasant interruptions of your extravagant peace in a world that races by. Thank  you for the ducks. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.

Seven Ways to Deal With Bullies

Bullying is a big problem. When someone tries to hurt, scare, embarrass you or get you into trouble, they are bullying you. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Do not bully back.
  2. Tell an adult–a teacher and/or your parents.
  3. Avoid the bully. Take a different route to your locker or the lunch room or
    gym. If the bully is in your class, you need to tell the teacher.
  4. Stand tall and be confident.
  5. Do not allow name calling to get to you emotionally. That’s what the bully
    wants.
  6. Use self-defense as a last resort–when you are trapped and alone with the
    bully. Make every effort not to let this happen.
  7. Realize bullies are usually insecure people and they use bullying to give
    themselves power. They may not come from loving homes and this might be their
    way to get attention. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43, “You have heard that it was
    said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: ‘Love your
    enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'” As a Christian boy or girl, your
    attitude and prayers can make a difference.

Here are some websites with more extensive articles on how to deal with bullying:

Kid’s Health

Kid Power

Lord Jesus, I pray for kids who are bullied, that You would
protect them. Help them make right decisions to be confident and tell adults. I
pray for the bullies, that you would send someone to love them and show them a
better way. Amen.