Love & Friendship

Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

How to be Happy was written by Lydia Sigourney and published in 1833.  This little book of spiritual advice is now in the public domain and may be read freely online.

BE A FRIEND TO YOUR COMPANIONS

You have little playmates with whom you like to spend your holiday hours. Never quarrel with, or be unkind to them. If you hear them use any improper word, or see them do any improper action, advise them to a different course. If they are happy, and praised by others for their good behavior, rejoice with them. If you feel provoked at any thing while you are with them, use no angry words. It is better to leave off playing, than to contend. The excellent poet, Dr. Watts, says in his hymns for children,

Hard names, and threats, and bitter words
Which are but noisy breath,
May end in blows, and naked swords,
In discord and in death.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Serving Others

Reading: Matthew 25:31-40

“The Best Fun” is from the book Tiger & Tom and Other Stories for Boys.  Published in 1910, the book can be read freely online.

THE BEST FUN

“Now, boys, I’ll tell you how we can have some fun,” said Fred Blake to his companions, who had assembled on a beautiful, moonlight evening for sliding, snowballing, and fun generally.

“How?” “Where?” “What is it?” asked several eager voices together.

“I heard Widow More tell a man a little while ago,” replied Fred, “that she would go to sit up with a sick child to-night. She said she would be there about eight o’clock. Now, as soon as she is gone, let’s make a big snow man on her doorstep so that when she comes home, she cannot get in without first knocking him down.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Doing Good

Reading: Luke 6:27-38

The following tale is an excerpt from the story “Metempsychosis.”  This tale can be found in the book, The Wonderful Pocket and Other Stories which was written in 1869 by Chauncey Giles.  Now out of print, the book can be read freely online.  It is an interesting story that encourages young boys and girls to do good to others.

METEMPSYCHOSIS

“O Father!” said little John Clive, “what is the meaning of this long, hard word?”

“What word?” asked his father.

“I cannot pronounce it. It is too long and hard for me,” said John… John brought the book to his father.

“That is metempsychosis.”

“Me-temp-sy-cho-sis,” said John, pronouncing it very slowly. “What a long, hard word! It must have a big meaning, I am sure. But I don’t see what they make such long, hard words for.”

“They make them to express ideas,” said his father.

“Well,” replied John,” metempsychosis must express a bigger idea than I ever had.”

“Very probable,” said his father; “but it contains a very interesting one, nevertheless; and when I have explained it to you, I will tell you a very strange dream I had about it last night.” Read the rest of this entry »

Self-Control

Reading: 1 Kings 21:1-16

Jezebel was a wicked queen. In this story, she knows that her husband Ahab is jealous for Naboth’s vineyard. She wants to make him feel better. She does this by having Naboth killed! Later on, the prophet Elijah says that God will punish both of them (you can read about their deaths in 2 Kings).

In the book of Revelation, the Lord tells John that there is an evil woman in the church who is a false prophetess, teaching the Christians to commit sin and worship idols (Revelation 2:20-23). The Lord doesn’t give the woman’s real name, but He says she is a Jezebel!

We can be like Jezebel too:

  • When we’re willing to sin to make someone happy.
  • When we teach others to do evil.
  • When we don’t teach the Word of God correctly.
  • When we trust our feelings and emotions instead of trying to find out what is truly right.

Sometimes it’s very easy to be guided by our feelings instead of stepping back, being careful, and looking at things the way God wants us to. Part of growing up and being wise means learning to control our feelings and not using our influence on others to get things for ourselves. Pray to God that you can learn to do this as you get older and learn more from His Word. Pray to God that you can learn to use all your strength and knowledge to serve Him and others.

MY DAILY CREED

Let me be a little kinder,
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more;
Let me be, when I am weary,
Just a little bit more cherry;
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anger, Hope, Humility/Pride, Kindness, Love, Patience. Comments Off on Self-Control

On Teasing and Cruelty

Reading: Proverbs 26:18-22

Do you like telling jokes and riddles? I do! What is your favorite joke or riddle?

Sometimes we like to tease one another with jokes and riddles. But we should never make fun of each other in order to hurt someone, or try to start fights for our particular enjoyment. It isn’t wise to stir up problems between others. Do you like feeling as if others are laughing at you? Do you like feeling as if everyone is against you?

Today’s verses in Proverbs talk about this particular kind of foolishness, the kind that likes to start problems among others. Sometimes people do this so they can feel in control. Sometimes they do it so that they can feel better about themselves.

“The Boys and the Frogs” was written by Aesop. You can read Aesop’s Fables free on the internet.

THE BOYS AND THE FROGS

Some Boys were playing one day at the edge of a pond in which lived a family of Frogs. The Boys amused themselves by throwing stones into the pond so as to make them skip on top of the water.

The stones were flying thick and fast and the Boys were enjoying themselves very much; but the poor Frogs in the pond were trembling with fear.

At last one of the Frogs, the oldest and bravest, put his head out of the water, and said, “Oh, please, dear children, stop your cruel play! Though it may be fun for you, it means death to us!”

Always stop to think whether your fun may not be the cause of another’s unhappiness.

For Further Study:

  • Read Ephesians 4:29-32. What kind of words should be coming from our mouths?

 

  • Read 1 Timothy 5:2. When a group of young men are together, it’s natural for them to jest and” talk tough.” Likewise, a group of girls together might tease each other playfully. However, there is a soberness and gentleness of heart that young people in God’s family must learn to have with others, especially when they are in mixed company. We must remember to shine the light of Christ upon everyone we meet. Good-natured teasing & playful arguing can quickly turn into hurt feelings. We can’t lead others to Christ unless we show them His love. People will not want to be part of God’s family if that family cannot get along.

  • List the names of all your family members. Also list your three closest friends. Now list three children whom you know, but not very well. Next to each person’s name, list three good things about them. Over the next few weeks, how can you compliment these people for their good qualities?
Posted in Anger, Beasts & Birds, Family, Kindness, Love. Comments Off on On Teasing and Cruelty

Kindness wins over Force

Reading: Proverbs 25: 20-28

These verses seem to be separate, unrelated thoughts until you read verse 28 – “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.”

In Solomon’s day, a city without walls might as well have been dead. The walls protected it. The walls gave its citizens security. The walls showed others the worth and power of the city within. How would you feel if your home had no walls?

Now think of a person who cannot control his spirit (his feelings or emotions). His feelings come out and hurt himself and others. He is a danger to himself and others. What are some of the problems listed in Proverbs 25 that are caused by a lack of self-control?

“Sun and Wind” was written by Howard J. Chidley and published in the book Fifty-Two Talks for Boys and Girls in 1914. It is actually the retelling of a traditional fable. Chidley’s book is now out of print but still available free online.

SUN AND WIND

Once upon a time, according to an old fable, the sun and the northwind had a contest to see which could take a man’s coat off the more quickly.

The northwind tried first. It gathered together all its forces in its own corner of the earth, and then rushed forth upon this man who was walking along a country-road. The wind blew and blew, and it seemed as if the traveller’s coat would be blown from his back or torn to tatters. But the harder the northwind blew the tighter the man drew his coat about him, and the wind could not get it off his back. After it had spent all its force it gave up in despair.

Then the sun had its turn. It came out without noise or violence like the northwind. It did not whistle in the treetops nor bluster through the bushes. It did not buffet nor struggle with the man. It just went on pouring forth its heat. And it seemed as if it could never win, any more than the northwind. But soon the traveller took out his handkerchief and wiped the perspiration from his face. Then, before long, he took off his hat. Soon he unbuttoned his coat, and finally he took it off of his own accord. The sun had won the contest against the northwind!

Now, a fable is meant to teach a lesson. The lesson of this fable is that gentleness wins where only strength and rudeness fail. If some one has done you a wrong, the way to deal with him is not to try to “get even” with him, as we say. Nor is the best way to get angry with him and scold him. The Bible tells us that the way to overcome your enemy is to do good for evil, for it says by so doing you will “heap coals of fire upon his head.”

Usually it is the weak people who bluster like the northwind, and storm and brag. Strong people are usually quiet. There is an old saying that “if you are right you can afford to keep your temper, and if you are wrong you cannot afford to lose it.” Be gentle. You will win more that way than by getting angry.

For Further Study:

  • Read Proverbs 25:20-22. What are some of the wonderful things that happen when we have control over our emotions? Think of how sad Jesus felt when He prayed in the garden before His death. Think of how He bore so much pain on the cross. What wonderful things happened then?
  • Think of the things that make you lose your temper, break down crying, or make your heart jump. Can you learn to control your reaction to these things? It takes a lot of practice to become self-controlled. Some people also use the words “self-discipline” – this means it takes learning. How can you learn not to have such strong emotions? What can you pray about this?
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Thank You God

This song teaches thankfulness for God’s many blessings.  It can be used with different props and pictures depending on the subject upon which you want to focus.

(Tune: Mary had a little lamb)

Thank you God for food to eat, food to eat, food to eat,

Thank you God for food to eat,

You gave me what I need.

(In place of “food to eat,” you can substitute: families to love, flowers that grow, birds that sing, all my toys, books to read, etc.)

Posted in Contentment/Thankfulness, Family, Hope, Jealousy, Joy, Love, Loves children, Songs for children. Comments Off on Thank You God