Songs about parents & grandparents

Here are some songs that our congregation has used in its baby Bible class for many years.  They were passed down from one mother to the next, so I’m afraid I no longer know who gets credit for them 🙂  But they are tried-and-true and well-loved.  While singing the songs, we show the children pictures of their parents & grandparents, and/or magazine clippings of families, and sometimes little dolls.

God Made Mommy/Daddy

(Tune: Are You Sleeping?)

God made Mommy, God made Mommy,

Yes He did, yes He did,

And we love her, and we love her,

Yes we do, yes we do.

(You can substitute “Daddy/him” in place of “Mommy/her”.  You can also substitute the names of members of the congregation)


Parents Bring Babies to Class

(Tune: The Bear Went Over the Mountain)

Parents bring babies to class,

Parents bring babies to class,

Parents bring babies to class,

Parents know what is best.

(In place of “Parents” you can substitute Mommies, Daddies, Grandmas, Grandpas, etc.)


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Our Father’s Many Gifts

This song can be adapted and used with many different props.

Tune: London Bridge

 

Our Father gives us many gifts, many gifts, many gifts,

Our Father gives us many gifts,

And one gift is our friends(Show a picture of friends, or many children together)

 

You can also substitute: family, clothes, pets, food, toys, plants, etc.

Many thanks to Pam Lattin for sharing this song!

Posted in Beasts & Birds, Benevolence, Contentment/Thankfulness, Family, Joy, Love, Loves children, Plants, Songs for children. Comments Off on Our Father’s Many Gifts

Brothers and Sisters

As you read today’s story about Moses and his family, think about his sister Miriam.

Reading: Exodus 2:1-8

 

Do you think Miriam ever became annoyed with her little brother Moses?  Do you think Miriam ever got angry with her mother, Jochebed?  Do you think Jochebed and her husband Amram ever argued with one another?  Moses’s family was probably very similar to all families.  They had their ups and downs, their problems and arguments.

 

But when things became hard, Moses’s family had something very special.  They all had faith in God.  This means they believed and obeyed their God.  So, even though Pharaoh said that all the Israelite baby boys had to be killed, Moses’s parents obeyed God and hid their baby.  Miriam obeyed God and watched out for her little brother.

 

The following story was written by Thornton W. Burgess and published in 1913 in a collection of nature stories called Mother West Wind’s Neighbors.  Burgess’s books can be found from used booksellers and free online.

 

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD

 

 

Old Mother West Wind came down from the Purple Hills while the dew still lay heavy on the grass.  She turned her Merry Little Breezes out to play on the Green Meadows and then, because she was in no hurry that pleasant morning, she stopped at the Smiling Pool to speak with Grandfather Frog.

 

“Good morning, Old Mother West Wind.  Isn’t this a beautiful morning?” said Grandfather Frog.

 

“It is indeed,” replied Old Mother West Wind, “and there are many other beautiful things, Grandfather Frog.  Do you know, I’ve just seen the most beautiful thing in the whole world.”

 

“Where?” asked Grandfather Frog.

 

“Over in the old briar-patch,” replied Old Mother West Wind.

 

Just then she remembered that the cows in Farmer Brown’s barn-yard had no water to drink, so she said “Good-by” to Grandfather Frog and hurried away to turn the windmill that would pump the water for them.

 

Grandfather Frog sat on his big green lily-pad and watched her go.  “Now what can be the most beautiful thing in the whole world?” said Grandfather Frog to himself.  He looked over the Smiling Pool.  What could the old briar-patch have more beautiful than the pure white water-lilies smiling up at him?  If the briar-patch were not such a long way off, he would go see for himself.  Just then he saw Billy Mink.

 

“Billy!  Billy Mink!” called Grandfather Frog.  “Old Mother West Wind says that she has just seen the most beautiful thing in the whole world, and it is over in the old briar-patch.”

 

“Huh!” cried Billy Mink.  “There’s nothing beautiful in that old briar-patch!”

 

Now Billy Mink is naturally curious.  The more he thought about the most beautiful thing in the whole world, the more he wanted to see it.  So presently he hitched up his trousers and started across the Green Meadows towards the old briar-patch.  On the way he met Jimmy Skunk.

 

“Where are you going, Billy Mink?” asked Jimmy Skunk.

 

“Over to the old briar-patch to see the most beautiful thing in the whole world,” replied Billy Mink.

 

“I’ll go with you,” said Jimmy Skunk, for he had had a good breakfast of fat beetles and had nothing special to do.

 

So, one behind the other, Billy Mink and Jimmy Skunk trotted along the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows.  Pretty soon they met Johnny Chuck.

 

“Where are you going?” asked Johnny Chuck.

 

Billy Mink and Jimmy Skunk looked a wee bit foolish.  “We’re going to see the most beautiful thing in the whole world, “said Billy Mink and Jimmy Skunk together.

 

“Where is it?” asked Johnny Chuck.

 

“Over in the old briar-patch,” replied Billy Mink.

 

“I’ll go with you,” said Johnny Chuck.

 

So the three, one behind the other, trotted along the Lone Little Path acr5oss the Green Meadows.  As they passed the big hickory-tree, Sammy Jay saw them.

 

“Where are you going?” called Sammy Jay.

 

“To see the most beautiful thing in the whole world,” replied Billy Mink and Jimmy Skunk and Johnny Chuck, and trotted on along the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows.

 

Sammy Jay scratched his head.  “Now what can there be more beautiful than this blue coat of mine?” said Sammy Jay, for you know he is very vain, oh, very vain indeed.  The more he thought about it, the more sure he was that there could be nothing more beautiful than his handsome coat.  But if there was – Sammy Jay flirted his tail and started to follow Billy Mink, Jimmy Skunk, and Johnny Chuck.

 

Half-way across the Green Meadows they met Bobby Coon and Happy Jack Squirrel.

 

“Where are you going?” asked Bobby Coon.

 

“Over to the old briar-patch to see the most beautiful thing in the whole world,” replied Billy Mink.  “Come along with us.”

 

“No,” replied Bobby Coon.  “I’m too sleepy.”  You see Bobby Coon had been out all night and he could hardly keep his eyes open.

 

But Happy Jack Squirrel said he would go; so the four, Billy Mink, Jimmy Skunk, Johnny Chuck, and Happy Jack Squirrel, one behind the other, trotted along the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows, and behind them flew Sammy Jay.  Presently they came to the old briar-patch.  It looked just as it had always looked, which really wasn’t beautiful at all.  It was a great, tangled mass of brambles, with ugly-looking thorns sticking out in all directions.  Billy Mink stepped on a thorn.

 

“Ouch!” cried Billy Mink.

 

Jimmy Skunk tried to crawl through between two bramble bushes and scratched his nose.

 

“Ouch!” cried Jimmy Skunk.

 

Johnny Chuck put his head through a little opening, and the briars pricked his ears.

 

“Ouch!” cried Johnny Chick.

 

A crafty old bramble caught in Happy Jack Squirrel’s tail.

 

“Ouch!” cried Happy Jack.

 

Then from the middle of the old briar-patch they heard a voice.  It was Peter Rabbit’s voice.

 

“What are you looking for?” asked Peter Rabbit.

 

Peeping between the brambles, they saw Peter Rabbit in one of his secret hiding-places.  He had a little bundle of clover leaves and was picking out the sweetest and tenderest and feeding them to his little baby brother.

 

“We are looking for the most beautiful thing in the whole world,” said Billy Mink.  “Have you seen it, Peter Rabbit?”

 

“No,” said Peter Rabbit, “I haven’t seen the most beautiful thing in the whole world.  What is it?”

 

“We don’t know,” replied Billy Mink.  “But Old Mother West Wind said she saw it in the old briar-patch.  Come help us find it.”

 

Peter Rabbit sat up for a minute, for Peter has a great deal of curiosity, a very great deal indeed.  He wanted, oh, so much, to join the others and look for the most beautiful thing in the whole world.  Then he looked down at his little baby brother, who was still hungry.

 

“I’ll come pretty soon,” said Peter Rabbit, and once more began to feed sweet, tender, young clover leaves to his little baby brother.  He was hungry himself, but he would not touch a leaf until his baby brother had had enough, and, oh dear, that wasn’t until the very last leaf had disappeared down his funny little throat.

 

Then Peter Rabbit started to try and find the most beautiful thing in the whole world.  He hunted through all his secret little paths and hiding-places in the briar-patch, while the others hunted outside.  They looked here, they looked there, they looked everywhere, but no-where could they see the most beautiful thing in the whole world.  Finally they gave it up.

 

Late that afternoon Grandfather Frog saw Billy Mink sitting on the Big Rock nursing the foot with which he had stepped on the thorn.

 

“Ho, Billy Mink!” called Grandfather Frog.  ‘Did you find the most beautiful thing in the whole world?”

 

“No,” said Billy Mink shortly.  “It wasn’t in the old briar-patch.  There was nothing and nobody there but Peter Rabbit feeding sweet, tender, young clover leaves to his little baby brother.  The briar-patch is the ugliest place in the whole world.”

 

Grandfather Frog smiled to himself as he watched Billy Mink limp away to the Laughing Brook.  He thought of Peter Rabbit feeding all his tender young clover leaves to his baby brother and he smiled again.

 

“Chugarum!” said wise old Grandfather Frog.  “Old Mother West Wind was right.  She did see the most beautiful thing in the whole world right there in the old briar-patch, and Billy Mink saw it but didn’t know it.  And Jimmy Skunk saw it, and Johnny Chuck saw it, and Happy Jack saw it, and Sammy Jay saw it, yet not one of them knew it.  They saw it when they watched Peter Rabbit feed all his sweet clover leaves to his little baby br4other, and it is called ‘love.’”

 

 

 

For Further Study:

 

  • Read 1 Timothy 3:2-7.  If a man wants to be an overseer (elder) in the church, what should his family be like (verse 4)?  Why is this important (verse 5)?

 

 

  • Read Acts 2:41-47.  In what ways did the Christians in Jerusalem live and work together like a family? 

 

 

  • Consider Acts 2:41-47 again.  Does your family do these things?  How can you get better at helping your family in Godly living?  What kind of family would you like to have when you’re older?  How would your family do these things?

 

 

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Righteousness and Justice

Reading: Proverbs 21:2-8

 

You know that worshipping God is very important to us.  And yet, God says there is something even more important than worship, and that is righteousness and justice (verse 3).  How can this be so? 

 

God cannot accept our sacrifices, our worship, if we are going to continue in unrighteousness.  Sin is serious to God.  Worship doesn’t automatically “wipe away” the bad things we’ve done – only feeling sorry and trying to change can do that.  Verse 4-8 of this chapter show us some of the sins that are serious to God.  Pride, impatience, lying, violence… keep reading in this chapter and you can find others! 

 

The following story was written by Thornton W. Burgess and published in the book Mother West Wind “How” Stories in 1919.  Now out of print, the book may be read free online.

 

HOW MR. WEASEL WAS MADE AN OUTCAST

 

 

Chatterer the Red Squirrel peered down from the edge of an old nest built long ago in a big hemlock-tree in the Green Forest, and if you could have looked into Chatterer’s eyes, you would have seen there a great fear. He looked this way; he looked that way. Little by little, the fear left him, and when at last he saw Peter Rabbit coming his way, he gave a little sigh of relief and ran down the tree. Peter saw him and headed straight toward him to pass the time of day.

 

“Peter,” whispered Chatterer, as soon as Peter was near enough to hear, “have you seen Shadow the Weasel?”

 

It was Peter’s turn to look frightened, and he hastily glanced this way and that way. “No,” he replied. “Is he anywhere about here?”

 

“I saw him pass about five minutes ago, but he seemed to be in a hurry, and I guess he has gone now,” returned Chatterer, still whispering.

 

“I hope so! My goodness, I hope so!” exclaimed Peter, still looking this way and that way uneasily.

 

“I hate him!” declared Chatterer fiercely.

 

“So do I,” replied Peter. “I guess everybody does. It must be dreadful to be hated by everybody. I don’t believe he has got a single friend in the wide, wide world, not even among his own relatives. I wonder why it is he never tries to make any friends.”

 

“Here comes Jimmy Skunk. Let’s ask him. He ought to know, for he is Shadow’s cousin,” said Chatterer.

 

Jimmy came ambling up in his usual lazy way, for you know he never hurries. It seemed to Chatterer and Peter that he was slower than usual. But he got there at last.

 

“Why is it, Jimmy Skunk, that your cousin, Shadow the Weasel, never tries to make any friends?” cried Chatterer, as soon as Jimmy was near enough.

 

“I’ve never asked him, but I suppose it’s because he doesn’t want them,” replied Jimmy.

 

“But why?” asked Peter.

 

“I guess it’s because he is an outcast,” replied Jimmy.

 

“What is an outcast,” demanded Peter.

 

“Why, somebody with whom nobody else will have anything to do…” replied Jimmy. “I thought everybody knew that.”

 

“But how did it happen that he became an outcast in the first place?” persisted Peter.

 

“He’s always been an outcast, ever since he was born, and I suppose he is used to it,” declared Jimmy. “His father was an outcast, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfathers way back to the days when the world was young.”

 

“Tell us about it. Do tell us about it!” begged Peter.

 

Jimmy smiled good-naturedly. “Well, seeing that I haven’t anything else to do just now, I will. Perhaps you fellows may learn something from the story,” said he. Then he settled himself comfortably with his back to an old stump and began.

 

“When old King Bear ruled in the forest long, long ago, and the great-great-ever-so-great-grandfathers of all of us and of everybody else lived in peace and happiness with each other, slim, trim, spry Mr. Weasel lived with the rest. He was small, just as Shadow is now, and he looked just the same as Shadow does now. He was on the best of terms with all his neighbors, and no one had a word to say against him. In fact, he was rather liked and had quite as many friends as anybody. But all the time he had a mean disposition. He hid it from his neighbors, but he had it just the same. Now mean dispositions are easily hidden when everything is pleasant and there are no worries, and that is the way it was then. No one suspected any one else of meanness, for with plenty to eat and nothing to worry about, there was no cause for meanness.

 

“With his mean disposition, Mr. Weasel was also very crafty. Being small and moving so swiftly, he was hard to keep track of. You know how it is with Shadow–now you see him, and now you don’t.”

 

Chatterer and Peter nodded. They knew that it is because of this that he is called Shadow.

 

“Well,” continued Jimmy, “it didn’t take him long to find that if he were careful, he could go where he pleased, and no one would be the wiser. They say that he used to practise dodging out of sight when he saw any one coming, and after a while he got so that he could disappear right under the very noses of his neighbors. Being so slim, he could go where any of his four-footed neighbors could, and it wasn’t long before he knew all about every hole and nook and corner anywhere around. There were no secrets that he didn’t find out, and all the time no one suspected him.

 

“Of course hard times came to Mr. Weasel at last, just as to everybody else, but they didn’t worry him much. You see, he knew all about the secret hiding-places in which some of his neighbors had stored away food, so when he was hungry, all he had to do was to help himself. So Mr. Weasel became a thief, and still no one suspected him. Now one bad habit almost always leads to another. Mr. Weasel developed a great fondness for eggs. Our whole family has always had rather a weakness that way.”

 

Jimmy grinned, for he knew that Peter and Chatterer knew that he himself never could pass a fresh egg when he found it.

 

“One day he found a nest in which were four little baby birds instead of the eggs he had been expecting to find there and, having a mean disposition, he flew into a rage and killed those four little birds. Yes, Sir, that’s what he did. He found the taste of young birds very much to his liking, and he began to hunt for more. Then he discovered a nest of young mice, and he found these quite as good as young birds. Then came a great fear upon the littlest people, but not once did they suspect Mr. Weasel. He was very crafty and went and came among them just as always. They suspected only the larger and stronger people of the forest who, because food was getting very scarce, had begun to hunt the smaller people.

 

“But you know wrongdoing is bound to be found out sooner or later. One day Mr. Rabbit surprised Mr. Weasel making a meal of young mice, and of course he hurried to tell all his neighbors. Then Mr. Weasel knew that it was no longer of use to pretend that he was what he was not, and he boldly joined the bigger animals in hunting the smaller ones. It makes most people angry to be caught in wrongdoing and it was just that way with Mr. Weasel. He flew into a great rage and vowed that he would kill Mr. Rabbit, and when he couldn’t catch Mr. Rabbit, he hunted others of his neighbors until there was no one, not even fierce Mr. Wolf or Mr. Panther or Mr. Lynx, of whom the littlest people were in such fear. You see, they could hide from the big hunters, but they couldn’t hide from Mr. Weasel because he knew all their hiding-places, and he was so slim and small that wherever they could go, he could go.

 

“Now the big people, like Mr. Wolf and Mr. Panther, killed only for food that they might live, and when they found Mr. Weasel killing more than he could eat, they would have nothing to do with him and even threatened to kill him if they caught him. So pretty soon Mr. Weasel found that he hadn’t a friend in the world. This made him more savage than ever, and he hunted and killed just for the pleasure of it. He took pleasure in the fear which he read in the eyes of his neighbors when they saw him.

 

“Old Mother Nature was terribly shocked when she discovered what was going on, but she found that she could do nothing with Mr. Weasel. He wasn’t sorry for what he had done and he wouldn’t promise to do better. ‘Very well,’ said Old Mother Nature, ‘from this time on you and your children and your children’s children forever and ever shall be outcasts among the people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows, hated by all, little and big.’ And it has been so to this day. Even I am not on speaking terms with Shadow, although he is my own cousin,” concluded Jimmy Skunk.

 

Peter Rabbit shuddered. “Isn’t it dreadful not to have a single friend?” he exclaimed. “I would rather have to run for my life twenty times a day than to be hated and feared and without a single friend. I wouldn’t be an outcast for all the world.”

 

“There’s not the least bit of danger of that for you, Peter,” laughed Jimmy Skunk.

 

 

For Further Study: 

  • In 1 Samuel 15, Saul kept the animals of the Amelakites so that he could sacrifice them to God.  But God had wanted Saul to destroy everything in Amalek.  So even though Saul tried to worship God, he had in fact disobeyed God.  In John 4, Jesus has a discussion with a Samaritan woman about worship.  In verses 23-24, what does Jesus say is important in worship?  God wants us to worship Him with the right attitude/heart, and also in obedience to His Word.  You can’t have one without the other, or that wouldn’t be true worship.  See also Ecclesiastes 5:1.

 

  • How can you make your worship to God more meaningful and important in your life?  How can you be less distracted and more involved in the worship service?  What things can you practice thinking about and doing so that you’ll be more prepared for worship?
Posted in Beasts & Birds, Holiness/purity, Kindness, Love, Worship. Comments Off on Righteousness and Justice

On The Sin of Deception

Reading: Proverbs 12:17-22

 

Today’s reading focuses on the way a wise man should speak.  A wise man will tell the truth.  What do these verses teach us about being truthful?  What happens when people lie and deceive?  How does God react when we lie (verse 22)?

 

Many people don’t realize that as soon as we open our mouths, we show ourselves to be a servant of God or a servant of the world.  One way we do this is to be honest and sincere.  Whether we’re having to give good news or bad, our words must be from the heart, without deception. 

 

The following story was written by Thornton W. Burgess and published in Mother West Wind “Why” Stories in 1915.  Now out of print, the book may be read free online.

 

WHY MR. SNAKE CANNOT WINK

 

 

Peter Rabbit and Johnny Chuck were playing tag on the Green Meadows. Of course Peter can run so much faster than Johnny Chuck that he would never have been “it” if he had tried his best to keep out of the way. But he didn’t. No, Sir, Peter Rabbit didn’t do anything of the kind. He pretended that one of his long hind-legs was lame so that he had to run on three legs, while Johnny Chuck could use all four. It was great fun. They raced and dodged and twisted and turned. Sometimes Peter was so excited that he would forget and use all four legs. Then Johnny Chuck would shout “No fair!” Peter would say that he didn’t mean to, and to make up for it would be “it” and try to catch Johnny.

 

Now it happened that curled up on a little grassy tussock, taking an early morning sun-bath, lay little Mr.  Greensnake. Of course Peter Rabbit and Johnny Chuck were not afraid of him. If it had been Mr. Rattlesnake or Mr. Gophersnake, it would have been different. But from little Mr. Greensnake there was nothing to fear, and sometimes, just for fun, Peter would jump right over him. When he did that, Peter always winked good-naturedly. But Mr. Greensnake never winked back. Instead he would raise his head, run his tongue out at Peter, and hiss in what he tried to make a very fierce and angry manner. Then Peter would laugh and wink at him again. But never once did Mr. Greensnake wink back.

 

Peter was thinking of this as he and Johnny Chuck stretched out in a sunny spot to get their breath and rest. He had never thought of it before, but now that he had noticed it, he couldn’t remember that he ever had seen little Mr. Greensnake wink, nor any of Mr. Greensnake’s relatives. He mentioned the matter to Johnny Chuck.

 

“That’s so,” replied Johnny thoughtfully. “I never have seen any of them wink, either. Do you suppose they can wink?”

 

“Let’s go ask Mr. Greensnake,” said Peter.

 

Up they hopped and raced over to the grassy tussock where Mr. Greensnake lay, but to all their questions he would make no reply save to run out his tongue at them. Finally they gave up asking him.

 

“I tell you what, let’s go over to the Smiling Pool and ask Grandfather Frog. He’ll be sure to know, and perhaps, if he is feeling good, he’ll tell us a story,” said Peter.

 

So off they scampered to the Smiling Pool. There they found Grandfather Frog sitting on his big green lily-pad just as usual, and Peter knew by the look in his great, goggly eyes that Grandfather Frog had a good breakfast of foolish green flies tucked away inside his white and yellow waistcoat. His eyes twinkled as Peter and Johnny very politely wished him good morning.

 

“Good morning,” said he gruffly.

 

But Peter had seen that twinkle in his eyes and knew that Grandfather Frog was feeling good-natured in spite of his gruff greeting.

 

“If you please, Grandfather Frog, why doesn’t Mr. Greensnake wink at us when we wink at him?” he asked.

 

“Chug-a-rum! Because he can’t,” replied Grandfather Frog.

 

“Can’t!” cried Peter Rabbit and Johnny Chuck together.

 

“That’s what I said–can’t,” replied Grandfather Frog. “And no more can Mr. Blacksnake, or Mr. Rattlesnake, or Mr. Gophersnake, or any other member of the Snake family.”

 

“Why not?” cried Peter and Johnny, all in the same breath.

 

“Chug-a-rum!” said Grandfather Frog, folding his hands across his white and yellow waistcoat, “if you will sit still until I finish, I’ll tell you; but if you move or ask any foolish questions, I’ll stop right where I am, and you’ll never hear the end of the story, for no one else knows it.”

 

Of course Peter and Johnny promised to sit perfectly still and not say a word. After they had made themselves comfortable, Grandfather Frog cleared his throat as if to begin, but for a long time he didn’t say a word. Once Peter opened his mouth to ask why, but remembered in time and closed it again without making a sound.

 

At last Grandfather Frog cleared his throat once more, and with a far-away look in his great, goggly eyes began:

 

“Once upon a time, long, long ago, when the world was young, lived old Mr. Snake, the grandfather a thousand times removed of little Mr. Greensnake and all the other Snakes whom you know. Of course he wasn’t old then. He was young and spry and smart, was Mr. Snake. Now there is such a thing as being too smart. That was the trouble with Mr. Snake.  Yes, Sir, that was the trouble with Mr. Snake. He was so smart that he soon found out that he was the smartest of all the meadow and forest people, and that was a bad thing. It certainly was a very bad thing.”  Grandfather Frog shook his head gravely.

 

“You see,” he continued, “as soon as he found that out, he began to take advantage of his neighbors and cheat them, but he would do it so smoothly that they never once suspected that they were being cheated. Mr. Snake would go about all day cheating everybody he met. At night he would go home and chuckle over his smartness. It wasn’t long before he began to look down on his neighbors for being so honest that they didn’t suspect other people of being dishonest, and for being so easily cheated.

 

“Now one bad habit almost always leads to another. From cheating, Mr. Snake just naturally slipped to stealing. Yes, Sir, he became a thief. Of course that made trouble right away, but still no one suspected Mr. Snake. He was always very polite to every one and always offering to do favors for his neighbors. In fact, Mr. Snake was very well liked and much respected. When any one had been robbed, he was always the first to offer sympathy and join in the hunt for the thief. He was so spry and slim, and could slip through the tall grass so fast, that he could go almost where he pleased without being seen, and this made him very bold. If he did happen to be found near the scene of trouble, he always had a story ready to account for his presence, and it sounded so true, and he told it in such an honest manner, that no one thought of doubting it.

 

“So Mr. Snake found that lying helped him to cheat and steal, and all the time he kept thinking how smart he was. But even Mr. Snake had a little bit of conscience, and once in a while it would trouble him. So what do you think he did? Why, cheating had become such a habit with him that he actually tried to cheat himself–to cheat his conscience! When he was telling a lie, he would wink one eye. ‘That,’ said he to himself, ‘means that it isn’t true, and if these folks are not smart enough to see me wink and know what it means, it is their own fault if they believe what I am telling them.’ But always he took care to wink the eye that was turned away from the one he was talking to.

 

“Dear me, dear me, such terrible times as there were on the Green Meadows and in the Green Forest! They grew worse and worse, and when at last Old Mother Nature came to see how all the little people were getting along, she heard so many complaints that she hardly knew where to begin to straighten matters out. She had all the little people come before her in turn and tell their troubles. When it came Mr. Snake’s turn, he had no complaint to make. He seemed to be the only one who had no troubles. She asked him a great many questions, and for each one he had a ready reply. Of course a great many of these replies were lies, and every time he told one of these, he winked without knowing it. You see, it had become a habit.

 

“Now, with all his smartness, Mr. Snake had forgotten one thing, one very important thing. It was this: You can’t fool Old Mother Nature, and it is of no use to try. He hadn’t been talking three minutes before she knew who was at the bottom of all the trouble. She let him finish, then called all the others about her and told them who had made all the trouble. Mr. Snake was very bold. He held his head very high in the air and pretended not to care. When Old Mother Nature turned her head, he even ran out his tongue at her, just as all the Snake family do at you and me to-day. When she had finished telling them how cheating and stealing and lying isn’t smart at all, but very, very dreadful, she turned to Mr. Snake and said:

 

“‘From this time on, no one will believe anything you say, and you shall have no friends. You will never wink again, for you and your children and your children’s children forever will have no eyelids, that all the world may know that those who make a wrong use of the things given them shall have them taken away.’

 

“And now you know why little Mr. Greensnake cannot wink at you; he hasn’t any eyelids to wink with” finished Grandfather Frog.

 

Peter Rabbit drew a long breath. “Thank you, oh, thank you ever so much, Grandfather Frog,” he said. “Will you tell us next time why Bobby Coon wears rings on his tail?”

 

“Perhaps,” replied Grandfather Frog.

 

 

 

 

For Further Study:

 

  • Today’s story by Thornton Burgess was about a snake that lied.  Can your emember another snake who lied in the Bible?  See Genesis 3.  Who was this serpent?  The Bible calls the devil “the father of lies” (John 8:44).  When we tell lies, we aren’t being like our Heavenly Father, but instead are following the habits of the devil.  That is why it makes God so sad when we don’t tell the truth.

 

 

  • Here are some other verses about the sin of lying: Psalm 5:6; Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:0; Revelation 21:8

 

  • Think about what the world says about “white lies,” “fibs,” and other ways to gloss over this sin.  Does God see a difference in “big” and “little” lies?
 

 

 

  • Is there some area of your life that is tempting you to be deceptive?  Perhaps with your schoolwork, your relationships, or the chores & responsibilities entrusted to you?  Think about these things, and how you can strengthen your faith so that you can be more truthful and trustworthy.
Posted in Beasts & Birds, Holiness/purity, Honesty, Humility/Pride, Love. Comments Off on On The Sin of Deception

Foolish Pride

Reading: Esther 5:9-14

 

The following story was written by Thornton W. Burgess and published in his book Mother West Wind’s “Where” Stories in 1918.  Now out of print, the book is available free for reading online.

 

 

WHERE THUNDERFOOT THE BISON GOT HIS HUMP

 

 

Thunderfoot the Bison, often called Buffalo, is not a handsome fellow, as you very well know if you have seen him or a picture of him. His head is carried low, very near the ground, and on his shoulders is a great hump. No, you wouldn’t call him handsome. You would hardly call him good-looking even. In fact, you would, I suspect, call him homely.  Certainly there is nothing about him to suggest pride. Yet according to the story Digger the Badger once told Peter Rabbit, pride and nothing less was the cause of that big hump which makes Thunderfoot appear so clumsy and homely.

 

Peter Rabbit, as you know, is very fond of stories. In this respect he is very like some other folks I know. Anyway, he never misses a chance for a story if he can help it. He had discovered that Digger the Badger and Old Man Coyote, both of whom had come to the Green Meadows from the Far West, were full of stories about their neighbors of the distant prairies, folk whom Peter never had seen. Sometimes when he had nothing else to do, Old Man Coyote would come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and tell stories to Peter, who sat safe behind the brambles. Perhaps Old Man Coyote hoped that Peter would become so interested that he would forget and come out of the dear Old Briar-patch. But Peter never did.

 

But most of the stories of the people of the Far West Peter got from Digger the Badger because, you see, he wasn’t afraid to go beg for them. He knew that Digger couldn’t catch him if he wanted to, and so when Grandfather Frog hadn’t a story for him, Peter would go tease Digger for one. It was thus that he heard about Thunderfoot the Bison and where he got that great hump of his.

 

“I don’t suppose,” said Peter, “that there are any very big people out there on those prairies where you used to live any more than there are here on the Green Meadows. All the very big people seem to prefer to live in the Green Forest.”

 

“It is that way now, I must admit,” said Digger the Badger, “but it wasn’t so in the old days, in the good old days when there were no terrible guns, and Thunderfoot and his followers shook the ground with their feet.” Digger shook his head sadly.

 

Instantly Peter pricked up his ears. “Who was Thunderfoot?” he demanded.

 

Digger looked at Peter with such a look of pity for Peter’s ignorance that Peter felt almost ashamed. “He doesn’t live here and never did, so far as I have heard, so how should I know anything about him?” he added a wee bit defiantly.

 

“If that’s the case,” replied Digger, “it is time you learned about the Lord of the Prairies.”

 

“But I want to know about Thunderfoot first!” cried Peter. “You can tell me about the Lord of the Prairies another time.”

 

“Were you born stupid or have you grown so?” asked Digger impatiently.  Then without waiting for an answer he added: “Thunderfoot was the Lord of the Prairies. He ruled over the Wide Prairies just as Old King Bear ruled in the Green Forest. He ruled by might. He ruled because no one dared deny him the right to rule. He ruled because of his great size and his great strength. And all who lived on the Wide Prairies looked up to him and admired him and bowed before him and paid him the utmost respect. When he and his followers ran the earth shook, and the noise was like thunder, and everybody hastened to get out of the way and to warn his neighbors, crying: ‘Here comes my Lord of the Prairies! Make way! Make way!’ And truly Thunderfoot and his followers were a magnificent sight, so my great-grandfather told me, and he had it from his great-grandfather, who was told so by his great-grandfather, who saw it all with his own eyes. But that was in the days before  Thunderfoot’s head was brought low, and he was given the great hump which none of his descendants have ever been able to get rid of.”

 

“Tell me about that hump and where my Lord of the Prairies, Thunderfoot the Bison, got it!” begged Peter, with shining eyes. That there was a story he hadn’t the least doubt.

 

Digger the Badger flattened himself out on the ground, and into his eyes crept a dreamy, far-away look as if he were seeing things a great, great way off. “Way back In the days when the world was young, so my great-grandfather said,” he began, “Thunderfoot, the first Bison, was given the Wide Prairies for a kingdom by Old Mother Nature and strode forth to take possession. Big was he, the biggest of all living creatures thereabouts. Strong was he with a strength none cared to test. And he was handsome. He held his head proudly. All who lived on the Wide Prairies admired him with a great admiration and hastened to pay homage to him.

 

“For a long time he ruled wisely. All the other people brought their disputes to him to be settled, and so wisely did he decide them that the fame of his wisdom spread even beyond the Wide Prairies and was talked about in the Green Forest. The humblest of his subjects could come to him freely and be sure of a hearing and that justice would be done. Big as he was and mighty as he was, he took the greatest care never to forget the rights of others.

 

“But there came a time when flattery turned his head, as the saying is.  Mr. Coyote and Mr. Fox were the chief flatterers, and in all the Great World there were no smoother tongues than theirs. They never lost an opportunity to tell him how handsome he was, and how mighty he was, and how they admired him and looked up to him, and how unequaled was his wisdom. You see, being themselves dishonest and mischief-makers, they frequently were in trouble with their neighbors and would have to appear before Thunderfoot for judgment. Even when it went against them they praised the wisdom of it, admitting that they were in the wrong and begging forgiveness, all of which was very flattering to Thunderfoot.

 

“Little by little, without knowing it, he yielded to the flattery of Mr. Coyote and Mr. Fox. He liked to hear the pleasant things they said. Little by little it became easier to find them in the right than in the wrong when they were accused of wronging their neighbors. Of course they flattered him still more. They hinted to him that it was beneath the dignity of one so big and strong and handsome to take notice of the very small and humble people like Mr. Meadow Mouse and Mr. Toad and Mr. Meadow Lark and others of his subjects.

 

“Gradually the little people of the Wide Prairies began to notice a change in Thunderfoot. He became proud and vain. He openly boasted of his strength and fine appearance. When he met them he passed them haughtily, not seeing them at all, or at least appearing not to. No longer did he regard the rights of others. No longer did he watch out not to crush the nest of Mrs. Meadow Lark or to step on the babies of Danny Meadow Mouse. It came about that when the thunder of his feet was heard, those with homes on the ground shivered with fright and hoped that my Lord of the Prairies would not come their way.

 

“One day, as he raced over the Wide Prairies for no reason but that he felt like running, Mr. Meadow Lark flew to meet him. Mr. Meadow Lark was in great distress. ‘Turn aside, my Lord!’ he begged. ‘Turn aside, my Lord of the Prairies, for before you lies my nest with four precious eggs, and I fear you will step on them!’

 

“Thunderfoot the Bison, Lord of the Wide Prairies, tossed his head. ‘If you will build your nest where it can be trodden on, you can’t expect me to look out for it,’ said he. ‘If anything so unfortunate happens to it, it is your own fault, and you mustn’t blame me.’ And he neither looked down to see where he was putting his feet nor turned aside so much as an inch. On he galloped, and presently with a cry of fright out from beneath his feet flew Mrs. Meadow Lark, and at the very next step he trod on the little nest in the grass and crushed the four eggs. “Mr. Coyote, who was racing beside him on one side and saw what had happened, grinned. Mr. Fox, who was racing beside him on the other side and saw what had happened, grinned. Seeing them grin, Thunderfoot himself grinned. Thus grinning heartlessly, they continued to run until they came to a place where Mother Nature walked among the flowers of the Wide Prairies. Mr. Coyote and Mr. Fox, whose heads were not held so high, saw her in time to put their tails between their legs and slink away. Thunderfoot, holding his head high, failed to see her until he was so close to her that it was with difficulty he stopped before running her down.

 

“‘My Lord of the Prairies seems in fine spirits,’ said Mother Nature softly. ‘Is all well with my Lord?’

 

“Thunderfoot tossed his head proudly. ‘All is well,’ said he.

 

“‘I am sorry that others cannot say as much,’ replied Mother Nature, and all the softness was gone from her voice, and it was sharp. ‘I seem to hear the sobs of a broken-hearted little Meadow Lark,’ she continued.  ‘Little though she be and humble, she is as much to me as is my Lord of the Prairies who has made her suffer.’

 

“Stooping swiftly, Mother Nature picked up her staff and with it struck Thunderfoot on the neck, so that his head was brought low, and in fear of another blow he humped his shoulders up. ‘Thus shall you be, still big, still strong, but hump-shouldered and carrying your head low in shame, no longer Lord of the Prairies, until such time as you restore to Mrs. Meadow Lark the eggs you destroyed,’ said she, and turned her back on him.

 

“It was so. From that day on, Thunderfoot ceased to rule over the Wide Prairies. He was hump-shouldered and he carried his head low, looking and looking for the eggs he never could find to restore to Mrs. Meadow Lark. And though his children and his children’s children became many, there never was one without the hump or who ceased to carry his head low in shame,” concluded Digger the Badger.

 

 

 

For Further Study:

  • Read James 3:13-17.  If we’re really as great as we believe, we should be doing good things, not running around being proud.  Can you see Haman in any of these verses?  What kind of person is pleasing to God?

 

  • Imagine that you are Haman’s family and friends, sitting at his house listening to him talk.  How could you gently encourage him to think differently and do what is right?  What would you pray about for a person like Haman?

 

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Obeying His Word

Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-10

Introduction: In the book of Deuteronomy, God repeats the laws that he previously gave to Israel. He does this so that the people can remember what they must do to follow Him. He also repeats His promises to them, so that they will continue to have faith. He tells them that He will cause them to defeat their enemies, that He will give them the land He had promised, and that He will provide all they need when they enter that land (verse 5).

God expects the same of us today. First, we have to be careful to learn the Bible. That way, we can learn to follow it completely. When we obey Him, it spreads His Word to others through our example and teaching. And God still expects parents to teach their children His Word.

The story “Cutting Corners” was written by Howard J. Chidley and published in Fifty-Two Talks for Boys and Girls in 1914. Now out of print, the book is available free online.

CUTTING CORNERS

Have you boys and girls ever noticed how all the curbings at the corners of the streets in the city are worn smooth by drivers of carts and wagons trying to cut the corners as closely as possible?

But the principal thing to notice about those curbs is that you will often find on them the paint, sometimes red and sometimes black or yellow, scratched off the wheels of these carriages that are so anxious to cut corners. And the wheels that cut corners soon get to looking shabby from lack of paint.

That is the way it nearly always happens with people who try to cut corners. I know boys and girls who try it in school.

They try to skim through by doing just as little work as possible. They cut the corners as closely as possible with their lessons, so that they can have time for play. They do that with the work in subtraction, and then, when they get into multiplication or division, they have all sorts of trouble. And soon their arithmetic looks very shabby indeed.

Other boys and girls try to cut corners with the truth. They see just how near a lie they can come, and yet keep within the bounds of truth. Something inside tells them it is not quite fair. And again, when that happens, they have rubbed some of the bright, beautiful paint, so to speak, off their consciences. And before long their consciences get to be quite shabby, and not at all new, and people begin to say that they don’t quite trust that boy or girl.

And so I say to you, boys and girls, it does not pay to cut corners. Give yourselves plenty of room. Be open and fair and industrious. For one who cuts close corners as a boy or girl, usually grows up into a very small sort of man or woman.

For Further Study:

  • Verse 6 says that the nations would notice how the Israelites were led by God. People who obey God are noticed. Sometimes they’re persecuted for obeying God, but many times their life of peace and joy in God makes a good impression on others and makes others want to know more about Christ. Read these verses to see what a good influence we can be in the world for God: 1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:6-8; 1 Peter 3:1.

 

  • Can you think of how different religions have added to these ~ Matthew 19:9; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 3:16. Can you think of how they’ve subtracted from these ~ 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 20:7

  • What’s your favorite flavor of pizza? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Imagine that you went somewhere for pizza or ice cream, and the server decided to add other toppings, or add a different flavor to it. Imagine that he left something out. How would you feel? What would you do? If you talked to the server about it, and he just shrugged and said, “Oh well, that’s the way I like it,” what would that tell you?
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