Monday, October 29, 2007

Kidzone 10.

Kidzone 10 - October 07.

Story - Jimmy and the six weird witches.
(If you missed the earlier parts of this serial, go to ).

Part 6 - The Screaming witch of hate.

Jimmy was in serious trouble. Following his encounter with Freda Fib, he had panicked and pressed the button to stop his train. When he had heard footsteps coming towards the Guard's van to investigate, Jimmy had jumped out of the train and ran back along the track until he was out of sight. After a few minutes, Jimmy heard the sound of his train starting up and pulling away into the distance, leaving him all on his own right in the middle of the deserted countryside.

Jimmy looked all around but, apart from the countryside, there was nothing to be seen. No people, no roads, not even any houses. Jimmy decided that the best thing he could do was to walk along the train track. He thought that if he was lucky he might come to the next station, and if he was really lucky, he might even be able to catch another train and finish his journey to Seaville.

After walking along the track for a few minutes, Jimmy heard the sound of a train coming towards him.

"Oh no" he thought "This must be my train coming back. They must be looking for me to punish me for stopping the train."

Jimmy spotted a bush near the side of the track, so he hid in it, hoping that he wouldn't be seen as the train reached him. But as the train got closer, Jimmy noticed that it wasn't the train he had been on. This was a single black engine. It was travelling very slowly, and instead of making the usual "chu. chu. chu." train sound, it seemed to be saying "hate. hate. hate. hate. hate. hate." Sitting on top of the engine was the ugliest old woman that Jimmy had ever see, She had a pointed black hat, a long black coat, and long black boots. Her head was moving from side to side as she obviously searched for something near the track. Jimmy instinctively knew that she was searching for him!

This old woman was actually the Screaming witch of hate. She was the oldest and worst of the six weird witched. And sitting next to her on top of the black engine and also searching the track were all the other sisters. There was Moaning Maggie, still muttering "It's a miserable, miserable day." There was Old Mother Curseandswear, littering the track with her scraps of paper, and calling out nasty names such as "Chicken pox." "Break a leg" and "Coughs and colds." There was the Tricky witch, but she wasn't smiling now. She had a big scowl on her face. There was Library Lizzy, still holding onto her bag full of nasty books. And there was little Freda Fib, sitting right alongside her sisters.

Jimmy moved as far into the bush as he could, trying to make himself as small as possible. He prayed and hoped that he wasn't seen by anyone on the hate train. But as the train got closer, it's sound changed from "hate. hate. hate. hate. hate. hate." to "I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him." Jimmy closed his eyes and waited. The train was right next to him now. "I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. - - - - -" . But eventually he heard the sound of the train gradually moving away. As soon as the sound of the train became faint, Jimmy came out of the bush and began to run as fast as he could along the track, determined to get as far as he could away from the deadly hate train.

The track curved round to the right, but as Jimmy turned the corner, there just a few metres in front of him was a big black tunnel. Jimmy peered into the tunnel, but he couldn't see any light from the other end. "There is no way I am going in there," thought Jimmy. He thought of going back along the track in the direction he had just run. But then he remembered the deadly hate train, and immediately dismissed the idea. "I will just have to get off the track" thought Jimmy. But both banks on either side of the track had become so steep just before rhe tunnel, that they seemed impossible to climb. Jimmy just didn't know what to do.

After a few minutes, Jimmy heard a voice. He looked up to see a tiny figure in the distance on top of one of the banks. Jimmy couldn't be sure about this, but he thought that the figure looked like the Friendly Porter. The figure was waving his arm as though he wanted Jimmy to go into the tunnel. But then the figure disappeared.

"I guess there is nothing else for it" said Jimmy as he began to walk into the big, black tunnel. Soon there was no light at all, and Jimmy kept falling over the track as he slowly moved further and further into the tunnel. Jimmy began to think that he had made a mistake in coming into such a horrible place. He moved to the side of the track and began to feel his way along the tunnel wall, which was all slimy. Jimmy was making very slow progress, and still there was no sign of the end of the tunnel.

Then Jimmy heard the one sound in the world that he didn't want to hear - hate him. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him." It was the deadly hate train coming back towards the tunnel. Jimmy flattened himself against the tunnel wall, hardly daring to even breathe. He heard the train enter the tunnel, and as it did so the sound changed again - "I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him." It had almost reached Jimmy when the whole tunnel was filled with smoke from the engine, It went into Jimmy's nose, mouth and eyes. He began to cough and splutter. Suddenly, there was a great screech. Jimmy screamed Ahhh! And then - - - - - Absolutely nothing!

The next thing Jimmy remembered was feeling a large hand grab hold of his shoulder and begin to shake it. A voice from behind him said "Come along young man, or you will miss your train." Jimmy blinked, opened his eyes, and looked around him. He could hardly believe what he saw. He was back on the station platform where he had first started his journey. And a train had just roared into the platform with a great screech. The voice behind him said "Come on, wake up. You are going to Seaville aren't you? This is your train."

Very slowly, Jimmy realised he had been dreaming! When he was on the platform that morning, he had felt tired, and gone over to sit on a bench for a rest. He had closed his eyes for a second - or so he thought. Actually, he had fallen asleep, and dreamt all those adventures about the six weird witches!

So Jimmy got up, thanked the Porter for waking him up, picked up his suitcase, boarded the train, and went off to have a great holiday in Seaville.


The Screaming witch of hate was the worst of all because hatred lies behind every nasty thing people do. It causes wars, terrorist attacks and all sorts of trouble.

This witch tried to stop Jimmy getting to the end of his journey, and lack of love (which is another name for hatred) is the thing which holds us back most on our journey to heaven. God loves you (read John 3.16), and He wants you to share his love with others. If you are really serious about following Jesus, this is something that you must do. You need to be kind and nice to everyone - even if you find it hard to like them, or think they don't deserve it. That is what Jesus would do.

Illusion - Instant calculations.

Here are two 'instant addition' illustrations that will amaze your friends. They just require a little practice beforehand.

A. Get a volunteer to write any two four-digit numbers on a piece of paper or a board. You then write out the third four-digit number, ensuring that the product of the second and third numbers is 9999. For example, if the second number is 3785, the third number (which you write) will be 6214. Get your volunteer to write out the fourth four-digit number. You then write out the fifth number, ensuring that the product of the fourth and fifth numbers is again 9999. You are now ready to amaze your class by adding up all five numbers instantly. Your answer will be 2, followed by the first number minus 2. i.e. If the first number is 4567, your answer will be 24565. Here is an example :-

Volunteer 4567
Volunteer 4291
Self 5708
Volunteer 6235
Self 3764

Total = 24565

Get your friends to confirm your answer - with their calculators if these are available.

B. Prepare four cards (A,B,C,D), each with a five-digit number on them written from top to bottom as shown.


9 6 1 8
1 4 5 7
5 2 4 1
4 7 7 7
2 5 8 4

Get a volunteer to come and stick the cards on the board, in any order they choose, to thus form five four-digit numbers - as per the example above. Remind your friends that there are twenty four different ways in which your volunteer could have arranged the cards.

As soon as the cards are in place, write down the product of the five numbers. You could get your friends to be adding up the numbers with their calculators at the same time - but you will have the correct answer long before them! To get your instant answer, write down 2, followed by two plus each number in your second four-digit number (1457 in above example), except for the last number (7) which remains unaltered. Thus the answer is 23677.

You may wish to get a second volunteer to come and rearrange the cards, and repeat the procedure. If the cards were rearranged C.B.D,A for example, your answer will be 27691.

Laugh Break - Classic Comments (All from Children).

'Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.'

'A layman is someone who lays in bed on Sunday mornings.'

'When a woman has many husbands it is called Pollyanna.'

'When a man is married to one woman it is called monotony.'

'Jacob had a brother called See-saw.'

'Insects is burned in some churches.'

'If God rested on the seventh day, why do we have to go to Sunday school?'

'The Agnus Dei is a woman composer of music.'

'An epistle is the wife of an apostle.'

'The fast days are the days when you have to eat in a hurry.'

'The people of Lystra did not like Paul's message, so he got stoned.'

'I wish my dad was a Pastor so he only had to work one day a week.'

Your Questions Answered - Why is water essential for life?

God certainly made us a lot of water. In fact 70% of the earth's surface is covered with it, although only about 1% of it is ready to drink.

The vast amount of water on the Earth's surface helps keep Earth's temperature fairly steady. This is because it takes a lot more of the sun's energy to warm water than it does to warm land. So the land heats up during the day and cools down during the night more quickly than the ocean does. This gives different air temperatures over the land than over the sea, and this generates winds. Winds keep the air we breathe fresh, as well as bringing clouds and rain to the land.

Without water we would die in a few days. This is because it plays a part in almost every process that occurs in our bodies. Our bodies are mainly water, and water is a major part of our blood.

One of the most important things about water is that it can dissolve many other substances. Because of this, the water in our blood can carry vitamins and minerals from the food we have eaten to the rest of our body, where they are needed for growth, repair and energy.

Water also flushes our bodies of waste products, one of which is carbon dioxide produced by our cells. The water in our blood dissolves this and carries it back to our lungs where we breathe it out. When water evaporates, it absorbs heat from its surroundings. This is why sweating cools us down.

Water contains dissolved oxygen from the air, enabling fish and other water-animals to live in it.

One of the most unusual but important properties of water is that it expands when it freezes (other liquids contract). This is why icebergs float, and why ice forms first on the top of water instead of on the bottom. This means that fish can swim underneath the ice. Otherwise, all the water in a river or lake could freeze and the fish would be killed.

God certainly knew what He was doing when He designed water to be the way it is.

As liquid water is essential for life, that is why space probes have been sent to other planets to search for it. They haven't found any yet, but even if they did, that would not mean that there was life there. Water cannot produce life. Rather, life is the result of a special creation by God.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kidzone 9.

Kidzone 9 - September 07.

Story - Jimmy and the six weird witches.
(If you missed the earlier parts of this serial, go to ).

Part 5 - Freda Fib.

With the help of the Friendly Porter, Jimmy had managed to defeat the fourth Weird Witch, Library Lizzy. He was now on his own, reading his "Visitors Guide to Seaville", which he found really interesting and, in places, quite exciting. After a while, Jimmy realised that he was hungry. He hadn't eaten since early that morning, and now it was early afternoon. He wondered if there was a cafeteria on the train, so went to have a look.

Jimmy soon found the cafeteria, and ordered himself a sandwich and a milk shake. He looked around for somewhere to sit down to have his snack, but the cafeteria was nearly full. In fact the only vacant seat was right next to a young girl, about his own age. Jimmy didn't normally like sitting next to girls, much preferring boy's company. But this girl looked quite nice with her long blond hair and sweet smile, so Jimmy went and sat next to her. After a few minutes, the girl struck up a conversation.

"My name is Freda, what's yours?"
"Jimmy, and I'm on my way to Seaville"
"So am I. My dad's got lots of money, has yours?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Well my dad has millions of dollars, and we live in an enormous house with over 100 rooms, and a Television in every one. We have 10 cars, and my mother has big diamond rings on all her fingers. She wears them all the time - even when she is doing the washing up."
"It's funny to wear diamond rings when you are doing the washing up."
"Well my mum does. How much pocket money do you get?"
"I get $2 a week."
"$2 a week! $2 a week!! I get $500 a week."
"Oh come on Freda, nobody gets that much pocket money."
"Well I do. In fact, some weeks I get $1,000. But it is too much for me. So I end up throwing most of it away."

"Tickets please" came a voice from nearby. Jimmy looked up to see that it was the real ticket collector, so he offered up his ticket for examination. The ticket collector clipped it, then handed it back to Jimmy. Then he turned to Freda. "Ticket please."
"My mummy has got my ticket, and she is in the carriage." said Freda. The collector seemed satisfied with that explanation, and walked away.
"Silly old fool" said Freda. "I always fool them. I haven't really got a ticket."
"You'll get in trouble" said Jimmy.
"No I won't. Because we are going to hide in the Guard's van."
"But, I don't need to hide" protested Jimmy.

Suddenly Freda grabbed hold of Jimmy's arm. Jimmy tried to pull away, but for someone so small, Jimmy found that Freda was very strong. There was nothing he could do but let Freda pull him all the way to the Guard's van.
"No one will find us here" said Freda.
"But I keep telling you, I don't need to hide. I have a ticket" said Jimmy, as he held up his ticket.
"Oh no you don't" replied Freda as she snatched Jimmy's ticket out of his hand and threw it out of the open window.
Jimmy stared at Freda in amazement. "You've thrown my ticket out of the window. I will tell the man."
"He'll never believe you" said Freda gleefully. "You will have to buy another one."
"You're mad" said Jimmy. "You're making it all up. All that stuff about having $500 a week pocket money, your dad being very rich and your mum doing the washing up wearing her diamond rings. You are just a liar."
"Yes. I like telling lies. It's fun and it gets people in trouble. I've made a lot of trouble for you!"

Suddenly Freda's appearance began to change. Her hair became brown and straggly. Her nose became long and pointed, and her face became red and crinkled. Too late, Jimmy realised that Freda was one of the weird witches that he had been warned about (Actually, she was Freda Fib, the well known lying witch). Freda started to move towards Jimmy. Panicking, Jimmy spotted the red emergency button which stops the train. He pushed it, and immediately heard the sound of the train's brakes as it began to slow down.
"I hoped you'd do that. I hoped you'd do that" shouted Freda as she jumped up and down for joy.
"No one will believe you if you say there is a witch on the train. You will be fined $1,000 for stopping the train. You might even be sent to prison." With that, Freda quickly opened the door and ran off, leaving Jimmy on his own.

After a few seconds Jimmy heard footsteps coming towards the Guard's van. "I'll get in trouble for stopping the train" he thought. In panic Jimmy opened the outside door to the now stationary train, jumped out, and ran back along the track until he was out of sight of the train. After a few minutes, Jimmy heard the sound of his train starting up and pulling away into the distance, leaving him all on his own right in the middle of the deserted countryside.

Oh dear. Jimmy is really in trouble now. What will happen next? Will he make it to the end of his journey, or will the weird witches beat him? Come back in October for the final instalment of this serial.


Like Freda Fib, people lie for a number of different reasons. Here are the main four ones.

1, To show off. Freda Fib told lies about her mum and dad, and the amount of pocket money she got just to boast and show off.

2. To get out of trouble. Freda Fib lied to the ticket collector so she wouldn't get in trouble for not having a ticket. (Jimmy might have been tempted to tell a lie like this if someone had asked him if he had pressed the emergency button to stop the train).

3. Out of pure spite or nastiness to get other people into trouble. If asked, Freda would have probably lied to the ticket collector, saying that Jimmy didn't have a ticket.

4. To get something you are not due, or don't deserve. For example, imagine someone is passing round a box of chocolates. You have already had yours, but you are asked if you have had one - and you say no!

Lies are one of God's enemies favourite ways of stopping people being good Christians. They often spread like measles - you tell one, and then you have to tell a lot more to cover up the first one. And the more lies you tell, the easier it gets, until it becomes a habit. This is true for all sins (e.g. cheating, stealing, swearing, getting angry or jealous etc.), but especially for lies - because once they become a habit, they don't seem to matter any more.

The only way to deal with your lies (or any other sins) is to get rid of them straight away by asking God to forgive you. This is rather like weeding your garden. If I see one weed in my garden, I pull it up, and it is not a problem. But if I ignore the weed, the next time I look at my garden I will probably find that that weed has spread all over - causing real problems.

You should 'weed your garden' every day. When you pray, think back to see if there is anything that you have done, or said, or even thought, that you know was wrong. Then tell God you are sorry (and be sorry, of course), thank Him for forgiving you, and ask Him to help you do better the next day.

Illusion - Amazing memory feat.

Adam was created perfect with a wonderful mind and memory. He had to name all the many different animals that God brought before him, and then would have had to remember all their names. To illustrate this you can then amaze your family and friends by doing your own memory feat.

Have fifty cards, blank on one side and numbered from 1 to 50 on the other. On the same side write , apparently random, six-digit numbers across their centres. State that you are going to memorise all fifty of these six-digit numbers. Flick through the cards as you pretend to memorise them, give them a good shuffle, turn the blank sides upwards and offer the pack to up to about six volunteers who will each choose a card. One at a time, ask your volunteers to tell you the number of their card (i.e. between 1 and 50), and as they do so write on the board the six-digit number associated with that card! You will achieve a 100 percent success rate!

You will have probably realised by now that you don't really memorise the numbers, rather you calculate them from the card number you are given. This is how you do it :-

To the number you are given (i.e. between 1 and 50), add eleven. Reverse this two-digit number. This will be the first two numbers you write on the board. Add these two numbers together to give your third number. However, if this is a two-digit number, ignore the first digit (i.e. "1") and write down the second. Proceed in this way, adding your last two digits together, until you have written down all six digits. Ask your volunteer to confirm this is the number they have on their card. A few of examples will make this clear :-

Card No. 15. Six-digit No. will be 628088.
Card No. 16 Six-digit No. will be 729101.
Card No. 17 Six-digit No. will be 820224.

As can be seen, even card numbers that are close to each other will produce completely different six-digit numbers.

Laugh break - Dumb laws.

For some countries, many National, State, or City laws are simply "dumb." Others are obviously out of date, but are still officially operative, because they haven't been repealed. The web site has published many of these "dumb laws" This list has been compiled mainly from this site.

On Sundays it is illegal to fish, or sell vegetables (except for carrots!).
It is illegal to be drunk in charge of a cow.
If a stranger knocks on your door and asks to use your toilet, you have to let him in.

York (England).
It is legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow, provided you don't do it on a Sunday!

It is illegal to stand within 100 yards of the Monarch, if you are not wearing socks.

Children can be jailed for cheating in their exams.

It is illegal to own a dog.

It is illegal to hang out washing, wash your car, or mow your lawn on a Sunday.

It is quite legal to shoot a moose with your gun, but it is illegal to wake one up so you can take it's photograph!

If you burp in church, your parents could be arrested.

Louisiana (and some other states).
It is illegal to drive your car blindfold.
It is illegal to keep an alligator in your bath.

Your Questions Answered - When did God create the Dinosaurs?

The Bible tells us that God created all the land animals, including dinosaurs, on the sixth day of the creation week. He also created the first people (Adam and Eve) on the same day.

Some people may try and tell you that dinosaurs lived and died millions of years before people were on the earth. But there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim. I choose rather to believe God who, unlike people, was here in the beginning, knows everything and cannot lie.

The word 'dinosaur' (meaning terrible lizard) cannot be found in the Bible, but that is because it was only first used about 165 years ago after bones from these reptiles began to be discovered. However, a dinosaur-like animal called Behemoth is described in Job 40. 15-19. This fits the description of what is called today a Brachiosaurus. And a sea-going monster called Leviathan is described in Job 41. Thus from the Bible, it is clear that man and dinosaurs once lived together.

Dinosaurs were reptiles. The major difference between them and other reptiles, like crocodiles, was the position of their limbs. These came out from under their bodies, rather than from their sides. This gave them a fully erect posture, similar to mammals. Some dinosaurs were small (about the size of a chicken) and some were very large, weighing an estimated 80 tons and standing over 10 metres high. Like many creatures which once inhabited the earth, dinosaurs are now (probably) extinct. Many would have been drowned at the time of Noah's flood. But the few that were saved on the ark may not have been able to survive the dramatic changes in climatic conditions after the flood.

Note. If you have a question that you would like answered, email it to me on

Reminder. Come back to this site in October for the next completely new edition of Kidzone.

Grown ups. Check out my web site for Children's ministers at

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kidzone 8 - August 07.

Kidzone 8 - August 07.

Story - Jimmy and the six weird witches.

Part 4 - Library Lizzy.

With the help of the friendly Porter, Jimmy had managed to defeat Moaning Maggie, Old mother Curseandswear and the Tricky witch. He was now inside New Station, waiting for his later train to Seaville. He noticed that there was a Bookstall in the station, so he wandered over to have a look, thinking that he might be able to buy a book or magazine to read on his long journey to Seaville.

Jimmy made sure that the Bookstall had nothing to do with the Tricky witch, but she was nowhere to be seen. The books and magazines didn't seem very appealing to Jimmy, with titles such as 'Gardening weekly', 'Home decorating' and 'Cooking for beginners'. But then he spotted an interesting sounding book. It was titled "Visitors Guide to Seaville'. Jimmy examined it and thought "I'm going to Seaville, this book could help me find my way around when I get there." So Jimmy purchased his book.

Shortly afterwards Jimmy's train arrived. It was one of those that had separate compartments, with a corridor running down the outside. As Jimmy had had enough excitement for one day, he found an empty compartment and hoped that nobody else would get in so that he could read his 'Visitors Guide to Seaville' in peace. But just as the train was starting off, the compartment door opened, and a very large lady, carrying an enormous handbag came in and sat down opposite Jimmy.

"I hope you don't start talking to me" thought Jimmy. So he got out his 'Visitors Guide to Seaville' and began to read it. But after a few minutes the lady leaned towards Jimmy, and asked "Are you going on holiday?"
"Yes, I'm going to stay with my aunt in Seaville."
"Have you been before?"
"No, but I have this 'Visitors Guide to Seaville' to help me find my way around."
"Let me have a look."
Jimmy handed over the book. The large lady looked at it briefly and handed it back. "That's a funny sort of book for a boy your age to be reading. I thought that you would prefer comics."
"I do like comics, but I think that this book will be very helpful to me."
"Nonsense! This is your lucky day. It just so happens that I run a library for boys and girls your age. I have some of my books with me" said the large lady, as she began to look inside her handbag "I will lend you one of them for you to read instead of that silly book you have."
She handed Jimmy a book. "How about this one 'Screams of Fun - 100 Practical jokes to play on people you don't like.'"
"I don't think I like the sound of that one" said Jimmy.
"Oh but there's a great joke in here. You creep up behind someone while they are sitting down, and when they are not looking tie their shoelaces together. When they get up, they trip over themselves!"
"That doesn't sound very nice to me."
"Never mind. How about this one? You place a bowl of water on top of a door, which you leave ajar. The first person through the door, gets soaked with water!"
"I would get in trouble if I did something like that" replied Jimmy.
"Oh you don't have to worry about that. There is a whole chapter in this book, which tells you how to make quick getaways. And there is another chapter which tells you how to put the blame on someone else."
"I'm sorry" said Jimmy, handing the book back. "I don't like that book at all."
"How about this one then? 'Cross Patch - 200 ways of making people lose their temper.'"
"But I don't like it when people lose their temper. No thanks."
"Well you are certain to like this one. 'Always Right - How to make other people look silly.'"
"No. That book doesn't sound very nice either."
"This is my favourite. Everyone likes this book. '500 Funny and nasty names to call your friends.'"
"If I called my friends nasty names, they wouldn't be my friends much longer. No, I am sorry, but I don't like any of your books" said Jimmy as he handed the last one back.

Suddenly, the large lady's face began to turn redder and redder. She stood up, leaned over towards Jimmy, and began shaking her fist in his face. In an angry voice she began to say "You nasty little boy. You are just a nasty, nasty little boy. Don't like any of my books do you!. Why, I will teach you, you nasty, nasty, little boy."
Far too late, Jimmy realised that the large lady was one of the six weird witches he had been warned about. Frightened, he pressed himself back against his seat as far as he could go. But the witch came even closer "You nasty, nasty, nasty little boy."

Suddenly Jimmy heard the door to the compartment open, and a familiar voice said "Tickets please." Jimmy looked up, and although he was now in a ticket collectors uniform, it was obviously the Friendly Porter. The large lady sat back down on her seat while Jimmy offered his ticket up to be clipped. Then the Friendly Porter turned towards the large lady. "Tickets please" he demanded. The large lady began to look through her bag, but she couldn't produce a ticket. Eventually the Friendly Porter said "Away with you Lizzy." The large lady collected up all her nasty books, stuffed them in her bag, and stormed off down the corridor, slamming the compartment door behind her.

"I'm really glad you came along when you did" said Jimmy. "I think that lady was one of those weird witches you warned me about."
"Yes" replied the Friendly Porter "That was Library Lizzy. She always tries to get people to read her nasty books. I hope you didn't read any of them, Jimmy?"
"No, I gave them all back to her."
"That was the right thing to do. Let me see that book you've got Jimmy."
Jimmy passed over his 'Visitors Guide to Seaville.' "This should help me find my way around while I am on holiday."
"That looks a very good book to me" replied the Friendly Porter as he handed Jimmy his book back "I would stick to reading that one."

The Friendly Porter left Jimmy to read his Guide book, which he found really interesting. And in some places it was very exciting.

To be continued. Come back next month to see how Jimmy progresses on his dangerous journey.

Conclusion. Just like Jimmy had a guide book to help him find his way around, Christians also have a guide book - The Bible. God has given His Word, the Bible to us to help us on our journey through life. If you keep finding out what the Bible has to say to you, we won't go far wrong. However, if you never look at the Bible, or ignore what it says, then you are certain to make mistakes in life, and go off in wrong directions.

God's enemies don't like us reading the Bible, and they have a whole lot of other books and magazines that they would rather us read instead. You need to be very careful about the sort of things that you read. There is a very powerful spiritual law at work in us all. This basically says "Good things in, good things out. Bad things in, bad things out." In other words, if you take in good things (like the Bible) through your eyes and ears, good things will start coming out from you. i.e. You will begin to say and do 'good' things. If, on the other hand, you take in bad things through your eyes or ears, bad things will start coming out from you.

Therefore, be very careful about what you read, what T.V. programmes, films and videos you watch, and what type of music you listen to. You may be thinking "How do I know what is 'Good' or 'Bad'? Very often this is quite obvious. But if you are not sure, test to see how you feel about what you are taking in through your eyes or ears. If you feel uneasy or anxious, that is God warning you through the Holy Spirit that you shouldn't be taking this in. But then, remember, it is still your choice whether you continue taking in that thing or not. God won't send an Angel down from heaven to take your book away, or switch off the T.V.! It is always your choice to do it. But remember, "Good things in, good things out. Bad things in, bad things out."

Illusion - Making the right choice.
A well known "Magician's" trick is to force a volunteer to choose the "right card" from a number of different cards. This technique can be used to ensure a person makes the "right choice" from a number of options represented by different cards.
This trick is very versatile. For example you can pose questions such as "How can we get to heaven?" or "How can we find peace with God?" The right answer is, of course, Jesus. Now, choose seven alternative answers, which some people may give e.g. Prayer, Reading the Bible, Going to church. Keeping the ten commandments, Doing good, Not doing anything bad, Being Baptised, Believe in God, etc. (Other questions you can ask are "Who is the best role model you can follow?" - it is a good idea to choose a mixture of well known "good" and "bad" role models. – or, "Who or what should be the most important thing in your life?").
Take eight pieces of paper and write "Jesus" on one, and the seven alternative answers the others. Put the cards into eight identical envelopes. On the front of each envelope, draw a question mark. However, on the envelope containing the "Jesus" paper, make the question mark slightly different from the others - e.g. have the "dot" slightly nearer the main symbol, or have the "curl" slightly more enhanced.
Choose a volunteer to come and stick each envelope (e.g. with blue tac) - question mark to the outside - on a board. They have complete freedom to stick each envelope wherever they like, provided that they end up with two columns of four cards each. By looking at the question marks, you will know which contains the "Jesus" paper.
Get a second volunteer to come and make what you say you hope will be the right choice. Force him/her to make the right choice as described below. This is a very simple technique, but still seems to baffle the vast majority of people.
Suppose, for example, that the "Jesus" envelope is in the first column. Ask your volunteer to point to either the first or the second column. If they point to the first, say "Fine, that is your choice, so let us now look at the four envelopes you have rejected in the second column." As you open each of these four envelopes, explain why they are wrong choices. If your volunteer points to the second column, say "Fine, you have rejected these four envelopes in the second column", and proceed as before.
You are now left with the four envelopes in the first column. Ask your volunteer to point to any two of the envelopes. If the "Jesus" envelope is one of those chosen, say. "These are the envelopes you have chosen, let's look at the two you have rejected." Obviously, if they don't point to the "Jesus" card, say " The two you have pointed to are the ones you have rejected --------. " I think you will have got the idea by now, ensuring that your volunteer ends by choosing "Jesus."

Laugh Break - Tongue Twisters.

Write out the words below on slips of paper. As you read the words aloud, the idea is to get your friends to guess what is being said. Read the words slowly at first, but then faster and faster to make it easier for the others to guess. You will probably have to give clues to younger children to help them.

1. SAND TACKLE LAWS. (Clue: A fictional character)
2. AISLE OH VIEW. (Clue: A phrase)
3. BUCK SPUN HE (Clue: A fictional character)
5. TIGHT AN HICK (Clue: A thing)

Answers. (Just in case someone hasn't worked them out). 1. Santa Claus. 2. I love you. 3. Bugs Bunny. 4. The Sound of music. 5. Titanic.6. The Milky Way Galaxy.
Use a similar procedure to let people try to guess what the following Japanese Phrases mean.
Wa Shing Ka (Cleaning an automobile)
Na Pah King (This is a tow-away zone)
Ai Bang Mai Ni (I bumped into a table)
Tai Ni Po Ni (Small horse)

Your Questions Answered - Which came first the chicken or the egg?
People like asking this question because there appears to be no answer to it. If someone answered 'the chicken', they would say "But the chicken must have come from an egg!" But if someone answered 'the egg', they would say "But the egg must have come from a chicken!"
The answer to the question is - The Chicken. God made the first of each type of creature fully formed. For example, He created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve as mature human beings. God made the first of each type living form, each with seeds within themselves so that they could then reproduce after their own kind. And this is what we find in nature today. Thus oak trees (their seeds are called acorns) produce oak trees, carrots produce carrots, cats produce cats, dogs produce dogs etc. etc. And chickens have seeds, (contained in their eggs) which produce chickens.

Note. If you have a question that you would like answered, email it to me on

Reminder. Come back to this site in June for the next completely new edition of Kidzone.

Grown ups. Check out my web site for Children's ministers at

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kidzone 7.

Kidzone 7 - July 07.

Story - Jimmy and the six weird witches.

Part 3 - The Tricky witch.

With the help of the Friendly Porter, Jimmy was now back on the main road, heading towards New Station, where he would be able to catch a later train to his holiday destination of Seaville.

After only a few minutes, Jimmy came to a large old building. It had a tall steeple, and stained glass windows. There was a sign outside which said "NEW STATION. BEST WAY TO ANYWHERE."

Jimmy thought to himself "This building looks more like a church than a station, but it must be the right place." He was just about to enter, when he noticed a brightly coloured stall right opposite the station. He wandered over to have a closer look, and it was certainly very interesting with lots of toys, games, comics and sweets. There was a little old lady standing behind the stall.

After his encounters with Moaning Maggie and Old mother Curseandswear, Jimmy was a little bit wary of old ladies, but with her bright cheerful face and happy smile, this one didn't look at all like the others. "She looks alright" thought Jimmy as he had a closer examination of the stall's goods.

After a few minutes the old lady leaned over towards Jimmy and said "Have you seen anything you like, sonny?"

Jimmy replied "You have certainly got some good stuff on this stall. But I am going on holiday to Seaville, and I have decided to keep all my pocket money until I get there."

"You don't understand" said the lady as she pointed to a large sign above the stall "You don't have to pay."


"You mean everything is free?" asked Jimmy.

"Yes." replied Granny Lovejoy. "Just choose whatever gift you like, and it is absolutely free to you."

"Oh, that's different" said Jimmy, as he began to examine all the wonderful gifts. After a while, Jimmy decided that he would just choose a large bag of sweets.

"Because you have only chosen some sweets, rather than an expensive gift" said Granny Lovejoy, "I am going to reward you. Here is a free ticket to my special super circus. The show is just about to start, and if you hurry, you will catch the beginning."

Jimmy looked at the circus ticket and said "I really would love to go to your circus, but I have already missed one train to Seaville, and I don't dare risk missing another one. I just don't have the time."

Granny Lovejoy interrupted "But you don't understand. This is the best circus ever. It has clowns, acrobats, jugglers, performing lions, dancing dogs and even an amazing tight rope walking elephant."

"A tight rope walking elephant" exclaimed Jimmy. "That sounds amazing, and I really would like to go to your circus, but I just don't have the time."

Just for a second, Granny Lovejoy's smile faded, and she began to say "Why, you ungrateful little - - - - - ." But then her smile returned and she said "Well that's quite alright sonny. Here, have one of my special balloons, instead."

Jimmy was handed a large bright red balloon, tied onto a string. Instinctively, he caught hold of the balloon. But immediately, he felt a strong tug on his arm. Amazingly, the balloon was rising up into the air, and Jimmy was being lifted off the ground by it. By the time Jimmy realised what was happening, it was too late for him to let go of the balloon, which kept rising higher and higher.

Granny Lovejoy was looking up at Jimmy, and shouting gleefully "That will teach you. Don't want to go to my circus eh. You're in trouble now, you ungrateful little boy."

Far too late, Jimmy realised that Granny Lovejoy was one of the weird witches that he had been warned about. He was still rising higher and higher, and had no idea how he could safely get back down to the ground. Suddenly, he felt a tug in his belt. He looked down. There was a large hook in his belt, and attached to it was a long pole, and on the end of the pole, slowly pulling him back down to the ground was the Friendly Porter!

When Jimmy finally reached the ground, he released the balloon, which floated into the air, before exploding with a loud bang. Granny Lovejoy was furious. She kicked over her stall, and all the gifts were scattered everywhere. She then ran off down the road, still in a rage.

"I'm glad you came along when you did" said Jimmy. "I think Granny Lovejoy is one of those weird witched that are trying to stop me reaching the end of my journey."

"Yes." said the Friendly Porter "That was the tricky witch. She sets up her stall right next to the station, to try and stop people going on their journey - and she succeeds with a lot of people. But don't worry, she won't bother you again. Well, here is New Station, and your train will be coming soon, so just go in and wait for it."

"It's a funny looking station" replied Jimmy. "It looks more like a church that a station."

"Yes" replied the Friendly Porter. A church is like a station, because it is the starting point for where everyone wants to get to!"

To be continued. Come back next month to see how Jimmy progresses on his dangerous journey.

Conclusion. Where is it that everyone wants to get to? That's right, heaven! And one of the main reasons people go to church is to to be helped on their way there, by being shown how to defeat any of God's enemies who would try and stop us completing our journey. There are people about like the tricky witch who will try and stop us going to church or Sunday school, knowing that if they do so it will be easier for them to stop us getting to heaven as well. They may try and persuade us that something is nicer or more important than going to church - like lying in bed on a Sunday morning, or watching T.V. Don't listen to them. Don't be put off. Don't let God's enemies defeat you! God is on your side, and He wants to see you complete your journey through life, and eventually arrive in heaven.

Illusion - Miracles.

Here is a simple illustration to demonstrate that with God "All things are possible."

Preparation. Take a piece of cardboard ( about 40x40cm. ) and cut out a round disc (about 15cm. diameter) from the centre. Retain both pieces. Find a solid disc (an ordinary plate is ideal) a little larger than your cardboard disc e.g. about 20cm. diameter.

Presentation. "Sometimes we find that we just cannot do certain things. But we need to remember that God can do absolutely anything. With Him nothing is impossible." Hold up your cardboard sheet and disc. Explain that the disc is just small enough to pass through the hole. Pass the disc through the hole a few times in different ways e.g. face on and side on.

State that if the disc were any larger, it would be "impossible" to pass it through the hole. Your friends should agree. Produce your larger disc and pretend to attempt to pass it through the hole in different ways as before. Remind your friends that what is impossible for us is possible for God, and state that you are now going to demonstrate that by passing the larger disc through the small hole.

Fold your sheet in half, and place your larger disc inside so that the top protrudes through the hole. Grasp this part of the disc with one hand, and with the other pull down on the side of your sheet - this actually stretches the hole - A gentle tug on your disc will ensure that it passes through the hole without tearing it in any way.

Your questions answered - How do I know the Christian faith is true?

We are all exposed to a variety of different beliefs. This can be quite confusing to realise that there are many different religions, sects, denominations etc. You may ask "Do they all differ in what they teach, or do they have beliefs in common?" "How can I be sure of which one is true?" "Does it really matter which faith I choose to follow?"

Firstly, you need to understand the difference between Christianity and Religion. Religion is about us attempting to reach up to God through our own efforts, usually by observing certain rules or doing good works. Christianity is the exact opposite. It is about God reaching down to us through His Son, Jesus.

Whereas Christianity says we can only come to God through faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross, all religions and sects basically teach that in order to gain God's acceptance, we need to improve ourselves and reach God by our own efforts. The second difference from Christianity that religions and sects have in common is that they deny that Jesus is the GOD-MAN i.e. totally God, and totally man in One Person. Some deny Jesus' humanity, but most deny His divinity.

I think that 'religious' people must be the most unhappy people on earth. Their religion teaches them that they are 'sinners', but doesn't offer them the power to change their ways. Thus when they sin, they can't really enjoy it because they are aware that they are breaking God's rules!

Secondly, it is important to understand what a Christian really is. Christianity is not about following a certain set of rules, but rather it is about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A Christian is a "Christ-in-Person". In other words, a person in whom Jesus Christ is living - because He has been invited to do so, following repentance of sin and faith in His substitutionary death on the cross.

Christians may belong to many different types of churches, and these sometimes disagree on some minor issues, but if they accept the Bible as their Final Authority for what they teach, they will agree on the important doctrines (beliefs) such as :-

1.The divinity of Christ. (Jesus is God)
2. The substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross for our sins.
3. The bodily resurrection of Jesus.
4. Our need to be 'Born Again'. (God's Spirit changing us on the inside).
5. God accepts us on the basis of our faith in Jesus alone.
6. The Bible, as first given, is the divine and infallible 'Word of God'. (What the Bible says, is what God says).

Ultimately the important thing is not who is right or wrong about "little things", but whether Jesus is really living in you?

Conclusion. Amidst the great variety of faiths that abound today, how can we know that the Christian one is the true one? The Bible says "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34 v. 8. Or to use a modern proverb, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." If anyone sincerely tries Jesus out for themselves, then they will 'know' that His way is the true way. If you sincerely invite Jesus to come and take charge of your life, He will give you an assurance that that you are now really part of God's special family.

Laugh Break - Things kids say.
Dear Pastor, I know God loves everybody but He never met my sister. Yours sincerely, Arnold. Age 8, Nashville.
Dear Pastor, Please say in your sermon that Peter Peterson has been a good boy all week. I am Peter Peterson. Sincerely, Pete. Age 9, Phoenix
Dear Pastor, My father should be a minister. Every day he gives us a sermon about something. Robert Anderson, age 11
Dear Pastor, I'm sorry I can't leave more money in the plate, but my father didn't give me a raise in my allowance. Could you have a sermon about a raise in my allowance? Love, Patty. Age 10, New Haven
Dear Pastor, My mother is very religious. She goes to play bingo at church every week even if she has a cold. Yours truly, Annette. Age 9, Albany
Dear Pastor, I would like to go to heaven someday because I know my brother won't be there. Stephen. Age 8, Chicago
Dear Pastor, I think a lot more people would come to your church if you moved it to Disneyland. Loreen. Age 9. Tacoma.
Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon where you said that good health is more important than money but I still want a raise in my allowance. Sincerely, Eleanor. Age 12, Sarasota
Dear Pastor, Please pray for all the airline pilots. I am flying to California tomorrow. Laurie. Age 10, New York City
Dear Pastor, I hope to go to heaven some day but later than sooner. Love, Ellen, age 9. Athens Dear Pastor, Please say a prayer for our Little League team. We need God's help or a new pitcher. Thank you. Alexander. Age 10, Raleigh
Dear Pastor, My father says I should learn the Ten Commandments. But I don't think I want to because we have enough rules already in my house. Joshua. Age 10, South Pasadena
Dear Pastor, Who does God pray to? Is there a God for God? Sincerely, Christopher. Age 9, Titusville
Dear Pastor, Are there any devils on earth? I think there may be one in my class. Carla. Age 10, Salina
Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon on Sunday. Especially when it was finished. Ralph, Age 11, Akron
Dear Pastor, How does God know the good people from the bad people? Do you tell Him or does He read about it in the newspapers? Sincerely, Marie. Age 9, Lewiston

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kidzone 6 - June 07.

Story - Jimmy and the six weird witches.

Part 2 - Old Mother Curseandswear.

Jimmy was on his way to Seaville, but had met up with Moaning Maggie, one of the six weird witches, who had hidden his suitcase and made him miss his train. However, with the help of the Friendly Porter, Jimmy was now walking down the road to New Station, where he would be able to catch another train later in the day.

Jimmy was feeling better now, he had his suitcase back, all the shops were opening up, and there were lots of happy looking people about. Jimmy walked on and on, remembering that the Friendly Porter had told him to keep on that road, and not to turn off to the left or to the right.

After Jimmy had been walking for about 20 minutes, he began to wonder how far New Station was. He wished he had remembered to ask. Just then it began to rain, and that made Jimmy walk faster - - - - but 10 minutes later, there was still no sign of New Station. Suddenly, Jimmy came to a side road, with a large sign pointing down it, and which said "NEW STATION. SHORT CUT." Jimmy was just about to turn down the side road, when he remembered that the Friendly Porter had warned him not to turn off the main road. He wasn't sure what to do. "Surely this sign is right - - - but I was warned - - - "Just then it began to rain heavier, and that helped Jimmy make up his mind - - - - - he turned down rhe side road.

After a few minutes, Jimmy noticed that the new road he was on was getting very narrow - - - - most of the shops were shut, or even boarded up - - - - - there were fewer and fewer people about. Jimmy began to wonder if he had made a mistake in following the "Short Cut" sign. After a few more minutes, there was nobody else to be seen, all the shops were closed, and the now very narrow road was littered with scraps of paper. Jimmy thought that he had better turn around and go back to the road he had been on. But as he looked back, he saw that the road branched in two, and he couldn't remember which of the branches he had walked down.

"I had better ask someone if this is the right way to New Station" thought Jimmy. But there was nobody around to ask. Then he noticed a figure in the distance, walking towards him. "I will ask this person" thought Jimmy. But then he thought "Oh no I won't," because he now saw that the figure was a little old lady who was bent over a pram that she was pushing. And she was taking scraps of paper from the pram, throwing them on the road and calling out horrible things as she did so - - - - Headaches - - - -Nightmares - - - - Chicken pox - - - - - Toothache - - - - - Coughs and colds - - - - Break a leg - - - - - Measles - - - - Tummyache - - - - Spots before the eyes - - - - ."I think she might be one of those weird witches the Friendly Porter warned me about" thought Jimmy, as he bached into a shop doorway, hoping that he wouldn't be noticed. But as the lady reached Jimmy, she took out the largest scrap of paper she had and thrust it at Jimmy. Jimmy instinctively took hold of the paper, and waited as the lady moved on, still throwing out her papers, and calling out her nasty things.

Jimmy waited until the lady was out of sight, and then he looked at his scrap of paper. It said "GET LOST." Jimmy began to think that he really was lost. He didn't know what to do, so he sat down on his suitcase to think. Suddenly, Jimmy remembered a prayer that he had learned at Sunday school. It was:-
"Angels all along the way,
help me when I go astray."
"That's the sort of prayer I need right now" thought Jimmy. So he prayed it quietly a few times.

"You have got yourself in a bit of a mess, haven't you Jimmy?" said a familiar voice. Jimmy opened his eyes, and there was the Friendly Porter!
"I'm so pleased to see you" said Jimmy, who proceeded to recount all that had happened to him since they last met.
"I think that old lady was one of those weird witches that you warned me about" concluded Jimmy.
"Yes" replied the Friendly Porter. That was Old mother curseandswear. She puts up false signs to make people go the wrong way, and she throws out curses, and she tries to stop people saying their prayers.
"Wasn't it strange that as soon as I began to pray my prayer, you turned up?" said Jimmy. The Porter just smiled.

"Come with me" said the Friendly Porter as he proceeded to take Jimmy back to the main road. "New station is not far from here, and as long as you keep on this road you will soon come to it." said the Porter, as he left Jimmy to continue his journey. "But do watch out for those other four weird witches."

To be continued. Come back next month to see how Jimmy progresses on his dangerous journey.

Conclusion. Just like Jimmy in this story, many people have discovered that God really does answer prayers. Prayer is very, very important. It is simply talking to God. And I am sure that there is nothing God likes better than when His children talk to him. Make sure you talk to God everyday. You can talk to God about anything at all. He wants to share in your lives. Talk to Him when you are happy. Talk to Him when you are sad. Talk to Him when you are upset or angry. Remember, God loves you, He is your best friend, He is always with you, He is there to help and guide you, and He wants the very best for you.

Illusion - Jumping elastic bands.

Hold your right hand in front of your face. Turn it round to face you, i.e. your thumb is to your right.

Take a fairly small elastic band, and place it over your first two fingers, i.e. those nearest your thumb. Using your left hand, stretch the elastic band towards you. While the band is in this position, bend all four fingers of your right hand towards you so that they fit into the band. Release the band with your left hand. One side of the band should now be running across the back of your fingers, near the bottom of your nails.

Finally, straighten all four fingers. The band will now be over your third and fourth fingers - furthest from your thumb. For anyone watching the back of your hand, the band will appear to have magically jumped from two fingers onto the other two.

After you have practiced this trick - it is really quite simple - you can try it with two bands (of different colours). Place Band 1 over your first two fingers, as before, and Band 2 over your third and fourth fingers. Repeat the stretching and bending procedure, as before (ensure both bands run across all four fingers) - and this time the bands will have magically changed places!

Your Questions Answered - Why did God make us, and the world?

We are all on a journey through life, but some people live all their lives without ever finding out why they are here on planet earth in the first place. It is such a shame. Would you get on a train or a bus without knowing where it was going? I don't think so. But for some people, life is rather like being on a journey without knowing where they came from, why they are on the journey, or even where they are going!

The answer to the question is quite easy. God created us to be His friends, so He can enjoy us, and we can enjoy Him, both now and forever. Therefore, we came from God - he created us, He did so to be His friends, and, if we are trusting in Jesus, we are on our way to heaven.

God made the world (in fact the entire Universe and everything in it) for our benefit. He wants us to enjoy it, and to look after it on His behalf. What a wonderful, privileged position God has given us human beings.

Laugh Break - Why God made moms.

(taken from Mikey's Funnies - )Brilliant answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about Dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms works at work and works at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic; they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. My mom says she don't do spare time.
2. Nothing. She pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

[forwarded by Adon Brownell]

Monday, May 28, 2007

Kidzone 5 - May 07.

Story - Jimmy and the six weird witches.

This month we begin a six-part serial about a young boy's dangerous journey to Seaville. This is based on a novel by Eric Mathieson that was published many years ago.

Part 1 - Moaning Maggie.

Jimmy was really excited because he was about to go on holiday to Seaville, to stay with his aunt for two weeks. But what made it really exciting is that he was going on that long journey all on his own - by train. Jimmy had never been on a journey on his own before, but it was all arranged. Jimmy's mum was going to take him to the train station, make sure he got on the right train, and his aunt was going to meet him at Seaville.

The night before Jimmy's trip, he was so excited that he couldn't sleep. By 6 a.m., Jimmy was up, dressed, washed, packed, and ready to go.
"Is it time to go yet mum?" he asked.
"No it's far too early" came the reply.
At 7 a.m. , Jimmy repeated his question - but it was still too early. At 8 a.m. Jimmy asked again.
His mum replied "It's still too early, but to stop you bothering me, I will drive you down to the station, make sure you get on the right platform, and leave you to wait for your train while I go and do my shopping."

So that is what happened. Now Jimmy was on the Station platform, having a great time watching all the trains come in and out as he waited for his train to Seaville. But when the sun began to rise higher in the sky, and it got a little warmer, Jimmy realised he was tired - after all he hadn't slept at all that night. He noticed a bench on the platform, so went over to it and sat down for a rest. He closed his eyes, just for a second, but was suddenly startled by the sound of a train roaring into his platform.
The porter began to call out "Train to Seaville. Train to Seaville"
"Oh" thought Jimmy "This is my train. I didn't think it would arrive so soon."

Jimmy reached down to pick up his suitcase, but it was not there! He looked all around, but there was no sign of it at all. Meantime, all the other passengers were boarding the Seaville train.
Jimmy ran up to the porter and began to say "This is my train. I'm going to Seaville, but I can't find my suit - - "
But the porter cut him short "I haven't time to be bothered with you right now sonny, I've got this train to get away."
Jimmy watched in dismay as the last passenger boarded the train, the porter shut the door, waved his flag, blew his whistle, and the train drew out of the platform, leaving Jimmy behind.

The porter finally turned his attention to Jimmy. "What's your problem, sonny?"
Jimmy replied "That was my train. I am going on holiday to Seaville, but I can't find my suitcase."
"Oh, somebody probably put it on board for you" replied the porter.
"But, what shall I do now?" asked Jimmy.
"You will just have to catch a later train" replied the porter, as he walked away, leaving Jimmy on his own.

Jimmy returned to the bench to think what to do. "Did someone really put my suitcase on board the train?" he wondered "And when was the later train? Oh, and what would his aunt think when Jimmy's train arrived in Seaville, and he wasn't on board. She would be very worried - - - and then she would ring and tell his mum - - - and she'd be worried as well - - - AND ANGRY. Oh what a terrible start to his holiday this was."

Just then Jimmy noticed that there was a little old lady, dressed all in black, sitting on the other end of his bench.
She leaned over towards Jimmy, and asked "What's wrong with you, sonny?"
Jimmy replied "I an going on holiday to Seaville, but I missed my train because I couldn't find my suitcase, so now I will have to catch a later train."
"Oh no you won't" replied the lady. "There isn't going to be any holiday for you, because there isn't another train. You will just have to go home."
"But my aunt's expecting me. My holiday is all arranged" mumbled Jimmy.
"There will be no holiday for you, you'll have to go home. You're not going to have a good time, your going to have a miserable, miserable time" cackled the old lady as she got up and began to walk away, muttering "This is a miserable, miserable day, oh what a wonderful, miserable day."

"What a horrible old lady" thought Jimmy. But then he noticed, just where she had been sitting - there was his suitcase! "I bet she hid my suitcase with her coat, just to make me miss my train" thought Jimmy. And he began to cry.

"What's wrong with you?" said a cheerful voice.
Jimmy looked up to see a friendly looking porter - nothing like the grumpy porter he had met before. "I'm supposed to be going on holiday to Seaville" replied Jimmy. "But when my train arrived I missed it because I couldn't find my suitcase. And there was a horrible old lady, who I think hid my suitcase to make me miss my train. She said there wasn't another train to Seaville, so I would have to go home, and there would be no holiday for me. She was so, so horrible, I think, I think, I think _ _ _ _ she was a WITCH!"

"That's right" agreed the friendly porter. "That was Moaning Maggie, one of the six weird witches. She is always trying to make people miss their trains and stop them going on their journeys. The only way to beat her is to ignore her. Don't listen to what she says. However, she was right about one thing - there isn't another train to Seaville. At least not from this station. But come with me, and I will show you the way to New Station in another part of town. You will be able to catch a train to Seaville from there later in the day."

The friendly porter led Jimmy out of the station, and pointed down a long, wide road. "Just keep going straight down this road, and you will come to New Station. But whatever you do, do not turn off to the left or the right - just keep going straight down this road. And watch out for Moaning Maggie and her five sisters, because they will all try and stop you completing your journey."

To be continued. Come back next month to see how Jimmy progresses on his dangerous journey.

Conclusion. Like Jimmy, who was on a journey to Seaville, all Christians are on a journey through life. And our final destination is heaven. But God has enemies, who are your enemies as well, and they will do all they can to try and stop you completing your journey. They use people like Moaning Maggie to try and put people off right near the start of their journey.

I know people who have made a good start by putting their trust in Jesus. And then they have begun to do all the right things to help them on their journey through life - like praying, reading and obeying the Bible, and going to church or Sunday school. But then they listened to someone like Moaning Maggie, who may have told them that these things were all a waste of time, and there were better things they could be doing. And they believed her lies!

So don't be beaten by Moaning Maggie. Your journey through life to heaven is much too important. The only way to beat her is to PERSEVERE. That means never giving up. When things are going well in life - follow Jesus. When things appear to be going badly in life (and this will happen sometimes) - follow Jesus. And He will make sure that you stay on the right road through life.

Illusion - Floating a pin on water.
One of the most amazing miracles that Jesus did was walking on water. We all know that one of the natural laws of the Universe is that objects heavier than water (like metal) sink. However Jesus was able to overcome this natural law. We can't walk on water of course, but it is possible to float a pin or a needle on it! You all know that a pin is much heavier than water and usually sinks to the bottom. But there is a way to make it float! Because water actually forms a thin film at it's surface with the air, this flotation can really be done if you lower the pin very gently onto the water in the following way.
Place the pin on a paper tissue, and lower it carefully onto the water. After a few seconds, the paper will have absorbed enough water to make it sink, leaving the pin floating alone.You will need to have a steady hand to ensure that the film isn't broken. And, of course, ensure that nobody knocks the glass during the procedure!
If you have a very steady hand, you may even be able to carefully lower the pin onto the water without the aid of the paper tissue.

Laugh break - What is love?
A group of children were asked the question "What is love?" Here are some of their replies. Which do you think were the best ones?

Question. What is love?


"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne, and they go out and smell each other." Karl (age 5).

"Love is when you tell a boy you like his shirt, and then he wears it every day." Noelle (7).

"Love is when you go out and give someone most of your French fries, without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy (6).
(There is a lot of truth in that because if you love someone, that means you want the very best for them. You want good things to happen to them, even more than you want good things to happen to yourself. So if you give someone most of your French fries, without asking for anything in return, that is an expression of your love).

"Love is when mummy gives daddy the best part of the chicken." Elaine (5).
(Another expression of love. 'Mummy' is putting 'Daddy's' needs before her own. Jesus told us to love others as we love ourselves. Everyone loves themselves. Do you hit yourself, lie to yourself, or steal from yourself? No, of course not! You all treat yourselves well. If you are thirsty, do you say "Oh I can't be bothered giving you a drink right now" ? No, you just give yourself a drink. In the same way that we are good to ourselves, we should be just as good to others).

"Love is when mummy sees daddy all smelly and sweaty, and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt." Chris (7).

Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and talk instead. My mummy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss." Emily (8).

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate." Nikka (6).
(A good answer. It is easy to be nice to people who are being nice to you, but very hard to be nice to those who are being nasty to you. But Jesus told us to "Love your enemies." Jesus wants us to be nice to everyone, even to those who are not nice back to us).

"There are two kinds of love, our love and God's love. But God made them both." Jenny (8).
(I think his is probably the best answer. The difference between human love and God's love is that human love is often conditional on the other person loving us back, whereas God's love is unconditional. Suppose you like someone, so start being good to them. If they are nice to you in return, you will carry on being nice to them - wonderful. But if that person is nasty to you in return, do you carry on being nice to them? Probably not. You probably won't want anything to do with that person anymore, or you may even start being nasty to them yourself. God's love is not like that. God's love is unconditional. He loves us because "God is love." He loves us even if we are nasty to others, Ignore Him, or even reject Him. These things all make God sad, but there is nothing anyone could possibly do that would ever make Him stop loving them. He always desires the very best for us).

Your questions answered - Is Jesus really God?

The belief that Jesus Christ is the God-Man, i.e. completely God and completely human in one Person is the basis of the Christian faith. Most people believe that Jesus was human, but some doubt that he was also God. So why then do we believe that Jesus is God Himself? Here are a number of reasons.

1. His self-centred claims. The self-centredness of Christ's teaching marks Him out from other religious teachers. He clearly thought of Himself as distinct from man and one with God.

a. Intimacy with God. Jesus made some astounding claims. For example He said, "I and the Father are one." (John 10.30). and "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14.9). Jesus also called Himself the 'Son of God.' In those days the word 'son' implied 'the same as' rather than 'dependent upon' or 'derived from' as it does today. This oneness that Jesus claimed with God was both unique and eternal (John 8.58).

b. Authority over men. Jesus did not think or speak of Himself as an ordinary man among men. He set Himself apart from the rest of mankind and claimed authority over them - to teach about God (Matthew 7.28,29) - to call men to Himself (Matthew 7.24-27; 10.37) thus making Himself the object of their faith, love and obedience - to forgive repentant sinners (Mark 2.5) - to judge the unrepentant (Matthew 7.21-23, Matthew 25.31-33).

Faced with these claims we cannot dismiss Jesus as just a good man or a great teacher. He was either deluded, a liar or divine. As C.S. Lewis the author of "The lion, the witch and the wardrobe" put it "Jesus was either mad, bad or God."

2. His balanced and humble conduct. Jesus did not behave like a person with delusions His character confirms His claims. Consider this paradox:-

His claims sound like a madman's, yet his conduct was poised and balanced.

His teaching appears proud, ("I am - - - the way, the truth and the life - - - the bread of life - - - the light of the world - - - the resurrection and the life") yet He was humble.

His words were thoroughly self-centred ("Come to me - - - ") yet His deeds were absolutely unselfcentred.

This combination of self-centredness and humility is unparalled in the history of the world.

3. His divine works. The miraculous works that Jesus did do not prove His divine (Godly) nature, but they are in accordance with it, and support His claims that He is God.

4. His bodily resurrection. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus was considered in the last (April) edition of Kidzone. His resurrection - like His divine works - do not prove His deity, but it is in accordance with it.

5. The claims of scripture. The scriptures clearly portray Jesus as God. Some passages (e.g. John 1.1-3 and Colossians 1.15-19) cannot be explained if jesus is not God.

Summary. The 'acid test' of Christianity stands or falls on the position we give to Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not God, then His death on the cross cannot possibly bring salvation to us. If He is God, His coming to earth, and supremely His death and resurrection is, for every person, by far the most important event in the history of mankind.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kidzone 4 - April 07.

Story - A free pardon.

Two schoolboys were great friends, doing many things together and generally enjoying each other's company. When they left school, however, their lives diverged. The first boy went to University, studied hard and qualified as a lawyer. In fact, eventually he became a Judge. Things didn't go so well for the second boy. He had little interest in study or work, got into 'bad' company and ended up pursuing a life of petty crime.

One day this second man was caught trying to steal some goods from a store. He was charged and sent to trial for his crime. Not really having much choice, he pleaded guilty. However, the Judge at his trial happened to be his old school friend! What would the Judge do? Would he be lenient towards his old friend and let him off, or would he demand that he pay the penalty for his crime?

Summing up, the Judge declared "You are guilty of this crime, and the law demands a fine be paid of $1,000." Then, to everyone's amazement, the Judge reached inside his pocket, pulled out his wallet, counted out $1,000 and paid the fine himself. Nobody could complain because the full requirements of the law had been met, but the guilty man went free because the Judge himself paid the penalty.

In the same way we are all guilty of breaking God's laws. But God (our Judge) paid the penalty for our sins Himself by becoming a man and dying on the cross. So now, by accepting what He has done for us, we can receive His free pardon and be declared right in His sight. And that is the Good News we remember each Easter time.

Illusions. Here are two illusions to help demonstrate what happened at the very first Easter.

a. The meaning of the cross. This illusion does require the lighting of a candle, so please get an adult to supervise you as you do this.

For this close-up illustration you will need a little coloured water (coloured lemonade or squash will do), a saucer, a short candle, a glass, a small coin and matches.

Presentation. This illustration explains what happened at the cross of Jesus.

State - that the coin represents you or me - place it in the saucer, towards the edge.
- that the coloured water represents our sins (t he wrong things we do) - pour it into the saucer until the coin is submerged.
- that the candle represents Jesus - stand it at the centre of the saucer, and light it.
- that the flame represents the life of Christ.

Take the glass and place it over the lighted candle. Within a few seconds, the flame will consume all the oxygen in the glass and be extinguished. However, it will have created a vacuum, which in turn, will draw the water up inside the glass (thus surrounding the candle) and leave the coin dry.

Summary. 1. The coloured water is drawn to the candle - Our sins were put on Jesus.
2. The flame goes our - Jesus gave up his life for us.
3. The coin becomes dry - Because our sins are now on Jesus, we go free.

b. The resurrection of Christ.

Preparation. This illusion will require a little practice, but it is well worth the effort. You will need a coin (Practice with a small one at first, then you may wish to try a larger one for a better effect), a clear glass, and a piece of thin clear balloon rubber, large enough to cover the top of the glass. (I have found that rubber, cut from a clear balloon, (e.g. Qualatex 'Diamond clear') is a good source of this - check out your local store).

Stretch the rubber in all directions, hold the coin on your finger and press it on the underside of the rubber. When you cease stretching, you will find - with practice - that the rubber will wrap itself a little way under the coin as well as covering the top. The coin will thus appear to be on top of the rubber sheet (actually it is underneath) because the rubber has been stretched so much that it will be almost invisible. Finally, stretch out the rubber and coin on the top of your glass, and secure with an elastic band around the rubber overhanging the top of the glass.

Illustration. Produce your glass, with rubber and coin in place. Ask for a volunteer. State that he/she is now going to push the coin right through the rubber sheet without making a hole, or even a tear, in it. Get your volunteer to push the coin firmly downwards with their finger. The coin will fall into the glass, leaving the rubber sheet intact.

This reminds us of the resurrection, when Jesus came right out of the tomb, while the stone was still in place. It also reminds us that in his resurrection body, Jesus was also able to pass through locked doors without leaving a hole in them! (see John 20.19).

Laugh break - Can you trust your senses?

Sometimes our natural senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste - let us down. However, there is one thing that will never let us down, one thing that is totally reliable - God's Word, the Bible.

Try out these hearing and eyesight tests on your friends or parents to show them that their senses are unreliable.

1. How many of each type of animal did Moses take onto the Ark?
(None. It was Noah who had the Ark).

2. You are the driver of a train. There are 30 passengers on board. At the first station, 10 passengers get off. At the second station, 5 passengers get on. What is the name of the train driver?
(You will probably have to repeat the question, using the right emphasis "You are the driver of a train - - - - " (Some people don't seem to know their own name!)..

3. It is noon. You look at your watch, the little hand is pointing to 3, and the big hand is pointing to 6. What time is it?
(Noon. If your little hand is pointing to 3, and your big hand to 6, your watch must have stopped!).

4. Let's all spell out the word S. T. O. P. together. Then I will ask you a simple question that you have to answer immediately. S. T. O. P. spells STOP. What do you do when you come to a green light?

5. Let's all spell out the word S. I. L. K. together. Then I will ask you a simple question that you have to answer immediately. S. I. L. K. spells SILK. What do cow's drink?

6. What do you put in a toaster?

7.If red houses are made of red bricks, blue houses are made of blue bricks, yellow houses are made of yellow bricks, orange houses are made of orange bricks, what are green houses made of?

8. You are in a race. Just before the end you overtake the person who is second. Where do you finish?

9. You are shown a bath full of water. You are then given a teaspoon, a cup and a bucket, and told to empty the bath. How would you do it?
(Pull the plug out).

10. Write out the following two sets of words on triangular pieces of paper or cardboard as shown. Show each sentence to your class, and ask them to study it carefully. After about 15 seconds, put the paper away and ask them what it said. Most will get it wrong, missing out a "The" and an "A" respectively.

In The
The Bush

In A
A Lifetime

Your Questions Answered - Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus. As Paul expressed it "If Christ was not raised from the dead, our faith is useless - - - - and we are to be pitied more than all men." ( 1 Corinthians 15. 14,19 ). Conversely, if Christ did rise from the dead, what He said and did is of vital importance to everyone who has ever been born onto this planet. So why do we believe that Jesus really did rise? There are three main reasons.

1. The disappearance of His body.

It is generally acknowledged that after Jesus was crucified and buried, His body disappeared. Three theories have been proposed by doubters to try and explain this.

A. Jesus didn't really die on the cross.

It is suggested that Jesus only fainted and later recovered in the tomb. However, this theory fails to explain how the experienced Roman soldiers at the cross became convinced that Jesus was dead, or how, after such a horrendous beating, Jesus became strong enough to roll away the stone sealing His tomb, and walk out unnoticed by the guards.

B. Jesus' enemies stole His body.

If this were true then, when the disciples later claimed that Jesus had risen from the dead, they would have easily been able to stop such talk by producing the dead body. This they were unable to do.

C. Jesus' disciples stole His body.

This theory fails to explain why the disciples would later risk their lives (by proclaiming that Jesus had risen from the dead) for something they knew to be a lie.

Such theories do not fit the facts or satisfy human reason. The only feasible explanation is that He rose!

2. The reappearances of Jesus.

The Bible records that after His death, Jesus appeared to more than 500 people on at least eleven occasions in a number of different places over a period of six weeks. These appearances were not hallucinations - for these arise from wishful thinking. In fact the disciples were at first sceptical. After the crucifixion of their leader, they were completely disillusioned and defeated. The last thing they expected to see was Jesus alive again.

3. The change in the Disciples.

This, and the consequent emergence of the church, is regarded as the most convincing evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. Shortly after the crucifixion, something happened to the disciples to change their disillusionment, defeat and fear to courage and conviction. From hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews, these early disciples suddenly began to risk their lives by going out to preach the Gospel to a hostile world. Only the resurrection of Jesus could explain this turn around.

People will always argue over the resurrection of Jesus, but the Bible says "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11.6). The only way anyone can discover for themselves whether Jesus really did rise and is alive today is to personally turn from their sins and put their trust in Him. Then they will "know" that Jesus is still very much alive!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kidzone - March 07.

Story - Wesley Steelberg.

Almost 100 years ago young Wesley Steelberg was on his own in the basement of his house doing his weekly chore - cleaning it up. It was a job he didn't really like, but he knew he had to be obedient to whatever his parents asked him to do. Suddenly Wesley heard someone calling his name "Wesley, Wesley." "That's my Dad" thought Wesley "He's the only other person in the house right now." Ascending from the basement, Wesley approached his dad. "Yes dad, what do you want?" His dad replied "What do you mean, what do I want?" "You called me." responded Wesley. "I most certainly did not " replied his dad, "Now get back down to the basement and finish your chore."

Feeling rather puzzled, Wesley returned to the basement "I'm sure someone called my name, but if it wasn't my dad, who could it be?" thought Wesley. Wesley had hardly started work again when he heard the voice a second time "Wesley, Wesley." "That's definitely my dad this time" thought Wesley as he came up from the basement again. "Yes dad, you definitely called me this time" said Wesley as he approached his dad. Wesley's dad began to look rather angry. "I did not call you" he retorted "If this is some trick of yours to get out of cleaning the basement, it's not going to work. Now get back down those stairs and finish your job."

Back in the basement, Wesley was beginning to feel a little scared. If his dad hadn't been calling out his name, who could it have been? "Wesley, Wesley" came the voice for the third time. A rather frightened Wesley ran up the basement stairs, three at a time! "You've been kidding me" said Wesley as he came up to his dad. "Please tell me you're having a joke with me. You've been calling out my name, and then pretending it wasn't you?"

Wesley's dad was just about to send his son back to the basement when he suddenly remembered a story that he'd read in the Bible about a little boy called Samuel who was about the same age as Wesley. Samuel worked in God's temple for the High Priest, Eli. One night while in his bed Samuel heard someone calling his name. He thought it must be Eli, but Eli said that it wasn't and sent Samuel back to his bed. Twice more, Samuel heard his name being called. On the third occasion, Eli worked out what must be happening. If he wasn't calling Samuel, it must be God! So Eli told Samuel to go back to his bed, but if he heard his name being called again to say "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." That is what happened, and God did speak to Samuel in an audible voice - and told him lots of things that were going to happen to Eli's family.

Wesley's dad thought "If God could speak to Samuel in an audible voice, perhaps He also wanted to speak to Wesley in the same way." Thus Wesley was instructed to return to the basement, but if he heard his name being called again to say "Yes God, what do you want?"

A fourth time Wesley heard his name being called "Yes God, what do you want" he replied. And God did speak to him. He said "I want you to go to your next door neighbour and tell him that I love him and sent my Son, Jesus to die for his sins." Wow! Not only was God speaking to him, He was actually giving him a job to do - and there is nothing more important than being used by God. There was only one problem. Wesley didn't really like his next door neighbour, because he was a bit of a 'grumpy' man. However Wesley reasoned that if God was telling him to go to the man, it must be important, so he was obedient.

Wesley knocked on his neighbour's door, and asked to see the man. However, he was told that he couldn't do so because the man was very sick. In fact, he was not expected to live for much longer. Wesley pleaded to be allowed to see his neighbour, and eventually was allowed into his bedroom to deliver God's message. "God has sent me to tell you that He loves you, and sent his Son, Jesus to die for your sins." On hearing the message, the sick man immediately burst into tears.

As it turned out, that man had lived all his life as though God didn't exist. He just lived a very self-centred life. In fact, he wasn't even sure if God was real. But when he got sick and realised that he was dying, he became very worried because he didn't know what would happen to him after he died. So that very day he had prayed for probably one of the first times ever. His prayer was "God, if you are real, if you really exist, send someone to tell me about you." And God heard and answered his prayer. God didn't send a famous preacher to the man, or even the local Pastor. He sent the little boy from next door!

That night the sick man repented of his sins and gave his life to Jesus. Shortly afterwards he died, and we believe he went straight to heaven, not because he had led a good life, but because, in the end, he had put his trust in Jesus.

When Wesley Steelberg grew up, he became quite a famous preacher, and used to speak to thousands of people about Jesus in his meetings. But God first began to speak to and use Wesley while he was still a young boy. This reminds us that you don't have to be old (or clever, or rich) to be used by God. You only have to be one thing - Obedient, just like Wesley.

Conclusion. God can speak to us in many different ways, the most common one being through His Word, the Bible. But the way He choses to speak to us is not important. The important thing is: Will we be like Wesley and be obedient to what God says?

Illusion - WOW / MOM.

All you need for this illustration is a square piece of cardboard - ideally about 30 cm x 30 cm. On one side of the cardboard write the word "MOM" (The American for Mum) in large letters. On the other side of the cardboard, again write the word "MOM" in large letters, but this time from bottom to top.
Hold the cardboard in front of yourself, with your left hand grasping the top left hand corner, and your right hand grasping the bottom right hand corner. Practice twisting the card over. The secret is to keep your hands still, and let the card make all the movements. Now, change your hand positions. Grasp the bottom left hand corner with your left hand, and the top right hand corner with your right hand. Twist the card over a few times as before. You will note that - depending on where your hands are placed - you can make the word "MOM" appear to either read the same on both sides of the cardboard, or to keep changing to the word "WOW" as the card is twisted.
With a little practice, you will be ready to try this out on your mom (mum). Turn the card in the appropriate way as you say "MOM, whenever I think of you MOM, I have to say WOW, MOM, WOW, MOM. You're so good to me MOM, that I have to say WOW, WOW, WOW, all the time MOM.
On one side of the cardboard draw a large horizontal arrow. On the other side of the cardboard draw a large vertical arrow.
You are now ready to illustrate any story which involves a change of direction (or repentance), e.g. Jonah, Zacchaeus or Saul. I often use this method to share my testimony as follows, changing the direction of the arrow at the appropriate places:-
Once I always went my own way ( <- ) and did my own thing ( <- ) . Nobody, not even God could get me to change my direction ( <- ). But then I heard the good news about Jesus Christ. He said to me what He says to us all - "Instead of going your way ( <- ), you need to turn round and start going My way ( -> ). Instead of living a life centred around yourself ( <- ), you need to centre your life around Me ( -> )." For a little while, I wasn’t sure what to do. Whether to continue going my way ( <- ), or to turn around and start going Jesus' way ( -> ). But then I decided that the best thing I could do was to turn and start going Jesus' way ( -> ), because I saw that His way was the best way ( -> ). For the last 20 years I have been going His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ) all the time.
Having tried out your square piece of cardboard a few times, you may wish to try out your story with an Octagon (eight sides). This is essentially the same as for the square, but it has the advantage that - by grasping the shape at two opposite corners - you are also able to make the arrow point vertically upwards or downwards.( With a little practice, you should soon become proficient ).You could then conclude your story as follows :-
Going Jesus' way (-> ) is the best way, because His way ( -> ) leads you Upwards towards God. His way ( -> ) leads you Upwards. But does your way ( <- ) lead you towards God ? No, your way ( <- ) leads you Downwards away from God. So the best thing you can do is to go His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ), His way (-> ) all the time.

Challenge. How tall was the giant, Goliath? If you email the correct answer to , I will send you details of how to do a special illusion.

Laugh break - Body challenges.
Here are some fun challenges for you and your friends to attempt. Some are fairly easy, but others are very hard. You will need to look in a mirror to check whether you can do some of these, or you can get a friend to check you out. Remember - No cheating! I am told that one of these challenges is impossible. See if you can work out which one. Who Knows? Perhaps you will become the first person ever to achieve this challenge.

1. Touch the tip of your nose with your tongue.
2. Balance on one leg for 10 sec., with your eyes closed, without wobbling.
3. Pat your head, rub your tummy and hop, all at the same time.
4. Touch your toes without bending your knees.
5. Wiggle your ears.
6. Wink an eye, without moving your mouth.
7. Lick your elbow.
8. Put your big toe in your mouth.
9. Pick up a pencil with your toes.
10. Twitch your nose.
11. Take a deep breath, then hold your breath for 1 minute.

Scores. I managed to achieve 4. (But I am probably a lot older than you). If you score 6 or 7, that is good. If you score 8, 9, or 10, that is excellent. If you score 11 -YOU MUST HAVE CHEATED!

Your Questions Answered.

Why is my brother / sister nasty to me?
(This is one of the questions I am asked most often.)

"Before I answer your question, can I ask you "How about you ? Are you nasty to your brother / sister ? It is very easy for us to see the faults in others, but very hard to see the faults in ourselves. Brothers and sisters are often nasty to each other, and to understand why, we have to go back to the garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, that brought sin into the world, and spoiled everything. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve and have been born with a selfish nature that wants its own way. Children soon realise that being selfish all the time often gets them in to trouble, so they learn to control their behaviour, especially when they are outside their home environment. However, without Jesus, their selfish nature is still there. When you live with the same persons day after day ( like brothers and sisters ), this selfishness is bound to show itself from time to time, often resulting in "nastiness" to each other.

If your brother or sister is really nasty to you, there are two important things you can do. Firstly, pray that they will hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and allow Him to begin to change their selfish nature. Secondly, whenever your brother / sister is nasty to you, then you be nice to them. The Bible tells us that we are to defeat evil, not with evil, but rather with good. (Romans 12.21).That can be a really hard thing to do, but if you persist in being nice to them, then usually they will start being nice to you !