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.