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."
Jimmy looked at the sign which said "GRANNY LOVEJOY'S HELP YOURSELF STALL. SWEETS AND TOYS FOR EVERYONE. NOTHING 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