Archive for April, 2010

Are You Taking Your Bible for Granted?

BBC News, on Aug. 14, 2009, reported the death of Kimani Nganga Maruge, age 90. Kimani held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person, at age 84, to start elementary school. He explained that he never had the opportunity to go to school when he was younger, and that he wanted to go school to learn how to read the Bible. Wow! I imagine we sometimes take for granted our ability to read God’s Word.

Voice of the Martyrs reports that, on June 10, 2009, Shi Weihan was sentenced to three years in prison for violating “the regulations of the state in printing illegal publications”.  Shi was a Christian bookstore owner whose company printed Bibles for Chinese Christians. Police removed over 140,000 Bibles from his printing offices (www.persecution.com). The Bible has been declared illegal in many countries. Do we take our Bibles for granted?

We all have Bibles, probably more than one. Different translations, study Bibles, travel-size Bibles. Most of the boys and girls in Awana probably have Bibles, and if they don’t, the church will give them one.

Referring to the Bible, Pastor Greg Alderman, while speaking at the 2009 IFCA Youth Convention, said, “Many of you this moment hold in your hands the greatest collection of human words ever assembled.  They are more than an amazing collection of words – they are exact phrases, words, ideas, concepts, stories, poetry, history, prophecy, parables, accounts, descriptions, lists, genealogies, records and commands that the Living God of the universe wanted mankind to possess – and I ask – Is it inside you?”

We need to not only get God’s Word inside us, but also thank God for people like Kimani Nganga Maruge  and Shi Weihan who love His Word and remind us not to take it for granted.  ~Laurie P

“I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word(Psalm 119:16).

“The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:72).

Candy’s Not the Only Motivator

While it’s fun to motivate clubbers to say sections by offering candy, there are other non-sugary methods that parents appreciate:

  • Give clubber’s a sticker for each section recited.  Clubbers can try to fill up the inside cover of their handbook, or you can keep a chart for their progress.
  • Bring a container of small toys or puzzles (Legos, Silly Putty, etc) as rewards for saying sections. 
  • Draw a star, smiley face, or picture next to the section they completed.  Or write something to encourage them…Way to Go!  Excellent!
  • Buy a few small items, assign a “sections” price to each one, encourage your clubbers to complete sections so they can earn their prize.  When they see it each week in your basket, it will remind them of their goal to complete sections.

Any ideas that have worked for your handbook group?  Pass them along through the comments section.

Souls of Children

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”  — C.S. Lewis

Have you ever thought about that? We know that our present body is only temporary. Our soul is eternal.

 Randy Alcorn explains it this way: “Your life on earth is a dot. From that dot extends a line that goes on for all eternity” (www.epm.org).

During our short time on this earth, what does God have for us to do? What should our priorities be? Let’s narrow that down and ask: what should our priorities be in working with the boys and girls in Awana? It really boils down to thinking about what matters most for our souls and the souls of the children we work with.

How about Game time? Our bodies are designed to require exercise, and having fun can be a good thing, but that’s not the most important part of Awana. Council time? This can be a great opportunity to present truth to the kids, but the most important part of Awana has got to be studying and memorizing God’s Word.

God’s Word tells us how to receive forgiveness and eternal life. God’s Word tells us what He wants us to do now and helps prepare us for eternity. God’s Word is necessary food for our soul. 

Randy Alcorn goes on to say, “Are you living for the dot or the line? Are for living for earth or heaven? Are you living for the short today or the long tomorrow? Let’s live now in light of eternity.”

“One day we’ll be with the Person we were made for, living in the Place we were made for. Joy will be the air we breathe. … We should remind ourselves regularly that the best is yet to be. … This assurance will help us here and now live self-controlled and disciplined lives of deferred gratification, knowing that eternal rewards await us in the presence of our Lord…” (Randy Alcorn, in Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints, p. 91).

Digging into God’s Word and memorizing God’s Word are the kind of tasks that are worthwhile now as they help prepare our souls for eternity. Let’s live for the line, not just the dot.

“I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12b).

~Laurie P