May 20 - World Bee Day
I found some really interesting facts about bees on the internet.
How many miles does a bee have to fly to make one pound of honey?
How many flowers does a bee have to visit to gather nectar to make one pound of honey?
How many flowers does a bee visit in one collection trip? The answers really surprised me and before I tell you the answers I want you to think about something else.
Did you know that there are an estimated 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 different insects in the world? That is 10 quintillion. Ten with 18 zeros! I don't know who counted all of them, but that number is bigger than I can even imagine. Think of the creative imagination that God had on day five when He created the swimming and flying things.
Bees have a very important role in nature. Bees pollinate nearly 3/4 of the plants in the world that provide 1/3 of all of our food. Think about that. On average, every third spoonful has something that was affected by bees. We have some people in our church who have bee hives and sell honey. It is really good for you and the closer to your home that the honey is harvested, the better it is for you.
I'm amazing at God's handiwork. All of the stars. All of the animals. All of the different kinds of people. And all of the bees in the world. He had a perfect plan for how this world would survive and He uses even the small bees to do a very important job. He also uses small people -- like you-- to do important jobs too. You might be the only one in the world who can encourage someone. Even when you are little He has a job for you every day. Every day tell Jesus "yes, whatever you want from me today!'
Oh, yeah. The answers to the questions. Bees fly 90,000 miles (three times around the earth) to make one pound of honey. A bee has to visit two million flowers to make a pound of honey. A bee will visit 50-100 flowers during a collection trip. (info from https://nationaldaycalendar.com/world-bee-day-may-20/)
May 19 - May Ray Day
Do you know anyone named Ray? It's not a very common name but today was named after a guy named Ray, but the emphasis of today was to get out and enjoy the sun's rays. May is still considered spring, but for many of us, it is the month that starts to feel like summer (except for the occasional early May snow storm that Minnesota can get). Spending time in the sunshine feels so good, and it is good for us. The vitamin D that we get from the sun helps strengthen our bones, supports our lung function, regulates our natural insulin, and supports our immune, brain, and nervous system health. And I think that people smile more when they are in the sunshine. That's a long list of very important benefits from sunshine. (Of course, too much sun can burn our skin if we are not properly protected.)
As our earth rotates around the sun, we use the sun to set our calendar and our seasons. The sun is what gives our planet Earth light, heat, and energy. It holds our whole solar system together. It is a powerful center of attention and it is hard to imagine anything that is more powerful than the sun. I can only think of one power that is stronger than the Sun and that is the God who created the sun. With God just speaking the words, "Let there be light" the sun was created. God didn't have to struggle and work hard to create this enormous, powerful mass of energy and light -- He just used his words to create it. Wow. Just wow!
I know I'm going to spend some time in the rays of the sun today. I will close my eyes and just enjoy the warmth and I will thank God for His power in the universe, and in my life. Thanks, Ray, for this special day to celebrate the creator of all rays!
May 18 - No Dirty Dishes Day
I hope you are reading this early in the morning, because it is important that you celebrate this wacky holiday for the WHOLE DAY. It is NO Dirty Dishes Day! So from breakfast through bedtime snack we are not going to use any dishes that need to be washed. I think there is three ways to accomplish this. Eat at fast food or a restaurant for every meal (not likely to happen), use disposable dishes all day, or eat food that doesn't need dishes. Probably the last option is maybe the best.
Let's come up with a list of things that we can have that don't need a dish. How about toast for breakfast (but you can't use a knife for the peanut butter unless you have a disposable one). For lunch you could have a hot dog that you warm up in the microwave on a paper towel. Supper looks like it has to be something you cook in the microwave on a paper plate like chicken nuggets. Use the same plate for your ranch dressing. Remember that your drinks can't use a glass either. No silverware, no plates, no glasses, and no pots and pans. It might be pretty hard, but with some creative thinking you can do it!!
So why it important to celebrate this wacky holiday today? It might help you to creatively think about all that you eat and drink today. Have you ever thought about how many dirty dishes are created every day at your house? I bet your mom has! Today I want you to think about it, and then remember that we never have to worry about what we are going to eat or drink or wear or where the money is going to come from to pay for all of it. The Bible says in Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." That means that as rich as Jesus is, that is where He is going to get everything you need. Think about that today, and then tomorrow maybe you want to promise to help your mom with the dishes!
May 17 - Pack Rat Day
Bigger a mouse, the wood rat is a name that is given to over 20 species of rats that live throughout the United States and elsewhere. The pack rat, one of the wood rat species, is especially known for gathering things for his nest, and even just for his pile of stuff outside his nest. The "pile" is called a midden. It might contain bones, sticks, and other things stolen from humans. He has especially a keen eye for shiny things. If he is carrying something and sees something else that is shiny, he will drop whatever he has just so he can carry the shiny items.
Sometimes people are called a "pack rat" because they gather worthless things or have a hard time getting rid of things. These might be things that have absolutely no value, or maybe just aren't needed anymore. It reminds me of a friend who was cleaning out his grandmother's house after she had died. In the top of the closet they found a box labeled, "Pencils, too short to sharpen." My question is, why would you keep them if you can't ever sharpen them? That is what a human pack rat is.
I am a pack rat. I have books that I read 20 years ago and will never read again. I have papers my kids did in Kindergarten that really have no particular value or meaning, but my kids touched them once so they might want them again someday. I have old storage containers that I might need again someday.
Sometimes people who lived through the depression have a tendency to save things because they remember the days when they didn't have anything. Sometimes people who don't have much food at home tend to gather food items just in case they get hungry. Sometimes we gather things just to fill our closets and sheds. But the Bible says in Matthew, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin (critters) destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So today would be a good day to look around at the stuff you've saved. Do you need it? Are you a pack rat? Make sure that you are storing your treasures in heaven instead of your own "midden".
May 16 - Biographer's Day
A biography is a true story written about someone else. A biographer is the author of a biography.
In order to write a biography, an author must study the subject of his book. It is said that the best biographers write a story after living with a person, watching their every move and listening to what they talk about, who they love, and where they go. It is true that an author can write a biography on a person whom they have never met, but that is much harder.
This day is named in honor of an English writer, Hames Boswell, who wrote about the life of another biographer, Samuel Johnson in 1763.
There is a popular series of children's books on the school library shelves that are biographies. It is called the "Who Is/Who Was" series with over 150 titles. It includes titles like, "Who Was Lucille Ball?", "Who Was Mother Teresa?", "Who was Winston Churchill?" and "Who Was Davy Crockett?". They are very easy to read and we can learn so much about a person, from the author's point of view.
If someone was to write a book called, "Who is Jesus?", who would be the best person to write such a book? Maybe one of his disciples who lived with him for 3 years? Maybe someone who lived at the same time and watched Jesus' life? Maybe someone who was a good friend of Jesus? All of these are correct, and you can find 4 biographies about Jesus at the very beginning of the New Testament written by people who knew Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are the best kind of biographers: people who knew him, lived with him, traveled with him, and personally listened to him speak. It makes their account of his life very believable, especially when their stories are verified by other people and historians.
Over 40 authors wrote parts of the Bible. Many were biographers, reporting the stories of another person's life. We can believe the whole Bible, so today would be a great day to read one of the biographies in the Bible. Maybe start with the book of John.
May 15 - Straw Hat Day
Even though June 20 is the first day of summer, today is Straw Hat Day which is an early sign of summer. In years past it was very common for men (and women) to wear heavy wool hats through the cold months. But on May 15, the wool hats were stored away and the cooler straw hat was brought out as the preferred head covering.
Straw hats are worn in almost every culture and social class. President Roosevelt was known for his "Panama" straw hat. But there was an unwritten rule in the early 1900's that you were NOT supposed to wear a straw hat beyond September 15. If you spotted someone wearing a straw hat after September 15, it was "accepted" to knock the person's hat off and stomp on it.
Some people took the ritual so seriously and in 1922 a riot broke out in New York and many people ended up in the hospital or in jail. The riot and fight started over someone stomping on someone's straw hat. That's really too bad. What started out as just a change of hat for the season, ended up hurting a lot of people.
Is there a spiritual lesson to think about today as you find your straw hat? What comes to mind is the verse in Ephesians 4:22-24 where Paul tells us to put off your old self and put on the new self that was created after the likeness of God. Put away your old things (wool hat or your old sinful ways) and put on something new (like a straw hat, or start your new life in Jesus.) 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that when we start a new faith walk with Jesus that the "old is gone, the new is come." Maybe your hat can remind you today that you are a new person in Jesus.
Buttermilk biscuits are a lot like bread except that biscuits are made with baking soda or baking powder instead of yeast. You can mix them up and pop them right in the oven; no need to let them raise before you bake them. This makes biscuits a favorite, especially with gravy or jelly. McDonald's has great biscuits and you can order them with just jelly. That's my favorite -- a warm biscuit and grape jelly that drips through my fingers. Anyone want to run to McDonald's with me?
Now when I think of a quick "bread" to eat, I think about the story of the Hebrew people who left Egypt in such a hurry that they didn't have time to let their bread rise so their bread was flat, almost like a cracker. Why did they leave in such a hurry? Do you remember? It was because Moses (and God!) had convinced Pharaoh to let the Hebrews leave their lives of slavery to go back to the Promised Land. It took a lot of plagues and disasters, but Pharaoh finally agreed. So they left quickly.
Every year as a way to remember leaving Egypt they celebrate with a Passover meal with that same flat bread. Jesus ate that Passover meal the night he was betrayed by Judas before He was crucified. And we still remember that Last Supper that Jesus had with our celebration of communion. We take that little cup of grape juice and a little piece of flat cracker and thank God for what Jesus did for us on the cross and for his forgiveness of our sins! Buttermilk biscuits are a lot like that communion bread. A bread that doesn't use yeast, eaten with grape jelly (just like the grape juice we use for communion).
Think about this today: If you haven't said "thanks" to Jesus recently for his forgiveness, this would be a great day to do that. Maybe you and your mom could whip up a batch of biscuits to celebrate this day.
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May 13 - Frog Jumping Day
Today is Frog Jumping Day and it reminds of a frog jumping contest that I went to when I was a kid. Much like the turtle races, everyone lined up their frog on a circle and encouraged their frog to jump to the outer circle. There was lots of noise and clapping and stomping to encourage the frogs to move. It's pretty amazing how high and far a frog can jump when he wants to.
There are 14 different kinds of frogs in Minnesota in three categories: toads, tree frogs, and true frogs. They like to live in wet lands and in the evening they "sing" really loud. It is a fun reminder when spring and summer is really here. We listen for the frogs.
Do you remember the frog story in the Bible? It was one of the plagues that happened in Egypt before the Hebrew people left with Moses. Pharaoh wouldn't listen and God covered the land with frogs. Before this, the Egyptians worshiped frogs. Really? really. But when God sent the plague of frogs they filled every home in the land. The Bible says they even got into the ovens and the dishes, and when the frogs died they piled them up in stinky piles. Gross! The Egyptian people worshiped a frog-headed god, and our God showed that He had control over even something that they worshiped. There is nothing that is more powerful than our God, and nothing that is worshiped by anyone, anywhere is better than our God. He is the God over all gods!
Something to think about: listen for the frogs and think about things that some people think is more important than worshiping God. Is it fishing, or hunting, or snowmobiling? Is it sports or hobbies or family? Is it nature or frogs? Tell God today that you will worship ONLY HIM.
May 12 - National Nurses Day
Probably never before has so much attention been drawn to the important work that nurses do. This COVID-19 pandemic has made all of aware and appreciate the work of a nurse! We are so grateful for their work.
This special day, National Nurses Day, was established in 1952; May 12 was chosen because it was the birthday of Florence Nightingale who was the founder of modern nursing.
Do you know any nurses or anyone who works in the medical field. Nurses work at nursing homes, clinics, medical offices, and even schools. They do very important work from taking temperatures to giving shots and medicines. I can think of several nurses (at various levels from CNA to RN) who attend our church. Can you think of any? Today would be a great day to send them a quick email or phone call to say thanks.
God uses medicine and people who have studies medicines and our bodies to bring healing to us. Sometimes he works through therapy, casts or splints, medicines, and medical machines like respirators to heal our bodies. Sometimes God does miracles and heals us without medicine. I've seen medical miracles, have you? Jeremiah 30:17 says, "But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD". Do you know of anyone who needs healing from sickness or pain? Spend a few minutes today talking to God about healing, and thank Him for any nurse you know. And sometime today ask your parents to tell you of any medical healings they have seen.
May 11 - "Eat What You Want" Day
This is the one day in the year that you have my permission to eat whatever you want, except things you are allergic to. Please note, I did not say, "eat whatever quantity you want of whatever you want."
I always wondered who said that pancakes are for breakfast, pizza is for supper, hot dogs are for picnics, and ice cream is only for special occasions. Today is the day that meatballs for breakfast are A-OK. Bananas with a peanut butter is OK for lunch, and if you don't want to eat brussel sprouts, today you get a pass.
In the Old Testament, God set up several dietary laws on what His people should and should not eat. Many of these rules were God's way of keeping His people healthy as they moved across the desert to find the promised land. These laws were very different than the food rules we have today. Now we have special dieticians who help us understand the balance of food that we should eat every day. They have very good reasons for their rules and it really is best to try to follow their rules including a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.
We want to have balance because our body really belongs to God! I Corinthians 6:19 says, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God. You do not belong to yourself." Our body is where the Holy Spirit lives and we should try to keep our bodies healthy with our food and exercise. So today, when you celebrate this ONE day of eating what you want, think of one thing you could do better to stay healthy and let's start that new habit tomorrow. What will it be?
Writen by Sue Van Hal, Children's Church Leader