When I was a kid there was a sign I saw every year at summer camp. It said, "Don't say no to Jesus. He's your best friend." That has stuck with me for over 50 years, but what does that mean? How can Jesus be my best friend?
A best friend is someone who you trust.
A best friend is someone who you enjoy being with.
A best friend is someone who always tells you the truth, even if hurts, because they care for you.
Sometimes best friend last a whole lifetime. Sometimes a best friend lasts only for a certain grade or certain place you live. But a best friend is someone you will never forget.
There's a kids song that we sing that says, "Jesus is my best friend. He's always there for me! On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Jesus is my best friend. He's always there for me!" And that's the truth. Jesus is someone who you can trust and He cares for you very, very much.
Almost 400 years ago the first recipe showed up for a frozen chocolate treat that later we will call ice cream. It was a very special dessert for wealthy people in Europe with a mixture of several ingredients (including cocoa) and then frozen. The most popular day for eating ice cream is Sunday.
Chocolate ice cream was even invented before vanilla ice cream. Chocolate is the second favorite flavor or all ice creams? Can you guess the others in the top 5? #1 is ....., #2 is chocolate, #3 is ....., #4 and #5????
Have you ever made chocolate ice cream? I've seen lots of kids put chocolate topping on their vanilla ice cream and before I know it they have it all swirled together to make a bowl of chocolate ice cream. Somehow it just tastes better when the chocolate is all swirled together, doesn't it?
What about Jesus? Does He want to be just a little topping on our life, or does He want to be all swirled in? You're right. Jesus wants to be mixed into our lives so that He can be seen in every part of our day. When we wake up we act like Jesus, and when we go to bed we act like Jesus, and every time in between. So many people think that going to church or talking like a Christian is enough. But it is not. That is like putting a little chocolate on top of vanilla ice cream and calling it chocolate ice cream. It isn't chocolate until it is all swirled in. Jesus wants to be swirled in. He wants to truly CHANGE us by being swirled in!!
Oh yeah, the ice cream favorites? #1 is vanilla, #2 is chocolate, #3 is cookies-n-cream, #4 is mint choc.chip, and #5 is chocolate chip. (Depending on what list you believe.)
What is your favorite way to eat cheese?
Macaroni and cheese?
Cheese ball with crackers?
Grilled cheese sandwich?
Egg and cheese omelet?
Ham and cheese sandwich?
Cheese balls at the fair?
Wow! I didn't know this list was going to get so long! There are so many ways to eat cheese. Did you know that on June 4, 1964 the largest cheese was put on display at the New York World's Fair. It weighed over 34,000 pounds! Cheese is one of those foods that you can enjoy just plain, or you can put it in something to make it taste even better. There are over 900 varieties of cheese. What's your favorite? I like Swiss cheese because it reminds me of my dad. (That's a different story.)
Cheese is mentioned only four times in the Bible, twice in 1 Samuel and twice in Job. The familiar story in 1 Samuel 17 is when David takes food to his brothers who are fighting the Philistines. David's father, Jesse, sent David with food and TEN kinds of cheese to feed and encourage his brothers. Of course you remember that when David got there he heard a giant making fun of the God of the Hebrew army. David took 5 smooth stones and a sling and with the first stone he killed the giant! (Maybe he was extra smart and brave because he had just eaten TEN kinds of cheese!?)
I don't really think of cheese as "comfort food", but that's what Jesse used to encourage his sons in battle. I do think of a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup on a cold wintry day as food to warm up a person. Grilled cheese sandwiches were really first introduced after processed cheese was patented by James Kraft in about 1914. It was called "rattrap cheese" by the English who took great pride in their un-processed cheese. During WWII there were lots of grilled cheese sandwiches served to the soldiers (usually with just one piece of bread).
So, the lesson today is that God can use many different things to encourage us. Maybe it is a pile of cheese sent to the battle from your father. Maybe it is a grilled cheese sandwich served to soldiers. God uses the little things, insignificant things, to encourage. Look around today. What is he using to encourage / comfort you today? For me, yesterday it was a puppy. Today it might be cheese. God knows what you need.
Have you ever played a "mirror game"? Repeat everything your friend does or says. It is really fun, and get really annoying very quickly.
This is supposed to be a fun day that you repeat yourself. Like eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch. Or maybe take two showers this morning. You could repeat your morning routine -- brush your teeth twice, comb your hair twice, kiss your mom twice! This could be fun to see all of the things that you do every day. When you really pay attention you might be surprised how many things could be repeated.
Does the Bible have any message that it repeats often? Yep, it sure does! There is a phrase that is repeated 365 times -- that is one time for every day of the year! God says, "Do not be afraid" 365 times! Don't be afraid on Monday. Don't be afraid on Tuesday. Don't be afraid on Wednesday. Don't be afraid on Thursday. Don't be afraid on Friday. Don't be afraid on Saturday. Don't be afraid on Sunday. Don't be afraid on Monday. Don't be afraid on Tuesday. Don't be afraid on Wednesday. I think you get the message. Don't be afraid.
Why shouldn't we be afraid? Because God see everything that is happening and He loves us. He will protect us from evil and help us to be safe. God has a master plan for each of us. As we love Him and serve Him He will guide and direct us in the best path. We can trust on Monday. We can trust on Tuesday. We can trust on Wednesday. Get the message?
Repeat Day is a fun day to play a little game of mirror with someone. It also a great day to think of the words that God repeats to us every day. Don't be afraid.
The first dental college in America opened in 1840, and dentistry is ranked as one of the best jobs in America, depending where you read. Babies start to get teeth at about 6 months and will evidently have 20 teeth: 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom. Through childhood you will loose your baby teeth and by your late teen years you will have 32 teeth.
Taking care of your teeth is pretty important for lots of reasons, one of the important reasons is so that you can eat lots of great food! If you brush regularly, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings you may not have any trouble with your teeth. Some people have softer teeth than others which might make dentist visits more unpleasant.
Just like our teeth, sometimes it is hard to understand why God would give us something and then take it away. Why would we go through all the pain to get teeth and then have to loose all of them. When thinking about teeth it might be easy to understand. We have to loose our baby teeth so that we get bigger and more adult teeth. But in life, it's not quite as easy to understand why we have to lose something.
There are several verses in the Bible that teach that often we have to lose something to gain something even better. Paul even says to live is Christ, but to die is gain. (Phil 1:21) Can you think of anything that you had, and then lost, and then got something even better? Have that conversation with your parent and ask them the same question. God takes care of us and knows exactly what we need and will help us understand the loss and gains in life.
Oh yeah, today is the day to be thankful for your dentist and your teeth.