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.
Sometimes I wonder why makes up these special days? Today is no exception? Who decided to have a National Nail Polish Day? and why? Well, as you could have predicted, this special day was declared by a nail polish company in 2017. They claim that June 1 is the day that people start worrying about their nails for the summer.
Essie, the nail polish company, believe that everyone is more concerned in the summer about their fingernails, and toe nails, because it has become a point of fashion and, of course, you wouldn't want to be out fashion on this beginning of summer!
What isn't being said by Essie and others, is that the outward appearance is not what defines us. It's nice to have cute nails, and it is fun to show off our nice pedicure when we wear sandals. But is more important is the condition of our heart. What is on the inside needs our full attention. The Bible says in I Samuel 16:7, "For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
Today's challenge is to enjoy a new color of polish on your nails, girls, but to think about how much you love others with your whole heart.
If you spend any time with a young child, you will know that God built in to us the desire to smile. Babies are said to smile 400 times a day, while an adult smiles about 20. Where did our smile go? Why don't adults enjoy life like kids do?
I suppose it is because of all the stress of today's world. Maybe there is stress about money or family or relationships. Maybe adults have forgotten how smiling and joy is actually good for their health.
There have been some recent studies that show that smiling have at least these 7 health benefits:
1. Improved Mood
2. Relieves Pain
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
4. Builds a Stronger Immune System
5. Relieves Stress
6. Creates Better Relationships
7. Gives a Younger Appearance.
Would it surprise you if I told you that over 2700 years ago, God said, "A merry heart does good like a medicine."? Proverbs also says, "A glad heart makes a happy face." God knew that our health depends on our smile. He even said that the fruit of the Spirit is JOY.
Here is today's challenge. Kids, try to make the adults in your life smile at least 100 times today. Tell a funny joke, remind them of a funny story, do something silly, or give them a hug. It will relieve their stress, and make your day better.
What is the job of a paperclip? That seems like an easy question with an easy answer. It holds stuff together.
What does it hold together? Another easy answer. It holds papers together.
It was originally designed to hold labels on fabric. Could a paperclip still be used for that? Sure, you say. What else could it hold together? How about a hem? How about a broken necklace? How about holding a light chain together? Yeah, sure.
How about people? Can it hold people together? Oh, now that seems a little out of the capacity of a paperclip. It is just a little wire thing that was invented in about 1867 by Samuel Fey. No, it's not really something that can hold people together. But wait. As I read the history books about life in Norway in the early years of World War 2, I read about how Germany was invading Norway and killing the Jewish people there. It was incorrectly believed that a Norwegian Jew had invented the paperclip and so there was a secret plan for everyone who supported the Jewish people to wear a paperclip on their lapel. It was a silent protest and symbol of resistance against the invasion of the Nazis from Germany. The secret worked for awhile until the Nazi army discovered the reason for the paperclip so they banned the wearing of paperclips. Sounds like the paperclip was holding people together.
There is another story of a school in Whitwell, Tennessee who collected over 30 million paperclips. It was a part of a learning project about the Holocaust and the terrible things that happened in Europe to over 11 million people. Six million were Jews and over 1.5 million victims were children. These school children in Tennessee collected paperclips over several years as a way to fight racism and hatred. Their project brought hope and inspiration to their whole community. Looks like the paperclip brought that community together.
The paperclip is a great way to hold things together. The Bible tells of something else that binds us together. That is LOVE. Love is what brings unity to our world. Oh how we need this message of unity right now! The world is full of hatred and sin. We need God. We need love. Will you please wear a paperclip on your shirt today to remind yourself to love all people? Thanks.
Have you had a good hamburger on the grill yet this summer? I did just a few days ago. I also had a fast food hamburger today and I think they are serving hamburgers for summer school lunch next week. Hamburgers are one of those meals that thousands enjoy every day. In fact, I read that McDonald's serves 6.48 MILLION hamburgers every day.
A hamburger can be enjoyed with many different types of condiments. I prefer just ketchup and mustard. Some people add pickles, cheese, mayo, lettuce, onion, bacon, and tomato. The official hamburger is made of beef, but some "hamburgers" are made out of ground turkey, ground venison, or maybe even ground bison meat.
No one really knows for sure who "invented" the hamburger but we are pretty sure that that first hot meat sandwich was named after Hamburg, Germany. It became popular in America at the 1904 World Fair, the same year that the ice cream cone had its start. I am quite confident that the hamburger will be enjoyed for many years to come, celebrating summer on the grills of homes around the world.
One of the reasons that hamburgers are so popular is that they are so consistent. There's not many ways to change the basic ingredients -- hamburger and a bun. It's pretty predictable and can be considered a "comfort food". Reminds me a little of Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is consistent -- much more than the common hamburger. Jesus can be trusted to keep His promises and to be as strong and caring today as He was in the Bible. He can still do miracles. He can stop a storm. He can heal people from diseases. The same. Yesterday, Today, Forever!
Have a burger today. Try to change it up a little today but know there is no way to ever change Jesus. He will always care about you!
Cellophane tape was invented early in 1930 by Richard Gurley Drew after he had already invented masking tape to be used in auto body shops. He worked for 3M based in St. Paul, Minnesota and was trying to solve a problem for packaging companies. Another company, DuPont, had created a clear crinkly packaging that we think of inside cracker boxes or breakfast cereal. That product was called cellophane. Drew was searching for a product to seal these bags and used his masking tape idea to apply to strips of cellophane to seal cellophane bags. Just about the time he perfected his cellophane tape invention to seal cellophane, DuPont figured out a way to seal cellophane bags with heat. So Drew’s new invention wasn’t needed.
Oh, really? Today it is estimated that 90% of homes have at least one roll of cellophane tape. We now call this tape by several names but Scotch tape is the most popular name. (The background of how it got the name “Scotch” would be an interesting research project for you.)
Scotch tape is used for all kinds of things: wrap a present, fix a book, repair curtains, hem a skirt, fix a hole in a bucket, and wrap cords together just to name a few! It was a very valuable tool during the Great Depression when people needed to repair an item rather than buy new.
This funny product was thought to be replaced by a heat sealing packaging machine, but has turned into one of the most useful inventions of all times. A patent was issued on May 27, 1930 and the inventor was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007.
This reminds me of the story of Joseph who told his brothers, “You meant this for evil, but God turned it for good.” We might not always understand what God has in mind for us. We just have to live each day saying “yes” to Jesus and in the end He will use us in His kingdom. We might even end up doing a job that no one else can do. Scotch tape was invented to seal packages, but it turned out to do something even more important -- lots of little jobs in every household. What little job does God have for you??