Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Did Rebekah Lose?

by Mary Vee

Genesis 27:41-28:5

As Rebekah pulled thread through the patch on Isaa'c tunic, a servant ran to her. "The most distressful news, Lady Rebekah. Esau said he'll kill Jacob after the days of mourning for Isaac. What should we do?"

Rebekah sighed. "It's worse than I thought. Go find Jacob. Tell him to meet me in the stable then return to your duties. Now, don't worry, I'll take care of the problem."

She folded the cloth and set it aside. "The man isn't sick, yet Esau has him dead and mourned. That boy has always had a temper worse than a hungry lion."

Rebekah smoothed her skirt. May as well get this settled. Let's see, I could send him to my brother's home. Yes, that should work. Now what should I tell Isaac. She held her hands togetherin front of her lips. I know! I'll tell him Jacob should not marry a girl from here. Jacob needs to go back to the home where I grew up to find a wife.

She opened the stable door and found Jacob brushing a camel's coat. "Good, your here. Esau has spoken with Isaac."

Jacob's eyes went wide. "What did he say?"

"Your brother Esau comforts himself after he learned you received the family blessing from your father. He intends to kill you."

Jacob ran his fingers through his hair. "You see, Mother, I told you the plan wouldn't work. What good is the blessing if I'm dead?" He paced in front of the stall. "What am I suppose to do?"

Rebekah placed her hand on his shoulder. "Listen to me, Son. Your only hope is to flee to my brother Laban's home in Haran. Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away. You must stay there until your brother's anger turns away from you and he forgets what you've done to him."

"Leave? I have to leave?"

She looked at his eyes. "Only for a short time. I'll send for you after Esau calms down."

"But, I don't know the way."

Rebekah yanked his arm. "Follow me. We'll speak to your father. I'll go in to speak with him first then call you."

Jacob stood near the doorway outside Isaac's room. Rebekah smiled at him then walk to her husband's chair. "Isaac, I am weary of my life. If Jacob takes a wife from one of the daughters who live here in this land, what good will my life be to me?"

Isaac smiled at his wife then nodded. "You're right. If my father, Abraham, found a wife for me in the land where his family lived, then I shall do the same. Would you ask Jacob to see me?"

Rebekah kissed him on the head. "As you wish, my husband." She ran to the doorway and spoke softly. "Jacob, go speak with your father." She gazed into his eyes. "Don't worry. Everything will be fine."

Jacob walked to his father's side. "You called for me, Father?"

Isaac reached his hand toward his son. "Jacob, my son, you shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Go now to the house where your mother's father lives and find a wife from the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother." Isaac set his hand on Jacob's head. "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you that you may be an assembly of peoples, and give you the blessing of Abraham to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham."

So Jacob packed his things and left with his servants.

Rebekah wanted Jacob to get the family blessing. Her plan seemed successful. But in the end she lost something very special.

What did Rebekah lose?

Sometimes people who make wrong choices get good things. What wrong choice did Rebekah make? What did she want? In the end, those who do wrong will be punished while those who obey God will be rewarded. Rebekah had to send her son away to protect him. She may never see him again. How did Rebekah's heart feel?

Think of a time when you chose to obey God. Maybe everything turned out well. How did your heart feel? Maybe things did not go well. How did your heart feel?

When something did not turn out well for me, I felt sad, but at the same time I felt good because I knew I obeyed. My sadness didn't last long, but the good feeling in my heart did.

Monday, December 28, 2009

God's Gift Crossword Fun

By Mary Vee

Direction: Clues are posted below the puzzle. Have fun!
Answers can be found in recent stories posted on this blog:)



Across
1. color describes sin
3. what Esau lost
4. Isaac's oldest son
5. color describes God's loves for us
7. Isaac's wife
9. color describes heaven
10. type of meat Rebekah used for Isac's special meal
12. the four weeks before Christmas
13. another word for "happy"

Down
1. color describes faith
2. The son Isaac blessed
3. what Esau sold for a bowl of soup
6. color describes growing-learning more about God
8. color describes a clean heart
11. first book of the Bible

HOW DID YOU DO? click on the comment button to tell us when you finished. Answer key will be posted next week.


The game last week was a hide and seek. Did you have any problems? If you did, click the comment button to tell me and I will post a clue for you. :)

THREE MORE DAYS TO THE NEW YEAR! I'M SO GLAD YOU HAVE VISITED GOD LOVES KIDS BLOG! I HOPE TO SEE YOU MANY TIMES IN 2010. God's Blessing's on you, my friend, and your family.

Mary Vee

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Esau Looses the Blessing

By Mary Vee

Genesis 27:30-40

Esau came back from his hunt in a good mood. "I can't wait 'til Father tastes this meat. He's gonna love it."

He cooked the pieces in a large pot over the open fire behind the family tent. He tasted the broth then added his usual ingredients to flavor the meat. As he stirred, he noticed Jacob sneaking toward the herd. That brother of mine. He's probably been goofing around again.

He looked toward the side of the tent and watched his mother mending. He smiled. I know she wants Jacob to get the blessing, but it won't work. Once I serve Father this meal, I'll receive the family blessing.

Esau patiently waited for the meat to cook exactly as Isaac liked. He sipped the broth then tasted a piece. "Hmmm perfect. All I need is a bowl."

He scooped the best hunks of meat and some broth into the bowl and took them in the house. First, I'll change into my better tunic. After all, I need to look nice when Father blesses me.

He went to his room. That's strange, I usually keep my tunic over here. He change clothes quickly, grabbed the bowl, and stood at the door of his father's room. "Father, I brought the meat you asked for. Come, sit at the table and eat of my game that your soul may bless me."

Isaac turned his head toward the voice. His eyebrows were furrowed. "Who are you?"

Esau paused. That's weird. Why would he ask me that? "It's me, your firstborn son, Esau."

Isaac's body shook. His eyes went wide. Esau set the bowl down on the table then ran to his father. He laid a hand on his father's arm. "What's wrong?"

"Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came and I have blessed him--"

Esau stepped back, "You what?"

Isaac looked at his son. "--and indeed he shall be blessed."

Esau fell to his knees. "No! No, Father. It can't be true. Say it isn't so!" He wept a bitter cry. "Father, please, you must bless me--you must bless me also, O my father!"

Isaac shook his head and sighed. "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing."

Esau crawled to his father's chair. "It's not fair. Jacob took the birthright and now he has taken my blessing! Isn't there anything you can do.? Please, Father, you must have reserved a blessing for me?"

Isaac gently set his hand on his son's head. "Indeed I've made him your master, and all his brethren will be his servants. He will have plenty of grain to live. What could possibly be left?"

Esau rubbed tears from his face then grabbed his father's hands. "You only have one blessing? Please, O my father, bless me." He lowered he head and cried.

Isaac took a deep breath and held his son's head up to face him. "It is God's will that my blessing fall on Jacob. I cannot change that. You will be able to live off the fat of the land. But by your sword you shall live and serve your brother."

With those last words Esau ran out of the room.

While this may seem a sad story, we must realize that God said Esau would serve Jacob before they were born. Esau made an unwise choice years before this event when he sold his birthright to his brother for a simple bowl of soup. Esau thought only of himself when he wanted the soup and he thought only of himself when he begged for the blessing.

It's easy to think only of ourselves when we see others get what they want and we don't. We might feel angry or sad. Maybe God knows you'll be happier without the item, perhaps He wants you to wait for a better time. No matter what, God will take care of you and make sure you have what you really need if you follow Him.

What do you think about Esau's choice?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Present of All is for You

By Mary Vee

As the advent season draws to a close I thought we could talk about the best present of all. Actually the best present--is for you! The gift--is from God.

God loves you and wants you to be able to go to heaven. This color story explains God's gift to you.

In the picture to the right you can see several colors.

Black is used to describe sin, the things we've done wrong. The Bible says everyone has sinned. Lying, disobeying, taking something that doesn't belong to us are examples of sin. The punishment for sin is death, forever away from God.

But did you know God loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to pay the punishment for sin? Red is used to describe God's love. The Bible says God showed His love for us in that while we were sinners, His Son, Jesus, took our punishment for sin by dying on the cross.

Blue is used to describe faith. If you believe Jesus died for your sins, and truly want Him to live in your heart, you can go to heaven to live with God forever. When we put our trust in Jesus we will want to do the things He wants us to.

White is used to describe cleanliness. When you believe Jesus died for your sins and ask God for forgiveness, your heart is made clean--The Bible says you will be white as snow.

Green is used to describe growing. After you put your trust in Jesus you need to learn how to obey Him. You can do this by reading the Bible, praying, going to church, and learning from others who believe in Jesus. When we choose to live the way God tells us to in the Bible, we will grow like a healthy plant.

Yellow is used to describe heaven. One day, people who have believed in Jesus will go to heaven to live with God forever.

If you would like to ask Jesus into your heart today and start serving God, you can pray to Him right now, He's listening!

Dear Jesus, I know I'm a sinner and can't go to heaven on my own no matter how hard I try. Please forgive me for the things I've done wrong. I believe that you took the punishment for my sins when you died on the cross because you love me. I also believe you rose from the dead and live in Heaven. Because Your Word is truth, I trust in You and will start learning how to obey You. Amen

If you asked Jesus into your heart, please email me at mimary_vee@yahoo.com so I can rejoice with you. I also encourage you to find others who have asked Jesus into their heart to learn more wonderful things about Him.

Today's picture is of a salvation bracelet I received from my church in Greenville, Michigan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Hide and Seek

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: Have a Merry Christmas :)
Find everything on the list below the picture. Have fun!



3 wise men, 2 shepherds, advent wreath, 3 camels, carolers, ark, 4 poinsettias, dove, 7 sheep, baby Jesus, 7 angels, donkey

PLEASE CLICK ON THE BUTTON AND TELL US YOU FINISHED!


HERE IS THE ANSWER TO LAST WEEK'S MAZE

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lies Hurt

By Mary Vee

Genesis 27:19-30

Jacob stepped into Isaac's room. He paused to watch his father staring out the window. He can't see anything other than light and shadows. I remember when he played catch with us. He tossed the ball right too me then ran to catch my wild throws over his head--but that was years ago. He wiped a falling tear.

Isaac's hand trembled when he reached over to smooth his blanket. Jacob sighed. I don't want to do this, but I must. I can't let Esau get the blessing.

He took another step into the room. He cleared his throatthen spoke in a lower voice than normal. "My father."

Isaac's head turned toward the sound. "Yes? I'm not hearing clearly this afternoon. Which of my sons are you?"

Jacob stepped closer to his father's chair. "I'm Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please come sit at the table and eat my game, that your soul may bless me."

Jacob's heart pounded as his father's eyes searched to see him. Sweat trickled down his neck. I hope the goat skin doesn't fall off.

Isaac raised his hand and laid a shaky finger by his mouth. "How is it that you've hunted game so quickly, my son?"

How should I answer? What would Esau say? Jacob thought another moment. "Because the Lord your God brought it to me."

Isaac smelled the meat. His eyebrows lowered as he stroke his beard. "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really Esau or not."

Jacob wet his lips and edged near his father's chair. He knelt closely to Isaac's legs.

Isaac reached out touched Jacob's neck and hands. He brushed his hand against his son's skin.

Jacob held his breath. Oh, no. What if he discovers the truth?

Isaac squinted then paused for a moment. "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." He set both arms on Jacob's shoulders. "Bless you, Esau."

Jacob slowly closed his eyes then opened them and breathed. Isaac pulled his hands away. "Are you really my son Esau?"

"Yes, Father, I am."

Isaac sat back in his chair. "Well, then, bring me the food that I may eat my son's game, so my soul may bless you."

Jacob served his father and watched him eat. Isaac smacked his lips. "Hmmm, delicious, just the way I remember."

He still doesn't sound convinced. I need to be careful.
Jacob took the empty bowl and set it on the table.

"Come near now and kiss me, my son." Isaac smelled Jacob's clothes and smiled. "Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain. Let people serve you and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren. Cursed be everyone who curses you and blessed be those who bless you."

Isaac lowered his hand onto his lap. "Now go, Son. I am tired."

As Jacob ran to the barn he glanced back and saw Esau returning from his hunting trip.

How do you think Jacob felt as he ripped the goat skins off and changed tunics? How will Isaac feel when he learns the truth. And what about Esau; how will he feel when he learns what Jacob did? Click the comment button to let me know.

image from free Visual Bible Images Alive

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jacob Lies

By Mary Vee

Genesis 27: 15-19

Rebekah worked quickly to make the special meal for Isaac. "The meat needs time to cook 'til its good and tender, but it needs to be served before my son, Esau, returns home."

She left the meat stewing over the outside fire and called her other son. "Jacob, quickly, help me prepare the goat skins. We'll stick them to your hands and neck."

Jacob smiled. "Good plan. Father will think my skin is hairy. But--wait--I don't smell anything like Esau. If he gives me a hug, he'll know I'm not Esau."

"Don't worry. Go to your brother's room. I'll stir the stew then meet you there."

Rebekah tasted the sauce. She smacked her lips. "Yes. It's perfect. I'll let it simmer until we're ready."

She ran into the house and quietly slipped into Esau's room. "Jacob, here's Esau tunic. He would have changed from his hunting clothes to this before serving his food to your father. Quickly, change into this."

Jacob wrinkled his nose. His brother's tunic smelled sweaty. "All right, now what."

"Now we go out to the stables where I'll put the goat skins on your hands and neck."

She carefully stuck the skins onto Jacob then gave them a little tug to make sure they stayed in place. Rebekah closed her eyes and felt Jacob's hands. "Yes, your hand is hairy like Esau's." Next she felt his neck. "Perfect. Your neck is also hairy. Now lean close to me." She kept her eyes closed while smelling her son. "Why, you smell like Esau!"

Jacob shook his head. "That's not a compliment."

"Hurry now, let's get the food served before Esau returns." Rebekah grabbed a bowl and selected choice pieces of meat, vegetables, and sauce.

She handed the bowl and a small loaf of bread to Jacob. "Remember, say only what Esau would say. Walk like he would walk. Do what he would do. Now, go."

Jacob sighed. The goat skins scratched him. He stank like Esau. Esau's gonna kill me. He felt a sneeze coming.

Jacob opened the door and stepped into the hall. His heart pounded. His stomach gurgled. I don't know if I should do this.

Jacob took two steps back. His hands were damp with sweat. He nearly dropped the bowl. What will I do if Father curses me for lying?

Rebekah stepped in the doorway. She scowled and motioned him to hurry.

He sighed. I must go forward. I don't want my descendants serving Esau's. He squared his shoulders back to appear taller, and slowly stepped into the room where his father sat.

Jacob cleared his throat then imitated his brother's voice. "My father."

"Yes? Who's there?" Isaac paused and slowly looked in the direction of the voice. "Surely I expected Esau, but now I'm not sure. Tell me, which of my sons are you?"

Jacob took a step into the room. "I am Esau your first born." He nervously looked at his father. I'm glad he can't see hardly anything.

Isaac turned his head as if listening to the words again in his mind. "You say you're Esau?"

Sometimes we tell lies to get what we want. There are times when lying seems like the only way, but God doesn't want us to lie. How do you feel after you tell a lie? Why do you feel that way? Should Jacob have lied? Click the comment button to say what you think.

image copyright 2008 Riverdeep Inc.

Esau's Gone A Huntin' Maze

By Mary Vee

Directions: Esau's hunted for the perfect meat to make his father some stew. Unfortunately some animals walked onto the maze. Can you get Esau's bow and arrow to the bowl of stew? Come back next week for the answer.



HOW DID YOU DO? CLICK THE COMMENT BUTTON BELOW TO TELL ME IF YOU MADE IT THROUGH THE MAZE.



HERE IS THE ANSWER TO LAST WEEK'S WORD SEARCH

Congratulations to MH, the first one to solve this Word Search!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rebekah's Sneaky Secret

by Mary Vee

Genesis 27:5-14

I can't let Esau know my secret plan. Rebekah watched her son, Esau, gather his weapons, quiver, and bow.

He waved to her while heading out the door. "Be back in a while, Mother. I'm gonna track the best meat Father's ever tasted."

Once Esau hiked far out to the field and toward the woods, Rebekah searched for her other son, Jacob. I need to do something quickly. Jacob should receive the family blessing, not Esau. She found him tending the sheep nearby.

"Jacob, I need you to do me a favor."

"Sure. Be right there." He washed his hands. "What do you need?"

Rebekah glanced back at the tent. Isaac must still be sitting in his chair. He can't see me. Good.

She held a finger close to her lips and whispered, "I heard your father speak to Esau a moment ago."

Jacob laughed. "He talks to him all the time."

Rebekah furrowed her brows. "Shhhh. This time he asked Esau to bring fresh game and to make it into that dish he likes."

"Mother, I don't see what's wrong with that."

She walked further away from the tent and motioned Jacob to follow. "My son, your father intends to eat his favorite meal then give your brother the family blessing. You realize what that means, don't you?"

He bowed his head. "Yes, I do. All nations and my descendants will serve Esau's descendants. His crops will prosper. Everyone who blesses him will be blessed."

Rebekah put her arms on Jacob's shoulders. "And everyone who curses him will be cursed. Listen to me, my son, I've come up with a plan. If you do everything I'm about to tell you the blessing will be yours."

Jacob sighed. "I'll do whatever you say."

"Good. Go to the flock. Bring two of the healthiest kids from the goat herd. I'll make the savory food from them, just the way your father likes. When I finish preparing the meal, you will serve him and wait until he gives you the family blessing."

Jacob shook his head. "It'll never work. He may not know you made the food from our own goats, but he'll know I'm not Esau."

Jacob rubbed his arm. "Look at me, Mother. My skin is smooth, not hairy like Esau. If I take Father the food, he will curse me, instead of blessing me.

He paced in front of her then walked toward the sheep pen. "Mother, I don't want to be cursed!"

Rebekah ran toward him. "My son. If your father curses you, let it fall on me. Please. You must do as I ask in order to receive the family blessing. Go get the kids for me."

She glanced toward the fields looking for Esau. Good. I can't see him yet.

"Do as I say." Rebekah grabbed her skirt tight in her hand and walked back toward the tent. "And hurry. We must serve your father before Esau returns."

Jacob nodded. "I'll have the goats ready for you in a few minutes."

Rebekah's decision to keep a secret from someone she loved, (Isaac), and others, (her son Esau), is sure to bring problems. Hiding the truth only results in trouble.

God told Rebekah that her older son would serve her younger son. Did God need Rebekah's help? What would happen if Rebekah didn't make Isaac's favorite food and instead decided to wait to see what God would do? What would happen if she didn't tell Jacob to lie to his father and instead decided to wait to see what God would do? Click on the comment button to tell me what you think.

Waiting is difficult, but God's way is best.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Isaac Calls Esau

by Mary Vee

Genesis 27:1-5

Isaac opened his eyes. "Crazy Rooster, making noise before the sun gave a breath of light. Bah, I may as well get up."

He grumbled and mumbled while rubbing his eyes. "The ol' eyes are foggier this morning. Can't see hardly a thing." He sat up on the edge of his bed. "Rebekah!"

Fire flared in his lower back. "I hate getting old." He felt around for his cane. "Rebekah!"

Seconds later her warm hand touched his. "Here's your cane, Dear. Are you ready for breakfast?"

Rebekah scooped her arm under his elbow and helped him to stand. "Did you sleep well?"

Isaac planted his cane on the ground and hobbled to his chair. His bones crackled as he plopped down. "Do you know what I have a taste for?"

She laughed. "Let me guess. You'd like some warm, fresh bread, goat's milk, and a thin slice of last night's meat. It's what you want every morning."

He nodded and gazed toward a fleck of light that must have come from the window. "Not today. I would love some of Esau's fresh game--gently cooked in that savory sauce he made a long time ago."

Isaac sighed. "I wish I could see you better." He shook his head and chuckled. "I'm sorry you have an old grumpy husband this morning. Would you call Esau for me?"

Rebekah smoothed a blanked over his lap. "Yes, of course. But, do you want breakfast?"

He thought for a moment then smiled. "Maybe a piece of your warm bread for now."

She patted his shoulder. "I'll call Esau."

Moments later, Rebekah set a plate of bread on Isaac's lap. He tore off a warm piece from the loaf. It warmed his hand. "Tastes wonderful. Did you find Esau?"

"Here I am, Father."

"Oh, Esau, you're here. Good." Isaac turned in the direction he heard his son's voice. "Please, sit with me."

"Can I get you anything. Would you like some milk?" Esau's voice sounded worried.

"My son. My first born, son. I'm old. In truth, I don't know how much longer God will let me live."

Esau sat closer to his father. "Don't talk of such things. You'll get to put up with many more practical jokes from Jacob and me. Here, drink some milk."

Isaac swallowed a few gulps then waved the cup away. "Listen." He looked at his son. He couldn't see Esau's eyes, but he felt the hair on Esau's arms. "I would like you to take your weapons, your quiver, and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. Bring back your kill and cook the meat in the same savory sauce you made once before."

Isaac chuckled and licked his lips. "I can almost taste the food now."

He patted Esau's arm. "Once I've eaten your delicious meat, my soul can bless you before I die."

Esau set his hand on top of his fathers. "I'll help you, Father. If you want meat in my special sauce, I'll gladly make it. I'll leave right away. You can count on me."

Now Rebekah was listening to their conversation. I must do something to make sure Jacob receives the blessing instead of Esau.

What will Rebekah do?

I have so many questions, do you? Here are some of mine: Why does Rebekah want the blessing to be given to Jacob instead of Esau? Is she going to trick her husband? Shouldn't she ask God what to do? Will Jacob help with the plan? What will happen to Esau?

What do you think? Click on the comment button to tell us your ideas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friends Word Search

By Mary Vee
MERRY CHRISTMAS
Directions: Find the words from recent stories listed below in the puzzle.


Servant
Rebekah
Kindness
Jacob
Isaac
God
Gerar
Genesis
Friendship
Forgiveness
Famine
Esau
Captain
Blessed
Abimelech

HOW DID YOU DO? CLICK ON THE COMMENT BUTTON AND TELL ME IF YOU FOUND ALL THE WORDS :)


HERE IS THE ANSWER TO LAST WEEK'S BEGINNINGS CROSSWORD PUZZLE

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Isaac's Kindness Brought a New Friendship

By Mary Vee

Genesis 26:26-33

King Abimelech finished his business for the day. He decided to stroll out on the balcony to get some fresh air.

Workers bustled about doing the Kings business in the courtyard. Further out, servants labored in the fields.

In the far distance he noticed the empty fields where Isaac and his family sowed their seed. "His God blessed him with a great harvest. How could someone gain such wealth in such ashort time? Hmmmmm. I should check on him."

King Abimelech called for Ahuzzath, a trusted friend, and Phichol, the commander of his army.

"Phichol, you recall Isaac and his family?"

"Yes, my Liege. He lived here not too long ago. Gained great wealth from the land."

"Yes, yes. I recall a dispute with the servants."

Phichol cleared his throat. "It seemed, my Liege, there was concern as to the safety of our city. If Isaac continued to grow in wealth, he may have warred with us."

"What do you think, Ahuzzath?"

"My King, you seem concerned about the decision to make Isaac leave. Rest in a wise choice. Gerar has not had disputes since he left."

"What reports do you have on Isaac's response, Phichol?"

"He first moved to the valley, my Liege, but the herdsmen fought him for his new well. He dug a second well and the herdsmen fought him again. He moved about 22 miles away from the city and dug a new well. Seems he's settled there."

"Did Isaac fight back?"

"No, my Liege. He only showed efforts to make peace."

King Abimelech lowered his head. "Just as I thought. His father, Abraham was a kind man as well living peaceably with our people. Prepare for a journey. Both of you will go with me to pay Isaac a visit."

The king, his captain, and friend traveled for a day to Isaac's new home.

Isaac noticed them as they came near his land. Great. What now? Can't they leave us alone?

When the king arrived, Isaac offered the visitors a comfortable place to sit. "Why have you come since you hate me and have sent me away?"

King Abimelech sighed. "We've certainly seen that the Lord is with you. How can we restore your trust? Let's make a promise between you and us that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You truly are blessed of the Lord."

Isaac looked at the King's eyes. He really looks sorry. A smiled popped on his face. "Would you like something to eat?"

King Abimelech laughed. "I sure would."

Sometimes we want to be mean to people who do cruel things to us. We might remember to be kind the first time they hurt us, but when they do the same thing again it's hard to be nice. Is there someone in your life that God wants you to forgive--again? Has someone said "Sorry" to you when you decided not to fight back?

God loves you. He will bless you when you remember to be kind to those who hurt you.

Image is a copyright of Faith Images.© 2009 FaithImages, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Isaac's Forgiveness Brought Peace

By Mary Vee

Genesis 26:1-22

Isaac's family settled in their new home in Gerar. Moving to this city seemed like a good choice especially since his father lived there during a famine as well.

Still, Isaac wondered if he made the right choice. Maybe we should move to Egypt instead. He walked out to the open fields nearby to ask God what he should do.

Although Isaac spent many evenings praying to God before this night, he didn't expect what would happen next.

This time "the Lord appeared to him and said: 'Don't go to Egypt. Live in this land and I will be with you and bless you. I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give them all these lands; and through your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. I am doing this because your father, Abraham, obeyed My voice and kept My commandments."

Isaac returned to his new home happily knowing he made the right choice!

His family immediately plowed fields and planted seeds.

Gentle rains watered the ground. The right amount of sunshine strengthened the plants.

Isaac grabbed Rebekah's hand and ran with her to the fields. "Look! Look what God is giving us."

Rebekah giggled. She gently touched one of the plants. "Oh, Isaac. God is blessing you."

At the end of the summer Isaac, Jacob, and Esau worked with the servants many days to harvest the crops.

After supper on the last day Isaac rubbed his back. "The last of the harvest is in."

Rebekah rubbed his shoulders. "You've worked hard, my husband. God has blessed you since we moved here."

Several cattle mooed from the other side of the field.

Isaac laughed. "Do you realize how many calves were born to our cows this year?" He took a sip of water. "Not only calves but a large number of lambs were born to our ewes as well!"

He picked up a stick and stoked the fire. "When we moved here we barely had enough to survive a season. Now look what God has given us."

The Philistines in the land also noticed how wealthy Isaac became. They grew jealous and angry.

They met together to think of a plan to get rid of Isaac and his family. "Let's kill their animals," one shouted. "Let's kidnap their servants," said another.

One man stood and waved his arms to get their attention. "If we hurt them, we'll get in trouble with King Abimelech. I say let's fill in their wells. If they can't get water, they'll have to leave."

All the Philistines at the meeting agreed. That night they crept to Isaac's wells and filled them in with dirt.

The next day Isaac went before the King. "Look what your people have done."

"Go away, Isaac. You've become too strong and rich for us."

Sadly Isaac moved his family outside the city to a place in a nearby valley. His servants dug a new well that gave plenty of water.

But Philistine shepherds ran to the new well. "That's ours. You can't use the water. Go away."

Isaac's herdsmen came to him. "The Philistines stole our well. We came to get more men to fight them."

Isaac shook his head, "God has blessed us before and He'll bless us again. Don't fight. Dig a new well."

Once again the Philistine herdsmen stole Isaac's well. His herdsmen raised their staff in anger. "We'll fight them this time. They took our well. We spent hours digging for clean water."

Isaac sighed. "You want to fight over a well? No. We'll move further away from the city. God will give us a place to live peaceably."

Finally, after the fourth well had been dug, the Philistines left Isaac alone. He gave thanks to God saying "the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

Sometimes we have to forgive time and time again before troubles end. The apostle Peter once asked Jesus, "How many times should I forgive?" Do you know Jesus' answer? Click the comment button to tell me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beginnings Crossword Challenge

By Mary Vee

This weeks answer can be found in Genesis 1 and in the Thanks stories posted last week here on God Loves Kids


Across
2. Sixth day first made
6. Sixth day second made
7. When God created the earth
9. Second day made
10. Fourth day first made
11. fourth day third made
13. Fifth day first made
15. First day second made
16. Third day third made

Down
1. Fourth day second made
3. Third day first made
4. Before anyone
5. Seventh day
7. Fifth day second made
8. Third day second made
12. Third day fourth made
14. First day first made

How many answers did you need to look up? Click on the comment button and let me know how you did:)

How did you do on the maze last week? Here is the answer:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

God Provides in Times of Famine

By Mary Vee

The advent season is a time to remember Jesus and what He's done for us. Invite a friend to come read a Bible story.

Genesis 26:1
Isaac inspected the crops one day. He lifted a fragile stalk. "If it doesn't rain soon, the plants will die. Without a harvest, we'll die."

Weeks later Isaac realized the crops couldn't be saved. He brought a wilted plant back to his wife, Rebekah.

"I'm sorry. Looks like we'll have to move. If we wait much longer, we'll starve."

Rebekah nodded. "Don't worry. I know you'll take care of our family."

"Not me." He looked up at the sky. "My God--and the God of my father, Abraham will take care of us."

"When do you want to leave, and where do you want to go?"

Isaac pulled a blade of grass and chewed on the end. He looked at the fields. Dear God. Where should we go?

He remembered a story his father told him about a city named Gerar near the sea. The king, Abimelech, allowed Abraham to live near the city during the last famine. Maybe he'll let us live there as well.

"We'll go to Gerar."

Rebekah sighed and sat by Isaac. "I'm sorry the crops died." She handed him some water. "I hope we can come back someday."

Isaac hugged his wife and laughed. "I can be happy wherever God leads us, even if we have to travel all the way to Egypt. Will you go with me?"

He tickled her until she said, "Yes, I'll go."

Jacob and Esau helped their parents and the servants pack the camels and donkeys with tents and other household belongings.

Two days later Isaac led his family away from their home. Jacob helped the servants drive the sheep and cattle.

A few hours later Esau sneaked back beside Jacob. "I'm bored. You want to have a cattle race?'

"How do you expect to have a race in the middle of a moving herd? You're crazy."

"No. Seriously. We hop on some cattle and have a race. Who knows, maybe Father will be happy the herd moves faster."

Jacob wiggled his eyebrows up and down. "The trip has been boring--I suppose it wouldn't hurt the cattle." He looked back at the servants then forward to his father. "Sure. I'll race you."

"Great. I'm riding this one. You pick your ride. Be ready when the herd reaches the tree at the top of the hill."

Jacob scanned the herd. One particular animal trotted along nicely and kept looking forward. He wiggled his way up to his racing partner and spoke softly. "Would you like to race? Let me climb on you when we reach that tree up there."

He stroked her fur and continued talking softly until a few feet before the tree. Quick as a bolt of lightning, Jacob whipped his left leg over the animal. He sat up in time to see Esau a few feet ahead.

"Kee yah. Let's go."

His partner bucked and mooed. Her head flung to the right and left as she screamed for help.

Esau cheered, "Yee Haw." His partner ran down the hill swishing and swaying with his weight.

All the heard followed their leaders running down the hill mooing.

The servants ran after the them flailing their arms. "Stop! Stop! Waaaaait!"

Isaac heard the commotion and turned. "Rebekah, quick, get out of the way." He yanked his camel left to block the cattle and force them to turn right. Another servant raced his camel to the front of the herd and continued turning the animals to the right.

As the herd turned, they circled and slowed. Once they stopped they plopped to the ground, moaned at Jacob and Esau, and rested.

Isaac squinted at his sons. "Jacob. Esau. I'd like to speak with you."

Jacob crawled off his mount. He leaned over to his brother. "Good going. Now we're in trouble."

"Perhaps. But, at least I won."

"No, you didn't. My cow came in first."

"That was before the herd turned. If you think about it, my cow was closer to Gerar."

The brothers faced their father. Isaac stroked his beard. "Did you enjoy yourselves?"

Esau and Jacob looked each other and shrugged their shoulders.

"Well, my sons. Since you've decided to upset not only the entire herd, but also your mother, you must have been bored. You two will take over the work of herding the cattle the rest of the way to Gerar in addition to your normal chores. For now, you can help set up camp."

Isaac walked back to Rebekah. "You OK?"

She took a deep breath and smiled. "God has blessed us with mischievous sons."

Several days later Isaac's family arrived in Gerar. He found a place to set up the tents and stables.

He strolled out to the fields nearby and found healthy plants. "Perhaps we can survive the famine in this place."

Now, the Bible doesn't say that Jacob and Esau caused a stampede on this trip, Maybe....

What we do know is God provided for Isaac and his family in their time of need. Before God made the earth He knew your needs.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

How has God provided for you? Please click the comment button and let me know. I really enjoy reading your answers. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for Beginnings Part 2

By Mary Vee

Genesis 1:20 - 2:3

By the end of day 4 God had made the heavens and the earth; waters above and waters below; dry land; grass, plants, and trees; and the sun, moon, and stars.

On day 5, God made tons of living creatures in the waters and flocks of birds to fly above the earth. That means God made tiny zoo plankton and huge whales, minnows and sharks, sea anemones and dolphins, giant leviathans and piranhas, and "every living thing that moves in the waters" for you.

God knew you needed all the living creatures that He made in the waters to live. Why would you need a shark? (hint: web of life) Will you thank God for the creatures that live in the waters? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use them.

On this day, God also made the sparrow and the ostrich, the peacock and the raven, the emu and the toucan, the dove and the owl, and "every winged bird." Can you name two more birds? He knew you needed winged birds to live. Will you thank God for them, right now? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use them.

After God made the water creatures and the winged birds, He blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let the birds multiply on the earth."

The birds and water creatures obeyed God. Now we have lots of birds and water creatures. :)

On day 6, God made living creatures to live on the land. He made ants and giraffes, sloths and cheetahs, hyenas and monkeys, dogs and cats, and every living creature according to its kind. He knew you needed the animals to live. Will you thank God for them, right now? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use them.

There is more! God wasn't finished!

God made people. He said, "Let them be in charge of the fish, birds, land animals, and over all the earth."

God made a man and a woman and He blessed them. "See, I have given you what you need." God knew you needed other people to live. Will you thank Him for them, right now? When you thank Him, please tell Him what the special people in your life have done for you.

And so, God finished the job. He made everything.

On day 7, God showed you what you should do after you finish your work. Rest. He knew you would need rest to live. Will you thank God for rest, right now? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use rest.

I named the little ground squirrel in today's picture "Peeper" for the sound he made when I saw him. He lives at a high point of Glacier Nation Park in the Rocky Mountains. God made him.

Thank you, God, for making the heavens and the earth.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanks Maze

By Mary Vee

This week's game is a maze--duh!
Sometimes, figuring out what to be thankful for can be as difficult as finding the way through a maze. So to add a spark to this game, each time you make a turn in this maze try to name something you're thankful to God for.



Did you find all the hidden things in last week's game?

Click on the comment on the button and let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for Beginnings

By Mary Vee

Genesis 1:1-19

In the beginning God...

Before anyone. Before anything. Before plants or animals. Before angels. God lived.

Then God made angels. No clocks, no sunshine, no earth, no people--yet.

A lot happened with the angels. This story will be told at another time. For today we'll jump ahead.

In the beginning of time God thought of you. He made the heavens and the earth, knowing you would be here one day.

It was dark.

God said, "Let there be light." Instantly light appeared. God knew you needed light to live. Will you thank God for light, right now? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use light.

God divided the light from the dark and called the light day and the dark night. God knew you needed the dark to rest. Will you thank God for the dark? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use the dark.

On day 2 God separated the waters. He put some above and some below. He knew you needed water to live. Will you thank God for the water that is above and on the earth? When you thank Him, please tell him how you use both waters.

On day 3 God gathered the waters on earth into one place so that land would appear. He knew you couldn't live in the water all the time! Next He said, "Let there be grass, plants, and trees." God saw that it was good. He knew you needed them to live. Will you thank God for the grass, plants, and trees? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use them.

On day 4 God made the sun, the moon, and the stars. He put everything in the exact right spot because He knew you needed them. He made sure that all the stars, the earth, and the moon moved in the right way to make seasons. He knew you need them to live. Will you thank God for the sun, the moon, the stars, and the seasons? When you thank Him, please tell Him how you use them.

God thinks of you everyday and all night long. Did you know God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Every day is new.

I can start each day by thanking God for--well, for so many things. Sometimes I'm just thankful for a new day because my last day had problems. Sometimes my new day has something special, exciting, and wonderful that I've waited for. What are you thankful for? Try to think of at least one thing to be thankful for that you never thought to give thanks to God. Will you share them with me? Click on the comment button.

I'll start...ummmm..oh, I know...I'm thankful for the clouds I see out my window right now. They bring shade, rain, snow, and come in silly shapes like dinosaurs.

COME BACK ON WEDNESDAY TO FINISH THIS THANKFUL FOR BEGINNINGS STORY. DO YOU KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT?

I took this picture while on a vacation at my sister's house in Savannah, Georgia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jacob's Delicious Stew

By Mary Vee

Genesis 25:29-34

Esau got up early one morning. He stretched and yawned. "Yes. I feel it in my bones. Today, I'm going to track the biggest boar Father has ever seen."

Jacob sat up and tossed a blanket at his brother's head. "You say that every morning."

"OK, well--all right, I might say that every morning, but today is different. Something big is going to happen."

Jacob rolled his eyes then flopped out of bed.

Esau leaned out the window. "Look, the sun is rising. Golden sky over there, clear dark-blue sky overhead. I'm telling you, Jacob. This is a day to remember."

Esau strutted out to the breakfast table. Jacob followed, snickering.

Isaac set his cup down and waited for his sons to pray for their meal.
"Morning, boys. Did you sleep well?"

Esau shoved his shoulders back and lifted his chin. "I'll bring you home a surprise, Father."

Isaac smiled. "I'll look forward to that. In the meantime, your mother and I have an errand. We'll be gone 'till sunset."

"No problem." Jacob grabbed a hunk of bread. "I'll cook some stew for dinner. I can squeeze that in between chores."

Isaac pushed himself from the table. "Ready to go, Rebekah?"

She ran back to the bedroom. "In a minute!" Isaac chuckled and walked out to the barn.

"Well, Jacob." Esau grabbed his bow and quiver. "I'm heading out to get my boar. You'll probably need the meat to improve your stew." He waved goodbye to his Father and walked out to the fields.

"We'll see who makes the stew better." Jacob whispered to himself.

The day passed by quickly. Jacob poured olive oil in a big pot. He chopped up vegetables and browned them in the oil. "Mmmm, I love that smell."

He added lentils, leftover broth from yesterday's dinner, and more water. He cut bite size hunks of meat and tossed them in. "This stew smells so good. I'll add a few spices and let it cook awhile."

Jacob did a few chores, stirred the stew, then did a few more chores. He took a deep breath. "This stew is the best I've ever made. Don't know what I did right this time, but Mother and Father are really going to like dinner tonight."

He gave the stew another stir then noticed Esau walking in from the fields. Big boar, eh?

Esau staggered next to the campfire and plopped down at the table. "Please feed me with that red stew. I'm starved."

Jacob raised his eyebrows. "Sell me your birthright as of this day."

"Look, Jacob, I'm going to die, I'm so starved--Fine--Whatever--Take the birthright. It means nothing to me."

Jacob grabbed a bowl, filled it, and held it out of his brother's reach. "Promise me, right now, as of this day the birthright is mine."

"All right, all right, I promise. Now give me the stew."

Jacob set the bowl of stew and some bread in front of his brother.

Although God promised Jacob the birthright, His plan did not include Jacob tricking his brother to get it. His plan also did not include Esau giving away his birthright for a bowl of stew. What consequences did Jacob suffer? What consequences did Esau suffer? What should they have differently?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Seek and Find

By Mary Vee


Several animals seemed to have taken a wrong turn!
The following are hiding in this picture. Can you find all of them?
2 camels, 4 stars, toucan, 2 sheep, peacock, polar bear, earth, Abraham, Ketura, Esau, Jacob, tiger, 2 rabbits, giraffe, kangaroo, monkey, Noah's ark, donkey
*****
Last week's game was an Anagram. I gave the word "Mesopotamia"

Here are a few of the words I found: pot, tame, meat, seat, pet, met, pots, tames, pets, atom. What else do you see.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brothers Jacob and Esau, Isaac and Ishmael

By Mary Vee

Genesis 25:7-11 and 27-28

Isaac and Rebekah's sons grew to be healthy, young men. Even though they grew up together in the same home they liked to do different things.

Esau grabbed his bow one morning. "Mom, I'm going hunting."

"OK, Son. Can you bring something back for supper?"

"Sure, no problem."

Jacob watched his brother head out to the fields. "I'm glad he likes to hunt. I'd rather tend sheep and fix things around the tents. There's so much to do!"

Then again, Esau and Jacob were boys!

"Dad! I can't find my bow anywhere. Make Jacob give it back."

While Jacob snickered, Esau grabbed Jacob's shepherd staff, climbed the tree and hooked it to a high branch. "That will show him."

"Give me back my staff, Esau."

"Not until you give me my bow."

As the years passed, Esau noticed how much his dad liked eating the meat he hunted. This made him want to hunt for the best no matter how long it took.

Jacob noticed how much his mom appreciated the way he took care of the sheep and how he fixed things around the tents right away.

Still, they were brothers.

In the early evenings Rebekah complained to Isaac. "Those boys are driving me crazy. Do you know what Esau did? He tied branches to the tails of the sheep with vines. It took Jacob all morning to untangle them. And Jacob. He took the skin Esau left hanging to dry, draped it over himself and jumped out from behind that tree. Esau nearly shot him with an arrow."

"There, there, Dear. Their fifteen."

"They may not live to be sixteen."

A few days later one of Abraham's servants arrived with a message. "Master, your father, Abraham, became ill. He died in his sleep last night."

Isaac lowered his head and wiped a tear. "Does my brother Ishmael know?"

"Another servant took him the message last night."

Isaac and his family left immediately for his father's home. Ishmael arrived a few hours later.

Isaac walked out to greet him. "How are you, my brother?"

"As well as could be expected. And you?"

"Same."

Together they visited their father. They held his hand and said "Good bye."

Isaac turned to Ishmael. "Father would want to be buried next to Sarah."

"Yes, I agree. Let's leave first thing in the morning."

Esau and Jacob helped prepare the wagon. They sat by the fire after dinner and listened to Isaac and Ishmael. They mourned and laughed at family stories late into the evening.

Early the next morning, Isaac, Ishmael and several servants ate breakfast and gathered a few last things for the journey to bury their father.

Esau and Jacob ran after them. "Dad, can we go?"

Isaac looked at Ishmael. "Well?"

Ishmael nodded. "Up to you."

"OK, but, I want to spend time talking with my brother, Ishmael."

Sometimes family members grow up and move to different places. They still care about each other even though they're apart. God blessed both Isaac and Ishmael since they were Abraham's sons, but God chose Isaac to continue the job and receive the blessings He gave to Abraham.

Jacob and Esau liked different things. In the stories to come, we'll see God's plan for both Jacob and Esau. How are you different from your brother, sister, cousin, or friend?

I live far from my brother and sisters. God asked me to tell Bible stories. What do you think God wants you to do?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wait...Wait...Wait...Isaac had to Wait.

By Mary Vee

Genesis 25:20-26

Isaac truly loved Rebekah. He had the most beautiful wife in all the world. She kept him company, made great stews, and even spent time in prayer with him.

One day Isaac sneaked behind Rebekah and tickled her.

She squealed. She chased after him.

He stayed an arms reach away and laughed. "God couldn't have given me a better wife."

"Ha, ha. You say that because you don't want me to catch you." Rebekah held her skirt tight and ran faster. "Need I remind you I have a brother?"

Isaac grabbed a tree limb above his head and flung himself up on the branch. "Yes, I seem to recall you have a brother. Perhaps he needed to tease you more!"

Rebekah raised her chin. "I'll let you escape this time, for the sake of the stew that is about to burn. Next time, dear husband, you won't be so fortunate."

Isaac shook his head and laughed while watching his bride run back to the fire and stir the stew. She ran in and out of the tent putting the finishing touches on the dinner.

He didn't want to climb down from the tree yet. He enjoyed watching her. "Hard to believe we've been married over fifteen years already. Where does the time go?"

After dinner, Issac went out to the fields to pray. The air felt moist and crisp. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath of late fall air. "Oh God of my father, Abraham. You know how Rebeka and I have longed for a child. Yes, I know you promised me a son, but I would like to play with him before I die."

He squinted his eyes and wrinkled his nose hoping God knew his playful heart. "You know I've remained faithful to my beautiful Rebekah and have gladly waited for you to give us a son. But, perhaps, you could give us this child soon?"

Isaac remembered Rebekah's sweet spirit. "God, have you noticed, Rebekah hasn't complained about not having a child yet? I pray, Oh, God of my father, Abraham, please give us a child soon."

Time passed by. One day Rebekah skipped out to the stable. She flittered around her husband. "Isaac, Isaac, guess what? Guess what?"

He didn't know whether to laugh or think she was crazy. "Ahhh, what?"

"Oh, come on, guess, please?"

"OK, you made my favorite goat stew for dinner."

Rebekah rolled her eyes. "Nooooo. Try again."

"Ummmmm, you finished mending my favorite tunic."

She playfully punched him. "Come on, Isaac. Try harder."

He scratched his beard. "Ahhhhhh, I give up."

"We're going to have a baby!"

Isaac's jaw fell open. "I--we--we're going to have a baby?" He twirled Rebekah around and the two laughed and laughed.

Several months later, Rebekah noticed a problem. Afraid that something might be wrong with her baby she walked out to the field and asked God, "If everything is well, why do I feel these pains?"

God answered, "You will have twins. Each will be a nation. One will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

When the time came for the babies to be born, the first baby looked red and had lots of hair. "I will name him Esau which means 'red'"

Right away Esau's brother was born. His little hand had a hold of Esau's heel. Rebekah looked at her second son. "I will name him Jacob."

Isaac felt very proud. "God gave me two sons!"

When Rebekah felt well enough, the family visited Grandpa Abraham to let him see his new grandsons. "Look, Father, these are my sons, Esau and Jacob."

Abraham gave Isaac a hug. "Congratulations, son."

Sometimes God tests our faithfulness. He wants to know if we will choose to stay faithful and trust Him to provide if we have to wait. King David waited a long time to be king. My brother waited to get a job. Do you know someone who had to wait?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bible Anagram I

By Mary Vee



Did you beat me? Click on the comment button to tell how many you found.


ANSWER TO LAST WEEK'S DOT TO DOT: Noah's Ark

Friday, November 6, 2009

Abraham is Lonely

By Mary Vee

Genesis 25: 1-2

Abraham sat down after the marriage party for his son, Isaac, and yawned. "He truly loves Rebekah. Such happiness is more than I could have hoped."

Eliezer served his master some drink. "You look weary. Wedding parties are exciting but exhausting."

"Especially when you're as old as I." Abraham pressed his cane into the dirt and shuffled to get comfortable. "140 years is not so young."

"Such words from a man who hiked throughout this country, went to battle against a fierce king to save his nephew, built up his wealth in a new land, and fathered a son when he thought he was too old."

"For a servant you have a quick tongue. Remember, none of those things would have happened without God's hand directly involved." Abraham stroked his beard and looked toward the fields. "Maybe my days are coming to a close."

"Please don't say that. Perhaps you're lonely."

"It has been quiet since Sarah died. Too quiet." Abraham pushed himself up and walked to a nearby tree. "Isaac will be busy setting up his own home. I'll miss the long talks we've had."

The party music continued to play softly. Abraham glanced back at Isaac and his bride. "Didn't you say she makes a delicious goat stew?"

"Her mother told me."

"Maybe she'll make me--" Abraham suddenly noticed one of the head servants. She served Isaac a fresh drink then walked back to the cooking tent.

"Ketura is--"

Eliezer looked at his master. "Yes? Ketura is one of our best servants. She has served faithfully for many years"

"I mean, Ketura is--"

Eliezer looked at Ketura then back at his master. "Uh huh. I understand."

Abraham hobbled over to Ketura. They talked long into the night. It felt good to have someone to talk to.

During his prayer time, Abraham paced in the field. He thanked God for the wonderful wife he sent for Isaac and for guiding Eliezer to her home. He thanked God for giving them a safe journey.

He praised God for choosing to give him his land, his cattle and sheep, and a bountiful harvest. He praised God for faithful servants that stayed with him.

Then Abraham stood still. He stoked his beard and sighed. "It seems to me, God, Ketura would be a good friend and a great helper to me. True, I could never love her as I loved Sarah, but I sure would enjoy her company. What do you think?"

He gazed up at the night stars and let a smile pop. Deep inside, his happy heart told him God approved.

One day, Abraham married Ketura. He loved the strolls in the fields and the long evening talks. They had six sons: Zimram, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

You'll want to notice their son's names. Maybe one looks familiar to you. We will get to know more about Midian in stories about Moses and Gideon.

In the meantime, think about God's love for Abraham. Once Isaac married Rebekah, it seemed Abraham finished the work God gave him. He became lonely. What did God show Abraham?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Isaac Can't Stop Smiling

By Mary Vee

Genesis 24:62-

Isaac stretched. "I wonder if Eliezer will come today?"

He threw the blankets on his bed and hurried outside the tent. The air smelled especially sweet.

Servants bustled about feeding the animals. Isaac laughed. He didn't know why. He didn't know what was funny. He simply felt like laughing.

He ate his breakfast. "This food tastes better than it has before. I wonder why?"

One of the workers walked past him and furrowed his brows. "Are you all right?"

"Yes, of course." Isaac looked toward the east. "Cast your eyes upon that magnificent sunrise. I tell you, there's something special about today. Don't know what it is, yet. But I feel it deep inside."

The worker shook his head and walked away.

Isaac gazed out at the family fields. "It'll be a great crop this year."

He walked up the hill and sat on a clump of soft grass. "If I counted the days right, according to what Father told me, Eliezer should have arrived at our family home in Mesopotamia. He probably looked around the city for the perfect girl to be my wife, met with her family then paid the dowery. If they left the next day, they should be arriving soon."

Isaac yanked a few blades of grass and shredded them into pieces. "What am I thinking? First of all, Eliezer would be cautious. He'd take his time and search carefully for the right girl to be my wife. That would take days. Then, if he found a girl, maybe her family wouldn't believe his story about Father's riches. Even if he showed proof! It will be months before he comes back. Or, maybe he won't find someone willing to come here." He threw the grass on the ground.

He stood and took a deep breath. "Then why do I feel such joy in my heart today?" He walked between rows of wheat.

A lamb bleated in the distance. "God of my father, Abraham, you have given our family many things." Isaac stood still. He listened to the gentle breeze fluttering through the wheat. "I hardly know how to thank you."

A smile popped across his face. He laughed. "Lord, I don't know why this joy keeps bursting inside me. But I thank you."

Isaac hurried to do his work. The animals went where he wanted them to go. The servants didn't fight. The sun shone all day.

Isaac sat down to eat his supper. He gazed up at the sky. "Lord, thank you for this meal. Thank you for a good day of work."

Once again, his food tasted better than it had tasted before. Isaac stroke his beard. A glimmer of sun sparkled off the wheat. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say God has something to say to me."

He left the table and walked out to the fields. "I'm here, Lord. I want to spend time with you."

Isaac listened. The wind blew as softly as a breath. Birds called out their evening songs. Isaac whispered, "Thank you, Lord for your promises given to my father. Thank you for giving us this land, our crops, and animals."

Suddenly, he saw a caravan of camels on the road walking toward his home. Isaac's heart jumped. "Could it be? No, It's not possible. Eliezer?" He squinted his eyes. "It looks like Eliezer. Eliezer?"

Isaac ran toward the caravan. "Eleizer? Is that you?"

He ran up the last hill then stopped to catch his breath.

The servant ordered the camels to stop.

A woman dismounted and waited next to the camel.

Isaac gazed at her.

Eliezer stepped forward. "Master Isaac, this is Rebekah. Her grandfather is your father's brother."

Isaac tried to keep the smile from popping on his face, but he couldn't. "Come, you must be tired from your journey. Have some food and tell me all that has happened."

Eliezer told Isaac his entire story about finding Rebekah and about her family and about the trip back home. "Master Isaac, only God could have made all these plans work as perfectly as they have."

Isaac glanced over at Rebekah and smiled. "I agree."

That night, Isaac married Rebekah. Neither one could keep away smiles or laughter. Truly God had blessed them.

God likes to bless His children. He chooses special times to give blessings, not because we earned them, but because He wants us to remember to praise Him as he deserves. Have you felt a sparkly, happy feeling inside? Who gave you that feeling? Did you find out why you felt that way? Click on the comment button and tell us. If you missed the other stories about Rebekah they are listed on the left side for you. Click on any story you'd like to read.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

8+2+2... Bible Dot Game

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: Print out the game. Connect the brown dots to the brown dots, black dots to black dots, blue dots to blue dots and yellow dots to yellow dots. Do not go criss cross. Color the shape. Color the area with "v" green. Add what should go on this object.



How did you do? What did you decide to add? Click the comment button to tell me.

Here is the answer to last week's Cryptogram:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Journey to My New Home

By Mary Vee

Genesis 24:59-65

Rebekah left her home with her parent's blessings. She and her maids mounted their camels and set out to find her prince. Eliezer led the way.

She turned back to the only home she had ever known and waved. "Good bye, Mother. Good bye, Father!" Rebekah lowered her arm and whispered, "Good bye, Laban. I shall miss you."

She faced forward and giggled. "I'm on my own adventure to a new land. I can't wait to meet my prince."

Being away from home felt exciting. Rebekah laughed and talked endlessly with her maids. They joked about Laban and tried to imagine what their new home would look like.

Day after day Rebekah stared at sand and sand and more sand. Occasionally Eliezer stopped by an oasis. The servants refilled water skins while Rebekah stretched her legs.

"Eliezer, tell me about the rest of our journey."

He bowed. "We'll climb the mountains you see in the distance. After several days journey we'll find my master's home."

"He truly lives a great distance away."

Eliezer smiled. "My master is a good man." He turned and walked away.

Rebekah turned to her maids. "He doesn't talk much."

They giggled together and walked back to the camels.

Climbing the mountains didn't seem as difficult as Rebekah imagined. Well warn roads through gentle passages proved easy for the camels to travel. The air smelled different. It was fresh and moist.

Rebekah took a deep breath to let scents of trees and flowers fill her lungs. "I'm going to like it here. I can't believe God has given me a land better than my dreams."

After traveling a few days in the mountain pass they reached a peak. Off in the distance she saw a great body of water. "Eliezer, what is that water?"

Eliezer slowed his camel. "That's the Salt Sea. We're near my master's house."

Rebekah's eyes widened. She pressed her hands together. "We are?"

"Yes." Eliezer urged his camel to move to the lead again.

Rebekah urged her camel to catch up. "Wait, Eliezer. Please. Tell me what does Isaac look like."

Her maids pressed their camels close to hear his answer.

"Well, he's strong. As you know, his father is old. Master Isaac chops and carries wood for the sacrifices."

Rebekah shook her head. "That's good, but what does he Look like?"

He stroked his beard and gazed ahead. "He has a keen sight. Why, he spots an animal before any other hunter I've know."

The maids giggled. Rebekah sighed. "Yes, yes. But what does he looook like?"

Eliezer cocked his head. "He's a great hunter. His father never waits long for meat. Why, I remember last year when Isaac found a bear. Best meat we ate all year."

The maids burst out laughing. Rebekah hushed them. "Dear Eliezer, is he tall, is his hair curly, tell me, what does he LOOK like."

He shrugged. "He looks like my Master."

Rebekah rolled her eyes and sighed. Suddenly she lifted her eyes and saw a man in the field walking toward them. "Who is that man, Eliezer?"

"Don't you recognize him? It is the man I've described to you. It is my master, Issac."

The maids leaped off their camels. "It's him! It's him!" They rushed to Rebekah and helped her down from her camel.

"Calm down girls. Quickly, give me my veil." They swirled the veil over her head and stepped back.

Rebekah stood tall while watching Isaac walk toward them. I'm home.

God cares about each of us. He has plans for our lives that may take us to far away places or keep us near or at our home. He may ask us to chop wood, work in a factory, sing in a choir, study in school or something else. What has he asked you to do? When you do your best in your job, how does your heart feel?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rebekah's Farewell

By Mary Vee


Genesis 24: 54-58
Last time we talked about Rebekah's family agreeing to let her journey with Eliezer to marry Isaac. First, you need to know that parties were held on the roof of a house. This served like a family room. Around the edge of the roof was a railing, (called a parapet), to keep people from falling. Eliezer would like tell what happened next.

The smartest thing for me to do was to stand back.

Such noise! Laban teased his sister. Rebekah's mother danced around the house laughing and singing. The servants who came with me huddled back in a corner to keep their feet from being stepped on.

Rebekah's mother suddenly pushed her hands against her face like she forgot something. "Eliezer, bring your men to the table. Come, hurry, the food will get cold."

We squished together around the table and waited for the blessing.

I couldn't believe all the food on the table. Huge platters of lambs meat, goat stew, tabouli and grape leaves, freshly baked breads. My men and I hadn't seen a meal so fitting of our master in a long time. They smacked their lips then shoved handfuls of food into their mouth. I'll have to speak with them later about grunting and gulping when seated at a fine table.

Laban grabbed his glass, leaped to his feet and laughed. "A toast to Isaac. May he find peace even though he'll be married to my sister."

We raised our glasses and shouted, "To Life, L'Chaim."

Bethuel squinted his eyes at his son and signaled for him to sit down.

After Laban slithered back into his seat, Bethuel grabbed his glass and stood. "May God bring blessing to my uncle Abraham and his family. May his son, Isaac, find true happiness with my beautiful Rebekah."

Everyone stood and held their glass high, "L'Chaim."

We danced and sang, and of course Laban had a story to tell. He climbed up on the parapet, "Listen everyone."

Rebekah nodded her head at her brother. She turned and sneaked down the stairs.

Laban bowed. "One day, years ago, as I set out to hunt, I found myself in an awkward situation. I wanted to impress my father by bringing home the finest kill, a wild boar.

After tracking for hours, I came upon a clearing. There the boar stood. My foot shifted and a twig snapped." Laban paused. He searched his audience as though looking for someone.

He sighed. "The boar broke into a run, straight for me. I froze."

For the first time that evening, his face grew serious. "Someone grabbed my tunic and yanked me out of the way. I looked up and saw Rebekah. She pushed me and signaled to follow her. Later, I asked her what she was doing away from the house. She said, 'I wanted to see what you were doing.' I may tease my sister a lot, but I'll never forget the day she saved me from the boar."

He turned his head toward the stairs and shouted loudly, "Rebekah, if there ever comes a time that you need my help. Maybe a son of yours will need protection, whatever it is, you can count on me."

With those words, he stepped down.

The next morning, I went to the family and asked permission to return to my master. Laban and Rebekah's mother asked if she could stay a few days before she went.

I couldn't bear to wait another minute. Abraham, my master is waiting, I have chores, my family is waiting; I can't wait. "Do not hinder me since the Lord has prospered my way; let me return to my master."

They looked at each other then said, "We'll call Rebekah and see what she says."

Rebekah came a moment later. She listened to her mother and Laban then looked at me. "I will go."

She twirled over to her mother. "Oh, Mama. This is what I've wanted. He will be my prince, I can feel it in my heart. I'm so happy. Please say I can go today, this morning."

Her mother put her hands on Rebekah's face. "My lovely daughter, I shall miss you."

Rebekah hugged her mother. She wiped and laughed. "Thank you, Mama."

She ran back to her room to pack and I prepared the camels.

Sometimes we need to say good bye to people. We have a new adventure in front of us. God knows we are ready to do something new. How does it feel?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Was Rebekah's Dad's Answer?

By Mary Vee

Today's puzzle is a cryptogram puzzle. To solve the puzzle you must figure out the code for the alphabet then put the correct letters in the blanks below. Some letters have been given to help you start. Scroll down to see last week's solution.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Rebekah's Dad and Brother Said "Yes"

By Mary Vee

Genesis 24:32-54
In our last story, Rebekah's brother, Laban, ran out to the city well and invited Eliezer, Abraham's servant, and the other servants to his home.

Laban led the camels to the stable, ducking each time they spat. He unloaded all the bundles, and set out plenty of straw and feed.

When he finished, Laban wiped his hands on his tunic and turned toward the house. "Follow me, my Father will be excited to hear your news."

Once inside, Laban walked over to the table. "My mother has prepared a meal." "You and your men may sit over here."

Eliezer cleared his throat. "Actually, I'd rather not eat until I've given my message."

Bethuel, Rebekah's father, nodded. "Don't worry, Laban. That's fine."

Eliezer bowed in respect. "I am Abraham's servant. The Lord has blessed my master with great wealth."

A servant yelled at a donkey in the front yard to get back to the stable. The donkey squawked and brayed. Eliezer leaned forward and spoke loudly about Abraham, his journey, and his prayer at the well.

He shook his head and put his hands on his face. "Do you know what happened? Before I finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah walking toward the well."

Laban rolled his eyes and mumbled, "She should have waited for him to stop speaking. But no, my sister always has to be first."

Eliezer sighed. "Now, tell me. What do you think?"

No one spoke.

Suddenly, Laban's stomach grumbled. I wish Father would make a decision. I'm starved. He leaned over and whispered, "Seems like a good idea."

"I don't know if this is good or bad, but I think the Lord is clearly speaking to us." Bethuel stroke his beard.

A moment later he nodded and stood. "You may take Rebekah to be your master's son's wife as the Lord has spoken."

Eliezer fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord. "Thank you, O God of my master, Abraham."

"Wait. I have gifts." He ran to one of his bags and jammed his arm deep inside. "Yes, here it is." Eliezer unpacked silver and gold jewelry and beautiful clothing. "These are for your daughter."

Before Bethuel called, Rebekah ran out to the living room. "You called, Father?"

He shook his head. "I would have called if you would have given me the chance. Very well, you may have your gifts."

Eliezer set his bag on the floor and handed her the jewelry and clothing.

She bowed graciously. "Thank you." Rebekah brushed the soft material against her cheek and laughed. "What beautiful gifts." She twirled around the living room, holding each new treasure close to her.

Laban rolled his eyes. "Girls."

Eliezer dug into his bag and unpacked precious gifts for Laban and their mother.

Tears came to her eyes. "Oh, Betheul. Look."

He nodded. "Very nice."

Laban sneaked behind his sister and tickled her. She spun around to face him. At that moment he saw a sparkle in her eyes. "I'm happy for you, Sis."

Can you count how many pieces of the story about Rebekah God clearly planned? Hmmm..don't forget Eliezer's prayer asking God to send the right girl to say the right thing, and then...click the comment button to say what else God did.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pesky Brothers

By Mary Vee

Genesis24:29-32
Last time we talked about Eliezer giving Rebekah a gold ring and gold bracelets. She ran home to show her family the wonderful gifts.

Laban, Rebekah's brother, wiped his forehead. "What a hot day to split wood." He set the freshly cut log on the wood pile. As he reached for another chunk of wood, he noticed his sister running toward the house. He looked closer and saw her friends weren't with her. There must be something wrong. His ax fell from his hand, just missing his foot. "Rebekah!"

"Laban, Laban, look what I have!" Rebekah waved her wrist in front of his face.

"Wait just a minute. Who gave you these bracelets and the ring? Who's this person?" Laban rolled up his sleeves. "I'll teach this stranger to fool my sister. Where is he?"

Laban paced a few steps, turned and glared at his sister. "Why do you listen to strangers? He could be a thief."

He pushed her off the path. "Step aside. I'll take care of him."

Rebekah tried to slow her breathing. She shook her head and laughed. "You don't understand. No one was mean to me."

Laban stomped up the path. "Yeah, sure. Is he at the well?"

"Wait!" Rebekah pulled her skirt tight around her feet and ran after her brother. "You must listen." She took two more breaths. "Yes, there's a man at the well. He's the servant of Grandfather's brother."

Laban stopped. He studied her eyes to decide if she was telling the truth. "Abram's servant is out at the well?"

"Yes! But his servant called him Abraham. He must have changed his name."

"And you left him out there? Rebekah what were you thinking?" He shook his finger at her. "You can't leave servants who probably have important messages from family members out at the well. Do I have to do everything myself?"

He ran out to the well. There he found a finely dressed servant standing by ten magnificent camels. Nine servants stood humbly nearby. Ooooo, Rebekah is going to be in so much trouble when Dad and Mom find out she left these people at the well.

He swallowed and took a few steps near the servant. "I understand you met my sister."

The servant nodded.

"Please forgive us, for you are blessed of the Lord. Please, come to our home. Our house is prepared for you."

Laban turned to lead the way to the house. "Come, my parents will want to hear all your news about Abraham."

Eliezer commanded the servants and camels to follow. "Very good. I have important news to tell them."

Looks like Laban cared about his sister after all. He showed, in his brotherly way, that he didn't want her to get hurt. I have a brother like that. God brings many different people in our lives who care about us. Think about the people in your life. Yup, even the ones who are pesky. Can you find at least one time when someone showed they cared about you? Did you just giggle?