Wednesday, March 31, 2010


By Mary Vee
Today's story is the first of a two parter. Enjoy this original Easter time story.

Tom and Jason met in front of Mr. Timm’s ranch last Saturday to go 4-wheeling on his trails. Tom unhitched the entrance gate and road his bicycle to the barn where he found Mr. Timm’s quad parked under the lean-to. “L--Look at this. Spit polished and ready to ride. Mr. Timm is awesome.”

Jason grabbed a helmet from storage and handed it to Tom. “I’m glad he lets you use his or we couldn’t ride here. Did you see Carl yesterday? He raced his quad into my sister’s bike and made her fall into the ditch. My dad was really mad.”

Tom shoved his helmet on and snapped the strap. “No.” He grabbed the keys from under the rock and swung a leg over the seat.

Sunrays sparkled off Jason’s new 4-wheeler when he backed it out of the way. “You get an allowance don’t you?”


“So save up for your own quad. I bought mine. It only took two months.”

Tom gazed at Jason’s 4-wheeler. It’d take a lifetime of allowance for me to buy a quad like that. “My mom said we might be able to buy one next year.” But, I don’t think we’ll have the money—ever.

“You want to take the trail by Miller’s Creek?”

Tom raced forward. “Beat you there!”

They raced through the roller coaster trail leading down to the creek. Splashing along the riverbed they wove around rocks and twined through trees cheering like Olympians on a marathon. The course led to the western edge of the ranch where a twenty-foot cliff marked the property line.

Tom slammed on the brake a few feet before the edge. He and Jason hopped off their quads and ran for the edge, daring each other to jump. Tom dug his feet into the ground to keep his balance and noticed something beyond Jason. “Wait. Look there’s someone crouching by the fence over there.”

Jason squinted. “That’s Carl’s quad—I’d recognize it anywhere.”

Tom stepped around Jason. “Hey, what’re you doing here?”

Carl whipped around and slid something in his pocket. “Nothin’. What gives you the right to be here? Buzz off. Oh, and I’ll be sure to tell Mr. Timm you stole his quad. Didn’t think you had it in you.”

“I didn’t—“

Jason sighed. “Leave him alone, Carl.”

“Shows ya anyone dressed in rags can be a thief. Way to go.”

Tom turned away.

Jason glared at Carl then ran after Tom and yanked his arm. “You’re not going to stand up to him?”
Tom kept walking towards the 4-wheeler. Jason edged close, flinging his arms forward. “Tom? What’s the matter with you? Why do you let him walk all over you?”

Tom ignored him and started his quad. He tried to shut out Carl’s snide laughter. A mile down the road he pulled to the side and climbed off the quad. Jason slammed his 4-wheeler next to Tom’s. “What’s gotten into you? Why’d you let him talk to you like that?”

Tom shook his head and plopped on the ground. “I can’t.”

“Can’t? Can’t what? Stand up for yourself?”

“Last Sunday I went to church.”


“So—I heard about Jesus, God’s Son, and what He’s done for me. He took the punishment for all the bad things I’ve ever done. Everything. They told me at the church that Jesus loves me. He loves me so much that He was willing to leave His perfect home in Heaven to take the punishment for all the bad things I’ve ever done. I—I asked Jesus to help me. I—I believe in Jesus.”

Jason shrugged. “What does Jesus have to do with your not standing up to Carl?”

Tom yanked a blade of grass, tearing pieces away and letting them fall. “I just don’t want to do bad things any more.”

"Whatever." Jason stood and went back to his quad. “If he treated me like that, I’d fight him.”

“And then what?”

“And then he’d know not to threaten me.” Jason raised his chin. “Time’s wasting I’ll race you to Snake Pit.”
**** To Be Continued on Saturday's Post

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Dot to Dot Game

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: Print this page then connect the dots.

How else could you share this picture? Click on the comment button to tell us.

Here is the answer to last week's puzzle

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Cover-Up

By Mary Vee
Genesis 37:29-35
The brothers cheered tossing their coins in the air and slapping each other other on the back. Simeon, Dan, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, and Naphtali felt like having a party. They didn't even notice Reuben coming back from checking on the sheep.

Reuben scratched his head. "What's going on?" He noticed his brothers tossing money in the air. "Where'd you get the money from?"

Simeon walked over to his brother and slapped him on the back. He could barely talk with all the laughing. "Reuben. Reuben, you missed the most exciting time." He turned to his brothers. "Right? Am I right?"

The brothers cheered again. Reuben shook his head. "What? What'd I miss?"
Judah stepped forward. "We got rid of Joseph." He chuckled and slapped his knee. "We did it! We're free."

Reuben's face grew red. "Got rid of Joseph? What do you mean got rid of Joseph."

Dan and Gad rolled their eyes. "Don't worry. He's safe."

"Safe? Where?" Reuben huffed.

Simeon stepped closer and set his hand on Reuben's shoulder. "There was a caravan. Traveling Ishmaelites taking their wares to Egypt to sell. We sold Joseph to them. Here hold out your hand--this is your share."

Reuben flung his hand behind his back. "Don't give me that. I--we--" He ran to the pit and kneeled down. He shaded his eyes to see better. "Where's Joseph? I left him right here!" Reuben's heart raced. He looked toward the sky. "I wanted to take him back home." He tore his clothes and huffed. "What did they do?" He ran back to his brothers. "Where's Joseph?"

Asher and Issachar shrugged. "We told you. We sold him to the Ishmaelites. What's the problem? He's gone--we're rid of him."

Reuben paced and wrung his hands. "What am I going to do? Joseph is no more; and I, where can I go? I'm the one who has to tell Father. I'm the one responsible."

Simeon walked near him. "Calm down. I have an idea. We have his special coat that Father made for him. We dip it into the blood of a goat then take it to him. We can ask him if it's Joseph coat and let him figure out what happened."

Reuben walked a short distance away. He punched his fist into his hand and paced. After a short, he returned to his brothers. "I don't like it, but it seems to be the only thing we can do."

The brother hurried the sheep back to their father's home. When he came out to greet them they showed him the coat. "Father, we found this. Do you know if it is Joseph's?"

Jacob looked at the coat. Tears dripped down his cheeks. He grabbed the coat and held it close. "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." He collapsed to his knees and tore his clothes. He wept. "Joseph, my son."

Reuben and his brothers tried to comfort their father, but nothing they said did any good. Jacob wept for days. He couldn't stop. He wept for his son Joseph."

What do you think would have happened if Reuben or any of the other brothers told their father the truth? Most likely they would have been punished. They probably would have to go find Joseph. What else? Selling Joseph as a slave really wasn't a good idea. Lying to their father made matters worse. What could you learn from this story? Click the comment button to tell us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Slaves for Sale

By Mary Vee
Genesis 37: 25-28

Simeon's stomach growled. "Ignore Joseph's cries. I'm hungry." Levi, Dan and the other brothers agreed. They walked away from the pit and unpacked their lunch.

Judah sat under the tree and sprawled out comfortably on the grass. "Think about it, brothers, we could get rid of Joseph and not have to worry about him tattling on us any more."

Issachar laughed. "Who will be father's favorite son then? Maybe me!"

The other brothers laughed until Simeon stood with his fist raised. "If anyone's the favorite, it should be Reuben. He's the oldest."

Judah set his food down. "We were just joking. Come on, sit under the tree and cool off that temper."

Simeon plopped on the ground. "I'll be happy when this is over."

Joseph called up from the pit. "Hey get me out of here. I mean it!"

Simeon balled up his fists. "Can't someone make him be quiet?"

Gad pointed past Simeon toward the road. "Look! There's a caravan. I wonder what their selling?" The brothers ran to see.

Their eyes went wide. Judah gazed at the spices, balm, and myrrh. He turned to one of the Ishmaelites and held up his hand. "Can you wait a moment? Let me talk with my brothers."

"Sure." He reached up and pulled out more items for sale. "Take your time."

Judah called his brothers over. "I have an idea. Listen to this...what good is it to kill Joseph and hide his blood? We could sell him to these Ishmaelites. We'd get money to spend any way we want AND be rid of Joseph. After all, he is our brother."

Simeon stoked his beard. "I like it. We could split the money 8 ways--"

Asher pressed forward. "Don't you mean 9? Reuben isn't here right now, but he helped us put that squirt down in the pit."

Simeon nodded. "Yes. You're right. We split 9 ways. Agree?"

The brothers nodded. Judah led the way back to the pit. They lowered a rope and dangled it in front of Joseph's face. Simeon laughed. "Grab the rope little brother."

Joseph looked up. "You better be sorry...this wasn't funny you know." He grabbed the rope and pulled himself to the opening. His brothers heaved him to his feet. Joseph smoothed his clothing and sighed. "When are you guys gonna--"

Simeon grabbed Joseph's arm. Joseph's eyes went wide. "Where we going?"

The brothers dragged Joseph to the traders caravan. Judah stood out front while the others held their younger brother. "We have an offer. We want to sell this slave to you."

The Ishmaelites looked at Joseph and nodded. "You have a deal. We pay 20 shekels." The trader pulled out the money and gave it to Judah. Two other traders grabbed Joseph and tied him to a camel. "Nice doing business with you."

Simeon held his hand out to get his share. He laughed. "Finally, we're rid of him."

As the caravan disappeared down the road, Reuben returned. He looked at his brothers. "What's going on? Where did you get that money? Where's Joseph?"

It's easy to be fooled into thinking we can do bad things and not get caught. Satan loves to fool us. Maybe we don't know the answer to a question on a test but the person next to us is busy writing something. Maybe we see a coin on the ground but we also see someone who just stood at the same place. Is that finder's keepers? What are other ways Satan tries to fool us? What can we do when Satan tries to fool us? Click on the comment button to say what you think.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let's Play What's Joseph's Dream

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: USING THE CLUES BELOW, SOLVE THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE. If you need help read the last week's stories on God Loves Kids blog, or check Genesis 37.

3. How many older brothers Joseph had
4. Brother who didn't want Joseph killed
7. Joseph was thrown into
8. Joseph's mother in his second dream
9. What Joseph's brother's called him
11. Joseph's brothers in his second dream
12. How many dreams Joseph had.
1. Joseph saw in his first dream
2. Joseph's father in his second dream
5. Who Joseph told about his dreams
6. the brother's bundles _____ to Joseph
10. sent Joseph to check on the sheep.


Here is the answer to last week's puzzle:

Saturday, March 20, 2010


By Mary Vee
Genesis 37: 12-24

Reuben and his ten brothers searched for fresh pasture in Shechem. They'd led their family's flock for many days away from their home in Hebron and had become concerned about the animals. "Let's go further north. There should be decent grass in Dothan." His brothers agreed. The sheep bleated and fussed as the shepherds pressed them to move forward.

As they neared Dothan, Simeon shaded his eyes from the sun. "Hey, look at that pasture! It's perfect. We can take a break while the sheep eat." The brothers slapped each other on the back and cheered.

An hour later their family's flock grazed on hearty grass. Dan sat under a tree and drank some water. He noticed someone in the distance. He squinted and realized Joseph, their little brother, was walking toward them. "Hey, Reuben, look. Here comes trouble."

Reuben slapped his forehead. "What's he doing here?"

Gad turned to him. "What do you mean?"

Dan pointed. "Look back at the road. I'd recognize that coat of many colors anywhere." Dan waved to the other brothers. "Look. There's Joseph. The dreamer who says we'll bow down to him."

Reuben leaned against the tree. "He shouldn't have come."

The other brothers laughed and shouted. "We should kill him. That'd get rid of the trouble maker." "Yeah, we're far away from home." "Father always treats him better than the rest of us. Let's see what happens when his favorite son disappears."

Reuben held his hand up. "Wait. Slow down. We can't kill Joseph."

The brothers shook their head. "What? Why not? He's been nothing but trouble since the day he was born." "Yeah, Let's kill him."

Reuben pushed his way into the middle of his brothers. "I tell you, we can't kill him. Here, I have an idea. See that pit? You could thrown him into there. That would leave him out here in the wilderness where no one would know to save him. At least his blood won't be on our hands. What do you say?"

The brothers stood quiet for a few moment. Simeon peered over at Joseph who was getting closer to them. "OK. Let's throw him into the pit. That would get him out of the way. Who knows, maybe a wild animal will come." The brothers laughed. They piled their hands together and shook on the idea then sat under the tree to wait for Joseph.

Reuben wiped sweat from his forehead. At least they won't kill him.

Joseph arrived a little while later. Levi stood. "So, you found us."

Joseph wiped his hands on his tunic. "Ahh, yeah. Father told me to see if everything is well with you and the flocks."

The other brothers stood and joined Levi. Joseph took a step back. The brothers grabbed Joseph and yanked his coat of many colors off. One shouted, "Here's what you get for being a trouble maker." They dragged Joseph to the pit and threw him in.

Joseph tumbled to the bottom. "My head! My leg! Let me out. Please help me out of here."

Reuben stepped back. I can't stand hearing him scream. He walked to the pasture to check on the sheep. I'll let the other's have their fun for a while then sneak back, pull Joseph out of the pit, and send him home.

Reuben cringed with each dastardly cheer from his brothers. He kneeled by one of the sheep. "I hope they keep their word. What would father say if they killed Joseph? He'd blame me." The lamb looked up at him and bleated.

Sometimes we see someone being picked on. What can we do? Reuben didn't want Joseph to be killed, but he didn't want his brothers to turn on him either. If Reuben could hear you, what would God want you say to him? Do you think Reuben made a wise choice when he told his brothers to throw Joseph in the pit? What's going to happen to Joseph?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


By Mary Vee
Genesis 37:5-11

A chill breeze whipped through Joseph's tent. He shivered and yanked his blanket to his chin. I wish I could sleep. He yawned and rolled onto his side.

A few seconds later Joseph flopped over on his other side. I just know Simeon and Levi are going to pound me tomorrow for telling on them. Maybe they'll take off and leave me the work. That would be better than getting beat up.

Joseph squirmed again. At some point, he wasn't sure when, he found himself standing in a field binding sheaves with his brothers. Each one bundled his own sheaves then left the bundle lying on the ground. Joseph stepped back from his bundle. He reached down to gather more sheaves to bundle when something strange caught his eye.

He turned and watched his brothers bundled sheaves stand up on their own. His bundle stood as well. Joseph dropped the sheaves he gathered and blinked. He rubbed his eyes and then saw His brother's bundled sheaves bowed before his bundle.

Joseph shook his head and opened his eyes. He sat up in bed and took a deep breath. "Whoa. That was a weird dream." He opened the tent flap and gazed at the black sky dotted with stars. Still night out. Good. I can get some decent sleep

He closed the tent flap and crawled back into bed. Before Joseph knew it, morning came. He sauntered to the breakfast table. His brothers ignored him.

Jacob looked up. "Didn't you sleep well?"

"Actually, I had a weird dream. I dreamt we were binding sheaves in the field. My sheaf stood, as did all of yours. Then your sheaves bowed to mine."

His brothers faces became red. Simeon pounded his fist on the table. "Are you saying you're going to reign over us like some kind of king?" The brothers slammed their food on the table, got up, and stomped away.

That night Joseph had trouble getting to sleep again. He rolled around in his bed, yanked his blankets, and tried everything he knew to help him sleep. At some time, he found himself standing outside. The sun, moon, and eleven stars shone brightly in the sky. How weird. I've never seen stars, the sun and the moon at one time in the night sky. As he stood watching the sun, moon, and the eleven stars bowed to him. He took a step back and tripped. Before he landed on the ground he opened his eyes and realized it was a dream.

When Joseph sat at the breakfast table, Dan and Gad snickered and pointed at him. His other brothers joined in with their own mocking.

Jacob set his food down. "Didn't sleep well again, Son?"

"Ummm. I had another unusual dream. I dreamed the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed to me."

Jacob huffed. "You mean to say your mother, your brothers, and I will bow to the earth before you?"

Joseph kept quiet. His brothers turned to each other. "Why does he dream these dreams. Why is he the special one. Aren't we older? Shouldn't we have special dreams?"

Jacob stroked his beard. He didn't stop his sons from stomping away from the table. "Maybe you better not go with your brothers to care for the sheep today. You can help around here."

Joseph swallowed. "Thank you, Father."

No one seemed to know what to do about Joseph's dreams. His brothers were angry and jealous, his father was unsure, and Joseph didn't really know what to do either. When someone near you does something special do you get jealous? If they win an award or write the best story does that bother you? How does God want us to act when someone else does something better than us?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shepherd's Maze

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: Poor Joseph was left to tend the sheep by himself. Those rascal lambs kept wondering away. Help Joseph find the lost lamb.



Jacob showed his love for God by burying the false gods His family had under a tree at Shechem.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Big Brothers

By Mary Vee
Genesis 37:1-4

Joseph wrapped his special coat around his body. He smoothed out a few wrinkles, raised his chin, and proudly walked out to the fire.

Joseph gave a small bow to his father. "Breakfast smells good."

Jacob waved his son over. "Joseph, come. Join me for our morning meal."

Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher spread their elbows to take up more room. Joseph rolled his eyes and walked to the other side of the table. Reuben, Judah, Levi, Simeon leaned over to the side and Issachar and Zebulun tipped the other way. Joseph couldn't find an open place to sit.

Jacob laughed. "All right, quit teasing your brother. Move over to make room."

Joseph squeezed into the small place at the end.

Jacob took another bite of his breakfast. "Today I want you boys to take the flocks out to new pasture. I've notice a few have been injured by bushes or thorns. Take good care of them. I'll see you this evening when you return."

Dan and Naphtali stood "accidentally" shoving their bodies into Joseph. His food popped out of his hand and dropped to the ground. They walked away laughing. Little Benjamin toddled up to Joseph and picked up the food. He shoved it in Joseph's bowl. Joseph smiled when the little boy hugged his leg. "Thanks, little brother. Go play, I have work to do."

Joseph stuffed the last of his meal down his throat then ran to catch up with the others. He didn't mind working with the sheep. It was a peaceful job except when his older brothers treated him like a servant or played mean jokes on him. Sometimes he wished he could take care of the sheep by himself, then he wouldn't have to put up with them.

That afternoon, Jacob's sons found a pasture with plenty of green grass. Joseph kept busy shooing the wandering sheep back to the fold. He looked up and noticed his brother walking away from the sheep.

Joseph sat on a rock near a lamb. "They wouldn't care if you lost your way." The yearling looked up at his shepherd and bleated. Joseph pat the little animal's head.

Shortly before sundown, the brothers returned. They drove the sheep back home then plopped down for dinner. Joseph secured the gate and walked over to his father's tent. "Father, may I speak with you."

"Sure, Joseph."

Joseph opened the tent flap. "Father, today, in the pasture, Simeon and the others left me with the work. Once we arrived, they took off and didn't return until nearly sundown."

Jacob stroked his beard. "I'll talk with them about this. Go now, eat your supper."

Later that evening Joseph noticed his brothers gathered around Jacob's tent. When his father walked away, his brothers pounded their fists together and raised their arms in the air. He hid behind a tree. Oh no! They're going to beat me up for sure.

He sneaked to his tent and whipped open the flap. What will I do when we go to the pasture tomorrow?

Joseph laid back on his bed. Maybe I shouldn't have told on them. Their going to pound me for sure tomorrow. Joseph tried to sleep. He rolled this way and that. The night seemed to last forever.

Joseph's big brother's liked to pick on him. This was difficult for Joseph to deal with. In the next few stories we'll learn more about Joseph and his brothers. The good news is: God remains faithful to Joseph, he protects him and leads him to a very important job.

What does God want you to do when an older kid picks on you? Clue - Think about what Jesus did when the pharisees picked on Him.


By Mary Vee
Genesis 35:27-29

A nearby donkey brayed. Jacob rubbed the sleep from his eyes and opened his tent flap. The table had been set for breakfast already. "Good morning everyone."

Leah looked up from her work. "Good morning, husband. You slept late this morning."

"Yes, I must admit I did. It sure felt good."

Jacob sat at the table. "Oh God, giver of all things, thank you for this food. Please bless it to our bodies. Amen"

Jacob picked at his breakfast, eating only a few bites. "Our journey is almost over. We should arrive at my father's home soon."

Leah smiled. "The children are looking forward to meeting him."

"He's old." Jacob sighed. "He could barely see when I left home over twenty years" ago." I hope he's still alive.

Jacob noticed his sons playing with the sheep. He called to a servant. "Tell everyone to break camp."

"Yes, Master." The servant hurried to tell those nearby.

Within an hour Jacob's family traveled further south down the road toward Mamre. As they walked, Jacob told stories about his grandpa Abraham. "Abraham lived in Mamre when his nephew was kidnapped. No one could conquer the bad guys. Grandpa gathered a bunch of men and chased down the kidnappers. He freed not only my cousin Lot, but also all the other people who were prisoners."

Judah, Levi, and Gad loved listening to the stories. "Tell us more."

Jacob did. He told stories about his Grandpa Abraham and his dad, Isaac until they finally arrived at Mamre.

Jacob ran to his father's house. "Dad. I'm home!" Jacob opened the door. He found Esau at their father's bedside. "Esau, how is Father?"

Esau shook his head. "I'm glad you came. We should call everyone here. He won't live much longer."

Jacob inched closer. "Dad? Daddy? I'm back. I brought my family to meet you." Isaac's eyes remained closed. Jacob watched his father's chest rise slightly with each breath. He kneeled beside the bed and took his father's hand.

The door creaked open. Jacob looked up and saw his sons peaking in. "Come in sons. Come meet your Grandfather." Jacob introduced each son to Isaac then sent them out of the house.

Later that night, after living one hundred and eighty years, Isaac breathed his last. The family gathered together and gave each other hugs. Esau and Jacob told stories about their father. They talked about the time Isaac refused to fight to keep his well. As a result he saved his family and brought peace to the area. Esau and Jacob son's realized how important their grandfather was and how he loved and obeyed God.

Esau and Jacob buried their father as he wanted to be.

The Bible says: some day we all will die. How will you be remembered. Will others know you loved and obeyed God? What can you do to help others know you love and serve God?

Monday, March 8, 2010

What's Under the Tree?

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: Find the answer to the math problem. Write the word from the box in the blank below that matches the correct answer to each math problem.

HOW DID YOU DO? Click on the Comment button to tell us if you found the answer.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jacob Says Goodbye to His Beloved Rachel

By Mary Vee
Genesis 35: 8-20

Shortly after Jacob's family arrived in Bethel he heard the news that His mother's nurse died. Jacob sighed and bowed his head. He turned to Leah and Rachel. "My mother loved Deborah. She helped her throughout her life. She was like a grandmother to Esau and me."

Rachel tried to comfort him. She rested on a nearby rock and felt the baby move in her belly. "This child is wearing me out!"

Jacob noticed her pale skin. This childbirth will be difficult for her. I better hurry everyone along to get us to my father's home before the baby is born.

He helped Rachel on a camel then signaled his whole household to continue the journey. Rachel groaned as the animal stood. The sun rose and fell in the sky as they moved closer and closer to Bethlehem.

A short distance before they reached the city, Rachel called out to Jacob. "We must stop. The baby is coming."

Jacob ordered servants to set up a tent for her at once. He helped her to the freshly made bed then went outside to wait while the nurse took care of her. He leaned closer to the tent to hear what was happening.

"Don't be afraid, Rachel." the nurse said. "Your baby is going to be fine."

"I want to name him. Tell Jacob his name is Ben-Oni."

"I will. Now breathe."

Moments later a baby cried. Jacob smiled. "I have another son."

One of the servants peeked her head out of the tent. "Master Jacob, you have a son. He is to be called Ben-Oni."

Jacob shook his head. "Ben-Oni? No that won't do. We will call him Benjamin."

Jacob listened again carefully. I hear the baby, but I can't hear Rachel. She must be sleeping.

Soon the nurse pulled the tent flap back. She held the new baby in her arms. "I'm sorry, Master Jacob. Rachel did not live."

"She, what? My Rachel, what?"

The nurse sighed. "I'm sorry, master, She did not live. Your son, though, is healthy."

Jacob covered his eyes. He forced air to seep into his lungs. "My Rachel. My beautiful Rachel." His thoughts flew back to the day he met her. How lovely she was. He helped her with the sheep then she ran to her father's home, forgetting everything. Jacob smiled then wept.

Jacob buried his wife, Rachel nearby. He set a pillar on her grave to let everyone know where she rested. As he patted the last stone into place, Baby Benjamin cried.

Today's story is a sad one. On the day this story was written, an earthquake struck Chili. Tragedies like that happen every day. They remind us that earth is not our real home. We are here only for a visit. Someday each of us will either go to live with Jesus or go to live in a terrible place call Hell. Heaven is the real home for everyone who asks Jesus into their heart. Heaven can be your real home, too, if you believe Jesus died for your sins and ask Him to be your Savior. If you have questions or would like to talk more about asking Jesus into your heart email me at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shechem's gods

By Mary Vee
Genesis 35:1-15

Jacob watched his brother, Esau, and the 400 men with him disappear over the horizon. Rachel gazed into Jacob's eyes. "Are we going to follow him?"

"I'm having second thoughts about meeting up with Esau." Jacob paced a few steps. "Sure, he was nice and welcomed all of us with opened arms, but maybe he's planning an attack when we're closer to my parent's home."

Rachel looked further down the road. "You don't really believe that, do you? He seemed genuinely happy to see you. If he wanted to attack, wouldn't he have done so right here where you parents wouldn't find out?"

Jacob stroked his beard. "Perhaps. For now, we'll travel as far as Shechem. I'll buy land there for us to settle on. It's a nice city and it's part of the land God promised my family, AND it's far from Esau."

Jacob did as he said. He purchased land, set up his home and built an altar to God. While his family lived there, his sons and daughter caused trouble with the people which ended in a terrible war. People from nearby cities became angry. Beads of sweat dripped down Jacob's face. He shoved his hand into his fist. "Those kids are going to get us all killed."

That night God spoke to Jacob in a dream. "Jacob, you need to move on to Bethel. That is where you should live. At that place you can make an altar to the God who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother."

Jacob woke. He stepped out of his tent and gazed up. The stars still blinked in the dark sky. What's the matter with me? God told me to return to Bethel once when I ran away from home, another time when He told me to leave Uncle Laban's house, and now this time. Three times he had to tell me. When am I going to make wise decisions?

He looked to the east at the horizon and noticed a glimmer of color in the sky. May as well wake everyone. It'll take a while to pack.

Jacob woke a few family members and sent them to wake the others. "There will be a meeting by the fire in a few minutes. Everyone is to come, family, servants, everyone."

A large group of people gathered, rubbing the sleep from their eyes and chattering to each other. Jacob held out his hand to hush the voices. "Listen everyone. God spoke to me in a dream last night. He told me to go to Bethel."

Joseph ran to his father. "Isn't that near Grandpa's house?"

"Yes, it is."

"I can't wait. Can we leave now?"

Jacob smiled and turned back to the others. "Look, I know some of you have foreign gods. I've been wrong allowing you to keep them. You are to get rid of them and purify yourselves. Wash and put on fresh clothes. Once we've honored God in this way, we can leave for Bethel. I'll make an altar to God there and honor Him for helping us. Go, get ready to leave."

The people went to their tents. It didn't take long before a pile of foreign gods lay on the ground next to the fire. They even gave Jacob their golden earrings.

Jacob grabbed a shovel and dug a hole under a Terebinth tree nearby. He called two of his sons. "Simeon, Levi, dump everything from that pile into this hole."

After a couple of trips, his sons cleared the pile and stood back. Jacob scooped dirt to cover the hole and pressed the dirt firmly down. He swiped sweat from his face. He turned to his household. "Clean yourselves and pack. I want to leave by the time the sun is straight up in the sky."

A few hours later, Jacob led his family toward Bethel. All along the way, God protected them.

Do you think Jacob made the right choice to live in Shechem? How do we know God didn't want Jacob to live in Shechem? God told Jacob in a dream to leave and go to Bethel. What did Jacob do before he left, and why?

Is there something that is so important to you that you think about it when you should be thinking about God?

Monday, March 1, 2010

When Jacob Goes Marching Home Again Word Search

By Mary Vee




Here is the answer to last week's puzzle