Monday, August 30, 2010

Back To School Tip #3 Getting It Together

By  Mary Vee

The new school year is here.  You've already started making friends.  Afterschool times are filling up with lessons, practices, church programs--a great things for you to do.  How are you going keep everything straight?  Ummm, the best answer is not let Mom do it. 

Moms help us a lot by keeping track of when we need to do things, but maybe this can be the year that you help.  One year my daughter decided to take karate.  We signed up for the program and planned to start classes the next Monday.  Monday came and went.  We both forgot, even though the class was written on the family calendar.  On Thursday my daughter came to me after school and said, "Mom, let's not forget karate tonight."  I sure appreciated her helpful reminder.  We arrived in plenty of time for her to attend class.

How about you?  Your guardians get busy with life.  Laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, going to work, taking care of the yard and cars keep them busy.  Let's make this the year we help.

1. If your guardian wakes you for school, allow yourself 5 seconds to stretch then hop out of bed.  You know what to do to get ready for school.  Surprise your guardian by getting ready without being reminded.
Let's practice.  What do you need to do to get ready for school in the morning?  If your guardian approves, make a list and post it on your bedroom door.
2. When you come home from school, instead of tossing your backpack and shoes, surprise your guardian by putting these items in their assigned place right away.  Do you need to take papers out of your backpack and give them to your guardian?  Maybe your teacher assigned homework. 
Let's practice:  What place should you put your things after school? Plan a schedule that your guardian approves (come home from school, snack, homework, church group) 

3. At school your teacher needs your help.  There are many students in your class.  The more students who help by keeping their desk clean, the more time teacher might have for fun activities. 
Let's practice: Can you find your spelling book when your teacher says, "It's spelling time?"

There are great rewards to putting things in an assigned placed and doing projects when asked.  Here are some rewards:
1. More time to play
2. Happy people around us
3. Better grades
4. Find things we need when we need them.
5. God will give you a bubbly feeling in your heart.

What other things can we do to help our guardians and teachers?  What other rewards could we earn?
Write you ideas below.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moses Returns to Egypt

By Mary Vee
Exodus 4: 18-27

Every once in a while, the sheep cooperate. 

I had taken them to the other side of the desert to feast on fresh pasture, found a burning bush, heard a voice, which turned out to be God's voice, and led the flock back home.

After closing the gate to the sheep pen, I ran to Jethro to tell him my news.  Even though I married his daughter, Zipporah, he remained the head of the family. 

"Jethro, I need to speak with you."

"Ah, Moses, back so soon from tending the sheep?"

"Yes, well, I have been thinking about the Israelites in Egypt."
"I see. And what have you decided?"

Here came the difficult part.  Will he let me take my sons and his daughter back to Egypt?  "I would like to see whether they are still alive."

He studied my face.  I hated waiting for him to say something, anything--how about one word?

He walked close to me then put his hand on my shoulder. "Go in peace."

"Really?  I can take Zippora and the boys with me?"

"I understand your desires to see your people.  You have given me many years of sincere service.  Now you need to see your family."

That went better than I thought.  Now I get to tell Zipporah the news.


"Yes, my husband."

"I spoke with your father a few moments ago."

"About what?"

"About taking you and the boys to see my family in Egypt. He gave his blessing."

"Moses, I don't understand some of the things you do, but I will do as you wish.  I'll prepare for the journey at once."

That night, God spoke with me again.  He said, "Return to Egypt. Don't be afraid; all the men who tried to kill you have died." He reminded me to do all the wonders he taught me before Pharaoh.  The next day my family and I left our home and set out for Egypt.

Several days later we came to a mountain. I helped set up the camp while Zipporah made supper.  The boys play in the trees until Zipporah called them to eat.  Shortly after I sat at the table I heard rustling leaves off to the left.  I turned and saw a man.  "Who are you?"

"My name is Aaron.  I'm looking for my brother Moses."

"Aaron?  Is it really you?"



Moses must have had a difficult time finding the courage to speak to his father-in-law about going to Egypt.  Do you remember from the last story Moses said he had a problem speaking to others?  We don't know if Moses stuttered, or what his speech problem really was, but we do know he felt awkward about speaking to Pharaoh in Egypt.  God gave him the strength and the words to say to Jethro. 

Is there something you find difficult to do? 
Who could help?
If you have any questions, click on the tab at the top, or post your question in the comment box.

Why did Moses want to go to Egypt?
Who did Moses take with him to Egypt?
Who did Moses meet on his journey to Egypt?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Can't Do This Job, God

By Mary Vee

Exodus 4:9-25

A crisp breeze swept across my back pulling my attention away from the burning bush. How could I do this job? God was asking me, a nothing in Pharaoh's household, a murderer, a runaway, a shepherd in a foreign land. Who am I? No, I knew I couldn't do the job. I am only Moses.

I studied my staff. Only a minute ago God turned it into a serpent. I must admit, it scared me. Just thinking about it sends chills up my neck. Sconds later he turned the serpent back into my staff. Oh, yes, I can't forget what God did to my hand. He turned my whole hand into a complete case of leprosy. One moment it looked white, scaly, bad enough to make me look away. Oddly enough, it didn't hurt. The nerves had been destroyed by the disease, what was left of my hand wouldn't move. In the next instant, God healed my hand back to the way it was.

God is powerful. He can do anything. He needed to pick someone who could do this job for Him. He needed someone great and powerful. He shouldn't pick me. I can't put two sentences together. All the tutors in Pharaoh's house couldn't fix my speech problems. Maybe God didn't understand. I needed to tell Him. "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor now. I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."

God didn't wait a second before answering. "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you should say."

He still wanted me go. I'd wreck everything. I'd stand before Pharaoh and not think of the right words. No. God needed someone who could do the job right. "O my Lord, please send anyone else but me to do this job."

I realized, at that moment, I made God angry. The flames burned stronger in the bush and the heat pushed toward me. I fell toward the ground as God spoke. "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know he can speak well. Watch for him. He is coming to visit you.

"Your brother will be happy when he sees you. Tell him all that I have told you. I will give you the words to say and teach you what needs to be done. You will teach Him. He will be your spokesman to the people. I will be with you both as you speak to My people in Egypt. You will take your rod and show them I have sent you."

That was it. God said no more to me that night.

I grabbed my sandals and slipped them on before returning to the flock. The stars stood out that night. Blinking in a black sky. After counting the sheep and leaning back on a rock, I couldn't help but think about God's words. I didn't mean to make Him angry.

The more I thought about the idea of going on an adventure back to Egypt, the better the idea sounded. God wanted me to lead His people out of Egypt. He said He would teach me what to do, tell me what to say, give me signs to show the people, and be with me every step of the way. He even said Aaron could stand by my side.

I looked back up at the stars and nodded. "OK God. I will go."

What did God want Moses to do?

Why didn't Moses think he could do the job?

What did Moses decide?

Think of a time God has helped you do something difficult. Did you thank God for your meal in front of your friends, did you choose to not go along with your friends when they did something bad, did you tell someone about Christ?

God told Moses He would be with Him. When God asks us to do a task, He will stay with us and help. King David wrote in Psalms God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore I will not fear.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School Tip #2-Keeping Friends

By Mary Vee

Many of us are back to school today.  Have you opened a book, started a sport, gone to a rehearsal, or had your first sleepover for the year? 

Last week we talked about making friends, it made me think of the words to a song I learned

Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other's gold.

Adding new friends to your group of old friends will help you have an exciting school year.  No matter what type of school you go to, you can participate in activities that will help your group of friends grow larger. 

Tips to keep old friends and new friends.

1. Compliment your friend.

2.  Ask them if they need help.

3. Send an email, text, or message on facebook with your parent's permission. You could also write them a note.  Be sure that the message is something encouraging. Ask yourself, is Jesus smiling as He reads my message to my friend?

4. Ask your friend to help you.  People like to feel wanted.  Perhaps you could ask help with a math problem or holding something heavy.

5. Offer to play with them at recess.  They may want to play a different game.  Suggest that you play their game today, and the game you like tomorrow.

6. Listen to them when they need to talk.  Sometimes kids are sad and need to say what is bothering them. 

7. Share something with them.  Does your friend need a pencil, some lead, an eraser, or paper?  Can you share with them?  If not today, maybe you could help your friend find someone who has extra.

What other ways can you help kids keep their
new and old friends?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Moses' Staff

by Mary Vee
Exodus 3:15-4:8

I had gone for a short walk away from the flock and discovered a bush on fire. A voice spoke to me from the bush. 

I had been listening to the voice and wondered who was speaking.  The voice told me He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  When I asked what name I should call Him, He said, "I AM." 

I had taken my sandles off as God told me to. He said the ground where I stood was holy.  If the ground was holy then I needed to do more than remove my sandles.  What would happen to me if I looked at the flames, knowing God's voice was there? I hid my face and scrinched close to the ground. 

He listend to my questions and answered them one by one while instructing me what to do.

God told me to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to release the children of Israel from slavery.  I asked more questions about what to say. He answered, "Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appeared to me. He said, "I have seen what is done to you in Egypt. I will bring you out of your slavery to a land filled with milk and honey." ' "

The longer I listened to His voice, the more my heart calmed. I wanted to hear everything He had to say.  He spoke with wisdom, and treated me like a son. Sure, I was surprised he wanted to talk to me, afterall who was I?  Yet, the more I listened to His instructions, the more I wanted to do what He asked.

God said the Israelite elders would go with me before Pharaoh.  When I asked what we should say, God answered, "Tell Pharaoah the Lord God of the Hebrews has met with you. Ask him to please let you go three days journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord your God.  But, Moses, even though you say those words, I am sure Pharaoh will not let you go."

I realized God had a complete plan to help the Israelites leave Egypt.  He told me, "I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in Pharaoh's midst.  Afterwards, Pharaoh will let you go.  When the time comes for the Israelites to leave, the Egyptians will give the Israelites silver, gold, and clothing."

This sounded great, but I couldn't figure out how to get the Israelite elders to believe God sent me?  So, I asked Him.

He said, "Moses, what is that in yor hand?"

I glanced down, "A rod."

He told me to throw it on the ground.  I did.  Right before my eyes, my rod, the one I've used for many years to guide my flock, turned into a serpant.  It scared me.  I ran to a safe distance. 

God spoke to me again. "Moses, reach out and take the serpent by the tail."

If His voice hadn't been calm and firm, I might not have moved forward right away.  Somehow, though, I knew I wouldn't be hurt.  I stepped back toward the serpant and caught it by the tail.  It stopped moving and became stiff. When I looked again, I realized the serpant became my rod.  God said, "Do as I have shown you before the elders that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has appeared to you."

I moved my hand up and down my rod finguing the grains to make sure no serpent scales remained.  It felt the same as before.  How exciting! 

God spoke to me again. "Put your hand inside your tunic." I did as He said and then pulled my hand back out.  The skin of my hand turend pasty white.  I had leprosy. Before I had a chance to panic, God said, "Put your hand inside your tunic again." I did.  As I pulled my hand back out, I squeezed my fingers together and found they worked like normal.  My skin felt like it did before. God healed my hand!

I had never seen God work in this way.  In this one conversation, my job changed from watching sheep to listening to God's word.

What did God ask Moses to do?
What happened when Moses obeyed?
What did Moses learn?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Voice in the Burning Bush

By Mary Vee
Exodus 3:5-14

A bush was on fire--in the middle of the desert, with nothing else burning around it.  I couldn't help myself, I had to see what caused the fire. 

I'd left the flock resting by the brook, back around the bend, to look for more pastureland. They'd sleep for a while which would free me to walk a little ways.  The heat from the fire warmed my face. 

There weren't signs of anyone camping nearby.  No pots, piles of bramble for kindling, or waste.  Why did the bush burn?

As I took another step forward a voice called to me.  "Moses. Moses!"

Honestly, I didn't know what to say other than, "Here I am."  My feet froze in the scorching sand.

Once again, I checked to see who could have called.  I saw no one. The voice must have come from the burning bush.  I took another step forward.  "Moses, don't walk near to this bush.  Where you are standing is holy ground."  Without thinking, my body jumped back two steps. 

Who spoke to me?  I squinted to get a clearer view of the inside of the bush.  "Moses, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob."  My heart pounded blood into my head.  I could barely breath.  God, Himself spoke to me! I was afraid I would die.  I needed to hide but there was nowhere in the open desert to go.

I wrapped my arm around my head and sank to my knees. "Moses, I've seen the terrible things happening to My people who are in Egypt, and have heard theri cries.  Each day the taskmasters bring pain and sorrow to them.  I've come to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring My people to a land flowing with milk and honey."

This was great news.  The people would be set free!  I kept my head low and listened.  "Moses, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I've seen their sorrows which the Egyptian cause.  I will send you to Pharaoh to bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

Me?  God wanted me to go back to Egypt and to speak to Pharaoh.  I can't do this.  I-- "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" 

I scrinched lower to the ground.  How could I?  I don't have power, or the ability to convince Pharaoh to let all those people go.  Why me? 

"Moses, I will be with you. Trust me.  I will be with you.  Here is how you will know that I've sent you: when you bring My people out of Egypt you will serve me on this mountain."

I felt weak.  "If and when I go to the children of Israel and tell them 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say 'What is His name?' What should I say to them?"

I didn't have to wait a second for the answer.  "I AM who I AM. You will say to the children of Israel, 'I AM' has sent me to you."

What do you think Moses was feeling?
Why did he go to the burning bush?
What did God want Moses to do?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to School Tip #1

By Mary Vee

Starting a new school year can be exciting and scary. The next few weeks we will talk about some back to school tips.  If you have any suggestions, write them in the comment box to help all of us.

This week we'll talk about friends.  Friendship can be the most important part of a good school year.  Whether you go to a public school, private school, or are homeschooled you need friends. 

Some people, like my older sister, make friends as fast as a cheetah runs.  Other's, like me, feel shy about making friends.

Tips for making a friend or renewing a friendship from last school year:

1. Talk -- Since other kids can't read you mind, you are going to have to talk.  Let's practice

"Hi.  My name is Mrs. Vee, what's yours?"

This is your time to talk--when you answer a question, think of a question to ask back. You could ask something like, "What did you do this summer?"

"Thanks for asking.  I went to a rodeo in Cody, Wyoming.  I've never been to a rodeo before.  It was awesome.  What did you do this summer?

Your turn to answer again.  If you ask a question after answering your question, it gives you a break from talking.  Sometimes the other person will talk and talk, sometimes they will say a few sentences.  Either way, you won't have to talk for a few minutes.  The great part is you get to hear stuff about the other person and soon you might find exciting things to talk about that you both like.

How did you do?  Are you ready to make a new friend? Need more help?  OK

2. Look-- Look at the person talking to you.  If I look at the ground, the person will think I'm sad.  If I look toward the ceiling, the person will think I'm bored.  If I look to the sides, the person will think I'm interested in something else.  The best choice is to look at your new friend.  When you do you will see what they are saying! It's true.  When a person is happy, they may not say something but their eyebrows will go up.  When someone is excited their eyes will become wide.  When a person is angry, their eyes get squinty.    Let's practice:

"Hi. My name is Mrs. Vee, what's yours?"  (I have a smile)

This is your turn to talk.  What look do you have on your face right now?  I'm looking to see if you are happy.

3.  Touch--Usually new people will give some signal that they are willing to be friends.  Some people reach their hands out to give a handshake, some slap five, others might only nod.  Nod can count as a touch.

Making friends is important.  Having a friend can...

Give you someone to talk to when you're having a bad day
Give you someone to tell a great story to.
Give you someone who will tell you nicely that you have food on your face to keep you from being
Give you someone to play with for recess.
Give you someone to have a sleepover with.
Give you someone who will still be your friend even
   when you make a mistake like dropping your lunch
    tray before you eat lunch.

Ready to make a friend?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Burning Bush

By Mary Vee
Exodus 3:1-4

"Zipporah, I'm taking the flock toward the back side of the desert.  I think there might be fresh pasture there."

"Moses, my husband, do you realize how proud my father is to have you in our family?"
Photo Courtesy

Moses smiled. "It's the first time someone's been proud of my work. When I lived in the palace, I had all these rules to follow like: what clothes to wear, what to eat, where to go and when I could go there. My days were filled with classes and training sessions.  I'm glad I don't have to go back.  I like living here."

"Do you, really?"

Moses hugged his wife. "Yes, I really do.  Look, I need to go before the sun scorches the earth."

"See you tomorrow." Zipporah waved and walked back into her tent. 

Sunrise colors painted the morning sky. Moses led the flock out of the fold and into the desert. "Looks like a hot day today, my little friends.  Hot enough to start a fire."  Several sheep answered back with bleating.

Along the way Moses found scrub plants splattered here and there.  He hurried the sheep along. They followed his call and sped up.  After a few hours, Moses reached the back side of the desert. 

"Look! The pasture is better than I thought.  Come, my furry friends, eat as much as you want."  The sheep followed him to the lush grasses.  Moses laughed.  "No pushing.  There's plenty for all of you!" 

He plopped down on a soft patch of grass near a shade tree and rested.  A few whisps of cloud floated by in the sky.  He sighed then reached out to a lamb.  "Hey little fella.  You're fine.  I'll take care of you."  The lamb nuzzled close.

Not much later the sheep settled in the soft grass. A few napped.  Moses took a few steps away and noticed a brook.  He let the sheep rest for a short while then called to them.  The flock followed him to the brook where they took a drink.  Once again the flock settled down on the grass.  Most fell asleep. 

Moses found a rock near the water's edge where he could dip his feet in the cool water while keep an eye on the sheep.  The same lamb cuddled close to his leg. "We found a nice place, didn't we."  The little lamb bleated.

After eating his supper, Moses walked a ways.  Further up a path he noticed an unusual bush.  He took a few steps closer.  The bush was not unusual, it was on fire.  Moses rubbed his eyes.  Do my eyes play tricks on me?  That bush is on fire, but it isn't burning.

He walked closer.  "Why isn't the bush burning?"  He stared at the bush.  "What is making the fire?''

He stepped near enough that the flames felt warm on his skin.

"Moses. Moses."

Moses jumped back. He looked to his left then his right.  No one was near him.  Who said that?  He looked closer and realized the voice came from the bush.  Moses tipped his head to the side. "Here I am."

Who called Moses? 
Why was the bush on fire?
What was Moses doing on the backside of the desert?

Click the comment button to share your answers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

God Hears You

By Mary Vee Exodus 2:21-25

Zipporah's father invited Moses to live with them.  He was pleased that Moses worked hard and treated his daughters with kindness.

Moses enjoyed helping with the family chores and playing games with the family.  He especially liked, the oldest sister, Zipporah. One day Moses and Zipporah were married. 

Living away from the big city noises soothed Moses' anger. He enjoyed taking care of his wife and building up his own flock.  The bleating of the sheep helped him to sleep better in this new desert home than he ever did in Egypt.  He didn't have to worry about anything here in Midian.  Life became peaceful.

After a while, Zipporah and Moses had a son.  Moses named him Gershom which means: I have been a stranger in a foreign land. 

Every day Moses took care of his family and his sheep.  Sometimes he stood with his eyes closed and listened to the quiet. There weren't any large buildings, taskmasters, marketplaces, or palace to distract him.  One night when sitting with his flock he gazed at the sky.  Stars dotted the blackness above him.  A bug buzzed by his ear and he shooed it away. 

The stars reminded him of the Israelites back in Egypt.  "I wonder how they're doing.  Are the taskmasters hurting them?  Are they hungry and tired?"  Realizing he couldn't do anything to help the people, Moses sighed. 

But while Moses took care of his sheep, the Israelites suffering grew.  He didn't know the pharaoh in Egypt died or that the Israelites had to work harder. 

Each morning the Israelites woke up to new assignments from the taskmasters.  None of the people could keep up. At the end of the day, the Israelites had little time to make supper before collapsing in bed.  Taskmasters beat the people to make them work faster.  The Israelites became tired and their wounds didn't have time to heal.  They couldn't do all the work expected of them.

The Israelites called out to God.  "Please save us.  We cannot endure the hard work any longer."  The men gathered and called out to God.  They brought their families together and called to God to save them from the taskmasters.

God had been waiting for them to ask for help.  He listened to their words.

Sometimes we feel like God doesn't care about our problems.  The Israelites had lived in Egypt a long time before they thought to ask God for help.  The Bible says He heard their groaning and immediately responded.  Even before they started groaning, God knew the answer to their problem.  God sent Moses to a different land to separate him from the Egyptian palace, to give him rest and to prepare him to become the answer to the Israelite's problem. 

Before you even ask for help, God is preparing whatever needs to be done to give you an answer.  It may not be the answer you want, but it will be the best answer.

Why did God send Moses into the desert?  Why did the Israelites wait to ask for God's help?  Did God hear the prayers of the Israelites?  Do you think He hears your prayers?

Click on the comment button to tell us your thoughts.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Tip #9 Make a Vacation in a City

Taking a vacation in you own city can 
sometimes be difficult.  
This week, to do something different, 
pretend you live in a different kind of city. 

What if you lived in a large, busy city like New York City?  Would your backyard look different? 

What if you lived in a medium size city, like Billings, Montana?  Would your backyard be bigger?

What if you live in a farming city, like Chase, Kansas?  Would your backyard have small animals and fields nearby?

What if you lived in a tiny city, like Drummond Island, Michigan where there is only one traffic light and children have to ride a ferry to the mainland to go to school? Would your backyard have a shore?

Here is how you can have a vacation 
in another city while staying 
in your backyard:

1.  Pick a type of city you would like to pretend your backyard is in for one week. 

2.  Create tall buildings around your yard; mountains in the distance; lakeshore sands, animals, desert plants, whatever would normally be in the type of city you chose. Use objects you have at your home.

3.  People from different cities might speak differently, dress differently, or play different games.  A kid who lives near a creak likes to hunt for crawdads.  What would a kid like to do who lives on a ranch or the city you chose? Use things you have to try to dress like and speak like kids from the place you chose.

Have fun playing in a different city this week!

Tell us what city you chose and what fun you had in the comment section.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Zipporah Meets Moses

by Mary Vee
Exodus 2: 17-20

"Zipporah, you're smiling."

"What would I have to smile about?" Zipporah stopped and looked back toward the well.  "Sure the Egyptian helped us water the flocks-" She flung her long hair back.  "It was nice of him to shoo those shepherds away."

"Nice?  You call that nice?  What's the matter with you?  He saved our lives!"

Zipporah set her hands on her sister's shoulders.  "You're over-reacting.  He simply saw a group of sisters in trouble and decided to help."

"Sure, sure.  That's why your eyes nearly dropped out of your head when that lead shepherd came toward you with his sword."

"All right. Fine. I admit he scared me.  But we could've handled the situation ourselves."

"Yeah, sure."

Zipporah held her finger to her mouth.  "Here comes Father.  Let me do the talking."

Their father, Reuel, stepped out of his tent.  "My daughters, why are you back this early?  Did you have problems at the well?"

The littlest sister skipped toward her father and hugged him.  "You wouldn't believe what happened today, Father.  First we saw this ugly beggar by the well and he looked like he hadn't eaten in a hundred years and his head was all wet--probably because he dumped water on himself--then this group of scary shepherds came toward us with swords--"

"Scary shepherds--sword?"

"That's right, Father. They were very scary. And their swords were as long as Zipporah's shepherd's staff.  Well, they ran up to the well and started screaming at us to go away--but Zipporah wouldn't let them chase us away."

"They ran toward you and screamed?"

Zipporah walked closer to her father. "Maybe I should explain."

The littlest sistered frowned. "No--Zipporah. I'm telling the story.  Anyway the ugly beggar man, remember him? Well he stood up to those mean shepherds. He told them to leave us alone. But the mean shepherds wouldn't--so the ugly beggar man, he untied their camels so they ran away.  Oooo, you should have seen those mean shepherds run after their camels.  They're gonna be mad at that beggar man."

Reuel looked at his daughter Zipporah.  She raised one eyebrow and scowled at her little sister. "If I may, Father. There was a man from Egypt at the well who clearly hadn't eaten in a while." She turned toward her sister. "And he wasn't ugly!"

Zipporah turned back to her father. "Quite simply, he stood up for us against the shepherds then helped us water the flock."

Reuel sat on a nearby rock.  "So, where is this Egyptian who came to a Midian well and isn't ugly?"

Zipporah's sisters burst out laughing then tried to stop when she glared at them. "He's probably still at the well, resting."

"My daughter, why did you leave a hungry man who saved your life at the well?  Go and get him.  The least we can do is feed the poor man."

The little sister ran toward the road. "I'll go get him."

Zipporah sprinted toward her.  "No, you won't.  You need to help--help Father with--"  She looked back at the other sisters.

One of the sisters took the little one's hand. "Come. Zipporah needs to go by herself. She's the oldest."

"Ahhh. When do I get to do things by myself?"

Zipporah bent down and gave her sister a hug.  "When you're as old as I am."

Moses probably looked scrawny by the time he arrived at the well.  He hadn't eaten a regular meal in days, hadn't bathed, brushed his hair, or groomed his beard.  His clothes must have been torn and ragged.  Since Moses had grown up in the palace, he most likely had been trained to fight and to lead others into battle.

During this time, travelers didn't have hotels to stay overnight.  They stopped in the city square and hoped someone would take them in for the night.  Moses hadn't found a city yet.  Why did Moses help these seven sisters?  Why didn't they invite Moses to come to their home?  What is the oldest sister's name?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Moses Shoos the Shepherds Away

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2:15-17

Moses hadn't seen a well since yesterday.  His tongue stuck to his mouth.  I'm so thirsty.  He rubbed sweat from his eyes.  What's that up ahead?  He rubbed his eyes again.  A tree?  "Water?  Tell me you have water!"

He ran toward the tree, hoping it wasn't another mirage.  "Water, there is water!"  Moses heaved the bucket from the water.  Drops fell back down into the hole.  He pulled the bucket near and plunged his face into the water.  Cool tingled his scalp.

He raised his head to get a breath. To his left a group of girls lead a flock toward the well.  Moses gulped some water then sat under the tree.  The girls looked at him and whispered.  The youngest cowered back.  "Maybe he has a disease."

Moses glanced at his clothing. I don't look that bad, do I? Maybe I smell a little pungent, but...  He kept his distance to not frighten the girls.  Once they leave, I'll drink some more.

The girls took turns filling the trough with water for their flock.  As they led their animals to drink, a group of shepherds arrived.  "Get out of the way. Our sheep are more important than your mangy flock."

The girl's gathered together and whispered.  The lead shepherd stepped closer.  "If you don't get your flock out of the way, you'll be sorry.  Now move on."

The girls called to their sheep and took a few steps away from the trough.  Moses stood.  "Look here.  These girls came first--"

The lead shepherd turned to Moses.  He furrowed his brows.  "What did you say?  Are you defending these girls?"

Moses cocked his head.  Who do these guys think they are?  I've dealt with meaner men back in Egypt.
"Yes. I am defending them.  Now if you'll step back and let them--"

"I'm warning you, Stranger, stay out of this."

Moses rolled his eyes.  He stepped back toward the shepherds camels.  The shepherds moved their flock forward toward the filled trough.  While they were distracted, Moses untied their camels.  "Hut, hut."  With those words, the camels ran away.

"What did you do? Those were our camels!"  The shepherds ran after their camels.  As they ran away, their sheep  roamed away from the well.

Moses laughed. He called out to the girls. "Hey, you can come back to the well.  They'll chase those camels for the rest of the afternoon."

The girls turned and smiled.  "You saved us.  Thank you."  They led their flock back to the trough.  "Where do you come from?"

Moses heaved the bucket from the well and poured water into the trough.  "A land far away to find a new home. I hope those shepherds didn't frighten you."

The oldest sister smiled. "Well, in a way they did. But everything is fine now."

Moses and the girls talked until all their flock finished drinking.  They gathered their belongings and called the sheep to follow.  The oldest turned to Moses. "Will we see you again?"

"Perhaps." He sat under the tree to rest and watched the girls leave.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Tip #8 Make a Vacation Part 2

By Mary Vee

Take a Vacation in Your State

Last week’s post gave ideas how to take a vacation in another country while staying in your own backyard.  This week let’s talk about taking a vacation in your state, province, territory, commonwealth, or governorate.  For space in this post, I will use the word state for all these words: state, province, territory, commonwealth, or any other similar term.

1.       Pick one special place in your state that you would like to visit.  My state has a national park, mountains, desert, a few lakes and rivers.  I will pick “Old Faithful”. 

2.        Go to the library to find a book or video about the place you chose. You could also ask an adult or friend who has been to the place what it is like.  I have been to “Old Faithful”, but I would like to go again.  You can choose a place you’ve already been to, also.

3.           Make a mini version of the place.  Since I picked “Old Faithful” I need to make a geyser.  A geyser can be messy, so I need to make my mini “Old Faithful” in my backyard. To be safe, I will use safety goggles and a paint shirt.  If you choose a messy project, be sure to let your guardian know before getting your ingredients.


If I lived in the province of Isle de France where the Eiffel Tower is located. I could make a mini Eiffel Tower using blocks, Popsicle sticks, or maybe toothpicks. If you choose toothpicks, be sure to use the round tip ones.  They will stick together easier.


If I lived in the governorate of Cairo where the Pyramids of Giza are. I could make a pyramid shape with cardboard, cover it with glue then sprinkle sand or dirt.  Let the pyramid dry overnight.

4.         Usually when people go on vacations they take pictures or send postcards to friends.  With your guardian’s permission, take a picture of your mini vacation place.  Have someone take a picture of you with your project.  You could email the photo or send copies to family or friends.  If there isn’t a camera available, draw a picture of your project. Be sure to include yourself.  Send copies of your picture of family and friends.

5.          Going on vacation in my own state means I won’t need a passport. 
6.         Going on vacation at my home means I get to sleep in my own bed.

Enjoy your vacation!