Saturday, July 31, 2010

Escape from Egypt

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2:15-

“Moses.  Moses where are you?  You can't hide forever.  There isn't a place in all of Egypt to hide. We're going to find you.”

Another guard.  I ducked behind a pile of garbage.  How am I going to get out of this mess?  I can’t hide in the shadows for long.  Those guards will kill me.  If only I hadn’t killed that taskmaster.

Two women walked by me with fresh meat from the marketplace.  That’s right.  I haven’t eaten since breakfast yesterday.  I looked around the garbage and found a piece of bread to choke down. 

One woman put her hand close to her face. “Did you hear Moses killed a taskmaster?”

The other woman laughed.  “I’ll bet Pharaoh’s daughter is mad.  Can you imagine having a son who is a murderer?”

“I heard Pharaoh sent soldiers to find him—and kill him on site.”

The women walked further away where I couldn’t hear any more.  I scoured the garbage for food to stuff in my pouch and threw everything but my clothing away.  Underneath a pile of fish bones, I found a torn piece of cloth and wrapped it around my head.   The smell made my eyes tear.

A group of people walked away from a market booth up the road.  I ran to catch up to them hoping to blend in and escape.  One person turned and scowled at me, the others continued to chatting. They turned a few corners and fortunately headed toward the eastern gate of the city. 

As they turned down the last street, a group of foreigners walked toward the gate to leave the city.  I stepped close enough to make others think I belonged to the group and walked right out the city gate.

I had no clue where to go.  I followed the group until they turned to the north. 

I’d never been alone before. 

What will I eat?  I’m hungry.  I can't eat sand.

Where will I sleep?  I’m sleepy.  Bugs and snakes will crawl on me if I lay on the ground.

What will I do?  I’m lost. I have no plan. My whole life is in Egypt.

Who will be my friend?  I’m lonely. Everyone I know is back at the palace.

I walked for days toward the morning sun.  I found wild berries and figs.  Somehow I always found a well to get water.  Perhaps someone--somewhere is helping me.

Since Moses had been raised in the palace with Pharaoh’s family, he probably didn’t know about the Hebrew God.  This part of Moses’ life shows how God takes cares of us even when we  don’t realize it.  How do you think Moses escape without being caught by Pharaoh’s trained soldiers?  Moses was a city kid, how did he know what to do to survive away from the city?  Why didn’t Moses get hurt while walking in the desert?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Murder and Escape

By Mary Vee

Exodus 2:11-14

I had a bad morning. Plain and simple.  The cooks made Grandfather's favorite meal, you know him as Pharaoh. It looked like charred mud-pies.  I couldn't find my left sandal for the longest time. I didn't finish work from yesterday which means I have to do it today--on my day off.  I wish I had--

"Where're you going, Moses? I thought we were going to--"

"I don't feel like it."

"Bad mood? I know how to cheer you up."

"I don't know." Moses turned toward the steps. "Anyway, you're suppose to be in Pharaoh training class."

"Somedays I hate all the work involved in becoming a Pharaoh.  Classes, meetings, blah, blah blah.  Don't get me wrong, Moses, you're part of the family too, but he doesn't watch every step you take and expect you to be perfect."

I sighed. "Yeah, but someday you'll be Pharaoh. What will I be?"

"My assistant.  I--I'll make you in charge of something--whatever you want.  Come on, Moses. Let's have some fun."

"I can't. Not now.  I need to think."

I leapt down the stairs, two at a time.  He doesn't understand.  How can he?  I'm a Hebrew living in a palace.  He's Pharaoh's successor.

I sneaked passed a guard and headed for one of the sites where Hebrew slaves worked.  I remember Pharaoh ordering yet another building to be constructed on the east side of the city.  In the distance, taskmasters shouted, "Move faster. Pharaoh wants this building finished soon." Their whips cracked. I've heard it all before.  Pharaoh said the Hebrews needed the projects to keep them busy.

Not too long ago Mother told me how I came to live in the palace.  "You belong to the house of Pharaoh.  You are my son, Moses," she said. "I found you in a basket in the river.  I knew the gods had sent you to me." She always treated me like my brother. But deep inside I knew I was different.  I was a Hebrew.

I crept closer to the work area.  A taskmaster raised his whip. "You lazy Hebrew, get to work. Don't pretend you're ill."  The whip sliced through the old man's back.  He cried out in agony.

The old man glanced my way.  He eyes drooped.  He winced while picking up another brick.  The whip slapped his back again and again.  The old man fell to the ground.  I'd never noticed the pain, the difficult work, the cruel taskmasters hurting these people.  No--they are my people.  I am Hebrew, too.

I stepped forward and looked around.  The other taskmasters and slaves moved around the corner. Again I looked around me and saw no one.  The soldier glanced my way and laughed.  "Look at this slave, Moses. He isn't worthy to touch a brick." He swung his whip around his head and smacked the old man again.

Blood pounded in my head. How could he beat this man?  I lunged at the taskmaster and killed him.  No one seemed to notice, yet.  Before anyone returned I dug a grave in the sand and buried him.  My hands trembled.  I couldn't decide if I had done something good or something bad.

The dinner tasted terrible and the evening music sounded like cats screeching.  I went to bed early, everything would be new in the morning--right?  After a few nightmares, the sun rose.  I couldn't help but think about the Hebrew slaves, did they suffer, were they hungry?

I finished my morning duties then sneaked to the Hebrew work camp.  Two Hebrew men separated from the other slaves and began to fight.  How could they punch and scream at each other like that?  They're Hebrews. "Hey, why are you fighting?"

One glared at me.  "Who made you a prince and judge over us?  Are you going to kill us like you killed the Egyptian?"

How did they know?  What am I going to do?  What if Pharaoh finds out?  How can I escape?


Moses didn't grow up in a Hebrew family.  He only knew Egyptian rules and customs.  No one taught him God's ways. He knew the Hebrews worked as slaves and the taskmasters were cruel.  Why did he become angry when the taskmaster hurt the old man?  Why did he think he would be in trouble with Pharaoh?  How will Moses escape?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Tip #7 Make a Vacation to a Foreign Country

By Mary Vee

Here is a world map.

It indicates which countries have people who visit this blog to read a Bible story, play a Bible game, or look at a summer tip.  

Wouldn't it be nice to visit their country?

This week our summer tip will help us take a vacation in another country, while staying at home.

What you will need:

A map of the world
Library books/ Internet access
A journal
A passport

1. Look at your world map.  Choose the country you would like to take a vacation

2. Go to the library to find a books you can read about the country.  Be sure the book includes information sports and food. Or go to a website like:

3. Write in your journal the name of the country you chose, two sports the people enjoy and two recipes you found in the book or on the web site.

4. Show your guardian the recipe. If the ingredients are inexpensive and can be found in your local store, perhaps you could make the food you chose.

5. Gather family members or neighbor kids to play the game you chose.  If you chose Germany, a sport you might play would be fussball. Fussball is soccer. If you chose China you might do gymnastics.

6. Use your information to set up an Olympic game.  Pick six events that your country participates.  For example: Canada, downhill skiing, USA skating, Switzerland, bobsled.  Did you notice I suggested winter sports?  Can you find a way to downhill ski, skate, or bobsled in the summer?  Cardboard, ice cubes, wheels, and other objects can be used to make what you need.
Caution:  be sure to wear a helmet and other protective gear. Also have an adult present.

To get into your country you might need a passport.
For this vacation to a foreign country you can make a pretend passport, (sorry, this is not a real passport :) )

Print out this page.
Cut out the passport
Fold a sheet of construction paper in half-like a card.
Glue the picture on the paper.
Put a picture of the country you chose in the circle.
Put the name of the country you chose in the box.

On the inside of your passport draw pictures of games, food, and special places to visit from your country. 
For example: 

Country:  India

Food:  Poori--this is a fried flatbread

Special Place:  Taj Mahal

So, what country did you choose?  What sport did you play?  What food did you make?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pharaoh's Daughter Finds A Baby

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2:5

Pharaoh's daughter stepped away from the window overlooking the river.  "The water looks cool and refreshing.  I think I'll go down and take a bath."

Her maidens gathered her things. "Yes, my Lady."

The moment she stepped outside, a balmy breeze swept across her face.  "The air is sweet this morning.  Must be the flowers." Pharaoh's daughter ran down the path toward the river.

Her maids worked to keep up without dropping anything. "My Lady!"

"I'm not waiting for you." Pharaoh's daughter pushed aside bulrushes overgrowing the path.  The ground squished beneath her feet as she approached the shore.  She slipped her toes into the water.  "Mmmmmm the water is delicious."

Her maids pressed a few bulrushes back.  "My Lady, the danger you risk.  Let us help you."

Pharaoh's daughter turned to walk between the reeds.  "Danger--what would you know of danger?  I'm perfectly safe."  She swooshed her hand across a few reeds and smiled.  "You see? The sun sparkles on the water, the reeds play their song, and the birds sing.  How could danger be--what's that?"

She tipped her head to the side and stared.  "Is that an ark caught in the reeds over there? Go and get it for me."

Two maids waded through the reeds toward the ark.  They pushed it through the water toward their mistress. She stepped closer and shook her head.  "How did it get there?"  

The maids shrugged. "It must have floated down from the slave's quarter."

As Pharaoh's daughter lifted the cover a baby cried.  "Oh, look! It's a baby, a Hebrew baby."

The maids crowded closer.  Pharaoh's daughter lifted the baby from the ark and stroke his face. "He must be hungry." She held him closer. "Shhhh, little one. You're safe. You will be my son." 

The bulrushes rustled behind her.  Pharaoh's daughter turned and saw a Hebrew girl on the shore.  The girl pressed her hands near her mouth. "Would you like me to call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women to feed him for you?"

Pharaoh's daughter looked down at the baby resting in her arms and smiled.  "Don't worry, little one."  She turned back to the girl.  "Yes."

The Hebrew girl ran along the shore before disappearing amongst the plants.  Pharaoh's daughter played with the baby and laughed.  "I shall call you Moses because I drew you from the water."

Baby Moses squealed and blew bubbles.

A while later the Hebrew girl returned with a Hebrew mother.  "I have done what you asked, my Lady."

Pharaoh's daughter stepped out of the river.  "Take this child and nurse him for me. I will pay you. When he can eat on his own, return him to me."

The Hebrew woman bowed and took the baby in her arms.  "I will care for him, my Lady."

"His name is Moses."

The Hebrew woman bowed again. "I will call him Moses, as you wish."

Pharaoh's daughter watched the Hebrew woman leave with her new son.  She stepped back into the river and splashed her maids.  "I have a son who's name is Moses!"


God caused the little ark holding Moses to get tangled in the reeds right where Pharaoh's daughter would bathe that day.  No guard or soldier found the ark.  Pharaoh and his servants didn't find the ark.  God made sure that the one who would find Moses would take care of him.

Who did the Hebrew girl get to feed baby Moses?
Why did Pharaoh's daughter protect the Hebrew baby?
Who was the Hebrew girl?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Second Greatest Ark

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2:3-4

The first great ark mentioned was Noah's ark.  Years later, a much smaller ark, able to hold only one baby, saved an entire nation. Through this nation, our Messiah was born.

Jochebed woke to the her baby's coo.  "You wake me with a song, little one." She scooped him into her arms and pressed him against her body.  She wrapped her finger around his tiny hand. "Yahweh, please protect him."

Her husband had left for work already.  Amram and Jochebed couldn't afford to arouse any suspicions with the neighbors or soldiers.  If the Egyptian soldiers knew their son was alive, they would murder him--like all the other Israelite baby boys.

"Yahweh has taught you to be quiet." A hand touched her shoulder.  She turned toward her daughter. "Miriam, you're awake?"

"Yes, can I hold him?"  Miriam reached for her baby brother.  "I can keep him quiet."

Jochebed sat in the chair. She watched Miriam dance with her little brother and hum her special song for him.  When the song ended, Jochebed stood and sighed.  "It is time.  Are you ready?"

"I'll carry his ark."  Miriam grabbed her shawl and wrapped it around the tiny ark and her body.

Jochebed raised her chin and flung her shawl around her little son and her body.  "Stay close. No one must notice us. Put soiled clothes in the ark so it looks like we going to the river to wash them. Drip the material over the side to hide the pitch."

Miriam ran to prepare the ark.  "I'm ready.  Are you sure this will work?  Will Yahweh save my brother?"

Jochebed rubbed her sons smooth head. "Yahweh loves your brother.  He will do what is best."  She opened the door and looked outside then motioned Miriam to follow.

The two walked down the village street like they would for any other laundry day.  They talked along their journey and lowered their heads when a soldier came near, as was expected.  Deep inside, Jochebed's heart pounded.  Her daughter and baby son kept the secret.  I am so blessed.  Thank you, Yahweh.

Once Jochebed reached the river, she pulled back the bulrushes.  She glanced to her left and right. "No one is here, yet.  Good. Miriam, dump the soiled clothes on the ground and set the ark in the shallow water."

"I will."  She scooped the clothes out onto bent leaves.  "It's ready."

Jochebed uncovered her baby.  "Sleep now, little one.  Yahweh will protect you." She gently laid him in the ark and stroke his face. "I will always love you."  She stepped into the water and steadied the ark. He cooed one more time, yawned and closed his eyes. Jochebed set the lid on top and pushed the ark into the current.

A tear dripped down her cheek. "Yahweh, send him safely to a home."   Jochebed turned back to Miriam.  "He will be safe."

"Can I watch him, now?"

"Yes.  I'll wash the clothes in the river.  Stay hidden in the bulrushes."

Miriam weaved through the shore plants out of her mother's sight.  Jochebed pulled the first soiled cloth and soaked it in the river.  She glanced up from her work in time to see the little ark float away.

God had a special plan for this baby.  Soldiers managed to kill all the other Israelite baby boys, but they missed this one. Pharaoh allowed the older boys to live. He decided to only kill the male babies. Despite his decision, God stepped in and made a way for this baby to live. How do you think Jochebed knew to make an ark for her son?  How did Jochebed and Miriam successfully travel with the baby and the ark to the river? Do you know what name would be given to this baby? Write your answers in the comment box.

Several weeks ago in this blog, Joseph told his brothers, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." Genesis 50:20.  Pharaoh and the soldiers meant  the killing of the babies for evil, but God had a good, in order that the Israelite nation would see their need to leave Egypt, follow a leader chosen by God, and go home.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Tip #6-Calling all Detectives

By Mary Vee

Did you know God made everything?  Yup, He did. 

Not only did God make large things like mountains, oceans, planets and stars, He also made microscopic things which are smaller than an ant.  Thousands of tiny creatures are here, hidden by God.  Today you can play a unique Hide and Seek Game. 

By the way--Did you know God likes to have fun, too!  In Zephaniah 3:17  God's Word says: The Lord your God in your midst is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing. God rejoices over you.  He loves to watch you learn about things He's made.

This week, Detective, your mission is to find some of the things God has hidden. 

You will need:

A magnifying glass
Sketch Paper or a Journal
Detective badge (print out this post to use the detective badge below)

Using your magnifying class, search for tiny things outside like grass, flowers, trees, bicycle, sidewalk, and other places in your yard. Next, search the inside of your home like carpet, tile, counter, wall, toys, sofa, and other places in your home.  What small things did you find that God made? 

Detectives always make a record of what they find.  Draw a picture or describe in words your findings. Share your discoveries with those you know.  Be sure to tell them about God :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Miniature Ark that Saved a Nation

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2:3

Miriam rolled over and opened her eyes. She stretched then looked around the room.  She found her mom sitting in a corner. "What're you doing?"

Jochabed glanced up from her work and smiled.  "Good morning, Miriam. Come here, I need to tell you something."

Miriam stumbled through her blankets. "What're you making?"

"A special basket."

Miriam touched the pile of bulrushes. "It's big."

"Yes.  It needs to be big." Jochabed finished lacing another row then grabbed more bulrush.

"What're going to use it for?" Miriam picked up a two bulrushes and weaved them together.

Jochabed set the basket down. "You're baby brother is growing big." She took Miriam's hands in hers.

"I know.  He's almost too heavy for me to hold. What does that have to do with the basket?"

"The basket will serve as an ark for your baby brother.  I'll finish the ark today, smear asphalt and pitch on it to keep water out and let it dry tonight."

Miriam tipped her head. "Why does he need an ark?"

"Because--" Jochabed sighed. "Because the guards will find him if we don't. He is too big to hide any more."

Miriam ran to her little brother. "Where's he going?"

"I don't know." Jochabed bit her lower lip.  "We need to trust Yahweh to take him to a safe place."

A tear tripped down Miriam's cheek. "Won't he cry?"

"Maybe. But only at the right time.  His cry will help the right person to notice him."  Jochabed scooped Miriam up in her arms.  "Yahweh will protect your brother.  He has so far, right?"

Miriam wiped her tears.  "Yes."  She sobbed.  "Can I help?"

Jochabed smiled. "Yes, you can help me make the little ark for him today.  Tomorrow, you may watch him from the bulrushes."

Miriam jumped down from her mother's arms and walked to her baby brother.  "I'll take care of you."

Pharaoh ordered all the Israelite baby boys to be killed.  He was afraid they might grow up and become a great army one day.  One baby boy survived. Do you know who it was?  Why didn't the guards find the baby in such a small home?  Who did Jochebed trust to help her? 

God loves you, and wants to help you, too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jochebed's Baby

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2: 1-2

"Amram, never have I heard a baby quiet at the perfect time."

"I know. It's as if God comforts the child whenever a guard passes in hearing range." Amram stroked his baby's face.  "He has your eyes, Jochebed."

"And your chin." Jochebed laid her sweet baby in his cradle, hidden behind her clay jars.  She drew his blanket up to his chin. 

As she picked up a jar of oil to make supper, the front door blasted open.  Jochebed set the oil down and brushed her hands together. Amram stepped forward.

Two Egyptian guards scanned the room and sneered.  "We're looking for babies.  Especially Israelite baby boys."

Amram waved his arm to the side. "You see our home."

One guard huffed.  "I see it all right."  He looked closer at a chair and in the sleeping area.  "I've also seen homes that hide their babies."

The other laughed.  "They think they can hide their babies from us.  No such luck.  Those little noisemakers always give themselves away."  He shoved a pile of blankets over onto the floor.

"No use wasting our time here; I don't see a baby." The first guard turned back to the door.

"Why would their God give them another child?  They already have these two scrawny kids."

Jochebed gently shook her head toward young Aaron and Miriam, warning them not to cry.  The guards barreled out the door.

"Momma."  Miriam edged close to her mother's dress.  Tears stained her face.

Jochebed pulled Aaron and Miram close and gave them a hug.  "Listen my children. Yahweh will take care of us." She stroke their hair. 

That night after the fires were cooled Jochebed turned to Aaram.  She pressed her fingers against her lips and glanced at the children.  "We can't hide the baby any longer. He will be found, maybe the next time the guards come."

Amram crawled over to their little son. "He's only three months old."  Amram held him close to his chest. The baby cuddled into the grooves of his father's body and softly snored.

"I have an idea.  With Yahweh's blessing, our baby will be safe tomorrow night."

Amram cuddled his son for a few more minutes then set him back in his cradle. He crawled back to bed and pulled his blanket over his legs.  "What do you plan to do?"


What could Jochebed do?  The guards watch with eagle eyes waiting to kill any boy baby they found.  How could Jochebed save her baby? 

Jochebed talked about Yahweh.  She was referring to God the Father.  What did she trust God the Father to do?

The painting in today's story is called "Moses in His Mother's Arms" by Simeon Solomon (1840-1905)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Tip #5 Easy Tool for Kids

By Mary Vaitkevicius

Here is a handy tool to share the Gospel with people. 


Each page of this book has a different color.  The colors represent the Gospel.

Here are tips to tell someone what Jesus did for them and how they can go to heaven using the Wordless book:

1.  Open the book to the Gold page. The gold, (or yellow) page represents Heaven.  Tell about Heaven as a perfect place  
Example:  I’d like to go to heaven someday.  God made heaven for people like you and me.  The Bible says there will be mansions and streets of gold. But more than riches, God will be there.  He’s the one who made me, the one who loves me.  Heaven is a perfect place where there is not pain, hunger, sickness or sadness.  I’d like to go to heaven but my sins stands in the way.

2. Turn to the next page-Black. The color black represents sins. Tell what sins are and how sins keep us from going to heaven.
Example: Sin is the word for the bad things I do.  When I cheat, lie, steal, refuse to do what my parents ask me to do, swear, and other bad things, I sin.  These bad things prevent me from going to heaven.  I could never be good enough to get to heaven on my own.  I need help.

3. Turn to the next page-Red. The color red represents God's love. Tell about God's love and Jesus' sacrifice to pay for our sins.
Example: God loves me. He loves you, too. He chose to send His only Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for all the sins of the world. Jesus lived a perfect life. He was the only one who could ever pay for our sins. Three days after He died, Jesus rose from the grave to show everyone the punishment had been paid. Days later, in front of several people, Jesus went to heaven.

4. Turn to the Blue page. The color blue represents faith.  Tell about the faith needed to be saved.
Example:  God said, “Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” What would I be saved from? Well, when I die I will either go to heaven or hell.  God says if I believe Jesus came to live on earth as an example for me, that He lived a perfect life, and that He paid for my sins when he died on the cross and rose from the grave, I can go to heaven.

5. Turn to the White page. The color white represent forgiveness.  Tell how Jesus will forgive them for their sins if they ask.
Example:   I can pray to God (that means talk to God) and tell Him I’m sorry for the bad things I’ve done, and tell Him I believe Jesus already took the punishment for my sins, God promises to forgive me and wash my sins away. 

6. Close the book to show the Green page. The color green represents growth.  Tell them how to grow in a relationship with God. 
Example:  God wants me to learn everything I can about Him.  He wrote the Bible to help me learn what to do, how to talk and listen to Him, how to tell others about Him so they can go to heaven, and much more.  It’s like a plant--when I water and feed the plant good soil it grows.  I can also grow close to God by praying, going to church and joining in activities where people talk about God.

The last step is to ask the person if they would like to pray to Jesus and ask Him to save them from their sins and to be  in their heart.

Example:  "God, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

How to Make Your Own Wordless book

1 sheet of green construction paper
1 sheet of gold or yellow construction paper
1 sheet of black construction paper
1 sheet of red construction paper
1 sheet of blue construction paper
1 sheet of white construction paper
Glue sticks

Directions to make your own Wordless book

1. Fold each sheet of paper in half like a book.
2. Lay the green paper on the table.  Glue half of the gold paper to the left side of the green paper.
3. Fold the gold paper closed, like turning a page in a book.
4. Glue half of the black paper to the closed gold paper.
5. Following this pattern, glue the red paper to the black
6. Glue the blue paper to the red.
7. Glue the white paper to the blue
8. Finish by glueing the other side of the white paper to the green cover.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


By Mary Vee
Genesis 50:22-26

Joseph took care of his brothers and their families until he turned 110 years old.  He saw his great-grandchildren grow up.  One day Joseph realized he would die.  He called for his children, their families and his brothers, and their families together for a meeting.

"Pharaoh calls us the children of Israel. I want you to know God will take care of you after I'm gone, don’t be afraid.  He will take you back to the land given to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  When that day comes, promise me you will carry my bones from here."

The children of Israel promised to do so.  Many years passed. A new king came to power in Egypt. No one told him about Joseph or the great things Joseph did for the country.  One day he called a meeting of his advisers.

"Have you noticed all the children of Israel who are living here?"

The chief advisor moaned. "Yes, Great Pharaoh.  It concerns me.  Recent numbers show there are more of them than us."

Pharaoh walked to his balcony. He noticed a few Israelite men in the court below.  "They’ve grown into mighty men as well.  What if a war starts?  They might join with one of our enemies to overpower us."

"Might I suggest, Pharaoh, that we set taskmasters over them. Make them build cities, work in our fields, and do household labor."

Pharaoh nodded.  "Excellent idea.  They'll be too exhausted from working to get married and have families.  Go at once. Take my ring and seal any document necessary.  Put this plan into action at once!"

The armies of Egypt followed Pharaoh's orders. They took all the children of Israel and made them slaves.  Egyptian taskmasters carried whips to punish any of their new slaves who wouldn't work fast.

A few years later Pharaoh called his adviser to his chamber again. "The plan has failed. Those Israelites have grown in number instead of decreasing."

"Great Pharaoh, my information confirms what your words.  I don’t understand. I’ve checked on the taskmasters. They’re harsh just as we ordered. I don't know why; you’ve seen the buildings they’ve made.”

Pharaoh paced from the balcony back to the chamber.  “What if we told the midwives to kill all baby boys?”

“Excellent idea, Pharaoh.  A new generation will not rise up without boys.”

Pharaoh called for the midwives. “As the women of Israel give birth, you are to notice if they have a boy or girl.  It the woman has a girl, let the baby live. If she has a son, kill him.”

Messengers reported baby boys continued to be born to the children of Israel.

Pharaoh called for the midwives.  “Why didn't you  kill the boy babies as I ordered?”

One midwife stepped forward. “Great Pharaoh. The women from the children of Israel are fast when giving birth to boys. The babies are born before we get there.”

Pharaoh is really angry.  What will he do next?  Why did he want to kill the boy babies? Why didn’t the midwives kill the boy babies?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


By Mary Vee
Genesis 47:27-50:21

Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years. Each day he saw Joseph brought happiness.  He blessed Joseph's two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, blessed his other son's then died at the age of 147 years old.  Joseph led his brothers in the journey to take his father's bones back to Canaan. After the funeral they returned to Egypt.

Reuben yanked the last remaining supply sack off the cart. "Simeon. Come here."


"I've been thinking. Now that father's dead, what's to keep Joseph from hating us?"

Simeon glanced toward the city where Joseph lived. "I hadn't thought of that.  You're right. He might try to get us back for all the mean tricks we've done to him."

Reuben waved his other brothers over to join the conversation. "Simeon and I think Joseph might cause trouble for us, now that father's dead."

Judah pulled a blade of grass and stuck the tip in his mouth. "Hmmm...with his power, he could do anything he wanted."

"You don't think he'd take away our homes, do you?" Benjamin bit his lower lip.

The brothers shouted out, "He could put our wives and children in prison." "He might turn the Egyptians against us." "He could make us all slaves. "What if he burned our village?"

Asher pushed in front of Dan.  "What're we gonna do?"

"Don't worry, we'll figure something out." Judah spit the rest of the grass blade on the ground. "If we go before him, he'll suspect something."

"Let's send a messenger to him." Reuben paused and cocked his head to the side. "We'll have the messenger say, 'Before you father died, he commanded, "Tell Joseph these words, 'I beg you, please forgive your brothers for the evil they did to you."

Simeon nodded. "Good. But we should go before Joseph as well to see his face. Then we'll know what he truly thinks."

"Everyone agree?" Reuben glanced at each of his eleven brothers. "Good. Let's go."

The brothers took a messenger with them and left for the city.  The guards recognized them right away and let them pass the outer gate to Joseph's palace.

A second guard at the palace stopped them. "State your business."

"We have a message for the governor."

"Wait here."

Moments later the guard led the brothers and the messenger to Joseph's chamber.  When Joseph raised his hand to signal approval, the messenger stepped forward.

"Before you father died, he said, "Tell Joseph these words, 'I beg you, please forgive your brothers for the evil they did to you."

Reuben and the other brothers watched Joseph's response.  He leaned toward Simeon.  "Look! Tears.  He's crying." He sighed and stepped forward. The other brothers moved forward with him and joined him in bowing before Joseph.  "Joseph, we are you servants."

Joseph walked to his brothers to hug each one. "Don't be afraid. I am right where God wants me to be. You meant to send me here as a mean trick, but God meant your deed for good. He saved many people's lives through the food program I designed."  Joseph wiped a tear and smiled. "Don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones."

Reuben raised his eyes and looked closely at Joseph's face.  He stared for a moment then nodded. "I believe you."

The other brothers nodded and smiled.

God uses Joseph's life to not only teach Joseph's brothers, but also to teach us.  Why did God sent Joseph to Egypt?  Did Joseph forgive his brothers?  Did Joseph help his brothers even though they did mean tricks to him?  What did you learn from Joseph's life?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Tip #4 Celebrating Independence Day

By Mary Vee


Independence Day is celebrated in America on July 4th.

Families from all over the world visiting this blog can celebrate the birth of their country with today's activity.

God tells us in His Word that we should honor our country

Here is a fun family
way to celebrate
 Independence Day:

1. Take a bottle of bubbles and pour evenly into three containers that can be stained.
2. Add four drops of blue food coloring to the first bowl and stir.
3. Add four drops of red food coloring to the second bowl and stir.
4.  The third bowl will represent white and doesn't need food coloring.
5. Take the bowls and the bubble stick outside.
6. If you have a friend available, each person could dip their bubble sticks in the bowls at the same time to blow red, white, and blue bubbles.

Warning, the food coloring could stain clothes, A paint shirt could protect clothing.

If you live in another country,
change the colors in the bowls to
 match your country's flag colors.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Joseph Listens to God

By Mary Vee
Genesis 47:13-

"My lord, it's time to get up."

Joseph struggled to open his eyes.  "The sun's up already?"

"Yes, my lord. There are hundreds of people in the court."

Joseph sat up and yawned. "More than usual?"

"I've never seen this many.  They're asking for bread but have no money left."

After washing his face and dressing, Joseph walked to the balcony overlooking the court.  He listened for a moment to the grumblings of the people.  "I'll take care of this.  You may go."

As the guard closed the door Joseph dropped to his knees.  "Great God of my fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, show me how to help these people."  He kept his head bowed until a solution came to him.

Joseph walked down to the court.  He called the workers to meet with him. "To any man who has no money to pay for grain, you must accept his livestock as payment."  The workers nodded and returned to their posts.

Joseph climbed the stairs to the platform and raised his hands.  Everyone in the court hushed. "I have instructed the workers to allow any man without money to pay for his grain with livestock."  Before he lowered his arms, the citizens cheered. 

Joseph stayed in the court for the morning insuring each person received grain.  The people traded horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys for their grain.  We need to set up a place for these animals. They need food and water.  Joseph called the head guards.  "Gather your men. Set up separate areas for each type animal. Hire men to care for them." 

The guard bowed. "Yes, my lord."

A year of nights passed quickly.  Despite his busy schedule, Joseph made time to visit his father and brothers as often as possible.  He loved listening to their stories and joking with the family.

One morning, back at his home, a guard woke him.  "The people have filled the court again."

Joseph washed his face and dressed.  He gazed at the crowds below. He tried not to yawn. "Oh, to sleep longer. I'm tired."  He listened to the people then dismissed the guard.

Once again, Joseph fell to his knees. "God please help me to feed these people.  What can I do?"  Moments later, he had an idea.  Joseph went down to the court and called another meeting. "To any man who is willing to give himself and his land let him have grain.  Record each man's name and his land as a witness of payment."

Joseph climbed up to the platform and raised his hands. "I know you are hungry and that you have given your money and livestock.  If you are willing to give yourself and your land you will receive grain." 

The people cheered. "Thank you! We'll gladly give our lives and land, what good are they if we don't have food?"

Joseph stepped down and called the captain of the guard. "Be sure not to take payment from the priests.  They are to receive all the grain they need without cost. Also give seed to every man who buys grain."

"Yes, my lord."

Joseph went back up to the platform and held up his hands. The people hushed.  "Now that I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh, take this seed and sow the land. When harvest comes, you are to give one-fifth of the grain to Pharaoh. The rest will be yours as seen and food."

The people cheered again.  "You've saved our lives!"

So Joseph made it a law in all of Egypt that one-fifth of all harvests shall go to Pharaoh except the harvest of the priests. The people stayed in their homes and planted grain.

Why do you think Joseph didn't make the priest pay for the grain?  What did Joseph do when he didn't know how to help the people?  What can you do when you don't know what to do?