Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fifth Plague

By Mary Vee
Exodus 9: 1-12

Aaron sipped his water then set the cup on the table.  His fingers drummed softly on the table.  When's Moses coming home?  He yawned.  He laid his head on the table and yawned again.  His evening visits with God sometimes last a long time.

He heard himself snore and chose to ignore the sound. 

What seemed like a flash of a moment later, he heard the door click.  Aaron bolted up and whiped the drool from his face. Not wanting to wake the other family members he motioned for Moses to join him at the table.
"What did God say?"

Moses shook his head.  "I don't understand why Pharaoh hasn't let the children of Israel go.  The Egyptians still complain about the the water turning to blood, the frogs,  lice, and the flies."

Aaron smiled.  "They sure looked funny dancing around the streets scratching and shooing the lice and flies away.  Apparently it isn't enough to change Pharaoh's mind.  What did God say tonight?"

He wants us to go to Pharaoh tomorrow and tell him, "the Lord God of the Hebrews says "Let My people go, that they may serve Me.'"

Aaron sat back in his chair.  "He won't, not yet."

"I agree.  The Lord also wants us to tell Pharaoh, 'If you refuse to let them go, and hold them back, the hand of the Lord will bring a deadly sickness on your cattle in the field, the horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep.'"

"They won't be able to plow fields, or have transportation."  Aaron stroke his beard.  "This plague will bring the city to a stop."

"Not only that, but the Lord wants us also to say, 'The Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt.'  So nothing that belongs to the children of Israel will die.  He said to tell Pharaoh the plague on Egyptian livestock will happen the next day."

Aaron nodded. "Better get some sleep. We have a busy day tomorrow."

The next morning Aaron and Moses stood side by side in front of Pharaoh.  Aaron spoke the words Moses told him to say.  Pharaoh laughed and walked away.  "I won't let the children of Israel go!"

As the sun rose the following morning, Egyptians went out to care for their livestock.  They found their cattle in the field, horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep sick.  The moaning, bleeting, braying, and neighing from their livestock worried the Egyptians.  A little while later the animals fell to the ground, too sick to stand. 

Servants ran to Pharaoh to tell him the news.  "Pharaoh, the animals all over the city and out in the fields are dying from some mysterious disease. None of the doctors can help. We don't know what to do."

Pharaoh shook his fist at Moses. "What have you done?  Let me see the Israelite animals."

One servant cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, Pharaoh, you will have to walk. The royal horses have died."

Pharaoh squinted his eyes and pounded one fist. "Fine, I'll walk." When he arrived where the Israelites lived, he saw all of their livestock were healthy. His face turned red with anger.  "You tell your God, I will not let the children of Israel go."


1.  What more needs to happen to get Pharaoh to change his mind?
2.  What was the fifth plague?
3.  This time Pharaoh went to the place where the Israelites lived.  Why did he go there?
4.  What do you think will happen next?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Tip #4--The Pauper

By Mary Vee

The last three weeks we've talked about Super Heroes, Kings, and Princes.  You can click on the word to go back and read any of these stories.

This weeks fall tip takes us to one of the citizen's home in the kingdom.  Can you figure out what the tip is?  Write it in the comment section.

The Pauper
One day a pauper walked along a road.  He hummed a tune along with the birds.  "I have been blessed today.  A family from the hut down the road shared their breakfast with me, a boy shared his lunch, and now I am entertained by the song of birds." 

The pauper's stomach grumbled and growled. "Hush. You have been blessed today.  Don't complain."

A little ways down the road his stomach mumbled and moaned.  "Hush. You have been blessed. Be content."

He took a few more steps, whistling along the way. He didn't know how far he'd travel today. This was a day to notice blessings.  A small flock of birds swooped up from an apple tree down by the curve in the road.  "There. You see, my greedy stomach.  Another blessing. The birds have led us to your supper."

Once at the tree, the pauper realized he'd have to climb to the highest branches to find fruit. He patted his belly.  "You must learn, Stomach, the importance of working for your food."   With those words he pulled himself up from one branch to the next. 

He plucked a bright red apple, sank his teeth deep inside, and savored the tangy flavor.  "Are you happy now, Stomach?"

Moments later a carriage rumbled along the road.  The pauper gazed at the markings on the side and realized the king, himself, was about to pass by.  "Oh, I am so blessed!"  He waved his arm to greet the king.

After the carriage drove by the pauper took the last bite of his apple.  He gazed at the road and noticed the vehicle came to a stop.  Guards leaped to the ground. Then, before his eyes, the king stepped out of the carriage.  "You, Pauper, come down here."

The pauper trembled.  "I fear, Stomach, we have tasted our last meal."  He slipped down the tree, dropped the apple core to the ground, and swiped his face with his sleeve.  A guard stomped over to him and slapped his hat off. 

The pauper lowered his head. "Beggin' your pardon, your Kingship, I was eating my supper and felt honored to have you ride by at the same moment. I couldn't help but wave."

The king walked close to the pauper, sniffed then jumped back.  "Your dinner is one apple?"

The pauper's eyes jumped. "I hardly need more, your kingship.  But sometimes I find a pear, or carrot, or broccoli. The good Lord plants quite a garden! Would you like some dinner?  The best apples are at the top."

The king scanned the apple tree.  His stomach growled loud enough for everyone to hear. "Would you mind sharing your dinner with all of us?"

The pauper smiled. "I'd be delighted, your kingship."  He shimmied up the tree to pick a handful of apples. The guards held out their hands inviting him to toss down their supper. 

The king crunched into an apple and spacked his lips.  "Delicious!"  Once the apple disappeared, he rubbed his stomach.  "I'm not hungry anymore."

"You sound surprised, your kingship." The pauper patted his own stomach.  "The dinner meal should be small and satisfying, it'll help you sleep better."

The king nodded. "I see.  Would you mind if I came for dinner again sometime?"

"My king, I haven't much to give, but what I have I will gladly share with you."

"Because of your kindness, you are invited to my table for breakfast where you shall feast as a king, to my sons' table for lunch where you shall dine on a medium size meal, and then we shall join you for a pauper's dinner."

Three weeks later, the king noticed his son's healthy appearance. They told him he looked healthy too.  "Well, my sons...

I have learned to eat breakfast as a king
to eat lunch as a prince
and to eat dinner as a pauper.

I have learned to share what I have (the pauper taught me this)
and to visit with my people.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fourth Plague-Pharaoh Hates Flies!

By Mary Vee
Exodus 8:20-32

Moses strolled back to his home.  He met with Aaron each night to discuss God's latest message.  Moses liked having his older brother around. 

The air smelled fresh.  Probably from the wind that took the lice away.  Moses took one last deep breath of the sweet air then opened the door of his family home. Aaron waved him over to the table.

Moses stepped quietly to a chair at the table to not wake the others.  Aaron set his cup down. "Did God speak with you tonight?"

Moses nodded.  "We're getting up early, tomorrow."

"Are going to see Pharaoh first, this time?"

"Yes, but not at his palace.  We are to go down to the water at the time he will be there.  You are to say, "The Lord has this message for you: 'Let My people go, that they may serve Me.  If you don't let them go I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses." 

"Flies?" Aaron sat back in his chair.  "Pharaoh isn't going to like that."

"I think that's the point. Anyway, you also need to say swarms of flies will fill the Egyptian houses and the ground where they stand. Oh, and God also said to tell Pharaoh he will protect the land of Goshen where the children of Israel live from the plague of flies that Pharaoh may know God is the Lord.  He wants Pharaoh to see there is a difference between the Egyptians and us."

The next day, Aaron and Moses got up early and went to the water to find Pharaoh.  After listening to the message, Pharaoh said he wouldn't let the people go.   The second he finished speaking, thick swarms of flies swooped around him, into the houses, and all the land of Egypt.

When he couldn't take it any longer, Pharaoh sent guards to get Moses and Aaron.  They swooshed their feet through the piles of flies on the floor of the palace hall.  "Moses I'm sick of these flies. Go sacrifice to your God here in Egypt."

"No, Pharaoh.  It's not right. If the Egyptians see sacrificing to our God, wouldn't they stone us? No. We need to go three days journey into the wilderness as the Lord our God commanded."

Pharaoh flung his arms at more flies.  "Fine. Fine. You can go to the wilderness to sacrifice, but not too far away.  Come on, Moses.  Make the flies go away."

"All right, Pharaoh.  I will ask the Lord to take the swarms of flies away tomorrow. A word of caution, Pharaoh, you better keep your word this time and let the Lord's people go to sacrifice to Him."

Moses prayed to God and asked Him to remove the flies.  The next day every single fly had vanished--and the taskmasters returned to make the Israelites work.  Moses rolled his eyes.  "Pharaoh hardened his heart again.  He did not keep his word, after all."

This is the first plague that Pharaoh practically begs Moses to ask God to stop!

1.  Where did Moses and Aaron meet Pharaoh?
2.  What did Pharaoh say at first?
3.  When he got tired of the flies what did he say the Israelites could do?
4.  Why didn't Pharaoh keep his word this time?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Third Plague-Finger of God

By Mary Vee
Exodus 8:16-19

"Are you ready to go?"

Aaron gulped the last bite of his breakfast and looked at the staff in the corner of the room.  "Ready as I'll ever be."

Moses and Aaron put their sandals on and headed out the door.  Aaron stopped, grabbed the staff, and joined his brother.  "You'd think Pharaoh would have been at least annoyed with the water turning to blood and the frogs hopping all around."  His shoulders shook. "The water stank and those frogs--everywhere--even in the Egyptian ovens, and beds.  Can you imagine Pharaoh opening his mouth to snore while sleeping at the same time a frog jumped on his face?"

The brothers laughed.

Aaron and Moses walked closer to the city area.  Egyptians filled the marketplaces. Music and noise from the crowds grew louder as they neared the shopping area. Moses led the way to the edge of town.  "Do you remember what to do?"

Aaron nodded. "God doesn't want us to go before Pharaoh, first, like the last two times?"

"No. He simply said you should stretch out your rod and strike the dust of the land. When you do, all the dust in the land will turn to lice."

"OK, here we go." Aaron stretched out his rod and hit the dust. 

The dust squiggled and squirmed.  Little clouds rose and swirled into the air. The air thickened with lice.  Moses sighed.  "Now we wait for Pharaoh to call for us. In the meantime, let's go home."

They walked back through the city. Egyptians in the marketplace looked like monkeys hopping around scratching themselves.  Some cried for help, others yelled.  Moses and Aaron noticed God protected them from the lice.  Off in the distance a voice from Pharaoh's palace shouted, "Magicians! What has Moses done now?"

The next day, two guards came to escort Moses and Aaron to the palace. The guards shoved them into the meeting hall and toward Pharaoh.

Pharaoh squinted his eyes and glared. "Moses!" He scratched his head and his arms. "This is all your fault. You've brought this turmoil on our land. Look at the two of you.  Why aren't the lice bothering you?"  He reached down and scratched his legs. "I order you to call on your Lord to take these pests away."

Moses whispered to Aaron.   Aaron bowed his head. "Will you let the children of Israel go to worship the Lord in the wilderness?"

Pharaoh shook his head.  "You must be kidding me." He turned to a group of men standing on his right side.  "Magicians, show these insignificant beings your power.  Bring forth lice."

The magicians tried for an hour to make lice. They used every idea they had.  Nothing worked.  Pharaoh grew angrier with each failure.  At last the head magician bowed before Pharaoh.  "My liege, we've tried everything.  We cannot make lice.  This is the finger of God placed upon our land."

Pharaoh folded his arms.  "Fine, Moses.  Call upon your Lord to make the lice go away."

The guards grabbed Moses and Aaron and escorted them out of the palace.  Once back at the Israelite camp Moses called upon God. He asked God to take the lice away.  That night the lice left Egypt.

Moses woke early the next morning.  He glanced out the window and noticed taskmasters heading toward the Israelite homes.  "Pharaoh has hardened his heart. He's not going to let us go."

Painting by Ted Larsen American Contemporary

The plague of lice was the first plague the magicians couldn't imitate.

1. What did God want Pharaoh to do?
2. What was the third plague?
3. Why couldn't the magicians do what Pharaoh wanted them to do?
4. Did Pharaoh change his mind?
5. Why did God give Pharaoh this third chance to see his power?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Tip #3 - Princes

By Mary Vee

Today's post is a story with a special message.  Let me know what you think in the comment box.

Once upon a time there were two princes named Fatisimo and Sportsfano. 

Fatisimo like to sit around.  He read books, and played any game that let him sit.  He ate cakes, candies, and bread for every meal, and sneaked some in between.  He snubbed his nose when the servants brought vegetables and fish. "I'm a prince, I don't have to eat stuff I don't like."

Sportsfano played on all the court teams.  He knew how to play baseball, soccer, tennis, to name a few sports.  Everyone want him on their team.  Sportsfano thought he shouldn't have to stop playing to eat a meal.  "I'm too busy right now.  I'll eat later." But he didn't.

One day the king decided to hold a competition to find the greatest citizen in the land.  Competitors would have to answer questions found in books and score high in sports.  The winner would be given their greatest wish.

While chomping on a fresh pastry, Fatisimo read the morning news.  A reporter interviewed ten citizens.  All agreed Fatisimo would win the competition since he read all the time.  The prince smiled and celebrated with a second pastry.

Sportsfano ran across the field to the other goal and back for a warm up that morning.  When he returned both teams cheered, "Sportsfano, soon to be winner of the king's competition."

The day of the competition came.  Three hundred citizens stood in line to register including Prince Fatisimo and Prince Sportsfano.  The competitors moved to the arena to take their numbered places. 

The King rose to give a speech. "Welcome citizens. As you know, only one shall win the prize.  Do your best. Now, let the competition begin."

The first question went to Prince Fatisimo.  "What is a group of birds called?"

Prince Fatisimo suddenly felt sick.  Sweat dripped down his face.  "I don't feel well."

The King ran to his son. "What did you eat today?"

"I only ate four pastries, three pieces of cake, and two pieces of pizza.  I decided to eat a little more to give me energy for the competition."

"My son, didn't you eat any fruits, vegetables or protein?"

"You know I don't like those foods.  Oh, I feel sick. I need to leave."

Later in the competition citizens prepared for a race.  Sportsfano stood next to five other runners. As the official raised his hand, Sportsfano's head throbbed.  Everything moved quickly around him. "I don't feel well."

The King ran to his son. "What did you eat today?"

"Nothings.  I didn't want food to slow me down.  I needed to run fast today."

"My son, didn't you eat any fruits, vegetables or protein?"

"I don't have time to eat food.  I'm too busy.  Oh, I feel sick. I need to leave."

That night the king met with his sons.  "Do you want to know who won the competition today?"

Fatisimo and Sportsfano shrugged then nodded.

"The winner was Nutri."

Last week's story told about a King who learned to eat a large healthy breakfast to start his day.

There is a saying that goes like this:

Eat breakfast as though you were a King or Queen (large healthy meal)
Eat lunch as though you were a Prince or Princess ( medium healthy meal)
and Eat dinner as though....well you need to come back next Monday to find out the rest of the story.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Second Plague

by Mary Vee
Exodus 8:1-15

Aaron stayed up late waiting for Moses to come back.  As one of the family members snored he noticed the door open.  Aaron held his finger to his lips and motioned Moses to the corner of the house where they usually met.

Aaron leaned close. "What did God say?"

Moses took a sip of water. "He wants us to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let His people go that we may serve Him.  If Pharaoh refuses, we are to tell him that God will send frogs.  The frogs will come out of the river and go into their houses, into their bedrooms, on their beds, in their servant's houses, on the people, in their ovens, and in their bowls."

"Frogs everywhere?"

"Except here."

Aaron smiled. "Lets get some sleep.  Things are going to be hopping around here tomorrow."

The next morning Aaron and Moses got up early and went to the palace.  Pharaoh raised his hand to allow them to approach.  "What do you want this time, Moses?"

Aaron took a step forward. "We bring a message from the Lord.  He says, 'Let my people go that they may serve me. If you refuse, I will God will smite the land with frogs."

Pharaoh shook his head. "I'm not going to let my slaves go, not today, or any other day."

Moses sighed and gave Aaron a signal to go ahead.  Aaron stretched his hand with the rod over the waters of Egypt. As he did frogs leaped out of the water toward the houses.  Thousands of frogs leaped toward the Egyptian homes and into everything.  The people screamed and cried out for the frogs to stop.

Pharaoh called for his magicians.  "Moses made the frogs come out of the water.  What will you do?"

The magicians gathered together. "We will do the same, Pharaoh."

Pharaoh watched the magicians make frogs to come on the land.  Pharaoh laughed.  "Moses has tried to trick me again. But you have shown me I don't need to pay attention to him."

After some time Pharaoh grew tired of the frogs.  He called for Moses.

Moses and Aaron brought the rod with them to hear what Pharaoh had to say.  Pharaoh paced from the window to his chair.  He kicked a frog off of his sandal.  "Shoo!"  He continued toward the window.  A frog jumped from the window edge into Pharaoh's face.  "All right, Moses. Go to the Lord and ask Him to take the frogs away from me and my people. After you do, I will let the people go that they may sacrifice to the Lord."

Moses nodded.  "When would you like me to ask the Lord?"


Aaron waited for a signal from Moses then said, "It will be done as you have asked. This way you will know that there is no one like the Lord our God.  The frogs will leave the land. There will only be frogs in the river."

That night Moses spoke with the Lord about the frogs.  He asked the Lord to remove the frogs.  The next day the frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields died. All of Egypt stank from the dead frogs.

When Pharaoh heard the news, he sent a message to Moses.  "I change my mind.  You will remain as slaves in Egypt."

That night at Moses and Aaron's meeting,  Aaron rolled his eyes. "Let me get this straight, Pharaoh's magicians could make frogs come on the land, but he asked us to go before the Lord to have the frogs removed instead of having his magicians do the job."

"That's right. You and I both know those magicians can't do what only God can do."


I don't think I would have wanted to be in Egypt at this time.  Frog stew, frog soap, frog bread, frog dishes, sandals, and beds--too many frogs!

1. How did God punish Pharaoh?
2. What came out of the river?
3. What did the magicians do?
4. Who did Pharaoh ask for help to make the frogs go away?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Plague

By Mary Vee
Exodus 7: 14-25

Moses came back to his home late that night.  Aaron waited up for him.  When Moses' shadow drifted by the window, Aaron ran outside.

"Moses, wait. Did God speak with you?"

"Yes, let's go inside where we can talk in private."

Moses closed the door behind him. He held his finger to his mouth.  "Let's not wake anyone."

Aaron nodded.

After settling in a corner of the house away from the family, Aaron whispered, "So, what did He say?"

"He wants us to go to Pharaoh in the morning."

"To the palace?  Will he agree to meet with us after he kicked us out recently?"

"Listen, Aaron. God said to go to the river with the rod which He turned into a serpent. You are to tell Pharaoh to let God's people go that we may serve Him in the wilderness."

Aaron stroke his beard.  "He'll say no."

"I know.  God said he would.  You are to say to Pharaoh these words from God, 'By this you will know that I am Lord.' Then tell him God said he would strike the river waters with the rod in your hand and turn them to blood.  All the fish will die and the river will stink.  The Egyptians won't be able to drink from it."

"Do you think Pharaoh will let us go after that?"

Moses sighed.  "No."

The next morning Aaron and Moses got up early.  They grabbed the rod and walked down to the river.

A servant pointed toward Aaron and Moses.  Pharaoh turned and shook his head.  "Why are you here, Moses?"

Aaron cleared his throat.  "We have a message from God. By this message, you will know that He is Lord.  He will strike the river waters with this rod in my hand and turn them to blood."

Pharaoh laughed.  "You must be kidding me.  Go to your work, both of you."

Moses lifted his rod the hit the waters.  Pharaoh gasped as the droplets turned to blood.  The fish died and the river stank.  Pharaoh jumped back a few steps and stared up stream.  All the water had turned to blood.

News came to Pharaoh throughout the morning. "The ponds, pools, and wells have blood instead of water in them.  Even water in the buckets have turned to blood.  What should we do?"

Pharaoh called for his magicians.  "You have seen what Moses did to our water?  What do you have to say about this?"

"Oh great Pharaoh. Watch as we turn this water which we dug up from the ground into blood."

Pharaoh nodded.  "Just as I thought. Moses is playing a trick on me."

Seven nights later Aaron met for their nightly talk. "Moses, how long will God keep blood flowing downstream?"

"I don't know. Perhaps God will speak to me tomorrow with the next instructions.  In the mean time, we wait patiently."

"If Pharaoh's magician's turned the water into blood, why didn't he ask them to turn all the blood back into water."

"Maybe he did ask.  The point is--they couldn't, my dear brother, they are not God."

"Moses." Aaron leaned closer and whispered softer.  "I've never lived anywhere but here.  What is it like?"

Moses smiled. "Peaceful."

The first plague that God strikes Egypt with is turning the water into blood.

1. Did the Egyptians go seven days without water to drink?
2. If not, how did they get water?
3. Why didn't Pharaoh believe God did the miracle?
4. Do you think Pharaoh will let God's people go?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Tip #2--Kings

By Mary Vee

There once was a king who grew so fat he could barely walk.

"I don't understand," he said to his closest advisor.  "I need to show my wealth to the kingdom and to all who visit. My tablesshows the wealth of our kingdom.  There's plenty of food for all who eat at my table."

The advisor stroked his beard.  "I think I understand your problem.  Nations all around you know you're powerful and wealthy because you've shown them.  Citizens in the kingdom know you're to be honored and respected because you've shown them--"

"Yes, I've told you all of this!"  The king waddled to his throne.  "When are you going to give your advise?"

"I suggest, my liege, prudence."

"Prudence?  I can't display my wealth if I show a little at a time."

The advisor stepped back. "You've already shown your wealth. Now you must show your strength and leadership by eating as a wealthy king for breakfast only then by eating smaller amounts during other meals."

The king grunted. "I'll starve."

"My liege, I suggest you try this method for ten days."

"Ten days?  Perhaps I can do this for ten days. But not a day longer."

So the king ate his usual feast for breakfast every morning.  The remaining meals he ate smaller portions.  At the end of the ten days he called for his advisor. 

"Look!  My clothes aren't squeezing me to death.  I think I might hold a dance tonight and invite all the kingdom.  There I will declare large meals should only be eaten for breakfast."


Health studies have shown that the biggest meal of the day should be breakfast.  Take the time to have a healthy breakfast each morning before going to school or work.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

God's Plan, the First Step to Freedom

By Mary Vee
Exodus 7:8-13

Aaron glanced at the guard then back at Moses.  "Well, here we are again, Moses. Do you think Pharaoh will listen this time?"

Moses rolled his eyes. "There's only one way we could have seen Pharaoh. It certainly wasn't anything we did.  God is with us. Now, do you remember everything I told you?"

Aaron nodded.

The door suddenly opened. A servant stepped into the hall. "Pharaoh will see them now, although I can't understand why."

The guard laughed.  "Pharaoh is playing with them.  He knows they can't do anything." He pushed Moses and Aaron into the room then toward the front.

Pharaoh nodded to the brothers, giving them permission to speak.

Moses gave his brother a signal to go ahead. Aaron stood straight and looked into Pharaoh's eyes. "God has commanded you to send the children of Israel out of this land." 

Pharaoh's laugh echoed in the room. "Who is this God who thinks He can order me?  And who are you to deliver such a message?" He folded his arms and walked a few steps toward an advisor, whispered a few words then walked back. "Show me a miracle."

Moses turned to Aaron, "Take your rod and throw it on the ground before Pharaoh and let it become a serpent."

Aaron leaned over toward his brother. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. This is what God said to do."

Aaron threw his rod on the ground before Pharaoh.  It bounced once then slithered to the left then slid to the right. Servants from all around the room jumped back and huddled near the wall.  A guard leaped in front of Pharaoh as the serpent raised itself.  The serpant slid it's head side to side.

"Move aside, guard." Pharaoh clapped his hand twice.  "Magicians, sorcerers turn your rods into serpents."

A group of men moved toward the front of the room. They smiled at one another and said a few strange words then threw their rods on the ground before Pharaoh.  A moment later each rod turned into a serpent slithering to the left and right.

Pharaoh laughed.  "My magicians can do what you do?  I'm not im-"

Before he finished his sentence, the serpent from Aaron's rod swallowed the serpents from the magician's rods. Pharaoh squinted his eyes and glared at his magicians.  "You have disappointed me."

Moses told Aaron to pick the serpent up by the tail.  Aaron blinked twice. "Really?" 

"Yes, this is what God said to do."

Aaron scooped up the serpent's tail and found his rod stiff in his hand.  The guards, servants, and magicians burst into chatter. 

Pharaoh paced before the crowd.  "Silence!"  He raised his hands. "You--Moses and Aaron--will leave my presence.  I will not let the children of Israel go."

Once outside Pharaoh's palace Aaron turned to Moses. "Well, that didn't go very well."

Moses smiled and slapped his brother on the back.  "True, but God knew this would happen.  He has a  plan to show everyone in Egypt who He really is. The next step in his plan will take place tomorrow morning."


Moses understands now that God's plan to help the children of Israel will take time.

Find the answers to these questions in today's story:

1. Who visited Pharaoh?
2. What did Pharaoh ask them to do?
3. What miracle did Moses and Aaron do in God's name?
4. Who else did this same miracle?
5. What did Aaron's serpent do to the other serpents?
6. Did Pharaoh listen to Moses and Aaron?
7. What lesson did Moses learn?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God Comforts Us--He Understands

By Mary Vee
Exodus 5: 22- 6:8

I'm exhausted.  I've been back in Egypt only a few days, yet I feel like I've been here for months.  I told God I couldn't do this job.  Now the people scream at me, "You brought this suffering on us, Moses."

I went with Aaron to speak with Pharaoh.  A lot of good that did.  All Pharaoh did was get angry and yell: "Fine, find your own straw."  How can we make the same number of bricks if we have to take time to search for straw?

I need to be alone with God. 

Later that night, after most of the people fell asleep, I walked away from the camp.  The sky was dotted with stars.  I closed my eyes and breathed in the cool night air. 

"Lord.  I need to speak with you.  I came to Egypt and went before Pharaoh as you said.  You've seen what he's done to Your people.   Why have you allowed this trouble?  Don't you remember when I said I couldn't do this job?  Ever since I've arrived and spoke to Pharaoh in Your name, he's beaten and starved Your people."

I waited for a response.  After a few moments I shook my head.  "Lord you haven't delivered Your people at all."

"Moses, be patient. You'll see what I will do to Pharaoh. At the right time he'll force the children of Israel to go."

I believed His words.  I didn't know how God would make this happen, yet I knew He would follow through.

A moment later He spoke again. "I am the Lord. I have appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but they didn't know me as Lord.  I gave them My promise that they would have the land of Caanan.  Moses, I've heard their cries, and have seen them suffer while in bondage.  I remember My promise."

At that moment, all the stress in my muscles and my headache left me. The cool air filled my lungs and I relaxed.

He spoke to me again. "Tell My people, I am the Lord. I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.  I will rescue you from bondage and will redeem you with outstreatched arms and great judgements.  I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land I promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and give it to you. I am the Lord."

He didn't say any more.  He didn't need to.  I went to home, and slept well.

God asked Moses to do a difficult job.  After Moses started his work he had problems.  He didn't know what to do.

Look back in the story to find these answers:
1. What did Moses do when the people yelled at him?
2. Where did Moses go for comfor?
3. What did God tell him?
4. What can you do when you have a problem so big you don't know what to do?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall Tip #1--Super Heroes

By Mary Vee

I think deep down we all like
 super heroes.  

Can you guess who these super heroes are?

1. God gave this man super strength.

2. God helped this young slave girl become a queen and save an entire nation.

3. God gave this man the knowledge to build a boat strong enough to survive the world's greatest flood.

4. God gave this man strength to survive the bite of a poisonous snake.

5. God helped this man walk on water.

6. God helped this man to survive when he was trapped in a den of lions.

7. God helped these three men survive a mighty fire that killed all the brave and strong soldiers standing nearby.

The answers are at the bottom of this post :)

None of the people listed above could have done what they did without God's help.  If we want to do super things, we need to trust in God and be willing to obey Him.  The Bible says God searches the face of the earth looking for those who will follow Him. He searched and found Noah, Job, and many others.  Men, women, boys, and girls like them have had the chance to do super things.  You don't think so?  Well, let's try to name some...

Men:  Gideon, shy, afraid, but willingly obeyed God and led his tiny army of 300 men against thousands of Midianites.

Women: Deborah, used by God to be a judge of Israel. She helped lead the Israelites in a mighty battle.

Boys: Young Samuel who help Eli in the temple. He grew up to be a great prophet. Boy kings Josiah and Joash who were both only eight years old.

Girls: the Hebrew slave girl who saved her master, General Naaman.  The general had leprosy.  She told General Naaman to go to the Hebrew prophet Elisha. She said this prophet could ask God to cure him of his leprosy, and, because of God, he did. Without her help, the General would have died.

There are many other superheroes in the Bible.

How can you be a super hero?

1.  Read your Bible every single day.  The more you know about God, the better you can obey Him.
2.  Pray to God every single day.  Daniel prayed to God even when he was taken as a slave to another country.  God rewarded Daniel by letting him help the King.  Everyone knows Daniel prayed every single day.  Don't be shy.
3.  Obey God's Word.  Sure it's hard.  You will make mistakes.  That's OK.  Ask God to forgive you and try again.

You can be a super hero--for Jesus!  Go for it:)


1.  Samson
2.  Esther
3.  Noah
4.  Paul
5.  Peter
6.  Daniel
7.  Shadrach, Meshach,  and Abednego

Saturday, September 4, 2010

God is With You When Life Gets Tough

By Mary Vee
Exodus 5:1-13

Moses stopped at the door before Pharaoh's court.  The guard reached for the handle and opened the door.

Moses wiped sweat from his brow. "Are you ready, Aaron?"

"As ready as I ever will be, Moses."

The guard nodded to them and pushed them forward.  They stopped at the place marked.  Pharaoh turned from his work.  He folded his arms and scowled.  "What is your business?"

Moses looked at Aaron then at Pharaoh.  "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"

Pharaoh stared at the two men for a moment then shook his head.  "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice and let Israel go?  I don't know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go."

Moses and Aaron stood firm.  "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He punish us with pestilence or the sword."

Pharaoh stepped toward the window.  "Why do you take the people from their work?  Get back to your labor.  I see all those Israelites stitting around.  You have grown to a large number."  He laughed.  "You think you can let them rest from their labor? Get out.  Get out, now."

As Moses and Aaron turned to leave, Pharaoh called for his commander.  "Tell the taskmasters to stop giving the people straw to make bricks.  Let them gather straw for themselves.  And watch those Israelites closely, for they are not to make one less brick than their quota. They are nothing more than lazy.  Their cries to go sacrifice to their God is nothing more than a way to get out of work."

Moses and Aaron returned to the Israelite camp.   Moments later the taskmasters gathered the people.  "Listen, you lazy people of Israel.  Pharaoh has commanded that you will not be given straw any longer.  You will find your own straw to make bricks.  And know this--you will make the same number of bricks as before. Go, hurry, for your next quota is nearly due."

The Israelites hurried to find any pieces of straw they could.  They looked in every field and gathered stubbs of straw.  They tripped and spilled the pieces.  Friends and family helped each other, but no one could get enough straw to make the bricks in time.  Although Moses and Aaron helped, the Israelites scowled and grumbled against them. 

"Be patient. God is with us.  He didn't say this would be easy.  Please be patient."

One young father raised his fist.  "What do you know Moses?  You haven't lived here."

"No, I haven't, but God has been with you.  He said he will set you free, and He will.  Be patient."

When problems arise, it is hard to believe God is standing beside you, helping. Usually we don't notice until after the problem has been resolved.  Think back to a time when God helped you. Use this to help you remember that God will always be with you even when you have problems.

What did Moses and Aaron ask Pharaoh?
What did Pharaoh answer?
What problem did the Israelites have?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God Heard Their Prayers

By Mary Vee
Exodus 4:29-31

Moses hadn't seen his brother, Aaron, in many years.  As they walked to Egypt, Aaron told Moses about their mother, father, and sister.  He also talked about the difficult days.

"Our people are dying, Moses. The Egyptian takmasters beat us until we can't work, then they beat us for not working.  The old people are sick, the children have no one to care for them.  The Egyptians force us to work from the moment the sun rises to sunset.  We're hungry, tired, and sick."

Moses's heart pounded.  "We must rescue them.  God gave me these instructions:  We gather the elders and tell them God has heard to their cries and has sent us to help.  When they ask for proof we will show them signs from God.  After they give approval we go with the elders before Pharaoh."

Aaron slapped his brother on the back.  "Thank you for coming for us.  Together we will do as God says in order to rescue our people."

Aaron led Moses to the Israelite camp.  Messengers ran to gather the elders in the meeting place.  Once they all arrived, Aaron stood. "This is my brother, Moses."  He gazed at the men.  No one said anything.  "God has heard your cries for help.  He will rescue."  Aaron waved to Moses to stand by him.  "God sent Moses to free us from slavery."

A few elders looked toward the ground, some mocked them, others shook their heads.  Aaron cleared his throat.  "I realize this is difficult for you to understand, but you must have faith.  Look, God has given Moses a sign to show you.  Call all the people together and let us show you what God can do."

The head elder looked at Moses then Aaron.  "All right. Send a messenger to gather the people."

Aaron and Moses stepped outside to the place where the people gathered.  The head elder raised his hands to quiet the people then nodded to Aaron. 

Aaron stepped to the front of the group. "We have come to show you that God has heard your cry for help.  My brother Moses has been sent here by God.  We don't expect you to believe our words.  We have come to show you proof that God has sent help.  Aaron nodded to Moses.

Moses tipped his staff then threw it on the ground.  As quick as lightening, the staff turned into a serpent.  The people shrieked back. Before the serpent came close to any of the people, Moses grabbed it by the tail.  The elders eyes grew wide as they witnessed the serpent turn back into Moses's staff.

One elder sat back in his seat.  "I see your proof and am willing to listen."

A few other elders squinted their eyes and folded their arms.  "We are not yet convinced."  People from the crowd did the same.

Aaron nodded to Moses.  "Go ahead. Show them the other sign from God."  Moses put his hand into his tunic. He held it there for a moment before drawing it out for the others to see.  Aaron gasped.  "Leprosy! Moses--" The people backed away again. 

Moses smiled and put his hand back inside his tunic.  The people watched closely as he drew his hand back out toward them.  He bent his fingers and turned his hand in all directions to let them see. 

The people smiled. A few wept.  "At last. God has heard our prayers. Thank you, God."  Without any signal the people bowed their heads and worshipped God.

The head elder stepped forward.  "What instructions has God given for us?"

Aaron glanced at Moses then back at the elder. "God speaks to Moses.  Moses then tells me what is to be done.  Now that you believe, we are to gather the elders and go before Pharaoh."

The head elder turned to the others and then back to Aaron and Moses. "We will do as God has said."

Moses was pleased with the elder's answer.  At last he had a chance to help his people find freedom.  That night, as he slept under the stars, he noticed the life in the the dark sky.  "Thank you God, for giving your people life while they live in the darkness of slavery."

What signs did Moses show the elders?
What instruction did God give to the elders?
Who did God give permission to help Moses?