Have you ever climbed to the top of a lighthouse or walked around one and wondered why it was there? The purpose of a lighthouse is so that boats know where the rocks are and won’t run into them. This is really important because it can be hard to see from a boat in the storm. At each lighthouse, there is a person who is responsible for making sure the light was on all the time.
There was once a girl that lived with her father, his job was to keep the lamp in the lighthouse burning. One beautiful sunny day, her father decided to get some groceries from the town nearby. The girl was to stay home and make sure the lamp was shining in the lighthouse. Every few hours she would climb to the top of the lighthouse and add some oil to the lamp so that it would keep burning.
Then, out of nowhere, a huge storm blew in. Huge waves began splashing all around the lighthouse. It was time for her to add oil to the lamp but she had to walk through the storm to the lighthouse tower. She knew if she didn’t get there soon the light would go out and sailors could easily be destroyed by rocks on the shore. Even though the waves were massive and the wind shrieked through the house, she put her coat on and headed to the lighthouse. When she opened the door, a huge gust of wind almost knocked her over but she pushed through the wind till she made it to the lighthouse. Safely inside the lighthouse, she ran up the stairs to find that she had made it just in time as the last few drops of oil were about to be used up. When her father got back from town he was very proud of her for keeping the light shining in the lighthouse even through the terrible storm.
I doubt that you have the responsibility of keeping a lamp burning in a lighthouse everyday but I’m sure you have responsibilities just the same. No matter how big or small your jobs are it is important to be responsible so that people can always trust and rely on us.
“Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with large things.” Luke 16:10
Have you ever noticed that bugs seem to gather around light? If you’re out in the dark you may have been just fine until you turn on a flashlight and after a few minutes there are moths and other bugs flying all around. What exactly makes the bugs come to the light? Is it to keep warm or to see better? No one is exactly sure but watch this video to see some ideas.
Some insects are attracted to light because they use the light from the moon to direct them like a compass. When they see the light they think that it is the moon and fly towards it. But if the light is coming from one of those handy zapper machines they have made a bad mistake.
We know that our goal is to follow Jesus and to do what makes Him happy. If we keep heading towards Him we’ll be safe but sometimes we have to watch out for distractions. Let’s not let anything confuse us from choosing to do things that make Jesus happy today.
One of my favorite road trip games is the alphabet game where you look for each letter of the alphabet starting at A all the way to Z. You can find the letters on any road signs or sometimes license plates on cars. The first person to get to Z wins! Some letters are harder to find than others like the letters X and Z. But the letter Y is never too hard because of the YIELD sign. Have you ever stopped to think about what the word yield means?
The word yield actually means to give up or give in. I’m sure you’ve had at least one person tell you to never give up. Why would there be a sign telling people to give up? Well, imagine what it would be like if no one ever stopped or gave up for a moment to let other people go. You would end up with a huge traffic jam because everyone would be trying to get to the same place at the same time. That’s exactly what a yield sign is for. It reminds drivers to slow down and check if there’s someone else that they should allow to go first.
Sometimes I think we need yield signs in more places than just the road. Often we need a quick reminder to yield for a second and see if there’s anyone else that needs to go first, when we’re eating at the table, waiting in a line, or even when we’re talking. Why don’t we all take a moment today to see if there’s anyone we can yield for and let them go first. And don’t forget to play the alphabet game next time you’re on a road trip too.
“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
You probably already knew that x-rays are what doctors use to see the bones in our bodies. Maybe you’ve fallen and broken a bone and had an x-ray taken or maybe you’ve gone to the dentist and had your teeth x-rayed to see if you needed braces.
People didn’t used to know about x-rays. Even the man that invented them did it completely on accident. When he realized what he had discovered was something cool, he asked his wife if he could try his new invention on her. So the very first x-ray was of his wife’s hand. Her name was Anna Bertha Ludwig.
X-rays can help us see what the bones inside our bodies look like. Jesus can be like an x-ray in our lives too. He can show us what what our thoughts are like on the inside. In Philippians 4:8 there’s a list of the kind of thoughts that Jesus likes to see inside us. It says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Let’s think about these good things today!
If you live in a cold place where there’s lots of snow, winter is probably the last time you worry about getting a sunburn. But did you know that you can sunburn your eyes when you’re out in the snow for too long? It’s actually called snow blindness because it can make you blind for a little while. This happens because the ultraviolet rays from the sun bounce off of the super white snow and hit your eyes. Its okay for a little while but if you’re out in the snow without sunglasses for too long you could sunburn your eyes.
It’s hard to believe that snow is so white that it can give people sunburns. In fact, it reminds me of Psalm 51:7 that says: “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” When we ask Jesus for forgiveness and to clean us He does the very best and makes us even whiter than snow. That’s really white! Next time you see snow remember that when we ask Jesus, He can make us even whiter than the snow. And don’t forget to wear sunglasses if you’re going to play out in the snow for a long time.
Some Christmas presents are very expensive, some are shiny or squishy but the very best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten was a brown paper bag. Yes, just that–a brown paper bag.
You see there were some things that I didn’t like doing and one of them was cleaning my room. So every night when I went to bed I would just drop my clothes on the floor and get into bed. When I woke up in the morning I would slip out of my pajamas and leave them right on top of the clothes from the day before. I guess you can imagine the mountains of clothes my sisters had to climb over to get around the room.
My mom decided that we needed to solve this problem and one morning she told me she was going to take away everything that I didn’t put away. To get my things back I would have to pay her a dollar. At first, I put my clothes away every morning but one morning I slipped out of my pajamas and left them on the floor. When I came to go to bed that night I had a problem–my pajamas were gone. A few days later the same thing happened with my socks, a while later my pants and so it went until I was missing many, many things. In fact, after a while I was missing so many things there was no way I could ever pay it back.
As Christmas time came around I excitedly waited for my presents and was surprised to see a brown paper bag with the letters G-R-A-C-E written on it under the tree. When I ripped open the bag, I found all the things that I hadn’t put away. Just like I could never pay to get all my clothes back we can never get forgiveness on our own but God has given us the best Christmas present–Jesus. And that’s what Christmas is really about.
Here’s the story of the very best Christmas present ever–Jesus!
How many helium balloons do you think it would take to lift you up? 20… 100… Turns out that it takes approximately four thousand balloons to lift a person off of the ground. That’s a lot of balloons! Helium is lighter than our air so when a balloon is filled with helium it floats. That’s why when you let go of a helium balloon outside it will float up and away. But it still takes a lot of them to lift the weight of a person up.
Sometimes when we get really down it takes a lot to lift us up and make us feel better too. When nothing goes the way we want it to often all we want to do is to quit. The last thing we feel like doing is being thankful and nice to the people around us. But we don’t have to stay that way. Next time you’re feeling upset remember that just like balloons lift things up Jesus is always there to make you happy too. Psalm 3:3 says, “But, Lord, you are my shield. You are my wonderful God who gives me courage.” Jesus will protect and cheer you up and it only takes one of Him to get you in a good mood again.