Kids Talk About God
By Carey Kinsolving And Friends
KIDS TALK ABOUT GOD
BY CAREY KINSOLVING AND FRIENDS
What Is Hope?
Before we look at what my friends had to say about hope, consider this newspaper ad: “Hope chest: Brand new, half price, long story.”
Instead of a long story, try a long time, says Megan, age 7: “I think hope is when you wish for something to go a certain way, and sometimes you have to wait for a long time.”
While Megan waits, Richard, 9, gets another at bat: “Hope is another chance to do something, like if your baseball game is tied, you still have hope to win.” And Austin, 5, sees hope slithering through the grass: “I hope I can get a pet snake.”
The word “hope” in the Bible expresses confidence and assurance concerning the future because it’s based on God’s promises, character and faithfulness. As Will, 10, says, “Hope is to look forward to something with a feeling of expectation or confidence. Christians always know they have hope because they have God in their hearts.”
When Jesus rose from the dead, the inner reality of sensing God’s presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit replaced the old way of relating to God through outward temple rituals. God has poured out his Spirit upon all his people and written his law on their hearts, just as Hebrew prophets predicted (Joel 2 and Jeremiah 31).
Hope isn’t pie in the sky; it’s practical, says Justin, 10: “Hope is talking to God every day, expecting an answer. Hope is having Jesus to talk to. Hope is being satisfied with what God has given you.”
Remember the feeling of Christmas morning? “Hope is a thing that makes you feel kind of good inside, sort of like you’re going to get a gift,” says David, 9.
Every day can be like Christmas morning for Christians who realize the best is yet to come. This kind of hope asks questions like “What new adventure does God have for me today?” and “I wonder what God is up to in this or that situation.”
Christians have trusted the Lord Jesus with their eternal destiny, but many live like atheists because their thinking and actions are devoid of hope: the confident expectation that God is working in and through them to carry out his plan.
In addition to living an adventure with God, hope will purify your life. It’s the difference between knowing your boss is on a long vacation and knowing he could walk into the workplace at any moment. Christians who live in eager expectation of being translated into another realm at any moment will put off every temporal distraction to follow the One to whom they belong.
“Hope can be powered by Satan or by God,” says Madeline, 11. “Let your hope be controlled by God.”
“Hope is what you believe, but you cannot see it,” says Charlotte, 10. Yes, hope and faith are cousins, says Lauren, 9: “Hope is faith; it is a thing to help you set your goals. Hope helps you to believe in Christ.”
My favorite explanation of hope comes from Nikki, 9, who says: “Hope is having a kind of grace.”
Think about this: The Apostle Paul preached a message of hope that turned a mighty Roman Empire upside down. Through arrests, false accusations and beatings, he displayed an uncommon grace that bore witness to the hope within him.
Memorize this truth: “Hope is God’s gift to us,” says Amal, 10. Yes, God’s gift of hope is a person: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Ask this question: Who is powering your hope?
What Did She Just Say?
By - Dr. James L. Snyder
To be honest, I don't always hear what I'm supposed to hear. I do have ears, but sometimes they are not working in such a way as to benefit me.
Often, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage will talk to me about something, and then at the end of that, she will ask me a question of which I have no idea what the answer would be. I did hear her talking; I just did not hear what she was saying.
That's why I say, "Yes, dear," to knock her off her game, thinking that I heard what she said.
Often, when I come home, as soon as I come through the door, she will say, "Did you stop and get what I told you to get at the grocery store?"
Now I'm in a situation where I have to explain why I didn't stop and get what she wanted me to get. I cannot let her know that I did not hear her say that nor that I did not remember what she said. So that, as you well know, gets me into some very serious problems, problems that I certainly do not want to deal with on any day of the week.
I must confess that when anybody, not just my wife, is talking to me, I'm not 100% on target. So I can get the gist of what you're saying but I'm thinking of something else or, I'm thinking of the answer I'm going to give as soon as you stop talking.
However, with the wife, it is an entirely different situation.
Not only do I need to hear what she is saying, but I also need to understand what she is saying. That is perhaps the most challenging aspect of listening. I can hear, but I don't always understand what I am hearing.
It's not that I am mentally challenged, but I just don't go through the proper thought process to the point of understanding. And when a wife is talking to her husband, that thought process is greatly challenged, if you know what I mean?
Frequently she will say, "Are you paying attention to me?"
One time, and only once, I said, "I'm too poor to pay attention."
That didn't get me very far in that situation. I think of it many times, but I don't speak it.
Paying attention is very expensive in many regards, but not paying attention is much more costly.
I've been trying to save up some money recently so I can afford to pay attention to more things she is saying.
I've researched this and discovered why I have this problem. According to my research, the average woman speaks 20,000 words a day while the average man only speaks 7000 words a day. I'm not sure where they come up with those figures but I think it's pretty close to the real thing.
I know the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage speaks more than 20,000 words a day, but I can only handle 7000 words. That means two-thirds of what she says I do not hear, which explains why I get in trouble most of the time.
There has to be a way in which she can come down with her speaking, and I can come up with my hearing. I'm not quite sure how this would work, but I'm thinking about it.
In my thinking about this, I thought maybe it would be a good idea if the politicians would pass a law limiting how many words a person can speak each day. Then, as I was thinking about this, politicians say ten times more words than anybody in the world. So there is no way they would do anything to curb the speaking in our country.
The only qualification for politicians is that they can speak faster than they can think. But, of course, the big challenge would be to find a politician who can actually think.
Then something happened recently that caught me off guard. I'm not sure exactly what was going on or what the situation was that my wife was speaking in. I couldn't keep up with every word, but I heard it, and at the end of her little speech, these traumatizing words, "You are right."
I've never heard such language from her all the time we've been married. I can't remember what she was talking about at the time. I'm a little hesitant about asking her what I was right on that I have been tempted lately to ask her that question.
It would mean the world to me if I knew exactly what she thought I was right about. I'm sure that would change my whole life in one way or another. Because if she thinks I'm right about something, it must be true.
Lately, I've been trying to listen more intently to see if I can find out what I was right about according to her understanding. So far, I've not been too successful hearing anything along that line. It could've been a once-in-a-lifetime comment that will never happen again.
I remember a verse of Scripture that helps me understand this. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1).
For me, the basis of unity is listening and hearing what the other person is saying. But, as hard as it might be, it's an essential part of unity in any relationship.
(Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail email@example.com. Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.)