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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas

Did you know that the Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is more than a fun song? It was written during Christian persecution in England and has hidden meanings. Check this out:

My true love is our Lord God.
  1. A partridge in a pair tree is Christ on the cross.
  2. Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.
  3. Three French hens are three gifts of the Spirit--faith, hope and love.
  4. Four calling birds are the four gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  5. Five golden rings are the first five books in the Bible--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
  6. Six geese a laying are the six days of creation.
  7. Seven swans a swimming are the gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, helping, leadership, mercy.
  8. Eight maids a milking are the eight beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-10.
  9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine parts of the fruit of the spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  10. Ten lords a leaping are the Ten Commandments.
  11. Eleven pipers piping are the eleven faithful disciples--Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, and Simon (Matthew 10:2-4).
  12. Twelves drummers drumming are the twelves beliefs of the Apostles Creed.
The song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, reminded Christians of their basic beliefs in the Bible and the foundation of the church.

Application
How many of the twelve can you put to memory? How many point to God and the Bible? How many point to Jesus and His teaching?

Prayer
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that even in our darkest hours you are real. Thank you for showing us how persecuted Christians in the past kept their faith alive. Help us to focus on you and keep our faith alive and active too. Amen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jesus--God's Gift of Love

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end." Isaiah 9:6-7

Did you know that these two verses, often quoted at Christmas, were written by Isaiah more than seven hundred years before Christ was born? Isaiah worked during troubling times when people had no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of His hands. God spoke through Isaiah to warn the people they would be exiled because of their life choices, but that He would bring hope and peace through one Man.

Application
While we celebrate the first coming of Jesus at Christmas, we prepare for His second coming. That means we respond to God's amazing love by loving Him and others. Loving God means doing what is right and good. Sometimes that means standing alone. Have you ever had to do that? I have and I feel like the lone ranger Christian. Be encouraged! God says in Isaiah 7:9, "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." Hard words, but words that hold great hope and eternal life with God. How will you show God's love this week? Will it mean that you will stand alone to do what God wants you to?

Prayer
Father God, thank you for your incredible plan for us. Strengthen us to stand firmly in our faith and to reach out to others with your love, especially during this season when many people feel left out and lonely. Amen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Honor Your Father and Your Mother

A man had two sons. He told one, "Go work in the field today," and the son replied, "I don't want to." Then the father told the other son, "Go work in the field today," and that son said, "Okay, Dad." The first son had a change of heart and went to work, but the second son got busy doing something else. Which one do you think honored his dad's wishes? Yes, of course, the first son. This little story is based on a parable Jesus told in Matthew 21:28.

Application
Do you do what your parents ask before you do what you want? The fifth command of God's Big Ten is "Honor your father and your mother." It's often called the bridge commandment because the first four are about our relationship with God and the last five are about our relationships with others. Besides our relationship with God, the ones we have with our parents are the most important.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, give us the desire to honor our parents because it's not always something we want to do. We need your help. Amen.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Find Rest for Your Soul

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light," (Matthew 28:11 NIV).

The fourth commandment of God's Big Ten says, "Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy." The Sabbath in the Old Testament, the day God rested from creation, was on Saturday. However, Jesus rose from the grave the day after the Sabbath, and today we keep that day holy. Some of your friends may not understand why you go to church and Sunday school. The post, "Jesus Loves Me," http://sue-tornai4kids.blogspot.com/2011/05/jesus-loves-me.html, is based on a true story from one of my Sunday school students, and I hope it helps you make tough decisions about committing yourself to sports that require you to play on Sundays.

Application
When we know how much Jesus loves us and become familiar with His gentle ways, we want to be more like Him. He was persecuted for healing people on the Sabbath, but His compassion is not against God's law. What ways do you keep God's day holy?

Prayer
Lord Jesus, help us to be more like you, loving and compassionate, and keep Your day holy. Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don't Misuse God's Name

The third commandment of God's Big Ten is, "Do not misuse God's name. Yet, I hear people say, "Oh my god!" even though they are not thinking about God at all. The TV show OMG uses the acronym that means the same. Other times people say "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" when they are not praying to or talking about our Lord. Such careless use of God's name grieves Him. It is down right disrespectful to our God.

God loves us and calls us by our names. He wouldn't think of calling us by any other name. If he did, we probably wouldn't answer. Have you heard Him call your name? I have and it makes me feel loved. It makes me feel special. We should respond to God's call by returning the favor--by saying His name with reverence.


Application
I wouldn't like for you to say my name in a curse. Would you like me to yours? I didn't think so. Let's  not use God's name unless we are praying or speaking reverently of Him.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, help us to use your name with love and care. We pray for the people who think nothing of using your name so carelessly. Teach them your ways, Oh Lord. Show them your paths." Amen.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Joseph Forgave His Brothers

When Joseph saw his brothers, he accused them of being spies.

"Oh, no sir," they said. "We are the sons of one man, Jacob."

"Is this all of you or are there more brothers?"

"We have a younger brother and another one died."

When Joseph accused them of being spies again, they said to each other, "It's because of what we did to Joseph." Imagine what Joseph thought when he overheard them. He gave them grain and put their money back into their pouches.

"You must bring your younger brother next time, or I'll not give you more grain," Joseph told them.

"We could not do that to our father," they said. But Joseph insisted and he kept Simeon in jail to be sure they would return. When they did, they brought Benjamin, their younger brother. It was hard for Joseph not to reveal to them who he was. His servants provided dinner for Joseph and his brothers Then they filled his brother's sacks with grain again and returned their money into their pouches. In Benjamin's sack Joseph put his own silver cup.

Joseph's servant caught up to his brothers after they traveled a day or so. "Why have you exchanged evil for good?" they asked.

"We have done no evil!" they exclaimed.

"The governor's silver cup is gone and you took it."

"Oh no! We would not do such a thing!" cried the brothers. "Look in all our bags. If you find it, the owner of the bag will be your servant."

The governor's servant looked until he found the cup in Benjamin's bag. The brothers couldn't believe their eyes.

"Take me instead," said Judah. "I'll serve the governor, but don't take Benjamin." All the brothers had to go back to Egypt and they all bowed down to Joseph, breaking his heart. He had to leave the room to cry by himself. "Prepare dinner for my guests," he told his servants. Then he returned to his brothers and confessed he was Joseph their brother whom they sold into slavery. Filled with fear, they were speechless until he wrapped his arms around each of them and kissed them.

"Don't be afraid," he said. "You meant to harm me but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many, as He is now doing." (Genesis 50:20).

Then Joseph ate with his brothers and caught up on old times. He told them to go home and bring his father and all his relatives, seventy-five in all, back to Egypt. And that reunion was sweeter than the first.

Joseph could have taken revenge on his brothers, but he forgave them. Many bad things happened to Joseph but God used them all to train him and make him wise for the position of Governor of Egypt.

Sometimes we may not understand why we have to experience tough times, but we can trust God as Joseph did, and choose to do what is right.

Application
Joseph's brothers were afraid when he invited them to eat at his table. They were afraid when he barked at them for being spies. They were afraid when his cup was found in Benjamin's bag. Have you been afraid? Remember what Joseph said to his brothers. "Don't be afraid.You meant to harm me but God intended it for good, the saving of many as He is now doing." Remember that God loves you and He is always with you. Remember that "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, we praise you for your faithfulness, even when we are not faithful. Thank you for your love and blessing on us. Help us to trust You and not be afraid. Amen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Joseph's Coat of Many Colors

Jacob had twelve sons, but he loved Joseph the most and made a royal coat for him. He crafted strips of red and gold, blue and green, orange and brown into a beautiful robe with a golden sash. He decorated the front edges with rich embroidery. Joseph made his brothers jealous when he paraded in front of them wearing his coat of many colors. They wondered why Jacob didn't make coats for each of them.

As if that wasn't enough, Joseph had dreams--big dreams. He dreamed that someday his whole family would bow down to him. This made his brothers angry with him, so angry they wanted to kill him. Instead they threw him in a dried up old well.

"Get me out of here!" Joseph cried. So they pulled him out and sold him to some Egyptian slave traders. In Egypt Joseph worked hard for a man named Potifer. The man trusted him with his whole household.

Joseph was tall and handsome and caught the eye of Potifer's wife. She tried to seduce him but he ran away from her. She grabbed his robe, but he fled, leaving the robe behind. The evil woman used it in a lie to her husband against him. Poor Joseph ended up in jail because of things she said. While he was in jail he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker. Three years later the Pharaoh had dreams that made him crazy. No one could interpret his dreams except for Joseph.

The Pharaoh's dreams foretold of a coming famine. He respected Joseph so much that he made him governor of Egypt. Joseph harvested and stored the food during the seven good years and managed the food during the seven years when the fields yielded no grain and the livestock died. People had to come from many surrounding towns to Egypt to get grain for food.

Guess who showed up in front of Joseph. Yep! His brothers. He recognized them but they didn't recognize him in his Egyptian clothes and headdress. Do you think Joseph forgave his brothers or took this opportunity to get revenge on them? Check back next week to find out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Power of the Holy Spirit

When Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit, not only did He send them power to speak the Good News and start the early church--He gave each of them and each of us power to live holy lives. That means we will have comfort in suffering, counsel and wisdom to make tough decisions, and peace and joy in all things. Living by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will become more like Jesus. It's a little too amazing to comprehend, isn't it?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Church

The birth of the church is known as Pentecost. It happened 53 days after Jesus' crucifixion: After three days was the Resurrection. Then Jesus appeared to his disciples and at least 500 people for forty days after the resurrection. He told His followers to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came on them with power. Ten days after He ascended into Heaven, the disciples gathered in an upper room. The Holy Spirit appeared as flames of fire over each of the apostles and enabled them to proclaim the gospel in the languages of all who were present.

"Aren't these men from Galilee?" asked one man. "How is it we understand them in our own language?"

"They have had too much wine," responded another.

Peter stood and said, "We are not drunk as you said. It is only nine o'clock in the morning. What you see is evidence of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus told us it would happen," and he convinced many of the good news. More than three thousand people repented of the way they lived that day and were baptized.

Because Peter and the apostles were faithful to preach the gospel, we know the truth today about God's  grace and a relationship with a living God who loves and cares about us.

Monday, October 3, 2011

No Idols

A few years ago I visited a friend whose best friend died. She gave me a tour of her house and finally her eyes landed on a beautiful Indian figurine. She said, "This is my Indian goddess, and I pray to her every day."

I couldn't imagine anyone praying to a wooden figurine. I said to my friend, "She's lovely, but she cannot see you with her eyes or hear your prayers with her ears. She cannot speak to you with her mouth and she has no power to help you."

"But I can see her and touch her. She's real to me," my friend said.

The second commandment says we are not to make or worship idols. Do you have a friend like mine who trusts in something other than the One True God? I tried to tell my friend there is more truth and reality in things we cannot see than in things we can see.  Sometimes our idols don't look like Indian figurines. They look like anything that comes between us and trusting God. All we can do for our friends is show them love and pray for them.
Lord Jesus, I pray for those who don't know you or trust you. Send them a word or someone to soften their hearts and show them their need for you in their lives. Amen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jesus and the Rich Young Man

Jesus looked at him [the rich young man] and loved him. He had asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.

"Keep the law," Jesus said. He meant the Ten Commandments.

"I've kept these since I was a boy," the young man said. But the law couldn't save him or anyone else. Jesus knew that.

He said, "One thing you lack. Go and sell everything you have and give to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven." If he did this, he would be dependent on God, not his wealth. While he thought he was good and religious, he actually failed on the first of the commandments. His wealth was his god and he walked away sad, not willing to give up earthly treasure for eternity's gain.

"I tell you the truth," Jesus said, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life."

The Bible leaves the story at this point, but I want to believe that the rich young man considered what Jesus said and decided to sell all he had, give to the poor and inherit a life with God forever. Following God is a choice each of us have. I hope you've accepted Jesus as your Savior and are living for him. If not, what is in the way? It may not be money or possessions. It may be a different sin. Jesus is waiting at the door of your heart for you admit you need Him and to invite Him to help you live for Him. I am praying for you.

Lord Jesus, I am praying for those reading this post, that you would help them trust you and nothing or no one else. Amen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ten Commandments

God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone  to give us hearts of flesh. Do you know them? Have you kept them? Check them out and see if they are relevent in your world today.
  1. Do not have any other gods before me. I am the one True God.
  2. Do not make or worship idols. Don't let anything become more important than God.
  3. Do not miss use God's name. Only say God's name with reverence.
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. God worked six days and rested one day. That's what He wants for us.
  5. Honor your father and your mother. Do what they say.
  6. Do not murder. Do not kill another person out of anger or malice.
  7. Do not commit adultery. Husbands and wives should not have close relationships with others of the opposite sex.
  8. Do not steal. Do not take what is not yours.
  9. Do not lie. Do not say things that are not true.
  10. Do not covet. Be content with what you have.
Can you keep all these? The truth is we cannot. Although we may think we haven't disobeyed God, He looks into our hearts and He has a different value system. Jesus said for a person to be angry at another person was the same as murder. He also said for a man to look with desire at another woman besides his wife is adultery. These are hard standards because they are God's ways. We may think that we are better than someone else, but the only person we should compare ourselves with is Jesus because HE is the only one who is perfect.

To be close to God, we cannot have sin in our lives. He knew we would choose to do wrong things, but He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him anyway. He loved us so much He sent His son, Jesus, the only perfect person, to die on the cross for our sin, the wrong things we do. When we admit our need of Jesus in our lives, believe that He died to forgive us, and confess and ask Him into our hearts, we will live with Him forever. He promises He will never leave us but always be with us, through good times and bad. Do you see His ABC plan? It is:
  • Admit
  • Believe
  • Confess
Do these and Jesus will be your best Friend forever. I hope you will. I am praying for you.

Lord Jesus, I am praying for the ones reading this post. Give them new hearts to love you. Amen.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Fall of Jericho

Now Jericho was tightly shut up. No one went in and no one came out. The people in the city were afraid of the the powerful nation of Israel. God said to Joshua, "I have delivered Jericho, its king, and fighting men into your hands. March around the city with your army. Do this for six days. On the seventh day have seven priests blow their trumpets in front of the ark and march around Jericho seven times. At the sound of a long, a very long blast, have the people give a loud, a very loud shout, and the city will fall down.

Joshua believed God would do exactly what He said, so he and his men walked around Jericho once every day for six days. On the seventh day, the seven priests blew their trumpets and Joshua's army marched around Jericho seven times. At the sound of a long, a very long blast, the people gave a loud, a very loud shout and the walls of Jericho crumbled to the ground. The city fell--never to be rebuilt.

Are there times in your life when things seem so great to you that it is hard to trust God? That is how Joshua felt. Against all odds, he trusted God to do what He said He would do and God did exactly what He promised. You can be sure He keeps His promises. The promise I rely on most is that He promised He would never leave me, that He would always be with me. So whenever I feel alone, I say His name and know He is near. He loves you as He loves me and He will be with you too. Just say His name.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Burning Bush

Darkness filled the desert air and a cool breeze swished through Moses hair. He gathered his sheep close to him. "B-a-a," went the lambs. Then he saw it. A bush on fire but it didn't burn up. He sneaked up to take a peak. 

"Moses! Moses!" a voice thundered. His knees knocked and his teeth chattered.

"Here I am," said Moses.

"Take off your sandals for the ground where you stand is holy ground," said God.

Moses kicked off his sandals and bowed before the Lord.

"I've heard the cries of my people," God said, "and I've come to rescue them and take them to a spacious land flowing with milk and honey."

"Who am I?" asked Moses. "I can't even talk right." Now why would he say that? He grew up in Pharaoh's palace and went to good Egyptian schools. He grew up to be strong and powerful. He thought he could do anything. But God had him in the desert with helpless lambs for a reason. He had to teach Moses to trust Him with everything, because he would lead God's people out of Egypt to a place where they would not suffer from slavery.

God will rescue us from things that enslave us too, things that cause us to worry or stress or hurt. When we say His name, He hears us just as He did His people in Egypt. He loves us so much He promised to always be with us, and we can trust Him to keep His promises.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What Happens After You Say Amen?

Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. He said, "Don't pray like them." Some people during the time Jesus walked on earth liked to draw attention to themselves. They prayed long prayers  and used big words. Jesus was not impressed because they didn't live like they prayed. As soon as they said, "Amen," they forgot all about God.

Sometimes I have done that. I've prayed for the homeless and hungry but failed to reach out to them. I've prayed for the sick but failed to call or visit or even send a card. Today I had to ask God to forgive me and help me live more like I pray.

What happens after you say, "Amen"? If you have done as I did, Jesus will forgive you too. He loves you and wants to be your best friend forever. He will even help you live more like you pray. Just say His name.

Lord Jesus, I pray for those reading how to pray, that they will experience your amazing love and pray sincerely for those around them. Amen.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Father's House

In Bible times, when a man was betrothed, he built a new section of his father's house where he and his bride would live and raise their family. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am," (John 14:2-3 NIV).

The bride of Christ is the church. Have you wondered what the Father's house looks like? Sometimes when I survey the mansions near my home, I wonder what kind of place Jesus is preparing. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV). 

The Bible is filled with hints of what our new home is like--the river of life that flows from the throne of God, the tree of life that bears twelve kinds of fruit, one for each month of the year, streets of gold, fortress walls made of precious jewels, and much more. The best part is that when it's finished, Jesus will come to take us there.


Will you be ready? Be sure that no sin, nothing you have done against God's laws, will be able to enter the place where Jesus is. He gave all He had so you could be with Him in that glorious place. Will you accept what He did on the cross and choose to live for Him? I hope your answer is 'yes.' He does too. He stands at the door of your heart waiting for you to ask Him in. I am praying for you.


Lord Jesus, if there is anything in the lives of the people reading this message that is outside of your will, please send your Holy Spirit on them and make them aware of their need for your amazing love. Thank you for all you have done and will do for those who love you. Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

At the Gate Called Beautiful

At 3:00 in the afternoon Peter and John went to the temple to pray. When they entered the gate called Beautiful, some men carried a man who had been crippled since birth. He never knew what it was like to walk or run or play ball. Now he was a man in his forties and the only way he could get money to buy food for himself was to beg at the temple. Seeing Peter and John, he asked them for money. His eyes met Peter's.

"Look at us," said Peter. Anyone could tell that they were not wealthy. "I don't have silver or gold, my friend, but what I have I give to you."

Something amazing happened! I wish I could have been there. Peter reached out his hand to the crippled man and lifted him to his feet. The man grabbed his cane.

"In the name of Jesus walk," Peter said. The crippled man felt tingling in his legs, things he never felt before. His eyes got really big, he dropped his cane and started laughing. Then he ran and jumped, and he jumped and ran and praised God. The people at the temple recognized him as the crippled man who begged day in and day out, year after year at the temple. They knew they were in the presence of God.

Have you wanted to feel God's presence? You can by saying Jesus' name as Peter did. Did you know God loves you? He loves you just the way you are, but He wants you to be like Jesus, His son, who had no sin. He never did anything bad. Each of us have done bad things, but Jesus loved us so much that He died for our sins AND He rose from death to give us a forever life with Him and the Father. Will you believe this today? If so, pray this simple prayer:

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me from my sin. Help me to live for you today and forever. Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Heaven

Have you dreamed what Heaven or the New Jerusalem would be like? God gives great clues in Revelation 21. Check this out:

  • The New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven like a jeweled chandelier.
  • The walls will be of jasper (that means diamonds).
  • Each of the twelve gates will be a single pearl.
  • The foundations of the walls will be made of all kinds of jewels--emeralds, sapphire, topaz, diamonds and amethyst, to mention a few.
  • The streets will be made of pure gold.
  • There will be no evil, shame or lies.
  • There will be no tears, pain or suffering.
  • There will be no sun, moon or stars because the glory of God will give it light.
  • There will be no temple because God the Father and Jesus the Son will be our temple.
  • Jesus, the lamb, will be its light.
  • The nations will walk by its light.
  • The City of God will be as long as it is wide as it is high, 1400 miles cubed, which is as far as from San Francisco to Chicago.
Jesus told the apostles before He returned to the Father that He would prepare a place for them (and all who believe), so where He goes they will go. Our loving Father doesn't want anyone to be left out, but we cannot enter the pearl gates if we have any sin. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sin, but we have to believe and ask Jesus to help us live for Him. Think about it. He gave His all for us. It makes sense that we give our all to Him.

Heaven is not pie in the sky. It is as real as you are and it's the place for people who love God and live for Him. Jesus loves you and wants you to be in Heaven with Him. In fact, He's coming again. Nobody knows the exact day except the Father. Will you be ready?

Lord Jesus, I pray for the ones reading this, that they would experience your amazing grace and love and respond with lives holy and true for you. Amen.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Jesus Believin' Roman Centurion

Dressed in his armor, a Roman Centurion,
Called on Jesus in the town of Capernaum.
He said, “My servant lies sick, at home in his bed,
Please come and heal him from his toes to his head.”
Well, the compassionate Lord Jesus got ready to go,
When suddenly the Centurion said, “Oh, Jesus no!
“I’m not worthy for you to come where I dwell;
Just say the word and my servant will be well.
“For I myself am a boss in command,
Of hundreds of soldiers at my right hand.
“I say to this one “come” and he comes;
And I say to another, “Do this” and he does.” 
Well, the Centurion’s words amazed the Lord Jesus;
He said to His followers, “Such faith I’ve not witnessed.
“Many will come from the east and the west,
To stand in their places at my heavenly fest.
“Some, surprisingly, will be left outside,
Where from pain and suffering they cannot hide.
Jesus said to the Roman Centurion,
“Go! Just as you asked, it will be done.”
Each one of us has a choice to believe,
Or to be left outside with hurting and grief.
So follow the faith of the Roman Centurion,
Believe in the Father, Holy Spirit and Son.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best Friends

Peter lost his best friend. Has that happened to you? It's not a good feeling. In fact it's downright depressing. Peter saw his best friend, Jesus, mocked and spit upon, beaten and crucified. Peter remembered the days Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry, cast out demons and restored life to Lazarus and Jairus' daughter. He remembered being on the mountain with Jesus when Moses and Elijah showed up, but he didn't remember what Jesus said about the coming days when He would suffer and die and rise to life again. Peter believed his best Friend would live forever, yet His body lay in a tomb.

Do you know what he did? He and his buddies did what they spent a lifetime doing before they ever met Jesus. They went fishing, and they fished all night. Back then they didn't fish with rods and reels and fish finders. They fished with nets. Exhausted from working the nets all night, they didn't catch any fish.

A voice came from shore early in the morning. "Friends, have you caught any fish?"

"No," they answered.

"Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you'll find some." Can you imagine what they thought? Yet, when they cast their net to the right, they caught so many fish, they couldn't pull the net into the boat.

John said to Peter, "It is the Lord." Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore to meet Jesus. His friends followed in the boat, towing the net of fish. They found their Friend on the beach cooking a breakfast of fish and bread over burning coals. Just as He told them before He suffered, He rose from the grave.

"Bring some of the fish you caught," Jesus smiled.

Peter climbed back into the boat. He and his friends counted 153 big fish, but amazingly the net did not break.

Did you catch it? Peter and his friends went back to the life they knew before Jesus, but He was right there with them. He promised them when He walked with them that He would always be with them. Even after Peter denied Him! Jesus forgave him. It is the same for you and me. Once we experience God's amazing love, we cannot escape it. He is always with us whether in good times or bad. Like the best Friend Jesus was for Peter, He is that for you and me. We never have to go through sorrow or suffering, disappointments or pain without our Best Friend. He will never leave us alone. He will always be with us. He promised, and He keeps His promises.

Thank you, Jesus, for always being with us. Be our joy and strength today and forever so that others might be inspired to love you too. Amen.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Living Water

While driving along the Feather River in Northern California, I thought about the River of Life in Revelation 22. It must be beautiful with the Tree of Life rising on each side which bears twelve different kinds of fruit. Hard for me to imagine.

After a winter of heavy rain and snow, the Feather is fuller, faster and more captivating. White water rushers over boulders and descends into glorious waterfalls. The rushing water seems to be alive and I questioned, "Is this what living water is like?"

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well outside of Sychar, that He had living water, water that would spring up into eternal life. She said, "I want some of your water," because she didn't want to have to keep coming to the well several times a day for water to clean her house and cook her food. She didn't want to have to come for water to bathe her family.

But Jesus wasn't talking about physical water. He talked about nourishment for her soul. She understood when she realized Jesus knew all about her sinful life but showed her love. She tasted the living water but couldn't keep it to herself. Like the water in the rushing Feather River, the living water bubbled up inside her and she had to run and tell others in town about the man who knew all about her, yet, loved her.

That's how God's love is. Once we experience it, we can't keep it to oursleves. We have to love God and love others. That's how God's kingdom grows and grows. Do you know God's lavishing love? If you do, you know what I mean. If not, my prayer is for you today, that you will call on Jesus' name. That's all you have to do. He is waiting to show you His love just as He did the woman at the well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

King Josiah Obeys God

Josiah became king of Judah when he was only eight years old. After eighteen years he sent his secretary, Shaphan, to the priest, Hilkiah to collect the money for the repairs to be made on the Temple.

"I have found the book of the law in the temple of the Lord," said the priest, and he gave it to Shaphan to read. He took the book back to King Josiah and read it to him. The king wept and cried and tore his robes. The book had been hidden in the temple so many years that the people didn't know how to live for God. In fact they worshipped other gods, gods that men made out of wood and metal. The gods have eyes but couldn't see, ears but couldn't hear, and mouths that couldn't speak. The handmade gods had no power at all to help the people.

Josiah's heart pounded and he paced back and forth. He said to Shaphan, "Go and inquire of the Lord for me and the people about this book from the temple." And that is what Shaphan did. He went to Hulda, a prophetess.

She said that the Lord said, "I am going to bring disaster on this place! My people have forgotten who I am. They burn incense to other gods and have forgotten who I am." But because Josiah tore his robe and humbled himself, he avoided the terrible disaster. He gathered his people together and read the book of the law to them. The people looked at each other and thought about how they lived. Like Josiah, they cried out to God and pledged to obey the words of His law with all their hearts. Josiah collected all the handmade gods in the temple and burned them and ground them into dust. He made the pagan priests move out of the temple so that only the one true God would be worshipped and adored.

Something good happens when you and I read God's word. Like Josiah and his people, we learn what is good and right. We learn how much we need God. When we confess to Him the wrong things we've done and ask Him to help us live for Him, He will do it. He will give us new hearts and we will be able to love as He loves. I hope that is your desire. It's mine too.

Lord Jesus, I am praying for the ones reading your story. Let them know how much you love them and help them live to love You and others. Amen.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Wish and a Prayer--Review

An ambulance siren startled Jason's pet parakeet, Sonny, and he flew out the window. Distraught, Jason whistled, "Twitter-twitter-tweet," but Sonny didn't answer. Jason and his mom looked for the parakeet up and down the street and in the park, but they didn't find Sonny.

Jason made wishes on a clock and at the fountain in the park and on his birthday and on a star, but the wishes didn't bring Sonny home. Jason's mom asked him who heard his wishes. Realizing no one heard his wishes, he knew Who would hear his prayer.

Thunder rumbled and lightning lit up the sky. Rain pounded down on Jason's home. Would God bring Sonny home? A Wish and a Prayer is a sweet story how Jason trusted God through the power of prayer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. All of a sudden dark clouds covered the sky. Wind and rain pounded down on the water and drenched the boat. Waves tossed the boat up and down, this way and that way.

Amazingly, Jesus rested his head on a pillow in the back of the boat and slept through the furious storm. Water made puddles on the floor and the disciples freaked out.

"Lord!" they said to Jesus. "Don't you care if we drown?"

Jesus got up, looked at them, and said, "Where is your faith?" Then he stood, raised His hands over the tumultuous waters. "Quiet! Be Still!" He shouted. The storm calmed and the lake grew flat.

"Who is this?" one of the disciples asked. "Even the wind and waves obey Him."

Jesus still calms storms today. What storm is pounding down on your life? Health or relationship issues? Fear or anger? Say His name, like the disciples did and you will know He is with you. He may not take your problems away, but He will walk with you through them. You can trust Him to be your BFF.

Lord Jesus, I pray for the person who is reading this story today. Quiet the storm in his/her life. Amen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dealing with Bullies

Bullying is a big problem. When someone tries to hurt, scare, embarrass you or try to get you into trouble, they are bullying you. Here are some things you can do:
  1. Do not bully back.
  2. Tell an adult--a teacher and/or your parents.
  3. Avoid the bully. Take a different route to your locker or the lunch room or gym. If the bully is in your class, you need to tell the teacher.
  4. Stand tall and be confident.
  5. Do not allow name calling to get to you emotionally. That's what the bully wants.
  6. Use self-defense as a last resort--when you are trapped and alone with the bully. Make every effort not to let this happen.
  7. Realize bullies are usually insecure people and they use bullying to give themselves power. They may not come from loving homes and this might be their way to get attention. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'" As a Christian boy or girl, your attitude and prayers can make a difference.
Here are some links to more extensive articles on how to deal with bullying:
http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/problems/bullies.html#
http://www.kidpower.org/resources/articles/prevent-bullying.html?gclid=CI2FjK2W_agCFRRigwod9EfVRw

Lord Jesus, I pray for kids who are bullied, that You would protect them. Help them make right decisions to be confident and tell adults. I pray for the bullies, that you would send someone to love them and show them a better way. Amen.

Monday, May 16, 2011

God's Peace

It's Monday morning rush hour. Cars whiz by this way and that way. Moms and Dads are in a hurry to get to work. College students have to get to class before the professor begins his lecture.

Suddenly the world stops while a mother duck leads her ducklings across the busy street. Hearts soften, and faces crack open with smiles as a family of ducks announces God's presence in Anytown, USA. For a few quiet moments people roll down their windows, smell the orange blossom fragrance, and experience peace, a peace that passes understanding, God's peace.

Not so for the people several cars back. Drivers get frustrated because they don't know what's holding things up. A young man gets out of his car and walks down to investigate. His heart softens when he sees the ducks. God's creation penetrates his impatience and peace overcomes him.

Gracious and holy God, thank you for pleasant interruptions of your extravagant peace in a world that races by. Thank you for the ducks. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Jesus Loves Me

           “Hey! Christi, are you signing up for soccer?” asked Julia.
            “No,” replied Christi. “I thought about it but decided not to.”
            “Why?”
            “Because some of the games are on Sunday mornings.”
            “Yeah, so?”
            “Well, I go to Sunday school.”
            “Can’t you miss a Sunday or two?”
            “I suppose I could,” said Christi. “But I don’t want to.”
            “What’s so special about Sunday school?”
            “You mean you’ve never gone?”
            “No, why should I?”
            “Well, I like going because I have fun and learn how much Jesus loves me.”
            “How do you know Jesus loves you?” asked Julia.
            “Because He died on the cross for me.”
            “What?” Julia asked.  “What do you mean He died on a cross for you?”
            “He was nailed to a cross for . . .”
“Christi, that’s disgusting!” shouted Julia. “That’s horrible. How could that prove anything to anyone?” Julia didn’t give Christi time to answer. She just stomped away.
Christi walked home from school by herself. She looked down at the ground and felt terrible. “Dear God, I’m sorry,” she cried. Tears streaming down her face, she opened the front door to her house and ran straight to her bedroom.
“Christi, what’s the matter?” Mom asked as she stepped into her room.
“Oh Mom,” she said. “Julia wanted me to sign up for soccer, but I told her I couldn’t because some of the games were on Sundays. I told her I liked Sunday school and learning how much Jesus loves me.”
“Christi, I am glad you made that decision,” Mom said.
“Mom, she asked me how I knew Jesus loved me and I told her because He was nailed to a cross for me.” Christi couldn’t talk. She cried and cried. “Mom, Julia said for Jesus to be nailed to a cross for me was disgusting. She cut me off and strutted down the street. Oh Mom, I feel awful.”
Mom held her close and Christi sobbed big sobs.
“Christi,” Mom said, “I know God was with you and I know He loves you very much. When you think about it, being nailed to a cross is pretty disgusting. It was painful and humiliating for Jesus. But He endured the cross because He loves us. You were right. People who don’t know Him don’t understand the cross. I bet you gave Julia something to think about.”
“Really?”
“Oh yes,” Mom said. “I know she is a good friend and she trusts you.”
“Do you think God will give me another chance to tell her how much Jesus loves her?”
“It’s possible,” Mom said. “Let’s be thankful for today. God was with you.”
Christi stopped her crying and smiled. Mom started singing and Christi joined in,
            “Jesus loves me, this I know,
            For the Bible tells me so.
            Little ones to Him belong.
            They are weak but He is strong.
            Yes, Jesus loves me.
            Yes, Jesus loves me.
            Yes, Jesus loves me.
            The Bible tells me so.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Many Arms Can a Starfish Have?

What is your favorite fish in the acquarium? I like the starfish. Did you know that two thousand species of starfish or sea stars live in all the world's oceans? That includes the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic regions. The starfish live in a broad depth range from intertidal to abyssal depths which is 6000 meters.

We think of the typical five arm sea star, but depending on the species, they can have as many as fifty arms. Each species has different feeding and regeneration behaviors. Although most starfish are calm, the tropical Crown of Thorns starfish are voracious predators of coral throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

The starfish are examples of God's magnificent creation. Did you know you are more precious to Him than the most beautiful of sea creatures? It's true! He loves you so much He sent Jesus, His only Son to earth. Jesus held children in His arms and blessed them. He loves you and wants to be your Forever Friend. He will always be with you. Say His name (Jesus) and you will know He is near.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jealous Jenny

Jenny couldn’t wait to tell her mom she won the spelling bee. They worked until 10:30 the night before on the especially hard words.

            “Mom! Mom!” She called, dashing through the front door. Jenny looked in the kitchen but Mom wasn’t there. She looked in the garage and the garden, but Mom wasn’t there either.

            “Mom! Mom!” she called running through the house.

            “What is it, Sweetie?” Mom said from upstairs.

            Jenny already knew she must be with her sister, Cammie.

            “Oh, hi Jenny,” Mom said. “Just a minute.”

            Mom was changing the bandages on Cammie’s foot. Saturday morning Cammie helped Mom with breakfast and accidentally bumped the coffee pot, spilling hot coffee on her foot. She screamed and their cat, Max, bulleted straight up in the air. Mom, Dad and Jenny took Cammie to the Emergency Room and the doctor said her foot had third degree burns. After he treated it, he told Mom she would have to clean the burn and change the dressing every day. Cammie cried every time Mom touched her.

            Knowing Mom might be a while; Jenny changed her clothes and started her homework when the phone rang.

            “Hello,” Jenny said.

            “Hi Jenny,” said Grandma. “How is Cammie?”

            “She’s crying. Mom is changing her dressing.”

            “Oh dear,” said Grandma. “Would you tell Mom I called?”

            “Sure, Grandma.”

            “I love you, Jenny.”

            “I love you too, Grandma.”

            When Mom finished changing Cammie’s dressing, she started cooking dinner.

            “Mom,” said Jenny.

            “Jenny, I can’t talk right now. Can’t you see I’m busy?”

            “Yes, Mom,” Jenny said and a tear rolled down her cheek. Lately it seemed Cammie got all the attention. On her birthday she got the prettiest pink Barbie glasses. Jenny wanted some too, but Mom said she didn’t need glasses. And Cammie got another pair of new shoes.

            “Mom, why can’t I have new shoes?” Jenny had asked.

            “Jenny, we’ve talked about this. Cammie’s toes go slightly together when she walks, making her shoes wear out faster. You, my dear, have perfect feet and out grow your shoes instead of wearing them out.”

            “It’s not fair, Mom. I want new shoes. These are ugly!” Even as Jenny cried she knew Mom and Dad couldn’t afford to buy new shoes for her when her shoes held up so well. Besides Dad had received a 15% cut in pay. Jenny overheard her parents questioning how they would pay house and car payments, doctor and medicine bills.

            Jenny helped Mom clean up the kitchen after dinner and wondered if she would ask about the spelling bee. She didn’t. Tears welled up in Jenny’s eyes. When they finished their work, Mom said, “Now do your homework, before time to shower and get ready for bed.” Then she saw Jenny’s tears. “What’s the matter?”

            “Nothing.” Jenny saw Mom stressing over so many things.

            “Jenny, I know you don’t cry for nothing,” Mom said. She put her arms around Jenny and together they walked to Jenny’s room. “Now tell me what’s going on. Is it something at school?”

            “Mom, it’s nothing. You have other things to worry about.”

            “But I love you and I am here for you.”

            “It doesn’t feel like it, Mom.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Mom, can’t you see? Cammie’s gets new shoes a lot more than I do. She gets pretty pink Barbie glasses. And if she isn’t going to the dentist, she is going to the doctor about one thing or another. I want new shoes and glasses. I want you to love me as much as Cammie.”

            “Jenny, do you think I love Cammie more than you?”

            “Yes!”

            “I don’t, but Cammie has special needs. Your shoes are perfectly fine. They don’t have holes in them. You can see to do your homework without glasses but Cammie can’t. You don’t have toothaches, but she does. What am I supposed to do?”

            Tears spilled down Jenny’s face. “You’re supposed to take care of her, like you do.”

            “But how can I make you feel better? I don’t want you to feel left out.”

            “Well, for one thing you could ask me how I did in the spelling bee. Don’t you remember how hard we worked last night?”

            “Oh Jenny, yes. I remember and I’m sorry. Please forgive me? I’ve been way too busy but I didn’t mean to forget you.”    

            Falling into Mom’s arms, Jenny cried big sobs. Comforted, she said, “I forgive you, Mom. I don’t want to be a problem. I just want to tell you I won the spelling bee.”

            Brushing her daughter’s hair out of her face, Mom said, “I am so proud of you, Jenny. You are my princess and I love you more than I can say.”

            “Thank you, Mom. I’m sorry for being jealous.”

            “You’re forgiven, Jenny.  Remember people, even I, will let you down from time to time, but God will never let you down. He loves you more than you can imagine and promises to be with you always. When you feel jealous, you can tell him just as you told me. He understands and can help you feel satisfied with what you have.”

            “Then that’s what I want to do.”

            “Would you like to start now?”

            Jenny bowed her head. “Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for being jealous. Help me to feel satisfied instead. Amen.”

            Mom smiled and held Jenny close.

            “I love you, Mom.”

* * * * * * * * *

Have you ever thought that your parents loved your sister or brother more than you? I have. Did you think your mom and dad had reason because your brother or sister had special needs? Mine did. How did you handle it? I was jealous, but I didn't have to be. I could have trusted God. He loves us more than our parents ever could, and He will always be with us. He is a whisper away. Just say His name and you will know He is near.

           

           

           

                       



           

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Real Treasure

What would you do if you found a real treasure, something you really want on an Easter egg hunt? Would you try to get it into your basket or bag? Would you bury it and come back when no one is looking to get it?

The Bible talks about a man who found a treasure in a field. He valued it so much that he buried it. Then he purchased the field and claimed the treasure.

Did you know that you are God's treasure? He found such great value in you that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to love on you. One time Jesus was in a big crowd and parents brought their children on their birthdays to Him for a blessing. The disciples thought He wouldn't have time for the kids and began to ask them to leave. This disappointed Jesus and He said, "Let the children come to me and do not stop them." He took the little ones in His arms and blessed them. Imagine looking up into Jesus' face and seeing His eyes sparkle and the smile on His face that goes from ear to ear.

This is the hope of children who love Jesus. Only one thing will come between you and Him. It's the wrong things you do, things Jesus said we shouldn't do. But if we are sorry and willing to change and live our lives for Him, He will forgive us and let us live with Him forever. This is the real meaning of Easter.

Remember God loves you and wants to spend eternity with you. I hope you will give Him your heart today. I am praying for you.

Lord Jesus, watch over the one reading this post. Let him or her experience your amazing love so they will always want to be with you. Amen.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Dog Named Tippy


            There was a farmer had a dog,

            And Tippy was his name-o.

            T-I-P-P-Y, T-I-P-P-Y, T-I-P-P-Y

            And Tippy was his name-o.

            Samuel sang this song about his dog in the morning and at noon and at night time too. He named his dog Tippy because he had a white tip at the end of his big brown tail.

Tippy’s tail told Samuel if he was happy or sad. Swoosh, swoosh, it swept the floor. Sometimes it pounded on the door or the furniture.

Tippy did not like thunder. He tucked his tail underneath himself and hid under Samuel’s legs. He wouldn’t come out until the storm passed.

Samuel fed Tippy every morning before he went to school and played with him in the afternoon when he got home. Tippy loved fetching balls and sticks and Frisbees. He loved doing tricks Samuel taught him. He rolled over or played dead when Samuel gave the command. He even shook hands with Samuel’s friends. Tippy loved to please Samuel.

One day Tippy wasn’t at the door after school. Samuel looked in his room but Tippy wasn’t there. He looked in the garage, but Tippy wasn’t there. Samuel looked in the back yard but Tippy wasn’t there either. Samuel saw a big pile of dirt by the fence. His heart pounded. Tippy must have dug a hole under the fence and ran away. But why?

Samuel thought and thought. Maybe Tippy chased a cat. Samuel saw him chase cats over the flowers and under the bushes. But he was always home. Tippy came to Samuel when he called him.

“I wish I was home today,” Samuel told his Dad.

“I wish you were too,” Dad said. “Let’s look for him.”

Dad and Samuel looked up and down the street until after dark. They called, “Tippy! Tippy!” but Tippy didn’t come.

Several days passed but Tippy didn’t come home. “It’s like Tippy died,” Samuel told his Dad.

“I know,” Dad said. “I’ll look at the shelters again tomorrow.” Dad went from one animal shelter to another. He walked up and down the aisles looking in every pen, but he didn’t find Tippy.

When Samuel got home from school he ran into Dad’s office, but Dad just shook his head. A tear trickled down Samuel’s cheek. “I guess Tippy is not coming home.”

“I’m sorry, Samuel.”

“Dad, do you think we’ll see Tippy in Heaven?”

“I think that's a great possibility,” Dad said. “God made animals before He made man. They were part of His original plan and He kept them through the flood of Noah’s time.”

Samuel smiled.

“There was a farmer had a dog and

Tippy was his name-o.

T-I-P-P-Y, T-I-P-P-Y, T-I-P-P-Y, and

Tippy was his name-o.





           



           

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Emily Goes Camping

            Emily’s mom went on a long business trip, but before she left she signed Emily up for camp, her very fist campout. It seemed like it would be okay until she got there.
            “A-a-a-h!” she screamed, jumping around flicking off the biggest, ugliest grasshopper she ever saw.
            “What’s the matter?” Morgan laughed. “Haven’t you ever been camping before?”
            “I wish my mom never signed me up for this. I’d rather be home.”
            “Yeah I bet. Home by the pool, right?”
            Morgan, Emily’s tomboy friend, was right. She loved her princess lifestyle.
            “Hey, Emily! What’s that in your hair?” squealed Morgan. “Looks like a spider!”
            “A-a-a-h! I hate spiders and grasshoppers!” cried Emily.
            “I wish David could see you."
            “Morgan, stop it!”
            “Okay, okay. Let’s keep hiking up this trail.”
            The bushes got thicker and the trail got thinner.
            “What’s that sound?” asked Emily.
            “What sound?”
            “That buzzy-chirpy sound. Is it a cricket or a June bug?”
            “For heaven’s sake, Emily. It’s just a little cricket.”
            “I can’t stand the thought of those six icky, sticky feet on me. I can’t stand that annoying, screeching sound. I hate grasshoppers, spiders and crickets!”
            “Emily, would you lighten up? Let’s go down by the creek. Maybe you’ll like it better down there.”
            “I don’t think so. I wish I were home.”
            “Yeah, by pool?
            Emily rolled her eyes at Morgan. “Yeah, by the nice, clean pool.”
            The two walked down by the cool, clear, rushing water.
            “Emily, look!”
            “At what?”
            “This cute little frog!”
            “A-a-a-h!” Emily screamed. “Get those slimy, slippery feet off of me! I hate grasshoppers, spiders, crickets and frogs!”
            Emily wondered why Morgan enjoyed being mean and making fun of her.
            “Can we go back to camp now?” she pleaded. “I don’t mean to spoil all your fun.”
            “Okay, Okay.”
On the way back to camp it seemed like the path was narrower and closed in by bushes and trees. It seemed like there were more twists and turns. Suddenly Emily lost sight of Morgan.
“Morgan! Morgan! Wait for me.”
“I’m down here,” cried Morgan.
Emily looked to the right and to the left but she did not see Morgan.
“Over here!” Morgan whimpered.
Emily looked down to the right side of the path but she still couldn’t see Morgan.
“Here I am!”
“What are you doing in the bushes?”
“I fell and I can’t get up,” Morgan sobbed.
“Why?”
“My ankle hurts really bad. I must have sprained it.”
"I hope you didn't break it." Emily called the camp leader Miss Adams for help on her walky-talky she checked out before leaving group.
“Help is on the way, Morgan.”
Then Emily did something amazing. She got down on the ground, slid under the bushes and lay down next to Morgan. Putting her arms around Morgan she said, “Don’t cry.”
“Emily, what are you doing? I thought you were afraid of grasshoppers, spiders, crickets and frogs.”
“I am, but I would be more scared if I were alone and hurting.”
“You know, you’re not such a bad camper after all,” and then she whispered, "Thank you, Emily."
           
           
           
           
            

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why Do Fish Jump?

While at the ocean, lake or river, have you seen fish jump out of water" Did you wonder why? Fishermen have asked that question for a long time, and still ask each other today. Here are some of their ideas about why fish jump:
  • They like to tease fishermen.
  • They want to shake the sea lice off their belly, which has been proved not to be true.
  • They jump for food when flies hover just above the surface of the water.
Some marine biologists think female salmon jump to loosen their skeins before they spawn. Does that mean that male salmon don’t jump? Not likely! A better explanation for salmon comes from Richard Stoll, a certified member of the American Fisheries Society. He says the fresh water from rivers  floats on top of the salt water coming in from the ocean. The salmon jump to the surface to find the scent of their native stream. Then they float on top of the water to find their way home.
The truth is fish jump for lots of reasons, just as we walk or run or jump for lots of reasons. One of the biggest reasons fish jump is because it’s fun. Think about it. Animals and humans enjoy the feeling of running and jumping and playing. Does it make sense that fish feel the same exuberance from physical exercise when they swim fast enough to raise themselves out of the water? Sure it does.
So the next time you are at the ocean, lake or river with your mom or dad or friends and they ask you why you think fish jump, you can say:
·         They like to tease fishermen. LOL.
·         They are shaking sea lice off their bellies.
·         They are jumping for food.
·         They are getting ready to spawn.
·         They are finding their way home, or you can say,
·         They are just having fun.
What will you say?