Intro, Why I wrote these stories, and a list of all the stories

Read this to your kids.
Psalm 5:11–12 – Storm
Theremy was alone. He was crying. He was four years old. He was lost.

He didn’t know that his family was looking for him. And relatives and neighbors.

He didn’t know that his oldest brother had run all the way to Grandpa’s home to ask him to search.

And his family didn’t know that two hours earlier, Theremy had left his home to find his Grandpa, to try to tell about their new puppy. It had been very important to tell Grandpa about the new puppy.

They did know that he didn’t know how to make it to Grandpa’s house all by himself. And now Theremy knew this as well.

He’d followed the trail but there had been turning points and more than once he hadn’t chosen the right path. And now he wasn’t really on a path at all.

But one thing he knew, at least a little, was that it was getting cloudy. And cooler. And he guessed that it was going to rain. And he guessed that it might rain hard.

Grandpa also guessed that it might rain hard as well. He was searching the hills. He was searching through the paths. He was calling out the name of Theremy.

Theremy saw a garden right around the time that he felt the first drop. He looked up and another drop pelted him in the face and joined the tears streaming down. He looked back down the hill at the garden. Was it his Grandfather’s?

He didn’t know it, but it was. But what if it was a stranger’s? He didn’t know what to do.

And then it was raining harder and he saw that his shirt was getting wet. And the wind was picking up. And the clouds were getting darker.

And then he heard the most pleasing sound he’d ever heard in his whole life. He heard his Grandfather yelling his name.

“Theremy, there you are!”

“Grandpa! I didn’t know where to go!”

“That is okay, dear Grandson. I do.”

“I was trying to find you!”

“I know. You did.  You’re found now.”

“I’m getting wet!”

And then a big wind gust almost knocked Theremy over.

Grandpa took his hand. “We need to get shelter. Please run with me.”

And they did. But soon, too soon, it was hailing.

“We need closer shelter,” said his Grandfather, thinking, searching. “Here we are.”

They came to a wheelbarrow, and Grandpa threw it sideways so all the dirt fell out. And then he turned it over.  And he said, “Let’s get underneath.”

They did. And soon Theremy was safe under the wheelbarrow. He sat on his Grandfather’s lap and he looked up to see Grandpa holding it up over them.

“I’m glad it’s so big!”

“Me, too.”

They heard the banging of the hail against metal. It was scary. He saw the hail bouncing on the grass near them. But Theremy was in Grandpa’s lap. And Grandpa was speaking calmly. “Hail storms are usually pretty short.”

He was right. Soon it was over. And Grandfather was lifting up the wheelbarrow and soon Theremy could see the sun piercing the clouds.  They picked up some of the hail. It was big in Theremy’s hand. But it couldn’t hurt him now.

They walked to Grandpa’s home. There they got on the big horse and rode to Theremy’s house.

His family was very happy to see him safe and happy.

Theremy thanked his Grandpa. “Thank you for finding me and holding it over me.”

“You are very welcome. Now … let’s see this puppy.”

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
     let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
     that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

We are a people who need protection. We need God to shield us from harm.

Our God is a God who wants to do that.

What is the storm in your life?

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Intro, Why I wrote these stories, and a list of all the stories

Read this to your kids.

Psalm 46:1–3 – Quake

Diana and Thema were sisters who liked to play on the grassy field near their home. Their home was a cottage that was near a cliff that overlooked a bay. The bay was beautiful, but the young ladies were forbidden from getting too close to the edge of the cliff. It was perilous.

Diana was the older and today she was teaching four-year-old Thema about the different kinds of plants and flowers near the cliff that overlooked the sea near their village.

“Why does the goat frown at us?” asked Thema, distracted from the plant that Diana was describing.
Diana frowned herself, slightly disappointed that Thema wasn’t totally focused on what she was saying. “There are no goats around right now – they are all at pasture.”

“No, the Rock Goat!” she said, pointing out across the bay. Diana chuckled. Months earlier, Thema had declared that the forty-foot rock formation high on the other side of the bay looked like the face of a goat. Diana had immediately seen the likeness and agreed. So that what their family had called it all summer.

But now in the cooler days of Autumn, Diana stood up and stared out across the bay. They were on a hill and she was able to see the waves crashing against the rocks at the foot of the cliff, a hundred feet below the cliff. The waves were big today.

“That’s how it’s looked for years – maybe he’s frustrated that he can’t sleep in our cozy home and has to just stand there in the rain.

She pointed out the waves to Diana, who agreed – yes, they were very big, and then she added “but they will never touch the Goat!”

“No, they won’t!”

And they walked down the hill away from the cliff and towards different plants.

A few minutes later, she was encouraging Thema to smell the pungent aroma of a tall plant with sharp leaves when the ground started shaking. They almost lost their balance.

It stopped, things were still and the two sisters looked at each other, stunned and relieved that the tremors hadn’t lasted long. Diana saw confusion on Thema’s face. The older sister remembered tremors, but that was years ago, and Thema was an infant.

But then the ground started shaking again.
As the tremors grew, Diana saw Thema’s look of confusion change to fear and then terror.

“Why is the ground shaking?” she yelled. They both lost their balance and fell to the grass.

They both screamed as the trees began to fall. And they ran – towards home.

But not all the way. Thema didn’t like this, but Diana knew what to do. They must get to the refuge. They must get away from the cliff and onto the flat overlook rock.

Diana had been six when her father had taught her, “It has taken us centuries, but we’ve learned over the years that there is one safe place in an earthquake. Your great uncle died when a tree fell on him, but there are no trees near the flat rock. My grandmother’s sister died young when she was thrown from a cliff, but the flat rock is some distance from the sea. “

It wasn’t far – a five minutes’ walk from the cottage. And it would be a shorter trek, since they were running. But they kept losing their footing. And sometimes Thema would stop in horror at what she was seeing and hearing. This was reasonable – she was only four and there was great noise in the destruction and debris and dust flying.

At one point, a crack in the ground opened in front of them. But now they could see the flat rock – their end goal – and people standing on it, calling out to them.

Diana guided Thema around the opening and they ran up and in. Soon their uncle made their way back to them and picked up Thema and they, finally, made it to the flat rock.

There they found their parents. Their mother had been had been at the well and was relieved to see them. She cried as she embraced them. Their father had been shepherding the goats and he put his arms around his whole family.

There was another earth shake and they sat down. Diana could feel that the rock was indeed more stable. She looked around at their surroundings.

She looked towards the forest. Many trees were down.
She looked towards the sea. The water was rolling and crashing.
She looked across the bay. There was destruction happening on the cliffs.

“Diana, look!” her sister was saying, “Look at the Goat Rock!”
And as Diana looked, the frowning formation crumbled and fell in pieces into the water below. The waves churned at the impact of the tumbling boulders.

“My Daughters,” said Father, “We sit near destruction, but we do not need to be afraid. We are on the flat rock, which will stand through the ages. We are safe here.”

Diana could see that parts of their home were not intact any more. She didn’t know how long that would take to fix. She didn’t know the future. But she knew that they would be safe on this rock.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

In our God, we had a safe place that will keep us from falling, even though the mountains (and everything else) around us is crumbling.

What do you need an unshakable place for?

1. The Army
2. Quake
3. The Storm

Allegory Story Introduction – Why I Wrote These

“They don’t care about towers.”

That was my realization, as I was teaching our Wednesday night Kindergarten/First Grade class about Proverbs 18:10. It made sense – they had no conception of towers as an application into their life. None of them had ever needed to go into a tower to be safe. None of them had every been given security by running into a fortress.

So I decided to tell them a quick story – “Okay, imagine if …” – about a child, maybe around their age was running from an enemy (or a wild animal? I hadn’t planned it out very well). As I described the danger, I became aware of something interesting – the whole class was quiet, and their eyes were focused on me. I imagine that you can guess – it’s a rare thing to have 30 six and seven-year-olds sitting still and listening. And then I told them about the child running into a fortress, provided by the King. I pressed in on how the walls of the tower made the child feel safe.

And then, as I was finishing the story, I knew something else:

“They don’t know they need a tower.”

But now, I had their attention. And I could tell them that all of them – in fact, every person – is like that young girl who cannot protect herself from the danger. And that led right into the gospel, and why we all need a tower, provided by the King, to save us. And what is the tower?

The Word of God uses a lot of allegories and similes and sometimes we can fly by them and not let them empty into our lives, our situation, our status. This is especially true of children, who might often think the stories are about adults or for older people. And here’s where stories can help.

Stories can bring us emotion and connection and highlight need. Stories can help us connect with truth as told by God’s authors in His Word. That’s what I’m trying to do in this book of stories.

I don’t mean for these to be stories for parents or stories for children. I mean for them to be stories that parents read to their children.

Intro and why I wrote these stories

Read this to your kids.

Proverbs 18:10 – The Army

Pedro was walking near his home, on his way home from his apprenticeship training – he was learning how to work with leather. The walk was on a familiar path that he’d taken, by himself many times. And it had always been a safe road.

But he knew he was in trouble when he saw the army. He’d rounded a corner and then jumped back – throwing himself to the ground. They were still at quite a distance, he saw as he peeked around a tree, still laying on his stomach. Still far, but they were not walking with secrecy – they were coming brashly with some speed. He immediately recognized it as the enemy, the enemy army with its yellow and red banner.

His father had told him that there might be a day when they would hear the trumpet blast and there might be a great threat from this army. They were ruthless. They went from town to town destroying. Pedro’s family knew people who had been killed.

He could hear them laughing harsh laughs. Had they seen him? He feared they had. With relief, he saw that the army was at a crossroads and was heading down the road – not towards him.

But then he spotted an officer calling some mounted men. And Pedro saw this officer point towards him. And then the men kicked at their horses and rode at a gallop straight towards him.

He’d been told what to do if he learned that this army was near their village. He ran. He ran back to town, but not by the road. He headed away from the road, through the woods, woods thick enough – he hoped the branches would hinder the horses.

He ran – his goal was not far, but it was too far. Soon he could hear the horses and they must have been able to determine his direction. Should he have hidden? No, he knew where he needed to go.

He ran – and soon his lungs were hurting and there was blood on his face from being scratched by the pine branches he ducked through.

He ran – and the horses’ footfalls grew louder, and he heard harsh voices “There he is!” And now there were arrows whizzing past him.

And then he was in the open, out of the woods and he saw his goal – a wall, a strong wall with high turrets, with the King’s banner flying. He knew it would be there and he was glad to see it. There were men on the top of the wall and they were yelling for someone to open the door for him – a door he also knew would be there.

And the door was opened as he ran – not very wide, but wide enough.

He slipped through. The guards shut the door. There was the sound of arrows banging against the door and bouncing off.

And then his saw his family in the crowd that had gathered there. They embraced. They smiled.
He was loved inside the tower. The tower builder was inside. The enemy was outside and couldn’t hurt him or his family. He was safe.

[10] The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (ESV)

In our God, we have a place of safety from evil attackers. Safety from eternal harm. Safety from beings who want to destroy us. God protects us, always.

What can God protect you from?

Other passages to consider: Psalm 60:4

Dads, at your next meal, ask one of your kids to pray.

Dads, tell your daughter to teach her son that he should teach his daughter to tell her son that Jesus is the only way to God.

Dads, teach your driving kids that sometimes all it takes to fix the My-Key-Won’t-Turn-In-The-Ignition problem is to turn the steering wheel a little bit.

Dads, direct disobedience must be dealt with.

Dads, teach your kids: You can save a little bit of money and a little bit of time if you use a little bit less shampoo or little bit less toothpaste.

Dads, one factor you should use in choosing a home is: Is it close to my church?

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