Keys For Kids Ministries is a children's ministry organization, offering Keys for Kids, Down Gilead Lane, and much more.
Like It Never Happened
Eyes bugging wide, Zachary stared at the laptop in shock. "What? NO!"
Xenia rushed into his bedroom. "What's the matter, Zach?"
Stammering, he gestured at the screen. "It
it was right there
and now it's gone!"
Xenia looked at the document on the screen, blank except for one letter. She turned to her little brother in puzzlement. "T?"
Rising from his chair, Zachary flailed his arms. "It was my science report. I was almost done, but I read it over and noticed one place where I said news instead of newts. So I went in and typed T, and everything disappeared!" He choked on his words.
Patting Zachary on the shoulder, Xenia smiled. "Relax, I know what happened. You accidentally selected the whole document first. The computer thought you were replacing it all with T."
Zachary fought tears. "But I didn't mean to do that!"
"It's okay. Watch this." Holding down one key with her little finger, Xenia tapped another key with her index finger. As if by magic, "Our Amphibian Friends" reappeared, every last word.
Jaw dropping, Zachary gasped. "Whew, thanks! How did you fix it?"
Xenia pointed to the keyboard. "I pressed control-Z. That tells the computer to undo what you just did."
"Wow!" Awed, Zachary sat at his desk again and corrected the word newts. "My report's perfect now. It's like that never even happened."
"Yes, that's a lot like us." Xenia winked.
"Like us? What do you mean?" asked Zachary.
"Remember what we learned about Jesus at church?"
Zachary nodded. "You mean how He died and rose again so that we can go to heaven?"
"Right. We've all done things we'd like to take back--stuff a lot worse than erasing a science report. But we don't have to be stuck with these mistakes forever. Jesus paid the price for our sins, and when we trust in Him, all our sins are forgiven. So to God, it's like they never happened. We can be perfect to Him."
"I get it," said Zachary. "Jesus pressed control-Z on my sins!"
Xenia chuckled. "Yes, and here's something else Jesus does that's like this computer." Xenia pressed control-S, saving the report. "He saves us!" -John Leatherman
A Little Fire
As Jena stopped in the middle of the mountain trail, her friend Olivia bumped into her. "Whoa!" said Olivia. "Why did you stop?"
Jena pointed to a hillside across the valley. "Mom said we'd see a place where there had been a forest fire--and that's it!"
"Wow!" exclaimed Olivia as the girls stared at the charred remains. When they moved on, she turned to Jena. "Did you know Blake cheated on a test and might get suspended from school?"
"Yeah. He says he didn't do it, but who's gonna believe that? And what about Omar? Maria thinks he stole money from her desk. He should be suspended too."
"Want some water?" Turning, the girls saw Jena's mom coming to join them. She held out a canteen, and they sat on a fallen log to rest.
"What caused that forest fire, Mom?" asked Jena, pointing to the hillside again. "It sure destroyed a lot of trees, didn't it?"
"The news report said it started from a little campsite fire," Mom replied. "When the weather is dry, just one stray spark can create a fire that quickly burns out of control." She took a sip of water from her canteen. "Did you know the Bible calls the tongue a fire? The things we say can have the same effect as that campfire. Our words can't destroy trees, but they can destroy friendships and damage lives. When we say unkind things, it can hurt people's feelings and their reputations."
"But it's okay to say things if we know they're true, isn't it?" Olivia asked.
"Not necessarily," said Mom. "While there sometimes may be a good reason to tell someone, it's important to think about our intention in doing so. Are we repeating that information because we want to help that person or hurt them?" Mom pointed toward the hillside. "Like a tiny spark, a small bit of gossip can spread and cause a lot of harm. And having a fiery tongue doesn't fit who we are as Christians. Jesus saved us and filled us with His love so we can build others up with our words like He does, not burn them down."
Olivia held up her phone. "I'll take a picture to remind myself of what a little fire--or a little gossip--can do." -Lovella Daoust
"What smells so funny?" Will asked as his older brother Elliot drove the car into the garage. "Is it the engine?"
Elliot sniffed and made a face. "Maybe. I'd better check it out."
Will got out of the car and watched as Elliot opened the hood. They gasped in surprise. Green coolant was splattered everywhere! Will waved away a smelly cloud of steam with his hand. "What happened?"
"Hard to say," Elliot replied. "But it'll have to wait till tomorrow."
When Will got home from school the next day, Elliot was working on the car. "Did you find out what was wrong?" Will asked.
Elliot pulled his head out from under the car hood. "Yeah, I think I got it figured out." He picked up a tool. "How was school today?"
okay," Will answered as he stepped over to see the engine.
"Just okay?" Elliot asked.
"A lot of stuff at school bothers me--like some of the things kids talk about and jokes they tell. It all ends up filling my head, even though I don't want to think about that junk."
"It gives you bad thoughts, huh?" Elliot gave one more twist to a bolt. "I know how you feel. When bad thoughts come to my mind, it helps to replace them with good ones." He stepped back and viewed his work. "Kind of like this engine."
"What do you mean?" Will asked.
"Well, there was coolant all over because the radiator hose split open. I couldn't leave the hose there, but just taking it out wouldn't help either. I had to replace it," Elliot explained. "It's the same with bad thoughts. They have to be replaced."
"So where do you get good thoughts to replace them with?" Will asked.
"You already have them," Elliot replied. "Because you trust in Jesus, He's changing the way you think. Whenever bad thoughts come, you don't have to let them take control of your mind. Set your mind on Jesus, who died on the cross to free you from sin, and trust Him to help you change your thoughts so they're focused on His truth and love instead." Elliot slammed the hood shut. "I'm done. Wanna take the car on a test drive?"
Will grinned as he opened the passenger door. "Let's go!" -Carol Albrecht
Thanks for Food Stamps
"Nora, why don't you go buy some bread and milk while I return something," Mom said on the way into the grocery store. She held out a food stamp debit card. "Be sure to get the--" She stopped when she noticed the pout on Nora's face. "What's the matter?"
"Oh, Mom, do I have to? Why can't you do it?"
"Because there's a long line at the customer service desk, and I want to get you to church on time for choir practice," Mom replied.
"Well, okay, but I'm not going to buy anything with that food stamp card!" said Nora. "I hate it!"
Mom sighed. "Honey, you should be thankful we have these cards. We won't have to use them long--just until I can get a job."
"But it's so embarrassing!" Nora wailed.
Mom put her arm around Nora. "This hasn't been easy for any of us, but we have so much to be thankful for--like how Dad is doing so well now after his accident. Remember how worried we all were? God has been taking good care of him, and he's getting better. I think God is teaching the rest of us a lot from this experience too."
"Like what?" Nora asked.
"Well, for one thing, I've learned to be more compassionate toward others," said Mom. "When things were going well and we had plenty, I'm afraid I often judged people who had less. Sometimes I even thought they were lazy."
"Well, that's probably what people are thinking about us now," said Nora.
"Maybe a few people are," said Mom. "But I'm learning that what other people think of me doesn't matter as much as what God thinks of me. And He loves me--and you too! We're His children, saved by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, and He promises to give us everything we need." Mom smiled. "This experience has also shown me how God is helping me be more like Jesus. Like you, I hated using food stamps when we first got them, but now I realize I was being proud instead of being thankful for how God had chosen to provide for us."
Nora sighed. "I guess I'm being proud too, and that's worse than being poor, isn't it? I'll go get the bread and milk." -Barbara J. Westberg
"Don't sit on that couch, Dexter!" Grandma warned as they walked into the living room. "I'm waiting for my new one to be delivered today."
Dexter glanced at the couch with the tiger-print cover over the top of it. "There's nothing wrong with it," he said, plonking himself down on the couch. But he yelled as he sank right down. "Oh no! I can't get up."
Laughing, Grandma held out her hand and helped him up. "Oh, Dexter. I tried to tell you. Sometimes things are not what they seem. You thought my couch looked good on the outside because I covered it up, but look underneath."
Dexter lifted up the tiger-print cover. Underneath there were holes where the fabric had worn away, and the part in the middle where he'd sat down sagged low.
"Some of the springs have gone," said Grandma. "Your grandfather used to pack it with newspaper, but we really need a change."
Dexter grinned. "I didn't realize you were covering up a mess."
"That's what people do." Grandma sighed, tossing him a bean bag to sit on. "They cover up things they don't want others to see."
Just then, the doorbell rang. A few minutes later, two delivery men carried the old couch away and replaced it with a brand-new one.
"Wow, this new one's much better," Dexter said, sitting down on the firm cushions while Grandma put some popcorn in the microwave.
"You know," Grandma said, "when you came in here, you thought there was nothing wrong with that old couch. It was covered up and looked fine. The truth is, we're like that old couch. We hide our mistakes and weaknesses, pretending we're fine when really we're a mess. But even if we're able to fool others, we can't hide from God. Jesus sees us for who we really are--and He loves us! He forgives our sins and fills the gaping holes. He makes us whole and new again."
"I never thought of it like that," Dexter said, smiling. "That's awesome."
The microwave beeped. Gran brought out the popcorn and some drinks. "Come on," she said. "Time to put this new couch to good use by watching a movie." -Cindy Lee
A Light on Eighteen Wheels
"Come on, Dad. I'm almost to the top," called Ryan.
"Right behind you," Dad called back.
"This is so cool!" Ryan said. "I can see miles of ocean. This lighthouse must've guided a million ships to safety in the old days."
"Yep, and it still does," said Dad.
Ryan looked confused. "But ships have advanced technology now. Why would they need an old lighthouse?"
"Well, way out there on the water, the night can be pitch black. Technology is great, but it can fail, right? And phones can lose service."
Ryan laughed. "Or get dropped in the ocean, like Aunt Ann's did last summer."
"Right. Suppose you were out there on the dark water in a storm and your radios failed. What would you do?"
"I guess I'd pray," said Ryan.
"Great answer. There's never a time when we can't cry out to God for help. He's our lighthouse and will always send us a light in the darkness."
Later, as they drove home, Ryan asked, "Dad, did you ever get lost on the water and pray for a light?"
Dad nodded. "Remember Christmas Eve when we drove to Aunt Ann's and a sudden storm hit? We were on the freeway, surrounded by other vehicles, but all I could see was a watery blur of car lights ahead. I felt out of control."
"Yeah, that was scary. But then I heard you say, 'Jesus! Help me see!'"
"I was scared too," said Dad. "So I cried out to Jesus. Do you remember what happened after that?"
Ryan paused. "Yeah, a big truck with lots of lights appeared out of nowhere."
"Actually, the truck was already there, but it was too blurry to see. God cleared my vision so I could see the truck and get behind it. Then we followed it right out of the storm, didn't we?"
"Yeah!" said Ryan. "God turned a truck into a light and guided us safely home."
"Exactly. Jesus died and rose again to save us from the darkness of sin, and He's always with us through life's storms. We can count on Him to light our way when we don't know what to do. In any situation where you're afraid or uncertain, cry out to Jesus. He's our lighthouse who shines light into the darkness." -Teresa Ambord
a nice bedtime podcast for kids
a good biblical guide for kids and parents too!