Vacation (2 of 3): Summer Adventure

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Summer Vacation (2 of 3)

For dad only:

Question Your Children

 

I am flattered when my kids ask me questions. What a great opportunity to show off what I know! I get to wow them with intellectual terms and big words. Unfortunately, answering questions is not the best way of teaching your children. Asking questions will serve you much better.

Talk is cheap, questions are priceless

Jesus often answered questions with questions. When dealing with unbelievers, He told stories and asked questions. He taught and expounded truths to those who had already received Him, but to those outside, He invited them by challenging their thinking and worldviews.

By doing the Rusty stories, you are teaching like Jesus. By asking questions at the end, you are forcing your children to think for themselves and develop discernment

Avoid the easy way out

It is easiest for me to just read the Bible to my kids and move on with the morning agenda. We read a verse together from Proverbs, one morning, and I started to change gears for what we needed to do next, when my daughter interrupted me with, “But what does that mean?”

What is the point of reading the Bible if we are not understanding it? I am not just earning points by reading the Word, but by applying it and living it. Dad took some time to slow down that day and discuss the scripture with the children. Now, I force myself to make the Bible relevant to the family, and not let it be another checkbox on the list.

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The Three Questions [Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy]

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Read this to the kids:

The Mysterious Person

Last time Rusty and Misty had crawled under their covers and lay awake for a while, fearing that the pirate might come back.

 

Rusty and Misty did not remember falling asleep.

Rusty awoke to the smell of sizzling bacon and frying eggs downstairs. He sat up. “Dad’s cooking breakfast!”

Misty rubbed her eyes and squinted past the sunlight streaming through her window. “How do you know Dad is making it?” She stretched and yawned.

“Because,” Rusty said, hopping out of bed, “Mom never makes bacon.” He pulled his suitcase out from under the bed and found something to wear for the day.

As he headed down the ladder to go change, Misty asked, “Was I dreaming or did we see a pirate’s ghost last night?”

Rusty shrugged and looked at the sunlight washing the walls and floor. “I think it was real.” He climbed on down. The front door was open so the smoke from Dad’s cooking could float through the screen door. A fresh breeze was pushing in as well.

“Good morning, trooper,” Dad said cheerfully, flipping something on the pan.

“Morning,” Rusty answered. “Did you get some good sleep finally?”

“Oh yeah,” Dad said, “I am ready to go today. How about we do some exploring after breakfast and devotions?”

Rusty nodded.

“That’s it? Just a nod?” Dad asked with half a smile. “Where’s my little explorer? We have to search this rocky beach for treasure. Who knows, we might find a pirate ship washed up!”

“I think Misty and I already saw more than we wanted last night.”

Dad set some bacon on a plate and then looked at Rusty. “What do you mean?”

“I think we saw a pirate or the ghost of a pirate.”

Dad frowned. “Hmm…”

“It was dark and windy and really spooky. Suddenly we heard his peg leg as he walked over the rocky trail.”

“You heard him?” Dad asked.

Misty peeked over the loft rail, “And we saw him.”

“In the moonlight,” Rusty explained. “He had a big beard and bushy hair and a pirate’s leg.”

“Hmm,” Dad said again.

“Do you think he was a real pirate or a ghost?” Rusty asked.

Dad shook his head. “I’m sure it wasn’t a ghost. And I am not sure if there ever were pirates in this area.”

Just then, someone knocked on the screen door. Rusty turned and felt his legs freeze in place as he saw a big man with a bushy beard and hair standing there. The man had a false leg.

Dad walked to the door with a big, “Hello!”

“Howdy,” the man answered. Dad opened the door and let him in. The piratey-looking man said, “I didn’t want to disturb you, but I wanted to see that you all got settled in all right.” He smiled down at Rusty in his pajamas.

“Yes, sir,” Dad said. “We got in kind of late, but we are ready for adventure today.”

“How would you like to dig for buried treasure?” the piratey-looking man asked Rusty, who still had not moved.

Rusty’s neck muscles unfroze and he nodded his head.

“Are you a pirate?” Misty asked from above.

The man looked up and smiled, “No ma’am. Are you?”

She smiled and shook her head.

Dad explained with a grin, “The kids were just telling me they saw a pirate’s ghost last night.”

The big man laughed loud enough to fill the whole cabin. “Ar! Vast upon ye landlubbers!” He shook his head and laughed again. “Well, I am no pirate, but I am searching for buried treasure—a special kind of treasure. Come this evening, you all can help me, okay?”

Rusty and Misty nodded eagerly. Dad laughed and went back to the stove top before the eggs burned.

•       •       •

Rusty and Misty enjoyed a full day of playing volleyball and swimming on the private beach. That evening, they sang songs around the campfire and roasted marshmallows.

When the ocean was dark, the piratey-looking man came walking up to their camping area. “Alrighty, fellow adventurers, let’s search the clefts and crags for some loot.” He had brought a couple shovels for Rusty and Misty. Mom wanted to tidy up the cabin, but Dad joined them in the adventure.

“What we are looking for,” the man said, quietly, “are hidden on the far side of the beach.”

They followed him in silence, looking where his flashlight shone.

Rusty asked, “Why are we treasure hunting at night?”

“Because, me lad,” the man said with a chuckle, “this is the hour when we can catch them burying their goods. Just ye watch.” He chuckled to himself again.

They walked along the beach, search it with beams of light. Suddenly, the man stopped. “Aha! Looky here! See?”

Rusty and Misty looked where he shined his light. “It looks like a machine’s path,” Rusty said. “See, Misty? Look, Dad, do you think it is a bulldozer? See the notches it made in the sand? Those aren’t footprints. It must be a track from a dozer or something.”

“Yes,” Dad said with a knowing smile, “but there is only one set of them. A dozer would have two tracks.”

Their guide chuckled to himself and then said, “Well, let’s follow them.” They turned and walked beside the odd-looking evidence, going uphill toward the rocks and away from the ocean. “Now be real still,” he warned, “we don’t want to scare her.”

“You think she’s still there?” Dad asked.

“Yes, sir. There was only one set of tracks coming. None going.”

Rusty and Misty looked at each other in the moonlight and shrugged. They could not figure out what they were tracking.

Suddenly, their guide stopped. “There she is,” he whispered. Dad, Rusty, and Misty came alongside and stood quietly, staring onto the moonlit beach.

Rusty saw something move. As his eyes adjusted, he realized it was a giant turtle. Her tail was in a hole. Their guide turned on a red light on his flashlight so they could see her better but not be seen. She was laying eggs.

“So this is our buried treasure?” Rusty whispered.

The man nodded. “We have to save those eggs.”

_______

Now discuss it!

What did Rusty and Misty learn about the man they thought was scary or mean?

 

Have you misjudged someone because of their looks?

 

Is it right to avoid someone who looks bad?

When they identify with evil, yes.

 

When is it wrong to avoid someone because of their looks?

Deformity says nothing of character. Do not reject someone who looks or acts odd—that is cruel.

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Read God’s Word together:

Power over Prejudice

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.

“A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

(Luke 10:25-37, NLT)

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Let’s talk about it!

No one liked the race of the Samaritans. People were prejudiced against them and would not talk to them or do business with them. Why do you think Jesus used a Samaritan as the hero of His story?

 

What did the two religious men in His story do?

 

What did the Samaritan do for the man from a country that hated him and his people?

 

What was Jesus illustrating with this story?

 

Have you been a good Samaritan to someone who did not like you?

 

Role play: Someone makes fun of you and gets all your friends laughing at you. Then, he rides off on his bike, hits a curb, and skins his knee. What would a mean person do? What will you do?

 

You see a person from a certain ethnic group [use discretion when discussing racism] steal your bicycle. You begin to dislike that person. How will you feel the next time you see someone from his family or racial group? What if someone of that race comes to your church?

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Memorize it!

Proverbs 24:23

These things also belong to the wise.

It is not good to have

respect of persons in judgment.

 

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