Devotional thoughts tagged as: 'children'

Who's That Knocking?

A nurse on the pediatric ward, before listening to the little ones' chests, would plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own hearts. Their eyes would always light up with awe. But she never got a response equal to four year old David's. Gently she tucked the stethoscopeinhis ears and placed the disk over his heart. Listen, she said, What do you do you suppose that is?

He drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap-tapping deep in his chest. Then his face broke out in a grin. "Is that Jesus knocking?" he asked.

This devotional thought was taken from the book Small Wonders: Children's Faith Stories from the Indiana United Methodist Church, compiled and edited by Lynne DeMichele.

The miracle of a brother's song

Like any good mother, when Karen found out another baby was on the way, she helped her three year son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out it was a girl and day after day and night after night Michael sang to his sister in Mommy's tummy. Then the labor pains came and complications followed before the birth. Finally Michael's little sister was born. She was immediately taken to neonatal intensive care unit in Knoxville, Tennessee. The little baby girl's condition worsened. The doctor's told the parents There is very little hope. During this whole process Michael kept begging his parents to let him see his sister and sing to her. After week two began, Karen, Michael's mother made up her mind. She would take Michael into the ICU unit to see his sister. If he did not see his sister now, he would never see her alive.

Karen dressed him in an oversized scrub suit. He looked like a walking laundry basket. When they entered the ICU, the head nurse told the mother children were not allowed. He is not leaving until he sang to his sister, stated Karen. She took Michael over to his sister's bedside and he began to sing. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray. Instantly the baby girl responded. Her pulse rate became calm and steady. Keep on singing, Michael, Karen urged.

You never know dear how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine away. The baby's strained breathing became smooth as a kitten's purr. The nurse began to cry. Michael continued singing, You are my sunshine my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away. The very next day the little girl was well enough to take home. Women's Day magazine called it the miracle of a brother's song. Karen his mother called it a miracle of God's love.

Ice Cream for the Soul

Last week at a restaurant, my six year old son asked to say grace. As our heads were bowed, he said, God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food and I will thank him more if Mom gets ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all. Amen. One woman remarked, in a loud voice, That is what is wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for Ice cream, Why I never....

Hearing this my son burst into tears and asked me, Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me? I held him and assured him he had done a terrific job. An elderly mad approached the table. He winked at my son and said, I happen to know God thought you had a great prayer. Then nodding his head toward the woman who had started the whole thing, he said, Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul.

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. When my son received his ice cream, he stared at it for a moment. Then he picked up his ice cream and walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already.

What are your thoughts about Ice Cream. Is it Good for your soul?

Jesus is in My Heart

A four year old was at the pediatrician's for a check up. As the doctor looked in her ears, he asked, Do you think I will find big bird in hear? The little girl stayed silent. Next the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked do you think I'll find the cookie monster down there? Again the little girl was silent. The doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. He listened to her heart beat. He asked, Do you think I'll find Barney in there?

Oh no! The little girl replied. Jesus is in my heart. Barney's on my underpants.

Angels in the Classroom

A teacher of third graders with her husband would pray at each desk before the start of the school year. They would pray God would place an angel behind every child to watch over and protect the children in this third grade class.

A month later the children were engaged in a writing exercise focusing on what they wanted to be when they grew up. During this exercise one child raised his hand and asked the teacher to spell the word mighty. After telling him how to spell the word. She asked him why he need to know. He stated when he grew up he wanted to a mighty man of God. One of the students next to this student asked what was a mighty man of God. The teacher gave the child permission to answer the other child's question. A mighty man of God is one who puts on the armor of God and is a soldier for God.

As the teacher turned away with a lump in her throat, the little boy motioned for her to come to come closer to him with his forefinger. He then whispered to her, and asked her a question, Did she believe in angels. She told him yes. The third grader then asked her if she thought people could see angels. She thought some people probably could. Then the child said he could see an angel standing child in the classroom.

Do you believe in Angels?

The Never-Ending Hug

My youngest daughter, Laura, said to me once, I think maybe heaven will be like a loving hug that never ends. She said this when we were having our night time routine of chatter, prayer and hugs. She especially likes a long hug. She said, That's the best part!

The hug—that's when the love becomes more than words, doesn't it? When the action expresses God's love—that's when it touches our hearts the most. We want to savor it! We don't want it to end.

Our individual bit of spirit is wrapped up in God's abundant spirit, the best place of all to be—in a never ending hug!

Debbie Russell
Frankfort, Indiana

This devotional thought was taken from the book Small Wonders: Children's Faith Stories from the Indiana United Methodist Church, compiled and edited by Lynne DeMichele.

All White Apples

A friend's son was in the first grade of school, and his teacher asked the class, "What is the color of apples?" Most of the children answered red. A few said green. Kevin, my friend's son raised his hand and said white. The teacher explained that apples could be red, green and sometimes golden but never white.

Kevin was insistent and said "Look inside."

Perception without mindfulness keeps us on the surface of things, and we often miss other levels of reality.

Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditations

This devotional thought was taken from the book Small Wonders: Children's Faith Stories from the Indiana United Methodist Church, compiled and edited by Lynne DeMichele.

Christian Caring

I was a tent mother for a group of third and fourth graders during one of our church's marketplace Vacation Bible schools. In this program we recreate a scene as it might have looked in first century Jerusalem to give the children a sense of what life was back then. We had various market vendors, potters, weavers and even street beggars.

One day as we left the synagogue following worship, beggars approached us asking for money. Most of the children gave coins they had made earlier in the week. But one boy, after observing the situation ran to our family tent and came back with his lunch. Giving it to the beggars, he told them his lunch was theirs to eat.

This boy, new to our congregation, had earlier experienced years of physical and emotional abuse. He now had a loving family caring for him, and the message of Christian caring had taken root in his young heart.

Joyce Coleman
Floyds Knobb, Indiana

This devotional thought was taken from the book Small Wonders: Children's Faith Stories from the Indiana United Methodist Church, compiled and edited by Lynne DeMichele.

What is a Family?

Family systems theory is based on the belief that the family is a natural social grouping. Every individual functions within some large ecological unit, and for most people it is the family. A family system is a complex patterns of various parts working together for its existence and survival of some greater whole. A family system is a group of complex behaviors and ways of functioning that family members believe necessary in order for the family to survive and preform its tasks. Put another way, the family can be directly described as a system of interdependent relationships engaged in change and adaption and geared to the growth and support of each member.

It would follow that any attempt for the church to reach out to families must address the family as unit. This is difficult in a society which the individual is celebrated. However, there is a growing awareness that if education is understood as a life long process then the family as a unit of society must be involved. On a very basic level, what happens to one family member has an impact on all the members of the family.

Focusing on the Family

Consider how important and how needed family Christian education is becoming.

Family Christian education needs to be an intentional program of learning experiences which are planned and guided to develop the full spiritual potential of individuals in their present and future roles as family members. The central concept of family Christian education is that of relationships through which personality and spirituality are developed. This would include a person or family's relationship to Jesus Christ.

Keeping a family intact is not easy. There are many social problems facing the family like drug addiction, alcoholism and increasing levels of spouse abuse, which negatively impact the family and its ability to adapt. Thus it would seem family Christian education is of increasing importance in the ministry of the church universal.

The Speech of Children

"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou might still the enemy and the avenger."
— Psalm 8:2, King James version.

Children often speak more clearly, wisely, truly and directly than their elders.

Wouldn't it be nice if more elected national politicians could learn to speak wisely, clearly and directly to the needs of the poor in this country.

Freckles and Wrinkles

A grandmother and her little granddaughter spent the day at the zoo. The children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist, who was decorating them with tiger paws. A little boy in the same line remarked to the girl, You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint. Embarrassed, the little girl dropped her head.

Grandmother knelt down before her.

I love your freckles, she said.

Not me, the little girl cried.

Well when I was a little girl I always wanted freckles. Freckles are beautiful.

The little girl looked up, Really?

Of course, said the grandmother. Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles.

The little girl peered into her grandmother's smiling face.

Wrinkles, she answered softly.

Pray for our children

Lord, we come before you in thanks and adoration for the children of this community. You have blessed us with the resources and abilities to meet the needs of all the children in our community. Help us we pray to keep our children safe from abuse of all kinds. Forgive us for not doing more for our children. In this past year we are aware of the number of children who lost their lives through gun violence and drugs. It is such a senseless loss. Help us we pray so families will no longer grieve the tragic death of their children in this community and our nation. Amen.

Runaway children

Father, for the sake of your son, hear our prayers. We have fallen short in listening to one another and we have many broken homes in our community. We have bitter and discouraged children who have run away, often into the arms of people who mean them harm or wish to exploit them. We have parents who are afraid and do not know what to do. Father, hear our prayers.

Watch over the children who have run, who are not at home today. Calm the fears of their parents who care about them. Give the children the gift of courage to return home. To those who do return home, may they receive the spirit of forgiveness.

Last of all, Jesus, where there are home where parents truly do not care, provide their children with a safe shelter with someone who truly does.

Lord guide us in your church universal to help with the problem of runaway children. Amen.

Honoring Parents — The Fifth Commandment

The fifth commandment shifts the focus of the first 4 commandments away from God toward human relationships and responsibilities. Additional passages about parents can be found in Exodus 21:15, Exodus 21:17, and Leviticus 20:9.

This commandment points to the blessing of being in harmony with the divine order. In the family we learn about commitments to make and how to make them. We learn by observing our elders. Early Christians believed that whoever did not honor their family members had denied their faith and became whose than an unbeliever. (I Timothy 5:8)

How will your children treat you when you are old? They will likely do what you did to your parents.


Matt is six months older than our 11 year old son, Brandon, and they are best friends. They have grown up together being neighbors since their birth. Our family has been an influence on Matt, taking him places with us, including church and church related activities.

I was not sure how much or how positive our influence was until Matt went out to eat with us one evening. My husband, I, Brandon and Matt sat down and were about to begin eating when Matt stopped and said, "Aren't we going to pray first?" I just about fell out of my chair. So we stopped to say the blessing and then eat.

Just when you think you will never get through to them, the unexpected happens. Hang in there, because they do hear you and see you, and you do influence them.


Sue Stanton
West College Corner, Indiana

Children Are A Gift

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 127:3

We have a Preschool at Paoli United Methodist church. It is fun to watch these young children as they are taught new things. Yet not all children are as fortunate as the children who attend our preschool. It is hard to believe, but there are children in the United States who do not have enough to eat.

A society can be judged by how it takes care of those who are unable to take care of themselves, like children and the elderly. When families are not able to provide enough food for a growing child who should step in and help out? It is a tough question to answer.

Whatever actions we have taken and might take in the future will be remembered by future generations.

What did Jesus say about children and how they should be treated?

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