Christmas, What Can I Give Him?

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CHRISTMAS SONGS FOR KIDS

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Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Hi kids,  are you excited about Christmas!  Our family is buzzing with activity and anticipation of Christmas Day.  I have a treat for you today, it is a song by a little girl – it has a very special message too.  Merry Christmas and don’t forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

This precious little girl is singing a story about her wish to give Jesus a gift for Christmas; because after all it is His birthday.   She knows that Jesus gave everything, even His life, for her.  She sings, “What can I give Him?”

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Give Him My Heart

In the song you will hear her trying to figure out what she will give Jesus for Christmas.  She finally has a GREAT idea.  She will give Jesus the gift of her heart.  It is not a gift He can hold in his hand …  NO …  her present is way bigger than that.  It is the BEST and most important gift she could ever give to Jesus because it is the GIFT he wants most.

You see this little girl understands that Jesus loves her more than anyone in the world could ever love her.  Why, Jesus love is so gigantic that He could not stand the thought of living in Heaven without her or without you.

Even though Jesus gave His life so we could live forever, we all turn our backs on Him and we do what we want to do no matter if it is good or bad.  We want our own way!  God calls this SIN.  There is always a punishment for sin and doing wrong.

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sin separates
Sin Separates us from God

Here is the BIG problem.  We learn in God’s word that the payment for our sin is DEATH.  Whoa, hold on there Georgie!  Now that’s a thought to stop you in your tracks!  You might be thinking, You got to be kidding me?  No Way Hosea!   Nope I am not kidding you .. not one little bit!

Let me explain to you why the payment for sin is death.  You see Father God is perfect and Holy; He has NO sin and He cannot have sin in His presence.   He cannot let sin (any thought or action that is displeasing to God) into Heaven.   But we have ALL sinned and decided to live our lives exactly the way we want!    If God cannot let sin into Heaven that means none of us can go to Heaven or even talk to God.

Here is what God says in His Word:   “The wages (or payment for sinning) of Sin is Death BUT the Gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Romans 6:23

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Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster

Have you ever been punished for doing something wrong?  Your payment is what you get for doing wrong.   If you take a cookie without asking permission, it is the same as stealing.  Your mom knows she must punish you for stealing.  She gives you a punishment and sends you to your room to be alone for 30 minutes.  Afterwards she talks to you about the sin of stealing and you tell her you are sorry and ask her to forgive you.

God also punishes wrong doing or sin.  He tells us in the Bible (TRUTH) that the punishment for sin is death.  That’s a deadly punishment that lasts forever.

When the word death is used in this verse it means to be separated.  Our sin separates us in two ways.  It makes it so we cannot talk to God and He cannot hear us.   It also keeps us from Heaven;  Forever separated.   Now that you know the bad news, let me tell you the GOOD NEWS!

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GOD HAD A PLAN

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All We Like Sheep

God tells us that we are just like sheep.  Sheep are sort of dumb animals.  They just wander all over the place and away from the Shepherd who is there to take care of them and protect them.  They wander off  the path and get lost and even worse sometimes they are attacked by wolves.

God says we are like sheep.  We go our own way and get into trouble all the time … BUT God loves us and He made a plan to bring us back home to His heart.   “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD (Father God) has laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6

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Jesus Loves
Jesus Loves

Do you understand how much God loves you?  Even though you and everyone else turns their back on Him,  He still made a way to save us from death (the punishment for our own rebellion and sin.)

Jesus, God’s one and only son, so loves us too.  Jesus has NO sin and He is the ONLY way to Heaven and the only one (without sin) who could take our sin in His own body and die for it.

God’s plan was to send Jesus to earth to die.  It should have been me and it should have been you who died for our own sin BUT Jesus took our place and paid the price for our sin.   He wanted to do this because He could not stand the thought of living without you.

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The Cross

Yes, we deserved to die for our own sin BUT Jesus willingly gave up His own life to pay for our sin.   The wicked people, blinded by sin, were so angry with Jesus  that they hit Him over and over again with leather whips.  They beat Him until he had huge sores on his back and legs.  His body was bruised and bloody.  They made fun of Him and spit on Him.  Eventually they forced Jesus to carry a heavy wooden cross on his bleeding beaten back.  He carried it through the crowds and up to a Hill where they nailed Him to that cross through his hands and into his feet.  He hung on that cross until he died … His very last words were,  “It is finished!”   The payment for our sin was finished or complete when Jesus died that day.

He suffered all of this for you and for me.   Jesus did not have to die for us.  He could have saved Himself the pain and shame of being nailed to a cross by those rebellious people.   But Jesus knew that He was the only one who could pay for your sin.

He gave His life’s blood for you and for me.   He gave His all to save us from the penalty of our own sin .  That’s how much He loves you and me!  Today, anyone who believes in Him and gives their heart to Him becomes part of God’s family.  As God’s child we bow down and say thank you Jesus for giving your life so we could live.

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Baby In Womb

We give God our lives because of what He did for us.  When we give Him our heart  He wipes away the sin and ugliness inside of you and me.  He even gives us a new heart and a new life as a Child of God.  He adopts us into His family … how cool is that!

We trust God the Father and Jesus the Savior after-all, we were made by Him.  The Bible says He knit us together in our Mother’s womb.   He knows you inside and out!  In fact He knew you before you were in your mommy’s tummy.  He even knows the number of hairs on your head.  He is God and He knows everything.  He is almighty and powerful.

The God who created you wants your love and loyalty.  He wants you to trust Him with your whole heart.  He asks you to confess your sin and He will forgive you.  When God forgives your sin you can  talk to Him any time – He loves it when His children pray to Him.  Someday His children will live with Him forever and ever and ever.

He is a gentleman and He will never force His way in .. He knocks gently and asks if you will let Him in.

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baby Jesus
Baby Jesus

Merry Christmas to each of you.  Don’t forget the reason we celebrate this special day … Jesus came down from Heaven and He was born in a manger knowing He would someday die to pay the price for our sin.

It was the ONLY way we could be restored to our Father God.  Listen to what Jesus tells His disciples:   “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.   If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going …. No, we don’t know, Lord,”  Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”

close to Jesus
close to Jesus

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Jesus is calling to you.  He wants you to get close to His heart.  He talks to you through the Living Word of God.  Be sure to thank Him for ALL He does for you, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17   

Thank Jesus for giving His life up so you can live BIG and have peace on this earth and live eternally in Heaven.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:17

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CHRISTMAS  FOR KIDS

happy kids

 

by Susan Ream

Chapter 4 – Forgiveness

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Temper Tantrum

After Miley stomped home, Emily had to figure out what to do about her friend’s temper tantrum.   She did not like it when Miley tried to control everyone and everything to get her own way.  Selfishness only spoiled a kids day and made everybody feel bad.

As Emily was thinking about what to do next she looked over at the girls and observed that Sara was twisting her hands and Katie was looking down, as if studying her shoes.

“I am so mad at Miley right now.  All I want is to have fun with my friend’s, but Miley’s bossiness ruined it all!”  Right in the middle of the anger, firing up in her heart, she remembered a talk she had with Mama.  Emily knew she needed to calm down and do the right thing.

A Heart of Forgiveness

The talk Emmy was remembering, happened on a day she was very angry at a boy at school.  Mama told Emily it was important to have a heart of forgiveness.

“Mama, I am so angry at Cooper. He makes fun of everybody!  He picked on Kathy today.  He laughed at her and teased her.  He said, ‘You look like a beaver with those teeth,’ Kathy was in tears.  He got all the kids laughing at her.”

“Oh, poor Kathy,”  Mama answered, “Mean words really hurt people.”  Mama paused then said, “Cooper must be hurting too.”

Emily looked puzzled.  “No, Mama!  Cooper is not hurting, he is the one hurting kids.”  Emily insisted. “Why would you say Cooper is hurting?”  Emily felt defensive for her friend, Kathy.

Mama looked at Emily with her serious, kind eyes, the way she always looks whendownload she is about to say something important.   “Emily, there is a saying I want you to remember. It’s a true saying, it goes like this … Hurt people … hurt people.”   Mama was quiet as she looked deep into Emily’s eyes.

Emily wiggled uncomfortably and then responded,“Well, I don’t know about that Mama but I’d like to hurt Cooper!”

Mama shook her head slightly as she said, “So Emily, how long are you going to hang on to anger?” Emily pulled her lips tight against her teeth and then opened them to say, “I don’t know Mama, I’m really mad!”  Mama put her hand on Emily’s shoulder as she said, “Do you know, honey, it is dangerous to hold on to anger?  We must never allow anger to feel at home in our heart’s Emily.”  Mama continued, “There is something else you need to know about anger.  When we allow a person’s bad behavior to control how we feel we give that person power.”

“Mama, what do you mean by power, do you mean like superhero power?”  asked Emly.

Mama laughed softly as her mouth turned to a smile. “No honey, the word power, in this case, means that you give someone else permission to control how you feel.  Today you gave Cooper the power to make you feel angry, so angry, in fact, that you wanted to hurt him. Emily, no one can make you angry or ruin your day unless you give them the power to do that.  It is your choice, honey.”  

Mama gave Emily a lot to think about.  “But Mama, what do I do when I AM angry” urged Emily.

“First of all, understand that you have a choice.  You can be angry or you can forgive.”  Emily’s eyebrows came together as she considered this. “Honey, you can hold on to a hurt and let it grow inside of you or you can release the hurt to God.”  Mama continued, “When we choose to hold on to angry feelings toward anyone  …  there are consequences. 

What kind of consequences? asked Emily.  

Well, when you let anger stay in your heart, that feeling will not stop there.  When anger is held in your heart it grows into really bad feelings like bitterness, maybe even hatred.   When you allow your feelings to take you to such bad places you are actually hurting yourself.”  

Emily began to understand that she did have a choice about her own feelings.

Mama took a moment to form her next words. “Emmy, when you give your power away to someone else, by NOT forgiving, it’s kind of like putting yourself behind bars and becoming a prisoner.  It is even worse than that.  Not only do you put yourself behind bars (as a prisoner to anger, bitterness and hatred) but you also hand the key right over to the person who was mean or unkind.  You give them control.  The key is yours, Emily,”  Mama said, “Don’t give it to anyone.”

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Prison Of Unforgiveness

Emily knew what she must do about Miley.  “I will forgive Miley and let the bad feelings go and  I won’t feel guilty because Miley went home.” Emily knew it was not her fault that Miley went home.  She did not make Miley choose bad behavior.  Emily was NOT going to be a prisoner on this beautiful sunny day.

Who is the Boss?

Before Emily talked to the girls she released her anger and sent up a quick prayer for Miley.  Emily pictured herself holding hands with Miley.  As she talked to God she put Miley’s hand in Jesus’s strong hand.   “Dear God,” Emmy prayed, “Miley tried to ruin our day and she hurt our feelings too.  I pray for Miley and I hope you will teach her how to share and be kind.  I am choosing to forgive her right now like mama taught me to forgive.  I give Miley to you Jesus … and now I will be free to be happy.  Thank you, Jesus, Amen!

Emily turned toward the girls thinking, “We’ll just start over.” “Girls, What do you want to do?” she asked.  Katie said that anything was fine with her but then she paused a second before she asked, “Emmy, Who is the Boss?”  Emily smiled at Katie and said, “Let’s talk about what we ALL want to do and decide together okay?”

Katie smiled back as she shook her head happily;  Turning her attention to Sara Emily asked, “And you ….?”   Sara thought a moment and while twisting her hands she asked, “Well, I still would like to play house, can we take turns being the mom?”  “I think that is a great Idea Sara!” answered Emily enthusiastically.

Turning back to Katie she continued, “Katie, how would you like to be the mom first?” Katie smiled brightly, shook her head yes as she jumped up, ran to her pretend daughters and hugged them.  “Okay girls, let’s play house.”

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Emily began their play time by looking at Sara and asking,  “Mama, can we make chocolate chip cookies?”  “Why, of course, sweetheart,” answered Sara in her most grown-up voice, “What type of cookies would you like to make?”   

Emily thought it was adorable when Sara pretended to be a grown up because, as hard as she tried to sound like a grown up, she still had a squeaky little girl’s voice.  “I’d like chocolate chip cookies, please” answered Emily politely.

The girls played for a long time.  They went grocery shopping by the big Pine Trees. They named the place, Pine’s grocery store.  The girls picked up pine cones as they pretended to gather ingredients.  Katie (Mama) smiled at her girls, “You girls are such BIG helpers to Mama, I don’t know what I would do without you.”  Emily and Sara beamed back at Katie, they were so happy to hear her kind words.

When they got back to the playhouse the girls pretended to make the cookie dough.  Sara and Emily were making a mess with the pretend flour.  Some of it fell on the floor.  Katie, in her serious grown up voice, said, “Girls, girls, pay attention – look at the floor!”  Both girls stopped and looked down at the imaginary flour covering the floor.  Katie (Mama) told Emily to get the broom and she told Sara to grab the dustpan.  She instructed Emily to sweep slowly so the flour dust didn’t fly all over the place.  The girls worked together quickly and carefully.  When it was all cleaned up they joined Katie to  put the cookie dough on the pans.

The girl’s pretended to plop a scoop of dough, one at a time, on the cookie sheet.  Next, they put the cookies in Emily’s play oven.  After about five minutes the girls looked excited as they pretended to smell the cookies baking. “Oh, I can hardly wait to eat my cookie! Sara exclaimed as she jumped up and down.   A few seconds later, Katie (mama) told Sara she could take the cookies out of the oven.

Sara put imaginary hot pad gloves on.  Next, she opened the oven door and pulled out a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  Sitting them on the counter she grabbed a pretend spatula and pretend plates.  She expertly served up 2 pretend chocolate chip cookies on the girl’s pretend plate.  As the girls lifted their imaginary cookie to their mouths they made sounds like, “mmmm” and “oooh,” in order to express how delicious the cookies tasted.  Suddenly Emily realized she was hungry.

Just then Emily’s sister Molly called for Emily. “It’s time for lunch Emmy.” Emily told the girls she had to go but they were welcomed to stay and play.  The girls told Emily they were hungry too.  Sara said, “We’ll go home and eat lunch too Emmy but we will be back as soon as we are done.”  “Great!” replied Emily, “See you after lunch.”

Forgiveness

As Emily and Molly were walking to the house they saw Miley slowly making her way toward them.  “Emily,”  Miley, began with a sadness in her voice.  Emmy noticed her head was bent down, “I’m sorry I was being bossy again, can we start over?”

forgivenessEmily smiled big,  “Of course we can Miley!”  Emily said with joyful conviction.  “I have to eat first and then I can play.  The Anderson sisters are coming back.   It will be fun to have you play with us too.”   Miley let out a big breath of air as a smile of relief traveled across her face, “Oh thank you, Emily, I know I need to work on my bad behavior.  I am so thankful that you forgive me so quickly.”  The girls hugged each other and then Miley turned and skipped all the way back to her house.

Emily was so happy that her Mama taught her to be quick to forgive.  Jesus said whenever we pray, we need to forgive. Emmy tried to remember to think before she prayed to make sure there was no unforgiveness in her heart.  Mama called it examining your heart.

Before praying Emily would ask herself if she was mad at anyone or if anyone had hurt her feelings?  If she found anger or hurt in her heart, she forgave.  Even though Emily would sometimes feel very angry, Mama said, just obey Jesus and forgive no matter how you feel.  Emily was learning to forgive with her words in a prayer to Jesus.

Mama told Emily, “If you obey, Jesus will heal your heart and turns your anger into compassion for the person who hurt you.”   Emily knew one thing for sure; She always felt so much better after she forgave people.