Baseball and a Christian

by Colin, age 11.

According to this, I, you, or whomever you picture in this story is the batter. You, the batter, need focus and concentration to aim correctly. You must keep your eye on the ball at all times. You may swing, or take the easy way out and not swing, ending up getting four balls and walking to first base. If you think about it, in the long run, it might be better to swing.
In this game, the teams are God's team and the worldly team. You, or whoever, are on God's team. The pitcher is like the devil. He's trying to mess you up, make you think that you're worthless. The catcher is like the head demon, helping the pitcher as much as he can. The fieldsmen are like other demons, trying to get in your way and make things harder for you. (Sorry if this is a little more depressing than you thought it would be. Just hang on, it does get better!) The pitcher's mound is like the devil's place in the world, where he sits and throws his "fiery darts", considered fastballs, curveballs, or anything else I missed.
Now onto God's team. I earlier explained the basics of being at bat, but now onto other things about batting. Sometimes you swing and you either miss, hit a foul, or make a hit. When you miss or hit a foul ball, you sort of feel you let down the team, but when you hit you actually feel pretty good. This is similar to when you are telling somebody about Christ. When they're closed to what you're saying, you don't feel so great, but when you make it through to them, you feel better than when you don't.
Your goals in baseball are first, second, and third base, but ultimately, home plate. Your teammates are like fellow Christians, whom you help along in the game, and vice versa. Your coach represents God or the Holy Spirit. I think this is because the coach trains you to be a better baseball player, as God trains you to be a better Christian. He holds the team together, He supports you, encourages you, and He sets you straight when you get off track. The umpire represents the Bible or Jesus. The umpire makes the decisions, he says if it's a safe or an out, a strike or a hit, or a ball or a hit.
Think of the uniform as the Armor of the Lord. The helmet as the helmet of salvation, the cleats as the shoes of the gospel, and the bat as the sword of the spirit. These are the tools that God or our coach has provided us with.
Now, you're at bat, and the bases are loaded. Almost whatever you do, you're bound to get at least one point. But you want to set your goals higher, like you sometimes do in real life (not that baseball isn't real life). You try your best at a grand slam, and the doubts may come to mind like, "I'm not gonna make it". That's when you hear the coach and your teammates supporting you. You get rid of the negative thoughts and focus. The pitcher pitches the ball, and you swing when it's in range. If I were really in this situation, I'd probably have a pretty big adrenaline rush. You swing as hard as you can, then you hear the crack of the bat.
A grand slam in the Christian life is like leading someone to salvation, because in baseball it's probably the best thing you do in the game. The scoreboard is like the Book of Life. It keeps track of what you do in the game, what your opponents do, and what your teammates do. At the end of the game, it decides who takes home the prize, just like the Book of Life decides who wins the ultimate prize; entry into heaven. (This is not to say that you "earn" or work your way to heaven, but you get what I mean.) Well, that's just what I thought. To me, baseball has a lot in common with the Christian Life. Hope you enjoyed it!

Crew Racing

by Sarah

I would first like to say that Iím sorry this isnít better, but I didnít have a lot of time to work on it. This is just a basic outline of the major things you need in a crew race and a metaphor about the Christian life to go with it.
I understand that most of you are prolly not very crew savvy. So Jeremy and Aaron are going to explain all the terms and what everything means. Since Iím sure they didnít prepare anything else and are both just sitting there saying ďummmmm crew…ummmmm GodĒ. (I would also like to apologize in advance for my bad grammar and spelling and punctuation and all that jazz)
Lets first start with the boat, the boat is the first step to a crew race obviously you wouldnít go anywhere without it. Just like faith is the first step in your Christian life. You must be grounded in your faith like youíre grounded in the boat. If you werenít securely in the boat you could fall out or you wouldnít be able to pull full pressure. If you werenít securely grounded in your faith then you wouldnít be able to share your faith with others. Colossians 2:7- ďRooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.Ē
Itís also kind of like the story of Peter walking on water in Matthew, itís like both ideas wrapped into one. He gets out of the boat, he loses his faith, he gets frightened because of the wind and stuff, and then he starts to sink. And while weíre racing we canít get scared of the wind we have to know that this boat is gonna hold us and keep us safe all the way to the finish line. We have to trust in our faith in Jesus Christ.
Ok now stretch your imagination a little bit. Oars - oars are like the bible ďthe word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heartĒ Not that oars can really do any of that I just thought that was a pretty sweet verse. No but lets look at the first part of that. Oars are pretty powerful and they pierce into the water, and oars are like the main tool in a crew race. I mean really where would we be with out oars in a crew race? Exactly - the starting line. That is exactly where we would be in our Christian life without our bibles too. Any ways…
Now in a crew race you have to stay in your own lane which is marked by buoys. Sometimes you might think that it would be easier to go on the other side of a buoy but in the end there are penalties. In life sometimes you might wanna take a short cut or the easy way, but it wonít turn out so good in the end. The lanes are very narrow. Like somewhere in the bible (Matthew maybe?) it talks about staying on the narrow path. You may not want to stay in your lane but thatís the way that is marked out for us, so thatís the way we must take. The wide road leads to destruction. Thereís always a good reason why we must take the narrow path, there may be sharp rocks just under the water that we donít know about. If we chose to ignore the way that is clearly marked for us there will be penalties and destruction. Buoys are like the people God has put in our lives that point us down the right path in the right direction, and keep us on track.
The coxswain or the bowman is like the pastor… no just kidding.
The season we just started is the fall season, during the fall season we only do Head races verses doing Sprint Races. Head races are a lot longer and require a lot more endurance and patience. We also have to deal with a lot worse weather. Itís usually extremely windy, rainy, and wavy. The winds, rain, waves, and the current all resemble the world, trying to get in our way and push us outside of our lane away from the finish line. Whoever is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.
There are also many obstacles in the water such as logs, rocks….fish. The logs are like problems in our lives that we sometimes run into. Literally while rowing. I have witnessed, on more than one occasion, a boat rowing full power into a large log sitting in the water. Sometimes we donít realize itís there and then afterwards we see how obvious it was and wish we were paying more attention in the first place. There is this one spot where the water is very shallow and there are a lot of sharp rocks under the water, and we arenít allowed to row there. I have also watched a mod quad or two row right over them. What Iím trying to say here is that we need to be careful and when somebody warns us we should listen to their warnings. When we do things like this we may damage the boat/faith. Then all we can do is fix it up and move on. The fish are just scary.
Another thing that often happens during a race is the seaweed will get stuck in the skeg, and that weighs the boat down a ton. For one race last fall season my boat had a lot of seaweed stuck on the skeg on the bottom of the boat while we were rowing up to the starting line. We couldnít get it off cause nobody could reach it but it was really weighing us down. So finally we started praying that it would fall off and it did. And then we won. But we wouldnít have won if it was all still stuck on there. The Seaweed is like a heavy burden weighing our hearts down, that we cant seem to get rid of, and we cant get anywhere with it. We just need to pray about it and give our burdens to God and he will take care of us.
Ok now remember this is just a metaphor, the Flagman is like God. When we have races on our river the flagman is usually Matt. So…for those of you who donít know, the flagman is the person who rides in a launch behind the race and watches everybody to ensure that they stay in their lanes. If they are beginning to stray to one side or the other, the flagman will say the teams name and wave his flag in the direction he wants you to go, but we donít always listen. Sometimes we donít listen to the flagman because we think that our point is ok and weíre not going out of our lane. Or other times when itís very windy and all we can hear is the world, we arenít even sure if the flagman is talking to us or a different boat. That was a good one did you catch that? In any case the flagman can see the whole picture and we canít. He knows better, and things just go a lot smoother when we listen to the flagman!
Ok well I guess thatís it, Iím sure you guys can come up with more ideas, this is just what I thought up real quick. In conclusion: Stay in the boat at all times, avoid fish, and boycott your coxswain or bowman! I hope somebody got something from this, and you guys enjoyed it. Iíll just leave you with these verses that I like that somehow relate:
Philippians 3:14- ďI press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ JesusĒ
Hebrews 12:1- ďTherefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.Ē
Philippians 4:13- ďI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Ē

In The Beginning

In the very beginning, even before time, there was God. When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was without shape or order. God's powerful Spirit moved over the shapeless earth. He knew that He could create something wonderful out of nothing. So God set to work to create and to order. Over six days, He created the heavens and the earth, and filled them with living things. On the seventh day He rested. Everything that He made was good.

God said, "Let there be light," and the light came. God took the light and He separated it from the darkness. He called the light "day" and the darkness "night." God saw that it was good.

God saw the water in the earth and said, "I will separate the waters." God divided the waters from the mists, and circled the waters with sky.

God said, "I will create the seas and the dry ground." With the dry land, God said, "Let plants, trees, seeds and fruit fill the earth." With all the plants, God was pleased with what He saw.

God made the seasons, the days and the years, with the sun to shine in the day and the moon to shine with the stars at night. God knew that His creation was good.

God said, "Let the seas and the sky be filled with life." Fish of many kinds to swim in the waters. Butterflies, birds, bats and bees to soar in the sky. And God knew that everything He made was good.

God said, "Now I will fill the earth." Every kind of creature leaped, slithered, walked or crawled across the land. Then God said, "I will make a man. He will be made in my image." And God made the first man.

On the seventh day, God rested from all His work in creation.

God's 10 Rules

Can you read them?











Making baby Moses basket boats was fun, and the boat race too! Do you remember why baby Moses was put in a basket for a boat? Do you remember who found him in the basket?

The 8 stories from July 21st were The Lost Sheep [Matthew 18:12-14] (we went and found 3 lost sheep), The Lost Coin [Luke 15:8-10] (we went and found a coin in the park), Jesus Teaching The People (we wrote down our memory verse, Do for others what you would like them to do for you. [Matthew 7:12]) The Good Samaritan [Luke 10:30-37] (we found Josh and helped him back home), The Lost Son [Luke 15:11-32] (some of us were brave enough to taste some pig food), The Generous Giving Widow [Mark 12:41-44] (the finder of the coin gave her coin to someone else), The Sower [sounds like "so" with an "errr" on the end] [Matthew 13:1-9] (did you plant your seeds from the seed packet yet?), and The Grand Banquet [Matthew 22:1-14] (we had a BBQ together).

How are your seeds growing from July 21st?
On August 4th, we heard the story of the Talents that Jesus told us in the Bible. The talents that we gave out to you in North Myrtle Park were Love, Kindness, Reading, Drawing, Talking, Singing, Helping and Patience. Everyone knew of something good to do with their Talents (even Paige with her singing talent), which doubled each of your talents.

On August 11th we wrote together a letter to the people of God. Paul & John & Peter all wrote letters to their Christian friends. They're in the Bible. Here's our letter to you:
Dear People who love God,

Jesus died for us, because He loves us. God is the nicest person ever and we pray for God because we love Him. God loves us all. We thank God for being my God. How did He make the world? The earth is the Lord's {our memory verse}. We say thanks for the forest and the animals; for being in my life; for family; for mommy; for daddy; for my friends; everything You did for me.
Our God loved us so much He sent His only Son who lived as a servant, was crucified and rose from the dead. He died so that we could live.

--God's Kids

On August 18th we blindfolded some of our friends for a walk on the Emmaus Road. The Story of Emmaus Road is in the Bible, in Luke 24. We also played a game called, Someone Says Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me (in John 14:6).

On September 1st we released some baloons in the forest with our prayers written and attached to them. It says in the Bible, Pray Always. (I Thessalonians 5:17).

On October 4th in Wildlife Safari, we walked around the village and saw some big cats and some more of God's creatures. How fast can an ostrich run? Does a Kangaroo Rat ever need to drink water? Where does she live? What's the fastest flying dive a Peregrine Falcon can make? How tall is a baby Panda Bear? How about Momma Panda Bear? What is a Rhinoceros horn made out of? What bird has nostrils? Where does it live?


King Nebuchadnezzar was the most famous king of Babylon, and he wrote a letter to all the people of the world to tell them the great things God had done for him.
"I was sleeping in my palace last night when I had a scary dream. I called Daniel to come and explain to me what this dream was all about. Maybe you remember Daniel… He's the guy who spent the whole night with the lions and didn't even get a bite. I knew he would be able to explain the dream because the Spirit of the Holy God lives in Daniel."
So I told Daniel, "In my dream I saw a huge tall tree that reached as high as the sky. The tree was full of leaves and fruit and all the birds and animals came to live around the big tree. Then someone from heaven came down and said with a very loud voice, 'Chop this tree down! Cut off the branches. Throw the fruit away. Let the birds and animals get away from it. Leave the roots in the ground and put an iron band around its stump.'"
And the voice also said, "Let this man live in the field. Let him eat grass like the animals. Let him become like an animal for seven years. The Lord has decided this will happen so that all people will know that God is the boss and He decides who will be the rulers and that the humble people should be blessed."
"Daniel, help me! What does this dream mean?"
Then Daniel said, "King, the tree that you saw in your dream is YOU! You will go away from people and you will live in the field with the animals. You will eat grass like a cow or a rhinoceros. You will get wet every morning when the dew comes down, and this will last for seven years until you know that God is the boss and he gives the kingdom to whoever he wants. The stump in your dream means that after you know God is the boss, then you will get your kingdom back. King Nebuchadnezzar, you should stop sinning, do the right things and take care of the poor people, maybe then you will have a good life for a longer time."
Wow! That's quite a dream, but the king didn't get it. Then, one year later King Nebuchadnezzar was walking in his palace and talking to himself… "I built this great kingdom of Babylon all by myself. It's so great because I'm so great." But God interrupted his walk with a voice from Heaven. "King Nebuchadnezzar, you've lost you're kingdom now!" Right away, the king was driven away from people. He lived in the fields and ate grass. Everyday he got wet when the dew came down. His hair grew like feathers and his fingernails looked like falcon claws.
Seven whole years went by… Walking around out in the fields, Nebuchadnezzar was looking like a kiwibird! And then, God brought him back and made him think like a human person. He lost the feathers and started looking up again. Here's how he told everybody about it later…
"I lived like the animals until the years were past, and then my mind returned to me. Praise God! He is the boss forever and ever and He is the true King from generation to generation. Everybody on earth is nothing compared to God. He is the ruler in Heaven and on earth. As soon as my mind returned to me, I came back to be the king again and my kingdom was even greater. You should know that for people who are proud, God is able to bring them low."
Boys and girls, Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that pride will bring a person down. Let's keep a humble heart.

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