Tuesday, November 25, 2008

14-Carrot Temptation

Scripture Reference: Matthew 6:13a

Illustration of “lead me not into temptation.”

[Note: I recently attended a puppet ministry festival and bought a rabbit puppet, so I wrote a script for it.]

D.B. – a good albeit not very bright bunny
Miss Kelli – the teacher who sets him straight

And lead us not into temptation - Matthew 6:13a

Bag of carrots sitting on a table

(While MISS KELLI is discussing the verse, D.B. enters and starts whistling for the carrots.)

D.B.: Here boy. (Whistles) Here boy. C’mon. (Whistles)

MISS KELLI: D.B., what in the world are you doing?

D.B.: I am trying to get a carrot.

MISS KELLI: Why don’t you just open the bag?

D.B.: Because my mother said don’t get into the bag, because the carrots are for dinner. So I am trying to get a carrot out of the bag without getting into the bag.

MISS KELLI: That sounds awfully difficult. You must really like carrots.

D.B.: That bag is like gold.


D.B.: It is 14-carrot.

MISS KELLI: (Groans) So how’s it working?

D.B.: Not very well.

MISS KELLI: Are they having trouble hearing you through the bag?

D.B.: Don’t be silly. Carrots don’t have ears.

MISS KELLI: I guess I didn’t think of that. Have you tried anything else?

D.B.: I tried to use my mental powers to get a carrot out of the bag.

MISS KELLI: Why didn’t that work?

D.B.: Power shortage. Then I tried to sneak up on them from underneath. (Disappears to demonstrate.)

MISS KELLI: What did that give you?

D.B.: (There is a thud against the table, and D.B. comes back up dazed.) A headache.

MISS KELLI: Well, D.B., it sounds like you are suffering from temptation.

D.B.: I can’t believe you said that. That is the awfullest thing you’ve ever said to me, Miss Kelli. That was mean and cruel and uh and uh… What does tep… tep… tepatatation mean?

MISS KELLI: Temptation. Temptation is thinking about doing something wrong.

D.B.: Well, what do I need to do?

MISS KELLI: Have you thought about praying?

D.B.: I hadn’t thought of that. If I pray hard enough, maybe God will reach in the bag and get a carrot for me.

MISS KELLI: That’s not what I…

D.B.: What a great idea.

MISS KELLI: I didn’t mean…

D.B.: After all, God can do anything. He could reach right in that bag…

MISS KELLI: (Yelling) D.B.!

D.B.: You don’t need to yell.

MISS KELLI: But you weren’t listening.

D.B.: I am standing right here.

MISS KELLI: I’m sorry, but…

D.B.: I’m not deaf you know.

MISS KELLI: I meant you can pray to God to help you not give in to your temptation.

D.B.: (Understanding) Oh. I could to that, too.

MISS KELLI: God wants to help when we are tempted to do something wrong. That is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray “lead us not into temptation.” If you ask God to help, He will.

D.B.: I’ll do it. (Bowing head) Dear God, help me not to be tepatated to take a carrot. In Jesus name, Amen.


D.B.: I think I will go out and play until dinner.

MISS KELLI: I think that would be a good choice.

D.B.: Even if I still really want the carrot?

MISS KELLI: It’s okay to still want the carrot as long as you don’t give into the temptation.

D.B.: Glad to hear it. Glad to hear it. See you later, Miss Kelli.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Healing of a Demon-Possessed Man

Scripture Reference: Mark 5:1-20 (also Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39)

A monologue teaching about freedom and witnessing.

DEMONIAC – the Gerasene demoniac after his encounter with Jesus
Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you. - Mark 5:19b
Could be done in street clothes or Bible costume.


(The DEMONIAC enters and begins speaking.)

I have a strange story to tell you. You’ll find it hard to believe, but it’s true. I know it’s true, because it happened to me. I wasn’t always the normal, upstanding man you see before you. I used to be demon possessed. Not by just one or two demons but by a whole legion of demons. I was completely out of control. You can’t imagine what it is like to see yourself doing awful things and not be able to stop it. The people tried to control me, but they couldn’t. They even bound me hand and foot in chains, but I simply broke them. I used to cut myself to try to get the demons out, but it was no use. I cried out night and day. It was agony. I wound up naked and dirty living among the tombs out in the dessert outside town. The demons seemed to find comfort in the death and decay of the tombs.

Then one day it all changed. It was late one evening when I was down by the lake. I saw a boat with 13 men arrive. I didn’t know who they were, but the demons did. It was like they were being tortured. One of the men came toward me, no one ever came toward me for any good purpose, but he had such a look of love and compassion. He said, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

The demons convulsed as if in pain and said, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!” They begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

Well, there were people nearby that were herding pigs, and there was a large herd of pigs feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them."

He said to them “Go!” The sound was awful. I know what it was like when those things were in me and I was crying out. Image a herd of pigs, maybe two thousand of them, squealing in agony. They went crazy and headed straight for the cliffs. They ran over the edge and plunged into the lake below where they all drowned. Those who tended the pigs all ran away in fear.

I was free! I was free! It had been so long since I felt normal. I didn’t know what to do or say at first. Jesus’ disciples found some clothes for me, and I just sat at the feet of Jesus thanking and worshiping Him. When the pig herders returned with the people from the town, they were amazed to see me in my right mind. What happened next astounded me. They asked Jesus to leave! They were afraid, and they pleaded with Jesus to go away. I couldn’t believe it. So Jesus and His disciples got back in the boat to leave, and I asked Him to take me with them. He wouldn’t let me. He said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

And that is what I have been doing. I tell everyone I meet how Jesus set me free. That is why I am telling you my story now. Do you have a story of how Jesus set you free? Are you telling your story to others?

(Pauses and exits.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Communion Etiquette

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
'do this in remembrance of me.' - 1 Corinthians 11:24b
How to (and not to) behave during Communion.

MELISSA – cannot stop talking and fidgeting during Communion.
COREY – clowns around during Communion trying to make MELISSA laugh.
HANNAH – knows the proper way to celebrate Communion.
NARRATOR – controls and comments on the action.
ALEX – usher serving Communion; not impressed with MELISSA and COREY's antics.


Church clothes (whatever is appropriate for your church)

Communion elements

(Scene opens with MELISSA, COREY, and HANNAH sitting as if in church facing the audience. MELISSA and COREY can be seen playing around and talking, but we cannot hear them. HANNAH is sitting quietly. The NARRATOR stands behind them.)

NARRATOR: Presented for you consideration. Three young people preparing to celebrate Communion: the Talker, the Clown, and the Worshipper. Let's see how each takes the Communion bread.

(MELISSA and COREY are so busy talking that MELISSA does not notice ALEX trying to serve the bread. Finally, ALEX nudges MELISSA who takes the tray. MELISSA picks through the tray to find just the right piece. She finally takes one and passes the tray to COREY. MELISSA fiddles with her bread, passing it from one hand to the other.

COREY takes one, tosses it the air, and tries to catch it in his mouth. He then takes another and tries it again. After several attempts, COREY sees the dirty looks from HANNAH and ALEX. COREY takes one and passes on the tray to HANNAH. COREY sticks the bread in his pocket.

HANNAH takes a piece, hands the tray to ALEX, and sits quietly holding the bread in her closed hand.

MELISSA eats her bread.

MELISSA and COREY start talking again while HANNAH sits quietly.

NARRATOR: So kids, who did the bread correctly? (Wait for responses.)

(Standing behind MELISSA.) Who are we suppose to pay attention to during Communion? (The pastor.) Do we touch all the bread before taking a piece? (No.)

(Standing behind COREY.) Are we suppose to play with the bread? (No.) What are we suppose to do with the bread? (Hold it in our hand.)

(Standing behind HANNAH.) We are suppose to pay attention to the pastor and be ready to take the tray when it is handed to us. We don't play with the bread. We hold it in our hand and wait for the pastor to say that we can eat it.

(Looks at MELISSA, who looks sheepish.)

After the pastor says they can eat the bread (HANNAH eats the bread)… (Looking at COREY,) AFTER THE PASTOR SAYS THEY CAN EAT THE BREAD… (Startled, COREY removes the bread from his pocket and eats it.) After the pastor says they can eat the bread, the juice is served.

(MELISSA and COREY are so busy talking again, that MELISSA doesn't notice ALEX standing next to her with the juice. ALEX finally has to nudge her. MELISSA takes a very long time trying to pick just the right cup. She finally picks one, takes the tray, and passes it to COREY. MELISSA holds her cup in the air looking at the light through the cup.

COREY nearly spills the tray trying to balance it while finding the cup he wants. COREY then holds the tray for

HANNAH but keeps moving it as she tries to take a cup. COREY sees the dirty looks from HANNAH and ALEX, and COREY then finally holds the tray still for her to take a cup. COREY and MELISSA start comparing notes on their juice.

HANNAH passes the tray to ALEX then sits quietly holding her cup.

NARRATOR: So kids, who did the juice correctly? (Wait for responses.)

(Standing behind MELISSA.) Are we suppose to be talking to our friends during Communion? (No.) Is there any difference between the cups? (No.) No, just take one.

(Standing behind COREY.) Grownups can usually handle holding the tray and taking a cup. It is a good idea to let an adult hold the tray for you and pass it on.

(Standing behind HANNAH.) We are suppose to be quiet and be ready to pick a cup of juice when it comes to us.

Just take one, they are all the same. We hold the cup in our hand and wait for the pastor to say that we drink it.

The pastor then says they can drink the juice (MELISSA and HANNAH drink the juice – MELISSA tosses her cup over her shoulder; HANNAH holds her cup)… (Looking at COREY.) THE PASTOR THEN SAYS THEY CAN DRINK THE JUICE… (Startled, COREY holds the cup with his lips and throws his head back to drink the juice. MELISSA laugh then notices that no one else is laughing. She faces forward and looks serious. COREY cracks the cup in his mouth then takes it out. HANNAH rolls her eyes.)

(Standing behind MELISSA.) What are we suppose to do when we are through drinking the juice? (Hold on to it.)

(Standing behind COREY. Pauses. Looks down at COREY. Shakes his head and rolls eyes.) Don't even think about it.

(Standing behind HANNAH.) We are suppose to hold our cup until everyone is finished. We then pass the cups to the center aisle where the usher will pick it up. (MELISSA crawls on the floor to retrieve her cup and passes it to COREY. COREY puts is crushed cup in MELISSA's and passes it to HANNAH. HANNAH stacks her cup and passes them to ALEX.)

NARRATOR: Communion is suppose to be a celebration. We are suppose to be joyful as we reflect on the awesome gift of God's grace. But it is also a serious time as we reflect on Jesus' sacrifice. That means we can be happy – we can be very happy – but we don't play around. If we'll all do that, Communion will be more enjoyable and meaningful for you and those around you.

Let's give a hand to Melissa, Corey, Hannah, and Alex for all their help.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Parable of the Lost Board
(Parables of the Lost Sheep & the Lost Coin)

Scripture Reference: Luke 15:1-10

A retelling of the parables of the lost sheep and coin, bro'.
Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. - Revelation 4:6
MOOSE – a surfer dude (this name can be changed to match the person doing the character)

Baggies; Huarache sandals; bushy, bushy blonde hairdo; etc.

Maybe a surf or boogie board.

(MOOSE enters and address the audience.)

MOOSE: Greetings, li'l dudes and dudettes. I hope you are having a most righteous day. My day started out a rather bogus, but it has turned out to be totally awesome. So sit right back, you'll hear the tale. Chaaa. Ya see, I love surf boards, even though you can't exactly surf around here. I mean can you imagine trying to shoot the curl on Lake Bardwell. Chaaa. Anyway, I have like this gnarly quiver of surfboards. I have like 100 of 'em, dude: longboards, boogie boards, skimboards, fibros, guns, pop-ups, thrusters. I even got one woody parsnip from like 1965. Dude, that's like almost prehistoric!

So anyway, I'm waxing my boards this morning, when I realize I only got like 99 boards. Woahhh, like one of my boards was gone, dude! Now I know what you're thinking; you're all like, "Bro, why ya getting' so amped? You still got like 99 cherry boards." But, dude, check it, I gotta have my board. So I searched all over for it. I looked under my bed, in the closet, in the attic. Dude, I was like garshed from looking everywhere when I was like, "Duh! I know where it is, bro." I remembered it I was hangin' 10 in the bathtub. I was so stoked that I was like, "Woahhhhhh! This is so sweet! Wake the neighbors! Wake the kids! Wake the neighbors' kids! Rejoice with me for I have found my lost board!"

So li'l dudes and dudettes, just like my board was like lost and now is found and I rejoiced because it's so cherry, all of us have been lost and when we are found, God rejoices because He thinks we are so TOTALLY cherry! Woahhhhhh , isn't that da bomb?

Well, I need to wax down my surfboard. I can't wait for June. Later!

(MOOSE surfs out.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Adam's Nostrils

Scripture Reference: Proverbs 10:8

The Proverb is illustrated with auditions to the air band Adam's Nostrils.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. - Psalm 100:2
MELISSA – chattering air guitar wannabe
HANNAH – chattering air bass guitar wannabe
2-6 kids – lead singer, drummer, and maybe two backup singers
2 kids – to replace the chattering wannabes

Street clothes

Rock-style song (I am using I'm a Believer by Cadet)

LEADER: Today, we are going to start an AWANA air band. For those who don't know what an air band is, an air band is a band that uses no real instruments. All of the instruments are made of air. For example the air guitar (pantomimes playing guitar) or air drums (pantomimes playing drums). The band is going to be called "Adam's Nostrils." You know like how God breathed air into Adam's nostrils? (Pauses to see if anyone gets it then gives up.) Anyway…

I need some volunteers to audition for Adam's Nostrils. I need a lead singer (pick a volunteer), a guitarist (pick MELISSA), a bass player (pick HANNAH), and a drummer (pick a volunteer). [If there are enough kids, take volunteers for backup singers.]

(During the instructions, MELISSA and HANNAH silently chatter to one another.)

Okay, here are the instructions: I am going to play I'm a Believer by Cadet. When the song starts, you (pointing to the singer/singers) lip-synch the song, and the rest of you pretend to play your instruments. You don't sing, and you don't make any noise.

(LEADER starts the music. MELISSA and HANNAH start looking around for their instruments. LEADER pauses the music.)

LEADER: What are you two doing?

HANNAH: We are looking for our instruments.

MELISSA: Yeah, where are our instruments?

LEADER: As I just explained, this is an air band, so you just pretend to play your instruments.



(LEADER starts the music. MELISSA and HANNAH start making guitar sounds. LEADER pauses the music.)

LEADER: What are you two doing now?

HANNAH: I'm playing bass.

MELISSA: I'm playing guitar.

LEADER: But you are suppose to doing it without making any noise. If you hadn’t been chattering you would have heard me explain that.

HANNAH: Sorry.

MELISSA: We have it now.

(LEADER starts the music. As soon as the singing starts, MELISSA and HANNAH start singing along. LEADER pauses the music.)

LEADER: (obviously very frustrated) What part of "You don't sing, and you don't make any noise" did you not understand?

HANNAH: But it's a good song.

MELISSA: Yeah. (Turning to HANNAH) Didn’t they sing it in Shrek?

HANNAH: I think so. I love Donkey. He is so funny.

MELISSA: I like Puss In Boots better.

LEADER: Excuse me. If you two could have followed instructions, you would have known what to do. Have a seat.

(MELISSA and HANNAH sit down with a harrumph.)

LEADER: Who wants to take their place? (Pick a volunteer) You are the guitarist; (pick another volunteer) you are the bass player. Remember: No singing. No noise.

(LEADER start the music one last time. The kids perform the song with no further incidents.)

LEADER: Proverbs 10:8
The wise person accepts instructions,

but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Let's give our new air band Adam's Nostrils a big hand! You guys did a great job!