Monday, November 16, 2009

Peach Perseverance – Part 2

Scripture Reference: Genesis 32:22-32
In the womb he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God. – Hosea 12:3
A lesson in struggle and blessing.

Cast:
OZZIE – a mischievous little monster
MR. MIKE – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
none

(OZZIE enters while MR. MIKE is on stage.)

OZZIE: (enters excited) Oh, Mr. Mike! Mr. Mike! Mr. Mike! I am so excited to tell you the good news!

MR. MIKE: The good news about what?

OZZIE: Alfonso Pasquale.

MR. MIKE: Oh, the bully we talked about last week. Is he still picking on you?

OZZIE: That's what I wanna tell you about. I've praying everyday, and he kept picking on me. I kept talking to God and talking to God. I used the peach preserves, just like you told me, Mr. Mike.

MR. MIKE: Not peach preserves – perseverance. That's when we keep trying even when things get tough.

OZZIE: That's what I said – peach preserves.

MR. MIKE: So what happened?

OZZIE: Well, I kept on praying. Then a couple of days ago someone told a lie about Alfonso Pasquale. The teacher believed the lie and was going to send him away to a special school for a very long time. At first, I thought that sounded great, because he wouldn't be able to pick on me.

MR. MIKE: So is he gone?

OZZIE: That's the weird part. I've been talking to God so much lately, it was like I could hear His voice telling me that I had to tell the truth even if it meant Alfonso Pasquale would still be around to pick on me. So I told the teacher the truth. And guess what, Mr. Mike, guess what.

MR. MIKE: Now you two are friends.

OZZIE: Oh, no, no, no, no,. no. He's still a big bully.

MR. MIKE: Then what's the good news?

OZZIE: My teacher was so impressed with my honesty that she put me on the Safety Patrol. I get to wear a really sweet sash and a whistle. Alfonso Pasquale won't be messing with me any more, and if he messes with anyone else, I'll blow my whistle.

MR. MIKE: That's great, Ozzie. You held on tight to God's promise, and He blessed you in the end. You just never know how He's going to do it.

OZZIE: That's right. It's not my whistle that protects me, it's my God. And that's why I'm still going to pray for Alfonso Pasquale.

MR. MIKE: Good for you, Ozzie.

OZZIE: And a toasted English muffin for those peach preserves. (disappears)

MR. MIKE: Ozzie!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Peach Perseverance – Part 1

Scripture Reference: Genesis 29
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
A lesson in perseverance.

Cast:
OZZIE – a mischievous little monster
MR. MATT – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
none

(OZZIE enters while MR. MATT is on stage.)

OZZIE: (appears and screams) AAAAHH!!! (disappears with a thud)

MR. MATT: Ozzie?!? Are you all right?

OZZIE: (reappearing, says weakly) Ooooh. I can't take it any more.

MR. MATT: You can't take what any more?

OZZIE: (building momentum) There is this bully at school name Alfonso Pasquale, and he keeps picking on me. Every time he sees me he says I look like a big fuzzy lime or he honks my nose. He makes fun of the way I talk, and he says I act all crazy. Do I act all crazy, Mr. Matt?

MR. MATT: Well… So what have you been doing about it?

OZZIE: I've tried being nice to him. I've tried ignoring him. I've tried telling on him. I've tried everything, and nothing helps. What's a cute little green monster suppose to do?

MR. MATT: Have you prayed?

OZZIE: What a good idea. I could pray that he falls into a really deep hole…

MR. MATT: No…

OZZIE: Or that he turns pink with orange polka dots…

MR. MATT: No, Ozzie. Don't pray that bad things will happen to the poor fellow.

OZZIE: I should pray for good things to happen to him?

MR. MATT: You could, but I was thinking you cold pray to God for perseverance.

OZZIE: I love peach perseverance, especially on a toasted English muffin, but how will that help?

MR. MATT: That's preservers. Perseverance is when we keep trying even when things get tough. When it is no longer humanly – or monsterly – possible to continue in our own strength, we can pray to God to be our strength.

OZZIE: It's like God and I are double-teaming Alfonso Pasquale.

MR. MATT: Right. You don’t have to face him alone.

OZZIE: What a great idea. I'm going to pray now for perseverance.

MR. MATT: Good for you.

OZZIE: And a toasted English muffin. (disappears)

MR. MATT: Ozzie!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jelly Bean There, Done That

Scripture Reference: Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1-28:9
From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. – John 1:16
A lesson in the value of God's blessing.

Cast:
D.B. – a good albeit not very bright bunny
MISS REBECCA – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
none

(MISS REBECCA is on stage.)

D.B.: (enters and stares at the ground) Come on! Come on! Come on!

MISS REBECCA: What is the matter, D.B.?

D.B.: It is my new special jelly beans. They do not want to grow.

MISS REBECCA: Oh, sweetie, you can't plant jelly beans and get a beanstalk.

D.B.: Of course not. Jelly beans do not grow into a beanstalk.

MISS REBECCA: Well, I'm glad you know that.

D.B.: That is just a fairy tale.

MISS REBECCA: That's right.

D.B.: I would not be so foolish as to think that these are magic jelly beans that would grow a beanstalk that I could climb into the clouds.

MISS REBECCA: I'm sorry I doubted you, D.B.

D.B.: How silly! Jelly beans only grow into jelly bean bushes.

MISS REBECCA: Jelly beans don't come from a bush.

D.B.: A vine?

MISS REBECCA: I'm afraid not.

D.B.: Are they legumes?

MISS REBECCA: (chuckling) No, they aren't legumes. Jelly beans are candy and are made in a candy factory.

D.B.: (downtrodden) Oh.

MISS REBECCA: (concerned) I hope you didn't pay a lot of money for those jelly beans.

D.B.: Oh, no. I did not pay any money.

MISS REBECCA: That's good.

D.B.: (embarrassed) I traded my Star Wars cards for them.

MISS REBECCA: Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry.

D.B.: I guess that was not such a great trade. Was it?

MISS REBECCA: No, it wasn't. You traded something that was very valuable to you for something that wasn't worth much. You wound up with a handful of jelly beans that you could eat in just a few minutes.

D.B.: I should have valued what I had more. Do you think I could trade them back?

MISS REBECCA: You can try, but you planted them in the ground. I don't know that anyone wants jelly beans covered with dirt.

D.B.: I am going to try anyway, but I am going to be more careful in the future.

MISS REBECCA: Good for you, D.B.

D.B.: Bye, Miss Rebecca.

MISS REBECCA: Bye, D.B.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Harrumph!

Scripture Reference: Genesis 21:1-7, 22:1-19

A lesson in faith and sacrifice.

Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me. – Genesis 22:18Cast:
OZZIE – a mischievous little monster
MISS REBECCA – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
none

(MISS REBECCA is on stage chatting with the kids.)

OZZIE: Harrumph!

MISS REBECCA: (continues chatting)

OZZIE: Harrumph!!!

MISS REBECCA: (continues chatting)

OZZIE: HARRUMPH!!!

MISS REBECCA: (turning to OZZIE) Is something wrong, Ozzie?

OZZIE: (dejected) My mom made me get off the PlayStation to come to church.

MISS REBECCA: Is that so horrible?

OZZIE: But I was about to defeat Doc Ock in Legos Spider-Man. I had just used by spider-sense to build a switch and enter his lair. I had disabled his robotic tentacles and was just about to destroy the reactor. Then I just need to defeat Doc Ock, so I could do freeplay and unlock the black suit Spider-Man.

MISS REBECCA: Well, you can finish playing after church.

OZZIE: That's just it. I can't! Mom won't let me play this afternoon.

MISS REBECCA: Did you do something wrong?

OZZIE: No!

MISS REBECCA: Is it broken?

OZZIE: No!

MISS REBECCA: Then why can't you play?

OZZIE: (mockingly) Because we have to work at the homeless shelter.

MISS REBECCA: But that's a good thing.

OZZIE: So?

MISS REBECCA: So can't you sacrifice one afternoon of PlayStation to help homeless people?

OZZIE: But didn't you hear what I said? I'm about to get the Symbiote and the black Spider-Man suit!

MISS REBECCA: God will bless you for your sacrifice.

OZZIE: That's what my mom said, but how do I know He really will?

MISS REBECCA: You have to have faith.

OZZIE: I'm loaded with faith, but what if God doesn't come through?

MISS REBECCA: Ozzie! Didn't God bless you the time you and your family helped your neighbors after they lost their jobs?

OZZIE: Yeah, but…

MISS REBECCA: What about the time you went on that mission trip?

OZZIE: Sure, but…

MISS REBECCA: And what about when you made friends with that new kid at school that the everyone else was teasing?

OZZIE: I get it. I get it. I need to have faith that God will take care of everything if I am obedient to Him.

MISS REBECCA: That's right. You can have faith that God will take care of you, because He always has it the past.

OZZIE: I guess I can give up my PlayStation for one afternoon. Besides, Doc Ock will still be there tomorrow.

MISS REBECCA: That's it. Good for you, Ozzie.

OZZIE: Besides, I can always bring my Game Boy. I'm about to become a Jedi Master on Clone Wars! (disappears)

MISS REBECCA: Ozzie!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just-If-I'd

Scripture Reference: Genesis 12:1-9, 15:1-21, Romans 4, John 3:16
Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness. – Genesis 15:6
A lesson in faith and justification.

Cast:
D.B. – a good albeit not very bright bunny
MISS REBECCA – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
A long list (maybe a roll of register tape that could be unrolled)

(MISS REBECCA is on stage.)

D.B.: (appears on stage with a long list) … then I need to clean my room and mop the floor and read my Bible and help an old lady across the street and …

MISS REBECCA: Hey, D.B. Looks like you have a honey-do list.

D.B.: Honeydew? Let see … carrots … lettuce … rutabagas …. No, no honeydews.

MISS REBECCA: (chuckling) No, D.B. A honey-do list is a list of things a wife gives to her husband to do. She says, "Honey, do this" and "Honey, do that."

D.B.: (embarrassed) Oh, Miss Rebecca. I cannot believe you called my honey.

MISS REBECCA: No, I …

D.B.: We hardly know each other.

MISS REBECCA: But I meant …

D.B.: And what would your husband think?

MISS REBECCA: You see I …

D.B.: Plus I am a rabbit.

MISS REBECCA: I know, but …

D.B.: And you are not even a rabbit.

MISS REBECCA: What I meant was… What I was trying to say was… (frustrated, gives up) What's with the list, D.B.?

D.B.: Oh, this is my list of things to do to get into heaven.

MISS REBECCA: That's a mighty long list.

D.B.: Oh, yes. Because there are lots of things I must do to be a good bunny, and I can only get into heaven in I am a very good bunny.

MISS REBECCA: That's not true, D.B.

D.B.: (hurt) But I have been trying oh so hard to be such a good bunny.

MISS REBECCA: No, D.B. You are a very good bunny. I meant that it's not true that you have to be very good to get into heaven.

D.B.: Well, you have to at least be good.

MISS REBECCA: You don’t' even have to be good.

D.B.: Above average?

MISS REBECCA: Nope.

D.B.: You mean I can be rotten and get into heaven?

MISS REBECCA: Heaven will be full of people who sinned.

D.B.: But, Miss Rebecca, God does not like sin.

MISS REBECCA: No, He doesn't.

D.B.: Then why does He let them in?

MISS REBECCA: He lets them in – he lets us in – because He loves us. In fact, He loves us so much…

D.B.: I know this one. "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

MISS REBECCA: Very good, D.B. God loves us so much that He created a way for sinners to be with Him forever. We just need to put our faith in Jesus and His sacrifice, and we will be justified.

D.B.: Just-if-I'd done what?

MISS REBECCA: Not just-if-I'd done something. I will be justified with God – made right with Him. He won't see my sin anymore.

D.B.: Well, that is sweet. I guess I can get rid of my list then.

MISS REBECCA: It is still a good list. I am sure your mom still wants you to clean your room, and reading your Bible is a very good thing. Those things won't get you into heaven, but they make God happy.

D.B.: Then I better go clean my room.

MISS REBECCA: Good for you. Get it all spic and span.

D.B.: It is very messy, so you may not see me for a very long time.

MISS REBECCA: That's okay.

D.B.: Bye, Miss Rebecca.

MISS REBECCA: Bye, D.B.

D.B.: (disappears then pops up quickly) Bye, honey.

MISS REBECCA: D.B.!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

C'est Moi

Scripture Reference: Genesis 11:1-9

A lesson in humility.
A man's pride brings him low, but a man of humble spirit gains honor. – Proverbs 29:23
Cast:
OZZIE – a mischievous little monster dressed as Sir Lancelot (perhaps wearing a helmet and carrying a sword)
MISS REBECCA – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
Recording of "C'est Moi" from Camelot
Index card with introduction

(MISS REBECCA is on stage.)

MISS REBECCA: Today we are going to be learning what it means to be humble, and we have a very special guest to tell us about humility.

OZZIE: (poking up from puppet stage slightly) Psst.

MISS REBECCA: (ignoring him) His name is Sir Lancelot…

OZZIE: Psst.

MISS REBECCA: and he is one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table.

OZZIE: Psst.

MISS REBECCA: Excuse me a minute. (walks over to OZZIE and asks in a stage whisper) What do you want?

OZZIE: (hands her the index card and disappears)

MISS REBECCA: (looking at card) Hmm. It seems he has written his own introduction. It says:

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my tremendous honor and pleasure to present the most noble, the most daring, the most handsome, and most humble knight of the Round Table. He is King Arthur's finest, most trusted, and most modest knight-errant. He is the most valorous, gallant, and unassuming son of France. Here he is, the remarkable knight extraordinaire: Sir Lancelot du lac.


OZZIE: (Appears and lip synchs "C'est Moi" with great flourish. At the end of the song, he takes several bows to thunderous silence.)


Production Note: I fit the helmet very loosely on the head of my puppet, so it flopped around a lot. This added to the comedic look of the skit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

God Wants Me to Do What?

Scripture Reference: Genesis 6:9-9:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray without ceasing
A lesson in obedience to God.

Cast:
OZZIE – a mischievous little monster
MR. MIKE – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
none

(OZZIE enters while MR. MIKE is on stage.)

OZZIE: That's it! I'm done! I'm fed up with it, and I'm not doing it any more!

MR. MIKE: What's the matter, Ozzie?

OZZIE: Every time I read my Bible there is something I need to do or need to change, but this time it has gone too far. I'm never reading my Bible again!

MR. MIKE: Slow down. What did you read that got you so upset?

OZZIE: In 1 Thessalonians, Paul says we are to pray without ceasing.

MR. MIKE: What's so bad about that?

OZZIE: But if I pray without ceasing, how will I ever talk to anyone else? I mean I will always be talking to God…

MR. MIKE: Ozzie…

OZZIE: And I won't be able to sleep, and I'll be come sleep deprived. People who are deprived of sleep start hallucinating and go CRAZY! Do you really want to see me MORE crazy?!?

MR. MIKE: Ozzie!

OZZIE: And I wouldn't be able to eat. I will wither away to fur and bones. You know you can only go about three weeks without food before you die! (wails)

MR. MIKE: Ozzie!!

OZZIE: And the worst part … I wouldn't be able to play on my PlayStation! (collapses)

MR. MIKE: OZZIE!!!

OZZIE: (calmly) Yes?

MR. MIKE: That's not what it means. You don’t have to pray non-stop and do nothing else.

OZZIE: I don't?

MR. MIKE: No. It means you should pray throughout the day, not just one time. We are to keep turning to God for strength and guidance and encouragement.

OZZIE: Oh.

MR. MIKE: For example, you could pray before lunch at school.

OZZIE: Oh, I couldn’t do that! No one else does that, and the other kids would make fun of me.

MR. MIKE: But what if your prayer encourages other Christians to pray – or helps lead someone to Christ?

OZZIE: I guess.

MR. MIKE: If you are obedient to God's Word, God will bless you.

OZZIE: Okay, then I better be going.

MR. MIKE: Why the rush?

OZZIE: If I'm going to pray without ceasing, I better get started. (disappears)

MR. MIKE: (rolling his eyes) Ozzie.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Picture of Jealousy

Scripture Reference: Genesis 4:1-16

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. – Hebrews 11:4A cautionary tale of jealousy and anger.

Cast:
D.B. – a good albeit not very bright bunny
MR. MIKE – the teacher who sets him straight

Props:
A blank piece of brown (or black) construction paper.

(D.B. enters and starts spitting.)

MR. MIKE: (wiping off his shirt) D.B., what are you doing?

D.B.: I am so mad I could spit! (spits again)

MR. MIKE: (ducking/dodging) You’re not suppose to actually spit. It’s just an expression like “Don’t let the cat out of the bag.”

D.B.: Please do not let the cat out of the bag, Mr. Mike. Rabbits and cats are mortal enemies. We do not get a long at all. So please do not let the cat out of the bag.

MR. MIKE: That’s not what I meant, D.B. There is no bag, and there is no cat.

D.B.: Then why did you say there was?

MR. MIKE: Because I, er… uh…. You see I meant…. Just tell me why you are so mad.

D.B.: You see Ozzie and I each drew a picture for Mr. Jeff, and he liked Ozzie’s picture better.

MR. MIKE: I find that very hard to believe. Mr. Jeff is a very fair fellow.

D.B.: Oh, it is true. He hung up Ozzie’s picture and did nothing with mine.

MR. MIKE: Maybe he just hasn’t had a chance to do anything with it yet.

D.B.: Oh no, it sat there for several days. In fact, I took it back, and he did not even miss it.

MR. MIKE: (accusingly) D.B.! You shouldn’t have taken it.

D.B.: But he did not want the picture. Do you want to see it?

MR. MIKE: Sure.

D.B.: (Disappears then returns with the blank piece of construction paper.)

MR. MIKE: (taking the picture) What is this suppose to be?

D.B.: It is suppose to be a picture of a cow in a field of beautiful green grass.

MR. MIKE: But where’s the grass?

D.B.: The cow ate it all.

MR. MIKE: Then where is the cow?

D.B.: He went to find more grass, silly.

MR. MIKE: D.B.!

D.B.: Mr. Mike?

MR. MIKE: You didn’t really draw Mr. Jeff a picture, did you?

D.B.: Sure I did. It is a picture of a cow in a field of beautiful green grass.

MR. MIKE: D.B., it’s just a blank piece of brown paper, isn’t it.

D.B.: (dejected) Yes.

MR. MIKE: So you really don’t have any reason to be jealous. Ozzie probably worked hard to make a nice picture for Mr. Jeff, and you just gave him a blank piece of paper. Don’t you see why we would like Ozzie’s better.

D.B.: (pouting) I suppose, but Ozzie’s picture was not very good.

MR. MIKE: It really doesn’t matter how good it is. Mr. Jeff likes that Ozzie put some effort into the picture. He likes that it was a thoughtful gift.

D.B.: I guess it is like Mr. Jeff was saying about praise. It does not matter how good we sing, God just likes that we sing.

MR. MIKE: Exactly, D.B. So are you through spitting?

D.B.: Oh yes, Mr. Mike, I am. In fact, I am going to make a new picture for Mr. Jeff.

MR. MIKE: I’m sure he’ll like that.

D.B.: Then I will make one for you, Mr. Mike.

MR. MIKE: (touched) Thank you, D.B. I’d like that.

D.B.: Bye, Mr. Mike.

MR. MIKE: Bye, D.B.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Shall Not Steal.

You shall not steal. - Exodus 20:15Scripture Reference: Exodus 20:15

A lesson in honesty.

Cast:
MAX – A not-so-bright but loveable ape.
MR. WISEMAN – The wise man of the jungle; helps apes carry out the Creator's plan.

(MR. WISEMAN is already on stage. MAX comes in singing.)

MAX: (To the tune of "Sugartime") Well now, 'nanners in the morning, 'nanners in the evening, 'nanners at suppertime…

MR. WISEMAN: You sure seem happy today, Max.

MAX: I sure am. I just found a whole bunch of bananas. And I'm going to have 'nanners in the morning, 'nanners in the evening, 'nanners at suppertime…

MR. WISEMAN: Well, it sounds like your lucky day. Say, I'm feeling a bit peckish, would you mind if I had one of your bananas?

MAX: No, help yourself. I have lots. In fact, I'm planning on sharing them with Mr. Heb.

MR. WISEMAN: I don't recognize that name. Is that a friend of yours?

MAX: No. Never met him. But the bananas are from him.

MR. WISEMAN: How do you know the bananas are from him?

MAX: His name was on the box.

MR. WISEMAN: His name wouldn't happen to be H-E-B, would it?

MAX: Yeah, that' s it. Mr. Heb. It was spelled out H-E-B.

MR. WISEMAN: That's not a person; that's a store. Those bananas were being delivered to the H-E-B. There's probably some poor delivery man looking for them now.

MAX: Really?

MR. WISEMAN: Yes. And when he doesn't find them, he is going to be in big trouble.

MAX: I just figured Mr. Heb didn't want them any more, so that's why I took them.

MR. WISEMAN: Max! If you take something without permission, that's stealing.

MAX: Even if I just find it lying on the ground?

MR. WISEMAN: Even if you just find it lying on the ground. It belongs to someone. You need to try to return those bananas.

MAX: Okay. Can I ask for a reward?

MR. WISEMAN: No.

MAX: Would that be stealing, too?

MR. WISEMAN: No, but it would be rude. You shouldn't do what's right to get a reward. You should do what's right, because it's right and pleases God.

MAX: (sadly) I understand. I'll return them.

MR. WISEMAN: Good boy, Max. And I'll tell you what. When you're done, come back to my house for banana splits.

MAX: (excited) Oh boy! You're the best, Mr. Wiseman.

MR. WISEMAN: Yes, I am, Max. Yes, I am.

(Both exit.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creation

Scripture Reference: Genesis 1:1-2:3

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.– Genesis 1:1Cast:
OZZIE – a mischievous little monster
MR. MATT – his patient teacher

Props:
A watch on OZZIE's arm.

(MR. MATT is already on stage. OZZIE enters and calls him over.)

OZZIE: Oh, Mr. Matt, Mr. Matt, Mr. Matt. I'm so excited, so excited, so excited. I found it. It was just lying there, and I found it, and now it's mine, mine, mine.

MR. MATT: (walks over to OZZIE) Ozzie, calm down. What is it you found?

OZZIE: Mr. Matt, Mr. Matt, I found a watch. A watch, a watch I found. I found it, and it is mine, mine, mine.

MR. MATT: I thought you already had a watch.

OZZIE: I did, but I wore it to my uncle's ranch and dropped it in the sheep dip, and it killed all the ticks.

MR. MATT: (groans) Are you going to return the watch to whomever it belongs to?

OZZIE: But it doesn't belong to anyone. Nope, nope. Not anybody; not anyone at all. I found it in the parking lot. There was no one around, no one touching it, no one looking at it. No one, no one. Doesn't belong to anyone. It is mine, mine, mine.

MR. MATT: It belongs to someone. Watches don't just appear out of nowhere in parking lots.

OZZIE: (shocked) They don't?!?

MR. MATT: (chuckling) No, they don't, Ozzie. Where do you think watches come from?

OZZIE: I don’t know. It was just lying there in the parking lot, and no one was around, and no one was touching it, and no one was looking at it. So I thought it just appeared there, and no one made it, and no one dropped it, and it is mine, mine, mine.

MR. MATT: (accusingly) Ozzie! You know better than that. Tell me about that watch.

OZZIE: Well, it's round and has little spin-y hands.

MR. MATT: And inside are gears and wheels that make those hands spin. That can't just happen by chance. Someone had to make that watch.

OZZIE: But I heard that the whole universe was created in a big explosion, and everything just came together and worked. So maybe there was a little (explosion sound), and that's how the watch was made. And now it's mine, mine, mine.

MR. MATT: I don't think you have all of your facts straight. The universe was created by God; it didn't just happen by chance. Anything complex needs a creator. Whether it's the universe – or your watch. Someone created that watch, Ozzie, and it belongs to someone.

OZZIE: (sourly) Okay, okay, okay. You're right. It must belong to someone. I'll put it in the lost and found.

MR. MATT: Good job, Ozzie. You're doing the right thing.

OZZIE: Thanks. (to the audience in a stage whisper) Good thing I didn’t tell Mr. Matt about the Game Boy I found. (quickly disappears)

MR. MATT: OZZIE!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Go Fish

The a cappella group Go Fish has a new DVD of their songs called Let's Sing. I have ordered a copy, but I haven't received it yet. I have viewed some of the videos on YouTube, and it looks like it would be a great resource for leading children's praise. Check out "Bible Book Bop":

Monday, July 20, 2009

Diamante (Diamond) Poem

Click to get larger image.
Supplies: Bible, paper & pencils

Verse(s): Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Goal: Reinforce the lesson that "There is a time for everything."

Set-up/Introduction: Revisit Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Point out how there a season for everything and how Solomon presents pairs of opposites to demonstrate that.

Today we are going to write a diamante poem. Diamante is the Italian word for diamond and describes the shape of the poem. (Show example.) It is made up of seven lines in this form:

line 1: one noun
line 2: two adjectives describing line 1
line 3: three participles (words ending in -ing or -ed) relating to line 1
line 4: two nouns relating to line 1; two nouns relating to line 7
line 5: three participles relating to line 7
line 6: two adjectives describing line 7
line 7: one noun which is an opposite word for the noun in line 1.

(See http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/diamond.htm for examples.)

Activity: Divide class into groups of 3-5 children. Each group will pick a pair of words and create a diamante poem. Allow about 4-5 minutes for each group to create their poems. You might even provide each group the samples of at least the form to assist them in creating their poems.

When done, allow each group to read their poems. Consider including some or all of them in the children's ministry newsletter.

Conclusion: Discuss poems as you go.

(The picture shows the poems the kids wrote. I did a screen print to preserve the diamond shape of the poems.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Joking

Scripture Reference: Proverbs 26:18-19

Lying and pranks are no joking matter.

Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking!' - Proverbs 26:18-19 Cast:
JEFF – the jokester
CHERYL – the victim

Props:
Joy buzzer, whoopee cushion, rubber spider, "kick me" sign
Proverbs 26:18-19 displayed
Blackberry (or other valued item)

(Opens with JEFF on stage alone starting the lesson. CHERYL is offstage with the Blackberry.)


JEFF: Up here behind me is our Proverb for this week. But before we start, I want to show you some of the fun stuff I got this week. (Blows up whoopee cushion and sets it on a chair. Just then CHERYL enters.) Better yet, let me demonstrate.


CHERYL: Jeff, I think you left your….


JEFF: You look tired have a seat.


CHERYL: I'm not really tired… (JEFF guides CHERYL into the chair onto the whoopee cushion.) Very nice.


JEFF: It's just a joke. Let me help you up. (JEFF helps CHERYL up but offers hand with joy buzzer. JEFF laughs.)


CHERYL: What the… (Looks at hand then realizes what happened.) I don't think that's very funny.


JEFF: . I was only joking, but I'm sorry. (Places "kick me" sign on CHERYL's back.)


CHERYL: (Spins around a couple of times to reveal the sign then removes it.) Cut it out.


JEFF: It's just a joke. Oh, and you have something on your shirt.


CHERYL: (Looks down and gets her nose tweaked.) Very mature.


JEFF: Lighten up. I was only joking. It's a joke. (Removes rubber spider from pocket and starts to put it on CHERYL's shoulder.)


CHERYL: What's next a rubber spider on my shoulder?


JEFF: (Quickly returning spider to his pocket.) No, not at all.


CHERYL: (Gives JEFF the evil eye.) Hmmm. Did you ever read today's Proverb?


JEFF: Of course I did.


CHERYL: And what do you think it is talking about?


JEFF: It says that someone who is joking is a madman (ala Steve Martin "Wild and Crazy Guy") and is smokin' (ala The Mask).


CHERYL: No. It says that someone who lies or does tricks on other people is like crazy man shooting flaming arrows.


JEFF: As if. What is the harm in a few little pranks?


CHERYL: Really? I came in here to tell you something, but you nearly chased me off with your "jokes."


JEFF: What were you going to tell me that is so important?


CHERYL: That I found your Blackberry in the other room. (Holds up Blackberry.)


JEFF: (Checking pockets.) How'd I do that? Thanks so much

.
CHERYL: (Hands Blackberry back.) Your pranks nearly cost you your Blackberry, but I showed you grace and gave it back anyway. The next person might not be so nice.


JEFF: I'm really sorry if I hurt your feelings. I will be more careful in the future.


CHERYL: Honestly?


JEFF: No joking.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Little Red Hen

Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. - Proverbs 10:4 Scripture Reference: Proverbs 10:4

The Proverb is illustrated with the tale of The Little Red Hen acted out by the children.

Cast:
LITTLE RED HEN – does all the work
DOG – lazy companion
CAT – lazy companion
DUCK – lazy companion
NARRATOR – tells the story, delivers Proverb & tag line

Costume:
Something to suggest each person's animal. For example, each could wear a mask or nose for that animal. (The Dog, Cat, and Duck are traditional for the story, but any farm animal could be substituted if you have the costume.)

Props:
None – all items will be pantomimed

NARRATOR: Today, we are going to tell the story of the Little Red Hen, and I need some volunteers. I need, as you may have guessed, a Little Red Hen. (Pick a smaller girl and supply costume.)


Now, I need her three friends. I need a Dog (pick child; provide mask), a Cat (pick child; provide mask), and a Duck (pick child; provide mask).

As I read the story, I want each of you to act your parts, and I will provide you with your lines. Ready? Here we go:

One day as the Little Red Hen was scratching in a field, she found a grain of wheat.
She said, "This wheat should be planted. Who will plant this grain of wheat?"
The Duck said, "Not I."
The Cat said, "Not I."
The Dog said, "Not I."
The Little Red Hen said, "Then I will." And she did.
Soon the wheat grew to be tall and yellow.
The Little Red Hen said, "The wheat is ripe. Who will cut the wheat?"
The Duck said, "Not I."
The Cat said, "Not I."
The Dog said, "Not I."
The Little Red Hen said, "Then I will." And she did.
When the wheat was cut, the Little Red Hen said, "Who will thresh the wheat?"
The Duck said, "Not I."
The Cat said, "Not I."
The Dog said, "Not I."
The Little Red Hen said, "Then I will." And she did.
When the wheat was threshed, the Little Red Hen said, "Who will take this wheat to the mill?"
The Duck said, "Not I."
The Cat said, "Not I."
The Dog said, "Not I."
The Little Red Hen said, "Then I will." And she did.
She took the wheat to the mill and had it ground into flour. Then she said, "Who will make this flour into bread?"
The Duck said, "Not I."
The Cat said, "Not I."
The Dog said, "Not I."
The Little Red Hen said, "Then I will." And she did.
She made and baked the bread. Then she said, "Who will eat this bread?"
The Duck said, "Oh! I will."
The Cat said, "And I will."
The Dog said, "And I will."
The Little Red Hen said, "No, No! "I will do that." And she did.

The moral of the story comes from Proverbs 10:4:
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Let's give all of our actors a big hand. Thanks, everyone.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wisdom

Scripture Reference: Proverbs 3:8

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. - Proverbs 3:8Cast:
DAD – dad/announcer
MELISSA – sister
ELIJAH – brother
DALTON – brother

Costume:
Either casual clothes or pajamas.

Props:
Cereal box with label for WISDOM, milk, bowl, spoon.

(MELISSA is sitting at the breakfast table when DAD enters.)

DAD: Hey, Melissa. I have something new for you to try for breakfast.

MELISSA: What is it?

DAD: It's called "Wisdom". It says on the box:
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
(pours bowl) Enjoy!

(DAD exits. ELIJAH and DALTON enter and sit down.)

ELIJAH: What's this stuff?

MELISSA: Some cereal. Supposed to be good for you.

ELIJAH: Did you try it?

MELISSA: I'm not gonna try it, you try it. (slides bowl to ELIJAH)

ELIJAH: I'm not gonna try it. (slides bowl back to MELISSA)

MELISSA: Let's get Dalton!

ELIJAH: Yeah!

MELISSA: He won't eat it. He hates everything. (slides bowl to DALTON)

(DALTON looks at the bowl, takes a bite, like it, and keeps eating.)

MELISSA: He likes it!

ELIJAH: Hey, Dalton!

DAD: When you bring Wisdom home, don't tell the kids it's good for them. You're the only one who has to know.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life Story #5

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! - Matthew 25:21Scripture Reference: Matthew 25:21

A retelling of the Parable of the Talents.

Cast:
CALEB – Smallest monkey; feels he is inadequate to serve God.
MAX – Biggest and strongest monkey; works hard but tends to be prideful.
BOOGER – Big and strong; does not take good care of himself.
MR. WISEMAN – Wise man of the jungle; helps monkeys carry out the Creator's plan.
ROSIE – A very small, pink monkey who loves to swing.

Props: none

PART 1
(The scene opens with CALEB and MAX on stage talking.)

MAX: So you got a box from Mr. Wiseman, too?

CALEB: Yeah, I did.

MAX: And was your full of bananas?

CALEB: And a Bible. Did yours have a note in it?

MAX: Yeah, it said he was going to be away for a couple of weeks and to take care of the bananas. What do you suppose that means?

CALEB: I am guessing that is why he put the Bible in there. To help us figure out what to do with the bananas.

MAX: The Bible?!? There's nothing in the Bible about bananas.

CALEB: Maybe not, but I think I'm going to take a look anyway. Just in case.

MAX: Well, you do whatever you want to do. I'm going to seal it all up and keep it at the top of my tree for safe keeping. Are you ready for football practice?

CALEB: I sure am. I have some new plays I want to go over with you guys.

MAX: See you at practice, coach.

CALEB: Don't forget the coconut.

(MAX and CALEB exit in opposite directions.)

PART 2
(Scene opens with MR. WISEMAN entering.)

MR. WISEMAN: Hello, boys. I'm back.

(MAX and CALEB enter.)

MAX: Hey, it's Mr. Wiseman.

CALEB: Welcome back.

MR. WISEMAN: Thanks, boys. Did you get the packages I left you?

MAX: Yes, sir. It is safe and sound in the top of my tree. I'll go get it. (MAX exits.)

CALEB: Er… uh…

MR. WISEMAN: What's the matter, Caleb? Did you get the box?

CALEB: Yes, sir, but…

MR. WISEMAN: But what?

CALEB: I got the box. I HAVE the box. It's just that the box is… empty.

MR. WISEMAN: Empty?

CALEB: I'm sorry. You see Booger got hurt and was having trouble gathering food for his family, so I gave him the bananas. I mean, he HAS to feed his family doesn't he?

MR. WISEMAN: I see. And what about the Bible?

CALEB: Ah, the Bible. It's like this: Rosie was asking me lots of questions about God and my relationship with Jesus. She doesn't have a Bible of her own, so I gave her the one from the box.

MR. WISEMAN: I see.

CALEB: I'm really sorry. I was reading the Bible you left, and it said that we are suppose to help the sick and share the Gospel with others, so I…

MR. WISEMAN: Caleb, you aren't in trouble. You are a good and faithful servant. You took care of the contents of the box exactly as I instructed. I am very proud of you.

(MAX enters looking upset/confused.)

MAX: I just don't get it.

MR. WISEMAN: What's the matter, Max?

MAX: I don't understand what happened to the bananas. I sealed up the box real tight and put the box away. I didn't let anyone get near it. But now the box is full of brown, gooey bananas. Ick! They're gross.

MR. WISEMAN: What did you expect, Max? You don’t take care of bananas by locking them away. They aren't any good to anyone that way. Did you look at the Bible I left you?

MAX: No, I sealed it away, too. I guess it's not very useful either locked way.

MR. WISEMAN: Very true, Max. Did you know that God's gifts are like bananas?

MAX & CALEB: (Looking at each other) Huh?!?

MR. WISEMAN: If you lock God's gifts away and don't use them, they don't do anyone any good. You have to use them to serve others.

CALEB: Just like I read in the Bible!

MR. WISEMAN: Exactly. I have brought another box of bananas home with me. Would anyone like to help me give them away.

MAX: I'd love to give some bananas away.

CALEB: Let's go.

(CALEB, MAX, and MR. WISEMAN exit together.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life Story #4

Scripture Reference: Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. - Philippians 2:3A skit about using our gifts in service to God.

Cast:
CALEB – Smallest monkey; feels he is inadequate to serve God.
MAX – Biggest and strongest monkey; works hard but tends to be prideful.
BOOGER – Big and strong; does not take good care of himself.
MR. WISEMAN – Wise man of the jungle; helps monkeys carry out the Creator's plan.
ROSIE – A very small, pink monkey who loves to swing.

Props:
none

(The scene opens with CALEB mumbling to himself and looking sad when MR. WISEMAN enters.)

MR. WISEMAN: Hello, Caleb. Why so sad?

CALEB: Huh? Oh, hi Mr. Wiseman (sighs)

MR. WISEMAN: What's eating you, Caleb?

CALEB: Well, I have this flea on the back of my….

MR. WISEMAN: No, no, no. I mean what's wrong? You look like you've lost your best friend.

CALEB: It's that Max again. He thinks he's so special just because he's big and strong.

MR. WISEMAN: What happened now?

CALEB: They're playing coconut football again, and Max is the quarterback – as always. He says I'm too small. And he never throws the ball to me, because he says I drop it all the time.

MR. WISEMAN: Do you drop the ball all the time?

CALEB: Yeah, but I still want to play. It's just not fair.

MR. WISEMAN: God gives us each different gifts. Yours may not be catching a coconut, but I bet there are other things you could do. God has made each of for a special purpose.

CALEB: I suppose.

MAX: (enters) I can't believe we lost again.

MR. WISEMAN: What happened?

MAX: Those Cheetahs are just too fast. We can't score, and we can’t stop them from scoring.

CALEB: The problem is that you're running a nickel defense. A 3-4 defense is more effective against a running game.

MAX: What?!?

CALEB: And you shouldn't have Rosie playing tailback.

MAX: But she has a tail.

CALEB: That's not what makes a good tailback. She's fast enough, but she's too small to block. She should be playing wide receiver.

MR. WISEMAN: Sounds like Caleb knows a lot about football, Max.

MAX: He sure does. I'm really sorry I was so mean to you before, Caleb. My pride got in the way. Would you please come back and be on our team?

CALEB: I thought I was too small.

MAX: You are too small – to play. We need you to be our coach. You have great ideas. We really need you, Caleb. Please say you'll do it.

MR. WISEMAN: Sounds like a great idea.

CALEB: Hmmm, let me think… I'll do it!

MAX: Great! What do we need to do next?

(CALEB and MAX exit together.)

CALEB: (as they are leaving) Next time we play the Lions, we should use the "smashmouth" offense and….

MR. WISEMAN: Have fun stormin' the other team, boys. (exits)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Life Story #3

Scripture Reference: 2 Timothy 2:21
If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. - 2 Timothy 2:21
A lesson in being ready for service.

Cast:
CALEB – Smallest monkey; feels he is inadequate to serve God.
MAX – Biggest and strongest monkey; works hard but tends to be prideful.
BOOGER – Big and strong; does not take good care of himself.
MR. WISEMAN – Wise man of the jungle; helps monkeys carry out the Creator's plan.
ROSIE – A very small, pink monkey who loves to swing.

Props:
Trash and dirt for BOOGER at the beginning of the skit
Bubbles, dust, etc. to make it appear that BOOGER is getting cleaned up

(The scene opens, MAX is sniffing the air, and MR. WISEMAN enters.)

MR. WISEMAN: What's the matter, Max? You look like you've smelled a skunk.

MAX: A skunk would be an improvement. Something around here is really stinky.

BOOGER: (enters covered in schmutz) Hi, guys. What's up?

MAX: (walks over, smells BOOGER, and faints)

BOOGER: Max?!?

MAX: (returns and addresses MR. WISEMAN) I think we found our skunk.

BOOGER: What are you talking about?

MR. WISEMAN: Look at yourself, Booger. You're a mess. When was the last time you took a bath?

BOOGER: What do you mean? I took a bath on my birthday.

MAX: Yeah, but your birthday was 4 months ago!

MR. WISEMAN: Booger, the Bible tells us that "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit". You should take better care of yourself.

BOOGER: You're right. I haven't fell very good lately, and I haven't felt like I am serving God as well as I could.

MR. WISEMAN: Booger, I think it's time you get cleaned up.

(CALEB appears, and he and MAX drag BOOGER down. The kids then only hear a struggle with possible puffs of dust and/or bubbles rising to indicate that BOOGER is getting cleaned up. MR. WISEMAN offers words of encouragement.)

MR. WISEMAN: I think he's done, boys.

BOOGER: (reappearing cleaned up) What's the big idea! Why I… (looking down at himself) Hey, I look pretty good. And I feel MUCH better.

MR. WISEMAN: I'm glad, but you know it is even more important to be clean on the inside.

BOOGER: (jumps back in fear) I don’t want Max and Caleb to do all that to my guts!

MR. WISEMAN: (laughing) Don't worry, Booger. I'm not talking about dust and muss inside of you; I'm talking about sin in your heart. Sin makes you gunky on the inside and keeps you from being able to fully serve God. The Bible says that if you will make yourself "clean from evil things," then God can use your "for special purposes."

BOOGER: How do I do that? Does it hurt?

MR. WISEMAN: Sometimes it hurts a little bit at first, but it feels great in the end. You need to spend time with God, ask for His power to overcome sin, ask for His forgiveness, and forgive others.

BOOGER: I can do that.

MR. WISEMAN: That would be a great start. Once you are clean inside and out, God will be using you for might things. Then instead of Booger, we'll be calling you "Bigger," because God will be using your for bigger and bigger things.

BOOGER: Can you help be get started?

MR. WISEMAN: It would be a joy. Come with me, and we will look at my Bible.

(BOOGER and MR. WISEMAN exit together.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life Story #2

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:18

A lesson in being useful.

But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. - 1 Corinthians 12:18 Cast:
CALEB – Smallest monkey; feels he is inadequate to serve God.
MAX – Biggest and strongest monkey; works hard but tends to be prideful.
BOOGER – Big and strong; does not take good care of himself.
MR. WISEMAN – Wise man of the jungle; helps monkeys carry out the Creator's plan.
ROSIE – A very small, pink monkey who loves to swing.

Props:
A stick and a string from which to dangle ROSIE.

(The scene opens, ROSIE is dangling above the stage calling for help when CALEB enters.)

ROSIE: Help! Help! Somebody help me!

CALEB: (Looking around.) Rosie, is that you? Where are you?

ROSIE: Up here.

CALEB: (Looking up.) Rosie! How in the world did you get up there?

ROSIE: I was swinging through the trees like I always do when I got stuck. Oh, please help me, Caleb!

CALEB: (Jumping) I'm trying, but I can't reach you.

MR. WISEMAN: (Enters; watches Caleb jumping.) What's going on, Caleb?

CALEB: Rosie's stuck, and I can't reach her.

MR. WISEMAN: This job is too big for just one monkey. Max! Booger! We need your help!

(Max and Booger enter.)

MR. WISEMAN: Gentleman, Caleb needs your help reaching Rosie.

(Immediately, Booger jumps on Caleb, and Max jumps on Booger. Max reaches up and pulls ROSIE down with his mouth. They dismount.)

ROSIE: Thank you so much, Max. I'd still be up there if it weren't for you.

BOOGER: You're the best monkey, Max.

MAX: (Swelling with pride.) Aw shucks. It was nothing.

(ROSIE, BOOGER, and MAX go their separate ways. CALEB looks very sad.)

MR. WISEMAN: Why the long face, Caleb? Aren't you happy Rosie is okay?

CALEB: Sure, I am, but… I mean… I wish I was like Max and important to God's plans. Even when we get together to do something big and important, I always feel like the most useless piece!

MR. WISEMAN: Nobody is useless to God. You think that because you were on the bottom of the stack, you weren't important. But without you to hold Max steady, he'd topple over, and you would have all crashed — then you would have all been useless! You may not have been the one who grabbed Rosie, but without you, she wouldn't have been saved.

CALEB: Really?

MR. WISEMAN: Of course. Remember the Bible says that God put everyone where He wants them. He has a place for all of us.

CALEB: Gee, I guess you're right. No matter how small or big a monkey might be, we all are important to God's plan. And without each other, we can't do nearly as much for others.

MR. WISEMAN: You've got it. Now lets go check on Rosie.

(MR. WISEMAN and CALEB exit.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life Story #1

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10Scripture Reference: Ephesians 2:10

A lesson about God's purpose for us.

(We were doing a curriculum about service which called for a series of five stories about robots. At the same time, we had a gentleman in our church who really wanted to do puppet skits with his monkey puppets. My wife said I could turn the robot stories into monkey skits. (I can?!?) Since robots and monkeys don't have much in common, I took the main idea of each story and wrote a corresponding skits. I used his three monkey puppets, a boxing rabbi puppet I had, and my daughter's pink stuffed monkey. Below is the first of five skits that resulted.)

Cast:
CALEB – Smallest monkey; feels he is inadequate to serve God.
MAX – Biggest and strongest monkey; works hard but tends to be prideful.
BOOGER – Big and strong; does not take good care of himself.
MR. WISEMAN – Wise man of the jungle; helps monkeys carry out the Creator's plan.
ROSIE – A very small, pink monkey who loves to swing.

Props:
Something heavy looking for one of the monkeys to lift.
A stick and a string to swing ROSIE overhead.

(CALEB is on stage alone looking dejected.)

CALEB: Why did God even bother to create me? I want to serve God, but how? All of the other monkeys are bigger and stronger than I am. I so small and unimportant.
(MAX crosses the stage carrying a heavy object.) Max is stronger than I am.
(ROSIE swings overhead.) Rosie can swing better than I can.
I can't fly like those monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. What can I do? What possible good can I be to God?

(MR. WISEMAN enters.)

MR. WISEMAN: What's wrong, Caleb. Why are you looking so sad?

CALEB: I'm sad, because I'm useless. God can't possibly use me for anything. I'm not big or strong or fast.

MR. WISEMAN: I'm not any of those things either, Caleb.

CALEB: Yeah, but you're really smart.

MR. WISEMAN: Caleb, it's not being smart that makes me useful to God. And it's not being big or strong or fast that makes someone else useful to God. It is having a willing heart and an obedient spirit.

CALEB: Really?

MR. WISEMAN: Yes, Caleb. God's plan works out the way it should. Just because you don’t see how you fit in today, doesn't mean there isn't a place for you. God wouldn't have made you if He didn't have a special job just for you.

CALEB: Hmmm. I just don't know.

MR. WISEMAN: We all have doubts sometimes. But if you'll wait patiently and listen to God's Word with all our heart, you'll find the special mission God has for you. Remember, the Bible says that we are God's workmanship, and we were created to do good works. God planned this for you, Caleb, a long, long time ago.

CALEB: I suppose you're right. I'll be patient and wait on God to show me what it is.

MR. WISEMAN: Good boy, Caleb. (Pats CALEB on back/head.)

(CALEB and MR. WISEMAN exit, talking quietly to one another.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Make a Scene:
Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal

Scripture Reference: 1 Kings 18:16-39, Proverbs 15:8

The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. - Proverbs 15:8 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. - 1 Kings 18:37(Note: Kids love to be in the skits, and the "Make a Scene" framework is an easy and fun way to tell a Bible story that has good action in it. Below is a paraphrase of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The bolded parts are the bit that the kids act out or say. You can include as many kids that want to participate by casting them as the prophets or the people. You can include the whole class if they are game.)

Cast:
Director - the teacher telling the story

Select kids to play Elijah, Ahab, the prophets of Baal, the people

Props:
None


SETTING: Mount Carmel (near Haifa, Israel)

DIRECTOR: King Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?"

Elijah replied, "I have not made trouble for Israel. But you and your father's family have. You have abandoned the Lord's commands and have followed the Baals."

Elijah had Ahab summon the people from all over Israel to meet him on Mount Carmel and bring the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah.

So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

But the people said nothing.

Then Elijah offered a challenge. Each would prepare a sacrifice. He would call upon the Lord, and the prophets of Baal would call upon Baal. The one who answers by fire—he is God.

Then all the people said, "What you say is good."

Elijah let the prophets of Baal go first. When they were ready, they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. they shouted, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder! Maybe he is thinking about it. Maybe he is traveling. Maybe he is in the bathroom. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."

So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, and he built an altar in the name of the Lord He dug a trench around it large enough to hold about 2 gallons of water. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces, and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."

And the people poured water over the altar and the wood.

Then Elijah said, "Do it again."

And the people poured water over the altar and the wood.

Then Elijah ordered, "Do it a third time."

And they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed, "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and even the water in the trench.


When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord -he is God! The Lord -he is God!"


Monday, May 4, 2009

Lord, Lord

Scripture Reference: Matthew 7:21-23

I saw onetimeblind at a drama & worship conference a few years ago. They are amazing, and their skits will really make you think. Take a look at the one below. For more information about them, check the Drama Resources links in the sidebar.

Monday, April 27, 2009

FruitWow!

Scripture Reference: Galatians 5:22-23

A skit about the Fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23Cast:
PITCHMAN – trying to sell the Fruit of the Spirit, doesn't really get that he can't
SHILL – the PITCHMAN's assistant, doesn't think for him/herself
MARK – the PITCHMAN's intended victim, but he/she knows better
SECURITY – this could be one or two people, it could even be the SHILL

Props:
Large bottle labeled FruitWow!

a Bible
stack of papers/folders
ice cream carton (can be empty) & spoon
a vitamin or fruit snack – preferably in a character shape
Optionally, you could have a banner or sign or slide with a FruitWow! logo.

You could also dress like an infomercial pitchman.

(Opens with the PITCHMAN on stage trying to sell the product. The SHILL is standing behind a table ready to act out/demonstrate the PITCHMAN's pitch and feign enthusiasm for the product. The MARK is in the audience watching the demonstration.)

PITCHMAN: Has this ever happened to you? (dropping papers/folders on table in front of SHILL) It has been a long day at work, you're ready to head home, and your boss dumps a load of work on your desk. Could you use some love, joy, and peace? Would a boost of patience and kindness be useful right about now? Does this tax your goodness? You drive home in heavy traffic only to arrive to a houseful of screaming kids. (SHILL holds ears and spins head.) Who has time for faithfulness and gentleness? And forget about self-control! (SHILL picks up spoon and ice cream carton, looks at spoon, tosses spoon away, and dumps ice cream carton into mouth.)

You could read your Bible (SHILL looks a the Bible), but who has the time? (SHILL shrugs)

You could pray (SHILL folds hands and looks heavenward), but that's so hard. (SHILL grabs neck and winces as if in pain)

Now, there's an easier solution. It's FruitWow! (holds up bottle) Concentrated fruits of the Spirit in a bottle. Each pill holds 20 times its own weight in Holy Spirit. It does all the work. Why do you want to work twice as hard? It's made in Germany. You know the Germans always make good stuff.No time-consuming Bible reading, no exhausting praying, no creams, no ointments. FruitWow! You will say "Wow!"


SHILL: Wow!

PITCHMAN: That's right. All of the fruits of the Spirit in one simple pill. How much would you expect pay for such an amazing product?

SHILL: Uh, one million dollars!

PITCHMAN: A million dollars?!? (stage whispers to SHILL) That's too high.

SHILL: Uh, 98¢!

PITCHMAN: (stage whispers to SHILL) That's too low!

SHILL: Uh, $100.

PITCHMAN: It won't cost you $100. It won't cost you $75. It won't even cost you $50. With this special TV offer, you only pay 19.95. But that's not all, call in the next 20 minutes, and we will include a set of Last Supper Steak Knives.

MARK: That's not right.

PITCHMAN: Ah, but it is. For just 19.95 you get a 30-day supply of FruitWow!, a set of Last Supper Steak Knives, plus I will throw in, at no extra charge, the Prayer of Jabez barbecue apron. (Just pay separate shipping and handling.)

MARK: No, I mean that's not how you get the Fruit of the Spirit.

PITCHMAN: Of course it is. It's on TV; it has to be true.

MARK: The Bible says that if we belong to Jesus and live by the Spirit, we will have this fruit. We can't buy it or eat it or earn it.

PITCHMAN: But it comes in the shapes of your favorite Bible characters. Look, (holding up pill) I have a John the Baptist right here.

MARK: It doesn't matter. We need to be led by the Holy Spirit and keep in step with Him.

PITCHMAN: Security!

MARK: (Continues as SECURITY approaches.) The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of a Christian's transformed life.

PITCHMAN: Security! Get this troublemaker out of here!

MARK: (Finishes as SECURITY removes him/her.) The fruit of the Spirit are the qualities of character that God grows inside of you.

PITCHMAN: (Waits until the MARK has been removed.) FruitWow! You'll say "Wow!" (speaking faster) Operators are standing by. FruitWow! is not available in stores and is made in Germany. Beware of FruitWow! imitators. Call now!

(Scene ends with the PITCHMAN and the SHILL quietly discussing what happened.)


Monday, April 20, 2009

Workers in the Vineyard

So the last will be first, and the first will be last. - Matthew 20:16Scripture Reference: Matthew 20:1-16

A skit about the Kingdom of God.

(Note: I use these skits to introduce a lesson. This skit has a little bit after the teaching. I don't have the lesson included in the skit. I just designated "***teaching time***" in the script. You will need to fill in this bit. The skit also ends with "Let's go play." because this takes place just before games at AWANA for us. You will need to change this to whatever your next activity is.)

Cast:
NARRATOR - the one teaching the lesson
WORKERS - 6-10 volunteers to act out the skit (you may want to involve the whole class)
EARLY WORKER - a "volunteer" who isn't too happy with the arrangements

Props:
Chocolate coins

NARRATOR: We are going to continue with Jesus' parables. Today we are doing the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20. To help me with this story I need 2-3 volunteers. Wait. Wait until you hear what I need. I need 2-3 people to pick grapes for me. (Mime picking grapes.) In exchange, I will pay you one denarius – or in this case a chocolate coin. (Choose 2-3 volunteers and have them start picking grapes.)
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard."
A denarius was a small silver Roman coin. It was the most common coin in circulation. It was about the size of a nickel, and it was a daily wage for an unskilled worker or common soldier. It would be the equivalent today of making about $20 a day, which is less than minimum wage.
The denarius survives today in the name of money in several counties. For example, the dinar is still used as currency in several modern Arabic-speaking nations. The Spanish word dinero derives from the Latin word denarius. In France…

EARLY WORKER: (Clears throat) We're still picking over here.

NARRATOR: Oh, sorry.
"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing."
I need 2-3 more people to help out. (Have them start picking grapes.)
"He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went."
Now the term "the third hour" means about 9:00 in the morning. They used a 12-clock to measure time during the day. This ran from sunrise to sundown, and there were always 12 hours. The length of the hour would vary in length depending on the season. In the summer, when the sun comes up earlier and goes down later, the hours were longer. In the winter…

EARLY WORKER: I think my arm is going to fall off.

NARRATOR: Sorry, again.
"He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing."
(Get another 4-5 volunteers and have them start picking grapes.)

EARLY WORKER: (Gives the narrator a dirty look.)

NARRATOR: I know, I know, I'm getting on with it.
"About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'
"'Because no one has hired us,' they answered.
"He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'"
So I need 2-3 more people to pick grapes.
"When evening came…"
You can stop picking now.

EARLY WORKER: Phew!

NARRATOR: "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius."
(Start paying everyone a chocolate coin then pause before paying the first people.)
"So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius."
(Give each a chocolate coin.)
"When they received it, they began to grumble…"

EARLY WORKER: Hey! Wait a minutes. I've been up here doing this (mimes picking) all this time until my arm almost falls off, and I get one lousy chocolate coin, the same as those who were up here for two seconds?!?

NARRATOR: I am not being unfair. That is exactly what I agreed to give you. Have a seat and let me see if I can explain.

EARLY WORKER: Hrrph!

NARRATOR: That's exactly how the workers in the story reacted. "they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'
"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'"
:
***teaching time***
:

So does that help you understand why you got the same payment?

EARLY WORKER: I'm sorry. I was busy eating my chocolate. What did you say?

NARRATOR: Let's go play.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

Scripture Reference: Luke 5:17-26 (also Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12)
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.' - Luke 5:20
A skit about the forgiveness of sins, healing, ministry, leading others to Christ.

Cast:
Friend - One of the friends of the paralytic

Props:
none

My buddies and I all believed in God. We went to the Synagogue each week, we said our daily prayers, and studied the Scriptures. But I don’t think I really knew God until that day.

We had all heard about the Preacher who was teaching about God’s love and was healing the sick & lame. We also know He’d caused quite a stir among the leaders of the Temple. We went to Jesus one day. See one of our buddies was paralyzed, and we want to see if Jesus could heal him. Since he couldn’t walk, we lifted up his mat and carried him there. But when we got there, we found a huge crowd trying to get to Him. Jesus was in a house, and there was no way to push through the crowd and get to Him. We were determined to get our buddy to Jesus, so we set him down and thought. We finally hit upon the idea of lowering him through the roof. You see, our houses were built with flat roofs, so people could go up on the roof on hot nights to cool off. We went up the outside stairs and dug a hole in the roof, removing the tiles. We then lowered him through the hole in the roof right in the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. I think we surprised everyone.

I guess we impressed Jesus, because He turned to our buddy and said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” His sins are forgiven?!? What a strange thing to say! We brought our buddy, so he could be healed and walk again.

Then, almost like he could read their minds, Jesus turned to the leaders of the Temple and said, “Why do you have such evil thoughts? Do you really think that I speak blasphemy? Which is easier to say: ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you know that I have the authority to forgive sins....” Then he turned to our buddy and said, “Get up, take your mat, and go home.” Then he got up! Our buddy got up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. We all praised God and sang hymns all the way home. We saw something remarkable that day!


I have thought about that day so many times. I have wondered why Jesus first said our buddy’s sins were forgiven, and this is what I think: His healing people was good – very good – and it showed He had authority that no one else had. But that wasn’t the main thing. The main thing is that He cam to forgive sins. By comparison, healing our buddy was easy and less important. Don’t get me wrong, seeing our buddy walk was a great thing! But it has no eternal value, because some day his body will be in the grave, where no one walks. Forgiveness of sins is forever, because it lets us spend eternity with God. And that was the truly remarkable thing that happened that day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. - 1 Peter 2:24Once, long ago in England, a monk saw poor families living together in rag tents on the streets of his town. Easter was two days away, and the monk thought to himself, "On the day of the rebirth of our Savior, families should not go hungry."

This monk had once been a baker, so he now baked a great many spiced buns with raisins inside. He decorated the shiny brown tops of the buns with a cross, and while they were still piping hot, he went out among the families and gave them the delicious buns.

A young boy named Giles would not take even one.

"Bake me a basketful of buns that I can sell," he said. "I do not want charity."

The monk looked at the boy's ragged clothes and dirty face, and though he felt sorry for the lad, he saw that Giles had pride, so he baked the child a basket of the buns.


That Easter morning, Giles took his basket from house to house, singing out in a voice that carried over the clear air:

"Hot Cross Buns. Hot Cross Buns.
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns.
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.
Hot Cross Buns. Hot Cross Buns."

Before Mass that morning, Giles had sold all the buns. He put the money he had earned in the poor box at church.

To this day, children all over the world chant the words of his song.


Giles gave all he had for others, perhaps sacrificing his own life to do so. Similarly, Jesus gave all He had for us. He sacrificed His life to pay a price we could not pay ourselves. If you would like to know more about having a personal relationship with Christ, leave a comment or go to NeedHim.org.

Have a blessed Easter,
Jeff

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Worship – Part 6

Scripture Reference: Revelation 4
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. - Revelation 4:8
A skit that reviews the previous skits and discusses worship in Heaven.

Cast:
Pam – Worship Leader
Jeff – Person who doesn’t know how to worship

Props:
none

(During the opening song, Jeff sings, raises his hands, and doesn’t nothing to disrupt praise this week.)

Pam: Jeff, I am so proud of you.

Jeff: Well, thank you. I’ve worked really heard, and it’s nice to get some recognition for it.

Pam: Do you even know what I’m talking about?

Jeff: Uh, no.

Pam: You sang that praise song without me having to get on to you.

Jeff: Oh, that. Yeah, I guess I have been a bit of pain the last few weeks.

Pam: A bit?!?

Jeff: Hey!

Pam: So you don’t find it undignified or girly?

Jeff: Not at all. I realized we are all warriors in God’s army, like David, and we should celebrate God with our whole hearts.

Pam: Wow, it sounds like you must have had a good day.

Jeff: Not really, but I’ve also learned that we’re suppose worship God even when things aren’t going well. In fact, we need that time with God even more.

Pam: In the last chapter Habakkuk, he tells about all these terrible things than have happened to him, but then he says, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Jeff: That’s right, because I’ve also learned that worship isn’t about me. It is about God, and sometimes we may do a song I don’t like or I’m tired of, but that’s okay.

Pam: Wow! And you’re not too busy to worship?

Jeff: I’m still very busy, but I have to make spending time with God a priority. I wouldn’t be too happy if I went to a restaurant and was served leftovers. Why would I want to serve God my leftovers?

Pam: And I even saw you lift your hand during worship.

Jeff: Yeah, I still feel a little funny about lifting both hands, but I like lifting one hand. I feel like I’m reaching out for God.

Pam: That’s fine. You may get comfortable enough to raise both hands some day. Or you may always raise one hand. Whatever God leads you to do.

Jeff: There is one thing still that bothers me.

Pam: What’s that?

Jeff: Well, I’ve spent half my life not worshipping God right. I wish I had more time to do it the right way.

Pam: You have all eternity to worship God.

Jeff: What?!?

Pam: The book of Revelation gives us a picture of heaven, and it describes incredible worship. Imagine actually being AT the throne of God worshipping Him.

Jeff: That sounds amazing!

Pam: Revelation 4 says, “before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. . . . Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’”

Jeff: That sounds familiar.

Pam: Those words make it into a lot of hymns and praise songs.

Jeff: I can see why. What a great image, and what an incredible thing to look forward to.

Pam: It just so happens that we are about to sing two of those hymns now.

Jeff: Well, that worked out well. Let’s sing!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Worship – Part 5

Scripture Reference: 1 Timothy 2:1-10
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. - 1 Timothy 2:8
A skit that demonstrates instructions on worship.

Cast:
Pam – Worship Leader
Jeff – Person who doesn’t know how to worship

Props:
none

(The first song is We Will Worship the Lamb of Glory. The chorus repeats the line “And with our hands lifted high”. During the chorus, Pam encourages the kids to raise their hands, but Jeff self-consciously only raises a finger.)

Pam: Are you okay, Jeff?

Jeff: Yeah. Why?

Pam: You were doing something weird with your finger, and I thought maybe you hurt it or something.

Jeff: Huh? No, I was lifting my hands in praise like you said.

Pam: The song said, “With our hands lifted high to the sky,” not “with your finger barely raised.”

Jeff: I know, but it’s kind of embarrassing to lift your hands in front of all these people.

Pam: Everyone here is your friend, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. Besides, you are suppose to be doing this for God, not anyone else.

Jeff: I know, but it seems like kind of a silly thing to do. Why DO we lift our hands?

Pam: I am glad you asked. I have a Top 10 list for reasons to raise your hands in church.

Jeff: Well, that’s handy. What are they?

Pam: Reason 10: Surrender.

Jeff: Like in the movies when people put their hands up, so the police don’t shoot?

Pam: Kind of. You are saying to God, “I give up, I can’t do it on my own. I surrender my life to you.”

Jeff: Okay. What’s next?

Pam: Reason 9: Volunteer. When I ask who wants to do something, people raise their hands to show their willingness to volunteer.

Jeff: So it shows willingness to commit to God’s will. It’s like we are saying, “I’m willing God.”

Pam: Reason 8: No Weapon. Raising our hands is a sign of peace. In 1 Timothy, Paul says, “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.”

Jeff: It’s like the origin of the handshake, it shows we have an empty hand and don’t come in anger.

Pam: Reason 7: Requesting Something.

Jeff: Oh, I get that one. It’s like raising your hand in class if you want to answer a question or go to the bathroom.

Pam: Right. Reason 6: Wanting Comfort.

Jeff: I completely don’t get that one. I don’t find lifting my arms comfortable. My arms get tired.

Pam: Not comfortable; looking for comfort. You have a bunch of kids, what do they when they want you to pick them up?

Jeff: Oh, they lift up their arms. Since I’m their dad, they find comfort in me holding them. And since God’s our Father, we are raising our hands for Him to hold and comfort us. Cool. What else?

Pam: Reason 5: Welcome. It is kind of like waving at someone you know.

Jeff: And we certainly want to welcome God into our praise.

Pam: Reason 4: Direct attention towards God.

Jeff: Since we are pointing to Him. It draws attention FROM me TO Him.

Pam: Reason 3: Testimony.

Jeff: Like in court, a witness raises his hand to be sworn in.

Pam: Right. It is a sign of agreement. It says, “I testify that this is true in my life.”

Jeff: Like saying “Amen” with your hands. What’s number 2?

Pam: Reason 2: Loving. It is like the song we sang today. “With our hands lifted high to the sky/When the world wonders why/We'll just tell them we're loving our King.”

Jeff: It’s like hugging God.

Pam: Exactly.

Jeff: Okay, what’s number 1? What other thing can raising hands mean?

Pam: And the number one reason to raise our hands in church: the Bible says to do it.

Jeff: Oh. It does?

Pam: It sure does. Psalm 134:2 says, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” And Lamentations 3:41 says, “Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven....”

Jeff: But I still feel uncomfortable raising my hands.

Pam: Well, it’s not a requirement. God doesn’t want you to raise your hands out of obligation. He wants you to do it for the right reasons.

Jeff: So it’s perfectly fine if I don’t raise my hands.

Pam: Maybe.

Jeff: Maybe?

Pam: If you feeling like you want to raise your hands but don’t because of pride, then that is wrong, too.

Jeff: So it’s not a matter of raising your hands or not raising your hands that’s right, it’s worshiping God in the way He’s leading you to do it.

Pam: You got it. It’s a heart issue, and God wants your heart, as well as your hands, to be turned to Him in worship.

Jeff: So is it okay if I just raise one hand and close my eyes while I do it?

Pam: Whatever God leads you to do, be obedient to that. The most important thing is to focus on God and not to worry about what anyone thinks about what you are doing.


Jeff: Okay, I’ll give it a try.