Marching to the Rhythm of Praise

Jehoshaphat’s experience of marching to the rhythm of praise and winning the victory without waging war is very inspiring. It’s one of my favorite stories about praising God.

Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.

The Moabites and the Ammonites declared war on King Jehoshaphat. When they warned the king that a great army was coming against him, he was afraid. Then he did the best that we can do when we are threatened–He decided to find out what God wanted him to do. So, he proclaimed a fast, and people gathered from all the cities of Judah to seek God’s help. His prayer is recorded in verses 6-12, which ends with the king acknowledging that he doesn’t know what to do, but that he seeks God’s help.

The entire town gathered–men and women, big and small. Everyone, even the little ones, prayed. How important to include children when we seek God’s help and guidance!

God promised to be with them:

  • Do not be afraid or discouraged due to this vast army. Because the battle is not yours but God’s.
  • You will not have to fight this battle. Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord.
  • Do not fear; do not be discouraged. Go out tomorrow to face the enemy, and the Lord will be with you.

Early the next morning, when they left for the Tekoa desert, Jehoshaphat encouraged the people to have faith in the Lord their God. And he appointed those who were to sing and praise the Lord and go ahead of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 20:21b

When they began to march to the rhythm of praise, singing to the Lord, Almighty God ambushed the soldiers who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. Judah’s praise brought victory!

Jehoshaphat and his men did not have to fight. The armies that had come against him fought each other. The king and his men simply gathered the spoil. It took them three days to gather it all! Then what did they do? On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Beracah (Blessing) to praise the Lord.

After that they marched with joy to Jerusalem, because the Lord had given them reason to rejoice over their enemies. To the sound of harps, lyres and trumpets, marching to the rhythm of praise, they entered the temple of the Lord.

I love this story! What a beautiful example to teach children about praise and gratitude. With praise we express our gratitude to God. Jehoshaphat led the people in praise BEFORE the battle and led them in praise AFTER the battle. He even named “Blessing” the valley where they praised.

Praise opens the door to miracles! Just as the apparently dead trees come alive in springtime, new life can arise in our circumstances apparently more than dead. Praise the Lord! Praise that springs from a grateful heart brings victory!

Whatever battle you’re facing, follow Jehoshaphat’s approach. March to the rhythm of praise!

Welcome to read The Treasure Club “Praise” stories, numbers 45 & 46.

The Treasure Club children were inspired by Jehoshaphat’s example and did a parade. Maybe your student’s too can be inspired to do a parade! Blessings to all!

A Year of Kindness

I have chosen this to be a year of spreading the fragrance of KINDNESS. Welcome to follow me on my personal blog: kelund.wordpress.com

It’s been a few days since we started the new year. May I wish you blessings beyond measure? I’ve been “under the weather” as they say, since before Christmas. But I’m picking up strength and I’m ready to make 2020 the best year so far. As a follower of Jesus every day is better, that’s why this year will be the best, but I believe there will be even better ones to come.

Let’s make the best of every day God gives us!

We will continue The Treasure Club stories. This time we emphasize FAITHFULNESS with stories of God’s faithful servant Noah. It’s amazing how one man and his family were true to God in the midst of such an evil generation that God decided to destroy them all.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:5-8

What beautiful words! To find favor in the eyes of the Lord! May it be said of you and me that we find favor in the eyes of God. There is no greater honor.

Read stories 43 & 44 in THE TREASURE CLUB.

An Enthusiastic Follower of Jesus

The Apostle Peter was an enthusiastic follower of Jesus. When many of the disciples turned their backs on JESUS, because they weren’t willing to pay the price of discipleship, the Lord asked his intimate group of followers if they too would leave.

The impulsive and enthusiastic Peter answered for them all.

 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:68,69

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” There is no one like our precious Lord Jesus. What a privilege to know and serve Him!

Our relationship with God inspires enthusiasm. One meaning of the word is “to have God on the inside.” With God’s help we can emanate the fragrance of enthusiasm. After meeting Jesus, Andrew, Peter’s brother, runs with enthusiasm to tell the news, “We have found the Messiah!”

Let’s communicate this enthusiasm to our children and students. Let’s spread the spirit of sharing with family and friends the good news of the gospel.

Peter had some interesting experiences. Who else has walked on water? Who has retrieved from the mouth of a fish the money needed for taxes? The coin that Peter found in the fish’s mouth was exactly the amount that Jesus and Peter needed.

God knows our needs. Let’s trust Him for provision. Let’s inspire our students to follow Christ with enthusiasm, to be faithful to Him in all circumstances.

Two amazing miracles of fish-supply happened to Peter the fisherman. One, when Jesus called him to be a fisher of men (Luke 5:1-11). Second, when Jesus appeared on the beach after the resurrection and had breakfast ready for his friends (John 21:1-14).

On that occasion, Peter, who had denied his Master three times, had to declare three times his love. Jesus gave him a most precious commission, to feed his sheep and his lambs (vs. 15-19).

The Most Important Question

In this story, our little friend Albert, known as Salt, has been thinking about Fragrance and the words they have learned so far: Love, Kindness, Compassion, Generosity, Enthusiasm… When Salt wonders how he can practice that fragrance in his life, the thought occurs, “What would Jesus do?”

The verse for the week talks about doing and saying everything in the name of Jesus. It’s like asking, What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say?

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

The question of what Jesus would do has followed me since my teen years. In today’s story this question comes to life again.

In the previous story we talked about Peter’s enthusiasm. His enthusiasm made him promise Jesus that he would never leave Him, that he was willing to die for Him.

When the day came that Jesus was arrested, Peter followed Him from afar all the way to the courthouse of the high priest. That night, warming himself by the fire in the courtyard, Peter three times denied knowing Jesus. And then the rooster crowed.

From where he was in courtyard, Jesus looked at Peter. It must have been a look of pure love, a look that totally overwhelmed Peter. He went outside and wept bitterly. Peter, who so enthusiastically promised to be faithful to Jesus, had failed him. That must have been his saddest day. But Christ Jesus loved him and forgave him.

God promises in his Word that although we are unfaithful, He remains faithful. And he always keeps his promises. Praise his name!

Welcome to read the Treasure Club stories 41 & 42.

M is for Miracles

M is for Miracles. This ministry is in great need of MIRACLES. Cristina is my invaluable assistant living in Peru. Her niece, Ale (for Alejandra), is displaying the M she made with her aunt’s help.

Let me tell you about a MIRACLE I had this weekend. Some Sundays ago, I asked for prayer at 29ELEVEN CHURCH that I attend in Tahlequah. The pastor prayed with me asking God to provide the necessary means to continue my ministry. He asked specifically that funds would come from “unexpected sources.”

I’ve been thinking about what those sources could be at the same time praying that I would be able to pay Cristina. Since I have run out of money, she is only working some 15 hours a week. There is also the rent of office space and insurance to pay for.

On Saturday I sent her the money “by faith,” trusting that the Lord would provide for my expenses as they come along. Then came the miracle! From an unexpected source! My friend Nancy, who helps me with all the stories (adapting them from Spanish) sent me a love-offering. It covered what I had sent off to Cristina and left me the exact amount for the tithe. Talk about an unexpected source! She has been volunteering her time for years. I would never have expected that she would send me money. She had a blessing come her way and then sent some on to me.

I’m living in expectation of how provision will come this month! I’ve put a big M on the desires of your heart. My desire is to continue the ministry of providing teaching materials online. There are thousands of teachers subscribed to my different pages.

Put an M on the Miracles you need. Make a list of the Miracles you hope to see. Let’s form an army of believers who trusts in the miracles God will do.

“Your heavenly Father knows…” (Matthew 6:32). Our responsibility is to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness (v. 33). God will do the miracles! It’s so comforting to know that OUR FATHER KNOWS!

As M is for Miracles, C is for COMPASSION, a beautiful virtue to spread the fragrance of Christ. A compassionate person has a tender heart and reaches out to a neighbor in need. COMPASSION is the theme for the stories I’m offering today.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1,2

As we imitate God as beloved children, let’s remember that one of the qualities of our Heavenly Father is compassion.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 103:8

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

The apostle Paul exhorted us to “Love one another with brotherly affection” and to “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).

At the beginning of Paul’s missionary ministry, the brothers doubted him. They were afraid due to the ruthless way he had persecuted the followers of Christ. But there was someone who had compassion on him. His name was Joseph.

Joseph was such a tender and compassionate man that the apostles changed his name. They called him Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement,” or “He who comforts.”

“He who comforts” had compassion on Saul and brought him before the apostles, guaranteeing that this new disciple and preacher had had a true and transforming encounter with Christ.

Barnabas’s compassion was rewarded. He and Saul became fellow ministers. By then Saul began using his Greek name, Paul, and they made a missionary journey together.

Saul/Paul was accepted in the circle of apostles in Jerusalem because there was a compassionate man. Let us be the “Barnabas’” of the 21st Century. Let’s support our neighbors with tender compassion.

What was Barnabas like? “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24). A good man! What a beautiful description of Joseph Barnabas!

  • a good man
  • full of the Holy Spirit
  • full of faith

Our world needs good men and good women. Men and women filled with the Holy Spirit and of faith. As we await the soon return of Jesus for his Church, let’s be persons like Barnabas. Jesus will come for a holy church, without spot or wrinkle.

So that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27

Are you looking forward to Jesus’ coming? Are you ready to meet Him? That will be the greatest miracle of all. How awesome it will be to meet Jesus in the air!

Jesus is coming soon! On that day we’ll see each other in heaven, right? How wonderful to meet the friends who have been following me online! It would be great if we could meet here, which is not possible because of the distances. BUT we know that we’ll meet there!

Welcome to read stories 37 & 38 about compassion: THE TREASURE CLUB

Encourage the children to be compassionate!

These are four countries in South America where there is political turmoil and unrest. Please pray for God’s people to stay strong and for the Gospel to have an impact on people.

BOLIVIA

CHILE

ECUADOR

VENEZUELA

 

Let Your Light Shine

In October the days get shorter and darker, but even darker as Halloween celebration approaches. Death and the Prince of Darkness are celebrated with skeletons, black cats, spiders, and witches… Nothing uplifting for the soul.

We have been called to be light in the darkness. “You are the light of the world,” said Jesus, at the same time declaring that He is the light of the world.

For Halloween, my friend Anita, a retired missionary from Peru who lives in Sweden, asked me to make a candle bookmark that she could give to the children who would come knocking at her door asking for treats.

English:  Jesus loves you candle      A4 size paper:  Jesus loves you candle A4

Spanish, Jesus light:  Jesus luz del mundo vela   A4:  Jesus luz del mundo vela A4

Spanish, Jesus loves you:  Jesus te ama vela     A4:  Jesus te ama vela A4

My friend also asked for a poster to put on the door. I’ve made it in color and also for coloring. For smaller size there are two per page.

English:  Jesus light of the world poster     A4:   Jesus light of the world poster

Spanish:   Jesus luz del mundo poster     A4:  Jesus luz del mundo poster

Two per page for coloring : Jesus the light 2 x pg      A4: Jesus the light 2 x pg

Anytime, every day, all the time we should let our light shine.

 

The Sweet Aroma of Kindness

KINDNESS is a sweet aroma for spreading the fragrance of Christ. Welcome to read two stories based on kindness. Ruth is the biblical example and Daisy will represent The Treasure Club.

When Daisy heard the story of Mary and the ointment she poured on Jesus’ feet, she could not stop thinking about that extraordinary gift. She compared it with her allowance and wondered if she would be willing to save that money and give away some 200 dollars a year. That means she would spend a whole year without buying candy and other things she likes.

 Daisy had the idea of ​​using a jar to save her coins. That idea is something you might inspire the children to do. Everyone could participate in raising money for a mission’s project or to help a classmate with a special need.

Star, the girl with Down syndrome, represents children with special needs; she is a very loving girl. Sammy is an orphan. In this week’s story Star recognizes Sammy’s needs. Her heart full of love wants him to receive the jar with the coins they have collected.

Pepper feels envious. There is always that battle in the human heart. When we do something for one of the students, what about the others? In everything we need to ask for wisdom and the direction of the Holy Spirit.

How is a kind heart? Here are some words that describe a person with a loving and kind heart:

  • attentive
  • caring
  • compassionate
  • considerate
  • friendly
  • generous
  • humble
  • respectful
  • selfless
  • tender

These words describe the kind woman with a book in the Bible bearing her name. She, the beautiful Ruth, was very loving and considerate to her mother-in-law, Naomi! Who better to represent kindness than Ruth? She is known by her words to Naomi, assuring her that she would not abandon her.

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” Ruth 1:16,17

Boaz, in view of Ruth’s tender care of her mother-in-law, said,

 “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Ruth 2:12

God rewarded Ruth, and Boaz married her. Then little Obed was born. Boaz and Obed were Ruth’s reward. God rewarded her in such a way that she was the great-grandmother of King David, and thus part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

 

“Be kind to one another” is the apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

It’s wonderful to meet a kind person. Ruth was that kind of person! She showed unconditional love. Let’s be kind, people with a good heart!

Use this story to speak to the children about the importance of respecting the elderly. Ruth has left us that example. She was a “treasure” for her mother-in-law.

Find the stories in THE TREASURE CLUB.

May we always spread the sweet aroma of kindness!