The Parable of the Brothers Who Fell Out

The Parable of the Brothers Who Fell Out

This is a story of two brothers who lived side by side in their own farms for many years, until one day, a foolish argument caused a rift between them. This was the first serious disagreement the brothers had in all of their 50 years. Up until that day, they always worked their fields together, shared knowledge and produce, and lent a helping hand to one another in times of need. The fight began over a small misunderstanding, which can sometimes happen, but the dispute dragged on and became an angry exchange of words, followed by weeks of silence. One day, there was a knock on the older brother’s door. When he opened it, he was facing an old, bearded carpenter, holding a toolbox. “I could sure use some work, sir” said the stranger. “Do you need any repairs in your farm?” “Yes”, replied the brother. “I’ve got a job for you. Across the creek, there’s a farm that happens to belong to my younger brother. Until recently, the whole area between our homes was green, but then he changed the creek’s path, making it into a border between us. I’m sure he did that for spite, but I’ll show him…” said the older brother. “You see those trees by the barn? I want you to turn them into a 10-foot tall fence. I never want to see his face again.” The old carpenter thought quietly to himself for a few minutes and eventually said: “I see”. The farmer helped the carpenter carry his tools and the wood, and then drove off to the city on some errands. When he came back in the evening,...
Story: The Giving Tree

Story: The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Once there was a tree… and she loved a little boy. And everyday the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree… very much. And the tree was happy. But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone. Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.” “I am too big to climb and play” said the boy. “I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money?” “I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money. I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy.” And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy. But the boy stayed away for a long time… and the tree was sad. And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy.” “I am too busy to climb trees,” said the...
Story: Potato, Eggs and Coffee Beans

Story: Potato, Eggs and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied. “Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face. “Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water. However, each one reacted...
Video: Jonah

Video: Jonah

http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Backwoods_animation_-_Tru_Wonder_-_Jonah_and_Fish_.mp4 Source: Backwoods...
Story: How much does a miracle cost?

Story: How much does a miracle cost?

Jenny was a precocious eight year old when she heard her mum and dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to smaller flat next month because dad didn’t have the money for the doctor’s bills as well as their house. Only a very costly surgery could save Andrew and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the money. She heard her dad say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.” Jenny went to her bedroom and pulled out her piggy bank from its hiding place in the cupboard. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully, three times. The total had to be exactly perfect, no chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in her bank and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way to the local pharmacy. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy. Jenny twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a coin from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it! “And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages, he said without waiting for a reply to his question. “Well, I want...
The Parable of the Red Flower with Green Stem

The Parable of the Red Flower with Green Stem

The Parable of the Red Flower with Green Stem Once upon a time there was a little boy who studied at a big school. One morning the teacher said “Today we’re going to draw.” “Good” thought the little boy. He liked to draw lions, tigers, chickens, trains and boats. He got his colour-pencils and started drawing. “Wait!! Don’t start yet.” said the teacher. She waited until all the students were ready and then said … “We’re going to draw flowers.” The little boy started drawing beautiful flowers with his pink, orange and blue pencils. “Wait” said the teacher. “I’ll show you how to do it.” And the flower she drew was red with a green stem. “Ok” said the teacher “now you can do it.” The little boy looked at the flower the teacher had drawn , looked at his own flowers and liked his best. He couldn’t say that so he turned the sheet of paper over and drew a flower just like the one the teacher had drawn – red with a green stem. Another day the students were having class outside and the teacher said … “Today we are going to play with clay.” “Great” the boy thought. He liked to play with clay. He could make things like elephants, mice, cars and trucks. He started to take some clay in his hands and make a big ball. Then the teacher said … “Wait ! Don’t start yet.” She waited until all the students were ready. “Now” she said “we’re going to make a plate.” “Good” thought the little boy. He liked to make plates of...
Story: The Taxi Driver and Old Lady

Story: The Taxi Driver and Old Lady

The story of the Taxi Driver and the Old Lady can be used in a number of different settings. I’ve used it within worship but I can see it working well as part of a school assembly. There was a time in my life twenty years ago when I was driving a cab for a living. It was a cowboy’s life, a gambler’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss, constant movement and the thrill of a dice roll every time a new passenger got into the cab. What I didn’t count on when I took the job was that it was also a ministry. Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a rolling confessional. Passengers would climb in, sit behind me in total anonymity and tell me of their lives. We were like strangers on a train, the passengers and I, hurtling through the night, revealing intimacies we would never have dreamed of sharing during the brighter light of day. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and made me weep. And none of those lives touched me more than that of a woman I picked up late on a warm August night. I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or someone going off to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town. When I arrived at the address, the building was dark...
The Story of the Teacher

The Story of the Teacher

A teacher stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, without saying anything he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with some table tennis balls balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up some sweets and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The sweets rolled into the open areas between the balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The teacher next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ He then produced two bottles of juice from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.. ‘Now,’ said the teacher as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The table tennis balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The sweets are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the sweets or the table tennis balls. The same...