Submissions Welcome!

Hello fellow Wordzpreadians!

Do you or someone you know have a great faith based story targeted towards children of all ages? Or do you have a great illustration that you’d like to see paired up with a narrative?

If yes, please feel free to send them through for posting on Wordzpread.

In keeping with the Wordzpread mandate to share the good message of Jesus Christ one story at a time, I am now opening the site up to submissions.

I look forward to partnering with you!

Be blessed,

R

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Transformed

“Banke, is there something on our faces?” Dad laughed over dinner. “You’ve been staring at your mom and me since we left church!”

            “I told you she was weird,” smirked Lanre, Banke’s younger brother.

            “Sorry,” Banke said with a shamefaced smile. “I’ve been thinking about something Pastor Yemi said during youth service today.”

            “Do tell,” Mom said, serving beef stew over her jollof rice.

            “He said that people who’ve been married for a while tend to start looking alike because of all the time they spend together,” Banke said. “Only I don’t think he and Deaconess Tayo look that similar. So I wondered if maybe you would since you’ve been married longer.”

            “And what’s your verdict?” Dad asked.

            “I think Banke looks like her phone because she’s always using it,” giggled Lanre.

            “Behave, Lanre!” Mom scolded. “Before you answer that, Banke, would you say that your Dad and I behave alike?”

            “Yes!” Banke replied. “I was just thinking that you two don’t look very much alike either, but I can always expect you to do or say the same things.”

            “Like clean our rooms and do our homework,” Lanre put in helpfully.

            “That’s right,” Dad nodded. “You mom and I are pretty much on the same page these days, but that wasn’t always the case.”

            “Really?” Banke asked in surprise.

            “Really. It took time and getting to know one another better to bring us to a point where you now think we act alike.”

            “It’s just like our memory verse from Corinthians last month,” Mom added. “The one that says we are transformed into God’s image the more we spend time beholding or contemplating him. Just as people who spend a lot of time together start looking or acting alike, we also start looking or acting more like God the more time we spend praying or reading His word.”

            “I have noticed that Pastor Yemi and Deaconess Tayo like the same songs and often talk about the same things,” Banke said. “His message makes more sense to me now. And I want to act like Jesus, so I’ll try to spend more time with him and less with my phone!”

Reference Text: 2 Corinthians 3:13-18

Image:

Worthy By His Power

Lola and her parents applauded as the founder of a Nigerian charity was honored by a global media network for her contributions to society.

            “Her family must be so proud,” Mom said with a smile.

            Dad nodded. “I know I would be!”

            “I want to be like her when I grow up,” Lola chimed in. “If I’m as worthy as she is, I could be head girl at school one day, not just class captain!” For a moment, Lola’s eyes sparkled at the thought, but then her shoulders slumped. “Who am I kidding? I’ll never be good enough for anything like that.”

            “Whoa, what’s all this?” Mom asked in surprise.  She listened closely as Dad explained Lola’s misadventures as class captain in school earlier that day.

            “See?” Lola sighed when Dad was done. “I knew I should have waited until recess to read Dami’s note, but she writes the funniest things, and I just couldn’t help myself.  What if that happens again next time I’m chosen to be class captain?”

            “Quite right,” Mom nodded. “Chances are you’ll do the same again next time.”

            “Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mom!”

            “However,” Mom continued with a laugh, “there’s someone who can help you do the right or worthy thing next time, and every other time after that.”

            “You and Dad won’t always be there to help me,” Lola began.

            “No, we won’t,” Mom agreed. “But Jesus is. He sent the Holy Spirit to help and guide us through life. When we follow His leading, the Holy Spirit connects us to Jesus, and enables us to abide in Him.

            “That’s right,” Dad put in. “In fact, Jesus said that without Him, we can do nothing; only by His power can we live the lives He’s called us to.”

            “So,” Lola said, “God doesn’t expect me to be worthy all by myself? And Jesus will empower me to live worthy of the great things I am called or chosen for?”

            “Now you’re getting it,” Mom smiled.  “The key is to abide in Him by His Spirit.”

            “Phew,” Lola exclaimed. “Thank God!”

Reference Text: John 15:3-5

Image Attribution:

Walking Worthy

Lola flung her backpack into the car and slammed the door behind her. With a snort, she folded her arms across her chest and scrunched her face into a furious scowl. 

Silently, Dad navigated out of the primary school parking lot and eased into traffic headed towards their home in the Ikoyi suburb of Lagos, Nigeria. “Rough day?” He asked finally, meeting Lola’s eyes through the rearview mirror.

 “It was horrible!” Lola exploded. “Mrs. Coker made me class captain, but then embarrassed me in front of the whole class by saying I wasn’t acting like one and that Ronke should take my place. I hate her and I’m never going back to school!”

“That does sound rough,” Dad agreed. “Why did she do that?”

“Well,” Lola hesitated. “All I did was read a note Dami passed me. It was really funny and we were laughing when Mrs. Coker came back to the class.”

“What were you supposed to be doing?” Dad asked.

“She gave us an assignment,” Lola replied. “But I was already done, and she didn’t even look at my work!”

“Hmm,” Dad said thoughtfully. “This reminds me of a Bible verse in Ephesians, where Paul encourages believers to walk worthy of the calling with which we are called.”

“What does that mean?” Lola asked.

“Paul wrote to believers in Ephesus, reminding them that God had called them to be His people and representatives in the world. He encouraged them to walk or live in a way that would honor God and the high calling.”

“Oh,” Lola said.

“Being called or chosen to be class captain is quite an honor,” Dad continued. “I’m sure Mrs. Coker picked you because she believed you would act in a way that would set an example to the rest of the class and show them why you were chosen.”

“But I didn’t,” Lola said quietly.

“Not today,” Dad said, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t do so tomorrow, or the day after.”

“I’ll have to go back to school for that to happen,” Lola grinned. “Then I’ll be the worthiest class captain ever!”

             Reference Text: Ephesians 4:1-6

Image:

https://faithful-in-christ.tumblr.com/post/130582353698 http:

Tobi and the New Kid

“There was a new kid in school today,” Tobi said to his mom. “His family just moved back to Nigeria from the United States.”

            “That’s nice,” Mom said. “Is this his first time in Africa?”

            Tobi shook his head. “He said he’d been to Kenya before, but never Nigeria.”

            “Hmm.” Mom replied. “Everything must seem so strange compared to what he’s used to.”

            “Yeah, he kept referring to football as soccer,” Tobi said. “I had to let him know that football in Africa is not the American type.”

            Mom laughed. “Well, I hope you were nice about it. Cultural differences can be very confusing.”

            Tobi frowned. “Mrs. Dada asked me to show him around during the break. I almost missed getting picked for a football team because of it. He thought everything was strange – even our desks. I hope I don’t get stuck with him tomorrow.”

            “That doesn’t sound like you,” Mom said, raising an eyebrow. “You usually like meeting new people. Is there something about this kid that bothers you?”

            Tobi shrugged. “He’s just so different. I don’t understand how he could have a Nigerian name like Sola, but not know anything about his home country.”

            “Tobi,” Mom said gently. “Have you forgotten when you took that summer exchange class in England?”
            “No..o” Tobi said hesitantly.

            “Remember how bad you felt because some people said you talked funny? Or how everything seemed so confusing?”

            “That was different!” Tobi protested. “I was a foreigner over there, and not everyone was nice about it.”

            “It’s no different than how you feel about Sola,” Mom said quietly. “Even though he’s a Nigerian native, he’s still like a foreigner here because he’s lived abroad all his life. When the Israelites moved into the promised land, God told them to be kind to the foreigners that lived among them because they had been foreigners in Egypt, and ought to know what that felt like. God loves foreigners, and he takes care of them. As God’s children, we should do the same.”

            Tobi hung his head. “You’re right, Mom. I was treating Sola like the Israelites were treated in Egypt. I hope Mrs. Dada pairs us up again tomorrow. I have a lot to show him.”

             Reference Text: Deuteronomy 10:17-19

Something New…

Dearest Wordzpreadians,

Over the past several months, I’ve taken a step back from regular blogging to consider the direction in which I want to take this site and my writing explorations in general. Starting today, I’ll be trying out a new series of story based devotionals for children of all ages, and might even sprinkle in a few new Adventures in Bilandia!! Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think!

Be blessed,

R

Bread that Satisfies

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

According to a certain poll, four of the top five New Year’s resolutions are weight loss, increased exercise, reduced food intake and general health. An abundance of quick fix diets offer short cut solutions. The more people eat, the less they want to. The founder of a popular weight loss program presents a unique perspective on this conundrum. She believes that overeating is an emotional problem which can only be solved emotionally.

After Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men, plus women and children, he slipped away by himself in order to prevent the crowd from forcing a kingship on him (John 6:15). The next day, the crowd went looking for him, prompting Jesus to state “you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.” (John 6:26)

When the people declared that they also wanted to perform God’s works, Jesus “told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.’” (John 6:29), to which they cunningly replied, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. Our ancestors ate manna [in] the wilderness; Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.” (John 6:30-31)

Noting their fixation on food, “Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:32-35) He then explained that anyone who ate the living bread (his flesh) would live forever (John 6:48-58). Hearing this, “many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.” (John 6:66)

The crowd was so focused on perishable food as a means to immediate satisfaction that they missed Jesus’ message of eternal fulfillment. Behind all dissatisfaction or ‘hunger’ is a void within us, which only God can fill. Jesus is the ultimate solution to every emotional problem we face.

MORE: Read Isaiah 55:1-3 for God’s invitation to receive food which truly satisfies.

NEXT: Think about the primary sources of discontent in your life. How do you attempt to satisfy them? What can you do to obtain the true fulfillment that Jesus offers?

Image Attribution: https://kelleylattaministries.org/tag/bread-that-is-blessed-broken-and-given-away-feeds-and-satisfies-the-hungry/