Aug. 12, 2013 Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from you heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Last week, I took two grandkids to Vacation Bible School (VBS). Waylan, Ellie and I attended the VBS put on by the churches I served in my first appointment. Together, we learned the songs and motions, experienced the nightly Bible story, made crafts, ate snacks (blueberry cream cheese spread on a bagel with real blueberries on top is great!), played games and watched the Chadder the Chipmunk video, who manages to get into loads of trouble. Since I am not currently serving a church, the experience was quite different! I could show up, participate and enjoy! No making sure everything was organized, the necessary snack items were present, there were no lost kids and that everyone was having a great time. We simply walked in at 5:29 to registration. One night, we arrived a couple minutes late. Pastor Carol wanted to know if I regularly show up for church late. For the last 14 years, either our niece and nephews or our older grandchildren have stayed with us during VBS week. We usually go camping and make it an action-packed week. As I dropped Waylan and Ellie off at home one night, they asked if they could stay overnight with me the following night. The next night we slumber-partied and ate breakfast with Grandpa-Great and Grandma-Great. Every following night, Ellie asked if she could stay with me again. We did have supper with the great-grandparents a couple nights before VBS. And the three of us had an ice cream treat my last night. For Tuesday night, Pastor Carol asked if I would be Queen Ester. While I lack Queen Ester’s beauty, I was happy to help. When I came to the story time dressed as Queen Ester, Ellie said, “That’s Dianne!” The next day while buzzing through the store, a girl from VBS came up and asked if I was going to be Queen Ester again. She and her siblings couldn’t wait for another night of VBS. Is VBS beneficial? I think it is a great and fun way for the kids to learn Bible stories and their points. It’s not a bad venue for older kids and adults to remember these same things. The week was surreal as I watched some kids who participated in VBS while I was serving these churches help as leaders and helpers. Ten years ago, these kids were jumping up and down to the songs, tearing through the church yard during games and the ones I had to quiet down. I am ashamed to admit I didn’t recognize all of them. Whether you were a crew leader, putting on tattoos or helping with the snacks, you made me proud. Apparently VBS was a great enough experience that you came back and make it a neat experience for my grandkids. I think this is super cool. Thursday night was my last night as I had another commitment Friday night. Waylan and Ellie’s Mom took them on Friday, with one of their friends. The friend had such a good time he wants to go next year for the whole week. As we were pulling away from church on Thursday night, I asked Waylan what his favorite part of VBS was. His answer: “Everything.” This is the only thing I needed to hear to know the time and effort was more than worth it. These are the lessons we can all learn from VBS. Lord God, thank you for reminding me of several wonderful Bible stories at VBS last week. I pray for all the kids who came. Create in their hearts a desire to learn more about you. Thank you for the people who helped at VBS. I pray their desire to know you is reaffirmed. For all kids who attended a VBS and for those people who helped at VBS, I pray that through this experience, we once again have learned important lessons about you and your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen. Blessings – Dianne If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who might also enjoy it.