Having kids is a great experience. Yes, there are the diapers, the sleepless nights, and the whole getting puked on thing. But other than that, it’s great.
Some of my best memories as a dad are when our driveway has needed to get shoveled from the winter’s snow. I would get all my winter gear on, head out the door, grab the large scoop we had, and start working.
That’s not the great memory.
As a parent, my desire is to have my kids grow to love Jesus with all their hearts.
That’s a good desire. At least I think so.
There is just one little problem with that: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and they have me as their dad.
That may be my heart’s desire, but I am not exactly the perfect role model for that.
The truth is, if I want my kids to love Jesus with all their hearts, I need to show them what that looks like to the best of my ability.
Of course we know this. After all, this is the first chapter in the parenting handbook we get as soon as our little buns come out of the ovens.
Some of the stories in the Bible seem too unbelievable. It's these stories that cause many people, young and old, to question the truth of God's word.
The story of Jonah is one of those stories. Everything seems very plausible until he gets swallowed by a whale. That seems to be the moment where the doubts take over. It's interesting to note, though, that on two separate occasions, Jesus points to Jonah's story as evidence for His own (Matthew 12 and 16).
So if the mystery of Jesus' story is the one we want our kids to know and believe, maybe we need to understand the mystery of the story that He used to point to His truth.
With that in mind, we came up with the story of Junior Bear and the Banana-nites of Nanerville. This story actually happened by accident as we were working on another one and our youngest daughter kept shouting that we needed to use monkeys in it. I jokingly responded with, "What am I going to call them? The Banana-nites?" And in that moment, this story came to life.
For anyone who has read the book of Jonah, his journey is an interesting one, but it is the ending that leaves us without an answer as it seems to just end. But even in the open ending, there is a concrete lesson for all us to understand, and I believe that Junior Bear helps us discover it. We hope you enjoy this story, but we hope more that it will help you find more of God's heart for you and for those around you.
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Brad in 2 Sentences:
I love to write and teach people of all ages about Jesus. If I can tell a story and tell you about Jesus at the same time, even better!