Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Bible School

The preach announced that there would be a Bible School meeting this week, and those wonderful childhood memories came rushing back.

I loved Bible School when I was a kid. Two weeks of going to church every morning and having nice women teach us about God, help us do crafts and give us treats was my idea of a great time.

Some of my earliest memories are Bible School in the Ford. We went to the Christian Church, and while I don’t remember the preacher’s name, I remember the way Mr. Krotzer, the Sunday School Superintendent, used to rock up on his toes and down, again and again.

I remember my SS teacher was a pretty girl named Helen. I was a little confused at VBS when she wasn’t my teacher, but I had fun anyway because we did crafts. (Popsicle sticks had a big part of my life.) We learned stories that continued from day-to-day. And that was when all the kids from little to big played wonderful games.

VBS was where I first played Farmer in the Dell. And Red Rover. We didn’t watch a film or do things inside. We got out and ran! Almost anytime a large group of kids came together, there were games that involved everyone. Kids learned to take care of the little ones and get along with the big. 

I went to VBS nearly all the way through high school, and taught after that. Back then, parents encouraged–no, they insisted–their children go. Where else would they learn about how much God loved them?

Remember the songs we sang?

Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

The B-i-b-l-e, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God, the B-i-b-l-e.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, we are weak but He is strong.  

Remember felt boards and modeling clay? I taught two-year-olds one year, and they had so much fun together, I couldn’t get their attention. (Hey, they were two.) So I made some silly sock puppets and used a funny voice. They listened with rapt attention.

Oh, and the wonderful Bible truths we learned. The Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, Cane and Abel. How God changed Abram’s name. David and Goliath. The miracle of Jesus’s birth. Jesus when He was twelve and being left at the temple. Jesus and his disciples. Jesus’s miracles–Turning water to wine. Walking on water. Calming the storm. Dying on a cross and rising on the third day.

One of the things I remember most about VBS was the way the women who taught it enjoyed what they were doing. Their love for God was obvious, and they shared that love with the kids they were teaching.

Knowing God and knowing about God is so very sweet. If you have a child in your life and possibly can, find a VBS for them to attend. You’ll both be blessed for it.

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God’s Grace

#4 shared this with me, so I’m passing it on. Thanks, Sister of mine!

God’s Grace

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”


“Just some old birds,” came the reply.


“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.


“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”


“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh?? !!! Why, you do want them birds, mister.

They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”


“How much?” the pastor asked again.


The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”


“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you are done with them?”

Jesus asked. “Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

“How much? He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”


Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.