A Moose standing on a road

 

Encounter With The Moose Who Wouldn’t Leave 

About a year ago, as I was driving back from a visit to the country, I enjoyed the warmth in the air and the fresh greenness of the trees.

I was on a winding country road just wide enough for two vehicles.

As I wound my way past open fields and wooded patches, I came to the top of a hill.

Suddenly, I hit the brakes hard. My wheels skidded on the loose gravel.

There, in front of me, standing in the dead centre of the road was a moose.

The moose stared at me. I was grateful to have stopped so far back. It had no antlers, but, boy, was it big!

I assumed the moose would soon move on, but it didn’t.

At length, the moose turned, though it didn’t leave the road. It looked at the fence to the right of the road.

It took me a moment to notice movement on the other side of the barbed wire fence.

First I thought “coyote”, but that wasn’t right. Soon I realized it was a baby moose.

Gradually the mother moose wandered down the road ahead of me, keeping one eye on the young moose on the other side of the fence, and one eye on me.

I trailed her down the hill at a distance. She was still mostly on the road, and, being in a small car, I didn’t try to pass her. We always talk about the dangers of a mother bear with her cubs nearby. Would a mother moose be dangerously protective of her little one? I didn’t want to find out.

Once or twice, the young moose tried sticking his head through the barbed wire, but pulled back. It seemed he was stuck. I wished I could do something to help, but was pretty sure the mother wouldn’t be pleased.

At the bottom of the hill, the fence continued straight while the road curved away. The mother took a few steps off the road following the fence.

Was this my chance to pass?

I relaxed the brake enough to roll forward slowly, very slowly.

The mother moved back into the middle of the road. I was still stuck.

Then suddenly, movement caught my eye. The little moose climbed through the fence and hurried to join his mother on the road.

Quickly, I switched into reverse to give them some extra space.

When I stopped again, I watched intently. The young moose was so little beside his enormous mother!

They crossed the road happily.Moose - Mother followed by baby

At the other side of the road, there was another barbed wire fence.

The mother stepped over the fence without the slightest hesitation.

The little one wasn’t so sure.

As the mother walked back up the hill on the far side of the fence, the little one followed along my side of the fence.

With my window still open from earlier, I could hear the little one’s bleating as he passed me. I could nearly have mistaken the sound for a low bird’s chirp. He was so small, very much a baby. He wanted to be with his mother on the other side of the fence, but it was challenging to get through the fence.

As I drove away, I wasn’t worried about the little one. He had gotten through the first fence. Once he got up enough determination, he would get through the second one too.

That mother of his, she wasn’t going to leave him. She would continue to wait patiently for him to finally decide to climb through the fence just as she’d done with the first fence.

God Won’t Leave His Own

What a privilege it was for me to witness that scene. Yet it wasn’t an accident. Indeed, there is a lesson there for me to learn. As I drove home, the image burned in my mind.

I am like that little moose. God is like the mother moose.

Sometimes God leads me through obstacles, such as fences. Those fences can be taller than me and have sharp barbs on them. There may be no way around them, and they may seem impassable.

God, however, has a goal in mind. He steps across the barrier and says, “Come.”

Like the little moose, I might try to stick my head through a few times, but pull back. I might try to follow the fence to the left or right, but I won’t get anywhere.

Thankfully God waits patiently, like the mother moose, with a fierce protective love. A love that, though it could let me stay where I am, wants to lead me further to something more wonderful.

Surely that little moose felt intimidated by the fence. Surely his pleading with his mother included “Come back,” and “I can’t do this.”

At last, the little one wanted to get through desperately enough that he did it.

Thankfully God can do more than the mother. While the mother moose could do nothing more than wait and watch for her little one to cross the fence, God can, and will help us cross it.

Still, we have to want it enough.

Once the little one had made it past the first fence, the mother led him to another fence to cross. Yet throughout the process, she never left him.

God will never leave us, no matter what seemingly impassable obstacle He asks us to climb through. Beyond that, He will give us the courage we need to follow Him through it.

We see an example of this when God sent Joshua and the Israelites up to conquer the new land. They had to move forward against very intimidating enemies, but God was with them and helped. As He said to Joshua,

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)

Today, may I take courage and trust God as I follow where He leads me.  

Boy running with guitar

Last July, I posted 7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers. So many people enjoyed those songs that I decided to follow it up with this post.Girl with hat smiling

If you haven’t visited my first Christian Songs for Preschoolers post, I would encourage you to check it out here. In that post, I talked about the value of these songs and useful ways to sing them.

For now, I will suffice to say that these songs have been chosen because they are easy to sing (no need for a CD player or music major), and they teach valuable truths about God. In fact, singing these Christian songs not only teaches children these truths, but they provide me with much needed reminders too. Enjoy!

 

Please note: The sample videos I have included were chosen for the clarity of the song and actions. I am not associated with any of them and have not done extensive research into the groups who posted them. Also, while I tried to find videos similar to how I prefer to sing these songs, some actions and/or words may vary from the versions I have recommended for you.

1. Our God is an Awesome God

You may already know this song, as it is the chorus of a much longer song by the same name. It is essential that we remind ourselves that our God is truly an awesome God, especially now as I write this during a pandemic! This song could be sung several times in a row getting a little faster each time.

 

Our God is an awesome God,

He reigns from heaven above,

With wisdom, power, and love,

Our God is an awesome God.

Actions:

God – point up

Awesome – thumbs up

Reigns – wiggle fingers like rain coming down

Heaven – point up

Wisdom – point to mind

Power – show muscles

Love – hug self

2. Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You SeeLittle boy doing actions

With internet access so readily available, let’s start teaching our children, when they are young, the wisdom of being careful of what we expose ourselves to. I appreciate how this song reminds us that it is out of love for us that God asks us to be careful. He knows it is for our good. Depending on the age of your children, you can do simple actions by only pointing to the body part named, or you can point to the body part and then do the second action for the last part of the line.

 

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

For the Father up above is looking down in love,

So be careful little eyes what you see.

 

Other Verses:

  • Ears what you hear
  • Hands what you do
  • Feet where you go
  • Mouth what you say
  • Heart whom you trust
  • Mind what you think

Actions:

Eyes, ears, etc. – point to body part

See – hold hand over eyes as though looking far away

Hear – cup hands behind ears

Do – move hands around, perhaps pretend to build something

Go – walk in place

Say – cup hands around mouth, as though yelling

Trust – open hands flat in front of self, as though giving or receiving a gift

Think – tap chin, as though pondering something

3. God is so Good

A classic song, this one is so gentle and sweet to sing. This might be a good song for just before bed or some other slower part of the day.

 

God is so good,

God is so good,

God is so good,

He’s so good to me.

 

Other Verses:

God cares for me…

God loves me so…

God answers prayer…

I praise His name…

Actions:

God/He/His – point up

So good – move arms in large circle, starting at top and moving down

Me/I – point to self

Cares – hug self

Loves – cross arms over heart and rock side to side

Prayer – clasp hands in prayer

4. Ho-Ho-Ho-Hosanna

I once was in a choir that used this song as a warm-up during practices. Its repetitive rhythm makes it fun to sing, while its words make it a valuable reminder. Let us never forget the joy of what Jesus did for us!

 

Ho, ho, ho, hosanna,

Ha, ha, hallelujah,

He, He, He, He saved me,

I’ve got the joy of the Lord!

Actions:

Ho/hosanna – cup hands around mouth

Ha/hallelujah – put hands on tummy and lean back as though laughing

He/Lord – point up

Me – hug self

5. Jesus Loves Me

Chances are, you sang this song as a child. While it is a little more complicated than some of the others in this list, the truths it reminds us of are worth it. Also, don’t limit it to being a child’s song. I know I often need the reminders it offers.

 

Jesus loves me this I know,

For the Bible tells me so,

Little ones to Him belong,

They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me,

The Bible tells me so.

Actions:

Jesus – (for younger children) point up

          – (for older children) sign language for Jesus – touch middle finger from one hand to palm of other hand and vice versa 

Loves – hug self

Me – point to self

Know – point to brain

Bible – hold hands like book and open

Little ones –  pretend to pat young children on the head

Him/He – point up

Weak – slump and hang arms limply

Strong – show muscles

Yes – sign language for yes – make fist and move it up and down

6. I Say L (L-O-V-E)

This song will be better for children who are starting to grasp the concept that letters can be put together to form words. The actions are complicated to learn, but your more advanced preschoolers will enjoy the challenge. Also, this song has three sets of actions. You can choose to use one or all three depending on your children and goals. There are the full-body actions which are great for getting wiggles out. Then there are also the finger actions and the hand actions which can be done sitting. Some children will find the finger actions more challenging, if they have not yet developed strong fine motor muscles and hand-eye coordination.

 

I say L

I say L-O

L-O-V

L-O-V-E

Everybody needs God’s love,

Everybody needs God’s love,

Everybody needs God’s love,

Everybody needs God’s love.

Actions:

Rather than repeating the L-O-V-E actions after singing “Everybody needs God’s love,” I recommend having the children give themselves a hug. You can also hold “love” rather than making the “ch” sounds portrayed in the video.

This song has three sets of actions: full-body, hand, and finger

Full-body actions:

L – hold right arm up and left arm horizontal

O – connect hands above head, creating circle

V – extend both arms above head at angles

E – use one arm as top of E and the other arm as middle of E, then lift leg to create bottom of E

 

Hand actions: (using both hands)

L – with wrists touching, hold right hand straight up and left hand horizontal

O – with wrists touching, cup hands to make circle

V – with wrists touching, hold hands vertically forming a V

E – keep hands connected as they are for V, but turn horizontal. Curl fingers slightly for top and bottom of E and connect thumbs for middle of E

 

Finger actions: (using one hand only)

L – use pointer finger and thumb to make L

O – connect fingers and thumb to make circle

V – make peace sign

E – fully extend thumb, pointer finger and middle finger while tilting so that the thumb is on the bottom

7. Isn’t He Wonderful

Yet another well-loved classic, this catchy tune will stick in your head. Try singing it quiet or loud, while matching the size of your actions to the volume of your voice.

 

Isn’t He wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,

Isn’t Jesus my Lord wonderful.

Eyes have seen, ears have heard,

It’s recorded in God’s Word.

Isn’t Jesus my Lord wonderful.

Actions:

Note: The actions portrayed in the video are different from the ones I recommend below. 

He/Jesus my Lord – point up (or clap rhythm as in video)

Wonderful – move arms in large circle starting in middle

Eyes – point to eyes

Ears – point to ears

God’s Word – hold hands as book and open

I hope you enjoyed these additional Christian songs for preschoolers!

He Suffered for Me written on shadow of a cross

 

It’s the week of Easter. The time to celebrate Jesus’ gruesome death on the cross for us, and His resurrection back to life.

It’s a time to slow down and reflect. A time to remember the very core of our Christian faith. The very event without which all of Christianity would be a waste of time.

Yet sometimes I find myself so caught up with the busyness of life that I struggle to reconnect with the significance of Easter. I’ve heard this story time and time again since childhood. It is incredibly easy to skim by it and hurry on to some more recent excitement.

Jesus died for me – great! I know that, now what?

Not so fast.

Last November, I was reminded just how much Jesus endured for my sake, while watching the TV show Survivor. I couldn’t help but see the comparison. While what the contestants endured doesn’t come close to the pain Jesus felt, it gave me a visual that renewed my awe of Jesus’ sacrifice for me.

Survivor: Season 37, Episode 10

It was a hot sunny day. The contestants prepared for a competition to win immunity, that is, a guarantee that they would not be voted off the show that evening.

The competition was explained. Each contestant would stand on a tiny perch attached to a pole, and hold handles above their shoulders – to me this resembled the shape of the cross. Anyone who let go was eliminated from the competition.

However, before the competition began, the host tempted the contestants to opt out of the competition in exchange for food – incredibly tempting to those who’ve been surviving on rice and whatever else they can scrounge up.

Praise the Lord that He didn’t give in to the temptation to say no to the suffering of the cross! He could so easily have refused to go, but, for my sake, He endured it.

Links to scenes from the competition on Youtube:

4th Individual Immunity Challenge Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIZUlkuWqoM

4th Individual Immunity Challenge Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM6sFV_4jGI

Please note, I do not support everything portrayed in this reality TV show. Viewer discretion recommended.

A few of the contestants took the food offered, the rest got into position.

The first contestant only held on for a few minutes. Others for half an hour, their faces twisting in discomfort. They fought to endure long enough to win the prize.

On and on the competition went. Some contestants constantly shifted, hoping to relieve the pain. Others stood stock still, focusing on staying up. Some groaned and moaned. One or two, upon letting go, sank to the ground for a time before standing up to move to the side where they watched the others compete.

Finally, only two remained. One tried to convince the other to let him win, but neither would give up, despite being so utterly exhausted. At last, after 5 and a half hours of painful enduring, only one man was left standing. He was named the victor and received the reward.

Watching this competition, my mind recalled Jesus’ suffering. Not only did He endure a similar position for hours, but He was whipped nearly to death first. He was stripped naked and openly mocked. He was spat on and had a crown of thorns pressed into his skull. On top of all that, He endured the wrath due me for my sins.

He endured all that for me.

He could so easily have given up!

When Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and one of Jesus’ disciples tried to fight back, Jesus said:

“Put your sword back in its place… Do you think I cannot call on My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”  Mat. 26:52-54 NIV

Jesus chose to endure suffering beyond what I can comprehend. Why? Because He loves me.

What a wonderful Saviour we serve.

Happy Easter – He is risen indeed!