Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lead With Your Ears

We're only two weeks into summer vacation, and already we've had some memorable adventures!

Our first activity we planned was a peaceful walk through the trails bordering our church's property. My son was most excited about this! To begin with, the grass had not been mowed for quite some time, and we have been experiencing quite a bit of rain. We plowed on, no matter how itchy the grass was to our flip-flop clad feet.

After walking for a few moments, Ariel tripped over a stick in the path. She was carrying Zech piggy-back. Upon looking down, she noticed the ground was covered in poison ivy. Panic followed.



The trip was cut short, as we all headed home for some much needed showers. We laughed and cried the whole way. God looked on us with favor. In our rush, we were able to clean all the plant oils off, and none of us suffered from an allergic reaction. We have all affectionately named the trip, Poison Ivy Run.

I won't go into the details of our other peril fraught adventures. You get the idea. It's been fun, and looking back, I wouldn't change it for an instant. Well, maybe I would change the time I got nailed with a Frisbee to the head, and couldn't turn my neck for four days. I might take that back. But everything else has been undeniably unique and memorable.

Yesterday we went on a hunt for anger. Not a hunt to discover our dark sides; a hunt to understand and cope with anger. A couple months ago I posted about The Hunt for Easter that our church puts together. I had the idea then to duplicate this event with my children. We did. And it was so much fun.

I knew anger would be an appropriate topic to cover. It has felt a little like World War III in my home these days. Emotions have been flying and words followed by actions have been played out to my dissatisfaction. We needed a lesson from the Bible.

To go about our hunt, we had 5 different location clues around town. At each location we had some Bible trivia questions. The kids were required to bring Bibles and we looked up numerous references. There were two examples about angry individuals, and one about God. We then had a reflection question. Once the reflection question was answered, they were given a puzzle piece to our map for the treasure. It was so much fun and took us 3 hours to complete!

Our first clue read:
If you love Jesus you take this with you wherever you go. Jesus wants us to be this to others that don't know Him. You are this on your own but He really loves it when at least two or three are this together. But you are really looking for a symbol of this.

ANSWER: Church


First Stop Trivia:
1) Why was Cain angry with Abel?
(Genesis 4:1-16)

2) Why was Esau angry with Jacob?
(Genesis 27:34, 41)

3) Why was God angry with the Israelites at Mount Sinai?
(Exodus 32:9-14)

Reflection: What feelings or thoughts motivated their anger?

Our second clue read:
Stefanie misses Colorado. :'( If you wanted to help her feel better you might take her here on a date. It is not quite as high as Pikes Peak but does have being burned in common with the Rockies. You won't be able to see the evidence of it now though because it is all green again.

ANSWER: Burnett's Mound


Second Stop Trivia:
1) Why was Balaam angry with his donkey?
(Numbers 22:27-29)

2) Why was Saul angry with Jonathan?
(1 Samuel 20: 30-31)

3) Why was God angry with Solomon?
(1 Kings 11:1-10)


Reflection: What "idols" or other "gods" do we serve?

Our third clue read:
This place could be considered an activity for the insane. "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" There is a lot of motion going on here but you never really get anywhere.

ANSWER: Carousel


Third Stop Trivia:
1) Why was Naaman angry with Elisha?
(2 Kings 5:11)

2) Why was Haman angry with Mordecai?
(Esther 3:5-6)

3) Why was God angry with Moses?
(Exodus 4:13-14)

Reflection: Why do we get angry?
1. Treated unfairly.
2. Blamed for something that isn't my fault.
3. Not treated with proper respect.
4. They didn’t do what I wanted them to do.
5. They aren't on my side.
6. That person dared to tell me I was wrong.


Our fourth clue read:
Have you ever played King of the Mountain? Whoever is at the top is the king until someone knocks him off. This place is not quite a mountain and no one will literally knock the "king" off but he cannot stay there forever. Eight years at a time and then the next "king" gets rule of the mountain.

ANSWER: Governor's Mansion


Fourth Stop Trivia:
1) Why was Nebuchadnezzar angry?
(Daniel 3:16-33)

2) Why was Jonah angry with God?
(Jonah 4:5-11)

3) Why was Jesus angry at the temple?
(John 2: 13-17)

Reflection: Why do we not have a right to respond in anger to every perceived sin?
1. My perception may be wrong.
2. My anger may be only for the purpose of punishing the person.
3. I may be equating personal embarrassment or inconvenience with sin.


Our fifth clue read:
All of us want to be perfect but really we all make mistakes and are like so many pieces of broken glass. But not to worry because God takes all of our pieces and makes those beautiful like a kaleidoscope. If you come here you don't have to worry about crossing all your "teas". But I wouldn't start throwing the s_ones into the water.

ANSWER: Ward Meade Park


Fifth Stop Trivia:
1) Why was Herod angry with the wise men?
(Matthew 2:16)

2) Why was the older brother angry with his father in the story of the prodigal son?
(Luke 15:28-32)

3) Why was Jesus angry with the Pharisees?
(Matthew 23)


Reflection: Biblical Instructions Concerning Anger
1. We are to be angry, but without sin. (Ecclesiastes 5:6, Ephesians 4:26, Ephesians 4:31).
2. We are to look at the effects and consequences of our anger (Matthew 5:22, James 1:20).
3. We are to be slow to anger (Proverbs 14:29; James. 1:19).
4. How we are to deal with other people’s anger (Proverbs 15:1, 19:19).
5. We are to avoid stirring up anger in others (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21)


We were all amazed to find that almost every single example we read about, the anger always seemed to stem from pride. All these people got puffed up and thought they deserved better treatment, or more respect than they were given. Only God had the right to demand the respect, and only God deserved it.

"Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, and then follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life." James 1:19-21

We chose to focus on the beginning of this verse. Lead with your ears, then follow up with your tongue. Too many times our tongues do the talking before we've thought or even heard what the other person had to say. If we would do more leading with our ears, we might hear the exasperation, disappointment, or hurt in their voices.

Lead with your ears! Listen to those around you. Hear their thoughts and feelings, and LISTEN. We don't want to be a snake, spilling our venom, leading with our tongues or our anger.

Our final part of the hunt was putting together the pieces of the treasure map that we had collected along the way. This led to our tangible treasure, although I do believe the real treasure lied within all of our discussion and hunting through scriptures.



This treasure specifically led to the Potwin Drug Store, on the property of Ward Meade Park. This is a place where you can get specialty drinks and ice cream. Once we ordered our drinks, we gathered round to answer our final question. "How can we respond in love, not anger?"

"All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God!
Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across
a lifetime there is only love."
Psalm 30:4-5




I think the next Bible hunt we go on might be to study LOVE.

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