Sermons aren't the only way to learn something in church. Sometimes the Lord designs unexpected, and unforgettable, object lessons.
That's what happened on a recent Family Sunday, a monthly service that includes kids.
During announcements, we have an "award ceremony," where children's accomplishments, great and small, are honored. We have honored a boy who rescued a drowning child from a pool; a 12-year-old whose team won the state girls' softball championship; three little girls for being helpful big sisters to their new baby brother; and many others for good attitudes and kind behavior. The children are given a big hand, an award certificate, a badge of honor, and a present, usually a new toy.
One month, I conferred with our children's minister, and we chose Frances to receive a "Sweet Heart Award." Frances is a 10-year-old cherub who makes homemade cards for folks. Her ready smile gives no hint of how tough her young life has been.
Since Frances lives with her unemployed grandparents ...1