Login / Signup

Free Access

Not a subscriber?
Get a FREE 30-Day Subscription
(No credit card necessary)
Get Full Access Now!

SUBSCRIBE YOUR WAY...
Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly
Renew or Signup Now!

Dominic’s Tree

Children's Story
Dominic Owl lived in a big, old oak tree, right in the middle of the wood. He hadn't lived there very long, because he was only a baby owl. He loved that big old oak tree, and best all he loved to perch on its broadest branch and watch his mother as she skimmed silently over the tree tops searching the ground for Dominic's next meal.

Gradually Dominic began to grow. His feathers grew warm and soft and fluffy and he would often fluff them up and spread his wings as he perched on his branch, just to see what it felt like. The old tree felt very safe. Its branches were large and strong, and its leaves were so thick that no one could spot Dominic.

But one evening Dominic's mother said to him, "Come on, Dominic, tonight you must come hunting with me."

Dominic was horrified. He didn't want to leave his branch on the tree, he didn't want to fly, and he certainly didn't want to hunt. After all, the best part of his day was when his mother returned from a hunting expedition and shared her spoils with him. All of that would stop if Dominic had to hunt for himself. And he didn't want to leave his favourite tree.

So Dominic hunched up his shoulders, folded his wings tightly to his side and refused to budge. Dominic's mother gazed at him sombrely, blinked once and flew off. For the first time ever, she didn't return that night.

By the morning, Dominic was frantic with hunger. He called and called for his mother, and at last she reappeared with his breakfast. Dominic hungrily gobbled down the food. Then he said to his mother, "I hate you."

Dominic's mother opened her big eyes wide. "You must learn to hunt for yourself," she said. "And you must learn to leave this tree it isn't safe. There are plenty of other trees in the forest, and all of them would be glad to have you perch on their branches."

But Dominic ruffled his feathers in disgust and turned his back. What did his mother know! She was only trying to take him away from something he loved!

After that, Dominic's mother never came back during the night, but she would always appear sometime next day with a titbit or two for Dominic. Dominic often felt very hungry but he loved his tree. And his hatred for his mother who was so unkind to him, grew and grew.

Then one day Dominic began to shiver. The wind was growing very strong, and even with his warm feathers Dominic felt cold. Then he noticed that the tree had fewer leaves than usual. Dominic frowned. He hadn't noticed any leaves disappearing, but as he opened his eyes he began to notice that the leaves were no longer bright green but almost overnight had become a dark, orangey brown colour, and the wind was blowing them all off the tree.

Dominic was frightened. He didn't know what was happening and so he crept back along his branch to cuddle up close to the great trunk of the tree.

Just then his mother appeared. "Go away," shouted Dominic. "I hate you!"

But to his surprise, his mother took no notice of his words but flew up behind him and pushed him hard with her beak. Dominic fell off his perch, but as he was falling, falling, falling to the ground, he discovered his wings had opened and he began to float on the wind. After a while, he found he enjoyed the sensation, and before he knew what he was doing his sharp eyes had picked out some food on the ground. Without hesitation Dominic swooped down, clutched the food in his sharp talons and carried it off.

He felt rather proud of himself, but he was determined not to share his spoil with his hateful mother. He flew around and around, searching for his favourite tree, but the wind was howling now and it was beginning to rain. And Dominic's eyes were hurting from bright flashes of lightning and his ears were hurting from loud claps of thunder.

Just as he approached his tree there was a brilliant flash. The whole forest lit up, and Dominic's tree began to stagger and totter, then fell in a great crash. Dominic couldn't believe his eyes. He felt as though his whole world had shattered with the crash of the tree.

Then he noticed a silent movement just beside him. "Come on, Dominic," urged his mother gently. "I know of a wonderful tree where we'll both be safe and we'll both be welcome. Come with me."

Dominic gazed at his mother with wondering eyes. "You knew the tree wasn't really safe, didn't you?" asked Dominic.

His mother nodded. "I've been around the forest for a long time," she said.

"But I've been so nasty to you," admitted Dominic.

His mother looked at him with wide eyes, then blinked twice. "But I love you," she said.

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Bethany Peerbolte
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Christopher Keating
Ron Love
George Reed
Thomas Willadsen
Raising one’s hand to ask a question may be the most courageous thing a person can do. When someone asks a question in my classes I take note, because they are the students I want to cultivate into leaders. Asking a question is risky. To raise a hand, one must admit they do not know something and risk others interpreting that as a short coming. Opening oneself up to rejection is counter intuitive to many leaders. Many feel a leader should be strong, flawless, always ready with the answers and a plan B. Hebrews and Mark tells of a different kind of leader.

StoryShare

C. David Mckirachan

A Good Answer
by C. David McKirachan
Mark 10:35-45

There’s an old saying, “Watch what you pray for, you might get it.” A cautionary tale.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Job 38:1-7, 34-41
David Coffin
It is a dark, damp, raining Wednesday night in a certain pastor’s church study. Gathered with the pastor are four men in their late fifties. They have their Bibles open. Their eyelids are barely cracked open. A couple of the men were wise enough to stop by a gas station to get a cup of black coffee to stay awake. This is the latest effort in this small town congregation that worships less than ninety people.

CSSPlus

Arley K. Fadness
“...whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.” (v. 43b)

Good morning young folks,

What a blessing to see you this morning. I hope you are well and eager to hear a message from the Bible today. I love sharing and I know you love listening.

Today we will learn about how to be great. Yep, that’s what I said -- how to be great!

Have you ever been in a contest and you came out first? (children respond)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
One thing which perhaps separates humans from other animals, is our sense of justice. According to the documentaries I see on television, other animals seem to be driven by basic needs such as hunger, survival and sex. Their lives are centred around satisfying those needs, and even though some animals display considerable domestic organisation and affection for others of the species, they're still driven by their basic primitive urges.

We could also say that humans are driven by similar urges, but our lives are very

SermonStudio

James Evans
Stan Purdum
Carlos Wilton
Psalm 104 begins and ends with a unique call to praise. Instead of calling on others to praise the Lord, the psalmist instructs himself: "Bless the Lord, O my soul." This psalm and Psalm 103 are the only places in the Bible where this particular expression occurs. What are we to make of this unusual phrase?

Special Occasion