I was teaching on "How to use the Word of God to resist the spirit of fear.” This was a sermon I borrowed from Pastor Willie George. He used apples to represent fearful thoughts like, "Somebody is outside your window" and a machete to represent the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Willie would throw apples (fearful thoughts) in the air and quote "Greater is He that is in me," and then slice the apple with the machete. It was a great sermon. The 5th and 6th grade boys loved it!

I had taught this lesson many times with great success; however, on this day with 85 kids crammed in a hot kitchen, I missed the apple. The kids thought it was hilarious, but I was embarrassed.

I tossed the apple in the air again, swung the machete and missed a second time. The kids are now rolling on the floor laughing at my expense.

I was determined to be successful as I threw the apple in the air a third time. I swung the machete with great intensity and I sliced that apple right through the middle. Then everything went to slow motion as the machete went flying out of my hand.

My heart skipped a few beats as the point of the machete hit the carpet, bounced back up and did a flip. I was powerless to stop it as I watched the handle of the machete land in the lap of a wide-eyed nine-year-old boy who was sitting in the front row on the floor. The brave lad looked up at me and said, "I'm not afraid! I'm not afraid!"  He thought it was part of the lesson.

What did I learn from that experience? If you hit the apple the first time, life is a lot less stressful.

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