Joseph And The Honey Bear

It takes work to pry information out of my kids. At five years old they don’t have a problem talking, but they do struggle to share what went on in their day when mom and dad aren’t around.

On Sundays I ask specific questions to see what they are learning at church. For whatever reason they struggle to give me specifics.

I often hear, “We learned the same thing.”



Somehow my kids have already learned that when it comes to church God is almost always the answer.

I am not satisfied with this nonsense. I know there is more going on in their little heads than what they are giving me.

So on Sunday night I started asking Reese questions about church. She was struggling to remember. Now, granted, most adults have a hard time recalling the point of the pastor’s sermon by Sunday night, so I’m not judging her. I feel it’s important to not just go to a church service, but to apply what you learn, to think about it, and do something about it.

As I was asking her questions her twin brother, Hayden, was in his room and he excitedly told his mom something he remembered.

I could hear them talking, but my focus was on Reese. I don’t know the extent of Hayden’s conversation with Monica. What I do know is after a few seconds Monica yells out, “Rob, do you know anything about Joseph and the honey bear?”



Hayden was a little put off that mom didn’t know about this important story.

He said, “You know! The Honey bear, silly.”

I started racking my brain. I struggle retaining all the stories from the Old Testament. I’m much better with the New. Joseph is from the book of Genesis, and he is a very important person in the story of God’s people.

Joseph is wrongly put in prison for rejecting the advances of the wife of the Captain of the Guard. While in prison all hope seems lost, but God provides.

So I’m laying in Reese’s bed trying to figure out about the honey bear.

I say, “Maybe they watched a cartoon in church and it was Veggie Taled out by adding cartoon characters.”

Hayden was adamant, there was no cartoon. There was a honey bear.

I finally said, “The only people I know in the prison were Pharaoh’s chef and cupbearer.”

It didn’t dawn on me what I just said.

Monica picked up on it instantly.


She said, “Hayden, did you learn about the cupbearer?”

Hayden: “Yes. The cupbearer.”

Mystery solved.

There wasn’t a honey bear. There was a cupbearer.

Have your kids ever messed up a famous story? What would help you remember what you are learning from church?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.


  1. Karen
    September 21, 2016

    What a sweet blog. I don’t have any comparable story such as this but my 14 year old likes leading the family Bible studies (been slacking on this the last couple of months) versus Mom or Dad leading. As far as remembering Sunday morning messages, I find it very helpful to take a picture of the slide(s) and reread them or share them with someone in a text. It helps to jog the memory cells.

    • September 22, 2016

      Karen, I love that Hannah is taking the lead! That’s awesome!!! I always feel encouraged when I see people take pics of the slides on Sundays. Keep up the great work.

      • Karen
        September 22, 2016

        Thank you for the kind words!

  2. Mim Shepherd
    September 21, 2016

    How about those shepherds who were watching their sheep when an angel appeared. The verses take on new meaning when you are a kid and your name is Shepherd.
    One of the things I enjoy about contemporary services is that the message is so often well connected to video, stories, and modern day events. Those are easy to remember and connect back to the message.

    • September 22, 2016

      Mim, thanks for sharing your perspective. I like hearing what you like about the contemporary church.

  3. JJ
    September 21, 2016

    I just asked the kids what they learned Sunday. Layla said, “about Jonah’s whale”. Ellie, “Yeah, Jonah & the whale “. Abram, “He swallowed him”. L, “so he could think”. A, “for 3 days.” L, “then he spit him out”. Ephram, “on the beach”. Me, “what did he do on the beach?” A, “He builded an artic “. L, “no Noah did that!”.
    This story could go on all day and we may cover all stories in the bible.

    • Amy
      September 21, 2016

      Joan I LOVE that between the 3 of them they were able to recall the lesson on Sunday. This gives me the encouragement to go on. So often I teach things and I am left wondering if they are hearing a word that I say. Thanks Joan

      • JJ
        September 21, 2016

        Amy, they always remember. Thank you for what you do.

    • September 22, 2016

      JJ, this is great!

  4. Lauren Cory
    September 21, 2016

    That’s so cute! The honey bear!

    • September 22, 2016

      Thanks Lauren. I thought it was cute as well.

  5. Dorothy Davidson
    September 25, 2016

    A visiting minister told us the story of one small boy who came home from Sunday School telling his puzzled mum that next week he was to take a cucumber. On further it turned out that what was required was a newcomer!


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