|Daniel 4 - In Balloons|
by Harvey Simpson
Before I start the routine, I assemble the monkey, axe, “werewolf mask”, and “some” of the palm tree – that is I have already inflated the leaves and twisted them together, but do not assemble them to the stalk of the palm tree. The three balloons that make up the trunk of the tree are not twisted together yet, but are inflated and waiting on the floor to be assembled in front of your audience. The bananas are also not attached, but nearby waiting to be put on the tree. (see below for photos)
The Lesson is from Daniel – Chapter Four
The lesson is, of course, that in all of our accomplishments, that we should give God the glory, for without His grace we are nothing.
Set up – Put all the balloons out of sight, except the balloon crown - I tell the story in the first person, as King Nebuchadnezzar. It goes like this.
Put the balloon crown on in front of the audience. I am a great king with a huge and wonderful kingdom. I have all the wealth that I would ever need. Not only am I great and my army large, but I am also VERRRY smart. You see instead of enslaving and killing people when I conquer a county, I take the best and brightest people, treat them well and make them a part of my royal court. I give them the best food, the best wine, the best lodgings and high status in my kingdom. In return all they have to do is provide me with the best advice that they have to help me make wise decisions for the glory of my kingdom. This is a strategy that has always worked well with me, why it even worked when I conquered the Jews and brought them to Babylon. By the way do you know who I am? That’s right, King Nebuchadnezzar. And I am a great king! All I have is from my own ingenuity and boldness in conquering other nations. Ain’t I great?! Pause and wait for responses from the kids and really ham it up about how great you are and that every thing that you have is from your own doing. – look really smug.
Any way I wanted to tell you all about a weird dream I had one night, and the person who helped explain it to me. As you tell the following, assemble the tree in front of the audience. The dream was about a giant tree, bigger than any tree I had ever seen! And this tree had big beautiful leaves on it. Put the green leaves on the tree and shape them into leaves on a palm tree. This tree had fruit on it that fed every nation put the bananas on the tree. This tree was so big and beautiful that every animal on the earth enjoyed its shade put the hugging monkey on the tree, by inserting the trunk of the tree through the loop made by the monkey’s arms.
I looked at that tree in my dream and I thought, “Wow! That is a great, big, beautiful tree.” But then something really strange happened. As I was looking on the beauty of the tree, a messenger from God came down and was told to strip the leaves, scatter the fruit, and cut the tree down but to leave a trunk. And that is what happened. Take off the crown, put on the halo and pick up the axe. Pretend to strip the leaves pull the fruit off, take the axe and swing it at the base of the tree a few times. Pull the tree out of the vase and throw it to the ground. So he did all this and then banded the trunk with iron and said, “Let the dew fall on the tree for seven times.”
Well this dream really puzzled me so I brought in all of my wise, advisers and asked them what they thought the dream meant. And do you know, not one of my royal advisors could tell me anything about the dream! Well, there was ONE guy who knew, do you know who that was? pause and wait for response – you will probably hear many children say, “Joseph, David, etc. – if they don’t get the right answer I say, “I’ll give you a hint, this story of my life is taken from the book of DAAANNNIELLLL. say the last part very slowly and with an exaggerated way of “talking down” - ala Mr. Rogers from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood - to the audience. Trust me this is very funny. The teachers/adults will laugh.
That’s right, it was Daniel! He told me what I my dream meant. At first he didn’t want to say anything, for apparently, it was not good news for me. Even when I assured him that I wouldn’t shoot the messenger, he told me that he hoped the dream was for my enemies, and not me. But he couldn’t lie and had to tell me the bad news. This is what he said, “King, I wish this was a dream about your enemies, but it is not…the big tree represents you and your kingdom. Your kingdom is so large that it covers the earth, just like the tree in your dream.”
Then he told me that because I wasn’t giving God any of the glory, that the angel in the dream represented God’s justice to me, and that the chopping down of the tree and the rain falling on the tree for seven times meant that I was going to lose my kingdom for seven years and become like a wild beast and live in the fields and like an animal, but after seven years when I acknowledge God, then, and only then, will I get my kingdom back! Daniel told me another strange thing. He said that I should repent of my sins and acknowledge his God, the God of all the heavens and if I did this then maybe the all the bad stuff in the dream wouldn’t happen.
Well you can imagine my surprise when my trusted advisor, Daniel, told me this. I was really torn. Daniel was a friend of mine, even though he was Hebrew, and he never lied to me before, but come on! I was going to LOSE my WHOLE kingdom for seven years?! I just couldn’t believe it! I thanked Daniel and actually forgot about the dream for about a year.
Put the balloon crown back on. One year later, while I was looking over my kingdom from my rooftop and admiring my kingdom, and my own glory a voice from heaven came to me and said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, your kingdom is now no longer yours, you will be like the beasts of the field for seven years. Your hair will grow long and you will have nails like a beast. All this will occur until you acknowledge the God of heaven and earth. As soon as I heard that voice I lost my mind and did become like a beast of the field. Drop down and put on the “werewolf” mask. Run around the stage area howling and snarling and pretending to eat the grass on the ground. This will get a great response from the children and adults in your audience.
I was in this condition for seven years. I don’t know who ran my kingdom while I was gone, but just like God told me, after seven years of looking like a beast with long hair, nails and eating grass and being rained on, I looked up into heaven and my mind came back to me. I acknowledged that God was the Most High. Open your Bible and read Daniel 4:34-35 to the audience. My counselors and my nobles found me, and just like God said, my kingdom was restored to me. AND I continued to praise the God of the Most High. God even increased the size and scope of my kingdom because I honored Him. Take off the werewolf mask and put the crown back on. Then read from your Bible, Daniel 4:37 and pray with the children. Then have time for questions.
|1 gold/yellow 260|
1 clear 260
|1 or 2 silver 260s|
1 or 2 gold 260s
|4 grey 260s – flat weaved together|
1 brown 260 – for the handle
|Use any multi-balloon monkey (I use the one from Don Caldwell’s Mad Hats and Wild Wearables Vol. I - DVD)|
|Again, any multi-balloon palm tree (I use the one from Don Caldwell’s Mad Hats and Wild Wearables Vol.
II - DVD)
1 vase or holder for the palm tree
|I use the “Werewolf Mask” from Don Caldwell’s Thing’s That Go Pop in the Night - DVD|
View Other Routines
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|Looking to Jesus||Ken Cooper|
|Gospel Balloon Routine with a Marionette||Ralph Dewey|
|Mom: The Beautiful Blossom||Greg Schuerman|
|Lessons using balloon sculptures||Glenn Tompkins|
|The Prodigal Son||Glenn Tompkins|
|Ideas for using balloons with wordless book colors||Glenn Tompkins|
|Why Knot?||Ralph Dewey|
|Cut and Restored Balloon Trick||Ralph Dewey|
|New Life||Greg Schuerman|
|Where is God?||Greg Schuerman|
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