Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#20- Stick to it!

A Character story about determination.

The rest of the school year seemed to rush by. Karen had attended Sunday school with Julie several times, though sometimes she made excuses for missing. Julie was still praying for her and was especially glad that Karen agreed to go to summer Bible camp with her.

"Well, what are you two planning for today?" Mr. Jensen asked the twins one Friday morning in early summer.

"Packing for camp!" Jason responded.

"Oh, yes. I almost forgot. I have to get you to the church by ten in the morning tomorrow. Oh, and that reminds me, Jason, you will need to get the lawn mowed as soon as the packing is done. It can't wait until you get home."

"Right, Dad. Packing shouldn't take long."

"Good. And Julie, I wonder if you could do a load of wash for your mother today. She needs to take some time each day to sit down and put her feet up. that would be a big help."

"I'll be glad to, Daddy. It's such a pretty day. I can hang the clothes on the line."

"Great. Thanks to both of you for your help."

"Daddy," Julie said hesitantly, "I'm really nervous about having Karen at camp. I know she's trying to do right but she still isn't a Christian. What if she steals something or lies, like she did at school? I'll feel like it's partly my fault because I invited her."

"Sissy, instead of thinking what can go wrong, why don't you pray that Karen will be saved and then the Lord will change her ways."

"I am, but what if-"

"Oh," Mr. Jensen said, glancing at his watch, "I'd better get going. I'll talk with you some more about this tonight, Sissy. Bye."

The day went by quickly and in no time Mr. Jensen strolled into the kitchen after work.

"Oh, good," Jason shouted. "Dad's home. Can we eat fast? Tom is waiting for me to play baseball. I told him I'd be out in 15 minutes."

"The meal is ready," Mrs. Jensen remarked, "but I hate to have us get indigestion over a ball game."

The kids washed their hands and sat down. After thanking the Lord for the food, Mr. Jensen asked, "How did the packing go today?"

"Great," Julie said with a smile. "I got it all done by ten and had the wash on the line by eleven."

"Good for you, Sissy. Uh, Jason, I noticed that you only got the front lawn mowed."

"Yah, Dad, I was going to tell you about that. It . . . it took a little longer packing than I thought and I didn't get started on the lawn until after four."

"After four?" Mr. Jensen responded in surprise. "What took so long?"

"I saw him reading comic books when I-"

"Julie," Mrs. Jensen interrupted, "let Jason do his own talking."

"Well," Jason stammered, "I-I got started and then I found some stuff I had lost and I started playing with that and . . . well . . ."

Mr. Jensen nodded his head and put down his fork. "Say, have you two ever seen a barnacle?" he asked.

Julie looked puzzled. "A barnacle? What is it?"

"It's a salt water hitchhiker about a half inch long. This little creature has a super glue called anthropodin. He glues himself to something moving like a whale, a turtle shell, or a ship and he gets a free ride while gathering food."

"Hey, that's neat," Jason replied, glad to change the subject. "How does he get off?"

"He doesn't. He is stuck to one spot for life. He's quite a nuisance to ships, you know. His glue will hold through wax, tar, paint, almost anything. When a lot of barnacles stick to the side of a ship, they make the side rough and this means the ship uses more fuel. So sailors must scrape the sides with shovels and rakes to get rid of the barnacles. Yup, these barnacles really stick to the job!"

Julie started smiling. "I know why you told us that. Because you want Jason to be more like a barnacle by sticking to his jobs without getting sidetracked."

Jason looked down. "Yah, I know. I-I'll try to do better."

"Starting tonight, son," Mr. Jensen replied. "You will have to mow the back lawn instead of playing ball."

"Yes, Sir," Jason answered sadly.

Mr. Jensen turned to Julie. "The lesson of the barnacle is for you too," he said. "This morning you were worried about what might happen at camp. I think you forgot a 'barnacle promise' from the Lord."

"A 'barnacle promise'?" Julie questioned.

"Yes. In Hebrews 13:5 Jesus said, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' In other words, when you gave your life to Jesus, He committed Himself to you for good, as a barnacle does. Since He is big enough to handle any problem, and He loves you and will give you only what is best, you can't lose. So just go to camp, enjoy yourself, help Karen enjoy herself, keep praying, and leave the results to Him."

Julie grinned. "You're right, Daddy. I was forgetting. I'm going to pray that I won't forget He's with me. Oh, I just thought of another 'barnacle promise': He's a 'friend that sticks closer than a brother'!"