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.

Continue Reading...

– posted 12.04.2009

#21- MYSTERY AT SANDY BEACH (I)

A Character story about honestly.

The twins were up early Saturday morning anxious to get things ready for camp. Everything was at the front door by the time breakfast was served.

"Oh boy! Buckwheat Pancakes!" Jason shouted. "My favorite!"

"I knew you'd like them," Mrs. Jensen grinned. "You'll need a good breakfast before such a busy day."

"Thanks a lot," they both said, piling three on each plate and smothering them with syrup.

"We have another surprise for you as well," Mr. Jensen announced. "Mother, do you want to get them. I'll flip the pancakes."

Mrs. Jensen left and in a few minutes returned with two small packages. "Since your birthdays will come while you are at camp, we wanted to give you your presents before you go. We can have the cake when you get back." She handed each of them a brightly wrapped package with a pretty bow on top. "Jason, you open yours first."

Jason tore off the wrapping paper and opened the box. "Wow! A Swiss knife! And with ..one..two..three..four..five..six blades! Just what I wanted! This will be great for camp. Thanks a lot Mom and Dad." He hugged each one and then sat down to devour a few more pancakes.

Now Julie peeled the tape from her wrapping and open a long thin box. "Oh Mom, Dad, it's the necklace I've been wanting so much! It's just perfect! How did you know?"

"Maybe it was the seventy-five times you mentioned it," Mr. Jensen teased.

Julie held the gold chain in her hand fingering the gold heart dangling below. On the back were ingraved her initials- J.J. "Oh, I just have to wear it tomorrow for the morning service at camp."

"You might lose it if you take it to camp," Mrs. Jensen warned. "Don't you think you should wait to wear it when you get back?"

"Oh please, Mom? I want so much to show it to the other girls. After the service in the morning I'll put it right into the box for the rest of the week. Please?"

"Well, I guess it will be OK. What do you think, Dear?" Mrs. Jensen asked her husband.

"I'm sure she'll take good care of it. Well, we'd better get your things in the car and be off. But before we do, let's pray for God's protection, for a good time, and for the salvation of some of the campers." Each of the family members had a short prayer. Julie especially prayed for Karen to be saved and to stay out of trouble.

When they arrived at the church, Mr. Jensen helped to pack the bus while Julie and Jason were meeting their friends. "Wow," remarked Amanda. "Where did you get that necklace, Julie?"

"From my parents for my birthday. It was the one thing I really wanted. Do you like it?"

"It's neat. I wish I had a necklace like that." The other girls admired it as well making Julie feel even more special.

A short time later Karen arrived. "Hi, Julie. I hope I'm not late. My Dad overslept."

"Only a few minutes," Julie reassured her. "I'm sorry I didn't think to give you a ride."

Karen glanced down at Julie's necklace. "Oh," she said cooly. "Where did you get that necklace?"

"From my parents for my birthday," Julie beamed. "Do you like it?"

"Yah. It's nice," Karen responded and turned away.

Soon everyone was on the bus headed for Sandy Beach Bible Camp. Since it was a two hour trip to camp, the kids had lots of fun singing and talking together. In no time they were driving down the long gravel road into the campgrounds. Julie and Karen registered, then headed for girls' cabin three.

"Whew!" Karen remarked as they lugged their suitcases and sleeping bags down the path. "I was afraid we'd be in different cabins. "I'm nervous enough as it is."

"Yah, I'm glad, too. I asked for us to be together on the application."

The girls found two empty lower bunks next to each other. They spread their sleeping bags on the beds and pushed their suitcases underneath. As Julie stood again, a girl jumped down from the bunk above her.

"Hi," she greeted. "I'm Kate. Kate the great! Huh, huh. Just kidding."

"Nice to meet you," Julie responded, shaking hands. "This is my friend Karen. It's our first time at camp."

"Hi, Karen. I'm Kate. This is Michelle, a friend from my church." They greeted each other. "You'll both love it here. This is my third year." Kate turned back to Julie. "Wow! Is that ever a nice necklace! But how come you're wearing a necklace to camp?"

"My birthday is next week and my parents gave it to me just this morning. I brought it so I could wear it to the service in the morning."

Just then an older lady came in. "Hi, girls. I'm your counselor, Miss Patty." Each of the girls introduced herself and shook hands with Miss Patty. "We'll have time to get better acquainted later. Right now you will need to get your swimming suits on and report to the beach for a swimming test."

Everything was new and exciting that first day. After evening chapel everyone moseyed back to the cabins for devotions and bed. Julie held the gold necklace tightly in her hand as Miss Patty talked about God's gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. "God showed His love to us by giving," she said, "giving His only begotten Son. Now God wants you to receive His Son as your own Saviour." Julie once again prayed for Karen who was listening carefully. Julie looked down at the necklace. My parents loved me so much that they gave me just what I wanted for my birthday, she thought.

She thanked the Lord for the good parents He gave her. Then she gently laid the necklace back into the box.

After the lights were out, Julie fumbled for her shoe under the bed and then slipped the necklace box into it. Soon she was fast asleep.

Since there was one washroom for all five girls' cabins, Julie got up early to beat the rush. By the time she returned, everyone was up and getting ready for the Sunday church service. Julie put on her nicest dress and brushed her hair one final time. Then she sat on the bed, and picked up her shoe. The necklace wasn't there. She checked the other shoe. The necklace was gone!

(continued next time)