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

#28- Final Pay

A Character story about purity.

"Wow! Look at it rain!" Julie sighed as she and Jason peered through the glass on the school door. "We'll be soaked walking home in this." Suddenly the boom of thunder shook the glass. "O-on second thought, we'd better stay put. I'm not walking out there when there's lightning."
"You're right," Jason agreed. "It wouldn't be safe. So how're we going to get home?"
"I don't know. And tonight we're going to the hospital. I sure hope nothing spoils our plans."
"Hey, look. Isn't that our car?" Jason asked, squinting through the downpour. "It is! Dad took off early to come and get us. Come on!" The twins grabbed their book bags and dashed through the rain to the car.
"Boy, are you a welcome sight!" Julie panted, wiping her glasses on her dress.
"If you had waited, I would have come up there with the umbrella. I didn't want you two to walk home in this. You'd be too chilled to see your new brother after supper. And speaking of supper, how would you like to go out for pizza?"
"Oh boy!" they both cheered just as another crack of thunder sounded.
Mr. Jensen backed the car out and headed down the rain-soaked road. "Did you see mother today?" Julie asked.
"No, not yet. But I did talk with her just before I came to get you. Both are doing great. Looks like they'll be able to come home by Sunday."
"If we couldn't go there tonight, I don't think I could wait two whole days," Julie grinned. "Have you decided on a name yet?"
"Yup. Guess what we chose."
"Well, it has to start with a 'J' so how about Jamie?" Jason suggested.
"I like Jeffery," Julie added.
"Those are good names but we decided on a Bible name like yours. So we picked an Old Testament hero who said, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.'"
"Joshua!" the twins said together.
"Right. And we liked Michael as the middle name."
"That's a nice name," Julie added. "I had lots of girl's names picked, but I didn't even think of a boy's. Joshua Michael Jensen. Yeah, I like it."
"It gets my vote too," Jason agreed.
As they neared the restaurant, the rain was subsiding and only distant lightning flashed against the dark clouds.
"Did you two turn in your history reports that you were working on last night?" Mr. Jensen asked.
"Yeah," Julie said, "and I think we'll get a good grade. They were longer than most of the others."
"God doesn't compare us to others. He wants us to do our best, no matter how others do."
"Well," Jason said, "I know I did my best, but I don't know if I'll get as good a grade as one of the guys in our class. I won't call any names, but, Dad, he was bragging to the other guys that he found his brother's report from two years ago and just recopied it as his own work. His brother was real smart and got an A on it, so this guy said he's cashing in on his brother's brains and the teacher will never know. It just doesn't seem right that we work hard to do our own work, but he might get a better grade by cheating."
"Yes, that's true," Mr. Jensen agreed. "Say, Jason, that reminds me of an article I was reading recently in Reader's Digest on lightning. I was thinking about it on the way to get you. Let's see, did you know there are 100 lightning bolts every second on earth? That's 8 million a day!"
"Really?!"
"Yup, and it said that lightning can be anywhere from 200 feet to 20 miles long! And just think: it takes 30,000 volts of electricity just to jump one centimeter (or 2.5 inches). So a bolt of lightning could have 125 million volts of electricity and still have enough power to heat the air around it to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (or 27,760 degrees Celsius), five times the temperature on the surface of the sun!"
"Wow!" Jason responded in amazement.
"Pretty hot, eh? When the air is heated so fast, it expands quickly and bangs into the cooler air, thus making thunder."
"So that's what makes thunder," Jason said. "But then how come some lightning doesn't have any thunder, like those flashes over there?"
"All lightning has thunder, but the light can travel much farther than the sound. In fact, thunder can rarely be heard beyond ten miles. Some lightning is too far away to be heard but not too far to be seen. But, remember, for every flash of lightning, there is always a boom of thunder."
"Well, here we are," Julie said, reaching for the door latch.
Mr. Jensen turned off the car. "Before we go in, I want to share one more thing about your comment, Jason, about the reports. God's ways are as sure as thunder after the lightning. When we obey Him, we will be blessed by God, but not always immediately. In Psalm 73, the author was grumbling because people who did wrong seemed to prosper while he was doing right and suffering. He said that as he thought about this, he almost gave up. For a while he could see only the immediate results, and it looked like evil paid off, like lightning that seems to have no thunder. But then he saw their end- the result of living in disobedience to the Lord. In our example, he saw that lightning has thunder, even when it is not heard. From this he knew that, in the long run, it always pays to obey what God says is right."
"Yeah, I guess that's true," Jason answered. "If this guy keeps that kind of thing up, he won't know enough on the tests and might even fail."
"Yes, or when he's out of school and has to know certain things for a job, he won't be prepared. And most of all, he will miss out on God's blessings. It will always pay to do right, kids."
"Speaking of paying," Julie added, "how about paying for a pizza. I'm starved!"
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PUZZLE: Thunder travels at 1000 feet or 1/5 mile every second while lightning is almost immediate. If thunder is heard ten seconds after lightning, how far away was the lightning?