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

#54- Safe and Secure

A Character story about security.

"Well, what did you kids learn in school today?" Mr. Jensen asked as they began supper.
"Oh, it wazh neat," Jason mumbled with his mouth full. He swallowed quickly and continued. "Jessica showed us some pictures that her aunt sent from San Francisco. She took them right after the big earthquake a while ago. Man, you should have seen-"
"Yeah," Julie interrupted, "it was terrible. This whole-"
"Hey, I was telling this first. You wait your turn."
"Sorry," Julie apologized as she picked up her milk.
"One picture showed this whole long stretch of road just fell right onto the road below it," Jason continued enthusiastically.
"And you could see some of the flattened cars underneath," Julie added, choking on her milk to get a word in. "And this apartment building was so damaged that they wouldn't even let people go back inside to get their things." Julie set her glass down and began to gesture. "They just got a bulldozer and . . . "
"Watch it!" Mrs. Jensen yelled, but it was too late. Julie's milk splashed across the plastic table cloth and dribbled into Jason's lap. Everyone jumped up and began to clean up the mess without a word while Joshua banged the top of his highchair gleefully. Soon his bowl of supper crashed to the floor, narrowly missing Jason.
"Hey," Jason remarked. "I'm beginning to feel like the target of a food fight."
When everyone finally returned to the table, Julie said, "I'm sorry. I-I guess I was in too big a hurry and set the glass on my knife."
"That's all right," Mr. Jensen assured her. "It happens to all of us. Just try to be more careful, huh?"
"Now I forgot what I was telling you," Jason sighed.
"We were talking about the earthquake pictures you saw at school today," Mrs. Jensen reminded them, helping Joshua get a bite of supper from a fresh jar of baby food.
"I think we just had one of our own," Jason quipped.
Mr. Jensen chuckled. "Did you learn how the scientists measure earthquakes?"
"The teacher said something about it," Julie remarked, "but I didn't understand much of it."
"Don't be afraid to ask questions," Mr. Jensen encouraged. "I'm sure your teachers want you to understand but, if you don't ask, they won't know you need help. Anyway, a very sensitive instrument called a seismograph is mounted underground. Any movement of the earth is picked up by this instrument and drawn by a pen on a continually rotating drum. The strength is measured on a Richter scale."
"Oh, yeah. I remember that," Jason announced. "This quake was 6.9, wasn't it?"
"That's right. Some quakes have measured up to 8.9. To understand how large that is, remember that the increase of one number on the Richter scale means the quake is 31.6 times stronger. So to increase from 6.9 to 8.9 is 31.6 times 31.6 or about a thousand times larger!"
"Wow!" the twins said in chorus. "Did that ever happen?"
"Well, let's see." Mr. Jensen retrieved the Almanac and looked up earthquakes in the index. "Two quakes that large were recorded in Ecuador in 1906, and in Japan in 1933. But probably the most destructive quake was in China in 1556 where 830,000 people died."
"How terrible!" Julie shivered at the thought. "That must have been right in the middle of a big city. I'm just glad there aren't very many earthquakes, aren't you Jason?"
"Yeah, especially around here."
"Well, how many quakes do you think the world has in, say, a week?" Mr. Jensen asked.
"There might be one some weeks," Julie guessed.
"I'll say two, just to be different," Jason added.
"I'll guess five," Mrs. Jensen said.
"Mother won, but none of you is close," answered Mr. Jensen. "It will surprise you to learn that there is an average of 2730 earthquakes a day on this earth!"
"A day?!!" the twins gasped.
"That's right. Of course, most of them are small, but about 1000 of them are strong enough to be felt. The Latin phrase terra firma means 'solid earth.' It is used of things that are really dependable. But I guess this old earth isn't as stable as we might think."
"Doesn't the Bible speak about earthquakes in the last days?" Mrs. Jensen asked.
"That's right. Jesus predicted great earthquakes in various places just before He returns to reign as King."
"Wow!" Jason said again. "That means that Jesus might come back right away!"
"Yes, He might, but then, I think the frequency and intensity of earthquakes will increase before this is actually fulfilled. At any rate, these things do remind us to be ready to meet Him. Why else do you think God allows earthquakes, kids?"
"I think to show people how weak they are," Julie remarked. "Our teacher said the scientists couldn't predict when an earthquake is going to come and they sure can't keep it from coming, can they?"
"You're right, Sissy. The greatest minds seem very small in the face of such power. It is a fearful thing to be in a quake zone. It reminds me of the verse, 'It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.' God does not want us to fear the quake, but He does want us to fear Him."
"It surely tests are securities, doesn't it?" Mrs. Jensen commented.
"What do you mean, Dear?" asked Mr. Jensen.
"I was thinking about this spilled milk. We are so used to trusting the table to hold the glass that we don't think twice about it. This time it cost us some milk and clean up. We do trust in certain things to always be dependable-our home, our car, our bank. Yet each of these things fails. Probably the most trusted thing everyone would count on would be the earth itself. A quake reminds us that nothing on this earth, not even the land, is really 100 per cent reliable."
"Good point," Mr. Jensen added. And Jesus said that this not-so-secure earth will pass away before even the tiniest part of His Word, the Bible would fail (Matt 5:18). Now that's something that really IS secure!"

Quake Quiz
1. Most earthquakes occur within the first 40 miles of the earth's crust. T F
2. A tsunami (pronounced tsu-NA-me) is a) a Japanese earthquake b) an underwater earthquake c) an earthquake too small to be felt d) a tidal wave caused by an underwater earthquake.
3. The first mention of the word "earthquake" in the Bible concerned a) Noah b) Moses c) Elijah d) Jonah
4. Two earthquakes took place during Jesus' ministry on earth. Can you name when?
5. How many earthquakes are mentioned in Revelation?

ANSWERS 1. T (about 85%) 2. d (some have travelled up to 500 miles/hour and been 100 feet tall!) 3. c (I Kings 10:11) 4. crucifixion (Matt 27:51); resurrection (Matt 28:2) 5. 5 (6:12; 8:5; 11:13, 19; 16:18)