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

#68- Our Daily Bread (1)

A Character story about meekness.

"Mom," Julie called as she burst through the door after school.
"In the kitchen, Dear." She plopped down her books on the table and marched into the kitchen.
"Oh, Mom, the worst thing in the world happened today! You can't believe how bad it is!" Mrs. Jensen looked up from her bread dough, surprised.
"Well, tell me. What is it?"
"Mr. Wipple, our science teacher, told us today that next month is the annual science fair and he says everyone has to enter!"
Mrs. Jensen sighed with relief, smiled, and turned back to her bread dough. "Now, I don't think that's the worst thing that could have happened."
"You haven't heard the half of it yet. We're supposed to work in teams of two, right? So guess who ended up with no partner. Me! I don't know how I can do it alone, and we have to have our subject picked in two days! Of all the weeks for Daddy to be gone, this has to be the worst! I know he'd be able to help me get started."
"Oh, Julie. I hear Joshua calling. Could you wash your hands and knead this dough while I check on him? I'm late in getting the bread started. If I don't get it in the pans, it will be late this evening before I get it baked."
"Sure, Mom." Julie quickly washed her hands and dried them with a towel. "What do I do? Just fold it and push it like this?"
"That's it. Just keep doing that until I get back."
When Mrs. Jensen returned 10 minutes later, Julie heaved a sigh of relief. "I thought you'd never get back. This is really work! I didn't realize how hard it was."
"You're right there. But it should be a beautiful texture after such a long workout. Thanks much."
"That's O.K."
"If you have a few minutes, maybe you could help me cut this into lumps and form it into these pans. Just do what I'm doing."
"O.K. I'll do my best, but I don't think it will look like yours."
"You'll do just fine." Julie watched her mother cut the dough into 8 pieces and place each one on the scale to make sure they were an equal size. Then she began to work each lump and form it to fit into the pans.
"How come you always use brown flour, Mom?" Julie queried.
"Because it's better for us. It has a lot more natural nutrition in it than white flour does."
"Yes, but the white flour is fortified. I thought that meant that they added a lot of extra vitamins to it."
"It means they add a few, Dear. I think they take out about 20 vitamins when they bleach the flour, but they add only 4 when it is fortified."
"Really? Boy, I'm glad you use brown flour then. Now back to my problem. What am I going to do this project about?"
"How about doing something with the whale report you did last month?" Mrs. Jensen suggested.
"I thought of that, but it has to include both research and some type of experiment. I sure can't experiment with any whales. I've racked my brain and I can't think of a thing."
Just then Jason stomped through the door. "What a lousy day! Nothing ever goes right when Dad's gone," he pouted as he slammed the door and plopped onto a chair.
"Not you too," Mrs. Jensen sighed. "What went wrong for you?"
"Roger and I were going to do a science project with his gerbils. When we got to his house after school, he learned that his family is moving by the end of the month, and he's only going to be in school another 2 weeks! Now I don't have a project or a partner. And we've got to have our ideas in right away."
"Join the crowd," Julie sneered.
"You know what," Mrs. Jensen remarked with a grin. "It sounds like you both need the lesson of daily bread."
"Sounds good to me," Jason answered. "I'm starved."
"I'd give you a piece of bread but I used the last of it for your sandwiches this morning. anyway, I wasn't talking about food so much. I was reading in the Bible this morning in Deuteronomy. Jason, while I get my Bible, will you help Julie form this dough into loaves?"
"Isn't that women's work?" Jason mildly protested with a wily grin. But when he saw Julie's frown, he quickly added, "Oh, all right. At least I'll give it a try."
"Thanks so much. Wash your hands, and then just do what she's doing." Mrs. Jensen washed her hands after Jason and got her Bible from the dining room table. Sitting at the table, she began thumbing through the first pages. "Now, in Deuteronomy chapter 8 and verse 3 God told his people that, when he fed them with manna in the wilderness, He did it in a special way. He let them get hungry first, and then he fed them with food they never would have dreamed of. That was manna. Do you know why God did not give them manna from heaven until after they were hungry?"
"I suppose they would appreciate it more," Jason remarked.
"That's right. He said it was to teach them that 'man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.'"
"Hey, didn't Jesus quote that verse when He was tempted in the wilderness?" Julie asked.
"That's right," Mrs. Jensen nodded. "God wants to teach us that life is not made up simply of having all our needs met. Instead, the Lord wants us to learn to trust Him daily to supply those needs. So my point is this: you two have a special need. You are hungry, so to speak, for ideas concerning your science projects. God wants you to turn to Him for the answer to this, and every need you face."
"Yeah, I see what you mean," Julie agreed. "I guess we should pray about it instead of worrying."
"Good idea," Mrs. Jensen affirmed. "Jason, why don't you lead us in prayer for this need right now."
When Jason finished praying, Julie was the first to speak. "Hey, Jas, want to work together? Neither of us has a partner. I don't think Mr. Wipple would mind."
"Fine with me. Got any ideas for a subject yet?"
"I've got one," Mrs. Jensen offered. "How about doing your project on bread?"
"Bread?" they both responded in unison. "But it's got to have experiments with it," Jason added. "How could we experiment with bread?"
"How about trying different lengths of time to knead the bread to see which is best? Or you could test how long it takes for various kinds of bread to mold. Or you could try different kinds of grain and chart the texture and popularity. There's a lot of information you could learn on this subject, and maybe you could even include Deuteronomy 8:3 as a spiritual application."
"Hey, that sounds like a pretty good idea," Julie cheered. "How about it, Jas?"
"O.K. by me. Sounds like it's got real possibilities. I already like the idea of tasting the samples along the way!"