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

#70- Our Daily Bread (3)

A Character story about dependability.

"Mom?" Julie called as she burst through the door.
"I'm upstairs, Dear," her mother answered.
Julie ran up the stairs and found her mom helping Joshua pick up his toys. "Guess what, Mom! Our science report was chosen as one of the best three in our class!"
"Wow! That's great!" Mrs. Jensen cheered.
"That's gwate," Joshua repeated.
Julie chuckled and ruffled her little brother's hair. "That means we get to enter it in the regional science fair in two weeks."
"That sounds exciting! But two weeks isn't much time."
"That's for sure. For the science fare, we have to make a display and give our report to a whole bunch of judges. I hope we won't be nervous."
"I'm sure the Lord will help you as He has done so far. You better get working on it right away."
"I know. And I was going to get started after school, but Jason wanted to play ball and I don't want to work on it alone."
But the sunny skies and warm temperatures all week were perfect for being outdoors. "We can work on it later," Jason would say each day. "There's plenty of time."
By Saturday Julie was getting a bit annoyed with her procrastinating brother. "Look, Jas," she said as her brother was about to run out the door with his ball glove, "we still have to make a display board, plan what to put on it, make the letters and stuff and glue all that on, and then practice giving our report. Plus, we have to make more bread for samples. I can't do all that alone."
"I know all that," Jason retorted, "but the team really needs me to pitch. I promise we can work on it Monday after school."
So Monday the two sat at the kitchen table trying to draw a plan for their display.
"How about putting at the top, 'Yeast: a little bit goes a long way,'" Jason suggested.
"I think we should make a title that's short. We have to cut out all the letters. The less cutting the better."
"O.K. How about just, 'Bread'?"
"That's no good. Remember Mr. Wipple said the title has to be specific. Our report isn't all about bread. It just about kneading bread and then how the whole grain bread is better for you."
"Well, if you don't like my ideas, then you come up with your own."
"I didn't say I didn't like them. And you don't have to get huffy about it. Don't you want to do your best? Don't you want to win?"
"Right now I'd like to forget the whole thing. Who wants to sit inside and work on a project when you could be outside playing ball?"
"I didn't ask to do this project either you know. We were picked because we did a good job, and if the Lord gives us a chance to do it at the science fair, I want to do my best for Him. Don't you remember the lesson we learned about daily bread?"
"Yeah, I remember. How about this: You work on planning the display, and I'll get the boards together to make it."
"Fine by me," Julie agreed.
"Good. I'll do it tomorrow after school."
But Tuesday Jason was sick in bed so Julie and her dad worked on the display board. She planned the wording and carefully cut the letters out of construction paper. Then she glued her pictures, charts, and letters onto the display board.
"Well, look who rose from the dead," Julie teased as Jason appeared in the kitchen Thursday morning. "How are you feeling?"
"A lot better, thanks. How are you doing on our project?"
"I'm doing fine on OUR project. In fact I've done all the work on OUR project."
"Yeah, I know, but how was I to know I would get sick?"
"That's the whole point," Mrs. Jensen interrupted. "If you had listened to Julie-"
"Mommy," Joshua called from the stop of the stairs.
"I'll be right there," Mrs. Jensen called back. "Anyway, Jason, since Julie made the display, I think you should make the bread samples tonight."
Jason hurried home after school to mix up the dough. Then he ran off to play softball, planning to knead the dough just before supper. But when he returned home, Julie greeted him with a scowl. "Hey, relax," Jason said, guessing her problem, "I planned everything. I have plenty of time to knead the dough and get it baked tonight."
"Really? Take a look at it." Jason looked into the tub. "The dough hasn't risen an inch. I bet you forgot to put in the yeast, didn't you?"
"I know I put in the yeast. There must be something wrong with it. O, brother. What are we going to do now? Everything has to be done tomorrow morning."
"Jason, did you mix the yeast with water first?" Mrs. Jensen asked.
"Yeah. I was supposed to, wasn't I?"
"Yes, but what temperature water did you use?"
"I don't know. It was just water out of the faucet."
"That must have been it," Julie sighed. "If you used cold water, you killed the yeast before it could work. Don't you remember that from our report?"
Jason hung his head. "I-I forgot. I-I guess I was in a hurry."
"Jason," Mrs. Jensen said seriously, "it seems to me that you have been cold water on the project the whole time. Julie has been working hard to make it a success and you have been working against her with your half-hearted effort. Yeast won't work in cold water, and neither will partners when one has a bad attitude."
"Yeah, you're right. Sis, will you forgive me for dumping the whole thing on you because of my lousy attitude? I promise I'll work all night if necessary to get the bread samples ready."
"Sure I'll forgive you. And I'll help you mix up another batch."
Saturday night the conversation bustled with the excitement of the day. "And a bunch of people thought Julie's title, 'THE BREAD WE KNEAD' was really cleaver," Jason commented. "I think her display was the best one there."
"They really liked Jason's bread samples too," Julie added.
Jason smiled. "And I was really glad how many people read the right panel about needing God like we need bread every day. That's a hard lesson to learn, but I was reminded of it again when I prayed for God to help us give our report. It's easy to forget we need God every day, not just when we have something hard to do."
"You're right there," Mr. Jensen agreed. "And when you learn that lesson, you've learned something that will help you all your life."