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

#55- Trash and Treasures

A Character story about security.

"It's really nice to be able to go early Christmas shopping with you, Honey," Mrs. Jensen commented with a smile as she and Julie walked leisurely down the sidewalk. "It certainly beats the mad rush a few days before."
"I really like going with you. Look, Mom," Julie said, pointing across the street. "I never noticed that store before. What a funny name- Trash and Treasures."
"Yes, that does sound funny, doesn't it?" Mrs. Jensen responded with a chuckle. "It's a second hand store. It has all kinds of old things you might find in your attic. We have a few minutes. Let's go in and look around." The two crossed at the corner and entered the tiny, dark building.
"Wow," Julie remarked in a low voice. "I think the first part of their name is right. Look at all these old bottles and jars. Who would ever want them? And look at this! An old dirty coke bottle for twenty-five dollars! Who would pay that much for someone's trash?"
"The reason it's so expensive is that the bottle is quite old. Some people like to collect old bottles like that so this may be just what they need to complete their collection."
"Mom, we should go through Grandma's basement when we visit her. We might find a lot of things worth all kinds of money!"
"You're right. She's probably got some very old things on her basement shelves. There's no doubt- one person's trash is another person's treasure."
"That reminds me of our field trip to the farm last week. The farmer's house was small and, well, kind of run down. But he had a brand new tractor, and a great big color television. Personally, I would rather spend the money on a nicer place to live."
"You know, Honey, what we're discussing is the subject of values," Mrs. Jensen remarked as they headed out of the store and down the street. "When you consider something important, you value it. To one person, something is really valuable, but to another, that same thing is of no interest, as we saw. For instance, that farmer you mentioned probably knows that a large tractor will make him more money, because he will be able to get the grain in quicker when the price is higher. So to him a tractor is a valuable possession."
Julie thought a minute. "Don't you think that sometimes the same thing can change in value to someone, too? Like, I was thinking of my Susie doll I really liked when I was younger, but now it isn't nearly as important to me."
"So what do you think made the difference?"
"I don't really know. I guess I just grew out of it. Interests just seem to change by themselves as you grow older."
"Yes, and our needs might change too. Solomon said in Proverbs that a person who is full will even hate sweet honey, but the hungry person will appreciate even something bitter. I was thinking of a story I heard about a lady on the Titanic. She got out of the life boat and ran back to her cabin, past her money and fine clothes to get . . . an umbrella. In her situation, an umbrella was far more useful than a lot of money."
"I see what you mean, Mom. But aren't there some things that are valuable to everyone, no matter what?"
"Hmmm. Really, I can't think of anything that would always be valuable to everyone. Even something as precious as a child can be discarded by one person but welcomed by another. The Christmas story proves that, doesn't it."
"Funny you'd say that. Bethany just told me today that her parents adopted her sister Steffany from Korea. It cost them almost four thousand dollars! They must really love her to spend that much to get her! I didn't cost that much, did I?"
"No, not that much, but, I'm sure they were not 'buying' their new baby. The money was for expenses of paper work and travel and things like that. After all, you can't put a price on something as precious as a little baby. Say, the air is getting a little cold. How about let's get a hot chocolate and a donut in this coffee shop."
"Fine with me!" Julie beamed.
After purchasing their treat at the counter, the two sat at a table in the corner, laying their packages on the floor. When they had thanked the Lord for the food, Mrs. Jensen said, "Julie, the most important thing about values is to know that we are counting as valuable what God also thinks is valuable. There is a verse somewhere in Luke that says, what is highly esteemed among men is abomination to the Lord. In other words, what we might think is a real treasure, God might evaluate as simply trash."
"Like what, Mom?"
"Do you remember the story of Esau and Jacob? Esau owned his father's birthright, a very special treasure to people at this time. However, he was willing to trade it to Jacob for one bowl of vegetable stew. We know that Jacob was not right in his cunning. But the Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter twelve that Esau was profane because he considered a treasure from God to be trash. Now, tell me, what would you say God would consider to be a treasure?"
Julie thought a minute. "Well, the Bible would be. God went to a lot of trouble to give us His Word."
"Good. Anything else?"
"And, well, people in general, like we were talking about earlier. Jesus died on the cross so people could go to heaven."
"An excellent answer, Julie. So these presents we bought, and the ones you get at Christmas, are not really treasures, but the people who give and receive them in love are. I hope you remember that on Christmas day." Julie grinned. "Well, we better get back on the trail, or we'll have little to show for our evening but a fun time together. And that's a treasure too!"
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How well do you know the Bible? See if you know in what Book of the Bible you would find these famous lessons (extra credit if you know the chapter also):
1) the 10 Commandments
2) the Sermon on the Mount
3) Moses crossing the Red Sea
4) Noah and the Ark
5) the Good Samaritan
6) the valley of dry bones
7) three men in the fiery furnace
8) the story of Samson
9) David and Goliath
10) Shepherds visit baby Jesus






ANSWERS: 1) Exodus 20 2) Matthew 5-7 3) Exodus 14 4) Genesis 6-7 5) Luke 10 6) Ezekiel 37 7) Daniel 3 8) Judges 13-16 9) I Samuel 17 10) Luke 2