How to be a Godly Giver – Part 2 – The End

Stanley plopped back down on the steps again, “I didn’t think about it that way. Ok, I’ll give some to the orphans in Mexico.”

Stanley’s eyes lit up and he smiled really big. “I know what I can do. When we are in class next Sunday and Mrs. Hoffner asks if anyone brought money for the Orphans in Mexico, I’ll stand up really fast and say really loud that I am going to give one whole dollar. That way God will know what I am doing and so will the whole class and then God will give me a reward when I get to heaven.”

Susie put her hand on her brother’s shoulder and said, “Stanley, that’s not how Jesus asks you to give. Isn’t that right Johnny?”

Johnny had just finished putting the last of the cookie into his mouth so all he could say was “Yeth, thatth righp.” Johnny then took a big drink of his milk.

Susie pulled her little pocket Bible out of her back pocket and said, “In fact I was just reading a verse about that they other day, where was that?”

Susie had opened her little Bible and was turning pages back from her purple ribbon bookmark.

“Here it is! It’s in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6 verse 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it. In fact, it says a little later that you should give quietly, because when you make a big announcement so that people notice what you are doing, that’s all the reward you are going to get. If you give quietly, then God will reward you in heaven for being a cheerful, godly giver.”

Stanley turned around and sat back down on the steps and said, “I’m a little confused. What should I do with this money? How much is 10% of $5, Johnny?”

Johnny had finished swallowing the last of his milk and cookie by this time and could speak clearly, “50 cents, Stanley. That’s not really a lot of the five dollars when you think about it.”

Stanley held out his five dollar bill so that he could look at it. “How often do you guys think that those orphans get cookies and milk?”  He asked.

His sister Susie leaned over closer to him and said, “Probably not as often as we do, Stanley.”

Stanley thought about that for a minute. Then he stood up, put the five dollar bill in his pocket and ran inside looking for his mother. When he found her, he asked her for an envelope. After she gave it to him, he ran upstairs to his room. Then he got out a piece of paper and a pencil, wrote a short note and put it and his five dollar bill in the envelope and sealed it.

That next Sunday, when the Sunday school teacher asked for donations for the orphans in Mexico, she noticed that there was already an envelope in the jar.

How to be a Godly Giver – Part 1

How to be a Godly Giver

By: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

 

“Woo-hoo!” Stanley shouted as he ran around in a large circle in the Johnson back yard.

“I got five whole dollars for my birthday! Wow! What can I do with all this money?”

Stanley stopped and looked at the crisp five dollar bill in his hands, “I know, I can buy candy, lots and lots of candy!”

“Hang on there, little brother.” His sister Susie said from the back porch of the house. “What else should you do with that money?”

Stanley stopped and said, “Huh? What do you mean? Money is for spending, right?”

“Not always, not all of it anyway,” said Susie.

“That’s right.” said Susie’s friend Johnny who had followed her out of the back door with a half eaten Oatmeal Raisin cookie in one chubby hand and a glass of milk in the other.

“Ok, what should I do with it? Stanley asked.

“Isn’t your Sunday school class doing a coin drive to raise money for those missionaries taking care of those orphans down in Mexico?” asked Susie.

“That’s right”, spoke up Johnny as he took a big bite out of the cookie in his hand.

Stanley walked over to the steps going up to the porch and sat down looking sad.

“You mean I should give away my birthday money to the orphans in Mexico?” he moaned. “I don’t want to do that. I want to buy candy for me, not those orphans in Mexico I don’t even know.”

Susie leaned over and roughed up Stanley’s hair, “Not all of it Stanley. Most people say that we should give back 10% of what we get back to the Lord as thanks for what He gives us.”

Stanley stood up, turned around and looked his sister in the eye, “But God didn’t give this money to me. Grammie Susie gave it to me.”

Johnny leaned on the back porch railing and said, “Stanley, God gives us everything that we have; even the stuff that we get from our parents and grandparents. God made everything, He owns everything and so everything that we have comes from Him.”

 

The Workers in the Grocery Store – Part 6 – The End

“Johnny,” she said “I know what’s bothering you and I have a story to tell you.” Johnny didn’t move so she began. It’s a story from the Bible and it goes like this, actually let me read it to you from my pocket testament.” Susie always carried her little New Testament with her. You never know when it will come in handy, she says.

It’s from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 20.

1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. 3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 At noon and again around three o’clock he did the same thing. 6 At five o’clock that evening he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’ 7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.'”The owner of the estate told them, ‘Then go on out and join the others in my vineyard.’ 8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’ 13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?’ 16 “And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then.”

Johnny perked up at that last part and said, “I never thought that I would really live out a Bible story, Susie, but I just did. I was jealous of the rest of you kids for being paid the same as me for all of the work that you did. I was wrong, really wrong and I am sorry.”

Susie smiled at her friend and said, you didn’t hurt my feelings but you might want to apologize to you aunt and uncle and…you might want to apologize to God for the jealousy. That’s a sin you know.”

“Boy do I,” moaned Johnny “I have been feeling really crumby ever since then. I always feel that way when I sin. You’re right I do need to pray. Would you pray with me?”

“Sure, that’s what friends are for.” smiled Susie. Our two friends sat together on that bench in the park and talked to God together about the problem that they had that day. Johnny asked for God’s forgiveness. And we all know that God forgives His children whenever they ask.

Johnny learned that he needed to be content with what he had. He got from Uncle Klaus exactly what he had agreed to and was promised. Jealousy had crept into his heart. Johnny confessed his sin and was forgiven.

The Workers in the Grocery Store – Part 5

Well, Andrea did call her mother, who gave her permission. She brought her lunch over and they all had a grand time visiting and getting to know each other. Soon lunch was over and they all got busy and everything that Uncle Klaus and Aunt Harriet wanted done that day was done in record time. Johnny and Jimmy got all the shelves stocked and the end caps set up, Aunt Harriet, along with Susie and Andrea got all the special displays done and a few more touches as well. They all gathered in the back room where the office was to gather up their coats and go home. Uncle Klaus and Aunt Harriet were conferring in the office and then began to call the children in one at a time beginning with Andrea, they handed her an envelope and said that they really appreciated her help today and wanted to give her something for her time. She was surprised, but accepted the envelope and thanked them very much. Then they called in Jimmy and then Susie and repeated the same scene with each of them. Finally, it was Johnny’s turn. Each of his friends had each shared that they had been given $50 and so when Johnny came in, he found himself expecting a little bit more because he had been there all day. They handed Johnny his envelope and told Johnny how thankful they were for his help that day and how proud they were of him as their nephew. They also mentioned to Johnny that they liked his work so much that they would talk to his parents about getting him to work for them regularly. He liked that idea a lot.

Without opening his envelope, Johnny thanked them and went out to join his friends. As he walked out into the back room, he opened his envelope and found his $50 in there. A wave of disappointment ran through him. He hesitated for just a few moments and then he went back into the office. He looked at his uncle and said, “Uncle Klaus, when you hired me you promised to give me $50 for working the whole day. Why did you pay the rest of the kids the same amount when none of them worked as long as I did?” Uncle Klaus looked at him and said, “I’m surprised at you Johnny, you agreed to work for that amount. If I choose to pay your friends the same amount that I paid you, isn’t that my privilege?” Johnny quietly said yes and then turned to leave.

He said to the waiting crowd that he was tired and was going home. He grabbed his coat and hurried toward the front door leaving them with curious looks on their faces. Susie volunteered to go after him and see what the matter was, grabbed her coat and quickly went after him. She knew where he would go if he was truly bothered by something.

Uncle Klaus and Aunt Harriet came out of the office, Jimmy and Andrea thanked them again for their generosity headed off to their own homes.

Susie found Johnny just where she thought she would. He was sitting on the same park bench that they had so often sat at before when they wanted to talk things over or pray about some special thing. Susie went over and sat down across the bench from him and just sat there silently for a few minutes.

 

The Workers in the Grocery Store – Part 4

The two boys headed back into the store and Uncle Klaus, having heard the bell on the door came out to see them coming back in. Johnny introduced Jimmy and asked Uncle Klaus if it would be alright if Jimmy helped them out. Uncle Klaus smiled his great big smile and said “Yah…yah…that would be very helpful and kind of you. I have just been realizing that this was really more of a job than one boy could do and my work in the back is taking longer than I thought as well. By the way, I hope that you like sandwiches because I just ordered some for our lunch break from the Murphy’s across the street. They are running a special on ham sandwiches today. I’ll call them back and add one more to the order. We got some soda pop in a cooler in the back. We’ll have a good lunch in about a half an hour.”

“Wow, that’s great!” The two boys said almost at the same time. Uncle Klaus smiled his great big smile again and said “wonderful, glad to have you here Jimmy. Johnny can show you what to do.” With that he turned and headed back to his work. Johnny showed Jimmy where to hang his coat and took him to where he had been working and showed him what to do. The two boys pitched in together, worked hard and the job of stocking the shelves was really starting to move along faster when there was a knock at the front door. Johnny could see that it was their friend Andrea. She had a large bag in her arms. Uncle Klaus was at the door quickly and both of the boys were right behind him. Andrea was delivering the sandwiches from Murphy’s and was surprised to see her two friends standing beside Uncle Klaus. Just then Aunt Harriet and Susie came over to the door to as they also knew that this was probably lunch being delivered and were both hungry.

“Wow, Andrea what are you doing with that bag of sandwiches?” asked Susie. “I have been working for the Murphy’s for the last couple of weeks when they have extra deliveries that are more than their regular delivery boy can handle. This is my last one for the day. What’s going on over here?” asked Andrea.

Uncle Klaus smiled his great big smile and explained that they were Johnny’s aunt and uncle, had just moved from the Midwest and were opening the store soon. Then Johnny took over and explained that he and Susie and Jimmy were helping them get everything ready for the store to open on Monday. Andrea handed the bag of sandwiches to Uncle Klaus, accepted the money for them and then said, “You know this is my last delivery for the day. Would it be alright if I come over and help out too?” Uncle Klaus looked at Aunt Harriet and then at Johnny, Susie and then Jimmy, smiled his big smile and said, “Yah, yah that would be wonderful to have you in on the fun that we are having.” “Great, I’ll take this payment across the street to the Murphy’s, grab my lunch and join you.” Andrea said and she headed out the door. “Don’t forget to call you mother and tell her where you’ll be,” said Aunt Harriet.

 

The Workers in the Grocery Store – Part 3

“Wow, that’s really nice of you Susie, come on in!” he said opening the door wide so that she could enter. Uncle Klaus had heard the bell on door in the back room and came out to see who had gone out or come in. He smiled when he saw Susie standing there with Johnny. Johnny quickly explained why Susie was there and just as they finished the explanation Aunt Harriet joined them in welcoming Susie and offered to give her some work to do with her on the other side of the store putting up some special displays. “We are new in this area, Susie, and I’d like your opinion on how they look.” Susie looked at Johnny and then back at Aunt Harriet and said, “sure, that sounds great, I’d love to help in any way that I can.” So off to the other side of the store the two went.

Johnny asked Uncle Klaus, “I’ve got all of these empty boxes, Uncle Klaus. What do you want me to do with them.” Uncle Klaus said, “you just move them up here like you did with this stack and I’ll come by a little later and show you how to break them down so we can take them out back for the recyclers to take away.” Uncle Klaus headed back to the back of the store to continue on the project he was working on back there.

So Johnny returned to stocking the shelves. After about 30 minutes more work, he thought to himself. “Wow! This is a lot more work than I thought it was going to be. I’m getting really tired and really hungry and it’s only 10:30 in the morning. We have a long way to go and probably not enough time. I wonder if Jimmy Barski would mind coming over to help me with this.” Just then he was looking out the front window and who was walking by, but Jimmy Barski. Johnny hurried to the front window and knocked on the glass to get Jimmy’s attention and then he ran over to the front door and opened it and stepped outside so that they could talk. “Hey Jimmy, how are you?” he said. “Fine” said Jimmy, “what are you doing in that store? It’s not even open yet?” “Oh, it belongs to my Uncle Klaus and Aunt Harriet. They just moved here from the Midwest, bought the building from the Nguyen’s and are opening up a new grocery store here and are going to live on the second floor. It’s really cool to have them here in Crescent City.” “That’s great Johnny, did you want something because I was headed over to the library to look at some new books on nature photography. Our trip to the wildlife park really got me interested in it and I want to learn how to do it the right way and not get myself or others in danger like that trip.”

“Wow, that’s really cool Jimmy, I was wondering if you had some spare time, I’m helping my aunt and uncle out here and I could use your help for a little while. I could pay you part of what I’m getting to make it worth your while.” Jimmy thought for a quick second and said, “You know Johnny, I’d love to help you out. After all you helped to save my life and helped to lead me to ask Jesus into my heart as my Saviour. No pay is needed. Just point me at the work.” “Wow, that’s great Jimmy, but I’ll find some way to pay you for your time. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

 

The Workers in the Grocery Store – Part 2

“Hey guys!” came a familiar voice from behind them. Susie and Johnny turned to see their friend Andrea hurrying to catch up with them. “What’s going on? You guys seem to be excited about something,” asked Andrea as she approached them. “I was just telling Susie about a job that I have tomorrow helping my Uncle Klaus stocking the shelves in his new store so that they can open on Monday. He is going to pay me $50 to help him for the whole day.” “Wow! That’s a lot of money! I wish I had a rich uncle to work for, I could use some new clothes” laughed Andrea. Johnny and Susie joined in the laughter and off they went to school.

The next morning Johnny showed up at the store right on-time at 8:00am. When he arrived he could see Uncle Klaus and Aunt Harriet through the front window of the store and they were both working very hard moving boxes of merchandise around and stacking them up in front of the shelves that they were to fill. Johnny knocked on the front door, Aunt Harriet hurried over to open it up and let him in. “Johnny, it’s so good to see you and thank you for offering to help us get set up” she said while brushing some hair out of her face. Turning to where her husband was maneuvering a hand truck stacked so high with boxes that you could not see him she said loudly, “Klaus, your helper is here and he looks very strong today. He should be a lot of help to you.”

Uncle Klaus responded, “Yah…yah…just let me get this stack of soup mix boxes in place, I will be right there. Can you show him where to put his coat, please?” Aunt Harriet put her arm around Johnny’s shoulder and said to him, “come with me young man, my you certainly are getting tall aren’t you?” Johnny blushed slightly and said, “Sure Auntie…it’s been over a year since you’ve seen me very much and I’ve been growing up a lot.”

Aunt Harriet showed Johnny where to put his coat and then took him to where his uncle was working and then went over to the other side of the store. In the aisle of the store, Uncle Klaus had boxes of merchandise stacked up and the top box of each stack was open and ready for Johnny to begin taking the merchandise out and put in on the shelves. Uncle Klaus showed Johnny exactly what merchandise to put on each shelf and how to put the stock on the shelf. Johnny listened carefully and asked his uncle lots of questions until he understood exactly what to do. “I’ve got it now Uncle Klaus; you can count on me to work really hard and to get the job done!” Johnny said eagerly. He was anxious to get started. Uncle Klaus showed him the ladder that he was to use to get the top shelves and said, “Ok Johnny, I’ve got some work to do in the back. You should be able to get most of this done by lunch time and then we’ll start on the end caps and then help Aunt Harriet with her special displays.” Uncle Klaus headed for the back room.

Johnny dove right in to the work and started working pretty quickly to begin with. The empty boxes began to stack up in the aisle and it started to get hard for Johnny to move around them. They hadn’t talked about what to do with the empty boxes.

Around 10 o’clock there was a knock on the front door of the store. Johnny carried a stack of empty boxes to the front of the store and set them down and saw that it was Susie. He hurried to the door and opened it and said, “Hey Susie, why are you here?” Susie just smiled and said, “You know Johnny I started thinking about it and thought that you might want some help with this job. I don’t need to be paid. I just want to help out our newest neighbor.”