Enoch and Noah – Part 5

“Enoch … Enoch … come on son, it’s time to get up.”

“Okay Mom, just five more minutes …”

I had one more stone to roll before I would beat those town boys at their own game. I lined up my shot and just as I was about to make it …

“Enoch, you need to get up and do your chores. Come on, son.”

“Okay, okay …” Realizing the game was just a dream; I stretched my arms and legs, and then opened my eyes and tried to focus.

The room was pretty dark, “Where was my window, my furniture … my stuff?

Then suddenly I felt my bed lift up from behind me and tilt to my left. I quickly looked around, “What is going on? My whole room moved!

“Huh? Wha—where am I?” I said out loud.

“It’s alright, this is your first time waking up on the ark,” my Mom’s voice again filtered through the morning fog in my head.

Then things began to look familiar, “Oh, yeah, that’s right …”

Memories of the last days, weeks and months began to flood back into my mind, the work on the ark, the fire, the townspeople attacking Grampa, the animals arriving, the rains and flooding and finally the door of the ark closing on the outside world the Lord had decided to destroy.

“Ok Mom, I’m going.”

I got up, dressed, washed, grabbed a chunk of bread from the table and headed up toward the large pen with the netting containing all the birds that came with us on the ark. I have to feed them and clean out their pen.

There was singing and wild calls coming from the top of the ladder I had to climb to get to the upper level. I really like all the birds, feeding them isn’t too bad. It’s the cleaning up after them that’s yucky.

I grabbed a couple of buckets and filled them with the different kinds of food the birds liked and went into the pen. When they saw me with the food, the sound of all the birds got so loud I nearly had to cover my ears.

Looking up into the branches of the trees my Pop and uncles had brought in and mounted to the walls of the pen, I saw many of the birds moving to the lower branches. They seemed eager to eat.

It’s a good thing I looked up because one of the birds was dropping something yucky. I just barely got out of the way in time.

After cleaning out the pen and putting out the food, I sat on the bench inside the enclosure and thought for a while. “This is going to get boring real fast if this is all I have to do every day,” I said to myself.

I had asked Grampa how long we were going to be on this trip. But, the only answer I could get from him was “The Lord will let us know when He is done out there. Just be patient, Enoch.”

So, I decided to explore the Ark.

The first thing I did was to walk all the way from end to end on the deck my birds were on. I had already done that topside (that’s what we call the top deck of the Ark where you could go outside) but, I didn’t want to stay out there because it was still raining.

But, I wanted to see everything.

So I walked and walked and walked, each day I went to a new and lower level.

I looked and looked and looked. I had never seen so many different kinds of animals in all my life. A lot of the animals were new to all of us and we didn’t know what to call them. Many had come from very far away and many were very strange.

I wanted to see them all, even all the creepy, creeping things, no matter how long it took.

One night at supper, we talked about what I was doing.

“What did you see today, Enoch,” Mama asked.

“I saw the monkeys and the antelope and the . . . um . . .striped horses,” I said.

Papa laughed and said, “Those are called zebras son.”

Then he spoke up in his stern voice, “I don’t want you going down to the lowest levels son. The big cats and other very large, dangerous animals are down there. They may be safe enough but, I don’t want you to take any chances. Do you understand me?”

“Yes Papa,” I said.

There were still lots of other parts to explore that I hadn’t seen yet. And, there were lots of animals yet to see.

Every day for several weeks I went out and looked and explored. I was having a great time until one day when I was going down to one of the lower levels where we kept the larger animals.

Hmm, here’s another ladder going down, I don’t remember seeing this one before.” I thought to myself. Down at this level, the cages were much larger than the ones higher up.

Wow! I bet the really big animals are down here. One more level won’t hurt …

The Surprise – Part 2

The fire back at the shack finally went completely out and was now filling the place with smoke. “I just can’t sit and wait for Jacob to come back. I need to go out and find some wood or something to burn.” Anna said to herself. She folded up her blanket, put on her heavy coat over all of her sweaters, put on her hat, pulled it down hard so it would cover her ears and headed out the door of the little shack, careful to close it hard to keep the wind from blowing it open again.

Anna struggled to make any headway against the wind but, finally she made it to the street and grabbed onto a lamp post and stood for a minute trying to figure out exactly which way Jacob might have gone. Not knowing he had gone left, she decided to go to the right toward the docks and the waterfront. She and Jacob had gone down there often with their Pop when he worked building and repairing boats. Maybe Jacob had found a stash of scrap wood left over from someone’s boat repairs down there.

Jacob’s eyes opened to light so bright it hurt his eyes and to the worst headache he ever had. He rubbed his head and moaned while he tried to get his eyes accustomed to the light and to focus.

“Well, boy. So you thought you were gonna get away with my wood? Ha! Ha! Ha!” said a raspy voice so loud it hurt Jacob’s ears. “No one gets my wood, boy!”

Jacob’s head was throbbing as he turned in the direction he thought the voice came from. He tried to see who was talking, but his eyes still couldn’t focus.

“No sir, I didn’t know it was anybody’s wood. My sister and I ran out of wood, and we are so cold.”

“I don’t care if you freeze to death, boy” the voice thundered, “it’s my wood, and now you’re gonna pay for tryin’ to steal from me!”

Anna stayed close to the side of each building she walked past on her way down to the docks in order to stay out of the full force of the bone-chilling wind. Each time she felt the full force of the wind, she pulled her coat tighter around her small, thin frame.

When she got to the place where her Pop used to work, she saw a light on in his old workshop. She looked carefully through the window and couldn’t believe her eyes! There was her father, Aloysius, working on what looked like a large cage.

Anna ran around to the door  and tried to go in, but it was locked with a big chain and a padlock. She banged on the door and yelled, “Pop! Pop! How do I get in?”

Frustrated, she began to cry. Then a thought popped into her head. She ran back around to the window and knocked as hard as she dare.

Aloysius, startled at the loud sound, turned and looked in the direction of the window. At first he looked shocked, then surprised, and then very frightened. He started waving at her to go away when a loud voice came from behind her. “Hey, girlie! What do you think you’re doing here?”

Anna turned around to the sound of the voice to see a very tall, brutish looking figure. Thinking quickly, she noticed a piece of wood stacked against the building, grabbed it, held it horizontally, and ran under him and through his legs. The piece of wood knocked his legs out from under him, and when he fell he hit his head. After that, he lay still and silent.

“Oh, he’s out cold!” she said to herself. “I’ll just grab the keys hooked onto his belt. Maybe one of them will fit the lock on the door.”

Abram Goes to War – Part 6

Final installment of this story.

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The next morning they headed back toward Sodom to return Lot, his family and his good back home.

When they got near to Sodom, the king of Sodom came out to meet Abram in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.” Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise, you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Kenan had watched all of this with great interest. He thought to himself, “I would like to learn more about this God of Abram. He answered my prayer the night I was attacked by the wild boar, maybe He will answer me again if I ask for something.”

Kenan thought for a minute and then looked up into the sky and said, “Lord, God of Abram, I would like to follow you like Abram does. Please let me go with him to Hebron instead of back to Sodom with my master Lot.”

Now he began walking with purpose to find Abram. He found him talking to his nephew so he stood by quietly and waited for an opportunity to talk.

After several minutes, Abram noticed him standing there, reached over and put his arm around Kenan’s shoulders and said, “Lot, I’ve become very fond of this young warrior. Would you mind if he came with me? I will pay you a fair value for him.”

Lot looked at Kenan and said, “Uncle, I couldn’t accept payment for him. Let me give him to you as a gift for rescuing us from our enemies.”

Abram smiled and said, “I accept. We were glad to be able to help. We had a nice little adventure, didn’t we Kenan?” Abram smiled broadly.

“Yes, my lord, we did”

Kenan thought to himself that Abram was right when he said, “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

Kenan looked up into the sky and whispered a prayer, “Lord God of Abram, I take you as my God now too. You have shown me that you are faithful and to be trusted. I am yours to command.”

Kenan continued the trip back to Hebron with a spring in his step and a broad grin appeared on his face.

Abram Goes to War – Part 3

I apologize for the delay between posts. I have been busy starting up my own proofreading service. If you are interested in that, here is the link. http://wp.me/5LmIc

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In the morning, Kenan went down to the river where he had hauled the boar, cut some meat out of the carcass to roast for breakfast. The smell of the meat, while it was cooking over the fire reminded him of how hungry he was. He hadn’t really eaten a meal since before the battle two days before. After devouring the succulent meat, Kenan washed up at the river, packed up his things and headed for Hebron once again,

Two days later Kenan arrived in Hebron and was greeted at the edge of Abram’s camp by an armed man. He told the man who he was, why he was there and was quickly taken to see Abram. As he was ushered into a tent and Kenan soon realized that although he literally dominated the interior of this tent, Abram wasn’t a really large man. But somehow his presence was larger than life. He was instructing some of his men on the things that he expected to be done that day. When that task was finished, the armed man spoke softly to Abram, who then turned his full attention to Kenan.

“Hello son, I hear that you have some important news for me about my nephew Lot. What sort of trouble has he gotten himself into this time?” He asked.

Kenan bowed low and began, “My lord, your nephew Lot, his family and all of his goods have been taken by King Kedorlaomer, one of the four kings that made war on the King of Sodom and the other four kings that were his allies.”

Abram leaned over, took Kenan by the arm and pulled him up, “There’s no need for that son, let’s sit down here. You just tell me what happened. Then we’ll see what can be done.”

Kenan started at the beginning and told Abram the whole story of the yearlong standoff, the story of the battle, seeing Lot and his family carried off by the enemy and finished with what he found on the battlefield when he woke up among the dead.

He watched Abram’s face with great interest as he told the story. He could tell that the great man was moved by the hardship that they endured and the horror of the battle. But, he was never once frightened or angry. His focused all of his attention on Kenan as though they were the only two that mattered in the world. When Kenan got to the part about Lot and his family being captured and hauled away as slaves, Abram’s face began to show a determination.

When Kenan ended the story, Abram smiled and said, “Thank you for coming to tell me. You did a very brave thing coming all this way to tell me the news. How old are you Kenan?”

“I am fifteen my lord,” replied Kenan sat up straight to show off his full height.

“A very grown up fifteen you are. Thank you, I must pray and seek the Lord’s will on what to do.” He called in one of his servants and gave orders to take Kenan to some place where he could be fed, get cleaned up and rest after his long journey. After washing and eating Kenan was taken to a tent where he could put his things and rest.

After several hours, there began a flurry of activity in the camp. Kenan was trying to rest but couldn’t at first with all the voices speaking of preparations to be made and supplies to be gathered for a journey. With those sounds in his ears, Kenan finally drifted off into a restless sleep. He was wondering what role Abram’s God played in all of this when sleep overtook him. In Kenan’s dream, he was faced with a situation where he had to choose between Lot’s many gods or Abram’s one God. He couldn’t decide.

In the morning when Kenan awoke, he was surprised to hear many animals milling around and men talking excitedly just outside his tent. He hurriedly got himself dressed and went outside to see what the commotion was all about. The first thing he saw was Abram giving orders to a group of men. Kenan stepped closer to try to hear what was going on.

Abram Goes to War – Part 2

Abram seemed to have a sense of purpose while Lot just seemed to go along with whatever happened to him.

Abram exuded a kind of peace that surrounded all who were with him. That stopped when he and Lot went their own ways.

Sodom was a wild and wooly place to live. The life they shared with Abram was safer and more secure. Kenan wondered if all of that had anything to do with Abram’s God. Lot had no god at all. Actually he had lots of them, but they didn’t seem to help him any.

He made a small fire to heat some water to make some broth from the dried meat and also to use to wash his wounds. He could hear some animals in the forest as the sun went down so he stoked up the fire to last as long as possible to keep them away.

“I ought to keep my belongings close to me in case of wandering thieves,” Kenan thought to himself, “especially my sword and my knife.”

So while he covered himself up with a blanket as he lay down, he put his knife below his pack with the handle sticking out. He also laid his sword alongside his body just in case he needed it.

Kenan fell asleep wondering about what Abram’s God was like.

He slept fitfully that night as his leg kept throbbing with pain. Sometime during the night as the fire began to die down, he was awoken by a rustling sound in the bushes behind him. Reaching slowly for his knife, Kenan got the handle firmly in his right hand and grabbed his sword by the scabbard with his left and jumped up to face whatever was behind him.

His quick action startled a wild boar that was rooting around for some food and caused the animal to rush at him just narrowly missing his injured leg with its tusks. Once across the clearing the beast turned around and charged him again. Kenan swiftly tucked his knife into belt and drew his sword. As the animal came toward him, Kenan offered a quick prayer. “God of Abram, protect me.” Then he stepped out of the path of the charging boar and drove his sword into the beasts head. The animal ran headlong into a tree with the sword sticking out of his head and then fell over dead. He piled some more wood on the fire and sat down to figure out what to do next when his leg began throbbing again to remind him of his injuries. He had forgotten about them during the excitement. He also remembered the quickly uttered prayer to the God of Abram. He looked up into the night sky at the stars, smiled and said to himself, “Thank you. Maybe there is something to Abram’s God. I think He just answered my prayer.”

Kenan got up, hauled the dead animal down toward the river to get it away from his camp, returned to his makeshift bed, put his weapons back in their places and, worn out from the excitement, fell soundly asleep for the rest of the night.

Abram Goes to War – Part 1

I have been absent for the last few weeks as I considered and reconsidered where to go with my current writing projects. That dilemma is nearly resolved so I want to continue sharing my older stories. It is an adaptation of a Bible story from early 2010 that I wrote to tell the boys in AWANA. I hope you enjoy it.

Abram Goes to War

By: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

Kenan opened his eyes and was immediately blinded by the sun. Struggling to prop himself up on his elbows he began to look around him. As his blurred vision cleared, all he could see around him were bodies of soldiers and blood, lots of blood. When the smell finally registered in his brain, he began to feel sick to his stomach. It took several minutes to remember who he was, where he was and how he came to find himself the apparent lone survivor of a massacre.

Kenan struggled to his feet only to remember that he himself had lost some of the blood on this battlefield. There was a long cut on his left leg, another gash on his right arm and a bump the size of a pomegranate on the back of his head.

He tried to remember what had happened to Lot and his family and then the sight of them being tied up together and being pulled behind King Kedorlaomer’s conquering army like cattle. That was the last thing Kenan saw before he blacked out from that knock on the head.

Standing alone in the battlefield he thought to himself, “I’ve got to get to Lot’s uncle Abram! He’s rich and powerful and wise. He might be able to help my master.”

Kenan began looking around for anything that might make the trip easier. He figured that it would take at two or three days to get there, longer if he had trouble with his leg (which was still bleeding slightly).  Looking around at the bodies strewn across the field of battle, he found on one body a sword (complete with scabbard), on another a dagger to stick in his belt. He also added a bow, a quiver full of arrows and a couple of half-filled canteens, an equipment pack and bedroll that the soldiers used on their forced marches including  several pouches of rations dried meat, some sort of dried meal cakes and a quantity of dried dates before he was done. He could re-fill the canteens in the river that he must cross on the way toward the hills of Hebron. He felt well equipped for the journey.

Kenan loaded all of his equipment and supplies and began his long journey. Taking a look at the sun and the shadows of the early afternoon, Kenan headed northwest toward the home of Abram. His injured left leg was somewhat swollen from the cut and ached slightly with each step. He planned to wash it thoroughly in the river when he got to it.

At the edge of the field where the battle had taken place he stopped to turn and take one last look at the carnage. His unsettled stomach took another turn for the worse so he turned his back on it and headed into the coolness of the forest determined to find the river, refresh himself in it’s cool waters and find a place that he could cross it.

It was a long, steady climb to get to the river and Kenan reached it as the sun was setting beyond the tops of the hills he was climbing. As he settled down for the night, he began to think about what he had just been through and his life as one of Lot’s men. Things had been very different when they were with Abram.

 

 

 

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 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.”

 

The Workers in the Grocery Store – Part 1

The Workers in the Grocery Store

By: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

 

Not so very long ago, and not so very far away, we find our friends Johnny and Susie going over their homework together in the library at their school. They were just finishing up their math and started talking about some news that Johnny had been excited to share.

“So the phone rang last night and it was my Uncle Klaus. He had just arrived in town from the Midwest where we used to live. He and my Aunt Harriet had just sold their grocery store back home and moved out here to Crescent City,” explained Johnny. “That’s right,” said Susie “I remember you telling me about them and that they were going to come out here. What are they going to do? Are they going to open another grocery store?” “Absolutely, they just loved running their store back home, but they wanted to live somewhere where they were closer to the mountains.” “They came out to visit us last summer and really liked it here, so they decided to move here. They will be staying with us until they find a place of their own.”

Susie sat and thought for just a minute and said, “You know, Johnny, that building across the street from the Murphy’s bakery is that building that the Nguyen’s used for their grocery store before they decided to open their Vietnamese restaurant. Maybe they should look at that building for their store. It still has all the fixtures in it and stuff and it’s just been sitting vacant since they moved out.”

Johnny perked up and responded with excitement, “That’s right! And it has an apartment above the store so they could live there if they wanted to. That’s great Susie!” Johnny started gathering up his papers, notebooks and things. “I want to run home and tell them right away. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Ok, Johnny, I have some more homework to finish. See you in the morning!” Susie waved goodbye to Johnny as he hurried out of the library. Susie then turned her attention back to her books and started working on her assignments again.

Now, just in case you haven’t heard any of the stories with Susie and Johnny before, they are two kids that are best friends and both of them became Christians the same summer. They love talking to people about Jesus and they have lots of fun and adventures together as they learn and grow in their faith.

Two weeks later…Uncle Klaus and Aunt Harriet had rented the building that Susie had suggested and were working hard getting the store ready to open. We find our friends walking together on their way to school. Susie asks Johnny, “Hey Johnny, how are your aunt and uncle doing getting their new grocery store ready to open?” “Oh, they are doing just great, Susie. In fact they will be getting their stock today and, with tomorrow being Saturday, Uncle Klaus has hired me to help him stock the shelves. He said that he would pay me $50 to help him all day tomorrow.” “That’s great Johnny that will help you save up more money for that mountain bike that you’ve been wanting so much” responded Susie. “It sure will,” Johnny said excitedly. “Uncle Klaus told me that if I do a good job, he would think about having me help out at the store on a regular basis and that way I could keep working on saving the money for the bike and get it a lot sooner.” “Wow! That’ll be great Johnny!”