For the last 20 years I have presented the Gospel to each new youth at the highly secure prison for the kids ages 13 to 19 at Gainesville, Texas. It is the first time that most any of them have stopped “running on the streets” and had the time to think about their life. Most every one made a decision to make God part of their life. After our hour+ together I would write each one a letter. As a result I corresponded more with many of them. And in each letter I would enclose a group of short stories or poems. They really liked them, especially those with an emotional message. You probably would not believe how many locked-up prison boys have loved theses little stories, and read them over and over.
In my soon to be published book I enclosed a long list of those short stories in the Appendix. Since the prison boys liked them so much, I thought you may like to see some of them. So, here is a 26th group of them for you. And you are welcome to share them with others.
Where You Going?
Where you going?
Not “where are you going,” but “where you going?”
As I held my shoes and socks in my hand, the six-year-old repeated the question. After the second repeat the three-year-old joined in.
“Where you going?”
People think that husbands are often bothered by wives asking them where they are going. That’s nothing compared to the two little ones.
I was downstairs with them so I replied, “I’m going upstairs.”
“But where you going?”
They knew that I did not require socks and shoes to go upstairs.
I could immediately answer them, I knew where I was going, that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that children, like adults, often don’t initially ask the real question.
Invariably, whenever I answer where I am going, I am bombarded with the next question:
“Can I go?”
“Can I go?”
That’s the real question they wanted to ask.
One must make it a point that wherever one is going, it is a place that one would not mind one’s children knowing about. Whatever one is going to do, it should be something they can be proud of.
Whether you know it or not, children eventually find out where you are going.
Eventually they ask of life on some level, “Can I go too?”
THE WONDER OF PRAYER!
Have you considered the wonder of prayer?
That we can pray anytime, anywhere?
That we can lift our hearts to God above?
To one who cares for us with his tender love?
Oh, how good to turn to him when in need!
To know he listens, that he pays heed!
To bring our burdens to him, and to bring our cares!
In a sense he’s waiting just to meet us there!
God wants us to bring our needs to him,
whether they’re big or small.
None are overlooked by him.
He’s concerned about them all.
If you are God’s child,
Here’s what you should do:
Pray to him daily.
He wants to hear from you.
Pray in the name of Jesus,
God’s own beloved Son.
He honors the name of Jesus,
and remarkable things get done.
Give thanks for God’s answers
given to your prayers.
They are his reminders
that he really, truly cares!
By Pastor Bruce Oyen
The Wooden Bowl
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
“We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl that they found in the cabinet.
When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”
Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food when I grow up.”
The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.
The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future.
Let’s be wise builders and role models. And realize that the Lord Jesus is observing us.
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