Booc Brown’s Lessons from Oopsies

 

“Little Miss Booc Brown, what’s that frown all about?” asked Booc’s mother, Mrs. Brown.

Booc peered over from behind the washing machine door. Her eyes widened, and she held a pink sock in front of her face. “Oopsie, Mom! The white clothes turned pink!”

Mrs. Brown walked to the washer and pulled out what were once white towels, tee shirts, and socks. Now they were all cotton candy pink. At the bottom of the washer, Mrs. Brown found Mr. Brown’s red tee shirt. “Ah ha!” said Mrs. Brown. “Booc, did you put this in the washer?”

“Oopsie?”

“Yes, oopsie,” said Mrs. Brown. “You can’t put colored clothes in the white laundry. I didn’t see you do this. Now all the clothes are pink!”

“I’m sorry,” said Booc Brown.

“It’s not your fault,” said Mrs. Brown. “You didn’t know. The next time, never put red or color clothes with the whites.”  Mrs. Brown placed Booc’s once white shirt in the dryer. “Looks like you get to wear a cotton candy pink shirt to school today,” said Mrs. Brown.

Booc’s frown turned upside down, and she smiled brightly. Pink was her favorite color!

 

Mrs. Brown grabbed a chair near the kitchen counter. “Booc, come watch me make your breakfast.”

“What are you making?” asked Booc Brown.

“An omelet. Watch the egg in the bottom of the pan and tell me when it starts to look cooked. I’m going to grab some mushrooms.”

Booc saw a bubble come up, grabbed the spatula, and poked at it. She decided to help by moving the liquid egg around with the spatula. Oopsie! Booc thought to herself. This looks like scrambled eggs.

Mrs. Brown peered over at her and walked back to the stove. “Little Miss Booc Brown, what’s that frown all about?”

 

“Oopsie!” said Booc Brown.

“Yes, oopsie,” said Mrs. Brown as she grabbed the pan. “You’re not supposed to stir the eggs to make an omelet. Your father wanted an omelet for breakfast, and now we’re having scrambled eggs.”

 

“I’m sorry,” said Booc Brown.

 

“It’s not your fault,” said Mrs. Brown. “You didn’t know. The next time, never stir an omelet.”

Booc’s frown turned upside down, and she smiled brightly. She didn’t like omelets because her mom put mushrooms in them. Scrambled eggs with catsup was Booc’s favorite!

 

After breakfast, Mrs. Brown dropped Booc off at school. Booc was wearing her cotton candy pink shirt, matching bows, and pig tails as she walked into class.

Booc’s teacher, Mrs. Upright, announced that the class would be performing A Mermaid Tale for the school play.

Drewann raised her hand. “Mrs. Upright, can I play the Mermaid?”

Abog yelled, “I want to play the King!”

Booc Brown became restless in her chair. She wanted to be the Mermaid, too!

“Settle down class,” said Mrs. Upright. “Every student will read for each role, and I will make a decision by the end of the day.”

 

Later that afternoon, Booc read for the part of the Lobster, Flounder Fish, and Mermaid.

Mrs. Upright looked around the class. “Booc, will you please come read the part of the Octopus Witch?”

 

Drewann had just finished reading for the part of the Mermaid and smirked at Booc.

Booc’s face began to feel hot, “I don’t want to play the Octopus Witch, Mrs. Upright. I’d like to be the Mermaid,” said Booc.

 

No girl in the class wanted to play the Octopus Witch. Booc’s heart was set on playing the Mermaid. She felt frustrated as she grabbed the script and read the lines. As she peered over at Drewann, Booc yelled, “Now sing!”

“La la la la la,” read Mrs. Upright.

 

“Ha ha ha! Now your voice belongs to me!” said Booc Brown still staring at Drewann.

 

“Excellent!” said Mrs. Upright. “Booc Brown, you just won the role of the Octopus Witch. Drewann, you will play the Mermaid. Abog, the King, Caeg will play the Prince, Kaia, the Lobster, Isla, the Flounder, Reo and Liam will play the Witch’s eels.

“Booc Brown, what’s with that frown?” asked Mrs. Upright.

Booc Brown ran over to Mrs. Upright, and her eyes held back tears.

 

“Mrs. Upright, I don’t want to be the Octopus Witch,” said Booc Brown.

Mrs. Upright smiled.

 

“Booc, it’s only a play. Just have fun with it! Look on the bright side. You’re the only one who gets to wear the shell necklace,” said Mrs. Upright as she placed the necklace around Booc’s neck.

Booc’s frown turned upside down, and she smiled brightly.

 

“I want you to place the shell necklace on backwards,” said Mrs. Upright. “When you finish your lines and say, ‘Now your voice belongs to me.’ You need to reach behind your back and pull the shell to the front of you.”

 

Booc still wasn’t thrilled about having the role of the Octopus Witch but remembered that her mother told her she should be a good sport. “Okay, Mrs. Upright,” Booc responded.

 

Over the next few weeks, Booc Brown practiced her lines after school with her classmate Abog, who lived in the court across the street from Booc’s house.

 

“King Tutti! How good it is to see you.” said Booc Brown.

“You’ve gone too far this time, Octopus Witch!” said Abog as he pretended to drive his make believe boat. Crash! Abog’s arm hit Booc’s shoulder.

 

“Booc, time to come inside for dinner,” yelled Mrs. Brown.

 

“I’m on my way Mom!” shouted Booc.

 

Abog looked at Booc Brown. “I can’t believe tomorrow night’s the play. See you tomorrow at dress rehearsal.”

 

“I know. I can’t wait!” said Booc Brown. She waved goodbye and ran home.

 

The next morning while driving Booc to school, Mrs. Brown stared at Booc in the rear view mirror. “Little Miss Booc Brown, what’s that frown all about? Aren’t you excited about your play? I can’t wait to see it!”

 

“What if I make a mistake and mess up? What if I forget my lines?” said Booc.

 

Mrs. Brown stopped the car in front of the school. “You’ll be great! Remember when you didn’t know that you shouldn’t wash a red tee shirt with white laundry? Or when you stirred the omelet by accident?”

Booc Brown’s frown turned upside down, and she smiled brightly.

 

“You learned from those mistakes. The cotton candy pink shirt is now your favorite. You may have made a mistake by stirring an omelet, but the outcome wasn’t as terrible as you thought. You accidentally made your favorite breakfast, Scrambled eggs,” said Mrs. Brown.

 

Booc smiled as she opened the car door wearing her cotton candy pink shirt. “Yes, Mom, I learned from those situations, and if I make a mistake, it may not turn out to be too terrible.”

Mrs. Brown got out of the car and hugged Booc goodbye. “Have a good day. Everything will be okay!”

 

Everything did go great that day, until the first dress rehearsal that morning. Booc had convinced the Mermaid to sing and release her voice.

“Ha ha ha! Now your voice belongs to me!” yelled Booc Brown as she grabbed behind her neck for the shell necklace. The lights were shining brightly on Booc’s face. She could see a few people staring from the auditorium. Booc grew nervous as she couldn’t locate the necklace. She tried several attempts and finally cried out, “Oopsie! I forgot my necklace!”

Her classmates giggled, and Mrs. Upright walked over with another necklace that had a larger shell.

 

“Here. Maybe you need a larger shell necklace so you can grab it easier,” said Mrs. Upright.

Booc’s face felt on fire. She was embarrassed and hoped that the larger shell would correct the problem.

 

Later that afternoon, the class was to perform the play in front of the entire school. Booc was even more nervous now because of the mistake she had made during the dress rehearsal. The auditorium was completely packed with students.

 

As Booc’s first couple of scenes passed, she began to feel more confident.

 

“La la la la la la la!” sang Drewann.

 

“Ha ha ha! Now your voice belongs to me!” yelled Booc Brown as she grabbed behind her neck for her shell necklace. The lights were shining brightly on Booc’s face. She could see all the students staring at her, and she began to sweat. Once again, Booc grew nervous as she couldn’t locate the necklace. She tried several attempts and finally feeling defeated, looked over at the side of the stage where Mrs. Upright stood and cried out, “Oopsie! I forgot my necklace!”

 

Mrs. Upright placed her hand on her forehead in disappointment. The stage was silent, and after a long pause, Drewann moved forward with her next lines. After the scene was over, Booc walked off the stage, and Mrs. Upright walked towards her.

 

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Upright. I couldn’t reach it,” said Booc Brown.

 

“What if you put the necklace in your pocket? Could you pull the necklace out of your pocket for the evening show?” asked Mrs. Upright.

 

“I’m an Octopus, Mrs. Upright. I don’t have any pockets,” said Booc Brown.

 

“Okay, we’ll need to practice.” Mrs. Upright held Booc’s hand to show her how to pull the necklace forward. They practiced several times before school was let out for the day.

 

“Practice a bit more before the show this evening. Don’t worry. You’ll get it right this time,” said Mrs. Upright.

 

That evening, the car was packed. The whole family piled in, and Grandma even showed up to see Booc’s play.

Mrs. Brown looked over at Booc. “Little Miss Booc Brown, what’s that frown all about?”

 

“I keep making mistakes! I can’t reach my shell necklace, and I don’t want to mess up again,” said Booc.

 

“You practiced before and after dinner. I think you’re ready. You will do great. Don’t be nervous. We can’t wait to see your play. Look, even Grandma showed up!” said Mrs. Brown.

Booc’s frown turned upside down, and she smiled brightly.

 

The auditorium smelled like coffee and sweets, which were being served. Booc ran over where Abog and Drewann were standing.

 

“Don’t forget your shell necklace.” Drewann giggled looking at Booc.

 

“Don’t worry, Booc. You’ll be great!” said Abog.

 

Booc peered over at the crowd and saw her grandma holding a bouquet of flowers. Booc never had anyone bring her flowers before! Booc was filled with excitement as she walked with her classmates to the stage.

 

The play moved quickly, and for the first few scenes, Booc was doing great until that dreaded scene began.

 

“La la la la la la la!” sang Drewann.

 

“Ha ha ha! Now your voice belongs to me!” yelled Booc Brown as she stared at the packed crowd of parents and saw her grandma sitting in the crowd. Booc suddenly froze. After a pause and silence, she lifted her palms up to her sides, giggled nervously, and said, “Oopsie! I somehow forgot my necklace!”

 

“Awe,” said the crowd as they laughed and applauded.

Booc peered over at the side of the stage and saw Mrs. Upright smiling and applauding.

 

Suddenly, Abog jumped onto the stage, holding his cardboard ship. “You’ve gone too far this time, Octopus Witch!” yelled Abog.

 

The crowd cheered as Abog took his cardboard ship and pushed Booc Brown off the stage. Booc wailed and fluttered her arms until the audience heard a loud crash, and Booc was gone.

Caeg ran onto the stage and grabbed Drewann’s hand as her voice came back.

 

“La la la la la la!” sang Drewann.

The audience applauded loudly, and the entire class walked onto the stage. Mrs. Upright motioned her fingers, one, two, three, and the class yelled together, “and they lived happily ever after!” The students bowed.

 

All the lights in the auditorium came on, and the parents stood on their feet, clapping. Booc Brown’s frown turned upside down, and she smiled brightly. Booc learned a great lesson that evening.

 

Sometimes we learn from our mistakes, and sometimes even our mistakes have a funny way of working out.

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Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. #Jesus #JesusSaves #Agape #Love #God #Cross #Lion #Judah #Tribe #CatFamily #Fe #Bible

Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. #Jesus #JesusSaves #Agape #Love #God #Cross

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“I’m Abner Not Ab-Nerd!”

A lawn mower hummed in the distance from the city of Apple Hill’s baseball field.

A warm breeze that smelled of fresh cut grass and sunscreen gently dried the sweat off Abner’s forehead as he gripped his baseball bat and positioned himself into a batter’s stance.

Sweat dripped from the team’s pitcher’s, Billy Bullae’s, red eye brow, across his orange freckled face, and down the black tiger stripes that were painted under his eyes. He pulled back his arm, raised his knee, and threw a fast pitch! Abner heard the ball hit the catcher’s glove behind him while he was in midswing!

“Strike three, you’re out!” the catcher yelled.

Abner tilted his head down and dropped his bat. As he walked away, Billy shouted, “Nice job, Ab-Nerd! Your speed will be great when you play with Team Sloth!”

Abner peered over and shouted, “Sloth? What are you talking about?”

Billy Bullae chuckled and yelled loudly again, “Your swing is sloth slow! Go home, Ab-Nerd!”

The other players started laughing. Abner grabbed his backpack sitting near the fence and swung it over his shoulder. As he slowly walked away, he whispered to himself, “I’m a sloth?”

Abner peered over at Billy and the other players and called out, “Hey! My name’s Abner, not Ab-Nerd, Bullae!”

That afternoon, Abner took the long route home. His mind kept questioning, “I’m a sloth? Sloth?” He felt shame in his heart, and tears filled his eyes until they ran down his face and over his black painted tiger stripes.

Crickets sang in the blackberry bushes, and the sun sank low. Abner knew it was getting late, so he picked up his pace and rushed home. Upon arrival, Abner dashed into the house and headed straight for the bathroom. As he washed his hands, Abner stared into the mirror and paused, startled by his reflection! The tiger stripes had smeared because of his tears, and he had large black circles around his eyes.

Abner looked into the mirror as Billy’s taunting repeated in his mind. “Nice job, Ab-Nerd! Your speed will be great when you play with Team Sloth!” Abner intently looked at his reflection and whispered to himself, “I am a sloth.” He looked up and his reflection looked like one-half Abner and one-half sloth.

Abner’s little brother startled him when he banged on the bathroom door. “Hey, Abner. Mom said dinner’s ready. Last one to the table’s a sloth!”

“Sloth!” Abner opened the door and charged behind his little brother Gabe, who was one foot shorter than him. Gabe ran ahead, across the house, and towards the dining room. Out of desperation, Abner grabbed Gabe’s shirt to stop and tackle him in the hall. Gabe twisted and wrestled with Abner until Abner tripped on his own foot. As he collapsed, Abner’s grip released Gabe’s shirt, and Gabe dashed on!

Defeated, Abner put his face in his hands and quietly said to himself, “I am a sloth.” Slowly, he stood up and walked to the dining room where his victorious brother welcomed him with a grin “I won!” proclaimed Gabe. “Looks like you’re the sloth!”

Abner now felt ever more defeated. He sat quietly and ate dinner with his Mom, Dad, Gabe, Uncle T, and his talking parakeet.

“ERH! I’m a pretty bird,” the parakeet sounded off.

Gabe laughed, and Abner bit into his dessert, a chocolate fudge brownie, unamused. The parakeet sat on Uncle T’s shoulder and rapidly fluttered its wings. Uncle T got up and walked the parakeet to the living room and placed it in the cage.

Abner looked up from his plate and saw his reflection in the china cabinet mirror. “Oh, no!” Abner cried out as his fingers touched his face. The chocolate fudge from his brownie smeared around his mouth and matched the black circles from his tiger stripes that formed around his eyes. He now looked exactly like a sloth!

Devastated, Abner shook his head and said, “I am a sloth.”

Abner’s mom looked at him. “Abner, are you okay?”

Abner asked, “Could I please be excused?” When his mom nodded her head in approval, he walked to the living room and laid himself across a futon mat on the floor. Suddenly, he heard, “ERH!”

Startled, Abner looked to his right, where he saw Uncle T’s talking parakeet, staring at Abner from the cage.

“ERH! I’m a pretty Bird.” The parakeet squawked.

Bitterly, Abner peered over at the parakeet and said, “No, you’re no pretty bird. You’re a sloth!”

The parakeet looked intently at Abner and squawked, “ERH! I’m a sloth.”

Shocked by what the parakeet said, Abner started laughing. He laughed so hard his body trembles and shook as tears streamed down his face. Abner leaned in closer to the parakeet’s cage.

Uncomfortable with Abner’s close presence, the parakeet trembled, and it ruffled and expanded the dark feathers around its eyes and mouth.

Abner looked away from the parakeet and then back to the cage. The parakeet looked more like a para-sloth.

“ERH! I’m a sloth,” proclaimed the parakeet.

Uncle T yelled from the dining room, “What did my bird say? Hey, Abner, don’t teach the parakeet any words it shouldn’t say!”

Abner’s face turned chili pepper red, and his eyes widened. “I’m not, Uncle T,” he replied. “The pretty bird is just fine.” Abner leaned in closer to the cage and with deep concern whispered, “Shh! You’re not a sloth. You’re a pretty bird!”

The parakeet’s feathers shook rapidly again and appeared to look even more like a para-sloth! “ERH! I’m a sloth,” proclaimed the parakeet.

Abner flung his head into his hands in deep frustration. He took a deep breath in and exhaled out and whispered to the parakeet, “I’m a pretty bird. I’m a pretty bird,” as he tugged on his shirt and wiped the sweat from his face. Abner looked up and saw his reflection in the mirror hanging across from him. The black circles around his eyes and the chocolate fudge on his face were gone except for a small black dot on the tip of his nose that made him appear to have a bird’s beak.

Abner put one hand over his nose and stared down at the parakeet. He proclaimed, “I’m a pretty bird!”

Soothed by Abner’s calm voice, the parakeet’s feathers relaxed, and its appearance returned to normal. “ERH! I’m a pretty bird,” proclaimed the parakeet.

Abner smiled with great enthusiasm as he worried he might upset Uncle T. “Good bird!” Abner exclaimed as he jumped up and ran to the bathroom. He locked the door, wiped the tip of his nose with a washcloth, and stared at his reflection in the mirror.

“I’m Abner. I’m handsome. I’m strong,” proclaimed Abner.

As Abner stared at himself in the mirror about to toss the washcloth in the bathroom hamper, he saw his bicep bulge. “Whoa!” proclaimed Abner. He turned on the water faucet and gently tapped water on his head and combed his hair. He no longer looked like a sloth. In fact, Abner felt handsome and strong!

He smiled at his reflection and said, “I’m Abner, and I’m lightning fast!”

Knock, Knock, Knock! “Hey, Abner. Mom wants you to come and say goodbye to Uncle T.  Last one to the front door’s a sloth!” shouted Gabe.

Abner jumped towards the door, swung it open and chased Gabe across the house. Abner’s lightning fast legs quickly came up behind Gabe, and he pulled him out of his way. Victoriously, Abner reached the front door before his little brother.

Abner hugged his Uncle T and said goodbye along with his family. Just as the front door was about to close, Uncle T’s parakeet squawk, “ERH! I’m a sloth.”

Abner’s face turned chili pepper red as Uncle T yelled, “ABNER!”

Abner looked over at his parents. “ERH! I’m in trouble.”

“Yes, you are,” replied Abner’s dad.

The next day at school, Abner showed up for baseball practice. As he walked up to the rest of the team, Billy said, “Hey, everyone, Ab-Nerd showed up!”

Abner grabbed a bat and walked to the plate. “It’s Abner, not Ab-Nerd, Bullae!”

Billy laughed as he got into pitching position. “Are you going to show everyone you’re ready to join Team Sloth with that sloth slow speed?”

Abner gripped his bat and got in a batter’s stance. He whispered to himself, “I’m lightning fast.”

Billy pulled his arm back, lifted his knee, and pitched the ball at Abner.

In great amazement Abner heard Smack! As he peered up, Billy’s mouth was wide open in awe Abner hit the ball right out of the park!

Abner grinned as he jogged around the bases. Gently, he tapped his foot on each base and quietly sung, “I’m lightning fast, lightning fast, lightning fast!”

 

By: Dana Louise

 

Wilt Thou Grow?

One verily, lovely afternoon, a peculiar lady named Dorcas, arrived to babysit her two nieces. Dorcas was so happy her sister and brother-in-law had an event to attend. She couldn’t wait to see Princess Vivien and Isabel.

 

“Girls, Auntie Dorcas is here,” said Mrs. Gardner as she opened the door.

 

“Princess Vivien! Princess Isabel! Where are you?” asked Aunt Dorcas as she searched the house. Aunt Dorcas giggled and walked over to Isabel, who was hiding under a cover, and Aunt Dorcas gently tugged on it. “Oh, look what I found! I see you,” said Aunt Dorcas.

Isabel giggled, and Vivien crawled out from hiding behind the couch as their parents walked to them.

 

“Come here, girls. Give me hugs,” said Mr. Gardner. “Your mother and I are going out for a few hours. Be good and enjoy your time with Auntie Dorcas.”

Mrs. Gardner leaned down to hug Vivien and Isabel goodbye. “Be good. I love you both,” said Mrs. Gardner, and she kissed the girls and left with Mr. Gardner.

As the front door closed, Vivien and Isabel called out, “Bye! Love you!” Then they ran towards their toy box and grabbed two squirt guns.

 

“Auntie Dorcas, can we go outside and play?” asked Vivien.

Aunt Dorcas grabbed a yellow bucket and said, “Sure, come on Vivien and Miss Isabel.” She walked with the girls to the backyard and began filling the bucket with water so the girls could fill their water guns.

 

“Uh, oh,” said Aunt Dorcas. “I smell smoke. Hurry, Vivien and Isabel! Sound your alarms! Hurry, run! Go put that fire out!”

Vivien and Isabel dashed across the yard, squirting their water guns.

“Hold on,” screamed Isabel.

Vivien laughed. “Help is on the way!”

 

Once the side of the house was drenched with water and Isabel finished saving Molly the Dolly, the girls ran back towards Aunt Dorcas.

“Auntie!” shouted Vivien. “We put the fire out and saved the day!”

Aunt Dorcas smiled. “I’m proud of both of you. Come over here and refill your water guns again. I need you to come help me save these flowers.”

Aunt Dorcas stood in front of three flower pots, each had wilted flowers inside of them.

“We forgot to water them,” said Vivien as she and Isabel began squirting the flowers.

“They look really thirsty,” said Aunt Dorcas, peering down at one of the wilted flowers. “Beautiful flower. Pretty, kind, radiant, lovely flower. I love you flower!”

Isabel giggled. “Auntie Dorcas, you’re so silly.”

 

“Why are you talking to the flower?” Isabel asked.

Vivien leaned in close, shoulder to shoulder with Aunt Dorcas and Isabel. “Yes, Auntie, why are you doing that?”

Aunt Dorcas touched the plants’ leaves with her finger and said, “Plants and flowers are alive, and when you say kind and loving words, you will help them grow. If you say mean words, they will wilt and dry up over time.”

 

Isabel grabbed one of the flowers and said, “Hi, pretty flower. You’re a pretty flower. Will you grow?”

Vivien grabbed another flower and said, “Beautiful flower, kind flower, I love you flower. Will you grow?”

“I bet those flowers truly appreciate you. You’re being so kind. Let’s go in the house now. I’m going to start dinner. Who wants to help?” asked Aunt Dorcas.

 

Isabel and Vivien both rushed towards the door.

Vivien peered over at Isabel angrily, “I’m helping first!” she said.

Isabel cried out, “No! I want to help first!”

Vivien yelled, “No, you doodie! You’re too short to reach anything!”

Isabel looked down at the ground, and Aunt Dorcas walked over to her, picked her up, and looked towards Vivien.

 

“Do you remember the wilted flowers outside and how we said nice words to help them grow?” Aunt Dorcas asked.

Vivien replied, “Yes, I remember. You said they’re alive and that kind words can help them grow.”

Auntie Dorcas put Isabel down beside her and lifted her hands to the sides of her head to make her hands appear like flower petals as she slightly tilted her head downward in an attempt to appear like a human flower. “Now,” said Aunt Dorcas, “say some mean words to me.”

 

Vivien grinned and after a short pause, looked at Aunt Dorcas and said, “Stupid flower! Boogie eater! Meanie!”

With each word, Auntie Dorcas’s head sank lower and lower as she cried out, “I’m wilting. I’m wilting. Oh, what a world, what a world, what a world!” Aunt Dorcas’s hands wilted until they were collapsed to her sides. “Now,” whispered Auntie Dorcas, “treat me just as you treated the wilted flowers outside.”

 

Isabel jumped in and looked at Aunt Dorcas. “Flower, you’re pretty.”

Then Vivien called out, “Smart flower! Love you flower!”

As the girls spoke kind words, Aunt Dorcas’s head began to lift, her frown turned to a smile, and her hand petals grew and rose back up into a healthy, happy flower!

 

Giggling, the girls continued to say unkind words, and Auntie Dorcas would wilt. Then the girls would say kind words, and Aunt Dorcas would blossom again.

Auntie Dorcas stopped and looked at Vivien. “Now, try that with your sister.”

Vivien grinned and looked at Isabel. “You’re smart. You don’t eat boogers, and you’re kind and not a meanie.”

 

“Wow, Vivien, that’s very nice of you! You can be kind to people and help people feel good and grow. Or we can be unkind to people and make people wilt like flowers and feel low,” said Aunt Dorcas.

 

“I like to see happy flowers that grow!” said Vivien.

Auntie Dorcas replied, “Me, too. If we speak kind words, our words are like seeds that can help create a kinder world for everyone.” Auntie Dorcas gave the girls a big hug and said, “Now let’s go speak kind words to the broccoli in the kitchen to see if we can make more grow for your dinner plates!”

 

Isabel and Vivien ran to the kitchen, and as they peered over the broccoli, they looked at one another.

Vivien said, “Stupid broccoli.”

Isabel laughed and said, “You stink! Stinky broccoli.”

Aunt Dorcas laughed and leaned over the broccoli. “We love you broccoli. Nutritious broccoli.  Help us grow taller broccoli.”

Isabel grinned. “Kind broccoli. Just please taste better broccoli.”

 

“Love you broccoli!” Vivien said.

 

The End.

 

Do you speak love?

 

Dana Louise

The Mind of the Unbeliever

Contemplation of God’s existence for an unbeliever is like the mind of an ant, trying to conceptualize the manufacturer of the ant farm it’s living in.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Mind of an Unbeliever

Contemplation of God’s existence for an unbeliever is like the mind of an ant trying to conceptualize the manufacturer of the ant farm it’s living in.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jesus vs Barabbas | Did Envy Crucify Jesus?

Jesus Christ was the only sinless human that ever walked on Earth. Yet despite the fact that Jesus never sinned, nor did any deceit come out of his mouth, jealousy and envy found a way to crucify him. Interestingly, in Matthew 27:18 KJV, Pilate states that envy was the reason that Jesus Christ was delivered to him for crucifixion. 

I believe this is a liberating concept for any sinner who has been called out of darkness into the light; and has former sin still chasing behind them. We can look towards Jesus for comfort in the fact that even as holy, perfect and sinless as he was, persecution and envy still found a reason to crucify him.

Enduring persecution? Enlightening to imagine that even if you strive for the purest and uttermost sinless perfection, persecutors will find a reason. I’d go a step further to state that if a reason can’t be found, hatred and envy will inevitably create a reason.

I find that praying and striving for greater spiritual maturity helps as I try to work towards becoming more like Jesus and growing in peace that:

  • We are “called to suffer” (Romans 8:17).
  • Develop spiritual eyes to view the persecution as necessary and unavoidable as we are to share in Christ’s sufferings. An example of this I envision is when Jesus viewed the soldiers casting lots over his garments during crucifixion and with spiritual eyes and understanding, he forgave them (Luke 23:34). 

I imagine that Jesus was envied by well educated doctors, priests, government officials, wise men, sorcerers, magicians etc; as they heard people proclaim miraculous acts of a young man named Jesus Christ, who for example, made a blind man see by rubbing dirt in his eyes (John 9:6) and brought a man named Lazarus back to life? (John 11:41-43).

Could you imagine the city and state officials discussing the healing Jesus produced on a man who could not be contained by chains, who cried out day and night and cut himself with stones? Envision the city and state officials arriving to investigate the pig herders complaints that Jesus commanded a man’s demons to enter into two thousand pigs, who then ran into a lake and drowned. Consider the official’s dismay at the demon possessed man, sitting on the scene, clothed and in his right mind? (Mark 5:4 -15). 

Jesus was responsible for many miracles that may have led others to envy. Do you think envy was the reason the crowd chose to release Barabbas (convicted criminal) and to crucify Jesus Christ an innocent man? Can you share any personal experiences or thoughts about the dangers of envy and how it might apply to society today?

Matthew 27:18 (KJV) For he knew that for envy they had 
delivered him.

Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

 

 

 

 

 

Detach Through Humor

In the movie Forest Gump, Forest is being chased down by a group of men throwing rocks from a truck that’s trying to run him down. Throughout the film, Forest ironically shows a positive response to what most people would consider to be seriously traumatizing situations.

A walk home with Jenny, to Free Dr. Peppers to all you can eat ice cream… Forest finds a sense of joy or gratitude throughout his trying situations. I find humor in distressing situations can bring about some relief from the pain. Providing brief moments of joy, even while in suffering.

Likewise, if you need to escape, turn up your head phones and breakaway with music and find humor in the situation. Listen to something random that makes you laugh and removes you from the situation. Visualize some humor or focus on something you can find or bring gratitude to the situation. Forest brought gratitude and humor to everything. “Well… I got shot in the buttocks, but hey! I can have ALL the FREE ice cream I can eat!!!”

Forest Gump is a great example of a positive minded person, who found “Joy in all his sufferings.”

Matthew 18:3King James Version (KJV)

3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.