Riding in the car, Kimmy looked at her brothers and challenged them to a race.  Jake was too busy reading to care, but Wes accepted the challenge. As soon as the car was parked in Grandpa’s driveway, Wes and Kimmy jumped out and dashed toward the house. They were both out of breath as they were greeted by Grandpa Myers with one of his big bear hugs.  “Why the rush?” Grandpa asked.

“We raced like always, and I won!” Kimmy responded.

“Well, I let her win,” mumbled Wes. They sprinted off to the kitchen.  After hugs and kisses from both grandmothers, Kimmy declared herself an Olympic racer.

Wes asked Grandma, “What’s for dinner? I’m starving!”

 “One of your favorites, fried chicken,” smiled Grandma as she pointed to the stove.

Mom was just entering the room when she heard the conversation and began to laugh. “Oh my, do I have a chicken story for you! I’ll tell it while we eat.”


When everything was in place, the family settled down at the table.  Grandpa said grace. Mom began, “Last Friday afternoon I went into the garage to grab something out of the freezer for dinner and noticed that someone never quite closed the freezer door.  Water was dripping from the open door onto the garage floor.  Looking further, I was surprised to find a lot of the food still frozen, but it seemed like fifty pounds of chicken had thawed. It was still very cold, but not frozen. 


I knew my evening plans had suddenly changed.  I would be spending the evening cooking all that chicken before it spoiled.  While loading my arms with chicken, I was upset until I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit reminding me, ‘You can be grumpy and waste the evening cooking while in a bad mood, or you can make the best of it. Your choice.’


“Once I was back in the kitchen with the chicken, I turned the radio to my favorite praise music. I then began cooking and singing at the top of my lungs. The neighbors probably heard me. There was chicken on the stove top, chicken in the oven, chicken on the grill. I laughed as I was even doing the chicken dance.  There I was, happily cooking and singing until about 9:30. Then I realized that it would be impossible to finish cooking all that chicken before bedtime.  I didn’t want to spend the next day still cooking chicken.


“Again, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, ‘You know, you don’t have to do this alone.  There are others who would appreciate some chicken.’ My first thought was to drop some off at the mission the following morning. Then I remembered the family of five right across the street. They might enjoy chicken.  I called them and left a message explaining that I had extra chicken for them, but it needed to be used soon.


“First thing Saturday morning, my neighbor called. She had been praying for chicken just the night before!  She said she was pouring her heart out to God, ‘I don’t need a lot, just a little extra chicken in the freezer would be nice.’” 

Wes chimed in, “God had the chicken ready to go even before the lady prayed for it.”


Grandpa thought a moment. “I know what you mean Wes.  He is such a loving God.  God answered your neighbor’s prayer through your mom’s problem.  Your family also blessed – the open freezer was discovered before all the food went totally bad.  I love the verse: My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. (Philippians 4:19) Wes, do you want to pray for us today?”

Wes bowed his head. “God, thank-you for using my mistake of leaving the freezer door open so that our neighbor could have her chicken prayers answered.”

“And Lord, please help Wes remember that freezer doors are supposed to be closed, otherwise all our ice cream will melt,” Kimmy added.

And all the family said, “Amen!”


  • What did Mom have too much of?
  • Why was she grumpy?
  • Instead of being grumpy, what did she choose to do?
  • How did God use Mom’s overabundance of chicken to help the neighbor?
  • What does God promise in Philippians 4:19

Prayer time: thank God for everything He has done today


Over fish sticks that Sunday, the kids started talking about their swimming lessons.  Kimmy swam like a fish, Jake could dive like he was getting ready for the Olympics, and Wes always sank to the bottom of the pool.  No matter how he tried, Wes just couldn’t float.  As Jake was teasing Wes, Wes said, “I don’t think I have anything to be embarrassed about, after what you and your friends did at swimming lessons this past week.”

Nana Ahsleen raised her eyebrows and looked over at Jake’s parents.  Dad said, “It certainly wasn’t one of Jake’s most mature moments.  Jake, why don’t you tell everybody what you did?” Jake’s face promptly turned bright red. 

“Hey Jake, while you are choking on your food, why don’t I start the story?” said Kimmy.

Jake slowly nodded.


Kimmy continued, “On Wednesdays we are bused to the pool for our swimming lessons. A group of old men use the pool the same time as us, but usually we just wave at them and jump in a part of the pool that is roped off. Anyway, this Wednesday they divided our classes up into groups.  I impressed everybody how fast I could swim from one end of the pool to the other. Then class was over and we rushed to the locker rooms to get dry and dressed.  We girls came out of the locker room, but we could hear a lot of noise still coming from the guys’ changing room.  Wes was already dressed and out in the pool area, but we could hear Jake’s loud laugh behind the door.”


“Something wasn’t right,” Wes piped up.  “I asked the swimming teacher, Mrs. Johnson if I could check on my brother.  Opening the door, I saw Jake’s face and knew he was in trouble.  The guys were all dressed, so I gave Mrs. Johnson the all-clear sign.  She walked around the boys’ locker room and discovered the floor was soaked. She made her way to the toilets where most of the water seemed to be. Mrs. Johnson was not happy! Jake and his friends had decided to play their own version of volleyball over the toilet cubicle walls.  In place of a volleyball, they used pieces of clothing belonging to the men who had changed for the pool before we got there.  One of the toilets was full to overflowing with a piece of men’s clothing and it certainly wasn’t the man’s socks.


Mrs. Johnson fished out the soggy white mess and carried it outside to the pool area.  She looked around at the old guys who were in the water, crouched down at the edge of the pool and motioned for the biggest man to come over.    After he got to the side of the pool, Mrs. Johnson OPENED what she held in her hands, held them up. She asked the man if this was his underwear. He quickly grabbed it, jumped out of the pool, and ran to the locker room.” 

Nana and the entire Myers family tried not to laugh but pretty soon they were howling in laughter.  Jake wished he could just sink under the table and disappear.  “Yeah Jake, why don’t you try playing in the pool water next time instead of the toilet water?” Wes snickered.


“Jake,” Mom asked, “did you learn anything from all of this?  You already made that phone call to Mr. Smith and apologized about his clothing. We know you are also are going to be raking Mr. Smith’s leaves for the next month.”


Nana Ahlseen quietly said, “You know Jake, there is a verse in Proverbs 14:16 “A wise person is careful and stays out of trouble.” Looking back do you think you were very wise in what you did with Mr. Smith’s clothing?” 

Jake hung his head and said, “I wasn’t very smart when I thought we should play volleyball with his underwear.”


Nana continued, “I think you also learned another Bible truth. Proverbs 28:13 says, ‘If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy.’  After you apologized to Mr. Smith and confessed to your parents and God, what happened?”

“They forgave me. Mr. Smith even accepted my apology.” Jake lowered his head and said, “Can I say the prayer today? Lord Jesus, I’m so sorry about how I embarrassed Mr. Smith.  Thank You that He forgave me and that You have forgiven me.  And also, Lord, could you please help Wes learn how to float?”

And all the family said, “Amen!”


  • What had Jake done?
  • Why was he embarrassed?
  • What are two things Jake learned?
  • Who forgave Jake?

Suggestion: someone reading this pray, regarding all the lessons that God is trying to teach us and we still have to learn, just like Jake