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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: The Cupboard Conundrum
By Joanne Sher


Jacob stretched his arm as high he could. He even got on his tiptoes, but he couldn't quite reach the handle on the upper cabinet.

"Hey, Dad?"

"What's up, Jacob?" Mr. Danes rose from the living room chair where he'd been reading the paper and looked around the corner into the kitchen.

Jacob looked up at the cupboard and then into his dad's eyes. "Could you get the potato chips?"

"Sure." His dad reached up, opened the cabinet, and grabbed the bag, handing it to Jacob.

"Thanks, Dad." Jacob sat down at the kitchen table and tore open the bag. He started munching as he read a magazine and drank from a tall glass of milk.

As he finished the last article, Jacob remembered that he had homework to do. He put the magazine in the recycle pile and his empty glass in the sink. After looking back at the table, he glanced into the living room, where his dad was reading the paper.

Jacob grabbed the chips off the table and stood by the cupboard. He tried again to reach the handle - he even jumped up, but still couldn't get it open. Stepping back, he tried a running leap, but banged his head on the lower cabinet door, spilling the chips on the floor.


His dad got up from his chair and entered the kitchen.

"Are you okay?"

The boy rubbed his head. "I think so."

"What happened?"

Jacob lowered his eyes. "I was trying to put the chips away and I bumped my head and dropped them instead."

Mr. Danes tousled Jacob's hair.

"It's okay. Let's just clean it up."

As Jacob picked up the chips and put them in the trash, Mr. Danes tapped him on the shoulder.

"Why didn't you just ask me for help? I would have been happy to put them away for you."

Jacob shrugged. "I didn't want to bother you - you looked busy."

His father smiled. "I'm never too busy to help you out, Jacob. Don't be afraid to ask me to help, especially when it's something you know you can't do."

Mr. Danes swept up the last of the crumbs while Jacob held the dustpan.

"You know, Son, it's the same with God." Mr. Danes held the trash can open. "Sometimes we feel like we're bothering Him when we pray, that He has more important things to do than to listen to our requests."

Jacob nodded. He remembered skinning his knee the other day. It had hurt, but he didn't ask God to make it feel better because he figured it wasn't that important.

"But, do you know what, Jacob? God doesn't want us to be shy about talking to Him. He wants us to pray to him boldly, to ask for whatever we feel we need. He may not answer exactly how we'd like, but He always loves to listen to us pray to Him."

He smiled. "So, just like I should have asked you to help me put the chips away, I should ask God to help me too, even if I've been asking and asking and asking?"

His dad nodded. "That's right. Besides, God loves you even more than I do. Do you think He would really ever get tired of listening to you?"

Jacob smiled. "I guess not."

"So, the next time you want to ask for something from God, just do it boldly." Mr. Danes patted Jacob on the back. "Don't be afraid of bothering or interrupting Him. Just ask."

"Okay, Dad."

"Oh, and the next time you want the potato chips down, do the same with me. Okay?"

Jacob giggled. "Okay."

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18

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This article has been read 1270 times
Member Comments
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Amy Michelle Wiley 09/06/07
(haha! I was the first to read this :-D) Cute story! Nice example for the Bible verse. :-)
Patty Wysong09/06/07
(Rats! I thought I'd get to be first!! oh well.)
Great lesson for not only kids but for adults, too, and a great story to illustrate it! Hugs!
Ann Renae Hair09/06/07
Great example of using everyday incidents in life to point our kids toward God's open arms, including the appropriate reaction to the spilled chips...very sweet.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/07/07
This is a delightful devotional with a perfect example to show how we should have boldness before God.
Betty Castleberry09/07/07
A wonderful message all wrapped in this nice devotional. The dialogue was natural and flowed smoothly. Five stars from me.
Dianne Janak09/07/07
I just bumped my head today trying to get chips ( figuratively speaking) so thanks for speaking to us adult children also! How easy it is to get self-sufficient, independent, and rely on our own strength. A few head bumps are a reminder! Good writing!
Pat Guy 09/08/07
My favorite verse!

And you hit the 'bump' on the head with this one! ;) It's a wonderful children's story.

This could be shared in SS or as a family devotional. I think this deserves KUDOS all around.
Sherry Wendling09/08/07
Delightful lesson, in a great kids' format! You might even draw the reader in a notch further by portraying how Jacob was actually feeling about his futile attempts.
I liked the way you tied it all together with the potato chip theme--Nicely done!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/08/07
Your message is loud and clear, but not preachy. Wonderful devotional.
Dee Yoder 09/09/07
Good, clear message and great dialog between the characters. I like the Dad's approach to put the every day example into a spiritual context for his son. That's a great way to parent and teach Biblical truths!
Linda Watson Owen09/09/07
Oh, I agree! This is a wonderful 'lesson' to adults on how to teach Biblical truths through real life, everyday experiences! This could be used in church for 'children's sermon' times too. Great job!
Jacquelyn Horne09/10/07
Good lesson here. I liked the comparison.
Marie Fieldman09/11/07
I remember everything being out of reach and constantly scraping my knee! Great little kid details! Sweet story!
Marilee Alvey09/11/07
Nice contrast with the boy and his father. As is so often the case, our experiences with our own children tell us so much about God. How it must hurt Him to watch us continually bump our heads because we're too stubborn, too proud, or too self-sufficient to ask Him. I agree: this would make a good Sunday School lesson or devotional.
Debbie Roome 09/11/07
A lovely life lesson.
Jan Ackerson 09/11/07

Give this to your Sunday School teachers; it'd be a great lesson for story time.
Suzanne R09/16/07
A sweet piece, Joanne, with a great lesson. I must admit ... but maybe it is just my experience with the precious little ones in my life ... that I did find a touch jarring the fact that (a) Jacob only ate part of the chips and didn't scoff the whole packet, and (b) he tried to put it back rather than leave it lying around until he was nagged. But that's just my cynicism shining through. It was a great piece with an excellent application and I'll think of it no doubt next time I try to be painfully independent and not bother God!