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No. 17
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

The Patterson family was on vacation up north.
They had been to Cairns.
It was very hot and steamy and every one was getting on each other's nerves.
On the way back in the station wagon, the two boys got into a fight.
They were sitting in the back seat with Meg,  she was eight.
Peter was twelve and Daniel was nine, but he was a big kid.
The boys shoved one another, and they got to wrestling around in the end.
Dad was driving, and he told them to shut up and sit down a few times.
But their tempers were up now, and they just kept on bickering and fighting.
It got nasty, and their faces were red as anything. They were yelling out!

At last Dad had had enough! He stopped the car and pulled the boys out.
They were STILL carrying on, yelling and punching, so Dad put a stop to it, for good.
He grabbed a stick from the side of the road,
and gave them both a couple of whacks each around the bare legs!
They had swimmers on!
They all drove on in a steely silence after that.
Peter just glared at Meg when she gave him a weak little grin.
And he sat there staring out at the road, for a long time.
He was in a fury!

When Dad stopped to look at a road map Mum had,
Peter opened the door and just ran!
He made it for some bushes, and turned around and screamed at Dad:
 "I'm not going home! I'm never going back with YOU!"
Well, Dad tried to sing out calming things to Peter, but it did no good.
Mum finally walked very slowly over to him.
Talking gently all the time.
He thought of running further away - but changed his mind.
What was the use!
He let her take him back to the car.

That night in the motel, Dad put his arm around Peter's shoulders.
Peter said he was sorry, and it felt good to get it all off his chest.
Dad said that he knew Peter was a bit big to get hit like that.
"It was just that we might have had a car accident,
and I was worried for the whole family."
It was the only way to stop it!
Dad was sorry too that he had made Peter feel just like a little kid.
SO, they went out then and bought lots of fish and french fries,
we call them chips in Australia.
The whole family laughed a lot, and were glad they belonged to one another.

The Bible says children are to obey their parents.
Sometimes it is hard, fathers and mothers are people too.
They get tired and cross, just like kids do.
But they almost always know best.
We can run away from God.
We can get into trouble with Him, and not want to come back.
God is our Father who loves us, He is always ready to say
"I forgive you, beloved child."
When we don't obey our parents, we don't obey God.

"Children obey your parents in the Lord:
for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1).


There is a thrilling story in the Bible which is very well known, the Prodigal Son.
It is a parable that Jesus Himself told, about a son who ran away from his father, far off into another country. He made an awful hash of his life, all he could find to eat in the end was the food the pigs were fed! The young fellow saw reason at last, and made the long journey back to his father. The father had been waiting all the time, and ran to hug him. He couldn't even wait for him to come to the house!
The family even had a party to celebrate the son's return.
This is a story Jesus told to show how much God loves, and forgives, the sorry sinner.

Read the parable for yourself. It is a great story.
Luke 15: 10-32.

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