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The Farbers?*

Aryn is in the grade 7 and is a member of Wingham Protestant Reformed Church in Wingham, Ontario, Canada.

Beacon Lights received a number of excellent, creative stories in response to the writing contest we offered. The winners will be published in this and subsequent issues. We would like to thank all those who participated and look forward to having the contest again next year. Teachers, you are invited to consider having your students write for the contest as part of their writing assignments. Keep this in mind as you plan out the coming school year.

Hi! This is Alice Farber! I haven’t written for a while, so I thought I’d let you know what’s been happening in my life, since we last talked. Wow, I must have been only about five or six years old then…so many years have passed!

First of all I’m not a Farber anymore; I’m a Fisher. I met Ron Fisher in high school and he was (and still is) a nice God fearing man that I liked. So, we got married. God has blessed us with three kids. First came Elizabeth (we call her Liz). She is five and in kindergarten. Our son Jared is three, and John is one. My older brothers Joe, Terry, and Ben are all married and each have four kids. Beth is a nurse and is engaged to be married. We all love our Saviour and try our best to follow the Lord’s teachings, and are thankful how God has blessed us over the years. Mom and Dad love having us all over, and it is very nice to have fun with our family. We live on a small farm with two cows, Liz’s chickens, two cats, and a dog.

Yesterday, Liz asked me what a diary was, and it reminded me of what we did when we were kids. We had a notebook, and in it, we wrote the exciting, or important things that happened that day. It was kind of like a family journal. Liz, of course, thought this was a good idea for our family. She wanted me to write about what happened yesterday.

Well, it was after nap time, and the kids were in the toy room playing happily. I was dusting. What a horrible job! Liz was playing blocks and had just made a big tower, so she called me to come in and see it. Just as I stepped in the room John toppled over. (He is just learning to walk.) It didn’t matter that he fell, but the thing he toppled over onto mattered!

“My tower!” Liz cried! She was so angry she went over to John and slapped him! I had been standing “behind the scenes” but got in pretty quick when that happened. “Liz!” I said, “Tell me, why did you do that?” I was surprised; she never did that!

“Because he is mean and he wrecked my tower,” she wailed! By this time John was done crying, and was having fun throwing the blocks around the room.

“Liz,” I said in a stern voice, “Do you think that was the right thing to do?” Then I reminded her of something she did the other day. “When we made cupcakes and you spilt the batter, did you want me to be angry with you and make you clean it up?”

“But that was a ac-accident,” she said, trying to say it right.

“But John is little and couldn’t help falling down,” I said, trying to help her understand.

“You’re right,” she said, “But what should I do now?”

I thought for a moment and then replied; “Jesus said to forgive people when they do evil to you.” I was going to continue, but was stopped short by Liz.

“But what does forgive mean?” Liz asked.

“Forgive means that the person is very sorry, and asks you to forgive them. If you say ‘Yes I forgive you,’ It means you are not mad anymore and you sort of forget the whole thing.”

“Okay,” said Liz. “But what if he does it over, and over again?”

“Keep forgiving him!” I said “Does God forgive you a lot for the same sin?”

“Yes,” said Liz, “but what if I don’t?”

“Well,” I said, “In Mathew 6:15 Jesus says, ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you.’”

“Oh,” said Liz.

“Jesus also says in Mathew 18:23,” I continued, “when Peter asks how many times to forgive a person ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, seventy times seven.”

Liz replied, “Okay, but why did Jesus say to forgive seventy times seven times?”

“Oh,” I said, “When Jesus said that, he did not mean four hundred and ninety times, he meant it as an infinite number.”

Again I was stopped by Liz. “But what does in-infinite mean?”

“Whoa!” I said, “You are going too fast! Infinite means never ending, sort of like numbers. Numbers never stop they just keep going, understand?”

“Yes.” Liz said, “If John does it again and again I have to forgive him.”

“And sometimes it is hard to forgive people so always remember that Christ forgave you!” I was proud of her. But yet came another question.

“Do I have to forgive John? He is so little, he really doesn’t understand.”

“Well,” I said thinking hard, “just because John is so little and does not understand, give him a hug and kiss so he knows everything is all right.” Just then I thought to myself, “Good thing he is not older, or he wouldn’t let her kiss him!”

Just then I heard Jared say, “Eww, she’s kissing him!”

“Good,” I said. “Problem fixed!”

Liz was happily playing blocks again. Five minutes later I heard, “Mom, come look at my tower!”

“Okay,” I said.

“Crash, Bang, Boom!” I winced expecting to hear a wail. But, to my surprise I heard, “Its okay, John, but don’t do it again, oh, please!”

I laughed! It’s a good thing she learned that lesson, because she will be using it a lot!

*This entry to the writing contest was written as a follow-up story to a book by Gertrude Hoeksema entitled The Farbers. The book was published in 1993 by Heritage Christian School and was promoted in the December, 1995 issue of Beacon Lights. This book is a wonderful collection of 101 short stories about a fictional Christian family and their everyday experiences. Each story brings to life Christian values which we dearly strive to reach our children. Adults as well as children will enjoy this book time and time again.

The Farbers makes a great gift for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, and will be a treasured item in your home. We invite you to visit The Reformed Book Outlet, 3505 Kelly, Hudsonville, MI 49426. Write to the address of the bookstore and request a free catalog. Or you can view their catalog on the Internet at http://www.hudsonvilleprc.org/bookstore.htm.