The Brick Falcon: A Proverbs 25:28 Story

Caleb puts the last charcoal-gray lego on the wing of his Millennium Falcon. The spaceship he has been working on for over a week is bigger than the pillows on his bed. Caleb takes a step back to marvel at his accomplishment. “Woah,” he exclaimed. It is even bigger than he imagined it would be. Caleb peeks into the cockpit. All the tiny stickers he now imagines are real instruments with working lights as the Millennium Falcon prepares for flight. Chewbacca and Han Solo sit in their chairs with wild expressions on their faces as if they were already hitting light speed. “I better get to the bathroom with light speed. I’ve been holding it now for two hours while I worked on finishing this,” Caleb says to Han and Chewie.

Naomi, Caleb’s curious younger sister, hears him run down the hall from his room, past hers, and into the bathroom. Her doll’s head makes a thud as it hits the floor. Naomi doesn’t hear it because she’s halfway down the hall to Caleb’s room. The doll’s electronic cry alerts Caleb something is awry. He can’t go to the bathroom any faster though because he drank a giant glass of grape juice while working on the Falcon.

Caleb rushes out of the bathroom while the toilet still flushes. He glances in Naomi’s room as he sprints down the hall. She’s not in her room, he thinks. She must be in mine! “Nooooooo!!” Caleb screams down the last two feet of the hall, then makes an impressive 90 degree turn into his bedroom like a US Marine in the marching band.

The sight that unfolds in his room is even worse than could have imagined. Naomi is not just looking or poking at the Millennium Falcon, but it’s in full flight above her head. Her tiny, and no doubt, sticky little fingers are holding the bottom of the Falcon and she is making “vroom, vroom” noises with her flapping lips which offer up nearly as much spittle as they do noise. Caleb swears Chewie’s and Han’s faces look more frightened than his wide-eyed, jaw-dropped, expression does. “Naomi! Put that down now!” Caleb shouts.

Naomi jumps with fright and lets go of the ship. Gray legos obey the law of gravity. The bright red, fiery thrusters offer no help as the Falcon plummets like a brick. The crash is completely silent to Caleb. He feels like he is stuck in a nightmare where everything is in slow motion and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make his feet move. Han Solo and Chewbacca now lay in a pile of rubble. If only he had a droid to help him with the repairs.

“Look what you did!” Caleb shouts at Naomi, “You ruined it! You ruin everything!”

Naomi’s lip quivers as her eyes well up with tears. “You scared me, Caleb! I wouldn’t have dropped it if you didn’t scare me!” Naomi shot back, running out of Caleb’s room with full-on alligator tears running down her cheeks. One even drops on Caleb’s bare foot. He stares at the splatter, then at the busted up Falcon, and back at the tear on his foot. He begins to feel bad about his reaction, but all his hard work is now in pieces on the carpet.

“What’s going on up here?!” Mom demands after hearing all the commotion. Her eyes move past Caleb to the pile of logos on the floor. “Oh no bud, what happened?” Mom asks a bit more gently.

“Naomi. She was in my room just after I finished and she dropped it on the floor. It’s ruined, Mom. I have to start over now.” Caleb says. He can no longer hold back the lump in his throat and breaks down crying in frustration and disbelief.

“Meet me downstairs, I’m going to talk to Naomi,” Mom says. Once downstairs, both kids sit on the couch and Mom sits on the ottoman directly in front of them. “I heard both sides of your stories and think I have a good understanding of what happened. It’s really unfortunate this happened to you, bud. I know you worked so hard, and for so long on that Millennium Falcon. It must have been scary to see Naomi holding it above her head when you returned to your room. It was scary for Naomi too, when you ran in shouting. Do you think you handled that well, you two?”

“It’s my fault, Caleb, I shouldn’t have played with your toy without asking you. I’m so sorry!” Naomi says. 

Caleb looks down at his foot before responding. He sees the outline of the tear Naomi had dropped on his foot when she ran out of his room scared and crying. Something inside tells him although his hard work is now for nothing, his sister is worth far more than a mound of plastic. “I don’t think I handled that well, actually. I’m sorry for scaring you, Naomi. If I didn’t scare you, you wouldn’t have dropped the Falcon. I should have had better control over myself,” Caleb says. “It makes me think of the verse I heard in youth group this Wednesday: ‘a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls,’ Proverbs 25:28. Because of my lack of self control, now the Falcon lays broken.”

“I can help you fix it, Caleb,” Naomi offers. “I won’t touch anything unless you tell me to.” 

“I may have been lacking in self-control, but I’m never too proud to accept help,” Caleb says with a gentle elbow poke to Naomi’s side.

Weekly Bible Verse: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. -Proverbs‬ ‭25‬:‭28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Note to Nibble: Exercising self-control can keep both you and others from harm. 

Spiritual Fitness Before Physical Fitness: A 1 Timothy 4:8 Story

“You’re going to make us late again,” Opal yells down the hall with one arm in her hoodie and the other holding the door jam. She feels like squeezing the white, wooden beam gives her more bravado, emphasizing her growing frustration with her slow-moving brother.

“I’m not going,” Henry calls back. 

Opal hears rustling and drawers opening and closing. She quickly moves down the hall to see what Henry is doing instead of getting ready for youth group. Henry used to love youth group. It was almost all he would talk about; he would count down the days to Wednesday like most people countdown to Friday. “What’s going on in here, Henry? Are you finally running away?” Opal asks jokingly.

“Ha, ha-not funny,” Henry snaps back. “I want to go to the gym to play basketball with my new friends.”

“Well, I’m going to tell Mom and see what she has to say about it,” Opal says.

“I’m old enough to make my own decisions about youth group, Opal,” Henry replies.

Opal races downstairs with Henry moving faster than she’s seen him move in months. “Mom, Henry isn’t going to youth group, he’s going to play basketball with his new friends at the Y,” Opal tattles.  

“What’s all this now,” Mom asks. “Is this true, Henry? You want to go to the Y tonight instead of youth group? This is very much not like you at all, what’s going on, bud?”

“I’ve been to youth group a million times, Mom. I want to play basketball and maybe lift weights with my new friends. If I want to play football next year, I need to get buff and in shape,” Henry tries to negotiate his position. Opal snorts, holding back laughter before a look from Mom snubs out her snarkiness so it doesn’t cause a fight between the two siblings.

“Oh, you want to get fit, do you?” Mom asks.

“Yeah, Mom! You get it!” Henry replies.

“So on a scale of 1-10, how fit do you think you are right now?” asks Mom.

“What, I don’t know – maybe a 6?” says Henry. “I’ve definitely got some room for improvement. But I’m not going to get closer to a 10 unless I work at it.”

“I get your point. Another question for you: on a scale of 1-10, how spiritually fit would you say you are?” asks Mom with a smirk. She can tell by the look on Henry’s face that this is the turning point of his argument.

“I see what your saying, Mom,” Henry admits.

“If we’re not spiritually fit, Henry, then we have nothing-literally. How do you think you get spiritually fit? Going to the gym? Because we do that 3-4 days per week for your homeschool P.E. Technically, if that were true, you’d be spiritually ripped by now!” Mom jokes.

“You get spiritually fit by reading the Bible and connecting with God,” Opal offers. “You can do it too, by having fellowship with other believers and in prayer. Doesn’t the Bible say that if two or more gather in His name, He is with them?” Opal asks.

“That’s Mathew 18:20,” Mom adds.

“You guys are right, the youth group is more important than the gym. I will call the guys and tell them I’ll meet up with them tomorrow.” Henry says.

“Good call, Henry – get spiritually fit, then get physically fit,” says Opal.

Weekly Bible Verse: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. -‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬ NIV
Note to Nibble: While physical fitness is healthy, spiritual fitness should take priority. 

Enduring, Persevering, and God’s Perfect Plan: A Romans 5:3-4 Story

Chase, Ry, Oaklyn, and Palmer sit on the curb across the street from what once was their family home. Wrapped in shiny silver blankets, they watch firemen soak smoldering beams that bore witness to every inch the girls grew. Beams which had cradled every memory of scraped knees, Barbie doll camping trips, bedroom ceiling constellation mapping, birthday parties, and wonderful family holidays. One brave fireman stomps his dirty boot on top of the handmade quilt the family got for Christmas from Grandma the year before she went to be with the Lord. Tears roll down Ry’s face as she thinks of her mother’s boney fingers hand-stitching each square with love. She thought that quilt would be around forever.

Truth is, they took most of their belongings in the house for granted; it’s not difficult to be complacent with possessions because of how easily obtainable everything is these days. There won’t be an Amazon truck dropping off a quilt that can ever replace the one they lost. Nothing will ever replace all the memories that went up in flames.

Their neighbor Mrs. Ramsy, whom they drove to church every Sunday, must have called the pastor. Chances are, she fired up the prayer chain, calling a good portion of the congregation to ask for prayer and support. Pastor David parks his car in front of them and runs out to give them a giant bear hug that somehow holds the four of them. They let go, crying uncontrollably in his arms. He takes them home, feeds them, lets them clean up and put on fresh clothes. They will now live in the basement apartment he AirBnBs. It is fully furnished and even has some food in the cupboards and fridge. He assures them the Lord is with them and that God promises to take care of His children.

When Chase and Ry wake up in the morning, the girls are already up. As they eat breakfast they talk about all their favorite toys and clothes now turned to ashes. “I know it’s just stuff and it’s not like we’ll take any of it to heaven with us, but it still makes me so sad thinking of never seeing my favorite teddy or Grandma’s quilt again,” Oaklyn says with tears welling up in her eyes.

With a loss for words, Chase and Ry walk into the kitchen and hug their kids. Trying to be strong, they fight back tears and tell the girls that everything will work out as God has planned it, even if they don’t understand it at this moment. “One day we’ll look back at this and it will all make sense,” dad assures them. 

“I hope so,” cries Palmer, “because none of this makes any sense to me. Why would God let this happen to us?”

Two years later – Chase wakes up to laughter and children playing outside his window. He slides on his flip-flops and walks out of the bedroom, into the small kitchen. “There’s coffee,” says Ry, knowing it was probably what he was staggering through the kitchen to get.

“God bless you, I was up way too late last night,” Chase admits. “The village huts don’t build themselves, you know.”

“I saw you guys finished the church too. It’s all coming together here!” Ry says excitedly as Oakley and Palmer’s soccer ball flies in through their front window, hitting the wall near Chase’s head. “Incoming!” Ry says with laughter. Something that would never fly in their old home. “I’m so glad they have so many friends here.”

“Yeah, there are no bullies to worry about like there were in the States either.” Chase admits. “And the girls have led almost half the village kids to Christ. They’re even starting their own youth group!” 

Ry’s eyes shift to their open bedroom door. A quilt with burnt edges lies on the foot of their bed. Through joyful tears, she thinks of her mother and how happy she is that they were able to save some of the quilt; how happy she is for the new life that God gave her – the one He had planned for them all along.

Weekly Bible Verses: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭3‬-‭4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Note to Nibble: Stay strong in the Lord and don’t give up in times of suffering, for your character, hope, and faith are being refined. 

The Ultimate Need Meeter: A Philippians 4:19 Story

“Mom, my shorts from last summer don’t fit and I’m supposed to meet McKayla at the river. What am I going to do?” Rae cries from deep within her closet. From the kitchen, her mother hears her like she’s in the next room. Rae stomps down the hall with shorts in hand then flings them back and forth over her head like a white flag of surrender. “I give up, Mom. My old summer clothes don’t fit me anymore. I’m about to cut all my jeans into shorts. I can’t even meet McKayla at the river now.”

“Nice to see you too, Rae. My extra shift at the nursing home went pretty well until Mrs. Cramer threw up her breakfast all over my shoes. How was your night? Did you sleep ok?” Mom asks.

“I’m serious, Mom!” Rae snaps back.

“I am too, honey. I had to scrub banana bread pudding out of my shoes for a half an hour.  They’re so old and cracked that the vomit was stuck in the cracks. I had to find an old toothbrush that looked about as old as my shoes.” Mom retorts.  

“I’m sorry about your shoes, Mom,” Rae says.  “I just don’t have any clothes that fit for the summer and I’ve put applications in at every fast food place, juice stand, and coffee shop in a 20-mile radius.”

“I’m sure something will turn up for you, sweetheart. Have you prayed about it at all?” Mom asks.

“Prayed about shorts?!” Rae questions with eyes wider than a cartoon character getting bonked in the head by a clever rabbit or very fast road runner.

“Why not? You can come to God with all your troubles. He wants to provide for you, you know? Why don’t you go to your room and pray?” Mom suggests. “Then you can cut one pair of jeans into shorts for now.  How’s that sound?” Mom asks.

“Ok!  Thanks, Mom!” Rae says, as she runs back down the hall.  

Things have been extremely hard since Rae’s dad passed away two years ago. Her mom had to not only get a better job, but also had to take a second job at the nursing home just to pay the mortgage, bills, and buy groceries. She doesn’t have any extra money for clothes or shoes.  She decides it’s a good idea to go pray in her room too.

The next day, Rae and her mother pull up to the church and sit in the parking lot for a moment. Sunday was Dad’s favorite day of the week. They would go to church and then to lunch after – family time was always the best. Although they haven’t broken down crying in the parking lot at church for a few months – it is still hard for them to get out of the car to move through the day sometimes.  Mom grabs Rae’s hand. They take a deep breath in unison and together say, “Let’s go.”

A white mini-van pulls up next to the passenger side of their car and out pops Juliana, Rae’s mom’s best friend.  “Carmen, Rae, can you help me with something before you go in, please?” Julianne asks as she opens the van’s back end. Inside are four large boxes. Three of the boxes have “Rae” written on the side in black marker. One has Carmen’s name.

“What is all this?” Carmen asks in shock.

“Well darlin’, I was doing some spring cleaning and boxed up all the clothes that Samantha doesn’t wear anymore or has grown out of. Turns out it is a lot. I had to pull more boxes out of the garage. Then, I decided to go through my closet and box up a bunch of clothes that I don’t wear any longer either.  There’s a pair of comfy sneakers in there you could wear to work too, Carmen.”

“You’re an answer to a prayer, Jules!” Carmen says. “It’s like I told you, Rae, God provides.”

Weekly Bible Verse: And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. -Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭19‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Note to Nibble: God is a loving God who cares about you and is the ultimate need meeter. 

Nolan and Zeke: A Proverbs 4:23 Story

“Hey Nolan, listen to this,” his best friend, Zeke, says to him as he pushes an ear pod into his ear. “It’s the new Dustin Woodpond track. It just dropped last night. I’ve probably listened to it 50 times already!”

“Woah, it’s really loud,” Nolan complains, feeling like his head is now throbbing from his eardrums to his temples.

“That’s the best way to listen to it man, you gotta feel the music. Don’t you like it?” Zeke asks.

“The beat sounds pretty good, but I don’t know what he’s talking about and I think he just swore,” Nolan says.

“Who cares about that!?” Zeke replies, “Everyone is listening to it.”

“Oh really? I guess I can give it a listen, but can you turn it down a little?” Nolan asks.

The next day at lunch, Zeke is singing one of Dustin Woodpond’s new songs and looks at Nolan to finish the verse. Nolan gives him a confused look and everyone at the lunch table finishes the verse in unison and laughs at Nolan for not knowing it. Nolan tries to brush it off and digs into his lunch sack. A note from his mom drops out and Zeke quickly scoops it off the table.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Is this a love note from your mom?!  I haven’t seen one of these since elementary school, and there’s a Bible verse on the back,” Zeke says, holding his stomach while laughing uncontrollably.  “Oh my gosh, did you have to ask Mommy to download the Dustin Woodpond album?  That’s why you didn’t know the words to the song I was singing! No way, your mom said ‘no’, didn’t she?” Zeke continues.

“You know what, Zeke, my mom actually did check out that album and I’m pretty disappointed that you listen to it, to be honest. There’s a parental warning on the cover and every song has bad language or is about inappropriate stuff. I don’t want to put that into my head and neither should you,” Nolan responds. With that, the table explodes with laughter. “Nolan cuts through their laughter saying, “You always used to go to church with me, Zeke. You even went to Bible camp with me for the last three years. Why are you acting like this, and why did you make fun of a Bible verse in my lunch sack?” Nolan asks.

“Because I grew up, Nolan. I even listen to big-boy music now,” Zeke says, looking around the table to see all the laughing faces in agreement with him.

“You may have grown up, Zeke, but you are far from mature or wise!” Nolan states firmly. The books you read, the music you listen to, and the movies you watch influence your life and can lead your heart away from Jesus. I think it goes without saying, but the people you choose to hang out with can corrupt you too. We’ve been best friends since the 2nd grade man, but it seems like we don’t have much in common anymore. I’ll be praying for you,” Nolan says, packing up his lunch from the table. As he walks away, no one is laughing.

Weekly Bible Verse: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. -‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭23‬ NIV
Note to Nibble: Wisely choose what you fill your heart and mind with, because what you watch, read, and listen to, can have an influence over your life. 

Peyton and Jessy: A Peter Denies Jesus Three Times Story

Jessy looks for Peyton at the bus stop on her first day of junior high. Peyton and Jessy have been friends since kindergarten, but Peyton spent most of the summer making new friends at soccer camp. Jessy boards the bus hoping to see her friend on the first day of school. Truth is, Jessy hasn’t heard much from Peyton since she returned from camp.

At school, Jessy closes her locker and turns to head to her 1st-period class. She sees her friend, Peyton, walking toward her with a large group of girls. Jessy waves and says, “Hey Peyton,” loudly. Jessy knows that Peyton can hear her, but she walks by as if she doesn’t even know her. A lump forms in Jessy’s throat as a rock sinks in her stomach. She fights back tears as she doesn’t want to be seen crying on her first day of school in the middle of the hallway.

At lunch, Jessy again sees Peyton with the same group of girls sitting at a large table in the middle of the cafeteria. She walks up to Peyton this time so that she is standing on her right side. She has to hear me now, she thinks. “Hey Peyton, can I sit with you?” Jessy asks. Peyton turns toward her, looks her up and down, then returns to talking to her new friends as if Jessy isn’t even standing there. This time the tears cannot be held back. Jessy slams her lunch tray down in front of Peyton and runs off crying. She can’t understand what happened to her friend and why she is acting like this.

When the last bell of the day rings, dismissing the kids from school, Jessy can’t wait to get home. She rushes to her locker, grabs her backpack, and moves quickly to the school bus pickup. When Jessy boards the bus, to her surprise, she sees Peyton sitting by herself toward the back of the bus. Jessy really wants to ask her old friend what is going on. She begins to make her way toward Peyton who then slides to the end of her seat so that Jessy can’t sit next to her. Peyton looks out the window as if Jessy doesn’t exist. Giving up, Jessy sits in her own seat staring out her own window in disbelief. I can’t believe Peyton cares more about being cool than she does about our friendship, she thinks.

After getting off the bus, Jessy rushes home. “Jessy!” she hears from behind her. Through misty eyes, she sees Peyton rushing toward her. Surprised, she says, “Peyton? You can see me? I thought I was a ghost or something.”

“I’m so sorry, Jessy. I don’t know what came over me. I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to be cool with these new friends I made at soccer camp this summer that I thought they wouldn’t like me if they knew we were friends. But I’m so sorry, Jessy, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. What’s really important is the friendship we have. And besides, if they get to know you, I know they’ll love you. If they don’t, their loss! I really do apologize. I haven’t been a very good friend lately. If you acted like I have, I would be just as hurt. Still friends forever?” “Forever!” Jessy replies.

Jessy and Peyton embrace and everything seems like it is back to normal, the way it should be. The next day at school, Peyton introduces Jessy to all of her new friends. Jessy sits with them at lunch every day going forward.

Weekly Bible Verse: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. -John‬ ‭15‬:‭13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Note to nibble: Be kind to one another and don’t get so wrapped up in yourself that you forget about others. 

Josie’s Dress: A Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors Story

On the drive home from church, Josie’s mom says she needs her to try on the new dress she made for her end-of-the-school-year dance. Her older sisters, the triplets, or “gruesome 3-some” as she sometimes calls them, grumble under their breath as if angry and jealous that Josie’s mom made her a beautiful dress of many colors for the dance.

“Girls, remember, I made you three dresses for your end-of-year seventh grade dance too,” mom reminds them. The three girls mumble their “oh yeahs” and “okays” as they stare at their shifting feet. Josie can tell they are still a little upset, but she focuses her energy on the excitement she feels inside instead of the negativity inside their family minivan.

The following weekend, Josie goes to the mall with her sisters to help them pick out their dresses for the dance. One by one, they try on each dress from the pile they manage to bring into the dressing room. Madison tells Josie to have some fun and try on the dresses with them. Sadie hands her a ravishing blue dress that Brooklyn says really brings out her eyes. Standing in front of the full-length mirror, the triplets tell Josie how stunning she looks.

“I think you should wear this dress to the dance,” says Sadie.

“Absolutely,” replies Madison, “let’s go pick out some shoes!”

“I’ll do your hair and makeup,” Brooklyn adds. “You’re going to win the best dress contest with this one for sure!”

“I just don’t know,” Josie responds. “Mom spent a lot of time making me a beautiful dress for the dance. I’m just here for you guys.”

“Trust us,” the triplets state in unison.

“Keep it at school and change once you get to the dance. Mom will never know.”

At bedtime, the triplets plot in their room how they are going to lure Josie to the bathroom and ruin her new blue dress. Not only will Mom not know she’s going to change dresses, but they will destroy her chance at winning the best dress contest. The “gruesome 3-some” giggle themselves to sleep at the thought of driving a wedge between Josie and their mom while making her look like a fool in front of the whole school.

The night of the dance, Josie changes out of the dress her mom made her and puts the hand-made dress in her locker. Wearing the blue dress her sisters talked her into wearing, she makes her way to sign up for the best dress contest. Sadie stops Josie in the hall and says Madison and Brooklyn need help with their dresses in the bathroom. The three sisters push her into an open stall, throw fruit punch on her dress, and rip the sleeves off of it. “Good luck at the contest,” they say, laughing as they exit the bathroom.

Crying in front of the mirror, Josie fixes her hair and wipes the streaked makeup from under her eyes and cheeks. Just then, her best friend Katie walks into the bathroom. Josie tells her what happened. Katie runs to Josie’s locker and grabs the colorful dress her mom made her. She returns it to the bathroom where Josie changes into what she thinks she should have worn in the first place. “I can’t believe I let them talk me into changing out of the dress my mom worked so hard to make and then they treated me like that,” Josie said through welled-up eyes.

“That’s gotta really hurt coming from your sisters, Josie. Just know, they are totally jealous of this gorgeous dress. It’s one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, with such soft pastel colors. I can’t believe your mom made this,” Katie encourages. “Now let’s go sign you up for that dress contest. I guarantee you’re going to win! And let’s make sure we turn this night into one we won’t forget!”

“Thank you, Katie! I don’t know what I would have done tonight without your help.”

Weekly Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Note to Nibble: The plans of the noble will always win out in the end.

The Golden Rule: A Luke 6:31 Story

Oakley and Piper are homeschooled sisters who live on their family farm. The duties involved with living on a farm can almost be a full-time job at times. With long days of focusing on their studies, their added chores are often tiring.

One morning, Oakley is feeding the horses when she hears the chickens clucking behind her humming, like trying to bring a beat to her song. Her sister, Piper, is not a morning person. Getting her to feed the chickens in the morning is a chore in and of itself. Oakley decides to gather the eggs and feed the chickens to help her sister out. Won’t she be surprised when she smells the breakfast eggs cooking while she still fights to get out of bed, Oakley thinks.

As expected, Piper comes downstairs to the smell of eggs with a look of confusion on her face. “I fed your chickens too,” Oakley says, while sliding sunnyside eggs onto a plate with buttered toast.  

“What’s going on, it’s not even my birthday,” Piper exclaims.

“I was feeding the horses and just thought I would help you out this morning,” Oakley says.

“Thank you very much, Oakley – that was super sweet of you!” 

“Well, God says to treat others the way you want to be treated,” Oakley states, remembering their Sunday school lesson from last weekend. They both get on with their day, and begin working on different subjects.

A few days later, Piper is the first to finish school because Oakley is working through a very difficult geometry lesson. “Great, you’re already done? I’m going to be at this lesson for another hour,” Oakley says to Piper as Piper pushes on her cowgirl boots.

“That’s too bad, I’ll be done with my chores by then. I guess I’ll see if Maizy next door wants to go for a trail ride since you won’t be done anytime soon,” Piper says.

“Or you could help me out with my chores so we can be done at the same time and all go for a trail ride together?” Oakley suggests.

“I’m not mucking out your half of the stalls,” retorts Piper.

“How about if you muck the stalls, I’ll dump the wheel barrel?” offers Oakley.

“How about the last one to finish mucking the stalls dumps the wheel barrel? Oh wait, guess that’s you, bye!” calls Piper as she slams the door behind her.

After school, Oakley walks out to the barn to see a half-full wheel barrel of horse manure, her horses unfed, stalls not cleaned, and Piper’s horse gone. Saddened, Oakley begins mucking the stalls and feeding the horses.  After dumping the wheel barrel, she tacks up her horse and makes her way to the trail only to see Mazie and Piper already returning from their ride.

“What took you so long?” called out Mazie.

“I was doing my geometry lesson and it was very difficult today. I asked Piper to help with my chores so I could ride with you two, but she didn’t feel like helping me, I guess,” Oakley replies disappointedly.

“Next time just text me, I can help you with geometry or your chores, Oakley. Don’t forget that math is my best subject and my mom says that service is my second best,” Mazie says with a chuckle.

“That’s really sweet of you, Mazie.  I really appreciate that!”

“I’m sorry Oakley, I should have helped with your chores today,” said Piper regrettably.  “You did my chores the other morning because you knew I was having a hard time getting out of bed, but I didn’t help you when you needed my help. How about I do your afternoon chores tomorrow so we can all go for a trail ride together?”

“I would love that,” Oakley and Mazie said in unison. The three girls laughed as they brushed their horses.

Weekly Bible Verse: Do to others as you would have them do to you. -‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭31‬ NIV
Note to Nibble: With kindness and a heart of service for God, help those in need. 

Bible story, short story, kids, middle school, teens, family devotional, family devotion, Christian parenting, Christian, religion, Bible verse

Davey and Galvin: A David and Goliath Story

Galvin is the star football player and the biggest bully in school. Davey is one of the smallest kids in the 8th grade and the team’s kicker. One day at practice, Galvin trips over Davey’s football helmet and the entire team laughs at Galvin. Galvin gets really angry and tells Davey that after practice, he’s going to hammer him. Davey’s smile quickly fades and is replaced with absolute fear. His face turns white as the blood in his head drops to his chest. His head spins and Davey feels like he might puke. The team continues to laugh, this time at Davey. Davey knows he’s no match for the biggest player on the team that towers over everyone. His only hope is prayer.

After practice, Davey runs to his locker, grabs his cell phone, and calls his older brother, Sal, for advice. Sal tells Davey that middle school fights can be brutal. He tells his little brother to kick Galvin in the knee and run for his life. Davey feels overwhelmed and even more afraid than when he first called Sal. He quickly hangs up the phone and prays about what to do. He remembers from youth group that the right way to handle things is to kill people with kindness. Davey feels like kindness might not work on Galvin though.

Davey leaves the locker room and heads toward the bike racks to grab his mountain bike and go home. Maybe Galvin won’t see him or will have forgotten all about the incident on the football field, Davey thinks.  As Davey begins to ride away from the school, he hears his name cut through the air.  Davey turns around to see Galvin punching the palm of his hand with his fist. A small voice in Davey’s head says, “stop and trust me.”  Squeezing his brakes, Davey leaves a long black streak of tire on the pavement.  

Davey pedals back to Galvin and the waiting team. Shaking, he climbs off his bike and approaches Galvin. Galvin asks, “where were you running off to?” Davey, trying to make light of the situation, says, “I was just trying to let you off easy here man. You know I’m known for my extreme strength around the school. I just didn’t want to ruin your street cred.” Galvin and the team roar with laughter.  He puts a hand on Davey’s shoulder to brace himself from falling over. “Seriously though, Galvin, I’m like an ant next to you.  You’re the best football player on the team and I’m no match for you. If you want to give the team an entertaining match to watch, I suggest we thumb-wrestle.” The team again explodes with laughter. Galvin and Davey then ride off on their bikes together cracking jokes and throwing fist-bumps.  

Weekly Bible Verse: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. -Ephesians 6:18 NIV
Note to Nibble: When you’re in a tough spot and don’t know what to do, remember to pause, seek God and pray, then listen. 
Bible story, short story, kids, middle school, teens, family devotional, family devotion, Christian parenting, Christian, religion, Bible verse

Sparrow’s Temper: A Proverbs 29:22 Story

“Maybe they should have a tea party,” Maizy says to her little sister, Lila.

“I just want to brush their hair,” Lila says as she runs her own hair brush through the small doll’s straight hair.

“They need to do SOMETHING though, don’t they?” asked Maizy.

“Ouch!” screams Sparrow with a tiny upside-down plastic table dangling from his bare foot.

“My new table!” Lila screamed back at Sparrow, “watch where you’re going!”

Sparrow falls on the couch and pulls the pink, and now slightly red, table legs from his foot.  His face turns redder than the specks of blood on the tiny table legs as he wells up with anger. Sparrow throws the table at Lila with a little too much force shouting, “pick up your stinking baby toys!”

“Look who’s the baby,” Maizy retorts, “you look like you’re about to cry!”

“You’re the worst brother in the history of brothers,” Lila adds.

“Woah, woah, woah, guys! What is going on in here?!” Mom asks, walking into her living room turned warzone. The three siblings start talking at the same time, pointing fingers at one another. “Ok, let’s everyone go to their own room to cool off and we’ll talk about this when everyone has cooler heads.”

A few minutes pass and Mom calls everyone back into the living room. Sparrow enters last.  His foot is bandaged and he’s walking with a limp. Maizy and Lila roll their eyes hard enough to earn a stern look from their mother. 

“Do you need me to get you the crutches from the garage, Sparrow?” Maizy asks.

“That’s enough,” Mom jumps in before another argument can begin. “Sit down, Sparrow, and everyone needs to listen up. Your behavior earlier was not how we conduct ourselves in this house and you all know it. Now one at a time, tell me what happened…calmly, and without anyone interrupting the one speaking.”

After Mom gets the facts, she asks them for examples of how that could have gone better. Sparrow says that he could have counted to ten before chucking the table at his sister out of anger and being unkind. His younger sisters admit they could have played in their room instead of spreading out in the living room. They all agree that tiny plastic objects with sharp points should be mindfully kept with the sharp bits pointed down.

Mom explains that harsh words, when spoken, stir up strife and hurt others, rather than help situations. She also tells them that anger, when not managed in a healthy manner, can cause them to sin. Mom asks the siblings if there’s anything else they would like to say to each other. Being the oldest, Sparrow begins the round of sincere apologies that ends with the youngest, Lila. Mom then suggests they should do something nice for each other to make up for the harsh words spoken earlier. Sparrow begins picking up the doll toys as Maizy rushes to the garage for the crutches. She returns and hands them to Sparrow. Everyone laughs as the day returns to normal.

Weekly Bible Verse: An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. -‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29‬:‭22‬ NIV
Note to Nibble: When tempers are hot, take time to cool down in order to avoid sinning.