Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer: Ally Cole

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This installment of “Bless Your Heart” is different from any previous posts. During the past three years or so, I have come to know a budding young writer named Ally L. Cole. Ally lives in Missouri and is thirteen years old. She loves to sing and play the guitar and has a keen interest in all things World War Two. She’s home-schooled, loves her co-op group and her family in the Lord. She loves her pot-bellied pig (in a different way, of course) and she doesn’t like to eat pork (Now why does she not like bacon?). She’s an inventor, artist, paintball prodigy and amateur movie producer. She loves Polishing the Pulpit and this year she plans to attend Horizons at FHU.

I’d like to share with you, over the next few installments, one of her stories. Some of you moms (with kids around the ages of 7-12) might want to read this tonight for your Family Bible Time. Let me know if your children enjoy it and we may share another story at a later date. Find the topics for discussion at the end of each segment. You may want to save those for a second night or maybe even discuss them for the next two or three nights. May God bless Ally and all of the children and teens who are growing up in Him! Thanks for the story, Ally! Remember me, your first publisher, when you are rich and famous!

SCHOOL DAYS
Chapter One

Fall had come upon the town of Brixey before anyone knew it. The trees were dressed in yellows, oranges, and reds. The day was bright and sunny for the Winters twins, Lacie and Kacie and their best friend Beth. The three had turned ten in the spring of 1935, and they were in the fifth grade at school. That was where the girls were headed. Their teacher, Mrs. Colley, had reminded them the previous day to be at school earlier the next day because there were going to be some new pupils. “I wonder who they are?” Beth asked Lacie. “I hope they are not just a bunch of boys come to dip my curls in inkwells! My mother would have a fit.”Beth had such a vivid imagination.

Lacie added, “Well, I suppose a bunch of boys would be alright, just so long as they don’t cause any trouble.”

When the three arrived at the schoolhouse, the richest kids in town were coming down the road: Terry and Jeanette Mauldin. “Now there’s some troublemakers right there!” Kacie quietly said. Terry and Jeanette had been attending the Brixey schoolhouse ever since Mrs. Colley established it, and they both were as mean as snakes. Inside the schoolhouse in their desks were Terry and Jeanette, Mrs. Colley’s children, Caleb and Hannah, and three kids that neither of the girls had ever seen before. There was a girl with long strawberry-blond braids and freckles, and beside her was an even younger girl with long blond braids and dimples. Far on their right was another new student; an unassuming boy.

“Well,” Lacie laughed, “at least it’s only one boy to dip your curls in an inkwell, Beth!”

After all of the pupils had arrived and everyone was seated, Mrs. Colley strode to the stage and clasped her hands. “Class, this is a special day. I am so happy to announce that we have three new students. Please welcome Donald, Amelia and Alice Pershing.”

The class began to applaud, but Terry interrupted. “Oh, puh-leeze, Mrs. Colley,” he said with a smirk as he stood. “Do these people really need an introduction?”

Of course, Terry was just being ornery, and Mrs. Colley knew it. “Hush, Terry. I want all of you to remember my golden rule: Treat everyone just as you want to be treated yourself.”

Suddenly Hannah raised her hand. “Um…..Mother?”

“Yes, Hannah what is it?” Mrs. Colley said.

“Would it be alright if Caleb and I go and get a drink of water? We won’t be long.”

Mrs. Colley sighed. “I suppose! But please, don’t take all day, will you?”

The two siblings hurried out the door, and Mrs. Colley went on. “Now, are there any questions you would like to ask Donald, Amelia or Alice?” Beth stood and nodded. “Yes, ma’am. Amelia, do you like to read books?”

“Oh, indeed I do!” Amelia smiled, “especially the fantasy kind.”

Mrs. Colley was glad to hear that someone was interested in the Pershing’s. “Fine, now is there anyone else?… Oh, where are those two children of mine! Class, please continue with your questions. I will be back in a moment with Caleb and Hannah. I didn’t think it would take that long to get a drink of water!” After she rushed down the aisle and out the door, Terry had a look of mischief on his face that meant he was up to something.

“Hey David, where do you live?”

“It-it’s Donald,” he said, “and we ain’t livin’ far from here. On a farm.”

“Oh.” Terry made his way to Donald’s desk. “I was just wondering, since you sure look like you’re homeless. And really, you can do away with that southern accent, because none of us here talk like that!”

He began snickering and trying to talk as if he were from the south, but in a very sarcastic way.

“Yeah,” Donald said, “I can tell you ain’t from around here. I reckon you’re from…..Illinois maybe?”

“How did you know!?!?!” Jeanette gasped,

Terry was surprised, too. “Yeah, how did you know? Oh, you probably saw my dad’s bank there one day while you were hopping trains!” Lacie could tell Donald was a bit fed up with Terry, but who wasn’t?

But Terry just kept right on making things worse. “Ohhh…. You’re a Rebel! That means your family was on the Confederate side? Well! I am for the Union!” That was when the trouble really began. Terry kept right on making fun of Donald’s strong southern accent. After a while, Donald couldn’t take it any longer.

Just as Mrs. Colley and her children were coming back inside Donald punched Terry in the eye.

“What on earth!?” Mrs. Colley exclaimed. “Donald, come to me this minute!” Donald gasped and looked at her sheepishly. “Now, what ever made you do such a dreadful thing as this?”

“Wehh-yull ma’am, that kid there was makin’ fun about my bein’ from the south. And I——I guess I couldn’t control my anger.”

Mrs. Colley was disappointed in her new student. “Donald, I am afraid I am going to have to send you home with a note. You should not have done that to Terry.” “Yes, ma’am,” Donald stared at the ground, “I know. It’s just that—“

“Oh, come on, Mrs. Colley! What about me? Look at what this country bumpkin did to my eye!”

But Mrs. Colley knew Terry a little too well. “Now Terry, I am tired of your attitude for the day. I may even send you home with a note as well.” The two boys were sent back to their desks.

Lacie liked Amelia and Alice, but there was no way she would ever be friends with Donald!

Let’s think about this:

1. Why is it important to be especially nice to people who may be new in a situation? Have you ever been the new person at school or in a class at church? What are some things that might make a new person uncomfortable? Read Acts 9: 1-27 and see what Barnabas did for a person who was new to the Christians at Jerusalem.

2. Why would the author (Ally) tell us that certain children were “mean as snakes”? Where, do you suppose, that expression originated? Why do we think of snakes as being mean? Can you think of a biblical reason why we think about snakes as being mean? Find some passages in the Bible that speak of snakes or serpents.

3. Do you know anyone who likes to cause trouble like Terry? Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” (Matthew 5:9). How was Terry’s behavior causing trouble rather than making peace? Ephesians 4: 31 says we are to put away clamor or drama from our lives? Do you think Terry’s behavior was rather dramatic when he interrupted the applause of the class? Do you know any drama queens? How can you tell if a girl is a drama queen? Is a drama queen a peacemaker or a trouble-causer? Which one is called a child of God in Matthew 5:9? Can you find a verse that tells us to be at peace with all men whenever it is possible? Use a concordance and see if you can find that verse.

4. Find the Golden Rule in your Bible and copy it on to an index card. Place this card on your refrigerator in a place where you will see it several times each day.

5. What are some of the reasons people make fun of other people? Have you ever met anyone who liked to make fun of other people? How should you react when someone is making fun of somebody? Is it really okay to laugh when someone is being mocked or ridiculed? Who is the most well-known person in the New Testament who was mocked? Who is it that we can never successfully mock? (See Galatians 6:7). Is mocking (making fun of) another person following the golden rule? Explain.

6. Was it okay for Donald to hit Terry? Is it ever okay for me to become angry and hit someone? In Titus 1:7 and I Timothy 3:3 we find that elders in the church are not to be strikers (or fighters). Why would it be important for an elder to be able to control his temper? Did Jesus ever hit anyone? Did anyone ever hit Jesus? If you think so, can you find that account in the Bible?

7. Is it possible to be angry and yet not sin? (See Ephesians 4:26.) What should we not allow to happen while we are angry?

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