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The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter Ten
by Tonja Taylor
2/15/2020 / Short Stories
Chapter Ten — Lessons in Love
Risa waved at Pearl and Robert. “Hey guys—great to have you! I’ll introduce you to the kids when we get settled. I think you’ll really enjoy our lesson today, and then we’ll have snacks and make some things for the Hallelujah Harvest and Hayride this Saturday. You guys are coming, right?”
“Yes!” said Pearl, “The sale will be over by 1 p.m. Saturday—Queen Mother said so—so that will give us plenty of time to get here by 4 p.m. to decorate. And
I’m excited—Robert, put that down!”
He had discovered the big box of pretzels and was about to dig in. Several other children came in and sat at the tables, staring at him.
“Hey Robert, you can have some later, because our class is starting,” said Risa calmy. “And you can be the first one to tell me how you trust your Daddy God, like Proverbs 3 says in verses 5 and 6. That’s what we’re talking about today.”
“Don’t know!” he said. Spotting the whiteboard, he dropped the pretzel box, ran and picked up a marker and started drawing.
“Robert! Sit down or I’ll tell Mom!” Pearl said. Please help me, LORD! she thought. He is driving me nuts!
Okay, a P.O.W.E.R. Princess stays calm, she told herself in her mind. She opened her Bible to Psalm 34 like her mother had taught her to do, and read. I will bless the LORD at all times….all times!
“Actually, that is great if he wants to draw us some pictures of what it means to trust God,” Risa said kindly. “I bet you are quite an artist, aren’t you, Sweetie?”
“Yep!” Robert said, and took a marker in each hand, drawing as high as he could reach on the board. Pearl shook her head. “Sorry, Ms. Risa!” she whispered.
“No worries, Dear-heart. Lucas was that little once, and I think Robert is tame compared to him!”
Pearl giggled. “Really?”
Risa walked to the board. “Class, let’s welcome Pearl Williams and her little brother Robert. They have just moved here from Tennessee, and we’re glad!”
While the class clapped, Robert spun around, markers raised like batons, and said, “That’s me!”
The kids laughed. “Rob, come sit,” said Pearl.
“Nope, Ms. Risa said I could draw!”
Pearl sighed and Risa said, “It’s all right. Class, Sir Robert is drawing for us ways we can trust God, which is based on our Scripture for today. Can anyone say it from memory?”
“I can!” a dark-haired boy said. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
“Excellent!” said Risa. “You get to pick something from the treasure box.
Dillon walked over and chose a candy bar while Risa continued. “Kids, who wants to tell me what it means to trust God?”
“To know He means what He says,” said one.
“To just believe Him,” said another.
“Pearl, what about you?” said Risa.
“Well,” said Pearl, “to me it means doing what He says, and that even when very bad things happen, you have to know that He loves you and didn’t send ‘em, and that somehow, He’s gonna make it all work out.”
“That is so very right,” said Risa. “Class, all your answers were correct. I just want to add that, day by day, we stay as close as we can to Him, by coming to church and reading His Word and worshiping Him—here and at home. It also means praying—just talking to Him every day—including asking what He thinks about something we want to do or something we’d like to have.”
She looked around to make sure the kids were paying attention. "Asking God what He thinks is part of trusting Him—not leaving Him out of our decisions. We also ask Him to guide our paths and then trust Him to help us understand how to follow Him.”
“Ms. Risa, I’ve got a drawing!” Robert said.
“Yes, Sir, what have you got?”
Robert pointed to his zig-zagged lines on the board and said, “Mary had to trust God so that when Jesus was born in the barn, the animals wouldn’t eat Him or step on Him, so He could grow up and die on the cross for us,” he said.
“Good job, Rob!” said Pearl, surprised. My little bro makes sense!
“Wow, Robert, what a great point for our lesson about how we trust God!” said Risa. “I have never thought about that before. But surely you are right.”
Robert beamed as the class clapped for him.
She continued. “And if you had been born in a barn, your mom probably would have kept you away from the animals, too!”
One of the boys made a mooing sound, then another bleated like a sheep.
Robert laughed and mooed back.
“Enough, my little people,” teased Risa. “Aren’t you glad you have a human voice, and can talk to God? Remember, you are royal sons and daughters of the King, and He died on the cross for you—and rose again, and lives forever to pray for you every day! So of course you can totally trust Him!”
“God loves animals too!” said Robert.
“Yes, He does. Now, would you please sit by your sis, Mr. Rob? Thank you for sharing your drawing.”
Robert nodded and went to sit by Pearl, giving her a big hug.
Wow, is this my brother? she thought. Maybe he just wanted some attention!
“Our other verse is John 10:10,” Risa said.“Who knows that one without looking at your Bibles? But thank you for bringing them. And everyone who brought theirs gets a piece of candy—to eat on the way home—but not in big church!”
Pearl spoke up. “The devil came to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us a great life. Queen Mother taught us that in homeschool.”
“Yes, that’s a bit paraphrased, but you’ve got it,” said Risa. “Thanks, Pearl! We definitely want the life Jesus sent—the Zoe Life, which means ‘life as God has it’ in Greek. Greek is the language that the New Testament was written in, by the way.”
“Who wants abundant life from Jesus—raise your hands!”
Every hand went up.
“Great. Close your eyes and let’s pray. Father God, You have taught us today from Your Word, and we thank You. Help us to truly trust You with every part of our lives, and remember to ask what You think before we make a choice. Help us choose Your way, for it is always best! In Jesus’ name, amen.”
She walked over to the snack table. “I need a volunteer to pass out paper towels. Sir Robert, would you help?”
“Yes!” He dropped the markers, and zipped over.
“Robert!” Pearl said. “You go back and put Ms. Risa’s markers back on the board where you got them!”
He scowled, but obeyed, then dashed back over to the table and grabbed the paper towels. Another child picked up the sanitizer and started sharing it.
“Who wants pretzels today?”
The kids all raised a hand, and Risa let Pearl hand out pretzels.
Pearl held one up. “Ms. Risa, do you know how a pretzel is like God?”
“Cause it’s good for you?” said one boy.
“Tell us, Pearl,” said Risa.
“Because it’s three parts in one, see?” She pointed to the two holes on the side, then the hole in the top middle of the pretzel. “Three parts, but they all make one—like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You can also do that with an egg—you know, the yolk, the white, and the shell are three parts, but they make one whole. Or you can use water—liquid, steam, and ice. Neat, huh? God is so cool!”
“Amen!” said Risa. “Thank you, Pearl, you are very smart and we’re so glad you came.”
“Now, class,” Risa continued, “remember that this Saturday we celebrate the Hallelujah Harvest and Hayride. We’re having fire pit hamburgers and s’mores, and games and snacks and music and lots of fun. I think there will be a drama, too."
"Yeah!" said Robert."Games and ice cream!"
"Everyone please bring at least one person, and hopefully someone who hasn’t met Jesus yet. We want them to understand that Jesus is the coolest and always ready to party!”
The kids talked among themselves while they ate.
“Who wants to help me get these invitations ready?" said Risa. "You can ask the LORD who to give them to—maybe even complete strangers, as long as your parent or another adult you know is with you.” She checked her phone.
“We had a shorter lesson today, so we have about 30 minutes left. Pearl, would you like to help us?”
“Sure," said Pearl. "What about Robert?”
"I want to draw more Jesus pictures!” he said."
"That’s fine,” said Risa. "You are a good artist for God. But Robert, please draw only on the board, okay? Ashley and Pearl, please help me pass out the candy and baggies and flyers and tape."
She motioned to the class. "Kids, come around the table. You are a team and your mission is to get as many of these packets together as possible, so you can take some with you and invite people to the party this Saturday.”
The kids spread out around the big table and Risa demonstrated how to put the packets together.
“As you help each other," said Risa, "remember You are helping Jesus to make Himself known so poeple can know Him! The Plan of Salvation is on one side of the flyer, and the Havest info and directions and times to our church are on the other side. Even if you give this to someone and they never come to church, they could still read this and receive Jesus, and we will see them in Heaven. Isn’t that great?”
One boy spoke up. “You mean that you don’t have to go to church to go to Heaven?”
“No, Michael. God doesn’t let people into Heaven based on whether they go to church or not, and thank goodness, because there were a many years I didn’t go to church, and then another couple years I didn’t go very often!" Risa hugged him. "But the LORD showed me that I needed church—it’s not for God, it’s for us! It’s school for our spirit and soul.”
She smiled and continued. “Every person needs to go to a church that truly teaches the whole Bible, and to be around other believers who really love God. This helps us know we're loved and feel better and we can pray for each other. Plus, when we all get together, we have fun and are much more powerful than us by ourselves! Together, we are a victorious team.”
Michael looked thoughtful, and got busy putting packets together. “My parents say they don’t need church,” he said quietly, “but I’m praying they will
change their minds.”
“Yeah, my dad won’t come,” said one girl, “although Mom and I have come almost every Sunday for years. It hurts our hearts.”
Risa looked sad. “Yes, my dears, I know. It does hurt. But keep praying. God is the Master heart-changer!”
“Heart-changer!” Robert said. “Neat!” He drew a big heart on the board. Then he said, “But my daddy doesn’t come to church with us any more.” He dropped
his head as if to cry.
Risa hesitated, and walked over to hug Robert, then said, “Sweetie, did you know your daddy is in Heaven every day now? He doesn’t just go on Sunday or Wednesdays. He is celebrating Jesus and learning from Him every day, forever now!”
Robert brightened and said, “Yeah!” He wrote the word, “Daddy” inside the heart, and drew a cross beside that.
Pearl smiled. Thank You, LORD, that is wonderful that Daddy gets to be with You all the time!
“Good job, Mr. Robert!” said Risa. “Now kids, get with the person closest to you and pray for each other right now. The LORD says that where two or three are gathered together, He is there.”
She grabbed Robert’s hand. “Sweetie, let’s you and me pray, okay?”
Robert nodded. “I get to pray with the teacher!” he said, and beamed. “LORD, please minister healing to Robert’s little heart. I ask You to raise him up to be a mighty man of God like his father and uncle!”
“Robert!” Pearl whispered loudly. “You are supposed to close your eyes when you pray!”
“Don’t wanna!” he said, and stuck out his tongue at her.
“Robert!” Pearl felt herself blush. How dare he!
“It’s all right,” Risa said. “I know everything is new. But Mr. Robert,” she said, more sternly as she addressed him, “that is not the way we who love Jesus act, now is it?” He dropped his eyes and turned his face away, but shook his head.
“What should you do now, Sweetie?” Risa asked him.
He sighed, and shrugged his shoulders, and Risa almost laughed. “Say I’m sorry, I guess,” he said.
“Okay, why don’t you go tell that to your sister and give her a big hug. You know she’s trying to help you.”
Roberts scowled, but stood up and walked stiffly, to Pearl. “Sorry, Sissie!” he said, and gave her a semblance of a hug, barely touching her.
Pearl grabbed him close. “Robert, I forgive you, you little—brother!” She tried to smile, and tickled him.
He started to giggle, and the other kids laughed.
Seeing him smile melted her heart and she hugged him close. “I love you, Rob-Rob!”
He clung to her for a moment, then ran back to Risa. “I pray now!” he said, and grabbed her hand and said,
“Jesus! Ms. Risa is the best teacher! I love her and please give her a big hug!”
Risa laughed in delight. “Thank you, Robert! What a sweet prayer! Be sure and come back Wednesday night, and we will have AWANA. I will be your teacher.”
“Great!” Robert said, and jumped up and down. “Great job, working together, guys,” Risa said. God loves teamwork!”
She looked at her cell again. “All right, we only have five minutes left. Let’s join hands and pray quietly with each other over these packets and the people who will receive them.”
Risa walked over to Robert and held out her hands. “Robert, would you pray with me for these people to know Jesus?”
“Yes!” he said, grabbing her hands. “Deah Jesuz, help all deese people meet Ya!” he said. “And go to Heaven wit us!”
“Rob, talk right!” said Pearl. He’s usually too shy to pray, but he is bold today, she thought. Good deal.
Risa looked at Pearl and smiled. “It’s okay,” she said.
“God hears and answers simple, sincere prayers too—in every language!” She laughed. “Class, Jesus is a Jew, not an American, thank goodness! He even hears prayers like, ‘Help, LORD!’ and He answers! Never forget that He is always with you.”
“Now let’s clean up, “ said Risa, “and I’ll see you guys Wednesday night!”
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, on River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), AnchorFM, their church, the region, and beyond
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