"Debbie! Randy! Come here," Father called. The children ran to the far end of the garden. Father was planting a small tree. "This is a special tree," Father said. "Please don't play near it. You might break it."

 "We will remember," Randy and Debbie promised.

The next afternoon Randy was chasing Debbie. Debbie ran down the garden path.

"Oh," said Debbie, slowing down. "Here is Daddy's special tree."

Just then Randy came puffing up behind Debbie. "I caught you!" he shouted, laughing, as he gave her a little push.

 Debbie fell against the tree. She heard something go SNAP! "Oh, look!" she cried. "I have broken Daddy's tree."

Randy looked at the tree. A small branch near the top was broken. "It's not broken all the way off," he said. "I'll fix it."

Randy got a long piece of grass. Debbie held the branch while Randy tied it together. "Maybe Daddy won't see it." Randy said.

"We won't tell him," said Debbie.


When Father came home, he said, "Hi, Randy and Debbie. How about a little talk?"

Randy shook his head. "I want to play with my cars," he said.

 Debbie didn't look at Father. "I want to finish cutting out my paper dolls, Daddy," she said.

Father began to read the evening paper. He looked sad.

After supper Father asked the children to go for a walk with him. But they did not want to go. "I'll go," said Mother. "I would like to see that new tree you planted last night."

When the door was shut, Randy got up. "I'm going to bed," he said.

"Me, too," said Debbie.

In a little while Father and Mother came back. Father called the children downstairs. Randy and Debbie did not run down the stairs. They came VERY, VERY SLOWLY.

 "Come here," Father said, putting his arms around them. "Now tell me about it."

"I broke your tree, Daddy," Debbie said, beginning to cry. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

"I pushed her," said Randy. "We were playing. I am sorry we broke the tree. We didn't mean to."

"The tree is not hurt very much," Father said. "And of course I forgive you. I am sad though, because you did not come and tell me about it."

"I was scared before," said Debbie. "That's why I didn't want to talk to you."

 Father opened his Bible. "We are always unhappy when we do wrong, children," he said.

"But the Bible says, 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins...' This means that when we tell the Lord Jesus we are sorry and ask Him to forgive us, He will do so at once. The Lord Jesus wants to help us and make us happy. He cannot do this if we have sin in our heart."

 "Do we still belong to Jesus, even when we do bad things?" Debbie asked.

"We sure do," Father answered. "You both did wrong today by going near the tree. But you are still my children. And when we take the Lord Jesus as our Savior we belong to Him forever. It makes Him sad when we do wrong, yet He still loves us. He wants us to come to Him right away and tell Him we are sorry."

Randy was thinking hard. "Daddy," he said. "After we have asked Jesus to forgive us, does He want us to stay and talk to Him?"

"Yes, Randy," Father said with a smile. "The Lord Jesus wants us to talk to Him about everything. Just like I wanted you and Debbie to talk to me before supper.

"I wanted to hear all about what you had been doing today," Father said. "He wants us to thank Him for all He does for us. So the Lord Jesus wants us to tell Him the things that make us sad and the things that make us glad."

 Debbie put her arms around Father's neck. "I think Jesus wants us to tell Him that we love Him," she said softly.

"Yes," said Father. "And remember, we can talk to Jesus at any time. We can talk to Him anywhere. He is always ready to listen to us and help us. And when we do wrong, what does the Bible tell us to do?"

"It says, 'If we confess our sins...," began Debbie.

"...He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins," Randy finished, smiling happily.



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