Inspirational Fun Stories and Articles is a collection of short stories for young people designed to help them with appropriate choices as they encounter challenges and decisions in their daily life activities.
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In Inspirational Fun Stories and Articles, Evelyn Horan delights us with her wit and charm. Many of her stories contain lessons for her readers, such as "Always Be Prepared,” or they promote trust and faith in God, such as in "Tim's Worst Birthday.” The stories are filled with encouragement, hope, love, and enjoyment. I highly recommend the collection to all who love a good story. Jeanne Glidewell, Author-- Soul Survivor, and the Lexie Starr Cozy Series. Each of these short, exciting stories has a moral message and teaches us that God is there in our everyday lives. What wonderful stories to read aloud for bedtime or family time! Parents can use these stories to start family discussions about the lessons contained in each one. Evelyn gives us a lifetime of experience teaching children about what makes life good. Beverly J. Rowe, Reviewer -–myshelf.com. DEDICATION For my great granddaughter, Alyssa McDonnell, my grandchildren, Kade and Baily McDaniel, my great nephew, Ethan Hydie, my great nieces, Krysta and Cherish Hollomon, and all young people, who face experiences and relationships with others that require appropriate choices and decisions each day; always, with the comforting knowledge that their faith in God can see them through any difficulty and trying circumstance that may come their way. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. “What About Mike?” 2. “Sometimes I Goof Up!” 3. “Why Is Salt Important to Christians?” 4. “Is Salt Important?” 5. “Message in a Bottle” 6. “Where Is My Attitude of Gratitude?” 7. “How Can I Forgive Cindy?” 8. “What Can I Do Now?” 9. “Planet Valdez” 10. “Why Is the Third Commandment Important? 11. “The Antique Fountain Pen” 12. “I’m A Loser” 13. “Grandma and Me” 14. “Bike Riding in the Smokies” 15. “Lisa’s Great Dinner Party” 16. “How Can I Let My Light Shine?” l7. “An Unexpected Fishing Adventure” l8. “A Special Friend” 19. “The Surprise” 20. “The Swim Meet” 21. “Tim’s Worst Birthday” 22. “The Ghost” 23. “Trapped” 24. “So How Do You Train a Dog?” 25. “A Temporary Change” 26. “Growing Up Isn’t Easy” 27. “Whitewater” 28. “My Sister and Me” 29. “Monica New and Nobody” 30. “A Game for Amir” 31. “Always Be Prepared” 32. “Camping in the Canyon” 33. “Sharing What You Have” 34. “Christmas Love” 35. “Casey’s Choice” 36. “Finders Keepers” 37. “Friday the 13th” 38. “The Lost Penlight” 39. “Who Wants Jack and Jill?” 40. “Mark’s Mistake” 41. “Rico and Ben” 42. “The Boat Ride” 43. “The Mystery of the Crushed Daisies” 44. “How Rabbit Got His Long Ears” 45. “How Can I Forgive?” 46. “Harvey Hippo” 47. “I Don’t Want to Go to School” 48. “I’m Lonesome” "What About Mike?" "You both know I'm having a 'talent and hobbies show' party, next Saturday," Julie said, as she and her girlfriends sat on the playground benches, waiting for the morning school bell to ring. Aritha Jane and Katie nodded. "You told us," Aritha Jane said. "So who's going to do what in your 'talent and hobbies show'?" Julie smiled. "For one thing, you're going to play the piano and sing." Aritha Jane grinned mischievously and said, "Maybe I will, and maybe I won't." "You will," Katie said, giving their friend a gentle nudge. "You love to perform. And, Julie, you want me to make chocolate chip cookies, right?" Julie nodded. "You love to bake, Katie, so now you can share your 'secret' recipes with us. And Carmen and Miguel will show us how to do the Mexican Hat Folk Dance," Julie continued. "Mai-Ling will play her violin, and Nate will share his great stamp collection with us." "What about Kai Choi and B.J.?" "I asked Kai to show us a Korean favorite pastime. Anyone know what it is?" "I know. It's the game of Ping-Pong. Kai plays well," Aritha Jane said. "I watched him playing at noon activities one day." "Right," Julie said. "And B.J. will show us his tumbling tricks." "Sounds like the party will be fun," Katie said, as the girls walked to class. "Now, what about Mike?" Julie frowned. "He's not invited. He never has anything to say to anyone. He's too shy." "His feelings will be badly hurt when he finds out he's the only boy in class who hasn't been invited to your party," Katie said. "Maybe," Julie said. "Mike is always trying to tag along and join in with us. But he's boring. I just wish the little guy would leave the rest of us alone." "Mike is quiet, but he's nice," Katie said. "Maybe you should get to know him." As they reached the classroom, Julie shook her head. "I don't want to invite Mike. Beside, what could such a quiet, little mouse do at my party? I'm sure, nothing." That night Katie couldn't sleep. How could she convince Julie to invite Mike? Her troubled thoughts reminded her that Jesus taught we should be kind to everyone. He'd want Mike to be included. "Dear God," Katie whispered, "please help me find a way to help Julie follow the teachings of Jesus. Help me be a good witness to Julie." At noon the next day, Katie led her best friend to the benches in the outdoor lunch area. Her heart pounded like a drum as she thought about what she had to say. Would Julie still be her friend afterward? "Julie, let's talk," Katie said, her face filled with concern. She turned troubled brown eyes to her friend. "All right," Julie said, tossing her long, black hair over her shoulder. "What's it all about?" "Julie, you're my best friend," Katie began softly as she looked into Julie's hazel eyes. "Now, I hope you won't get upset, but I really wish you'd think about inviting Mike to your party. See him over there." Mike was standing in line at the tether ball pole. Julie turned her head. "Yes, I see him," she said. Katie patted her friend's hand gently. "Remember our Sunday school lesson last week, Julie?" Katie asked. "We learned that Jesus taught we should love and be kind to one another. And we should always try to be His witness to others." Julie nodded and sighed. "Yes, I remember," she said. She was quiet for a moment. Then she turned to her friend and said, "To tell you the truth, Katie, I couldn't sleep very well last night. I've been thinking I should be a better Christian," she said softly. "Maybe I am being too hard on Mike. Maybe he really is trying to be friendly and nice to us." Katie gave her friend's arm a gentle squeeze. "I knew you’d think about it. Why don't you call him over and ask if he has a special hobby he could share at your party," she coaxed. Julie nodded without enthusiasm. " Okay, I will, but I don't think he knows how to do much." Julie called Mike, motioning him to come to the bench. Mike raced over, brushing a tuft of blond hair from his face. He gave Julie a timid smile as he stood before her. "Hello, Julie," he said shyly. "Hi, Mike," Julie said. "I guess you've heard about my 'talent and hobbies show' party." Mike nodded sadly. His blue eyes glistened as he lowered his head. "I'm sure everyone will have fun," he said softly. He rubbed his eyes. "Dear God," Katie prayed, as her heart pounded anxiously, "please help Julie say the right things." "I was thinking, Mike," Julie said. "How would you like to come to my party?" "I'd like to," Mike said looking up. "But maybe you don't want me to come." His voice was shaky. "I know I'm the only boy you haven't invited." Julie's face reddened with embarrassment and shame. "Well," Mike," she mumbled searching for words, "I'm just a little late getting around to it. You seem so shy. Do you have a hobby or a talent you could share with us?" "Yes," Mike agreed, "I am shy." He thought for a moment. "I have a Charlie McCarthy puppet, and I've practiced some jokes with him," Mike said softly. "I've been working at my hobby for several years. I can hide my own voice pretty well." "Really! My goodness!" Julie exclaimed with unexpected delight. "I didn't know you were a ventriloquist!" "You've never talked to me much," Mike murmured, pushing a stone at his feet in little circles with his sneaker. "You never asked me about my hobby." Julie gave Katie a happy glance. "What a different kind of hobby! The other kids will enjoy that," Julie said. "And it will be our secret." "Yes," Katie agreed, catching Julie's enthusiasm. She stood up and gave Mike a little hug. "I don't know anyone who is a ventriloquist." "Mike, you'll be the last one to share your hobby at the party," Julie said, planning ahead. "I'll announce your act as the SECRET surprise!" She rose and stood beside a smiling-faced Mike. "Race you both to the tether ball pole," Julie said, putting Mike between herself and Katie. "On your mark, get set, go!" she shouted. As they all three raced away, Katie whispered, "Thank You, God. Thank You for helping Julie do the right thing. I can't wait to watch Mike's performance as a ventriloquist. What a nice surprise for all of us!"