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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, November 25 2001

Shoplifting

A common problem faced by all retailers throughout the year and especially during the Christmas season is shoplifting. To protect themselves from the losses caused by shoplifters, stores add a few cents to the cost of all merchandise. Thus, we who pay for everything we leave the store with end up paying for the items stolen by a few dishonest people. My first encounter with the reality of shoplifting occurred when I was 12 or 13. A classmate and I were walking by the Penn Way Market in Mundys Corner when he asked me to wait while he went inside to get us something to eat. I naively thought he intended to buy us each a candy bar or a bag of chips. A few minutes later, he came out of the store with nothing in his hands. We continued walking for a few minutes before he reached into his coat pockets and produced an apple and an orange for each of us. I suspected nothing. It wasn't till after I finished the fruit that he bragged that he had stolen the apples and oranges. As we walked along the road, I kept looking over my shoulder and he boasted about how easy it was to steal from stores and how often he did it. I don't remember whether the fruit made me sick, but I do remember having nightmares about the police coming after me for some time after that incident.

While caring for foster children from very dysfunctional families, we are constantly alert to kids taking what doesn't belong to them. We have had kids steal from us. We have had kids steal from others and we have suspected some of them of shoplifting. Pat caught one boy shoplifting cigars and cigarette lighters from local stores. Of course, she took him back and made him confess and return the stolen items. However, the most telling point we had with this child was a story we had learned about his father.

We had noticed that a lady, who just didn't seem to be from the socio-economic class of this dysfunctional family, seemed to go out of her way to help them. One day, when we encountered the lady, she told us that the boy's father had once returned her husband's lost wallet. The wallet contained several hundred dollars that the father could have kept without anyone knowing. Instead, he honestly returned the money and wallet. This boy had a very loving relationship with his father. So, as part of his punishment, we made him call and confess to his father what he had done. His father's disappointment in him brought tears to his eyes. We can only hope he learned his lesson and doesn't shoplift in the future.


 

The Unemployment Office

John went to the unemployment office to get a job and told the placement specialist that he was a pilot. After browsing through some files, she told him that she did have a job for him and that he could start in the morning. John told his brother Bill about the quick response, so Bill went to the unemployment office that afternoon. Telling the placement specialist that he was a woodcutter, he was told that there were no jobs for woodcutters at that time. "But my brother just got a job that starts tomorrow." He complained. "How did he get a job so easily?"

"The woman looked up John's records and said, "Well, he's a pilot."

"So what?" Bill said. "John can't pile it until I cut it!"

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Advent thought for the day

As a husband and a father, my real desire as the spiritual leader in my home is to have my family understand that "Thanksgiving" isn't an event, but a way of life. And just like following Jesus requires action instead of just words, being thankful requires more than a prayer over a turkey dinner. Being truly thankful for what we have in Christ is portrayed more by how we spend our time, our money, and our waking hours than by how thankful we say we are. Are you thankful to God for the incredible blessing of new life in Christ? If I were able to ask all the people who know you, would they say that your thankfulness is obvious for all to see?

—Jim Kilby
Harvest Youth Ministries

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