Login / Signup

Free Access

Not a subscriber?
Get a FREE 30-Day Subscription
(No credit card necessary)
Get Full Access Now!

Jenny And The Missing Calculator

Children's Story
Jenny was having fun. Her friend Martha had brought a graphical calculator into school. Martha had borrowed the calculator from her older brother, who used it for his advanced maths. He'd been off school for a week, so Martha had figured he wouldn't need his calculator for a while. She and Jenny had soon discovered a great bowling game hidden in the depths of the calculator, and Jenny, to her excitement had just reached level three.

As the bell sounded for the next lesson, Martha asked for her calculator back. "Hang on a minute," said Jenny. "I just want to finish this game. I'll give it back in a minute." So Martha went on her way. She forgot all about the calculator until that evening, when her brother roared at her.

"Oh shut up!" said Martha. "It's no big deal. I'll get it back tomorrow at school." But it was an uncomfortable evening. Martha's parents kept nagging her about borrowing the calculator without permission, and her brother was bad-tempered and grouchy.

As soon as she reached school next day, Martha sought out Jenny. "Can I have the calculator back, please?"

Jenny stared at her. "I gave it back yesterday."

"What? You didn't! When I asked you for it, you said you wanted to finish that game."

"But I came straight afterwards and found you in the loos. You were talking to Emily and trying out her make-up. I said, 'Here's your calculator, Martha,' and put it down by your bag. Don't you remember?"

"I never saw it. I never saw you, come to that," frowned Martha. "Are you sure? Anyway, where is it now? I need it for my brother."

The two girls went to the toilets, but there was no calculator there. "Someone must have found it and handed it in," suggested Jenny. "I'll try Lost Property."

But there was no calculator in Lost Property. Martha was desperately worried. She knew the calculator was very expensive. "It's all your fault!" she shouted at her friend. "You didn't give it back to me."

"I did," protested Jenny. Then she added, "Look, if we can't find it, I'll give you something towards the cost of a new one." But Martha refused to be consoled. All sorts of nasty suspicions were beginning to fill her mind. She had no recollection at all of having seen Jenny in the cloakroom, although it was true she had been in there with Emily trying on make-up. But Jenny couldn't have come in without her noticing! And anyway, she'd have noticed the calculator when she went to pick up her bag. Jenny must be lying. And why would she lie? Jenny must have stolen the calculator!

The more she thought about it, the more Martha became convinced Jenny had stolen the calculator. There was no other explanation. She told her parents of her suspicions that evening, and her father rang Jenny's home, without actually accusing Jenny of theft, but implying their suspicions. Jenny's mother immediately offered to pay half towards a replacement, which reinforced Martha's family's view. "Why would she offer to pay half?" asked Martha's mother. And added, "Because she'll be getting a graphical calculator for half-price, that's why!" and the family refused to accept the offer. It was still uncomfortable for Martha at home, but at least the anger of her family was now directed rather more towards Jenny than towards her.

"We'll make her pay!" fumed Martha's mother. "How dare she think she can get away with nicking an expensive item like that? Ring again tomorrow night," she instructed her husband.

Martha found she was unable to speak civilly to Jenny at school. All Martha's friends formed a protective group around her, and shouted at Jenny that she'd have to pay up or else.

Jenny looked deeply unhappy. "Have you seen the Head?" she asked Martha. Martha flushed. "Of course I have," she shouted angrily. "What do you think I am? Stupid?"

Jenny bit her lip and looked worried. "I'll go and ask again in Lost Property," she offered.

Things went from bad to worse. Jenny's mother continued to offer to pay half the cost of a new calculator; Martha's family continued to refuse, hinting all the time at theft by Jenny.

In the end, Jenny's mother approached the school. She went to the Head, and explained Jenny's version of the whole story.

The Head was very understanding. "I think your offer is very reasonable," he said. "I'll talk to Martha about it. And I'll make some inquiries. Someone may have handed it in somewhere."

At lunchtime that day, both Jenny and Martha were called into his office. "Good news," he smiled. "Martha, I found your calculator under a pile of my books. It must have been there all week. What a pity neither of you came to me in the beginning."

Jenny gasped, and looked at Martha, who went very red and looked at the carpet.

When they were out of the office, Jenny tackled her. "You told me you'd been to the Head," she accused Martha.

Martha retorted, "No I didn't! You asked if I'd seen him, and I said yes I had. That's all. I didn't tell any lies."

"But it was only half true," said Jenny, "and look at all the trouble it's caused between us! If I'd have known the truth, I would have gone myself. I'm not afraid of visiting the Headmaster's office. As it is, I don't suppose I shall ever be able to come to your house again. It's the end of our friendship. And your brother could have had his precious calculator back last week if only you'd been truthful! How can you live with yourself?"

Martha pouted and shouted rudely after her. She handed over the calculator when she got home, but somehow, she didn't feel any relief. Although she wouldn't admit it to herself, deep down inside she was sad to have lost Jenny, for she had a feeling Jenny was a good friend to have.

"That girl must have slipped the calculator into the Head's office when she got frightened she'd be found out as a thief," declared Martha's mother.

But Martha just sighed, and felt very miserable.
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Proper 16 - OT 21 - Pentecost 11
25 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons, etc.
18 – Worship Resources
25 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 17 - OT 22 - Pentecost 12
24 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
29 – Children's Sermons / Resources
19 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 18 - OT 23 - Pentecost 13
26 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
28 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 19 - OT 24 - Pentecost 14
24 – Sermons
130+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
19 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Ron Love
Bethany Peerbolte
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For August 25, 2019:
  • And a Little Child Shall Lead Them… by Tom Willadsen — There is no question of the passion, sincerity and prophetic nature of the work of young people confronting the most urgent and divisive issues we face as a society.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
Literature is full of stories of mistaken identity. Sometimes the results are comic and other times tragic. But failing to recognize with whom you are dealing is never without consequence.

The pages of Scripture are filled with highest-order instances of mistaken identity. The residents of Sodom, for example, don’t know whom they are threatening. The Pharaoh of Egypt does not recognize the hand of Israel’s God at work. And the Jewish leaders who thought that Jesus was an agent of Beelzebul had it all wrong.
Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Bob Ove

Jeremiah 1:4-10


Arley K. Fadness
“And ought not this woman….be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” (v. 16)

Good morning children,

I have a sports question. What is your favorite sport? (children answer)


Keith Wagner
“The Gift of Grace” by Keith Wagner
“What If the Caller ID says G.O.D.?” by Keith Wagner

The Gift of Grace
by Keith Wagner
Psalm 103:1-8

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Perhaps what most people crave in today's world, is to love and to be loved. But it may also be true that not many people outside the church would use quite that terminology. Some people might say that they're looking for happiness, others might settle for contentment, especially the contentment of knowing that their family is happy and secure. Yet others might express their desires in different ways , such as the longing for good health or the desire for wealth, but probably at the root of all these wishes is the search for happiness.


Chrysanne Timm
Today, and for the next several weeks, the Revised Common Lectionary devotes attention to one of the most intriguing figures in all of the Old Testament -- the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah began his work as the bearer of God's word to the nation of Judah during the time of King Josiah's reign in 627 BC. His prophesying continued even as Judah's brightest and best were forced to leave their homeland for exile in Babylon in approximately 586 BC.

Special Occasion