Rise and Shine©
Written and illustrated by De Dorman
© 2004 All Rights Reserved
It seemed with each new day in southwest Texas came a beautiful sunrise and rain or shine, Willie the watchful rooster, dutifully greeted each morning with his thunderous crowing! Daily, he assumed his position on his favorite post outback. Willie could keep an eye on the hens and chicks as he announced each new day. With each crow he seemed to shout, "Get up!" to all who could hear him.
On this particular morning, however, that wasn't the message that 11 year old Carlos thought of. With each "cock-a-doodle-doo" Carlos thought of his recent failure at school and his lesson in Sunday School yesterday.
"Oh, Willie," he moaned, "be quiet!" Carlos then rolled over and pulled the covers over his head, wishing that he could hide from his problems.
It all started Friday at school...
Carlos told some of his friends that he recently asked Jesus to save him from his sins. Well that was great news to most everybody...but to Hector and the gang it was only something else to torment the boy about. It seemed that lately, Carlos had become their target of teasing. He knew that these boys were trouble and he really tried to stay away from them, but no matter how hard he tried, Hector would find him and tease him unmercifully. Sometimes he would be teased because he forgot to comb his hair and other times he was teased because he couldn't run as fast as some other children in gym class. But now, being teased because he was a Christian seemed to be more than he could bear! Not stopping to think beforehand, Carlos shouted to the boys, "I am NOT a Christian!" and he used some very unChristlike words to prove his point! At that very moment, the peace that he had known since asking Jesus to forgive his sins, left his heart and shame took it's place.
All too soon it was Sunday morning and Carlos certainly didn't feel like going to Sunday School with the weight of sin on his shoulders! "Surely The Lord wouldn't want me going to church after what I did." reasoned the miserable boy. "I'd better tell Dad that I'm not feeling very well; maybe I can just stay home."
"You seem fine to me, Son." was Dad's reply. "Now let's get ready; we don't want to walk in late!"
The family arrived on time at church and Carlos quickly went to his classroom. He was greeted by Mr. Sanchez, his teacher and Carlos tried to smile in return but for some reason it didn't feel like a real smile. He slumped in his chair waiting for the other children to arrive. At 9:45 Mr. Sanchez opened class with prayer and then told the boys what the lesson was about. "Boys, we are going to be looking at the life of Peter before and after he denied knowing Jesus."
Carlos sat up and listened. He even heard his teacher say that there was a rooster in the Bible lesson. He wondered if it had a name and if it was as loud as Willie is each morning! All too soon church was over and they were on their way home. Maybe he could talk to Grandpa about the Bible story later. But when he got home Carlos started his homework and forgot about talking to his abuelo.
Another thunderous crow from Willie reminded Carlos that it was now Monday morning. "How could God love me after what I did?" agonized the pitiful boy. Finally getting out of bed he made his way to the bathroom to wash and get ready for school. That was a very unpleasant thought! Going to school! Mechanically he brushed his teeth and combed his hair, not caring at all that the socks he just grabbed were not matching!
The fresh smell of coffee filled the air as he finally made his way to the kitchen. "Good," he thought. " Grandpa's up! Maybe I can ask him about my Sunday School lesson now."
"Buenos d í as, Carlos!" greeted his abuelo with a smile. "Are you ready for another beautiful day? Willie sure seems excited this morning!" he stated as he walked over to look at the beautiful sunrise from the kitchen window.
Carlos greeted his grandpa with half a smile and a much needed hug.
Grandpa could tell that something was bothering the boy so he whispered a prayer as he sat down to drink his coffee.
As he reached down to pull up his socks, Carlos asked, "Abuelo, did you ever have something happen that you wish you could change, but you can't?"
Listening with his heart as well as with his ears, Grandpa replied, "Sure have, Carlos. More than once, I'm sorry to say." Do you want to tell me what's troubling you?" he asked as he watched Carlos put on his mismatched socks.
Outside, Willie continued trumpeting until Carlos finally asked his concerned grandpa what he thought of when he heard Willie crowing so much each morning.
Grandpa answered with a sparkle in his eyes, "Oh, I think about being given another chance to do something good for Jesus!" With that, he took another sip of his coffee and asked, "What do you think of, Carlos?"
"Well...lately..." Carlos began slowly..."since yesterday, I've been thinking of Peter, when he denied knowing Jesus and then the rooster crowed just like Jesus said that it would." answered Carlos as he picked at his scrambled eggs.
"And when Peter cried and cried because of what he had done." And with that, Carlos told his caring grandpa all that had happened at school and the misery he was now in because of his carelessness. He hung his head in shame as he waited for his abuelo to say something.
Now he understood his grandson's problem and responded with this question. "Do you remember what happened to Peter after he denied Jesus?" Carlos couldn't remember so he asked Grandpa to tell him. "You're right, Carlos," began Grandpa, "Peter did cry... because he was very sorry for what he had done, but Jesus assured Peter in many ways that he was forgiven (and Peter forgave himself, too) and he was used by The Lord on the day of Pentecost to preach a powerful sermon where 3,000 souls were saved! This event is what started the first church.
"Carlos," Grandpa asked, "do you think Peter ever denied Jesus again?" With tears in his eyes, Carlos shook his head "no". grandpa knew that Carlos, too, had learned his lesson.
Grandpa took his Bible and opened it to I John 1:9. Carlos read aloud, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
"Carlos, would you like to ask Jesus to forgive you? He's waiting for you to come to Him so He can give you that joy and peace back into your heart, just like He did for Peter." That's what Carlos wanted...that joy and peace that comes from having all your sins forgiven! He quickly nodded and confessed to God that what he had done was sin and asked The Lord to forgive him and give him another chance, just as He did for Peter. Carlos thanked God for his salvation that he received a few weeks ago and for the forgiveness that he received this morning. (Read Jude 24)
After lifting up his head, Carlos realized that there was nothing better than having joy and peace in his heart !
"Abuelo," he began, "no matter how much I'm teased, I never want to deny knowing Jesus again. What He thinks of me is more important than what anyone else thinks! After all, He's the Only One who loved me so much that He died for my sins!" After hearing Willie again, Carlos concluded, "I Just wish Willie wouldn't always remind me of what I did!"
Suddenly, Grandpa had a wonderful idea! "Carlos," he began, "instead of thinking of what you did when you hear Willie crowing, think of this instead...he's telling you to get up and rise and shine for Jesus!"
Now standing by the table with a real smile on his face, Carlos thought that this was a great idea! "I will think of that, Grandpa!" he exclaimed as he gave his abuelo a big hug! "Thanks, Grandpa, I love you!"
"I love you, Carlos!" Grandpa said as he returned the big hug. "Hey, Carlos," wondered his abuelo, "do you have gym class today?"
"Yes, why?" answered a happy Carlos.
"Well..." Grandpa said with a twinkle in his eyes, " just thought you might want to change one of those socks!"
Carlos pulled up his pant legs and quickly agreed with his loving abuelo, laughing all the way to his room!
The first thing on his list to do at school was to tell all those that heard his thoughtless remarks last Friday that he was wrong and he was sorry. Carlos knew that The Lord would help him do this!
Peter's belief brought relief! (Belief in God's Word)
abuelo- (ubwalo) Spanish word for grandpa or grandfather.
Verses used in this story...
John 3:16 "For God so loved, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Jude verse 24 "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory..."