February 19, 2004

Have been working on the missons board for church in the garage. It is tough to get a block of time to work steady on the project so have been doing what I can. We had piano lessons today instead of Wednesday. We went to Walmart first because I needed to get some pictures printed of the missionaries our church support for the board. Jeremy stayed in the van because his behavior has not been the best today. After the lesson I stopped back to pick up the 5x7 prints and get some picture frames. Got some really nice black wood 8x10 matted for a 5x7. Should work perfect.

On the way home I found out the reason for Jeremy's unusual behavior. I heard a beeping noise while driving and asked what it was. Jeremy stayed it was nothing. I pulled over and demanded to know what it was. He finally showed me a watch that he had. It was like new and he had a string tied to it. Right away I thought he had taken it at Walmart. He denied it and finally confessed that he had stolen it from someone the Friday night I took him to Hoop Time with me. I wasn't sure to believe him or not but he said that he had cut the band off and it was in his garbage at home. The band was in the garbage so I knew he hadn't just got it. I was very upset and didn't know exactly how to handle this. I prayed to God for wisdom.

I asked him to confess to any other things he had stolen and he then told me that a long time ago he had taken a peach from Cub foods and a beef jerky stick from Menards on Tuesday. The wrapper was where he told me it was and the peach was long gone. I thanked him for letting me know and then went into the bedroom and layed on the floor for a while. I want to take him with me every where I go and always look to him as my son who I can always trust but instead he stole things while with me and I didn't even notice. I trusted him and he betrayed me.

I wrote a one page thing for him to copy. It read:
I will not take things that are not mine. I will not take things that are not mine. By taking things like the watch, I am stealing and I know stealing is wrong. I don't want anyone to steal from me and it wouldn't be the right thing to do. If I want something, I can tell my mom or dad and they can help me get it or buy one for me. It is not okay to take something that does not belong to me. The Bible says: "You shall not steal" Exodus 20:15. "Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not decieve one another" Leviticus 19:11. "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need." Ephesians 4:28.

I know not to steal which is taking something that is not mine. I will not take things that are not mine. I should not have taken the watch. I should not have lied to my parents about taking it. It is not right to lie and it destroys relationships. I need to always tell the truth no matter what the cost. I want to be an honest man who is true to my word.

I had him write that in cursive. That took him a long time and gave me more time to think.

Tali was on-call tonight so we went to see her at hospital. Before going to hospital we went to Menards because I needed some more stuff and for Jeremy to make things right. Unlike Home Depot, the manager on duty was a happy young small college age lady who was not very intimidating. I told her we would just go through the line and pay for the beef stick and then return it to the shelf. They are always so thankful that we came in that it seems more like a reward to Jeremy than a punishment. It only cost $1. I lectured him in van about for only $1 he stole something and became a thief and how it wasn't worth it. I don't know if I'm doing what is right but am truly concerned about him not changing his attitude. We did talk about how the adults in prison or the Enron scandal people never planned to be in prison for stealing. However, the beef stick at age 10 led to a bigger thing and so on. I pray that he will ask God to help him make this crucial change in his life.

This is the last in-house call for a long time so that is nice.