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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: Jesus Freak Speak
By David Butler
08/23/07
~10th Place


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Verinder looked nervous as we walked into church. So was I. It took a lot of work and prayer to get him to come at all.
He gazed in awe at the size of the building.
“Do Christian churches not all have staining glassy windows?”

“We aren’t a traditional church like you’ve seen. Tradition’s okay if it’s not in God’s way.”

A beaming usher shook our hands and would have dragged the poor guy up to the front row, but I gently declined. We sat closer to the door – just in case.

The worship began. To my dismay, they decided to go a bit “retro”, bringing out all the old choruses for the dear old saints’ benefit. Verinder’s brown eyes opened wide at some of the words on the screen:
Are you washed in the Blood? …..I’m under the Blood….. Blood-bought.

“What is it this? Do you have sacrifice of baby sheep? I am confusinged. Is He man or lamb slained? Why is He cross? Must wash in blood to make him not cross? Do you having blood-bank here….?”

I explained as best I could. Some analogies are hard for anyone, especially one of his culture and language to understand. Worse in a noisy auditorium. I don’t know how successful I was.

“Hallelujah, saints! Anointed singin’! What a glorious sacrifice we offered up to the Throne …..!”

It was Brother Harold in full flight! I cringed inside.

“…We have an UNCtion from the Lord..!”

Verinder was drinking in everything with childlike wonder on his face. He leaned over and loudly whispered questions.
“Is Lord he give free meal today?”

A choking sound came from the teenager next to me. It was hard work explaining it in simple English. Some of it, I realized, was incomprehensible to me as well.

“… Brethren, we must CRUcify the flesh!” Bro. Harold was really warming up now. “We must DIE to self, and the lusts of the flesh…!”

An excited whisper in my ear: “I understanding! Not luncheon, it is Aussie barbecue, yes? And speaking person believe in reincarnation. Good karma!”

“…You must jump in the river!”

“We go to swimming today also? Sea is closer.”
I just shook my head despairingly. I’d explain it all later - if I could.

“ … be FILLED with the Spirit! Come and be set on fire…”

Verinder looked worried. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he'd fled for his life.
“It’s okay! Just another manner of speaking.”

“… Come out from the world – be ye separate…!”

“We are travel into space?”

“..then go into all the world ….!”

Oh brother! The expression on poor Verinder’s face was too much for our neighbour, who developed a strange coughing fit, and hurried outside.

We finally made it to the altar call.
“Have you been saved?”

“Ah! If you jumping in the river, and you drowning. Yes?”

“..born again?”

“Yes! I think I was beetle in my past life. Bad Karma!”

I choked. The words “repent” and “salvation” went over his head, but he brightened at the word “redemption”, showing me his watch he had once pawned. Maybe something might get through.

At last! Sister Janey came and began a chorus that never failed to move me. I relaxed.
More importantly, Verinder felt the presence of God too. A big smile came on his face, and he swayed to the music. He began to weep.

“Why is it I am feel so wonderful and feeling so terrible? It is like I am inside so werry dirty.”

Breakthrough!
“It’s just God touching your heart. D’you want to get clean?”

I took him down to the front.
Bros. Harold and Rick laid hands on him applying their customary “Holy Ghost Massage.”

“Hold on, brother, hold on!” Harold exhorted, shaking him so vigorously, he had to hold on to him or fall.
Rick exhorted with equal fervour: “Let go, brother, let go!”
Obediently, Verinder let go, lost his balance and fell to the floor. The two elders explained that he was “slain in the Spirit” and “under the power.”

“But I am not be dying, sir, and I am sober.”

I explained a few things to Rick.
“A Hindu background, huh? You gotta get delivered, son!”

“By mail? Where you send me?”

To conclude, he did get saved. Really fired up too.
He approached me a week later, his white teeth flashing, saying:
“Brother! I got the Wictory!”


© 2007

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 08/23/07
Having come from a Pentecostal background, I can sooo relate to this story! Hilarious and moving at the same time. God can use anyone, can't He, to speak to any heart! Good thing, too, because we have a way of messing up a fairly simple message with our "Holy" speak. It's a wonder anyone gets to the altar! Great story and good writing. You made me smile!
Dee Yoder 08/23/07
P.S.: I love the title, too! I have a church friend who called his Fantasy Football Team "Jesus Freaks of Nature". :)
Peter Stone08/23/07
Great insights as to what non-Christians can see coming into a church for the first time. Can be somewhat perplexing! Churches need to be conscious of keeping services aimed at non-Christians as well as catering to their flock. And a great ending, God can use any part of a service to get people saved. I've seen people who did not understand a word of the sermon giving their hearts to Jesus because they sensed God's Presence during the praise and worship songs.
Linda Watson Owen08/23/07
Great job of combining humor and a gentle chiding of the church here! Your 'visitor' is a delightful character, and the friend could be any of us! A real treat to read!
Dianne Janak08/24/07
Loved this so much. Jesus Freak Speak was perfect title. I can look back and remember many of my misconceptions, confusion, and stereotypical thinking that kept me in the dark. Great reminder to all of us to be more cognizant of the seeker... GREAT JOB!! Felt convicted, laughed, and loved it!
Joanne Sher 08/24/07
I think this is one of my favorite writers :) Excellent job with your "visitor" - and the service itself. Love the tone of this, from beginning to end. Much to learn here!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/25/07
Oh, this is so well done. I was just anticipating what would happen next in church that would be confusing. Your mc is delightful.
Kristen Hester08/26/07
I was confused at first by the broken English but once I understood it was his second language I really enjoyed it. This is very good. It is good to look at our worship through the eyes of someone new to church. I kept thinking of 1 Corinthians 14: 40 when it says of worship "But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." Good job.
Jacquelyn Horne08/27/07
This is really well done. I often wonder how people of other cultures understand our lingo. You have pictured some of it for me in a delightful way.
Beth LaBuff 08/28/07
Our Christian "terminology" can be very confusing. You were creative with this and this was actually entertaining to read! It gives me something to think about when talking to those not of "the faith".
Brenda Welc08/29/07
This was AWESOME! I loved the flow, I could feel the feelings and the bewilderment! Great writing!
Jan Ackerson 08/29/07
Love it! This was very aural--I could just hear it, every word!
Sara Harricharan 08/29/07
ROFL! This was just too funny. By the time I saw where this was going, I was laughing so hard I nearly pounded the keyboard. Great stuff, love the descriptions and the characters. So loveable and earnest. ^_^ My only note is after all of that, I wasn't expecting a Hindu religion, maybe something else...not sure what, but didn't expect that. Was ther something that built up to it? Maybe I missed it, but good job! ^_^
Sheri Gordon08/30/07
Congratulations on your much deserved EC. This is really good -- and so entertaining. Fantastic job with the topic.
Loralee Scott09/07/07
Bravo!! Hysterically funny and point well made!
Jan Ackerson 03/26/08
David, I'd like to feature this very excellent story on the Front Page Showcase for the week of April 21. Look for it on the FW home page. Congratulations!
Joanne Sher 04/21/08
Oh, so deserving of the front page, dear friend. Hope this'll bring you out of hiding and get ya to write a bit for us. As excellent the second time through as it was the first time. Congrats for being in the spotlight.
Birdie Courtright04/21/08
This is hysterical! Congrats on your Show Place! A very deserving spot for this. I love it!
Birdie Courtright04/21/08
oops, I meant to say Showcase!Well, you know what I mean--I'm still giggling!
Rita Garcia04/21/08
CONGRATS! Great story! So happy it is being showcased!
Beth LaBuff 04/23/08
I can still hear Bro. Harold. :) Congrats on being the FW Frontpage Showcase author!
Debbie Wistrom04/23/08
You had me from "staining glassy windows." So glad this made it to the Showcase or I'd have missed this and that would be sad. So right on the topic for that week.
Hope to see more from you soon.
Joshua Janoski04/24/08
This story was awesome! So funny, and yet there is truth to the humor. As a Christian, I often don't realize how some of the church practices must look to outsiders first coming in. It would be even more strange to those visitors from foreign countries.

I loved the voice of your foreign character. I am so happy to see this story showcased. Congratulations!
Betty Castleberry04/25/08
This was a hilarious read. You got the accent just right, and I pictured your young (in my mind) Hindu clearly right away.
Very well done. Congrats on getting the showcase.