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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: Alvin Josiah MacRaney III
By Joanne Sher
~2nd Place


Alvin Josiah MacRaney III
was in ministry up to his eyes.
He gave to the needy, encouraged the weak,
and responded to many souls' cries.

MacRaney was part of a family of preachers;
the pulpit was part of their lore.
He learned the importance of loving the brethren
from his father and grandpa before.

Dear Alvin was praised by his plentiful flock
for the blessings he oft gave away.
They often sat speechless, in bounteous thanks
for the many he'd lift when he'd pray.

But MacRaney's great passion - and his congregants', too
was his preaching of God's holy Word.
His pastoral fervor and "gift of the gab"
were obvious to all those who heard.

"Repent! The Lord loves you," was his pulpit refrain.
"Each person's a great big fat sinner.
If you do your part and let Christ in your heart,
then God will see you as a winner."

He'd flip through his bible, taking copious notes
(that no one but Alvin could read),
extracting the wisdom he'd share with the folks
whose souls he was aiming to feed.

He shared the Word boldly with those of his flock
and closed with a rousing "Amen."
He then put his congregants back in the toy box
and napped until "church time" again.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/22/07
Ohhhh you caught me! What a sweet story!
Therese Witkus11/23/07
Great twist and fun to read.
Sharlyn Guthrie11/23/07
My grandson loves to imitate his preacher daddy, so I can relate to this. Great fun!
Betty Castleberry11/23/07
Now *this* is a fun read. Love the surprise at the end.
LauraLee Shaw11/24/07
Just darling and incredibly creative. Especially the ending...
Dee Yoder 11/25/07
I think I missed the whole point of your story when I read it-the first time! (Wink) Had too many interruptions, I think! So cute-and sweet; I used to play church with my siblings, too.
Laury Hubrich 11/25/07
You caught me by surprise at the end. Certainly didn't see that coming! Great writing!
Kristen Hester11/27/07
Cute, cute, cute! This was fun.
william price11/28/07
Way kool, Jo-anne. I don't know much about the technical aspects of poetry. But, it flowed well, was vivid and entertained as well as ministered. A success. Great Job. God bless.
Temple Miller11/28/07
Terrific narrative and meter. I loved it.
Sheri Gordon11/28/07
This is a hoot. Very fun. I was a little concerned about this minister, but the end explained it all. :)

I don't know much about poetry, but I did stumbl over the fifth paragraph some the first time I read it. The beat seemed off to me.

Really cute poem -- great ending.
Jan Ackerson 11/28/07
Absolutely adorable! I love the "great big fat sinners" and think that's a phrase some grown-up pastors ought to employ! Charming, charming, charming.
Karen Wilber11/28/07
Awwwwww! This is so precious. Surprise at the end - so I had to go back and read it again. How clever of you!
Loren T. Lowery11/28/07
What a great twist, glad I kept reading, because I was beginning to wonder. But your bringing about a hopeful and entertaining, suprpise ending prevailed.
Beth LaBuff 11/28/07
Very impressive! I love it! Your ending explains why the flock "often sat speechless" and the notes no one could read but Alvin(great clues). I love some of your phrases to like "pulpit refrain" and "copious notes". Well done! Frankly I'm surprised this wasn't a "jewel". :) oh, and I must add that this is "cute". :)
LaNaye Perkins11/28/07
This was just too cute! I loved the voice in this and felt it flowed really well. Kudos my friend, KUDOS!!!
Ann Renae Hair11/29/07
You got me! Precious, indeed. LOVE IT!!!
Sheri Gordon11/29/07
Congratulations on your much deserved EC. The ending is absolutely priceless.
LauraLee Shaw11/29/07
Joanne, Congratulations on your high ranking as well as your E.C. placing! It just goes to show how God can do His thing even when we think we are out of our genre!!!! I'm so happy for you. :)
David Story11/29/07
Congratulations on this great piece! Loved the end!
Yvonne Blake 11/29/07
(sMILE!) I loved the surprise ending! I did notice that "Bible" wasn't capitalized. It was refreshing to have a poem that isn't free verse.
Good writing ! Congratulations.
Debbie Roome 11/29/07
Excellent writing - the end caught me by surprise. Congrats on EC placement.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge11/29/07
Great job! Maybe I blew it by exposing the kids playing church right in the beginning of my entry. I can learn from you!
Sharlyn Guthrie11/29/07
Woo-hoo! You're a poet and now you know it! Congratulations!
Lynda Lee Schab 12/01/07
Woo-Hoo, Joanne! LOVE this! Just goes to show you that sometimes we're capable of more than we think we are. Congrats on your placing!
Venice Kichura12/16/07
WOW! This is excellent, Joanne! Congrats on a well-deserved win!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/08/15
Eight years gone by . . . and I still love this poem!