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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Junk Food (08/30/12)

TITLE: Junk Filled Temples
By Gary Morris
~4th Place


One could barely focus on the fiery sermon the minister was spitting out for the excess baggage that kept bouncing just above his waist band and starched collar.

“Paul said in First Corinthians 3:16, ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,’” he screamed to the top of his voice.

The congregation squirmed in their seats. Eyes scanned across the sanctuary from deacon to deacon. Everyone was hoping that someone would interject a loud “Amen” to cool this fireball. No one dared.

“All you people want to do is fill your temple of God with alcohol and booze! Why, many of you appear to have a smoke stack on your temple with all the smoke rising from those cigarettes and cigars you have been puffing on.”

Other than the racket he was spouting out, his deafening hand clap and the gasps between every raspy statement, one could have heard a pin drop.

“You’re turning the temple of God into a junk house! You watch everything that comes on television, and you listen to that worldly music. That’s doing nothing but filling God’s house with filth! You’re junking it up!”

He paused long enough to search for the giggles coming from the back row, and to catch his breath.

“I wouldn’t dare fill my body with the trash of this world. You’re destroying God’s temple with the trash you are filling it with. God forbid that you drink another beer, guzzle down another whiskey or smoke another pipe. One day you’re going to pay for that junk you’re filling God’s house with!”

The creeping hand finally made its way to the top of the clock face, and the long awaited chime rang faithfully announcing the noon. It seemed to surprise no one but the minister.

Patrons began zipping their Bibles and preparing for the final prayer. The minister nodded for Deacon Johnson to close the service.

“Now don’t forget, we’ve got lunch in the fellowship hall, and everyone is invited stay and have lunch with us.” Deacon Johnson announced clearly as he walked to the center aisle. “We’re going to pray first and then we’re going to let Minister Tubbs start the line since he is our guest.”

Deacon Johnson led in a prayer and then turned to Minister Tubbs, who had already removed his tie, loosened his collar and rolled his sleeves to his elbows. The look on his face was one of anticipation.

The two led the procession of anxious kids to the dining hall while the adults were somewhat reluctant to follow.

“I smell fried chicken,” Minister Tubbs exclaimed as he walked toward the serving tables.

He grabbed a large plate and looked at Deacon Johnson. “I might need a plate with side planks! This food looks delicious.”

Before he got halfway down the table, he had filled his plate with fried chicken, fried pork chops and dumplings. He filled his second plate with a variety of cakes, pies and puddings before finding a place for his bountiful feast.

“Could I get you something to drink, Sir?” Mrs. Johnson politely asked.

“Sweet tea for me, that’s all I ever drink.” Minister Tubbs replied.
She quickly placed the sweetened tea on the table next to his plate and gasped as she watched him devour his lunch.

“Sir, what were you saying about the junk we were filling the temple with?” She softly asked.

“Oh no,” he laughed, “No you don’t.”

“I beg your pardon?” Mrs. Johnson questioned.

“No you don’t. Don’t try to get me to back down on my sermon. I don’t care who it is. You’re not to fill the temple of God with junk.”

“Oh,” she whispered, “not even junk food?”

“What was that?” He quipped with a slight burp.

“Oh nothing, I am amused at your example. Can I get you something else, Sir?”

“I would like another piece of that white cake with coconut on top, if you don’t mind. I hate to eat so much, but I’m fasting for dinner tonight. I’m praying for God to heal my body. I’ve got an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow afternoon. I’m believing God to unstop those arteries.”

“Oh, I see,” she replied, “now what did the doctor say was causing you this trouble?”

“Its genetics, strictly inherited. All my folks have it, and they don’t eat any more than I do.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/06/12
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's definitely funny from the eyes of the reader and on-looker, but also sad as all too often, this type of thing is really happening. It reminds me of one of the arguments my husband and I have had before. He tells the kids "Do what I say, not what I do." I just want to scream and slap some sense into him, but then that wouldn't be a good example either.

The only bit of red ink I have is I stumbled over the opening line and had to reread it a few times.

However, once past that, I devoured every bit of your story. I enjoyed your take on the topic and you do a great job of telling the true message without coming off as preachy or sanctimonious. That's not an easy thing to do, considering your MC. It takes a great deal of talent to pull that off and you managed it quite nicely.
Barbara Lynn Culler09/06/12
Sadly, all too true! Loved the name- Minister TUBS!
Danielle King 09/09/12
Oh I loved this entry. I felt I knew where it was heading and I'm glad I was correct. That big pudding of a hypocrite got what was coming to him and you brought it all together so well. Great job!
Theresa Santy 09/09/12
You can't see me, but I'm standing and applauding. This was brilliant, and true to life on so many levels. And I loved the pun of "Mr. Tubbs."
Genia Gilbert09/10/12
Really on target in many ways. Great writing! I enjoyed it immensely.
Myrna Noyes09/13/12
Well-written and well-spoken!! :D You did an excellent job portraying Minister Tubbs and his hypocrisy. Great message about examining our own lives before we judge others! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR E.C. AND LEVEL WINS!! :D
C D Swanson 09/13/12
Congratulations on your EC!!!!!!!!!!!!

God Bless~
C D Swanson 09/13/12

God Bless~
Bea Edwards 09/13/12
Great entry and admonition to look at the log in our own eye or junk in our own trunk before we hypocritically point our finger at others.
Beth LaBuff 09/16/12
I enjoyed your subtle humor and your MC's name almost made me LOL! :) Great work! Congrats on your Editor's Choice award!
Leola Ogle 09/16/12
Congrats Gary! Good job!