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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: The Shopping List
By Mark Drinnenberg


He pondered where to go that day;
He really didn’t know.
He’d thought about it through the night
And with each thought said, “No.”

The yellow pages on his lap,
He’d searched them through before,
He saw the time go slipping by;
He must slip out the door.

He grabbed his head with both his hands
And thought with all his might;
There had to be a place for him,
A place exactly right.

One church’s pastor was too loud;
Another’s was too soft.
And then there was the crowded church,
They’d stuck him in the loft.

The people at one church were stiff
And hesitant to greet.
Another’s people seemed quite nice,
Though sickeningly sweet.

It seemed the church he’d hoped to find
Was locked within some vault.
Why couldn’t he just find a church
That didn’t have a fault?

He knew what he was shopping for;
He had a mental list -
A few requirements upon which
He really must insist.

To find a place of sheer delight
Seemed such a dreary task.
He only wanted things just right.
Was that too much to ask?

A church that sang the songs he liked,
With sermons he’d enjoy,
And children under tight control
So they could not annoy.

Where everyone would hang upon
Each word he had to say.
The coffee must be strong and hot,
Fresh ground, robust, gourmet.

The Holy Spirit suddenly
Impressed upon his mind
That there was not a perfect church
Out there for him to find.

Instead, he should look for a church
That’s built upon God’s Word,
Where Scripture’s taught for all it’s worth,
And Jesus Christ is Lord.

A church of sinners saved by grace,
With no required façade,
A good and true imperfect church
That serves a perfect God.

A church should not be made to meet
All that his list requires;
But rather he should help the church
Become what Christ desires.

His mental checklist torn to shreds,
As tears streamed down his face,
He hurried out to fellowship
With sinners saved by grace.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 03/09/07
I enjoyed this a lot. It was so well written. My favorite lines are "imperfect church, that serves a perfect God" and "fellowship with sinners saved by grace".

Jacquelyn Horne03/09/07
I've simply got to quit reading today! I have no tears left. Such a beautiful piece. I can't believe it's in the first level. Good job.
cindy yarger03/12/07
Good entry. I think sometimes the problem that we have in "shopping" for a church home is that the church is trying to be all that we need. Remember the Israelites didn't even know it when God's presence left the temple. When you find Jesus in a church - that's the one to choose. I'm precahing but you started it! Good job.
cindy yarger03/12/07
Sorry - I should have read that first. Preaching not precahing! Blessings - Cindy
Patty Wysong03/12/07
Oh, I liked that! Church shopping is Never easy, and you captured it. Good job!
Donna Powers 03/14/07
Excellent! A perfect poem and a good lesson. Very good job
Myrna Noyes03/15/07
I loved this "right on" poem! Well-written with a terrific message! CONGRATULATIONS on your 3rd place win! :)
Angela M. Baker-Bridge03/15/07
Congratulations on a subject we all hesitate to discuss, let alone address it through our writing! Well said...
Sheri Gordon03/16/07
Congratulations on a great piece. I'm not a poetry fan (I think it's too sophisticated for me), but this was so easy to read, with such an awesome message. Good job.