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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: The Porch Swing
By R.K. Minor


The Porch Swing

If you didn’t know my father-in-law John you really missed something special in your life. A husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, he was a friend to everyone and he never seemed to meet a stranger. His family, church, and scouting were the main topics of his life. Sit down and talk to John and one of those topics always started the conversation. Before every meal in my twenty-seven years of knowing John you didn’t pickup a fork until the blessing was asked. I knew my father-in-law was a praying man, but not to the extent that I found when he was ill with stomach cancer. Visiting him at the hospital, no matter how ill he was, that day, there was always prayer.

One story that will always stick with me about my father-in-law is a story of him and his porch swing. Many times when things were not going well or there was a decision to be made, he would tell his wife Pat, he was going out on the porch swing and “talk to God.” A setting as simple as a porch swing, looking over the flowerbeds and listening to the birds. Can you think of a better place to have a relationship with Jesus?

Five months after John went home to be with the Lord, his granddaughter Amanda was married in a beautiful outdoor chapel. Throughout the service you could feel his presence in the outdoors that he so loved. The pastor had mentioned how the groom had wanted to grow old with her on their porch swing. I started thinking about Dad and wondered if it had come full circle. I pray they both swing and talk to God just as her “Poppy” did. I hope I can go out and “talk to God” on my swing for many years to come. As long as I live I will always look at my swing and think of Dad and look upwards for my Heavenly Father. I thank my loving wife Laurie for sharing her “praying” father with me for all these years.

And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6: 18

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Member Comments
Member Date
Kristy Cox05/03/07
This is a VERY good piece. It is emotional and honest and I appreciate that. One thing: you mentioned your 'father-in-law' in the first paragraph, and then you said that "John" died, and then 'Poppy' and then in your conclusion, you called him 'Dad.' You might want to keep the first reference to him, and then call him 'Dad' the rest of the time, or Poppy, or something, just keep it consistent. Great piece. Keep on writing!
Lynn Mosher05/03/07
I had a father very similar to your father-in-law. Brings back great memories.
Lynn Mosher05/03/07
My father resembled your father-in-law. He's with the Lord also. Brings back precious memories. Nice job.
Brenda Welc05/03/07
Very homeward bound devotional. I thought this was very well written and enjoyed reading this.
Jan Ackerson 05/06/07
I love the down-home feel of this tender little story.
Rebecca Simpson05/09/07
This piece was well-written and stirs the inspirational part of the reader's soul. I have only two critiques. The first is that I, too, feel that you would confuse the reader less if you mentioned just one name (or nickname) for your father-in-law and stuck to that one throughout the piece. My other suggestion is simply to note which version of the Bible you used for your verse.
Jacquelyn Horne05/09/07
Thanks for sharing this inspirational piece.
Martha Helton05/09/07
Beautiful piece. It was heartfelt and inspirational.
Thanks for sharing!