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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: You Buried Me Today
By Gerald Shuler


Dear Pastor Kincaid,

You buried me today. Our small congregation of believers seemed quite sincere in their sympathy but still I wasn’t impressed. Everyone seemed so determined that I was actually in the casket. With your good teaching over the last two years I expected them to have a more mature understanding. But then, of course, why should they understand? I didn’t fully understand until after my last breath had finally dissipated.

That, in fact, is why I am writing this letter to you. Death has been most enlightening! You would be absolutely amazed at how much we don’t know while tied to our mortal bodies. Like the angels. Do you realize how many angels there are at every church service we have? I was watching them at last Sunday’s service. (I know, I died Friday. Don’t get spooked… I wasn’t IN the service. I can just see a lot from across the gulf) Some of the angels are there because of the prayers of a few members but most (and this shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did) most of them were attending at the King’s orders because we weren’t handling spiritual things well enough yet. They were in the service waiting for orders to be carried out in the spiritual warfare. They waited but they never got sent out to perform our words! If you get this letter while you are still alive, PLEASE, start teaching people to speak Godly things into existence! You could change the entire world from your small congregation if you only understood the full authority you have been given.

Oh, I’d better hurry. They have started calling the recently deceased to the judgment seat. Let me get right to the issue of which I wanted to make you aware: Mrs. Kimble and Mr. Grunworth. While still alive and helping as your assistant pastor, I NEVER had an inkling of the spiritual depth of those two members! They are so softspoken I always thought it would be an injury to their privacy to even ask for their opinions. I’m sure you felt the same because you mentioned it to me once when I suggested Mr. Grunworth as a possible deacon candidate. Boy, were we ever wrong!

Did you know that Mrs. Kimble has been blessed with the Gift of Wisdom AND healing? She has prayed sicknesses away for years that never even got a chance to bring a first sneeze and nobody even knew she was praying! Her healing gift is even more effective because of her wisdom gift. She has spiritual insight into what the church body is facing and never gives the enemy the opportunity to even strike!

And Mr. Grunworth… Wow! That man is so dynamic in his Spirit that he looks like a giant compared to you or me! His faith is rooted more deeply than anyone I have ever known. You recall all the ministry outreach projects the church needed funding for? We thought we were stretching our faith muscles but believe me, Mr. Grunworth’s faith could have opened the doors for anything we could have desired to do as a church!

There’s the trumpet! I didn’t get to finish this letter. Just know this one thing: Jesus meant it when he said the meek will inherit the earth! Don’t waste the giants in your church just because you don’t recognize them. Time is too short and the harvest is too great!

Let God’s Gifts flow freely! I’m…. out… of… here!!!!!!

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This article has been read 1407 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Dixon11/29/07
Witty. I loved this!
David F. Palmieri Sr.11/29/07
Good job...great idea...each member of the "body" has a gift...you've shown that we are all important parts of "one body." Even the "big toe" is important in helping us to stand up...
Yvonne Blake 11/30/07
Interesting point of view! Probably a lot of pastor's would like this insight of their congregation.
dub W11/30/07
I really enjoyed reading this witty but powerful message. Oh, one exclamation mark per essay is usually one too many.
Jan Ackerson 11/30/07
Very, very creative--I'd only suggest that you trust your strong word choices to convey feeling, rather than exclamation points. This is one of my favorites this week.
Janice Cartwright12/01/07
Creative and insightful. Some of the greatest servants are often overlooked because they don't toot their own horn. But God does not forget.
Joanne Sher 12/02/07
Wow - very, VERY powerful. A neat take on the topic, fabulous voice, and just a delight to read. Love this.
Marita Vandertogt12/03/07
This is really good - not only very well written, but a great message. Loved it!
Sara Harricharan 12/03/07
This one gave me some goosebumps. WOW! I've never quite thought of it this way. I liked this POV and especially the end. This was so real. Great writing!
Betty Castleberry12/03/07
Awesome. Fun. True. 'Nuff said.
LauraLee Shaw12/03/07
Incredibly creative. It had a powerful effect on me.
Shelley Ledfors 12/03/07
Wonderful. Engaging, well written and full of truth. Great job!
Dee Yoder 12/03/07
So true; the quiet ones are often over-looked in the church. What would our congregations look like if our pastors actually put to use those Personality and Service Surveys they hand out every now and then? (; Good reminders in this entry.
Joy Faire Stewart12/03/07
Wow! You covered so many gifts in just a few words. Very unique piece, loved it.
Temple Miller12/04/07
Powerful; gripping. I loved it.
LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
I agree, this gave me goosebumps and it IS very creative. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/05/07
This is way too good for beginners. Your creativity and writing skills bring a powerful message.
Pat Guy 12/05/07
I came here flashing my Red Pen, ready to strike, and it all but falls from my fingers. I can only see one place that might be confusing to the reader although it is explained in following sentences. It's these sentences ... "They were in the service waiting for orders to be carried out in the spiritual warfare. They waited but they never got sent out to perform our words!" Maybe if you used the word, 'their' for 'our' or added a few more words to clarify that it was the people attending who were not speaking. Then the following sentences would affirm this.

BUT that is a nick-pick at best and all I can do on this. This story is some awesome teaching.

Kristen Hester12/05/07
Requested Red Pen Comments:

First of all, this is great! (Yes, I know I used an exclamation mark.) Don't feel bad about the exclamation marks. That's one of the first things I learned after joining faithwriters. You'll soon see what they mean (if you don't already.)

I'm NOT the grammar guru, but the capitilazation seemed inconsistent here: "Gift of Wisdom AND healing."

This was really an easy-to-read charming and witty entry. I loved the "I'm...out..of...here" ending. Very fun. Great job. I predict you won't be in beginners for long.
william price12/05/07
Red pen comment.
Great opening, you hooked me. Your story was good, I loved the concept and you really ministed to me.
A few lil critiques would be the paragraphs seemed a lil long to me. The pace of the story was a lil inconsistant. And at times you were a little wordy. But, these are just minor. YOu have the hardest parts down pat, you can communicate the message the Lord gives you. It takes time to develope our writing voice, making proper word choices that fit the flow of the story and keeping the reader propelled to the end of your story. Keep working. I'll be looking forwar to more work from you. God bless.
Peter Stone12/06/07
Congratulations on your 2nd place. Quite an interesting take on the topic, and makes very good observations. Keep up the great work.
Connie Allen02/17/08