Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)
TITLE: You Are Personally Invited
By CJ Raney
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While he waited impatiently for the coffee to finish, he started to sort the mail. A bright yellow envelope marked “personal invitation” caught his eye. With his cup of coffee in hand, he sat down at the round table by the window and opened it. Inside was a bright yellow postcard that read…
<center>You Are Personally Invited!</center>
<center>Tired? Run Down? Need a Boost? </center>
<center>Come Dare to Believe. </center>
<center>Northside Community Center</center>
<center>August 29, 2008</center>
<center>7 p.m. </center>
Mark set the postcard off to the side and started opening the other mail. “Bills, bills, more bills. I don’t know how I am going to make it all work this month.”
A couple of days later, that yellow postcard jumped out at Mark again after another stressful day of trying to get the promotion at work. He picked it up and read it again. “I wonder what this is about? Boy, I sure am feeling all those things.”
Friday afternoon Mark came home from work mad, frustrated, and ready to quit his job. He stormed into the house tossed his reports on the table. “I guess I don’t need these anymore.” Mark sat down, closed his eyes and started to rub his temples. He couldn’t believe that the new guy got the promotion he had worked so hard for. As he slowly opened his eyes, his attention was drawn to that bright yellow postcard.
Mark took the postcard and slipped it into his pocket. He scooped up his keys and headed out the door.
Arriving at the community center, he parked and nervously walked towards the doors. Slowly opening them, he slipped in and found the first seat in the back of the room. Looking around, he wondered what was so special about all this. The stage was very plain, no decorations or lights. “What have I gotten myself into?”
At seven o’clock a young man walked out onto the stage. “Good evening everyone. I am very excited that you are here. My name is Tom.”
Tom started talking about his life and things he had done and gone through. Mark felt like the only person in the room. Tom was speaking directly to him. He continued speaking about unconditional love, something Mark knew nothing about. Then he spoke of a truth so amazing! How Jesus had died for us. Tom dared us all to believe this truth and accept it.
Mark couldn’t sit still any longer. He stood up and slowly made his way down the aisle. Tears flowing down his face, he looked up at Tom. Tom reached for his Bible, and they sat down to look at the scriptures. Mark prayed for forgiveness and for the Lord to take control of his life.
Mark stood up and hugged Tom, thanking him for sending the invitation to him.
“This is only the first part of the dare.” Tom said
“What’s the second part?” Mark nervously asked.
“The second part is to dare to share.”
“What do you mean?”
“You need to tell everyone what you have just experienced.”
“That is definitely on my agenda.” Mark answered enthusiastically.
An older gentleman walked up to Tom and asked if they would tell him more about this truth. Tom looked over to Mark, “here is your first opportunity.”
Mark, Tom and the older gentleman sat down together opening the Bible. Mark reached over and touched the man’s wrinkled hand and said, “First you have to dare to believe…….”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ……”
Romans 1:16 (KJV)
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