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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Book Store/Library (06/03/10)

TITLE: Just Plant A Seed
By Ken Ebright


Just plant a seed and let it grow, even if it is at a public library.

Pastor Mark walked up to the librarian's desk there was a dark haired women there with Jane on her name tag.

Jane just finished a phone call and hung the phone up, "Hey, how can I help you?"

"Yes you can, I am Pastor Mark I am writing an article about Dietrich Bonhoeffer for our church’s newsletter I want to do research on him."

Jane looked down and typed his name up on her computer "It might help me to know what type of information you're looking for?"

"He was in prison in Germany, because he was a Christian. I want to learn about his time in prison."

Jane got up from her chair as she spoke, "Well first I would start with an encyclopedia then there are some books about him over in section two-hundred. Follow me I will take you over there to look at the books."

Jane walked slowly to section where the book's and asked questions along the way. "You say that he was incarcerated because of his faith."

"Yes he was," Pastor said as he walked with Jane.

"I find that interesting, because my brother robbed a convenience store. He served his time in prison, but to go to jail for God, that is just plain crazy." As Jane walked and talked.

Pastor walked next to Jane as they talked, "People at that time attacked him because of his Christian beliefs and he was against the Nazi regime. He loved the Lord and he is an inspiration to all Christians."

Jane stopped at the bookshelf and looked into the pastor's eyes, "Why would anyone want to be a Christian?"

Pastor Mark smiled at Jane, "Jesus died for you he was nailed to a cross so that you can have eternal life with him in heaven. He was totally perfect. It would be like if I went before the judge that tried you brother and told him I will serve your brother's sentence. That is what Jesus did for you. If you accept him you will not spend eternity in hell."

Jane shook her head, "I don't know about this Jesus stuff"

Pastor pulled out a card that was in his shirt pocket and handed it to Jane "I have a card that is an invitation; it has directions to our church. Why don't you stop by some Sunday?"

"Our services are at eight and eleven."

Jane took it and looked at it, "I will think about it."

"Please do," as Pastor Mark smiled.

Jane turned and bent down and picked out a book, "I think this is the book that you might be looking for."

"Thank you," as the pastor paged through the book.

The church was so big it is hard to know if Jane ever attended, but at least he planted a seed.

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This article has been read 327 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 06/11/10
That's an interesting way to open the conversation about salvation.
Phee Paradise 06/11/10
Your story has a great title. Your dialogue is very natural, which makes the salvation message not seem preachy. But, you had a bit of a problem with punctuation. Otherwise, I think you did well.
Gregory Kane06/14/10
I like the way you portrayed Jane's curiosity - not gushing but quietly interested. I was disappointed, mind, by what I felt was a weak ending. Having been built up to expect Jane to come to faith, it seemed unfair that the story was left unfinished. Bless you for showing how day-to-day conversations can be turned to the gospel
Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse06/16/10
I, too, felt the dialogue kept the preacher from being “preachy.” Your dialogue was believable and down to earth, so good job!

One suggestion: proofread for unnecessary words/phrases. Less is more. Be stingy—it will help the rhythm and impact of a story. Hanging up on a phone call implies you’re hanging up a phone; no need to say it. When the preacher tells the librarian that the Christian martyr spent time in prison, one is naturally led to assume the books he is seeking address this man’s time there, and the second use of the word prison is repetitive. Especially in the case of a word limit, cutting out repetitive words allows you to insert descriptive words instead. What did the librarian look like? Was the library old/new/clean/dirty/large/small? Was the preacher old/thin/fat/bald/handsome/young? What type of personality might the librarian portray? Is she cynical/sweet and naïve/afraid?

Overall, I think this is a great story, especially your dialogue. I anticipate reading much more of your work!
Rachel Phelps06/16/10
I liked the way you set this up and the gentle pacing of it. I would have liked a stronger ending, even if it didn't have to do with the pastor. Your comma usage could use some work, but overall this is a great concept and well done.