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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)

TITLE: Appearence of Evil
By Patsy Hallum


What would best tell this story God put on my heart? I thought as I drummed the desktop with my fingers, chewing on my pencil. That you read the Bible yourself, pray for understanding, then do what it says. Never take just one verse and base your life on it. How to perceive evil? Recognize good character? Hmmmmmm. A poem perhaps? Let's seeeeee. My fingers started drumming on the keyboard instead of the desktop.

“Hello,” Peg, my neighbor was knocking on the door. “Joyce, are you in there?”

“Yes, Come on in.” I answered, shaking my head to clear the writing muse out. “ I was just trying to write a poem."

“You must have been really into it, I been here a while.” Peg was coming through the living room to my office. “ I knocked four different times! Your cars here, lights on, I was getting worried that you had passed out or somethin'. I hope I get to read this poem. Bet it's a good one.”

“I don't know about that.” I answered, handing her copy that I had just printed. “You tell me. While you read, I'll get some coffee and cake for us. Glad you came when you did, I'm hungry.”

“Me too.” Peg mumbled as she turned her attention to the poem. “I think your favoite subject is sticking to the Bible … lets see; exactly, factly, different but catchy rhyme. Oh, are you expectin' Dale home tonight?”

“I pray so. He's been gone to that mens church retreat for a week.” I smiled as I sat the tray down on the table. “It's been lonesome, but I've had plenty of time to write. Help yourself, then tell me what you think”

Peg began to read the poem.
The soul, searching to decide
What is right or wrong
Has long been a problem.
Make a hymn or siren song?

Do it God's way or man's?
What is God's way exactly
This preacher says one way,
That, another, matter- of - factly.

Which man do you believe?
How do you sort out what's true?
Does it feel right to your mind?
Does it make you fret or stew?”

If your stewing, something's wrong.
If you fret about it, don't do.
Oh my, one man's right, one wrong,
Where can I get a clue?

The Bible gives rules to live by,
Sharper than a two-edged sword.
Live by God's word, not by mans.
That's what you work towards.

“I think you are on the right track here. I like the message so far. In fact, you just helped me make a decision about something.” She picked up her fork and took a bite of cake. Chewing slow, she stirred cream into her coffee. Her eyes were drawn to the bird feeder. Her mouth curved into a smile when a smaller bird chased a larger one.

“Well, what?” I asked her impatiently.

“What what?” Peg jumped as she jerked out of her birdwatching reverie.

“What decision did the poem help you make?

“Oh, I have been invited to a party where there will be drinking and gambling. I really like the guy so I was thinkin' that I could get away with goin' if I didn't drink or gamble. Gods' Word says, 'Don't give the appearance of evil.' When people see me go into that place, the way I perceive it, that's the appearance of evil, isn't it?”

“Yes, plus, you would be giving the guy you like the wrong impression of the person you really are.” I patted her hand. “You don't want to appear more worldly than you are. Why don't you invite him to Church; maybe when we have dinner afterwards. You can recognize a lot about his character by whether he jumps at the chance or says no.”

“Yeah, I see what you mean. I'll do it.”

“Now, if you really think this is good, get out so I can finish it.”

“Okay, I'll go peacefully.” She laughed as she left.

I returned to my desk. Renewed in strength by the visit with Peg.

You lead people better by example,
Not by what you tell them to do.
Be the best example you can be,
In Heaven, God will reward you.

There, done at last. Thank you, God for the gift of words. The Bulletin will have a poem this Sunday.

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This article has been read 422 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Barbara Mahler 08/19/10
Thanks so much...life really is like this with distractions, interruptions, etc. Yet when we are truly gounded in God's word our direction is clear. Great job!
Barbara Mahler 08/19/10
so sorry...guess "grounded" is meant to be reiterated - spelled correctly.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/19/10
This is a great message. I really liked the poem. You need to watch out and make sure you put an apostrophe on possessive words like car's lights, man's. But those are just little details, the important part is your message and the poem is beautiful.
Charla Diehl 08/19/10
Great messages in the poem and the story itself. The dialog seemed very natural and, other than a few grammatical errors, this entry gets two thumbs up from me.
Loren T. Lowery08/20/10
Cleverly written and illustrates how important friends (and being able to listen to their input) can be in influencing us. I especially liked this stanza:
"If your stewing, something's wrong.
If you fret about it, don't do.
Oh my, one man's right, one wrong,
Where can I get a clue?"

One typo I found. I think "If your stewing" should read: if you're...but other than that, great job!
Brenda Rice 08/23/10
I found your entry. Thanks for the hint. I love poems, although I don't write them very well. I enjoyed the poem part and the article around it. I hope you do well. Now find mine also in beginners and give me a review. Two words, first one is another word for fancy, kinda. Second word, someone you don't know.
Cheryl Harrison08/23/10
I liked your take on the topic. You weaved your story with a little poetry and taught a lesson at the same time. Its a good reminder that our ability to write can be used by God to touch someone else. Good job.
Brenda Rice 08/23/10
Well, I love poems and I liked the flow of yours as well as the article around it. Good friends are harder to find now days. Thanks for sharing.
AnneRene' Capp08/23/10
Enjoyed your creativity with having your neighbor read your article. Made your writing very personable and therefore, very relatable to the reader. You are off to a great start!