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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)

TITLE: Handout or Hands up?
By Debra Hindman
04/16/11


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Living in a new city and functioning as best I could with poor health, I found misery to be my constant companion while I waited a few weeks to begin my new career. Pain in my body was continuously constraining. Reaching my hand out to doctors who had no handout to cure my ills was frustrating. For the first time in my life no man could help. Pain and fear seemed unshakable. Thinking I was using my faith by believing in healing, yet still in agony of soul and body, I wondered why I was not receiving from Heaven's pulchritudinous favor. Hands reaching out in fear and confusion, rather than up, were a key. My unproductive faith, about to be settled by doctrine's appulse with Truth, would affect my life and the lives of those in my circle of influence. Look back with me for a moment now, to my youth, to discover the reason I was breathing impotent healing prayers.

I had been blessed to hear the Good News of Jesus, of His death and resurrection, as a friendly, smiling, freckled sixth-grader. Receiving Christ as my personal Savior, I faithfully sang every corporate worship time; lyrics were about living a holy life, shunning wrong, and doing right, and the Lord making a way for me. Sunday night services were more for socializing than being schooled in faith and worship. I advanced into adulthood unskilled in the Word of God; unprepared for the enemy's wiles and the world's mockery of one trying to live the Christian life without much power.

Walking gingerly among the worldly in my early twenties, but not with them, there was a cry in my heart for Light. While co-workers at the company where I was employed were dancing and drinking at the local downtown hangout on weekends, I was home quietly searching the scriptures. My associates ungodly lifestyles and goals left me perpetually feeling like an outcast, so much so that eventually I pursued a career in another state. It is there I found myself, racked with the pain of illness, distanced from most of my family and all of my friends, in desperation relinquishing only reading and hearing about the Lord, and came to do and to experience more of what He said in His Word about private worship.

Tested to the nth degree with more than a little discomfort, I began to open my mouth night after secluded night. Caring little who heard the volume of my voice resonating from my new apartment, I opened my mouth and raised my hands up to God rather than out to man, thanking the Healer for His accomplished Work on the Cross for me. The Bible I had stored in my heart became a flood from my mouth as I spoke to God about who He was to me. I was determined to seek Him and stay in worship, walking the floor or lying upon my pillow for hours on end until I heard from Heaven, until the Holy Spirit filled me with grace to receive what I believed was already done, until freedom from pain came and great joy filled my heart and soul. I stopped solely believing and began doing until things changed! It took far less than even one year.

Three long and tedious months of dry worship, of spending time alone with my God, of looking to no hand but His; and then one Sunday night, sitting in the last row of seats in my newly found church fellowship, the joy of the Lord hit me. It was a suddenly accompanied by life-changing equipping. The hours in private worship and doing the Word concerning healing, brought me into Jesus’ abiding presence and healing power.

Learning faith without works is dead, and even devils in hell tremble and believe, but never DO the Word of God, my weak root of faith was dug up and in its place a strong faith root gave Life to new dreams and the power to be a witness. Hands now often lifted in private worship, never looking for a magically selective miraculous happening, but freely receiving through faith in my King’s Words; with joy I tell any who will listen: “He is not a respecter of persons. Abiding joy and Life are available to you when you believe, act, and receive through knowledge of God’s Living Word. Freely He has given and freely we receive, through hands up, not handouts!”


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This article has been read 338 times
Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay04/22/11
you got a great deal packed into your word count and it was interesting how it unfolded. The pain and frustration of the writer was well described in the first paragraph although i found the complexity of the vocabulary a little difficult to follow. The section with the testimony was written in a lighter and clearer style and i found it engaging and interesting.....i know myself it is hard sometimes to condense all the ideas and story into the word count and sometimes i find it hard to know what to leave out.
that is why it is a challenge! i like the title it meant i chose to read this one early on :-)
Phee Paradise 04/25/11
Your testimony is a good story of what God has done for you. Your pain, passion and conviction come through strongly, but the big words you used made it hard to relate to the story. The ending of sharing the message with others brings it full circle.
Anita Vander Elst04/26/11
I agree with the previous comments about the vocabulary. The impact of the message seems to get a little lost in it. And who wants a good message to get lost?

As a side note, I couldn’t resist looking ‘pulchritudinous’ up in the dictionary. :-)
Amanda Brogan04/26/11
"Thinking I was using my faith by believing in healing, yet still in agony of soul and body..."

Profound story here! People so often think that God is a God of "handouts," there to give them whatever they want whenever they ask it. And when He doesn't answer right away, they wonder what's going on.
But as you portrayed, God is so much more interested in our relationship with Him than with our comfort. And once that relationship is right, we will see His blessings come in so many forms! Even through a short time of pain.

Well done! (I'm looking up that "p" word too. ;) )
Mona Purvis04/26/11
Continue to enter the challenge each week. Instead of focusing the piece on what you think others want to read, focus on what your heart feels. You have a good grasp on the written word to be able to let your feelings show through more. Not a lecture or teaching...a sharing. Does that make sense? Keep writing.
Mona
Colin Swann04/27/11
Some good teaching stuff here. Not a bad idea to make us ignoramuses grab for our dictionaries. Keep writing, and loosen up like others have said.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/11
This is a nice sermon on how you journeyed through your faith. I'm glad God chose to heal you from your pain, but I believe sometimes he has a different reason for not healing and it is through no fault of that person. Thank you for sharing your opinion.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/28/11
Congratulations for ranking 8th in level one!
diana kay04/30/11
ell done for your placing at 8th in level one!