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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)

TITLE: Not Going Back
By Sharon Brooks


Emma jumped as the farmhouse screen door slammed. It was her fifteen year old son and she hadn’t expected him home for hours. The sweet smell of freshly baked chocolate chip muffins filled the air.

“I’m never going to church again! And I’m never, ever going to a youth group meeting!” Noah said.

“Whoa, slow down. What brought this on?” Emma said.

“The new youth pastor, Pastor Adam, wants us to go downtown Toronto this weekend. He thinks we should get up on boxes and talk about Jesus!”

“Not your style?” Emma said, as she started peeling apples.

“No, definitely not my style. I don’t believe in it either. You always taught me to lead by example, not to push a Bible down someone’s throat. To make things worse, I actually felt guilty and made up a lie to get out of going.”

“Why do you think you felt guilty, Noah?”

“I don’t know, peer pressure I guess. It wasn’t the Holy Spirit if that’s what you’re thinking mom! I just don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on other people.” Noah stopped pacing and sat on a wicker chair, grabbing one of the peeled apples and taking a bite.

Mom stopped peeling and stared at Noah, “Do you think that you can influence people that way?”

“Yah, I suppose our group can. I mean we believe what we’re saying and we’re telling the truth. I guess some people would stop to listen because a couple of girls in our group are really pretty. Also, even though I’m not crazy about him, I have to say that Pastor Adam seems to impress most people, and they follow him, kinda blindly actually.”

“So what’s the problem?” Mom asked.

“The problem is…I dunno…I guess I don’t want to make a spectacle of myself, for one thing. I want people to see the light in me and to ask me about it. I’m not ashamed of what I believe, but getting in people’s faces evangelism isn’t for me, and I don’t like feeling forced into it.

“Noah, have you talked to Pastor Adam about this?”

“No! I told you, I’m not going back. You don’t have to go to church to be with God.”

“You’re right about that. What you may not realize yet, and believe me it took awhile for me to figure it out, is that the family of God is important, really important. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve left churches because of disagreements, and even once when I didn’t like the new pastor. It’s important to pray everyday for your church, and for its leaders. Your grandmother gave me the best advice when it came to struggles in the church; she said to, ‘Keep your eyes off the people, and onto the Lord.’ I would really encourage you to pray about it, and at least talk to Pastor Adam before you leave Faith Church.”

The phone on the kitchen wall rang. Noah wondered why his parents wouldn’t buy a cordless phone like all of his friends had. He thought it was ridiculous to be tied to the wall by a long spiral cord.

“Hello? Emma answered. Oh hello Rachel, how are you dear? How is your mother feeling? Oh that’s good to hear. I’ll stop by briefly tomorrow, I’ve just done some baking. Have I seen Noah?”
Emma looked across the room at Noah who was shaking his head back and forth wildly and mouthing the words NOT HERE!
“Actually Rachel I assumed he was with you at the youth meeting. Oh he left early? Well I can hear the dog barking; maybe he’s out in the barn. Of course you can come over dear…I’ll see you in a while. Bye for now.”

Noah sank his head into his hands on the table.

“What did you do that for?” he snapped.

“Well I couldn’t be rude, she’s worried about you. Rachel’s really pretty isn’t she? I’ve seen the way you look at her. Are you feeling shy maybe?”

“Yah she is, but that’s not the problem.”

“So what is? Mom asked.

“Have you forgotten who her father is?”

She smiled, “Oh right, Pastor Adam.”

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This article has been read 337 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 09/08/11
Cute story, I liked it and the whole meaing behind it. God bless~
James Robbins09/09/11
Well done! Interesting, encouraging and realistic.
Anne Warden09/10/11
Please work on keeping your reader focused on one point of view, instead of switching back and forth between Emma's and Noah's thoughts and feelings.

I do like the way your characters dialogued. With a little work, you have an excellent story and a topic that plagues many of us - just how should our witness be seen by the world?

Thank you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/11/11
This is A good story. It has the potential to by great with a little polishing.

There are A few places where you need a quotation mark. You also jumped the POV between the 2 MCs.

But I really liked the characters and I can tell you are working on showing not telling. You wrote A story that both teens and adults well enjoy.
PamFord Davis 09/12/11
Liked this a lot. I could sense their emotions, his fears and frustrations, her caution and concern. You wisely leave us hanging, wanting to learn the rest of the story. Good job!