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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Donít Look Back (04/19/12)

TITLE: Paulís Big Loss
By Ken Ebright
04/23/12


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Pastor Brian was in his office proofreading his sermon when a parishioner walked into his office. "Hey Paul, how was your trip to Florida?"

Paul just looked off in the distance for a second, sat down, and buried his head in his hands.

Pastor's smile changed to a frown. "What's wrong, Paul?"

"I flew down there to check out the land that I bought. Itís a swamp."

"What!" Pastor's jaw dropped and his eyes popped open.

Paul looked down at the floor. "I bought swamp land."

Pastor Brian knocked over his coffee cup. "How could that be?"

"I discovered a reputable real estate agent online. When I saw the picture I knew it would be the perfect place to build my winter home."

"Paul, do you mean to tell me that you didn't look at the land in person before you purchased it?"

Paul inhaled slowly then blew air out of his mouth. "Yeah, itís a piece of property, it's not like there was a house built on it. I thought it would be safe."

Pastor widened his eyes. "Can you get your money back?"

"Thatís the thing; I signed a contract that had a lot of legal mumbo jumbo. If mediation was necessary it would be at my expense. I canĎt afford that."

"Paul, whatís done is done. You canít change the past, but you can change the future. People get swindled all of the time."

Paul eyes started to tear up as he felt blood rushing to his face. "Pastor Brian, I can't forgive myself. I wasn't a very good steward of the Lord's money."

"Donít be so hard on yourself. The Lord knows that youíre going to make a mistake from time to time. Jesus forgave you at the cross."

Paul wiped his eyes with a hanky. "I donít know."

Brian jotted down a number on a post-it. "Contact Florida's Attorney General, maybe he can look into it. The worst that could happen is he could say no."

Paul started to cry even more. "I lost fifty thousand dollars. I just can't forgive myself. How could I be so stupid? God will not forgive me for this. He'll take everything away from me and as a result, IĎll be living on the streets."

Pastor patted his hand. "You need to forgive yourself, people make mistakes."

"I don't know, Pastor," Paul slouched in his chair.

"The Attorney General may be able to do something. At least, you might be able to alert people to this scam."
Paul stood up, " Thank you Brian, Iíll pray about it."

Pastor gave him a side hug as both men walked to the door. "Good, the Lord will see you thorough this."

The following Sunday Paul shook Pastorís hand after the service. "Pastor Brian, Iím doing better than I was a few weeks ago. I talked to the Florida Attorney General and he said that he would help me. I learned a valuable lesson that I need to let go of the past."


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This article has been read 168 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca 04/26/12
I sure can really relate to this one. Buying swamp land. Phew! Real estate deals gone sour sure can be a bummer, but letting go of the guilt is the way to go!
CD (Camille) Swanson 04/26/12
Good job with this entry, and spot on with the topic. Scary reality of how people can be swindled so easily...but with God's divine grace and love we can get through anything in time.
I pray this wasn't a true story!

Nicely written. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/28/12
I can really relate to this piece. Especially the part about not forgiving myself and even more wondering why God would even want to forgive such a vile creature like me. It was nice to be reminded that he forgives because he loves me that much.

My red ink would be when you described an action you said blew out slowly from his mouth. A simpler way is to say exhale. Perhaps if he inhaled deeply and closed his eyes while exhaling that might have painted a picture of a man trying to calm himself down.

Over all you did a nice job. It was definitely on topic and there were several messages for different people. That's always a good thing.