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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)

TITLE: Picnicing With God
By Deborah Sampson


Picnicking with God
If the weather and timing was just right, and if we were caught up with our chores, Dad would take Saturday afternoon off. He would grab mom around the waist, swing her around and say “It’s time for a picnic with God.”

Mom would smile with that knowing look on her face. Just that morning she had set about making things one could take on a picnic. She had busied herself with fried chicken, a big yellow bowl of potato salad that look and smelled divine. Along with that she had made stuffed eggs. Mom never called them deviled eggs; said it wasn’t proper. So we grew up with the word stuffed. We always had cheeses, homemade dill and bread and butter pickles and two apple pies awaited us. Not to mention the best sweet tea ever.

I could never figure if mom and dad talked about it, or it just happened. My sister, Dianne and brother Robert, who followed me in age, always got so excited. I couldn’t blame them. Dad always made sure we had a good time.

He always let his brothers and their families know that we were going too. The more the merrier he always said. Dad and his twin brother were saved at a picnic back when I was just a little girl. His father had just taken us all to a revival the night before; and for Dad and Uncle Clark it had moved their hearts so at the picnic the next day with Grandpa leading them, they gave their hearts to Jesus. Since then Dad made no bones about loving His Lord, and making sure people knew it.

But Dad never let the thought go that his older brother, Ron would want this also, to accept the Lord. So far that never happened. Over the years many prayers had gone up on Uncle Ron’s behalf.

We arrived at our usual place. Two nice big tables sat just under the famous oak tree. A creek ran beside the tree and the water cascaded over the rocks making it sound so inviting, you just wanted to jump in and wade around. Today the weather was perfect.

Soon dad’s brother and family came. Ron was the oldest. “Don’t wait on Clark, he can’t make it.” Uncle Ron told dad as he sat the basket on the table.

Dad looked disappointed, but was glad Ron and his family had made it. Dad could tell something was bothering his brother, and soon Dad and Uncle Ron took off for a walk. They were gone a while, and you could tell by their faces on returning that they had a good time.

Mom and Aunt Eva had everything out on the tables and it looked like a feast fit for a King. It made such a beautiful picnic feast. Aunt Eva had added a sliced ham, baked beans, homemade bread and pink lemonade.

“Ellie?” Mom was calling her. “Go get your cousins and Dianne and Robert; Dad and Uncle Ron are back.”

We came running back to the tables laughing, as we tried to play Simon says on the move. The adults just laughed even more at our antics.

Dad had us all sit down, and asked us to bow our heads for prayer. “Father God, thank you for letting us enjoy another picnic with you, to share it with you as you share Your life with us. We are truly blessed, thank-you for the food and for the hands that prepared it. Let us never treat your Word lightly, we are blest and I want to add a thank-you and praise for your newest convert, his name was just written down in Heaven, my brother Ron, who just gave his heart to you! Lord bless us all here today, and thank-you for another priceless picnic with you.”

Dad and Uncle Ron continued to talk most of the day, about God and what Salvation meant to each of them. I heard Uncle Ron comment that for weeks he had a nagging feeling he just couldn’t shake, he didn’t know why it had taken him so long to come to the Lord. Maybe it had to be just the right picnic with Him, or maybe he needed to yield to the calling of the Holy Spirit, in any case he was sure glad that he had done it. What an awesome feeling he had, one he wanted to share with Aunt Eva and the boys.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes07/12/12
What a lovely memory you shared about the family picnic where your Uncle Ron accepted Christ. It made me hungry reading about all the good food! :) I can tell that picnics were an important part of your growing up years, and it's good to have these special stories written down!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/12/12
This is a lovely story. I could feel the emotion and power behind it. I think the title is a perfect fit.

Make sure if you use Mom or Dad as a name that you capitalize it.

You really did a nice job of writing on topic while delivering an important message. Having God at the center of family life is vital. Good job.
Jody Day 07/12/12
A beautiful memory, well expressed here. Thank you!
C D Swanson 07/13/12
An all together lovely rendition of coming to "Christ" while bringing the topic to life. Nicely done. Family gatherings are so important, and memories that are shared will last a lifetime.

Thanks. God bless~
Janet Stevenson07/15/12
As a new member and beginner, I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I laughed when you mentioned not calling them 'deviled' eggs, but 'stuffed' eggs. I never thought of it that way, but it sure makes sense. I too from now on will call them 'stuffed eggs' and will refer to your story. Praise the Lord for your mom's wisdom on that and thank you for the story, it is definitely a winner!
Jenna Dawn07/16/12
This is a sweet story. You've gotten so much praise already, I'll just point out a few places where you could improve.

You don't need to include the title in the body of the story, only list it where indicated in the submission form.

You would hold the reader's interest more if you added more showing, instead of telling. Do a google search on the subject and glean all you can, as this is a big key to great writing.

The following two sentences, as written, should be one sentence with a comma at the end of the quote. “Don’t wait on Clark, he can’t make it.” Uncle Ron told dad as he sat the basket on the table.

However, it would be stronger if you kept it as two sentences and changed "told" to a stronger verb that "shows" what the speaker is doing. Perhaps, "Uncle Ron glanced at Dad." (By the way, Dad should be capitalized in this case, as you are using it as his "name", what you "call him".)

Feel free to private message me if anything I have said doesn't make sense to you.

Your story fit the topic perfectly and I think it's great that "the picnic with God" resulted in salvation, just another "picnic with God" had once occurred as celebration of salvation earlier on. Nice job!