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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Barbeque/Cookout (09/06/12)

TITLE: The Failed Barbecue
By Ken Ebright


Hal paced back and forth. "Steve, it's four o'clock; where's the rest of the men?"

"I don't know." Steve flipped a burger on the grill.

"I am going to off to the side to pray." Hal walked away from the picnic table. "Lord , we're starting a new book called Absolute Submission. It's going to be a book that will draw men to submit their life to you. Why isn't anyone showing up? Lord, I thought a barbecue would motivate people to come out. Dear Jesus, men seem to open up when they have a meal. I was expecting at least twenty men but only two showed up. I don't understand this, after how much I promoted this. Why Lord, why?"

Hal walked back to the table as everyone was sitting down at the table. "Steve, would you like to pray for us and bless the food?"

All the men bowed their heads. "Dear Lord, please bless the food we're putting in our bodies, and our conversations. In Jesusí name, Amen."

"Men, feel free to dig in. I'm disappointed that more men didnít show up. "Hal grabbed a hamburger bun.

"Well Hal, the book we're studying is called Absolute Submission; maybe we need to submit to God and trust Him for the results." John took the cap off his water bottle.

Hal squirted ketchup on his hamburger. "John, that's a good point; how could I have missed that? When we submit to the Lord, we need to trust Him. That is what this book is all about. In life we go through tough situations. How do we handle these situations?"

Bob swallowed a bite of his burger. "Hal, you're right. I was excited to learn about this book and this group. I was in the Army, and lost my arm in a training exercise. I now have a prosthetic arm. I had to submit myself to the Lord and trust Him. I am now involved in a ministry to soldiers who get injured. I know this book will help me."

Halís face beamed from corner to corner. "Bob, I am glad you came to this this group. Our group has always been small in number. We normally have five men in our group. Maybe it wasn't the Lordís will to have twenty people. We need to trust the Lord and not worry about how many people show up. Weíve ministered to Bob already: we can minister to others also."

Steve grabbed a bottle of pickles. "Hal, there is another problem. What are we going to do with all this food?"

"We can donate it to a homeless shelter." Hal bit into his burger.

"Thatís a good idea. "Steve put a few slices of pickles on his hamburger .

After their study, the men put the rest of the food in foil containers and Hal and Steve took it to the homeless shelter. They walked in, and there was a lady inside the door behind a table. "How can I help you men?"

Hal put the tubs on the table. "We just had a barbecue with our churchís men's group. We were expecting twenty men. Only seven showed up. We would like to donate the rest of the food to you."

The lady smiled. "Oh bless you; we just had ten people unexpectedly show up. We had already cleaned up for the evening. We didn't have any food for them."

Hal took the foil cover off one of the containers. "Well, you do now. We have hamburgers and hamburger buns, chips and pickles."

"Wow, could you bring that into the kitchen so we can heat it up?" The lady began walking towards the kitchen.

"No problem; we will do anything for the Lord. We're glad we blessed you." The men picked up the tubs and followed her to the kitchen.

"The ten men will be blessed by your generosity."

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This article has been read 298 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/13/12
I really enjoyed this piece. You started off right away with the conflict. I could feel the MC's anxiety.

Try to be careful about repeating words or phrases close together. In one paragraph you used the word group 3 times. The phrase show up also was used a lot. You can fix it by subbing words like attend. A good way to spot those repetitions is to read the story aloud. Another thing you can do to avoid repeating words is restructure your sentences. For example something like Bob I'm glad you joined our little group. Normally we have about five men who attend.
I tried to still use your words but just tightened up the sentences some.

The ending was a great example of how God turns what we may consider to be a failure into something wonderful that gives him the glory. It would have been easier for the men to toss the food or take it home but instead they obeyed the Holy Spirit's nudge and were able to feed hungry people. How awesome is that? You did a spectacular job of weaving a valuable lesson into this story while still staying on topic.
C D Swanson 09/13/12
I loved this realistic and affirming message about God and His astouding ways. This was a great read and I enjoyed the entire piece.

Thank you. God Bless~
Marie Hearty 09/13/12
I could picture the men sitting and waiting for the others to show up and felt their disappointment. I liked how you turned what the characters thought was a bad experience into something that God used to benefit others.

Great job and God bless.