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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: Thin Ice
By Melinda Burchfield


After spending several days recovering from an illness over the holidays, I had an opportunity to run to the bank to pay a bill. I could feel the cold crisp air as I headed for the car. As I drove, I could see the sun shining brightly over the snow-covered countryside. I began to feel my spirits being lifted as I noticed the beauty all around me. So when I got home, I decided to grab my camera and drive around our lakeside community to get some pictures.
The great nature shots I got, did not come easily though. I had work to get them, trekking through the snow to get to the rolling hills, creeks, and snow-covered trees. I even managed to get some wildlife, ducks taking off mid-flight from a small pond near our house. They were, for sure, the most beautiful pictures of the day...however they were not the most unusual. That picture came as I headed up a small walkway, toward the lake. When I reached the top of the small hill, I immediately noticed something unusual.
Just off of the beach, was a sign. This was no ordinary sign. It's length spanned all the way across the beachfront. It was written in giant block letters, in the snow, across a large flat area on top of the lake. It said, “THIN ICE.” Staring at the sign, I noticed that just a few feet away from the edge of it, the water was not frozen. I began to think about the person whose job it was to go out and give that warning to the rest of us. How frightened were they?
Then I thought about my life. As a child of GOD, how many times have I been called to leave a sign for others who might be in danger. Not just a physical danger but a spiritual danger.
And how many times have I thought I was safe because the terrain I was on was flat? How many times have I myself, walked out on thin ice and been unaware of it? How many times have I been unaware of the dangers that lie ahead, around and beneath me? How many times has GOD left me a sign directing me where not to tread....Then I began to think about all of humanity…
When given a choice between the hills and flat lands how often do we try and avoid the hill covered roads and head for the flat lands. We think by choosing the flat places, we will it will somehow be easier and we will avoid all danger. But the truth is, sometimes the flattest roads are the most dangerous...
Remember, the truest beauty can come from the journey it takes to get through to those hill filled places, just like the photos I took that day.
So whether you find yourself standing on a snow covered hillside or on top of a half frozen lake, know that JESUS is there. HE ALONE knows all that lies below, above, beside, behind, and ahead of you. When you put your faith and trust in HIM, HE will never fail to give you every sign you will need to follow HIM and avoid what can comes in the flat places...thin ice!

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This article has been read 373 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jody Day 01/10/13
Add a scripture and you have a beautiful devotional. Do add space between paragraphs for easier reading. I would cut the part about your having been sick and going to the bank, and start with going out to take the photos. Great job! Keep writing!
Bonnie Bowden 01/10/13
Excellent message. I agree with Jody about starting your story with the picture taking and about spacing.
Lollie Hofer01/10/13
Good devotional thoughts. You've given us some things to think about.
Glynis Becker01/11/13
Nicely written. Thank you for sharing this with us!
Sarah Elisabeth 01/11/13
Great metaphor. The places that appear safe and inviting are often the dangerous ones. I like the thought of someone taking a risk to leave behind a warning.

To sharpen this devotion, I would cut most of the first paragraph and get us right to your theme.

Good job with your analogy and bringing it all together!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/12/13
This is a delightful devotion. It is the perfect length for most devotion meetings. I like how you showed a real life example that many people can relate to.

In the middle, you switch gears somewhat by asking questions. This is just my personal opinion but the questions felt a bit relative. Instead just by switching it up some you can change the tone. For example: As I reflected on my life, my stomach churned ad I remembered the times when I ignored the earning signs left by God. I began to tremble as I ruminated on the times when God protected me from multiple dangers.
That example might not be exactly what you were looking for but I hope it helps show you the difference between asking a string of questions and showing the MC in a bunch of scenarios.

There are many great things about your piece. You have some excellent examples of painting a picture for the reader. I could picture your beautiful descriptions in my head. Your message was powerful and one we all need to reflect on from time to time. The ending puffed with passion (that's a really big compliment) It also brought the piece full circle. Thank you for sharing this with me. I have been blessed by your words.
C D Swanson 01/14/13
Vivid details along with a beautiful message unfolded in this touching entry. Wonderful work! God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 11th on level one! You can find the highest rankings on the message boards.