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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Again, I Say!
By Gail Burks


Sitting on a cot in solitary, Lyndon couldn't grasp the numerous thoughts swirling around in his head. Sighing deeply, he ran his hand over the top of his balding head and thought ---

How did I end up like this?

Thinking back, two years ago, he remembered gazing out the window from the 35th floor of Bingham and Dortch, LLC, in Chicago. The premier Marketing & Public Relations firm, headquarted in Atlanta, had satellite offices in Chicago and San Francisco, and his location represented success at it's best.

So long ago.

Remembering like it was yesterday. A progression of pride, politics, and greed. Allowing his partner, Jacob, to involve him in a fraudulent contract and accounting scheme, --- while soliciting the top movers and shakers for business.

But, not everything in his career was a ruse. Matter-of-fact, after 5 years of great success at B&D's rival firm, located in Dallas, Lyndon was wooed and subsequently encouraged to change firms. With his handsome looks, charm and intelligence, he procured clients such as the Dallas Cowboys, Jakes Enterprises, Perry Studios, and Oprah. Then, the big boys at B&D came knocking.

Lyndon never forgot the day when his cell rang, and a voice asked if he could fly to Atlanta for a meeting with B&D's senior management. The excitement overcame any nervousness he felt, but, still his mind raced..

I'm only 32 years old and worked for only six years. What could I possibly contribute?

Well, from that interview, B&D offered him a position as Public Relations and Marketing Assistant Director, increasing his salary $50,000. Lyndon gladly accepted.

Jolted back to his current environment, he looked around. What a dramatic difference from the warm, plush surroundings of beauty. Gray on gray, with smatterings of white, Lyndon continue to console himself with thoughts of his grandmother. How she took him to church every Sunday, while his mom worked. The pink floral dress, wide brimmed straw hat and Emeraude cologne, was etched in his memory. And, Lyndon, 11 years old, would don his white shirt, black pants and little black tie. A uniform of a different kind. People always thought he was a youth usher.

When asked, he always smiled and said, “No, I'm not.”

“Hey, Lyndon. I've got something for you,” the jailer shouted rather meanly through the bars, making him jump a little.

“Sure, what”?

“That book you asked about last week. It was brought in yesterday. Something about a King John or James or whatever it's called.”

“King James.”

“Right. Here it is.”

Opening the cell door, Lyndon was handed a very worn, leather-bound KJV bible. He had specifically asked for this version, as the other bibles in the prison library were varied translations. Lyndon always felt at peace when he read God's word.

Sitting back down on the rumpled sheets, he opened the book.

Two more years, or maybe less. Either way, God and I will get reacquainted.

As Lyndon flipped through the tattered, yellowed pages of scripture, replete with notes and highlights, he remembered something his mother and grandmother used to say.

Rejoice. Boy, do I need to rejoice right about now.

Flipping to the back he found a small concordance. Turning to the words beginning with 'R,' his eyes skimmed the pages until he found “rejoice”. Then, he found what he was looking for.

An abbreviated description was given. Phil 4:4 - R in the Lord always.


Quickly, Lyndon’s fingers flipped toward the New Testament. His heart leaped as he read, starting at verse 4:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!'”

Continuing, he read to be anxious for nothing, and use prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, and to ask God what is desired; and God's peace will transcend everything, every situation, while guarding his heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

Lyndon felt encouraged. Apostle Paul, the writer of Philippians, had been in a prison cell, too, but encouraged the reader, even to this day, to rejoice. But, remarkably, he made a point to repeat the word again....Rejoice!

So, from that day on, Lyndon made a decision to pray, rejoice and thank God for the trial and the testimony. As he did, every day became a new opportunity to use his public relations and marketing background to talk to other prisoners about rejoicing...and about Jesus.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/13
I really like the idea behind the story. You did a nice job of intriguing me and bringing me right into the prison cell.

One thing to make this good story even better would be to do more showing than telling.

For example by changing up the part when his cell phone rang, you might want to try something like this: His mind drifted back to the day his cell phone rang. Even now, these many years later, his stomach flipped and flopped and his mouth became dry. That day changed his life forever.

Though that may not be a perfect example, I hope it helps you understand what I mean by showing--painting a picture--instead of telling.

Overall, I think you did a really nice job. I could feel the anguish of the MC. I could also feel your passion jump off the page as I read the story. You did a great job.
C D Swanson 02/02/13
Your passion and the intensity in this piece was palpable. Excellent story telling and the message contained in this entry is profound. Nicely done.

God bless~