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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Softened Edges
By Carla Rogers
03/13/13


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If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. Luke 6:32 ( ESV)

For further study: Luke 6:33-36

“Are you ready to go?” Mamma anxiously asked, for it was our first visit. Last Sunday, we were asked to join their rest home ministry. “As ready as I will be,” I said a little reluctantly. I wasn’t sure what to expect so it felt like Momma was pulling me out the door leaving some of my fingernails behind in the walls.

When we entered the common room, there were many of the residents already waiting for us. Everyone was very friendly, except for one little old man. I sat down beside him, while Momma mingled with some people she knew. He asked me if I was with the group that usually came on Wednesday night. When I told him I was, he immediately tried to poke holes in my faith. He seemed to be a scholar in all things Biblical, but the head knowledge hadn’t penetrated his heart. This little man was the perfect example of claiming to be wise, they became fools. (Romans 1:22)

The little man’s sharp criticisms held many people at bay. Some even started avoiding him. But I continued to talk to him and push his wheelchair wherever he needed to go. The only time he didn’t complain about something was when the hymns were being sung. He would listen with a far away glint in his eye. Eventually, this little man was saved; the off-key hymns helped touch a memory in his hard heart.

Most Christians live to go the ball games, dances, work, all the activities of a healthy life. But part of a healthy life is to be a blessing to others. It is so easy to be a blessing to others who can be a blessing back, but that is ordinary. We are called to be out of the ordinary, Holy Spirit led. I enjoyed my time with the sharp little man; he was a blessing to me as much as I was to him. That is the way blessings turn. You start being a blessing to someone who can’t return the blessing, but you come away with so much joy. Are you ready to be a blessing? Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone? Join a group that is already being a blessing; that is the easiest way. Once you start, you won’t stop.

“Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing,
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing,
O Saviour, I pray
Make me a blessing to someone today.”

George S. Schuler, lyrics to the hymn “Make Me a Blessing”


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This article has been read 233 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden03/15/13
Thanks for reminding me about loving the unloveable.

Your devotional had a good message. It would have been even better if you would have more dialogue showing, instead of telling about the experience with the older gentlemen.
CD Swanson 03/17/13
Good message in this timely reminder and devotional.

God bless~
Judith Gayle Smith03/17/13
"Make Me A Blessing" - one of my most favorite hymns. It awakens my heart for His work. Rest and nursing home visitors indeed share the blessings. Loneliness and confusion lodge within too many hearts, and the more we can share God's love and truth about Jesus, the more the blessings do flow. Thank you.
Cheryl Harrison 03/18/13
Good job. Good reminder that we must all step out of our comfort zone and minister to others. Keep writing devotionals. You have a knack for it!
Allen Povenmire 03/18/13
Very good devotional. Perhaps a little more about how the little man came to know The Lord. What finally penetrated his hard heart. Good use of scripture.
lynn gipson 03/18/13
A lovely story, heartfelt and sincere. The elderly are such treasures, if we only to the time to treasure them. Thank you for sharing. Good Job
A B03/18/13
This was a lovely devotional with a gentle yet thought provoking message. God bless.
Christina Banks 03/18/13
Devotionals can be tough, but you've got the basic concept down. I would only suggest that you give a little more action and dialogue to grab the reader further. You chose a very good theme for this devotional. It is something that we all must remember. Great first try!
Alicia Renkema03/18/13
I guess I would have to lovingly disagree with some of my fellow commenter's, a devotional piece is the one type of writing where one typically doesn't do much "Showing." It is mostly, if not all telling and scripture verses. The scripture verses plus the Holy Spirit do the telling. "Our Daily Bread," one of the most famous devotionals around is a telling-devotional. So is "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers. My very favorite devotional mixes poetry with commentary and scripture -- L. B. Cowman's "Streams in the Desert." Sometimes there is some dialogue there, but not much. I thought this was a fantastic devotional. I don't think you even needed the part about you and your mom at the beginning. I was a tad confused about whether the old man had already been saved and the hymn just reminded him of his relationship with Jesus, or the hymn singing sparked a new found relationship with Christ. Other than that clarifying factor, I thought this was excellent. I am eager to hear more of your writings. Blessings.
Alicia Renkema03/18/13
Sorry, I got so lost in talking about what a devotional- type -format was that I didn't tell you what a wonderful and necessary message this imparted and the words to the hymn was the perfect way to end your piece. Volunteering in a nursing home's is such a needed ministry. Before some health issues got the better of me I so enjoyed doing that. Keep up your writing.
Ellen Carr 03/19/13
You have woven a good message into this piece of writing. Perhaps a little more detail about the turn-around in the 'sharp' man would have been good. But, overall, you've done well.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
This is a great devotion. I like how you started out with a real life experience that many can relate to. Your transition to the message was great too.

The only suggestions I might offer would be to end with a prayer. Also, you may have done this, but before you quote any lyrics make sure they are in the public domain. Many of the older hymns are, but I'm not familiar with the one you used.

I think you did a nice job of summing up your message. I think if you polish this sum, and follow the writer's guidelines it would be perfect for a devotional magazine like The Upper Room (Except instead of asking the you questions, I would put it under the Thought for the Day part like this: how can I step out of my comfort zone today and be a blessing to others?) If you do a search, The Upper Room has its guidelines and submission directions on their website. Congratulations on ranking 13th in level one!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
I try not to read other comments so as to not influence my opinion. I do know what some are saying and if you do ever decide to polish it and need some advice on it, feel free to PM. Again good job.