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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)

TITLE: Above The Bus
By Richard Hicks
02/26/14


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Joseph’s life felt as if it had been smashed by a wrecking ball. God Almighty, being in the restoration business, transformed his mess into a royal masterpiece.

Jacob, his father made an elaborately embroidered coat especially for this young man. He was a special son in the heart of his father. God granted Joseph the gift to interpret dreams.

Joseph told his family about a dream he had, that they would bow down to him. That appalled his brothers with jealousy and even more hatred. They plotted to kill him, and treated Joseph with disrespect and did not even talk to him. Eventually they threw him in a dry pit used for water, but ultimately they did not have the heart to kill Joseph. Instead, they sold him as a slave to the Ishmaelites who just happened to be passing by. The brothers shredded up his coat and dipped it in animal’s blood and took it to their father. Jacob thought Joseph was killed by a wild animal. He mourned for a long time over the loss of his son.

Potiphar an Egyptian brought Joseph from his brothers as a slave. The blessing of God was upon his home as a result. But Joseph was accused of a crime he did not commit, sleeping with Potiphar’s wife.

God always has the perfect plan even if it does not seem that way. He gave Joseph favor in everything he put his hand to do, plus the ability to interpret dreams. That got him out of prison, and ultimately He reigned as governor of the country of Egypt.

Because of the severe famine in the land Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to get food. They were unaware that the whole world was coming to Joseph to buy emergency supplies. When they got there, they did not recognize him, for Joseph attempted to hide his identity from them. He tried to be harsh, but His heart of compassion took over, and he finally revealed himself to his brothers and embraced them. Ultimately he saved his whole family.

Just like Joseph, I've been in situations where it felt like bad luck ran its course, and that my life seemed hopeless. I faced the uncertainty of being a human being in a cruel world. I turned my perspective around so God could help me see things from His level, when I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. Difficult as it may have been at times since then, I built myself up in the Word of God and stayed positive when life thrown me those “curve balls.” Just because I've had a crappy day doesn't mean I should throw in the towel. I stand firm against dark forces bringing me down to the gutter. Against all the odds stacked up against me, God’s grace has outmatched and outnumbered all my defeats and triumphed in sweet victory!

How many of us can relate to what Joseph went through? Life has thrown us under the bus. We are hurt, lost, abandoned, and abused. Sometimes we, like Joseph, have been mistreated by our own relatives. The good news is that our Father in Heaven does not think of any of us as a lost cause. He hasn't given up on anyone, for God desires for us all to come to him. He designed divine plans for us just like he did with Joseph, even though at times it didn't seem so.

God sees each disaster as an opportunity to strengthen us into who He has destined us to be. We are winners in the race by His glorious grace; because of the spotless blood of Jesus Christ. One day there will be no more pain, crying or sorrow, and that day will be awesome. But until then we will just have to hold on to God’s hand.

Father, I thank You for times that people treat me like a misfit. These incidents are sometimes designed and disguised as teaching tools to help me grow up as a mature person. Even as far as being abused by members of my own family; for that kind of treatment can be used as an opportunity to rise above the tide. Help me not to have that short end of the stick mentality, but to be more like You King Jesus, as You sit at the right hand of the Fathers throne. Amen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 02/27/14
I thought I'd see entries of Joseph's story for this weeks topic, and I have. Each one well done, and well told, including yours.

Good introspective piece with room to grasp and meditate upon His word and the meanings in our life.

Nicely done.

God bless~
Toni Hammer 02/27/14
It's very clear that you have a heart for others and wanting them to have a deeper relationship with the Lord. Thank you for bringing your gifts here.

I know you're familiar with the forums, so I'd like to lovingly suggest checking out Jan's Writing Basics and Ann's Grammar Basics. Your heart is in the right place and I think with some fine tuning from some amazing teachers you could really take your devotions to the next level.

This was a powerful example of how the Lord is always working in every event of our lives--both good and bad--and I'm happy to hear that you've matured in your faith despite the experiences you've been through. I especially enjoyed the touching prayer at the end.
lynn gipson 02/28/14
Well written with a strong message. Thanks for sharing.
Allen Povenmire 02/28/14
A good message, with a sound Biblical foundation. Quite a few errors in punctuation - needed or unneeded comma and a misused semicolon or two. Tighten up those and some grammar missteps, and you'll do fine. Keep writing and serving!
Margaret Kearley 03/01/14
This would make a good devotional. You are able to apply relevant strong application from the wonderful story of Joseph. Well done. Keep writing.
Hannah R03/01/14
That was a great devotional! I would like to point out a few constructive criticisms, if I may. Other than a few grammar mistakes and some punctuation left out, you may have used too many trite expressions (common sayings or expressions) too close together. Other than that, I think it was great! :)

God bless
elaine vanpoole 03/01/14
Your expression of triumph over despair brought tears to my eyes. I could feel every personal experience you have experienced. Yet, you continue to encourage others and yourself to hold onto God's unchanging hand. It will all be over soon enough! Blessings2U
Graham Insley 03/02/14
Wow, you make some really good points here and have a way of choosing very powerful words.

I noticed you said in para 3 that Joseph's brothers "sold him as a slave to the Ishmaelites"; but then in para 4 you said "Potiphar an Egyptian brought Joseph from his brothers as a slave."

Potiphar 'bought' (brought is to bring 'bought' is to buy)Joseph from the Ishmeelites nor from his brothers.

I know when I write I sometimes say the wrong thing, not thinking just getting the story down; I might call David Moses or say Jesus said when it was actually Paul; or something similar. It is important that once the story is down we then review it for punctuation, wording and to check our 'facts'.

It is so easy during the writing to muddle things up and own review/critique is a great way to filter out the simple mistakes.

I know it was said earlier, but I want to repeat that your heart of wanting to help others comes through strongly. That's great.

You also make some really good points about our need to focus on the good that comes from the trial.

May I also suggest you get a good writing buddy to help with the review/critique process before you submit your entries. That has been a great help to me.

Blessings.
Larry Whittington03/03/14
Desiring to improve shows the determination to use and improve the gift of writing God has given. It is good to see this.

One spot of grammar: "when life threw" would be better than "when life thrown".

You used the Bible story very effectively to show abuse endured finally brought about God's approval and using the gifts and abilities God had given and intended to be finally used.

Keep your heart in heaven and your eyes in His word.
Sheldon Bass 03/03/14
Thank you for this wonderful retelling of a bible story, a favorite for many folks. You did a good job of connecting the story to spiritual truth and our relationships with God.

I would like to see a little more descriptive language used, I think that would make it even better. Like describing Joseph's face as his family rejected him. Help us picture the story in our minds, like we are right there in the story. When his brothers came to him for food: Joseph's eyes could slowly begin to glisten, filling with tears. He turns away as the dam breaks and tears rain down onto his clothing. Etc.

I hope that helps some. Keep on writing. You have a wonderful gift.
Bea Edwards 03/05/14
I think you did a nice job with this devotional making numerous great suggestions about 'staying Above the Bus' as your clever title describes.
You had a few typo and spelling errors and although I'm not qualified to give editorial advise- I know what I like and I liked this!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/05/14
This is awesome. I've read a few Joseph stories this week, but what made yours stand out is how you related it to your personal life. It really touched my heart and I wanted to reach through the screen and comfort that hurting person, but I can see Jesus did that for me. :) I also really liked that you included a prayer (you might want to put them in italics in the future, but it's not an absolute, but more of a personal preference)because so many people have no clue on how to pray. Your prayer will show people that it's like talking to a Friend. Also kudos on writing that you would like red ink. I know it can get overwhelming at times, but that is how I became a better writer and I'm so glad more and more people are accepting that same wonderful opportunity. God bless.