The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
03/13/14
Moving and powerful testimony of your journey in life. I've seen some of our "church family" go through similar circumstances where they were relying soley on the Pastor and Elders.

I've always found the scripture Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man... " to be the surest way of thriving in life.

Well done!

God bless~
03/15/14
You've taken the trauma of a childhood memory and skilfully used it to create a bridge to deeper trust.
Well done.
03/15/14
Great devotional. The topic was evident but not spelled out for the reader. Good job.
03/17/14
A great devotional that flowed well from start to finish. Spot on for the topic too. I'm so glad I didn't have your step-dad!)
03/17/14
I enjoyed how this story began with a personal experience and ended with an application. Fear can be so very, very hard to overcome, but I know that God often pushes me beyond my comfort zone so I will grow and learn to trust in Him more.

Watch the beginnings of your paragraphs; many of your paragraphs begin with "I." Try to vary your sentence structure. For example, your first paragraph could begin, "Deathly afraid of the deep water, I had a fear..."

I love how you connect forgiveness to a life-jacket. This made me stop and ponder how bitterness is like a lead weight that pulls me under the water, while forgiveness--received and then applied to others--is buoyant.
This is a very good devotional. You and I chose very similar approaches to the topic this week. ;)
You did a great job of this. The beginning part was quite good. I could sense the tension and see the scene unfold before my eyes. You did a fantastic job of pulling me in and telling the story of the boy. You have a knack for that. In the forums, there's a thread called Jan's Writing Basics. A few weeks ago she talked about atmosphere. I think you nailed the setting with your word choice and thought this was a good example of some of the things she mentioned.

I'll give you the same advice someone gave me once. Vary those sentences structures. You have too many that start with I. Think of your words like a road in front of you. It needs to vary, have hills and valleys or it gets monotonous quickly. Sentences are the same way, Here is an example or two to show you what I mean: Being deathly afraid of the water, my toes dug into the sand. Nope, no way was I going to venture out any farther. Suddenly, I felt my dad's arms envelope me. Splash! The next thing I knew I was flailing about gasping for air. I stretched my legs, hoping to feel silt between my toes. Panic overwhelmed me when I felt nothing but water--and maybe a stray fish or two.
I hope that not only shows the different ways one can start a sentence but also builds the suspense a bit.

I liked how you used the dialog to move the story along. You may want to use contractions or even slang to make it feel more natural. For example: "I ain't gettin' back in there! Nuh-huh, no way, not ever!"

I think you did a grand job of transitioning to the main message. You brought up some great points and it made me stop and think. I also liked that you included a prayer. I could feel your passion and love for God and real desire to get his message out there. You did a wonderful job.