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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: This is the End of Me
By Tim Manzer


I was in full panic and I declared in my squeaky junior high voice that, “I had finally done it; this was the end of me. I had totally messed up!” The destruction and devastation that I had just observed was 100 per cent my fault. I could not fix the problem. My only option was to stay and confess that I was the one who was responsible for all the ruin.

It started as a simple act of childish disobedience during the Christmas season. We had a big old mutt named Duchess; we debated the roots of this hairy creature. Some saw St. Bernard, others German shepherd and still others some Retriever. The truth was that she was just a big old walking, drooling canine scandal. My dad had made a huge warm dog house and Duchess lived in luxury in the great out-doors. Whenever she did get inside our home, the dog became a walking home-wrecker. With one wag of her tail she could clear a room of its contents. So the rule was very, very clear, “Play with that beast out-side!!”

Mom had left to go shopping and the three older boys were left in charge of each other. Mom always said, “One boy, one brain, two boys, a half a brain, three boys, no brains.” It was a cold snowy day and I decided to bring my big crazy pet into the home for an old fashion big time wrestling match. Duchess always won. After a while I went on to other play things and left the mighty mutt to explore our home with no supervision.

It was Christmas time and my mom was the director of the tiny little Christmas pageant in our little country church. One of her duties was to cook a vast number of Christmas sugar cookies in all kinds of Christmas shapes. She had spent her entire winter Saturday morning carefully cooking dozens of cookies. My unsupervised eating machine discovered the vast treasure store of cookies cooling on the kitchen table.

The mighty jaws did not leave one cookie unconsumed; she even licked up the wax paper. I could only stand in a state of total shock and declare that the last of me had been seen, the end was near. I knew that when mom came home, I would receive swift judgment. Well, that happened. To say the least, she was a rather distressed mother and I was in huge trouble. There was a price to pay!

I’m 46 and I look back on that day with some twisted humor. However, nothing important ended the day that Duchess ate all the Christmas cookies. My mom’s love did not end. She is still the most loving mom on planet earth. My disobedience did not use up any of her endless storehouses of love and grace for me.

I have met many people that have sinned, struggled and fallen. Some of these friends felt that their actions had ended the love of God for them. Yet, the endless love of God awaits each one. His out-stretched arms freely give forgiveness, hope, salvation and life to those who thought everything had ended for them. What looked like an ending has turned into a new beginning for those forgiven saints.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/20/06
You have some wonderful lines in this story. I especially like: “One boy, one brain, two boys, a half a brain, three boys, no brains.” I might have been tempted to work the dog into your last paragraph to make a better connection between story and application. But you did a great job.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/25/06
Very well written, very much a page-turner (as they say about exciting books), and I loved the easy, down to earth flow of words; indeep a great piece, and I too loved the "one boy, one brain, etc.." I'll have to remember that! Great Job!
Marilyn Schnepp 02/27/06
Congratulations Tim! Now you'll have to move up to where you belong...upper echelon! I'm so happy for you, because I loved your story, your style, your entry!
Betsy Tacchella02/27/06
Tim, this is great! I laughed out loud. I'm so glad you finally entered the challenge. Not bad for your first try. I see you won 2nd place! Congratulations! You are so good at story telling. I agree that you should move up to Intermediate.
Karen Rice03/03/06
I am such a sucker for stories with kids, stories with dogs, and stories stirred with a Christian influence.

Tim, I absolutely LOVE your style. Great flow of words.

Pat Guy 03/30/06
Great entry Tim! And a great message so well interweaved into this story. It's one I needed to read today. Thank you.