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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: Father's Business
By Joanne Sher



What else do you call it when you spend 20 years striving for a goal, working toward
what you think is your life work, only to wonder if youíve wasted all that time and
energy on something youíre not supposed to do?

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a baker. My earliest recollection is of
a trip to the bakery that has been in my family for four generations. I must have been 3 or
4. I remember just being able to peek to the top shelf of the bakery case, marveling at the
wonderful, colorful cupcakes with the intricate designs and thinking "I want to make

Thatís right - unlike the typical kid, I didnít want to EAT it, I wanted to create it. I was
dedicated to donuts, crazy about cookies and bonkers for bread. As soon as mom trusted
me in the kitchen, I was whipping up all kinds of unique items, from pineapple bagels
(NOT a success) to peanut butter-caramel cupcakes. (Dad started selling those!)

Dad....How am I EVER going to tell Dad??

Heíll want what is best for me - I know. But for the past five years he has been looking
forward to turning the business over to me, and Iíve been just as enthusiastic. How can I
ever explain this change of plans?

Just a week ago, my life was typical. Now, everything - everything - is different.
Trees look brighter, I love my parents more, and things I used to enjoy - smoking on the
corner, a drink with the guys - have lost their appeal. Sure, I still love baking, but I have a new passion - Jesus Christ.

I had heard about Him before, certainly - since birth. But somehow, it wasnít until this
past Sunday that it all clicked. Iím a sinner. The only way I can have forgiveness and
eternal peace is to accept Christís sacrifice as payment for my sins and put my trust in

Well, I did it, and now all I want to do is tell every lost soul in the world about this peace and how they can have it too!

Pastor had preached on the Great Commission that day, and now, the more I think about
it, the more I know he was talking directly to me. Christ called me to "go into
all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."* I feel compelled to follow that
call, but I donít see how I can working in Baileyís Bakery in Broomall, Pennsylvania!

"Hey, Evan?"

"Oh, sorry, Dad!" I put down my coffee cup on the break room table and head for the
kitchen - where I should have been ten minutes ago. "Lost track of time."

"Itís all right. Hey - could you make an extra batch of chocolate chip tarts? Itís Ted
Johnsonís birthday, and Melinda will be in for her annual dozen any time now."

"You got it, Dad."

Now, there was someone who needed Jesus. Melinda Johnson was nice enough, but I had
never met anyone who worried like she did. She lost sleep over high temperatures,
snowstorms, biting dogs, nuclear explosions, dying azaleas and most of all, her health.
She had the symptoms of every fatal illness known to man - just ask her. Despite being
the "picture of health" (Dr. Liebís words, not mine), she was certain she was going to die
any minute. If there was anyone who needed the peace that surpassed understanding, it
was Mrs. Johnson.

Ding, Ding

"Iíve got it."

Walking in, I see Melinda Johnson studying the various offerings in the bakery case.

"Good morning, Mrs. Johnson. Can I get you something?"

"Good morning, Evan. Letís see...Iíll have a dozen chocolate chip tarts (itís Tedís
birthday, you know) and one of those," pointing to the chocolate toffee clusters Iíd pulled
out of the oven just before my break.

"Right away, maíam. So, Mrs. Johnson, how are you doing today?"

"All right, I suppose - other than this pain in my side." She lowered her voice. "Donít tell
Ted, but I think itís cancer."

"Oh wow. Iím sorry to hear that! Can I pray for you?"

"Well...,um..., sure, Evan. I never thought of you as a praying person, though."

"Actually, I wasnít, Mrs. Johnson, until..."

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17 NIV

* Mark 16:15 NIV

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This article has been read 1352 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 08/04/06
I thought this was a great piece of writing, and so true! Well done.
Lynda Schultz 08/04/06
Nailed it, you did! It really is possible to be about your father's business, and your FATHER's business, at the same time. The mission field is wherever a lost person is found. Great job.
Jen Davis08/07/06
A cute story: "...dedicated to donuts, crazy about cookies, and bonkers for bread." Lynda's comments summed up your message very nicely. Great job of writing!
Helen Paynter08/07/06
Very good. I can see why you need to move up (I didn't read your piece last week, which I assume won). I think the first paragraph is the weakest part of the piece - and you want it to be th strongest, to grab the reader. Perhaps you could start with the second - which is excellent, like the rest of the piece.
Allison Egley 08/07/06
I'm so glad it ended the way I was hoping it would. It reminds me of a couple from my church who use their baking business to bring people to the Lord.
Brenda Craig08/07/06
An absolute great piece of writng with a wonderful point. Go into all the world, that starts with the next person we meet. I loved this.
Tracey Jackson08/08/06
Great piece of writing. Well done.
T. F. Chezum08/09/06
A very good peice of writing. Great job.
Carol Gray09/09/06
Joanne, I recently became involved with FaithWriters. That's why I just getting to read your articles. It's never, too, late to say something good about a person when you can. You are such a great writer. Wonderful messages in everyone of your articles that I've read. Be Blessed! Carol Gay
Jacquelyn Horne05/09/07
Brighten the corner where you are. Very good. Often our calling is not to "go", but to "stay". You portrayed that beautifully here.