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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: My Parents Believe but What About Me
By Telika Howard


Prayer and being dragged to church, cursing and yelling at home. So the gist of it is my parents follow this religion ritual because of some existence of heaven and hell. But what does it matter if I've already experienced it all? I'm sick of school and people telling me what to do. Sunday is just another day. I'm 17 and sick of it all. What does any of it matter when I move on with my life?

Reaching righteously towards me is not going to work. I listen to youth pastor Joe as his words glaze over my mind. Okay so we shouldn't, we couldn't, we shouldn't. I know, I know. Ugh, I can't wait to get away from this! "Can you hold on to this?" sucky Carrie says as she leans over and hands a magazine. The reason I call her sucky Carrie is because, simply she sucks. She acts as if she understands all this God stuff. Always answering all the questions..."Yes the 8th commandment says..." Whatever. I take the magazine and stick it in my bag. No need in hearing her beg, besides this should give my some good points with "The Almighty" right?

I get home and walk past my mom's "nah nah blah blah" I flop in my bed being careful to curve my body just right so not to hit my coke cans and dirty underwear on my landing. I realize I still have Carrie's book. I snatch it out and get ready to toss it across my floor until something catches my eye. "Down with Religion!" the bold lettering just under the arm of an overly smiling blond girl jumping in the air-too happy to be a real teenager- said. What is sucky Carrie doing with a mag that says this? I quickly flip to the page number that coincided with that title.

"The devil doesn't want us to hear the truth. He has offered religion, the following of rules and regulations to try to get us to make a never-ending attempt to be good enough to deserve God's blessings." (But none of us can be good enough to deserve His blessings and love that's why He offers it to us as a gift through Jesus Christ.) "The Bible doesn't teach us about religion, it teaches us about a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. When He comes to live on the inside of us, we receive His nature in our spirits. We get an opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning!" -Joyce Meyer

Matthew 15:9 "They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men."

1John 1:8-10 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."

James 1:26-27 "If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart this man's religion is worthless. This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

After reading this passage, I suddenly felt guilt that I didn't realize was there lift away. I suddenly realized what was eating me up the most, I didn't think I fit in to God because I kept messing up and instead I would rather give up. For the first time I looked forward to next Sunday, I had alot of questions even more then Carrie.

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This article has been read 418 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 06/15/07
You did an EXCEPTIONAL job of getting into your main character's mind and thoughts - this sure felt like an authentic experience! I love the "coincidence" of her taking that magazine home. This felt raw and realistic. It seemed a bit pat at the end, but otherwise, this is very strong.
Kristen Hester06/19/07
Your MC's feelings and emotions were very real. Great job on letting us "in". Keep writing!
Jacquelyn Horne06/19/07
I don't know if this is a typical teen or not, but it's sure to fit a lot of them.
Dee Yoder 06/19/07
I've been there with the religious questions! Your story will appeal to any teen or adult who wants what's really missing; God, not religion.