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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: Obedience and Confirmation
By LaNaye Perkins


Cindy stood quietly before her accuser. Silently she prayed and asked God for wisdom. She listened and said nothing, remaining calm as the woman hurled one false accusation after another at her. She knew to speak would only fuel this woman’s anger. So defending herself was not an option. When the woman was finished and stormed off, Cindy quietly walked back into her home.

Thinking back, she knew when the woman drove up that evil was in control. She felt it. Then when the woman opened her mouth, she heard it. Yes, there was no doubt this woman overreacted because of spiritual help from below. When evil is in control, the simplest misunderstandings have a way of blowing up into all out war.

Going on to church she tried to get her focus back on God while the preacher delivered the sermon. Her thoughts kept going back to that morning’s confrontation. She prayed, asking God to help her bring all her thoughts into obedience to Christ. She knew that the same evil that controlled the woman was hard at work trying to get her to join in the fray. It was obvious the objective was to get her to react in a way that would bring dishonor to Christ. She prayed even harder, and asked God to also put a guard before her mouth in order that she would not sin against Him. She then turned her attention back to the sermon.

The preacher suddenly stopped what he was saying and bowed his head silently for a long moment. Then he nodded as though agreeing with some unseen speaker. When he started to preach again the subject of his sermon had changed. He began to speak on being silent before your accusers. He then related it to Jesus‘ silence before his accusers. The sermon then went on to discuss the importance of having a Christ-like attitude in all our trials. He even added that if a person found themselves tempted to yield to anger, they should pray for help. Their prayers should specifically ask for their thoughts to be brought into obedience to Christ. He also mentioned that it wouldn’t hurt to ask God to put a guard before their mouths in order to not sin against Him.

Years ago Cindy had asked God to give her the gift of spiritual discernment. Now, sitting quietly in her pew, a strange smile lit Cindy’s face as joyous tears filled her eyes. Once again she thanked God for blessing her with the gift she‘d requested so long ago.

There was no doubt today’s sermon had been custom made for her. It left her with the confirmation she had done what was right. On her way out of the building, she stopped to talk with the preacher. She told him that although the sermon may have seemed odd to him, it had made perfect sense to her. She then concluded by telling him what had happened that very morning.

With joy in her heart, Cindy left the church that day with renewed faith. She was also filled with confidence that God would never fail her.

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This article has been read 908 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom11/29/07
How blessed we are when we obey. Thanks for the thoughts.
Very nice.
Joanne Sher 11/29/07
Good descriptions, and a wonderful message for all of us. Very nice.
Jan Ackerson 11/30/07
I like the fact that you left the accusation to the readers' imaginations; that makes us all able to imagine what we'd do in the same circumstance.
Colin Swann12/01/07
It's great when God speaks directly to us, to encourage us. Seems the preacher had the gift of knowlege to know and the gift of wisdom to say it out meaningfully. Good write - thanks

Temple Miller12/04/07
Very nice story. I loved when the pastor's head nodded.
Dee Yoder 12/05/07
You touched on two things the gifts can do when put to use: increase our faith in God, and help us to choose to do right. Good story, that's very readable and clear.
Joy Faire Stewart12/05/07
Wonderful job of showing Cindy's reaction to the situation and how God answers prayers.
Temple Miller12/05/07
I just re-read your story, and I liked it even better the second time around. It carried such a great message that challenges us.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/05/07
I love how you put your story together so that your MC could see the fruit of her gift, and the pastor's gift of preaching was revealed.
Sara Harricharan 12/05/07
I liked this spiritual gift! It was different and out of the box sort of thing. I liked Cindy and especially the ending half of this story. Great job!
Pat Guy 12/05/07
This is such a complicated issue for us all, yet you crafted a message so simple it just glides into our hearts.

I won't nick-pick but I do have a few suggestions.

First - I have a tendency to write my thoughts in backward sequence. Here's an example ... 'She listened and said nothing, remaining calm as the woman hurled one false accusation after another at her.' If you switch the first half and second half you come out with something like this ... As the women hurled one false accusation after another at her, she remained calm and said nothing.

The other thing I wasn't sure about was the word 'spiritual' in this sentence ... "Yes, there was no doubt this woman overreacted because of spiritual help from below." I'm thinking another word would be better but I'm not sure what.

Regardless, you did a wonderful job on the topic and crafting this story. I really loved reading it.
Kristen Hester12/05/07
Very nice entry.

Here are my red pen comments:
I would have liked to see more of "the accuser" as she spoke to your MC. What did she look like? Give us a more detailed description of the interaction. (Flaring nostrils, red face, etc.)

While ALL your subject matter is important and well stated, I felt it got a little bogged down in the middle. I'm not sure I know how to explain it, but perhaps a little more showing here as well.

When the preacher shifts gears in mid sermon, I would have like to hear more about this later. Perhaps in his conversation with the MC.

It's really a very good entry and I love the look at her spiritual gift. Bravo.
william price12/05/07
I pretty much agree with Pat and Kristen. You're a great story teller. And I always enjoy what comes from your heart each week. Just a lil suggestion would have been to work on the opening presentation a little. Maybe the first line could have had her dodging the comments or something. You keep working. You have the heart of a great writer and you skills of communicating God's ideas gets better with each entry. Remain encouraged and keep writing and reading. God bless.
Peter Stone12/06/07
Hi LaNaye
Here are my 'red pen' impressions of your wonderful article. I think it would have been even stronger if you had dramatized what the actual problem at the beginning of the story was, using dialogue between the characters. An editor friend of mine kept telling me, "Show, don't tell, the story."