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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: Pew Perfect
By Tim Pickl
03/11/08


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“It’s a perfect day!” exclaimed a woman on the radio.

“Let’s see what’s on the satellite radio. Scott, can you switch it over?
The control is right there.”

Senior Pastor Rick’s favorite Satellite Radio station blared on. It was
a preacher with a southern drawl with a simple message: “Repent!
The end is NOT near--The end is here! The end is here! Repent!”

Like a perfect shot through the heart, Pastor Rick felt convicted by
the Holy Spirit.

+++

“It’s so good to finally meet you. I know Scott very well—he’s a good man
and has very good things to say about you.” said Steve. He smiled as he
stood up behind his mahogany desk, extending his hand. Steve was the
Director of a large Assisted Living facility was a thankless job, and he
immediately connected with Pastor Rick.

The men took turns shaking hands. “Yes, sir. Thank you for meeting me
today.” Pastor Rick and Scott sat down. “Scott is our Worship Leader.
Recently, Scott was helping his Grandmother Violet get settled in her
wheelchair at church and I got a perfect idea…”

+++

With a nod, Pastor Rick stepped to the pulpit and passionately pleaded,
"Saints, it's time for a change. We need to get up off of our perfect pews.
We need to get out of our comfort zones. Please don’t misunderstand me--
I'm speaking to myself, too. Now listen—please listen carefully: If we always
do what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always got!
Let me
say it again, slowly this time. We need to get this deep down in our souls."
As he repeated himself, a collective shout of agreement came from the
congregation.

But the Amens suddenly turned to gasps because of a simple surprise.
At that moment three large tour buses pulled up in the parking lot adjacent
to the church. The buses stopped with sound of air brakes and the loud rattle
of running diesel engines.

Pastor explained, "We're going out for lunch."

Another gasp.

"Church: Signs of the 'end time' are all around us. Israel is seriously talkin'
peace with her enemies. Our war in Iraq and Afghanistan could explode into
all-out war with Iran. In this desperate hour, we must carry out the work
Jesus sent us to do. We're running out of time."

Silence. He had their attention.

“So today, we're going on an outing to the Assisted Living facility. We met with
the Director, and he agreed that we could all come over. Sunday mornings are
a desperate, lonely time for the shut-in souls there because everyone’s usually
in church. So we’re going to be Jesus to our neighbors there, serving them and
loving them in any way we can.”

Smiling big, he added, “And before you ask—we got the buses for next to nothing.
We just have to pay for gas. Let’s do it!”

A few minutes later, the buses pulled into the almost-bare parking lot at the Sonrise
Independent & Assisted Living Community. Scott pulled Pastor Rick aside. “Can you
please stop by my Grandmother’s room first? She really wants to see you.”

“Yes Brother—she’s first on my list.”

+++

“Wow—that’s quite a list!” Director Steve handed Pastor Rick a list of people who
never received any visitors. In just a few minutes, the congregation spread out
into the facility. After a short visit, each family brought their new friends to the
dining area for an impromptu worship service.

"Such a beautiful, powerful presence of the Lord here this morning,” Scott half-
whispered in the middle of leading worship. Under the fresh anointing of the Holy
Spirit, he lifted his hands to heaven and wept, thankful.

In a wheelchair near the front near Scott, Violet had her eyes closed, crying.
Pastor Rick went to her, knelt down and removed her slippers and gently rubbed
her feet.

Then, he softly prayed for her.

After a few minutes, Scott turned toward Pastor Rick and spoke with conviction,
"Thank you Pastor, for your vision. Thank you for not just telling us to get out of our
perfect pews, but for actually taking us out.”

Moved with compassion, Pastor Rick went to Scott. The two men embraced each other
like warriors who have just fought and won a great battle.

+++

We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.
The night is coming, and then no one can work.

John 9:4 (NLT)


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This article has been read 952 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson03/13/08
Think something might be missing from last sentence of para. 5.
Cheers. Loved your story. God bless you.
Jan Ackerson 03/13/08
Great example of the topic, and an exciting story of listening to God's leading and doing it!

I don't know if the several different scene changes are necessary--they make it a bit jumpy. Start during the service, and hop on the bus to the assisted living home in one uninterrupted narrative.

Love your title.
Joanne Sher 03/14/08
A great fit for the topic, and I loved all the action here - fitting for your point especially. Good stuff.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/16/08
Wow! What a marvelous, lovely and perfect idea! I read the last half of this entry with blurred vision - tears running down my face with emotion of such a "Pew Perfect" challenge! I loved this story with it's heartfelt sentiment of saving others while the sun still shines; beautifully done and very creative! Kudos!
Jason Swiney03/16/08
Good idea for a story and a great idea for a church! This is a great message for today's church, there are too many people who either can't or don't come through the doors on Sunday. We all need to look at taking the church to people, not the other way around. More church field trips!

Holly Westefeld03/17/08
Great title.

This sentence needs some re-working.
"Steve was the
Director of a large Assisted Living facility was a thankless job, and he
immediately connected with Pastor Rick."

Thank you for reminding us that we need to get out of our ruts.
Shayne Catoe03/18/08
It's good to embrace another believer at the site of great victory. I enjoyed the end especially. Thanks for writing.
Patty Wysong03/18/08
Right on topic and a great reminder for us--wrapped in a great idea. I really liked it!
Joshua Janoski03/18/08
Excellent message to be found here.

I got a bit confused at the beginning when it jumped from the pastor listening to the radio station to the meeting, but after that it was smooth sailing.

This is actually a cool idea. I wonder if any pastors have done this before?

Thank you for sharing!
Mandy White03/19/08
What a great story! I would love to see something like that happen!
Debbie Wistrom03/19/08
So creative. Thanks for sharing such a great message.
Keep at it!
K. J. Cash03/19/08
The Lord used this to speak to me. Perhaps in an unexpected way. I needed to hear "if you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've got". I think about the definition of insanity quite often (doing the same thing and expecting a different result) even more so here at the crossroads of life.

So, I went off on a rabbit trail in my thought, but I wanted you to know that the Lord used your story to minister to me. Thanks.
Sara Harricharan 03/19/08
Oh this was good! It was VERY creative to have the pastor actually get them up and doing something-right along with them! I loved it, it's a great example of also actions speaking louder than words. Very well done! I enjoyed the read, especially at the end with Violet. That was great. My only note for this RED INK: was watch at the front where I think there was a typo with the favorite radio station. Using 'was' twice? Otherwise, good job! ^_^
LauraLee Shaw03/20/08
I pray you are encouraged by the way this has ministered to so many of us. When we put our faith into action as Christians, supernatural things happen. Well done! ;)
Celeste Ammirata03/24/08
I enjoyed your story. The way you wrote it, and the message in it! It's a challange to all of us. God Bless. Keep writing. And congratulations on placing 9th in your level. :-)