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
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“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
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."
"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
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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