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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: A Beacon upon a Hill
By Norma-Anne Hough
03/19/09


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A Beacon upon a Hill


Judy watched Anne walking up the path towards her front door. She could see from Ann’s body language that there was something very wrong.

“Father give me your wisdom this morning. Give me your understanding and wisdom.” Judy prayed silently.

“Hi Anne, welcome to our new home.”

Walking out towards Anne, Judy gave her a hug.

“I’ve really missed you so much this past year. Was your stay in the UK wonderful?” Judy asked her, leading her in towards the lounge.

“Yes, it was an experience that I am glad I had, but quite frankly I am happy to be home.”

“Tea or coffee. Or would you prefer something cold?” Judy offered.

“Coffee sounds good. I’ll have it with a bit of milk and one sugar, please.”

Once they had their coffee, the two friends looked at each other.

“What’s on your mind?” Judy asked gently.

“Judy I need to ask you some really honest questions. I know you have always been a Christian and your life has always run smoothly, but I need to know how you do it. You know I used to go to church, but once I got divorced, it was easy to stay away.
In the UK not many of the people I mixed with ever went near a church, and I was never anywhere near committed as you were.”

Judy thought for a moment, she really needed to be careful here.
Anne and she had grown up together, attended the same school and church. Anne admitted long ago that she needed to have fun with her life. Her marriage had been a disaster, the only blessing being no children.

“Anne, my life has been far from smooth,” she began. “You know that I had breast cancer two years ago, and that David lost his job five months after that.”

“Well that is why I want to talk to you.” Anne interrupted. “You have been to hell and gone yourself, and yet you have this amazing aura of peace around you.”


”Jesus is Lord of my life. From an early age, I invited Him into my heart. He has total control over my life. Everything that has happened to me has first gone through Him, for a reason only He knows. At times, I do blow it and get angry, and then He ever so gently reminds me of Calvary. His father gave His all for us sinners so that we can have life. I live in His Kingdom, where He has full reign.

When the cancer was first diagnosed, I was angry and confused. The twins were only fourteen, too young to lose a mother, yet I turned to Jesus and he brought me through. David losing his job was awful yet we believed in the promise that all our needs would be met, and they were. Luckily for us both our parents had left us money which we had invested wisely, so we were able to take some of that towards the treatment.”

Anne watched Judy as she spoke. Her face glowed as she spoke about her Lord and Saviour. No trace of anger or bitterness was visible.

“Anne, when you invite Jesus into your heart, you have to give Him your all. He has to have total control over every area of your life. You need to trust Him to meet all your needs. Whatever happens in your life he will be there right alongside of you. He may not physically remove you from the situation, but he will definitely go with you through the situation. Four months after being retrenched David was offered a position in the ministry. He had always had a desire to work for Jesus and God answered that prayer.”

“Judy I hear what you are saying and believe me I see Jesus shining through you. It is like a bright shining beacon on a dark stormy night. I feel as though I am being tossed and turned in a violent storm and will soon perish.”

“You will perish Anne. Your life will end in darkness unless you turn to Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the light. He is standing right beside you now waiting. Will you confess your sins to Him and allow Him to take charge of your life?”

Man without God is in total ignorance and inevitable misery. For it is wretched to have the wish, but not the power. Blaise Pascal.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/20/09
A wonderful relationship between these two dear friends...I'd hope to be that kind of friend in similar circumstances.

This felt a bit stilted; I felt like I needed less converstion and more human interaction, more feeling.

Love the title and the ending quote!
Christina Banks 03/24/09
Great message in this piece. Being a shinning light for the long term can be hard. What an encouragement that your character could show the light of Christ through her life.
Mona Purvis03/24/09
Don't we all have friends like this? We want to "will" them to salvation, but they put it off.
I'm thinking about someone like that right now and I'm asking God to reach her. this reads like it is about her.
Mona
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
A very good message, and you have some very good writing skills.

I agree with some of the above comments. The dialogue felt a bit unnatural, or scripted. And Lisa gives some excellent examples of showing rather than telling.

I was very glad that you pointed out a Christian's life isn't so easy and problem-free. Excellent lesson.
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
A reminder to us all that people are watching to see if Jesus really does make a difference in our lives. Good job!
Sharon Kane03/24/09
You portrayed a lovely relationship between these two women.
I find it really hard to read Gospel explanations. I know what the writer is going to say, so I just skim read! But you kept me from doing that by throwing in details of Judy and David's lives that made it more real. Well done there!
I like the ending quote, but I would suggest you separate it from the main story with a treble space, or by using a different font size. Otherwise it looks like the next line in the conversation.
Overall good writing!
Karlene Jacobsen 03/24/09
While I liked the overall story, I agree with the other commenters. More showing instead of telling would really make this piece soar.
Teresa Lee Rainey03/24/09
I enjoyed the relationship of these women and also appreciated that you showed imperfection in the Christian life. Others have done a good job of pointing out helpful ideas and weaker areas - so I'll leave it alone. Overall - good story with a great message. :*)
Gerald Shuler 03/24/09
You have offered a really worthwhile entry with a lot of good writing. Listen carefully to what the others have suggested. You have a natural way of writing that is easy to read. I look forward to reading more of your future entries.