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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Mind Set
By Ann Menschel



Sitting down at the computer, logged on to the Internet, the house is quiet. Everyone else has gone to bed. The Google search box draws my eyes as a magnet. My hand hovers over the mouse momentarily and then clicks in the box. My fingers take their positions on the keyboard. I know all the key words that will instantly bring up the images my mind craves to see. I begin to type. The conviction of failure causes my shoulders to slump – even while my heart begins to pound in anticipation of what will pop up on that screen.

Or maybe . . . I push the “End” button on my cell phone. I knew it! I just knew it! The last time I saw Marge she had a look about her. I couldn’t put my finger on it but now Sharon’s phone call makes it all clear. When Sharon was in the coffee shop this morning, Brenda said she heard from Jessica that Marge was seen getting into a car with that new guy in town – Josh What’s His Name. Marge and Pete’s marriage had been struggling – not sure I can blame her. I couldn’t be married to that man – but an affair? Wait until I tell Heather. I push Heather’s speed dial number and it begins to ring. This time the facts are pretty clear. I mean if Jessica told Brenda and it got all the way to Sharon, surely it must be true. People have a right to know what’s going on in the community, right? I nibble on my lip as I wait for Heather to answer. This isn’t gossip this time, I assure myself.

How about . . . I can’t believe the scales said two pounds up. How can that be? I was really careful about what I ate yesterday. Well, mostly careful. This diet stuff is so hard, I rail to myself, pacing around the kitchen. I’m sure it’s all heredity anyway. Look how overweight my mother is – and what about my brother. It just can’t be helped – it must be the way God made me! The snack drawer beckons – I can almost hear the Doritos calling my name. It’s been a hard day, I reason. A reward is what I deserve. I open the drawer, pull out the bag of chips and head for the couch, picking up the T.V. remote on the way. Twenty minutes later I raise the lid on the trash can, stick my hand in and make room for the crumpled up chip bag, pulling a layer of trash over the top. Ah, hidden. No one will know – except me, of course, regret ebbing up in my mind, my pants feeling tighter already.

Each of us has an area (or two or three or more) where we continually struggle to live a godly life. We mess up. We ask God for His forgiveness. He gives it. We go on with life and a situation arises and we end up doing the same thing again. Sin. What a dirty, powerful three letter word! This battle is not new – it began with Adam and Eve and continues to this very day. The Apostle Paul, who admits his continuing struggle with sin, gives us clear encouragement in chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Romans.

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6 NASB) Each time those situations arise, we have a choice. On what is our mind set? What do we want to experience?

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This article has been read 221 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Emily Ritter02/02/13
Thank you so much for this entry. I have wanted to get into the habit of reading others' entries (especially those in higher levels than what I'm in) to strengthen my craft. But reading your piece did one better than that: freshened my mind for how skillful writing can ignite a fire within us to rid ourselves of sin. I feel excited about your writing and the way you present it. It is well edited, and catches a reader's mind immediately because of your word choice and pace. I especially like that you did not use scripture throughout, but left it for the end. I'm always looking for ways to be accessible to the unbeliever, and I think you have managed that here. Thanks for sharing.
C D Swanson 02/02/13
Interesting and thoughtful piece. Lots of layers in this entry with thought provoking moments throughout. Nicely done, clearly defining our struggles in everyday life and the need for God to help us through it all.

Wonderful job here.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/04/13
You make some great points in this piece. I liked that the examples are ones anyone can relate to.

Some of your transitions felt a bit abrupt. It may be just me, but I felt a bit lost over the sudden switch to pushing the end button on the phone. Sometimes these things can be clear in the writer's mind, but not as clear for the reader. Having a good proofreader can help with that.

I could relate to your MC. I think probably most people have fallen prey to gossip--in one way or another. You did a nice job of covering the topic while still delivering a great message.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 10th in level two!