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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)

TITLE: Trailblazers
By Benjamin Graber


The night’s demise was now at hand
As sunlight strove to pin her foe;
The dawn broke through just as a man
Had packed his bags, all geared to go—

He leapt upon his faithful mare,
And armed with gun and fearless grin
He set to find what’s been prepared
On any trail God had for him.


It usually takes me about an hour in the morning before my smiles are running at full speed. But this morning the echoes of yesterday’s sense of freedom sped up the acceleration process.
Images of soaring eagles and galloping mustangs filled my mind, accompanied by the vision of shackles coming loose, with a phrase of inspiration from Paul—“It was for freedom that Christ has set you free”.
I am free! Free to live the adventure of each day, walking hand in hand with God Himself!
What do you have for me today, Father?


His heart led him to blaze new trails
Through canyons he had not explored,
Attacked by thorns, his will prevailed,
His spirit with the eagles soared;

But ’round mid-day he heard a cry:
He saw a boy who needed aid!
O’er canyon edge he dangled high,
A minute more all hope would fade…


“Are you ready to start?” It was hot enough that I was already sweating after a minute’s worth of jumping jacks.
“Hold on—that looks like Derrick Benson walking down the driveway!”
It had been seven years since my brother, Josh, and I counted Derrick among our friends. Seeing him was like a flash from the past. Snatching our minds back from a fog of surprise, we strolled to meet him.
“You guys playing football? Mind if I join you?”
Our assent was readily granted, and soon our football was swapping hands as we were swapping news, catching up on the significant details of his life.
After tossing a football around for a half an hour in the hot May sunshine, Derrick mentioned that he was thirsty, and wore it as an excuse to be heading home.
“I’ll get you a glass of water,” I offered.
“Are you sure? I don’t want to cause trouble—” he countered.
“Certainly!” I stepped in our home, grabbed a glass, and in a moment had filled it. But before I was back outdoors, he and Josh joined me inside.
Derrick was grafted into our family for another forty-five minutes as he and Josh and my dad played some music together.
We had never had a friend dive into our lives like this before – God was obviously doing something. But whatever purpose He had for our time together, the moment would have to be severed. We had plans for the evening, and we needed to leave; we were already late as it was.
Dad held out the invitation that we all wanted to offer, but none of us dreamed he would accept: he asked Derrick if he wanted to join us for dinner at our friends’ home.
Beyond all expectations, he accepted eagerly.


The cowboy’s mare displayed her speed,
And o’er the bluff they charged the boy’s doom,
A grab sufficed to reach his need,
Thank God, today they’d dig no tomb!

They shook off words of gratitude,
That cowboy and his faithful mare,
And traveled on while lives allude
To everything that God prepared…


What puzzle pieces were fit together that evening in God’s perfect plan, I will probably never know. Nothing unusual presented itself in the activities that evening: we feasted on a tasty meal, launched our voices in song, and enjoyed a game of volleyball together, but the love that flowed through all activities, binding us together as brothers and sisters in Christ, added new depths of vivacity to life.
I don’t know how Derrick’s life was changed; only little crumbs left behind spoke of what God may have done, as Derrick mentioned needing good friends like Josh and I, and commented on such a sweet family our friends were – “almost as sweet as your family”.
What I can see is how my life was changed, as I grew into a new appreciation of the adventure of every day – God wants to walk with me in the priceless hours of here and now! In His awesome plans, He’s got trails of faith for me to blaze in the mountains and valleys of the life He’s given me. I can’t wait to see what He’s got coming.

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This article has been read 842 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rita Garcia05/31/07
I enjoyed the format you chose. The last paragraph is awesome, as is your writing!
terri tiffany06/01/07
This was terrific! Your descriptions were wonderful and the way it was constructed was creative! Good word usage - the only thing I might change is some spacing so it was easier to read but other than that - it is perfect:)
Janice Fitzpatrick06/04/07
Wow! Bravo! This is well done! Very creative way to use the days that God gives us as an adventure itself. I just wanted to read more.:0)Nice touch with the adventurous poetry within the story format.!Great idea! I can see this as a story in a Christian magazine. God bless your gift. Janice
Joanne Sher 06/04/07
I love the poetry alternating with the prose - you are truly strong in both areas, Ben! Last paragraph is superb.
Jan Ackerson 06/04/07
Very effective format! Love the poetry, and the way it intertwined with the prose. Excellent writing.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 06/04/07
Thanks so much. What a great reminder for us all to move past fear, our own schedule and be free to invite adventure into our everyday life. Great job
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/04/07
I liked the switch from imagination to reality--both an adventure. The message comes through clearly.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/04/07
Creative in every way. I enjoyed your merging of poetry and prose, past and present.
Dee Yoder 06/04/07
The mingling of prose and poetry is a great idea. I like your thoughts of the Chrisitan's day being adventurous to the soul, even if it seems ordinary to the body.
Edy T Johnson 06/05/07
It's true, we cannot fathom what God may be doing behind the scenes of each day's adventure. I loved the parallels between the poem and the prose, as if the long-lost friend and the boy in the poem had a connection in being rescued. Your writing is something to relish. I especially love the well-chosen words in the poem.
Betty Castleberry06/05/07
The prose in this reads like the supplements that follow the scriputres in our Sunday School books. It's very well done, and I love the prose and poetry together.
Sherrie Jackson06/06/07
I, too, very much enjoyed the interplay between poetry and prose. I'm thinking I really like that as a technique and hope you do more of it.

I noticed that your word choice during the prose part of the story actually lent it the air of an adventure, which could have been cheesy but to me, you totally pulled it off. Great job on putting a unique spin on the genre! :-)
Pat Guy 06/06/07
The need of this young man shines through. As does the the willingness of this family to be available through acceptence.

The whole peice fit together so well - this is exceptional.

I so enjoyed reading this. Very, VERY good.
Jacquelyn Horne06/06/07
What an adventure into a life filled with God's direction. Very good story. Loved the poem.
Sara Harricharan 06/06/07
The poem woven throughout was very creative, and my personal favorite! I enjoyed the character of Derrick and especially of the MC throughout the story. To be used so wonderfully by God, even though we may never know the true impact. What a great story.
Kristen Hester06/06/07
Very nice. I love the poem. We should always view even simple thigs like reaching out to a friend as an adventure.
william price06/06/07
Nice Tapestry. Enjoyed it very much. Great talent. God bless.
Lynda Lee Schab 06/06/07
Did you write that poetry? Loved that! You are definitely a seasoned poet. The story aspect was a little more choppy. I understand the full message you were sending about living each day to the fullest and not knowing what plans God has in every circumstance but to grab hold of them anyway. But, for me (and I'm only saying this because you said critiques were welcome!) the story part of it needed to be a bit more clear. Maybe just restructured a bit for an easier flow. Just a thought...your talent shines through, particularly, as mentioned above (and by several others!) with the poetry. Well done!
Loren T. Lowery06/06/07
Is prose explaining a poet's heart - or is a poet leading prose down a road less travelled? Either way, this was an insightful read with God's talent obvious in both.
Esther Gellert06/06/07
I loved this. I also appreciated the reminder that sometimes what seems like a simple thing in our life, is actually an adventure.
Leigh MacKelvey06/06/07
The poetry was impressive! Wow! I liked the format ... very high points on creativity. I did get just a little confused in the story part. I wasn't quite sure of the characters and had to read again to get the idea you wanted to get across. Hey, I know you're a poet, but you had the courage to try your hand at prose also!Kudos for that! Good job and I enjoyed the read.
Val Clark06/08/07
You got me in straight away with the nuanced imagery of the first two line. Beautiful poetry. I've been trying to figure out why the prose isn't as successful. Here are some thoughts. 'Our assent was readily granted' is telling rather than showing and a bit stilted. A simple dialogue response seems more appropriate. Also dialogue tags like 'I offered' are obsolete as that is inferred in the diaglogue itself. One final thing did you mean 'my smiles' or my similies? Having said that you communicated the point of the piece clearly and with a light hand and I enjoyed the read. yeggy
Tom Yarbrough06/09/07
I like your sense of adventure with God about those everyday moments that can also be very special. You might look at my "Surprise in the Woods" along these lines...Tom
Danette Kettwich06/09/07
Ben the poetry is beautiful! I think you did a great job, but I am more of a poet than a prose writer so of course I love the poetry part best! danette
David (The Goliath Assassin)10/10/07
Leaves the reader wondering if Dereck has come back from time to time, or even for good as a valued friend. This piece accomplishes what all great stories do: keep the reader's attention even AFTER the end.