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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: Always Have an Answer
By Jacquelyn Horne
09/05/07


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Mandy placed her head on her arms, as they lay folded across her desk. She was ashamed of her actions. She knew the Lord was ashamed of her too. She always became shy and tongue-tied when anyone asked her about her personal Christian beliefs. She loved the Lord, but was reluctant to stand up for what she believed.

She had made it through eight years of school without incident. No one seemed to care whether she went to church or not. But, high school was different. Things were more personal here.

She had found the Lord as her own personal Savior recently, and she knew he was not pleased with her inability to stand firm in what she believed.

Others were not ashamed of who they were, and gloried about the sinful activities in which they partook. Why do I feel I have to hide my walk with Jesus Christ? The surface of her desk was wet, and she absent-mindedly wiped the offending tears away.

She knew it was wrong to hide her association with Christ. His word said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”*

Somehow, she was going to battle this problem. She was not ashamed of Jesus Christ. She knew that, but she, like Peter, was afraid of the opinions of those around her. Peter found boldness and so can I, she determined in her heart.

After school, she sat on the bed in her room and started her quest for courage in Christ. How did Peter do it? She opened the Word and read where Peter’s reform began with repentance. She quickly repented. Father, forgive me for my lack of courage in letting my light shine. Although just a simple prayer, it was straight from the heart.

But repentance was more than lip service. She would have to “turn around” and walk a different pathway. Could she? Peter finally did. That brought hope to Mandy. For several days she spent much time in prayer, always asking for the same thing: courage to speak out.

A few days later, Mandy heard her name as she approached the school building. “Hold up, Mandy.”

Carla was running to catch up with her. Out of breath she wheezed, “I want to ask you something personal. Do you mind?”

Not knowing where this could go, Mandy was reluctant to answer, but finally whispered, “No.”

“Good.” Carla hesitated for a second, and then blurted out, “What’s so different about you? I never see you at the parties given by other students, and you seem very reserved during most conversations here at school. I’d like to be friends, but I don’t know how.”

This was Mandy’s chance, and she silently prayed for courage. “I don’t go to most of the parties, because I’m a Christian. And a lot of the talk here in high school is about sinful activities. I don’t feel comfortable participating, since Jesus would not be pleased.” There, she had done it! She felt a healthy pride in her performance.

“Oh, Mandy! I’m so glad to hear you say that. I moved here this year from the north, and I’ve felt so alone, trying to fit in with the crowd. It just isn’t me. Please tell me more about your Jesus.”

Mandy sat on the bench in the school hallway, while many unobserving students walked past, and expounded the Word of God to Carla. Once the door had been opened, she lost all thought of shyness and boldly talked of her walk with Jesus Christ.

Mandy thought of the scripture she had read only last night. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”**

Carla was Mandy’s first convert. They quickly became very good friends and worshiped together. Collectively, they shared their love of Christ with others.

When they became adults, their families were close. Later their children married and made their own commitments to walk with God.

And all because of the courage Mandy was able to possess through prayer and determination.
……………………………………………….
*Mark 8:38 KJV
** I Peter 3:15 KJV


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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 09/06/07
Your story illustrates how our shared faith can bless our lives, even into the future. Good writing and story line.
Janice Cartwright09/07/07
Your writing is great and procession of thought as expressed in the actions and dialogue of your characters spot on as to scripture. I think though it is important to note that it was only after the day of Pentecost when believers received "power from on high" that Peter became truly bold and a changed man.
Joanne Sher 09/10/07
I think this story could be SO helpful to folks who are shy about their faith. It's almost an instruction manual, but with a wonderful story to take you through. Much to learn here, in a delightful story.
Marilee Alvey09/12/07
Right on, Mandy! People are so afraid to "offend" in this time of political correctness, and it's only going to get worse. Unfortunately, most people won't give you that opportunity like Mandy's friend did. I've had it happen only once. It came in an e-mail from Russia. Like your story, this woman, three years later, became a Christian. (I believe God did that in response to Mandy's fear, making the first one easy, to encourage her.) However, you can move a discussion into the spiritual realm, yourself, by asking, "Do you have any spiritual beliefs?" Just sit back and listen. It's amazing what you hear. That also gives you an opening to share, as well, if and when you feel comfortable, with a casual feel to it. Bless you for this story with an evangelistic feel. It's well written and it's SO encouraging!