Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: Finding a Fella on a Ship
By Marilyn Schnepp
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Pulling the two apart she stood them up, dusted them off and placed them side by side in front of her and minced no words in scolding them for their bad behavior.
"Recess is not for fighting; it is for fun and games, and also for fellowship - which obviously you two boys can't seem to find today."
Tommy and Joey stood silently, heads hanging down, diligently studying the architectural design of their shoes or perhaps completely engrossed in what the teacher had to say...but whatever the reason, neither Tommy or Joey looked up during the entire scolding.
That night after Tommy's bath, his mother was putting him to bed and noticed his left eye was discolored a bit and he had a knot on his forehead.
"What happened to your face, Tommy, it looks bruised?"
Tommy reached up and gingerly touched the left side of his face; "Well, you see, me and Joey were playing, and ah,...the teacher said that me and Joey couldn't find the 'fella on the ship' even if we tried."
"What fellow? What ship? Don't tell me any of your tall tales, Tommy! What happened at school today?"
"Honest injun, Momma, that's what she said!"
<B>FAST FORWARD - TEN YEARS LATER:</B>
"Okay, Guys! Break it up!" Officer McVey said aloud as he rounded the corner and came across some gang members down on their knees in the alley shooting dice, smoking and playing hooky from school.
Tommy stood up, flicked his cigarette to the ground and crushed it out with the toe of his sneaker; "What's the hassle this time, eh? We can't have a little harmless fellowship with our friends without being harassed by a...", stopping in mid sentence he let the gang finish the sentence for him..."Oink, Oink!", they snorted in unison, followed by taunting laughter.
Officer McVey, a six-foot-two policeman and father of a teenage son himself, shook his head and sighed audibly; "Okay, Tommy, if your idea of <i>harmless fellowship</i> is hanging out with thieves, cutthroats and school dropouts, then I suggest you look up "fellowship" in the dictionary. It's just one word away from <i>FELON</i> - which is something you're gonna be if you don't wise up."
The word haunted the young teenager all the way home that day. Tommy had first heard that word ten years ago when his teacher had disciplined him for fighting with Joey, and now again today from the cop. <i>"Fellowship," I wonder what it really means?</i>
Sneaking downstairs after his parents had gone to bed, Tommy found a dictionary on the coffee table beside his mother's Crossword Puzzle book.
"Fellowship", he read: "companionship; the condition of being sharers or partakers in the same interests; a body of persons having similar tastes, views or interests."
<i>Aha! And sure enough - just like McVey had said, the next word <B>WAS</B> "Felon": "A criminal who commits a felony; wicked, criminal, treacherous. Hmmm?
Food for thought..."</i>
However, did Tommy digest it?
As Paul Harvey, (the famous News Commentator) is known to say..."Stand by, folks, For the Rest of the Story". <B>THIRTY YEARS LATER</B>
Tommy is now known world-wide as Thomas V.Barnham (fictional name), the generous millionaire who gives thousands of dollars in (fellowship) Grants to dedicated college and university students interested in Theology and preaching the gospel around the globe.
As Tommy explains, "We need another Billy Graham who will shake up the world and bring it to its knees; one who will hasten the Lord's return by taking the Good News of Jesus and the Cross to every nook and cranny of every isle, coastal reef and inlet on planet Earth...<i>"and THEN shall the end come."</i>
Tommy had finally found that 'fella on the ship' that he and Joey couldn't seem to find so many years ago! He now belongs to a fellowship of believers who kneel DOWN with him, stand UP with him, and cheer him on with his goal..."Go Tommy, Go!"
And to Heaven we pray <i>"Come, Jesus, Come! </i>
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