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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: <b>Re: </b>Bad News


Hey Josh,
Sending you new pix of my Jeep and one of Grantís Pass. Recognize that spot?

Iíll never forget that soggy night last June, when a cloudburst dumped rain like floodwaters coming through a break in a dam. It all happened so suddenly, that when the torrent slammed into my little import and sent it skidding sideways down the mountain pass, I thought I was a goner.

The whole time the car was spinning, I felt like I was a sliver of soap sucked into a vortex of bathwater on its way to the drain. The deafening roar from the water, along with the sound of blood pounding in my ears, effectually silenced my screams. As soon as the car crashed, I felt the impact of the airbag, then blacked out.

If you remember, the angle of the ravine I ended up in catches the sunlight early in the morning and again later in the afternoon. When I came to, all I knew was that I was okay, and the sun was shining.

It would have been encouraging had I not glanced out the side window and realized where Iíd landed. Knowing that my Audi Roadster was most likely wedged between the embankment and a rock formation known to us locals as The Devilís Finger, gave me a pretty good indication that my 6-speed turbo and all-wheel drive wouldnít be of any use. :)

When I told you that I leaned my head back and laughed, you said I was probably in shock. Yeah, shock from knowing the drop was six thousand feet down! I had a feeling the only thing holding my car in mid air was the steel support of the frame behind the mangled bumper covers where it rested on the massive boulders jutting out from either side of the ravine.

I never mentioned this before, but it was after the shock wore off that fear set in, followed by panic. I was afraid to breathe in deep enough to let out a yell for help that could be heard beyond my snug environment, afraid that even the slightest movement would send me plummeting to my death.

All I could think of was to gingerly push on the airbag and wait to see if it made the car move. When it didnít, I continued pushing down until I could look out the windshield.

The craggy peaks of these mountains with their breathtaking views and crystal waterfalls never cease to fill me with unspeakable awe, but seeing the top of a Douglas-fir tree eye-to-eye (those things can grow several hundred feet tall), sent shivers through my already shivering body.

Had you not happened by when you did, Josh, Iím thinking my state of being would have been altered beyond recognition--even to the Lord. Good thing He sent you my way, and good thing He has all of our parts numbered, Ďcuz had I fallen, there would have been quite a few more than what He had originally given me.

I appreciated all the people who stopped and yelled to me that they would call for help, but when you climbed down like a mountain goat and balanced on those boulders so you could be close enough to talk to me, I think I finally understood the meaning of laying down oneís life for another.

It was your confidence in the Lord and your knowledge of His Word that helped me focus on all of the verses you quoted until help came. Iíll never forget the look in your eyes when I swung from that rescue cable and the car started tipping forward. You kept yelling at me to hang onto the Lord and repeat the promises in Psalm 91. Remember?

I know now what itís like to be in the pit of despair, literally, and to be lifted up and have my feet planted on solid ground again.

You were there for me when I stared death in the face, and yet was rescued against unbelievable odds. You saw the Lord snatch me from the devilís grasp, and you know first hand that nothing is too hard for Him to turn around.

Hang on to God, Josh, Heís faithful. Iím leaving tonight...should be there sometime tomorrow afternoon. Weíll get through this together.

Love ya man,

----- Original Message -----
From: Joshua [nojoshin@alive4him.net]
Time: Sunday, November 11, 2007 10:49 PM
To: Caleb [cbjeeplover@hotmail.com]
Subject: Bad news

Tests are back, Caleb--it doesnít look good...

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This article has been read 746 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon11/15/07
I absolutely love this format. Very creative. And a great job with the topic.
Lynda Schultz 11/15/07
E-mail encouragementógreat idea, and a wonderful tool for those of us who are far away from so many people we want to be an encouragement to. Good work.
Seema Bagai 11/15/07
Wonderful story. I liked the email format and the ending added a whole extra layer to the piece.
Sharlyn Guthrie11/15/07
It's amazing how simply you related "the rest of the story" at the end, with the original e-mail...just a few words, but Wow! I admire your originality.
william price11/15/07
Very creative. Maybe a lil wordy, but maybe that is just the conversational e-mail way of communicating. Anointed message from a heart sold out to the Lord. Thank you for ministering to me. God bless.
Joanne Sher 11/16/07
Very creative format, especially. I was with those two all the way through.
Beth LaBuff 11/19/07
I like the "Joshua / Caleb" aspect of this! Great writing!
Deborah Engle 11/19/07
How bittersweet-to have a chance to return desperatly needed encouragment. Your character really understood his friend need and didn't even hesitate. Nice job!
Janice Cartwright11/20/07
Mid - the html code in the title happened to me one time too. I agree - its ack.

This is really creative and original. Because the conversation seemed more formal I expected some sort of surprise at the end but you got me anyway. Once I understood it all became clear. My email friend and I write similarly to one another. The descriptions are delightful and the underlying message about a chance to return encouragement is poignant.
Dee Yoder 11/21/07
Unique, creative, and a modern way of encouraging each other to hang on to the Lord. I've had emails like this myself. It means the world to have friends that support us with the word and remind us of God's promises.