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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: The First Commandment
By Sherry Castelluccio


August 13

Dear God,
I canít believe they chose me to be the new Womenís Ministry leader! Iím thinking of revamping our retreat. I know itís only a month away but there are so many new things Iíd like to try. I wonder if Mrs. Jensen is still available to guest speak? I think Iíll call her tomorrow. I promise as soon as I wake up Iíll read my devotional. As incredible as my new position is, I still need my time with you.

Dear Annie,
Iím glad to see you using your gifts. Please donít forget to get up early tomorrow. Iíd like to talk to you some more about this. Perhaps we can discuss Romans 12?

August 15

Dear God,
Iím so sorry! I know I was supposed to get up early and read my devotional. I slept in and then I had to rush to get ready for work. By the time I got home and fed the kids I was so pooped! Please forgive me. Oh, Iíve got such a busy day tomorrow! After work I have to call Mrs. Jensen and talk about the kind of message I had in mind for womenís retreat. Then I have to shop for all the craft supplies. I donít even know how Iím going to fit it all in. I promise first thing in the morning Iím all yours.

Dear Annie,
I was disappointed that you slept in but I understand. James 1 might help with that perseverance issue.

August 20

Dear God,
I feel so overwhelmed! I had to arrange for a new guest speaker after Mrs. Jensen cancelled. She said something about re-prioritizing her life. I think sheís just avoiding me, although I canít imagine why. Yesterday, Pastor talked about the importance of honoring the first commandment. He said that if we put God first, all the other areas in our lives will gently fall into place. It was a really good message, though I wish I could have heard the whole thing. My boss called and asked me to come in for an emergency meeting. Yeah, her ďemergencyĒ meeting ended up being a two hour lecture about not wasting company time on personal emails. I wonder if she read the letter I sent to Mrs. Jensen? It wasnít meant to be rude. I just wanted her to know how inconvenienced I was with her cancellation. Thereís such a thing as integrity. Why donít people keep their promises anymore?

Dear Annie,
Iím sorry youíre having such a hard time lately. Perhaps you should read James 3. The tongue can be a dangerous weapon.

September 10

Dear God,
Why does everything have to be so hard? Iím a total wreck! I canít remember the last time I had a second to sit down and read my bible. Iíve been calling people for days but I just canít find a new speaker. My kids are monsters who refuse to listen to me or do anything I say. My husband keeps going on about how the woman sets the tone in the house. Itís as if he thinks I have something to do with this chaos! I put all my free time into making this womenís retreat the best itís ever been. Does anyone appreciate me? I really wish I could get some help around here. Iím so exhausted. Iím starting to wonder if Iím in over my head.

Dear Annie,
I miss you.

September 14

Dear God,
I am so ashamed. Retreat was miserable. Because I havenít been spending any time with you, I had to miss the annual Friday night pajama party. Jen said that everyone was asking about me. I had to come up with some lame excuse why I couldnít be there. How could I tell them I simply wasnít prepared? Sunday morning was the worst. I ended up using a bible study from two months ago as the special message. I sure wish I had been making time for you. Iíve never been so embarrassed in my life. Can we start over?

Dear Annie,
I look forward to our time together.

September 15

Dear God,
Itís 5:30 a.m. but here I am. I canít wait to see what you have for me today. Where should we start?

Dear Annie,
Letís start with Matthew 22:37. I love waking up with youÖ

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This article has been read 747 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 03/13/08
Creative and unique take on this weeks topic. One little hint - Bible should be capitalized. Now I need to open my Bible and read those scriptures that God suggested we all read...and I will. Thanks.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/13/08
I very much enjoyed your story through messages to and from God. I loved how you made it clear all the way through that God loves us and wants us to spend time with him. Very well done.
Liz Hoyt Eberle03/13/08
WOW. Am I red-faced. This is an excellent piece- shows with no preaching but gets me where I live. Thank you! I love this and will also cherish my devotion time with my Father in the scriptures you gave.
Lyn Churchyard03/17/08
Wow, wow, wow! You don't believe in pulling any punches do you? I'm sure God definitely told you to write this entry.

I could have written almost the same words.

Thank you Lord for using this entry to remind me how much You love spending time with me.
Shelley Ledfors 03/18/08
Nice piece! You definitely nailed the topic, and presented a great message, as well!
Jan Ackerson 03/18/08
The back-and-forth gimmick really worked for this short piece!
Tim Pickl03/18/08
It's sooooo easy to get caught up in this fast forward world--and church world--that we can neglect the basics or prayer, fasting and reading God's Word. I love how this ends--like a minivan coming to a screeching halt on the highway of life. Your reference to... Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' Matthew 22:37 (NIV) --says it ALL!
Chely Roach03/19/08
Well done, and very convicting.
On that note--quit following me...
Henry Clemmons03/19/08
A creative touch. Very nice balance and pace. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Debbie Wistrom03/19/08
Insightful entry. So glad to feel that I'm not alone out there. Keep up the good words.
Mandy White03/19/08
Oh, how I long to put the first commandment into practice daily! Thanks for this!
Shayne Catoe03/19/08
I'm planning a retreat with some friends right now and this story really spoke to me. Thanks
Sara Harricharan 03/19/08
Wow. This is so neat! You really captured what we all do here-inching away without even realizing it! I loved the format of this, especially how it went back and forth with the letters to each other. That was very creative, really different! Great job! ^_^
Joanne Sher 03/19/08
So creative and well-done! Enjoyed this SO much. Love the unique style of this.
Betty Castleberry03/19/08
For some odd reason, I felt very convicted reading this. This was creative and well done.
Peggy Yengling03/20/08
Dear Sherry... Well done! I believe you've struck a nerve in all of us - I know I am convicted of sometimes letting the busyness of life impact my time with the Lord. You wrote, "if we put God first, all the other areas in our lives will gently fall into place" - that is the KEY to the kind of life God wants for us! It's the Domino effect. Put God first and all the other 'dominos' will fall into place! God bless you. Love, Peggy
Sharon McClean03/21/08
This short little piece packs quite an impact Sherry. Very well written and gets your point across quite well. Love you, Sharon
Joyce Poet03/23/08
God is sooooo merciful. He is so merciful that He takes the time to remind us when things get chaotic that putting Him first will cause everything else to fall in place. We do well to ask ourselves when things get tough, "Did I put God first today?"
Joyce Simoneaux03/28/08
Great article, Sherry. All I could think of is how I am being robbed of my time with the Lord because of the overwhelming schedule my boss throws at me. I have got to regain the rest and time to spend with Him. Thanks for the wonderful reminder. You are a talented writer. Love: Joyce