Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)
TITLE: Heaven's Applause
By Dixie Phillips
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Ellen didn’t know why she felt so far from God these past few months, but she did. Her analytical mind tormented her.
“You’re just jealous!” taunted the enemy of her soul. “Jealous of your sister’s beauty and gorgeous voice!”
Bolting out of her bed she would pace across her dark oak floor and howl, “Lord, help me! If I am jealous please forgive me! I don’t want to be!”
Many nights she cried herself to sleep. It all started when Ginny signed a recording contract with Manna Recording Studios.
“When will it be my turn to hear some applause?” Ellen whined.
Ginny made sure she included Ellen in all her successes, which made Ellen’s guilt even more pronounced.
“If she wasn’t so humble about it all then I would have a good reason to be jealous!” Ellen muttered to herself. “I have to overcome this green-eyed monster once and for all.”
There were only the two girls, just fifteen months apart, in the Meyer family. Ellen was always the responsible one and Ginny was always the beautiful one. The jaundiced-eyed monster never reared his ugly head until they became teenagers. Strangers would look at Ellen with such pity when they realized that the two were sisters. Ellen knew what they were thinking!
“Sisters??? Impossible!!! Nothing that beautiful could be related to anything so plain!”
A voice in the distance interrupted her negative thoughts.
“Ellie! Are you ready to go to the prayer breakfast?” Ginny asked.
Ellen threw her shawl around her tiny frame. “Let’s roll, Ginny Gin!”
Ginny squeezed her sister’s hand and squealed, “I’m so glad us sisters could have a little retreat.”
“Is that cinnamon rolls I smell?” Ginny asked as she took a deep sniff.
“Ginny, look! They are gigantic!” Ellen gasped pointing at the huge frosted treats.
“It’s a good thing we wore our comfy sweats!” Ginny said as she tugged at her waistline.
After devouring their breakfast the guest speaker stood.
“Hello! I am so happy that you all would come out this early in the morning! My name is Annette Troyer. This morning as I was preparing for our little meeting today I felt the Holy Spirit ask me to share a personal testimony with you.”
Annette held up a picture of two little girls and continued, “I am the oldest of two children. I have a sister, Marie, who is two years younger than me. When we were little we did everything together. Marie is the singer in the family she always won the lead role in our high school musicals. I was more of an introvert.”
Tears glistened in Annette’s emerald green eyes as Annette held up a poster of a well-known Christian singer.
“This is my precious sister, Marie, today!”
Gasps could be heard throughout the audience.
“Yes! God has given her quite a visual ministry and He has given me more of a “behind-the-scenes ministry”. At first I was so jealous! I almost didn’t go into the ministry at all because of it, but then I read a story from II Samuel 21:20, 21.”
“In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.”
“Jonathan could have told God that David should be the one in the family to kill the giant because after all David was the musical one and David had already killed Goliath, but God called Jonathan to kill the giant. And God is calling some of you to kill some giants that only you can destroy!”
Ginny reached for Ellen’s trembling hand. Ellen buried her wet face in Ginny’s shoulder.
Ginny lovingly whispered in her sister’s ear, “Ellen, you are so special. Jesus set up this entire retreat just for you!”
“I am so blessed!” Ellen choked.
Ginny cupped her hand to her ear. “Ellie, if you listen real close I think you’ll hear the clapping of the nail-scarred hands just for you tonight!”
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