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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: Shall we stand?
By Ruth Stromquist


In Bible days and years of old,
When men of faith stood strong,
There was a king with crown of gold,
Whose Laws ruled "right" and "wrong".
In Government 'twas written: For a span of 30 days,
To the lion's den a man shall go, if to his God he prays.

"Shhh, now Daniel; Walk low key.
Don't give God thanks today!
Shut your curtains. Let no one see.
The Law you must obey."

But Daniel prayed with open drapes, and open windows too,
And soon was in the den of lions (a hungry looking crew).

Another king of olden day,
Made a statue all of gold;
And when men heard the music play,
They did worship and behold
The golden image the king had made, that stood nine stories tall;
For fire awaited every man who ignored the trumpet call.

"Oh, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego,
Shhh, now; serve his god.
Your Peers all bow down in a row.
The music they applaud."

When trumpets played, the three just stood, while all around bowed low;
Were thrown into a furnace, when they kept saying "no".

This next one's quite a different thing,
'Bout a donkey Balaam owned.
Balaam was his Boss -- his king.
Which poor donkey oft bemoaned.
Donkeys should obey, of course, and never speak a word;
And this donkey was a good one, the finest of the herd.

"Shhh, li'l donkey; walk straight ahead.
Ignore the angel of the Lord.
The Boss has kicking feet -- big staff;
Would kill you with a sword."

When the angel of the Lord appeared, that donkey bowed and spoke;
And Balaam beat him with his staff, so hard, it almost broke.

A giant is the next in line.
Goliath was his name.
The fear of him made Israel whine,
And David's Family did the same.
Though David said, "Let's take him on!", his brothers said, "Be still.
The youngest one should watch the sheep. Of you, we've had our fill."

"Shhh, now David. Your Family's right.
His spear weighs fifteen pounds.
It's sure that you will lose this fight.
He's conquered many towns."

But David faced him with a sling and loaded in one stone.
Goliath cursed and taunted, "Why boy, you're barely grown!"

In later days, a man named Paul
Was headed for a city;
Though he was warned by one and all,
"This won't at all be pretty!"
His Brothers In The Lord proclaimed, "In Jerusalem they'll bind you.
Stay safe with us. Don't you go. Three times we will remind you!"

"Shhh, now Paul. Do not preach THERE.
We weep as we demand it.
We're Brothers In The Lord. We care.
Don't preach, because they've banned it."

But at the Temple, he talked at length; said, "Jesus gave me life."
The soldiers came; crowds tried to kill (with riot and with strife).

Apostles in a prison cell.
An angel let them out.
The Sadducees then gave a yell
When God's Son they spoke about.
"OUR Religion makes it clear; this Name shall NOT be spoken.
You're causing us much trouble, by all the people you've awoken."

"Shhh, now Peter. Shhh, John too.
His Name you should not spread!
Religious Courts can kill you.
What good, twelve men, all dead?"

Though all were sorely beaten; though death seemed near at hand;
"It's God, not men, Whom we obey. As witnesses ... we stand."

Now, Daniel was not eaten.
The Three came out, un-charred.
That Donkey rose unbeaten.
Goliath fell down hard.
Paul went on for many years, preaching 'bout the Lord.
The Apostles were just getting started, despite the threat of sword.

Flash forward though, two thousand years...
As Christians in this nation,
It seems we have much smaller fears,
Than those who faced temptation.
"Religious freedom" seems to rule -- no flames to face, no riot.
No giants seem to walk this land -- no lions if we're not quiet.

But aren't we hearing more and more,
On rising wind and storm,
"Shhh, now" . . . louder than before,
Demanding we conform?
Don't we hear the Government -- even Family -- our Peers --
Religious Courts -- a Boss -- a Brother maybe -- whispering in our ears ...

"Shhh, now Christian. Walk in shame.
No longer shout it out.
Talk of love, but don't preach that Name.
That's NOT what it's about."

Author's notes:
(Story dialogue quotes that are based on Scripture are not intended to be word-by-word quotes; but instead, represent summaries/compilations of KJV Scripture passages and ideas, condensed into story shape and dialogue form.)
Daniel 6 Daniel and the Lion's Den
Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
Numbers 22:21-34 Balaam and his donkey
I Samuel 17 David and Goliath
Acts 21-22 Paul on the way to Jerusalem, and the riot.
Acts 5:12-42 The Apostles imprisoned, warned, and beaten.

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This article has been read 380 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/10
Your words were woven into a beautiful song. I could see Sunday School kids singing this. You did such a good job of taking familiar stories and putting them in verse.
Dana McReynolds02/26/10
This is awesome, great job!
Joan Campbell02/27/10
A very well crafted poem with a powerful message to listen to the Lord's voice and not the world's.

I hope you get acclaim for this, but even more importantly, I hope many read it and that God uses it to stir in all our hearts the need to stand courageously for Him! Thank you.
Catrina Bradley 03/01/10
Love the format and the tales told in rhyme. Your meter is very strong - I only stumbled on the two lines set apart with ---'s. Changing "even family" to "your family" would help the first line, but the 2nd needs more work. I'd change the dashes too - they broke the rhythm for me. Putting the Temptor's words in italics would be effective to set them apart a little. This is a good poem, entertaining, educational, and a strong message on standing firm in our faith. Great title, too! I hope you find a place to submit this!
Mona Purvis03/02/10
Dynamic voice. A lot going on with this entry. Love the tie-in to today. You preached a sermon.
You offer a fresh style of writing that is new to me in this challenge. I like it a lot.

Sarah Elisabeth 03/02/10
Wow. I'm not an expert on poetry, but I thought this was amazing. The correlation in each Bible story leading up to today's times was awesome.

Welcome to the Challenge!
Rachel Phelps03/03/10
Epic poem - great creativity and awesome format. When I read the other comments, I realized that all my suggestions had already been mentioned, so I'll simply say: well done!
Joan Campbell03/04/10
So glad you did well with this. It was my favourite this week. Congratulations!
Lisa Johnson03/04/10
I can tell that you worked very hard to get your rhymes, meter, and the message in sync with one another. Your hard work paid off, with an excellent entry that is well deserving of the level placing it earned. More than that... it is a very relevent lesson for all of us today, taken from some wonderful, and much loved Bible stories. Congratulations.
Carol Penhorwood 03/04/10
Congratulations, Ruth, this was great! I too love to tell the Bible stories in rhyme as you can see in my profile. I think this is a wonderful tool to use for children. Great job!