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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)

TITLE: Welcome to My Blog
By Noel Mitaxa
11/03/11


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As a preacher I enjoy feedback, especially when people have a roving microphone to use for questions or comments.

Sometimes my newspaper columns draw written feedback; but nothing so dramatic as for the preacher who was no stranger to controversy. One Sunday, when leaving for church, he saw an envelope in his mailbox. Pulling it out, he found it had no stamp or return address.

Inside was a folded sheet, which he opened to find a single word: “FOOL!”

Later, in the pulpit, he showed everyone the letter and read its contents, then declared: “I often receive anonymous letters, but never before has a correspondent signed his name and left no message!”

Starting a website opens me up to blogging feedback, which I’m finding is a different animal to a chat line with its signed-up members, for this feedback can come from anywhere on the planet. (I didn’t planet that way, but I can live with it!)

This blog relates to a letter I recently received - under my study door. It was signed (interestingly enough) by Joe Bloggs, a self-defined unbeliever. Joe Bloggs has long been one of those created anonymous names - like John Doe or John Citizen - which official agencies use to show how their forms or applications should be completed.

Joe’s letter was in reply to one of my newspaper articles. He wrote how a friend had suffered religious abuse, and dared me to include this fable in a future article.

“Jesus descended into hell after his death and set everyone free. The devil felt this was most unfair and asked what he was going to do. Jesus promised to send him all the self-righteous people, and his troubles would be over.”

My next article included Joe’s fable, and it continued as follows:

“I don’t know your friend’s experience, Joe. But I’ve also been gazumped by “good” people who enjoy making life a hell on earth for anyone who gets in their way; only to find God taking the pain on board and producing greater results than my broken dreams or their brutal fears could have ever realised.

“Could I suggest that God is closer than you think? Our strongest relationships reflect his nature in our midst; just like our hunger for fair play when innocent people suffer. If God did not exist, it wouldn’t matter what people did to us - good or bad.

“But sensing that it does matter is a clue that we have a special status in our world, which comes from God loving us. Through Jesus Christ, he knows what it’s like to be one of us, and to have suspicion, hatred and manipulation heaped onto him from the most moral people of his day.

“In his death he absorbed it all; so he could drain its full effects; and replaced it with the acceptance and forgiveness that he makes available for anyone to receive. So he can help us to break free when our past pain tries to compress our present, to deaden our dreams and to inhibit our effectiveness in our world.

“This mightn’t answer all your questions Joe, but I’d like to talk with you personally."


Please let me know how you might have answered Joe’s letter, and comment by NAME:

Steve 10/19: I think Joe is as arrogant as the self-righteous people he is complaining about.

Angela 10/22: Joe needs to repent for himself. His friend will not plead for him at the Last Judgement. Only Jesus Christ can do that, and only if Joe’s name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Winsome 10/25: I wonder if Joe is the one who has suffered, but who has invented “a friend” to cover for him.

Harvey 10/29 Joe has rejected God, so don’t waste time on him. For people who are open to believe, no argument is necessary, but for those who refuse to believe, no argument is good enough.

Marvin 10/31: Joe has a point, because Christians can get too caught up in seeking their own comfort instead of caring about others’ needs and feelings.

Kerrie 11/1 I think it’s sad that we can share our deepest thoughts by blogging on our computers, all the while ignoring whatever hurts our next-door neighbours might be going through.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/11
This was an interesting read- I liked that you started with a joke.

I haven't read many articles this week yet. Although I do suspect many will give an example of a blog. I did think it was quite clever to include the comments. It's a great insight into human nature.

Some of the sentences were hard for meto understand. I think if you tightened some of them up it would make easier reading.
For example this sentence: but nothing so dramatic as for the preacher who was no stranger to controversy.
Just a simple rewording would make it easier to understand. A preacher, who was no stranger to controversy, captivated his congregation with a dramatic story.

I liked the message you told. I think different people at different pointsin life will take something unique to them from this piece. This shows that the Holy Spirit is at work here.
Danielle King 11/04/11
Inspired and thought provoking!

The first paragraphs made me chuckle (reading the 'fools' letter from the pulpit.) The last paragraph summed everything up! I think you 'planneted' this entry around the topic well and with a fresh and original approach.

This is the first entry I've read so far but it's you again isn't it!!!
Theresa Santy 11/04/11
I too liked the joke about the fool, however, I thought that paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 were a little distracting from the main essay.

And I loved the main essay. If this is all true, comments included, I'm shocked and saddened. Can't these people see they are guilty of Joe's main complaint! (some of them, anyway). If the comments are fiction then I'd say you brilliantly painted a picture of, sadly, what all the Joe's of the world see.

Loved the message. The comments at the end were brilliant.
Beth LaBuff 11/08/11
Your preacher (with mailbox letter) was quite clever. Reminds me of Psalm 14:1

I love the strength of your answer to Joe Bloggs with, "Through Jesus Christ, he knows what it’s like to be one of us, and to have suspicion, hatred and manipulation heaped onto him from the most moral people of his day."  Your response to Joe Bloggs went beyond forms and applications, showing how life "should be completed" or made complete. The range of answers to your response was quite interesting, some thought-provoking and some a bit chilling. Great entry!
CD Swanson 11/09/11
Oh this was so good! Thank you! I loved the entire entry- it always makes me happy to see scriptures and Jesus in stories. Great job! God Bless~
Edmond Ng 11/16/11
Much truth about the kind of comments we sometimes get from our Christian blogs. It is sad at times comments from believers are just as hurtful, written without a compassionate heart. Your story illustrates well the need for us to be sensitive when giving comments. Thank you for sharing this.
Leola Ogle 11/17/11
Great devotional! Loved the scriptures! God bless!