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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

TITLE: Ups and Ins, Downs and Outs
By Marlene Bonney


“Wow! This technology is amazing,” I marveled while downloading the latest photographs of our grandchildren from my new computer, a combined Christmas present from our children.

Living in four different directions all across the country, we did not get to see each other all that often, so sharing family pics was the next best thing.

“Oh, look, Henry! Doesn’t Thad look just like his dad at that age?” the adorable quirky smile staring back at us as crooked as a lopsided crescent moon, “My goodness, Janie is almost as tall as her mother! I think we’ll have to exchange those fancy frayed jeans we just got for her—they’re probably much too short already. Although, maybe she’d want to wear them as pedal-pushers; I mean, capris,” I amended, remembering that clothing fads seemed to eventually evolve back into old styles with new names.

I painstakingly gathered up our latest photos, scanning and uploading them into the computer to send to Bradley, Serena and Gabriella in attached e-mail files. I hoped they would be duly impressed with my expertise, gained through much trial and error with several “how-to” books for dummies at my side.

“You go, girl!” I would congratulate myself at each new acquired skill set, an expression I had picked up from 15-year-old granddaughter, Ebony.

Generally, though, I was not fond of learning the nuances of uploading and downloading when it came to instruction manuals to our newest technological or electronic equipment purchases. But, much as I preferred the “antiquated” notion of physical booklets coming with new items, I had to admit that being able to download only the necessary pages I particularly was interested in, a definite advantage. Who reads all the terms and conditions or the ridiculous warnings taking up all that space anyway? Besides, I thought killing trees was unpopular today, “going green” the present trend.

My e-mails now completed with attached uploaded files, I absently brushed off the dusty keyboard with the proper brush when the timer buzzer on my cell phone rang.

“Time for my soap opera!” patting my husband’s hand as I made a none-too-graceful swan dive onto the couch in front of the TV. (Henry was known to joke that a three-alarm fire couldn’t keep me from my daily soap “fix.”)

I was smitten with the handsome lead actor and his suave demeanor, regardless of his adulterous, philandering ways and occasional foul language. This episode, however, was rather sordid and I jumped guiltily when my neighbor, Kathleen, casually stopped over to borrow my mixer. The final scene of the television episode still fresh on my mind, I was unable to focus fully on our conversation, until,

“MaryBeth, I know you go to church every week and that you must be a religious person. And, uh, I have this addiction I am trying to beat. Do you think you could help me with it? Maybe you could pray for me every afternoon at 4:00. That’s when Scott arrives here after his shift at the plant.”

“Scott, the guy who does your lawn?” now receiving my full, undivided attention.

“Well, yes, he does; but, also, we’ve kinda been spending moments alone together when Tony’s not around, if you get my drift.”

For once, I was shocked enough not to initially respond.

“MaryBeth, it’s SO romantic! Just like the soap opera you and I watch. I know it’s probably wrong, but. . .”

I prayed with Kathleen and after she went home, I did some real soul-searching. Was it only an hour ago that I was uploading and downloading family pictures? My heart raced when the implication hit home: Kathleen was uploading all those scenes from that sinful soap opera into her heart and eventually downloading them into her own life. And I could be in danger of the same thing if I continued watching these questionable behaviors and allowing unwholesome thoughts to jeopardize my faith.

Many times since when I am uploading and downloading on the computer, God has reminded me of that afternoon when I learned that what I allow IN will eventually come OUT.

THE BIBLE, Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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This article has been read 348 times
Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/02/11
I really enjoyed this. You went in the exact opposite direction than what I was expecting. The Bible verse really supports your message.

The only red ink I can offer is that some of the phrases didn't seem to fit with the voice of your story. I'm not quite sure that I'm able to explain exactly what I mean. An example would be--

the adorable quirky smile staring back at us as crooked as a lopsided crescent moon

That sentence just didn't flow as smoothly as other sentences did.

The message is wonderful and is so pertinent to the world today.
Dolores Stohler12/04/11
Excellent writing! It fits the subject matter so well yet manages to convey a message that all of us could benefit from. I'm a grandma also and I don't believe the temptations to sin were so great in the years when we were growing up. Our modern technology has brought about too much leisure time in which to indulge ourselves. My mother used to say,"idle hands are the devil's workshop." She kept me busy doing chores and providing me with lots of good books to read.
C D Swanson 12/11/11
Great job and great meaningful message...Thanks! I loved this. God Bless you~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/16/11
Congratulations for ranking 17th overall!