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

TITLE: Hey, How Did That Snake Oil Get in My Program?
By James Brown


“Hey Ken, what ya working on?”

“I’m trying to connect to the server, Roger. I’m close, but can’t quite get it.”

“Many believe there is no server.”

“Yeah? Not me. It exists – I just need time to prove it.”

“Have you ever heard about the Mega-Server?”

“Not really … just bits and pieces.”

“In the beginning, two earthbound computers connected to the Mega-Server via a secure link. Daily it downloaded updates while the computers uploaded data collected the day before. Perfect scenario … until the incident.”

“What? A virus? Worm?”

“Worse. Snake Oil. They accessed a forbidden program which caused the Mega-Server to sever the link and withdraw further into space.”

“How’d the computers survive?”

“Their Operating System still functioned as did the programs stored on their hard drives. This allowed them to replicate themselves, producing the millions of computers we have today – each one still missing the connection to Mega-Server.”

“So where does that leave us?”

“Lost. The Master Programmer chose to save us by sending a perfect computer with a fully functioning secure link to the Mega-Server.”

“That’s great! Where is this ‘super computer’?”

“People don’t like perfection, even in computers, so they formatted the hard drive and shut it off.”

“How could they do that? Didn’t they understand?”

“Some did, but couldn’t stop it.”

“So that was the end?”

“Not really. Three days later, the computer rebooted itself and reconnected with the server utilizing an ultra- secure link. Thereafter, it returned to the Master Programmer to become the firewall for the Mega-Server.”

“Doesn’t surprise me. If someone broke my computer, I’d take it away so they couldn’t hurt it again.”

“More important though, the computer left behind a code.”

“What kind of code?”

“One that allows any computer to reconnect to the Mega-Server.”

“Hey, that’s great … but wait a minute. If this is true, how come I’ve never heard it before?”

“In his infinite wisdom, the Master Programmer delegated that task to his followers. Sadly, we often fail to share out of fear or embarrassment.”

“Oh … hey, does that mean you’re connected?”

Roger smiled. “Sure does.”

“Tell me how to connect. Give me the code.”

“I thought you only needed a little more time to figure it out.”

“I do, but if you know the code I won’t have to go through all that trouble.”

“I can’t just give you the code Ken.”

“Oh I get it. I should have known there’d be a price tag. Okay, how much?”

“You don’t understand. It’s free. The Master Programmer offers it as a gift because of his Super Computer. You must realize you can’t do it on your own … and that you don’t deserve it. This isn’t about making a simple connection, rather it’s a total transformation of your life.”

“This is heavy stuff. Exactly what happens when you enter the code?”

“The connection is completed and the Master Programmer sends an immediate download of a new Operating System through the Mega-Server – millions of gigabytes transferred, set up and operating in an instant.”


“You got that right. An added bonus is an email account that lets you upload data to the server at the speed of light. No waiting days for your mail to be opened.”

“That sounds great, but do you automatically know how to use the new system?”

“Not exactly. The Master Programmer could have included that in the program. Instead, he provided a manual for us to study. Daily instruction from his handbook shows us how to get the most out of the program … but there is a problem.”

“What’s that?”

“Remember the snake oil that infected the Operating Systems?”

“Yeah? So what? When the hard drive is formatted to install the new Operating System, the oil disappears, as does its influence.”

“The hard drive isn’t formatted. We now have two Operating Systems on one computer and must choose which one to use.”

“We’d be stupid to use the old one.”

“Of course, but old habits die hard. It’s surprising how strong a pull the old system has on us. Fortunately, the day is coming when the hard drive will be formatted, leaving only the new Operating System.”

“Hey I want that. Do you think I can have the code?”

“If you’re willing to let the Master Programmer transform your life and enable you to battle the snake daily.”

“You bet I am!

“Okay, open your browser and type …”

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This article has been read 409 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anne Warden12/01/11
Very good analogy. You've included all the essential elements. I really enjoyed this.
Carole Robishaw 12/01/11
Great piece! Loved the analogies.
Danielle King 12/04/11
This is a clever analogy and fits the topic perfectly. Nice job!
C D Swanson 12/07/11
Ingenious way of presenting the topic. Good job - I really liked it. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/14/11
Simply said Brilliant. I can't think of one other thing to say!
Edmond Ng 12/15/11
An excellent approach to putting across the message. It's like how the gospel message is conveyed by C S Lewis in his first written book of the Narnia series. I hope this analogy will help some of us think more creatively how we can bring God's message to pre-believers. I've enjoyed the read. God bless.
Danielle King 12/15/11
Congratulations on placing 3rd James. Well done!
Anne Warden12/15/11
Congratulations, Jim.
C D Swanson 12/16/11
Congrats on your win. God bless~
Ebony Murdoch12/19/11
Congratulations, Jim!! Great job!!