The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
07/12/12
This is certainly not your run-of-the-mill picnic story.
You added a nice twist. From my list of "Things I've Learned from Editors" there's one about starting a story with dialogue. It's not generally a good idea, although you did identify the person speaking.

Your conclusion was much stronger than your introduction, and I loved the message that was articulated in the final sentence and implied in the title.
07/13/12
Wow- this totally overwhelmed me...what a powerful story. Your message was deafening and touched my heart. Thank you.

God bless~
07/14/12
Good message here. Very good message! Thanks for sharing and welcome back!!!
This is a great story. So many think that being a Christian means your life is perfect but this piece shows that life is still filled with difficult times but God gives us strength to endure.

I had a bit of a trouble seeing which person was speaking and what was the MC's thoughts at times. Perhaps more action in between may have helped me. Though I know the word limits a lot of that.

You did a nice job of tackling the topic. The message is clear and one we even as Christians sometimes need to be reminded of. Good job.
07/14/12
Perfectly fits the topic and has a great message. Your POV character was well defined. Nicely done!
07/14/12
I'm glad he decided to go to the picnic! God's love shining in children backs up the words of love they speak. Great entry - I liked this one a lot.
Great way to show how Christians can have peace and happiness in difficult circumstances.
07/15/12
Nice writing! I like the way you went back and forth from dialogue to his thoughts. (Even though the format got messed up in the 2nd part, I could still follow it.) It's hard work to write something in all dialogue. I could feel the heat and sense the emotions. Great job.
07/15/12
It was interesting reading about a church picnic from the viewpoint of a nonbeliever. I appreciated the reminder that what we do and say as Christians can have a big impact on the watching world. I enjoyed your story.
07/17/12
Good message here for all of us. Sadly, the thoughts of this MC are often accurate when the spouse is not yet saved and has to attend church functions. A dear friend's father attended church with his wife, only to be greeted by an exuberant lady at the door, "I've been praying for you to escape the fires of hell now licking your legs." Think he ever wanted to return to that church? Your story is nicely done and carries a powerful message.
07/18/12
Clever characterising of opinions here, though I found the dialogue slightly harder to follow once the comments were all placed in italics. Overall, a very thought-provoking entry.
07/18/12
Very creative.

I did find it a little difficult to follow in the beginning, not sure who was talking, but once I got the gist of it, it was an interesting read. About halfway through you italicized the whole thing, so it threw me off a little again.

I do like the message, but I also wonder if it painted an overly peachy view of Christians. Yes, we can have peace and joy in our difficult circumstances, but sometimes, even when God is carrying us, we're not always happy and smiling.

I say this as a person who just lost their "Christian" father-in-law to cancer a few weeks ago. I relate to the struggles spoken of in your piece, as well as the peace that only God can bring.

You did mention "real pain" in your mention of the twin sister with terminal cancer, but I would venture to guess that she would have had tears as she spoke those words. She may have smiled and been a little carefree before and after, but the pain of her situation would have been felt by everyone there as she spoke it.

I guess what I'm saying is that while your story had a wonderful message, I wonder how "honest" it really was.

Having said that, I totally understand and agree with the intent of your message. I have prayed often lately that unsaved people in my husband's family would be ministered to by the peace God had so obviously placed on the Christians in the family.

I love your closing line. Very clever!