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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Like Living in a Goldfish Bowl (11/07/13)

TITLE: In the Valley
By Pamela Reed


“I can’t stand living in this valley. We have no privacy at all!” Neighbor’s homes were on the hills on both sides of us. Looking down, and letting us know what they notice each time they visit, was not acceptable! “Oh, yea, I saw you picking up the broken tree limbs from the storm about noon.” “Were you cleaning the barn at three o’clock? It sounded strange and I decided that must be what you were doing.” “Did you notice the horses playing about dinnertime? They were chasing the chickens across the pasture.”

Moving from the flat lands of the south, our neighborhoods were all basically at the same height. Since the lands were cleared to place the houses, the remainder of the forests gave us privacy from prying eyes. Not that we ever did anything wrong; we are law abiding citizens without any interest in causing problems for ourselves or anyone else. But since our move to the new location; this situation is – well, it’s just not right.

Out in the chicken coop one day, I was singing praises to the Lord. I love singing to the Lord, especially when I am in the process of dirty tasks such as cleaning the coop. I want God to know that I love Him ALL the time, not just when I am doing fun things.

A few days later, I was on our farm tractor tilling our future hay field. Twenty five acres of fallow ground was in the process of becoming good fertile ground and I was in my glory. As I took the tractor and tiller around and around the field, I glanced east to the beautiful hills that frame our land. Those hills were the reason that we chose this particular farm to purchase. We knew that we would never tire of the beauty made by God’s own hand. As I dwelt on the view and who placed it there, I once again broke out into singing praises to our Lord and savior. In the expanse of the hay field, God would be the one and only listener.

Back in the farmhouse that evening as I prayed and meditated, an idea struck like a bolt of lightning. Why couldn’t I use this farm’s weakness as its greatest strength? It is a fact that there is one Christian family on this street and that family is us. Since the neighbors look down from their hill to watch what we are doing several times each day, let’s give them some food for thought. Good food, good food that has the ability to change lives and turn hearts to our Father God.

So I let His challenge begin. As I went through the various farm chores of the day, I sang praises as loud as I could while staying in tune. I let my life and my song be a reflection of my faith. The joy of the Lord shone bright as I placed my candle so that it pointed in His direction for others to follow and find their way.

One neighbor family did. At church this past Sunday, she introduced me to a visitor as “This is my friend Pam. I wouldn’t be a Christian if she hadn’t set the example that I needed.” What a blessing to my ears! I was ecstatic the whole day.
Have I quit singing in our valley? No, we now have two Christian families on this road, but more families exist. Each person in each family is deeply loved by our Heavenly Father, so I will keep singing and praising His name as long as I have a voice.

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This article has been read 67 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 11/14/13
Great use of the topic and such a well told story of being a light wherever we are planted.

Well written, easy to follow and inspiring. One of my favs this week.
CD Swanson 11/15/13
Great job! I loved this well written and realistic story. It had values, messages, and wonderful suggestions throughout the entire piece.

I especially loved this crucial and influential message that held significant Biblical content and delivery: The joy of the Lord shone bright as I placed my candle so that it pointed in His direction for others to follow and find their way...
CD Swanson 11/15/13
Fantastic work!

God bless~
Don V. Standeford 11/16/13
Nice. Thanks for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/21/13
Congratulations on ranking 7th in your level! (You can find the highest rankings on the message board.)