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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)

TITLE: Once Upon A Time
By Linda Miller


Beginnings are the necessary start of a story. When a story starts evolving it’s the beginnings that give it the push it needs to move forward. The middle and end of a story is essential too, but the beginnings are what gets’ me involved. There is usually challenge and adventure waiting just beyond those now-famous words, “Once Upon A Time.” As a young girl I would sit enthralled as I listened to stories about dragons, and knights in shining armor, and damsels in distress. One day our children might here a story that goes something like this.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a king. His name was King Sad Huey. He was a very mean king who wanted all his people to bow down and serve him. He had a big, wicked dragon that helped terrorize his subjects. Together they ruled the kingdom with hatred and ruthlessness. His subjects were really frightened of him and his dragon. They had no peace or joy. King Sad Huey was mean because he had never met Jesus.

Along came a king from a great kingdom overseas. His name was King Happy Bushberry. He wanted to help the people and make things better in King Sad Huey’s kingdom. He was in a position to help so he did. He sent his trained troops into battle to get rid of the mean king and his dragon.

King Happy Bushberry knew he had Jesus on his side. He had met Jesus and knew He would help his troops fight the good fight. But things weren’t easy. The battle was long and hard. People in his own kingdom started talking about him and saying mean things and wondering why he was helping another kingdom so far away when their own kingdom had problems. But King Happy Bushberry knew that he had to do what he could to help. He knew everyone deserved to live happy, peaceful, joyful lives free from terror and fear.

One day during the battle King Happy Bushberry found out that the mean king was captured. He had gone underground to try to escape but they found him anyway. King Happy Bushberry thought to himself that now the subjects in that kingdom could be happy and find some peace and joy.

But wait . . . what was wrong?

Oh dear, King Happy Bushberry had forgotten all about the dragon. That dragon was still terrorizing the people and he had to stop that big, wicked fire-breathing dragon. Alas, the fighting wasn’t over. Too many subjects in the kingdom were still frightened of the dragon. Too many didn’t know Jesus was on their side and willing to help. How was King Happy Bushberry going to get the word out? How could he help the people understand that Jesus wanted to know them and help make them into a strong, happy kingdom? He called upon all the good people in his kingdom that had met Jesus and asked for help. “Please pray for the people in this kingdom,” he said. “They need your prayers and your mercy now more than ever.” And the good people in King Happy Bushberry’s kingdom did just that – they prayed and believed that God would begin to make a difference in that kingdom so far from theirs.

King Happy Bushberry had to keep his troops in that far away kingdom for the sake of the people longer than he wanted to. With the future looking mighty dim, he worked hard to help them. He continues to do that to this very day.

The End

I would have liked to end this story with a happy ending but I can’t. This story has not ended yet. Whether you agree or disagree with the events taking place in Iraq and the Middle East I hope you support our Commander In Chief, President George W. Bush. He has a large responsibility on his shoulders and needs our prayers daily, as well as the country of Iraq and Middle East countries. I pray that a happy ending will come soon.

Father, please continue to bless this great country we call America as You have done from the beginning. God please help Iraq and the Middle East countries. Help them to find the peace and joy only You can give. May they find salvation in Your Name soon. In Jesus name, Amen.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Buchanan06/07/04
wow thats what i call a piece of literature.
Dian Moore06/07/04
This reminds me of that period in time where nursery rhymes reflected the goings on at court. Brilliant use of "fairy tale" to bring to light the battle still being fought. Good job - but watch out for typos - there's a couple that slipped by. I still enjoyed the story, though.
Kenny Paul Clarkson06/07/04
Interesting story.

It's seems fear of the dragon was the great danger; not the dragon itself.

Well done!
L.M. Lee06/08/04
I agree, we need to support our president.

I prayed for the previous president...even though I disagree with practically everything he did. He still deserved our prayers.
Mary Elder-Criss06/10/04
THis was definitely different. It really captured me, and was an important word to share. Thanks for reminding us of the neccessity to pray for our President and all involved. Superb.
Phyllis Inniss06/11/04
I like the fairy tale angle and the surprise that it reflected true events. All leaders need our prayers to bring about peace even in other lands.
Gary Sims06/12/04
Linda - I have been struggling with what to say about your article. I pray that what comes next is an accurate representation of what God has placed on my heart and that it is not simply a narrow-human perspective.

I am a science-fiction/fantasy/fable nut. I think these are great genres for delivering God's message. However, I felt this article was too transparent. To me, it was as though it were a great masterpiece painting having all the potential to deliver a powerful message but didn't have enough paint on the canvas to cover the paint-by-numbers pattern lying beneath.

I think my real problem is in regards to the dangers inherent in linking God's wonderful word to politics. God did not create governments and nation-states. These are products of man's endeavors. As soon as we make the assumption that God is supporting one nation-state over another we begin fulfilling our own self-righteousness and start using God’s word to justify our actions instead of listening to God for direction. This was the primary mistake of the Crusades.

More importantly, however, an article based on political points of view will alienate at least 50% of your readership in the very first breath. In that alienation, God's message within your article is completely lost. It only reaches and reinforces those readers who already agree with you. It doesn’t take seekers and wonderers any closer God. I think the most important aspect in Christian writing, the question we must ask ourselves with each page of written word we create, is this: Have we grown anyone closer to Christ with these words? If, instead, we have created barriers we are doing a disservice to our craft and to Christ.

If this were my article to write, I would rewrite it in such a way that it could be universally applied to any number of situations and let the reader draw the conclusions as to where it is most meaningful to them. Please take these words in the spirit of Christian love and fellowship they are intended. I pray that somewhere within them there is something Christ will use to help you become a stronger writer for His purpose. - Gary
Linda Miller06/12/04
To Gary and anyone else who may have his view as well: If all we ever wrote about (beginners and seasoned writers as well) is what made people smile and get the warm fuzzies then why bother? I like smiles and warm fuzzies too, but I also like meat with my milk. I like to stretch people's thinking and I'm glad, Gary, that you thought about what I wrote before you critiqued it. That means my objective was met. Thank you to all who commented on this article. As a beginner, I know I don't know enough to say everything right, but I'm glad there are people on Faithwriters who are willing to encourage and expound on what I've said. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Sharon McClean06/12/04
Fantastic article. Jesus said, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'?"
Julie Pisacane06/14/04
We are to pray for the leaders of our nations!! This was well presented and I applaud you on your creative writing style that speaks of a message of great importance. Keep writing ,Linda and always write from your heart.

May the Lord continue to richly bless you with this special writing talent. Julie Pisacane