The Official Writing Challenge
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04/13/06
Loved your "fish bones" article Jan. The parallel writing was great technique for comparing two vastly different attitudes. I was trying to work out whether Hugh Niven had ben Hieu Nguyen in the past, but I don't think so.

Best wishes for your writing.
Helen
04/13/06
I think I have decided which man I would rather be! A great comparison.
Well done! Isn't it so true that we in free countries take our faith so lightly, and those who are persecuted for it understand truely how great faith is.

I think this would have been a tad less confusing if the two men's names were more different, but I figured it out quickly.

Great job!
04/13/06
Very touching. My only critique is that I don't think that the italics work for the second man's story. Maybe keep them for the Bible verse, but leave them out the rest of the time. It caused a read bump for me.
Great job!
God bless, Karri
No confusion here - the parallel was impeccable. Very sobering and convicting story. I pray that if I'm ever put to the test, I would defend my faith as this gentleman did.
04/13/06
Great paralles! It all works for me! And I felt the structure, and writing, of the piece was perfect! Great stuff!
04/13/06
We have several "Nguyen" families in our area! Great folks!
04/14/06
Wonderful. No confusion here, great message for all of us 'spoiled' people. I really enjoyed this.
04/14/06
I endorse all of the above positive comments. A story that needs telling. Thank you
04/14/06
I loved this! Particularly the phrase, "His breath catches in his chest, and he swallows hard with the realization that he has sacrificed the temporary for the eternal." Wow - writing at its best. A sure contender.
What an excellent story this is! You did a fantastic job at writing in my opinion. I love the comparison of the two men; it shows just how "comfortable" we are in our society while people in other places are really put to the test.
04/15/06
Wow - the contrast between the two men was brilliantly executed. The Scripture passages about fulfilment were applied perfectly and the message came through loud and clear, yet the reader doesn't feel preached at. I love this piece.
i really enjoyed this article even though i got confused initially because the names were too similar. Very great lesson though, that we can find fulfillment and happiness wherever we find ourselves and that no matter how much we have, real joy comes from within. Thanks for your message.
04/15/06
Fulfillment? Hmmmmmm...perhaps it's in the scriptured footnotes. I did, however, read about faith, courage, two very opposite worlds, and a thoughtful lesson about freedom of religion that many of us take for granted; but fulfillment? Somehow it never came to mind...but then we laymen scrutinize the upperclassmen a little more because they are our Mentors. A well written story, however. Good job!
04/15/06
This immediately brought a big "ouch" to my mind. I've been wallowing in a bath of self-pity lately and your piece was yet another reminder of how little I have to complain about. Great work.
04/15/06
Wonderfully done! (I liked that the names were close). The struggle for fulfillment rests on each man's grasp of truth. There is no fulfillment when we operate under any guidelines not set forth by the Lord God.
04/16/06
Written with excellence! This is a powerful message for the church today. Very, very well done!
04/17/06
The choosing of the names is purposefully intentional. I like it. This is another winner. Where is level 5 already?
04/17/06
Jan... this was fabulous. You are such a wonderful writer with great range. You are my Faithwriter hero!

04/17/06
Wow what a comparison! One is dying for his faith while the other is denying it until he feels nothing at all. A well written story.
This was skillfully written, so I hesitate to comment, but I think I would have liked it even more if you had started with Hugh and then Hieu instead. That way, we would be left with the more satisfying life of Hieu in the end, rather than the empty feeling of Hugh's life. (but maybe that was the whole point. lol)Regardless, this was very well done. Great job. :)
Great treatment of 'fulfillment'! Yes, God is the master of the paradox for sure, and you've used it here so effectively! Great contrast. Intriguing title too. Fish=Ichthus=Faith perhaps? Yes, I like the effect of the similar names! Great story!
Masterfully done - and hits to the core of what fulfillment is (and isn't), namely heart-level relationship with the Lord. Excellent job - loved every word. :-)
Very well written. Excellent job.
Powerful stuff! This is wonderful. The contrast between the lives was so painful and poignant. Thank you. I love it.