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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Screen Printers
By Connie K Cameron


My sister, Carol and I decided to start our own business, screen printing T-shirts. We both have some artistic talent, so screen printing seemed like a good way to use that talent.

We started by making a very unprofessional looking flyer. It was 1983, and neither of us had a computer, so you can imagine how awful this flyer was. We mailed out about a dozen flyers to local businesses and surprisingly, one of the businesses called and placed an order.

We were excited, we could hardly wait to get started. At the art supply store, we bought a screen printing kit and an instruction booklet. When I think back, I’m amazed at how confident we were considering we had absolutely no idea as to what were about to do. We took the kit to my house and started by studying the instruction booklet. After reading and re-reading the entire booklet, we thought we had a good understanding of how to make the screen, which was the biggest part of it.

We estimated the it would take about an hour from start to finish. We followed each step, just as the instruction booklet had said and everything seemed to be going just right. There were many steps, mixing ingredients, coating a screen, putting it under a light for a certain amount of time, washing the screen and letting it dry. The screen was finished and we were ready to print our first T-shirt. We carefully lined the screen up on the shirt, added the ink and slowly dragged the squeegee across the screen. As we lifted the screen, to see our first printed shirt, we were both disappointed and discouraged to see that it hadn’t worked, not a drop of ink was on the shirt. Feeling very frustrated, we made screen after screen changing the process a little each time, finally after eight hours we had a screen that we could use.

We mailed out additional flyers, orders came in, and we had to make more screens. Knowing how hard it had been the first time, left us feeling anxious. But after many mistakes, we learned exactly what we needed to know to make a perfect screen every time. We found that we didn’t get a perfect screen by doing just one thing right, it was a very complicated process, and just reading the directions wasn’t enough to get it right the first time, or the second, or third, or the forth.

At the end of a year, we had mastered the complicated process of screen printing. We hadn’t done it by just reading the directions, but more so by hands on experience. We could have had those directions memorized, word for word and it wouldn’t have helped us to make a screen. Experience was the best teacher.

A month or so after we had gotten into the business, I remember meeting a lady who was also in the screen printing profession. I told her about all the problems we had making the first screen, and she told me that she had been making screens so long that she could probably make one in her sleep. I remember thinking, “Wow, I wonder if I’ll ever be like her?” At the end of two years, I felt as though I too could make a screen in my sleep!

Repetition, trial and error is what taught us what we needed to do each step of the way. Learning that way turned something very complicated into something easily done.

I have read the new testament, a few times. I have read most of the old testament, and heard pastors talk about the Bible most of my life. The Bible is Gods direction booklet for our life. Reading, studying and memorizing is important. The next step is trying to follow those instructions for a Christian life. We may have a hard time at first, just like Carol and I did when we tried putting the knowledge from reading into practice. But unlike Carol and I we have a teacher, a counselor the Holy Spirit, and with the Spirit’s help, I believe we can succeed. John 14:26, “But the counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

So read, study and learn the Bible, but also be hands on and you will triumph.

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This article has been read 316 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/31/13
I really enjoyed this devotion. I think you did a wonderful job of transitioning through real life and into the Bible's message.

The only thing I might suggest would be to do more showing than telling. An example would be instead of telling the reader that the flyer looks horrible, describe what it actually looked like. The lines sloped downward and the sizes of the letters ranged from normal to looking like they had been shrunk in a clothes dryer. That might not be a perfect example but I hope it shows what I mean.

I think you did a splendid job of writing on topic. I found myself smiling at the repetition. I think many people can relate to the characters and this article. I think the ending was perfect and it brought the story full circle while still showing your message and not sounding preachy. Great job.
Richard Hicks02/01/13
I really loved how you tied the Holy Spirit into your writing. we could never do anything without His leading and teaching us in all things. All in all very good writing!
Alicia Renkema02/01/13
I loved how you made the repetition "come alive" and jump off the page through the complex process of screen printing that you were sharing with the reader without even once using the word repeat, in any form until the end. Some genius there... I thought it was an engaging story and I enjoyed it! There was a section where you delineated the different steps in your screen printing process that I thought should have started off with a colon, while being followed by semi colon's, as opposed to commas. But I am just taking a refresher on some of those rules myself (ha). Also, the "N" in New Testament should be capitalized and same for the "Old Testament." I loved the special Bible message at the end, you made that work perfectly with the story; being hands on, and yet receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit!
Bonnie Bowden 02/02/13
This is a well thought out devotional. I also learn by trial and error, so I could really relate to the screen printing process.
C D Swanson 02/02/13
This was a different type of devotional. This was enjoyable and on topic. So nicely done. Thank you.

God bless~
Emily Ritter02/04/13
I like the specificity of all the steps it took for you to become successful. I agree with the first person who reviewed this; if you revise, try doing more showing than telling. Allow your reader to see things, taste things, smell things, and feel things so they more deeply experience your story. Thanks for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 6th in level one!