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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Ice Brothers
By Tim Pickl


"Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer
is overcome by some sin, you who are godly
should gently and humbly help that person back
onto the right path. And be careful not to fall
into the same temptation yourself.
Share each other’s burdens,
and in this way obey the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

"The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again."
Proverbs 24:16a (NLT)

+ + +

crack-CRACK! swoooOOOSH!

Blaring from the television was the exciting end of a rerun of a close National Hockey League game.

Ice hockey is a way of life 'up nort': it's passed down from generation to generation. But for Ernie and Jeff--originally natives of Kentucky--ice hockey was a new thing!

"Let's get out there and try it!" Ernie said, pointing at the TV.

Ernie's brother Jeff heartily agreed, "Yeah--it can't be all that hard!"

Pulling on boots and coats, the brothers jumped up and ran out of the house toward their new friend Todd's house. Todd promised he would take them to the local ice rink for the neighborhood hockey game. If the brothers could skate, they could join the game.

Todd promised.

The sun reflected mercilessly off of fresh fallen Minnesota snow. Ernie and Jeff squinted their eyes while they zipped up their coats, half-running, half-hopping down the street.

Todd met them in front of his house. He was an older boy. Ernie was almost 10, Jeff was only 6--but Todd was 17 at-the-time. The younger boys liked Todd because he could play hockey like a champ, hunted elk in Canada with his dad, and most important of all--Todd could drive.

A big, loud truck!

"You guys ready?"

"Yes sir!" The brothers replied, almost in unison.

"I have your skates right here--these used to be mine."


"Sweeeet... Can we put 'em on right now?"

"Yes, you can put 'em on--on the way--'cause we're runnin' late. They should both fit okay." Todd smiled, and helped the brothers into the truck. Todd turned the key and the big truck roared to life, and sped off toward the ice rink.

"This truck is 'the bomb', Todd!"

Chuckling, Todd almost yelled back over the noise, "Yeah, it's been called worse!"

At the park, Ernie and Jeff gingerly shuffled like two penguins toward the rink. On the ice, boys of all sizes skated back and forth, like a complex choreographed dance routine.

They never skated into each other.

The boys practicing on the ice were mostly silent. The only evident sounds in the gentle winter wind were the crack-CRACK of hockey sticks as they lunged for the pucks, and the swoooOOOSH! of skates when they stopped.

Shaved ice covered the rink from all of the skating.

"This ain't so bad--" Ernie bravely said, stepping out on the crumpled edge of the ice.

Jeff followed him, then moved further onto the smooth area of the ice.

"Yeah, this is gonna be--whoa!" Jeff was cut off as he flipped, landing squarely on his back.

"Jeff--are you okay--" Then Ernie slipped sideways, joining him.

They looked around and then at each other.

Then they both started laughing.

Todd watched the whole thing, laughing with them. Then, he felt guilty. "Okay-okay you guys. You're my friends....and I don't want you gettin' hurt." He helped them up. "I'm gonna teach you the right way."

"But Todd--" Jeff protested.

"But nothin'!" Todd led them off of the ice. Then, just like his dad did for him, Todd, taught the boys:

"Be careful, but step out onto the ice first, without ice skates...and just slide around with just your shoes on...so you get a feel for the ice. Like this... Remember--you WILL fall. But the key is to never give up. You will probably need the help of a friend, but get back up and try again."

"What happens if I fall again after that?" Ernie asked, worried.

"Get back up--"

"--and try again!" Jeff blurted.

"You got it! Now try it..."

+ + +

Prayer: "Father, please help me to be humble enough to know when something
new You are leading me into may not be as easy as it looks.
Help me take the small steps first, and please send compassionate
friends my way to help me WHEN I fall or fail.
Help me have a winning attitude and to get back up to fight, again and again!
In Jesus' Name."

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This article has been read 1111 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw01/24/08
I like this story tucked inside a devotional. Good illustration of the topic with grace sprinkled in....
Holly Westefeld01/24/08
I enjoyed this devotional. You picked a great subject for the topic!
Jan Ackerson 01/24/08
Super illustration of the proverb.

Only a few minor things that you might want to change: avoid exclamation points in the narrative, and "at the time" need not be hyphenated.

I could almost hear the sounds of the skating and the hockey sticks. Very nice.
c clemons01/27/08
Nice devotional for children, good job.
Jan Ackerson 01/28/08
I've already commented, but I just stopped by to add: your avatar is the cutest thing I've ever seen!
Sally Hanan01/28/08
You had some good descriptions and humor in this fun devotional. Great title too!
James Dixon01/30/08
I always have to count my fingers when I think about ice skating.

This a great intergenerational devotional- an all too rare a thing. Well done.
Sara Harricharan 01/30/08
Ice brothers-what a good title. I liked how you wove the lesson/topic in with learning to skate. Reminds me of teaching little kids to skate-without crashing into the stero set! Nice job. ^_^
Beth LaBuff 01/30/08
What a neat devotional with a lot of wisdom. It is perfect for pre-teens. Great work on this.