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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: Sermon Material
By Sarah Elisabeth


“While they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open up to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” Our pastor looked up from his Bible and swept the congregation with his eyes. “This scripture speaks about the importance of preparedness. We do not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return, so we must always be prepared for His coming.”

Pastor Mark leaned forward with both hands on the pulpit. His smile was teasing. “I recently witnessed an amusing example of this when I visited the home of a couple from our church.”

I felt my stomach twist and Cynthia slid a little lower in the pew. She had caught on to the coming message as fast as I had.

Pastor Mark continued, “I won’t name any names, but let’s just say they haven’t been married for long.” A chuckle rippled through the congregation of less than two hundred. Cynthia’s head dipped down below my shoulder.

“I dropped by one evening and they invited me to stay for dinner. After the meal, the Mrs. offered me dessert. Well, you all know how much I watch my pie intake.” Pastor Mark patted his ample waist, triggering more laughter. “I politely refused. But when her husband decided to go ahead and have a piece of that sweet smelling homemade apple pie; well, I’m only made of flesh like the rest of you. So I changed my mind and asked for a piece too.”

Struggling to keep a straight face, Pastor Mark rested his elbows on the pulpit. I wondered if Cynthia was going to slide herself all the way to the floor.

“You would’ve thought I’d rolled a bowling ball down the middle of the table,” Pastor Mark said. “That sweet couple looked at each other and the Mr. finally ‘fessed up that there had only been one piece of pie left.” Pastor Mark waited for the laughter to settle down. “I believe I know of at least two people who will be prepared at all times for the coming of the Lord – and their pastor.”

After the service, I waited until we were in the parking lot before speaking.

“Well, at least he didn’t use our names.”

“Hmph! He didn’t have to, did he?”

“Aw, Cynthia, it wasn’t so bad. At least we don’t have to worry about him using the story for a sermon anymore.”

Cynthia stopped and twisted her mouth as she glared at me. I reached out and pushed her nose with the tip of my finger. She fought it hard, but a smile tickled her lips and she giggled. I put an arm around her as I reached to open the passenger door of our truck. The handle popped.

“Oops, guess I need the keys, huh?” I said as I dropped my free hand into my pocket. It was met with emptiness. I smiled at Cynthia as I reached into my other pocket. Same result.

A fingernail tapping glass froze me in place.

“Is that what you’re looking for?” I did not need to follow her finger to know where my truck keys were. I chuckled nervously. “Now, honey, everyone makes mistakes.”

“Hmph!” I knew the smile button trick wouldn’t work a second time.

A familiar voice saved me - sort of. “Cynthia, you forgot your Bible.”

We turned to see our pastor trotting toward us, holding out Cynthia’s Bible.

“Oh, uh, thank you, Pastor Mark.” The look on Cynthia’s face was priceless, but I knew it would cost my life to say so.

Pastor Mark looked from my sheepish smile to Cynthia’s scarlet face. “Everything all right?” He gazed past us to the truck. A knowing grin crinkled the corners of his eyes.

“Keys locked inside?”

Neither of us needed to reply. Pastor Mark cleared his throat. “I’ll go call a locksmith.” As our pastor walked away, the shaking of his shoulders confirmed we had again provided him with sermon material.

I tapped a finger on the leather cover of Cynthia’s Bible. “If you hadn’t left this…”

Cynthia cocked her head and batted her eyelashes at me. “We all make mistakes.”

“Hmph!” I said.

Cynthia reached up and pushed my nose. My grin preceded hers as I bent to smack her lips.

Let Pastor Mark turn that into sermon material.

*Scripture Reference Mathew 25:10-12 NKJV

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This article has been read 649 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard03/11/10
Oh boy, this is exactly what they were worried about after the pie incident. LOL something tells me Pastor Mark is going to be watching this pair for more cannon fodder... er, I mean sermon material.

I could hear the 'Hmphs' between Carl and Cynthia, but they were good natured 'Hmphs'.

A very creative way to present the topic, well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/11/10
This was great how you used a previous story for this challenge. It was fun remembering the first story and I enjoyed how the pastor turned the oops into a sermon. I wish he hadn't embarrassed the young couple, but it was a cute ending. Good job.
Joan Campbell03/14/10
Clever to use your newlywed couple again - aaah, the ups and downs of marriage! A fun read.
Carole Robishaw 03/14/10
Cute, it brought a smile. Okay, a grin. Hmmph.
Good job!
Leah Nichols 03/14/10
Oh great....is this what I have to look forward to? Dang it....
AnneRene' Capp03/14/10
This is adorable and very entertaining. You had me sliding and slinking right along with Cynthia! Love the pastors sense of humor too!
Connie Dixon03/14/10
Carol Slider 03/14/10
Like the first story, this was a lot of fun to read! I hope there's a part three. :) Good job.
Barbara Lynn Culler03/14/10
I really like the last line! Great story-should be a winner!
william price03/15/10
A very sweet, cute story. I liked the dialogue between the couple at the end the best. As a general rule I'm not a fan of beginning a story with scripture, but you seemed to pull it off and gave me direction soon enough introducing the pastor. Great job. Enjoyed the story. And thank you for the kind comment on my entry. God bless.
Pamela Kliewer03/15/10
Good story! How many times have I locked my keys in the car? Oy! We have that fixed now... :D I enjoyed this very much.
Catrina Bradley 03/15/10
Aw, this is cute! Just fun, sappy romance - and good for a smile.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/16/10
I enjoyed the view of the newlyweds; it reminded me of some days long ago.
Judy Wood03/16/10
I enjoyed this fun look at a sermon.I know preachers use their families lots of times for examples.Good job.
Jackie Wilson03/17/10
Both of these stories were fun to read, well-written with wonderful dialog, and cute as a grin button! Sigh! I'm a sucker for romantic comedy! Great work!
Beth LaBuff 03/17/10
LOL! I remember this couple (the poor dears). :) We are thoroughly entertained at their expense, but it seems they are becoming accustomed to that. :) Very nice work!
Edmond Ng 03/17/10
Life challenges and experiences are good materials for sermons and devotionals! All we need to do is not to do it at the expense of others. LoL! Interesting read and well written.
Mona Purvis03/18/10
I'm getting very fond of this couple. What fun she would be in a women's group. Give them a child...