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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: Zolphares, Shirtones, and Other Common Things
By Gerald Shuler


Oh, my, how my mind wanders... even before I begin recording the incredible things God’s angel showed me. It’s the Zolphares, I think, that captured my memory the most. No. Not the Zolphares, it was the Shirtone Display.

Sorry. I forgot to record. Let me begin again.

All I did was innocently thank God for giving me a complete understanding of His kingdom for my Sunday School lesson next Sunday. I was thanking Him. That’s all. And what does He do?

Zip, Zap, Zowie...

He sends an angel to straighten out my wrong thinking. One second I was praying like a good little Christian should and the next...


And then...

“Fear not, Casey Winthrop. The Lord has heard the desire of your heart.”

Huh? I wasn’t desiring any desires at the moment. I was just thanking God.

“You thanked him for complete understanding.”

Ummm.... yep.... as stated clearly, that’s what I had done

“Yet you still do not fully understand. It is a thing too great for carnal minds to envelope. I am here to give you a glimpse of what you will not comprehend.”

Somehow that didn’t sound like the most productive approach, but, who am I to say.


Suddenly I wasn’t in my office anymore. I was in my wife’s hobby room, looking at one of her 1/10 scale doll’s houses that she had just finished building. I looked at the angel and he just pointed to the little house. Okay. I played along. I looked at the doll’s house. It wasn’t quite finished, but still, it had an incredible realism. Every time I was passing by this room my wife would always grab me and have me look at her latest work of art, so, of course, seeing it now was something of a redundancy as far as heavenly revelations go. I’d already seen it.

“Do you see the Kingdom of God in this doll’s house?”

Huh? Okay, I just figured out how dense I must be. It was a doll’s house. It didn’t even have churchy things in it... not even a picture of Jesus on the wall. How was that like the Kingdom of God?


Now I was floating in outer space, looking at good ol’ Terra Firma, Mother Earth. It never even crossed my mind to ask how I was breathing up there, but, you know, God must have some neat tricks up his sleeve.

“Do you see the Kingdom of God in your home planet?”

I gotta admit, I could see it better from this orbital view than I could looking at the doll’s house. This vision was a real eye opener. Really pretty.


Lights started flashing and strange sounds filled my head. Bubbles of all different shapes and sizes floated gracefully amid the lights. I had no idea where I was or why I was here. This place was like nothing I would have ever even imagined. So I asked if this was heaven.

“This is only one of many dimensions God has created. This is the Zolphare Dimension. Do you see the Kingdom of God in the Zolphare Dimension?”

Gettin’ closer all the time. As far as I knew, this WAS the Kingdom of God.


I was beginning to feel a little tipsy, what with all the zooooping. Now I was standing in front of a huge display of... well, I can’t rightly say what it was a display of, but I was pretty sure it was a display.

“Do you see the Kingdom of God in this Shirtone Display?”

Believe it or not, I was actually starting to understand what the angel was trying to show me. I understood how my prayer had been mis-stated. My pride had me convinced that I had studied for the Sunday School lesson long enough for a complete understanding of God’s Kingdom. Truth be known, I had never understood His Kingdom at all.

He created everything, from the materials my wife used to “create” her doll’s house to things I know nothing about. There are dimensions and creations that man will never have the ability to discover, but it is still a part of God’s Kingdom. A kingdom is subject to its King. So every created thing is subject to God and is a part of His Kingdom. Time, space, strange dimensions.... all God’s Kingdom.


I was back in my study and the angel was gone.

I wonder if any of this really happened.

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This article has been read 1106 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shirley McClay 03/19/09
Oh.. what an exciting story. I love when my brain can open up and think of God as being outside human dimensions. Doesn't happen often! Thank you!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/21/09
Very creative and with an excellent message.
Jim McWhinnie 03/23/09
Such a daring leap of imagination.

Somehow you presented rather exotic material in a very readable way.

Well-done, well-done indeed.
Teresa Lee Rainey03/24/09
This is so very fun to read, and what a message! I could clearly see your mc zooooping around. Your discriptions were very vivid. Again. . . WHAT A MESSAGE!
Christina Banks 03/24/09
I was beginning to feel tipsy along with your mc :)

Well done. I often wonder why we think that we have God all figured out. This was a great piece! Thanks for making us think outside of our human experience.
Mona Purvis03/24/09
I ZOOOOOPD right along with you. Felt a little like I had been spinning around and then tried to walk straight.
Interesting. Got my attention. Young, creative.
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
Very unique approach to the topic. You made a "complicated" issue so simply. I really enjoyed reading this--great job.
Jan Ackerson 03/24/09
Wildly creative, and a rollicking fun read! Loved this!
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
Wonderfully imaginative. This should remind us all that we cannot put God in our own little "box". Good job!
Joanne Sher 03/24/09
Those sound effects - and that tone - are WONDERFUL. Such a fun entry.
Carol Slider 03/24/09
What a great reminder of how little we know and comprehend of God's Kingdom. Well done!
Karlene Jacobsen03/24/09
I don't understand it is an understatement in my life. You took an incredibly complex topic and brought it to my understanding, thank you.
Diana Dart 03/24/09
This was seriously deep, yet totally light enough to read and reread with complete enjoyment. Fantastic handle on the topic (and WOW, so creative - where on earth did you think of these "common" things?)
Norma-Anne Hough03/25/09
Very creative you certainly zapped me into your story!
Well done.
Norma-Anne Hough03/25/09
Sorry meant to also thank you for your comments on my article. Much appreciated.
Yvonne Blake 03/25/09
Whew! I'm dizzy with all that zooming around!
Very creative and interesting!
Sharon Kane03/25/09
Fantastic imagination! You made me feel small without feeling bad about it.
This is the kind of message I always want to give to the JWs when they try to wrap God in a box and hand Him out in neat little packages - only I never can find words to describe the indescribable...
Very well done indeed.
Lyn Churchyard03/26/09
Gerald, you are certainly not going backwards in your writing quality! This was creative, fun and well written.
Catrina Bradley 03/26/09
Wonderful concept for this topic. I like the "sound effects", and the humor was just enough - you added lightness without belittling the deeper meaning of your article.

Itty-bitty red ink: "envelope" is a noun, "envelop" was the word you meant. And I think the ending would have been stronger if you stopped after the last "zooooop". The last two lines feel tacked on.

I like the way you start, tho. I can sense the MC wanting to blurt out the whole thing, then having to back up. The voice is good, very personable and "real".