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Friday, September 30, 2011

Smart Thoughts

This is probably a little silly, but someone sent this to me years ago, and I kept it. I don’t know who the original compiler is:

I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.

I had amnesia once... or twice.

They told me I was gullible... and I believed them.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to edge his car onto a freeway.

Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

One nice thing about egotists: They don't talk about other people.

A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.

I used to be indecisive. Now, I'm not sure.

What's another word for thesaurus?

If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales? (I have heard Coach Lou Holtz say this.)

Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off.

Is it my imagination, or do Buffalo wings taste like chicken?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My All Time Favorite Joke

            Okay, the following is my all-time favorite joke. I have updated to reflect current technology. If you are an after-dinner speaker, it is guaranteed to get you a laugh. You're welcome:

            A guy goes to the gates of heaven where he meets St. Peter. St. Peter says to him "God has looked at your book of life and you are welcome in heaven under one condition" 
           The man says, "What's that?"
            St. Peter says, "You must spell the word 'Love'." So the guy does and he is let into heaven.
            As he gets in, St. Peter's cell phone goes off with a text message. He tells the man to watch the gate until he returns, and reminds him that he must ask whoever comes to spell the word.
            Next thing you know, the guy’s wife shows up at the gate and he asks her what she is doing there?
            She says that on the way home from the funeral, there was an accident and she died. The husband says, “Alright, but you do have to spell one word first before you come in to heaven.”
            She asks, "What's the word?"
            The guy says, "Spell ‘Czechoslovakia.’"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prayer Requests

            Someone sent this to me years ago. I got a kick out of it:

Lord, help me not to be a perfectionist [did I spell that correctly?].

God, help me to finish everything I sta

God, help me to keep my mind on one th - look, a bird - ing at a time.

God, help me to do only what I can and trust you for the rest. But it would help if you put that in writing.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


           A preacher named Tom Harguess wrote a bulletin article a couple of decades ago that I think captured our struggle with affluence. Here is a portion of what he wrote:

            While holding a gospel meeting in Gallup, New Mexico, I began visiting with a lady of the congregation, who had some time ago read an old book on the sinking of the Titanic. It makes you take focus on what is really important in life.
            On April,14 1912, at 11:40 P.M., the unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg. It sank about 2:20 A.M., and the S.S. Carpathia arrived on the scene to receive survivors at 4 A.M. At the time of the collision there were a total of 2340 on board. Only 745 of that number were rescued.
            What is it to a man who is about to die, to know that there is at hand on the Titanic 3 electric elevators, squash courts, Turkish baths, a hospital with an operating room, private promenade decks, Renaissance cabins, a palm garden, a darkroom for photography, the tapestry of an English castle, and a dinner service of 10,000 pieces of silver and gold.
            In that midnight crisis the one thing needful was not provided, where everything was supplied. The one inadequacy was the lack of lifeboats!
            In our modern world we have many luxuries. The finest homes, the finest automobiles, the finest clothing, the finest food money can buy; many different toys to amuse us. What many don’t have is security of life. A knowledge that heaven awaits us.                                        
           Be careful when you surround yourself with things and leave off caring for your spiritual welfare. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26).

            Well said, Tom. What are our priorities of life?

The Rat and the World Series

         Lou Gerard was a cameraman for NBC. One night, he was standing behind his camera in back of the scoreboard at Fenway Park in Boston. NBC was broadcasting game six of the 1975 World Series between Cincinnati and Boston.
         The game had gone into extra innings. Lou heard something squeaking in the dark shadows. He looked for his flashlight; shining the light, he spotted the biggest rat he had ever seen.
         His director, Harry Coyle, called to him on his headset, “I want you to follow the flight of the ball if the batter hits it.”
         Petrified, Lou called back on his headset microphone, "Harry, the biggest rat in the world is in here with me. He is as big as a cat. I don't know if I can move the camera.
         Coyle asked, "What are you going to do?"
         Lou replied, "Maybe, I can just stay on the batter and see what happens."
         And he did.
         What followed became one of the most iconic television images in history. The batter was the Red Sox’s Carlton Fisk. Fisk hit a game-winning home run, and Gerard’s camera captured Fisk pleading with the ball to stay fair.
         Sometimes, our best work is a serendipity of our adversity.

Source: THE LONG BALL by Tom Adelman

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Marine Who Had it All

            The following story was retold by Alan Smith. Alan was preaching in North Carolina when he wrote this story back in the 1990s:

            A young Marine and his commanding officer board a train headed through the mountains of Switzerland.  They can find no place to sit except for two seats right across the aisle from a young woman and her grandmother. 
            After a while, it is obvious that the young woman and the young soldier are interested in each because they are giving each other "looks."  Soon the train passes into a tunnel and it is pitch black.
            There is a sound of the smack of a kiss followed by the sound of the smack of a slap. When the train emerges from the tunnel, the four sit there without saying a word. 
            The grandmother is thinking to herself: "It was very brash for that young soldier to kiss my granddaughter, but I'm glad she slapped him." 
            The commanding officer is setting there thinking:  "I didn't think the young Marine was brave enough to kiss the girl, but I sure wish she hadn't missed him when she slapped and hit me!" 
            The young woman was sitting and thinking:  "I'm glad the soldier kissed me, but I wish my grandmother had not slapped him!" 
            The young Marine sat there with a satisfied smile on his face.  He thought to himself:  "Life is good.  When does a fellow have the chance to kiss a beautiful girl and slap his commanding officer all at the same time!" 
            It is difficult to know exactly what is happening in the dark (as shown by three of the four characters above).  There's no light by which to gain a proper perspective.  Walking in darkness can be especially dangerous.  It's not surprising that the apostle John frequently used the images of light and darkness to describe our walk with God.
            "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1:5-7).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reds or Greens?

            Several years ago, Gene Brown shared a story that conveys the idea of how insidious the sin of prejudice is:

            Two apples up in a tree were looking down on the world. The first apple said, "Look at all those people fighting, robbing, rioting -- no one seems willing to get along with his fellow man. Someday we apples will be the only ones left. Then we'll rule the world." 
            Replied the second apple, "Which of us -- the reds or the greens?"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Born Again

            Legend has it that an obscure man had his death mistakenly noted in his local newspaper. The “deceased” hurriedly visited the editor to protest.
            The editor responded, “I’m awfully sorry, and it is too late to do much about it. The best thing I can offer for you is to put you in the 'Birth Column' in tomorrow’s paper, and give you a fresh start.”
            I think that is what God does for us:

3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. 4 When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life (Rom. 6:3-4.) NCV-Emphasis mine

Story Source: Edmund Fuller

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Were Man to Become a Dog

            Many years ago, C. S. Lewis wrote words that imaginatively captured the challenge of God becoming a human:
            Lying at your feet is your dog. Imagine, for the moment, that your dog and every dog is in deep distress. Some of us love dogs very much.
            If it would help all the dogs in the world to become like men, would you be willing to become a dog? Would you put down your human nature, leave your loved ones, your job, hobbies, your art and literature and music, and choose instead of the intimate communion with your beloved, the poor substitute of   looking into the beloved's face and wagging your tail, unable to smile or speak?
           Christ, by becoming man, limited the thing, which to Him was the most precious thing in the world; his unhampered, unhindered communion with the Father.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Cow Climbed up the Ladder

            Carol Podemski wrote several years ago about an event that occurred when her son was five years old. Carol was showing him around her grandfather's farm, “pointing out the hard work and skills it once took to farm the land.
            When they entered the cow barn, she writes, “I gazed up at the long, handmade ladder to the loft and explained that that was where my grandfather had kept the hay to feed the cows. I was delighted at the impression this seemed to make, until my son   remarked, ‘I bet it was hard for those cows to climb that ladder.’"
            I wonder how difficult it is for God to explain to us the depth of His love, the extent of His grace, the wonder of the Trinity, and other concepts. There is so much about God that is  incomprehensible.

Friday, September 16, 2011


            An old poem has resonated with people through the years. The author is unknown, but the themes addressed have stood the test of time:

How Do You Live Your Dash?
I read of a man who stood to speak
            At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
            From the the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
            And spoke the following date with tears,
                        But he said what mattered most of all
                                    Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
            That she spent alive on earth...
                        And now only those who loved her
                                    Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
            The cars...the house...the cash,
                        What matters is how we live and love
                                    And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard...
            Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
            That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
            To consider what's true and real,
                        And always try to understand
                                   The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
            And show appreciation more
                        And love the people in our lives
                                    Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
            And more often wear a smile...
                        Remembering that this special dash
                                    Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read
                        With your life's actions to rehash...
                                    Would you be proud of the things they say
                                                About how you spent your dash? 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Church’s Heating Plant

            A few years ago, OUR DAILY BREAD told the famous story, perhaps apocryphal, of five young college students who were spending a Sunday in London:

            It was the mid-1800s, so they went to hear the famed C.H. Spurgeon preach.
            While waiting for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man who asked, "Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?"
            They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn't want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, "This is our heating plant."
            Surprised, the students saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Spurgeon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Whistler’s Friend

            Legend has it that the artist, James Whistler (WHISTLER’S MOTHER), once attempted to get a fellow painter’s work into an Autumn exhibition. Whistler succeeded, and the painting was hung.
            At the exhibition, the painter was thrilled as Whistler took him to view his painting on display. “Good Gracious!” the painter cried out, “You’re exhibiting my picture upside down.”
            “Hush,” Whistler replied, "the committee refused it the other way.”
            Ever offer God one of your best works, only to see Him use in a way you would have never dreamed of—or wanted? Rejoice—at least He is willing to display your work.

Source—Edmund Fuller

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tired of Your Preacher?

            Back in the 90s, someone sent an item from a Lutheran newsletter. I thought it was funny because it was a takeoff of the chain-letter emails they are so often passed around. It you are unhappy with your preacher, you might give this some thought:

            For church members unhappy with their minister: "Simply send a copy of this letter to six other churches, who are tired of their ministers. Then bundle up your preacher and send him to the church at the top of the list. Add your name to the bottom of the list.   In one week you will receive 16,436 ministers, and one of them should be a dandy. Have faith in this letter. One man broke the chain and got his old minister back."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Marriage--the Major and the Minor

            Two young husbands, who had been married only a year, were discussing their various marital problems.           
            “I’m the head of my house,” said one, “I think I should be; after all, I earn the money.”
            “Well,” said the other, “my wife and I have a perfect agreement. I decide all of the major matters, and she takes care of all of the minor ones.”
            “And how is that working out?”
            Embarrassed the other replied, “Not too well. So far, the only matters that have come up have been the minor ones.”