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CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATIONS FOR PANICKY PREACHERS! (Letter “C”)

27 Apr

Friends:

I’ve been collecting illustrations for about 30 years now.

"Man! I could really use a great illustration right about now!"

I once dreamed of publishing a book of these, but have decided to give them away for FREE!

I’ll post my collection — one letter at a time — over the next little while.

Let me know if you find any of these useful!

CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATIONS

FOR PANICKY PREACHERS

Calling

GOD SHOULDN’T HAVE CALLED YOU

>

>There are many reasons why God shouldn’t have called you.  But don’t

> worry.  You’re in good company.

>

>Moses stuttered.

> David’s armor didn’t fit.

>John Mark was rejected by Paul.

>Timothy had ulcers.

>Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.

>Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.

>Jacob was a liar.

>David had an affair.

>Solomon was too rich.

>Abraham was too old.

>David was too young.

>Peter was afraid of death.

>Lazarus was dead.

>John was self-righteous.

>Naomi was a widow.

>Paul was a murderer.

>So was Moses.

>Jonah ran from God.

>Miriam was a gossip.

>Gideon and Thomas both doubted.

>Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

>Elijah was burned out.

>John the Baptist was a loudmouth.

>Martha was a worry-wart.

>Mary was lazy.

>Samson had long hair.

>Noah got drunk.

>Did I mention that Moses had a short  fuse?

>So did Peter, Paul–well, lots of folks did.  But God doesn’t require a

>job interview.  He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses, because He’s

>more our Dad than our Boss.  He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss.

>He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or

brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. As much as we try, God’s

>gifts are free.  We could do wonderful things for wonderful people and

>still not be Wonderful.  Satan says,”You’re not worthy.”  Jesus says,

>”So what?  I AM.”  Satan looks back and sees our mistakes.  God looks

>back and sees the cross.  He doesn’t calculate what you did in ’78.

>It’s not even on the record.  Sure.  There are lots of reasons why God

>shouldn’t have called us.

>But if we are magically in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more

>than our next breath, He’ll uses in spite of who we are, where we’ve

>been, or what we look like.

>I pray that as Christians, we will step out of our limitations into the

>illimitable nature of who God is.  Then our passion for God and our

>passion to communicate with Him will make short work of our limitations.

>Tom Viscioni viscioni@qconline.com

 

Capital Punishment

“The often hilarious New York Times, which opposes capital punishment, reported disapprovingly that a life sentence ‘is death in all but name.’” (George F. Will)

 

Care

I learned my first lesson in responsibility the day I returned from school to find my guinea pigs missing.  I rushed to ask my mother about them.  “I gave them away because you didn’t take care of them.”  “But I did take care of them, Mom!” I replied.  “Joni,” Mom said, “I gave them away ten days ago!”

Certainty

A teacher was having trouble with his bank.  Neither the bank’s accuracy nor its mode of expression lived up to his standards.  The last straw arrived in the form of a letter from the bank which read: `Your account appears to be overdrawn.’  To this, the teacher wrote back: `Please write again when you are absolutely certain.’ (John J. Creedon, Readers’ Digest)

Change

How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb?

Attachments             Mime.822 (3781 bytes)      [View] [Save As]

1. Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young,

we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside

worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

2. Border Collie: Just one. And then I’ll replace any wiring

that’s not up to code.

3. Dachshund: You know I can’t reach that stupid lamp!

4. Rottweiler: Make me.

5. Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys

in the dark.

6. Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the

light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I?

Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!

7. German Shepherd: I’ll change it as soon as I’ve led these

people from the dark, check to make sure I haven’t missed

any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no

one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

8. Jack Russell Terrier: I’ll just pop it in while I’m

bouncing off the walls and furniture.

9. Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I’m sorry, but I don’t

see a light bulb?

10. Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the

carpet in the dark.

11. Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

12. Pointer: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there

13. Greyhound: It isn’t moving. Who cares?

14. Australian Shepherd: First, I’ll put all the light bulbs

in a little circle …

15. Poodle: I’ll just blow in the Border Collie’s ear and

he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my

nails will be dry.

The Cat’s Answer: “Dogs do not change light bulbs. People

change light bulbs. So, the real question is: How long will

it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a

massage?”

ALL OF WHICH PROVES, ONCE AGAIN, THAT WHILE DOGS HAVE

MASTERS, CATS HAVE STAFF.

Received from Glen F Davis.

So the Zen master steps up to the hot dog stand and says:

>   “Make me one with everything.”

>     The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen

>     master, who  pays with a $20 bill.  The hot dog vendor puts

>     the bill in the cash register and closes the drawer.

>     “Where’s my change?” asks the Zen master.

>     And the hot dog vendor responds, “Change must come from

>     within.”

Character

Six Slits Sink Ship

Scientists now say that a series of slits, not a giant gash, sank the Titanic.

The opulent, 900-foot cruise ship sank in 1912 on its first voyage, from England to New York. Fifteen hundred people died in the worst maritime disaster of the time.

The most widely held theory was that the ship hit an iceberg, which opened a huge gash in the side of the liner. But an international team of divers and scientists recently used sound waves to probe the wreckage, buried in the mud under two-and-a-half miles of water. Their discovery? The damage was surprisingly small. Instead of the huge gash, they found six relatively narrow slits across the six watertight holds. Small damage, invisible to most, can sink not only a great ship but a great reputation. –USA Today (4/9/97)

Children

What Kids Are Worth

Here’s something absolutely positive for a change.  I have seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child but this is the first time I’ve seen the rewards listed this way. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family.That doesn’t even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,

* $741.38 a month, or

* $171.08 a week.

* That’s a mere $24.24 a day!

* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don’t hav e children if you want to be “rich.” Actually, it is just the opposite.  What do you get for your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs, and

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh

* watch Saturday morning cartoons

* go to Disney movies

* wish on stars.

< BR>* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

“Good kids are like sunsets.  We take them for granted.  Every evening they disappear.  Most parents never imagine how hard they try to please us, and how miserable they feel when they think they have failed.” (Erma Bombeck, Field Newspaper Syndicate)

Laws Pertaining to Dessert

For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that

is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall

have dessert.

>      But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten

>      most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite

>      consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six

>      peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of

>      your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can

>      see, then you shall have dessert. But if you eat a lesser number

>      of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have

>      dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten,

>      you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof.

>

>      And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around

>      with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not,

>      you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have

>      no dessert.

>

>                              Laws When at Table

>

>      And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a

>      greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as

>      they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon

>      the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you

>      have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are

>      an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.

>

>      Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any

>      utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what

>      they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick

>      it off, you will be sent away.

>

>      When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the

>      table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it

>      to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck:

>      for you will be sent away.

>

>      When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have

>      swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister

>      what is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or

>      your sister has done the same to you.

>

>      Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither

>      seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the

>      table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but

>      leave it as it is.

>

>      And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker,

>      draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not

>      do that, that is why.

>

>      And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do

>      not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do

>      that, that is why.

>

>      Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the

>      other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me;

>      for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And

>      now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.

>

>                                 On Screaming

>

>      Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you

>      are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch

>      each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to

>      the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of

>      your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate

>      gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault.

>      Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece

>      of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal

>      seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I

>      say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you,

>      and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within

>      your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to

>      your nose. For even not I have made the fish as it should be;

>      behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.

>

>                           Laws of Forbidden Places

>

>      Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of

>      all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in

>      the living room.

>

>      Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may

>      eat, but not in the living room.

>

>      Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat,

>      but not in the living room.

>

>      Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the

>      oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown

>      provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.

>

>      Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats

>      you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room.

>

>      Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in

>      sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither

>      may you carry such therein. Indeed, when you reach the place

>      where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage

>      there you may not eat, neither may you drink.

>

>      But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something,

>      then may you eat in the living room.

>

>                          Concerning Face and Hands

>

>      Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to

>      the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains

>      are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice

>      thereon.

>

>      And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of

>      your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner

>      wonderful to see.

>

>      Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in

>      its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how

>      iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall

>      not go hence until I have done.

>

>                 Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances

>

>      Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your

>      own bath water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub your

>      feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself

>      against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.

>

>      Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should

>      so afflict it with tape? And hum not the humming in your nose as

>      I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you

>      will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

>

>                         Complaints and Lamentations

>

>      O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you

>      must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail;

>      and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick. Yes, and

>      even sometime do you spit, and shout “stupid-head” and other

>      blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof

>      when you are sent to the corner.

>

>      And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the

>      corner for more minutes than he has years of age, yet I would

>      leave you there all day, so mighty am I in anger. But upon being

>      sent to the corner you ask straight-away, “Can I come out?” and I

>      reply, “No, you may not come out.” And again you ask, and again I

>      give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then

>      you may come out.

>

>      Hear me, O my children, for the bills they kill me. I pay and pay

>      again, even to the twelfth time in a year, and yet again they

>      mount higher than before.

>

>      For our health, that we may be covered, I give six hundred and

>      twenty talents twelve times in a year; but even this covers not

>      the fifteen hundred deductible for each member of the family

>      within a calendar year. And yet for ordinary visits we still are

>      not covered, nor for many medicines, nor for the teeth within our

>      mouths. Guess not at what rage is in my mind, for surely you

>      cannot know.

>

>      For I will come to you at the first of the month and at the

>      fifteenth of the month with the bills and a great whining and

>      moan.

>

>      And when the month of taxes comes, I will decry the wrong and

>      unfairness of it, and mourn and rend my receipts.

>

>      And you shall remember that I am that I am: before, after, and

>      until you are twenty-one. Hear me then, and avoid me in my wrath,

>      O children of me.

>

 

Choices

YOU MADE YOUR CASKET, NOW LIE IN IT II: When a drunk driver severely

injured Jadine Russell in a Southern California crash, she had clear

instructions for emergency workers. “No blood!” the 55-year-old

Jehovah’s Witness demanded at least 10 times, even pulling an IV out of

her arm. A doctor told her that she might die without a blood

transfusion. “If it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go,” she replied.

When she did indeed die, prosecutors charged driver Keith Cook, 32,

with second degree murder. “This is a fascinating causation issue,”

said an associate dean at Loyola Law School. “Did the defendant kill

her, or did she kill herself?” Cook’s lawyer argued for the latter.

“People are free to have their religious choice and freedom, but when

it has consequences for someone else, that is where the line is drawn,”

attorney Charles Unger told the jury. After 3 1/2 days of deliberation,

the jury split the difference, finding Cook guilty of manslaughter.

(AP)

Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does

not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He

would give the best, and man will not take it.  (George Macdonald)

Subject Letter re Luck Dear Dr. Laura:

I am a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children, have a wonderful husband, have a lovely home, and six fish. My husband and I have worked hard to make our life what we want it to be, but occasionally we still hear the passing comment of “how lucky you are.” I never say anything, but let me tell you what I would like to say to the people who think that we are “so lucky.”

Was it LUCK that made me decide when I was 18 years old to only date men with similar values?

Was it LUCK that made my boyfriend (now husband) and I make a conscious decision not to make love before we were married? (That was four long years of waiting!)

Was it LUCK that made us decide to both finish college before we married?

Was it LUCK that made us decide when purchasing our first home that we had to be able to live off of my husband’s salary alone or not buy a home at all? Our first child was due in three months and I was going to quit my job.

Was it LUCK that made us have to budget carefully so as not to accrue any credit card bills?

Was it LUCK that made us live off bean soup and wash cloth diapers so that we may afford our first four-door car months before our second child was born? By the way it was a used car, not new.

Was it LUCK that made my husband work so hard that he was promoted at work?

Was it LUCK that made me be supportive during those periods of time when my husband had to work late or take a business trip? He was working for the benefit of our family.

Is it LUCK that my husband plays with his kids every night before they go to bed?

Is it LUCK that we tell our three young children that “mommy and daddy will never be divorced”?

Is it LUCK? Do we all have the ability to make choices in our lives? Have we had hardships during our life? Had to overcome obstacles? Some good things come our way? Some bad things? The answer is ABSOLUTELY!! OF COURSE!! We will continue to have a mixture of good, bad and ugly our whole lives through. How we handle them is up to us. It’s not all “luck.” People need to acknowledge and take responsibility for the influence they have on their own lives.

Here is a quote I found in Reader’s Digest by Peter Drucker:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

With much thanks for your eye-opening program.

Kim, age 31

Ventura, CA

 

Christ, Humanity of

“He lives; he is the man, and there is no man but Him. . . . Why, we men are not but a quarter made yet; we are only in process of becoming men and women, and poor specimens at that.  He is the only Man, perfect, complete, radiant, clear, the very image of the invisible God, and this Man it is that says: `Come unto Me.'” (George MacDonald, Getting to Know Jesus)

Christmas

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy

Has come to make you new?

This Child that you’ve delivered

Will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will give sight to  the blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will calm a storm with His hand?

Did you know that your baby boy

Has walked where angels trod?

When you kiss your little baby

You’ve kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear,

The dead will live again;

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak

The praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy

Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you’re holding-

He is the Great I AM!

“For Always”

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in  the public schools.  They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage.  About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage.  They relate the following story in their own words: “It was nearing the

holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear-for the first time-the traditional story of Christmas.  We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened.  Some

sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger.  Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me.  No colored paper was available in the city.  Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw.  Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was

>throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket.  A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.  The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help.  All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat–he looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger.  Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger.  Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at his completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story

once, he related the happenings accurately–until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad lib.  He made up his own ending to the story as he said, “And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay.  I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay.  Then Jesus told me I could stay with him.  But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that  maybe I could use for a gift.  I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, “If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?'” And Jesus told me, “If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.”  “So I got into the manger,  and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him—for always.”  As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks.  Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed.  The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him–FOR ALWAYS.

>(Submitted by Lori)

“Politically Correct” Days of Christmas

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my

Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to

me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of

members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called

for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play

a note),

TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal

ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing

milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected

wetlands,

SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human

animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic

incarceration,

(NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened

to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens

and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To

avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift

package has been revised.)

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs

THREE deconstructionist poets

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree

carcasses and…

ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

Merry Christmas Happy Chanukah. Good Kwanzaa. Blessed Yule. Oh, heck!

Happy Holidays!!!!

(unless otherwise prohibited by law) *

*Unless, of course, you are suffering from Seasonally Affected Disorder

(SAD).

If this be the case, please substitute this gratuitous call for

celebration with suggestion that you have a thoroughly adequate day.

>As a further restructuring, today’s global challenges require the

>>North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps.

>> Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take

>>place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas”  subsidiary:

>>

>>The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to

>>be the cash crop forecasted.  It will be replaced by a plastic hanging

>>plant,  providing considerable savings in maintenance.

>>

>>The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost

>>effective.  In addition, their romance during working hours could not

>>be condoned.  The positions are therefore eliminated.

>>

>>The three French Hens will remain intact.  After all, everyone loves

>>the French.

>>

>>The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail

>>system, with a call waiting option.  An analysis is underway to

>>determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they

>>talked.

>>

>>The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors.

>> Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative

>>implications for institutional investors.  Diversification into other

>>precious metals as well as a mix of Treasury Bills and high technology

>>stocks appears to be in order.

>>

>>The six geese-a-laying constitute a luxury which can no longer be

>>afforded.  It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg

>>per goose per day is an example of a decline in productivity.  Three

>>geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by

>>personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets

>>will be a good one.

>>

>>The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better

>>times.  Their function is primarily decorative.  Mechanical swans are

>>in order.  The current swans will be retained to learn some new

>>strokes and therefore enhance their outplacement.

>>

>>As you know, the eight maids-a-milking has been under heavy scrutiny

>>by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).  A male/female

>>balance in the workforce is being sought.  The more militant maids

>>consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility.  Automation of

>>the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or

>>a-mulching.

>>

>>Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number.  This function will

>>be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the

>>steps.

>>

>>Ten lords-a-leaping is overkill.  The high cost of lords plus the

>>expense of international air travel prompted a compensation committee

>>to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen.

>> While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are

>>significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressman

>>this year.

>>

>>Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a case of the

>>band getting two big.  A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback

>>on new music, and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop

>>right down to the bottom line.

>>

>>We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl,

>>animals, and other expenses.  Though incomplete, studies indicate that

>>stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient.  If we can drop

>>ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

>>

>>Action is pending regarding a lawsuit filed by an attorneys’

>>association seeking expansion to include the legal profession

>>(“thirteen lawyers-a-suing”).

>>

>>Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be

>>necessary to stay competitive.  Should that happen, the Board will

>>request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if

>>seven dwarfs is the right number.

>>

>>Happy Holidays!

THE TWELVE DAYS of CHRISTMAS..

> > >                                      …. the rest of the story !

> > >

> > > As Paul Harvey might say …. you all are familiar with the

> Holiday

> > > song

> > > ” The 12 days of Christmas”.  But did you know the

> > > origin of the song ?

> > >

> > > In England, during the period from 1558 to 1829, Catholics were

> > > prohibited under pain of death from practicing their religion

> either

> > > publically or privately.

> > > Anyone found with a Catholic bible or Catechism would be drawn and

> > > quartered. To get around this law, a clever Irish Priest penned

> the

> > > song ” The 12 days of Christmas” to serve as a verbal Catechism

> for

> > > Catholic youngsters.

> > >

> > > In the song “gifts” really refer to Catholic Teachings. And the

> “one

> > > true love” is really Almighty God.

> > >

> > > The “me” refers to baptized Catholics

> > >

> > > The “Partridge in a Pear Tree” refers to Christ who once likened

> > > himself ( according  to the New Testament) to a  hen  wishing  to

> > > shelter its chicks ( Christians)  “under its wings”

> > >

> > > The other symbols meant the following :

> > >

> > > 2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

> > > 3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

> > > 4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

> > > 5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the

> > > “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.

> > > 6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

> > > 7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven

> > > sacraments

> > > 8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

> > > 9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

> > > 10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments

> > > 11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

> > > 12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the

> > Apostle’s

> > > Creed

> > >

> > >

> > > Now, you know ……. ” the rest of the story !!! “

Christianity, Definition of

“The Christian way is not the middle way between extremes, but the narrow way between precipices.” (Donald Bloesch)

Christmas

Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house

> >>   Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

> >>   The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste.

> >>   At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

> >>   When I got on the scales there arose such a number!

> >>   When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

> >>   I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared;

> >>   The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

> >>   The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese

> >>   And the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.”

> >>   As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt

> >>   And prepared once again to do battle with dirt—

> >>   I said to myself, as I only can

> >>   “You can’t spend a winter

> >>   disguised as a man!”

> >>   So–away with the last of the sour cream dip,

> >>   Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

> >>   Every last bit of food that I like must be banished

> >>   “Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

> >>   I won’t have a cookie–not even a lick.

> >>   I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

> >>   I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,

> >>   I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

> >>   I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore—

> >>   But isn’t that what January is for?

> >>   Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.

> >>   Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

A Christmas Story

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting.  Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection.  Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate.

The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child  became an experienced art collector.  The son’s trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.

As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country.  After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram.  His beloved son was missing in action.  The art collector anxiously awaited more news. fearing he would never see his son again.  Within days, his fears were confirmed, the young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic.

Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness.  The joy of the season, that he and his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer.

On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed, old man.  As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home.  As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hands. He introduced himself to the man by saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died.  May I come in for a few moments?  I have something to show you.”

As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man’s son had told everyone of his, not to mention his father’s, love of fine art.  “I am an artist,” said the soldier, “and I want to give you this.”

As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man’s son.  Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail.  Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace.  A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars worth of art.  His task completed, the old man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.

During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy’s life would live on because of those he had touched.  He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart.

As the stories of his son’s gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his grief.  The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored.  He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.

The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away.  The art world was in anticipation, that with the collector’s passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at auction.  According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the day he had received the greatest gift.

The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings.  Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim, “I have the greatest collection.”

The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum’s list. It was the painting of the man’s son.  The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent.

“Who will open the bidding with $100?,” he asked.  Minutes passed, and no one spoke.  From the back of the room came a voice, “Who cares about that painting?  It’s just a picture of his son.”  “Let’s forget about it and move on to the good stuff,” more voices echoed in agreement.

“No, we have to sell this one first,” replied the auctioneer.  “Now, who will take the son?”  Finally, a neighbor of the old man spoke.  “Will you take ten dollars for the painting?  That’s all I have.  I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it.”

“I have ten dollars.  Will anyone go higher?” called the auctioneer.  After more silence, the auctioneer said, “Going once, going twice, gone.”  The gavel fell.

Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, “Now we can get on with it and we can bid on the real treasures!”

The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over.  Stunned disbelief quieted the room.  Someone spoke up and asked, “What do you mean, it’s over?  We didn’t come here for a picture of some old guy’s son.  What about all of these paintings?  There are millions of dollars worth of art here!  I demand that you explain what is going on!”

The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple.  According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son…gets it all.”

Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?  Just as those art collectors discovered on Christmas Day, the message is still the

same.

The love of a Father, whose greatest joy came from his Son who went away and gave his life rescuing others.  And because of that Father’s  love…whoever takes the Son gets it all.

Church (“If Churches Were Parks,” Linda Cannell)

If Churches Were Parks


 


If we tore down our church buildings and replaced them with parks would the buildings be missed? If churches were parks, there would be trees and grass and places for pleasant walks, neighborhood families enjoying the changing seasons, and our “old ones” sitting on benches telling children stories of their lives and faith.

In the fall, as the leaves changed from green to yellow, orange and red, we could invite our friends and neighbors to corn roasts and BBQs; invite them to laugh with us, talk with us, and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation–in the park. We could leave the children something wonderful in a world gone mad.

In the winter we could roll in the snow with the neighborhood children, throw snowballs, create snow sculptures, and grow to know each other again as we walked under trees heavy with hoar frost. At Christmas, we could string colored lights, decorate a Christmas tree, savor the story of the nativity and sing carols under quiet stars.

If churches were parks we would have to forsake our games of power and our dreams of empire for pleasant walks, snow forts, corn roasts, Christmas trees, carol sings, Easter pageants, and heart to heart talks with those who need to know why we still believe in God. If our churches were parks, all people could gather there; they could come whenever they wished, for there would be no locked doors or security windows on our parks–no stained glass windows to hide behind. Members of the church eating lunch in the park could strike up a conversation with a business person, university student, or shopper resting before heading home, admire the multi-colors of a group of teenagers and ask them if they are afraid of the world we have created for them; or angry because of the future we may have taken away from them.

Of course, we would find pain in our parks. Lonely people, unhappy children, sullen youth. We might confront those trying to buy drugs in our parks. We might fear those who would hurt us and steal from us. If our churches were parks we would have to confront the world outside our buildings. We would have to be those who make peace and speak of redemption and hope rather than those who hide behind fortress walls and wish the world away.

At the start of the world, God put the man and the woman in a park. God chose to walk and talk with the man and the woman in a park. When we were cast out of the park, we began to build towers, empires, cities and temples. We had to acquire and possess–not only the present, but the past and the future. We found ways to control our world and other persons. It’s hard to do this in a park. (from Theological Education Matters)

Church (attendance)

WHILE SERVING as church usher, I was carrying out our tradition of escorting parishioners to their seats before the service began. After I returned to the entrance of the sanctuary to escort the next party, I greeted two strangers and asked where they would like to sit. Looking confused, the young man smiled and said, “Nonsmoking, please.” –Contributed to “Life In These United States” by John Prewitt

“Can’t I be a Christian without Going to Church?”

YES!

It is just as possible as being:

!A soldier who does not join an army.

!A student who does not go to school.

!A citizen who won’t vote or pay taxes.

!A salesperson with no customers.

!An explorer with no base camp.

!A captain of the ship with no crew.

!A businessman on a desert island.

!An author without readers.

!A politician who is a hermit.

!A conductor without an orchestra.

!A tuba player without a tuba.

Your church is your home base for serving Christ in your life!

From Eastside Baptist Church, Orlando, FL,  Via First Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg, PA

Last 2 points adapted and added by Jeff Westbrook

Church (Boring)

HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO MAKE A REALLY LONG AND BORING SERMON MORE FUN:

* Pass a note to the organist asking whether he/she plays requests

* See if a yawn really is contagious

* Slap your neighbor. See if they turn the other cheek. If not, raise

your hand and tell the priest/preacher

* Devise ways of climbing into the balcony without using the stairs

* Listen for your preacher to use a word beginning with ‘A’ then ‘B

and so on through the alphabet.

* Sit in the back row and roll a handful of marbles under the pews

ahead of you. After the service, credit yourself with 10 points for

every marble that made it to the front

* Using church notice-sheets or newcomers cards for raw materials,

design, test and modify a collection of paper airplanes.

* Start from the back of the church and try to crawl all the way to

the front, under the pews, without being noticed.

* Raise your hand and ask for permission to go to the lavatory.

* Whip out a hankie and blow your nose. Vary the pressure exerted on

your nostrils and trumpet out a rendition of your favorite hymn.

* Chew gum; if the sermon goes on for more than 15 minutes, start

blowing bubbles.

* Pretend to be 4 years old

* Try to indicate to the minister that his fly is undone

* By unobtrusively drawing your arms up into your sleeves, turn your

shirt around backwards.

* Try to raise one eyebrow

* Crack your knuckles

* Think about your chin for an entire minute

* Twiddle your thumbs

* Twiddle your neighbors thumbs

* Wiggle your ears so that the people behind you will notice

* Practice smiling insincerely

Church, God and the

“God underwent three great humiliations in his efforts to rescue the human race.  The first was the Incarnation, when he took on the confines of a physical body.  The second was the Cross, when he suffered the ignominy of public execution.  The third humiliation is the church.” (Dorothy Sayers)

Church (growth)

Down in the south, there are many churches known as “answer back” churches. When the preacher says something, the congregation naturally replies.

One Sunday, a preacher was speaking on what it would take for the church to become better. He said “If this church is to become better, it must take up its bed, and walk.” The congregation said “Let it walk, Preacher, let it walk.”

Encouraged by their response, he went further. “If this church is going to become better, it will have to throw aside its hindrances and run!” The congregation replied, “Let it run, preacher, let it run!”

Now really into his message, he spoke stronger. “If this church really wants to become great, it will have to take up its wings and fly!” “Let it fly, Preacher, let it fly!” the congregation shouts.

The Preacher gets louder. “If this church is going to fly, it will cost money!”

The congregation replied. “Let it walk, Preacher, let it walk.”

Church, Need for

Taken from The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators George Barna, 1996.

All numbers are for Americans.

1.  45% Strongly agree that the Christian faith is relevant to their life.

2.  90% Agree with “religious faith is important.”

3.  20 years ago people in churches in the tradition of the reformation identified themselves as “protestant”.  Today only 35 % use that label.  The majoriy prefer to be described as “Christian”.

4.  86% believe “eventually all people will be judged by God.”

5.  57% believe “if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their lives, they will earn a place in heaven.”

6.  63% say they have “no idea” when asked to identify the content of John 3:16.

7.  50% of those who claim to be born-again Christians believe there is a verse from the Bible that addresses salvation.

8.  84% could not guess what the “Great Commission refers to”.

9.  Among “born again Christians” 80% could not guess what the “Great Commission refers to”.

10. In the past 15 years U.S. churches have spent more than $530 million on ministry activities yet the proportion of active Christians is virtually the same.

11. 20% of pastors of Protestant churches are “very satisfied with the overall ministry of the church.”

12.  2% of Protestant pastors felt that Jesus Christ would describe the effectiveness of His church as “doing tremendous, highly effective work”.

“Alone I cannot serve the Lord effectively, and he will spare no pains to teach me this.  He will bring things to an end, allowing doors to close and leaving me ineffectively knocking my head against a wall until I realize that I need the help of the Body as well as of the Lord.” (Watchman Nee)

Church, Problems of the

“The problem with the church today is not corruption.  It is not institutionalism.  No, the problem is far more serious than something like the minister running away with the organist.  The problem is pettiness.  Blatant pettiness.” (Mike Yaconelli, The Wittenburg Door)

Church, Purpose of the

“The church is the only cooperative society in the world that exists for the benefit of its nonmembers.” (William Temple)

“We are not called to be the honey of the world but the salt of the earth.  Salt stings on an open wound, but it also saves one from gangrene.” (Donald Bloesch, Theological Notebook)

Church, Safety of the

“I sometimes think the Church resembles nothing more than a holy huddle. . . . Those who are on the field seem to spend most of their time in the huddle.  Some seem to have forgotten the plays and the aim of the game.  Some like the coziness and safety — did you ever hear of anybody getting hurt in a huddle?  Some have been knocked down so often that the spirit seems to have been knocked out of them.  So we spend all our time planning strategy, analyzing the enemy, and sometimes criticizing our own team members.” (Leighton Ford)

Circumstances

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” (Bits & Pieces)

Pastor, meeting one of his church-members on the street, “You look discouraged, John.  How are things going?”  “Okay, I guess, Pastor.  I’m doing alright under the circumstances.”  “What in the world are you doing under there?” asked the pastor.

Citizenship

“The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe.  For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. . . .  They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners.  As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners.  Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. . . . They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.  They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.  They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives.  They love all men, and are persecuted by all. . . . They are poor, yet make many rich. . . . To sum up all in one word — what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world.” (Letter to Diognetes, c. AD 150)

Clarity

The patient went to his doctor for a checkup, and the doctor wrote out a prescription in his usual illegible writing.  The patient put it in his pocket, but forgot to have it filled.  Every morning for two years he showed it to the conductor as a railway pass.  Twice it got him into the movies, once into the baseball park and once into the symphony.  He got a raise at work by showing it as a note from the boss.  One day he misplaced it.  His daughter picked it up, played it on the piano and won a scholarship to a conservatory of music.

OVERDRAWN: The teller at Marine Midland Bank in Pearl River, N.Y., was confused over the note the man in line had handed her. The man, wearing a plastic bag over his head, handed it over without saying a word. She scratched her head a bit, then asked another teller if she could read

it. By the time they decoded the first part — “I’ve got a gun” — the man had run off. The rest of the note is “still open to conjecture,” a police detective said. “It demands money and says he has a gun, but we have to spend some more time with it” to figure out the rest. (AP) …”Please hurry, I am suffocating in here.”

Coffee

You know you’ve had too much coffee when…

~Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.

~You ski uphill.

~You get a speeding ticket even when you’re parked.

~You speed walk in your sleep.

~You have a bumper sticker that says: “Coffee drinkers are good in the

sack.”

~You answer the door before people knock.

~You haven’t blinked since the last lunar eclipse.

~You just completed another sweater and you don’t know how to knit.

~You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.

~You sleep with your eyes open.

~You have to watch videos in fast-forward.

~The only time you’re standing still is during an earthquake.

~You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the

timer.

~You lick your coffeepot clean.

~You spend every vacation visiting “Maxwell House.”

~You’re the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don’t

even work there.

~You’ve worn out your third pair of tennis shoes this week.

~Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.

~You chew on other people’s fingernails.

~The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.

~Your T-shirt says, “Decaffeinated coffee is the devil’s coffee.”

~You’re so jittery that people use your hands to blend their margaritas.

~You can type sixty words per minute with your feet.

~You can jump-start your car without cables.

~Cocaine is a downer.

~All your kids are named “Joe.”

~You don’t need a hammer to pound in nails.

~Your only source of nutrition comes from “Sweet & Low.”

~You don’t sweat, you percolate.

~You buy milk by the barrel.

~You’ve worn out the handle on your favorite mug.

~You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.

~You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it’s not

plugged in.

~You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.

~Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down.

~You’ve built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.

~People get dizzy just watching you.

~When you find a penny, you say, “Find a penny, pick it up. Sixty-three

more, I’ll have a cup.”

~You’ve worn the finish off your coffee table.

~The Taster’s Choice couple wants to adopt you.

~Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.

~Your taste buds are so numb you could drink your lava lamp.

~You’re so wired, you pick up AM radio.

~People can test their batteries in your ears.

~Your life’s goal is to amount to a hill of beans.

~Instant coffee takes too long.

~You channel surf faster without a remote.

~When someone says. “How are you?”, you say, “Good to the last drop.”

~You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a

coffee can.

~You want to come back as a coffee mug in your next life.

~Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.

~You’d be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison.

~You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.

~You’re offended when people use the word “brew” to mean beer.

~You name your cats “Cream” and “Sugar.”

~You get drunk just so you can sober up.

~You speak perfect Arabic without ever taking a lesson.

~Your Thermos is on wheels.

~Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.

~You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.

~You can outlast the Energizer bunny.

~You short out motion detectors.

~You have a conniption over spilled milk.

~You don’t even wait for the water to boil anymore.

~Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.

~You think being called a “drip” is a compliment.

~You don’t tan, you roast.

~You don’t get mad, you get steamed.

~Your three favorite things in life are *****, coffee before and coffee

after.

~Your lover uses soft lights, romantic music, and a glass of iced coffee

to get you in the mood.

~You can’t even remember your second cup.

~You help your dog chase its tail.

~You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.

~Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London.

~You introduce your spouse as your coffeemate.

~You think CPR stands for “Coffee Provides Resuscitation.”

~Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.

Commitment

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed.  I have the power of the Holy Spirit.  The die has been cast.  I have stepped over the line.  The decision has been made–I’m a disciple of Jesus.  I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.  My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.  I’m finished and done now with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed

goals.”  ~ a young believer in Zimbabwe, later martyred for his faith in Christ

“Christianity is the total commitment of all I know of me to all I know of Jesus Christ.” (William Temple)

The Treasure

by Alice Gray as printed in “More Stories for the Heart”

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.  Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them:  a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.  “Oh please,  Mommy.  Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!”  Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face.  “A dollar ninety-five.  That’s almost $2.00.   If you really want them,  I’ll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.  Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.”

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies.  After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.  On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Jenny loved her pearls.  They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere–Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed.  The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath.  Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny,  “Do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy.  You know that I love you.” “Then give me your pearls.”  “Oh, Daddy, not my pearls.  But you can have Princess–the  white horse from my collection.  The one with the pink tail.  Remember, Daddy?  The one you gave me.  She’s my favorite.”  “That’s okay, Honey.  Daddy loves you.  Good night.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, “Do you love me?” “Daddy, you know I love you.” “Then give me your pearls.” “Oh Daddy, not my pearls.   But you can  have my babydoll.  The brand new one I got for my birthday.  She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”  “That’s okay.  Sleep well.  God bless you, little one.  Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style.  As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.  ” What is it, Jenny?  What’s the matter?”  Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace.  With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy.  It’s for you.”  With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other

hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.  He had had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the

dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

So like our heavenly Father.  What are you hanging on to? Pray in Faith and Live without Doubt!

“Life is what you make it out to be.” —–Nicholas D. Wood

Jonathan Edwards declared: “I have this day been before God and have given myself — all that I have and am — to God; so that I am in no respect my own.  I have given myself clean away.”

“You will invest your life in something, or you will throw it away on nothing.” (Haddon Robinson)

A gifted concern violinist was complimented after the conclusion of a particularly moving performance.  “That was absolutely wonderful,” said the admirer.  “I’d give my life to be able to play like that.”  “I did,” replied the artist. (Mel Thompson in San Diego Union)

“The sin of our times is the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.” (Dorothy Sayers)

Three military recruiters showed up to address high school seniors. Each recruiter–representing the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps–was to have fifteen minutes. The Army and Navy recruiters got carried away, so when it came time for the Marine to speak, he had just two minutes. He walked up and stood utterly silent for a full sixty seconds, half of his time. Then he said this: “I doubt whether there are two or three of you in this room who could even cut it in the Marine Corps. But I want to see those two or three immediately in the dining hall when we are dismissed.” He turned smartly and sat down. When he arrived in the dining hall, those students interested in the Marines were a mob. The recruiter knew that commitment comes from appealing to the heroic dimension in every heart. –W. Frank Harrington (Motivation, Vision)

John had been keeping company with Mary for a number of years without ever popping the question.  One night he took her out to a Chinese restaurant and as they began studying the menu he asked, “How would you like your rice — fried or boiled?”  Mary looked at him and said very distinctly, “Thrown.” (Readers’ Digest)

“Resolved: that all men should live for the glory of God.

Resolved second: that whether others do or not, I will.” (Jonathan Edwards)

The story is told of a pastor who had two daughters.  Each night he would read them a bedtime story and then lovingly tuck them into bed.  He had to be away one weekend, and didn’t get home in time to tuck his daughters in.  The next morning he was in his study preparing the coming Sunday’s sermon.  His two daughters ran into his study.  The older daughter hugged her dad around his legs.  She turned to her younger sister and said with a bit of pride: “I have all there is to have of Daddy!”  The father looked at the younger daughter who looked a bit downcast.  He held out his arms to her.  She saw his arms and flew up over her sister and embraced him around the neck.  She then said to her older sister, “You may have all there is to have of Daddy, but Daddy has all there is to have of me!”

Committee

“A committee is a cul de sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.”

Barnett Cocks

 

Complaints

Don’t complain and talk about all your problems–80 percent of people don’t care; the other 20 percent will think you deserve them. –Mark Twain

 

Compliments

“One of the commodities in life that most people can’t get enough of is compliments.  The ego is never so intact that one can’t find a hole in which to plug a little praise.  But compliments, by their nature, are highly biodegradable and tend to dissolve hours or days after we first receive them — which is why we can always use another.” (Phyllis Theroux, Readers’ Digest)

Billy signed up to play in a kids’ baseball league.  After his first day of practice I asked him how he had made out.  Grinning from ear to ear, he replied, “The coach says I’m the best of the worst three.” (William J. Boylan, Readers’ Digest)

“Fish for no compliments.  They are generally caught in shallow water.” (D. Smith)

Concentration

Melva Jones writes the Readers’ Digest: “My husband, a high-school teacher, had a meeting with the mother of a student who had a tendency to daydream and become distracted during class.  He asked her if she had noticed that problem when dealing with her daughter.  The mother looked at him thoughtfully and then pointed off to the far wall.  `Are those aluminum windows?’ she asked.”

Concern

Zig Ziglar in his book Top Performance aptly points out that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Conduct

“There is only one commandment for one who does not believe in Christ.  And it is this: Watch those who do!” (Francis Schaeffer)

“The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.” (G.K. Chesterton)

“I dreamed death came the other night

And heaven’s gates swung wide

With kindly grace an angel ushered me inside.

There to my astonishment stood folks I’d known on earth

Some I judged and labelled unfit or of little worth.

Indignant words rose to my lips

But never were they set free

Every face showed stunned surprise

No one expected me!” (anonymous)

Confession

It is said that a very cautious clergyman in Detroit once challenged his congregation with these words: “Dearly beloved, unless you repent of your sins in a measure, and become converted in a degree, you will, I regret to say, be damned to a more or less extent.”

Confidence

Sign in front of a restaurant featuring fried chicken: “If the Colonel Had Our Chicken Recipe, He’d Be a General.” (Readers’ Digest)

“Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

But he, with a smile, replied –

That maybe it couldn’t — but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so `till he tried.

So he buckled right in with a bit of a grin

He sat down and got right to it –

He tried that thing that couldn’t be done –

And he couldn’t do it!” (Garrison Keilor)

Confusion

“During the seven and a half years I hosted a sports talk show on radio, kids continually contributed.  One call from a youngster stands out in my mind and likely always will.  He was about 11 or 12 years old and called about a baseball question.  Imagine, if you possibly can, this conversation on your radio.

Price:  “Sports Call, you’re on the air.”

Kid:     “Yeah, Gary, I think I’ve got the answer to that baseball question you asked.”

Price:  “All right.  Just before we hear your answer, let me review the situation for those people who may have missed it, okay?”

Kid:     “Okay.”

Price:  “A baseball team has a runner on first base and one man out.  The batter hits a sharp ground ball to the first baseman who immediately steps on first and then throws to second.  You are the second base umpire, what’s your call?”

Kid:     “I call the runner out but only if he’s tagged because there’s no longer a force play at second.”

Price:  How do you figure that?”

Kid:     “Well, if the balls goes to second first and first second, then it’s a force play.  But if the ball goes to first first and second second, then it’s not.”

Price:  “Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying here.  If the ball goes to first first and second second as opposed to first second and second first, there has to be a tag, right?”

Kid:     (pause) “I’m not sure about that. (another pause) If the ball goes first to second and second to first, it’s a force play.  But if the ball goes first to first and second to second, it’s not.”

Price:  How can a ball go first to first?  And if the ball goes first to second, it would have to go to first first, wouldn’t it?”

Kid:     (pause) “Uh, I guess so.”

Price:  “So if the ball goes to first first, it would have to go first to second second, not second to first second.  Of course, if the ball goes to second first, it would go second to first second instead of first to second second and that would be a force play, right?”

Kid:     (pause) “I think so.”

Price:  “Okay, you explain it one final time so everyone has it.”

Kid:     (long pause) “If the ball goes to second first and . . . no . . . yeah, that’s right.  If the ball goes to second first and first second, it’s a force play.  But if the ball goes to first first and second second, there has to be a tag on the runner.”

Price:  “Perfect!  Well done!  Sounds like you should be an umpire.”

Kid:     “Yeah, but after this call, I think I’d rather work at third.” Gary Alan Price, Hot Air)

Contentment

“A man looking at the present in light of the future, and taking his whole being into account, may be contented with his lot: that is Christian contentment.  But if a man has come to the point where he is so content that he says, `I do not want to know anymore, or do anymore, or be anymore,’ he is in a state in which he ought to be changed into a mummy.” (Henry Ward Beecher, Leadership Journal)

Context

Used on a Christmas card: “They exchanged gifts and made merry.” (Rev. 11:10)  The context?  Rejoicing over the death of God’s two witnesses at the hand of the beast! (Donald Grey Barnhouse, Commentary on Revelation)

A seminary professor’s wife said she was invited to speak at a mother-daughter banquet.  The committee selected the text they wanted her to speak on, Ezekiel 16:44- “Like mother, like daughter.”  The context is that of God’s rebuke of unfaithful Israel for being a mother who despised her husband and her children!

Conviction

A belief is something you hold; a conviction is something that holds you. –Jerry Bridges

“The world expects of Christians that they will raise their voices so loudly and clearly and so formulate their protest that not even the simplest man can have the slightest doubt about what they are saying.  Further, the world expects of Christians that they will eschew all fuzzy abstractions and plant themselves squarely in front of the bloody face of history.  We stand in need of folk who have determined to speak directly and unmistakably and come what may, to stand by what they have said.”  (Albert Camus)

Counseling

SYBIL SQUARED: Patricia Burgus, 42, has won a $10.6 million settlement in

a lawsuit against her psychiatrist and a hospital. Her suit alleged

that when she sought treatment for depression from Dr. Bennett Braun,

he used “repressed memory therapy” to convince her that she had 300

personalities, was a cannibal who made meatloaf out of her friends, had

molested her children, and was the high priestess of a satanic cult.

She says she was committed to a psychiatric hospital for two years, and

her two children for three years, after she was misdiagnosed as having

a split personality disorder, but her own common sense prevailed. “I

began to add a few things up and realized there was no way I could come

from a little town in Iowa, be eating 2,000 people a year, and nobody

said anything about it,” Burgus said. (AP) …On the other hand,

sometimes even your best friends won’t tell you about your

shortcomings.

Country Songs

Titles: “Honey, tell me why when you said goodbye can’t you just stay gone?”

“I’m leaving you for me!”

Courage

Kaj Munk, a Danish pastor in Hitler’s time, was executed in January of 1944: “What is therefore the task of the preacher today?  Shall I answer ‘faith, hope, and love’?  That sounds beautiful.  But I would say courage.  No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth.  Our task today is recklessness.  For what we Christians lack is most assuredly not psychology or literature.  We lack a holy rage.  A holy rage.  The recklessness that comes from a knowledge of God and humanity.  The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets and the lie rages across the face of the earth, a holy anger about things that are wrong in the world, to rage against the ravaging of God’s earth and the destruction of God’s world, to rage when little children must die of hunger, when the tables of the rich are sagging with food, to rage at the senseless killing of so many, and against the madness of militaries, to rage at the lie that calls the threat of death and the strategy of destruction peace, to rage against complacency, to restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms with the norms of the kingdom of God.  And remember the signs of the Christian church have always been the lion, the lamb, the dove, and the fish.  But never the chameleon.”

Baltimore Sunday Sun columnist Ralph Reppert says, “I cannot indulge in such sports as water skiing, mountain climbing and water polo because of my poor back — it has a big yellow streak running up it.” (Readers’ Digest)

“The wishbone will never replace the backbone.” (anonymous)

“Success is never final and failure never fatal.  It’s courage that counts.” (anonymous)

“I know of no successful surgical procedure that will replace macaroni in the spine with a rigid backbone.  This is stictly a do-it-yourself project.” (Ann Landers)

Roller-coaster designer Ron Toomer has spent the last quarter century devising new ways to make people gasp, shriek and race upside down at breakneck speeds.  However, Toomer doesn’t ride roller coasters because, he says, “I have a real problem with motion sickness.” (Readers’ Digest)

To the Editor:

I’m writing this letter,

Quite frankly, to say

I abhorred the column

You wrote yesterday!

It was weak and insipid

And words synonymous –

In short, it lacked courage!

Yours truly, Anonymous. (Readers’ Digest)

***The fellow walked into a bar he had never been in before and ordered a drink.  He then asked the bartender if he enjoyed dumb-jock jokes.  The beefy attendant leaned over the bar and fixed a withering glare on his customer.  “Listen, buddy,” he growled.  “See those two big guys on the left?  They’re professional football players.  And that huge fellow on your right is a world-class wrestler.  That guy in the corner is a champion weight-lifter.  And I lettered in three sports at Notre Dame.  Now,” he continued, “are you absolutely positive you want to go ahead and tell your dumb-jock joke here?”  “Nah, I guess not,” the man replied.  “I wouldn’t want to have to explain it five times.” (Readers’ Digest)

“Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

“Throughout history, the most common debilitating human ailment has been cold feet.” (anonymous)

Criticism

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon.

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating (by Mr. Welch himself): If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

to buy a new car.

You would just accept this, restart the car and drive on.

cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

“Car95″ or “CarNT”. But then you would have to buy more seats.

reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five percent of the roads.

replaced by a single “general car default” warning light.

out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle,

turned the key and grab hold of the radio antenna.

Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them or want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car’s performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.

to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

A man walked in to Joe’s Barber Shop for his regular haircut. As he

snips away, Joe asks “What’s up?”

The man proceeds to explain he’s taking a vacation to Rome.

“ROME?!” Joe says, “Why would you want to go there? It’s a crowded

dirty city full of Italians! You’d be crazy to go to Rome! So how ya

getting there?”

“We’re taking TWA,” the man replies.

“TWA?!” yells Joe. “They’re a terrible airline. Their planes are old,

their flight attendants are ugly and they’re always late! So where

you staying in Rome?”

The man says “We’ll be at the downtown International Marriot.”

“That DUMP?!” says Joe. “That’s the worst hotel in the city! The

rooms are small, the service is surly and slow and they’re

overpriced! So whatcha doing when you get there?”

The man says “We’re going to go see the Vatican and hope to see the

Pope.” “HA! That’s rich!” laughs Joe. “You and a million other people

trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on

THIS trip. You’re going to need it!”

A month later, the man comes in for his regular haircut. Joe says,

“Well, how did that trip to Rome turn out? Betcha TWA gave you the

worst flight of your life!”

“No, quite the opposite” explained the man. “Not only were we on time

in one of their brand new planes, but it was full and they bumped us

up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a

beautiful 28 year old flight attendant who waited on me hand and

foot!”

“Hmmm,” Joe says, “Well, I bet the hotel was just like I described.”

“No, quite the opposite! They’d just finished a $25 million

remodeling.  It’s the finest hotel in Rome, now. They were

overbooked, so they apologized and gave us the Presidential suite for

no extra charge!”

“Well,” Joe mumbles, “I KNOW you didn’t get to see the Pope!”

“Actually, we were quite lucky. As we toured the Vatican, a Swiss

guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained the Pope likes to

personally meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to

step into this private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet

me. Sure enough, after 5 minutes the Pope walked through the door and

shook my hand. I knelt down as he spoke a few words to me.”

Impressed, Joe asks, “Tell me, please! What’d he say?”

“Oh, not much really. Just “Where’d you get that awful haircut?”

Colonel George Washington Goethals, the man responsible for the completion of the Panama Canal, had big problems with the climate and the geography. But his biggest challenge was the growing criticism back home from those who predicted he’d never finish the project. Finally, a colleague asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer these critics?” “In time,” answered Goethals.

“When?” his partner asked. “When the canal is finished.” -Hope Health Letter (12/95)

“It is good that we at times endure opposition and that we are evilly and untruly judged when our actions and intentions are good.  Often such experiences promote humility and protect us from vain-glory.  For then we seek God’s witness in the heart.” (Thomas á Kempis)

Curse

VIRUS WARNING – This one’s for real!

————————————

Alert!  This is a notice to inform you of THE CURSE.  The most

devastating catastrophe known to humanity.

Infection status: You are already infected!  (The CURSE was

downloaded by Adam and Eve and we all are born into it.)

Damage: Every component of your life is affected.  We have been

brought under the wrath of God (Eph2:3); made liable to all miseries

in this life, to death itself, and even to the pains of hell forever!

(Rom6:23; Matt25:41)

Remedy:

The only remedy is complete forensic reconfiguration of all component

parts.  This is called Justification.  (Eph1:7; 2Cor5:21) This is

followed by a radical lifetime software purge called Sanctification.

(2Thess3:13;Eph4:24)  The only means of rescue from the power and

results of THE CURSE is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts4:12)

Cost:

You cannot purchase this remedy.  It is not so simple.  The cost is

the eternal wrath of God.

Access:

You may acquire justification free of charge.  The price was already

paid on the cross of Christ.  But you must humble yourself in

repentance and call on the name of the Lord for forgiveness.  (many

perish maintaining their “dignity” i.e. pride)  “Being justified by

faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom

we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and

rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”(Rom5:1,2)

*** For more information and validation, consult the only User’s

Manual  – The Holy Bible.

WARNING – THIS IS NOT A HOAX.

Please do not disregard this warning.  Do not delay!

The CURSE impairs logical functions, input and output, processing

and communication, linkup with other systems, and corrupts all disks.

The final result will be a total crash.  The time of the crash

cannot be ascertained, but the fate is worse than mere termination.

Jesus Christ is the Lord of all things, every system, every user…

and is your only hope.  The good news is that He is available by

24hr access.  No hardware necessary.  Simply call out to Him to pay

for and cover your sin and give you His righteousness.  Understanding

your plight, you have no options:

The buttons are not OK or CANCEL.  They are REPENT or PERISH.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved”

————

Forwarded by

Wayne Dobratz

Trinity Lutheran Church–LCMS

Hampton, Iowa

Crimes

“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.” (Mayor Marion Barry, Wash., DC)

Cynicism

MORE DEFINITIONS FROM “THE CYNIC’S DICTIONARY”

AUTHOR  A writer with connections in the publishing industry.

BOSS  A personal dictator appointed to those of us fortunate enough to live

in free societies.

CHILDHOOD  The rapidly shrinking interval between infancy and first arrest on

a drug or weapons charge.

DENIAL  How an optimist keeps from becoming a pessimist.

EXPERIENCE  In the working world, something you can’t get unless you’ve

already got it, in which case you probably don’t want any more of it.

FITNESS  Salvation through perspiration.

GOURMET  A food fetishist.

HOOKER  A working woman commonly despised by people who sell themselves for

even less.

IDEOLOGUE  Generally an obscure humorless zealot who finds fulfillment by

spouting the ideas of famous humorless zealots.

JEANS  Lower half of the international uniform of youth, the upper half being

the zits.

KLEPTOMANIAC  A thief with breeding.

LABORATORY ANIMALS  Furry foot-soldiers drafted in the name of science.  Some

die nobly in the battle to eradicate cancer; others give their lives so that

we might produce a peach-scented dandruff shampoo.

MARTIAL ARTS  A family of Asiatic self-defense disciplines consisting largely

of sweeping ornamental gestures of the arms and legs; amusing to look at but

disappointingly ineffective when one’s opponent is armed with a

semi-automatic.

NEIGHBORS  The strangers who live next door.

ORGASM  The punchline some women just don’t get, generally because their

mates have a tendency to rush through the joke.

PARASITE  A base creature that extracts a living from the lives of others,

like a tapeworm or a biographer.

QUAGMIRE  Any situation more easily entered into than exited from; e.g., a

guerrilla war, a bad marriage or a conversation with an insurance salesman.

REDNECK  Popular term for a rustic male, but rarely employed when addressing

one in person.

SMILE  To expose a portion of one’s skeleton as a gesture of goodwill toward

a fellow human.

TRAILER PARKS  Latter-day gypsy camps scattered throughout the vast American

hinterland; humble places of abode where hope dies young and tornadoes

gravitate like flies to roadkill.

UNWED MOTHER  One who helps perpetuate the genes of an unwed father, without

the latter’s talent for becoming invisible at will.

VOTING  The right of our citizens to do as they please behind a curtain, as

long as they do it alone.

WHITE SUPREMACISTS  The most convincing argument against the theory of white

racial superiority.

X-RAY  A diagnostic tool used to detect existing cancerous growths and create

new ones for future examinations to reveal.

Y-CHROMOSOME  A line of genes designed for men only; the cause of virility,

war, baldness, hockey, sex crimes, clever inventions and a disinclination to

ask for directions when lost.

ZOO  A pleasant and instructive wildlife park, lately denounced for depriving

animals of their right to starve or be eaten alive in their natural habitats.

READ MORE AT “THE CYNIC’S SANCTUARY”

http://www.amz.com/cynic

 

Danger

“The most dangerous thing in the world is to leap a chasm in two jumps.” (David Lloyd George)

Monday, I had a near death experience that has changed me forever. I  went

horseback riding.  Everything was going fine until the horse starts

bouncing out of control. I tried with all my might to hang on, but  was

thrown off.  Just when things could not possibly get worse, my foot gets

caught in the stirrup. When this happened, I fell head first to the ground.

My head  continued to  bounce harder as the horse did not stop or even slow

down.  Just as I  was giving up hope and losing consciousness the Walmart

manager came and unplugged it.

Dating

A man who lived in a block of flats thought it was raining and put his hand out of the window to check. As he did so a glass eye fell into his hand. He looked up to see where it came from in time to see a girl looking down.  “Is this yours?” he asked. She said, “Yes, could you bring it up?”  and the man agreed. On arrival she was profuse in her thanks and offered the man a drink. As she was very attractive he agreed. Shortly afterwards she said, “I’m about to have dinner. There’s plenty; would you like to join me?” He readily accepted her offer and both enjoyed a lovely meal.  As the evening was drawing to a close the girl said, “I have had a marvelous evening, would you like to stay the night?” The man then said, “Do you act like this with every man you meet?” “No,” she replied, “Only those who catch my eye!”

When I was in high school I used to be terrified of my girlfriend’s father,

who I believe suspected me of wanting to place my hands all over his

daughter.  He would open the door and immediately affect a good-naturedly

murderous expression, holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like

it could squeeze carbon into diamonds.

Now, years later, it is my turn to be the dad.  Remembering how unfairly

persecuted I felt when I would pick up my dates, I do my best to make my

daughter’s suitors feel even worse.  My motto:  wilt them in the living room

and they’ll stay wilted all night.

“So,” I’ll call out jovially.  “I see you have your nose pierced.  Is that

because you’re stupid, or did you merely want to APPEAR stupid?”

As a dad, I have some basic rules, which I have carved into two stone

tablets that I have on display in my living room.

Rule One:  If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering

a package, because you’re sure as heck not picking anything up.

Rule Two:  You do not touch my daughter in front of me.  You may glance at

her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck.  If you cannot

keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Rule Three:  I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your

age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off

their hips.  Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your

friends are complete idiots.  Still, I want to be fair and open minded about

this issue, so I propose this compromise:   You may come to the door with

your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not

object.  However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come

off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric

staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.

Rule Four:  I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without

utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you.  Let me elaborate:

when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.

Rule Five:  In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about

sports, politics, and other issues of the day.  Please do not do this.  The

only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to

have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you

on this subject is “early.”

Rule Six:  I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities

to date other girls.  This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my

daughter.  Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will

continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you.  If you make

her cry, I will make YOU cry.

Rule Seven:  As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to

appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget.  If you want

to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating.  My daughter is

putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the

Golden Gate Bridge.  Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do

something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight:  The following places are not appropriate for a date with my

daughter:  Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a

wooden stool.  Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within

eyesight.  Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing,

holding hands, or happiness.  Places where the ambient temperature is warm

enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or

anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to

her adam’s apple.  Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be

avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay.  Hockey games are okay.

My daughter claims it embarrasses her to come downstairs and find me

attempting to get her date to recite these eight  simple rules from memory.

I’d be embarrassed too–there are only eight of them, for crying out loud!

And, for the record, I did NOT suggest to one of these cretins that I’d have

these rules tattooed on his arm if he couldn’t remember them.  (I checked

into it and the cost is prohibitive.)  I merely told him that I thought

writing the rules on his arm with a ball point might be inadequate–ink

washes off–and that my wood burning set was probably a better alternative.

One time, when my wife caught me having one of my daughter’s would-be

suitors practice pulling into the driveway, get out of the car, and go up to

knock on the front door (he had violated rule number one, so I figured he

needed to run through the drill a few dozen times) she asked me why I was

being so hard on the boy.  “Don’t you remember being that age?”  she

challenged.

Of course I remember.  Why do you think I came up with the eight simple

rules?

Dating doesn’t train young people for marriage; it prepares them for divorce. Dating typically involves a series of short-term relationships. Even those who end up with a solid marriage often have to deal with a lot of painful emotional baggage from previous dating relationships.

“A lot is said these days of abstaining from sex before marriage, but there is a great need for emotional abstinence as well. Courtship in the context of the family enables young people to get to know each other and yet still maintain their physical and emotional integrity.”

–former Olympic runner

and Kansas Congressional

representative, Jim Ryun


 
 

Tags: ,

4 responses to “CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATIONS FOR PANICKY PREACHERS! (Letter “C”)

  1. jim virtue

    April 30, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Thanks Dr….Really enjoying these…my daughter is using some of these illustrations in a speech for her early childhood development class in college.

     
  2. larrydixon

    April 30, 2012 at 6:53 am

    That’s great, Jim! Wow. A daughter in college! How the time flies!

     
  3. ok

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