Tag Archives: preaching

My Vision: “Theology Matters” Conferences

I believe the Lord has given me a vision! (Someone say “Hallelujah!”FirefoxScreenSnapz638 Just kidding).  Okay.  I don’t know what the graphic on the right is supposed to represent.  Is it the hand of God?  Is He wearing a Brooks Brothers suit?  Why is He taking the “O” out of VISION?  I don’t know.

Anyway.  I have a vision for local church, weekend conferences on, are you sitting down, the doctrines of the Christian faith!  I’ve even created my own logo.  Here it is (see below).

I firmly bMicrosoft PowerPointScreenSnapz007elieve that we Christians don’t talk enough about our “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).  Here’s my idea:

My Proposal:  I would like to propose that you and your church might consider hosting a “Theology Matters” Conference!  It could take the following form:

1.  A local church or assembly hosts a weekend conference, inviting other local Evangelical churches/assemblies to participate.
2.  A particular theme could be chosen for the weekend.  Recently I’ve done FirefoxScreenSnapz361conferences on the topics of “When Temptation Strikes” and “Doctrine Matters.”  A couple of weeks ago I spoke at Emmaus Bible College’s “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference and the theme was “Revolutionary Orthodoxy.”
3.  The costs to attend such a conference can be kept low, although people often appreciate what they pay a bit for.  It is my opinion that we need to provide solid teaching for serious Christians, rather than always try to appeal to all.
4.  A book table would be an important source for such serious Christians to continue their pursuit of the things of God.

My Passion:  Having grown up in the Assemblies, I have been privileged to preach His Word and teach the practical doctrines of biblical faith for over 40 years.  Educationally, I have my BA from Northeastern Bible College, my M.Div. from Biblical Seminary (where I studied under Mr. Tom Taylor), and my Ph.D. from Drew FirefoxScreenSnapz679University (my dissertation was on John Darby’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit).  By God’s grace, I have written several books:  DocTALK (a survey of all ten areas of Christian faith); DocWALK (how do we apply these truths to everyday life?); The Other Side of the Good News: Confronting Contemporary Challenges to Jesus’ Teaching on Hell; Heaven: Thinking Now about Forever; When Temptation Strikes: Gaining Victory Over Sin; Whatever Happened to Heresy?; Farewell, Rob Bell; and Saved: Rescued from God, by God, and for God (forthcoming).  A wide range of doctrinal topics is available for consideration.

My Vision:  Such a weekend conference could take the following form:FirefoxScreenSnapz680
Friday night full session, Saturday morning full session, Saturday lunch for those who have read ____ (a key book could be chosen to discuss over lunch), Saturday evening full session, Sunday Sunday School full session, Family Bible Hour full session. Total of five full sessions.

Interested?  I’d love to talk with you about the possibility of hosting a “Theology Matters” conference in your church.  Call me at: 803-201-9745.





This is from Ann Voskamp’s post today.  You must read it.  It is entitled “How to Focus in an Age of Distraction.”

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in theology


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When Temptation Strikes — at Lafayette Bible Chapel!

What a great weekend!   My friends at Lafayette Bible Chapel in Lafayette, Louisiana,WTS cover invited me to speak on the topic of my book When Temptation Strikes this past weekend.

How good it was to get to know this group of Jesus followers!  We had FirefoxScreenSnapz532some great discussion — and we helped to decimate the crawfish population!  Here’s a picture of me eating crawfish for the first time in my life!  What a feast!

I will post my last sermon of the weekend below.  You might find it helpful.  For some reason, the sermon doesn’t start until 1 minute and 4 seconds into the file, so please be patient.

Again, a great time with the believers in Lafayette!

Here’s the sermon: 


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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in preaching


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Hurry Up! . . . Fast?

I recently preached this FirefoxScreenSnapz06530 minute message in our church in Columbia, SC, on Matthew 6 and the spiritual discipline of fasting.  Let me know what you think!


Posted by on October 12, 2013 in matthew 6


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Jim Elliot’s Most Famous Saying . . .

The missionary-martyr Jim Elliot, who lost his life in seeking to FirefoxScreenSnapz060win the Auca people to Christ, is perhaps best known for his statement:


I once-upon-a-time taught homiletics (how to preach) to a group of undergraduate students when Northeastern Bible College in New Jersey was still in existence.  I remember telling them that if they use a quote in a sermon, and mess up the quote as they were giving it, to just keep going.

One student, impressed by the above quote from Jim Elliot, tried to use it in his sermon.  He botched it — and said something like . . .


Inwardly, I was cracking up.  But outwardly I was so proud that he kept on going in his sermon!


1.  What profound statement have you heard from someone that helps to guide your life?

2.  How do you relate this statement by Jim Elliot to what Jesus says in Matthew 10: 39″ Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”?


Posted by on February 16, 2013 in homiletics


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The Love of the Trinity


I’m speaking in a Junior class chapel today at Columbia International University. The topic is LOVE and I’m one of three speakers. The aspect of God’s love I’ve been asked to discuss is . . .

The Love of the Trinity

I John 4:8 says “God is love.” But can God be love without an object to love? I John 4:8 actually says: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Understanding the meaning of “God is love” could not be more important, could it?

But love needs an object. Did God have to create the universe and human beings in order to have something or someone to love? Are we doing God a favor by existing, by giving Him the chance to prove that He is love? Or is something much deeper going on in the universe with the Three-in-One God?

And we are supposed to love God in return. Could it be that the reality is that there is much more than simply a God who demands we love Him, a kind of narcissistic deity who needs us so He could love and we need Him so that He can be loved?

One term that theologians use to describe the inter-Trinitarian life of God is the term PERICHORESIS. This term was coined to account for the idea that “the Father is IN the Son and the Son is IN the Father.” (Jn. 1:18).

Perichoresis describes the indwelling fellowship of the Father and the Son. It is intimacy. And this intimacy Jesus prays the church itself will enjoy: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).

John of Damascus described this intimacy as a cleaving together. Such is the fellowship in the Godhead that the Father and the Son not only embrace each other, but they also enter into each other, permeate each other, and dwell in each other. One in being, they are also always one in the intimacy of their friendship. Some use the terms “procession of the Spirit” and the “begetting of the Son” to express this mutual devotion of the Father and the Son through the Spirit.

Well, so say the theologians. But what do we learn from the Scriptures? Do we have any texts which describe the inter-Trinitarian life before the universe was created? Are there verses speaking of the Father’s love for the Son (who always existed but became flesh in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth)? Are there verses which speak of the Son’s love of the Father? The Spirit’s love of the Son? The Son’s love of the Spirit? The Father’s love of the Spirit? The Spirit’s love of the Father? The answers are: YES, YES, YES, NO, NO, NO, NO. Let me explain:

1. Pre-Incarnate Expressions of the Father’s Love for the Son:

We read in John 17- “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (17:24).

In Mt. 12, Matthew quotes Isaiah saying, “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” (v. 18).

2. At His baptism: Jesus is affirmed by the Father: “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” (Mt. 3:17).

3. At His transfiguration, we read the following: “Then a cloud appeared and covered them and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’” (Mk. 9:7)

The intimacy of the Father and the Son is often referred to in John’s gospel:

The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.” (3:35) “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.” (5:20). “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again” (10:17); “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (15:9).

There is a desire for Christ, who is loved by the Father, to be loved by those He redeems. The Father will love us because we love His SON! “The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (Jn. 16:27)

There is an INTENTIONAL sharing of that Father/Son love with those who believe in Him: “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (Jn. 17:26). Colossians says “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” (Col. 1:13). We’ve been brought into that kingdom of the Son He loves! Can I hear an “AMEN!”?


How does the Holy Spirit fit in? “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:5). We read of the Spirit’s role in Romans 15: I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” (Rom. 15:30).

The entire Trinity desires to pull us into this love relationship: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor. 13:14).

John 17:

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”


1. How do we appropriate this love that the Trinity experiences?

2. In what ways have you heard the God of the Bible described in narcissistic terms? How do we counteract those criticisms?


Posted by on December 3, 2012 in preaching


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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in preaching


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Friends: I’ve been collecting illustrations for about 30 years 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!




Oh the folly of any mind that would explain God before obeying Him! That would map out the character of God instead of crying, Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do? (George MacDonald)

Observation (Bible study)

A small bottle containing urine sat upon the desk of Sir William Osler.  He was then the eminent professor of medicine at Oxford University.  Sitting before him was a classroom full of young, wide-eyed medical students listening to his lecture on the importance of observing details. To emphasize his point, he reached down and picked up the bottle. Holding it high, he announced:  “This bottle contains a sample for analysis.  It’s often possible by tasting it to determine the disease from which the patient suffers.”  Suiting action to words, he dipped a finger into the fluid and then into his mouth, as he continued — “Now I am going to pass the bottle around.  Each of you please do exactly as I did.  Perhaps we can learn the importance of this technique and diagnose the case.”  The bottle made its way from row to row as each student gingerly poked his finger in and bravely sampled the contents with a frown.  Dr. Osler then retrieved the bottle and startled his students with the words:  “Gentlemen, now you will understand what I mean when I speak about details.  Had you been observant you would have seen that I put my index finger into the bottle but my middle finger into my mouth!”


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of

wine, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep.<br>

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. <br>

&quot;Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.&quot;<br>

Watson replied, &quot;I see millions and millions of stars.&quot;<br>

&quot;What does that tell you?&quot; Holmes asked. <br>

Watson pondered for a minute. &quot;Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of

galaxies and potentially billions of planets.<br>

Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is

approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and

that we are small and insignificant.<br>

Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.<br>

What does it tell you?&quot; <br>

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.<br>

&quot;Watson, you idiot. Somebody has stolen our tent!


“Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

–G.K. Chesterton


Rev. Warren J. Keating, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Yuma, AZ., says that the best prayer he ever heard was, “Lord, please make me the kind of person my dog thinks I am.”

“Every man is entitled to be wrong in his opinions, but no man is entitled to be wrong in his facts!” (anonymous)

“A great number of people don’t have a right to their own opinion because they don’t know what they’re talking about!” (Andrew Rooney)

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” (Mark Twain


“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”


“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” (Albert Einstein)


Immanuel Kant: “If we were all before the gates of Heaven and the question were put, `Which of you is orthodox,’ the Jew, the Turk and the Christian would answer in unison, `I am.'” (Lecture at Koenigsberg, 1775).


List of Popular Oxymoron’s

1. Act naturally

2. Found missing

3. Resident alien

4. Advanced BASIC

5. Genuine imitation

6. Safe sex

7. Airline food

8. Good grief

9. Same difference

10. Almost exactly

11. Government organization

11a. Military intelligence

12. Sanitary landfill

13. Alone together

14. Legally drunk

15. Silent scream

16. British fashion

16a. British food

17. Living dead

18. Small crowd

19. Business ethics

20. Microsoft Works

21. Soft rock

22. Butt head

23. Software documentation

24. California culture

25. New classic

26. Sweet sorrow

27. Childproof

28. “Now, then…”

29. Synthetic natural gas

30. Christian Scientists


Luther spoke of “shameful, despicable, damnable parents who are no parents at all but despicable hogs and venomous beasts, devouring their own young” (“Luther’s Works,” Fortress Press, Philadelphia, Vol. 46, p. 211).  In A Sermon on Keeping Children in School, he wrote:  The common people appear to be quite indifferent to the matter of maintaining the schools. I see them withdrawing their children from instruction and turning them to the making of a living and to caring for their bellies. Besides, they either will not or cannot think what a horrible and un Christian business this is and what great and murderous harm they are doing everywhere in so serving the devil.

Things I’ve learned from children (honest and no kidding):

– There is no such thing as child-proofing your house.

– If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller

blades, they can ignite.

– A 4 years old’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded


– The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit

by a ceiling fan.

– When you hear the toilet flush and the words “Uh-oh,” it’s already

too late.

– A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock, even though

36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

– If you use a waterbed as home plate while wearing baseball shoes, it

does not leak-it explodes.

– Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a four year old.

– Duplos will not.

– “Play Doh” and “microwave” should never be used in the same sentence.

– SuperGlue is forever.

– No matter how much Jello you put in a swimming pool, you still can’t

walk on water.

– Pool filters do not like Jello

– VCR’s do not eject PB&J sandwiches, even though TV commercials show

they do.

– Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

– Always look in the oven before you turn it on.

– Plastic toys do not like ovens.

– The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

– It will, however, make cats dizzy.

– Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

– Quiet does not necessarily mean “don’t worry”.

– A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life.

HIGH COST OF SPEEDING: When Stephen Cost, 16, of Alabaster, Ala., got his third speeding ticket in as many months, his pickup truck was suspended. The truck, not the boy. His father, Alan, used a backhoe to lift the truck’s back end several feet into the air. He chained it to a tree to keep it there, and put a sign in the window: “This is what happens when a teenager does not mind.” In smaller print, it notes “May be for sale.” It’ll stay there for a week, the elder Cost says. “I hate being that rough on my boy, but if he ain’t going to listen to me, I  have no other choice,” he said. (AP) …Give the kid a few more weeks, and he may wrap the truck around the tree himself.


by Mikal Frazier, MA, MMFT, LMFT, LPC

On a ski slope many years ago, I first saw the words onsomeone’s clothing which read “No Fear.”  As those words registered with me in that particular context, I couldn’t help but wonder at the reckless disregard for the danger and risk so foreboding on that mountain.  I had some close calls with a few that very day who seemed to adhere to such a motto.

Recent events have reminded us of the danger that lurks on those inviting slopes.  Traumatic death came to both Sony Bono and Michael Kennedy as a result of what seems to have been reckless abandon of all warnings as they raced into their eternal destiny.  One commentator, in discussing the death of Michael Kennedy, discussed the common disregard for rules shared by the entire Kennedy clan.  He said something like, “The Kennedys have regularly pushed the envelope and abandoned the rules of responsible behavior. ”

Many parents have adopted the same ambiguous perspective toward Parenting.  They find it difficult to give their children limits and boundaries.  In discussing this issue I often share the story of a family who worshipped at my church.  This family had planned their life well and waited several years to have a child.  Finally the wife gave birth to a much awaited little girl.  The husband had been a boxer in the marines and was one of quite formidable stature.  It was the husband and new father who proudly carried that newborn little girl into the church building for her first worship service.

As he perched her for everyone to see, he held her some twelve or more inches from his body without supporting her little arms or legs.  They were just flailing in the air.  The maternal instincts in me wanted to say, “Hold that baby close and give her secure boundaries.”  Those little arms and legs were looking for that security and support. Since one fear accompanying a baby at birth is the fear of falling, I cannot help but wonder if there was not some sort of fear in that little


Our  children continue to look for boundaries as they grow, and the security these limits provide.  But in an age where “No Fear” seems to be the motto and teaching absolutes, morality and respect for authority is not deemed “politically correct,” many parents have abdicated their most important role as teachers of time-honored responsible behavior.

Robert Bly, in his book, _The Sibling Society_, narrates America’s journey from what Jules Henry in 1962 called “the Indo-European, Islamic, Hebraic impulse-control system” and the ushering in of boundless permissiveness.   Bly goes on to state, “Fathers in the late 1950’s gave up their traditional setting of limits, and in return asked for new sorts of love from their children — at a price.  The children soon saw they had been put into power.”

Perhaps it is the desire for love which lured parents from their appropriate position as authority figures in a responsible hierarchy. Bly also reports the observations of Englishman Geoffrey Gorer when he visited the United States. Bly says Gorer “noticed the extraordinary desire of American grown-ups to be loved.  They didn’t seem to feel it necessary to love in return; rather, to be the object of love was all that was required.  How could one be more clearly worthy of love than

to agree to whatever your children want?”  Voila!! Reckless permissiveness.

Christian psychologist Ross Campbell says when our children are acting out, they are really saying, “But do you really love me?”  So, possibly, in what Bly calls the sibling society, we have the adults and the children simultaneously craving and yearning for love.  The adults have abdicated their position of power and handed it to their children on a silver platter. The children who are now the engineers of society, experience a similar fear and helplessness to the newborn

baby girl who desperately flailed in a search for her boundaries.

In family therapy we call this a reversal of hierarchy, a recipe for disaster, whether in a nation or a nuclear family unit.  (And yes, I am aware there are many families, which do not meet the criteria of a nuclear family.  Any arrangement less than a  nuclear family will only exacerbate this hopeless spiral when the reversal of hierarchy exists.)

Mom and Dad, your children are begging for limits and rules to guide their lives.  In 1 Samuel 3:13 God tells Samuel about his judgment against Eli. “For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.”  Just as Eli’s sons were wicked because Eli did not restrain them, so will our children follow their own desires if we do not restrain them.

Paul Faulkner, in his book _Raising Faithful Kids_ ,  quotes Kent Hayes:  “We know from hard-won experience that the parents who provide the appropriate structure in their home have the happiest, most secure children.  Secure children do not act out, run away, fight, or resist authority as much as those who never know the rules or what might happen next.”

We all need boundaries.  Scott Peck says we all submit to something (have boundaries) or else we die or wind up in an institution. Faulkner says, “Boundaries and rules are essential to our happiness as adults, and certainly are essential for our children — whether they know it or not.”

When I was in training it was pointed out that it was important to ***

train children and give them limits as their very survival depended on

it.  Bono and Kennedy are prime examples.  Yet, there is even a greater

cost for not restraining our children which goes beyond happiness and

survival, and that is their eternal salvation.  In Ephesians 6:4, Paul

instructs us to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of

the Lord.

Our children must be taught to follow instruction because we have a

Father in heaven who demands obedience.  He no longer winks his eye at

ignorance, Acts 17:30.  He does not accept lukewarm obedience

(Revelation 3:16).  He wants us to give ourselves as living sacrifices

( Romans 12:1).  Our salvation and the salvation of our children is a

matter of searching it out with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

A while back a group of young people were swimming at an approved water

hole. Swimming was OK, but diving was not.  A 15-year-old young man

perched himself on a cliff and onlooking adult supervisors said, “Don’t

dive.”  He did.  He was blessed because he only cut a gash in his head

and nothing more.

Later a parent was discussing the event with me and made the comment,

“You cannot tell a child ‘no’ and expect him not to do something.”  I

was stunned.  You certainly can tell a child “no” and expect him to

follow the instruction. This child nearly paid with his life for not

having been taught this.  You will reap obedient behavior when you have

restrained your child with appropriate training and discipline.

(Consistent, swift and sure consequences for misbehavior are essential,

but that is subject matter for another article.)

Faulkner quotes John Rosemond:  “Expect your children to obey.  Stop

apologizing for the decisions you make in their lives.  Get back in

touch with the power of ‘Because I said so.’  Stop thinking that you

can persuade your children that your decisions are for their own good,

or even that you need to try!  Essential to a child’s sense of security

are parents who are authoritative, decisive, and trustworthy–in a

word, powerful!  So, get with it folks!  Your children are counting on


Mom and Dad in the Lord, your children are counting on you.  Your most

important task in raising your children is the ministry of

reconciliation of your children to the Father.  You are the best ones

to influence your children.  Even the experts are now realizing parents

have the most influence. Your children are begging for your moral and

spiritual guidance.  Eternity for your children is hanging in the


[Mikal Frazier is a licensed family therapist with a practice

in Minden and Bossier City, Louisiana. She and her husband, Jim

have three adult children and two grandchildren.]

Nagging works. That’s the conclusion of marketing researchers who found that children get what they want if they nag their parents effectively. The firm studied 150 mothers through 10,000  nagging incidents and found that nagging by children aged 3 to 8 was the reason behind 46 percent of toy purchases by their mothers, as well as 34 percent of movie theater visits and 34 percent of food purchases. While whining “I want it!” didn’t work terribly well, reasoned pleadings such as “Mom, Barbie needs a dream house so she can build a family” were found to be more effective. (Reuters) …That, and “If you don’t buy me this, sympathetic juries of the future will certainly take

it into consideration.”

Pastors, Qualifications of

“He must have the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros.” (Stuart Briscoe)

Patience, God’s

During the Civil War, an atheist stood before an audience and said, “There is no God — and I

can prove it!”  He then said, “For the next minute I’m going to go outside and challenge God — if there is a God — to strike me dead!”  He went outside and waited for a full minute in the silence and then started laughing and said, “See, there is no God!”  A elderly black lady in the back of the audience turned to her friend and said, “Stupid old man.  He thinks he can try God’s patience in one minute!”



Annoyed when rain ruined their plans, a vacationing couple asked an old gentleman placidly rocking on the hotel veranda, “Where on earth do you find such serenity?”  “Well,” he said, “when it starts to rain, I let it.”  (Daisy Brown, The Wall Street Journal)


A grandmother tells the following story:  “Some oil had leaked onto our driveway, and in the sunshine it acted like a prism, showing many different colors.  When my grandson saw it he came running into the house.  `Grandma!’ he called.  `Come see the dead rainbow in the driveway!'” (Eunice James in Readers’ Digest)


Someone has said that “The only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others.”

“The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy; the pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time.” (Readers’ Digest)\


THE FRENCH NOSE: The Paris-region transport authority plans to use 1.5 tons of perfume per month to cover the infamous stench of city’s subway. Metro director Jacques Rapoport says the new scent, “Madeleine”, was designed as “a smell that was sweet rather than violent, that lingered for two weeks and that suggested a feeling of cleanliness and well-being rather than of filthiness being covered up.” (Reuters)



necessarily be condemned, argues Roman Catholic theologian Georges

Cottier. Rather, its historical context should be reviewed before

saying “that such and such an act should not have been committed,” he

said. Cottier will chair a symposium at the Vatican this fall to

examine the Roman, Spanish and Middle Age Inquisitions in order to

provide the Pope “with enough information to see if there is a need to

apologize” for such acts as torture or the burning of Protestants at

the stake. (AFP) …Indeed, we must examine whether the Inquisitors

came from broken homes and inner city squalor, which might help us

understand them better.




(Phil. 3:12-14, Heb. 12:1)

In his forthcoming book, Pastoral Grit: the Strength to Stand and to Stay (Bethany), Craig Brian Larson writes:

“In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.

“But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter’s immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.

“And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. ‘Perhaps most remarkable,’ writes Jaroff, ‘those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth.’

“The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.

“So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits.”


It is reported that the following part of the Book of Genesis

was discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If authentic, it would

shed light on the question, “Where do pets come from?”

And Adam said, “Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked

with me everyday. Now I do not see you anymore.

I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember

how much you love me.”

And God said, “No problem!  I will create a companion for

you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection

of my love for you, so that you will know I love you,

even when you cannot see me.  Regardless of how selfish and

childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will

accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of


And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam.

And it was a good animal.  And God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged

his tail. And Adam said, “But Lord, I have already named all the

animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I

cannot think of a name for this new animal.”

And God said, “No problem! Because I have created this new

animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will

be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.”

And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and

loved him.  And Adam was comforted.  And God was pleased.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it come to pass that Adam’s guardian angel came

to the Lord and said, “Lord, Adam has become filled with pride.

He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy

of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved,

but no one has taught him humility.

And the Lord said, ” No problem!  I will create for him a

companion who will be with him forever and who will see him

as he is.  The companion will remind him of his limitations,

so he will know that he is not always worthy of adoration.”

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam.  And Cat

would not obey Adam.

And when Adam gazed into Cats eyes, he was reminded that he

was not the supreme being.  And Adam learned humility.

And God was pleased.  And Adam was greatly improved.

And Cat did not care one way or the other.


“True or False? The most important thing in your life is to include God in your plans?  False!  God want you to fit into His plans!” (George Murray)


Concerned doctor with stethoscope on patient’s chest: “You’ve been enjoying something again.” (Joe Mirachi in The Wall Street Journal)

“The way I see it, there’s the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Achievement and there’s also the Hall of Enjoyment.  I hope to be enshrined in the Hall of Enjoyment.” (Jim Kaat, pitched in major leagues more than 20 years)

“Since we’re on our way down — We might as well enjoy the view.” (James Taylor)

H.L. Mencken defined Puritanism as the haunting fear that somewhere, somehow, somebody may be happy. (Hot Tub Religion, J.I. Packer, p. 83)

Said a constant dieter after indulging in a piece of double-fudge cake, “God made chocolate in heaven, and the Devil threw the calories in when it landed.” (Readers’ Digest)

Politically Correct Language

Politically correct message for the season?

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible,

low stress, nonaddictive, gender neutral, summer/winter solstice

holiday, practised within the most joyous traditions of the religious

persuasion of your choice, and with respect for the religious

persuasions of others or their choice not to practise a religion at

all; a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically

uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year

1998, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of

other cultures whose contributions to our society have helped make

your country of choice great, without regard to the race,  creed,

color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.

(This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies

no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for

her/himself or others.)


“The difference between the politician and the statesman is that the former worries about the next election, whereas the latter is concerned with the next generation.” (Pierre Elliott Trudeau)

“I don’t know what’s wrong with my television set. I was getting C-Span and the Home Shopping Network on the same station. I actually bought a congressman.” –Bruce Baum

>      A priest went into a Washington, D.C., barbershop, got his hair

> cut

>      and asked how much he owed. “No charge, Father,” the barber said.

> “I

>      consider it a service to the Lord.” when the barber arrived at his

> shop the

>      next morning, he found a dozen small prayer booklets on the stoop

> along

>      with a thank you note from the priest.


>       A few days later a police officer came in. “How much do I owe

> you?”

>      the cop asked after his haircut. “No charge, officer,” the barber

>      answered. “I consider it a service to my community.” The next

> morning the

>      barber found  a dozen doughnuts on the stoop along with a thank you

> note

>      from the police officer.


>       A few days after that, a Senator walked in for a haircut. “How

> much

>      do I owe you?” he asked afterward. “No charge,” the barber replied.

> “I

>       consider it a service to my country.” The next morning when he

>      arrived at the shop, the barber found a dozen Senators waiting on

> the stoop.


A lawyer opened the door of his BMW, when suddenly a car came along

and hit the door, ripping it off completely. When the police arrived at

the scene, the lawyer was complaining bitterly about the damage to his

precious BMW.

<BR>”Officer, look what they’ve done to my Beemer!” he whined.

<BR>”You lawyers are so materialistic, you make me sick!” retorted the

officer, “You’re so worried about your stupid BMW, that you didn’t even

notice that your left arm was ripped off!”

<BR>”Oh my god”, replied the lawyer, finally noticing the bloody left shoulder

where his arm once was, “Where’s my Rolex!”

Introduction to property law from a toddler’s perspective:

If I like it, it’s mine.

If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.

If I had it a while ago, it’s mine.

If I say it is mine, it’s mine.

If it looks like mine, it’s mine.

If I say I saw it first, it’s mine.

If you’re having fun with it, it’s mine.

If you lay down your toy, it’s mine.

If it is broken, it’s yours.

–Joke Distribution Network

What some people mistake for the high cost of living is really the cost of high living.” –Doug Larson

“The most miserable person in the world is not the person who doesn’t have what he wants, but the person who has what he wants and has found out that it doesn’t make any difference.” (Corrie Ten Boom)

“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.” (anonymous)

In a museum in Deadwood, South Dakota, there is an inscription left by a prospector years ago: “I lost my gun.  I lost my horse.  I’m out of food.  The Indians are after me.  But I’ve got all the gold I can carry.”

“I have learned to hold everything loosely — that way it doesn’t hurt when God takes anything away from me.” (Corrie Ten Boom)

The Chicago Tribune (9/1/96) ran the story of Buddy Post, “living proof that money can’t buy happiness.” In 1988, he won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since then, he was convicted of assault, his sixth wife left him, his brother was convicted of trying to kill him, and his landlady successfully sued him for one-third of the jackpot. “Money didn’t change me,” said Post, a 58-year-old former carnival worker and cook. “It changed people around me that I knew, that I thought cared a little bit about me. But they only cared about the money.” Post is trying to auction off 17 future payments, valued at nearly $5 million, in order to pay off taxes, legal fees, and a number of failed business ventures. He plans to spend his life as an ex-winner pursuing lawsuits he has filed against police, judges, and lawyers who he says conspired to take his money. “I’m just going to stay at home and mind my p’s and q’s,” he said. “Money draws flies.”



Did you hear about Sam who was walking through La Guardia Airport, struggling with two very heavy suitcases?  He was approached by a man who asked if he knew the time.  Sam, quite irritated but trying to be as civil as possible, put the giant suitcases down, looked at his watch, and said, “It’s quarter to six.”  “Hey, that’s a nice watch,” the man said to Sam.  “Yes, it is,” Sam replied.  “Check this out.”  Sam pressed a button to reveal a time zone and pressed the button again, revealing another time zone.  “This watch displays every time zone in the world and the 86 largest metropolitan areas in the world.  Not only that,” Sam continued, getting into his subject, “this watch will talk to you.”  Sam pressed another button and a voice said, The time is quarter to six.  Another button and the same voice says the same thing in Japanese, then in French.  “This watch will give you the time in every major language in the world and with appropriate accents.”  Then Sam hit another button and a tiny, but very high-resolution, map of New York City appeared on the display.  “The flashing dot shows our location by satellite positioning.”  Then Sam said, “Recede” and the display backed off to show eastern New York state.  “This watch will give you your location any place in the world.  And, not only that, listen.”  Sam pressed the button a number of other times in succession and the watch became a credible FM radio receiver with a digital tuner, a sonar device measuring distances up to 125 meters, a pager, and a message recorder with the capacity for voice recordings of up to 300 messages.”  “I’ve got to have that watch,” the man said to Sam. “I’ll give you $15,000 for it.”  Sam thought, I’ve only put $6000 into materials and development.  With the $15,000, I can make another one and have it ready for merchandising in only six months. I’ll make a nice profit of $9000.  “Sold!”  The man wrote a check for the $15,000 and gave it to Sam. Then, Sam took off the watch and gave it to the man.  The man walked away quite pleased with his purchase when Sam shouted at him.  “Hey, wait a minute!”  “What is it?”  Sam, pointing at the giant suitcases he’d been struggling to get through the airport, said, “Don’t forget your batteries.”



E.M. Sangster had a muscular disease that took over his whole body.  His legs went first, and then his voice and the last thing before he died he was only able to hold a pen and write on a piece of paper.  He wrote to his daughter around Easter:  “It is terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice with which to shout.  But it would still be more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout.”

“Alas for those who never sing, but die with their music still in them.” (Oliver Wendall Holmes)

The woman sitting next to me at the concert was about 80 years old with upswept silver hair.  Her whole manner indicated a background of genteel breeding and taste.  As the concert progressed it was obvious that she was caught up in the performance.  Her rapture built until, after a particularly moving number, she could restrain herself no longer.  Tapping me on the knee, she implored, “Oh, do shout `BRAVO’ for me!” (W.P. Hovey, Jr. in Readers’ Digest)

“When the heart is afire, some sparks will fly out of the mouth.” (Thomas Fuller)


During the minister’s prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle  from one of the back pews. Gary’s mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence, and after church, asked: “Gary, whatever made you do such a  thing?” Gary answered soberly: “I asked God to teach me to whistle…And He just then did!”

My Prayer

Lord help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow

at 7:41:23 am, e.s.t.

God help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them ARE


God help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though

they’re usually NOT my fault.

God, help me to not try to RUN everything.  But, if You need some

help, please feel free to ASK me!

Lord, help me to be more laid back,  and help me to do it EXACTLY


God help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter,

parties, and dancing.

God give me patience, and I mean right NOW!

Lord help me not be a perfectionist.  (Did I spell that correctly?)

God, help me to finish everything I sta

God, help me to keep my mind on one th — Look, a bird — ing at a


God help me to do only what I can, and trust you for the rest.  And

would you mind putting that in writing?

Lord keep me open to others’ ideas, WRONG though they may be.

Lord help me follow established procedures today.  On second

thought, I’ll settle for a few minutes.

Lord, help me slow down andnotrushthroughwhatIdo.

Lord help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.



(Contributed by Jan Groenveld)

“You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.” (A.J. Gordon)

“At the profoundest depths in life men talk not about God, but with Him.” (Elton Trueblood)

Prayer (answers to)

A Free Church minister was visiting a Pentecostal friend.  He noticed a big

red phone on the desk.  Upon inquiry he learned it was a direct line to

God.  After trying it out with some thorny church issues and thanking his

charismatic friend he asked if he could pay for the charges.  After some

calculation a total of $6.29 was paid.

The next week the Pentecostal visited the Free Church pastor.  A large red

phone sat on his desk.  After learning he too now had a direct line the

Pentecostal used it to deal with a few “emergencies” of his own.  He too

wanted to pay for the charges.  The Free Church man whipped out his

calculator and asked for 32 cents.  The Pentecostal was bewildered.  “Why

so cheap” he asked?  The Free Church pastor smiled.  “Local call” he said.

Did you hear about he woman who went to her pastor and said, “I have a husband who is not a Christian.  He’s awful.  He’s abrasive and obnoxious.  He’s never hit me, but he is awful with his words.  He comes home drunk half the time.  You wouldn’t believe what he says to me and how the kids are afraid of him.  What should I do?”  The pastor said, “Pray that he find Christ.”  Two weeks later this woman came back to her pastor and he said, “What happened?”  She said, “My husband died.  You know, God always gives you more than you ask for!” (Stephen Brown)

“They’re almost unbelievable —

Some prayer answers

You sent so fast

They took my breath away

And made me laugh.

I thank You.

I thank You there were other times

It seemed You’d left me way out

In the dark alone to wait . . .

Until You became more important

Than any answer I was looking for.”

(Nancy Spiegelberg)

Prayer (confused)

One woman writes that her sister shops for bargains because she has six children to feed.  She frequently stops at a bakery thrift store.  She didn’t realize the impression she was making on the children until one night when she heard her little girl reciting the Lord’s Prayer:  “Give us this day our day-old bread.” (Patricia Dial)

Prayer (definition)

Pray, v. “To ask that the rules of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.” (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary)

“Prayer is the contemplation of life from the highest point of view.” (William James)

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan was once asked by a lady, “Dr. Morgan, should I pray to God about little things?”  “Madam,” he replied, “can you think of anything that is not little to the God of the universe?”

“Whenever we try to turn prayer into something to enable us to realize our own ambitions and to satisfy our own desires, prayer must be ineffective, for it is not real prayer at all.” (William Barclay, The Gospel of John)

“Prayer may be considered under two points of view: as an endeavor to change the intentions of God or as a formal testimony of our obedience.” (Shelley)

Prayer (generic)

William H. Willimon, dean of the chapel at Duke University, “went through a stage of attempting to pray generic prayers,” using phrases such as `that Divine Force which touches our lives.’  He put an end to his experiment in politically correct prayer after a student told him he “sounded less like a Christian minister and more like a crew member on the starship Enterprise.” (quoted in The Biblical Evangelist, January 1, 1993)

Prayer (genuine)

“May it be the real I who speaks.  May it be the real Thou that I speak to.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Prayer is not an argument with God to persuade Him to move things our way, but an exercise by which we are enabled by His Spirit to move ourselves His way.” (Leonard Ravenhill)

A young seminary student was a guest preacher in a beautifully stain-glassed church.  He prayed an extended, eloquent, theologically articulate prayer.  An old man shook his hand after the service, looked him in the eye and said, “Son, that was the greatest prayer I’ve ever heard offered . . . to people!”

“Never trust someone who has to change his tone to ask something of the Lord.” (Robert A. Everett)

“Spread out your petition before God, and then say, `Thy will, not mine, be done.’  The sweetest lesson I have learned in God’s school is to let the Lord choose for me.” (D.L. Moody)

Prayer (God hearing our)

“Dear God – if you can do all these things people say you do, you’re pretty busy.  Now here’s my question: when’s the best time I can talk to you?  I know you are always listening, but when will you be listening hard?  In Troy, N.Y.  Sincerely, Allen. (Letters from Children to God)

THE POLICE STATE: The Lincolnshire, England, Christian Police Association

has set up “Prayer Watch” — a “spiritual twist on the Neighbourhood

Watch scheme.” Christian officers will ask the public to pray for a

reduction in crime, sending out e-mail alerts to ask for specific

prayers. The CPA is “a support group,” said Lincolnshire Police

spokesman Dick Holmes, “a bit like the black or gay associations.” Not

all local residents like the idea. “Churches can pray for whatever they

like,” said one man, “but if God does exist are you telling me he

doesn’t know about little old ladies being attacked?” (Lincolnshire


Prayer (God’s will and)

“What we usually pray to God is not that his will be done, but that he approve ours.” (Helga Bergold Gross)

“Prayer is simply believing God to supply what is needed to fulfill His will.” (Robert E. Coleman)

Prayer, Importance of

“I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.” (D.L. Moody)

“Pray when in the mood — It is sinful to neglect such an opportunity!  Pray when not in the mood.  It is dangerous to be in such a condition.” (Matthew Henry)

One day a small boy tried to lift a heavy rock, but couldn’t budge it.  His father was watching and finally said, “Are you positive, son, that you’re using all your strength?”  “Yes, I am!” the boy cried.  “No, you’re not,” said the father.  “You haven’t asked me to help you.”

“At the profoundest depths in life men talk not about God, but with Him.” (Elton Trueblood)

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” (Martin Luther)

“If prayer is the breathe of the soul, how many of us are among the walking dead?” (anonymous)

“I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.” (D.L. Moody)

Prayer (listening and)

“Prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue.  Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.” (Andrew Murray)

“If we could all hear one another’s prayers, God might be relieved of some of his burden.” (anonymous)

Prayer, Satan and

“The one concern of the devil is to keep God’s people from praying . . . He laughs at your toil and he mocks at your wisdom.  But he trembles when you pray!” (Samuel Chadwick)

Prayer (and service)

“Whenever you see a great work of God, it can be traced to a kneeling figure.” (D.L. Moody)

In 1740 the preacher Gilbert Tennent said, “It looks hypocrite-lie to go no further, when other things are required, than cheap prayer!”

Prayer (spirituality and)

“What a man is alone on his knees before God,” said Murray McCheyne, “that he is, and no more.”

A little boy prayed: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy — don’t worry about it.  I’m having a real good time as it is!”

Prayer (work of)

Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.  –Oswald Chambers


“Presume disinterest . . . [W]hile you are poring over the readings for next Sunday’s homily, presume a cold audience.  Presume that they would rather feed their children to crocodiles than listen to you.” (William O’Malley, quoted in Burghardt’s Preaching: The Art and the Craft)

“I cannot fill the sanctuary with people, but I can fill the service with purpose.  I cannot convince people they are sinners, but I can confess that I am a sinner.  I cannot persuade the whole world, but I can proclaim the whole Word.” (Dick Rasanen)

James Cox has aptly stated: “If the sermon is not interesting, preachers need to go back and see if they have been talking about the real needs of the people, if they have used supportive material (illustrations and examples) with which the people can identify, if they have laid out their ideas in a logical way that makes good sense, and if they have couched their thoughts in words and sentences that people can understand.  You should have sound exegesis; your theology should be sound.  No doubt about that!  But how shall they hear except they be interested?” (James Cox, quoted in The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text, p. 341).

“To me, the unprepared homilist is a menace.  I do not minimize divine inspiration; I simply suggest it is rarely allotted to the lazy.” (Walter J. Burghardt, Preaching: The Art and the Craft)

“An apt illustration sticks in the soul like a hook in a fish’s mouth.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

An English woman took her American friend to hear the great preacher Spurgeon.  When the service was over they were walking away and the English woman turned to her friend and said, “What did you think of him?”  The American looked up and said, “Who?”  “Well, Spurgeon, of course,” said the English woman.  The American woman replied, “To be honest with you, I wasn’t thinking of Spurgeon.  I was thinking of Jesus.”

The three secrets of success in public speaking are: be sincere, be brief, be seated.


“At the beginning of my missionary career I said that if predestination were true I could not be a missionary.  Now after 20 some years of struggling with the hardness of the human heart, I say I could never be a missionary unless I believed in the doctrine of predestination.”  (John Alexander, former pres. of IVCF, in Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad).


Donald Grey Barnhouse, after he had spoken in Boston, was approached by a young man in seminary: “That was a great speech!  How long did it take you to prepare it?”  Barnhouse replied, “It took me five minutes . . . and twenty years.”


“There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.  Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive.  Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Near the end of World War II, a soldier wrote home about the strange sights he saw while France was being liberated.  He saw Germans jumping and shouting for joy at the thought of being taken prisoner and escaping the fighting.  He saw many wounded Germans gratefully accepting Allied offers of mercy.  But one German, a stern S.S. man, refused help.  The S.S. man required an immediate blood transfusion.  “Will it be British blood?” he asked.  The doctor nodded.  “Healthy British blood.  You will die if you do not take it.”  The German glared at his benefactor.  His face tightened into a rigid frown.  “Then,” he said, “I would rather die.”  A few hours later his body was prepared for burial.


I’m constantly amazed by the number of people who can’t seem to control their own schedules. Over the years, I’ve had many executives come to me and say with pride, ‘Boy, last year I worked so hard that I didn’t take any vacation.’ It’s actually nothing to be proud of. I always feel like responding, “You dummy. You mean to tell me that you can take responsibility for an $80 million project, and you can’t plan two weeks out of the year to go off with your family and have some fun?” –Lee Iacocca

“I will place no value on anything I own except in relation to the kingdom of God.” (David Livingstone)


A young man, who was also an avid golfer, found himself with a few hours

to spare one afternoon. He figured that if he hurried and played very fast,

he could get in 9 holes before he had to head home. Just as he was about

to tee off, an old gentleman shuffled onto the tee and asked if he could

accompany the young man as he was golfing alone. Not being able to say

no, he allowed the old man to join him.

<BR>To his surprise, the old man played fairly quickly. He didn’t hit the

ball far, but plodded along consistently and didn’t waste much time. Finally,

they reached the 9th fairway and the young man found himself with a tough

shot. There was a large pine tree right in front of his ball and directly

between his ball and the green. After several minutes of debating how to

hit the shot, the old man finally said, “You know, when I was your age,

I’d hit the ball right over that tree.”

<BR>With that challenge placed before him, the youngster swung hard, hit

the ball up, right smack into the top of the tree trunk and it thudded

back on the ground not a foot from where it had originally lay.

<BR>The old man offered one more comment, “Of course, when I was your age,

that pine tree was only 3 feet tall.”

A young woman went to her doctor complaining of pain.  “Where are you hurting?” asked the doctor.”You have to help me, I hurt all over”, said the woman.”What do you mean, all over?” asked the doctor, “be a little more specific.”  The woman touched her right knee with her index  finger and yelled, “Ow, that hurts.” Then she touched her left cheek and again yelled, “Ouch!

That hurts, too.” Then she touched her right earlobe, “Ow, even THAT hurts”, she cried. The doctor checked her thoughtfully for a moment and told her his diagnosis, “You have a broken finger.”

CLOGGED ARTERY: A tanker truck carrying warm animal fat to a processing plant to be made into fabric softener overturned in Cincinnati, Ohio, during rush hour traffic, spilling 6,700 gallons of fat on Interstate 74. Road crews closed the highway for three days while trying to figure out how to clear away the slick fat — sand, high-pressure water and solvents didn’t work since the grease had oozed into cracks and the grooved pavement, then cooled and congealed. So Proctor & Gamble, which is based in Cincinnati, donated 3.5 tons of “Dawn” dishwashing detergent, which is advertised with the slogan “Dawn takes grease out of your way.” It worked. “This is, by far, the most extreme case of grease we’ve dealt with,” a P&G spokesman said. “We’re delighted it worked.” (AP) …Most extreme case of grease they’ve dealt with?  Obviously, then, P&G doesn’t have the McDonald’s contract.


The Oyster

There once was an oyster

Whose story I tell,

Who found that some sand

Had got into his shell.

It was only a grain,

But it gave him great pain.

For oysters have feelings

Although they’re so plain.

Now, did he berate

The harsh workings of fate

That had brought him

To such a deplorable state?

Did he curse at the government,

Cry for election,

And claim that the sea should

Have given him protection?

No – he said to himself

As he lay on a shell,

Since I cannot remove it,

I shall try to improve it.

Now the years have rolled around,

As the years always do,

And he came to his ultimate

Destiny – stew.

And the small grain of sand

That had bothered him so

Was a beautiful pearl

All richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral,

For isn’t it grand

What an oyster can do

With a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do

If we’d only begin

With some of the things

That get under our skin.

Bud and Rocky, two sky divers having tired of all the ordinary stunts, decided to set a world record by free-falling to within 100 feet of the ground before opening their chutes.  They jumped from 8000 feet, and came plummeting towards the earth.  When his altimeter read 100, But shouted to Rocky, “Now?”  “No, not now!”  “Now?” Bud screamed at 50 feet.  “Not yet!”  “Come on,” Bud shrieked, “it’s only ten feet!”  “For heaven’s sake, Bud,” Rocky yelled, “haven’t you ever fallen from ten feet before?” (Dragan R. Filipovic)

Weather-bureau official to assistant:  “I was afraid of this — since we started mixing male and female hurricanes, there’s a lot of little hurricanes popping up.” (Readers’ Digest)

Overheard during a coffee break: “There must be something to reincarnation.  It’s hard to believe that I could get this far behind in one lifetime.”

The story is told of a Norwegian who went fishing with his two sons.  They got in the middle of a great storm and couldn’t see the shore.  They got lost and were in the storm for hours.  They were certain that they were going to die.  Meanwhile, back at their cottage, a fire started in the kitchen.  It quickly spread to the rest of the house and completely burned the house down.  When the father and his two sons finally got to the dock, they were greeted by the mother with big tears streaming down her face.  She said, “We have lost everything in that fire.”  The father began to laugh.  “Didn’t you understand what I said?” she sobbed.  “We have lost everything — our house has burned down!”  The father said, “We were lost at sea, we had given up on our lives, when we saw a light dimly, and made for that light.  The closer we came the bigger it was, and it was the house burning that saved our lives!” (Stephen Brown)

It started when Donald Hudson of Midland, Michigan, suddenly noticed his morning newspaper was moving.  A bird had nestled into the plastic-covered paper before Hudson picked it up from his lawn and put it on the car seat beside him.  He stopped the car and shifted into neutral to let the bird go.  He had one leg out the door when the gear slipped and the car began to move.  Hudson’s other foot and pants leg were stuck under the seat, so he tried hopping down the road to keep up.  In the process, his pants slipped halfway down.  Finally Hudson’s foot came loose, and he fell out of the car and hit his head on the pavement.  The vehicle kept going and plowed into a neighbor’s porch. (Readers’ Digest)

Vacationist in drug-store: “Have you anything good for mosquito bites on top of poison ivy over sunburn?” (Readers’ Digest)

When a man took his aged, ailing car into his neighborhood garage for diagnosis, the mechanic’s prescription wasn’t encouraging.  “I’d save the radiator cap,” he drawled, “and screw a new car under it.” (Readers’ Digest)

A friend of mine, needing chains put on her car one snowy morning, called the AAA for assistance.  They replied, “Is it an emergency?  We only put chains on if you’re stuck.”  With that my friend went out to her car.  Calmly, deliberately and forcefully, she backed it into the nearest snowdrift.  She then returned to the phone. (Norman Nisly in Readers’ Digest)

“I just bought the new Jane Fonda work-out tape.  I just couldn’t keep up with her.  My philosophy is — `No pain — no pain!'” (Readers’ Digest)

Computer Problem Report Form

1.  Describe your problem:



2.  Now, describe the problem accurately:



3.  Speculate wildly about the cause of the problem:



4.  Problem Severity:

A.  Minor__

B.  Minor__

C.  Minor__

D. Trivial__

5.  Nature of the problem:

A.  Locked Up__

B.  Frozen__

C.  Hung__

D.  Strange Smell__

6.  Is your computer plugged in?  Yes__ No__

7.  Is it turned on?  Yes__ No__

8.  Have you tried to fix it yourself?  Yes__ No__

9.  Have you made it worse?  Yes__

10. Have you had “a friend” who  “Knows all about computers” try to fix

it for you?  Yes__  No__

11.  Did they make it even worse?  Yes__

12.  Have you read the manual?  Yes__ No__

13.  Are you sure you’ve read the manual?  Maybe__ No__

14.  Are you absolutely certain you’ve read the manual?   No__

15.  If you read the manual, do you think you understood it?  Yes__ No__

16.  If ‘Yes’ then explain why you can’t fix the problem yourself.



17.  What were you doing with your computer at the time the problem




l8.  If you answered ‘nothing’ then explain why you were logged in?



l9.  Are you sure you aren’t imagining the problem?  Yes__ No__

20.  Does the clock on your home VCR blink 12:00?  Yes__ What’s a VCR?__

21.  Do you have a copy of ‘PCs for Dummies’?  Yes__ No__

22.  Do you have any independent witnesses to the problem?  Yes__ No__

23.  Do you have any electronics products that DO work?  Yes__ No__

24.  Is there anyone else you could blame this problem on?  Yes__ No__

25.  Have you given the machine a good whack on the top?  Yes__ No__

26.  Is the machine on fire?  Yes__ Not Yet__

27.  Can you do something else instead of bothering me?  Yes__

Submitted by:

Roy Blount illustrates his view of the between the sexes:  “I once lived in a messy apartment, and I realize it’s sexist to assume that just because a woman wasn’t there it was messy.  So I went downstairs to borrow an iron, and I realize it’s sexist to assume that just because there wasn’t a woman there, there wasn’t an iron there.  And I came back up and didn’t have an ironing board.  I realize it’s sexist to have anybody assume that of course I wouldn’t have an ironing board, but I didn’t.  So I was ironing my shirt on the floor, and there was this little crunch, and I picked up the shirt and I had ironed a roach right on it.  And the point of this is there are some things that just can’t be ironed out.” (Karin Winegar in Readers’ Digest)

“While I was sitting in my parked car on the street one day,” writes Frank Rubesky, “a young woman in the car ahead came over and asked me if I had a hammer that she could borrow.  When I said no, she got one from the man in the car in front of hers.  She then deftly proceeded to smash out the vent pane on the side of her car.  After returning the hammer, she opened her door, took out the keys and waved them at us with a triumphant grin.  As she drove away, the fellow who lent her the hammer came over to me and said, `If only she had told me what she wanted the hammer for, I think I could have helped her.  I’m a locksmith.'” (Readers’ Digest)

A stewardess says that on one particular flight, the airplane had to go through a fairly turbulent air pocket.  A rough landing completed an otherwise normal flight.  The passengers were a bit disheveled as they disembarked.  A grandmotherly-looking lady said to the stewardess, “Did we land — or were we shot down?”

“For the wise men of old, the cardinal problem of human life was how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution was wisdom, self-discipline and virtue.  For the modern mind, the cardinal problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of man, and the solution is a technique.” (C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man)

“For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.” (anonymous)


“If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” (C.S. Lewis)


Dr. David Livingstone returned to England after serving Christ on the foreign mission field.  People assumed that he would now retire.  He announced he was returning to Africa.  A reporter asked him: “Dr. Livingstone, where are you going now?”  Livingstone replied: “I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward!”


Mike Cameron, a Mets outfielder in 2005, said in defense of a teammate who lost a fly ball in the sun, “Stuff is going to happen sometimes.  The sun has been there for 500, 600 years.”


“We have a society which is psychiatrized in the same sense in which medieval European society was Christianized, religionized — everything was a matter of religion.  Now everything is a matter of psychiatry, from homosexuality, to heroin, to murder.” (Thomas Szasz)


It’s all in the punctuation:&nbsp;

<BR>An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man

<BR>is nothing” on the blackboard and directed his students to

<BR>punctuate it correctly.

<BR>The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

<BR>The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is nothing.”

Compare these two identically worded paragraphs, and notice how a change in punctuation alters the meaning:

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is all about.  You are generous, kind,

thoughtful.  People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men.  I yearn for you.  I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart.  I can be forever happy — will you let me be yours?


Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is.  All about you are generous, kind,

thoughtful people, who are not like you.  Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me.  For other men, I yearn.  For you, I have no feelings whatsoever.  When we’re apart, I can be forever happy.  Will you let me be?




The Readers’ Digest reported the story of a woman who was a music instructor.  She says that she works with many classroom teachers and on one occasion she entered a second-grade class to begin her lesson.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw the teacher take out a bright-red lipstick and, very deliberately, apply an enormous amount to her lips.  “How unlike her,” thought the music teacher.  When the bell rang, she said good-bye to an exceptionally well-behaved group of seven-year olds.  The teacher then said, “Class, I am sure Mrs. Johnson thinks that I was acting very strange today.  Who would like to explain?”  One boy spoke right up:  “Mrs. King said that if anybody misbehaved today, she was going to give them a big kiss.”


AT NEW YORK’s Kennedy airport today, an individual – later discovered to be a public school teacher – was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a slide rule, and a calculator. At a morning press conference, the U. S. Attorney General disclosed that he believes the man to be a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

“Al-gebra is a fearsome cult,” he declared. “They seek average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute value. They use secret code names like ‘x’ and ‘y’ and refer to themselves as ‘unknowns,’ but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to argue, there are three sides to every triangle.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, the President stated, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes. I am gratified that our government has shown us a sine that it is intent on protracting us from these math-dogs, who are willing to disintegrate us with calculus disregard. Murky statisticians love to inflict plane on every sphere of influence. Under the circumferences, we must differentiate their root, make our point, and draw the line.”

The President warned, “These weapons of math instruction have the potential to decimal everything in their math on a scalene never before seen, unless we become exponents of a Higher Power and begin to factor in random facts of vertex.”

The Attorney General concluded, “As our Great Leader would say, read my ellipse. Here is one principle he is uncertain of: though they continue to multiply, their days are numbered as the hypotenuse tightens.”

It is with the saddest heart that I must pass on the following news:  Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.  The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly.  He was 71.  Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin.  Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch.   The gravesite was piled high with flours.  Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers.  He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.  Despite being a little flaky at times, he was still a crusty old man and was considered a roll model for millions.  Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had one in the oven.  He is also survived by his elderly dad, Pop Tart.  The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If this made you smile even for a brief second, please take times to pass it on and share that smile with someone else who kneads it!

Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that his feet became quite thick and hard.  He also was quite a spiritual person.  Even when he was not on a hunger strike, he did not eat much and became quite thin and frail.  Furthermore, due to his diet, he wound up with very bad breath.  Therefore, he came to be known as a “Super callused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.”


Al Heppner. Maybe you read his story in the newspaper last week. Al was a world-class long distance race walker. His dream was to go to the Olympics. That’s what he lived for. Two weeks ago today, he was competing in the 50-kilometer Olympic trials in Chula   Vista, hoping (and expecting) to earn a birth on the team that will be going to Athens this summer. To no one’s surprise, he led the race until about the 35-kilometer mark, when he              began to tire. Four other walkers eventually passed him, and he finished fifth, nearly 24 minutes over the Olympic qualifying time of 4 hours. Three days later, he drove out Interstate 8 to the Pine Valley Bridge in eastern San Diego County and jumped to his death. A fellow race walker and one of his closest friends said, “He was pretty much all or nothing. My feeling would be that he was so intent that he just forgot about everything else except for making the Olympics. Nothing else mattered.”

Many years ago, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote this: “This is the true joy in life— being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a weighty one, instead of being a feverish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

Just before he received the Nobel prize for literature (which Shaw had earlier won), American novelist John Steinbeck wrote in a letter to a friend: “Long ago I knew, perhaps, that mine was not a truly first-rate talent. I had then two choices, to throw it over or to use what I had to the best of my ability. I chose the second.”

Psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger, co-founder of the famous Menninger clinic, made this cogent observation: “The secret of mental health is finding out what you are supposed to do in this life, and working hard at it.”


Posted by on September 20, 2012 in illustrations, preaching


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