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January 18, 2011 - 

An elderly Middle Eastern man lived just outside New York City for more than 40 years.

One day he decided he would love to plant potatoes and herbs in his garden, but he knew he was too old and weak to do so. His son was in college in Paris, so the old man sent him an e  mail explaining the problem: “Beloved son, I am very sad because I can’t plant potatoes in my garden. I am sure, if only you were here, that you would help me and dig up the garden for me. I love you. Your father.”

The following day the old man received a response from his son: “Beloved father, please don’t touch the garden. That is where I have hidden ‘the THING.’ I love you, too. —Ahmed.”

At 4 p.m. the FBI and the Rangers visited the home of the old man and took the whole garden apart, searching every inch. But they couldn’t find anything. Disappointed, they left the house.

The next day the old man received another message from his son: “Beloved father, I hope the garden is dug up by now and you can plant your potatoes. That is all I could do for you from here. Your loving son, Ahmed.”

—Sylvia Galbraith

Rev. V. was a good pastor. His sermons were always well prepared, but he had to read every word from his script. So the young people in the church played a trick on him and removed one page from his sermon.

Rev. V. was preaching on Adam and Eve in the Garden. He was well into the message when he suddenly stopped, apparently quite perturbed. He started in again: “And Adam said to Eve . . . and Adam said to Eve . . .” He looked up, stuttering, “There seems to be a leaf missing.”

—Walter VanderBeek

Many years ago, around 1958, our family moved into our first parsonage. One Monday morning we went to a house where some secondhand furniture was being sold. The two women showed us the various items. Then they disappeared into the kitchen, and our 4-year-old son followed them. Soon we heard loud laughter.

They told us they had asked our son where his daddy worked. His answer: “He doesn’t work. He’s a minister.”

—Francis B. Kok (Mrs. Chap. Louis E.)

An old man went to bed one night. But he could not get to sleep. He was too busy thinking.

“Why does the sun come up in the east and go down in the west?” He thought about this over and over. “Why does the sun come up in the east and go down in the west?”

It grew later and later.

Finally it dawned on him.

—John Davids

I enjoy working with children at my church. One day I helped a 5-year-old find a solution to a word puzzle about kindness. When we found an answer to be “Don’t call people names,” the boy looked up at me with questioning eyes and asked, “Then what do we call them?”

—Ryan Van Der Bill

My wife and I try our best to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. At stores we refuse plastic bags whenever possible. One time after I purchased only one small item, the quick-handed clerk had my item bagged before I could say a word. I removed the item, instructing him not to throw the plastic bag away but to give it to someone else. His only response was, “Oh, yeah . . . save a tree.”

—Ryan Van Der Bill

Six-year-old Dakotah was sitting in the back seat of the car with his eyes closed. When his mom, Rachael, looked back at him, she wondered what he was thinking about. Earlier they had talked about going to his favorite skateboard store for new clothes for his birthday. Could he be thinking about what he might get? After a few minutes she heard Dakotah’s voice. Still with his eyes closed, he sighed and said, “Mom, I know Adam and Eve sinned, and I am not happy about it. But, MAN, do I love clothes!”

—Thalia Triemstra

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