Late one afternoon, my dad was driving down his fairly quiet residential street when he noticed that the older sedan driving in front of him had a bumper sticker that read “HONK if you love Jesus.”
Figuring that this was an appropriate time and place, my dad signaled his agreement with a friendly little toot of his horn. Instead of the reaction he had expected, Dad received a quick “middle-finger salute.” Maybe it’s time to update that bumper sticker to read, “Jesus loves me anyway.”
When our youngest son was born, he had very little hair. One day our 5-year-old daughter had a friend over to play. I overheard her telling her friend that our minister did not baptize her baby brother right because it did not make his hair grow.
Arecent faculty meeting at the Christian university where I teach began in its usual manner with a prayer being offered by one of the professors.
He began by praying, “Lord, thank you for this new day, thank you for this university dedicated to you, thank you for this faculty that you have assembled in your name.”
Suddenly the prayer was interrupted by a loud rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah emitting from the cell phone of a colleague seated next to him. Following a brief moment of stunned silence, the professor continued his prayer without missing a beat: “And thank you, Lord, for the gift of great music!”
John and Susan didn’t have a lot of furniture as they anticipated marriage, so a couple of weeks before their wedding day they decided to buy a few essential items. They saw a gorgeous bedroom set, and Susan was ready to buy it until the salesman told her that he stood behind everything he sold.
—George Vander Weit
It was like any other Sunday morning worship service except for the fact that we were worshiping in the city park. It had become an annual summer event to worship one Sunday out of the year in God’s creation to celebrate the beginning of our educational ministry.
As usual, we had a communion service in which each member of the congregation tore a piece of bread from the loaf. Due to my physical disability, the elder graciously tore off my piece. As he handed me my portion, my canine companion, Sisto, decided to take advantage of an opportune moment. In an instant Sisto stood up and devoured the remaining one-half loaf of bread, which the elder still held. Needless to say, the bread was beyond rescue from Sisto’s jaws!
As bystanders laughed, our pastor chuckled and said, “Well, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this communion service.” I replied, “Bet it’s the first time you ever had a dog participate!”
A man comes home from work and his wife says, “Our neighbor next door often brings home flowers for his wife. Why don’t you do that?”
“Why should I?” he says. “I hardly know the lady.”
Our church recently received an automatic external defibrillator, a gift from the medical professionals of our congregation. With it came this note: “Pastor, while we hope your sermons quicken the pulse, may they never so shock your flock.”
In 1964 during our home leave from Nigeria, I was visiting one of our supporting churches. Sporting a Van Dyke goatee and moustache I was viewed by many with some curiosity, as beards were generally associated with “hippies” in those days. One curious observer that morning was a small girl of about 4 years of age.
Seeing her fascination with this novelty, I knelt down and said “Hello there.” I asked if she would like to touch this growth of hair on my chin. Very solemnly she did so and then ran off looking for her daddy.
Arriving at home after church, she could hardly wait to report the wonderful thing that had happened. “Mommy, Mommy, you know what I did in church today? I talked to a dog!”
—Stuart J. Kingma
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Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:
- Tell A Better Story
- ‘Rebirth’ for a Wisconsin Church
- Book review: A Church Called Tov, by Laura Barringer and Scot McKnight