Fifty years ago I was a young, inexperienced 5th- and 6th-grade teacher in a rural Christian school near Lynden, Wash. Before Christmas I asked the class to memorize portions of Luke 2. Each student recited the verses in front of the class. One morning a sweet but nervous girl, while twisting and wringing her hands, began: “While shepherds washed their socks at night . . . “ The rest of the class looked at me, but I held a poker face. Some giggled and twittered. Thankfully the student kept on going without a problem until the last phrase, which came out, “But Mary kept all these things and pounded them in her heart.”
Today she is the very competent wife of a pastor in our denomination!
The Sunday school teacher asked the children, “Who would like to go to heaven?” They all raised their hands except one little boy. When the teacher questioned him, he replied, “My mother told me to come right home.”
Aretired pastor (not Christian Reformed) from a nearby town was telling us how he used to ride a motorcycle for relaxation as well as for making some of his pastoral calls. He named his bike “Visitation.” Of course we asked why. “Well,” he answered, “if I was out riding and one of my parishioners called, my wife could honestly say, ‘I’m sorry, he’s out on Visitation.’”
Several of us on a Christian Reformed World Missions team in West Africa have been setting up accounts with Skype, a voice-over-Internet service, to talk with relatives in North America. Our team has also been involved in philosophical discussions of what it means to be Reformed. Reflecting on the direction the team is going, team leader Cal Hofland observed, “One thing is clear, we’re all becoming sKuyperians!”
By the way, how do Wycliffe missionaries get to heaven?
By perfect translation.
—Joyce Ribbens Campbell
Marian had just celebrated her 85th birthday, and in a couple months I would celebrate my 87th. For 58 years we enjoyed living in a home built by my father, but we thought it was time to inquire about moving to a local care facility in which a number of our friends lived. We made three or four visits, then decided to put our names on the waiting list. Shortly after that we visited a funeral home to pay our respects to the family of someone who had died. A friend of ours, who lives at the care facility into which we intended to move, worked part time as a greeter at the funeral home. As we were leaving there, she asked, “So, what’s your target date for coming?”
—John and Marian Vanden Berg
We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the “seniors’ special” was two eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast for $1.99.
“Sounds good,” my wife said. “But I don’t want the eggs.”
“Then I’ll have to charge you two dollars and 49 cents because you’re ordering à la carte,” the waitress warned her.
“You mean I’d have to pay for not taking the eggs?” my wife asked incredulously?
“Yes,” stated the waitress.
“I’ll take the special then,” my wife said.
“How do you want your eggs?” the waitress asked.
“Raw and in the shell,” my wife replied.
She took the two eggs home.
Johnny had graduated from nursery to worshiping with his family, and he was on a learning curve. After 15 to 20 minutes of worship, he would frequently blurt out, “I have to go bathroom!” Mom and dad were a little embarrassed, so they told him that if he had to go while in church, he should always say, “I have to sing.”
While Mom and Dad enjoyed a rare weekend away, Grandma and Grandpa took over. Twenty minutes into worship, Johnny whispered in Grandpa’s ear, “I have to sing.”
“It’s not time to sing right now,” Grandpa replied, “but in a few minutes we’ll sing again. Just wait.”
“But I can’t wait,” said Johnny, “I have to sing real bad.”
Grandpa pondered for a moment, then came up with a solution: “OK, just stand on the bench and sing softly into my ear.”
Recently, one Sunday morning, our 6-year-old daughter, Grace, looked up to the front of the sanctuary and saw the table set for communion. She grew excited and whispered to me, “Look, Mommy, they’re serving drinks up front again today!”
My grandson, Tobias, slow to talk, finally began using some words. So Mom and Dad decided it was time to teach him to pray before he went to bed. They talked to him about all the things he loved. Then they explained those were from Jesus, and he could thank him for them. Next they showed him how to fold his little hands and bow his head. Then Dad asked Tobias to repeat after him . . .
Thank you . . . . . . . . . . . Kank ku
Jesus . . . . . . . . . . . Jesus
for . . . . . . . . . . . five.