Thursday, March 25, 2010

"That Way I Can Kill the Whole Bird With One Stone."

Just as truth can be stranger than fiction, reality can sometimes be funnier than jokes. Therefore, I try to keep track of unusual things I hear people say. Below is a list of word-abuses that I have heard over the last few years. These friends and acquaintances did not realize they were corrupting a word or using the wrong word. The following sentences were spoken in earnest.

A fellow told me he did not want to sound self-defecating.

A second cousin told me her sister had an infection in her influfial tubes.

One man said he suffered from sick-as-hell-anemia.

The hospital had to place a lady’s husband in contentious care.

Another man was in there with a brain hemorrhoid.

A fellow told me a family member had immaculate degeneration.

One man said he had problems with his heart rhythm, but the doctors had decided not to install a space-maker.

A friend told me, “While I am in town, I’ll go by and pay the fine and also return Joel’s guitar. That way I can kill the whole bird with one stone.”

This same fellow was explaining to me why he quit his job. Up to this point he had endured a few things that had bothered him about the job, but when his boss embarrassed him in front of the other employees that was the thing that broke the camel’s straw.

A fellow was suffering from digestive heart failure.

A gentleman told me that he had been reading in the book of the prophet Jackariah.

I actually heard this on TV one evening. A man who was in prison for life was being interviewed by a TV news anchor. When asked to compare the inmates of today with those who were incarcerated with him twenty years ago, he replied, “Years ago there was a certain code of conduct among the prisoners. But today these men coming in here are all messed up. You know, the criminals of today just aren’t raised like criminals used to be.”

In describing Mary’s and Joseph’s engagement, a preacher on the radio said that Mary was be-throught to a man named Joseph.

A fellow told me his brother had phosphate cancer, but he over-ed it.

When I asked a friend if any other churches took part in the conference his church had sponsored up in the mountains, he replied, “There was one local church there that dissipated with us."

A construction worker told my friend that he had to go pick up his workers conversation check.

My cousin who is a nurse just shared these with me. A patient told her he had a history of roaches of the liver. Another patient said he was going to have a buried enema. Another said the nurse had given him a depository to help his bowels move.

A fellow came to work one morning and told my friend, "My wife's arthritis is so bad we can't even have intersection."

If you have heard any humorous word-abuses, feel free to send them by email or write them in the comments section that accompanies this article.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BUT THE ROOSTER WAS FIERCE!

“…I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus.” -1 Corinthians 15: 32

Paul Law’s Message at the African Pastors’ Conference

The Kenyan pastors sat enthralled as Paul Law told them of the time he was surprised by the fierce growl of a lion crouching in the bushes in front of him near his missions ranch in the Congo.
He had been told that the creature had left the area, and so he considered it safe to look for the remains of a cow the lion had previously killed and dragged into the bushes. But now the threatening roar announced the presence of the beast.

Paul stopped in his tracks, and without turning his head was about to quietly give instructions to the three companions following behind him. They, however, were not there. They had already fled to the truck leaving him alone with the lion. He carefully and slowly walked backwards keeping his eyes in the direction of a possible attack. He made it safely back to the vehicle to find that the two men who reached the truck first, had jumped in, shut the doors, and locked out the third fellow who was now lying in the back of the truck in the fetal position.

The conference pastors sat on the edge of their seat as Paul proceeded to tell how he and his brother David returned later and killed the lion that had become a threat to their children and livestock. Contrasting his faithful brother with the men who had fled in fear, Paul spoke of the strength drawn from friends who stand with us in the battle and in our times of trial. It was a moving and powerful message.

When Paul finished his message, after a short break it was my turn to speak.

I looked at the group of pastors and said, “Paul Law has told you of the time he was face to face with the lion. I am going to tell you about the time I was attacked…” At this point they leaned forward to hear what harrowing tale I was about to tell. I proceeded, “I am going to tell you about the time I was attacked… by a rooster!” The audience began to mumble asking each other, “Did he say ‘rooster'?” And then the whole place “cracked up” as these African pastors all began to laugh. To them a rooster is nothing to fear. A rooster is food, not a predator. It was only a rooster, but it was fierce to me.

I was an eight or nine year old boy at the time, and to me the event was very traumatic. My Aunt Maggie’s old “flogging” rooster came charging at me jumping up trying to claw me with those sharp talons. He was not one of those little bantam roosters, but a full-grown, combative, big barnyard boss, almost as big as me. I picked up my cousin’s old rusty B B gun and used it as a bat. Every time that rooster jumped up I would swing that rifle down on his back and knock him back to the ground. I should have swung sideways and hit him up side the head, but I was too afraid to think of that. I struggled for a few minutes until Mrs Grace Gore, an elderly lady passing by, saw my plight and saved me. It was not much to brag about. I was attacked by a chicken, and rescued by an old lady, but the battle was real to me, and she was a beautiful woman on that day.

Both of the above stories illustrate our need to have brothers and sisters to stand with us as we face the issues and trials of life. But even more importantly they remind us that we should be vigilant in our walk with the Lord so that we are “there” spiritually for those who depend on us and who may need us in their hour of need. Often I have prayed, “Lord, I want to stay in that place where the heavens are open to me, and I can call upon you in faith as I pray for my wife, my children, my friends and all those for whom I am to stand in the gap. I want to be among those who pray 'Thy kingdom come,' and it represent a real force in bringing your kingdom, rather than just the prayer of rote that so many simply recite." I want to cry out to God in faith for those who are searching, serving, or suffering, and to actually encourage and strengthen them rather than locking myself in the safety of the vehicle while others are left outside to fight or die alone. We need to stand with those who face the “lion,” but we should not despise the struggle of those who face the “rooster.”

2 Corinthians 1: 8-11. “But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf…”
Suggested reading: Ecclesiates 4: 8-12; Luke 22: 28; Ezekiel 22:30; 2 Timothy 4: 9-18; 4: 16-18

[Please see the "FRIEND IN NEED" paragraph at the end of the previous post below].

Sunday, March 14, 2010

AN ACT OF COMPASSION

“…And when he saw him, he had compassion” Luke 10: 33

My friend John Moses was in the check-out line at a grocery store recently and noticed that an elderly lady with a small child in line in front of him did not have enough money to pay for the groceries she was buying for herself and her grandchild. He noticed how sad and embarrassed she seemed to be as she began removing food items from her bags.

John’s heart was moved with compassion because he realized she needed every single item of food for herself and the child who was with her. Turning to the cashier he said, “Please put those items back into her bag. I will pay for her groceries .” The cashier gladly placed all the food back into the bags. The elderly lady, full of gratitude for such kindness, turned to my friend and thanked him for what he had done.

John did not mean to draw attention to himself, but he immediately received comments from those who saw what he did. The cashier said, “I have worked here for years and I have never seen anyone do that before. There have been many times when people did not have enough money to pay for all their items, and never once, until now, have I seen anyone offer to help them.”

Compassion is an instrument of God’s love and affects the one giving it as well as the one receiving it. One evening not long afterwards, John was driving from his home in Georgia to a work project in south Florida. He began to think about what had happened and became very sad. He felt his heart touched once more as he remembered the lady and the child in the grocery store. But now he was becoming angry with himself because he had only paid the amount the lady lacked. He had wanted to pay for all her groceries and let her keep what little money she had, but the cashier had misunderstood and had charged on his card only what the lady lacked. Tears welled up in his eyes as he envisioned the elderly lady and the child. “I should have done more,” he thought.

It was at this moment that he gave me a call.
I assured him that the Lord was pleased with what he had done. His kindness had blessed the elderly lady and the child and had made an impression on those who saw it. In his humility he was now feeling he had not done enough. But there was no need for guilt. Our walk with God involves a learning process. Sometimes we do things perfectly, other times we stumble around. But the Lord is with us through it all, teaching us, and helping us to grow. The Lord used this experience to reveal Himself to John in a special way. When we are moved with compassion we not only touch others but also God Himself.
[Comments can be made by clicking "comment" just below the next paragraph].

A FRIEND IN NEED
A 24 year old young man named Jack Ness is scheduled for surgery on March 22. His condition is macroprolactinoma, a brain tumor sitting on the optic nerve. He is a fine chrisitian man with a heart of gold. Doctors confirm that if he doesn't have this surgery he will lose his eye sight. The cost of the surgery is $150,000. Jack has no insurance, and Medicaid has turned him down for any assistance. His parents are dear friends of mine and I recommend him as worthy of our help.
If you would like to help this young man, please make out your check to:
North Beach Covenant Church (note "Alms" on the memo line)
and send to:
368 Cox Lane
Longs, SC 29568