Friday, August 7, 2015

Incessant Divagation


“ROOM FOR ONE MORE” 
by Rick Jones, Husband of The Minister's Wife

The congregation at Goodold Baptist Church never knew what a debt they owed to Lois. She helped me with my sermons by listening to some of my ideas for illustrations and quotations, and for every remark that made folks cringe, there were probably two more, even worse, I edited out on her recommendation.

Like Dirty Harry said, “A man's got to know his limitations.” I knew I needed editorial assistance when I realized that one of my favorite poems is

 FLEAS
 by Ann Onymous 
Grieve 
for Eve,
'cause Adam
 had 'em.

And, yes, I actually quoted that in one sermon. I think Lois was away visiting her mother that week. I hope you'll enjoy reading about some lighter moments in my ministry like I enjoyed living them:

The church was located along a state highway where many drivers habitually drove 15 to 20 MPH over the posted speed limit. So I put up a message on the church sign:

“NEVER DRIVE FASTER 
THAN YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL 
WILL FLY. 
SPEED LIMIT 40”

After the close of each service, I shook hands with people as they left the sanctuary. One Sunday, a woman who was concerned about germs, and could tell I had a sore throat, scolded me [while other people were standing within earshot] that it was inconsiderate of me to shake hands with people that Sunday. I responded, “But I really should greet you somehow,” then gave her the Star Trek Vulcan salute and said, “Peace and long life.” I'd guess 80% of the people who saw it were amused. She was not.

Having grown up with John Wayne as a childhood hero, I never did develop a liking for hugs as greetings, but as a pastor, I tried to be “tolerant” of people who preferred that instead of a handshake. One man, who knew I was a reluctant hugger, said, “It could be worse. I could follow the pronouncement in II Corinthians 13:12.” Which reads, “Greet one another with an holy kiss.” I suggested he recall Paul's words to the Philippian church, stand back, and “salute every saint.” Especially if he hadn't showered that morning.

A man once told me that he'd never come to Goodold Baptist Church because it was full of hypocrites. I answered that objection: “No, it's not full of them yet. Come on in, there's room for one more.”

14 comments:

  1. LOL. I wonder what the answer was when you told him that there's room for one more.

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    1. He told me, but I was sworn to secrecy. LOL!

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  2. Ha, this is hysterical! And I love picturing that sign as cars sped by!

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    1. Sped by is the operative word! It was supposed to be a scenic highway, but people were doing much sightseeing as they sped by.

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  3. This is quite entertaining, I love your humor. That last line killed it. Thanks for the good laugh.

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    1. He does have a way with the punch line. he often pulls me into a story and throws a zinger at me. He keeps me laughing!

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  4. There was a gas station that use to have pithy sayings like that. I use to love to drive by just to read the sign.

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    1. I was wondering if I should share more from the church sign. Given the response to this article, I surely plan to. One slogan that I did not use was related to gay marriage: "In the beginning: / Adam and Eve / Not Adam and Steve". One of the church officers told me that he thought the topic was too serious and too sensitive to treat so lightly. I agreed with him, but I wondered if his objection was really motivated more by the fact that his name was Steve.

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  5. Sounds very intersting and entertaining. Just loved everything filled with humor & that "Come on in, there's room for one more" was just hilarious. Lol

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the article! he gets me on stuff like this a lot!

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  6. I love your easygoing nature and way you deal with parishioners. You are a warm and welcoming person.

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    1. I agree with you, although he would not! he says he;s just good at hiding how not nice he is. I never believe him! I know better!!

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  7. These are hilarious! I hope your congregation appreciates your sense of humor!

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    1. Some did. Some did not! Although the majority love his humor!

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