My husband has always liked short, but meaningful quotes that he reads or hears. He has a notebook where he writes them down. He also has just come up with many on his own over the years of teaching/preaching.
I am getting a new computer (my current one is almost eleven years old and just cannot keep up with all the new updates in the internet world). It’s like driving a model T car on the interstate. Does not work.
Going through all the documents and pictures I have accumulated in those eleven years is crazy. What needs to go to the trash bin and what needs to be saved to a new computer???
Going through my husband’s folder, I found one of his lists of quotes. Some are serious and thoughtful; some are just silly. Most of these are his own, but if there are any that are not original to him, I apologize for the plagiarism.
Before deleting, I thought I would share.
Say “no” to sin and “yes” to God.
Eternity is too long to be wrong.
What part of “thou shalt not” did you not understand?
You have a right to be wrong if you want to.
There is more to serving God than 11 am on Sunday morning.
Emotion without devotion is just commotion.
Serving God is walking straight after you repent.
I never saw a U-Haul behind a hearse.
If you want something out of church, put something in.
It is not what Grandma told you, what you think or what you saw that is the truth, but what “thus says the Lord.”
One story my husband hates for me to tell – but I get such fun out of telling is the Sunday a visitor showed up at church.
My husband loved to get out of the office and into the community. He felt just sitting at a desk all week was not the best way to be a help and influence to the community. Since he is a Pepsi fan (I always said if he needs a blood transfusion they could just use Diet Pepsi instead of blood), he always stopped at the local Casey’s for a soda while he was out visiting.
Stopping two or three times a week at the same Casey’s, he became friends with the cashier and often invited her to come to church. She always had some reason why she could not come.
Then one day she surprised my husband by showing up for the morning worship. As my husband greeted her in the foyer, she loudly proclaimed, Pastor Paul, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!
I wish I had a camera with me that day to get a picture of the shocked look on his face. Then, a second later, a picture of the woman’s face as she realized what her comments sounded like and her face turned all shades of red.
Looking around at the congregation that stood by very puzzled at her statement, she explained what she meant. “I mean, I always see you in jeans and a t-shirt. I have never seen you in your suit and tie.”
While my husband hoped that everyone who heard her first statement also heard the second one, I just stood there and laughed and laughed! I still tease him from time to time that I did not know he made pastoral calls in the nude!
December was not a good month for me. It started off with a terrible head cold. My poor nose suffered from constant blowing.
When the cold was over, I had three to four days that were good – and then I got Covid.
Of course, being a good wife, I shared it with my husband.
After a couple of weeks of misery, we both looked pretty bad. I had cancelled my hair appointment when I got the cold and it was now almost eight weeks since I had a hair cut. I keep my hair very short and usually get a trim every four weeks. So with no makeup and my hair sticking out everywhere, I was not a pretty sight. My husband also was looking ragged with no shave for several days.
Then we heard a joke on TV and it has kept us laughing as we slowly recover from the effects of Covid.
Husband, looking in the mirror: “My arms are like little sticks, my chest is sagging, I can’t see my feet and my face is full of wrinkles.”
Wife: “Well, look on the bright side. Your eyesight is still perfect.”
Today I got my hair cut – and I have promised myself tomorrow I will put on my makeup. My husband has shaved and is looking good again.
Still, we are old and certainly are not the wonderful specimens of youth and beauty we once were. 🙂
But we are grateful to still love one another – even with our perfect eyesight.
As another new year comes around, my mind races back to other new years and other times. Recently I was thinking about the life of a pastor and his family and the frustrations, the laughter and the joy that life brings. Three different stories came to mind that illustrate all three scenarios.
One Sunday morning as my husband was greeting the church members after service, one man stopped him and said, “Pastor, you know what is wrong with this church?” Smiling while thinking “I didn’t know anything was wrong – and who asked you,” my husband asked him what he thought was wrong. His response: “You are too organized.”
Continuing to shake hands with the other members, a woman stopped him and said, “Pastor, you know what is wrong with this church?” Now my husband took a deep breath, smiled and said “What is wrong?” Her response: “You are not organized enough”
There was a woman in one of our churches that bounced from church to church throughout the community. She was a little slow mentally and when she came to our church we tried our best to make her feel welcome.
One Sunday my husband told the congregation that we would be out-of-town the following weekend as we were going to visit relatives in North Carolina. He was encouraging everyone to please attend as members often stay home if the pastor is not going to be there.
This woman raised her hand and when my husband asked her what she wanted she asked him: “Is Barbara going with you?” Of course I was going and my husband replied in the affirmative.
The entire congregation tried so hard not to laugh when she said, “Well, if she can’t go with you, I can.”
One morning as my husband and I headed across the parking lot from the parsonage to the church office a car pulled into the driveway and a young woman got out to talk to us. She was looking for the church that was administering the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition program. We gave her directions to the local church that had the program.
She lingered after we gave her the information and seemed as if she was troubled and wanted to talk. We invited her into the office and she began to share how she was pregnant and wanted to keep the baby but her boyfriend told her it was either him or the baby. If she did not abort the child, he was kicking her out of their apartment and breaking off their relationship. She clearly did not want to abort the child but was unsure if she could raise a child by herself.
We spend time with her discussing her options.
She could obtain an abortion and keep her home and relationship with her boyfriend.
She could seek help from others, give birth to the baby and then put it up for adoption.
She could seek help from others and raise the child herself.
While we tried not to judge her or her boyfriend we naturally advocated for the life of the child. It was clear she really wanted that, but just needed some help in not only making that decision but being able to have resources so she could keep that choice.
I made a list of phone numbers of various resources that would help her including the local Pregnancy Resource Center. We also gave her our phone number and told her we would do anything we could to help her with doctor visits, baby supplies, etc.
After prayer with her, she left saying she did not know what she would do but she would keep in mind our offer of help and the list of resources I had given her.
Weeks, months went by and we never heard from her again. I agonized over whether we had not made it clear enough that we and our church were willing to help her.
Almost 3 years later we had a district meeting at our church. Several other churches in the area were in attendance. A young woman walked up to me with a beautiful little girl in her arms. She asked: “Do you recognize me?”
I did not know who she was. Tears of joy quickly came to my eyes as she identified herself as the young woman who we had counseled and prayed with over the decision of abortion. Although she had never called us back she had gone to the Pregnancy Resource Center. They helped her with doctor visits and baby clothes and gave her the friendship she needed to carry though with the birth of that little girl.
She thanked me that we had taken the time to help her walk through the options she had and offered resources to help her in her choice of life.
So – you add it up. The joys and the laughs far outweigh the frustrations.
The frustrations are gone, but the funny things still bring a laugh, and the joys still make it all seem worthwhile.
Since we just saw England celebrate the 70 years of the reign by Queen Elizabeth II, I thought I would share her comments for my Friday list of laughter and wisdom (even though i am a day late.)
Grief is the price we pay for love.
None of us can slow the passage of time; and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.
When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.
If I wore beige, nobody would know who I am.
It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind.
Children teach us all a lesson – just as the Christmas story does – that in the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential.
We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock.
Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us have a monopoly on wisdom.
Memories are our second chance at happiness.
The world is not the most pleasant place. Eventually your parents leave you and nobody is going to go out of their way to protect you unconditionally. You need to learn to stand up for yourself and what you believe and sometimes, pardon my language, kick some ass.