“When I find myself in times of trouble…”—Paul McCartney

trouble

Years ago I heard an apocryphal story about church life that always made me snicker (even before I retired), so for some goofy reason I thought that I would share it with the few people that check out this blog (If I could remember from whom I heard it first I would give him credit, or blame, but it was decades ago). I will give you the Presbyterian version:

A pastor was called to a new church and on the day he arrived he received a phone call from the former pastor. The former pastor said, “I have prepared three envelopes and left them in your desk drawer numbered 1, 2, and 3. Do not open them until a crisis occurs, and they will guide you through the challenging time, but do not open them until you have to, and be sure to open them in order.” The “new kid on the block” thanked the old pastor for his help, and let him know how much he appreciated him caring enough to help.

For several months church life went smoothly for the new pastor, but eventually a crisis popped up. He was at his wits’ end, and decided it was time to open the first envelope. It said simply, “Blame me.” So he did. He blamed the former pastor, and sure enough, things settled down and the church was able to move beyond the trouble.

For the next 18 months things went well until he came to another seemingly insurmountable problem. He went to the desk drawer and pulled out envelope number two. It said simply, “Blame the ruling elders.” (Baptist version: “Blame the deacons.”) So, since it worked so well with the first envelope, he took the advice. He blamed the ruling elders and once again the crisis blew over.

At the beginning of his third year at the church a really big problem arose. With much hope the pastor went once again to his desk drawer to find guidance to help him in a time of great need. He opened the third envelope and read the following words, “Prepare three envelopes…”

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Happy Reformation Day!

492 years ago today Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church, unknowingly becoming the catalyst for the Reformation. Robert Gebel has written this song to commemorate that pivotal event in history. A special thanks to Mark Gibson for finding this in cyberspace.

The Reformation Polka
by Robert Gebel

[Sung to the tune of “Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious”]

When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law;
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augustinian! Oh…

Chorus:
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter’s profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints’ Bull’tin board:
“You cannot purchase merits, for we’re justified by grace!
Here’s 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!” Oh…

Chorus:
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exempleror;
The Pope, however, hauled me up before the Emperor.
“Are these your books? Do you recant?” King Charles did demand,
“I will not change my Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand!” Oh…

Chorus:
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation –
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Duke Frederick took the Wise approach, responding to my words,
By knighting “George” as hostage in the Kingdom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin’s model if the languages you seek,
Stay locked inside a castle with your Hebrew and your Greek! Oh…

Chorus:
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation –
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Let’s raise our steins and Concord Books while gathered in this place,
And spread the word that ‘catholic’ is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets his chance,
So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance! Oh…

Chorus:
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation –
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

“A Time to Laugh”

It’s Friday and everyone could use a laugh, so I would encourage you to go to Dr. James Galyon’s blog , and watch this Tim Hawkins video. It is hilarious.

Relatively Speaking

Dennis Miller just made me laugh out loud. What did he say? “Robert Gibbs makes Scott McClellan look like J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

Practical Considerations for Family Worship

Note to self: When attempting to have family worship, go ahead and kill the roach on the ceiling instead of telling two boys not to worry about it. (It will save you much trouble in the end.)

Ask the Doctor

A friend of mine sent me this email (Thanks, Austin), so I thought that I would pass it on to you. I have a new hero in the health/fitness arena.

 

 Ask the Doctor…

 

 Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?

 A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it…don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

 

 Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

 A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetables). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

 

 Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

 A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine; that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

 

 Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

 A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

 

 Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

 A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good!

 

 Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

 A: YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!!…Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

 

 Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

 A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

 

 Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

 A: Are you crazy? HELLO…Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

 

 Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

 A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

 

 Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

 A: Hey! “Round is a shape!”

 

 Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. One last word…

 1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

 2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

 3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

 4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

 5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lost of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

 Conclusion: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

 

Bon Appetit!