Out of the Mouths of Babes…

February 18, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Kathi Macias –

One of my all-time favorite shows was “Kids Say the Darndest Things” with host Art Linkletter. Art has long since gone on to his heavenly reward, but once in awhile I’ll see a rerun of an old program and realize how hilarious it was. Nothing was scripted, nothing rehearsed—just natural and spontaneous, which no one does better than kids.

I remember a time like that with one of my granddaughters. Brittney was four or five, and I took her with me to run some errands. On the way home I wanted to stop at the cemetery and leave some flowers on a relative’s grave. I decided it could be a good learning experience for Brittney, so we talked as we made our way to the gravesite.

“What are all those numbers under the names?” she asked, peering down at the headstones as we passed by.

“Those are the dates they were born and when they died,” I explained.

She thought about that for a minute, and I realized this was quite a challenge for someone her age. I decided to give her some examples.

“This lady,” I said, “was born in 1938 and died in 1989. That means she was 51 when she died.”

Her eyes grew wide, but she didn’t say anything. Quite obviously she concluded the woman was quite elderly.

I then pointed out one who had died quite young—in his twenties. She nodded and continued on.

Then we stopped to gaze at an ornate headstone that caught her eye. She tried to read the dates, but when I realized she was struggling, I intervened, explaining that the woman was 98 when she died.

Brittney’s head snapped up, her brown eyes nearly popped out of her head, and she said in a voice tinged with awe, “Wow, she was ready!”

After I quit laughing, I realized I’d been handed the teachable moment I’d hoped for and promptly used her comment to talk about “being ready” before we die.

And then, in August of this year, my 90-year-old mother went home to be with Jesus. Was she ready? Absolutely! Brittney, who is now almost 21, sat with many of her cousins at the memorial service to honor this matriarch of our family.

One of the little ones in attendance, Annabelle, was not quite four at the time. She’d been hearing statements to the effect that her great grandma was dead and wasn’t quite sure what that meant. But when she couldn’t find Grandma anywhere, she’d shrug and say, “Grandma’s dead,” as if that explained her absence.

As the hour-long service went on, with some of Mom’s favorite songs being sung, a video shown about heaven and “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me playing in the background, not to mention the favorite memories shared by many who loved her, I wondered what the youngest member of the family thought about all that was going on.

I didn’t have long to wonder. As the service came to a close and people gathered around to offer hugs and condolences, Annabelle ran up to us with her blue eyes shining and a smile spread across her face.

“Grandma’s not dead,” she announced, as if she’d just made the most wonderful discovery ever. “She’s in heaven!”

Whether Annabelle had figured it out on her own or with the help of the memorial service—or whether an angel had whispered it to her—she was right. And she had reminded each one of us of the great truth that if we’re truly “ready”—as I had explained to Brittney years earlier—our loved ones who go on before us are not dead at all. They are simply in heaven, worshiping the Savior who ensured their safe passage through the valley of death into the presence of the Father.

Campus Security

February 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Emily M. Akin –

“You’re not walking back to the dorm alone after 11:00 p.m., are you?” Mom’s face scrunched up with worry.

“Yeah, that’s not a good idea,” Dad agreed.

“Oh, it’s OK,” Jenny said. “Don’t worry. Some of the guys walk back to the dorms with me. No one leaves the building without an escort.”

Like all parents of female freshmen at large universities, these parents were concerned about their daughter’s safety, particularly walking on campus at night. The “panic” buttons posted on utility poles along the walkways were no comfort. Jenny had told them she went to the church-related student center every evening to study with friends. Most nights, she stayed until it closed at 11:00 p.m.

It was parents’ weekend, and the student center was hosting a lunchtime cookout for parents. To ease their minds, Jenny had promised to introduce Mom and Dad to some of the young men who served as late-night campus escorts.

“Mom, Dad—this is Harry. He’s one of the guys who walks us to the dorms at night,” she said.

Dad smiled, although, at the same time, his mouth dropped open. Simultaneously, Mom’s eyebrows shot skyward. Harry, who was all of 5 feet 2 inches tall, extended his left hand in greeting. This was necessary because his right arm sported an enormous cast.

Dad, speechless and wide-eyed, pulled Mom aside as soon as he could without being rude. “Is he supposed to be the bodyguard?” he hissed. “Why, he’s not as big as she is! What’s he going to do? Whack the attacker with that cast?”

“Please!” Mom shushed him. “Contain yourself.”

“Well, for Pete’s sake, Jenny could beat him up herself—with one hand tied behind her back,” Dad said. “He might be useful as a witness, but that’s about it.”

I wonder if God has the same reaction when He sees us cooking up some of our clever schemes. He may mumble to himself about how that won’t work. But, God loves us, so He lets us do our own thing.

Bank On It

January 29, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Rhonda Rhea –

I don’t want to admit how debit-card-dependent I am. It’s getting embarrassing. One day this week I couldn’t find my card. I looked everywhere all afternoon. Even by the next morning there was still no trace of the card. I searched high and low, near and far—even under the sofa cushions. I found 37 cents, three marbles, a T shirt (how had we ignored that lump?), seven M & M’s, a screwdriver, my favorite sunglasses, and the TV remote (hey, we’d been looking for that thing). But no card.

I rifled through my purse for the gazillionth time. It scared me when I found a ball of purse fuzz that looked like a dead rodent, but I must admit I perked up a little when I found the rest of those M & M’s. There were enough breath mints in there to freshen a platoon and at least four different shades of nail polish—all hiding among a ream of receipts I would never need. But still no card.

I checked our bank account online to make sure no one had used the rogue card. Nope, no extra charges (though how in the world could all those be mine?). Still, I was just this side of panic.

Why is it I wait until panic starts to set in before I remember where I really need to turn? Finally I thought, “Okay, I’ll have my quiet time with the Lord and then I can resume the hunt with more peace, less panic.”

I opened my Bible and you’re not even going to believe what fell out. My card! I knew I had marked my place the day before, I just hadn’t realized I used my card to do it. I had absentmindedly stuck it between the pages. Wow, that was a weird move both spiritually and financially, for sure.

What a lesson my Father taught me about where I should run first. I found such treasure in the pages of His Word that morning. And believe it or not, the real treasure was not even card-related. Psalm 119:14-16 says it best:  “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word,” (NIV).

Debit cards may come and go, but true riches are from the wisdom found in knowing our magnificent Lord. Wisdom and understanding are found in the pages of His Word. And, as Psalm 49:30 says it, “A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish,” (NIV). That means I can have all the debit cards and all the riches in the world, but unless I have the treasure of the wisdom that comes from knowing Christ, I’m no better off than a dead purse rodent.

Our wealth is only in Jesus and only because of Jesus. So let’s give credit where credit is due. And also give debit where debit is due.

A Tooth for a Tooth

January 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Lynn Rebuck –

Last week I had a wisdom tooth extracted. I am aware that there are many of you out there who have had four wisdom teeth removed at once, or two taken out together, and so you may scoff at my surrender of only a solitary tooth.  Let me explain the wisdom of this choice.

The oral surgeon wanted to take out both of my lower wisdom teeth.  In dental circles they are known as teeth numbers 17 and 32.  As I sat in the chair awaiting the procedure, he entered the room and in a rather cavalier way announced he wanted “number 17 and number 32.”  Apparently he thought that he was playing the lottery.  He had confused my mouth with the “Pick 6.”

I declined the dual extraction, and my final offer was for him to remove tooth number 17, which had recently broken.  Up until that time 17 was my lucky number.  Not anymore.  Tooth number 17 stubbornly refused to come out.  You know a medical procedure is not going well when they call in additional personnel to help (I was wondering how four people would all fit their hands in my mouth).  I think he started calling in people from the waiting room. “You, put the magazine down and get in here.”

At one point I heard him say (since I was fully awake and partially numb for the procedure), “Come in here.  Take this arm off,” which scared me since I thought he was referring to my arm.  I know dental work can cost an arm and a leg, but I thought they’d at least wait until the procedure was over.  Luckily he was referring to the arm of the chair. I think he put his foot up on it for leverage when he pulled.

What should have been a quick procedure turned into an extended tugfest. Worse yet, with a mouth full of hands and dental tools, I couldn’t express my opinion about what was going on.  And believe me, it was a strong opinion.

When he finally got the tooth out, I was relieved.  That was until he said he wasn’t sure if he got all of it.  An x-ray showed that he did.  After he was done, he announced his decision to not remove tooth number 32.  You know it was bad if a guy who removes teeth for a living doesn’t want to remove any more of yours.

After it was over, I was angry and I felt like he owed me something.  It was a barbaric procedure, second only to bikini waxing.  As I wrote out the check, I eyed the promotional pen I was holding.  “I’m taking this pen,” I silently decided.  “He took my tooth.  In fact, I want the whole container of pens,” I silently reasoned.  “I want every pen from the supply closet.  I want a fair exchange for what he took from me.”  Suddenly the “tooth for a tooth” scripture made a whole lot more sense to me.  According to Mosaic law, I think the oral surgeon owes me a tooth.  Number 17, to be exact.

Almost a week after the procedure I am left with a giant hole in my mouth where the tooth used to be.   It feels like it goes all the way down to my shoulder.  The hole is so deep that when I talk there’s an echo.  I’m thinking of turning it into a tourist attraction.  Who knows, maybe it’ll be one of the seven dental wonders of the world along with the Panama Root Canal, the Hoover Dental Dam and the Golden Gate Dental Bridge.

© 2011 Lynn Rebuck

You Hardly Ever Hear This in the Senate

January 11, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Rhonda Rhea –

I had an interesting conversation with a couple of my kids last week. My son Jordan was making a passionate argument about something or another and he ended his proclamation with “Mom. Seriously.” Only I can’t express it with the same punch he did because he totally power-burped the last word.

My daughter Kaley said, “Yeah, Jordan. It always helps your argument when you belch it.”

Jordan responded with: “Yeah, that’s why they do it all the time on the senate floor.”

Okay, I’m sorry, but it cracked me up when I got this visual of all our statesmen in a “who can burp their point the loudest” competition. I have to wonder if this could end a few of those disputes on Capitol Hill. Or maybe start some new ones.

Anyway, no one really asks why neither I nor any of my children have ever run for public office. And while I’ll probably never represent any of my fellow Americans in congress, I do need to keep in mind that I’m always representing Christ.

The Amplified Version of 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us that “we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We, as Christ’s personal representatives, beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor now offered you and be reconciled to God.”

A representative? As a matter of fact, I’ve already been elected. You have too if you’ve given your life to Christ. What an honor it is to represent! I pray regularly that the Lord will help me communicate His truth in whatever way He wants me to communicate it. May it happen through each of us as His representatives. However He wants us to communicate it and to every person He wants us to communicate it to. Seriously.

Paul referred to himself as an ambassador as well. “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Ephesians 6:19-20, NIV). There is usually prestige connected to becoming an ambassador or a representative. But an “ambassador in chains”? It may be tougher to find people to run for that office or make themselves available for that appointment.

But when we’re looking at the appointment from an eternal perspective, it’s startling what an honor we find it is to be called to passionately lobby those who don’t know Jesus. We are to “beg” them, as the passage in 2 Corinthians describes it, to be reconciled to God through Christ.

Believe it or not, that’s also very often a topic of conversation between me and my kids. Even though we’re not members of the House of Representatives, we’re ever seeking to challenge each other to remember that we do have a house full of representatives.

Back on the political side though, can you imagine some of the conversations we’ll be having in the Rhea house as we near election time? I’m thinking it will likely go something like, “I’d never vote for that guy. Why, he probably couldn’t burp his way out of paper bag.”

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