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God's Penman

The Reverend James L. Snyder is an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals including GUIDEPOSTS. In Pursuit of God: The Life of A. W. Tozer, Snyder?s first book, won the Reader?s Choice Award in 1992 by Christianity Today. Snyder has authored 8 books altogether.

Rev. James L. Snyder has a knack for making fun of daily frustrations and will increase your humor aptitude so you too can discover that life is less stressful when you?re laughing. Through these essays, you will realize that humor and religion belong together and that its OK to keep from taking yourself and others too seriously.

cookiesThe Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I enjoy one glorious connection; she loves to bake and I love to eat what she bakes.

I did not marry her because of her baking skills because I did not know she had them at the time. I did know her mother was a wonderful cook and I assumed there might be some gene transferred to her daughter.

If the truth were known, she loves to bake as much as I love to eat. Whenever there is a function in the church, she is always baking, especially cookies. Her cookies are the best I have ever eaten, and believe me, I have eaten a lot. So many that I have gotten into trouble several times.

hummingbirdEven as old as I am, there are still things I fear. I do not want to make a list, I’m afraid to. When I have conquered one fear, another one knocks on the door and introduces itself to me. Out of respect, I fear that fear.

This is not true of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. As far as I know, she fears nothing, but many things and people fear her. I am the president of that Fear Group. She has a subtle way of expressing her fear and each day I am learning more of that subtlety.

I am not sure why, but most of her fear has to do with what I am eating at the time. She has some phobia about apple fritters, especially me eating them.

naiveSomeone recently said to me, “You sure are naïve.” I’m not sure what the incident was about at the time, and I was a little bit hurt by that saying.

What did he mean that I am naïve? I have been giving this some thought and at this point, I remember quite a few people labeling me as naïve. Therefore, if people are right, it must be true.

Yet, is it really that bad?

schoolI am not sure why I think of some things, however, every occasionally I remember something that happened a million years ago. Or so it seems.

This week for some reason, I happened to think of my fifth grade elementary school teacher. Her name was Miss Ammon. She was a wonderful teacher in many regards and taught me quite a bit or at least she tried.

As a fifth-grader, I looked at her as a very old woman. She might’ve been 50, I’m not sure. One of my friends joked and asked her, “Miss Ammon, how was Noah as a student?”

cross 3In 1978, I was ordained to the gospel ministry. To mark this special event, my parents surprised me with a new 1977 Dodge Aspen, the most spectacular present I ever received. It was white, with a red interior and beautiful cloth seats.

My old car had so many glitches and problems I took it to a psychiatrist. Finally, I donated it to the local junkyard and put it out of my misery.

At the time, a woman who attended our church lived four blocks away but insisted I pick her up for church each Sunday. Being young and naive, not to mention I needed warm bodies to fill the pews, I acceded to her request.

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