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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.

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.

ice cream2A mystery has developed within the halls of our once peaceful domicile. At first, I did not think too seriously about it. Some things, if left alone usually take care of themselves. Of course, there always are other things, like my socks, that never take care of themselves no matter how hard I wish.

A hint of the mystery came my way on Wednesday when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage went to the freezer for a box of ice cream. According to her, this was supposed to be for our dessert after supper. But, if I have all the facts correct, she went to the freezer and did not find the anticipated box of ice cream.

I was preoccupied with the evening news on television when my wife came and stood in the archway with both hands on her hips, staring at me with one of those looks and said, "Where did the ice cream go?"

sheepAs a child, I remember my mother watching soap operas in the afternoon. I never had much interest in them; I would rather watch The Lone Ranger and his companion Tonto.

One afternoon I was sitting in the living room while she was watching one of her soap operas. I was trying to figure out what in the world was happening. None of it made sense and it seemed to be more drama than anything else. Why they call it, “soap opera” I will never know because they could use more soap in their conversations.

My mother would talk to the characters on TV telling them what they should be doing and saying. Several times, she yelled at them giving them instructions. I caught her with tears in her eyes over a certain situation; I could not tell you now what that situation was.

time in hand watchThe Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were locked in a hopeless Mexican standoff. She was effectively arguing her side of the issue and I was, well, let's say I was not agreeing. I will not say who won, just that it wasn't me.

She then looked at me, put both hands on her hips and said, "Time will tell that I'm right."

I cannot wait. The problem is, time is never on my side. I simply do not know what it is about time, but it never does me any favors. Always, and I mean always, time proves my wife was right. I hate it.

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