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.

Last week my wife sent me to the mall on an errand. Normally I don't like going to the mall, especially by myself, but when my wife sends me, I submit to my husbandly duty.

Years ago when I joined her at the altar and said "I do," I did not realize at the time I would be "doing" such things. But I did and so I am.

Everything went well at the mall and I actually found what I was looking for. Success, I can tell you, is all it is cracked up to be. I then left the mall to go to my car. Much to my consternation, my car was nowhere to be found.

I must confess to being a bit absent-minded at times. Always on the lookout for sermon and column ideas, I sometimes am not aware of my immediate surroundings but this time my displaced car quickly brought me to my senses.

I knew I drove my car to the mall for here I was at the mall. There was no other way for . . .

The great American pastime is watching sports. Someone once described a football game as 30,000 people in desperate need of exercise watching 22 people in desperate need of rest.

No matter the sporting event, Americans love watching. We have become professional watchers. It surprises me someone has not gotten around to putting together a televised award show for professional watchers. We could all watch these people get awards for their watching prowess. I know I would watch.

Watching has become such a passion that we take everything this way - even daily exercise. This past week I awoke around three in the morning. For some reason I could not sleep, so I watched a little TV. To my surprise, several exercise programs were running. When I say running, I mean running.

Who in their right mind is up at this terrible hour watching exercising programs? I know I'm not in my right . . .

Finally, someone has come up with a weight loss program I can sink my teeth into without guilt. And, I say it's about time. I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm fed up with diet programs that simply beat me to death.

I'm tired of starving myself under the pretense of dieting, and exercising my body to the brink of absolute exhaustion. It's about time someone looked on the lighter side of dieting.

According to a recent study in Athens, Greece, scientists have found a good laugh is a calorie burner not to be ignored. You can be sure this gained my attention.

Some American research- ers found that 10 to 15 minutes of genuine giggling can burn off the number of calories found in a medium square of chocolate. These scientists discovered a way to measure how many calories people burn when they laugh.

When I read this, I laughed for 39 minutes, allowing me to eat two medium squares of chocolate. At this rate, I?ll be able to eat several pounds of chocolate a day.

Now that's what I call . . .

No day is complete for me unless I forget something. It does not matter what I forget as long as what I forget disrupts my day in some way. Rare is the day in May when I forget to forget something. Of course, I can't forget those days when I can't remember what day it is.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has brought this to my attention on many occasions. For example, when we are about to start on a trip and are nicely settled in the car, my wife will look at me and say, "Did you get everything?"

This irritates me to no end and glaring at her I mumble, "Of course I got everything."

Then, to drive the knife deeper, she returns my glare and demands, "Are you sure?"

Without saying one word, (that's just the kind of guy I am) I back out of the driveway and begin our journey. Two blocks down the road I stop the car and . . .

I said something last week I haven't said in years. Where it came from, I really don't know. It's funny, you're tooling along minding your own business for weeks, maybe months at a time, and then something you haven't thought about for years pops into your noodle.

I don't remember what brought it on, but I blurted out, "I think I?ll just quit everything and go fishin?."

Where the phrase came from is a mystery because I can't remember the last time I went fishing. It's tragic when a person gets so busy he forgets about the truly essential things of life. There is nothing, in my mind (at least that's my wife's opinion) more essential in life than fishing.

In the heart of my tackle box, I am a true-blue fisherman, especially if it's a cold morning and I am waste deep in frigid water.

Two types of people indulge in this business of fishing.

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