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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.

"When in polite society," my grandfather opined, "never talk about religion or politics." Then he would dismiss himself from said "polite society" and talk about nothing but religion and politics.

Mostly, he talked about politics and believe me, he had a lot to say on the subject. Much cannot be repeated in polite society or any other society.

All I know about politics I learned from my grandfather and yet, to this day I don't know if he was a Republican or a Democrat. He prided himself in being an independent thinker.

He was so much an independent thinker that often he would take the opposite side of an argument.

I had a dream the other night. Dream nothing, it was a nightmare, if you must know the truth. Normally I don't put too much stock in dreams ? or ? nightmares, as the case may be, but this was different.

My grandmother believed in dreams. The most important part of her night were the dreams that visited her. She usually indulged in several dreams during any given night.

Upon rising in the morning, and before her breakfast coffee, grandmother always checked her "dream book" for the interpretation of her latest dream.

Speaking of good days, and who isn't these days, I am looking forward to two in a row. I know it may be wishful thinking on my part, but a person has to do something with his time.

Last week I almost broke my record with two consecutive good days. But, wouldn't you know it, it just did not happen.

With all my experience in this matter, I plan to write a book someday: "How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Day." I know 197 different ways to ruin a good day. Who knows, by next week it might pass the 200 mark. If, rather, when that happens, I will celebrate.

My favorite novel, as a young person, was In His Steps, written by Charles Sheldon. The premise of this novel is simple. A group of people in the church made a spiritual pact that before doing or saying anything they would preface it by asking the probing question, "What would Jesus do?" (WWJD).

If you have read that novel, you know this simple query put everyone's life in jeopardy. Everyone, that is, who was serious about it.

Some want enough religion to keep from getting the real thing but not enough to change or inconvenience their lifestyle. Not everyone is serious about his or her religious life.

Many people want to go to heaven but they want to do it their way and in their own good time. If these people treated their job the same way they treat God, they would not have a job for long.

The amazing thing about contemporary American culture is its predisposition to organize itself into neat little categories. This "pigeonhole syndrome," referred to by some as PHS, (not to be confused with PMS), is responsible for much of the stress in our society today.

We even categorize this stress, enabling us to compare our stress with people we meet. Some fear they will one day meet someone with the same kind of stress as they have and will not know how to label him or her. Imagine the stress this would create. Or, visualize a situation where someone meets someone who has no stress at all.

PHS finds its way into every area of our culture, even the religious. Nobody in these days of labeling madness can just be a Christian. Are you Protestant or Catholic?

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