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.

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?

I'm sitting here in my office in a state of complete befuddlement.

It's not that I haven't been befuddled before. If anyone knows befuddlement, it is Yours Truly. I've been befuddled many times, and there is good reason to believe the trend will continue in the foreseeable future. If anyone gave out awards for befuddlement, I know I would receive my share of acclaim.

However, and this is a big "however," there is befuddlement and then there is Be-Fuddle-Ment. Unfortunately for me, I am experiencing the latter.

Nobody can say I didn't warn the Mistress of the Parsonage, for all the good my warning did. And, I'm not one to say, "I told you so," but, "I told you so."

I swear, at times I think my wife thinks I don't want to do something simply because I'm too lazy. Nine times out of 10 it may be true, but what about that tenth time?

What women need to understand is when their husband doesn't do something, there may be a good, logical reason behind it. The problem men have is articulating their perfectly good reasons to their better half. Trust me on this one, ladies.

Within the last six weeks, that gusty quartet comprised of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne has lustily serenaded Florida. A repeat performance is not in the foreseeable forecast - I hope.

It is not that I do not appreciate good music; it is because I do appreciate good music that I do not wish for a comeback of this quartet. The problem this quartet had, which many musical groups have, is they usually try to drown out the other ones in the group.

The damage in life and property during these last six weeks is beyond computation. The government has put a price on the damage but they are only guessing at this point, plus they do not factor in the horrendous damage to the human spirit.

Not a few people will leave Florida to some safer, hurricane-free state (like Washington), leaving the rest of us to weather the storms in the future. As for my wife and me, Florida is our prelude to heaven. The angels that will carry me to "Abraham's Bosom" already have my address and, the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be right here when they make their angelic appearance. I just hope they are not as noisy as the quartet we've had lately.

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