On July 14, 2004, I missed a vulgar word in the PearlyGates item I sent out.

To apologize and clarify, I sent out the following note (be aware that the missed word appears in print twice below).

Pastor Tim Wrote:

Dear PearlyGates Subscribers,

Well, imagine my surprise at the end of the day, just when I went to send out another day’s posts, that I had a bunch of e-mails concerned about a word in one of my mailings. My first thought? – “Man, what did I miss this time?” So, to varying degrees and to different kinds of people I offer the following (in the pseudo-comedic form of Craig Kilborn's “To Blank With Love.”

To all of you who will read this and worry that I am discouraged: Thank you and God bless you. I am fine and after close to 6 years of running my lists, the other two or three times I missed something in a joke I sent out, and got feedback from, have thickened my skin a bit so I really am ok.

To all of you who e-mailed and said that you thought I must have missed that word because I am so good at sending out only clean stuff: Thank you for the benefit of the doubt. It is always refreshing to receive the concerned comments from those who are truly concerned about me. That just adds a special part to this Internet hobby of mine. We all mistakes and your gracious acceptance of mine is very much appreciated.

To those of you who e-mailed to express concern and dismay that I would think that the word “piss” is an acceptable word for a clean joke list: I think the word “piss” is pretty much used only as a vulgar word in our society and in all truth I didn’t even notice it in the joke. Maybe I sneezed just before I read it, or perhaps I was tired, but it slipped by me. Now, maybe you have only been on my joke list for one or two days. Perhaps not. But since I am human and likely to make another mistake someday, please try to react a bit differently so that the paragraph above this one applies to you next time it happens.

To a certain unnamed Baptist Church who wrote, “I thought you were a pastor. This joke is not something a pastor should be passing along to a lot of people. The language is terrible. Think before you sent out another one like this!”: “I thought you were a pastor?” – Come on, who are you kidding? If that is all it takes to make you doubt someone is a pastor then you must have an incredible turnover in your pastoral staff. Of the few complaints I do get from people, the ones that I find the saddest and most maddening are the ones that manipulatively call my qualifications as a pastor into question. In this case you’ve even done it over a word that appears twice in the King James Version. Shame on me and Isaiah and whoever it was that wrote 2 Kings.

To the fellow who said he’d unsubscribe if one more vulgar word showed up: A second chance only? Wow, baseball gives three strikes and that’s not even a Christian organization. If I remember correctly, 70 times 7 is a good round figure for planning to leave. And the good thing about this occurrence is that you don’t even have to bother forgiving me for this time because I didn’t even do it on purpose.

To the fellow who ended his mail to me with “I won't even show this one to my wife. How many people have you offended this morning? If your mission is to be the salt of the Earth, then today you failed. Please, please be careful!! With all of the junk email we get these days (many of them very explicit), I thought it was safe to open something from Pastor Tim, now I'm not so sure.”: First of all, I don’t know which time zone you are in so I can’t really say how many I have offended the morning this went out. If you are on an island in the Eastern Pacific I think the number of people offended in the morning would be quite low because it would mostly be afternoon in North America where the vast majority of the people on my lists are subscribed. In fact, if you live just West of the International Dateline (which by the way is not an 800 number), it is possible that I barely offended anyone “this morning” as most of the people in your time zone would have gotten my mail a day before I sent it out. Now, if you live in New York, then I offended a lot of people “this morning.” Of course, for the people I offended in New York, that was just a good warm up for them before being really offended on the subway system. The same might hold true for Los Angeles, but the weather there is always so nice it takes a lot more for them to really get offended by stuff. Ok, I’m over analyzing your rebuke – which itself, in fact, was a little bit excessive too. A mistake is not a mission failed – relax a little bit. I am careful – 3 or 4 missed words out of more than 3000 posts is a pretty good percentage. I wish I had scored that high in any of my courses in Bible College! I still think my posts are safe to open – unless of course you are operating heavy machinery. And as for not telling that joke “even” to your wife, on one hand, you probably shouldn’t tell her any jokes that aren’t fit to tell anyone else, but on the other hand if you guys are like my wife and I, I’m glad that you can enjoy the humor of an edgy joke from time to time. In fact, yesterday I told my wife the joke about the two guys that go into . . . . . ah, never mind.

To the person who said they did not regard that as clean humor and asked to be unsubscribed: Please don’t just read the dirty words in the e-mails I send out. There are also words like, “To manage your subscription(s) visit http://www.cybersaltlists.org” and “To unsubscribe please click here.”Ok, I think that about covers all I wanted to cover. I’ve got to go now because I’ve got to fix a mistake I sent out on the CleanLaugh list. It seems that I accidentally only sent the first half of a joke. I know how it happened though. It’s a result of a heart problem – mine is still beating (fortunately!). When it stops, I plan on making way fewer mistakes, Lol.

- Pastor Tim