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Marriage Devotionals

  • A Mystery Of Murderous Distortions

    Shopping Centre Fashion Sense can be criminalI do not want to alarm anyone – I’m not wound that tight – but there is a devious conspiracy in our country. A cabal of murderous distortions.

    To be quite honest about all this, I was not the first to notice this conspiracy. In fact, it is quite unusual for me to notice anything first. As all husbands know, the husband is the last to know . . . anything.

    It was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage who first become aware of this conspiracy and brought it to my attention. I like to give credit where credit is due, unlike some banks I know of, or who know me.

    This is not the first time something like this has happened. Don’t ask me how she does it, for I do not know. I just wish I knew her secret. My wife is the first to notice everything.

  • And the Award Goes to

    award winnerRare is the time when I actually am all caught up with my schedule. Whenever I think I am caught up, something happens that takes that and throws it out the window.

    Such was the case this past week. I was very much happy with the fact that I was on schedule and I had everything in hand. Nothing makes me feel better.

    Of course, this is mostly delusional, at least for me. If there ever was an award for being delusional, I am quite certain I would be at the top of the list. The amazing thing about being delusional is that you never think you are.

    As I was wallowing in my delusion and enjoying every moment of it, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came and said rather sharply, “Are you ready to go?”

    At the moment, I had no idea what she was talking about. And so I responded, “Huh?”

    I’m not sure if that is really a word or not, but it accurately described my delusional moment at that time. I had no idea what she was talking about.

    “You haven’t,” she said, “forgotten what day it is, have you?”

    I was tempted to say, “Of course not. It’s Tuesday.” Fortunately, I did not yield to that temptation and just responded with another, “Huh?”

    With a disdaining look she said, “You would forget your head if it wasn’t attached.”

    I wouldn’t tell her, but I probably would not miss my head if I would forget it. After all, I don’t wear a hat.

    “Today,” she said in a very serene voice, “the two grandchildren are getting awards at school.”

    I’m not quite sure if I forgot or if I was not listening when the instructions came my way. At this point, I was not going to let anybody know, particularly my wife.

    “Oh, yes,” I said getting up from my chair, “I’m all ready to go. Let’s go.”

    She gave me one of her classic sarcastic grins and we headed for the door.

    Our one granddaughter was graduating from the third grade and the other from the fifth grade. Unfortunately, one was at 8:30 in the morning and the other was it 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It would make sense to have them all at once, but what has sense to do in our world today?

    I did not want to complain, after all, it is our grandchildren, but I think the planning could have been just a little bit better than that. After all, sitting in the school cafeteria listening to the award ceremony is about as exciting as it can get.

    The chairs that we had to sit on were uncomfortable, which was very fortunate for me because I was not tempted to fall asleep during the ceremony. I believe that was done on purpose.

    Imagine getting an award for completing the third grade!

    I cannot remember any such thing when I was going to grade school. Our great award was leaving school and going home in the afternoon. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

    We live in a different world today where everybody gets an award for something or sometimes for nothing.

    Then I remembered my cell phone in my shirt pocket. It is times like this that God had in mind when he invented this cell phone technology. I pulled out my cell phone and started checking my email.

    Then I felt a sharp pain in my right ribs (thanks Eve) and I heard a voice saying, “Put that away and pay attention.”

    Slowly and reluctantly, I returned my cell phone to my shirt pocket and tried to pay attention but I didn’t have enough quarters. Paying attention can be very expensive when you’re in situations like this.

    The problem is that the grade school, particularly the third grade, had more children than my grandchildren. They were trying to give awards and recognition to all the children and I was only interested in one, my granddaughter.

    I was musing on this for a while and then my companion said, “Look, there she is.”

    When she said that, out came her cell phone and she began taking pictures of our granddaughter walking up to the stage to get an award. I can’t use my cell phone, but she’s at liberty to use her cell phone. Where’s the fairness in that?

    Taking a hint from my wife, I reached for my cell phone only to realize that I was too late and the moment was gone. I glanced over at my wife and all I could see was the big smile on her face and her saying, “I got her picture.” All I could do was return her smile and congratulate her on getting the picture.

    After each of the award ceremonies my wife and I went forward and she took pictures of me in the grandchildren together which made her rather happy.

    All the way home that afternoon, she was giggling and chattering very excitedly. “Her” grandchildren received some awards. According to her, these were very special awards.

    I smiled and was tempted to say, “Aren’t they my grandchildren too?” Why spoil the moment. She was excited and happy and it was worth my silence.

    I was reminded of what Solomon said. “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

    A wise man knows when “to keep silence.”

    Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com 

  • As Summers Go, This One Is Going

    summer sunsetDuring my high school career I was no thespian, however, I could act the fool when called upon. My friend was the thespian and starred in our senior high school play, "Finian's Rainbow." One of the musical numbers was, "When I'm not near the girl I love, I love the girl I'm near."

    I have altered this title a little to fit my own needs. My version goes, "When I'm not in the season I love, I love the season I'm in." It is a wonderful motto and has solved quite a few problems down the years. Just don't ask me to sing it for you. I can, but you do not want to hear it... believe me.

  • Can Two Walk Together, Except They Be Going to the Same Store?

    It takes two like minds for a couple to shop togetherAfter about a million days of toil, sweat and aggravation, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I decided to take a few days off and relax.

    I am not a real expert when it comes to relaxing. I have not pursued a PhD in relaxing and therefore it is a foreign theme to me.

    Of course, I have advised many people to chill out, relax a little bit and not get so excited about things. What doctor do you know who takes his own medicine? Or, what pastor do you know that listens to his own sermon?

  • Did I Just Blow My Cover?

    Rev. James Snyder actually fixed the lawnmowerThis month I celebrate another birthday. At my age, I cannot remember exactly which one but that does not really matter. The number of the birthday, in my point of view, does not influence the celebration of the birthday.

    Life has been rather good to me in many respects. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I are a wonderful team and have been for so many years; I’m not allowed to say how many.

    As a team, she can fix anything and I can break anything. That certainly goes hand-in-hand with life. No matter what I can break, she can fix. This has made life rather good.

  • Have You Seen My Glasses? And Other Trick Questions

    Missing Eyeglasses

    The only person who asks more questions than a lawyer is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I am not saying that questions are bad, at least not all of them. What I am saying is, some questions can be trick questions.

    To know the difference between a legitimate question and a trick question takes years of practicing being a husband. If the husband learns anything in his marriage, it is this.

    I know people ask questions in order to get information. Not all people ask a question in order to get information. Some people ask questions in order to trick somebody into saying something that is compromising.

  • Hearing and Listening Are Not Necessarily the Same

    The difference between hearing and listeningAs big as my ears are, you would think I would be able to hear everything I am listening to.

    I like to think I am hearing what I am listening to but I have so many illustrations that prove otherwise. I’m not sure what it is, but I am working on it with the help of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

    It was on a Friday and I was very busy trying to get things done for the weekend. Some in our domicile can multitask and then the other can hardly do one thing at a time.

    I’m not quite sure how my wife does it, but she can do half a dozen things at the same time and get them all done perfectly. It is like one of those jugglers at the circus who can keep half a dozen balls in the air at the same time.

  • I Don’t Get Headaches, I Give Them

    headacheThis past week I got myself into some rather unnecessary trouble. I say unnecessary because it was trouble that I could have avoided if I only would have thought before I spoke.

    This is one of the greatest crosses that I bear in my married life. I always speak before I think because I do not have that much time to speak. If you know what I mean.

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was complaining that she had a headache and did not know how to get rid of it. At first I thought she was referring to the other person who lived in the parsonage with her, but I soon discovered she had a headache and it seemed to be very painful.

    As a husband, one of my duties is to try to make my “helpmeet” as comfortable as possible. Although I have been married a lifetime, I still have not acquired much expertise on wifeology.

  • I Was Just Thinking

    thinking kidThinking is not my strong suit by any stretch of the imagination. Every time I start thinking, I either get a headache or get into trouble. I’m not sure which is worse, the headache or the trouble.

    In my normal pursuit of life, thinking sits in the backseat. If there is an emergency, thinking may come forward and help out. However, in the meantime, thinking is not something I like to do on a regular basis.

    That is my side. On the other side, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is always thinking. Most of the time, she is thinking about jobs I should be doing. I don’t know how she does it, but she can come up with a list of “honey-do’s” that will occupy all my time. Of course, I must confess, while I am doing these “honey-do’s” I am thinking, but  not thoughts I would like to come out into the public arena.

  • I’ll Do It First Thing Tomorrow

    calendarYou would think being a husband as long as I have been I would have learned the fine art of negotiating with my wife. And trust me, it is an artistic creation.

    When I got married, somebody told me that marriage was a 50-50 proposition, which being the naïve young man that I was, believed it entirely.

    The problem I have discovered is that 50 from a man’s point of view may not necessarily be 50 from a woman’s point of view. If I knew then what I know now, I would have asked that person to define what they meant by 50.

    Through the years, I discovered that at times it is a 25-75 split. Other times it is a 0-100. Nobody can be 100% right all the time unless of course they are married to a husband.

  • It’s Hot… And I Love It

    thermometer 2Recently it has been rather hot around here. A little hotter than usual, in my estimation. I really don’t know if it is getting hotter or as I get older, I’m not able to handle the hot weather.

    Whoever invented air-conditioning needs to have a Nobel peace prize offered him (or her). I have been enjoying the luxuries of air-conditioning inside while the outside is boiling hot.

    I was enjoying the A/C with all of its amenities when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came inside literally sweating.

    “My goodness,” she said hardly able to get the words out, “it’s hot outside.”

    That did it for me. I did not need to go outside to check to see if it was hot outside, I did not have to listen to the weather report to see how hot it was, the wife said it was hot and therefore it was hot.

  • Life Does Have Its Compensations – Occasionally

    car keys locked in carAt times, it seems as if there is absolutely no justice in this world, and then something wonderful happens making up for almost everything. This past week I was fortunate enough to experience one of those rare jewels of life.

    I must say not all weeks are like this. My weeks usually range from bad to worse to when will this ever stop?

    A normal week for me is when I take two steps forward and get run over by a car. Or, just when I think I’m caught up, I discover I’ve been working on last week’s to-do list.

    Not that I’m complaining because complaining never gets anywhere in life. At least, no place I want to go.

    A man who complains aloud is a man who is not married. Wives have a way of turning their husband’s complaining into “Well, its your own fault.” It’s amazing how this one phrase can cover a multitude of sins.

  • My Advice: Twice Is Just As Nice

    A devotional about how many things are better twice.Nothing is more important to a blissful marriage than finding a point of agreement. Every veteran husband knows if he wants to change his wife’s mind about anything, just agree with her. It is amazing how this works. The technical name for this is “re-wife psychology.”

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have been married since 1971 and have not had a serious argument or disagreement. (She does not allow me to talk back.) We have had rough times, but not with each other.

    We have survived nine congregations, 19 homes, three children with nine grandchildren and all without compromising our relationship. My sanity is another issue.

  • Nice Is a Matter of Perspective

    Which list is Rev. James Snyder on?Sitting in the living room the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and me were enjoying some hot apple cider tea and listening to some Christmas music. The song came that referred to Santa’s nice list and naughty list. I was not paying too much of attention, but somebody else in the room was.

    “Do you think you are on,” my wife said rather sarcastically, “Santa’s nice list or naughty list?”

    I always get trapped by such questions. I have been married long enough to know that questions are not posed to get an answer, but rather to get someone in trouble, mainly me.

  • The High Cost Of Speaking Your Mind

    Husband's (and everyone) should be careful when they speak their minds.One thing I have learned throughout my life is sometimes speaking your mind only gets a piece of somebody else’s mind – and not the good piece.

    The old saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, I’m surprised the old dog doesn’t know the old tricks. What good is a new trick if you have not really mastered and learned from the old tricks?

    My experience in this area stood me in good stead for many years. An incident happened recently bringing to light how valuable this “old trick” really is. I may not be good in the new tricks, but I think I have mastered a few of the old tricks.

    I really do not know when this incident started, but somewhere along the line I said something resembling a guttural “uh huh,” and forgot about it. What you say in these odd moments may determine your quality of life for many years to come. This points out the difference between husbands and wives.

  • To Stink, or Not to Stink, That is the Question

    smellThere are all kinds of questions in this world of ours. Most are rather annoying. It would not surprise me in the least if there were a gang of hooligans somewhere hired to make up silly questions. If I could find this gang, I would disperse them immediately, without a question.

    Of course, there is the fact that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is in cahoots with these question-maker-uppers. Every once in a while she comes up with questions for Yours Truly.

    It is not the questions I object to but rather the answers I am supposed to give in connection to the questions. My wife has a silly notion that the answers I give should be in direct correlation to the questions she asked. Who made up this rule? Oops, that was a question. Sorry about that.

  • Two In A Row Okay, But Three Is Suspicious

    Rev. James Snyder loves apple fritters.So that you know, I am not suspicious (knock on wood). I take a rather practical approach to life and try my best not to get bent out of shape. At my age, it’s rather difficult to keep my shape. I try to keep my guard up, but no matter what I do, I drop it.

    Tuesday I was engaged in a “project,” when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came and brought me an apple fritter. “I thought,” she said rather cheerfully, “that you could use an apple fritter.”

    I was most gracious for this apple fritter. Nothing raises your spirits and encourages you to do your best like an apple fritter. I know my wife and I disagree as to the nature of these apple fritters so it surprised me that she brought one to me.

  • Where in the World Does Time Go?

    Where in the world does time go? A devotional about time and aging.I remember my grandfather telling me that the older you get the faster time flies. Laughing at him at the time I thought it was another of his little stories he loved telling.

    Just the other day I caught myself telling one of my grandchildren, “The older you get the faster time flies.” Then it occurred to me. I am my grandfather. I am not sure how I got here, but here I am.

    It is hard keeping up with things, especially when time ticks by so fast. Just when you think you are all caught up, you realize you have to start it all over again.

    I was complaining about this the other day to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Normally, I try not to do any complaining in her presence. She has the ability of turning my complaint upside down and confusing me to the extent that I have no idea what I am complaining about.

    In my complaint I said, “Where does time go?”