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Devotionals

  • walkWe had just started our vacation, or so I thought, when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Hurry up; it’s time to go home.”

    I have been married to my wife for almost 46 years and during that time, she has always teased me and tried to get my goat. My goat has long been gotten. So, I thought she was trying to tease me about our vacation time.

    As she said that, I noticed she was packing her suitcase. That was just strange. She is really going all out to fool me into thinking it is time to go home. I, however, know better and cannot be fooled even by her.

  • Rev. James Snyder's wife got a bug on her plateDid you ever have a smile on your face that no matter what you did you could not wipe it off?

    Well, that is quite a regular occurrence with me. But this past week was a “smile-on-the-face” to beat all “smiles-on-the-face.” My only regret is that I did not do a Selfie.

    It all began in the morning when I suggested that we go out for lunch for a pre-Valentine’s Day celebration. Sometimes with our schedule we cannot celebrate a celebration on that celebration day.

    Of course, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage responded in the positive.

  • Discount SignI find too often I get all caught up with the busyness of life that I forget some things. For example, last week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I had birthdays.

    Our birthdays are only two days apart, which is convenient for me. My birthday is first, and if my wife gets me anything for my birthday, it reminds me I need to get something for her birthday two days later. I could not plan it out any better had I tried.

  • couple coffeeCelebrating another "Mother's Day,” gave opportunity to reflect on the influence and importance of mothers in our society today. I think for the most part mothers get a bad rap these days, or at least they don’t get the kind of appreciation they truly deserve, and they sure don’t get the pay-package they earn. Of course, if they did nobody could afford a mother.

    Sometimes it's great to remember the personal influence a person's mother has had on them throughout the years. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, "All I am or ever hope to be I owe to my mother." Perhaps he said this in lieu of a Mother's Day card. Why didn’t I think of that?


    Because of the way God has designed things, a person's mother is the first relationship he or she has in life. If it is a good relationship, it will have a positive influence throughout a person's lifetime.

    Of course, there are those who have never known their mother. Perhaps she died in childbirth or maybe a few days or months after giving birth. The cause is not important, the real importance is the fact that a person never really gets to know his or her mother.

    [gbwl]Even for us who have had mothers in our lives, it is often difficult to say we knew our mothers. Because nothing in all of God's creation is quite like a mother. All I know is, they start out as women, which may explain a lot.

    From my youth I recognized a big difference between my mother and my father. I could never really put my finger on it until years after I left home. Looking back over my life and appreciating some of her influences in my life, I began to understand some things about my mother.

    The most astounding thing I discovered about my mother is that mothers are not fathers.

    I know this may come as a shock to many people; it came as a terrific shock to me. I'm not sure I have gotten over it yet. I knew there was a difference somewhere, but I really could not put my finger on it until I made this awesome discovery.

    Once the shock of this truth waned, I gave this some thought and came up with a few comparisons that helped me understand the difference.

    For example, I remember my mother always having a funny smell about her not quite like the good earthy aroma my father had. My mother always went to great pains so she would smell "pretty." I never did like perfume. It made my nose burn. I remember liking the smell of my father. It was just more natural. And some days it was more natural than other days.

    As I think of my mother, I remember she was highly allergic to dirt, while my father was quite at home with it. Whenever I would come into the house with dirt from head to toe, my mother would go into some kind of hysterical fit wanting me to take off all my clothes and get in the tub right away, and sometimes, it was not even Saturday night.

    Father, on the other hand, seemed happier when he was the dirtiest. Dirt never seemed to bother him. Grease spots or grass stains never offended him at all. But all of this offended my mother. 

    With a “holier-than-thou” air she would always say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness."

    I've often thought to myself, if God did not like dirt why did he make so much of it? And, why was it so much fun to play in?

    Another thing I noticed about my mother was that she didn't know how to play catch in the backyard with her children. When she tried, she always threw like a girl. Father, on the other hand, caught everything, especially flak from mother. He caught everything she could throw, even a fit or two.

    [gbwr]My mother was always laying down the law while father just lay down. I think my mother had some kind of nervous problem because she never could sit still long enough to really relax. Dad, could relax just about anywhere, and he did... often.

    My mother and father made a good team, particularly in the building business. I can remember my mother always raised the roof while father enjoyed painting the town. My brother, sister and I enjoyed the painting exercises of my father, which may explain why his finances were always in the red.

    Another thing I observed about my mother and mothers in general for that matter. There are times when mothers will have a good bawl for no reason, while fathers just loved having a ball for no reason.

    I'm sure there were other differences between my mother and my father. When I realized that mothers are not fathers, the whole world began to make more sense to me. A good father is a perfect balance between a mother and a boy.

    The Bible encourages us to honor both our father and mother. "My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" (Proverbs 6:20).

    Perhaps wise Solomon had our generation in mind when he wrote, "There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother." (Proverbs 30:11).

    Mothers may not be fathers but they are exactly what God ordered. 

    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.

  • 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.

  • A bird with a very suspicious look and mind - wasit pitched a timeshare vacation proposal?I have discovered over the years several types of minds. The “open mind” which catches everything except the truth. The “analytical mind” which organizes everything to the point of sterility. The “closed mind” which you can bounce ideas and they never stick.

    For every man, there is the “woman’s mind.” Every husband knows if he wants to change his wife’s mind, all he has to do is agree with her. Finally, the “political mind,” which for all practical purposes is an oxymoron. Politicians obviously do not have a mind of their own. They change their mind so often you hardly know who they are.

    I find most people’s minds are like beds – all made up and tucked neatly away. Many of these people have sound minds – sound asleep, that is.

    The most valuable mind is the suspicious mind. It is in this frame of mind that the real picture has developed for me. An incident several years ago illustrated this to me.

  • James Snyder's friends are all getting oldGetting old seems to be a long and slow process. The longer it goes the older you get.

    I didn’t really think I was getting old until a few weeks ago I was visiting with some friends from high school. You know those old high school friends that you had fun with when you were young enough to have fun? And oh boy, what fun we had.

    A sharp difference exists between being young and being old. You have to get old to really understand the difference because when you are young you do not have enough time to think. That’s the problem with young people today. So many things to do and so much technology they do not have any time left over to think.

    Those young whippersnappers.

  • christmas tree burningIt hardly seems possible that another Christmas has come and gone. I think it comes quicker than it goes, but then that is just my opinion.

    We were sitting for the last time around the Christmas tree which was about to be disassembled and I happen to say, “I can’t believe Christmas is over. Where does the time go?”

    To that, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage looked at me and said, “The older you get, the faster time goes.”

    I remember as if it was yesterday when without thinking, which is usually dangerous for me, I once responded, “You must know.”

    I got the “stare” that encouraged me not to respond in that vein ever again.

  • talkingI know I am not correct on many things, just ask the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. If I could be right as many times as I am wrong, I would be a genius. The problem is, I am more wrong than I am right, which puts me a little bit out of balance.

    People always say things they really do not mean. I guess they are just trying to be nice and courteous.

    For instance. My wife will say as I leave the door to go somewhere, “Drive safely.”

    I do not know what that means. Does she think I am going to drive like an idiot? Well, maybe that is not a good illustration.

  • heart beatOur country, so it seems, runs on choice. The more choices we have, the better we like it.

    Most people in America pride themselves on the ability to make their own choices.

    “Freedom of Choice,” is the cry you hear all around our country these days. Yet, most people do not have the freedom of choice they think they have. Somebody is influencing the choices they make without them realizing they are being influenced.

  • 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.

  • Happy New Year!Memory is a very tricky thing, at least for me it is. Looking back over a year's span of activity, my memory seems to pick and choose what it remembers. After all, I do not have the brain capacity I once had.

    Often some old-timer will moan about how much he misses the good old days. I am not sure if he is thinking of World War II or the Great Depression. I am positive that during the Great Depression, some wonderful memories were created, but I am not sure anyone wants to return to those thrilling days of yesterday.

    The bad was not as bad as we remember and the good not as good as we boast.

    Some things are best forgotten, while some things should never be forgotten; my trouble has always been remembering which is which.

  • Rev. James Snyder is back in marriage saddle againThis is not my first rodeo when it comes to New Years. I have ridden this Bronco so many times I cannot remember how many. Well, I can remember, but I am not going to let that slip. Something to do with a New Year’s Resolution.

    Back in the days of youth, I used to stay up to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Now, I see so many people drop the ball during the year that I don’t want to see another one on New Year’s Eve. I’ve seen enough of that.

    At my stage in life, health is more important than watching something I have seen a thousand times before.

  • bad breathI am always super sensitive about my breath. I try to take care of it, but at times, I’m a little bit off schedule. I really do not know when my breath is really bad.

    For me, I only know my breath is bad when the person standing in front of me passes out.

    It is rather embarrassing to have bad breath, particularly when you are in the company of very sophisticated people. I have bad breath all the time because of my great delight in eating cheese. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage warns me all the time that eating cheese will create bad breath. I know she is right, but cheese is very delicious.

    I was boarding an airplane to travel north when the thought struck me that I had eaten a block of cheese before I got to the airport. I was wondering if my breath smelled bad or not. I tried to test it on myself but it never registered with my nose.

  • Black Friday CheckbookI’m not sure who come up with this term “Black Friday” but I am definitely not for it. To me, Black Friday is rather devious and I know the only purpose is to get their teeth into my money, which is a sacred area to me.

    When it comes to shopping, I certainly am not a fan. I really do not like shopping. I get nervous when I’m in the shopping mall, start sweating and have to leave and sit in my car for at least half an hour to regain composure.

    I have many interests and passions in life, but trust me, shopping is not one of them. I can live my whole life without ever shopping.

    On the other side of our residence, it is a different story.

  • 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?

  • On second thought . . . LET ME IN !!!!!!!

    Funny picture of a scared cat and a peacock

  • What will celebration in Heaven be like?I have just celebrated my birthday, my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary. I am not sure how old I am or how long we have been married and I won’t even go to my wife’s age. I’m old enough to know better.

    I have long past the idea of candles on my birthday cake representing one candle per year. The fire department will not give us a permit to do that.

    Someone asked me how long we have been married and without even thinking, I said, “Forever.” Once that word danced out of my lips I knew I was in trouble with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. One look from her, and I knew that my forever had ended.

  • 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.

  • birthdayI have had enough of some things. There are, however, some things I can never have enough. Apple fritters and coffee are things I can never have enough of. I would never use the word “enough” with these words.

    Some things are in this category of “I’ve Had Enough.”

    Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Your birthday is coming up. What do you want to do for your birthday?”

  • surgical instrumentsEnjoying a casual evening at home, reclining in my favorite easy chair reading, while the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was chatting on the telephone. I seldom pay attention to phone conversations. After all, I only get one side of the conversation, which may be misleading at the very best. I’ve been caught in that trap before with some pretty dire consequences. I am not going to get caught again, if I can help it.

    Then an odd phrase caught my attention: “plastic surgery.” My ears perked up and I heard my wife say, “I certainly agree with that article and I’m going to do some plastic surgery myself.”

    Well, you can imagine what thoughts were racing through my head. When she hung up the telephone, I queried her about it.

  • airplane1I was off to the airport on another trip. I started out early, arrived at the airport on time, but when I arrived the plane had canceled and I had to apply for another plane. The next plane headed for my destination was about two hours away. This would, in fact, make me miss my connecting flight.

    I suppose I ought to be grateful that I was able to catch a later flight. It gave me some time to sit in the airport with nothing to do but think. Talk about a boring afternoon!

    One of the things I thought about was never flying again. But, necessity is the mother of inconvenience, or something like that.

  • Picture of a person nappingI don’t think it was in the mind of Dr. Bell when he invented the telephone for people like me to be harassed by people who are only after my money. Don't get me wrong here. The telephone has been a great blessing to many people. But lately, the wrong people have my number.

    It finally came to a head this past week. At least as far as I was concerned.

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I had a very busy week and by Thursday we had accomplished a lot, or at least we thought we had. We had lunch with a very good friend and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • String Can PhoneAn interesting aspect to people is there proclivity toward hypocrisy. By that I mean we say one thing but we really do not mean it or it does not really apply to us personally.

    I was complaining about this to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage this past week.

    “Why is it,” I said most curiously, “people really don’t mean what they say?”

    She responded by saying, “I always mean what I say.”

  • vegetablesIn our house, not many conflicts expose themselves. For the most part, it is a very quiet and serene home occupied by two lovebirds.

    I am not saying we are perfect. For we are not. The imperfect side of this marvelous relationship is Yours Truly. I was born imperfect and I have honored my birthright ever since.

    I do not care what some may say about crazy people, I have enjoyed my craziness all my life. When you are perfect, you have to be careful that you do not make any mistake or act crazy.

  • frostJust when you think summer has come, winter giggles and sticks her icy nose into my life.

    Not being much of a fan of winter I can stand it for so long, but not as long as it’s been this year. Either I’m getting old and cannot remember or this has been a very long winter. Shivering is not my favorite activity, although it’s the only activity I get to do lately.

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were talking; rather she was talking and I was listening. That is what makes us a great pair. She talks, I listen and our world goes rolling on.

  • Rev. James Snyder didn't win 750 Million DollarsDuring a recent lottery shindig, everybody was watching to see who was going to win all that money. Even I got all caught up in the excitement and was on the edge of my seat too.

    “Why,” the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “are you so interested in that lottery?”

    “Well,” I said as soberly as possible, “what if I win all that money? Wouldn’t that be tremendous?” Then I flashed a gracious million-dollar smile at her.

    She just stared at me, rolled her eyes and walked away. As she was walking away, she mumbled something like, “You gotta pay if you’re gonna win.”

  • messyThe Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were in a little bit of a tussle this past week.

    Normally (whoever said I was normal) I stay away from such activity in our very humble domicile. Sometimes it is completely unavoidable. This was one of those times.

    I was in the study area of our home doing some kind of work when my wife came in, looked around with both hands on her hips and said, “What is all of this mess about?”

  • quiet on beachAn old saying more or less defines my life, “What we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”

    When I was younger, I assumed that the older I got, the smarter I would become. I have not achieved that at this point in my life. It gets so tiresome to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

    I do hope though, that this will change somewhere along my life. I am hoping it changes before I die.

  • 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.

  • tvIt was one of those really busy weeks where there was hardly enough time to breathe. For myself, I was glad the week was over and I could relax for the evening.

    “What do you want for supper?” The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage queried. “Do you want to go out for supper?”

    Going out for supper was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was relax here at the house.

  • Rev. James Snyder is thankful for leftover food and blessingsI do confess that I enjoy the holiday seasons just like everybody else. One of the main ingredients I enjoy more than anything else is the holiday cuisine. At our house, I must duly confess, it is the best.

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is the cooking queen when it comes to all of this holiday food. She does a wonderful job and my job is simply to consume as much of it as I possibly can. We both manage our jobs quite professionally!

    As long as no dish has anything like broccoli in it, I will eat it and enjoy it. Broccoli has a way of confusing my taste buds. I’ll not go into any further detail.

    It amazes me how my wife can go to the grocery store, buy bags of groceries and turn all of that into the most scrumptious dinner this side of heaven.

    As much as I love the holiday cuisine, I must concede there is something I love more than that. I must be careful how I say this because I do not want to compromise in any way my attendance at the next holiday banquet in our residence. I have learned through the years as a husband to be careful what I say and what I do not say and I must say that I am still on the learning track here.

    What is better than a holiday banquet?

    Right here is where I need to walk very carefully. For years, I have kept this little thought to myself. However, I must come out and confess this. No longer can I keep it a secret because it is a very important aspect of my holiday celebration.

    [gbwl]As good as the holiday banquet is in our house there is something much better. I am referring, of course, to leftovers.

    My wife cooks so much that there is always an abundance of leftovers. If you know anything about my wife, you know she does not throw anything away. We recycle as much as possible, which also includes food. To throw food away in our house is a criminal offence. You do not want to know the penalty!

    Through the years the leftovers have become better and better. I know that the quality of any leftover has to do with the initial cooking. I must say I enjoy that first level of cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas and every other holiday. I have come to discover, however, that the leftovers are just as good if not better than the originals.

    I never thought too much about this until recently. The refrigerator was packed with food left over from our Christmas and New Year’s Day dinners. The table was set most spectacularly and I, and a few family members, set down to stuff ourselves with these holiday vittles. Oh, how delicious every bite was.

    I must say I had come to the point, as everybody else around the table did, that I was stuffed and I could not entertain another bite.

    At this point, the dessert came to the table. Oh boy, looking at that dessert and smelling the marvelous aroma I rediscovered my appetite. When the call came out, “Anybody want dessert?” I was the first to respond in the positive. I believe in positive thinking, especially at dessert time.

    It was the next day when the reality of all of this set in. As my wife is thinking about dinner, she asked me a simple question, “How about having leftovers tonight for dinner?”

    At the time I did not think too much of it and grunted a positive response and went back to reading my book.

    In a few moments, I began to smell something wonderfully delicious. The smell was coming from the kitchen and then I heard a wonderful invitation, “Supper’s ready. Let’s eat.”

    As I situated myself at the table, I began to look around at what was called “leftovers” and was delighted by what I saw.

    We always have prayer before we eat and I must confess I had a very abbreviated prayer because I wanted to get into those leftovers.

    [gbwr]Every bite seemed more delicious than the previous bite. How my wife can take leftovers and mix it all up into a marvelously delicious supper I will never know. I do not need to know. All I need to do is enjoy the delicacy of her cuisine art.

    For the next week, we enjoyed leftovers every suppertime. The last night the table was not quite as full as before and my wife informed me that this was the last of the leftovers.

    Of course, my heart sank within me realizing that the delicious aspect of the holiday banqueting was about to come to a close. I never realized before how much I loved those leftovers. I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, or, if I am just recognizing things I’ve never recognized before.

    There is a little bit of magic associated with putting together leftovers and making them more delicious than the original setting.

    As I finished the last of the leftovers I thought of something Jesus said after he fed the multitude, “When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” (John 6:12).

    Even in my spiritual life when God blesses me, there are leftovers people around can enjoy. A life so blessed, blesses everybody around.

    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.

  • horseshoeI am not the kind of person that dabbles in luck. [Knock on wood.] When something looks like a good gamble to me, I run from it as fast as I can. If it looks too good to be true, believe me, it probably is not true.

    Luck has never been a friend of mine. The only luck I have ever had in life is when I conned a young lady into saying, “I do.” That was 47 years ago and I have never had a luckier moment since. Each year I appreciate that lucky moment more.

    Apart from that, I am not on the lucky side of the road.

  • autumn leavesI must confess that in the Parsonage there are times of confusion. It has nothing to do with age; it has everything to do with the human brain that is undernourished.

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage can say one thing and I can say something completely different. There are those rare occasions when we are on the same page, the same sentence and almost the same words. Those occasions do not come as often as I would like.

    The good news is, we are all on the same book, which makes the difference.

  • Take time to laugh in a busy world.In many ways, the American home faces the danger of becoming a vanishing institution. Along with its extinction, the family unit as we know it is in danger. Children are not growing up in homes anymore. They are growing up in terminals.

    In reality, the American family does not need a home. We are born in a hospital, educated in a college, courted in an automobile and married in a church.

  • mallThis past week I had to go to the mall. I know, I should know better, but I thought I could sneak in, get what I needed and sneak out again. So much for my thoughts.

    I wanted to purchase several tie chains for my neckties and searched every jewelry store and nobody had them. Finally, I ordered three online, which would be shipped free, (which always gets my attention) to the nearest store, which happened to be in the mall.

    I do not like the mall and choose not to go there if I can help it. When in the mall, I am usually very nervous and get confused and do not know which way I am going. Once I get in, I am not quite sure how to get out again. Everything seems to be contrived to confuse a person like myself.

  • Teddy Bear DriversDriving across town the other day I was nearly hit by four different vehicles. One ran a stop sign, another swerved in front of me and almost hit me and I’m sure the other two were on their cell phones. After a while I begin to think my life was at risk here.

    I decided to drop into a little coffee shop and cool my heels a little bit. I ordered some coffee, took a table in the corner and just reflected on my day.

    Why is it, I thought to myself, do people drive so crazy? How do they get a driver’s license?

  • 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.

  • Picture of Empty Pockets

    An incident happened this past week in which I am still scratching my head. Have you ever known you had something, but for the life of you could not find it? I will accede to the fact that occasionally, I do have a streak of absent-mindedness running through me. At times, I wish it would just walk.

    I was fairly certain I had an extra $20 in one of my pant's pockets. It was what I affectionately refer to as my "mad Money." My wife would be mad if she knew I had it. I do not remember where it came from but my real problem was, I could not find those pants.

  • summer sunsetMy favorite time of the year is summer and I don’t care what the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says. Summer is what I live for especially here in Florida.

    As soon as Fall arrives in full steam I am looking forward to summer with uncontrollable anticipation.

    One thing that attracts me to summer has to do with the weather.

  • 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.

  • walnut“Well,” the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage sighed rather deeply, “now that the hurricane is over I guess we can all get back to normal.” When she said “normal,” she looked at me and gave me one of “those looks.”

    I am very much confused when it comes to this idea of normal. What in the world is normal?

    Often when we go out somewhere she says, “Please try to act normal tonight.”

    For me, normal is just the way I act. Furthermore, I am not acting.

  • grandparents and grandchildrenLast Saturday evening the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly were reclining on the living room sofa enjoying our evening cup of coffee. It is a wonderful way to unwind after a week of activity. No matter how hectic the week was, a few quiet moments with a cup of Joe can put everything in perspective.

    After an extended time of silence my wife spoke.

    “Listen. Do you hear that?”

    “Hear what?” I enquired.

  • Rev. James Snyder is stressed from trying to rest.One of the New Year’s resolutions I made, which the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage reminded me, is to take a day off and just relax.

    That is a rather hard thing for me to do, especially every week.

    The first week in January, I was busy about my business and my wife said, “Which day this week are you going to take off and relax?”

    “What do you mean?” I asked.

  • thanksgiving3It was a pre-Thanksgiving evening and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were enjoying some hot cider tea. Nothing goes down quite as nice as a hot cider tea.

    It was rather a quiet evening and I happened to glance over at my wife and saw her staring into space as it were. It concerned me because I knew that’s what she did when she was thinking about something.

    The problem that faced me was simply this. Was she thinking about me or something else? If it’s me, I’m probably in trouble. If it’s something else, I’m probably in trouble. No matter which side of the fence I’m on, I’m in trouble.

  •  christmas horseIn first grade, our teacher asked us to pen a letter to Santa for Christmas.

    She asked us, “Name one present you would like Santa to bring you for Christmas.”

    Then we were to write a letter to Santa, who, according to her, lived at the North Pole, and tell him what we wanted for Christmas and why we wanted it. Then, we put it in an envelope and she mailed it to the North Pole.

  • snailOne of the main complaints in the Parsonage has to do with my procrastination. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage often refers to me as, Sir Procrastinator, as if it was a bad thing.

    Anything that needs doing in our house, my wife is the first one to jump up and try to do it. She fixes things before they are even broken. How she does that, I will never know. It is a wife thing.

    I, on the other hand, am slower than a politician trying to explain him or herself. For some reason, I was born in no hurry and that has been my motto all of my life. I am really not in a hurry for anything.

  • penI will grant I have a few eccentricities. But, far less than the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has avowed through the years. Listening to her, a person might come to believe my eccentricities are without limit. It is simply not the case.

    I firmly believe one man's eccentricity is another man's way of doing something. After all, everybody has a way of doing everything they do. If that is eccentric, we all have a lot of ‘plaining to do.

    If the tables were turned, I could make an equally infinite list of eccentricities associated with my wife. Since she set the table, who am I to turn it? I keep this as a secret stash to revel in occasionally when I am feeling a little poorly about myself. The secret will go no further.