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by James Snyder
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As an amateur history buff, one thing has always puzzled me. Actually, the more I think of it, many things have puzzled me.

No, wait. I've changed my vote again. Everything in history puzzles me. At times I feel like the person who said, "The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history."

My tenth grade history teacher, Mrs. Nagle, never bought that excuse and expected me to learn something. Ha! I fooled her.

Be that as it may, and it is, out of all the puzzling things in history one looms larger than the rest. I have often wondered why nobody ever tackled this perplexity or written a book on the subject.

People have written books on every subject under the sun. Wise old King Solomon rightly stated it when he wrote, "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh" (Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV). I can testify to that "weariness of the flesh."

Even with such a landslide of books, not every subject has been adequately addressed. In my opinion, many should never have been written. Such productions as, "Everything You Need to Know About Women" by I.M. Kidding. Who could forget the classic, "Men Are Squirrels, Women Are Bats" by U.R. Knutts?

Naturally, these, and others like them, add nothing to polite society and the pool of information, despite the splash they have made with the public. With so many important subjects to pursue one wonders why they wrote such superficial books.

My quandary wallows in the area of defining the perfect minister. I must confess I have not lost any sleep over this nor have my culinary habits been adversely affected, but occasionally I have this nagging thought in the back of my mind; what does the perfect minister look like? (O.K., so I'm looking in the mirror when I'm saying this and hoping.)

If I knew what the perfect minister looked like I could probably appraise my own performance in this area. As it stands, I do not know whether I am good or bad. (My vote is on the "good" and I see no need for a recount.) However, now that I give it some further thought, if I don't know what the perfect minister looks like, I can make the obvious assumption that I am, indeed, a good minister.

Whoever said ignorance is bliss knew a thing or two. My eternal bliss is a constitutional right.

Everyone, I'm sure, savors his own idea of the ideal preacher, but nobody has been able to build a consensus. Over the years several garages and a chicken coop have been built but not a consensus. Several years ago the votes were all in on this important subject, but someone got butterflies in their stomach and demanded a recount. We are still awaiting the results.

Why is this information so important, you might ask?

It is vital to understand the will of the people in this crucial issue. After all, the local parish minister wields great influence in the lives of many people. Certainly the people have a right to determine who it is that will lead them in their spiritual pilgrimage. There is heaven to pay if someone gets this wrong.

This past week changed all of that. After hundreds of fruitless years, and countless voting, a model minister has been found to suit everyone. He guaranteed to please all the people all the time in every church. Henceforth, we can compare all ministers with this portrait of the perfect minister.

He preaches only 15 minutes, but thoroughly and exhaustively expounds the Bible.

He condemns sins, but never hurts anyone's feelings in the process.

He works from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. doing every type work from preaching in the pulpit to janitor work.

He makes $100 a week, wears designer clothes, buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a new car, gives $50 a week to the church and stands ready to give to any good cause.

His family is completely model in deportment, dress and attitude.

He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years.

He is tall, short, thin, heavyset, handsome, has one brown eye and one blue eye, hair parted in the middle, left side dark and straight, right side blond and wavy.

He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with the older people.

He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work.

He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is never out of the office.

Actually, there is only one perfect example for us. That model is none other than Jesus Christ.

The Bible states this about Christ. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" (Hebrews 5:8-9 KJV).

This perfect Christ is the perfect Savior for imperfect mankind.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Haug 16 Apr 2005
Rev. Snyder, I don't always get time to read your articles, but when I do I know I'm in for a good chuckle. Your rambling, self-deprecating humor often leaves you totally unprepared for the wholloping punch at the end. Keep up the good work! Donna Haug
Annette Agnello 16 Apr 2005
I love it. I'm forwarding it to a few pastors I know. This was the best piece since going out of the hotel door insead of into the bathroom all halorious.
Corinne Smelker  16 Apr 2005
As usual, you have written something humorous with a punch! I want to have that pastor in my church - especially with all that hair, and the David Bowie eyes.


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