It was past midnight, and I'd just finished writing a couple of anecdotes for my friend Mike, who was to speak at a Bible College the next day.
While I waited for Mike to arrive to pick up his "Chucklers", I read over what I had written:
Anecdote #1) One Sunday the Deacon was having difficulty keeping a dog from entering the service. Every time the door opened, the cur would try to enter, and the Deacon would have to shoo him away.
Finally a man and woman entered the foyer, and the dog once again tried to enter by darting between the woman's legs and sneaking in that way; but the Deacon reached out a foot and gave a half hearted kick at the dog - but missed...catching the woman squarely on the shin.
Doubling up in pain, she began rubbing her leg; then, before the Deacon could explain, she looked up and said apologetically, "I'm sorry we're late, but we're from out of town."
Anecdote #2) A policeman just happened to be going by, when he saw a pedestrian lying in the street and the preacher's car parked nearby. "How did you happen to hit him", the police officer asked?
"I didn't hit him", the preacher said, "I came to the stop sign just as he was entering the crosswalk, and I motioned for him to go across, and he fainted".
"Hmmm," I thought to myself. "Perhaps one more might not hurt". Sliding another piece of paper in the 'ole typewriter...I began to write:
Anecdote #3) Frustrated by the constant interruption caused by his congregation turning around each time a latecomer would enter, the preacher decided to cure them once and for all!
So, right in mid-sermon he stopped and said: "Okay, folks, listen to me. I'll tell you who the latecomer is, each time they enter, and in that way save you from turning your necks!" He then went on with his discourse, until a gentleman entered, and he announced loudly, like an Usher, "Mister Allen has entered who owns the hardware store across the street", and then continued on with his sermon.
Presently another man entered, and his name, residence and occupation were given as well - and the preacher continued, without missing a beat.
Finally someone entered who was unknown to the preacher, and he loudly announced, "little old man, with a drab coat and an old white hat; don't know him - look for yourselves".
The congregation was cured!
Just then came a knock on my door, and Mike entered.
"You know what, Mike?" I mused to my friend, "I've just discovered something! Humorists, jesters, and clowns might be first in line to Enter the Kingdom of heaven! Think about it! Who else uplifts the downhearted, chases away the Blues, and turns sadness into laughter? Only God, and He's already there!"
"You could be right", Mike said, as he sauntered in, sat down, and picked up the typewritten pages on the top of the desk. I watched his expression as he read, (feedback, you know) and from his expression - things looked pretty good.
"These are great!" Mike chuckled, "preacher jokes will go over Big with my audience! They'll be in stitches, rolling in the aisles! I can't thank you enough for helping me out!"
"No problem. I needed some practice on humor anyway, as it isn't exactly my forte."
Mike glanced at his watch, "It's after midnight and I've got to memorize this stuff, so thanks again, pal, I'll be forever grateful!"
Exhausted, I sat down, put my elbows on the desk and massaged my aching temples.
Hearing a faint knock on the door, I looked up to see the love of my life, a bit drowsy and sleepy eyed, cautiously enter the room; "Honey," she purred, "I hate to crash your party, but it's after midnight. Haven't you finished your acceptance speech for the Pulitzer prize yet?"
I laughed out loud. This was one of our private jokes.
I walked over and took her hand, "No, my love, forget about a Pulitzer award, I've just completed putting the final touches on a sermonette that positively reeks with the scent of a Nobel prize!"
We both cracked up in side-splitting laughter!
Then, with a satiated smile of a job well done, I turned out the light, closed the door, and exited my hallowed inner sanctum,...but not before graciously thanking the Almighty for bestowing upon me the highest and most Ultimate Prize of all....my Jenny.
* * *
Therapeutic laughter prevents hardening of the
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