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Nights in England are coal black, making parachute jumps very difficult. We attach small lights called chemlites to make our jumpsuits visible to the rest of the team.
Late one night, lost after a practice jump, we knocked at the door of a small cottage. When a woman answered, she was greeted by the sight of five men festooned in glowing chemlites.
"Excuse me," I said, "Can you tell us where we are?"
In a thick English accent, the woman paused before answering and then replied, "Earth."
*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
One day, a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer all die and go to Heaven. St. Peter's there, and when they get to the gate, St. Peter informs them that there will be a test to get into Heaven: they each have to answer one question.
To the teacher, he says, "What was the name of the ship that crashed into the Iceberg and sank with all its passengers?"
The teacher thinks for a second, and then replies:" That would have been the Titanic, right?" St. Peter lets him through the gate.
St. Peter turns to the Garbage man and, knowing that he was not real good on earth, decides to make the question a little harder: "How many people died on the ship?"
The garbage man guesses: "1228"
"That happens to be right; go ahead."
St. Peter turns to the Lawyer: "Name them."
*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh
The Miser's Mansion
Old man Fielding, the miser, at last went to his reward and presented himself at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter greeted him with appropriate solemnity and escorted him to his new abode. Walking past numerous elegant mansions finally they arrived at a dilapidated shack at the end of the street.
Fielding, much taken aback, began, "Why am I left with a rundown shack when all of these others have fine mansions?"
"Well, sir," replied St. Peter, "we did the best we could with the money you sent us."
*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
Father O'Shea, the parish priest in the village, was giving a sermon about charity. He said, "The trouble with the world today is that some people have too much and others have too little. We must give of ourselves and our worldly goods to help the less fortunate."
He said to Harrigan, "If you had ten thousand pounds, wouldn't you give half of it to the poor?"
He said, "I would do that, Father."
The priest said, "If you had two greyhounds, wouldn't you give one of them to your neighbor next door?"
Harrigan said, "No."
The priest said, "And why not?"
He said, "I have two greyhounds."
*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
Wit and Wisdom
Two caterpillars are sitting on a leaf when a butterfly zooms by, startling them. One turns to the other and says, "Boy, you'll never get me up in one of those things."
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
"Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty." - Mark Twain
"A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age." - Robert Frost
Two peanuts walk into a bar. One was a salted.
"The darkest hour has only 60 minutes."
"Kindness is the sun that melts the ice of mistrust and hostility." - Rosie Cash
*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
Sunday School Lessons by Rev. Walter Albritton
This is a weekly instruction by Rev. Walter Albritton. Visit the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Conference (AWFUMC) web site to read the most current one. To find out more about his inspirational writings and Christian ministry, visit Brother Walter's web site.
The Parson's Ponderings: A Thanksgiving to Remember
by Rev. Michael L. White
Because I'm an old sentimentalist, I've always been fond of reminiscing, but I find, as I get older, it is more and more pleasant to me. As another Thanksgiving Day in the USA approaches (24 November, this year), I've been reflecting upon one Thanksgiving Day, in particular, which my wife, Ellen, and I celebrated 22 years ago this month. I was a chaplain assistant in the Army and stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY. We were living off-post in a small, one-bedroom apartment in Hopkinsville, KY, at the time. I was only a Specialist Four (E-4) in rank, and our first child, Amy, was only five months old. It was our first Thanksgiving as parents, and we weren't able to travel to be with our families for the holiday.
Ellen fixed one of the most bountiful and sumptious meals our little budget could afford. In lieu of baking a whole turkey, or even half a turkey, for that matter, she made chicken breast surprise (one of my favorites). It contained four chicken breast halves laid on top of white rice, seasoned with cream of mushroom, cream of celery, and cream of chicken soups, topped with powdered onion soup mix, and baked in the oven. She also made a three bean salad (consisting of green beans, kidney beans, and lima beans, mixed with diced onions, and covered in vinegar and oil), squash casserole, buttered dinner rolls, and scrumptious pumpkin pie for dessert. It was a veritable feast for just the two of us!
We strapped Amy into her baby carrier and placed her right on the dining table so we could smile and coo at her between mouthfuls. What a fond picture of love and joy that memory conjures up for me!
As I reminisce about those "good ol' days", I am reminded of God's goodness to us through the years. As a pastor of mostly rural, small membership congregations for the next 12 years following my departure from the Army in 1984, until my return to the active Army in 1996, we never had much money, but we never lacked for food or clothing or shelter. God ALWAYS provided for our every need, and for that, I am truly thankful.
I hope my reminiscing has sparked some reminiscent reflection in your heart, too, and that you're now thinking of all the goodness God has shown to you throughout your lifetime. Whether you've already celebrated an occasion of Thanksgiving this year, or if your country has no such official observance, I urge you to thank God for His goodness to you and to those you love. For those of you living in the USA, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving Day, and may God continue to bless you richly!
Guest Article: WHAT IS APOLOGETICS SUPPOSED TO DO?
by Sue Butler
Primarily, apologetics, a "science and art of defending the faith," is a defense. This idea presupposes the existence of an antagonist. Who opposes Christians? Are they playing a game or waging war or what? If something or someone opposes Christians, then we can assume that he also opposes God. Because the Bible is the authoritative record of God's dealings with man (see 2 Tim. 3:16), we will find the answer in His record. We learn that before the creation of Adam a rebellion occurred in the heavenly realm. Lucifer, the angel of light, decided that he was like God so he convinced other angels to side with him. Because God knew in his infinite wisdom that only one being could rule the universe, war broke out in the heavenlies (see Rev. 12: 7-11). As a result, the "dragon," known as Satan or the devil, was cast down to the earth along with those who sided with him.
These verses not only recount the origin of the war but also the reason for an ongoing warfare. Satan, who has a limited time on earth before he will be eternally cast into the Sea of Fire, has no choice but to deceive others into following him. He appears as an angel of light, but when we remove his bright clothing we find a slimy, hideous creature filled with evil stratagems and desires. Other scriptures that support this reality are found in Is. 14:12-15 (fall of Lucifer); Lk. 10:18 (Jesus saw Lucifer fall); Jn. 12:31 (on Jesus' word the Prince of the world will be cast out); Ezek. 28:14-15 (most conclusive evidence that larger passage of Ezek. 28:2-19 refers to the fall of Lucifer); Matt. 11:23 (reference to Hades, final judgment); Dan. 8:10 (refers to Lucifer and fallen angels); 2 Thes. 2:3-4 (exposure of lawless one).
If we believe in the reality of these events-- the rebellion and casting out of the most beautiful and talented angel of the heavenly host down to earth and the casting out of additional spirit beings that allied with Lucifer--, then we must believe that spiritual warfare has plagued mankind since creation. If we believe also that Satan knows his days are numbered, he will use his wiles and intelligence to deceive many. If we believe that the devil knew God had a plan to redeem mankind from his fallen nature, then Satan had to devise a counter plan to thwart God's ultimate plan.
After Satan caused Adam to defy God, the devil thought he had full control of Adam. However, we read God's words to the serpent, "I will put enmity/ Between you and the woman,/ and between your seed and her seed;/ He shall bruise your heel,/ And you shall bruise His heel" (see Gen. 3:13).
The next events show that Satan is not omniscient. He thought that God meant a direct offspring of Eve. So, Satan plotted to kill her son, Abel, who had learned how to please God. The devil succeeded by putting enmity between Abel and his brother Cain. In time, Cain became jealous and murdered his brother. However, this did not daunt God's plan. Upon the birth of another son, Seth, to replace Abel, the bloodline of the Messiah begins. Satan had to wait about four thousand years before God chose to send his Son.
"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law" (see Gal. 4:4-5). God always arrives at the appropriate time. Then, after hearing about the birth of Christ, Satan used King Herod to kill all first-born Jews so that the Messiah could not survive. So, God sent an angel to warn Joseph and Mary. They took the child to Egypt for a couple years. Several years later, when Jesus announced his ministry after his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, the Spirit of God led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (see Matt. 4:1). Surely Satan thought that God was showing signs of weakness. However, this encounter served only to strengthen God's chosen vessel by using his knowledge of God's Word as a sword to pierce the deceptive motives of Satan.
The final attempt to thwart God's plan to redeem mankind came when Judas Iscariot agreed to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Surely Satan must have sensed total victory as he watched the Son of God die on the Cross. Yet, after the Lord's resurrection when he appeared to many witnesses, Satan had to face reality that God meant business. Eventually, the final judgment would come to him and to his fellow demons. If we believe the authority of God's Word, then we must face the reality of spiritual warfare and plan our defense, thus the need for apologetics.
[You will find this article in the writing series EXPRESSING FAITH THROUGH
WRITING, developed by Sue Butler. Visit Write4Christ.com to find many
writing tools to help you "express your faith through writing."]
Agape Press News (Top Christian news headlines)
Christian News and Commentary at Cross Walk
Maranatha Christian Journal
Read all the current Christian news headlines at MCJ Online.
Praize News (Top Christian news headlines from the Praize Christian Network)
Religion News Service
Read the latest press releases from various religious groups.
Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter
(Keep abreast of the latest reports of persecution of Christians all around the world.)
World Net Daily (Extensive news from all around the world.)
Ebook Builder helps you create ebooks in a compiled executable PC file format. This is your reward for diligently reading every line of this month's issue of The Parson Place Newsletter.
Read Breakpoint commentaries on the Breakpoint web site. Breakpoint is a daily (M-F) radio and email commentary by Chuck Colson. They are always insightful, thought-provoking, and very apropos to our times.
Listen to Breakpoint commentaries from the Breakpoint web site (in real audio format - works with Windows Media Player and RealOne Player).
Holidays this month: All Saints Day (1 November), Veteran's Day (11 November, in the USA) and Thanksgiving Day (24 November, in the USA)
All links open in a new window.
An explanation of All Saints Day
by Upper Room Ministries
Offers all sorts of information pertinent to the observance of Veteran's Day in the USA.
A very well-written article about the origin and observance of Thanksgiving Day in the USA.
LAWMAKERS JOIN JONES’ CALL FOR PRESIDENT TO PROTECT MILITARY CHAPLAINS’ FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
This is a very encouraging article for U. S. military chaplains.
Ed2go Online Courses
Take online courses for continuing education (no college credit awarded at this time) or get approved to teach a course in a particular area of interest. I just finished taking the "Get Grants" and the "Publish It Yourself" courses through Columbus State Technical College here in Columbus, GA, but you can enroll in any course offered by any college anywhere in the Ed2go Network!
The Christian Web Site Newsletter
For a complete list of current new additions, go to:
The Internet for Christians Newsletter
(read it online!)
Well, that does it for this issue! I hope you found something useful to share with others. You are welcome to share this newsletter with whomever, but PLEASE DON'T SPAM ANYONE with it.
God willing, I'll greet you again next month with another collection of the best of my Internet experience. May God bless you!
Sue's Open-Hearted Suggestions for Writers Newsletter|
Reaching the world for Christ through writing--
Visit Write4Christ.com where you will find free
and inexpensive tools to help you in your journey
of Web Evangelism. Sign up for the monthly newsletter.
If you have comments or questions about any issue of the Parson Place Newsletter or the Parson Place web site, or if you want to submit web site recommendations, jokes, news items, etc. for the newsletter, please send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I welcome your feedback.