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The Parson Place Newsletter

November 2006   Rev. Michael L. White, Editor/Publisher

MISSION STATEMENT: Using computers and the Web to promote Christian views and a faith-related community, Parson Place offers FREE software downloads, inspirational articles, pastoral ministry materials, a subscription-only newsletter, and much more. Be sure to visit Parson Place on the Web today, and spread the word to all your family and friends to come visit, too!

You can view past issues of The Parson Place Newsletter in the Archives section of Parson Place on the Web.

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* Christmas is just around the corner! Have you started your Christmas gift shopping yet? My book, Digital Evangelism: You Can Do It, Too!, will make an excellent gift for your pastor, evangelism chairperson, church library, or the Christian computer enthusiast in your family or circle of friends. Right now, I'm offering a special, 33% Christmas discount through December 31st. It is also available for purchase in the online shops of some of the major bookstore chains. You can buy it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Cokesbury, among others, as well as directly from Parson Place. If you go to the Froogle web site and type in the search term, "digital evangelism", you'll find numerous links to other online stores that carry it, too. If you want to get it from your local bookstore, you may need to ask them to order it for you. It is also available for ordering in the United Kingdom. Just give the book sellers the book's ISBN -- 1-59581-120-6 -- to place the order from any book distributor in North America or the UK. You'll need to compare the cost of shipping versus local taxes to see which way is the better buy for you.

* Get your Parson Place Specialty Bookmarks now! They're beautifully designed and make an excellent accessory to any book, including The Holy Bible. These will make wonderful gifts to accentuate any books you give to your family and friends, or even for yourself. Remember -- you get FREE shipping on all bookmark orders, too!

* Are you looking for inexpensive Christian books or gifts? There's no better place to buy discounted Christian books, resources, and gifts than Christian Book Distributors (CBD). They have the best prices anywhere! Christmas is upon us, so check out what they have to offer now!

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Reverend Fun's Weekly Cartoon!


Faulty Funeral
Contributed by Mrs. Cheryl Stricker, President of the United Methodist Women at Tanner Williams UMC

As a young minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a graveside service for a homeless man with no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost; and being a typical man, did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew, who was eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where I saw the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul. As I preached, the workers began to say "Amen", "Praise the Lord", "Glory", and such. I preached, and I preached, like I'd never preached before: from Genesis all the way to Revelations. I wasn't going to let this homeless man go out without someone taking notice of the service. I closed the lengthy service with a prayer and walked to my car. As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another, "I ain't never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for more than 20 years."

Three Chairs

A Methodist minister meets three Baptist deacons on the golf course and invites them to come to his church some Sunday. Not too many weeks thereafter, and just as services are starting, they show up.

Attendance was good in the small Methodist church, and there wasn't a pew available. Several church members were already seated on folding chairs. When the minister, just starting the service, saw the three Baptist deacons enter, he leaned down from the pulpit and whispered to the nearest usher, "Please get three chairs for my Baptist friends in the back."

The usher, hard of hearing, leaned closer and said, "I beg your pardon?"

"Get three chairs for my Baptist friends," repeated the minister. The usher strained closer with a puzzled look still on his face.

Once more the minister tried, speaking slowly and distinctly. "Three chairs. For the Baptists," he enunciated.

The usher's face lit up in comprehension, and he turned to face the congregation.

"All right, everybody," he called out to the assembled worshipers. "Three cheers for the Baptists!"

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh

Vendor Problem

In a software design meeting, we were using typical technical jargon to discuss a data exchange interface with a vendor. One co-worker said the programming we had ordered was delayed because the vendor was suffering from a "severe nonlinear waterfowl issue."

Curious, the team leader raised his eyebrows and asked, "What exactly is that?"

The programmer replied, "They don't have all their ducks in a row."

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh

Prayer Request

During a January revival, an evangelist asked the people in line what they needed. One man's request was for his hearing. The evangelist spit on his finger, put it in the man's ear, prayed for him, and asked him, "How's your hearing?"

The man replied, "I don't know. It's not until next Tuesday."

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

Horse Sale

A city slicker was driving through the country when he spotted a horse standing in a field. He was quite taken with the animal and so pulled over to ask the farmer if it was for sale.

"Afraid not," said the farmer.

"I'll give you a thousand bucks!" said the city fella.

"I can't sell you that horse. He don't look too good," replied the farmer.

"I know horses, and he looks fine. I'll give you two thousand!"

"Well, all right, if you want him so bad."

The next day, the man returned the horse, screaming that he had been taken advantage of. "You sold me a blind horse!"

"Well," said the farmer, "I told you he didn't look too good."

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

A Difference in Culture

A young man, while bringing flowers to a cemetery, noticed an old Chinese man placing a bowl of rice on a nearby grave. The young man walked up to the Chinese man and asked, "When do you expect your friend to come up and eat the rice?"

The old Chinese man replied with a smile, "Same time your friend comes up to smell the flowers."

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

Quotable Quotes

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" - Maya Angelou

"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect." Benny Hill

"If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology." - Jay Leno

"Archeologists will date any old thing." - Douglas Helsel

"Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, and Faith looks up." - Unknown

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." - From a headstone in Ireland

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for these quotes!*

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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: Precious Memories
by Rev. Michael L. White

I've always been a rather semtimental fellow, but it seems as I get older, I'm becoming more and more sentimental. As I reflect upon past events in my life, such as Thanksgiving meals, which we in the USA celebrate every year on the fourth Thursday in November, I am especially nostalgic, even misty-eyed. I have written in years past in this newsletter how one of my favorite remembrances of Thanksgiving was in the year my daughter (also my firstborn) was born. It was the first time we were unable to be with our extended family for Thanksgiving. We didn't have much money, but with God's blessings, we managed to set quite a table that year. It lingers in my memory like no other.

Of course, there were other years of which I have fond and happy Thanksgiving memories, but they all tend to blend into one big memory of the annual joy of celebrating this happy occasion. I love to contemplate and anticipate the cooler weather, the delicious dishes of baked turkey with dressing, the multiple varieties of cooked greens, including turnips, mustards, and collards, the various dishes of corn, from creamed style to giblet, the delectable desserts of pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and pumpkin pie. Even more precious is the time of visitation with family, and sometimes friends, who gather to catch up on one another's life stories from the previous months or more since we last saw or communicated with each other. The many hugs and the musical laughter are a healing balm to my heart and soul.

I would certainly be remiss if I failed to mention those Thanksgiving meals from the past nine years when I served as a chaplain in the U. S. Army. For a third of those years, I was unable to travel home for Thanksgiving, and one of them was spent apart from my wife and kids while I served a one-year tour in South Korea. It's an Army tradition for the unit leaders, the commissioned officers, warrant officers, and senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs), to dress up in their dress blue uniform and serve chow to the junior Soldiers in the mess hall on Thanksgiving Day. This is the one day of the year that the mess hall decorates with real cornucopia, fresh fruit and nuts, 3D paper models of turkeys hanging from the ceiling and/or positioned on most, if not all, of the tables, colorful posters on the walls, etc. They go all out and prepare enough food to feed an army -- literally. Serving those young, single Soldiers alongside my fellow officers and watching them joyously sharing a Thanksgiving meal with their comrades, whether in peacetime or in war, all around the world, is one of the most touching experiences I've ever had. It warms my heart to think of it even now.

As I write these words, the old, favorite hymn, "Precious Memories" is playing softly in my head. I can never listen to that old hymn without getting choked up and having my eyes fill with tears, now more than ever. Truly, these are precious memories for me, and I share them with you now, trusting they will stir up some precious memories of your own.

Even if you live in a country that doesn't celebrate a national holiday for Thanksgiving, you can observe your own personal Thanksgiving anytime you want, just by preparing the most lavish meal you can afford and giving God the most heartfelt thanks you can for all the lovingkindness He has shown you. No matter where you are in the world, I wish you the most wonderful Thanksgiving Day ever, and may God bless you richly with all His glorious and manifold mercies. Amen!

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Christian News and Issues

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.)

The Berlin Wall Between Church and State
A blog with lesser-known news stories.

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).

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Recommended Web Sites

Holidays this month: All Saints Day (November 1st), Veteran's Day (November 11th, in the USA), Thanksgiving Day (November 23rd, in the USA)
All links open in a new window.

All Saints Day
A helpful explanation of the meaning of and suggestions for observing this Christian holy day.

Veterans Day
Great information from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs about this often overlooked holiday in the USA.

Thanksgiving Day
Practically everything you ever wanted to know about this highly beloved holiday in the USA.

A Parent's Wish
What every parent wishes his/her child to understand about aging.

Honoring God in America
How can we leave God out of our national affairs?

Live a Life That Matters
Here's something profound on which to meditate.

The Christian Web Site Newsletter
For a complete list of current new additions, go to:

The Internet for Christians Newsletter
(read it online!)

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This Issue's Web Tip

The tabbed browsing experience that is now available in Internet Explorer (IE) 7 is a long-awaited and happy addition. Now, you can have just one IE window open, but with multiple tabs containing what used to be multiple instances (windows) of IE. If you want to go to a new web address without navigating away from your current window, simply press CTRL+T to create a new tab, then type in the URL in the address bar and press ENTER to access that web site. Once you've finished browsing that site, you can close the tab window by pressing CTRL+W. Make sure you select the tab window you wish to close by clicking on its tab, though, or you may inadvertently close a window you didn't intend to close.

If you haven't already done so, you can visit the IE7 download page to download it now. Be sure to read the About Internet Explorer 7 page for a full list of the new features.

That's all there is to it! If you have questions, feel free to email me, and I'll do my best to give you answers. If I don't know, I can, at least, refer you to someone else who can help you.

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Final Remarks

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!

Michael L. White
Email: info@parsonplace.com
Web Site: http://www.parsonplace.com

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