We recently went through "March Madness," the time when basketball fans get excited about the college playoffs.
Churches sometimes divide over music. One church divided over the lack of a musical instrument and experienced a bizarre twist of events as a result.
Back in 1979, the very first church that I ever served as pastor was the Fort Adams Baptist Mission. It was located in the little fishing village of Fort Adams, the southernmost town on the Mississippi River in the state of Mississippi. It was so far in the southwest corner of Mississippi that back in those days before cable or satellite TV, the only television stations the people could receive were from Baton Rouge and Alexandria, ...
I have a doctoral degree, but it's not the kind that allows me to practice medicine. I worked four years for a doctor of theology degree at seminary. But I can't write you a prescription with my degree. As one woman bluntly said, "You're the kind of doctor that don't do you no good."
When I was in high school, my father was pastor of a country church in south Mississippi. A lot of work needed to be done around the church, like mowing the grass and cleaning the church cemetery, so it really helped that the preacher had two teenage sons - me and my little brother.
A long time ago, back in the 1940s, back in the woods of south Mississippi, there was a daring revival preacher named Percy, who had an unorthodox method of drawing crowds to hear him preach.
A public school teacher in Conway, S.C., told me that a little girl came to school each day very sleepy. The teacher noticed this pattern, and finally asked her why she was so sleepy. She said, "My church is having 'survival' all week."
Children often bring a fresh perspective and wonder to the people and things of the Bible. I heard about a Sunday school class in Louisiana where the teacher asked a little boy if he could tell the names of the first man and woman whom God created in the Garden of Eden. When he did not respond, the music minister's daughter raised her hand, excitedly saying, "I know! I know!" So the teacher asked, "What ...
Christina Aguilera publicly embarrassed herself when she forgot a line of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 2011. But preachers, who speak all the time, find that "slip-ups" are a hazard of their occupation. Here are a few samples:
I always thought that I was romantic. My wife says I am. I even got the nickname "Romeo" from a church member.
One Sunday I confused my congregation when I announced my scripture text from Leviticus 18, but the screen behind me referred to chapter 28 of Leviticus, which I had incorrectly typed into PowerPoint. Unfortunately, Leviticus ends at chapter 27.
Children think literally. One time I heard a little girl say, "Jesus is in my heart." Then she pulled opened her shirt, poked her mouth and nose inside her shirt, and yelled, "Hey Jesus, are you down there?"
Years ago, a girl from a wealthy family in Natchez, Mississippi, fell in love with a poor boy from the country. Their families consented to a wedding, albeit reluctantly, when the boy and girl persisted in professing their passion for one another. Since the wealthy bride's family was embarrassed to have the country bumpkin in their city church, they decided to have the wedding at the rural church of the groom. When the Saturday of the ...
Special thanks to Arnease Moore of Rincon for sending me this list of "Ten Things You Never Hear in Church." I'm passing it along to you exactly as she sent it to me, so some of it may not apply to your church, and then some of it may hit too close to home! Maybe you can encourage your pastor by letting him hear these statements from you! Here they are: 10 Things You Never Hear ...
Nearly every churchgoer has seen what happens when a person sits in the preferred pew of a longtime church attendee. Generally, if you see a crochet needle and a soft seat cushion on the pew, or the words "In memory of..." engraved in a brass plate, you would be wise to ask an usher before sitting there. But one lady in our church got a completely unexpected greeting when she sat in somebody else's pew. This woman, ...
When I went off to seminary, I moved from Woodville, Miss., to New Orleans. It was only a few hours' drive, but the two cultures were light-years apart.
I heard about a first-grade teacher who collected well-known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and had them come up with the rest. Here were some of their answers:
Last week I began telling about the time I conducted a burial service in Reidsville for "Lloyd," a man in his 90s, and how I met his mentally-challenged 45-year-old girlfriend from the nursing home, "Ruby."
A burial service is supposed to be a solemn occasion, but I've left several cemeteries red-faced instead of teary-eyed.
Recently I heard about a church named "Church by the Side of the Road." I'm sure there was a good reason to name the church that, but for some reason it conjured up pictures in my head of a church broken down and abandoned on the roadside.
A kindergarten teacher had asked her students to bring a symbol of their religion for show-and-tell.
Once I saw a cartoon that had a picture of a poor man sitting in the sand, naked except for a loincloth around his waist. He had a piece of pottery and was scraping his sores.
Most of us learn to pray from hearing prayers of our family and in our church. But some prayers in church are a lesson in how not to pray.
Although the following story about "back row Baptists" did not actually happen, it's still my favorite:
A church in rural Alabama is named "Original Church of God," but underneath the sign are the words "Number Two." This isn't the only church with an original name, however. Here are some other unique church names I've heard about:
Eight-year-old Tad (not his real name) watched with wide-eyed amazement as his parents renewed their marriage vows.
Once I had to stop preaching so that everybody could watch a deacon swat a wasp. But when it comes to distractions, insects cannot compete with babies. I was preaching on a Sunday night, when a lady on the front row started feeding her baby.
I always thought that I was romantic. But having two attractive young daughters has taught me that I have a lot to learn about romance. (Sorry, guys, they're both taken - both are now married.)
Unfortunately, some people have had a bad experience in church. Perhaps your experience was like these.
Many NFL fans are not aware that there is another form of football played on Sunday. It's called "church football."