CNHI News Service

Opinion

January 2, 2013

Preaching profs taught life with humor

 

In the midst of the holiday break at two local colleges, I am reminded of my own campus experiences.

My favorite professors were those who always inspired and entertained us with tales of the real world.

I vividly recall two such men who were part-time ministers and full-time college teachers. I admired their commitment to pastoring small churches for little, if any, pay.

I believe both were successful because of a great sense of humor, particularly the ability to find humor in everyday life.

One of the best stories was when one of them looked into the collection plate one Sunday morning and, to his amazement, spotted a crisp, new $100 bill.

He felt sure that no one in that poor rural congregation could afford to make such a donation, despite their strong faith.

Those hill country farmers liked to say they were better at raising kids than crops.

The preacher excitedly held up the $100 bill and gave thanks for it, noting that was exactly how much was needed to fix the church roof.

He laid the bill on the pulpit and asked the person who gave it to stand so that the other church members could be inspired by their good example.

The congregation stirred a bit and finally a man stood up in the back. An audible gasp was heard because everyone knew he was the local bootlegger.

“Preacher, I’m the one who put that in the plate,” the man said nervously. “But I surely ain’t no good example to these God-fearing folks. Ever body here knows how I made that money.”

The young minister never hesitated as he put the bill into his shirt pocket:

“Amen, brother. The devil’s had this money long enough.”

The other story I still laugh about concerned a weekend revival in the mountains and a white shirt.

Text Only
Opinion
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hobby Lobby critics push specious privacy pitch

    The violation of privacy argument by liberal detractors of the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby-Obamacare case doesn't hold water when you consider the current collection and use of the personal details of your medical preferences.

    July 11, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Declare your independence from empty slogans

    'Independence Day' is now an ironic celebration in a country where the president promotes government dependence over actual freedom, and where bumper-sticker slogans have replaced actual, independent thought.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Taxi owners, government patrons try forcing Uber to go 'off-duty'

    Uber gives urban passengers an enticing alternative. Rides on-demand arrive faster than taxis, are cheaper and cleaner, and get rated by customers. Rather than hail innovation, government enablers are helping the heavily regulated taxicab industry freeze out the upstart.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg IRS spins email yarn as Obama slips past another scandal

    Forget everything you've heard about email. All digital trace of a former IRS official's email over the 25 months the agency harassed conservative groups has mysteriously, improbably vanished. Gone, too, is the White House's accountability as President Obama slips from another scandal.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama: Don't listen to those who knew Bergdahl best

    The Obama administration chides anyone who suggests that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl - the POW traded for a dream team of Taliban terrorists - might be something less than a hero. The White House wants us to stop jumping to conclusions - unless, of course, we're jumping to the right conclusions.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Left tallies 'true cost' of coal with a political calculator

    Weighing the "true cost" of coal-based energy is politically convenient. In a "true cost" world, coal may be more expensive but alternate energies aren't affordable, either; you don't get a tax break on your mortgage; and the feds don't protect the United Auto Workers from Chrysler's bankruptcy.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Veterans wait for healthcare, we wait for accountability

    Poor care and long wait times at the Veterans Administration are little surprise for an organization with such an entrenched bureaucracy. It's almost predictable as the Obama administration's mock surprise and non-response.

    May 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Reality replaces Obama's foreign policy promises

    Terrorists were supposed to disappear and tensions would dissolve between the United States and other countries when President Barack Obama took office. But prize-winning promises don't hold up to real-life Chinese hackers, attacks on U.S. diplomats and Russian land grabs.
     

    May 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • sampollak.jpg Presidential perk turned into a bummer

    Who wants to be president of the United States if you don't get time to actually linger and soak in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

    May 23, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Features