Painting the Church

There was a Scottish painter named Smokey MacGregor who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often thinned down his paint to make it go a wee bit further.

As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the Local Church decided to do a big restoration job on the outside of one of their biggest buildings.

Smokey put in a bid, and, because his price was so low, he got the job.

So he set about erecting the scaffolding and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine..

Well, Smokey was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened, and the rain poured down washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Smokey clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.

Smokey was no fool.  He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got down on his knees and cried:

“Oh, God, Oh God, forgive me; what should I do?”

And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke..

“Repaint!  Repaint!

And thin no more!”

Husband: “Why do you get weepy over a TV program about imaginary people?”

Wife: “Same reason you scream and yell when a man you never met makes a touchdown.”

I believe we should all pay our tax bill with a smile. I tried — but they wanted cash.


O proud left foot, that ventures quick within,
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from heaven’s yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke — banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, ’tis what it’s all about.


Q: Why is everyone so tired on April 1?
A: Because they’ve just finished a long March!

Q: What would you get if you crossed Halloween with April 1?
A: April Ghoul’s Day!

Q: What’s the best day for monkey business?
A: The first of Ape-ril!

Q: What’s the difference between Thanksgiving and April Fool’s Day?
A: On one you’re thankful and on the other you’re prankful!

Sometimes I feel as lonely as the 3rd verse of a Baptist Hymnal.

To make a long story short … don’t tell it.


~ “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?”

~ “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly”

~ “I’ve Been Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart”

~ “She Got the Gold Mine and I Got the Shaft”

~ “My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I Sure Do Miss Him”

~ “If You Don’t Leave Me Alone I’ll Go and Find Someone Else Who Will”

~ “My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart”

~ “They May Put Me In Prison But They Can’t Stop My Face From Breaking Out”

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

Wine Does NOT Make You FAT.
It Makes You LEAN… Against Tables, Chairs, Floors, Walls and Ugly People.

Q: Why should you always guard your rear while you’re in the hospital?
A: You’re in enema territory.

Q: What did the rope say after it got tangled?
A: Oh, no. Knot again!

A Nun asked her class to write a letter to God.

Dear God:
Instead of letting people die and making new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you have?  Johnny

Dear God:
In school they told us what You do. Who does it when you are on vacation?

Dear God:
I read the Bible. what does “beget” mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Allison

Dear God:
Are You really invisible or is it just a trick?  Lucy

Dear God:
Is it true my father won’t get into Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?  Anita

Dear God:
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? Neil

Dear God:
Did You really mean “do unto others as they do unto you”? Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother.  Darla

Dear God:
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. Joyce

Dear God:
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.

Dear God:
If we come back as something – Please don’t let me be Jennifer Horton because I hate her.

Dear God:
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over.

Dear God:
I think the stapler is one of Your greatest inventions.

Dear God:
I think about You sometimes even when I’m not praying.

Dear God:
Of all the people who work for You I like Noah and David best.

Dear God:
My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right. They’re just kidding, aren’t they?

Dear God:
I would like to live for 900 years like that guy in the Bible.
Love, Chris

Dear God:
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School they said you did it. So I bet he stole Your idea.
Sincerely, Donna

Dear God:
I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made
on Tuesday. That was cool.

How Did She Live to 104?

About 6 weeks before Miss Beck died, she asked me to speak at her funeral. Now here was a challenge, in my profession I have met and know many people of God many folks that have amazing testimonies and walks with the Savior, but honestly no one I have encountered had the savor of the gleam of Jesus eye like Miss Beck. How could I possibly begin to honor such a saint at her funeral? What was the secret of her amazing spirit and long, long life of service. When she was about 95 I asked her why she didn’t let up at bit, as she was still fully engaged in bringing Jesus to Somerset(the assisted living facility she told me she was called to in Mocksville, NC), both with Daily devotions and her musical ability playing the piano and leading worship. She quoted Ecclesiastes 8:8b   “there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.” She insisted that the war was on and she was in the Lords army till it’s over, and so she lived till her passing this week.

So how did she live to 104?  My wife insists that it’s because she was never married and hadn’t the stress of dealing with a “Robby Dilmore”. Miss Beck once told me it was because she never ate hamburger meat, that the grocers keep the meat red by adding blood and Bible clearly forbids eating blood. I have pondered this question for years and felt it was the message I should speak of at her funeral, for her long life clearly preached a message. What was it? Was it that she was constantly in God’s word reading and re-reading volumes and volumes she had all over her room? I am very sure that added to the peace you encountered in her presence.  Was it her constant prayer, her visits to a prayer chair out in the woods out at her farm were legendary. She was a prayer warrior like I have not known, spending hours wrestling, interceding in tears I saw them on many occasions.  I’m sure that added to her long life as well. There was something else remarkable,something that stayed with her as strong as the day we met.  As she advanced in years, the times in the word decreased some, I believe the wrestling in prayer and service decreased some, she didn’t come to devotions much after 101. But there was the one thing she modeled like no one else I have ever known and she modeled it to the very end, that is the one thing I believe was the most responsible for her long life.

Clearly Miss Beck honored her mother and father like no one I have ever known. Over the 17 years I knew her and the thousands of conversations there were very, very few if any that she didn’t bring up her mother or her father and all they had meant to her. Oh the stories after stories she told from her father teaching her to play the pump organ and his making a huge rotating table to have Sunday dinner with the pastor, to her mother’s dealing with horrible illness and still loving the family. Any and every way I can imagine she honored them, kept their pictures right in front of her sitting chair, she clearly adored them. Even when I would awaken her or she felt lazy or felt poorly she would say, nothing I ever saw diminished her love for Jesus or her honoring her father and mother. Should I be surprised that such a saint would follow the 5th commandment to the letter or that she then received the promise attached. Exodus 20:12 12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

So much of Miss Becks life is amazing, she not only lived long, she lived life to the full. She easily made the walk to devotions without a walker the last time I saw her alive. She was still playing the piano with complete enthusiasm like only Miss Beck could play. The treasure of Miss Beck’s life for me was the stuff of Mark 10:29, (I’ll let you look that up yourself). Jesus promised us in this life one hundred mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Miss Beck was one of my 100, she called out God’s glory in me, she encouraged and enlisted me to do the devotions every Thursday there at, Somerset, 16 years ago. She told me I had an anointing, (A precious affirmation from such a saint). She would rebuke me with such love and truth. I once used the word “golly” in one of my talks and she called me over privately and told me that I was so gifted I didn’t need to use words like that, a euphemism for God.  To have such a saint praying for me was a gift from God I can never even put to words my gratitude.

Yes, I got to share this  message at her funeral yesterday, one of my 100 mothers and her living testimony to the promises of scripture. Miss Ila Viretta Beck was a gift to all and her testimony of 104 years of service to her Savior will live in hearts for ever. Miss Beck is now another of my treasures in heaven, and “I will see her again,” but not yet….not yet” to quote another warrior.  Her funeral service ended with what I knew to be her favorite song she would play it most every time she could…can you guess?

  • What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  • Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  • Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.

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