1. Two vultures board an airplane, each carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at them and says, “I’m sorry, gentlemen, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”

2. Did you hear that NASA recently put a bunch of Holsteins into low earth orbit? They called it the herd shot ’round the world.

3. Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One went to Hollywood and became a famous actor. The other stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted to much. The second one, naturally, became known as the lesser of two weevils.

4. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it, too.

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. “But why?” they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

7. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named “Amal.” The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him “Juan.” Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to “persuade” them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that: Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.

9. And finally, there was a man who sent ten different puns to friends, in the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.


Taking Your Sweet Time

~ Chocolate is a vegetable: Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.

~ To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food. Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

~ If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.

~ The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car.  The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

~ Diet Tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and you’ll eat less.

~ If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet?  Don’t they actually counteract each other?

~ Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

~ Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.

~ A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place.  Now, isn’t that handy?

~ If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated. You can’t let that happen, can you?

~ REMEMBER: “Stressed” spelled backward is “desserts.”


Calling The Shots

Modern medicine has come up with some great new stuff to make life easier…

St. Mom’s Wort — Plant extract that treats Mom’s depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to six hours.

Empty Nestrogen — Highly effective suppository that eliminates melancholy by enhancing the memory of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn’t wait til they moved out.

Antiboyotics — When administered to teenage girls, is highly effective in improving grades, freeing up phone lines and reducing money spent on make-up.

RoverDose— Having too many dogs


What do you get when you roll a hand grenade across a kitchen floor? Linoleum Blownapart


Three Day Silence

My wife has not spoken to me in three days. I think it has something to do with what happened on Sunday night when she thought she heard a noise downstairs.

She nudged me and whispered, “Wake up, wake up!”

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“There are burglars in the kitchen. I think they’re eating the tuna casserole I made tonight.”

“That’ll teach them!” I replied.


There were two fish in a tank. One of them said to the other: “How do you drive this thing?”


Small Change

A small boy stunned his parents when he began to empty his pockets of nickels, dimes and quarters.

Finally his mother said, “Where did you get all that money?

“At Church,” the boy replied nonchalantly. “They have bowls of it.”


Q: Why are handcuffs like cheap souvenirs?

A: They’re both two wrist traps.

Q: What’s the best way to make pants last?

A: Make the jacket first.


A Critical Care Surgeon Meets the Great Physician

My eyes darted to the tracing on the cardiac monitor. The gaps between my patient’s heartbeats lengthened. The plodding rhythm meant that blood, oozing from beneath his fractured skull, was crowding out his brain.

He was 22, and someone had bludgeoned him with a baseball bat in his sleep. His wife, lying beside him, died during the assault. His four-year-old son witnessed everything.

I thrived on the urgency of the emergency room—the chaos, the opportunities to reach people in dire moments. Yet as I placed my patient’s central venous line, I struggled to focus. I thought of his four-year-old son in footed pajamas, and the images of brutality he might never forget.

As I wrestled with these thoughts, paramedics rushed in with a 15-year-old boy dying from a gunshot wound. They were performing compressions to force oxygen-rich blood to his brain. In a blur of adrenaline, I grasped a scalpel and surgically explored his chest. I cupped his still heart and searched its borders with trembling fingers. When my hand plunged into a yawning hole, I caught my breath. The bullet had torn open his aorta. We could not save him.

As I fought tears, my trauma pager blared yet again. Another 15-year-old boy. Another gunshot wound. This time, the bullet had struck the boy’s head.

I tried to compose myself. The least I could do, I thought, was to mend his wound, clean him, and give his family a final glimpse of the boy they loved.

Midway through my work, the door opened. I raised my eyes in time to see his mother walk into the room. She froze, howled, and crumpled to the floor. I tugged the bloodied gloves from my hands, rushed from the room, and hid my face as I cried.

Cut Off from God

The next morning, as I finished my shift, I wandered about as if lost. I despaired over how little life mattered to people. Each of my patients had suffered at the hand of someone who looked at him and saw no worth. How could God allow such evil?

I had grown up as a nominal Christian. My family observed certain Christian traditions, but we never read the Bible or talked about the gospel together. I understood Christianity to be synonymous with good behavior.

After work, I drove for hours. A hundred miles from my home, I parked at a bridge that spanned the Connecticut River. Mountains flanked the bridge, and the October sun set the horizon afire in jewel tones. Below me, the river shone like polished metal.

I gripped the guardrail, tipped my face against the wind, breathed, and felt . . . nothing. I parted my lips to pray, but no words came.

I felt cut off from God. I thought the Lord—if he even existed—had abandoned me.

Thereafter, I fell into agnosticism. Doubt led to hopelessness, and hopelessness to despair. I dreamed of an eternal sleep, of numbness, of annihilation. Thoughts of taking my own life troubled me daily. I fought the impulse to return to the bridge over the Connecticut River and hurl myself over the railing. Only love for my husband, Scottie, brought me home each evening.

Months later, Scottie lost his job. While I struggled with the problem of evil, he sought the church, understood the Word for the first time, and accepted Christ as his Savior. Scottie invited me to join him in worship, but I remained disillusioned. When I finally attended church to appease him, the sanctuary, the singing, and the ceremony seemed awkward and foreign. He would bow his head in prayer, and I would stare ahead with my thoughts cast outside the church walls, my gaze defiant.

‘This Is Heartbreaking’

Some time later, I transitioned to work in the ICU. Among my patients was Ron (pseudonym), a middle-aged man who suffered cardiac arrest after a hip replacement. He had severe brain injury from lack of oxygen during the arrest, and depended upon a mechanical ventilator to breathe. In a vegetative state, Ron would open his eyes, but showed no awareness of his surroundings. Neurologists predicted he would never recover.

Ron’s wife and daughters hovered at his bedside daily and prayed for a miracle. They could not accept that the boisterous, football-loving, pizza-dough-tossing, belly-laughing man they cherished would never acknowledge them again.

One morning, the ICU suddenly resounded with off-key renditions of cheesy 1980s tunes. I found Ron’s wife at his bedside, singing as she cradled his hand beneath her chin. She beamed when I approached her.

“I was praying and praying last night, and when I woke up, I knew everything would be fine,” she declared. “God told me he’s going to be just fine.”

I admired her conviction and her hope, especially as I had neither. Yet her husband’s clinical data promised that everything would not be fine.

For the next week, every day, she clung to him and crooned songs they both loved. She prayed aloud. She shouted blessings to everyone in the unit. My colleagues and I struggled to conceal our worry. We would shake our heads and cast each other glances that said, “This is heartbreaking.”

One afternoon, she and her daughters shouted for me. I shuffled into the room, dreading the conversation.

“He moved his toe when we asked,” Ron’s wife said.

I leaned within inches of Ron’s ear, and called his name. I urged him to move. Nothing. “I’m so sorry. It was probably just a reflex,” I said.

“No,” his wife insisted. “Watch.” She put a hand on his shoulder, and shouted into his ear for him to wiggle his right big toe. He did.

The next day, he turned his head toward them. Then, he blinked to command. In two weeks, he was awake. In three, he sat in a chair.

At best, our neurologists had anticipated he might occasionally track moving objects. No one expected that his condition would so dramatically resolve. Medical science could not explain his recovery.

Bearing Our Affliction

I suspected I had witnessed a miracle. Yet I still wrestled with God. How could he bestow such blessings, yet allow suffering?

Scottie encouraged me to read the Bible. I started with the Gospels, then continued with Romans. The words felt familiar, but with my newly opened heart, the reading unveiled Christ’s love in brushstrokes I had never fathomed. The agony he suffered for our sake left me breathless. He, too, had endured heartache and had confronted the face of evil. And he bore such affliction—our affliction—for us. Romans 5:1–8 revealed the awesome magnitude of God’s love for us. He knows suffering.

The Lord took my despair and fashioned a canvas for his perfect work. Just as Christ raised Lazarus so that others might believe, so he redeems suffering—the gunshot wounds, the mourning, the lost jobs, the despondency beside bridge railings—for his glory. In his mercy, he descends to buoy us up, and to complete miracles we cannot feign to comprehend. He pours blessings upon us every day—the jewel tones in autumn, but also the hard nights, and every breath in between.