“Next,” the conference emcee announced, “we have the chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, Roger Ledding, who is here with his lovely wife, Beverly.”
The chief took his place at the lectern. “I’m a little nervous,” he began, “getting up before this distinguished audience and speaking today. But not nearly as nervous as I will be tonight when I must go home with my wife, Audrey, and explain Beverly to her!”
He Ain’t Chicken
Billy’s homework assignment is to think of a true story with a moral so he goes home and thinks about it all night and finally has one.
The following day, Suzy raises her hand first and says, “My dad owns a farm and every Sunday we load the chicken eggs on the truck and drive into town to sell them at the market. Well, one Sunday we hit a big bump and all the eggs flew out of the basket and onto the road.”
The teacher asks for the moral to the story. Suzy replies, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Next is Lucy. “Well, my dad owns a farm, too, and every weekend we take the chicken eggs and put them in the incubator. Last weekend only 8 of the 12 eggs hatched. The moral is, don’t count your chicks before they are hatched.”
Billy is last to speak. He says, ”My uncle Ted fought in the Vietnam War. His plane was shot down over enemy territory. He jumped out before it crashed, with only a parachute, a bottle of bourbon, a machine gun, and a machete. As he floated down he drank the bottle of bourbon. Unfortunately, he landed right in the middle of 100 North Vietnamese soldiers. He shot 70 with his machine gun, but ran out of bullets so he pulled out his machete and killed 20 more. The blade broke on his machete, so he killed the last 10 with his bare hands.”
The teacher looks in shock at Billy and asks if there is possibly any moral to his story.
Billy replies, “Don’t mess with my Uncle Ted when he’s been drinking.”
My husband and I had just finished tucking our five young ones into bed one evening when we heard sobbing coming from three-year-old Billy’s room. Rushing to his side, we found him crying hysterically. He had accidentally swallowed a penny and was sure he was going to die. No amount of talking could change his mind.
Desperate to calm him, my husband palmed a penny that he happened to have in his pocket and pretended to pull it from Billy’s ear. Billy was delighted. In a flash, he snatched it from my husband’s hand, swallowed it and demanded cheerfully, “Do it again, Dad!”
What’s The Porpise
An exciting new development in marine biology promised to extend the lifespan of an endangered species of porpoise. In fact, the data suggested that if a specific kind of African seagull, freshly out of the egg, was fed to the porpoises every day without fail, they would actually live forever!
The big challenge was to gather this food supply, this equivalent of chicken dinners for oceanic mammals, on a regular basis. There were many problems, including the fact that it could be dangerous, as these seagulls were found near water holes where all sorts of large game animals congregated.
But this was an important ecological breakthrough, so teams were sent out right away. They worked diligently to supply the necessary small fowl.
One afternoon, an intrepid gull-gatherer on his way back to base from the water hole encountered a pride of lions taking their afternoon nap.
As they were blocking his way, and his day’s catch of seagull hatchlings was needed right away, he carefully stepped over the lions that were directly in his path.
That spelled the end of the experiment. The porpoises, deprived of their special diet, not only did not live forever, but they also became extinct.
That was because an alert game control officer had spotted the team member, arrested him, confiscated his equipment and baggage, and charged him with … transporting young gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.
Hammer – In ancient times a hammer was used to inflict pain on one’s enemies. Modern hammers are used to inflict pain on oneself.
Pliers – A device used to extend your reach the necessary few inches when you drop a one-of-a-kind screw down behind the new wall it took you two weeks to install.
Electronic Stud Finder – An annoying device that never goes off when you point it at yourself.
Halogen Light – A worklight that lights up your backyard with the incandescence of a football stadium, causing you to cast a heavy shadow over the area you’re working on so that you need to use a flashlight anyway.
Air Compressor – A mechanical device similar in principle to harnessing the power of your mother-in-law’s nagging complaints and using the resulting airflow to blast old paint off the side of the house.
Chain Saw – Allows you to cut your way out of the shed that you accidentally built completely around yourself.
Vise Grips – A pair of helping hands that doesn’t critique the job you’re doing or offer advice.
He Still Ain’t Chicken
A waiter approached a man studying his menu carefully in a fancy restaurant one evening. “May I take your order, sir?” he asked.
“Well, I was just wondering how you prepare your chickens.”
“Oh, its nothing too special, sir,” the waiter confided. “We just tell them straight out that they’re going to die.”
Two snakes are talking about the social airs being put on by an old acquaintance.
“Just think,” says one, “I knew her back when she didn’t have a pit to hiss in.”
Q: What do you call a funny mountain?
Q: What happened to the butcher?
A: He backed into a meat cutter and got a little behind in his work.
A Morning Filled with Promise
By Scott Walker
Hibiscus is my favorite flower. In the Philippines, where I spent my childhood, these plants grow to be tall shrubs and even small trees. Hardy green hibiscus produce large trumpet-shaped flowers that vary in color from white to pink, red, orange, peach, yellow, or purple. My wife, Beth, and I now raise potted hibiscus plants on our porch in Georgia.
A unique trait of hibiscus flowers is that they live for only one day. At the end of the day the flowers wilt, drop off the plant, and are replaced by a whole new crop of blooms. Each morning, as I walk out our front door, I pause to look at each fresh bloom that has emerged overnight. I greet them all with “Good morning!” and welcome them into their new world.
Recently, I reflected on how God expects the same of me. Each day is a new gift. The good that I might have done yesterday needs to be recreated today. I cannot be content with yesterday’s achievements or tomorrow’s hopes. Today is the one day I have to live, and I must live it with purpose and creativity. I need to tell someone that I love her. I must set out on a new endeavor to help someone, encourage my students, give a fresh compliment, utter a special pray er for my neighbor, and teach an old thought in a different and compelling way. With each sunrise, the world awakens anew and I have the privilege of stepping into a morning filled with promise.
First Day of School, First Day of Boot Camp
By Edie Melson
As summer edges deeper into August I can’t help but think about back-to-school time. Every store has back-to-school sales and promotions, and the media is saturated with back-to-school commercials. My boys are long past school age, but the memories linger.
I remember the preparation that went into getting them ready for school. We shopped for clothes, shoes, supplies. There were backpacks to buy and last-minute haircuts to schedule. It was busy and fun, spending time with each child, making sure he was equipped to start the year off strong.
I wanted my kids to leave for their first day of school feeling prepared. As excited as they were, there was a good bit of nervousness–they weren’t exactly certain of what lay before them.
I also wanted each child to know that he carried my love with him no matter where he was. I reminded them that they could never go anywhere that God wouldn’t be with them. Most of all I assured them that their loving family would be right here waiting when they got home.
There were similarities to sending a son off to boot camp, except I didn’t get to buy his clothes or shoes or backpack—or have a say in the haircut. The military issued him new clothes—a uniform. They fitted him with new shoes—combat boots. They even made sure he had a backpack, military of course, and an appropriate military haircut.
All I could do was make sure my enlisted son took this next big step certain of his mother’s love, God’s presence and a family who would be waiting when he got back. Looking back, I know those were the most important things I could have offered.