Category Archives: humor

A Little Humor Helps

 

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If you read my testimony above, you will see an insurance agent named Bill mentioned. His full name is Bill Sheridan. He is a true man of God, but also a great writer. The following is an excerpt from his memoir, which I recommend to everyone. It’s a great read and only $2.99 on Amazon.

MIRACLE IN PEW 24

I begged my mom to let me stay home.

“I’m sick, Mom. I really, truly am!”

She didn’t believe me for a minute. And with good reason. After all, she pointed out, I had already been sick every school day during this 1955 Brooklyn Dodger-New York Yankee World Series, and had miraculously healed on travel days and weekends.

“You, young man, are going to Mass and then to school. Enough of this fooling around.”

When she said “young man,” I know my goose was cooked. Mom always saved that for when she meant there was nothing left to discuss.

Why couldn’t she cut me some slack? I was eleven years-old and the Dodgers had already broken my heart so many times before. The ’51 Giants game in the Polo Grounds. That stupid Bobby Thomsen. Those creepy Yankees year after year. And having to face George Timlin, my good friend but Yankee fan, every fall and argue that Mickey Mantle was just lucky and my Bums “was robbed” by bad calls.

This was their year and the Dodgers couldn’t blow it again. Didn’t she understand that I couldn’t miss Game Seven? I just knew that Johnny Podres could do it. I just knew it. We would finally win.

And I could swagger into Mt. Carmel Catholic Grade School in Lawler, Iowa, with my head held high.

But no. She wouldn’t believe me. It was this Irish-Catholic thing about not missing Mass. Even for the Dodgers. I can’t even remember why there was Mass on a school day. It might have been a First Friday.

The nuns taught us that if we made Mass on nine consecutive First Fridays we would have a priest by our side when we died. As a kid, I always had this picture in my mind of my mom being really proud as I lay dying at a car wreck, wearing clean underwear, with a Father O’Brien or Monsignor Murphy administering me the last rites.

Or it may have been a Holy Day.

I just knew that Campy might knock a ninth-inning winner out of the park and I didn’t want to miss it.

Mom was right, of course. I wasn’t sick. Not the upchucking kind of sick anyway. Just the kind of sick that comes from knowing that The Duke, PeeWee, ‘Oisk,’ Junior, and the boys were finally gonna win a Series. And I was going to be stuck in Sister Mary Bernard’s sixth-grade classroom all day conjugating verbs and learning about the martyrs.

If only Dad hadn’t died a few years before. He would have understood. He would have let me have the flu one more time. Then I could see Junior Gilliam and Sandy Amoros finally win the Big One. But not Mom. She was a GIRL. She didn’t get it. And neither did my three brothers or two sisters. Not one of them stuck up for me.

They said, “He’s faking it Ma, and he should go to Mass and school just like the rest of us.” They thought it was funny that Mom knew I wasn’t really sick. Sometimes I hated my siblings. This was one of those times.

My fate was sealed. But I didn’t have to like it. And I could still whine and pout. I could skip breakfast, still pretending that I couldn’t hold anything down. If my life was going to be miserable, I could at least try to make their lives miserable, too. So, I did. I went to Mass still pretending that I really was sick.

And it happened. A real-life miracle. I swear on a stack of bibles. A gift from God. Like Paul on the road to Damascus. Like Moses and the burning bush. Like David when he dropped The Big G.

We were all kneeling in Pew 24 of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. Pew 24 was halfway down the right side of the church from the back near the middle aisle. We paid something called pew rent to sit there.

I remember staring at the candles on the altar and everything getting blurry. And getting dizzy. And a strange sound. Father Delay’s back seemed to be swaying back and forth. I could hear a clunking noise and sensed commotion. Confusion.

Then, for a brief moment, total silence. Suddenly, I felt myself being carried out of church by Tom Cooney and Bob Emery. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had fainted! I had never fainted before and I’ve never fainted since. But on that day, when fainting is probably the only thing in the world that would have kept me home, I fainted!

Mom was in a tizzy. She was upset with herself for not believing me. I could vaguely hear her in my semi-conscious state. “He told me he was sick. He told me, but I didn’t believe him.”

It has now been 65 years and Mt. Carmel Catholic School has long since burned to the ground. Mt. Carmel Catholic Church has been torn down and replaced. And I still have no definitive assurance of why it all happened. Granted, I had not eaten breakfast and it was very warm in church. Perhaps that’s all there was to it.

But I have a better idea. Admittedly, it’s just a theory, but one that I like very much.

Could it be that God was a Brooklyn Dodger fan?

Being omniscient, He knew in advance that after the 1957 season they would be moving to Los Angeles and it would never be the same. And He knew that a little red-haired boy from Iowa could not bear to miss that game on television. So He let me gently collapse somewhere between the seat and the kneeler of Pew 24 in Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. In so doing, He gave me a glimpse of Heaven, a Dodger victory.

Later that afternoon I was in our living room watching our black and white Philco TV, cheering on my beloved Bums. I saw Sandy Amoros glide toward the left-field stands and make the most spectacular catch I’ve ever seen in my whole life, and then double Yankee Gil McDougal off first base to kill a rally! Johnny Podres went on to pitch a 2-0 shutout. Justice had been served on those Yankee Pinstripes; and I cried tears of joy.

My mom died a few years ago at age 87 and I’ve been thinking of her as yet another Major League season begins.

I’ll bet by now God has had time to clue her in about what really happened that morning. That she was right all along. I really wasn’t sick on that October day in 1955.

But He looked down and decided it was more important for me to finally see the Dodgers beat the Yankees than attend Sister Mary Bernard’s classes on what would turn out to be an unforgettable fall afternoon.

And maybe—just maybe—He’s arranged for Mom to meet Roy Campenella and Gil Hodges and Carl Furillo and Sandy Amoros and Walter Alston—and they’ve had a big laugh about it.

Just the thought of it makes me smile.

(Excerpt from Depot Street Memories…The Lawler Stories by Bill Sheridan)

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The Day My Mom Told Off the Police Chief

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My new weekly column entitled, “The Day My Mom Told Off the Police Chief,”can be read by clicking here.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can perhaps read it better by using the Chrome browser rather than Safari. Also, you can go to the app store and download a free app called: WND.

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Does God Have A Sense of Humor?

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My new weekly column entitled, “Does God Have a Sense of Humor,” can be read by clicking here.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can sometimes read it better by using the Chrome browser rather than Safari. Also, you can go to the app store and download a free app called: WND.

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Filed under Christianity, Prophecy, Kingdom of God, America, humor, Writing, Commentary, World Net Daily

A One-Word Description of Mom: Feisty!

Mom was in a hurry to get home. Potatoes had to be peeled and the roast removed from the oven. No one in sight so she stepped on the gas as she passed through the Northern Illinois town of 1100 people.

Whrr! Whrr! A siren pierced through the stillness of the autumn evening.

Oh no! she thought. I’m in trouble. Freddy’s caught me! Now what?

She pulled the blue Pontiac over to the curb. A black police car pulled up behind her with its red light flashing. A man, resembling Broderick Crawford, stepped out of the car, adjusting his gun and holster as he walked toward her. She rolled down her window.

“So, Mrs. Nevenhoven, we meet again?” said officer Freddie Cannon. A smirk cutting across his lips.

“Yes, Freddie, we do,” replied Mom in a deadpan tone.

“Well, you were doing forty-five miles per hour  in a thirty mile per hour speed zone. I’ll have to ticket you,” he said.

Mom shrugged. “Okay! But I’m not paying it.”

“What?” he said. “It’ll only be thirty dollars!”

“I don’t care,” she replied with a set jaw. “I’m not paying it.”

He laughed. “Then, it’ll be thirty days in jail. How’d you like that?”

“Well, you’d better lock me up now! Because I’m not paying the fine.”

He stared into her eyes for a moment or so. Then, he shook his head. “No way am I going to put up with you for thirty days. Go!” He spun around and went back to the police car. Mom resumed her journey home.

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, Amazon eBook, 2014)

This is a true story.

Now, Mom would probably not choose the word feisty as a one-word description of herself. She’d rather have a more feminine adjective, but guess what?

Her husband, her two children, her five grandchildren, her many great-grandchildren and, at least, one police officer would agree with the one-word description.

Mom is feisty. Period.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the best!

(Rerun from 2009)

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Joe Biden and Sarah Palin: A Rematch Made in Heaven

This is tongue and cheek fictional humor, okay? So, chill out.

Gwen Ifill, the PBS debate moderator, sat at her desk, watching Vice President Joe Biden and former Governor Sarah Palin shake hands and then take their places behind lucite podiums. Both nodded at Ifill when they were ready.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” said Ifill, looking at the TV monitor, “we’d like to thank you for joining us for the Joe Biden and Sarah Palin Rematch 2012. Both Vice President Biden and former Governor Palin have graciously consented to debate each other tonight on current issues with all proceeds going to help our PBS sister stations.”

Ifill paused for a moment, allowing light applause from the audience to interrupt her.

“The format for tonight’s debate is that I will ask a question on a topic of current interest. The Vice President and the Governor will then have five minutes to reply. Each will  be allowed a counter reply if it is necessary. Okay?”

She eyed both Joe and Sarah, who both nodded to her.

“We will begin with Governor Palin,” said Ifill, who looked down at Palin’s feet. “Governor Palin, where did you get those lovely heels? They are absolutely gorgeous.”

“Thanks, Gwen,” said Sarah Palin, “I bought them at Nordstrom’s half-price sale just yesterday.”

“Half price!” exclaimed Ifill, shaking her head. “When’s the sale over?”

“Tonight.”

“Well,” said Ifill, “as soon as this debate is over, I’m heading over there. A woman can never have too many shoes. Thanks.”

Palin nodded and said, “You’re welcome, Gwen.”

Ifill turned toward Vice President Joseph Biden.

“Now, Vice President Biden, let’s look at the economy, okay?” said Gwen.

Biden’s eyes gleamed as he nodded.

“Some heterodox economists insist the money supply is endogenous,” said Gwen. “Now do you agree? In your answer, give specific references to neoclassical economists and mainstream economists with current figures for M0, M1, M2, M3, MZM, and the velocity of money. Also, explain in as few words as possible the term: atomistic individual conception.”

“W-wh-wha-what?” said Biden, his tongue attempting to gain traction on the roof of his mouth.

“You heard me,” said Ifill. Her eyes laser-locked on Biden’s eyes.

Vice President Biden beat his chest with his right hand and then he muttered Red Fox’s classic line: “Elizabeth, honey. This is the big one. I’m coming!”

A cheerful heart is good medicine…(Proverbs 17:22)

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Jesus Has an iPod and Rocks to the Electric Light Orchestra

Don’t you hate off-the-wall titles for articles which serve only to titillate our minds into clicking onto the blog just to increase its readership? How vain! How pompous! Yet, it sometimes works…and you’re proof that it sometimes does.

But hang around, because there is some truth in the above title.

A few years ago, my wife suffered through some tough times. Her health and sales career took some direct hits by a couple of life’s torpedoes. She kept on marching straight ahead, like a good soldier, until that particular morning.

“I’m tired of my life because it’s never going to get better. So, I want to quit and give up,” she said with sad puppy dog eyes, ready to weep.

Usually, I can encourage my wife with a few scriptures or some of the prophetic promises for our lives. Yet on that particular day, whatever I said to her was like kindling wood and just increased her fire.

What did I do?

I prayed and asked the Lord to help me. He quietly answered and whispered to my heart, “ELO.”

Without thinking, I searched Youtube for the following:

I asked Carol to look and listen to the video. She resisted at first, but then she caved in to my pleas. And in the middle of the video, her attitude changed and she became once again, a mighty woman of God filled with faith.

Who knew, huh? That Jesus rocks to Electric Light Orchestra and uses it for His purposes.

And the iPod? That’s probably a wait and see for us mortals until we see Him face to face in His glory.

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A One-Word Description of Mom: Feisty!

Mom was in a hurry to get home. Potatoes had to be peeled and the roast removed from the oven. No one in sight so she stepped on the gas as she passed through the Northern Illinois town of 1100 people.

Whrr! Whrr! A siren pierced through the stillness of the autumn evening.

Oh no! she thought. I’m in trouble. Freddy’s caught me! Now what?

She pulled the blue Pontiac over to the curb. A black police car pulled up behind her with its red light flashing. A man, resembling Broderick Crawford, stepped out of the car, adjusting his gun and holster as he walked toward her. She rolled down her window.

“So, Mrs. Nevenhoven, we meet again?” said officer Freddie Cannon. A smirk cutting across his lips.

“Yes, Freddie, we do,” replied Mom in a deadpan tone.

“Well, you were doing forty-five miles per hour  in a thirty mile per hour speed zone. I’ll have to ticket you,” he said.

Mom shrugged. “Okay! But I’m not paying it.”

“What?” he said. “It’ll only be thirty dollars!”

“I don’t care,” she replied with a set jaw. “I’m not paying it.”

He laughed. “Then, it’ll be thirty days in jail. How’d you like that?”

“Well, you’d better lock me up now! Because I’m not paying the fine.”

He stared into her eyes for a moment or so. Then, he shook his head. “No way am I going to put up with you for thirty days. Go!” He spun around and went back to the police car. Mom resumed her journey home.

This is a true story.

Now, Mom would probably not choose the word feisty as a one-word description of herself. She’d rather have a more feminine adjective, but guess what?

Her husband, her two children, her five grandchildren, her many great-grandchildren and, at least, one police officer would agree with the one-word description.

Mom is feisty. Period.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the best!

(Rerun from 2009)

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Swimming Upstream: “”Here’s The Rest of the Story”

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey on WLS Radio every morning before I went to school. So, borrowing on his theme, this article tells The Rest of The Story for my Mother’s Day article:

A week before Officer Fred Cannon stopped Mom for speeding, a confrontation between him and her had occurred in his office at the town jail. The occasion? Three other boys and myself were accused of overturning an outhouse on Halloween.

You have to understand that this scene did not take place in an interrogation room at LAPD with a good-cop, bad-cop routine attempting to break apart a gangbanger’s alibi. It took place in a small, stuffy police office in the middle of a town with a population of 1,150 people.

The accused – us four boys – sat on wooden chairs lined up in front of Officer Cannon’s desk. Our parents stood directly behind us. Cannon sat in a swivel chair behind his desk. A bright light shone over his left shoulder into our faces. No other lights were on.

Cannon laid out our despicable crime to everybody. He summed up by adding, “I know these boys are seniors in high school. They have high hopes of  playing basketball on the school team this winter. But who knows? A crime like this could make them ineligible. What do you parents think?”

“Officer Cannon, whatever you decide, I’ll back you,” said one parent. Two other sets of parents nodded in agreement.

Cannon turned toward my parents. “What about the Nevenhoven’s?”

Mom glared at him. “Freddie, this is so stupid. I don’t really care what you do. We’re going square dancing!”

Mom and Dad turned around and left. The door slammed behind them.

The other three sets of parents began laughing. The  accused – including me – laughed so hard we almost fall out of our chairs. The meeting ended moments later.

So,where’s the scriptural principle in all of this, right?

A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word. (Proverbs 15:23)

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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A One-Word Description of Mom: Feisty

Dad and mom

Mom was in a hurry to get home. Potatoes had to be peeled and the roast removed from the oven. No one was in sight; so she stepped on the gas.

Whrr! Whrr! A siren pierced through the stillness of the autumn evening.

Oh no! she thought. I’m in trouble. Freddy’s caught me! Now what?

She pulled the blue Pontiac over to the curb. A black police car pulled up behind her with its red light flashing. A man, resembling Broderick Crawford, stepped out of the car, adjusting his gun and holster as he walked toward her. She rolled down her window.

“So, Mrs. Nevenhoven, we meet again?” said officer Freddie Cannon. A smirk cutting across his lips.

“Yes, Freddie, we do,” replied Mom in a deadpan tone.

“Well, you were doing forty-five miles per hour  in a thirty mile per hour speed zone. I’ll have to ticket you,” he said.

Mom shrugged. “Okay! But I’m not paying it.”

“What?” he said. “It’ll only be thirty dollars!”

“I don’t care,” she replied with a set jaw. “I’m not paying it.”

He laughed. “Then, it’ll be thirty days in jail. How’d you like that?”

“Well, you’d better lock me up now! Because I’m not paying the fine.”

He stared into her eyes for a moment or so. Then, he shook his head. “No way am I going to put up with you for thirty days. Go!” He spun around and went back to the police car. Mom resumed her journey home.

This is a true story.

Now, Mom would probably not choose the word feisty as a one-word description of herself. She’d rather have a more feminine adjective, but guess what?

Her husband, her two children, her five grandchildren, her many great-grandchildren and, at least, one police officer would agree with the one-word description.

Mom is feisty. Period.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the best!

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Swimming Upstream: “The Perfect Gift”

Honey sipped her coffee before answering. “No, let’s not go to Hawaii. Too crowded. How about new wedding rings?” she said.

“Wedding rings?” I said, shaking my head. “No, I don’t think so.”

We were stumped. After almost thirteen years of marriage, we could not agree on  a perfect gift for our soon arriving anniversary. It had to be something unique. Something special. But what was it?

As we sat there in Starbucks, a heavy-set man wearing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle jacket sat down at the table next to us. He took the jacket off and revealed his arms. They were covered with tattoos.

“That’s it,” whispered Honey, pointing toward the man.

“What?” I replied.

“Let’s get tattoos.”

The thought of a tattoo excited me as much as it did her. So, we spent the next forty-five minutes designing the perfect one for our upper arms. When we were done, we went over to the Temecula Tattoo Parlor.

The tattooing process did not really hurt much. Just some gentle pin pricks. Honey’s tattoo healed perfectly, but mine required some special salve, but seems to be doing okay now.

And of course, the tattoos are Christian, not some pagan art. If you want to, you check them out, look here.

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian jouneys.

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Filed under Christian Conservative, Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, humor, Inspirational, jesus, Kingdom of God, morality, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, Spirituality