Monday, April 9, 2012

Holy Humor Month



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By Diane Forrest

When I was in high school I took a speech class as one of my electives.  Since I love talking I just knew it would be an easy A.  I learned a lot in that class, how to write a speech, parts of a speech, types of speeches, but one common point of these speeches were to start with a joke.   The reason for starting with a bit of humor is to break the ice if you are in front of a group of strangers, relieve stress if you are about to discuss a stressful topic, and to get the attention of your audience.

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On Sunday mornings my pastor nearly always starts his sermon with a joke, or slides one in somewhere in his sermon.  This month is Holy Humor Month, and with the events of Good Friday, Holy Week, and Easter, the mood is a very somber one for congregations.  The purpose of holy humor is not to blaspheme or be sacrilegious in any way, but a means to relieve stress.  I will never forget the comedian Mr. Jerry Clower, a southern storyteller coming to my church when I was a young girl.  He spoke about being committed, or just being involved with your church.  He used an analogy involving breakfast, talking about how all the wives would beat those canned biscuits on the counter to open them...whop whop whop!!!  I just had to laugh because I could see my mother doing the same thing.  Then, he said the chicken was involved with the breakfast, because it provided the eggs.  However, the pig was committed to the breakfast because it died to provide the ham and bacon.  He made a point, but used humor to do it, and after all these years, I still remember it.  Below are some other bits of holy humor to encourage us all to relax and lighten up a bit to reduce stress and maybe even learn something along the way.

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An 85-year-old couple, after being married for almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years, mainly due to the wife's interest in health food and exercising. When they reached the Pearly Gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen, master bath suite and a Jacuzzi. As they looked around, the old man asked St. Peter how much all this was going to cost. "It's free," St. Peter replied. "This is Heaven."

Next, they went out in the back yard to survey the championship-style golf course that the home bordered. They would have golfing privileges every day and each week, the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth. The old man asked, "What are the greens fees?" St. Peter replied, "This is heaven, you play for free." Next, they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out. "How much to eat?" asked the old man. "Don't you understand yet? This is Heaven, it is free!" St. Peter replied, with some exasperation. "Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.

St. Peter lectured, "That's the best part, you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick either. This is, after all, Heaven." With that, the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and screaming wildly. St. Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault! If it weren't for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"

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A boy asks his father to use the car and the father replies "No, not until you cut your hair!". The boy replies "But father...Jesus had long hair!" to which his father says, "Yeah, but Jesus walked everywhere."

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Father O'Flannagan dies due to old age. Upon entering St.Peter's gate, there is another man in front, waiting to go into heaven. St. Peter asks the man, "What is your name what did you accomplish during your life?". The man responds "My name is Joe Cohen, and I was a New York City Taxi driver for 14 years" "Very well," says St. Peter, "Here is your silk robe and golden scepter, now you may walk in the streets of our Lord." St. Peter looks at the Father, and asks "What is your name and what did you accomplish?" He responds, "I'm Father O'Flannagan, and have devoted the last 62 years to the Lord". "Very well," says St. Peter, "Here is your cotton robe and wooden staff, you may enter." "Wait a minute," says O'Flannagan, "You gave the taxi driver a silk robe and golden scepter, why did I only get a cotton robe and wooden staff?". "Well," St. Peter replied, "We work on a performance scale, you see while you preached, everyone slept, when he drove taxis, everyone prayed!"

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A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out. "What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

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A minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he talked with the organist to see what kind of inspirational music she could play after the announcement about the finances to get the congregation in a giving mood. "Don't worry," she said. "I'll think of something." During the service, the minister paused and said, "Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected, and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up." Just at that moment, the organist started playing, "The Star Spangled Banner."

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