David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Charity, Children

Charity

• Entertainer Eddie Cantor put his knowledge of human nature to use while raising money for charity in what was reputed to be a tough town for fundraising. He did it by appearing to get sicker and sicker just before the fundraiser, even calling to see if someone could host the event for him at the last minute — which of course no one could. Because the people of the town thought Mr. Cantor was dying and was making his last request, he succeeded in raising $450,000 in a town where he normally would have been lucky to raise $150,000.

• Andrew Carnegie was a very wealthy man who had a reputation for donating money to charitable causes. Mark Twain wrote him to say that he wanted to buy a $2 hymnbook, pointing out that “I will bless you, God will bless you, and it will do a great deal of good.” Mr. Twain then added a postscript: “Don’t send the hymn-book — send me the two dollars.”

Children

• During a session of a junior church league, the preacher, Edwin Porter, was delayed, so he asked his oldest daughter, Janette, who was about 10 years old, to begin the session without him. The session started well, with 15 young children singing, “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.” Next came individual prayers, spoken out loud, during which Reverend Porter arrived in time to hear one young girl pray about his daughter Janette, “Dear Jesus, make that preacher’s daughter quit stealing my sweetheart — and send him back to me.” Another little girl prayed about one of Reverend Porter’s young sons, “You know I need a husband — give me Edd Porter for my own.” Yet another little girl — the daughter of two prominent members of his church — prayed, “Dear God, do keep Mama and Papa from fussing so much of the time.”

• Abraham, the first Jew, was the son of Terach, a maker of clay idols. When Abraham was a boy, he sometimes watched the shop while Terach was away. One day, while Terach was away from the shop, Abram (who was later called Abraham) broke all the idols. When Terach returned, he asked Abram what had happened. Abram said, “It was terrible. The smaller idols got angry and began fighting, then the bigger idols got angry and began fighting, and finally all the idols broke each other into bits.” Terach said, “Idols don’t get angry, and idols don’t fight. They’re made of clay — they just sit there.” Abram replied, “So why do you worship them?”

• A woman used to say “God!” whenever she was annoyed, which was several times a day, so her son — a regular attendant at Sunday School — decided to teach her a lesson. He called out, “Mommy!” She responded, but then he did not say anything. He did this five times in one day, and finally his mother said, “You don’t have anything to say, so why do you call me all the time?” Her son replied, “Mom, I called you five times, and already you have lost your patience. Each day, you call ‘God!’ more than five times. I wonder whether God has lost His patience with you.”

• Mrs. Miriam Pincus was a Rabbi’s wife who used her histrionic ability to teach her young Hebrew School students Bible stories. While telling about David and Goliath, she used deep growls for the giant’s voice and the voice of a hero for David. She also sang comic songs to keep her young students entertained. One Monday, three tots rang the Rabbi’s doorbell. When the Rabbi came to the door, they asked, “Can Mrs. Pincus come out and play?”

• Quaker unprogrammed meetings frequently include long periods of silence. A small child who was attending his first meeting sat quietly for a while, then he asked his mother, “Why are they all sitting so silently?” The mother hushed the child, but a Quaker rose and said, “Our first speaker this morning has put before us a most important question.”

• Mary Farwell’s five-year-old son was playing with his Speak-and-Spell computer. He typed the word “G-O-D” into it, but he was surprised when the computer told him, “Word not found.” He tried it again, only to meet with the same unsatisfactory result. He then looked at his computer and said, “Jesus is not going to like this!”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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