• George Washington said grace at his table although a clergyman was dining with him. After the clergyman had left, Mr. Washington’s wife told him that he should have asked the clergyman to say grace. Mr. Washington expressed regret, then added, “The reverend gentleman will at least be assured that we are not entirely graceless at Mount Vernon.”
• A little girl had been naughty, so she was sent to her room for a quiet time. Afterward, all smiles, she returned to her family, saying, “I prayed to God.” “That’s good,” said her mother. “Did you pray that God would help you be a good girl?” “No,” she replied. “I prayed that God would help you put up with me.”
• When Mark Twain was dying, a relative wrote him to say that she had asked some nuns to pray for him. Mr. Twain wrote back, “I am grateful for the prayers of those good nuns and for yours; they have already answered themselves in giving me a deep pleasure.”
• Edward Everett Hale used to be Chaplain of the United States Senate. He was asked, “When you look at the state of our country, do you pray for the Senators in your charge?” He replied, “No — when I look at our Senators, I pray for our country.”
• Comedian Lou Costello’s mother was Catholic, and she often prayed in the Catholic Church. However, on occasion she also prayed in a nearby synagogue, saying, “It’s closer to home, and I can pray there just as well.”
• If you ever watch gardeners, you will realize that a common weed sometimes accomplishes what God does not — get people on their knees.
• Lyndon Baines Johnson used to enjoy telling a story about a man who habitually napped during church services. One day, the preacher got tired of the man’s napping, so he told the congregation, “If you want to go to Heaven, please stand up.” Everyone in the congregation — except the sleeping man — stood up. After the preacher asked everyone to sit down, he said in his normal voice, “If you want to go to Hell,” then he shouted, “STAND UP!” The sleeping man woke up and immediately jumped to his feet, only to look around and see that the other members of the congregation were sitting. So the man looked at the preacher and said, “I don’t know what we’re voting on, but it looks like you and I are the only ones in favor of it.”
• Some people go to great lengths to protect the health of their pastor. Wesleyan preacher William Woughter received a telephone call from a woman who wanted him to go to a hospital and pray with her father. The woman explained that she had gotten his name from a relative who attended his church, and she would have asked her own pastor to pray with her father — except that her father had a highly communicable disease that she didn’t want her own pastor to catch. Yes, Pastor William did go to the hospital to pray with the woman’s father, and no, he didn’t catch the highly communicable disease.
• When St. Patrick was speaking about the Trinity — the doctrine that there is only one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost — someone asked what sense it made to believe in only one God and yet believe God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. St. Patrick bent down and plucked a shamrock — a leaf of the clover plant. He displayed it and showed that it was only one leaf, yet it had three parts. The three parts of the one shamrock leaf correspond to the three parts of the one God. Since then, the shamrock has been a symbol of St. Patrick.
• Preacher George Whitefield and a friend were staying at an inn where they were disturbed by gamblers in the next room. Mr. Whitefield felt that gambling was a sin and so he went next door and remonstrated with the gamblers about their behavior, then he returned to his room and prepared for bed. His criticisms had no effect, for the people next door continued gambling, so his friend asked what he had received for his trouble. Mr. Whitefield replied, “A soft pillow,” and then he went to sleep.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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