Heaven and Hell
• Sir Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of England during World War II, and a major reason why Adolf Hitler and his Nazis were defeated. To relax, Sir Winston used to paint, and today his paintings sell for as much as $245,000. He once said that he planned “to spend a considerable part of my first million years” in Heaven painting.
• When Calvin Coolidge was Governor of Massachusetts, a couple of state legislators got into an argument, and one legislator told the other to go to Hell. The insulted legislator complained to Governor Coolidge, who told him, “I’ve looked up the law, and you don’t have to go there.”
• Quaker weddings can be tough, especially on people who are unaccustomed to speaking in public, since the groom and bride are supposed to face the members of the Meeting and recite their vows without aid from other people. One Quaker bride was so nervous that she promised to be “a loving and faithful husband.” And even though James Hogge, who later became a Member of Parliament, was accustomed to speaking in public, he completely forgot his vows and got through the wedding ceremony only with the help of his bride, who whispered the words to him and encouraged him with a kiss.
• Civil rights lawyer Maury Maverick, Jr., once represented atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. When he first saw her, she had been in jail for three days, so she was very glad to see him and inadvertently said something funny. Mr. Maverick passed the remark on the reporters, and the next day a morning paper had a big headline: “Atheist Tells Maverick, Thank God the ACLU Is Here!”
• Language can be ambiguous. While a priest was giving a homily in a Catholic school, a little boy started talking. Not wanting the homily to be interrupted, a Sister asked one of her young pupils, “Go up there and tell him to stop talking.” The young pupil walked past the talking boy, went up to the priest who was giving the homily, and said, “Sister said you should stop talking.”
• In East Germany, Peter Mann wanted to become closer to his Jewish roots, but religion was suppressed in that country. He finally found a professor who could teach him Hebrew, but the professor first made him sign a statement saying that he was not learning Hebrew for religious purposes. His learning Hebrew had a positive effect on him, and he began to pray every day.
• When soon-to-be-artist Vincent van Gogh started an evangelical course, he labored under the handicap of not wanting to learn Hebrew or Greek. During one lesson, when he was asked if a word was in the nominative or the dative case, he answered, “Sir, I really don’t care.”
• In the late 1950s, a mentally ill black woman stabbed civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sending him to the hospital, where doctors saved his life by removing a rib and part of his breastbone. The injury was so serious that his doctor told him, “If you had sneezed, you would have drowned in your own blood.” Many letters came for Dr. King. One letter that meant a lot to him said this: “I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School. While it shouldn’t matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune and of your suffering. And I read that if you sneezed you would have died. I’m simply writing you to say that I’m glad you didn’t sneeze.”
• Country comedian Jerry Clower got a lot of fan mail. Looking through a stack of mail one time, he came across a letter that had his own return address on it. He opened it, saw that it was from Sue, his daughter, and read, “Dear Mother and Daddy, thank you for being such fine Christian parents. You show me how I ought to act. Love, Sue.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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