Tag Archives: humor

Learning to laugh at yourself

I know that preaching is serious business and I take it seriously. Still, there’s a place for humor – not as an add on that sticks out like a sore thumb, but as part of an illustration that helps drive home an important truth.

Then, there’s the unintentional humor that happens at sometimes unwelcome times. Preachers are notorious for getting tongues tangled — for foot-in-mouth disease. A friend of mine made a huge goof one time that had the congregation so ticked that he good-naturedly just closed the service!

I was once praying a sincere prayer and heard myself devoutly pray: “Oh, Lord, we come to you in true humidity.” Along the Texas Gulf Coast that may be more true than what I intended to say in the first place.

Last Sunday as I preached a sermon on Lot’s wife, I commented that we don’t know the names of all the women in the Bible and we don’t know her’s. Then, somewhere early in her story I said something like, “Lot’s wife husband, Lot, decided to join his uncle in his journey.” Even as I said it I got tickled. Yep, Lot’s wife’s husband was named Lot all right. It took me a minute or so to get my act back together.

Anyway, we don’t know Mrs. Lot’s name…but I’m quite sure that Lot’s wife’s husband was named Lot.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself, pick up the pieces, and move on the best you can.

Smoking or non-smoking?

Here’s a West Texas story from around 20 years ago.

A family was traveling out toward the Texas panhandle and dropped in on a Sunday night Nazarene service. The church had no a/c, and with the temps hovering around 100 dry degrees, the evap coolers (otherwise known as “swamp boxes”) were the only hope of even pretending to be comfortable. The visitors arrived a few minutes late and were amused to see around 20 people sitting on the left and only two older ladies sitting on the right side of the sanctuary. The family moved to the side with ample seating and settled in for the service.

In a few minutes they were melting from the heat and realized that the swamp box on their side of the sanctuary wasn’t running. Now they knew why everyone was sitting on the left side of the sanctuary! After the service they visited with the pastor and he apologized for the uncomfortably warm conditions and the visitor said, “What is wrong with the evap cooler on the right side of the sanctuary?”

The answer: “Oh nothing is wrong, but those two dear saints always complain that they get too cold, so we don’t turn it on on that side of the building.” He added, “the church folks call the left side of the sanctuary the ‘heaven side’ and you can guess what they call the side you occupied!”

Humor of Abraham Lincoln

I love this letter from Abraham Lincoln:

One day . . . I got into a fit of musing in my room and stood resting my elbows on the bureau. Looking into the glass, it struck me what an ugly man I was. The fact grew on me and I made up my mind that I must be the ugliest man in the world. It so maddened me that I resolved, should I ever see an uglier, I would shoot him on sight. Not long after this, Andy [naming a lawyer present] came to town and the first time I saw him I said to myself: ‘There’s the man.’ I went home, took down my gun, and prowled around the streets waiting for him. He soon came along. ‘Halt, Andy,’ said I, pointing the gun at him, ‘say your prayers, for I am going to shoot you.’ ‘Why, Mr. Lincoln, what’s the matter? What have I done?’ ‘Well, I made an oath that if I ever saw an uglier man than I am, I’d shoot him on the spot. You are uglier, surely; so make ready to die.’ ‘Mr. Lincoln, do you really think that I am uglier than you?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, Mr. Lincoln,’ said Andy deliberately and looking me squarely in the face, ‘if I am any uglier, fire away.’

There are several other funny letters from famous people at:
www.wnyc.org/books/15539