THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH
”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
Michael Spencer loved to laugh. In honor of the 7th anniversary of his death this week, I thought we’d start today by sharing some of his funniest bits over the years as we gather around the Brunch table today. These are just a few — we’ll find more and share them in days to come.
The 50th anniversary of one of the most productive relationships in Christianity was celebrated this week at Zondervan’s “Youth Ministry Hall of Fame” in Nashville as pizza finally received a long overdue recognition for its contribution to youth evangelism.
…International Missions expert Wilson Larue shared how pizza is revolutionizing world missions. “Pizza is going places that even “The Jesus Film” won’t go. Students in Japanese universities will listen to a Gospel presentation if pizza is available. I believe that one day we’ll see breakthroughs in the 10/40 window because pizza was in there long before missionaries could evangelize.”
Seminars on pizza and youth evangelism brought together veterans of using pizza with ministries looking for new and better ways of utilizing pizza. Some of the seminars included…
“Multiplying Your Free Pizza Ministry.”
“Ethnic and International Pizza.”
“Praise and Pizza.”
“The Praying Pizza.”
“Senior Adult Pizza.”
“Pizza In The Sanctuary: A Guide to Cleaning Supplies.”
“Pizza and the Regulative Principle.”
“What Pizza Would Jesus Eat?”
“Images of Jesus in Pizza.”
“The Anointed Pizza.”
“Free Will and Pizza.”
“Pizza in the Baptistry.”
“Infant Pizza Ministry.”
But there is a third, much smaller, category containing foods over which I have no ability to reason or resist. Should you wish to make a fool out of me, these are the foods that will facilitate the process. If you want to see a grown man reduced to the level of pure lust, this is the formula. If you want to frighten your children with visions of pure addiction, simply bring them over and set one of these foods before me. Just don’t put it in their hands or things could get ugly.
In this third category of food temptations beyond all reason is egg nog.
Yes, egg nog, that heavenly concoction that appears in the holiday seasons and lays claim on the minds, desires and appetites of those of us who have, after ten months, achieved some balance, sanity and clarity in life. It is entirely possible that one day, Denise will come home and there I will be in the kitchen, propped up in the corner, dead, surrounded by a dozen empty egg nog cartons. Pity me not. It will not have been an unpleasant end, I assure you.
He who says “the Bible must be read in context” usually means “If you want to understand the Bible, read it like me.” Therefore, proclaim your authority to your followers, take a new name and wear funny clothes.
Dressing up in church is a sin, unless the clothes are casual. In other words, if you wear a suit, you are a Pharisee, but if you wear $200 boots or anything in American Eagle, then Jesus doesn’t mind.
- Mother’s Day. Obligated to go to church with mom and then take her out to a restaurant, which means standing in line at Cracker Barrel for about 2 hours.
- Any church potluck or meal.
- Any Sunday that starts a revival (or any Sunday that begins a 40 Days of Purpose if your church dumped revivals.)
- Any wedding of anyone in your family within 250 miles.
- Any funeral of anyone in your family within 70 miles.
- Any school board meeting where creationism will be discussed.
- Ladies: Any Christian Women’s Conference within 500 miles.
- Any event involving Bill Gaither Homecomings.
- Any Olin Mills Church Directory photoshoot.
- Any church softball game against another Baptist church.
- Any church business meeting where there’s a chance of a big fight or someone getting fired.
BIG BILL FOR BURGLAR PHONE
So, police in Northern Wales just ran up a cell phone bill bigger than that of your teenage daughter.
An offender from Llangefni was out on bail as part of a scheme to reintegrate criminals into the community when North Wales Police gave him a phone as a means of staying in contact. Turned out they missed a very important detail: the phone contained a contracted rather than a pay-as-you-go SIM card.
The man removed the SIM card from the simple device and put it into a smart phone that he used to stream video and music. Two other people ended up using the phone, and in six months they had racked up a debt of 55,000 U.S. dollars.
Though this happened back in 2014, the details just came to light through a freedom of information investigation.
Authorities wouldn’t say it, but I heard that the police in North Wales have been grounded to their rooms for a month and given a list of chores so that they could work off their debt.
BASEBALL PLAY OF THE WEEK
St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is confused. I’m confused. The whole world is confused. We may need to have Mike the Geologist write a Faith & Science post on the physics of this.
EASTER IN MEGACHURCH LAND
Here are three Easter services you might want to consider attending next week (or not).
In Canada, Church of the Rock, which describes itself as a charismatic, interdenominational, evangelical church, puts on a full rendition of the resurrection using pop culture icons.
“Nobody on the planet does it quite like Church of the Rock. We have taken the amazing story of the resurrection and have presented it in modern parable form that can only be described as ‘Hollywood does Easter,'” said Pastor Mark Hughes on his blog.
While their Good Friday services are more traditional and centered around the passion of Christ, “Easter … is something all together different,” he described.
In previous years the church has performed “The Wrath of Khan,” featuring the death and resurrection of Captain Kirk of Star Trek, as well as “Pirates of the Galilean.” This year, they are featuring: “Batman and Robin in The Dark Night: An Easter Story.”
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow will deliver the Sunday sermon at the Celebration Church in Austin, TX. The church is building bleachers to accomodate the 30,000 people expected to attend, though parking will not be provided.
Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church (the eighth largest in the United States) will oversee the “Easter Entertainment Experience” at Saddleback. Last year’s act will be a hard one to follow: it was the Jonas Brothers. It’s rumored that Warren plans on bringing in Justin Bieber this Easter.
Wait, maybe he meant Reinhold Biebuhr.
QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
Is this how human life will perish from the earth? (P.S. don’t tell my wife!)
50 FICTIONAL DAYS
There’s a fascinating list at Literary Hub, detailing 50 dates on which things have been said to happen in literature.
- Do you know on what day Sherlock Holmes got his first case, according to A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle?
- When was Alice’s birthday, and what day did she go down the rabbit hole in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll?
- On what day did George Orwell’s 1984 begin?
- What date was it when Tom Buchanan took Nick to a party and punched Myrtle in the face, in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald?
- On which of two possible dates did Hagrid arrive to tell Harry Potter he’s a wizard, according to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling?
EMO’S BEST RELIGIOUS JOKE…and a few others
Emo Phillips, who hails from Downers Grove, IL, where I went to high school, has written some of the best religious jokes around, including the following…
- When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realised, the Lord doesn’t work that way. So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me … and I got it!
- So I’m at the wailing wall, standing there like a moron, with my harpoon.”
- A Mormon told me that they don’t drink coffee. I said, “A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits.” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, it keeps you from being Mormon …”
- I’m not Catholic, but I gave up picking my belly button for lint.
- When I was a kid my dad would say, “Emo, do you believe in the Lord?” I’d say, “Yes!” He’d say, “Then stand up and shout Hallelujah!” So I would … and I’d fall out of the roller coaster!
But Emo’s best religious schtick (ranked the 44th best joke of all time by GQ) is best seen and heard with Emo’s own uniquely quirky rendering.