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Looking at the lighter side of life

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

One of the things that I miss most about this stage of life is sitting around the dinner table as a family and talking about our day, especially this time of year. The kids would tell stories about their day at school.

At our recent brothers’ reunion, my sister-in-law was telling me that they were sitting around the dinner table, and my brother Mark was telling his story about his day.

His first-grade daughter Sally interrupted him, and Mark said, “Sally, everybody has areas in their life that they have to work on, and one of yours is interrupting when people are telling their stories.”

Sally said, “OK Daddy.” Then she said, “Daddy, you have a work area, also.”

Mark said, “What’s that, Sally?”

“Your stories are too long.”

I like a good story, don’t you? I have a church member who posted on Facebook recently about his night-time adventure. He discovered his dog Benji got off his run, and was nowhere to be found.

Trae jumped into emergency mode, dashed to his car and rushed through the neighborhood, searching for his dear doggie. Only, he didn’t think to jump into any clothes. He was wearing only his T-shirt and boxers.

He was weaving back and forth down the street, shining his bright lights into every yard, hoping to see his dog. Along came a patrol car and the officer pulled him over. No clothes, no billfold, no license, no ID, he looked at registration, ran his plates, and finally let him go.

After this near-miss, Trae returned home and little Benji was waiting for him at the front door.

Dennis Swanberg wrote about an Easter Sunday service in his North Texas church. He was pumped, fired up and ready for the Easter crowd. He was ready to preach heaven down, and he nearly did.

As the high school coach was giving his testimony, cold drops of water began dripping down from the ceiling onto the choir. The air conditioning units in the attic above the choir were leaking. Drip ... drip ... drip.

As the leak became obvious, two men slipped out of their pews, quickly climbed the back stairs and entered the dark attic. One of them stepped on the attic floor, which formed the ceiling over the choir, and came crashing through it. He grabbed a beam and held on for dear life, swaying over the heads of the choir.

As the congregation gasped, the man finally clawed his way back into the attic.

The coach paused, looked at the pastor, and asked, “Is this a healing service? They are letting a man down through the roof,” referencing the story in Mark 2.

They finally got the man down safely. After the service, Swanberg took his place at the door to greet worshippers.

The first man through was a rancher who normally came only on Easter. He was pretty rough-shod. He always had a chew of tobacco in his mouth except during services. He always hurried to be the first man out. He came up to the pastor at the door and said, “Brother Dennis, I told my wife this morning that if I went to church, the roof would probably cave in, and it sure did!”

George Ballentine served churches in several states and also served in academia. He was president of Shorter University in Rome before retiring from active ministry.

Graduation day is a big day, and the college works really hard to make sure everything is just right on this formal occasion.

Only, the graduates didn’t tell their president about their tradition of trying to embarrass him as they “walked.” Each senior upon shaking his hand and receiving their diploma would put some object in his hand like a coke cap or a marshmallow.

Ballentine was startled at first, but then caught on quickly to the prank. Then came the class clown, who took his diploma and reached to shake his hand. The moment Ballentine touched the hand, he knew something was amiss. The graduate walked on, leaving an entire arm and hand behind.

The president was holding before dignitaries, parents and special guests a mannequin’s arm. So much for being dignified! This gave new meaning to “give the guy a hand.”

Laughter is good for the soul, and a good story goes a long way.


[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, 352 McDonough Road, Fayetteville, Ga. The church family invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at and “like” them on Facebook.]

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