A man was selling his horse, and an interested buyer came to investigate.
The seller said,
"There's something you should know about the horse. He stops running when you say, 'Amen,' and he starts running when you say, 'Praise the Lord.'"
"No problem," the other man said, "I'll take it."
The man began to ride away on the horse. He decided to test the horse. "Amen," he said, and the horse stopped on the road just as the other man had said.
"Praise the Lord!" The horse took off running like mad. The rider held on as tight as he could. As he noticed they were racing towards a cliff, he begin screaming, "Stop!!! Stop, you stupid horse!! Whoah!!" Nothing worked. So he began praying, "Dear God, PLEASE let the horse stop! PLEASE!!! AMEN!"
The horse stopped right at the edge of the cliff. With great enthusiasm and joy the man screamed, "PRAISE THE LORD!!"
Jesus and the Elves
And Joseph went up from Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary, his espoused wife, who was great with child. And she brought forth a son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. And the angel of the Lord spoke to the shepherds and said, "I bring you tidings of great joy. Unto you is born a Saviour,which is Christ the Lord."
"There's a problem with the angel," said a Pharisee who happened to be strolling by. As he explained to Joseph, angels are widely regarded as religious symbols, and the stable was on public property where such symbols were not allowed to land or even hover.
"And I have to tell you, this whole thing looks to me very much like a Nativity scene," he said sadly. "That's a no-no, too." Joseph had a bright idea. "What if I put a couple of reindeer over there near the ox and ass?" he said, eager to avoid sectarian strife.
"That would definitely help," said the Pharisee, who knew as well as anyone that whenever a saviour appeared, judges usually liked to be on the safe side and surround it with deer or woodland creatures of some sort. "Just to clinch it, throw in a candy cane and a couple of elves and snowmen,too," he said. "No court can resist that."
Mary asked, "What does my son's birth have to do with snowmen?" "Snowpersons," cried a young woman, changing the subject before it veered dangerously toward religion. Off to the side of the crowd, a Philistine was painting the Nativity scene. Mary complained that she and Joseph looked too tattered and worn in the picture. "Artistic license," he said. "I've got to show the plight of the haggard homeless in a greedy, uncaring society in winter," he quipped. "We're not haggard or homeless. The inn was just full," said Mary. "Whatever," said the painter.
Two women began to argue fiercely. One said she objected to Jesus' birth "because it privileged motherhood." The other scoffed at virgin births, but said that if they encouraged more attention to diversity in family forms and the rights of single mothers, well, then, she was all for them. "I'm not a single mother," Mary started to say, but she was cut off by a third woman who insisted that swaddling clothes are a form of child abuse, since they restrict the natural movement of babies.
With the arrival of 10 child advocates, all trained to spot infant abuse and manger rash, Mary and Joseph were pushed to the edge of the crowd, where arguments were breaking out over how many reindeer had to be installed to compensate for the infant's unfortunate religious character.
An older man bustled up, bowling over two merchants, who had been busy debating whether an elf is the same as a fairy and whether the elf or fairy should be shaking hands with Jesus in the crib or merely standing to the side. "I'd hold off on the reindeer," the man said, explaining that the use of asses and oxen as picturesque backdrops for Nativity scenes carries the subliminal message of human dominance. He passed out two leaflets, one denouncing manger births as invasions of animal space, the other arguing that stables are "penned environments" where animals are incarcerated against their will. He had no opinion about elves or candy canes.
Signs declaring "Free the Bethlehem 2" began to appear, referring to the obviously exploited ass and ox. Someone said the halo on Jesus' head was elitist. Mary was exasperated. "And what about you, old mother?" she said sharply to an elderly woman. "Are you here to attack the shepherds as prison guards for excluded species, maybe to complain that singing in Latin identifies us with our Roman oppressors, or just to say that I should have skipped patriarchal religiosity and joined some dumb new-age goddess religion?"
"None of the above," said the woman, "I just wanted to tell you that the Magi are here." Sure enough, the three wise men rode up. The crowd gasped, "They're all male!" And "Not very multicultural!" "Balthasar here is black," said one of the Magi. "Yes, but how many of you are gay or disabled?" someone shouted. A committee was quickly formed to find an impoverished lesbian wise-person among the poor and lame of Bethlehem.
A calm voice said, "Be of good cheer, Mary, you have done well and your son will change the world." At last, a sane person, Mary thought. She turned to see a radiant and confident female face. The woman spoke again: "There is one thing, though. Religious holidays are important, but can't we learn to celebrate them in ways that unite, not divide? For instance, instead of all this business about 'Gloria in excelsis Deo,' why not just 'Season's Greetings'?"
Mary said, "You mean my son has entered human history to deliver the message, 'Hello, it's winter'?" "That's harsh, Mary," said the woman. "Remember, your son could make it big in midwinter festivals, if he doesn't push the religion thing too far. Centuries from now, in nations yet unborn, people will give each other pricey gifts and have big office parties on his birthday. Now that's not chopped liver."
"Let me get back to you," Mary said.
Spare Rib !
Adam had spent all day naming the animals with the Lord God, and after the process had finished there was not found a suitable partner for him so the Lord God said. "Adam I am going to create a partner for you that will be the love of your life, the delight of your eyes, and she is going to love you, she is going to bear your children, she is going to cook you meals, she is going to wash your clothes, she is going to comfort you at the end of the day, she is going to, at this point Adam interrupted and asked, "What's all this going to cost me though? The Lord God answered "An arm and a leg." Adam thought about it for a while and finally asked. "What could you do with a rib?" The rest is history.
Tell the Truth
A vicar was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age. The group surrounded a dog. Concerned that the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked, "What are you doing with that dog?" One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old village stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog." Of course, the reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten minute sermon against telling lies, beginning, "Don't you boys know it's a sin to lie," and ending with , "Why when I was your age, I never told a lie." There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."
'Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth'
The Gravy Ladle
An elderly priest invited a young priest to dinner. During the meal, the young priest couldn't help noticing how attractive and shapely the housekeeper was.
Over the course of the evening, he started to wonder if there was more between the elderly priest and the housekeeper than met the eye. Reading the young priest's thoughts, the elderly priest volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, my relationship with my housekeper is purely professional."
About a week later, the housekeeper came to the elderly priest and said, "Father, ever since the young Father came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose he took it do you?"
The priest said, "Well, I doubt it, but I'll write him a letter just to be sure."
So he sat down and wrote: "Dear Father, I'm not saying that you 'did' take a gravy ladle from my house, and I'm not saying you 'did not' take a gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here."
Several days later the elderly priest received a letter from the young priest which read: "Dear father, I'm not saying that you 'do' sleep with your housekeeper, and I'm not saying that you 'do not' sleep with your housekeeper. But the fact remains that if you were sleeping in your own bed, you would have found the gravy ladle by now."
The Power of Prayer
A man decided that it was time to teach his son how to say prayers, so he spent a few nights teaching his son the basics. After the kid had learned them well enough to say on his own, the father instructed him that after he was done with the prayers each night, he was to choose someone special and ask for God's blessing for that particular person.
Well, little kids don't always realise that their pets aren't a person, so the first night the little boy said his prayers, he ended with "And God, please bless my puppy." The father thought that it was pretty cute. However, the next morning the little dog ran out the door and was killed by a car.
That night the little kid asked God to bless his cat when the prayers were finished. And, sure enough, the next morning the cat slipped out and took on the biggest dog in the neighbourhood and became its breakfast. The father had started to make a connection here, but decided that it was just coincidence.
But when the kid asked God to bless his goldfish, the father couldn't wait for morning so that he could check up on it. As soon as he looked in the bowl, he saw the fish floating upside down on the top.
That night the little kid ended with "God, please give an extra special blessing to my father."
The father couldn't sleep. He couldn't eat breakfast in the morning. He was afraid to drive to work. He couldn't get any work done because he was petrified. Finally home time came and he walked home, expecting to drop dead any minute.
When he arrived home, the house was in a mess. His wife was lying on the couch still dressed in her robe. The dishes from breakfast were still on the table and the father was furious. He started shouting at his wife, telling her that he had had the worst day of his life and that she hadn't even got dressed. She looked at him and said, "Just Shut up! My day was even worse. The Postman had a heart attack at our front door!"
Thought for the Day
Never complain about growing old, many are denied the privilege.
Three Wise Women
You do know what would have happened if it had been three wise WOMEN instead of 3 wise men, don't you? They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought disposable nappies as a gift.