Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yes, This Really Happened To Me In The Ministry

The Bible talks of joy and laughter. Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance...” Solomon goes on to say in verse 15, “...He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” Then he says in chapter 17 and verse 22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...” Let’s face it. It is far better to laugh and be happy than to be sad.

Having a cheerful countenance is a good testimony for the glory of God. In Psalm 126:2 we see the Isrealites laughing and singing because ot the blessings of God. So should our lives portray His goodness.

I have known so many who profess to be a child of God and yet their countenance does not show it. I have even known men to refuse to go into the ministry because of the sadness and burdens associated with full-time service.

I believe in being happy and showing the joy of the Lord. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” The Saviour would have us to enjoy life. Here is the problem – too many confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is determined by circumstances (:happen-ness.) Whereas joy comes from the Lord. That is why even in the midst of the storms of life and the troubles we all experience it is possible, nay, expected, that we can show the joy in our hearts. After all, who has more of a reason to be joyful than the saved, born-again, blood bought, forgiven child of God!!

Now to the reason for writing. In forty-four years of serving the Lord in every capacity such as pastor, associate pastor, music and youth pastor, school principal and evangelist so many hilarious things have really happened to me. I desire to share those with readers and pray that they will be blessed and maybe laugh even in the midst of trouble and sorrow. I have divided these up into areas. May they be a blessing.


“OOPS!” – While pastoring in my first church we saw many trust Christ as their Saviour. One of those gloriously saved was a rather large brother. Since we had no baptistery at that time, we did all of our baptizing in the river. One chilly day we made our way to the river to baptize this new brother in Christ. We waded out into the water until it was about chest-high. I went through the “formula” and laid him back into the water. Now we “muscular” men have a tendency to float. I could not get this man under the water. All good Baptist know you must be submerged in order to really be baptized. I was a young pastor and did not know exactly what to do. Finally I threw my leg over his body like mounting a saddled horse and he plunged under the surface. I got off of him and all the people on the bank said “Amen.” Unfortunately this is not the end of the story. No one told this brother he was supposed to stand up. I looked and here he was floating down the river like a small barge. I yelled at him to stand up!! I thought we were going to lose him to the river current. I had visions of him floating to the Ohio River, on to the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico! I am glad to say he stood and we all enjoyed the event for years to come.