Clean Joke: The Cell Phone Gift

This is just silly, but I like it.

Bill bought his beautiful blonde wife, Sherry, a cell phone for their first wedding anniversary.  Sherry loved the gift, and watched intently as Bill explained all the features on the phone.  The next day, as Sherry is having her hair done, her phone rings.  It’s Bill.

“Hi, honey,” he says. “How do you like your new phone?”

“I just love it. It’s so small and your voice is clear as a bell, but there’s one thing I don’t understand. How did you know I was at the beauty parlor?”

What I Want for New Year’s

Who asks for a New Years gift? Well, apparently I do.  Unique is just another word for weird, but that is okay.  I was going to ask for this for Christmas (’tis the season and all that), but by the time I’d polished this write-up, it didn’t give people much time.  Since New Years is all about a fresh new start and a whole new year, it fit my plan nicely.

Don’t worry, what I want doesn’t cost any money, so don’t fret about that.  My wish requires only your time.  You really don’t have to.  The whole point of a gift is that you give it freely with goodwill, not a scowl and a box to the head.  So if, after reading this, you decide that this is not something you feel comfortable giving, that’s okay.  I’m only a tyrant at Monopoly.  Que sera sera and all that.

What I would like is for you to take some time and read just one book in the Bible.  (It’s not Genesis, I promise!  I tried reading Genesis first, it was a bad idea!)  Actually, that’s it.  The rest of this post is just to show you how to do it.

So let’s start:

Find a Bible (or go here for one online).  By the way, there’s even an App for that.  It’s called YouVersion and it has the Bible in many translations.

If King James reads like Shakespeare to you, I recommend the New Living Translation or the New International Version for easier reading.  Don’t get fancy; you don’t want to try and juggle deciphering and reading at the same time.  You’ll just get frustrated and that is also not the point of this gift.

Got it?  Don’t open the Bible yet!  Okay close it, then.

It’s easy to start flipping through and then get distracted or confused.  Before you start, please pray.  Maybe you don’t pray, maybe you don’t think any god exists to hear you.  Maybe you just feel weird talking inside your own head.  Do it anyway, okay?  I’ll even recommend what to talk about if you are stuck on how to start.

Wait!  Don’t open your Bible yet.  What now, you ask?  Do a quick life check:

  • Are you distracted?
  • Will you be distracted shortly?
  • Are you in a quiet room?
  • Can you concentrate without being bothered?
  • Do you have a pen and paper (or something electronic) to jot down your thoughts or questions?

If the answer to any of these questions is a less than ideal situation, resolve it.  You don’t have to tell anyone what you’re doing, just make sure you’re not going to be interrupted.

Okay, now (gasp!) the prayer:

  1. Thanks
  2. Insight 
  3. Questions / Issues

I recommend thanking God for some of the things that you’re grateful for in your life right now.  It’s just a warm-up to get you used to “having a conversation” in your head.  You’re not expecting a reply, you’re just putting it out there.

Once you’ve relaxed a bit with the thanks, ask God to open your heart (this is important – it’s amazing how guarded we can be) and your mind to help you understand what you are about to read.  Yeah, it sounds New Agey, but there is no point in doing something if you’ve already decided you won’t learn anything.  All I’m suggesting is that you ask God to help open you up to…possibility.

You may also want to ask him to help you with any questions or issues that may come up as you read.  If you also want to pray that Aunt Sally’s arthritis gets better or that you get the job you’re looking for, go ahead and do that, too.  Even if you don’t believe in God, having quiet time to settle your thoughts never hurts.  Sometimes it just helps talking in your own head to articulate the things that are bothering you.

Now we start!  Finally!

Okay, open your Bible and flip to the New Testament’s Book of John.

My wish is that you read this entire book.  But don’t slam through it like housework or a Jell-O shot, this is some powerful and interesting stuff.  Savor it like really good chocolate or a hot apple cider on a cold night.  I highly recommend stopping each time you get to some title at the beginning of a new section. (Less if it’s just too much reading or you find yourself skimming.)

Books (like John, Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, etc.) are written in sections so you want to keep the flow of what you’re reading together. There is no rush.  Just chew on it.

There is going to be a lot that you “don’t get” like:

The word was with God? What?
Why is he called The Word? Lamb of God?
Who is Isaiah the Prophet and what’s the connection?
What’s a Pharisee?
What’s with lambs and shepherds?

Any question, comment, thought, idea, reflection, insight, or rant you have, write it down.

Maybe you spent 10 or 15 minutes today and nothing really changed in your world.  That’s okay.  As you go about your day, skeptical or not, ask yourself why of all things “this bit” would be in the verse or chapter.  What makes it so important or significant that it would be included in one of the most respected and revered books in history.  Or what was going on in the world at the time, culturally, and geographically.

If you’re willing, tomorrow, do it again with the next bit.  And so on, until you are done.

quiet place
pray
read
reflect
question
write

There are 21 chapters in the Book of John.  Like I said, please don’t rush.  These writings have been around for over 2,000 years.  The scripture that Jesus quoted from is hundreds of years older than that!  It’s not going anywhere.

Whether it takes you a month, six weeks, or however long to get through this one book, if it was an interesting read and nothing more, send me an email and tell me that. I will thank you deeply for the gift of your time to fulfill a New Year’s wish of mine.

Or, as you read, and you’ve written down questions or comments and want to share them with me, go ahead and email me at melissa@melissabianco.com!  People have said the Bible is not relevant, but I assure you, it is.  Nothing better illustrates the human condition than this book.

Anyway, that’s the present I’d like.

The Bible changed the course of my life.  It started me on a path that led me to ask questions, to look at my choices and my life, and to change my future forever.  It did not make me funnier, better at parallel parking, or allow me to do physics.  It has, however, revealed to me some insightful things about me, about life, and about what happens when we die.

Thank you for reading!  I hope you grant me my wish.  It may seem strange, but in granting me my wish, you may be fulfilling a wish I already have for you.

Melissa

P.S.  Please do me the courtesy of keeping any comments or email content positive.   If you have nothing nice to say, I respect that, but I don’t want to read it.  🙂

A Little Clarification for my Sister

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You know, sis, I just had an epiphany.

Remember when you used to call me Smelly Constipation? (For the uninitiated, my middle name is Constance). Well, I was just thinking about it and, logically, that just doesn’t work.

Obviously, since everything is all backed up, there is no smelly to be had. Now, if my middle name had been Diana-Rhea, well maybe then you’d have something better to work with.

I realize you were only 10 years old when you came up with this brilliant (and surprisingly catchy and enduring) phrase, so your wordsmithing skills weren’t fully developed yet.

And, yes, it’s true that it has been over 30 years since you tortured me with that, but I figure we are never too old to learn.

Also, since there was really nothing to work with for your name, obviously, not only did Mom and Dad not think things through with my name, but clearly they loved you best.

Angela Dawn. Seriously. What the h-e-double hockey sticks am I supposed to do with that?

Sincerely,

Your little sister, Melissa

P.S. Mom should have named me Elizabeth like she wanted and not let Dad name me after his old girlfriend.

Clean Joke: The Mailbox

A man was in his front yard mowing the grass when his beautiful, blonde, female neighbor came out of the house and went straight to her mailbox.

She opened it, looked inside, slammed it shut, and stormed back into her house.

A little later she came out of her house again, went to the mailbox, again opened it, and slammed it shut again. Angrily, back into the house she went.

As the man was getting ready to edge the lawn, here she came again. She marched to the mailbox, opened it and then slammed it closed harder than ever.

Puzzled by her actions, the man asked her, “Is something wrong?”

To which she replied, “There certainly is! My stupid computer keeps telling me I’ve got mail!”

Clean Joke: Police Emergency

Another one that cracked me up.

This is the (probably not) true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things.

He immediately phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?” and George said no and explained the situation.  Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available.

George said, “Okay,” hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.

“Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed.  Well, you don’t have to worry about them now because I’ve just shot them all.”

Then he hung up.  Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up.  Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George: “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”

George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”

Clean Joke: Knock at the Door

Okay, I love clean jokes.  You never feel guilty telling them in front of your grandmother.  I stumbled on this one today and it cracked me up, so I had to share!

A new pastor was visiting the homes of his parishioners.

At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a card and wrote “Revelation 3:20″ on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, Genesis 3:10.”

Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter.

Revelation 3:20 begins, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”

Genesis 3:10 reads, “I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid, for I was naked.”