Pastor Edwin Ernest always concluded the church’s worship services with the comment, “I’m so thankful that the blood of Jesus was shed on the Cross for my sins.”
After several weeks, the congregation began responding with, “We’re thankful, too, Pastor. We’re thankful, too!”
Pastor Edwin Ernest loved to eat almost as much as he loved to preach God’s Holy Word. “The cooks in this church are the best in the world!,” he bragged prior to one of the church’s monthly fellowship dinners.
“I’m glad to hear you say that,” said Sister Marie Ellen, who was considered by many congregants to be the church’s number one cook. “I’ve made your favorite - chicken n’ dumplins’ - for today’s feast.”
“And I brought my famous homemade cherry pie,” chimed in Sister Maxine Eileen.
“Great!,” declared Pastor Edwin Ernest. “That’s my favorite dessert.”
Sister Ellie Esther proclaimed that she had brought her homemade low calorie, low sodium, low fat and low cholesterol baked potato chips. “They’re super!,” she bragged. “They were so good, in fact, that I sampled them before I left home this morning. But I saved enough for everyone here to have a hearty helping.”
Before the fellowship meal began, Pastor Edwin Ernest asked Brother Ethan Eli to say the blessing. Brother Ethan Eli said the grace, then the congregants formed a line to get their food.
Pastor Edwin Ernest sat down next to his wife, Sister Edwina Ernestine, who told him she felt she need to pray for him.
“Why?,” asked the pastor. “I don’t feel sick or anything. I feel perfectly fine.”
“I don’t know,” said Sister Edwina Ernestine. “But I do believe the Lord wants me to pray for your ministry.”
Sister Edwina Ernestine prayed for her husband, who thanked her for her prayer. The couple walked over to the drink table. The pastor poured a glass of his favorite diet soft drink, while his wife poured a glass of lemonade.
About halfway through the meal, Pastor Edwin Ernest retrieved a glass of water from the drink table, while his wife poured another glass of lemonade.
The time for fellowship came to a close and the pastor made an announcement. “We’re not going to return to the sanctuary for our evening service,” he said. “We’re going to have today’s second service right here in the fellowship hall.
“I think I’m going to have another snack while I preach,” said Pastor Edwin Ernest. “I love to eat, and I love to preach, so I thought this evening I would try to do both at the same time.”
“I don’t think that’s a very wise idea,” said Sister Edwina Ernestine.
“Why not?,” asked the pastor.
“For one thing, you’re a grown man,” replied his wife, “so you should know better than to talk with your mouth full!”
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