Tom with kids in Kuwait

Tom with kids in Kuwait
Tom with kids in Kuwait

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Spiritual Autobiography of Tom Spence

The Spiritual Autobiography of Tom Spence
May 2008
I begin in the present.  I am the stated supply of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Burns Flat, Oklahoma.  One year ago I became the moderator pro temp[ore] of our session and was instrumental in the formation of a pastoral search committee.  At that point, I did not envision that I would be the fruit of that search.  That is not to say that I did not expect to fill the pulpit on a regular basis.  I did.  I also expected to reassure the congregation that we would be just fine, that the head of our church was not the pastor we didn’t have but Christ himself, and that Christ would still be the head even when we did find a pastor.
I knew that I was called to be moderator.  I knew that we were a larger church than when I filled the pulpit between pastors before (2003) and that I would need more help filling the pulpit.  I discovered that we had grown more than in our numbers.  Our ministries had grown and were still growing.  I knew that I needed to be more involved—more than just filling the pulpit, preparing the bulletin and newsletter, and more than just waiting to see what the search committee would find.  I was called to minister to this congregation.  Still, I did not expect God to call me to full time ministry.  In hindsight, I was in denial—ok, blind—to the fact that God was calling me.
In December 2007, several of the elders, search committee members, and some others from the congregation found our way into the vacant pastor’s study.  This was following an evening service and this was an impromptu continuation of the fellowship that had begun that evening.  Someone asked if I had considered the ministry.  The conversation became dominated by that topic.  I told everyone that I thought my ministry was to serve the congregation while we searched for another pastor.  I did tell them that I would ask God if he was calling me. 
I asked.  He answered.  People that before had not said much to me, told me this was my calling.  Instead of the cordial nice sermon remark at the end of the service, peopled hugged me and simply said, go get ordained.  People gave me this message in places other than church and many were from other congregations and some were pastors from other denominations.  None of them knew of my promise to pray about this. 
I would have preferred an email from God, marked important—better yet:  URGENT!  In fact, after praying, I checked my inbox more frequently than normal.  My answer was to come from God’s people not my computer.  My choice was simple.  Kick against the goads and continue to pull my own yoke or accept the one Christ offered.  I knew the answer.  In a single night, I began my trek to the ministry.  I searched the denomination website and was disappointed that there wasn’t much there, but I picked a couple email addresses that I thought were appropriate and I also emailed George Estes who had worked with our church in a period of revitalization and whom I kept in the loop on various things going on in Burns Flat.  He guided me to Dr. Campbell and the appropriate committee of my Presbytery.  I completed pastor information forms and sent them to the denomination, Red River Presbytery, and made one for our search committee.  One of the first things I learned as a Marine officer was that an officer must never be timid and that was the last thing that I was at this point.  I had my marching orders and wasn’t going to be indecisive.  I take comfort in that my Marine Corps background was in perfect harmony here.  God did not give us a spirit of timidity.
At the time I gave my package to the search committee, I discovered that they had a candidate that many were excited about.  I gave them my packet in a sealed envelope and asked them not to open it if they were actively pursuing a candidate.  I knew that I was called to the ministry, but not certain that it would be to my home church congregation.  The last thing that I wanted to do was cause any dissent in the committee.  At the elders retreat a few days later, I asked for the session’s blessing and endorsement to pursue ordination via the program of alternate studies.  The session was as excited about my choice as I was.
Some paperwork, interviews, intelligence and psychological evaluations and reports, meetings, and more meetings later brings us to present day:  Tom Spence, stated supply at Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church, endorsed for the PAS by Red River Presbytery, and ready to dive headfirst into this program.
My childhood involved attendance at churches all over the United States; most of them were Disciples of Christ denominations.  Sunday School and Vacation Bible School were important events in my life.  I was baptized as an adult in the Episcopal Church and married by an Episcopal Navy Chaplain, but most of my adult life was spent in the Presbyterian Church with a few ventures into Baptist congregations.  I had never heard of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church until I moved to Burns Flat in 1999.  The first service I attended told me that this would be our church home.  Before joining, I invited the Pastor to the house and we discussed several things.  I wanted to make sure of the central beliefs of this denomination and to make sure it wasn’t some off the wall sect.  Jim Fisk was the pastor at the time and he gave me a one minute history of the denomination and answered my questions.  He was interested in how a Marine officer had reconciled being a professional combatant and a Christian as his son was currently serving in the Army. 
A significant part of my adult life was as a U.S. Marine Corps officer.   I see no dichotomy between battle and serving God.  God has called many to battle.  While my time in a combat zone was only one year out of twenty; preparing for battle on a daily basis has helped me in my current spiritual journey.  I truly enjoyed my time in the Marine Corps.  Among other things, I learned to be a life-long learner in the Corps.  To learn and master new skills every year is still a passion of mine.  To teach, train, mentor, and see the fruits of your efforts in young men and women is an experience that few enjoy to the extent I experienced as a Marine.  I believe that my time in the Corps was a blessing from God.
I have no road to Damascus experience.  I was taught, I believed, and I have grown in my faith.  That’s not to say I have not had trials.  I have and for the most part they have strengthened me.  Those that have not are because I struggled against what God wanted me to do.  Surrender is a tough word for a Marine to pronounce, but I learned when I surrendered all to Christ, He gave me victory. 
All in my family are saved.  Sharman, my wife, and I both love our church family.  She is an elementary teacher and that is also her ministry.  Burns Flat is a town with a large transient population.  Many children that she teaches have parents in prison, using drugs in their presence, or absent from their lives.  Much of the love that these children receive comes from Sharman in the classroom.  We cannot go anywhere in southwest Oklahoma without getting hugged by knee-high people.  I have also become an expert shopper of crayons, pencils, and folders.  If K-Mart is having a blue light special on school supplies during PAS, I will need a 1-hour excused absence to go buy a cubic meter of crayons. 
Both my children, Heather and Christopher, are out of the house and doing their best to make their own way in the world.  I have no grandchildren yet, but cherish the fact that God through his grace has better prepared me for that role now that I know Him better.  My body is 52 years old and I put it through some pounding during my time in the Corps; but, my excitement to pursue fulltime ministry is as intense as any I have experienced.  I get out of bed in the morning ready to see what God wants me to do today!
Semper Fidelis!
Tom Spence
Since this was originally posted, Tom has been ordained and is now the Pastor of the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  He makes frequent posts to both this blog and to The Biased Observer  as well as many spiritual, humorous, and news articles posted via The Burns Flat News.

Friday, March 25, 2011

9 Encounters of John 9

This very unique chapter in the Gospel of John could just be talking about physical blindness and spiritual blindness or it may be a window into multiple insights into the life of Jesus, his ministry, God’s love and economy, the power of personal testimony, and so much more.
We proceed with the presumption of the latter and examine nine distinct encounters in this ninth chapter of John’s Gospel.
9 Encounters of John Chapter 9
Jesus and his Disciples
·         The disciples asked Jesus who sinned?  Was it the man blind from birth or his parents?  We need to realize that the only logical answer to this dichotomy is the parents.  This has nothing to do with sins being passed from one generation to the next as readers of the Old Testament might hold to.  This is a logical answer.  Could a person sin before they were born?  Answer:  That’s a whole new theology if we go there!
·         Fortunately, Jesus was not restricted to the proffered dichotomy.  Jesus said it was neither.  This man was born blind so that the Glory of God may be revealed at this place and this time.
·         He went on to say that he was the Light for the world and it was important to do these good works or mighty acts as a testimony to the One who sent him.
·         We look at this encounter and think, Wow!  What a miracle!  We might also think, Wow!  What a bum deal for the blind man.  He had to be blind from birth just so Jesus could have this moment to show God’s glory on this day.  You would have to be quite a stoic to take that in stride.  In the economy of man, this was a huge price to pay.  The man was blind a fifth, a third, or maybe even half of his life expectancy.  What a price to pay!
·         But in the economy of God—a rich, righteous, holy God of abundance and eternity--the man was blind for but a moment.  Realize that God could have righteously demanded half of the man’s life without other consideration or promise of eternity and been fully justified; but Jesus came to give us life to the full—both now and forever.  In the economy of God, the man will never miss the years he was blind.
Jesus and the Blind man
·         Unlike his encounter with the paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethzatha near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, Jesus asks the blind man no questions or does not otherwise engage him in conversation.
·         Jesus spits in the dirt, mixes a batch of mud, and puts it on the man’s eyes.  He is directive.  He tells the man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam and the blind man obeys.
Blind man and the crowd
·         Even though the sunshine soldiers that once claimed to be his disciples left him (Chapter 6) and it seems that only the twelve remained to faithfully follow Jesus; he still draws a crowd.  We suspect that a crowd probably followed the blind man as he went to wash his face.
·         When he can see, the discussion begins and probably turns to argument or at least disbelief.  The question arises:  Is it or isn’t it him, referring to be man born blind at birth.
·         How could they not know?  Consider the vocation of a blind man—it was to beg.  That’s what was expected.  The man sat on a road and begged.  Many probably never took a good look at him.  Why?  It wasn’t because the man could see who walked by on the other side of the road.  More likely to look at the blind man might evoke mercy and mercy costs money.  Chances are that many never looked at the beggar.  A few probably knew him.
·         Being the subject of the controversy, the man who could not see speaks..  I am the man.”
Blind Man and the Pharisees
·         What do you do when you witness something this amazing?  You immediately upload the video from you iPhone or Android onto Facebook, YouTube,  or your blog.  Absent that technology, you haul this guy in to show him off to the Pharisees.  Here the man who can now see describes  the mud and the washing and seeing.
·         The Pharisees argue.  No one but one from God could do this vs. a man who does not obey the Sabbath law could not.
·         They ask the man standing before them:  Who do you say he is?   He replies, a prophet!
·         Division continues among the religious leaders so they do what might be sound practice.  They send for parents.
Pharisees and the parents
·         The Pharisees issue their interrogatives in rapid fire fashion.  Is he your son?  Was he blind from birth?  How is it that he can now see?
·         The parents respond saying the best they can do is two out of three.  Yes, he is our son and he was born blind.
·         The parents were not born blind and they knew a kangaroo court when they saw one, so in ultimate loyalty to themselves, they tell the Pharisees:  Ask him.  He is old enough to answer for himself.

Pharisees and the blind man (Law and Order Episode 1)
·         The man is called back before the Pharisees.  This time he is put under oath.  Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and our version of the truth?   The religious leaders remind the man who was once blind of a critical factor which he would be well advised to consider as he framed his answers:   Jesus is a sinner
·         Again they asked the man what happened.  In a modern day courtroom, his attorney’s reply would be:  Asked and answered!
·         The Pharisees want this man to know for sure that this Jesus person is a sinner.  In this episode of Law and Order, the prosecution is painfully reminded never to ask a question that you don’t know how the witness will answer.  The man testifies:  I don’t know if he is a sinner or not, but I do know this:  I was blind but now I see!  There is a single word for this type of personal testimony given without personal agenda attached—irrefutable.
·         During this day, the Pharisees have experienced a wide range of thought and emotion.  On one end of the spectrum is befuddlement and on the other is just plain ticked off.  The man who can now see is about to take the initiate and push the Pharisees beyond ticked off. 
·         He turns the tables—You say you don’t even know where he comes from, but only one obedient to God could do this.  Remember that this man has been a blind beggar on the side of the road for all of his adult life.  He continues, nobody except someone who does the will of God could do this.  Not since the beginning of time do we know of anything like this and we couldn’t even imagine such a thing unless God was squarely in the middle of it.
·         What do you do when you are the smartest people in the land and you get outsmarted on your home court?  You throw the man with irrefutable testimony and infallible logic out on the street.
Jesus and Blind man
·         Jesus finds the man thrown out of Synagogue.  I would love to have a verbatim account of the first part of that encounter.  Let’s take a little license here.
·         “Heard you got thrown out by the Pharisees.”  They didn’t much want to hear anything I had to say.  “I know the feeling, but don’t worry.”  Why’s that?  “Because you are in good company.”
·         And then Jesus asks the man if he would believe upon the Son of Man.  Once the man understands that Jesus is talking about himself, he says IBelieve!  The man drops to his knees before Jesus.
Jesus and the crowd
·         We need to realize at this point that the crowd following the man and those who followed Jesus have probably come back together.  Jesus begins to teach. 
·         Jesus said that he came to this world to judge so that the blind may see and those who see may be blind.
·         I would nearly love to have seen a Disciplecam at this junction in history, but we can only imagine what was actually happening with these faithful followers who sometimes fumbled with the literary tools of the Master.  Visualize the disciples pulling at their hair or squeezing their heads in frustration, saying:  Not another one of these?  Please, please, please explain this one.  Don’t leave it to us to figure out.  Doesn’t he remember that we are fisherman, tax collectors, and just common folk?
Jesus and Pharisees
·         It is at this point we move to the final encounter of this chapter, probably to the relief of the disciples.  Some of the Pharisees have followed the crowd and are in earshot of Jesus.  They understand Jesus is talking about them, and they don’t like it.  Realize that it has been a tough day in Phariseeland.  Jesus ends with a dichotomy.
·         If you were blind you would not be guilty.
·         Because you know what you know and say you can see—the verdict is guilty.

This could all just be a story of Jesus doing one more mighty work which caused some to believe and others to try harder to kill him; or it could give us nine unique insights into our lives as we try to respond to the grace of God that we know through Jesus Christ.
Amazing Grace!  How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I was once lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.

John 9 (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
   3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
   Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
   But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
   “I don’t know,” he said.
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
   But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
   The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
 18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Spiritual Blindness
 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Is Heaven Real?

Here is something to think about!

What do you think?

Here is a link to another video concerning this boy and the sister he met in heaven.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith!

A Message of hope and assurance delivered at the service to celebrate the life of Mary Lara.

2 Timothy 4 (New International Version, ©2011)
 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Christians are a crazy bunch to figure out.  We are hardwired in our nature to survive; yet we long for the day when we see Jesus.  Our instincts tell us to fight for life, but when the time comes to embrace the glory of God, we fight no more.
We Christians are tough to figure out.  We are told to live life to the fullest extent; yet, we often find life empty until we learn to give things and time and money away.  We are told to live with joy in our hearts and at the same time know there will be some suffering in this life.
We serve a risen Savior who says my yoke is easy and my burden is light, but who has called us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow him.
We Christians are a tough bunch to figure out.

We gather this morning to celebrate the life of Mary Lara.  We celebrate it after she has left us.
We Christians are a tough bunch to figure out.
It was a life lived in response to the grace of God--grace that we know through Christ Jesus.  We are all called to respond in different ways.  We work out—that is we live out—our salvation based upon the very unique individual that God made in his image.
We do this by living to portray to others the image of Jesus Christ.  We don’t always hit the mark but we continue the journey.
Paul described his journey as a race.  He said he had fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.
Mary fought the good fight, kept the faith, and finished her race among us as well. 
But she is far from finished.
We know of Mary’s battle with cancer.  We know that she did fight the good fight and keep the faith even when saddled with this terrible affliction.  When many would ask, why me, Mary simply kept the faith.
But Mary’s heart was not for us to remember her crossing this finish line in her final days.  She wants us to remember her running the race.  She wants us to remember living life to the full.
Whether she was working at the north end of town or the south end, she was living life to the full.  She was running her race.  She was living life as the unique individual we all knew in slightly different ways.  And though we all have different memories, we all knew Mary to be a woman of faith.
Many of us got to enjoy a good day with Mary only a few weeks ago.  The community center was decorated, there was enough food to serve about half the town, and Mary got to have a special time and usually a picture with the many people in her life.  The excuse for this gathering was her 55th birthday.
She would want us to remember her in the fullness of her life.  She would want us to remember her in full stride in her race.
She would want us to remember the light she shone before people so that we might see her good deeds and give glory to God.
I think Mary would smile if we referred to her as the salt of the earth.
But she has finished her race, and it is time for what comes next.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Today is a day of celebration, not just because Mary’s pain is gone but because we know what is next.
The God of love, the God of all creation, the God who made us the first fruits of his creation, the God who made us holy when we were so unholy, will bestow upon us a crown of righteousness.
Our God is a God of life. 
Our life comes from him.
We are born again to become a new creation through him.
And we live in a perfected relationship with him for all eternity.
 Our God is a giving God, and he has given new life to Mary.
And God’s people say Hallelujah and Amen and Praise be to God.

I know there are tears to be shed.  Jesus wept when he lost his friend Lazarus and he knew that he would bring him back to life.
To morn is natural, but to rejoice is supernatural!  To rejoice on this day is to go beyond our human nature and experience a little bit of God’s divine nature.
And today we rejoice because we know a God who said he loves us, who through Christ Jesus proved he loved us, and who through the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, assures us who remain that love never fails.
Mary ran the good race.
Mary fought the good fight.
Mary kept the faith.
And now for her is a crown of righteousness.
Let us rejoice for the child of God we knew as Mary Lara.
We Christians are a tough bunch to figure out.  We come to the point at the end of Mary’s life in this world—a point where the world has no hope and can only mourn--and we hold a celebration.
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Answers to Out of the Box 68: Play Ball

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 68:  Play Ball
If you arrived at this page by accident, then follow this link to the wit and wisdom workout called Play Ball.

Union refused to work:  Strike
Reclaimed marsh:  Inning
Reaching out to reclaim land from the sea more than six times:  Seventh Inning Stretch
Saliva Sphere:  Spit Ball
Noggin to noggin pass in soccer:  Double Header
Halt briefly:  Shortstop
Refuse to proceed:  Balk
Passage obstructer:  Closer
Offered the middle of a square sail to God:  Sacrifice Bunt
Revolution path atop a naval floor:  On Deck Circle
Skimpy one-footed leap:  Short Hop

Did you like these?  Want more?  See the ad on this page for the Best of Out of the Box.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Answers to Out of the Box 55: Boundaries

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 55:  Boundaries
If this page is exactly where you intended to be, just scroll down for the answers.

TEN CC RIP:  Precinct
COY NUT:  County
COIN SET:  Section
TO CLICK BY:  City Block
WON’T:  Town
RIP ASH:  Parish
COY TURN:  Country
TASTE:  State
ROY RITTER:  Territory
BID US VISION:  Subdivision
STRICT ID:  District
BUS RUB:  Suburb
MEET IN OZ:  Time Zone

If you enjoyed these, then try a book with 100 of them for just about any taste or occasion.  See the ad for The Best of Out of the Box on this page.

Answers to Out of the Box 48: The Spice of Life

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 48:  The Spice of Life.
If you arrived here by accident, follow this link to the Love those Movies wit and wisdom challenge.
If you are here on purpose, just scroll below for the answers.

Foundation timber on the harbor:  Basil
Scarlet’s home left her:  Taragon
Not goin:  Cumin
Comes in licks, shakers, and old:  Salt
Baseball warmup:  Pepper
Regulation golf killed by sword:  Parsley
Crazy million:  Nutmeg
A little on the cool side (right?):  Chili
To flatter for favor:  Curry
A colonel in Clue or a nasty gas:  Mustard
Store concerns:  Caraway
Harbor departs:  Bay Leaves
Thief takes postal California:  Carob
Equine cruciferous root:  Horse Radish

Do you like these wit and wisdom challenges?  Want more mind benders?  Check out The Best of Out of the Box ad on this page.

Answers to Out of the Box 24: Love those Movies.

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 24:  Love those Movies.
If you arrived here by accident, follow this link to the Love those Movies wit and wisdom challenge.
If you are here on purpose, just scroll below for the answers.

Expire with difficulty:  Die Hard
Al Jolson groupies:  Men in Black
A woman of good breeding with a specific vagabond:  Lady and the Tramp
Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers—without the tongue:  Twister
Sometimes followed by mountain high or road:  Rocky
Neptune’s exciting undertaking, but it may be Greek to you:  The Poseidon Adventure
A repetitively insane planet:  It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Casper without qualification:  Ghost
Solar sponsored combat for two:  Duel in the Sun
Easiest to take from a stack of pistols:  Top Gun

Do you like these wit and wisdom challenges?  Want more mind benders?  Check out The Best of Out of the Box ad on this page.


We all face temptation in our lives.  Do we try to use power or authority when tempted?

Consider the following provocation not to use our power to deal with temptation.

Read:  Tempted!  A look at power and authority.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Answers to Out of the Box 59: Material Relationship

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 59:  Material Relationship
If you arrive here by accident, please follow this link to the wit and wisdom workout titled Material Relationship.
If you arrive at this page purposely, here are the material relationship answers.

ClueAnagram:  Answer
SkeetEGO PLIANCY:  Clay Pigeon
Kaw-Liga—ADD ONION WINE:  Wooden Indian
Heavy on the gas—TEA OF OLD:  Lead Foot
SCUBA ancestor—LONG I RUN:  Iron Lung
Error free fielder—OLD GG LOVE:  Gold Glove
Picnic ware—A RANCH PIPE:  Paper China
More picnic ware—STRAW LEVIS REPLICA:  Plastic Silverware
Drink enabler—PIG CLASS SLATES:  Plastic Glasses
Wood smoother—DRAPE SPAN:  Sandpaper
Flimsy plan—ANT SWARM:  Straw Man

If you like these wit and wisdom challenges see the ad for the Best of Out of the Box on this page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Answers to Out of the Box 43: Please open your Bible.

These are the answers to Out of the Box 43:  Please open your Bible.
If you arrived at this page by accident, please follow this link to the Out of the Box 43 wit and wisdom workout.

For all who arrived here intentionally, here are the answers.

Three to five usually make a play:    Acts
Looks like employment, but doesn’t sound like it:  Job
Men in black:  Judges
They come in large, small, cardinal, and telephone:  Numbers
Italian Capitalists from a non-economic perspective:  Romans
Blood colored ocean’s farewell:  Parting of the Red Sea
90% of the sale to the salesman:  The Great Commission
Instructive discourse delivered from horseback:  The Sermon on the Mount
Circus or Sea World one ups half a dozen beach balls:  Seven Seals
Talk show host’s dream:  Babylon
Pizza delivery took more than 20 minutes:  Pilate

If you enjoyed these, see the ad at the bottom of this page for The Best of Out of the Box.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dangerous intersection ahead?

Why not get rid of this sign that warns of danger ahead and replace it with a stop sign so there would be less danger at an otherwise unmarked intersection?

Good luck with that should not be our state safety motto.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 72: Let’s Golf

Here are the answers to Out of the Box 72:  Let’s Golf
If you arrived here by mistake, please follow this link to the wit and wisdom challenge about golf.  If you are purposely here to check your answers, just scroll down the page.

Not yet ripe:  Green
Abbreviation for paragraph:  Par
Toward the bow:  Fore
Scout with 21 Merit Badges:  Eagle
Unbiased method:  Fairway
Institutional British Break:  Tee Time
Wood smoothing snare:  Sand Trap
Bludgeon residence:  Club House
Mix whites and yolks in skillet:  Scramble 
Pencil holder:   Caddy
Leisurely conduct busywork:  Putter