Darrell Bock Okay, for years, I have had these devotions at an assisted living called Somerset in Mocksville, and I've written these papers and written out these jokes and devotional thoughts, and I thought it would be fun to actually do them here on Kingdom Pursuits Podcast, just do them audibly. So here are the jokes, starting out with random Robbie ramblings. So started a new routine this week doing crunches twice a day, captain in the morning and Nestle's in the afternoon.
I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner is all it was doing was gathering dust. So here's a question for you is a caterpillars worst enemy, a dog or pillar. And, you know, I don't know about you, I see people about my age mountain climbing. When I feel this good, just get my leg through my underwear without losing my balance. Recently, I just written a song about tortillas. Well, actually, it's more of a rap. Did you hear about the semicolon that broke the law?
He was given two consecutive sentences. So I'm sure you've heard this one red sky at night sailors delight. Well, how about blue sky at night? Day?
Are the small rivers that run into the Nile juveniles? Or how about I woke up this morning forgot which side the sun rises from? Well, then it dawned on me. And I ate a clock yesterday it was very time consuming. My wife and I often laugh about how competitive we are.
But I do laugh more. So this joke is called when the chips are down. When a young man left his dorm and moved into an apartment he went shopping for cleaning equipment. His cart was loaded with a broom mop dust pan sponges and a full array of cleaning products. At the last minute he topped off his cart with a loan food purchase a large bag of potato chips.
Seeing the checkout clerk's quizzical joke, he explained, I'm a messy eater. How about without a paddle? Another joke. So I thought I told you to keep an eye on your cousin canoeing, the mother said. Where is he? Well, her son replied thoughtfully, if he knows about as much about canoeing as he thinks he does, he's out canoeing.
But if he knows as little as I think he does, he's out swimming. And here we have devil's food. I like this one a lot actually. Two youngsters were walking home from Sunday school each deep in his own thoughts. Finally, one said, what do you think about all this devil business we studied today? The other boy replied thoughtfully. Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out.
It's just probably your dad too. So here we got Stooges, census taker. How many children do you have? Woman, four. Census taker. May I have their names please? Woman. Eeny, meeny, miny, and George. Census taker. Okay, that's fine. But may I ask why you named your fourth child George? Woman.
Because we didn't want any moe. Here we have a prodigal on prodigal. We were sitting in church a few weeks ago while the minister delivered a sermon based on the timeless story of the prodigal son. And it got to the point where the father sees his son returning and races out to meet him.
The minister said, throwing wide his arms, the father said, at which point my younger son spoke up and said, you're grounded. Military intelligence. So military leaders succeeded in building a computer able to solve any strategic or tactical problem. They are all assembled in front of their new machine and instructed to feed a difficult tactical problem into the computer. They described a hypothetical situation, the computer, and then asked the pivotal question.
And as I got to turn the page, sorry. Attack or retreat. The computer hummed away for an hour and then comes up with the answer.
Yes. The generals look at each other somewhat stupefied. Finally, one of them submits a second request to the computer. Guess what?
Instantly, the computer responded, yes, sir. So here we have obedience. The Sunday school teacher, how many of you children would like to go to heaven? All raised their hands except little Ronnie. The teacher asked him, why not?
I'm sorry, Ronnie replied. Mommy told me to come home right after Sunday school. So moving on from the jokes, we always do one devotional story. And I found this in guide posts, most moving testimonies of 2019. So an MIT professor meets the author of all knowledge. I used to think religious people were ignoramuses. Then I got smart and took a chance on God.
As early as grade school, when I was a voracious reader and a straight A student, I identified with being smart. And I believe smart people didn't need religion. As a result, I declared myself an atheist and dismissed people who believed in God as uneducated. In high school, I led a classroom debate, arguing for godless form of evolution, confident my side should win. This was science. When the class voted an awarded victory to the creation side, I was dumbstruck.
Most people didn't understand science, I figured. Either that or they were unduly swayed by the most popular girl in class. She had a swimming pool in her backyard and threw fun parties. At that time, I babysat to earn money and one of my favorite families was a young couple, both a husband, a doctor and a wife were really sharp. One night after paying me, they invited me to church, I was stunned.
People this smart actually went to church. When Sunday morning came around, I told them I had a stomachache. They invited me again the following week, but once more I came down with another phantom stomachache. The more they persisted, the more I struggled to invent convincing excuses.
You try faking an illness to a doctor. Eventually, the couple tried a different tact. You know, they said, going to church is not what matters most, what matters is what you believe. Have you read the Bible? I figured that if I wanted to be an educated person, I needed to read the best-selling book of all time. The doctor suggested starting with Proverbs, reading one chapter daily for a month. When I first opened the Bible, this was the King James Version, I expected to find phony miracles, made-up creatures and assorted gobbledygook.
To my surprise, Proverbs was full of wisdom. I had to pause while reading and think. I quietly bought a modern translation called The Way and read through the entire Bible. While I never heard actual voices or anything to justify summoning a neurologist, I felt a strange sense of being spoken to.
It was disturbing, yet oddly attractive. I began wondering whether there might be a God. I decided to work my way through the Bible again, thinking that perhaps my experience was common for first-time readers. This time I would step back and read it more carefully.
The better to debunk it. I also vowed to learn more about the Bible's origins and to study other religions. Maybe I thought my culture in which most people were Christians or Jews was conditioning me to find Christianity attractive. A favorite Jewish teacher at my high school ran a gifted program that let me devote one class each semester to whatever I wanted. I studied Buddhism, Hinduism and several other faiths.
I visited temples, synagogues, mosques and other holy places. More than anything, I wanted to get past this religion phase because I knew I didn't want religion, but despite my wishes of internal battle raged. Part of me was increasingly eager to spend time with God of the Bible, but an irritated voice inside me insisted I would be happy once again if I moved on. There were two passages I found especially troubling. Matthew 10, 33, but whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
And Matthew 12, 30, whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters. I resented what I felt like an unwelcome ultimatum. I didn't want to believe in God, but I still felt a peculiar sense of love and presence I couldn't ignore. During my freshman year in college, I reconnected with a friend I had met at a summer's honors program. He was a straight A student and a star both on basketball court and football field.
I'd never known anyone so smart or athletic. He helped me with difficult physics homework and then he invited me to his church. This time I felt fine. The sermon prompted many questions. I started to raise my hand while the pastor spoke before realizing that everyone else was sitting quietly. I nudged my friend, can we ask questions?
He hushed me, how do we learn if we can't ask? After the sermon I tried getting answers, but people mostly wanted to socialize. I started coming to Sunday school classes because the teachers let me ask questions.
I also kept reading. One Sunday the pastor talked about the difference between believing there is a God and following God. I knew Jesus claimed to be the way to God, but I had been trying to avoid anything Jesus related. I couldn't help hearing his name with the word freak attached, but the pastor got my attention when he asked, who is Lord of your life? He discussed what happened when a human being put yourself on that throne.
I was intrigued. I was the captain of my ship, but was it possible that God would actually be willing to lead me? From there I came to a deeper understanding of what it meant to have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus.
It seemed silly to pray about this. After all, I still had doubts about God's existence, but in the spirit of Pascal's wager, I decided to run an experiment, believing I had much to gain but very little to lose. After praying, Jesus Christ, I ask you to be Lord of my life, my world changed dramatically, as if a flat black and white existence suddenly turned full color in three-dimensional, but I lost nothing of my urge to seek new knowledge. In fact, I felt emboldened to ask even tougher questions about how the world works. I felt joy and freedom, but also a heightened sense of responsibility and challenge. Have you ever tried to explore something mechanical and only kind of works? Maybe the wheels spin, but not smoothly.
Then you realize you are missing a piece. When you finally put it together correctly, it works beautifully. This is how I felt when I handed my life over to God.
I thought it worked fine before, but after it was fixed, it worked exponentially better. That's not to say nothing bad ever happened to me, far from it, but in all things good and bad, I could count on God's guidance, comfort and protection. Today, I'm a professor at the top university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in my field. I have incredible colleagues who have helped me translate my lab research into different making products, difference making products, excuse me, including a smartwatch that helps caregivers save the lives of people with epilepsy. I work closely with people whose lives are filled with medical struggles, people whose children are not healthy.
I do not have adequate answers to explain all of their sufferings, but I know there is a God of unfathomable greatness and love who freely enters into relationship with all who confess their sins and call upon his name. I once thought I was too smart to believe in God. Now I know I was an arrogant fool who snubbed the greatest mind in the cosmos. The author of all science, math, Maddox, art and everything else there is to know. Today I walk humbly having received the most undeserved grace. I walk with joy alongside the most amazing companion anyone could ask for, filled with desire to keep learning and exploring. Rosalind Pickard is a founder and director of the effective computing research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Thank you for sharing this time with me on Kingdom Pursuits devotions.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-16 05:56:44 / 2023-09-16 06:01:46 / 5