* There's a church in our town that has mastered PR. They always have the biggest ad in every special edition of the paper. They're always one of the biggest sponsors at every community event. The senior pastor prays at every public political meeting. (At least the Republican ones. I haven't been to the Democrat ones.) And if there's not as much time to talk about the gospel once you've told everyone how wonderful they are--well, it doesn't seem to bother quite a lot of people.
This Sunday we drove by their spacious and well-filled parking lot and noticed they had hung up banners from all of the light poles, advertising their tenth anniversary. "It looks like a department store," I remarked to DOB, "I wonder if they're offering salvation half-off this month."
* Babies are considered the common property of mankind. Therefore, by some, stomachs containing babies are considered common property. I do not hold to this view. Yesterday in church a woman asked me out of the blue, "Do you have a sensitive stomach? Does it hurt you to have it patted?"
"No," I said, "But I have a strong sense of personal space and I don't like having it patted."
I'm not sure I've convinced her, though. Good grief, I'm not even really showing yet. (Though I have started wearing maternity clothes because I have them around this time and they are more comfortable.)
* Why does prayer bring out verbal tics more than any other form of speech? Even I must confess I sometimes fall prey to the "just" syndrome: you know, where you ask God to "just" do that, and then "just" do the other thing, as if to convince him that the tasks requested were not really that big of a deal. A very illogical thing, since one can only "just" do one thing at a time, so if you pray for God to "just" do something, all other petitions should cease until that one was finished.
But in other people, it's far more annoying, of course. There are the "Lord" punctuaters, who insert "Lord" every four words, as if God's attention were wandering and we needed to keep reminding Him that, hey, we're talking to Him here. And there are the duplicators, who repeat every phrase they utter at least twice, whether to make the prayers last twice as long or because they're afraid God will forget what was asked if it's not well hammered in, I'm not sure.
It's a good thing God is more gracious in hearing prayers than I would be.