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OUT TO PASTOR: It was a Shoofly Pie moment

During holiday seasons, I enjoy indulging in special food. My favorite during this time of year is the Shoofly Pie. Nothing hits the spot quite like this.

I don’t remember when I had my first shoofly pie, I only focus on my next piece.

When I first brought it into the home, my wife asked me what in the world it was. I told her it was a Shoofly Pie.

Looking at me rather quizzically, she said, “What is a Shoofly Pie?”

Not even thinking about it, I smiled and replied, “It is a piece of heaven this side of heaven.”

Then she wanted to know where in the world that name “Shoofly Pie” came from.

Not really knowing, I “baked up” a story I thought would please her.

The story went something like this. A lady in Pennsylvania was trying to make a special pie for her husband. It took her several days to figure out how she would make this special pie. Finally, she came up with something she had never seen before.

When presented to her husband, he was dumbfounded and said, “What is that pie?”

Before she could answer, a fly seemed to hover over the pie, and she swatted it and said, “Shoofly.” The husband looked at her and said, “That is marvelous. Whoever heard of a shoofly pie? You’re a genius.”

And thus, the Shoofly Pie adventure began.

Where we live, it’s tough to find any Shoofly Pie. Typically, I have to order it from someplace up north.

Once we were at a nearby restaurant, I talked to the waitress about the Shoofly Pie of which she had never heard. My wife had the recipe, so we shared it with her. She wanted to surprise us with a homemade Shoofly Pie.

When she gave it to us, it was nothing like a real Shoofly Pie. We joyfully took it, but it really wasn’t the real thing.

As I was thinking about this shoofly pie mystery, I thought of how this concept would work in other aspects of life.

For example. I would like to develop a Shoo-Politician Pie. Perhaps this would be a great experience for us. Every time we see a politician, we present him with a Shoo-Politician Pie. How much greater our life would be if politicians would not be the center focus of our life.

When a politician gives a speech, he or she will be charged one dollar per word. After all, one dollar isn’t much –  and neither is their speech. Of course, this would need to be paid upfront. As soon as the politician reaches the end of his word count, everybody would say, “Shoo-Politician.”

I think this would bring a lot of sanity back to our country today.

Then I thought of another pie to develop. I’ll call this the Shoo-Telemarketer Pie. This is second only to politicians.

To date, I have received over 1 million calls from “Angela” that said, “This is the last call you’ll get to renew your car warranty.”

I have searched my dictionary to discover what the definition of “last call” is. I guess it has a different meaning to different people.

Another pie I would like to develop would be the Shoo-Grumpy Pie. I have found so many grumpy people lately. I’m not sure where they come from, and I’m not quite sure where they’re going, but I do have my guesses.

I cannot identify with grumpy people because I’m not quite sure why they’re grumpy. The thing I have noticed lately is, grumpy is not a matter of age. There are grumpy people of all ages. I’m not quite sure how this began.

If anybody has the right to be grumpy, it's someone like me who has to listen to those people who are grumpy.

How much happier this world would be if there were no grumpy people in it? I know there are grumpy moments, but that shouldn’t be forever. Nothing is more frustrating than standing in line at the cash register behind some old grumpy customer exhibiting grumpy-itis. I wonder if it’s contagious?

Thinking about this, my list is getting longer and longer. There are so many things that I would like to Shoo from my life that I probably need to go into the “Shoo Pie Baking Business.”

Thinking along this line, I remembered a verse in the Bible. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

The older I get, the more things I see that I need to “shoo” from my life. At times, it’s difficult, but the end result is what really matters. One last pie would be the “Shoo-Sin Pie.”

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail The church web site is

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