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OUT TO PASTOR: A family stare-off competition

During the last several months, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have spent some quality time together. Overall, we have been enjoying our time together without any interruptions, as usually is the case.

In the beginning of our marital relationship, I thought I was the master at taking advantage of situations. I was happy about that because that’s what a husband is supposed to do. I was soon to find out that this was not necessarily the case. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but I discovered something in our relationship that I didn’t know.

We had just settled down to watch a movie together, and at the commercial, I got up to go to the bathroom. As I was getting up, my wife said, “While you’re up, could you get me a cup of coffee?”

Without thinking, which is my modus operandi, I said, “Sure. I’ll be right back.”

I went to the bathroom, then to the kitchen, got her a cup of coffee, and took it in to her.

“Thank you,” she said with her beautiful smile, “this will just hit the spot.”

I then made my coffee, settled down, and got back to the movie. I’m not sure what the movie was, all the Hallmark movies are the same as far as I’m concerned. As long as my wife enjoys them, I enjoy them too. I try to follow the plot, but I sometimes get it confused and have to ask questions.

“Aren’t you watching?” she said after one of my questions. “It’s the lady in the blue dress that did it. Pay attention.”

Then another commercial came. As I was getting up to do something my wife said, “While you’re up, could you get me a refill on my coffee, please?”

Following my MO, I picked up her coffee cup, went into the kitchen, refilled it, did what I planned to do, and then brought it back to her.

With the most infectious smile, she said, “Thank You, I really appreciate this.”

At this point, I did not really know what was behind that smile.

The next commercial came, and my wife said, “While you’re up, could you bring me some cookies from the kitchen?”

I got up, went to the kitchen, found the cookies, brought them back to her, and she said, “Thank you, I appreciate this so much.”

As I was walking to my chair, I tried to remember what I got up to do. For the life of me, I could not figure out what I went into the kitchen to do or get. I sat down and thought about it for a moment.

The movie came on, and I got engaged in it.

At the next commercial, my wife said, “While you’re up, could you bring me some more cookies from the kitchen? They are delicious.”

Again, I got up, went to the kitchen, got some more cookies, and brought them back to her. Again she said, “Thank you, I appreciate this so much.”

When I sat down in my chair, I tried to figure out once more why I got up and went to the kitchen. I know I got her some cookies, but why did I want to go there in the first place?

I don’t often have brilliant ideas that strike me. But suddenly, I had such an euphoric experience. My wife was playing me, and I did not know it. She was trying to see how much she could get me to do for her without knowing what I was doing.

I kept my thoughts to myself and thought about how I could catch her. Obviously she’s been about this for a long time.

When the next commercial came, she got up to go to the bathroom, and I said to her, “While you’re up, could you get me some more coffee?”

She stopped in her tracks, turned around and stared at me as I’ve never been stared at before.

“What did you say?”

At moments like this, it is very difficult for me not to break out in hilarious laughter. I held my cool and said, “While you’re up…”

She interrupted my conversation and said, “You figured me out, didn’t you?”

We had a little staring contest for a moment, and then simultaneously, we broke out into laughter.

She went to the bathroom and then to the kitchen and brought me back a fresh cup of coffee. Then she said, “Let’s call a truce and just enjoy the rest of the evening together.”

It’s rare that I catch on to her schemes, but I try to enjoy it when I do.

I thought of what Solomon wrote, “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him” (Proverbs 26:27)

Whatever you do to others has a way of coming back on you.

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

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