Tag Archives: humor

Rooster Brings Louisiana Church, Community Together

Gabriel, the rooster, just outside the church window.

By Carl Stagner

You’ve heard of the angel named Gabriel. But you probably haven’t heard of Gabriel, the rooster. Since November, the fine feathered friend of Pleasant Ridge Church of God has become quite the phenom across the small city of Hammond, Louisiana. Like a guardian angel, “Gabe” stands watch Sunday after Sunday at the front entrance to the church, seemingly crowing Amens at just the right moment during Pastor Sarah Morgan’s sermons. Adored by adults and children alike, the rooster has not only captured the hearts of the congregation, but also the attention of neighbors and passersby. Continue reading

Convention 2018 Speaker: Light to Hollywood, Living Water to the Desert

Jeff Whye

By Carl Stagner

All the glitter, glamor, and glitz of Hollywood can’t be outshined by the light of Christ reflecting through one of his own. Jeff Whye, known across the Church of God for his high-octane personality and knack for making people laugh, rocked Hollywood for a season but never lost his footing on the solid Rock. When God called him to the dry soil of the Southwest, his ambition was to point people to the source of Living Water. At Anderson University and Long Reach Church of God in Columbia, Maryland, before that, Jeff was molded and made into the man of God he is today. Overflowing with a love for reconciliation and restoration of relationships—between people and to the Lord—Jeff Whye looks forward to the opportunity to speak to the Church of God at the five Regional Conventions in 2018. Continue reading

Risk and Restoration

Editors note: This edition of For Leaven’s Sake was originally published in May 2013. We brought it back for your enjoyment.

Logo: For Leaven's Sake
By Sam Collins

For a long time I supposed that the story about the woman healed of hemorrhaging (Mark 5:24–34) was a simple case of a shy individual trying to avoid the first-century equivalent of tabloid publicity. Why else would she approach everything so stealthily? I figured she just didn’t want her picture sharing the same front page with accounts of reputed Big Foot sightings on the outskirts of Jericho. Continue reading

When Character Doesn’t Count

Logo: For Leaven's Sake

By Sam Collins

Segments of our society have long claimed to prize moral character and individual integrity. That is what many find so disturbing about the current state of affairs. It often appears that character has been reclassified as an old-fashioned, nonessential line of goods—much like mustaches wax, buttonhooks, and whalebone corsets. Continue reading

God’s Plenty-Good-Enough Promises

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By Sam Collins

As you navigate our increasingly techy world, perhaps you’ve come across the term vaporware. It’s a designation that refers to an electronic product that has been promoted, hyped, and ballyhooed with the fervor of an evangelistic tent meeting, but which isn’t available and actually may never be. Continue reading

Restraining Our Inner Grouch

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By Sam Collins

In my younger days, I had an inner crabby monster that did not always stay behind locked doors. Sometimes it sprang out to startle small children, friends, and family members. I so often felt like Oscar the Grouch, Sesame Street’s shaggy garbage-can crank, that I probably should have worn a hairy, green, three-piece suit on pastoral calls. Continue reading

Meek for a Week

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By Sam Collins

Every so often a Christian group will mount a campaign buttressed by multicolored posters, websites, news releases, and enough overheated rhetoric to bring a vat of chicken gumbo to full boil. Typically the titles of these ventures will proclaim outrageously unrealistic goals such as Winning Every Person in the Western Hemisphere to Jesus by Next Tuesday. Continue reading

Using What We’ve Got

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By Sam Collins

My wife and I recently returned from a vacation to Tennessee, where we visited some of my kinfolk. We also took in some of the natural wonders of the region that gave birth to MoonPies (a confection that resembles a chocolate-covered hockey puck) and a style of music that is best performed by individuals with slightly swollen nasal passages. Continue reading

Risk and Restoration

Logo: For Leaven's Sake  
By Sam Collins

For a long time I supposed that the story about the woman healed of hemorrhaging (Mark 5:24–34) was a simple case of a shy individual trying to avoid the first-century equivalent of tabloid publicity. Why else would she approach everything so stealthily? I figured she just didn’t want her picture sharing the same front page with accounts of reputed Big Foot sightings on the outskirts of Jericho. Continue reading

The Flattery Trap

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By Sam Collins

Recently I received a spate of e-mails from sources who supposedly were eager to publish my writing. According to one message, mine is a talent too deep and capacious to continue to languish in obscurity. Continue reading

Situational Chameleons

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By Sam Collins

According to the birth records of Jefferson County, Kentucky, my mother was blessed with but one child. There were times, however, when the poor woman must have felt that she was parenting a litter of caffeine-fueled octuplets. Continue reading

Attaining Beauty

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By Sam Collins

I am not a particularly attractive human being. Sadder still, I was not even a cute baby. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that Dad called his insurance agent to make sure that all of the household mirrors were covered before he allowed Mom to bring me home from the hospital. Continue reading

The Man Behind the Cartoons

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By Carl Stagner

For some reason, every time we see Lucy pull the football away from Charlie Brown, we can’t help but crack a smile. There’s something about humor that smooths out the rough edges and eases the ache of an unforgiving world. As Charles Schulz’s pen once brought humor into households around the world, one man now brings the same for the Church of God. His name is Kevin Spear, and he supplies the cartoons for CHOGnews. Continue reading

Clothed in Crabbiness

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By Sam Collins

Most New Year’s resolutions are as durable as paper mâché crash helmets. Many of them are nothing more than shredded confetti by mid-February. Continue reading

A Conduit for Grace

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By Sam Collins

Compared to involvement in ministry, it is ridiculously easy to play Chopin on the piano while wearing pillow-sized oven mitts. In ministry, difficulties arise in innumerable guises that include all sorts of people, forces, and circumstances. Issues surrounding sin, alienation, evil, forgiveness, reconciliation, life, death, and other spiritual matters are fraught with enough tripwires to make a war-zone minefield seem relatively risk free. Continue reading