Help Wanted: Heroes

by Andy Wood on May 10, 2011

in Conversations, Spoofs

“Thank you for calling TOPO Services International.  This is Brenda.”

“Hi, Brenda, this is Andy.  Have we spoken before?”

“Quite possibly, sir. I do get around.  And I have only been at TOPO for a couple of weeks.  Now how may I direct your call?”

“Let me talk to Human Resources.”

“I am sorry, sir, but everyone in that department is out to lunch this week.  I am taking their calls for them.  How may I help you?”

“I hear you’re taking applications for heroes.  I thought I’d check it out.”

“That is correct, sir.  We have permanent and temporary positions available.  Are you currently employed?”

“Well, sort of.  Would I have to relocate?”

“Not at all, sir.  That is what’s so wonderful about working with TOPO.  You can continue to do whatever it is you were doing.  We initiate the hero program in the comfort of your own lifestyle.  By the way, what is it you do?”

“I’m a professor, coach and consultant, and manage a couple of Christian nonprofit organizations.  And I used to be a pastor.”

“Excellent!  That has some real possibilities, especially now that you are no longer a pastor.  There are some questions I will have to ask, however.”

“Fire away.  But when you’re finished asking questions, I’ll still be a pastor at heart.”

“Of course, sir.  First question:  Are you a victim?” [click to continue…]


It’s a universal problem, I suppose.  In more than 30 years of church work, one of the most common refrains I have heard (and generated, I’m sure) is, “I don’t like my pastor.”

I’ve heard it from every conceivable angle.  Staff members who feel like they’re working for an isolated jerk.  Church members who miss – or are tired of – the old guy.  People who can’t stand the new guy.  Heck, I’ve even met pastors who didn’t like themselves.

Little did I know there is a counseling hotline available for people to call for advice or to vent their frustrations.  It’s called, appropriately enough, the “I Don’t Like My Pastor Hotline” – or “Idle Miff” for short.

Idle Miff is run by a guy named Big Al, who will only give his first name.  His only other known credential:  he was once a pastor himself.  Rumor has it that Big Al has a gift for cutting to the issue… and cutting to the quick if he has to.

And for the first time ever, Big Al has agreed to an exclusive interview.  Be amazed, friends.

Be amazed, too, that Big Al probably weighs about 130 pounds dripping wet.

It’s a busy day at Idle Miff, and Big Al, as always, is working the phones alone.  Mondays are always his busiest day, he says, “for obvious reasons.”  So we’ll just have to be OK to catch him between hotline calls.

Not a problem, says I.  It’ll be fun to see him in operation. [click to continue…]


Formula 432

by Andy Wood on June 29, 2010

in Conversations

(Forgiveness Laboratories, Inc. – Part 2)

In our last episode, we were left in a place called Forgiveness Laboratories, Inc. where Joe Jacobson, the owner and founder, was explaining some of their findings.  And he was about to share something about forgiveness that I had never seen before.  If you haven’t read the previous post, I would encourage you to do that first…

Joe said, “Our greatest discovery happened when we combined what we call Formula 432 with Element 118.”

“Sounds very chemical,” I said.

“Aw, just lab talk,” Joe said with a smile.  “One of our guys used to be a youth pastor.”

“Say no more,” I said.

“Formula 432 is actually Ephesians 4:32.  We learned it as kids in church:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

“I noticed that on the wall in your lobby,” I said.

“Then you probably also noticed Element 118 on the other wall,” said Joe.  It’s from Isaiah 1:18:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”

“When our researchers combined these two truths, we made a breakthrough discovery about forgiveness.”

“What’s that?” I asked, intrigued. [click to continue…]


Crime“Thank you for calling Killinger, Meeks, and Nowlin.  This is Brenda.  How may I direct your call?”

“Hi, Brenda, this is Andy.  I need an attorney.  I’ve been busted.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir, but I’m sure we can help.  KillMeNow specializes in not being picky at all in who we represent.”

“Uh, thanks, I think.”

“So I can assist you further, can you tell me why you’re behind bars?”

“Well, it’s sort of embarrassing. [click to continue…]