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WHITELIE 5'2m0f Do people lie about praying?

NEAL -- (Enters with Bible, goes to pulpit, opens Bible)
        Our Scripture reading for today is the Apostle Paul's
        Epistle to the Philippians, beginning at the first verse.

PROF -- (Enters hurriedly, with electronic gadget, shouts)
        Well, here it is! I can hardly wait to try it out.

NEAL -- Professor Thaddeus, what are you doing here?

PROF -- I brought you my new Thaddeus sincereometer.

NEAL -- Sincereometer?

PROF -- Yeah, you know, my new improved version of the lie
        detector, the polygraph.  Only this one is a real peach.
        No electrodes to hook up.  No straps to attach.  All you 
        have to do is turn in on.

NEAL -- Professor, what does that have to do with Philippians 
        chapter one?

PROF -- Aren't you doing your sermon on integrity today?

NEAL -- No, I'm TRYING to do scripture reading!

PROF -- Oh. It's a shame, you know. It works real good.  
        That's okay though, you just go on reading.

NEAL -- Philippians, Chapter one ...

PROF -- I'll just stand here and listen.

NEAL -- Chapter one, verse one...

PROF -- We'll save this baby for the sermon integ...

NEAL -- (irritated)...May I proceed?

PROF -- You won't hear a peep out of me.

NEAL -- Philippians, Chapter 1, Verse 1. Paul and Timothy,
        servants of Christ Jesus.  To all the saints in Christ
        Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and ....

PROF -- (turns on sincereometer, adjusts the antenna) 

NEAL -- ...deacons... Professor, what are you doing?

PROF -- You just pretend I'm not here.

NEAL -- Grace and peace to you from God our Father and
        the Lord Jesus Christ.  I thank God every time I remember
        you.

        (buzz)

        What was that?

PROF -- Oh. Ah. I'm sorry. The Sincereometer thought you weren't
        sincere about something.

NEAL -- The Apostle Paul wouldn't lie...

PROF -- No, no, it's YOU who are not sincere. Ah, let's pretend
        that YOU are writing this letter to your small group
        Bible study class.  Reread the last sentence.

NEAL -- I thank God every time I remember you.

        (buzz)

PROF -- Can we rephrase that?

NEAL -- I thank God MOST of the time I remember you.

        (buzz)

        FREQUENTLY.

        (buzz)

        SOMETIMES.

        (checks the machine expectantly, clears throat, reads)

        In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy...

        (buzz)

        I USUALLY pray with joy   ...

        (buzz)

        I SELDOM pray with joy  ...

        (waits expectantly, but no buzz)

        Actually, I pray with joy pretty often...

        (buzz, Neal hangs his head in shame)

PROF -- Look, you shouldn't have to change the words. Why don't
        you try another epistle. How about Second Thessalonians?

NEAL -- (turns the pages)

        With this in mind, we constantly pray for you.

        (buzz)

        We pray for you often?

        (buzz)

PROF -- Maybe the Apostle Paul is just holier most. Let's try
        the third letter of the Apostle John.

NEAL -- (turns the pages)

        Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and
        that all may go well with you.

        (checks the machine and smiles)

PROF -- See?! You pray for the health and welfare of others.

NEAL -- Like when I said I'd pray for you every day before
        had that prostate surgery.

        (buzz)

PROF -- You didn't pray for me every day?

NEAL -- Wull, not exactly.

        (buzz)

        Wull, I didn't pray for you EVERY day.

        (buzz)

        You know that thing is really beginning to irritate me!

PROF -- But you SAID you'd pray for me EVERY day.

NEAL -- Well, yeah, I said I'd pray for you, but... I hear
        Christians saying that to each other all the time.

PROF -- But, you DIDN'T pray for me did you?

NEAL -- I really meant well. I didn't mean to lie or anything.
        I really do feel badly about this.  I've always tried to
        live a Christian life, but sometimes I just get so
        caught up in the concerns of my own little... (cries)

PROF -- You really are repentant about this, aren't you?

NEAL -- Why, yes, of course.

PROF -- Then I'll pray for YOU.

        (buzz)

        (exiting) must be some malfunction in the machine...


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