Saturday, July 26, 2008

Can You Find A Reason To Laugh?

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Liney and I finally bought a stove and are getting ready to saw up the kitchen counters a bit for it. I'm stoked to be with her today. She is one interesting personality who speaks tongue-in-cheek to me sometimes and makes unexpected satirical remarks that catch me off guard. That kind of thing helps when things get serious, intense or half-boring. News flash: Life ain't all trials and trouble. Seeing some of the stuff that's ironic and whacked in situations is OK.

Our friend Dee-Wayne (that's what his peeps call him), his wife Rachel, their two lovely daughters, as well as other friends (Herb Clark, the Gandias, Stropes, Fergusons, Cunninghams etc) came by the other night and were all a lot of fun. That's a pic at the top of Tori, the Page's oldest with her rightfully-fearful-of-her-dad boyfriend (Dwayne as the family protector actually purposely cultivates that feeling in young lads on purpose,
but we don't tell them that Dwayne is really a very friendly NASCAR fun-loving redneck. NASCAR and football are big here in the South.

Liney and I were out walkin' and talkin' together today ..and a lady out jogging around, who we didn't even know ran up behind me excitedly tapping me on the shoulder. Before we could turn to see who it was, she surprised me saying.. "Yes!"

OOoooKay, I scratched my head thinking, Yes what?--and wondered what this lady meant. I guess I wasn't thinking about it when I put on a certain t-shirt that
morning. I had originally designed this shirt and distributed them to all our students at Calvary Chapel School where I used to be the principal for some years. The shirt asks: "Got Jesus--the Bible Jesus?"

Some people get angry when I wear it and others are happy to see it. There's power in that Name, it's comfortable, and it's an ice-breaker. People like to stop us in the stores whenever I have it on. Like them, you might be wondering why I had it made with that particular question on there some wild-eye fanatic. But when you live where I live with many people who are out there preaching the God-will-make-everyone-a-billionaire-if they'll-give kind of Jesus ..rather than the real One, it's good to make things clear. Anyway, the jogging lady told us about her Bible church she loves so much that's around the block from us and that. She said, "I've happily known Him (the Bible Jesus) for four years now!" Whenever Liney and I take our dog out, that's what normally starts all the conversations with strangers, but today it was due to a cheap shirt.

Smile and Snicker Some ...Make Em Wonder What You Pulled Off
"There is a time …to laugh." —Ecclesiastes 3:4
A Seattle third grade teacher was testing her class on the parts of the human body. All of the pupils passed her test except for one. When asked what the body was composed of, this sandy-haired, freckled-face lad voiced his response: "The human body is composed of three parts: the brainium, borax, and abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain. The borax contains the lungs, liver, and the living things. And the abominable cavity contains the bowels of which there are five—a, e, i, o, and u."

I LOVE IT!!! Got a question… would your friends say that you possess a healthy sense of humor? Are you a fun person to be around? Do you love to laugh with your buddies? Did you know that having joy inside is a wonderful gift from God? Even our Lord was filled joy-filled and He gladly expressed it upwards: "Then Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, 'O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you'" (Lk. 10:21).

Though Christ understood what mourning and tears were about; though He was, "despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief", I bet (if a Christian can say that..) that there were times when Jesus laughed out loud with a hardy belly laugh and even made his disciples begin to chuckle. He knew about jollity and mirth too. Some of the most godly men and women I have ever met just about put me on the floor with their humor.

Spiritual giants like Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Martin Luther were very humorous. Luther once kidded, "If they don't allow laughter in heaven then I don't want to go there." He then added, "If the earth is fit for laughter then surely heaven is filled with it. Heaven is the birthplace of laughter." Spurgeon was once approached by the elders of his church and asked to tone down his humor in the pulpit. The great English expositor replied, "Gentlemen, if you only knew how much I held back!"
Bill and Vonette Bright (who started Campus Crusade for Christ) enjoyed laughing with each other a lot. They would pick on each other sometimes, but not in a hurtful way. Have you ever heard Chuck Swindoll, pastor, author, and radio personality live at Stonebriar Church or somewhere? He goes right up to the edge of propriety and walks that tightrope of a line with his joking around ... and according to the religious folk's estimation of him, he goes well over the edge with his humor and so called "vulgar language" (yup, "buns," and "heck"). He does this especially when he is with his sister Luci too.
Lucy Swindoll once shared a funny story with some ladies about a time in her youth when she "taught" Chuck how to "smoke"! She rolled up some paper, had her younger brother put one end in his mouth, commanded him to inhale and then swallow at the time when she lit up the other end. Well, Luci lit it and flames shot right up and burned Chuck's big white-man lips and His tongue! Well, it's funny to them now! Lucy claims that she is the one that first got him "on fire for God!" But Chuck has people who love his robust laugh almost as much as his preaching! His hero, Howard Hendricks, a respected professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, peppers his messages with hilarious stories too and some of the funniest facial expressions you've ever seen. My ex-alcoholic dad isn't religious either. He loves the Lord now too, and he can also tell some hilarious stories of what he and his drunken buddies used to do in a haze. He doesn't glorify his past life or go into all the gory details that we shouldn't hear, but he is lowly and relatable to people struggling with different addictions, people who want to learn to walk with the Lord and learn to laugh at themselves. He talks of how most of his friends would misplace their cars when the bars closed—that's goes hand-in-hand with that lifestyle. But one drunk was a train conductor with the Union Pacific Railroad who would stop in Indo California to frequent his favorite bar and later on at 2:30 AM when it was time to go, he would misplace his train. He couldn't figure out where he parked it. For real!

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. —Job 8:21

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. —Victor Hugo

Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, and looks to God alone; laughs at impossibilities, and cries it shall be done.
—Charles Wesley

I have a lot to learn, but did you know that it's been psychologically documented, that laughter along with having a well-rounded sense of humor in a person is one of the sure signs of intelligence. I saw this in an interesting TV documentary. Laughter releases chemicals in our bodies called endorphins that serve as painkillers to a degree.
Proverbs 15:13 says, "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Having a merry heart inside will express itself right. It's having the God-given ability to capture, appreciate and enjoy all the wonderful times of life and then let it turn into laughter. The Bible says there's, "A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance" (Eccl. 3:4). That's right, there's a time to dance about all filled up with exuberance! Jesus said, "God blesses you who weep now, for the time will come when you will laugh with joy" (Lk. 6:21).
Hey, be open to chuckling, smiling and snickering some more. People might wonder what you got away with.
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