It’s OK to Laugh, Christians!

3 Oct

I stood behind a woman in Walmart and God taught me a lesson. It’s fair to say God teaches me many lessons at Walmart. There are such interesting people there!

The woman checking out grumbled about everything.WalmartCheckout

  • She complained about some do-dad she couldn’t find in the hardware department.
  • She whined about the store being too hot.
  • She had a fit over the price for a carton of eggs.
  • She fussed that her daughters braids were a mess and “I didn’t raise you to look like a pig!”
  • She grumbled about her husband who was sitting out in the car (who’d blame him!) when “he should be in here helping me.”

Trying to lift her spirits, the poor checkout girl ended the transaction with a cheerful “Have a nice day, Ma’am!”

“Yeah, right,” the nasty lady said. “Not likely.”

And it was then I noticed the “Jesus First” pin on her shirt collar. 

Oh great.

Another “Christian Loonie” for all Walmart to see.

I wanted to shake her and say, “Lady, if Jesus is really first, why don’t you act like it?”

I think the world is soooooo hungry for authentic Christianityfor people who are full of faith, courage and vision. And yes, JOY too!

It might surprise you to know John Calvin, an influential French theologian and OK2Laugh_JCalvinpastor during the Protestant Reformation, once said, “We are nowhere forbidden to laugh….” *

Calvin would remind us God created laughter. It’s a good thing. Clean humor is a godly thing.

So why don’t more Christians laugh?

Christian comedian Dennis Swanberg says, “It’s almost as if those folks think, ‘If I’m not suffering, I’m not doing this Christian thing right. I’d better not ever look like I’m having fun.'” **

How sad.

I’ve found when I’m not responding to the circumstances of life in a godly way—when I am selfish, angry, prideful, discontent, stressing my own rights—it’s pretty hard to express joy.

Joy is part of the “fruit” of the Spirit,  and Galatians 5:22-23 says there is “no law” against this fruit! Joy is one of the evidences that the Holy Spirit is working in and through us. If we’re not exhibiting joy, we may need to consider whether we are yielding to the Spirit’s control in obedience to the Word of God (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18).

Life can get tough. Though we’re not forbidden to laugh, it just might not be possible sometimes. But we can always be filled with true joy that comes from a close walk with God.

Have you laughed at something funny today? Here’s some clean humor for women, a short video by Chonda Pierce called “The Truth.”

– Dawn

* Calvin was writing about Christian Liberty–Institutes of the Christian Religion, III, 19, 9


Words Well Spoken

26 Sep

While on maternity leave, Charlotte brought her new bundle of joy to the office to show her off to fellow-employees. She also brought her seven-year-old son, Jack, with her. Everyone SodaMachinesgathered around the baby—ooo-ing and aah-ing—and Jack grew restless.

“Mommy,” he said, “can I have some money to buy some soda?”

“What do you say,” Charlotte asked.

Respectfully, Jack replied, “You are thin and beautiful.”

And Charlotte reached into her purse and gave Jack the money! *


Words are powerful, aren’t they? Well-chosen, well-spoken words can make all the difference, not only in what we receive, but also how we encourage others.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

We can destroy or build up people by the words we choose to use.

The Bible speaks of words “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11) as being valuable and beautiful. Words “fitly spoken” are words chosen because they are wise and helpful. For example:

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24).

Wise words, powerful words, gracious words. These are all words “well spoken” and much needed in our hard, abrasive world today.

Have you received the gift of sweetness from a friend or loved one who spoke “gracious” words to you? Are you pouring sweet words of encouragement into others’ lives?

* Adapted from Cybersalt Digest, 10-23-13

– Dawn

The Secret of the Ark

12 Sep

There’s so much funny stuff on the Internet about Noah’s Ark of safety. Here are some of my favorite lines:

  • Noah ran the first canning factory … he had a boat full of preserved pairs.NoahAndTheCheetahs
  • The elephant took the most baggage into the ark:  his trunk.
  • Noah couldn’t catch many fish because he only had two worms.
  • Noah had lights on the ark:  flood lights.
  • Noah kept all the bees in the ark hives.

And surely you’ve seen the advice, “What I learned from Noah.” Here are my favorite words of counsel:

  • Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
  • Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
  • Don’t listen to critics — do what has to be done.
  • For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
  • Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
  • If you can’t fight or flee — float!
  • Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
  • Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat.
  • Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.
  • No matter how bleak it looks, there’s always a rainbow on the other side.

And by all means … DON’T MISS THE BOAT!

I know the idea of a global flood doesn’t sit well with people. Some call it a myth or a bedtime story. And some have hard questions, like: “Where is the evidence of a global flood?”

And an even tougher question: “How can a loving God cause such horrible destruction?”

I’m not going to address that first question in this post. There are some resources I would point to here and here and here and here and here and here. (It is my opinion that Noah’s Ark was an actual vessel in history—God’s provision during a time of judgment.)

What I want to focus on here is the second question:

How do we reconcile a loving God with Noah’s Ark and the Flood?

We need to remember, God isn’t JUST a God of love. He’s a God of power, strength, wisdom, justice — so many things. The Bible declares He is a holy God (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).

People forget the Lord is pure; He is wholly holy. And as such, He must judge all evil. 

In Noah’s day, the people forgot about God. They didn’t care about listening to Him or doing what was right. They didn’t care that He is holy and sovereign and expects His creatures to obey.

God told Noah He was sending a flood to judge the wickedness of mankind. The flood came because man’s wickedness was “great,” man’s thoughts were “evil continually,” and the earth was filled with violence and corruption (Genesis 5, 11). In only 10 generations from God’s creation of the earth and Adam, the world had become so vile, it had to be destroyed.

But the people scoffed. They laughed at Noah and the ark of safety he built. They rejected God’s promise of coming judgment, and it was their rejection of God’s provision for escaping judgment that sealed their fate.

Although described as just, perfect and a man who walked with God, Noah needed God’s grace too (Genesis 6:8-9). Although he was described as a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), Noah and his family weren’t saved from judgment because of their own “goodness,” but rather because of their faith in God’s good provision.

Even in The Flood, God showed mercy. 

Look around at our world today and it’s clear wickedness abounds again (Matthew 24:37-39; Romans 3:10-12). Today, although people are sometimes “religious,” mankind as a whole ignores the God of the Bible and people do what is right in their own eyes—sometimes even redefining evil as good—but God sees the heart! (Proverbs 21:2)

God promised He would never destroy the world again with a flood, but that doesn’t mean judgment isn’t coming. The Bible says we must all stand before the Lord in judgment (Hebrews 9:27). We can either stand in our own “goodness”—which is insufficient to enable us to escape God’s holy judgment (Titus 3:5)—or we can stand in Christ. He is our only Savior, the perfect sacrifice for our sin (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:11-14). There is no other name by which a person can escape judgement for sin (Acts 4:12).

What is the secret to surviving the coming judgment of God? Christ alone! He is our “ark of safety.”

God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but His holy nature is unchanging. In love, He provided a way of escape, and He invites us to “come into the ark,” just as He invited Noah and his family long ago.

Only those who enter the door of the ark—God’s wonderful but exclusive provision—are saved from destruction. Jesus is the only way; He is the door (John 10:9). He is the ark of safety (John 14:6) that leads to eternal salvation and life.


Are you in Christ—the ark of safety, the Ark of Salvation?

Cheetah graphic, Wikipedia

– Dawn


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