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Nurture Your Humor!

8 Jul

Humor can soften the stresses of life, if we will let it. 

A frantic man got home from work to find his wife doubled over in pain. He grabbed the phone and called the hospital.

“You’ve gotta send help now!” he yelled into the phone. “My wife’s going into labor!”

“Oh, I see,” the nurse said. “OK, calm down. Is this your wife’s first child?’

“No,” the distraught man screamed. “This is her husband!” LOL!

Author  Karen O’Connor wrote many practical books with fun titles, including Gettin’ Old Aint for Wimps, Walkin’ with God Ain’t for Wimps and three other “wimp” books, plus books on aging beautifully and dealing with senior moments.

Karen is a frequent contributor to the blog, Finding God Daily. In a recent post, she wrote about “Finding God in Humor.” 

She asked, “Have you considered finding God in humor? … I believe God wants us to be full of joy and laughter, and to give up fretting and worrying.”

I thought Karen’s article, “Five Ways to Nurture Your Sense of Humor,” was helpful, and I want to encourage LOL with God readers to check their lives to see if these tips are part of their everyday experiences. Karen says:

1. Share a funny or embarrassing moment with someone you know, and enjoy it together.

My friend Melissa called to say she sprayed her hair with furniture polish. “It fell flat but had a nice shine!”

2. Laugh at yourself even when you feel like crying. I thought I’d misplaced my cell phone only to discover I was using it right then to speak with my neighbor. Oh my!

3. Cheer up sick friends with a book of humorous stories or jokes. Help them discover that, as Will Rogers said, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

Hmm… I wonder whether Rogers got that concept from the Bible?  Proverbs 17:22

4. Find humor even in serious situations. A woman whose hair was growing in after chemo treatments said her husband Dan helped her laugh every day. “We had a short-haired dog a the time, so when my hair started coming in, he clapped me on the back and said, ‘Great. Now I have a short-haired wife, too!’ I liked my new look so well, I never let my hair grow long again.”

5. Make a list of scripture verses that encourage laughter and tack them up on your mirror or bulletin board to review each day. Here are a few:

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:2).

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful … ” (Proverbs 15:13).

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21).

Finding God in humor is easy, Karen says, once you look for him there.

She’s so right. Our circumstances can change in a moment, but we will always have the option of choosing our attitudes and looking for God and the lessons He might want to teach us in those circumstances.

I recently heard about a woman whose husband died. In time, she discovered that her life in widowhood ~ which would never be the same ~ had some unexpected blessings. God often surprised her with wonderful moments of joy in her new, single-again adventure with Him. It wasn’t easy, but with great courage, and trusting in the Lord’s presence and promises, she chose to look for positives and “grow” her joy.

I like the word that Karen used … nurture. We must nurture our sense of humor. We must actively help it grow. Karen gave us five ways, and I want to add one more. I think that one of the most effective ways to nurture our humor is to relax in the great purposes of the sovereign God who loves us.

I was at a playground recently and I watched children laugh and play with abandon, knowing that their parents were watching over them. They felt safe, so they could give in to joy! It reminded me of one of my favorite songs: “This is my Father’s World.” One of the verses says: “This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet”

Yes, God is in charge. Even in the tough times, God rules! His purposes are sure. He has a plan for our lives. Ultimately, we will rejoice in praise and worship throughout eternity ~ but we get glimpses of that incredible joy this side of heaven, too.

In her post, Karen quotes Isaiah 55:12:  “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” What a great picture!

Want a big smile? Imagine God leading you forward in joy and peace ~ in victory in the midst of your circumstances.

And then picture the mountains bellowing out a hearty, happy song of praise with all the trees joyously swaying and “clapping” along.

Are you smiling yet? Talk about finding God in humor!

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No ‘Slice and Dice’ Words!

10 Jun

A pair of chickens walks up to the circulation desk at a public library and say, “Buk Buk BUK.” The librarian decides the chickens want three books, so gives them three.

Around midday, the two chickens come back, quite vexed, and say, “Buk Buk BukKOOK!” The librarian gives them another three books.

Later in the afternoon, the two chickens return, looking very annoyed, and say, “Buk Buk Buk BukKOOOOK!” Suspicious now, the librarian gives them several more books and decides to follow them.

She follows them out of the library, into a park and down to a pond. Hiding behind a tree, she gasps as the two chickens throw the books at a frog.

They cackle in fury when he says, “Rrredit. Rrredit. Rrredit.”

LOL, right?

This next paragraph is so off track from where I’m heading today, but I’m weird about weird facts. Weird, huh?

As I was looking for photos and found the one of the chicken (above), I noticed a question on a blog that was posted at the Whizbang Chicken Pluckers group. According to the blog, The Deliberate Agrarian, someone was looking for enough chicken feathers to “tar and feather” someone for a university production of “Big River.” She needed about 9,000 feathers (about two feathers per square inch of the character).  She  found on the Internet that a chicken has about 8,000 feathers. Someone actually volunteered to send him some! Can you just imagine that student who got tarred and feathered for the sake of a play?

But anyway … the opening joke about the two chickens is actually the closing joke in a humor column that Stephanie Prichard wrote for The Christian Pulse called “Jes Jokin.'” Stephanie writes a humorous grammar column for the American Christian Fiction Writers Journal and is co-authoring an adventure-suspense trilogy with her husband. But I have enjoyed her many humorous insights at The Christian Pulse.

I wrote Stephanie that I couldn’t believe the good timing of her words. I was in the middle of writing a post about humorous words ~ how they can be harmful ~ and there, in the middle of her piece were these words:

“We can hurt and be hurt when humor is used as a weapon.

“But, properly used, humor pleases God.”

You go, Girl! Totally true. In recent years, I’ve realized that joy doesn’t have to be kept inside (where some Christians say it belongs), but it can pop out in laughter, chuckling, and good, clean humor. I agree with Stephanie that “properly used, humor pleases God.” He created it, after all, along with all our other good, clean, positive  emotions.

But I, for those nasty, weapon-like words, have a different mental image. Continue reading

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