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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

Wrinkles, or Laugh Lines?

18 Apr

A little girl is sitting on her grandpa’s lap and studying the wrinkles on his old face. She gets up the nerve to rub her fingers over the wrinkles. Then she touches her own face and looks more puzzled. Finally the little girl asks, “Grandpa, did God make you?”

“He sure did honey, a long time ago,” replies her grandpa.

“Well, did God make me?” asks the little girl.

“Yes, He did, and that wasn’t too long ago,” answers her grandpa.

“Boy,” says the little girl, “He’s sure doing a lot better job these days isn’t He?” *

We have a good friend named Chris Montgomery who is going to share an LOL experience and insight with us today … about wrinkles!

Floral_Asters

Sadly, all three of my granddaughters live out-of-state.  So sometimes my friend, Marie, lets me borrow hers.  The oldest one of them is Anna.

Anna is a serious-natured first grader and a deep thinker, noticing things most kids miss.  This is Grandma_LaughLinesboth good news, and bad news.  On this day, it was bad news for me.

Her sisters weren’t home, so it was just Anna and I hanging out together.

We were siting at the kitchen table, coloring.  She looked up at me, and in a serious tone asked, “Miss Chris, why do you have so many wrinkles?”

Always quick on my feet, I answered, “Anna, they’re not wrinkles.  They’re laugh lines!”

I showed her how when I was solemn, the lines—more or less—disappeared.  And when I smiled, they became even more apparent.

“So that’s why they are called laugh lines!”  I assured her.

She pondered my words for a minute, then conceded, “Well, you DO laugh a lot!”

Anna had a point, because I do laugh a lot.  And it has made an impression on my face. Attitudes do that.

Are you a chronic worrier?  Then yours probably are wrinkles!  Worry etches itself into lines on our face.

Fortunately, joy does the same.  Not the sappy “The sun is out and life is good” kind of situational happiness.  I’m talking the “I belong to the Son and so it is well with my soul” kind of settled joy.

How do we get it?

One of the best ways to increase our joy is to praise God.

When we stop to think about Him—His goodness, grace, mercy, and love for us—praise is the natural response. It takes our mind off whatever would worry us, and reminds us of His ability and faithfulness to deal with it.

So bracket the day with praise. As King David put it, “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night” (Psalm 92:1-2).

The side benefit?

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

Praise. It’s good for the soul.  It’s also good for laugh lines.

Floral_Asters

Chris Montgomery is the Director of Children’s Ministries at Emmanuel Faith Church in Escondido, CA; and as the married mother of seven and grandmother of six, she has a wealth of stories from which to draw!

 

* http://jokesfunny.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/funny-wrinkle-joke/

How 2 B an Optimist in a Crazy World

29 Mar

A group of elderly Jewish men meet every Wednesday for a coffee and a chat. They drink their coffee and then sit for hours discussing the world situation. Usually, their discussion is very negative.

One day, Moishe surprises his friends by announcing, loud and clear, “You know what? I’ve now become an optimist.”

Everyone is totally shocked and all conversation dries up.

But then Sam notices something isn’t quite right and he says to Moishe, “Hold on a minute, if you’re an optimist, why are you looking so worried?”

Moishe replies, “Do you think it’s easy being an optimist?” *

Optimism_HappyFaceIt’s indeed tough to be an optimist if you look at global mayhem for long. This past week, I (Dawn) got so stressed and negative about the news on television (which I watch a lot to help in research for my day job), that I jumped up and grabbed the remote. “That’s it for today!” I said.

Wars, earthquakes, a tsunami, radiation in water, food shortages, financial meltdowns, government overspending and waste, dead birds and fish, leadership vacuum, cultural moral decay … you name it! The world is a scary place these days.

A quote by blogger Robert Brault made me laugh last week:  “The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser ~ in case you thought optimism was dead!”

That helped me laugh and re-think my anxiety a bit. It’s true, isn’t it? Yes, the world is falling apart. Yes, there are many reasons to become pessimists. But this world is not the whole story.

Because the Christian has an eternal perspective, there is hope beyond today! The scripture that speaks to my heart today is a verse often used during the Easter season: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Other versions say, “most miserable.” It’s so true. Without eternal perspective, some things on earth just don’t make sense.

This sinful world is spiraling toward the Last Days, and Jesus told us we could expect many signs to arise together as His return draws near (Matthew 24:33-34; Luke 21:11, 25-26). Paul spoke of creation “groaning and travailing in pain” (Romans 8:22); and Jesus spoke of “birth pangs” that increase in the End Times (Matthew 24:8).

Jesus also told his disciples that they would face suffering, but suffering has purpose in the economy of God.

I think of Joseph in the Old Testament. He had many reasons to become a pessimist, but Continue reading

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