Friday, January 28, 2011


“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
- Proverbs 17:22

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound!” - Psalm 4:7

“He will fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.” - Job 8:21

“Then out mouth was filled with laughter, and out tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them’” - Psalm 126:2

“Health Benefits of Laughter: Stress Relief, Immunity, and More” - Elizabeth Scott, M.S., January 10, 2011

Doctor Scott makes the following observations:

“Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol,epinephrine, dopamine and growth hormone.”


She goes on to state:

“It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.”

There is so much to be grateful for. And yet the Bible reminds us:

“To everything there is a season and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.” - Ecclesiastes 3:1

What is this verse saying? Herein is the real, “circle of life.” And through it all God is here. Nothing, absolutely nothing comes as a surprise to God. “Life happens”. Life happens to everyone but no one need pass through it alone. God is wherever you are this very moment. At the moment you may have very little to laugh about. Remember, “GIGGLE”:

God is Good; God loves eternally! God is Great; God’s love empowers!

“Blesses are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh!” - Luke 6:21

And for those of you who are on the “upswing of life” remember that this too comes with a few responsible “GIGGLES”:

Get in gear; God loves excitement. Get it going; give loving encouragement. Get in gear; get laughing enthusiastically!

I’m still bothered by the growth hormone ...

Did I make you giggle?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Want To Feel Good About ME!

Do you have hopes, dreams, visions or simply a glimpse of what your desired future might be - but not the immediate or logical means of reaching it?

Perhaps you are thinking of a career goal, a relationship, a relocation. Whatever the cause or event, you recognize deep within your core an indescribably relentless need to move forward with some “yet to be determined” activity that will move you closer to an even “less determined” objective you “think” you are destined to accomplish!

You know beyond a shadow of a doubt ... that you “think” there is something to accomplish that is [at the moment] “just out of reach”. You might even possess an anticipatory excitement for which you have no explanation. You don’t know what it is, when it’s coming, how you’ll get there, if you’ll recognize it when it comes or posses the tools to accomplish it when it is revealed.

Or maybe you are one of those individuals who purposed from youth a specific goal. You trained, you studied, you sacrificed, you served, you pushed, sometimes shoved and now life is simply falling into place perfectly. You’ve received recognition for your efforts. Your accomplishments are the quiet envy of every spectator or competitor who has ever observed your personal pursuit and success.

Well, maybe not ...

Odd; isn’t it? Most of us have an urge to be “meaningful specifics” rather than “wandering generalities”. Yet, in spite of our childhood hopes of being a fireman, a nurse, a veterinarian or astronaut, the vast majority have become nondescript, simple employees. If the truth were known, those who have become firemen, nurses, veterinarians and astronauts, quietly wonder if they missed a bit of life while focusing upon achieving their specific goal.

Contentment, happiness, a balanced life and an attitude of purpose provide an individual “peace”. Aren’t these basic elements of the human quest? Certainly there are those who strive for power, money and fame. But, unless they have achieved and are enjoying the basic elements, trivial adornments do not satisfy a lust for more.

So I turn to the Bible hoping to find words of encouragement. I search for a glimpse of that special “something” that will bring purpose to my life. I search and I search; I read and I read; I study and I study; and keep coming back to the same conclusion - the purpose of life is to glorify God.


What about ME? Where are those self-improvement, PMA gems that will make me feel good about myself? I WANT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT ME!

I jump from passage to passage, from Old Testament to New, from verses spanning thousands of years. As I do, the words begin to take on a chronological order that defines God’s purpose.

“For You did form my inward parts, You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You, for You are fearfully wonderful, and for the awe-ful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and THAT my inner soul knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought (as is embroidered with various colors) in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days of my life were written, before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they are more in number than the sand. When I awoke [could I count to the end] I would still be with You.” - Psalms 139:13-18

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.” - Jeremiah 29:11,12

“But when He Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born, and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased to reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles [the non-Jewish world] as the glad tidings, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood - did not consult or counsel with any frail human being nor communicate with any one.” - Galatians 1:15,16

“And the effect of righteousness shall be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness, quietness and confident trust for ever.” - Isaiah 32:17

So today, rather than burden myself into paralysis worrying about my precise purpose, I will endeavor to relax in Him Who knew me before I was ever formed. I will realize that in HIS greater plan He knows those with whom I will meet today, and I will endeavor to allow Him to use me to offer His peace in their lives.

“For life is more than food, and the body than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of your by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will Hie cloth you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly SEEK; but your Father knows that you NEED these things. But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you!” Luke 12:23-31

Let Jesus be seen in me.

God bless!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Do Ask, Do Tell ...

No, this is not going to be provocative. I just wanted to catch your attention for a moment.

Perhaps it is time to come out of the closet. Perhaps it is proper to release the self imposed stigma that stifles true purpose; refute the fear of what people may think and live life outside the shadows. It’s not going to be enough to simply proclaim the truth and then scurry to a new protective environment with individuals who have made the same decision. It is time to live it - perhaps (at times) alone. It is time to live it - not with pride, but with a humble “attitude of servitude”. Perhaps it is time to simply say, “yes; yes I am a Christian.”

Not everyone accepts the Christian belief. Being a Christian is not a cloak of righteousness hung in the closet to be worn when circumstances are “safe” and warrant it’s exposure. It is not the licensed onslaught of condemnation towards others who may have a different belief; or no belief at all. It is not competitive; not an exclusive club of “holier-than-thou achievers” by whom The Almighty Himself proclaims His righteous approval.

Being a Christian is not religious. Being a Christian is not a cause. Being a Christian is not a political positioning. Being a Christian is nothing to be ashamed of - but nothing for which an individual can proudly take credit.

So what is it - really?

True Christianity is an unmerited, unwarranted gift. It is Someone put in not something put on. It is the ultimate “giving forward”. Christianity replaces hopeless wandering with meaningful purpose. It is aimlessly searching until God let’s you know that all along you’ve been guided, guarded, found. It is release and restoration. It is sacrifice and assurance. It is the peace that passes all understanding.

An old children’s chorus exclaims, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Hide it under a bushel? No; I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

True Christianity is personal and private but the fruit of this gift becomes ever so outward and obvious. How can it be contained? True Christianity replaces blindly searching with an acute awareness of other’s needs. It is the sacrificial desire for their best. It is allowing that “little light” to shine through loving actions selflessly poured out with no regard for recognition.

True Christianity is ready to respond to the needs of others, “please ask”. It the outward expression of an inward “rebirth” by way of the sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. It is the missing piece/peace in a heart longing to be whole. It is the desire to share this wonderful gift with others so that in their search they may recognize personally they too have been guided, guarded, found!

Today’s a great day to let your light shine; "do tell!"

God bless