God Makes Me Laugh
to tell her that she would be having a baby. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me!” (Genesis 21:6) Sarah gave birth to Isaac, which means, “He laughs.” I don’t believe that was a coincidence; I believe God was showing us the unexpected humor in life and that it can happen at any moment of your life.
Here are just a few more moments when I believe God was in a humorous mood. For instance, in Exodus 33:23, God says to Moses, “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.” So, God is telling Moses, “Don’t talk to the hand, talk to my butt.” What an amazingly funny God!
Or what about King Solomon, who solved a dispute by ordering a baby to be cut in half (Kings 3:6-28)? Sounds gruesome, but it’s about two women who are fighting over one baby. So, the king says to cut the baby in half, giving each one half. In the end, God’s humor prevails and all is well (no halved baby!).
Throughout the Bible, God shows us all the different emotions, and I believe that humor is one that is most overlooked. Humor isn’t laughing at someone’s pain, but it’s enjoying life’s mistakes through laughter. Sometimes, that even includes a talking donkey.
If you don’t believe me, read Numbers 22. The Lord opens the donkey’s mouth and says, “What have I done to you to make you beat me three times?” The answer to that will be revealed as you read.
Don’t take my word for it; take God’s words for it. As you continue to read the Bible, you will find more examples of humor that God has hidden for each of us in different ways.
God bless and happy reading!
The Privilege of Prayer
When an unbeliever asks for prayer, they are often in a situation where they feel somewhat helpless, hopeless, and alone. They may know that you are a Christian because they have seen God working in your life and hope that God can help them also. What a privilege to pray for someone like this, because it might be that God is working to bring this person to salvation. In any case, we are a witness to God’s grace, love, and sovereignty when we pray for others.
My husband and I have a Christian friend, David, who loves to travel. David often takes long drives to different parts of the country, taking different routes each time. On one of these road trips, he stopped to grab a coffee and a bagel before returning home. David noticed a man in the coffee shop that seemed distraught and asked him if he was okay. The man told David that he had an appointment across the street in 15 minutes. Across the street from the bakery was the county court house. David did not ask specifics but got the sense that the man had to go for a divorce hearing. David asked the man if he would mind if he prayed for him. The man’s look was one of surprise and then a glimmer of surrender. The man could not carry the burden alone anymore. After David prayed with him, he told the man he would be praying for him throughout the day. The man thanked him and proceeded across the street to his appointment. The outcome of the appointment may not have changed but the man was no longer alone. He knew that someone cared enough to talk to God about him.
I’m grateful that God gives me opportunities to pray for people because it keeps me in a prayerful mind throughout the day. Sometimes I don’t see an immediate answer to prayer. There are people that I have been praying for for years because God just puts them on my heart. This kind of prayer can be hard, especially when it is someone I love that I know is hurting or struggling and there is nothing I can do about it. It is this kind of prayer that helps me grow in faith, knowing that God knows what is best and will do what is best, even if the result is not what I hope.
Recently a close family member asked me to pray for them because they were struggling with their job. They had made huge financial sacrifices and worked hard to have their “dream job” only to see circumstances change that could crush those dreams. They have the skills to easily obtain other work that is more secure and pays more, yet for them, it’s not about the money. It would be easy to step in and tell them what I would do if I was in their shoes, but I didn’t. I realized that the path I would have chosen may not be the path they are meant to take. All I could do is pray. What a powerful thing! Why? Because it takes me out of the way of what God wants to do in their life.
It has been several months since they asked me to pray for them and God continues to brings this request to my mind several times a day. God has given us some answers, but I do not believe He is done yet. How has God responded so far? Well, the answer was not what we hoped, but this person’s chance of having their “dream job” is not gone. They will have to make additional temporary sacrifices, but there is hope their dream will be realized next year. In the meantime, they asked me to keep praying. They realize that they do not have to face this problem alone and that someone cares enough to talk to God on their behalf. It is my hope that God will use this to draw this person into a personal walk with God.
In His Name, Stephanie
Words of Wisdom - Take 3
that cause our lives to flow with the “milk and honey” of God’s blessing and presence. The choice is all ours.
We choose our attitudes. Sometimes it is the only thing we can choose or control, and it dwarfs our circumstances. The very same circumstance can feel like the Promised Land or the wilderness depending on our attitude.
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart,” Jesus said (Matthew 15:18) Our attitudes reveal who we truly are. We can get our outer behavior in order, but still be a mess inside. We can’t think in a critical, negative, fault-finding, complaining way without becoming that person. Boy, was I that person!
One day as I was searching for a devotional to share with my Christ Care group, this little story just leapt out and really spoke to me. I saved it, and whenever I feel myself going back to that miserable wilderness, I pull it out and once again I’m on my way back to the Promised Land in God’s presence and His many blessings.
So, here it is…enjoy and I hope it brings a smile to your face as it did mine!
Attitude is everything! Let’s be grateful for the things God has given us!
Have a wonderful day!
Max Lucado Wisdom
So much has been said about worry that I decided to focus on the wisdom of Max Lucado:
Tender Jesus, teach us to be like You in all our ways. Teach us kindness, gentleness, generosity, and to be giving, forgiving, loving and caring. Guide us to the place You want us to be; take control. Mold and shape us into the brilliant beings we were always destined to become. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Be quick to pray and pray about everything!
In His Name, Janet
In Genesis 2, God describes something that has always struck me with both awe and sadness; that Adam and Eve felt no shame. What would your life be like if you had never felt any shame? No memories of classroom humiliations, no abusive comments or actions about your worth, no fear of looking in the mirror, no burden of comparing your failures to the successes of your neighbor. The list for shame is miles long, and depending on your culture, shame could have even had the power to make you an outcast in society. Based on this passage, it may be safe to say that Adam and Eve were the only people in all of human history who knew what it felt like to be unashamed.
Sadly, after they had their first bite of shame, they quickly turned to their first solution: coverings. Since I understand shame all too well, it sometimes makes sense to me that Adam and Eve ran for cover. They started by sewing together some leaves, already hunched over with the weight of shame as they made the first human clothing. Since that day, humans have continued to create ways to cover their shame: we don’t talk about things; we lie or exaggerate; we minimize the hurts; we blame others; we abuse our fellow man; and sometimes we turn on ourselves in destructive ways. We may even cover ourselves under religious traditions or legalistic practices.
This new burden of shame must have caused some poor thinking. Adam and Eve knew the plants in the garden, some people believe they may have even named them. We know they ate stuff, so I’m sure they had some figs and must have touched a fig leaf before. So why would they choose to make coverings out of those leaves? Most people have an allergic reaction to fig leaves and end up with some kind of rash. Unless Adam and Eve were extremely small, they would have needed a lot of leaves to cover the essentials. These must have been one of the worst leaves for clothing. Which is exactly like all of our coverings: inadequate and hurtful.
I am so thankful that Jesus gave us a new covering: the cross. You may ask how something that was designed to cause painful shame could be a better covering than my fig leaves. It is not necessarily the wood in the cross that is able to cover, but the act of Jesus finishing the redemptive process needed to destroy the burden of shame. The day Jesus died on the cross was a very different day than the one where Adam and Eve became organic tailors. While as humans we run for the bushes and grab the first small itchy leaf we can find, Jesus took up the cross of our shame and carried it for us. He made a new way, where shame was taken away and replaced with His goodness.
We are so like Adam and Eve, but every day we have the chance to be like Jesus. Because of the good news of what Jesus did on the cross, I can declare like many of my fellow Christians that I am unashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God. We can take up the power of God and rely on His word. We can bring our shame into His light and let Him wash it all away. If you find shame is stifling your heart and mind I urge you to run for cover under the cross where there is no shame.
Serving with you,
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.