907) A Time to Laugh (a)

Ecclesiastes 3:1…4  —  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…  a time to weep and a time to laugha time to mourn and a time to dance…

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Today’s readings are taken from a book of brief meditations entitled Joke Devotions (2012) by Chris Brekke.  Chris is a pastor and has been a friend of mine for many years.  The book may be ordered from Chris at:  Cjbrekke51@gmail.com

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     Kevin was driving on his way to work when his wife called on the cell phone to warn him that the radio was reporting some idiot going the wrong way down the highway. 

     To which Kevin replied, “Some idiot?  There must be hundreds of ’em!”

     Kevin was not fazed.  He was oblivious to reality and confident that he– not the other drivers– was in the right.  Perhaps Kevin was one of those guys who is “always certain and sometimes correct.”  In this case Kevin was wrong, and should have been going the other way.

     But sometimes could it be that the person going against the stream in is on the right path?  Yes, it could.  As mom used to say, “Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you should.”  The majority is not always correct. 

     One component of a strong faith is the conviction to do what God instructs, even when you are under pressure not to.  A test of courage and virtue is the strength to not succumb to peer pressure or even government pressure.

     A Christian does not just go along with the world if the world is wrong.  Going the Lord’s way will sometimes be lonely, but it is always the right move.  (page 49)

Romans 12:2  —  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.  

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     A fishing nut, Ted, and his buddy are getting ready to head out for a day at the lake.  They are pulling the boat down his street, and at the intersection of the highway leaving town a funeral procession goes by.

     Ted doffs his cap and holds it over his heart.

     His friend remarks, “My, that sure is considerate of you, Ted, showing such respect for the departed.”

     “Yup,” he replies, “Me and the Mrs. woulda been married 30 years tomorrow.”

     Holy mackerel!  Ted is way too hooked on fishing if his priorities are that warped.

     Commitment is a good thing, but it depends of what we’re committed to, doesn’t it?  Ted was more committed to fishing than to his wife and family and proper duty.

     Ted is not alone.  Many people do things ‘religiously’ that reveal an inversion of priorities.  If one is more ‘religious’ about his exercise than his family time; or about her girl’s night out than her Bible study; or about watching a TV show than the volunteer work you’ve been neglecting– then ones’s ‘religion’ is misplaced.

     Though self-centered, self-serving activities come quite naturally to us earthlings, we know that the Lord is calling us to a better way.  The way of Jesus includes liberation from having to always do what makes us happy.  (page 19)

Philippians 2:4  —  Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interests of others.

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     While on the road, an older couple, Jim and Lois stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch.  After lunch, and about 20 minutes down the road, Lois realized she had left her eyeglasses at the restaurant.  To add to the aggravation, the couple had to go quite a distance before finding a place to turn around.

     Jim fussed, complained and scolded his wife during the return drive, becoming markedly agitated.  To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

     As she got out of the car, her husband yelled at her, “While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and credit card.”

     Who would do that?  Who would be all miffed and grumpy about someone else when he had made the same error?  Well, actually, very many of us would.  It’s not just Jim.

     One of the failing grades on the human report card is our tendency to criticize a flaw in others and not see it in ourselves.  When we belittle the laziness of a relative, or the irresponsibility of a neighbor, or the close-mindedness of a pundit, we often are oblivious to similar traits in ourselves.  

     Take an honest look at yourself and it should reduce your self-righteous pronouncements on others.  (page 90)

Matthew 7:3  —  (Jesus said), “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

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A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING (author unknown):

We give thanks, O God, for all happiness we have known in past years; for all moments of loveliness and beauty; for work attempted and done; for all that has made our hearts grateful and lifted them up to Thee.  We pray that no present grief or weakness cause us to forget the gladness we have known; but keep our memories bright with praise and love.  May we consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, as Jesus said, and give thanks to Thee for the beauty in the world.  Amen.

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