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CHEERFULNESS IS THE SUNSHINE OF THE HEART

May 1, 2024


Leadership Notes


     Life is funny. Case in point, there are two primary meanings of funny:


Causing laughter or amusement; humorous. {That’s me, all day long.}


Difficult to explain or understand; strange or odd. {Also me, when I overestimate my grasp of the former.}


     In the American Worldview Inventory 2024, nearly half of all adults firmly believe that it is possible for a couple married on earth to be bonded to each other for eternity. Now that’s funny.


     Water cannons. With all these pro-terrorism/rape/child murder gatherings taking place on college campuses, water cannons would be a nice solution. I’d pay-per-view that all day long.


     Did you know that more than one million Chinese Muslims have been interned in more than 85 identified camps in Northwest China? Where are all the protests? Where is the news coverage? Funny how that happens.


     What do you call a magician who’s lost all his magic? Ian. That’s comedy gold right there.


     It’s irksome when God is referred to as “The man upstairs.” Neither Biblical nor honoring of His Holiness. Also once heard someone refer to a pastor as “Sky captain.” Funny…weird-funny.


     Did you hear what the guy said after he lost 25% of his roof in a storm? “OOF.”


     Not in a “Ha, ha isn’t that funny” sort of way, but in the other way, there’s this. A Princeton student praised North Korea for never “establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.” Which reminds me of a phrase my dad once used {to me}, “What are you, a tutored idiot?”


     On that note, I saw a picture, and I wish I were making this up, of people holding a rainbow flag proclaiming, “Queers for Palestine.” Who is going to tell them?


     Life is funny. You need a sense of humor. There’s humor in the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Lots of stuff makes us laugh. There are episodes of The Office that I’ve seen at least ten times that I still laugh at, as if I were watching them for the first time.


     There’s humor in the gospels. Think about the kind of person Peter was. There was plenty of irony and wit when Jesus gave him the nickname, “The Rock.” Then there was this response to the Pharisees, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” More irony. As well as this nugget, “The blind leading the blind,” from Matthew 15. Or straining out a gnat while eating a camel. Interestingly, the Aramaic word for gnat is “galma” while the Aramaic word for camel is “gamla.” Finally {and I could go on}, in Luke 11:11-12, Jesus said, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?”


     This isn’t to say our Lord was polishing a comedy routine. But humor and lightheartedness are a part of our God-given traits. Laughter ought not be far away from our lives.


     In Charles Spurgeon’s day, it was assumed sober-mindedness was essential to the Christian life. He once said the twelfth commandment must have been, “Thou shalt [wear] a long face on Sunday.” On another occasion, when accused of making a joke in the pulpit, Spurgeon said, “If you had known how many others I kept back, you would not have found fault with that one.” Finally, there’s this gem, “An agnostic once said, ‘Ah! Mr. Spurgeon, I don’t agree with you about religion; I am an agnostic.’ Spurgeon replied, ‘Yes! [Agnostic] is a Greek word, and the exact equivalent is ignoramus; if you like to claim that title, you are quite welcome to.’”


     Make no mistake. Life is strange and funny and complicated and simple. No matter what transpires, we will have humor. Whether dark or light, we will have humor.


     And now, your Moment of Spurgeon:


“CHEERFULNESS IS THE SUNSHINE OF THE HEART.”


 

With Much Love and Affection,


               Richard


P.S. – If you ever see me laughing for no apparent reason, it’s because I made a joke in my head and I am the funniest person I know!

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