Imagining how it was…..

I was asked the other day if I thought Jesus sang…….like did He ever walk down the road and break into song? I said I thought He probably did. The Bible says He sang songs of worship with His disciples, and He was filled with the Spirit so, yes I believe there were times when He spontaneously burst into song. Just imagining that set my mind in motion. Can you imagine hearing Him sing, or laugh? Seeing His face light up with a smile?

I think sometimes it is hard for us to think of Jesus as fully human. But I love to imagine Jesus doing the simple things of life. Walking down the road with His friends, or maybe helping His Mom with a task around the house, sitting down to dinner with His family. It is hard for us, for me anyway, to imagine Him being silly or joking around. Did He tease His Mother? Pull a practical joke on His brothers or sisters? I like to think He did. He was after all, fully God but also fully man, and fully human. 

I like to imagine those simple times when He greeted His friends with a smile or put an arm around them while walking, lifting His face to Heaven while He prayed, or sang a song, swung a child around just to listen to them laugh.

I like this form of meditation, imagining Jesus and how it was….. I think that many times He probably felt very burdened when He looked out over the crowds, at the immensity of the need, the desperation. I think it made Him sad many times, when people just didn’t get the message, couldn’t grasp His love for them.

But I also think there were times when Jesus had to lighten the mood by cracking a joke.

The "S" Word

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

sub·mit (səb mit′) present or refer to others for decision, consideration, etc. yield to the action, control, power, etc. of another or others; also, to subject or allow to be subjected to treatment, analysis, etc. of some sort: often used reflexively offer as an opinion; suggest; propose

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church”—Ephesians 5:21-29

This is a tough concept for us, even in the Church, although it shouldn’t be. I think that these verses are some of the most misused and misunderstood in the Bible. They have been used by men, including clergy, to make women feel quilty about leaving abusers. They have also been used by women against other women…..but when we think of submit, we have to think of Christ first. He submitted Himself unto death. He submitted Himself to His Father for our good.
Likewise, in a Christian marriage, somebody has to be the deal breaker when it comes to major decisions, and that would be the husband. This is not to say that wife must ask her husband if she can spend the money for a broom, or ask him what brand of peanut butter to buy! (I actually knew of a woman whose husband made her ask for money for household items, and he had to approve the amount!)
This is not what this means…… 
To break it down very simply, in my own opinion and understanding of Scripture it looks like this: In a Christian marriage, both man and woman submit to Christ as He is head of the church. The husband and wife each have a responsibility. The husband has the responsibility to love his wife and be willing to die for her as Christ died for His church. That puts a huge responsibility on the husband, since he also must be accountable to God for how he treats his wife. The wife has a responsibility to let that rest on the husband’s shoulders and not try to wrestle it away.
This is as far as I want to go with this, it is Saturday and I am really in the mood for something more like this today!

Or this:

cartoons from Far Side….

When you know you shouldn’t

“Chuckles the clown bites the dust” courtesy of Google

There are few things in life more uncomfortable than being in a place where you know you shouldn’t laugh but you cave in under the excruciating pressure due to circumstances beyond your control. You feel it building inside you like a dam ready to burst forth, and worse, you are with someone whom you know beyond a shadow of a doubt feels the exact same way you do. You are both losing an impossible battle.

Under most circumstances laughing at a funeral would be totally inappropriate. However, certain events I have heard about would render it almost impossible not to. Those who remember the Mary Tyler Moore episode where Chuckles the Clown expires portray perfectly that particular kind of agony. Throughout the show Mary is astounded and disgusted with her co-worker’s insensitivity for making all kinds of jokes at Chuckles’ expense, however, when the priest starts the eulogy describing all of Chuckles the Clown’s characters, she loses it. The resulting show was one of the most highly rated, most famous and in my view most hysterical episodes ever.

There are a few moments I have heard about in my family and among friends where I can only thank God that I was not there. I’m sure I would not have been able to handle the pressure. In both cases, each were wonderful people who no doubt would have seen the humor in it.

“It was a dark and stormy night…..” sounds like something straight out of a Hitchcock movie, but it describes my Great-grandmother’s funeral. My Mom and Dad went to the funeral home to meet with the director who was right out of Central Casting, complete with ill-fitting black suit and dandruff like snow-drifts on his shoulders, and whiskey breath. They were led down catacombs of hallway to a stuffy back room where they sat and went over the service with Mr.Dandruff and his assistant. As lightning flickered the already dim lights, and thunder crashed outside, all they kept hearing was, “Don’t worry, everything is paid for!” They should have worried.

The funeral was held in a very old building on Pine Street that could have been a stand-in for the Bates Motel or a sanitarium. Flower arrangements were plastic, and very faded. The only saving grace was that a very nice minister showed up and did a wonderful eulogy. If he hadn’t they would have had Mr.Whiskey breath. By then, however, it was too late, the damage had already been done by a trio of singers. They lost control when the warm up started, which everyone in the service could hear. No amount of warming-up could have helped them. Now, my Dad had specified “no singers” but some well wishers no doubt wanted to make a contribution to honor my Great-grandmother. Whoever told them they could sing was badly mistaken.

After the very nice Pastor was done, they gave a huge sigh of relief, thinking it was all over, however, the singers were not done and they proceeded to start warming up again. Mom and Dad were front and center and in full view of everyone. The bench was shaking so hard from them trying to stifle their laughter that the faded pot of flowers threatened to topple over, and my Mom bit the side of her mouth until it bled. She says it was excruciating.

I also knew someone pulling a casket with a team of horses, when they hit a bump and the casket slid out of the wagon and the body came out. They were so mortified they kept right on driving! Tragic, no doubt, for the horrified onlookers and family members who hopefully were waiting somewhere out of sight of the carriage.

The last instance was a couple days ago. My Mom had an elderly friend who had survived the death of a husband and two grown sons before she passed on herself. She was known for telling jokes to anyone and everyone who would listen. She loved God and was a blessing to all who knew her. Even lying in the stretcher on the way to the hospital she told a joke to the paramedic. That was just how she was. My Mom attended the service with a friend of ours who also has a very healthy if slightly bent sense of humor. Everything was going along fine, again, until the singing started. They handed out the words to every song which made it worse, they knew just how many excruciating verses were left to be mangled. They were trying to harmonize, but as my friend said, “They should have stuck to the melody and gotten that right.”

Bless their hearts, I am sure they meant well.

As for Doris, she is now telling her jokes to the Angels in Heaven, finally home with her loved ones once more……

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. Proverbs 14:13

Disclaimer: I know there are certain instances where laughter is never appropriate, but I think that life is tough and we need to find humor in situations whenever possible. It is how I have gotten through my own grief. I sincerely hope I didn’t offend anyone with the subject matter. Lori

Humorous Bible Verses

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” I Kings 18:27

If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom. Job 13:5

Sticks and stones…
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” 2 Kings 2:23 NIV

Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish. Proverbs 31:6 NIV (I didn’t know they had beer back then?)

He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.”
Genesis 25:30 Holman Christian Standard Bible

“Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over.” Hosea 7:8 NIV

Road Rage even back then:
“The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a madman.” 2 Kings 9:20 NIV

Have a Blessed and Humorous Weekend!

Aging well

Douglas MacArthur evaluated his life on his 75th birthday, saying: “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. In the central place of every heart, there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so long are you young. When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old.

I have found that young people really do like to be around the elderly, provided they are fun, positive and most importantly have not forgotten how to laugh. Let’s face it, aging can be humorous!

I think a healthy culture values its elderly population. After all, God greatly values the elderly. He gave them their biggest jobs after they had reached the age where many Americans are living in retirement villages playing golf and bingo!

My folks have done a great job of aging well, I only hope I can do it half as successfully as they have. Here are some of the reasons I believe they have continued to stay young at 81 and 82!

Staying in the Word
Staying positive
Laughing at themselves and the world around them
An extremely active lifestyle
Loving God and each other
Reaching out to others
Giving generously
Staying current with world events
Taking care of their health

I pray for those elderly today who are not well. For those who are alone, and who feel left behind and left out. Who feel they have nothing to contribute. May they find a friend and comfort in You God, and help me to be a friend to the elderly in my own life. Amen

Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”