In 1971, I had a lot in common with a little roadside stand, Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Cue. We were both just beginning, and our future success depended upon so many factors. Looking back, I realize the reason we are both still around is because of the support we received along the way. Now, I encourage youth to become a visible part of our worship services. I pray they will receive the same sort of encouragement that changed my life.
My pastoral dignity was completely forgotten as the curses began to flow. Fortunately, we lived in an isolated area and only one person heard me! Unfortunately, that one person was my daughter and I was about to learn a hard lesson.
But over the years, I have discovered something profound. God has a wonderful sense of humor and God’s creatures were created to laugh as well as cry. Jesus said in Luke 6:21. “God blesses you who weep now, for the time will come when you will laugh with joy.” What a great promise!
This is what I’ve learned about laughter:
• Laughter can calm your fears.
• Laughter can restore your hope.
• Laughter can ease your pain.
• Laughter can strengthen your resolve.
• Laughter can turn arrogance into humility.
Amidst “Praise the Lord Anyhow!” stickers and four-leaf clovers, Lucy sensed she was leaving behind a legacy for her sons to follow within the pages of this Bible. She wrote: “My children are my life. I love each one as I do the other. I would give my life for them and my grandchildren. God knows I love every one of them. I would give all my treasure to the God who made it all possible.”
“Does God really ‘call’ us? Can we “call” on God?”
Yes, of course, but don’t take my word for it. If you do a word search in the Bible you will find that the word, “call” or “called” or “calling” appears in the Bible over 700 times. Here are a few examples:
The courage of David is not found in slingshots vs. armor or brains vs. brawn. There is no guarantee that a David will always defeat Goliath. Rather it is David’s willingness to do what is right, wherever that leads and whatever the consequences.
A pastor wrote: “What if you knew that by simply offering encouragement to someone, you could change that person forever? Nothing to do with methods and everything to do with taking a genuine interest in someone.” God often provides opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life. The question is not – “will you make a difference?” The question is – “what kind of difference will you make: positive, negative or no impact at all?” The opportunity is already there. What will you do?
Every day, you and I receive opportunities from God to help someone. Our light shines when we seize the opportunity to witness our faith by reaching out and getting involved. There is nothing dramatic about these day-to-day encounters but collectively they emphatically tell the world what kind of Christians we really are.
Looking for words of encouragement, I typed the word “comfort” in a Bible program on my computer. In seconds, there were over 60 verses. I clicked print and received five pages of comforting scripture. At a Bible study, I handed each person a copy and asked them to pick a favorite verse and tell how they received comfort in the midst of crisis.