TERRE HAUTE —
Martin Luther — scholar, reformer, hymn writer — penned the words, “A mighty fortress is our God.” Translator of New Testament. Bold defender of the faith. Martin Luther told an emperor and a pope and a council of church offenders he would not back down from what he believed. He also said, “If we are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”
William Shakespeare — successful playwright, owner of a popular play house, friend of royalty and receiver of high honors and accolades — tackled serious subjects such as madness, murder, mayhem, mystery. Yet he often asked, “If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”
Abraham Lincoln was president during a painful, costly, dreadful war, lost two sons, married to a woman who was fiercely criticized by those who swore their loyalty to him, haunted by deaths of fathers and sons and brothers on opposite sides of the battlefield, and deluged by reports of slaughter and destruction. Yet, days after delivering the Gettysburg address, a reporter asked Lincoln how he was able to cope with the stress of a nation divided and at war with itself. Lincoln replied, “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”
Mark Twain — author, humorist, lecturer, biographer of Joan of Arc — yearned to be known as a serious writer. However, insecure in the less serious nature in his popular writings, he said, “I have had a ‘call’ to literature of a low order — humorous. It is nothing to be proud of, but it is my strongest suit.”
Will Rogers — expert elocutionist, popular entertainer — couched the harshest of truths in the funniest of words. He mused, “Everything is funny, as long as it is happening to somebody else.”
We don’t have to be a famous writer to know, “A cheerful heart is good medicine,” Proverbs 17:22. We don’t have to be a famous theologian to know, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: … a time to weep and a time to laugh,” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4. We don’t have to be a famous comedian to know, “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them,’” Psalm 126:2,3.
Oh sure, at times, laughter is not appropriate. Tragedy, death, illness and other circumstances may smother our laughter. At times being sensitive to the pain of those around us calls for laughter to be stifled. At times. But only for a time. Because laughter is more than a physical act. It is an attitude of anticipation, hope, peace, security and a longing for the future. Laughter knows that tragedy is temporary and pain will soon be parting. Laughter comes from knowing 1st John 5:13 is true: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
We laugh because our hope is in Him. So, it’s time for us to stop acting like we were baptized in pickle juice, OK?
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at VrdSpeaks@yahoo.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Walk through Bethlehem
The second Walk through Bethlehem Christmas is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Vermillion County Fairgrounds in Cayuga.
Church to present ‘Music Inspired by The Story’
The Worship Arts Ministry of First Christian Church in Brazil will present “Music Inspired by The Story” at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the church auditorium. This multi-media program will feature the FCC Worship Band, Choir and several soloists.
Thirteen celebrate 60 years as Sisters of Providence
This year 13 Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods celebrate 60 years in the Congregation. In addition to other ministries through the years, six sisters served in the Wabash Valley, giving 105 total years of service at the places listed below.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Dec. 7, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Shouldn’t we follow that star, bow down and worship Him?
Ask any person in any group of people to name a star, and you will get surprising answers. For instance, if you ask this certain preacher I know for the name of a star, he will smile and say, “Sandra Bullock.”
VERNA DAVIS Remember the perfect gift has already been given
I know some people who are experts at buying gifts. No matter what the circumstance, they find just the right gift for the right person at the right time. I envy those people.
CHURCH BRIEFS: Nov. 30, 2013
- Church briefs: Nov. 23, 2013
The Joy Lady: It shouldn’t be difficult to hide His Word in your heart
Psalm 119 is an interesting Psalm, too. Not only is it the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 devotes eight verses about God and His Word to each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
- Church Briefs: Nov. 16, 2013
Campus minister making a difference
When new campus minister Andrea Beyke drove through the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College gates for the first time, she knew she was home.
Providence Center Gift Shop plans moving sale
The Gift Shop at Providence Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, is having a moving sale from Sunday to Dec. 15.
Joy Lady: ‘Everything that we have … comes from God’
If I were in charge of the world, I would make sure that under-eye concealers would actually conceal the bags under my eyes. I would make my cheeks blush only when I want them to, and my lipstick would never wear off. I would make my eyes do their own bifocaling so I would no longer need glasses. And that’s just to take care of my face.
- Church briefs: Nov. 9, 2013
Gary woman receives Guerin Ministries award
Frances Ginther of Gary was recently named the Guerin Outreach Ministries Leadership and Advocacy Award recipient for 2013.
- Church briefs: Oct. 26, 2013
Joy Lady: What’s a Christian to do when bad things happen?
Remember that children’s book by Judith Viorst titled “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day?” The story recounts how, through no fault of his own, things were not going well for poor Alexander. Boy, can I relate. Last week was a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad week for me. It was only God’s hand sustaining me that got me through it.
Sisters of Providence retreat offers spiritual renewal
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to retreat to St. Mary-of-the-Woods Nov. 8-13 for the retreat, “Woodscape: A Week at the Woods.”
Maple Avenue Church to host turkey dinner
Maple Avenue United Methodist Church will host its annual turkey dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Family Life Center, 1203 Maple Ave.
- Briefly: Oct. 26, 2013
Joy Lady: Do we have so many blessings we have forgotten to thank God?
My father was a romantic soul. He would often buy flowers or perfume or jewelry for Mom for no reason other than he loved her. He went all out for anniversaries — new dress for Mom, dinner at a nice restaurant, and a mushy romantic card. But, there was one anniversary that was a bit different. It was Tuesday, Oct. 8, 1968, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
- Briefly: Oct. 19, 2013
Marshall church planning annual Chili Day
First United Methodist Church is planning its annual Chili Day for Nov. 5. The church is at 702 Plum St., in Marshall, Ill.
- Church briefs: Oct. 19, 2013
Church Lady: Music and singing in church is all about worshiping God
OK. Check the front of the nearest Methodist hymnal for “John Wesley’s Rules of Congregational Singing,” written in 1761. Among other things, Mr. Wesley wanted church-goers to learn the hymns before they learned any other tunes.
- Briefly: October 12, 2013
- Church briefs: October 12, 2013
Third Thursday lecture at ISU to address religion, marriage equality
The ISU Center for the Study of Health Religion and Spirituality is scheduled to present the second of its monthly Third Thursday Lecture and Discussion Series programs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17.
Clinton church to celebrate anniversary
First Christian Church of Clinton will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its organization, along with the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for the present-day sanctuary, during the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday.
- Church briefs: October 5, 2013
- More Religion Headlines
- Walk through Bethlehem