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 —
Lizzy Long, Little Roy Lewis to perform at Union Christian Church in March
Lizzy Long and Little Roy Lewis are scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m. March 28 at Union Christian Church, 5350 E. Hulman Drive.
THE JOY LADY: Don’t let the grouchiness seep in with the snow
I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but people are starting to get… well… umm… how can I say it gracefully? People are starting to get grouchy. And that makes me kinda grouchy, too.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Feb. 22, 2013
Lenten book study series set
Those who wonder what happened during the second Vatican Council can plan to attend a Lenten study series based on John W. O’Malley’s book, “What Happened at Vatican II,” scheduled for the four Thursdays in March.
National Catholic Sisters Week
Sister Editha Ben, vocation director for the Sisters of Providence, will attend the first National Catholic Sisters Week March 8-14 along with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College student Josephine Nieto.
Joy Lady: Finding the importance of truth described in the Bible
The Bible. It’s my favorite book of all time. I read it. I study it. I teach it. I quote from it. I write about it. I sing songs about it. I love the Bible in many formats, for I use several translations and paraphrases. And I’ve even been known to borrow my husband’s Greek New Testament to check on some phrase or word from the original.
- Church briefs; Feb. 15, 2014
Ministry hosts teen suicide presentation; announces call for actors
Innovative Anointed Ministries in Terre Haute is hosting a presentation Saturday, Feb. 15, on teen suicide, and how people should not be afraid to speak out and help save lives among their peers.
“Speak Life — Show Love” begins at noon Saturday in Saints Home Church of God In Christ at 2210 N. 13th St.
Church presents ‘Love Languages’ author’s video seminar on Valentine’s weekend
Gary Chapman wrote the original edition of “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” in 1979.
Now a nationally known author and relationship counselor, with a radio program heard on more than 100 stations across the United States, Chapman first published the book under the title, “Toward a Growing Marriage,” 35 years ago.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Feb. 8, 2013
THE JOY LADY: A half-crazed squirrel, Sister Bertha and secret sins
Today we’re going to discuss Sister Bertha Better Than You. She’s the dear sister who was immortalized in Ray Stevens’ “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival.”
Brenda Doreen Murphy
MARTINSVILLE, Ill. — Brenda Doreen Murphy, 66, of Martinsville, passed away at 5:55 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, at her home.
THE JOY LADY: Be joyful, pray continually, give thanks for God’s glory
There’s a special framed picture in our house.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: Feb. 1, 2014
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Jan. 25, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Those good Old Testament stories teach us many lessons
I love a good story — the kind of story that makes me think about it long after I’ve heard it or read about it.
Joy Lady: Jesus’ last words give step-by-step approach to personal evangelism
We all want to have the last word, don’t we?
- Church briefs: Jan. 18, 2014
‘Winter Night of Prayer’ set for Thursday
The Sisters of Providence invite people of all faith traditions to St. Mary-of-the-Woods for “A Winter Night of Prayer” in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
Joy Lady: Wish we would all be a bit more child-like; don’t you?
Recently, our two oldest grandchildren spent a few days with us. When their parents came to pick them up, their daddy asked them, “What was the best thing about staying here?” Without hesitation, they both pointed to my husband and me and said, “Being with Nonnie and Papaw!” It melted our hearts.
- Church briefs: Jan. 11, 2013
Joy Lady: Want a way to keep your resolutions? Resolve to change your thinking
It should come as no surprise to my regular readers that I don’t “do” new year’s resolutions. Nope. Don’t believe in them. In fact, the entire time I’ve written this little column — going on 14 years, now — I have not once dedicated a column to any new year’s resolutions. I’ve confessed that I know any resolution or promise I make will be one I will break before the new year is even a week old. I’m just that kind of gal.
- Church briefs: Jan. 4, 2013
Joy Lady: We shouldn’t play the exchange game with God
The packages have been opened and the wrappings discarded. The toys have been played with. The electronics have had their batteries charged and their software downloaded. The cookies and candy have been passed around and eaten. The leftovers have been forgotten in the back of the refrigerator. That’s because Christmas is … well, it’s ummm … it’s over. Now it’s the season for The Great Gift Exchange.
- Church briefs: Dec. 28, 2013
Seven Sisters of Providence celebrate 70 years
This year, seven Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods will celebrate 70 years in the congregation.
Joy Lady: At the top of my list of favorite things …
Here is this year’s list of a few of my favorite things.
- Church briefs: Dec. 21, 2013
Four celebrate 75, 80 years as Sisters
This year two Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods will celebrate 75 years in the congregation, and two will mark 80-year anniversaries.
New Providence Associates commit to works of love, mercy, justice
Recently 21 Providence Associates pledged “to make a commitment that will honor Divine Providence and further God’s loving plans through works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people.” Most did so in a ceremony Nov. 9 in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.
- More Religion Headlines
- Lizzy Long, Little Roy Lewis to perform at Union Christian Church in March