Laughter: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

September 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Judy Davis –

Several years ago I was a contestant in a humorous speech contest at Toastmasters. Barbara Johnson’s book, Pack Up Your Gloomies in A Great Big Box, Then Sit on the Lid and Laugh, was instrumental in helping me to compete.

Barbara mentioned in her book, “Humor is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles.” This reminded me of an incident I had with my new Honda.

My day started off great, but ended with a thud. I decided to get up early since I had a big day planned. After Bible study, prayer and meditation, I drove to the newspaper office to drop off my weekly article, then to the library to research material for a book proposal.

Turning the corner to my house, I hit a curb—I’ve hit it before, only this time I heard a loud noise. I parked in my driveway and looked at the damaged, right rear tire. I walked into the house and my husband was in the den. I thought (only for a few seconds) that I wouldn’t say anything. Then immediately, I said, “Honey, you’re not going to believe what happened!” I proceeded to tell him about the curb getting in my way.

He said, “That was the third time you hit that curb.” The last time I was driving my mother’s car. I told him I was sorry and it would never happen again. He went outside and looked at the bubble in the tire. He then informed me that I would need to buy a new tire, a new cover, and possibly a new rim. Needless to say, I had to use my own money.

My daughter didn’t make the situation any better. When I called her and related the incident, she calmly said, “Mom, you could have bought a brand new outfit!”

I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. From now on, I will be very careful, since I not only blew my tire, but $100 and my whole afternoon.

The day before in our Women’s Prayer Group we had studied about giving thanks in all things. “Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:20.

I started thanking God that the car was not damaged any worse and no one was injured. And thank goodness I didn’t have to get a tire cover, saving me $20. We can always find something to be thankful for.

Learn to laugh at yourself as laughter is good for the soul. This experience not only taught me a lesson, but I also won a First Place Trophy in the humorous speech contest at Toastmasters International.

Stamped with His Image

September 12, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Dawn Wilson –

Ruth Chodrow met her husband while working in a science library. He came in every week to read all the newest journals, but he eventually decided he’d like to take out the librarian instead of the books! After a year and half of dating, he showed up at the library and started rummaging through Ruth’s desk.

“What are you looking for?” she asked. He didn’t answer. Finally, he unearthed one of the rubber stamps Ruth used to identify reference books.

“Since I couldn’t find the right engagement ring,” her creative beau said, “this will have to do.” He firmly stamped Ruth’s hand.

“Across my knuckles, in capital letters,” Ruth said, “it read ‘NOT FOR CIRCULATION.’”

That stamped image carried a lot of weight in Ruth’s heart that day. It meant that she was deeply loved, and no one else could lay claim to her heart. I was reminded of the old hymn, “O to be Like Thee.” The chorus ends with an earnest prayer, written by Thomas O. Chisholm: “Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.”

When we become Christ-followers, God takes us out of circulation from our enemy’s grasp. He lays claim to us, and we belong to Him forever (1 Peter 1:3-5). He stamps the image of Jesus in our hearts.

Our Father uses His Word to make us holy (John 17:17); and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become more like His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18). As we study the Word of God, it is as if God’s truth is stamped into our thoughts, renewing our minds (Romans 12:2), and the Holy Spirit uses this truth to convict us of sin and teach us how to live. We learn to put off things that do not align with the image of Christ in us, and put on things that honor Him and reflect His righteous character (Colossians 3:1-2, 8-17).

As I walk with the Lord each day, I can see the evidence of God changing my mind and heart; but I’m also aware of areas in my life where I still don’t resemble my Savior. I am prone to wander and inclined to sin—especially when the temptation involves overspending on things I don’t need, or overindulging in chocolate!—but I am grateful for the continuing mercy of God.

Nothing and no one can separate me from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39), and my loving Father will continue to do His good work in me (Philippians 1:6).

Is Christ’s image stamped in your heart?

Water, Water, Everywhere

September 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Karen O’Connor –

“I’m no plumber but I know a leak when I see one,” said Wanda. “Last week while putting away clean towels in the cabinet under the bathroom sink I noticed a puddle of water right in the middle of two stacks of towels. I turned on the faucet, then looked under the sink again, and sure enough, drip, drip, drip.”

Wanda flopped on the floor and sulked. This was one more problem in a day already filled to the brim. She imagined an exorbitant plumbing bill and days without access to the sink and, well what else could go wrong just before company arrived for a weeklong stay?

“Fred,” she called to her husband who was playing Chess with a friend in the family room. “Can you fix this?” she asked, pointing to the wet area, “or should I call a plumber?”

“I’ll take a look,” he said, then waved her off after examining the damage. “First I have to find my tools, then remove the pipe, do a little fiddling here and there, you know––so it might be some time before I get to it.”

Wanda let out a big sigh. She knew that could mean days or even weeks. Fred was not the handiest of men, though he liked to think he was. So she placed an empty pot on the cabinet floor to catch the water. “At least the towels will stay dry,” she murmured.

A few days later Wanda ran another load of wash. Later while stacking the fresh towels under the sink, she noticed the pot was about to overflow with the collected water. Thank heaven she looked!

Feeling annoyed that her husband had not repaired the damage, and frustrated that he had not at least emptied the pot every few hours she let out a few choice words. “You would think. . . he would at least. . . check it.”

Oh well . . . what else is new? She bent over and carefully removed the pot. One false move and the water would have soaked the entire room. She was grateful for steady hands.

“I’ll empty this thing right now,” she said to herself. “No sense in taking it all the way to the kitchen. I’ll dump it into the sink . . . no, not the sink,” she yelled, catching herself too late, as the water poured right back into the cabinet and spilled onto the floor!

“From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you” (Job 5:19).

Termite Ridden Heart

September 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Liz Cowen Furman –

My Mom lives in southern Colorado. She bought an old house that in the 1920s served as the corner grocery store. We were so happy for her. Her new home featured large front display windows with seats, an old fashioned cellar that once stored canned goods, lots of built in cabinets, and old seasoned hard wood floors throughout. However, in the first year after she purchased her home she realized it had been “flipped.”

A realtor purchased it in foreclosure, did a few cosmetic fix-ups and purposely hid some dire flaws. He then paid off the inspector and sold it to my Mom.

Half way through the winter, my husband had to re-plumb the entire house because the pipes froze. When we finally dug a way into the crawl space we discovered the realtor had boarded up and carpeted over the real basement entrance to hide that he had plumbed it with plastic irrigation pipes. He set a space heater near them turned on “high” to keep the pipes from freezing the first winter. We wondered why that first summer and fall was so hot in Mom’s living room. Once the space heater burned out and winter hit—frozen pipes. What was worse to discover in her crawl space than the frozen pipes, was the termite ridden foundation.

My sister, who lives near my Mom, tried to hire a local attorney. She discovered that the good ‘ol boy system was in full swing as no one would touch a case against this well-connected realtor.

So, we hired an attorney in Denver to write a threatening letter requesting he fix the problems. We promised to go public if they refused. Long story short, he fixed the foundation and other things. My Dave had already done the plumbing.

You can imagine the conversations in our home during that time. Many were in front of little ears we didn’t even realize were listening.

One afternoon, after his nap, our Matthew, then three years old, (now eighteen) came to me at the dining room table with his piggy bank in tow. He dumped the entire contents onto the table. There must have been twenty dollars in small change. He looked up at me with a big grin and said, “There, that sood fix Gama’s fandation”. He wasn’t old enough to say the words right, but he understood that “Gama BJ” was in trouble and thought he could fix it.

I can see why Jesus says for us to have the faith of a child. Children haven’t lived long enough to be poisoned by the world’s view. Matthew had money. “Gama BJ’s” foundation needed money to fix. Problem solved. He was willing to give all he had to help her.

We put his money in a box and sent it to her explaining that Matthew, all on his own, decided to send his piggy bank contents to fix her house. She cried.

But you know the amazing thing is that Matthew always has money. He often gives to help someone, yet he never seems to run out. I’m thinking God blesses a cheerful, helpful giver. In these tough times, when so many we know are struggling, I am often asking God to show me how to be more like His son. And, I am reminded of our son Matthew.

And, once in a while, I still pray for God to fix the termite ridden heart of a certain realtor in southern Colorado. Though I don’t know, maybe He already has.

A Cheerful Heart

August 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Judy Davis –

Laughter is good for the soul. Barbara Johnson author of “Mama, Get the Hammer! There’s a fly on Papa’s Head!” encourages the reader to look for laughter in the face of adversity.

It’s how you respond to the difficulties in life and Barbara Johnson has had her share. She lost two sons: one in Vietnam and the other in a car accident. Her third son vanished after informing her that he was a homosexual. Through the pain, she started a ministry of love to help other parents on the road to recovery.

She has staked her life and her ministry on the healing power of a positive outlook. She zeros directly in on the therapeutic benefit of a smile, a giggle, and a good old-fashioned belly laugh. She insists that laughing in the face of adversity is not a form of denial, but a proven tool for managing stress, coping with pain, and maintaining hope.

Barbara wrote, “Humor is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles.” Enjoy the little things. One day you may look back and realize…they were the big things.

Karl Menninger, a well-known psychiatrist, was answering questions from the audience after giving a lecture, and one man asked, “What would you advise a person to do if he felt a nervous breakdown coming?” Most of those present expected Menninger to reply, “Consult a psychiatrist.” But to their astonishment he said, “Lock up your house and go across the railroad tracks to find someone in need. Then do something to help that person.”

We have been friends with Linda and Bill for over 40 years. Linda had a stroke several years ago and is on oxygen. She loves for me to come and sit with her. We go over and over the many memories of long ago. She can remember things that I can’t. She said, “You are like a ray of sunshine and minister to me in so many ways.” I try to make her laugh at some of the things we did in the past when we were much younger. But she is the one who makes me laugh most of the time.

Always remember: for everything that goes wrong, there are 50 to 100 blessings. Count them. One word or note brings more encouragement than a thousand thoughts never expressed. “God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.” (From the hymn What God Hath Not Promised, words by Annie J. Flint.)

If you need a good laugh, go to the book store and buy any of Barbara Johnson’s bestsellers.

Laughter is to life what salt is to an egg. Take time to laugh at your mistakes.

“A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick” (Proverbs 17:22).

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