Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 7

Well, I just have to post one more video of Jeanne Robertson. And I have to be honest: I had never heard of a Pashmina until I saw this video. I thought everybody where I come from just wore shawls. But, then, lo and behold, when I told my sister about this video, I discovered that she knew all about pashminas — and even had one. Maybe I should explain that I’m not exactly a hermit, but I do tend to keep to myself a lot …… ūüôā

Enjoy:



 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 6

 

Rarely have I laughed so hard as when I’ve listened to Jeanne Robertson. And knowing that all of her stories are true makes them even more funny. After all, life really is funny a lot of the time, and as long as we are willing to ‘let our hair down’ enough to laugh out loud at those experiences, we can glean the healing and health available to us in that laughter.

 



 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 3

This is one of my favorite Don Knotts scenes from the Andy Griffith Show. I‚Äôve loved this show since I was a kid, and I have more than 200 episodes in my own collection. I just watched this segment again today, and I’ll bet you a month’s salary that you can’t watch it all the way through without laughing out loud.

Of course, I should add that since I’m a freelance writer, my salary isn’t always the same every month. Sometimes it’s a lot, and sometimes its zero. So don’t waste your time trying to win the bet. It isn’t worth it. Just go ahead and laugh out loud.¬† ūüôā

 



 

My Cadillac For Your Camel – (text & video)

(I originally posted this article almost 7 years ago. But this week I began thinking about the truths expressed in it, and I felt it was time to give it a fresh audience — and to put it into video format as well. You’ll find the video below the text. I trust it will bless, whichever format you choose to experience.)


CAMEL'S IN DESERT

We all live by a value system of some kind. Each possession, each day, and each person in our lives has a different value, and sometimes that value changes. The title of this article is a joke, of course, poking fun at the truth that most value is relative. But what makes it relative? What, in the final analysis, determines an item’s value?

There are millions of affluent citizens of several nations who value their Cadillacs — or a number of other expensive automobiles with big gasoline engines — as one of the most important and life-enhancing items they could own. On a roster of possessions that represent the most positive assets in life, those glossy, high-powered autos head the list.

But let that Cadillac owner find himself stranded in the middle of a blazing desert: sand blowing into every nook and cranny, including his engine — no roads of any kind — no gas stations. ¬†Suddenly, a slow-moving, bad-smelling, comically-proportioned camel is worth a whole lot more to that guy than the Caddy, and he’d gladly make a trade. Value.

By the same token, a woman who finds herself happily married to a kind, thoughtful man will value that man highly — more highly than any of the other people in her life. Her next-door neighbor may be married to Attila the Hun, and she finds herself valuing her time away from him with others much more than she does him.

The woman who’s wished all her life for a huge two-story home with five bathrooms, and who has the money to care for that house and hire help — as well as be free to stay home and enjoy it most days — will value that house highly. But the gal who struggles to make ends meet by working three jobs and going non-stop from sun-up to sun-down will value a one-bedroom apartment that is easy to clean and maintain with no extra fuss.

So what is it, really, that gives something its value? It seems that it is the owner of that ‘something.’ ¬†The person to whom the thing belongs and for whom it fulfills a¬†purpose¬†or meets a need is the one who imbues it with its value.

Well, I, for one am thrilled to realize that truth. Because I know for sure to whom I belong. ¬†And I know for sure — because He told me Himself — what service I perform and what needs I meet for Him. Nor am I an isolated case. There are millions more just like me — yet unique at the same time — and bearing equal value in the eyes of our owner.

My owner is the God of the universe, the Creator of all things — including me. His Word tells me clearly (Revelation 4:11) that all things — including me — were created¬†by¬†Him¬†for His¬†pleasure. And, in fact that is my number-one job: to give my Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ pleasure. Surely, I am¬†assigned¬†to do other things:¬†to love others;¬†to teach them what the Word says about Jesus and how He, as God, came to save us from our own sin and rebellion;¬†and to show by my whole life the true nature of God. But those assignments do not substitute for God’s original purpose in creating me:¬†His own enjoyment of a family just like Him.

But not only does He own the whole human race because He created us. When we rebelled against Him and turned away, breaking our relationship with him completely, with no hope to get it back, God came in the person of Jesus Christ and paid the supreme price to buy us back into His possession. He made us the first time (an easy and delightful experience for Him); He bought us the second time (a gut-wrenching, horrific, thoroughly bloody experience for Him).

But you know what’s really interesting to me? ¬†The Word of God tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus faced all of that sacrifice for us — laying aside the privileges of Divinity and re-defining Himself in human flesh, living a life never once stained by sin, and taking our sin and the horrible shame, beating, crucifixion, and separation from God that we deserved — because He saw something beyond that sacrifice that would give Him so much joy that it far surpassed the evil He would have to endure.

Now, tell me please, what joy could the Lord of the universe – Creator of¬†all¬†things — what possible joy could He have been missing that made such a horrific sacrifice necessary? The¬†only¬†thing He was missing was a relationship with man. Since man, by his own volition, had irrevocably broken that relationship, nothing could restore it at that point. The only hope was if God could find a way to “re-create” the human race — to make them righteous enough again to fellowship with Him.

The triune Creator had everything else He could possibly want, but¬†not one¬†of those things could give Him the joy that His relationship with us could give. Dear friend, it was for man — for you and me — that He longed. It was for you and me that He made the decision to suffer such agony and death.

So how valuable are we? Is there anything in the universe that could be bartered for you and me? Is there anything that can be offered to Jesus Christ in exchange for His relationship with us that would tempt Him to give us up? Not on your life, my friend!  He already made that choice, once and for all, when He laid down everything else for us.

Remember, He didn’t just decide to come down to earth for a moment in time and¬†go through the motions. He came down to go through the¬†reality¬†of taking on our sin, taking on our separation and banishment from the Father God, taking on our death. His only hope was in the eternal Word of the living God, who had spoken that He would raise Jesus up with new life once the legal price for sin had been paid in full. Had that Word failed, Jesus would never have seen Heaven again, and we would be lost and undone — without God and without hope — forever.

But He did see Heaven again. He came up out of that grave with eternal life to offer anyone who would accept the sacrifice He had made. (John 3:16-18, 1 John 5:11-12). So when we accept His sacrifice and accept Him, that new life comes into us and we are “born again.” (John 3:3-5). We become “a new creation: a new species,” created in the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself. (2 Cor. 5:17).

Yes, it’s easy to identify Jesus Christ as our owner — twice over. He created us; then he paid for us. A critical reader will stop here and note the fact that I am repeating this point for the third time in this article. And he would be correct. I am repeating this astounding truth so many times because this world has a way of draining it right out of us. It’s so easy to give mental assent to what we’re discussing here but miss the power of it as a reality in our lives. So once more I will remind all of us:¬†¬†He laid everything on the line¬†—¬†Heaven, His eternal throne, His own life —¬†for us.¬†And therein lies our value.

It doesn’t matter how we feel about it. It doesn’t matter what we think. And it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about the situation. Our worth is set for eternity, and no one —¬†absolutely no one¬†— is going to get Jesus to trade us for anything else at all.


photo courtesy of BeautifulFreePictures.com




 

What Does Christmas Mean to the Christ from Whom It’s Named?

WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS REALLY MEAN TO JESUS???
Everyone has different opinions and different feelings concerning the meaning of Christmas. What were Jesus’ feelings about coming from the throne into a tiny body that was laid in a manger at Bethlehem? That’s the focus of my most recent upload to Radical About Jesus YouTube channel: “Let’s Not Get Stuck At The Manger”

Make listening to and sharing this message part of your Advent Celebration this year.




 

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A Tiny Tribute to Max Steiner and Margaret Mitchell

Max Steiner’s iconic theme to Gone With The Wind has never lost its appeal. The poignancy and the passion of the music draw those same qualities to the surface in the listener. The music defines, at a level beyond words, the love, the courage, the conflict, and the tragedy of the Civil War and its toll on the lives of all who lived through it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that war lately — and about the book Gone With The Wind — about how incredible it is that one author, Margaret Mitchell, could bring to life that unique kaleidoscope of personalities, emotions, and events of that epic era in such a realistic manner. Some have scoffed at Mitchell’s book. I had a college professor who did so. But he had missed — as have all the other scoffers — the power of the creative gift in Margaret Mitchell. Very few authors have created characters so powerfully developed and presented as to impact generation after generation of readers and movie-goers. Her characters are raw and real with the passions of their time and their tragedy. And they force those who read and watch their passage through that story to feel what they feel.

Many have criticized the book in recent decades because they say it does not portray a realistic picture of the South during the pre-war period. But Mitchell was not trying to portray a picture of her homeland from an objective or “politically correct” point of view. She was trying to make readers see what generations of southerners believed and felt — how they saw their lives and what they longed for in their future — and how they lost it all and barely survived the further tragedy of the Reconstruction.

She was endeavoring to tell a story — and one that was based in reality as she and her southern kinsmen saw it. And in that effort, her gift as a writer shines. Readers and movie goers have identified with her characters for generation after generation, and it has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with a writer being able to bring raw, real human qualities and emotions to life in simple black ink on white paper.

There are a few other authors with this same gift, but they are rare indeed — especially in our current time, when so many who write are everlastingly conscious of “political correctness.” Margaret Mitchell was, most definitely, not politically correct. But she was committed and faithful to tell a powerful and successful story of how those people lived, loved, longed for better lives, and languished in their defeat. Every once in a while I like to just sit back and breathe in the beauty of that kind of talent when I find it.
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Their Agenda Has Never Changed

America, we must never forget who did this?  Why? Because THEIR AGENDA HAS NEVER CHANGED.

There’s only one religion in the world that teaches so much hatred and murder as part of its requirements to be considered faithful to its doctrines. Quit sticking your head in the sand and listening to idiots in the political arena who tell you lies about this religion. Study and learn for yourself before you pay a terrible price for not bothering to do so.


 

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Our Words Rule — Video Lesson

If you’re struggling in your faith, or you find that God’s promises don’t seem to be manifesting in your life the way you need them to, this lesson will help you. In fact, the truths presented here, when absorbed and acted upon, can totally change your life.

This video includes a full-length Bible study recorded live at my church a couple months ago.