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 —
Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations
Terre Haute residents are invited to donate their shoes to help millions of peopleworldwide with a shoe drive at Cross Lane Community Church on June 2.
- Church briefs: May 18, 2013
The Joy Lady: A good morning: everything that rises must converge
Last Monday, I had a good morning.
Unity Presbyterian plans retirement open house
The congregation of Unity Presbyterian Church will stage a retirement celebration open house to honor the church’s pastor, Linda Jo Peters, from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 19 at 1207 E. Springhill Drive.
Organist will be the featured guest at church
Organist Benjamin Kolodziej will be the featured guest at an organ recital at 4 p.m. on May 19 at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 645 Poplar St.
THE JOY LADY: Call your mom; tell her you love her, that you miss her
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution proclaiming “the second Sunday in May to be hereafter known as ‘Mother’s Day.’”
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 11, 2013
Celebrate the women in your life with The Living Rosary
On Friday, May 10, join the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods for The Living Rosary and experience the grace and power many people have discovered by “praying by hand.”
THE JOY LADY: When awe leaves us, we leave room for doubt
In any given gathering of grade-schoolers or even a gaggle of teenagers, in all likelihood, you will hear certain words over and over:
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
- RELIGION BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
Good Friday service today at St. George Orthodox
St. George Orthodox Church at 1900 S. Fourth St., Terre Haute, will celebrate its Good Friday service at 7 p.m. today (May 3) and its Easter service at 9 p.m. Saturday. The Agape (Love) service will be conducted at noon on Sunday.
Organist’s concert May 5
Organist Jonathan Rudy will be in concert performing works from the 1600’s to the present day at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Seventh St.
The concert is free and open to the public.
THE JOY LADY: Christ is coming again. Are you ready for that?
An older couple had a grandfather clock that announced each hour with the ringing of chimes.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 27, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Let us pray that our hearts be blessed by God
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my uncle and his family in Florida.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 20, 2013
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
THE JOY LADY: You can learn a lot from a box of crayons
Denis Omar is a handsome third-grader in Ocotillo, Honduras. The last time I was in his home, his colored chalk drawings decorated the concrete block walls. His mother said when she got tired of one drawing, she’d wash the wall and have Denis draw another.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
BBQ fundraiser April 13 at Allen Chapel
Historic Allen Chapel’s annual barbecue dinner fundraiser is Saturday, April 13, in the Chapel at Third and Crawford streets. Serving will be from noon to 6 p.m. with a full-line of dinner, sandwiches, sides and desserts available. Chef Stephen Miller, formerly owner of the Black Skillet and now a caterer in Cincinnati, will again prepare the barbecue.
THE JOY LADY: Most complaints tend to be pretty selfish
Complainers never think they are in the wrong. How could they be when they know everyone else is so wrong?
Church briefs: April 6, 2013
What's going on this week at area churches.
THE JOY LADY: Our attendance in worship services encourages other worshippers
There are all kinds of church attendees. Some attend church services once or twice a month, some once or twice a year. Some attend only Sunday morning worship.
African children’s choir to perform at Mount Pleasant
The Watoto Children’s Choir, traveling from Africa, began its five-month eastern U.S. tour in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Oct. 6 and are continuing the tour through Terre Haute, Lebanon, Indianapolis, Peru, Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville and Vevay, from April 16 to May 1. All performances are free and open to the public.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 30, 2013
- Religion briefs: March 30, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Is it time to change your habits, attitudes?
I’m usually introduced to people as “the preacher’s wife.” No name, just “the preacher’s wife.” But I’d prefer being known by what I call my “I am” statements. For instance, I am a wife. I am a speaker, I am a writer. I am a mother, I am a mother-in-law, I am a grandmother.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 23, 2013
Public invited to explore Guerin’s connection to nature
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to St. Mary-of-the-Woods on April 6 to explore Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her connection to nature.
- More Religion Headlines
- Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations