Posts tagged ‘laughter’

December 19, 2011

Christmas meal

by pastortimfowler

Yesterday was our church’s annual Christmas meal and this has become one of my favorite things about our church. We take all the chairs that normally form a semi-circle seating pattern for worship and set up tables and chairs for a family style eating extravaganza. Extravaganza is one of my favorite, but least used words in my vocabulary. The men and women of the church cook turkey and ham and all the favorite holiday type foods that you can imagine and after a brief, yet wonderful sermon, we eat and laugh and hang out until most of the food is gone. Then those who are able, load people into wheelbarrows and take them out back to sleep it off.
Our church is my family. No, I am not dissing my wife and kids, but this is a special relationship that we all share and it is truly family. We share food, share laughter and share tears. No one is left alone and everyone does their part of making it all work. Like in most families, there is always the grumpy person and the weird aunt or uncle that everyone tries not to act like we are avoiding, but other than that we can’t get enough of this special fellowship.
God wants His people to have a closeness. We are told that people will know that we are His because of how we love each other. I don’t think that there would be much doubt of that if you were to have been there yesterday. And, I can proudly say that most anytime that you visit, you will find the same love among the people. None of us are “holier than thou” and many of us are as “messed up as thou” and that makes it easy to find common ground.
As in most churches, there are always a handful who work hard to manage the chaos and organize the efforts. Those who did it this time are amazing in how well it was done and the love at which they used to bring us all together. It was not just a list of things to do but an effort to think of how people’s needs would be met. I believe the biblical term would be ministry, which means serving, which Jesus says makes you great, and I can only say that there were some great people organizing this whole thing.
The day did not end when the meal was over. Lots of folks stayed to help with the clean up. After that, many of the guys and youth stayed to watch football as many of the moms took the younger kids to see Santa. They are the brave souls in the crowd.
Later that night our youth had their Christmas party and another group of servants showed their greatness to make that happen. With nearly twenty youth and a handful of adults, the music was loud, the games were wild and the family was happy. I was the smartest of all; I went home after welcoming them and opening the party in prayer.
Christmas is a special time and can be difficult to those who don’t have family. Some people are alone because they have moved, other because of hardship. Some have been shunned by family and friends and others have condemned themselves because of past experiences. My plea is that you not allow the past to ruin the future. God can and will forgive you for whatever the past holds. God will provide a place and people for you to celebrate if you chose to seek it. I would like to invite you to be a part of my family and our celebration of God’s great love. We don’t judge, we don’t condemn, we don’t exclude. We are The Body, A Church for Anybody, and especially you.
Merry Christmas!

August 29, 2011

Laughter Is Good Medicine

by pastortimfowler

I had a really great weekend. Although it was very busy, I had time to go see a comedian Saturday night with my wife and a few friends. It reminded me of this scripture; Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength. There is just something about laughing that makes you feel better, unless you are my wife who complained that her side and head hurt because she laughed so hard.
We all need to laugh. The world has become a far to serious place and people live on the edge with their feelings stuck way out, waiting to be hurt. When did we get to be so serious? Everyone gets offended at the slightest thing and we have to watch what we say even when what we say is meant to be light-hearted.
This comedian said a few things that stuck with me. I have always heard that comedy has to have truth in it for it to be funny, otherwise it is just being mean. A good comedian knows how to look around and just speak to the simple truths that we take for granted. This guy said that all you need to do is open your eyes and you can see what it takes to make people laugh.
This weekend the whole east coast was dealing with Hurricane Irene. Every channel had breaking news, but the problem was that they were no longer taking a break to tell us what was happening, they had to take breaks from telling us what was happening. I heard estimates of how many billions the storm was going to cost, how many lives could be lost, and how bad this was going to be on the economy, all while they were still trying to determine the exact track of the storm. Every report was about how horrible this would be and yet each one included a downgrade of the storms winds and hurricane category. I know that news people have a job to do, but wow, this was over the top. Easy for me to say because I was not there nor were any of my relatives. Add to all this, the fact that the east coast had an earthquake last week and the people went crazy!
So I got to laugh this weekend. I laughed a lot and I laughed hard. For about an hour nothing mattered. The only time I thought about anything serious was when I was being made fun of by the comedian. Even then I was only thinking seriously about how I could make my church laugh about the things I was laughing about. I realized that there are things that happen that are just not worth getting upset about and that somewhere there might be a comedian getting material from those of us who do.
All ready, only a day after the big storm, I have heard of churches and other organizations rushing to help those who did suffer from this hurricane. Some things can be handled right now and other things will need some time, but either way, people are helping. Prayers are being made for those who are suffering and the seriousness of our world is never-ending. Right now, without a hurricane people are going through things that are shattering their world. I went to visit a friend in the hospital last night and as I was leaving I saw woman all alone, crying in the hallway. I walked over and introduced myself and she told me her mother was dying. All I could do is prayer for her. My friend tweeted about a family that lost everything in a fire but the clothes on their backs. Many are rallying to help them. It never ends, the needs of others.
So, I will rejoice in the short time that God allowed me to take this weekend to laugh and hang out with friends. I will not feel bad about leaving the insanity of the real world to enter into a sanctuary of laughter because it did show that even in this crazy world we live in, there are things that we can laugh at and it is okay.
This was Christian comedian so much of the jokes were about church and church life and pastors. I am so glad someone was finally laughing with me instead of at me, or were they just doing both? I don’t care. It was good medicine.