The Power Of Laughter

“Laughter increases the number and activity of some white blood cells called ‘T’ and ‘B’ cells, natural killers that fight viral infections and some types of cancer cells. It multiplies the antibody IgA, which fights upper respiratory tract infections. A hearty chuckle builds up gamma interferon, which stimulates the various components of the immune system.

“Laughing speeds up our heart rate, and some have likened this to ‘internal jogging.’ It’s an aerobic activity that works the diaphragm and increases the body’s ability to use oxygen. That’s why after a big laugh you often feel the need to sigh and take a big breath of air. It sure beats thirty minutes on the treadmill.

“As we laughed, our blood pressure temporarily is elevated; however, that is followed by a prolonged, mild decrease in blood pressure. Laughter also lowers various hormone levels—the kind associated with the fight-or-flight response—and makes us feel less stressed, more relaxed. That’s why people say things like ‘I laughed so hard I couldn’t get up’ or ‘I laughed so hard I fell over.’

“Science is figuring out that laughter is good for the body, something the Bible told us long ago—Proverbs 15:30; Proverbs 17:22.” —Lynn Eib, in Peace In The Face Of Cancer

To read other quotes from this exceptional book, click here and here.

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9 Quotes From “Leadership Promises For Every Day”

leadership-promisesLeadership Promises For Every Day is a devotional book for leaders and aspiring leaders. A passage from the Bible is combined with a passage from one of John Maxwell’s outstanding books. It’s an excellent way to start your day! If you haven’t already, check out my review of this book here, and then enjoy a few quotes—

“How many leaders have ruined their lives and damaged the lives of others through immorality? Character has become a crucial issue today precisely because of the myriad of leaders in the political, business, and religious worlds who have fallen morally. No doubt they fall partly because the enemy has targeted leaders for attack. Leaders need to remember that they influence many others beyond themselves; they never fall in a vacuum. They also need to realize that replacing fallen leaders is a slow and difficult process.”

“Our goal among brothers should not be to punish or excommunicate, but to restore. Confrontation is a redemptive act of leadership.”

“Leaders need to respond to individuals based on their needs rather than their faults. … Good leaders do this well. They don’t lead out of a predetermined package of behaviors, but size up every situation and discern what must happen to reach the desired goal.”

“People rise or fall to meet our level of expectations for them. If you express skepticism and doubt in others, they’ll return your lack of confidence with mediocrity. But if you believe in them and expect them to do well, they’ll wear themselves out trying to do their best.”

“Leaders must constantly ask if their plans fit God’s revealed will for them and their organization. Then they must ask if their plans remain relevant to the needs of their mission, their values, their vision, and their long-range objectives. Finally, they need to ask if their plans fit the needs of their culture and time.”

“We need to remember that when people follow behind us, they can only go as far as we go. If our growth stops today, our ability to lead will stop along with it. Neither personality nor methodology can substitute for personal growth. We cannot model what we do not possess. Begin learning and growing today, and watch those around you begin to grow.”

“Servanthood is not about position or skill. It’s about attitude.” 

“People who blame others for their failures never overcome them. They simply move from problem to problem. To reach your potential, you must continually improve yourself, and you can’t do that if you don’t take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes.”

“Laughter breeds resilience. Laughing is the quickest way to get up and get going again when you’ve been knocked down.”

I am always sharing great quotes from John Maxwell and others on Twitter and Tumblr. If you’re not following me there, please do so!

5 Quotes On Love’s Endurance From “The Seven Laws Of Love”

The Seven Laws Of Love

In The Seven Laws Of Love, Dave Willis gives us some highly practical, biblically-based counsel for investing in all of our relationships. Normally when I share quotes from books, I share all of them at once, but for this book I felt like it would be good to share these quotes a bit more slowly, to give you time to read them and apply them.

The seven laws Dave identifies are:

  1. Love requires commitment (read the quotes here)
  2. Love selflessly sacrifices (read the quotes here)
  3. Love speaks truth (read the quotes here)
  4. Love conquers fear (read the quotes here)
  5. Love offers grace (read the quotes here)
  6. Love brings healing (read the quotes here)
  7. Love lives forever

From law #7, here are some quotes on how love lives forever—

“Make a deliberate decision right now to stop wasting time and start putting first things first. Give the very best of yourself to your loved ones, not the leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone and everything else.”

“Don’t take yourselves too seriously, but don’t take your commitments too lightly. Live life with conviction and purpose, but make plenty of room for fun. Laughter should be the soundtrack of your relationships.”

“Fight for each other, but never fight against each other. In every disagreement, remember that your relationship is much more important than whatever you’re arguing about.”

“Love isn’t a story with a happy ending. Love is a story with no ending!”

“Don’t treat others the way they treat you; treat others the way God treats you.”

Check out my review of The Seven Laws Of Love by clicking here.

The Counselor Makes Us Childlike

ChildlikeJesus loved being around kids! In fact, it still is the childlike nature that Jesus wants to see in all of us, and that’s one of the roles of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor.

There is a huge difference between being childish and childlike. Childish is being aware that what you’re doing is foolish; childlike is being innocently unaware.

Jesus was childlike.

  • He knew the kid’s songs in the street—Luke 7:32.
  • He wanted to have lot of kids around Him—Mark 10:14.
  • Most of His teaching examples were basic—farmers, birds, flowers, wedding parties.
  • Some were downright obvious—Matthew 15:16-17.
  • Some of His interactions with His adversaries were playful—Mark 11:27-33.

And when He described the way to Heaven—

He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4)

Humbly loving God and innocently serving others. Isn’t that the essence of what Jesus taught us the Kingdom of Heaven was? Loving God and loving others in a childlike way.

Here’s how The Counselor trains us to be childlike:

  • Think of everyone as your friendMatthew 5:9, 44.
  • Laugh more often because you have no burdens weighing you downMatthew 11:28-30.
  • Don’t use double entendrés—…be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity)… (Matthew 10:16, AMP).
  • Be fascinated by natureLuke 12:27.
  • Exercise your imaginationMatthew 18:10; Acts 6:15; 7:55-60.

The Counselor will teach us Christ-like childlikeness; He will reprove us when we are too “adult” in our thinking; He will continually correct us when we cross the line into childishness; and He will train us to love God and love others in a childlike way.

If Anyone Ought To Be Happy

I remember once going to play golf with two other friends. When we got to the course, the starter added another guy — someone we didn’t know — to our group to round-out our foursome. We began to “play” our round of golf (I use the term play loosely), and joke, and laugh, and enjoy ourselves.

About 4 or 5 holes into our round, our new friend asked what we all did. I responded, “He’s a pastor, I’m a pastor, and that guy over there is a missionary.”

Our new friend looked shocked. “You mean you’re all Christians?!?”

“Yes, we are,” I said. “Does that surprise you?”

“Yes,” he replied, and then quickly added, “But I’ve never had so much fun playing golf before!”

It’s funny, and yet sad. Why would Christians be thought of as boring? dull? killjoys? Shouldn’t we be the most happy and joy-filled of all?

Here’s what Charles Spurgeon said —

We ought to be glad and rejoice forever in that which God creates. Ours is a heritage of joy and peace. My dear brothers and sisters, if anybody in the world ought to be happy, we are the people.

How large our obligations! How boundless our privileges! How brilliant our hopes!

What should make us miserable? Sin? That is forgiven. Affliction? That is working our good. Inward corruptions? They are doomed to die. satanic temptations? We wear an armor which they cannot penetrate. We have every reason for delight, and we have moreover this command for it: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). May God bring us into that blessed condition and keep us there!

God intends not only that we should have joy but also that we should spread it among others. He intends that wherever we go we should be light bearers and set other lamps shining.

Can people tell you have the joy of the Lord? Are you bringing light and laughter to dark and somber people? If you are filled up with God, how happy you should be!

Sermon Series

Yes, I do like bringing messages to our church in a series format. Hopefully my series titles are not like this …

And, for the record, our new series that starts this Sunday will only have four parts (not 48!).

Rookie Of The Year

I am a proud member of the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, so I faithfully attend all of the monthly meetings and stay up-to-date on our Facebook group page. So imagine my surprise when I found out about the Annual C.S.M.A. Awards.

I didn’t know we had any awards … I didn’t know I was nominated … and I didn’t know I won!

Here’s how the announcement read —

Rookie of The Year

Nominees: Kristi Rhodes, Ryan Black, Craig Owens

Winner: Craig Owens

Recap: Despite the joy and hope that both Ryan and Kristi have brought to the community and how their churches are now moving with excitement, it was Craig Owens who ultimately walked home with the hardware. Craig dazzled the C.S.M.A. with his witty humor, provided us all with sermon material through his daring and insightful blog, and regularly posted hip Facebook statuses such as “Off to church… about to get my Praise On!” and “Donuts for breakfast!”

Then I noticed something else at the bottom of the announcement that I didn’t know: apparently I was also a member of the awards committee.

Hmmm, it appears that all of the award winners were also members of the awards committee…

…it appears this is all a big joke!

Oh, well. Now do you see why I so enjoy being a part of the C.S.M.A.?

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