Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fun Friday: Laugh Out Loud, It's Good Medicine

We've been pondering some deep serious subjects at "Thrive Christians" this week. Looking for an abundant balanced life we've decide it's time to take a deep breath, lie back and let the laughs and good times roll!

It's tax time and even the church gets impacted:

Motivation To Give Offering Beyond The Tithe
"Hello, is this Pastor Smith?" asked the caller.

"Yes, this is he."

"This is the IRS. Can you help us?"

"I can."

"Do you know a John Smith?"

"I do."

"Is he a member of your congregation?"

"He is."

"Did he donate $20,000 to the church?"

"He will."


Red, White and Blue - flag colors
All too true - especially as April 15th approaches!
A Dutchman was explaining the red, white, and blue Netherlands flag to an American.
"Our flag is symbolic of our taxes. We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bills, and blue after we pay them."
The American nodded. "It’s the same in the USA only we see stars too!"


Today we're spotlighting a great writer, humorist, blogger: James Watkins. I read his blogs every time he posts. His books are great and I'm believing funds will come for me to participate in one of his workshops in a writing conference this year. This is not a leg slapping piece, but it's a good one and I'm believing you'll smile a bit.

"The List Irreverent" from Rev. magazine March/April 2005

In China this is the year of the rooster, but for American Christians, it's the year of the list:

In January, The Church Report reader's voted for "The 50 Most Influential Christians in America." Topping the list 1. George Bush, 2. Mel Gibson, 3. Billy Graham, 4. Rick Warren, and 5. Joel Osteen.

Later in January, Christian Retailing Magazine crowed about "The Top 50 People" in Christian publishing: 1. Chuck Colson, 2. James Dobson, 3. T.D. Jakes, 4. Tim LaHaye, and 5. Max Lucado

But the list making the most headlines was February's list in TIME magazine: "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" including 1. Rick Warren 2. Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, 3. David Barton 4. Doug Cole 5. Chuck Colson. Billy Graham wasn't listed until number 1
0. I didn't even recognize twelve of the nominees.

Somehow, though, I don't think God is impressed with "Top" lists. After all, His Son warned, "So the last will be first, and the first will be last" and "Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

And so the Good Book lists . . .
• an unknown inn keeper who took pity on a pregnant couple
• shepherds (the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder) who were the first ones invited to worship the newborn King
• an unnamed boy (children had little value in the culture) who gives his lunch to Jesus
• a Samaritan (the very bottom of the Jew's list) woman (the bottom of that time and culture's list) who brings an entire village to Jesus
• a widow who gives everything in the temple offering
• a formerly demon-possessed man to evangelizes the ten towns of Decopolis
• an unnamed man who loaned Jesus his donkey on Palm Sunday

The list goes on and on. In modern times, perhaps there's . . .
• a Sunday school teacher somewhere who told a disruptive second-grader, "Ricky, you really need to find a purpose for your life instead of just being driven in every direction."
• a North Carolina farmer, who warned a teen trouble-maker, "Billy, the Buh-ble says, You must be born again . . . right now. If you came on a bus, it will wait for you . . .'"
• a school psychologist telling third-grade Franky, "Perhaps you could deal with the monsters and demons in your mind by writing stories about this present darkness."
• a next-door neighbor saying, "Joyce, could you teach a home Bible study?"
• a nurse who told a young quadriplegic, "Joni, I need you to sign this form. Here, put the pen in your mouth. Wow, nice penmanship. Have you every thought of a career in art?"

God's list rarely includes the "top" "most influential" Christians in "America."
The most influential people in my life include:
• a high school teacher who said, "Jim, you can write."
• the local Youth For Christ leader who convinced me to "give all that you know about yourself to all that you know about God."
• a girlfriend who said, "Jim, you'd make a good minister." (Not exactly what I was hoping to hear on her front porch after a date.)
• a pastor's wife who had a word of knowledge that the first girl I met at Marion College would become my wife. (She was right!)
• and most of all, a
wife who has taught me how to love people unconditionally through her amazing example.

Mrs. Leiter, Dick Wynn, Sandy Uldricks, Mrs. Drummonds, and Lois Watkins won't appear on any "Top" lists, although Dick eventually became president of Youth For Christ.

But I'm sure they're on God's list.
And I hope and pray that after thirty years of ministry, I'm on someone's list as well. And that you are as well.

Jim is a worst-selling author of eleven books who speaks to very small groups of writers about "Taking the Word to the World," and has never appeared on any list, except the Lamb's Book of Life--and that's quite enough.
Copyright © 2005 James N. Watkins


Blessings to you all. Embrace the truth: God loves you and He has planned on you being you: warts and all. He loves to see you full of joy and hope. Thrive, no matter what's going on.



Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Hey sweetie! You have been on my mind much. Just getting a chance to catch up a bit and LOVE this funny post. Just what I need right now.
Hope you are well and I miss you! Wish we could just sit down together over coffee.
Much love,

Chatty Kelly said...

The first joke made me laugh out loud...and I'm already a fan of James Watkins.

Happy Weekend!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.