Archives For Humor

Christmas_LaughterNOTE: It has been far too long since I have posted. Launching a new church kept me busy in 2013. Hope and plan to write more in 2014. Thanks for your patience and for following my blog. This post is modified from something I wrote for our church, but I think it’ll encourage you as well.

Christmas is one of my favorite seasons. This week I’ve laughed with family around the table remembering old times (good and bad), old movies (good and bad), old haircuts (also good and bad). It is rare we all get together, but it is always fun to yuck it up when we can. Christmas gives us an excuse to get together, and that itself is a gift.

I pray that we will be people that laugh. I hope we laugh deeply the big belly laughs of people who know they are free. Martin Luther said, “You have as much laughter as you have faith,” and from the stories that are told about the way Luther lived, he was a man of large faith (and laughs). Those of us who take the Bible, sin, and salvation seriously sometimes seem to forget that the gospel of Jesus is “good news.”

Christmas should be a reminder that God is for us. He wants our good. One man has said that Jesus’ incarnation is God saying YES to the human race. He chose us. He wants us. He became one of us so that he could enjoy us forever.

God Made Us to Laugh

We are creatures designed by a Creator. He might have made us laughless creatures, but he chose to make us laugh. God made people with lungs that push air over vocal cords so that they can sound like Santa. Who taught you how to laugh? No one. Kids laugh without training. They laugh a lot, even when you want them to stop. No kindergarten has ever had a course on laughter to prepare kids for further laugh development. Face it, we were made to LOL (even if we don’t like the overused short-hand abbreviation).

Consider this: God made giraffes. That’s funny all by itself. He made the lady bug and the roly poly. The porcupine and the platypus. He made daffodils and daisies. He made the Alps to rise up and the water of Niagara to fall down. He made tiny turtles to peak out from their hiding place, and enormous elephants that could not find a place to hide. The moose: who can’t laugh at a moose with its overlong legs and awkward oversized horse head that seems to grin at you? I believe God wanted us to laugh with him and all the crazy things he created for us to enjoy.

God Laughs

In Isaiah 65:18-19, God says: “But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people…”

God’s Grace Gives Laughter

Let me give you two more passages that speak to God’s laughter. These are two of my favorite sections in all the Bible, and I think they will radically alter your life if you internalize the important truth they offer to us. I’ve bolded a few of the key statements. The first verses are from Zephaniah 3. I’d love to elaborate extensively on these, but for the sake of brevity, let me just say a couple of things. Can you imagine God himself rejoicing over you with gladness? Can you imagine God exulting over you with loud singing? This is not an unhappy crank of a grandpa disappointed in who you are and tolerating your presence in the house. No, this is a God that loves and laughs over his children. Read the verses for yourself, and ask, “Do I believe these verses to be true? Do I believe God could feel this way towards me?”

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

I can imagine no news that we need to hear more than this: God loves you, and laughs over you with great joy. If this sinks deep into your heart, it will revolutionize the way you view your life with God.

The second passage is from Luke 15. Jesus himself told this story to a group of religious types to show them how they were getting God all wrong. One of the messages Jesus made loud and clear is that our gracious God laughs uproariously when his children come home to him. Jesus leaves absolutely no doubt about it. His grace toward broken and sinful people should always lead to celebration of the most extravagant kind. Again, I’ve highlighted a few phrases to make sure you see them.

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ 

Jesus tells us what our God is like: A father running to greet his son, a giant bear hug, over-the-top gift giving, new clothes, custom jewelry, a perfectly prepared meal, music, dancing, and the loud laughter of loved ones celebrating together. Sounds like a perfect family Christmas to me. The older son missed out because he would not laugh with the Father’s grace. He was too proud for laughter. I pray we laugh freely at the grace of God.

As you celebrate this Christmas season, may you truly celebrate. May you laugh deep laughs at God’s grace and goodness toward you. God loves you. God loves you. God loves you. You can’t hear it enough. Never stop laughing at how good that news is.

Every now and then I run across something that so hilariously or so painfully illustrates a larger problem that I have to share it. Sometimes, it is both hilarious and painful. Give this two minutes of your time, and I guarantee that you will laugh, and you’ll probably watch it again to make sure it wasn’t a joke. Then, somewhere along the way, you’ll be a little bothered by the tragicomedy of it all.

Only in Texas, right? Kind of reminds you of the verse from scripture that says, “Without elegance, it is impossible to please God.” (If you are looking for this in your Bible, you are going to be looking for a really, really long time).

Leslie, from Big, Rich Texas says, “It is appropriate to have a baptism anywhere. You can actually have it in a church…I prefer a beautiful swimming pool. It’s a little bit more controlled and it’s a little bit cleaner.”

Isn’t that how we’d all like our spirituality–a little bit more controlled, and a little bit cleaner?

You know, a clean place like the manger that welcomed the infant Jesus to the world. Or, a little bit more controlled like the cross where Jesus’ battered, bruised, bloody body bid the world goodbye (or at least “see ya later”). No, there was very little elegance in Jesus’ life, but his life was more glorious than the grandest of parties.

This video is a reminder how easily we can veer off course. Sure, few (if any) of us would throw a $10,000 baptism celebration that completely misses the point, but we are not immune to the temptation to embrace the trappings of Christianity without engaging Christ.

This is perhaps rarely more true than at Christmastime. We go to church without seeking Christ. We sing songs about Jesus without being awed by him. We decorate our homes with heart-warming reminders of the Baby Jesus, but we are not heart-broken over our sin that begged for the Savior to come. We throw office parties in Jesus’ name but never mention him to our co-workers. We too play religious games.

This is what makes Christmas so amazing. God came. In a manger. For people like us.

He didn’t hide until we became like him. He left heaven for us.

He didn’t wait for us to clean up the mess. He entered the mess for us.

He didn’t expect us to become righteous. He offered his righteousness for us.

He didn’t hold our brokenness against us. He was broken for us.

He didn’t hope that we would conquer death. He beat death for us.

Immanuel. God with us. God for us. In spite of us, yet also because of us. Jesus in our place.

The Bible says nothing about our need for elegance, but it says a lot about our need for faith: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6).

My prayer for you this Christmas:

May you believe in Jesus. May you rejoice in the God who took on flesh for your sake. May you leap at the thought that the perfect Savior gave his all for imperfect you. May you rest in the reality that he forgives sins–all of them. May you laugh like a child fully accepted and adopted by a forever Father. May you celebrate Christ, our Rescuer and King.


I like music. Why is that important? Well, it’s not particularly important, except to me (and my wife, who does our budget), but it does have some relevance to you. Because this is my blog, I sometimes post music here. If you don’t like music or have bad taste in music (kidding, of course), no big deal–just skip this post and wait for the next one.

Now, to get on with it…

I’ve been a huge fan of Mumford & Sons ever since I clicked a link to a youtube video when they first hit the scene. The British folk-rock group has talent to spare combined with lyrical depth that is rare. If there was any doubt of their greatness, 2011’s Grammy performance blew the world away with their passion and joy. It was as good as live performance gets. The kind of show that you want to pay for. They had so much fun getting to play in front of the world that you couldn’t help but cheer them on. I added a new item to my bucket list that night.

I’ve been waiting, along with many others for their sophomore release, so I thought I’d post a video of this song from their upcoming album. Enjoy.

Are you a Mumford & Sons fan? Have you seen them live? Love to hear your stories.

A friend sent me this link in an email with the subject line that read: “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.”

Hilarious. I’m guessing the end result was not what this dog had in mind. Actually, I’m guessing the dog had very little in his mind at all. I imagine that Colt or Ranger or Montana (or whatever this dog’s name was) had one thought on his mind: “PLAY!” He saw a potential new friend running alongside the vehicle and wanted to join the game. So he jumped.

I don’t expect a lot of strategic planning from a dog, but I do expect more from myself. Still, I do things all the time that, once it is too late, I wish I hadn’t done at all. Have you ever been there? You grab hold of something only to feel regret later.

It happens every Thanksgiving. Turkey. Stuffing. Gravy. Pumpkin pie. Extra Cool Whip. [Sigh.] Regret. Nap. And then I do it again with leftovers.

Of course, eating too much once a year on a holiday is the easy stuff. We do things all the time that bring more pain and deeper regret into our lives.

The Bible warns us with questions like these: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” (Proverbs 6:27-28).

Most fail to realize that they are quoting the Bible when they say, “You’re playing with fire.” It’s a nice way of saying, “If you don’t stop what you are doing, you are about to bring some serious hurt into your life.”

Almost no one intends to bring pain into his life. We seek pleasure or escape or companionship or security. We think we are going to get something good, only to find out the thing we’ve chosen leads to something bad. That’s the problem with bad decisions: consequences. Our decisions matter. Even decisions we don’t realize that we are making.

I hear people all the time say, “This wasn’t something I planned; I didn’t mean to get into this mess.” Or, “I didn’t try to fall in love with him; it just happened.” Someone else might say, “I was going through a hard time, and this is what got me through it.”

Scripture warns us against this silliness: “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless” (Proverbs14:15).

These verses are meant to wake us up to the fact that we are making decisions all the time. We can act in wisdom and live in way that honors God, or we can be fools who grab hold of something that ultimately brings us pain.

Provebs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

This is the dangerous thing: sin is rarely obvious. In our minds, sin appears as a logical option, a reasonable risk, an enticing opportunity, a moment of pleasure. But that is the short-sighted view. In the long run, sin = death. Every single time. There is no escape.

“Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” These are God’s warnings to Cain in Genesis 4:7. Cain ignored the warning and suffered for it.

It makes me ask: Am I ignoring the warnings of God? Where is sin crouching at my door? Am I being ruled by sin? Or am I, through Christ, ruling over sin?

I will close with some reminders from the book of Romans:

…consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions…present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life…Sin will have no dominion over you…But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.



As with most of the sports world, I’ve been sucked into the drama that has surrounded the Texas Tech football program over the last week. I won’t drift into sports reporting here, as everyone from the NY to LA is covering it, but as I’ve read several articles over the last few days, I’ve seen some things that made me want to offer a few observations that, though somewhat obvious, are still important reminders.

Leach_PirateOf course, there are the humorous and obvious lessons: Pirates like gold and have authority issues; never get involved in a West Texas turf war with people that idolize a mask-wearing rider of a black horse. Resisting the temptation to comment on coaches who are also lawyers or players with famous daddies, I’ll move on.

Five rambling observations on some things that matter in working relationships…

Trust Matters
Where trust is absent, speculation swirls. Too often, people focus on the external conflict and neglect the internal reality of a relationship. There is a presenting problem: a conflict, a review, a decision, a disagreement. It’s easier to resolve the situation of the presenting problem than it is to reconcile the relationship. However, if the relationship is not restored, there will always be another issue waiting to drive a wedge between those involved. It is important to remember that you must work harder at rebuilding trust than you do at creating formal agreements, structures and contracts.

Culture Matters
Different regions approach life in different ways. If you are going to mix it up, you’d better be willing to deal with the differences. These differences are not insurmountable, but they do require an extra commitment to be flexible and overcome the differences. This is why so many organizations are run by “good ol’ boy” networks – it’s just easier (well, that and the whole power/control thing). Diversity is a good thing and worth pursuing, but it will mean dealing with some misunderstanding and longer conversations to sort things out.

Communication Matters
Email is a bad form of communication. Sure, it serves a great purpose for transferring information in a technological world, but it often leads to misunderstanding. Unless your last name is King, Wolfe, or Rushdie, I’d assume your email won’t communicate what you want it to. If you need to discuss something that deals with emotion, humor, crisis, conflict, or people, don’t lead out with email. That piece of technology to the right of your computer is called a phone. Use it. Try the phone or a personal visit, and then send an email with details or other info as a follow-up.

Humility Matters
Pride isolates and anger divides, but humility connects and unites. Humility has a unique power to overcome differences in opinion, personality and approach. Many people think of humility as a benefit at church but a hindrance in the “real world.” Thoughtful people will recognize that humility and backbone can go together. When they do, strength emerges in a person that can work through differences and not just around them.

Timing Matters
Know when it’s time to go. We don’t like to admit it when things are no longer a good fit. I’m not sure why. Maybe we are still hurt by the sixth grade break-up with blue-eyed Susie. Maybe it feels like weakness when we can’t make things work. Usually, there is enough agreement on the goals that you feel like you ought to be able to work things out, but when things are swirling for months or even years without improvement, you are almost never going to turn the corner. When that’s the case, seek wise counsel to make sure you are seeing things accurately, and then look for an exit ramp that will allow for a healthy and graceful transition.