This week’s confession from a highly caffeinated Christian comes brewed with controversial observations on laughter.
Where There Is Fire…
Rules are not funny to me but rules can keep you out of a world of hurt. If there is a rule, it is probably because something happened that somebody else doesn’t ever want to happen again. For example, we have “No Smoking” signs at the entrance of our church because Open Door Ministries tends to attract the “Marlboro man” to our services. Rather than run him off, we just want to keep him from firing one up during the announcements. You might think you don’t have to ask people to refrain from smoking at church but we have discovered signs are required in Johnson County.
Jesus, Wont You Light His Fire?
There is a good reason why we have one person in charge of calling the prayer chain instead of just handing out the long list of phone numbers for our church’s prayer warriors. We used to provide those phone numbers until one lady called through the entire church and asked us to pray for her husband’s apparent erectile dysfunction and asked that “the spirit would move” at around 10:00 pm on Friday. When her poor husband found out, he called through the same list insisting that there was no physical problem and that he would probably be asleep by 10:00 on Friday anyway. We don’t give out those numbers anymore.
Fire In The Sky.
When I was young, I used to let people in the crowd give testimonies but I quit handing the microphone over when one woman shocked the congregation in 1998. Her testimony was that she was in her back pasture when the “Mother Ship” landed not far from where she was standing. She wasn’t sure if they were angles or “fire aliens” but something came out and ran her back into the house. I don’t hand over the microphone anymore.
If you have church long enough, especially if you are an outreach church, your going to see things that you never thought would happen in a million years. Things that make you want to bust out laughing and make others want to run off crying.
The first time I preached in Matomoros Mexico, Pastor Gene Izaguira told me the Mafioso had just warned him not to be preaching anymore to their drug runners because too many had been converted to Christ. When he refused, the bad guys told gene they would assassinate him behind his pulpit on that very night. Mind you, this was the first night I showed up down there to preach.
“So if somebody walks in and shoots you bro,” he said with his hand on my shoulder, “its nothing against you personally.”
That night an armed gunman was stopped at the door by the 2 new converts who had not yet learned the doctrine of self-control. Forrest Griffin would have been proud of their “ground and pound” technique. In the midst of the brutal beating, that young man decided to give his life to the Lord and is a big part of Gene’s church to this day. That was my first time down there and I’ve been back more than 60 times since. How can you not love a church like that?
Fire From Heaven
Just a few months ago, my band was playing at a motorcycle church in Chico, Texas. At the end of the service, a worn out practitioner came forward in his leather and long hair asking for prayer about his hearing. “I’m real scared and I need a miracle”, he said to the Pastor.
We laid hands on him and the Man of God broke out some olive oil and put it on both his ears. They whole prayer team rebuked the devil, shouted at Heaven and proclaimed a miracle healing as our band played upbeat worship as backup. After a good ten minutes of lively scripture quoting and charismatic breakthrough, the team got quiet and the Pastor asked him how his hearing was? The man, with a confused look and oil dripping off both ears stated, “perfect, I can hear perfectly”.
Just as praise began to bust out in the church, the man interrupted, “my ears are not the problem! It’s tomorrow’s court hearing I’m worried about.” I laughed so hard I had to leave the room.
A big part of having real victory in your life is being led by God to know what you should and should not take too seriously. If you are all wrapped up in yourself, you’re a gift everybody else could do without. I double-dog-dare you to ask the Lord to give you a heart that loves to laugh. After all, that’s His heart too.
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”