This past year, many people have been suggesting that I watch the series:  The Chosen.  However, I grew up watching movies about Jesus–and while they were good, I thought this would be just one more like the others.

Recently, my mom started telling me to watch, “The Chosen.”  I don’t know if your mom is anything like mine, but my mom will suggest something, and then she will ask, “So, have you started watching “The Chosen”?  What do you think of it? “    In other words, she will follow through on her suggestion until her suggestion gets implemented, LOL,–so I started to watch, “The Chosen”.

I was pleasantly surprised.  It is not at all, like any show or movie I have ever watched about Jesus.  There is humor in it, but serious moments–great story lines–great character development.  This is really, really good.

Mostly, I love the character of Jesus.  I love ‘seeing’ the actor bring out the qualities that Jesus actually has: His grace, His truth, His kindness.His humanness, His divinity.

When I first heard Jesus say to me, “Follow Me”,  I was filled with wonder, and overwhelmed by His personal love for me.  As time went on, some of that wonder faded.  Life is hard.  I have grown tired.

This show, “The Chosen”–is reminding me of the days of my first love.  It is reminding me of the wonder of those days.

So I am recommending to all of you to watch the Series, “The Chosen.”  Apparently, people have been giving to Angel Studios, so that anyone, anywhere can watch this series for free. **What a wonderful thing.  God’s love is the only thing I know that is free–although it costs Him, His Son to make it available to all of us.  How fitting that the series that brings us this Good News–should also be free. Click here to go to Angel Studios to watch this and other things for free.

May we be encouraged!!

**. (f you already stream from Amazon Prime and Netflix–you can find, “The Chosen” series on them as well.)

My Perfect Day

When I was in High School, I ran track.  I ran the 400, which is a long-distance sprint.   In the first few races I ran, I would start out running as fast as I could, and quickly run out of steam.  It felt like my heart was going to pump out of my chest, and I was all out of breath.  In fact, sometimes, I was tempted to not finish the race at all.

Scripture tells us that living this life is like running a race.  I think that is a great visual picture.   Quite frankly, right now, I feel the same way I felt when I was in High School, like this race has taken everything I have and more, and I want to quit.

But, today—today I remembered my perfect day.  When I remembered it—I felt hope, and I thought—no—I am not going to quit.   I thought I would tell you all about my perfect day—so perhaps if you need encouragement in running your race, it might help you too.

My perfect day, was the day of my son’s wedding.   Let me tell you about this day.   My oldest son got married a little more than 2 months before my third son was killed.

The day of my son’s wedding arrived.  It was a beautiful day—it was warm and breezy, there were a few fluffy clouds in the sky.   The venue was breathtaking, with a view of water, and green, green flowing lawns.  The bridesmaids were dressed in aqua.  Our daughter-in-law was one of the most gorgeous brides, I have ever seen.  The music was so lovely, and meaningful and added to the emotions of the day.

This song was played during the wedding ceremony!!

There were candles and flowers, and exquisite food, and fairy-tale cakes.   All our children participated in the day as groomsmen, a bridesmaid and a flower girl. 

But the thing that made the day so, so amazing, was an answer to a prayer, I prayed.  I asked Jesus to be a guest at the wedding.   Jesus so clearly answered this prayer.

How do I know?  First, I experienced Jesus’ presence at the wedding.   There was this joy and laughter at the wedding—like I have never experienced before or since.  I was not the only person to sense this joy and laughter.  In fact, many, many of my friends and family told me at the wedding and after the wedding, that they had never enjoyed themselves at any wedding, quite as much as they did at this wedding.

I had only ½ glass of wine to toast the newly married couple at the wedding, and yet, many asked me if I might have had a bit too much bubbly to drink, as my behavior was overflowing with laughter and joy.

Yes—Jesus came to this wedding, and His presence was felt by so many—even though they did know why they were so unexplainably delighted.

When I think about how Jesus answered that prayer—I wonder if He wanted me to know how happy my child would be with Him—because He was giving me a taste of that happiness.  Perhaps, He wanted me to know, that although I am now waiting for Him to answer many, many prayers—that He does hear my prayers, and He has answered my prayers, and He will answer my prayers, someday—even if someday is a long, long time away.

Perhaps, you too, are waiting for your prayers to be answered, and you want to give up on your race in life.  May I encourage you with these words from scripture—

Hebrews 12: 1 and 2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

Have you ever wondered what was the joy awaiting Jesus? I think I know.  We—the bride of Christ—are the joy awaiting Him.  He died to save us and make us His Own.

I think weddings are so special to Him, because they represent the wedding that is to come for us all.    And I must tell you—the joy we will all experience at that wedding will surpass all the joy that we all have ever experienced here on this earth.

He will wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more pain, and we will have His presence and His love and His JOY!!

So, please, please, be encouraged with me!!!

Good luck?

There is an old Irish “saying”, that if a bird’s droppings fall on you, or anything you own—that is good luck!

My husband and I laugh when we remind each other of this saying, and my husband says, “Only the Irish, would look at bird droppings as a sign of good luck!”  I think this saying reveals an amazing sense of humor, and a cheerful spirit—what a way to take something negative and turn it into something positive.

When coming back from my walk today, I took a picture of the “good luck” that had fallen on our property!  Wow!!  Would you look at all that, “good luck”!! 

I hope this has given you a laugh.

Some of the best moments in my life, have been with people who know how to laugh.  There is just something about laughing and sharing laughter that draws people together and binds them together.

One of the things I love best about my husband, is his sense of humor.  He tickles my funny bone.  I can be so mad at him, and he’ll say something so accurate and funny and witty, and I’ll be laughing, and the anger will dissipate.  He also thinks I’m hysterical, and I love that! 

I have heard that comedians have the longest lasting marriages, as compared to others in the entertainment business.   I believe this.  I think having a healthy sense of humor can stop us from taking ourselves too seriously and can help keep life in perspective.  Laughter is often the medicine needed for what ails me.

Pro 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

In closing, I pray that you will be blessed with the gift of laughter which comes from a cheerful heart.

And remember, if bird droppings fall on you, it’s good luck!!  LOL

The Gift of Laughter

This week I saw a video of Ellen DeGeneres explaining why she was sitting next to President George Bush at a Cowboys football game.  She was funny and humorous explaining how this happened and her key point was we should be kind to everyone, not just to people we agree with and who agree with us.  (A timely and important message—by the way.)

Ellen DeGeneres also explained that she wasn’t really cheering for the Cowboys, but for the other team, the Packers, whose quarterback was her friend. She had to hide her Cheese hat, while sitting in the box.

That reminded me of something that happened to our boys when they were 9 and 11.  They had been invited to the local college coach’s box, as their good friend was the college coach’s son.  The home team was playing Boston College.  Boston College is their grandfather’s alma mater.  So- my boys wore Boston College sweatshirts to sit in the box.   Fortunately, their friend’s mom had a great sense of humor and was a wise woman.   According to my sons, she laughed at the sweatshirts they were wearing and then she gave my sons two oversized t-shirts displaying the local colleges’ logo to wear during the game.

We still laugh about this incident.  It illustrates the point of this blog—laughter can bring us together and diffuse tense situations.  It can restore perspective.

Here’s another situation where laughter saved the moment:  Just yesterday, my daughter was looking for an apple corer.  She had left this implement out –dirty on the counter. She asked me if I knew where it was.  I told her, I had taken care of it, my exact words were, “I probably washed it and put it away, because that’s just the kind of mom I am.”  Instead, we found the corer in the sink, under a plate.  I laughed and said, “Yup, that’s just the kind of mom I am.”  My daughter laughed, and repeated, “That’s just the kind of mom you are.”  We dissolved in laughter, and it was a bright moment for us.

I could have gotten upset with her for leaving the apple corer out on the counter– (we have rules about these things—rules that are ignored frequently.)  She could have gotten upset when she wasn’t finding it – (oh wait she did get upset) J  But laughter—diffused the situation and even made it a bonding moment for the two of us.

 Often, my husband and I can be disagreeing with each other, and then one of us will change the tone of the conversation, just by bringing humor into it.   We laugh and wonder what we were really getting so upset over.

After we lost our son Sean, I thought about that a great deal.  I would look back and wonder why I was getting so upset over so many stupid things.   The things I thought were so important, were not important at all.  In fact, most of the things I got upset over, were rather trivial in the grand scheme of things.    Jesus talked about this with Martha and Mary, (this story is found in Luke 10:38-42)—he said to Martha that she was worried and bothered about so many things, but Mary had chosen the better part, and that would not be taken away from her.  Mary had chosen to spend time with Jesus.   Mary wanted to sit at His feet and listen to His stories and treasure the time she had with Him.  I want to do the same thing—I want to treasure Jesus, the One who loves me and gave Himself for me.  The One who died to give me an eternal relationship with Him.

I am going to say something at the risk of people thinking I’m a little cuckoo – God and I have laughed together.  I talk with Him in my mind  throughout the day, just as I would talk to a friend, and He talks back to me—in my mind, and often, we laugh. 

 My hope for you is that your life will be filled with laughter— So Be Encouraged!!