The serious business of play

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We are not meant
to be perpetually
solemn:
We must play.

–C. S. Lewis

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The speed of humor

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Common sense
and a sense of humor
are the same thing,
moving at different speeds.
A sense of humor is just
common sense,
dancing.

–William James

A preference for pigs

pig-kisserwegweg

I like pigs.
Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals.

–Winston Churchill

Published in: on 10/19/2014 at 15:51  Leave a Comment  
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Theological fitness

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The difficulty for the Calvinist is that he keeps running into Arminian verses, and similarly the Arminian is discomforted by those reoccurring Calvinist texts. Makes you wonder how all that stuff got into Holy Scripture. But the upside is this—it’s what stretches Bible students and keeps them active and physically fit. Paul recognized the benefits of keeping mobile when he wrote: theological acrobatics profiteth a little. There’s no rest for the wicked—nor for Biblical scholars. Just when you’ve got it all nailed down, one of those awkward verses crops up again. It appears God is much less interested in our tidy theological schemes that we are.

–J. O. Schulz

Image: Emile C. Wauters

Published in: on 08/16/2014 at 7:35  Leave a Comment  
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To heaven and back

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A boy and his dad were spending a day at the sea shore. The little fellow called his father over and pointed to a dead seagull on the beach.
“What happened, Daddy?”
The father explained, “The bird died and went to heaven.”
Puzzled, the boy asked, “But, why did God throw him back down?”

Published in: on 06/21/2014 at 15:49  Leave a Comment  
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What did adults do?

moises red sea

A little boy had a question for his father after Sunday School. “Daddy,” he asked, “My teacher has been telling us Bible stories — all about the children of Israel leaving Egypt, the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, and the children of Israel building the Temple. Well, didn’t the grown ups do anything?”

–Unknown

Published in: on 06/14/2014 at 7:44  Leave a Comment  
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A good joke

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A good joke is one that catches you by surprise—like God’s, for instance. Who would have guessed that Israel of all nations would be the one God picked or Sarah would have Isaac at the age of ninety or the Messiah would turn up in a manger? Who could possibly see the duck-billed platypus coming or Saint Simeon Stylites or the character currently occupying the pulpit at First Presbyterian? The laugh in each case results from astonished delight at the sheer unexpectedness of the thing.

Satan’s jokes, on the other hand, you can usually spot a mile off. As soon as the serpent came slithering up to Adam and Eve, almost anybody could tell that the laugh was going to be on them. That a person as blameless, upright, and well-heeled as Job was bound to have the rug pulled out from under him before he was through… And so on.

In the last analysis, the only one who gets much of a kick out of Satan’s jokes is Satan himself. With God’s, however, even the most hardened cynics and bitterest pessimists have a hard time repressing an occasional smile. When God really gets going, even the morning stars burst into singing and all the sons of God shout for joy.

–Frederick Buechner

Published in: on 02/06/2014 at 11:24  Leave a Comment  
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The serious matter of humor

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Numbers of clergymen have from time to time reproached me for making jokes about religion; and they have almost always invoked the authority of that very sensible commandment which says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Of course, I pointed out that I was not in any conceivable sense taking the name in vain. To take a thing and make a joke out of it is not to take it in vain. It is, on the contrary, to take it and use it for an uncommonly good object. To use a thing in vain means to use it without use. But a joke may be exceedingly useful; it may contain the whole earthly sense, not to mention the whole heavenly sense, of a situation. And those who find in the Bible the commandment can find in the Bible any number of the jokes. In the same book in which God’s name is fenced from being taken in vain, God himself overwhelms Job with a torrent of terrible levities.

The same book which says that 
God’s name must not be taken vainly,
talks easily and carelessly about 
God laughing and God winking.

Evidently it is not here that we have to look for genuine examples of what is meant by a vain use of the name. And it is not very difficult to see where we have really to look for it. The people (as I tactfully pointed out to them) who really take the name of the Lord in vain are the clergymen themselves. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is not a careless joke. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is a careless solemnity.

–G. K. Chesterton

Image: Jeannette Woitzik

Cross country skiing

Cross country skiing
is great if you live
in a small country.

–Steven Wright

Published in: on 01/07/2012 at 13:15  Leave a Comment  

Leap of faith

Sometimes your only
available transportation
is a leap of faith.

–Margaret Shepard

Published in: on 01/01/2012 at 19:52  Leave a Comment  
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God likes it when you laugh

It is pleasing to God
whenever you rejoice or laugh
from the bottom of your heart.

–Martin Luther

Published in: on 11/29/2011 at 7:56  Leave a Comment  
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Prayer is needed

We should not permit prayer
to be taken out of the schools;
that’s the only way
most of us got through.

–Sam Levenson

Published in: on 08/24/2011 at 14:59  Leave a Comment  
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The dead church

A new pastor in Topeka, Kansas, USA, spent the first four days making personal visits to each of his prospective congregation inviting them to come to his inaugural services.

The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone’s duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon.

Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the “funeral”.

In front of the pulpit they saw a closed coffin which was covered in flowers. After the pastor had delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.

Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a “dead church”, all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each “mourner” peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.

In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.

Published in: on 07/14/2011 at 16:13  Leave a Comment  

He concealed something

Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth, and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.

–G. K. Chesterton
(1874 – 1936)

Published in: on 04/27/2011 at 3:43  Leave a Comment  
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It was His mirth

Joy, which was the small publicity of the Pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume [Orthodoxy], I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation.

This tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall.

His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud, proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something . . .

Solemn Supermen and Imperial Diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down from the steps of the Temple and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something . . .

I say it with reverence — there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness.

There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray.

There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation.

There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth, and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.

–C. K. Chesterton

Published in: on 01/15/2011 at 21:36  Leave a Comment  
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Humour

Jokes humanise, jokes civilise, jokes deflect wrath. Jokes give perspective, insight, clarity. Jokes give complexity. Jokes add life-giving layers of possibility. Jokes do not compromise the seriousness: jokes add to a serious intention and make deeper the meaning. Ask Shakespeare if you don’t believe me, or Donne, or Joyce. But so much of daily life is organised by the conspiracies of the jokeless: the dehumanisers, those who dread perspective, balance, thought. Lord deliver us from the humourless.

–Simon Barnes

Published in: on 01/15/2011 at 21:17  Leave a Comment  

Laughter and grace

Laughter is
the closest thing
to the grace of God.

–Karl Barth

Published in: on 01/15/2011 at 11:59  Leave a Comment  

Melody in “F”

(The Prodigal Son)
Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the farthings, and flew far to foreign fields and fabulously frittered his fortune with faithless friends. Fleeced by his fellows in folly, and facing famine, he found himself a feed-flinger in a filthy farmyard. Farily famishing, he faine would’ve filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments. “Fooey, my father’s flunkies fare far finer, “The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled, frankly facing facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled with foreboding, he fled forthwith to his family. Falling at his father’s feet, he forlornly fumbled, “Father, I’ve flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited family fellowship favor. “The far-sighted father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies. “Fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast. “The fugitive’s fault-finding brother frowned on fickle forgiveness of former folderol. But the faithful father figured, “Filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found! What forbids fervent festivity? Let flags be unfurled! Let fanfares flare!” Father’s forgiveness formed the foundation for the former fugitive’s future fortitude!

-Autor unknown

Published in: on 10/14/2010 at 18:17  Leave a Comment  
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More than meets the eye

There is a lot
more juice
in grapefruit
than what meets
the eye.

-Author unknown

Published in: on 09/13/2010 at 17:17  Leave a Comment  

Laws of nature

LITTLE-KNOWN, BUT OFTEN-EXPERIENCED LAWS OF NATURE
1. Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to use the bathroom.
2. Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
3. Law of Probability – The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
4. Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.
5. Law of the Alibi – If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.
6. Variation Law – If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).
7. Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
8. Law of Close Encounters – The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.
9. Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.
10. Law of Biomechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
11. The Starbucks Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something that will last until the coffee is cold.
12. Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.
13. Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.
14. Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.
15. Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well and make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. Don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick.
–Author unknown
Published in: on 08/11/2010 at 23:10  Leave a Comment  
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Learning to fly

Angels can fly because
they take themselves
lightly.

–G. K. Chesterton

Published in: on 07/23/2010 at 13:57  Leave a Comment  
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