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EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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A CHRISTIAN WARRIOR
AND THE MINISTRY OF MIRTH

By Steve Van Nattan

This is a miserable world in many ways. There are wars and rumors of wars. There is almost no nation on earth with righteous leaders. In the USA we watch as our leaders fight like mad roosters in the barn yard. There is very little to give man a merry heart.

Also, humor has become cynical and morbid. Men used to laugh at Laurel and Hardy and at the Three Stooges. Now, men will not laugh unless the humorist is sexually filthy, blaspheming God's name, and cutting and chopping up humanity.

Satire, the sort written by Mark Twain, is rubbish to modern society. Men want to read about horrors and black plots where the good guy and the bad guy are constantly changing roles.

The Bible believing warrior can easily fall right in step with this morbid mind set. I would estimate that 85% of all Bible believing church members, those who are biblical literalists and believe that soul winning it important, are also cynical most of the time. We are in the "End Times" spoken of in the Bible. It is not difficult to look at the world scene and believe that the horrors of the Great Tribulation could all be accomplished today because of modern technology. So, many Christians sit and talk about how horrible life is and how wicked the wicked really are.

This is perfectly worthless. Unsaved and discouraged people all around us already know that. So, when they see that you are into conspiracies, crashing dollars, world war, corrupt government, and losing the US Constitution, they will walk on and see you as just the same sort of animal they are.

This is wicked, for the Bible believer may well be the last light in the darkness. Why are so many Christians hiding their light under the bushel of grim terror and hate for the wicked above?

Here is what we are SUPPOSED to be doing:

Colossians 4:5 (KJV) Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Trading conspiracies at the church dinner is NOT "redeeming the time". It is a total waste of time because, by their very nature, and IF the conspiracies are real, there is not a blessed thing you can do about them. That is why they are conspiracies. After a long discussion of conspiracies I go home totally depressed, and I don't want to go back to the people who unloaded on me and suckered me into adding my two worthless cents to the conversation. I feel like all the angels in heaven are saying, "Well, Steve sure played the fool this Sunday."

Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

This is a medical and very physical admonition. Medical research has PROVEN, many times, that mirth and laughing are healing forces. A man full of morbid information and dark thoughts is a bag of dry bones and worthless to humanity. In my older years I have come to observe that there are many men, between 25 and 45, who seem to actually thrive on sorrow and terror. They grin with delight as they dump some horror story about FEMA, the President, or local law enforcement on me. I have come to assume that they will die before their time, for they will dry up in body, mind, and spirit, and that kills. It has been proven by research.

Proverbs 15:13 (KJV) A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

The world makes much of looking young, but they offer so little to make on FEEL young. Only a merry heart and a cheerful face will make you look younger than you are. A sour pessimistic man is what the French call a "b�te noire"-- a black beast.

Proverbs 15:15 (KJV) All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

So, who is feasting at YOUR table? In fact, do you offer a feast of a merry heart to the downtrodden? Can people come by your house and be lifted up? Read this poem elsewhere in the War Room.

Here is the fellow I want to be around:

Ecclesiastes 9:4 (KJV) For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Few Christian ministers have indulged in as much serious conspiracy hunting as I have. For about 1965 to 1995, I collected and filed reams of material on the New Age (before any of you even heard about it), and I have gone to sites where conspiracy was in process and seen that they are real.

Problem: They are human inventions. If God does not care for them, and if he sees no reason to use them in spite of themselves, virtually ALL conspiracies die. I have thrown out many huge files on conspiracies that simply went away. The leader died or was eliminated, and poof, gone over night.

In contrast, there is a phenomena happening because of the Internet and YouTube. All the old comedy stars and their movies are coming back, and people are watching them. Old timers like me watch Laurel and Hardy try to deliver a piano. Priceless, AND for those with a merry heart, it is just as funny now as it was in 1920.

How much more precious the heart and countenance of a godly Bible believer is to his friends today! There is a feast. There are people laughing until they cry. I am not talking about these new Christians comedians who stand in mega churches and make comedy out of biblical truth. That is blasphemy. I hate it. But, what a feast to listen to some brother tell of something that happened in the course of his life-- something that simply makes you double up in laughter. It feels so good afterward, and you may find yourself laughing over and over for days afterward as the story comes back to mind.

So, where to start? Answer" YOU! There is no greater a master of humor than a man who is big enough to tell stories on himself-- stories of life events that just went all wrong.

I grew up in Africa, and the Africans have no greater delight than to hear a story of life's ironies and when it all ran amuck until everyone was roaring with laughter. It is peculiar that the Black slaves in America were known for their laughter and merry hearts. Amazing. What did they have to laugh about? The point is, they had no other way to escape the hell of slavery. Even today, when Black folks get to carrying on, they fall into fits of laughter so fierce you wonder if someone will have a heart attack.

Warning: Here is a fellow whose laughter you must avoid:

Ecclesiastes 7:6 (KJV) For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

If a man is a fool, for whatever reason, beware of his laughter. He will laugh at sad things and when people are maimed and hurt. Sick humor is a cancer, and it spreads. I want nothing to do with it.

Nehemiah 8:9 (KJV) And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

Do you have many expectations of evil coming down the road? Yes? Well then, these are the "good old days" right now. Why are you making yourself miserable before the big bad bogie man you fear arrives?

Look at the people of Nehemiah's day. They went away to celebrate and have a time of great mirth. Why? Answer: They understood the words that were declared to them. Earlier in Nehemiah chapter 8 they had just stood in the street half the day and hear Ezra the priest read the law of God to them and explain it. They had not heard the law read in possibly ninety years, and they were horrified at all the commandments they had forgotten and broken in Babylon.

But, Nehemiah stopped the panic party. THEY NOW KNEW THE LAW. He told them to go home and make merry-- the future was before them, and it would be good as they obeyed God's law.

Do they make merry in heaven?

Luke 15:7 (KJV) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

I was visiting a church in Colombus, Ohio one evening. A man from the local rescue mission had confessed his faith in Jesus Christ on a previous Sunday. Whenever anyone confessed their faith in that church, the church had a birthday party. A big cake was baked and decorated, and the man was asked to come forward and give a brief testimony of his zeal for Christ. Friend, it was the sweetest moment. Here was a man only fresh out of the gutter talking, in klunky language of course, about his love of Jesus and his hope of the future. What a time for a birthday party, and what a great time to eat cake. That pastor had caught the point. The prodigal was home. It was feast time.

Now, what good thing have you let slip past without a feast? What good news did no hear of read about, and you let it fall to the ground while you Googled FEMA or the Trilateral Commission or that nasty old Obama?

If you have nothing on your mind by morbid thoughts, and if you cannot talk for three minutes without dragging the conversation to surviving the horrible coming crash, smash, and flash, go away please. I do not want you around. You are a pest.

I am a sucker for that stuff, and I know a lot more about these horrors than you will ever know. I am a person of the world. I grew up in Africa listening to world news and visiting with people from all over the world every week since I was in 5th grade. I have plenty of knowledge of how very wicked the world is, and I want off at the next station-- the one called "Merry Heart."

I have a poem for you. It teaches a moral that we must not forget"


SOLITUDE

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone,
For sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air,
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all --
There are none to decline your nectar'd wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

If you have a merry heart-- I mean, if you REPENT of your morbid sour talk and thoughts, do you suppose you will lose some of your old friends?

I HOPE SO, SIR. For, most of your former friends were as sour as you were. Look here now, do you REALLY want to live with those men the rest of your life. Better to be alone and at least not have to hear the miserable tales of woe.

Better to be all alone with God than in the company or a "b�te noire"-- a black beast.

But, I predict that, if you ask God to give you a merry heart, and cultivate it, you will be very pleasantly surprised to leatn that people are stopping by, or asking you to join them, because of your merry heart.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

 

 

LINKS:

Here is my page on the journal to help you laugh.

Watch this video all the way through please.
Parts of it may seem trite to you, but the research is in, and laughter has direct positive physical effects for better health. Solomon had it under inspiration long ago-- A merry heart is indeed good like a medicine. Gross as he was, Johnny Carson was better for the health of Americans than Star Wars.

Research probing a merry HEART is a healthy heart.

Here is a more detailed explanation of how it works. Easy to understand.

Do you think YOU have it bad?
Well, there may be nowhere on earth with less to be merry about than Haiti.
So, watch this please:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20UJFJZf-3Y

 

One last thought:
I have known people who have been morbid and immersed in gloom for so long that they cannot laugh. When people are laughing, or someone tells a funny story, they glare. It seems that there is a point of no return.

BEWARE MY FRIEND.

 

 

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