Laugh On Laugh Off 

       When was the last time you just had a good laugh. I’m talking about the kind that you can’t stop and you start making weird sounds and high pitched squeaks. Then your eyes get in on the fun and start to drip tears of giggles and streams of silly. 

The worst is when you get a laughing spell at a place where your best manners are expected to be quiet and listen.   A classroom, church, graduation ceremony, funeral or a work meeting might be one of those places uncontrolled laughing might be frowned upon. 

But it has probably happened to most of us at some time or another. Possibly when we were younger or for some it was yesterday. 

Medical research shows that laughter is indeed good medicine. The Bible stated it first in Proverbs 17:22

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Amazing to me how science is always catching up with God’s unchangeable basic truths. 

God is reminding me this season of my “middle aged womanly self” to 
Laugh On 
Laugh Off

Remember the clap on, clap off lamps? Those were always fun to clap on the light and clap off the light from across the room. 

Now keep in mind, I’m not talking about ignoring and not addressing deep seated issues that need attention.  We all know the tragedy of one of the funniest comedians Robin Williams.  God rest his soul. This is not about putting on a happy face and hiding our sadness on the inside.  

Laugh On Laugh Off

You have a family member or friend who just tries your patience on a regular basis. Maybe they are annoying and are constantly negative. Instead of jumping up and down with them in their bouncy ball house of put downs……….
smile and say something super sweet about that person they are roasting over an open fire.
Go a crazy step further and suggest a prayer together for that person. 
Watch what happens!!
It will make you chuckle. 
Most likely they will stop trash talking or think you’re a Jesus freak cake and walk away. 
Problem solved!!
You didn’t get drawn into negative talk or stinking thinking about anyone. 

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Laugh On Laugh Off

Let’s clap onto one more example. 

This one requires your imagination and complete concentration. You may need to clear away some “I’m too old and mature” cobwebs to clearly see this on your visual screen of thought. 

This is a mind over matter deal. It goes along the line of the advice of your parents.  Remember when you had to give your first speech. You were completely scared and nerved out!! Did anyone ever say to you?  Just imagine the audience all sitting and listening to you in their underwear. (modest underwear of course) It really helped if your professor was like mine and looked like he stepped out of the 18th century with rim glasses and wiry hair sticking up and out everywhere.  I think that may have even included his nostrils. 
I only endorse this recommendation if your professor and audience resemble Albert Einstein. 

Okay, so here we go!!
Use your imagination, Barney!!

You are in a social setting and that person who just rubs you the wrong way walks up to you to say hello. They start into their conversation that always and completely centers around themselves and their other selves. 
Instead of falling into your usual false judgements about them. Which by the way they could be very valid and proven true!!
Just give them the benefit of the doubt. 

I used to watch Sesame Street as a young child and found Big Bird quite mesmerizing. Especially his big nest he occasionally climbed in and out of singing songs. 

Mind over Matter 
Back to our “me first” friend who pops into our social setting. 
Go there with your vivid wild imagination and visualize them as Big Bird from Sesame Street. They become quite tall and yellow with a bright orange beak. One that flaps quite rapidly without much hesitation. You watch as they take big steps of waddle and swag back to their nest. This being the biggest nest of human proportions which houses their soiled eggs of disappointment and rejection. 
Smile back at them and shoot that bird some blessings. 
Now it’s possible your silly Sesame Street thoughts of that person might actually turn into compassion and empathy for them. 
With God all things are possible!!
You can take the opportunity to privately pray for them as they widdle waddle away. 

With all things it takes practice to build back your imagination skills. 
Practice makes perfect!!

Congratulations you have made the choice to…….

Laugh Off
any opportunity for gossip, offense or judgements to stick to you. 

Laugh On
some new empathy, compassion and understanding for that person. 

I Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Everyone’s a winner!!

Big bird would be so proud!

Watch below 
Big Bird shares something little to help someone in a big way.

Laugh On,
Kelley Allison
Proverbs 17:22

I Won’t Worry My Life Away

As I slept last night I would suddenly become awakened and start singing “I won’t, I won’t, worry my life away…” Strangely, I don’t remember hearing this song lately.  I don’t listen to Jason Mraz normally, so I was surprised that google revealed the song stuck in my head as Remedy, I Won’t Worry by Jason Mraz.

Some of the lyrics are: I say the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend the rest of your nights with the light on So shine the light on all of your friends  When it all amounts to nothing in the end I, I won’t worry my life away I, I won’t worry my life away I, I won’t worry my life away

As I read that line in the song, “So shine the light on all of your friends”, I knew God wanted me to shed some light on “Worry”.

I used to be a big time worry wart.  I even had a worry stone that I used to love to rub. When Christ’s Spirit took up residence in me back in 2006, He started to move out some junk.  My Worry got so bad that it was not until after my dad was hospitalized for 2 years on the brink of death and during that time I also suffered a stroke at just 38 years old, that I was desperate for worry to take a hike.  I can’t tell you the exact moment all my worry went away, but I do know that I was filled with Peace, that I had never known before.

 As John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The world can offer us worry stones, but only Christ offers and delivers True Lasting Peace!

Here are some more Promises to cling to when you feel like worry is taking over:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:7 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

And one of my all-time favorites that helped me through my stroke and some really dark times.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.   1 Peter 5:7-10 NLT

So what about Worry and what is the big reference or revelation I got from this song stuck in my head? 

 2 words-SOCIAL MEDIA.   

First let me say, I love Social Media, I think it is such a brilliant creation.  I love the whole concept of connecting and encouraging each other.  I love to be able to see pictures and hear about my friends and family near and far.  I love to connect with people that I have only met online and never in person.  I finally get the whole # hashtag thing and twitter after I got to rap with Grammy winning Gospel Singer Mandisa in front of almost thirty thousand peeps, and learned that just tweeting an Instagram picture of Johnny Depp fishing in your hometown will set off a reporter frenzy and you can become quite “Uber Famous” as my son likes to say.   I am all self- taught at social media and am no guru or expert by any means.

I know that Social media can be used for good and bad and sometimes just the good ole ridiculous.  I admit I am a Nash Grier fan.   I prefer to keep my social media pages less ridiculous and more positive.   Some days it seems that fear and worry are plaguing the news feeds and death and doom and gloom keep filling our view, and all the negativity is drowning out any of the great good stories.  The new thing is these fake news stories, made to look like real news and people just keep getting worked up and re sharing them.  Or they take the real news stories and keep posting them and talking about them and opinions get heated and people will be fighting and cursing each other.  It just stirs up worry and fear and more hate.  People are voicing opinions and complaining on all sorts of crazy stuff and spending precious time and energy on this junk.  I scroll through the feed some days and I am just saddened at how many people are buying into all this mess of media fear, worry, fake news stories, real news stories, and horrific images that people love to just keep re sharing and re sharing over and over.

I miss the old Facebook, where you could just see what people were doing. Check out some pictures of their adventures or families.  Share in their excitement or pray for them in their time of sorrows. I like when the recipes and decorating or DIY ideas stayed on Pinterest.  The play by play actions of what people were doing were kept on Twitter, (or Facebook had a daily limit on how many times you can post).  All the cute and funny baby and animal pics were kept on Instagram, the ice bucket Videos kept on YouTube, and the big rants, revelations, or opinions were kept to WordPress on their blogs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that you can connect all your different social media accounts, but sometimes Facebook does get just a little too much.

So what do I do to not let all that junk offend me or get me worried or worked up?  I cling to the Promises above, and when it gets too much and  people rant and rant or get too political or judgmental  I just keep scrolling by and singing  “Great Peace have they that love Your laws and nothing shall offend them! “  Psalm 119:165

I don’t get upset that friends had lunch or got together without me, I don’t get offended that someone doesn’t have the same religious beliefs I have.  I don’t think anyone has a bigger house or better car or better husband or children or ministry than me. I am content and secure. I don’t love my gay friends any less than my Christian friends.  I don’t hate Obama, even though I did not vote for him. I don’t count likes for my pictures or posts,  ( I do count them on my Facebook Restored Ministries Page so be sure to check us out on Facebook and Like Restored Ministries ) Seriously, in all honesty and joking aside, I really am unmoved by it all. Why?  I serve the God of Peace.  I serve the King Of Kings.  I have kicked worry to the curb. The Spirit of Peace resides inside of me now. Whoever is president does not affect me.  Jesus is still King regardless of who is in the White House.

I love love Love  that I have a choice not to buy into all that worry and fear or hate and complaining so I choose to just keep on scrolling and praying for all the hurting, scared, and worried people.   

 I try to live my life on this great Promise.   Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. ~  Philippians 4:8 GWT

Won’t you let Christ fill you with real lasting Peace and stop letting the world and all its News Feeds keep you worked up and worried.  Life is too short to “Worry” it away.  ~  XXOO Michelle Bollom

Here is proof of my Uber Famous Social Media Moments below.