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May 6, 2022 6:00 am
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Children are not your source of light. Don't find your strength from. I got all my kids know me out yet given. While you will find out. Nothing sucks the life you faster get going to have some hope and encouragement, and laughter. On Focus on the Family with your host Jim Daly thanks for joining us on John we all expect them to be our of joy and our reason for living, were bound to be disappointed. Only God can truly fill our hearts that way.
And that's the message Ted Cunningham wants to share with you today, especially if you're getting stressed out by all the details involved in parenting a child, Ted is going to encourage you to destress with laughter and I know you'll get a kick out of his presentation. It's based on his book a love that laughs published by Focus on the Family right and you can get a copy of that book from us. The proceeds go right back into the ministry.
When you do look for a love that laughs at our website and we got the link in the show notes will Ted really is a favorite on this broadcast. He so entertaining and he's a comedian at heart.
You can hear that he's also a pastor at heart, he's the lead pastor at Woodland Hills family church in Branson Missouri. With that, here's Ted Cunningham speaking at a sparkle women's River Valley church in Minneapolis on focus on is great being here or we been told to turn our neighbor and say I really haven't been comfortable with any of them.
I was feeling no, I don't really know what's going on. Love you also get like one of my doing in the women's conference, and then it hit me. This theme is is focus on the last part and she laughs without fear of the future and we just heard that the six languages working out all know I'm just that it's my wife love languages working out long walk.
She wants me and the dog every night right before sunset. She wants me to live till 90 and I believe the six love language could also be laughed. The way we give and receive love. I just finish the book on laughter called allotment last and we study laughter for the last year and I've been watching it in my wife and my wife have a silent patriotic lap is what I call her lap when she find something funny. She places her hand over her heart leans forward and nothing comes out. So I go to churches that are used to laughter my luck on the river valley. All of the lap center at all like I need you and I believe the reason I am here today to tell you your sources and where you find your strength but I also encourage you to lighten up.
So she started the first part of Proverbs 31, 25, which is where when I got this verse and I got this theme.
My heart leapt, was so excited I started to pencil some things down just a been meditating on it for the past few months and asking the question. Where does a woman find her strength or hope or competence. Psalm 118 in verse 14 says my power and strength come from the Lord, and he has saved me some 27 says the Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trust in him and he helps me. My heart leapt for joy and with my song I praise him. I wanted to tell you he is your source of life today is your source of life and be careful what you do with people, places or things.
Be very careful not to turn people, places or things into your source of life. We say around our home.
Often my source of life is Jesus, not you. I received from him and pour out to you what you received from me should be the overflow of my relationship with the Lord, your strength, your hope, your confidence, it's not an outward appearance. First Peter three verses three and four. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry, or find closes this prohibitive now it's saying don't let that be your source, but the overflow don't let it be your source. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight wear nice clothes wear makeup. That's not all that this is teaching us and you just shouldn't be your source of life is not money. First Timothy 617 command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
We lose strength and lacked confidence when we turn the blessings of God into our source of life. We start worshiping the blessings rather than the one who blessed us. Where is your source today I want to talk to you in the time that we have remaining just about laughter as a barometer of strength. Laughter is a barometer of strength, not perfection but strength to other areas. You should never find yourself looking to is your source, your source is not in your children are not your source of life and some of you right now. Your children have become an extension you find your value in them. Vanity parenting uses the child's attributes and accomplishments to try to impress other people. Let your strength, let your competence, let your hope. Let your beauty come from that inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, I have to talk to the monster just a sign because site everything I do is marriage and parenting. I can't get away from it. Mom you're stressing out over the nonessentials and parenting and you need to know what the essentials on the essentials are hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength and impress these commandments are to be upon your heart. Impress them upon your children. Bring your children up and that the discipline and instruction of the Lord. That's the essentials that were going after, but I see parents today stressing over the nonessentials why mom stressing over the nonessentials because the children have become the source. Your family is not perfect and you're going to do okay on the show you if you think just give you an example of what I see parents stressing out over to hot this one right here formula passionate people got nurse nurse as long as you get nursing didn't work for us with Karen. She's like, thanks for sharing that with all the women of Minnesota. Dad butted. I'll never forget six weeks or six week appointment. We went into the document sent by Amy and he comes in is going over all of her charts start looking at her head heads good length good to the weight chart is back is turned, was he's one of these doctors. It doesn't have great bedside manner and I'll never forget him saying these words. Good night.
What you doing starting this baby. I looked over at Amy. The tears start flowing.
This is why it's so important. If you're not in a life group home group small group. If you don't have community get in community because that night we had home group. That night we had home group and were new parents trying to figure it out and we ain't doing that well and were an emotional wreck were not sleeping. My friends never slept the night and on those first six weeks and were exhausted, we start telling all our struggles and one older lady in our group gets up and she walks over to the kitchen.
I follow her. I said excuse me said what you do when she reaches up in the cabinet. She grabs that formula to give you free at the hospital. She puts it down and she starts making a bottle.
I go I will hate what you doing that.
I've read all the books right. I know what the books say something to write a real passion is okay. That's the whole point I'm trying to make and I got really all up in arms at this late point, much as you give me one good reason why can't give Karen formula right now. It's about.
First of all I don't want to go to community college. That's where I'll start using it. About 75% lab notes when you whine 25% are super right now your stress, your kids can be fine. Lighten up. Mom looks nonessentials let go.
The nonessentials little bit. Your children are not your source of light don't mind your strength from going on. My kids tell me you get it while you will find out.
Nothing sucks the life out of you faster about this one. Let's keep going there since Raven so much fun thinking no your daughter thinking we did till she was to sure she can't pronounce addresses 25 letters I need to know that she got down. Let's keep going about this the family bed, hire people get online. Everything you could send her home to explain something right now. Every moment here in this series is not a punchline you are under no obligation to explain or defend your parenting choices over there right yet family bed is I have no idea how they had so many kids but that's your choice here to tell you otherwise. All the stress is parents of the school picture right what school public-private Christian, you're under no obligation to explain or defend your choices. Plus I'm seeing parents today stress over the we send our kids on the bus.
I grew up on the bus company to grow up on a bus. I went stressing about this decision.
Right now I want to look around. I do because I Manassas questionnaire. Be shocked at how many hands go up. How many of you remember back in the day.
Bus drivers kicking unruly kids off the bus in the middle of the route on Minnesota now it's 10 below zero get on. We know you will like the cornfields of Illinois.
I remember getting dropped off all along he stayed out of the combine, you refine what we all survived. When your mom is also she just wait your brother like I had a brother for your screen on the back swing.
See how quickly can do this but already enjoyed laughter again.
Understanding the laughter is a barometer of strength never got to the end of the day and you like I haven't left once today sign I need to find a way to laugh or do I need to take a deeper look what's going on that I'm so stressed that I am so focused on all of these wellness and nonessentials that I need to get back to it so I wanted to share it. I know this seems like a lot but I think we got time to plow through it. I have a chapter in the book called 38 benefits of laughter and I want to give you 42 of them to go to lunch and I keeping you for lunch but I like 15 of them because Proverbs 1722 says a cheerful heart is good medicine we've been taking that medicine since the state began to laugh as I walked through the doors at eight. I I gotta tell you something.
Laughter is a great way to know where am I right now strength and confidence with hope to great barometer number one laughter as therapy therapy. We've been taking some of this today. Pastor Chuck Swindoll says laugh out loud. It helps flush out the nervous system. Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy. God ever granted humanity laugh. Number two. Humor helps us learn, and hope opens us up for the truth. I was love. Tell people. Yes, laughter is a medicine but it also helps other medicines go down and sometimes I get criticize use too much laughter too much humor when you preach. I said yeah but if you just would pay attention while you're laughing.
I'm cramming truth down your throat. I do it Sunday after Sunday. Three. Humor helps us cope a person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It is jolted by every pebble in the road. Good humor makes all things tolerable. Henry Ward Beecher one. Laughter is free, no memberships, no subscriptions number five when we laugh, we breathe in oxygen rich air Dr. Sophie Scott neuroscientists I've been studying her for the last couple years, heard her and studying her research that sounded really weird way that came out. Laughter is a deep breath negatively and literally when you laugh your rib cage expands and contracts more rapidly than it does when you breathe or talk that leads to the 61 laughing burns calories I did.
I just to make a point. When Julia started talking. I looked at my calorie count by the end of her talk this as I was sitting there, we were sitting there. I burn 43 cal during her talk. According to Vanderbilt University. You can shed 40 cal with 10 teen minutes of laughter, so laugh and put away the jogging suit. That's what I say. Number seven. Laughter reduces tension. Your entire body. Laughter reduces tension throughout your entire body.
I love you date night comedy events around the country and I just did my favorite comment to hear what people walk out as my face hurts or my side hurts. I can't remember the last time we laugh 3 to 5 laps per minute and you really are exhausted at the end of time you ever watch comedy specials. That's why they only go one hour and five or an hour and 10 minutes you'll rarely see a commish about an hour and 15 or an hour and 20 because you just don't have any more laughs and you you're exhausted. That's a good thing to exhaust yourself with laughter. Here's my favorite one number eight. Your body can't tell the difference between fate and real laughter.
Your mind can, but your body can so that you're not feeling it, so that's an important lesson for why they I don't know where your mind just went with that. But I'm talking about the next time your husband tells a joke that ain't any bacon all this he says somebody does something your knee is reading me there. Let it go nine humor grows to people closer together. I heard somebody tell me he was last year. I think life events are on their way out. I went, I don't think you know what you been doing, laughing together, you can't. When you're in, you can laugh at something when it's just you but is not nearly as much fun and it is this and is contagious as this watch this show some tickle yourself right now. See if you make yourself laugh. You can you cannot yourself to make yourself laugh now turn to your neighbor and not know this woman with another church laughing says I'm with you that I'm on the same page I get 10 laughter defuses social tension and awkwardness.
Humor is a great tool to break the ice with strangers and new friends, and indicator it immediately helps us identify other people that get us a 111 laughter makes you more attractive than online dating sites are trying to figure out how to get this into the algorithm besides just the question you have a sense of humor you want to do with a sense humor and again tell the guys in our church. You don't need the looks of Brad Pitt. You don't need the body of the rock, and you don't need the confidence of Tony Stark day you need a paycheck and a couple of jokes a paycheck and well after his great relationship and chemistry 12 laughter humanizes me laughter is a shake of the head acknowledging I can't believe I just said that I just did that. Ethel Barrymore said you grew up. The day you have your first real laugh at yourself.
Pastor Mark Patterson says that the happiest and healthiest people in the world are the people who laugh at themselves. The most you got to take God seriously, but you can't take yourself seriously honest, I think we are grossly underestimating God sense of humor. I believe the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
We tend to ignore the second half.
Maybe we need to take on more seriously.
Three more 13 laughter pleases God.
Randy Alcorn says laughter is not only human. It's explicitly biblical and pleasing to God. It's therefore inconceivable to think that Jesus didn't laugh.
Laughter ministers to others. The best way to cheer yourself to try to cheer someone else up. Mark Twain that's one of things I love to do when I go into the hospital I visited folks from our church in hospice care and their spouses Ted were so glad you're here. You need to make them laugh just have fun together and there've been plenty of people in their final days were we just sit around.
We sat around we told stories and we laughed enjoying the fellowship of one another. The last one. Laughter reminds us of the hope of heaven like Randy Alcorn says Jesus is blessed are those who weep now, for you shall laugh in context, is talking about people having great reward in heaven. In other words he's saying you will laugh in heaven. Surely Jesus will join in the laughter and be a source of much of it and when Jesus laugh is always the laughter of both God and man. One of the criticisms our church receives in Branson and one of the reasons people will say they stay away from our church is because there's too many people and too much laughter to which we say, you're probably not an ally. Kevin Martin Luther actually put it this way then allow laughter in heaven that I don't want to go there. This laughter then surely heaven is filled with that heaven is the birthplace of laughter. If I just encourage you with this last image. It's on my phone. It's my alarm section 340 was to get the Minnesota 522 and military time 1722, which is a reminder. Proverbs 1722, but that alarm go off. Just ask yourself the question that item laugh today.
How much laughter was my conflict laughter ratio AW Tosi said the people of God ought to be the happiest people in all the wide world.
The Christian owes it to the world to be super naturally joint. Philippians 44 rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again rejoice. Thanks Marco for allowing me to share a little bit so the focus of coming up on Sunday. I'd say this message was well-timed to think that is great timing and we want to wish all the bombs in our audience a happy blessed Mother's Day moms you really are special and you know I have a lot of great memories of my mom even though I lost her when I was only nine, and I especially remember her great sense of humor. She really love to laugh and it just lifted the entire family makes me smile just thinking about that and as Ted pointed out, laughter is something that we all need in our lives, and I'd encourage you to get a copy of his book a love that laughs published by Focus on the Family when you request a copy through us.
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Join us as we provide resources to strengthen marriages, empower parents and protect pre-born children and when you make a monthly pledge of any amount will send you a copy of a love that laughs as our way of saying thank you and if you can't make a monthly commitment. Right now we understand we can also send you the book for a one-time gift of any amount simply get in touch with us today and remember when ever you're shopping for books by Christian authors and other Bible related resources, check our online store. We only stock items that have earned a seal of approval from focus a ministry you already know and trust. We also offer top-notch customer service and you have the peace of mind knowing that your hard earned dollars are benefiting a ministry you believe in, rather than going to a secular Corporation. I hope you'll shop first with us. Follow-up by calling 800 K in the word family were weak at the links in the show notes so you can donate to the work of focus and request your book when you're online with us. Look for link to our Focus on the Family parenting podcast which is a great source of ongoing encouragement and support for your journey as a mom or dad. Have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well. Be sure to be back with us on Monday will have Amber, Leah and Wendy speak explaining why moms need a better response when their children this way And we go at it again and come evening and you crying about how you were blaming and shaming negative with nasty face and just on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team for listening to this Focus on the Family podcast if you would please take a moment or two, give us a rating and review a new podcast sure about this episode with a friend who might need some encouragement and a little bit of John Fuller inviting you back next time. More help and your family thrive and I knew my marriage was falling apart. I just didn't know how to fix it. I felt like I would always be alone even if I stayed married at Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensively offer hope to couples in crisis so they can have a marriage they've always dreamed for the first time I felt like my husband truly heard me.
I received some great tools from the counselor said of change my life and my marriage to begin the journey of finding health go to hope restored.com today