Dear Ones,
We just got home from the lake after a wonderful refreshing time. I got to see a friend on the way and met her in the gazebo and prayed together. Later after a swim and scrabble game, Ann had us for a birthday party on the deck with scrumptious steaks etc for supper. Today I was so happy to go with Ann to the women’s Bible study and saw old friends again. What a blessing! We had a sauna and swim this afternoon with Ann’s and now we are home again and my tank is all filled up!
 Devotions from Judy’s heart
Don’t you love to be with people that have a wonderful sense of humor? They seem to find something to laugh about, even if it would be their own mistakes. I had a second cousin that was like that and we always knew when the family was together, laughter would fill the room. Sometimes we ached from laughing and afterwards we felt a little lighter and our spirits lifted. I just read an article in Just Between Us by Shelly Esser, who speaks of laughter as soul medicine. She said there are 48 references about laughter in the Bible and it is a healing power to ease our stress, pain and conflict. Some health centers even have laughter therapy to help us to relax and bring our bodies back into balance. Shelly wrote that laughter leaves our muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after and boosts the immune system. It releases endorphins so that we are left with a sense of well-being. Last week Al was sitting down by the lake as I played a game with relatives; he said he loved hearing the laughter spilling out of the cabin and so much joy. Laughter is contagious and a gift from God that helps us also cope with sadness. Job went through so many hardships and losses and his friend Bildad reminds him in Job 8:22 (The Message), “God will let you laugh again; you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy.”  Sometimes we may need reminding too, that God is in control and as it says in Nehemiah 8:10, “Don’t feel bad. The joy of the Lord is your strength.” I remember one time when we were in our first parsonage and I had some nursing friends over along with a missionary. I’m not sure why we were sitting on the floor but I remembered we laughed until our sides ached. When the missionary left, she said in so many words, “You will never know how much better I feel and the laughter was just what I needed!”  More than ever today. especially as things get darker in our world, we need to be free to have times of laughter and let joy bubble up in our souls to bind us together.
Challenge for today: Develop a sense of humor and take joy and laughter out into the world you live in.
Blessings on your evening and prayers and love, Judy