Dear Ones,  
Hope you awakened with a heart full of joy! This week your question is, when did you last have a good hearty laugh? Hope it wasn’t so long ago that you can’t remember. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  I love being around people with a sense of humor and it seems to lighten our burdens when we have a good hearty laugh. In fact, we find in scripture that laughter is good for our souls. It says in Prov. 17:22 (NRSV), “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” Joy and laughter are like pain-reliving medicine and can bring healing to our bodies. Joyce Meyers writes, “Laughter is like internal jogging—it exercises our inner soul, bringing health to it. We need to laugh more!”
  Hopefully we can find humor all around us during our day, even to the point of laughing at ourselves. Laughter seems to rejuvenate us but depression drains us of our strength. One day when I went downstairs for our coffee and choc raspberries, we spent the time joking and laughing. One man challenged a resident that if she reached 100 someday that he would dress up like the Pope and bless her! I told him he could borrow Al’s robes and stoles and do it in proper dress. Kidding went on and when I got back up to our apartment. I felt lighter in my spirit. Al and I also seem to have more joy and laughter in our marriage. When we laugh, stress is relieved by reducing cortisol hormone levels; it also gives us a sense of well-being by increasing serotonin and dopamine hormone levels. When we have times of laughter with others, we feel a bonding taking place. There are times we have been in groups where we had holy laughter and we went home so refreshed and renewed.
   It’s like the Lord stretches us and causes our hearts to have a greater capacity for Him. I went online and read that laughter is from God, useful in praise, symbolic of victory, and part of the joy of a Christian’s life even in difficult times.
When our hearts are full of gratitude and joy, it just overflows and laughter spills out.
   Challenge for today: Read Psalm 126 which is a song for going to worship. Verse 2 says, “Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs.”
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy