So, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of family pastor scares his own children every time he sneezes?  Let me explain.  I have a big mouth! I’m reminded of  a picture of myself in high school with the bottom of a glass Coke bottle in my  mouth. I also won an apple eating contest at Elim by eating a rather large apple in three bites, and I have been utilized for making announcements when a PA system or bull horn is not available. I have a rather extensive resume on the feats of my overly large and unnecessarily loud mouth, but seriously, what does that have to do with anything?

Well, I want to encourage you, both young, and well not as young, to use what God gave you. This is a message on the many “parts” of the Body.  Some of us are loud, obnoxious, and/or fun loving. Some are quiet, reserved, and mischievous. But neither  is better, more important, or more impactful. Our families at home are unique. Each member is a part of creating the environment that we call home.

I bring up my obnoxiously large mouth to encourage  all of us to use every part of our God given nature and appearance to bring joy into our homes.  Every time I sneeze, almost without fail, I startle at least one of my five kids; most recently, it’s our almost one-year old, Reuben, and there’s not much funnier than seeing a baby jump. But the laughter that follows those sneezes is priceless. I even got Scott Diggs, AKA Elder Diggy, chuckling at me in a recent prayer service as I tried to stifle a sneeze only to make one of those loud squeaky dainty sounds a very loud mouse or very tiny girl might make.

I love to see my kids laugh. I love to see your kids laugh. I love laughing in general. As a parent, try to find ways to laugh at your crazy features. Be it an uncontrollable sneeze or a leg that’s slightly longer than the other.

In the world we live in our kids are showered with expectations of perfection, from the clothes we wear, to the way we look, to the way we talk and act. This constant need to be flawless is impossible, and eventually damaging. So, find ways to drop the silly bomb on those things that make us who we really are. That laughter will infiltrate their thinking, self-value, and awareness, and will draw us closer together as we are able to laugh together at ourselves. 

In Genesis 21:6 NIRV, just after Abraham’s son Isaac is born Sarah says “God has given laughter to me.  Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”  In thinking about how crazy it is that a couple their age  conceived and birthed a child…Sarah said, this is so ridiculous, let’s laugh.  That’s how they started their family, and if it’s good enough for Father Abraham…It’s good enough for me. 

Your Friendly Neighborhood Family Pastor,


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