Saturday, 31 May 2014


This iris plant came from an Elder in Neepawa.   Sharing plants is rather like sharing the Good News... it comes unexpectedly and  is beautiful :)     We planted the iris last summer but had to wait until this Spring to know what colour of flower and type of iris we had planted. 
Great God,  we give You thanks today for our family and our Church family.   Guide us this day that we may share Your love and peace with those we meet.   Renew our souls this day when  we get bogged down in too much pain or too much negativity.  Remind us that You are our Light and our Peace.    Be with those who preach and teach tomorrow. Open our ears to Your Good News.  Open our hearts to Your beauty of this world.  Open our arms to do Your work now and forever.  Amen.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Friday - newness of time

Today at Brandon University are the Convocations for the 2014 Graduates of Bachelor of Music,  Science,  and Education.   As part of the Convocation,  Brandon University holds a PowWow the night before.  Then the day of  Convocation,  a minister of Word and Sacrament is asked to lead a Prayer of Invocation.   What must the students think to hear a prayer just for them as they begin their new lives and new careers?    Convocation is a time of newness and excitement.  Years of education have been achieved.  The new Grads  begin a time of seeking employment and careers.    The newness of time.      How amazing that Brandon University asks a Minister of Word and Sacrament to be part of this newness of time. 

            Read 1 Timothy 5: 1-8

Paul instructs Timothy how the Christian community must care of the widows, elderly, and slaves.   What one word comes to your mind when you read this passage?  Nurture?  Teachings?  Compassion?

How does this passage of scripture reflect upon the Christian community to the newness of time.   If Churches could have a "convocation",  what would our newness of time be?  Would we have compassion and care for the widows,  the elders, and those who are imprisoned by thought or deed? 
Great God,  on this day may we reflect upon it as a newness of time.  May Your peace which surpasses all understanding keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of You... and of Jesus Christ Your only Son... and Your Comforter the Holy Spirit.  May we rest and abide with You now and forever more.  Amen.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wednesday - stand firm in the faith

Father, as I sit here, You and Your word are my desire. Clear my mind and heart of all distractions and speak to me through Your Word.    Amen.
            Read 1 Timothy 4: 6-16
Ah.  This portion of scripture should be written in every teenagers school binder.  Timothy was a very young teacher.  Paul is saying that people should not look down upon Timothy because he is young.  Stand firm in the faith.  Persevere in the faith.  Watch your life and what you believe closely.   All this knowing that we put our hope in the living God.
Recently  I was at a first meeting of a non-profit organization.  This people were enthusiastic about beginning this non-profit organization and wanted to expand their membership.  Every time  I mentioned a person's name the group would say, "oh they are too old"  or "that person is too young".  They want a Board who is just like them in age and thought.  This is the surest way to kill off a non-profit organization.     Each board and membership and Church needs a variety of ages not only for longetivity but also for support and enthusiasm!
Today,  how will you help someone stand firm in their matter what their age.
This day O Lord,  I pray for all the young people in the Church.  May I help them to stand firm in their faith.  May I help them to persevere in their faith.  May I help them know that our hope is in the living God.  Amen. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Monday - pastoral care

Father, I continue to place before you not only those I associate closely with, but also the culture, events, and the distant people who surround me as I walk through life. May your purposes be extended into the culture I live.

            Read 1 Timothy 4: 1-5

And some people will abandon the faith.  This happens.  People make choices.  But we still need to keep these people in our prayers and in our love as after all,  everything God created is good and through God’s Word and our prayers everything is made holy.

One of the duties and responsibilities of an Elder is to provide pastoral care to people in the congregation.    Yet  over the years,  pastoral care has slowly disappeared from our congregations… and this is a crying shame.   If the Church can not care for the people in their own Church, then how can the Church care of the people of the world?   Time and time again we hear of  Elders calling up congregational members and saying, “I haven’t seen you in Church for six months”.   And the congregational member responds, “Oh,  I left your Church and am now at another Church where they care about me”.   Goodness.

In order to bring the Good News into our congregations and into our community and into our world,  we must provide pastoral care for all peoples.  Christ instructed the disciples  (and Elders and us) to go out into the world and share the Good news. ... to share the love of God... Pastoral care is the heart beat of the Good News.

Open my heart and mind to the things you desire me to pray as I think about the world. There are so many physical, political, and social needs, but most of all I pray for your Gospel to spread to every tribe, tongue and nation.   Amen   (from

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday - renewing ourselves through prayer

Flora Slosson Wuellner in her book, "Prayer, Stress, and our Inner Wounds"  says that often those who are called to minister to all people  -- whether we are  Ministers of Word and Sacrament or Elders or those who teach Bible Study or a Youth Group-- are frequently tired and drained and frustrated people.    This is called Leadership fatigue.  And leadership fatigue is created within ourselves when we believe that we must do everything... we believe that it is all up to us.  This, in turn,  creates  super-responsibility.   We come to believe that the Kingdom of God will only continue because of our righteous efficiency,  our ability to love and heal.

We all know that the Kingdom of God is not totally built upon our own selves,  we know that we share this love of God and this responsibility with others.  Yet.   Yet  while we realize that we can delegate,  and we do delegate yet more and more of our life seems to become looking after other's problems.   Then we begin to harbour our super-responsibilities inwardly.     This is the point where we must stop and sit down and pray.    This is the point where we have become generators rather than transmitters of the Divine.   Wuellner says that those who take on super-responsibility and inwardly never delegate and never take time to pray because we are so busy,  overlook Jesus' challenge to be the branches... instead we try to be the vine... John 15: 4- 5.       We become generators instead of transmitters of the love of God.

Three things will help with those who take on super-responsibility.    First is  a time of prayer.  When one is so overloaded with work and burdens and committees and  the work of the Church,  often making time for prayer is hard.    Prayer does take time.  But prayer is our lifeline to God.  Prayer is the evening breeze or the morning sun.  Prayer is what sustains and nurtures us.    The more we pray,  the less exhausting it will be and the more we find ourselves daily or hourly or every minute turning to God.

Second is letting others serve us and minister to us.   At the Last Supper,  Peter had a problem when Jesus wanted to wash his feet until Jesus said that Jesus must wash Peter's feet or Peter will have no part of the Kingdom of God.  Then Peter said for Jesus to wash every part of him.   (John 13).    While we serve and minister to others and are an example of the love of Christ,  we must also let others serve and minister to us!    Ask another person to pray for you and be specific of your needs!    Ask another person to go for a walk.   Book two hours into your date book and go sit in a park with your Bible and just read (especially the Psalms!).    Be  refreshed and renewed in God's love.

Third is  to ask for forgiveness and then tell God  three things that you were thankful for today.   Forgiveness is not only a cleansing of our souls but also a cleansing of our lives.  Too often in ministry we equate our work with who we are.  We look at how many people attend worship.. and then subtly compare our numbers to other Churches. We look at how many committees we are on compared to other people.  If our church attendance numbers go down,  we feel diminished.   When we end up with so many committee meetings,  we suddenly realize that we are overburdened but there is seemingly no way out of the burden.   Stop.  Sit.  Pray prayers of forgiveness and thanksgiving.

As we grow in God in prayer,  we shall become more like Christ.   As we grow in God through inner reflection,  we shall love and our burdens will be lifted.   As we grow in God through reading of God's Word,  we shall become compassionate.    As we grow in the love of God,  we are made whole.
Is it really as simple as this?  Yup.      Today and this week,   make time for prayers, especially those of forgiveness and thanksgiving... make time for reading God's Holy Word... make time for asking one person to pray for you...

 Prayer:   Great God,  we come before You today knowing that it is through Your love that our hearts are restored,  our energies make new,  and our lives are simple and good.    Divine Healer,  send down upon us today Your Holy Spirit so that Your healing power may flow through our whole body and we are made whole.   Almighty God,  may the power of this new life flow into our actions and our relationships with others this day.    God of all reconciliation,  we lay before You now those that we have hurt.....  those who have hurt us........  and those deeds we have forgotten to do.......  Through Your love we know that we are forgiven and made whole in Your love and peace.    Wash us O LORD in Your love so that we are made clean inwardly and outwardly.   Holy God,  we bring before You know  three things for which we are thankful.......... Thank You Lord Jesus Christ.      Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning,  is now and ever shall be,  world with out end.  Amen.  

Friday, 23 May 2014

Friday - qualities of Deacons and Elders

Great God, help me to  keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience this day and always.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

            Read 1 Timothy 3: 8-13

Ah.  Now we come to the list of qualities needed for those who are called to be Deacons.  Note that these are qualities not a job description.  This list of qualities and characteristics are for those who serve others and as some Scholars suggest, as those who help the Overseers.  Often when a  Presbyterian congregation is seeking Elders,  this is the scripture that is used.  These are not easy qualifications nor should they be.  To be an Elder means to serve God  by being worthy of respect, must be able to express what they believe and hold to that belief in the Christian faith, must be tested and approved,  must have an irreproachable home life, and must be compelled to share the love of Christ with everyone they meet. 

Dear LORD,  I keep all the Elders of the Church I attend in my prayers today. May they stand firm in their beliefs.  May they be worthy of respect not only in the Church but also in the community, and be with them when they are tested.   Enable them to  be amazing servants of Christ.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Thursday - the call to servanthood

May I open my heart to You today, O LORD.  May I set my heart on doing Your will this day, O LORD.  My rock and my redeemer.  Amen.

            What it all Means

From a discussion of Worship in 1 Timothy 2:8-15  and what should be the proper etiquette of Worship,  Paul moves through to what the Ephesian Christian community needs to look for in an Overseer and Deacon.   

One thing we need to remember is the Christian Community was a community that worshipped together…. males and females worshipped together.  During Paul’s time, this was not something that happened with many other religions.   Men and Women usually were separated for worship.

Then Paul proceeds to give Timothy another bit of advice.  “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1).    This is Paul’s second bit of advice using the phrase “here is a trustworthy saying”.  The other advice was 1 Timothy 1: 15.

Paul sets out a list of gifts and qualifications that Overseers must have.   If anyone is contemplating a call to ministry,  this is a list that you need to check against yourself.  Paul gives this list to Timothy because the care and nurture of God’s people is a noble task.  Noble not in the sense of prestige but noble in the sense of  having excellent moral character…. of being a servant. 

But isn’t the call to ministry a Divine call and not something we just want to do?  Indeed.    But for Paul,  the call to ministry is a three step process. First,  in Acts 20:28 Paul states an affirmation to  the divine call.  One had to be called by God in order to undertake ministry to God’s people.  Second,  the individual must have inner aspirations and convictions to that call.  Have a firm grasp of what it means to be a Christian.  And third, it is here in 1 Timothy  that Paul gives the Christian community a list of requirements for the community to measure whether the candidate meets the requirements and would be considered for Ministry.

Great God,  I thank You that some are called to minister to Your people.    I know that this is not an easy vocation and ask that You be with all ministers this day.  Help them in their struggles and in their joys.  And may I be a help to ministers today.  May I build up ministers instead of tearing them down.    In Jesus name I pray.   Amen.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Tuesday - to set one's heart

Set my heart, O Lord,  to stretch myself today and reach out my hand to Your people.  In Jesus Name I pray this.  Amen.

             Read 1 Timothy 3: 1-7...Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
(NIV  Zondervan,  1983).

Oh!  This is a section of scripture that could be a whole weeks worth of study.  Here Paul is reminding Timothy that some are called to be overseers.   To “set ones heart” means to stretch oneself … to reach out one’s hand.   Being an overseer  is a big responsibility and comes with a list of qualities and characters necessary to do God’s work.Read over the scripture again and list what are the responsibilities.    In our Church,  we call the overseers,  Elders. 

Great God,  may I always depend upon You for everything in my life.  In Jesus’ Name I pray.  Amen.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday thoughts to ponder

LORD God Almighty,  Healer of all  people and seasons,  may You be with us today as we worship You.  We know that we are Your Easter People as we live this day in Your joy and Your praise.  God Holy,  God Holy and Mighty,  God Holy and Immortal,  we look upon You this day with great love and great enthusiasm.  As we live out Your days,  remind us to always be Your Easter People in sharing Your Word and Your Love with our family... our friends... our neighbours... our Church... our community... and our world.   Grant peace and compassion upon those who cry out to You this day in pain and sorrow.  Grant peacemaking and faith upon those who cry out to You this day in misery and frustration.   May we be Your hands and Your feet to help those who are in need.  This we ask in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

St John 14: 1 - 14
2 Peter 2: 1 - 10

This week's  Gospel lesson and Epistle lesson talks about faith through the use of illustrations of Jesus preparing a place for us in a house with many mansions and of Peter talking about our faith through the strength of a firm foundation and living stones.     We can all say, "yes we have faith Lord" but what does having faith mean?     For Peter,  it was encouraging the people to grow and mature.  Peter wrote about how his faith grew and matured.  Peter also shared the Good News of Jesus throughout his community.  If we look back over Church history,  we discover that faith is never stagnant.   Faith is always growing and maturing.   And we must work to continue to grow and mature our faith.
Today,  ponder and reflect how we will grow and mature our faith this week... through prayer... through reading of scripture... through worship.... through Bible Study....through living a life of example of Jesus Christ......

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Saturday - prayer for the Church

Over this past week,  we've been reading about Paul's  advice to Timothy on how to minister to a new community of faith.  We often reflect on these new communities of faith and think, "how refreshing to be able to start new".  Yet,  what we don't have in the Bible is a record of all the whining and snivelling that went along with nurturing the new Church.    It is the same in our new Church Developments today.  We think that a new Church Development would mean fresh new ideas  or new programs.  Yet what frequently happens are the words "but in our old church we didn't do that".     How frequently do our whines and complaints become stumbling blocks for bringing the Word of God into the community?   Too frequently.

In Frederick Macnutt's  "The Prayer Manual",  is a wonderful prayer (Prayer #532) by Lancelot Andrewes :

"Lord,  for Your Holy Catholic Church we pray;  for the Churches throughout the world, for their truth, unity, and stability, that in all charity may thrive and truth live;  for our own Church, that the things that are wanting therein may be supplied, and those things et in order that are not right;  that all heresies, schisms, whining, and scandals, as well public and private, may be put out of the way;  for the clergy, that they may rightly divide the word of truth, that they may walk uprightly, and that while thy are teaching others they may learn themselves; and for the people, that they may not think of themselves more highly than they ought, but be persuaded by reason to walk in the ways of truth and peace."   Amen

Friday, 16 May 2014

Friday - right mind

O Lord,  I call out to You,  and You answer me.  Remember me in the day of my distress and may You surround  me with Your love.     Help me to hold up my hands to You in prayer without anger or dispute.  This I ask in Your Son’s name.  Amen.

            Read 1 Timothy 2: 8-15

One could never call Paul indecisive could one J    Paul is very firm in what he is writing to Timothy.   Worship of God is so important, says Paul to Timothy, that all who join together in worship must be of the right mind… in faith and in love and holiness.  During this season of Easter,  reflect upon whether you worship in the right mind in faith and in love and in holiness.

Thank You God that  You are my  Love and  Lighten the dark places of my heart.  Keep me this day in Your Love and Wisdom.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wednesday - praying for leaders

Strengthen me in Your might O LORD.   Confirm in me Your faith.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

            Read 1 Timothy 2: 1-7     I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles. (NIV  Zondervan,  1983). 

This begins the section on Instructions for Worship.  Prayer is central in Christian worship.   Paul urges Timothy to remember in his prayers those who are in authority and who govern the land.   Even today  we must pray for those who lead our Churches,  our Community,  our Province,  our Country, and on to all those countries in the world that need our help.  
In Canada we frequently criticize our governments.   Yet,  instead of criticizing them  we must hold them in our prayers.
Frederick Macnutt in his book "The Prayer Manual"  has a marvelous prayer for us to pray to uphold our leaders in God's care.    Prayer #671  "Almighty God,  who along gives wisdom and understanding; inspire, we pray, the hearts of all to whom You have committed to the government of the nations.  Give them the vision of truth and justice, and guide them so to temper justice with mercy that by their counsels the nations may work together in fellowship, and Your Holy Church throughout the world may be free to serve You in unity and peace;  through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Tuesday - shipwrecked faith

O God,  You have brought me out of the darkness of night into the brightness of morning.  By Your Holy Spirit, dispel the darkness of my sin and doubt.  In Your goodness, pour such light into my heart that I may be Yours without fear or separation,  through Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen.

            Read 1 Timothy 1: 19-20

Here Paul says for Timothy to hold on to faith and good conscience.   Some people in this Christian community have already shipwrecked their faith;  for instance  Hymenaeus and Alexander.     Obviously Hymenaeus and Alexander were known to both Timothy and the new Christian community.  But what they did to shipwreck their faith,  we do not know.
We all know people who have "shipwrecked their faith".... people who suddenly stop attending Church or people who say that because awful things are happening to them,  they think that God is not a part of their lives.    No matter what we say about the love of God,  these people seem to have their ears blocked and eyes closed to the love of God.   This is when we must hold these people constantly in our prayers.  Always pray.     Be kind and be gentle.  Offer peace and love.   But always pray!

Thank You God that You fill my heart with all joy and all peace in believing.  May I  be overflowing with hope through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Prayer for Mother's Day

Prayer adapted  from Frederick B Macnutt's  "The Prayer Manual"  Mowbray, 1955   Prayer #738

O Lord, who was born of a woman, bless, we ask You, the women of all nations upon whom are laid the burdens of unwonted duties.  Strengthen them in their hours of strain and weakness; preserve in them the spirit of sympathy and love.   We remember this day our own mothers.  We give thanks that they brought us life so that we,  in turn,  can bring the love of Christ into the hearts of all.  For those mothers  who are struggling with missing daughters and sons... grant them Your compassion and peace.   Inspire those who hurt women to be changed,  to ask for Your forgiveness,  and  find out that You are the Great Shepherd -- the caregiver of all.     Grant all women the help of Your grace, that in all things they may find Your love in  their vocation and for each woman to share their vocation with other's this day.  May the love, joy, and peace of our Great Shepherd,  Jesus Christ abide with all women and all  mothers this day and always.  Amen.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Saturday - ministry

Lord, in Your kindness, hear my prayers.   Teach me Your ways that I may walk in Your truth.  Mould my heart to love You, for You comfort and help me.  I thank You with all my heart, glory to Your name forever.  Amen. 

1 Timothy 1.  This chapter is so filled with advice,  and hurt, and longing it is amazing.   Paul is writing to Timothy to support Timothy’s ministry.  But life in the new Christian community is not going well.  Most people are believers, but there is a group of teachers… a group of leaders who are teaching against the gospel. They think that they are Christian but have a better way of being a Christian.   Timothy’s task is to keep the new Christian community on the main road of Christian faith.  Wow.  What a ministry to be handed!  The group of teachers wanted to debate false doctrines instead of focussing upon gaining a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.    Paul reminds Timothy that he is not sent to this new Christian Community to debate what the group of teachers but to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.    The new Christian Community that Timothy is working with is the community of Ephesus. 
Today,  keep the minister of your congregation in your prayers of encouragement.  

Lord, in Your kindness, hear my prayers.   Teach me Your ways that I may walk in Your truth.  Mould my heart to love You, for You comfort and help me.  I thank You with all my heart, and give glory to Your name forever.  Amen. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Friday - unlimited patience

Thank You God that You cause my foot not to stumble.  Lord have mercy.  Christ have mercy.  God the Father in Heaven,  mercy for me.  God the Son, Redeemer of the world,  mercy for me.  God the Holy Spirit,  mercy for me.  Give me a heart like Yours.  Amen.

            Read 1 Timothy 1: 16-18

Verse 16  is the conclusion of the saying that  Paul wants Timothy to remember.  “But! For that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners,  Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”  Amen.
Unlimited patience.     Oh that we could all have unlimited patience.    As we stand in line with our groceries,  our patience is often very very limited.     Or when we stand at the bus stop waiting for the bus,  our patience is often very limited.    And when our patience is limited,  we become cranky.  So how do we stop being cranky?  How do we find patience?     Only through prayer.   Think of standing in line at the grocery store as a blessing and start praying.     As we stand and wait for the bus,  take this time as a blessing and start praying.     Life will become simple and full.   

O Christ,  of Your fullness we have all received.  You are my eternal hope.  You are patient and full of kindness.  You are generous to me when I call upon You.  Mercy and Bless me O LORD.  Amen. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Thursday - strength and ministry

Prayer:  Thank You God as we live during this Easter season remembering that You gave us Your Son so that we may walk in newness of life.   Grant me strength as I  live out this day in Your glory.  Open my eyes to those who need help this day.   In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

            Read 1 Timothy  1: 12-15

In these few verses, Paul shares his beliefs with Timothy by giving thanks to Jesus Christ who gives him strength to serve Jesus Christ.  Even though Paul states that  he was a horrible person,  Jesus showed him mercy.  Jesus gave Paul  new life.      Verse 15 is  saying that Paul wants Timothy to remember  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst….. “.    Yet even as a person who persecuted others,  Jesus gave Paul abundant grace and showered love upon Paul.
How neat is that.   Even when we sin or slip up or forget to serve,  God loves us.   No matter what,  God loves us.   This was, and is,  important for a young person like Timothy to learn about ministry.      This was, and is, important for an old geezer like Paul to learn about ministry.

Prayer:  Thank You God that You gave us Your Son.  Thank You God that You gave us the stories of Timothy and Paul.   Abide with us,  abide in us,  that we may ever abide with You our Lord and Saviour.  Dwell within us O Lord  so that at the end of each day we can rest in Your love and be surrounded by Your joy.  This we ask in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Saturday - laughter

Great God,  for the gift of laughter and life here after,  we give You thanks and praise.  Amen.

Laughter.    In the Bible there are not many stories that are about good old  funny laughter.  There is the story of Sarah who laughed when the visitor said she would have a child at her advanced age.  That was more of a snorting "I don't believe you" kind of laughter.  Yet even though there are not many stories of laughter in the Bible,   laughter is a wonderful gift from God.     The medical profession states that laughing  helps  us have a longer life.     Laughter helps us  not only with our breathing but also helps bring us to thinking positively.    
The other day at the Museum,  son John and I got laughing over breaking wind.  Sometimes we have the mind of a 10 year old.   But breaking wind is funny.   The more we told puns about breaking wind or making breaking wind noises,  the more we laughed.    Laughing is a simple part of life.   
Today  reflect upon the times you have laughed a healthy positive laugh.   Remember to say thank you to God for your times of positive healthy laughter.    Reflect upon the times the Church has laughed together with a healthy positive laugh.   
Great God,  for the gift of laughter and life here after,  we give You thanks and praise.  As we prepare our hearts and souls and minds for Sunday worship,  remind us anew that Your gift of laughter is like a refreshing stream that bubbles with joy and gives us peace.   Amen.