Good Morning, this is Sunday Jun 18, 2017.  My name is Carl and I am being coached by Grace. It is the Grace of God that stands behind us, is to the right of us, to the left of us and opens doors before us. (if you are comfortable repeat that statement using your own name.)

The Title for the morning Meditation: It is no Laughing Matter!

Scripture Reading: Genesis 18:1-15, (21:1-7) and Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 • Exodus 19:2-8a and Psalm 100 • Romans 5:1-8 • Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)



Lord, I remember the first time I quoted the Lord’s Prayer in Greek and understood it. It took on a special significance. Over the years it rises to the top of my memory. 40 years of prednisone, while damaging the memory could not  erase that feeling brought on by the text.
You are the God of the heavens. There is a mystery revealed to us simply by acknowledging your existence.

I recognize my prayer for your kingdom to be experienced while at the same time my mind all to often focusing on things less important. I recognize I sometimes build a mountain out of a mole hill only to realize you had already made a solution available and I was too busy to hear your answer in the quietness of a whisper.

I have sought forgiveness and new directions only to realize you had already spoken, pronounced I am forgiven while I scurry to make things right.

I have asked not to fall into the hands of temptation while making my list of “things” that would make life just a bit easier.

Lord God as I approach the thoughts for the day my mind is cluttered, please help me to focus.
Lord it is hard to understand what we can laugh at and what we need to take seriously.
Lord one of us is in this place of life while the other is in that place in life.
Lord bring healing.
Lord bring the understanding’s necessary to ….
And then Lord there is all this stuff about the world, the brokenness of the USA. What happens here actually does impact the world. Please bring us to an understanding we need to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.



How Great is Our God! (Hebrew)

How Great is Our God (Arabic)

Oh Happy day (Canadian)



Or perhaps, it is no laughing matter but it sure is funny.

It is father’s day. For many this is a very special day. It is a time to reflect back and think of those moments of “dear old dad.”

I will leave the thought there as I did not have a relationship (positive ) with my father. He left home when I was a young boy.

So who are/were those men who became my father influence?

There was Chuck. He gave me my first baseball card. Detroit Tiger pitcher Don Mossi. It was in a wax packing. Excitedly I opened the package. The coloring on the card was red. Red was my favorite color, Don Mossi became a hero.  For ever I seemed to be pestering Chuck. I would go to the door and ask, “can Chuck come out and play?” His wife, quite curt said “not now” Chuck has work to do! I learned I had to wait in hiding and get to him before “she” got him. Chuck taught me how to drive. His cardinal rule was to check all passengers to see they are inside the car. I said why do you always ask that question? He said he had helped grandma to the car one day. He thought she was inside as he drove away. Turned out she was getting into the car. He discovered she wasn’t there and the door was wide open. There she was cursing at him, raising her fist to him. She was sitting in a mud puddle. He said he and grandma had a new understanding about life after that. He said it was nothing to laugh about but it sure was funny.

2. Jonsey. He owned the corner grocery store just off Payne Ave. in St. Paul. I would stand in the back of the grocery store and watch as people would play chess. They came in, swapped stories. I watched as he never lost. Then just like clockwork some biker dudes showed up. They pulled on their leather vests and said “you are going down.” Jonsey  pulled out the chess board, set it up at the end of the counter. They played. The bikers lost. They yelled, next time. Jonsey smiled, lit his cigar, never said a word. So one day I came out from around the corner. I looked at him. I said, you, me, now chess! He laughed. I said I am going to beat you. He laughed harder. He said okay kid what color do you want? Why does it matter I asked. He just laughed more. Three, four moves later he said check mate. He said come back when you are a man. I left. I kept coming back. He taught me how to play. Then one day his wife started screaming at me from outside the window. She called for the walking cop and said get him! He broke our window. The cop grabbed me. Dragged me into the store. She came screaming into the store. She slapped me. She said I had broken her window. She saw me do it. The cop asked me, did you break the window? I said no. An argument between her and me ensued. Jonsey walked over said let the kid go. He didn’t break the window. She looked at him and said how do you know? The boy said so. The boy can be trusted. I learned that day I was OKAY.

3. Dave, he was my Sunday School teacher. His son was dying of cancer. He was seven years old. I used to ride the bus to their home and play with him for about and hour each day. Then one day he wasn’t there any more. I asked and neighbors told me Stevey had been rushed to the hospital. I went to the hospital. They wouldn’t let me in. I snuck past the guard and got to the room. I peaked in, the nurse told me to leave this was only for family. I explained we were friends. I played with him every day. I cried. He is my friend. She took me by the shoulders and marched me out. Dave was coming in as I was going out. He asked what was wrong? She said I had snuck in. He said Carl doesn’t need to sneak in. He is family. He took me by the hand and walked me to Stevey’s bedside. We talk for about one minute and I left. That night Stevey died. Before he died he said, dad, tell Carl I will see him in heaven. I learned I was part of a very special family.

4. One day I was sitting in my recliner. My son was 4 years old. He came running in to the room and jumped on my lap. He jumped right through the newspaper tearing it out of my hands. I grabbed him, held him up and asked what he was doing. He continued to squirm. Then he said, wrestling, that’s what dad’s are for! And we wrestled. That day I learned from my son what my father had difficulty teaching me.

Sometimes I look back on these real life situations. I think about them and and I see they are not a laughing matter, but Sometimes you just have to laugh.


Lord thank you for all the people who touch us day by day. Thank you for those who leave a legacy of caring. Thank you not only for those people but thank you for the ability to feel an know love through them. In Jesus name. Amen

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