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From the Pastor: In 2020—Plan for Joy

We plan for everything in our lives: education, career, children, school, marriage, babies, taxes, and even death. The Westminster Catechism asks us: What is the chief end of man? The answer, of course, is: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

So do you plan for joy and enjoying God in your life?

The article, Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter, points out the benefits of being joyful: Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Our family loves to laugh. When going through challenging and difficult times, we intentionally watch comedy films or TV shows. Laughter releases stress, relaxes your muscles, makes you forget your worries, and also helps you to get a better sleep.

So in 2020, take some intentional time to nurture yourself. Maybe even learn to laugh out loud! Laughter therapy (also known as humor therapy) is seeing huge benefits for patients these days. Many credit this to Norman Cousins. After years of prolonged pain from a serious illness, Cousins claims to have cured himself with a self-invented regimen of laughter and vitamins. In his 1979 book Anatomy of an Illness, Cousins describes how watching comedic movies helped him recover. See funny movies or shows, or movies that cheer or inspire you. Laughter is one of the most simple and cost-effective ways to release stress and start us on the road to healing and hope.

Reinhold Niebuhr said, “Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.” So let’s make more time to laugh, pray, and enjoy God this year, and let’s share this inexpressible joy with our family, friends, and neighbors.

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Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

John Snyder

John Snyder is an international pastor, conference speaker, and author of “Resenting God: Escape the Downward Spiral of Blame” from Abingdon Press. He is also the author of “Your 100 Day Prayer” from Thomas Nelson Publishers, a transformational 100-day guided prayer journey, and “Reincarnation vs. Resurrection” from Moody Press. John has been featured on Focus on the Family, Moody Radio, Fox News, Faith Radio Network, Cru, American Family Radio Network, In the Market with Janet Parshall, The Bottom Line with Roger Marsh, Miracle Channel, Bill Martinez Live, and many more. As an ordained Presbyterian pastor, John has served congregations in the United States and planted churches in California and Switzerland. He is the advisor and lead author for theology and culture blog Theology Mix (theologymix.com), which hosts 80+ authors and podcasters, and visitors from 175 countries. He currently hosts The Walk Podcast on Theology Mix. The Walk is about our faith walk, the way we live out our faith in our daily life. Pastor Snyder brings some of his conversations of faith from all aspects with writers, pastors, friends, musicians, entrepreneurs, and others.

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