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I have a dear friend by the name of Robert Stephens. Many in the community may know him as an expert plumber and builder. He was part of my dad‘s crew many many years ago when my dad built houses. Robert is not only a dear friend to me, but he’s also a connection to my dad. He’s a very spiritual man who loves the Lord with all of his heart and put his trust in God‘s will. One of the great things that Robert has brought into my life is laughter. He is a very witty man who will put a smile on your face and laughter in your heart. I remember well one day when he came to me and said, “I can cut that tree down and cut it up with my pocket knife in a few seconds” I said, “OK, Robert let’s see you do it”. He opened up his pocket knife, walked over to the tree, cut it down, and cut it up. One time he handed me a quarter that had a horse on it and he asked me, “What kind of horse is this?” I said, “I don’t know Robert what kind is it.” He said, “Well it’s a quarter horse.” He has many jokes like this that have caused me to belly laugh many many times. The Bible says a merry heart does good like medicine. Many times in a world that’s got so much going on that can be discouraging, it’s good to have friends that remind you it’s OK to laugh.
The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” When the word tells us to rejoice it just means to re-joy. Whenever you feel weak or discouraged, there is a way to enter into the strength of the Lord. Number one, block out everything and start praising the name of the Lord. When you do this the Bible says, “God inhabits his praise of His people, with His manifest presence.” Then the Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” You’ve gone from weakness to strength just by praising the Lord. We need both the optimist and a pessimist in life. One will invent the airplane while the other will invent the parachute. The Bible says, “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.” Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and is as constant as He is. Happiness is based on what happens to us. Joy is based on the fact that God has our past present and future securely in His hands. As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It takes just as much effort to tear someone down as it does to make them smile. Thank God for the people in this world that build people up and encourage them, like my dear friend Robert Stephens.