Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Post: A Laughing Matter

Today is a very happy day on the blog. I met Matt on the Twitter a few months ago and I'm so very glad that I did. In addition to being a husband, father of five, employee and pastor, he is about one of the funniest writers I've stumbled upon in the world wide internets. I always look forward to his posts, especially his Prophetic Thursdays. He makes me laugh and he makes me think and the combination of the two makes him one of my favorite bloggers. So I'm thrilled that he's agreed to guest post for me today. Enjoy his post and then be sure to stop by his blog for way more awesome. Thanks for posting Matt!


At some point in the not-too-distant past, I transitioned from being a semi-serious Christian blogger to a mostly humorous Christian blogger. 

It wasn’t as dramatic as Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader or as immediate as little Mario becoming big Mario after running into a Super Mushroom; it was a much more subtle shift. Kind of like how MySpace went from being cool to being the on-line equivalent of North Dakota.

So now I’m known as something of a humorist. This is really strange to me because in real life I am like anyone else -- I have my moments of hilarity, but mostly I am just a guy trying to make it through the rough patches with just enough sanity to carry me Home.

I really have no business giving anyone advice on how to write humorous blog posts (my wife doesn’t think I’m all that funny and the main way that I make my kids laugh is by making particularly disgusting noises and talking about poo), but I can tell you three things that I do to come up with posts that have made a few folks chuckle.
  1. I develop my weirdest thoughts.  When I heard that one of the problems with keeping air traffic controllers awake is that they constantly monitor computer screens in the dark, I thought about how vampire nerds would love jobs like that. When I jokingly told someone on Twitter that I had a tattoo that says “Krispy Kremes 4 Life,” I thought about what other types of tattoos I would like to have. When I thought about how I have never seen an advertisement for a snake-handling church, I thought about the other items I have never seen advertised. All of these thoughts were developed and turned into blog posts. Really. 
  2. I write to make me laugh.  There is no doubt that I want to make other people laugh, but I really have no idea how to do that. From sophisticated to silly to sarcastic, the types of humor that people like vary wildly and often overlap. If I was consumed with pleasing everyone who ever read my blog I would slowly lose my mind, grow my hair out long, and start wearing kimonos. Yes -- I would become Steven Seagal.
  3. I look at the ugly painting in my office.  The colors on the painting are pleasant and can temporarily fool you into thinking that the painting is nice, but how the colors are arranged once made my eyes mad enough to write a sternly worded letter to my neck for continually turning them toward it. How does this help me? Someone saw this painting and deemed it worthy of framing. Someone else saw it and deemed it worthy of purchase. Someone else saw it and deemed it worthy of having a prominent place in an office building. When I look at that painting I am reminded that no matter how imperfect something is, there are people who will like it.  

There you have it -- three pieces of advice about how to write humorous posts from someone who may or may not be very funny. But how I try to write humorous posts is not nearly important as why I try to write humorous posts.

A merry heart does good, like medicine,
but a broken heart dries the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

I believe that the ability to laugh was given to us by God. And whatever is given to us by God is given to us with purpose.

He knows that we will endure times of great sorrow. He knows that tears will flow down our cheeks from time to time. He knows what it is like to be one of us; to suffer, bleed, and die.

God gave us the ability to laugh and the ability to create things to laugh about because He knows that often the ability to laugh is the only thing that can keep us from despair. 

So I will continue to laugh and to encourage others to laugh with me. 

And if that doesn’t work, I may resort to tickling. You’ve been warned.

(What makes you laugh?  Got any good one-liners or links that makes your heart merry?  Share away!)


Thanks Matt! Be sure to follow Matt on Twitter and subscribe to his blog!


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