A merry heart does good like a medicine! Laughter is the best medicine. It’s a fact, Ask a doctor.
I wasn’t really sure how to title this epistle because it contains confluent story lines. So I just picked one of the two. One is about a Pineapple Upside Down Cake the other is about Circus Clowns.
We will try our best to make them flow well together.
First, a word from our Sponsors: John 14:6-8, John 14:12-14, Galatians 3:10-12, Ephesians 2:11&12, John 6:28&29,2Peter1:1-5,Isaiah 53:4&5,2Peter1:1-3,
1Peter2:24, Mark 11:22-24,John 10:10, John 3:16, Galatians 3:19-29,Mark 11;22-24, John 15:13, Luke 10:18&19 and Matthew18:18-20. Hebrews 10:10
If at any point you find yourself challenging the statements included in this teaching, please refer to the above sourcing.
ON TO THE MESSAGE!!! CHARGE!!!!!!
Laughing is my favorite thing beside teaching and preaching, It just happens that its been a life long practice.
When I was 7 years old my best friend in Augusta Georgia was the effervescent J.F. McMillan.J.F, was an expert onmany subjects not limited to but including, frogs, baseball, bikes, tadpoles and comic book characters like Indian Joe the matchless Mustang fighter pilot, and Sargent Rock and Gunner.
When ever we were around each other we would make each other laugh so hard that we had nasal expectorations. We did littleodd jobs for the owner of the little market near us, like bagging groceries and taking out trash or sweeping. He in turn would give us a little money. With it we bought “butch wax” for our flat tops, comic books, Nehi grape drinks, bubble gum but mostly balsa wood airplanes.
All of the above cost the same thing, a nickel.
The Nehi’s were a dime and if you got your balsa wood airplane with a rubber band powered propeller,it was a dime also. J.F. and I rode our bikes all over Augusta. We lived about a quarter of a mile away from the National Golf Club and we knew where every hidden entry point was. Life was as good as it possibly could be.
One day J.F. told me that his only goal in life was to be a circus clown. I told him that my only goal in life was to make him laugh so hard that he
blew milk out of his nose in the lunchroom.
I had only seen clowns on the Ed Sullivan show but their clown car and other silly hi-jinx busted me up. 7 year olds think throwing a bucket of confetti
into the crowd, pretending its water, is the funniest thing ever. I explained to J.F. it was my learned opinion that neither of us
would ever even see a real clown. Little did I know.
Two years later my folks took me away from my beloved Augusta to live in Tampa Florida. Just south of Tampa was a lovelylittle village and beach town named Sarasota. Sarasota was the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.
In February Tampa has a festival called Gasparilla. It is named after Jose Gaspar a pirate who did his business just off the southwest
coast of Florida. A replica of his ship bristling with canons and flags, would sail around Tampa down to the mouth of the Hillsborough river
blasting their loud blank cannons. Folk lined up all around the Davis Island Channel, the Bay and the River to enjoy the reenactment.
The joyous crowd celebrated with gusto the replay of Jose Gaspar’s fictional invasion of Tampa. The invasion fleet was made up of every type of recreational boat youcan imagine from yachts to row boats, all bedecked in Pirate markings. Cannons and firecrackers and ships horns created a cacophony that exceeded180 decibels. Because sound amplifies considerably as it travels over water, I believe folk in St. Petersburg could here the entire thing.
Finally the Gaspar would dock near the center of town, where its cargo of besotted pretend Swashbucklers would disembark and join the parade staggering down Bay Shore Boulevard, throwing gold dabloons(chocolate wrapped in gold parer) to the cheering young ones.On the same day, the state fair would open.
The great midway of the state fair was operated by a group that employed many of the wintering circus family as entertainment. The bearded lady, the yak woman, the motorcycle barrel racers, clowns and jugglers and mimes, the wild animals all were attached in some way to the circus.
Kids bristling in the sun and inebriated on raw sugar, snow cones, cotton candy and chocolate would speed their bikes, which were imaginary P51’s
straight from the parade to the fairgrounds.
There, licking their chops and waiting with glee, were purveyors of drag lines and coin tosses, many games of chance like throwing a baseball at a
stack of immovable bottles, bent sight shooting galleries; all eagerly awaiting the children’s lavish expenditures.
When I say lavish, I mean their life savings built by sweat and strain,mowing lawns, collecting bottles, baby sitting, washing cars all in the relentless heat and humidity of Tampa Bay. Gone in one late afternoon and early evening.
In the process of the great fleecing of the children, there were things to distract them from cognition of the heartless chicanery, like clown acts. I was wrong J.F.!On my very first visit to the den of iniquity, there stood before me a 12 foot tall clown on stilts. A few feet away a clown sat on a collapsable bench over a water tank, hurling insults at the crowd. Scrawny weak, Momma’s boy, sissy britches and un-coordinated were some of the one’s I remember.
The slurs were meant to entice the assailed, into paying money to throw a ball at a target that would collapse the bench and dunk the clown. Several of us tried it,but the thing was rigged and you would have to throw the ball 80 miles an hour to hit it hard enough to drown the clown. In the process the clown was raking inthe dough. He was similar to Don Rickles. This dude soaked us!Finally, a muscled up Marine came by and dunked the clown 8 times in a row.
Each time the clown would climb back up on the bench and become more and more belligerent.We laughed like crazy.The smart ass got his comeuppance!
The clowns and their silliness were enough to bring me back. They actually did have a clown car loaded with besotted clowns.Their antics were absolutely so stupid as to make you laugh so hard you would lose your breath. I had no way of knowing at that age, they were the greatest clowns in America.
After falling victim to the cons, we went home and thoroughly inventoried our winnings. NONE! We spent a whole $4 on the drag lines at a nickela pop, and never got close to winning the pocket knife that made us drool. But wait! The felt hat with the big feather. It had only cost us $5 which in today’s economy would equate to a little over $40. We would be broke for a year, but we had the memories of the rides and the clown acts.
My Mother was not only a bad cook, I am convinced that had health and human services ever come around at dinner time, the old gal would have been breaking rocks. It is very difficult to successfully prepare a meal for 8, with a snoot full. The ceiling of our kitchen was stained with soot marks.
I would wait until she wasn’t looking and shove my plate under the table in an attempt to make my dog eat it. He wasn’t having it. Whenever he smelled the concoction du jour, he would tuck his tail between his legs and slither off like a snake.Later, in our room, my dog Walter, would castigate me for attempting to poison him. He threatened to pee on me in our bed after I
was sound asleep, if I every tried it again.
The ambiance in our home was the aroma of flaming spam. Smoke always billowed from our kitchen. Mom really wasn’t
that bad. She could whip up an excellent bowl of cereal and she was fabulous at slapping together bologna and cheese sandwiches.
To the best of my knowledge she never burnt a peanut butter sandwich.
But brothers and sisters, my Mom could make an upside down pineapple cake that would make you float on air. Pineapple upside down cake,strawberry short cake (a dessert that Mom couldn’t burn) yellow cake heavily covered with chocolate frosting and walnuts, were the only ediblerecipes that were passed down on my maternal blood line. My little sister can to this day make a succulent Pineapple upside down cake.
One of the most intriguing mysteries in my life is; why anybody would want to turn a Pineapple cake upside down.Other’s include but are not limited to: Why would any one want to chase the flu, colds, pneumonia, strep throat etc,
much less catch them, why anyone would jump out of a perfectly performing airplane, and why men have the absurd concept that they can ever figure out or change women.
Before we move on, try to envision an inverted cake with multiple layers. Also imagine if you will, a band of clowns,
(Funny Clowns, not evil scary clowns,hysterical fall on their face, pie in the face clowns) Keep those thoughts and read on.
Jesus did everything for us:
He gave us all things that are necessary for life and Godliness, He gave us His power, He saved us, He forgave us once for all, He healed us all once for allon the cross, He rendered the evil one powerless in our lives and declared that nothing shall in anywise harm us. He gave us
His power, He gave us the power to speak and command and to speak things into existence. Then, He said it is finished and sat down
at the right hand of the Majesty on High, far above all rule, dominion and authority in this life and in the life to come. Jesus gave us the
Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and show us the things that are to come.
Now, please explain to me what Jesus left undone! What is it that we must earn, believe for,beg for, or solicit from Him.
Jesus also guaranteed every word He spoke with His blood.
Here comes the upside down cake/ clown car allegory:
Today, many people who call themselves “Believers” are the complete opposite. Their prayer life demonstrates their unbelief. They ask God to forgive them. When you ask God to forgive you, you arestating in clear terms that you don’t believe he has. When you ask God to heal you or someone else, you state
emphatically that you don’t believe that He did. When you believe “for things” you demonstrate your belief that you do not have those things that Jesus gave you, which is everything. When you ask God for things which Jesus already gave you, you are showing Jesus that you do not believe Him.
Yet Jesus carried every disease in His body on the cross, thereby destroying it once for all! Jesus was mercilessly beaten, whipped nearly to death and crucified to forgive every sin ever committedpast, present or future.
“Believers” who don’t believe are the pineapple upside down cake.
Ever since Jesus gave us all things by purchasing them with His blood:
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers have been misleading Jesus’ flock.They have turned them into circus clowns, flailing away, thrashing about, running in circles, performing silly maneuvers, rolling around on the ground, in a vain attempt to get God ontheir side and give them things.
Imagine how this looks and sounds to Jesus!
“Jesus, I keep the commandments and do good, will you please bless me?”
“Dear child, the commandments never applied to anyone but the children of Israel. You are not and have never been responsible for keeping them. I fulfilled the law for the Jews by obeying all of them andbeing without sin in thought or indeed. The law was only in effect until I came. You do not keep
them anyway. That is impossible for humans. And, I; can not bless you. I already have. Nobody canearn anything from me!”
“Jesus, please help my finances!!!!!!””I gave you all things that pertain to life and Godliness!’I came to earth and suffered all nature of indignities and crucifixion, to give you life and life in abundance, and to the full.”
“Jesus please heal me and aunt Martha and all people with cancer and all of
the people in Rwanda.””What part of, I died from every disease known and unknown to man by carrying them in my body until they killed me, are you failing to comprehend? I rendered disease impossible!!!!! Disease can only exist where faith and belief do not.”
“Jesus, please forgive me. Forgive me Father for I have sinned!””Is it so hard for you to understand that because I loved each of you so much,
I died the most horrid and painful death anyone ever has or ever will, to forgive you ONCE AND FOR ALL?How then child could I possibly forgive you more than I have?” Asking me to forgive you is a cold slap in My face.”
“Jesus, I have assembled a prayer team and we are laying out a fleece
and we pray the same prayer repeatedly, we confess our sins one to another,
because we know that if we confess our sins you are quick to forgive us and give us the things that we ask! We are believing for a new home for sister Angela. We know we don’t have enough faith, so we hear and hear and hear and hear until we feel that we have gained enough faith to believe for a miracle. Wont you please help us! Please! Please!”
“Why do you do any of these things? When you believe for things, you permanently postpone them, because you state that you do not believe Me. Why would you confess your sins? Do you think I don’t know them?”
“How can you not have enough faith, when I gave you my faith? I am not quick to forgive. If you don’t accept the forgiveness I gave you on the cross, you will not be forgiven.”
Jesus, I am going to see an anointed devil fighting minister. He is going to cast out the demons in me. He came over last night and poured anointing oil all over the walls of my house.Will you help him deliver me?”
“I beheld satan as a bolt of lightning fall from heaven! I have given you dominion over snakes, scorpions and every power of the evil one. And nothing shall in any wise harm you. You have been given complete supremacy
over the evil one. I crushed his head.I made an open show of him, paraded him around in the heavens with a sign hung around his neck that read, defeated foe! He was humiliated, drug around in chains. He is nothing but a burnt up
canker worm. He is absolutely powerless in the life of a follower of the Way! The only thing he has left is the ability to lie and get you in agreement with his lies. He is stupid, but he is a persistent, cunning and excellent liar. His biggest lies are that he has power and that My Gospel is not true.”
All of the non-sense we are taught about the loud mouthed lier, comes from ignorant teachers. I read one the other daywho decreed the super intelligence of the old snake. Think about this: If Lucifer who had everything, who was the second in command after God/Jesus/ The Holy Spirit and the Word, Who reigned over the angels and the heavens as God’s second; was stupid enough to start a rebellion against God, and deceived enough to believe he would win, how smart is he now that he has been utterly destroyed and humiliated.
The good news is that God loves to laugh.
Think about this:
God created: Henny Youngman, Buddy Hackett, Chris Farley, Al Sharpton, Michael (Kramer) Richards, Jonathan Winters, Norm MacDonald, Nancy Pelosi, Norm Crosby, Cid Caesar, Jerry Clower, Johnny Carson, Don Knotts, Phil Silvers, Nipsey Russell Groucho Marx, Eddy Murphy, Joe Piscapo, Loraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Eddie (Rochester) Anderson, Mike Cottrell, Mel McBride, Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson,Mel Brooks, Slim Pickens, Dave Chapelle, Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Garrett Morris, Richard Pryor, John Candy,Ernie Kovacs, Buster Keaton and so many more.
To be honest, I am not certain whether Jesus and Daddy God and the Holy Spirit, belly laugh or cry with broken heartsat the antics of “Believers” and their confused leaders. Perhaps both!
I am certain that this teaching has blessed you and that you have passed it to another who will be blessed!
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Pastor Allen Fleming
Throne of Grace Ministries, Inc.
Marietta, Georgia 30066