Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor

Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor

3.8 6
by Susan Sparks
     
 

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Laughter was honored by the ancients as a spiritual healing tool and celebrated by the world's great religions. So why aren't we laughing along the spiritual path today? What would happen if we did?

In this personal and funny look at humor as a spiritual practice, Rev. Susan Sparks-an ex-lawyer turned comedian and Baptist minister-Presents a convincing case that

Overview

Laughter was honored by the ancients as a spiritual healing tool and celebrated by the world's great religions. So why aren't we laughing along the spiritual path today? What would happen if we did?

In this personal and funny look at humor as a spiritual practice, Rev. Susan Sparks-an ex-lawyer turned comedian and Baptist minister-Presents a convincing case that the power of humor radiates far beyond punch lines. Laughter can help you:

Remove the fearful mask of a God who doesn't laugh

Debunk the myths that you don't deserve joy

Find perspective when faced with adversity

Exercise forgiveness for yourself and others

Reclaim play as a spiritual practice

Heal-emotionally, physically, and spiritually

Keep your faith when God is silent

Live with elegance, beauty, and generosity of spirit

Whatever your faith tradition-or if you have none at all-join this veteran of the punch line and the pulpit in reclaiming the forgotten humor legacy found in thousands of years of human spiritual history.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sometimes amusing, often earnest book on the importance of humor in spiritual life, the author makes her case for the healing power of laughter as a cleansing, transforming, and renewing gift from God. Senior pastor of New York's Madison Avenue Baptist Church and a standup comedian, Sparksasserts that believers who abandon their "spiritual geliophobia" (fear of laughter in the presence of the divine), will discover that humor in the context of the sacred can change the way they see God--and view themselves. In a series of chapters that include reflection questions for readers, the writer looks at sacred laughter in history; through a childlike lens; as a tool for healing and acceptance; and as a way of coping with the stress of overbooked modern lives. Readers who don't expect a constant stream of wit may find a provocative case for adding leavening levity to sacred spaces where it might be sorely lacking. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

"Like music, laughter is a universal language. And Susan Sparks speaks this language like no other. [This book] weaves humor and the sacred into one beautiful work of art. If you want to blast some fresh air into your spiritual life, then by all means read this book!"
Naomi Judd, multi-platinum country music artist; actress; author, Naomi's Guide to Aging Gratefully and other books

"Thank God for Susan Sparks! By immersing ourselves in her honest insights, warm encouragement and hysterical stories, we're able to shatter the crust around our hearts that has kept us from fully experiencing the grace of life as God intended."
Peter Wallace, host and producer, Day1; author, Living Loved: Knowing Jesus as the Lover of Your Soul

“Pure joy. Lively and lighthearted examples illustrate the connection between guffawing and God. A must-read if you want to laugh, learn and lighten up your journey on your spiritual path.”
Allen Klein, author, The Courage to Laugh and The Healing Power of Humor

“The definitive book about how humor and laughter have everything to do with God. You will laugh out loud, and then it will move you to quiet contemplation and awe. It has done more for me than most of the theology books I’ve been forced to plow through. I’m still smiling ... and contemplating.”
Edward L. Beck, CP, author, God Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest; ABC News religion contributor

“Helps us transcend to a higher and better place, no matter what our circumstances. A much needed balm for a world that often forgets how to laugh.”
Saranne Rothberg, CEO, The ComedyCures Foundation; host, ComedyCures LaughTalk Radio

“More than a delightfully written book; it is a Saturday afternoon conversation with a favorite friend at the neighborhood coffee shop. I hope that this is just the first installment in an ongoing Saturday afternoon conversation with a new favorite friend, Susan Sparks.”
Pam Durso, executive director, Baptist Women in Ministry

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594732805
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
05/01/2010
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
286,397
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Rev. Susan Sparks, the only female comedian in the country with a pulpit, is senior pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City (the first woman pastor in its 160-year history). She is author of Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor (SkyLight Paths). She has been featured on ABC, PBS and CNN, as a regular guest with country music star Naomi Judd on Naomi's New Morning on the Hallmark Channel, in the New York Times and in numerous comedy clubs. She is the recipient of an award from Intersections International for her interfaith work to promote justice, reconciliation and peace among diverse communities. Find out more at www.susansparks.com.

Rev. Susan Sparks is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Transform Your Life, Work and Spiritual Path Through Laughter
  • Life Transitions and Finding Your Path
  • Humor and Life Crisis
  • Presentation Skills Using Wisdom from the Courtroom, the Pulpit and Comedy Clubs
  • The Power of Humorfor Clerics, Chaplains andCaregivers

Click here to contact the author.

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Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dvcfan2 More than 1 year ago
This is an easy read and a perfect addition to the United Methodist Women's Reading Plan!
Doris Santiago More than 1 year ago
This+book+challenges+you+to+laugh+at+life+and+see+the+humorous+side+of+God
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wylie208 More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable book. Ms Sparks shows us that humor has a place in our lives, even in our spiritual lives. Laugh out loud funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago