BN.com Gift Guide

Lighten Up!: Great Stories from One of America's Favorite Storytellers

Overview

This collection of hilarious stories, recorded in front of a live audience, reminds listeners to lighten up and remember that they are not perfect, but they are perfectly loved by God.

Ken Davis is a very, very funny guy. And as his friends and family will tell you, he's also a very wise one. After all, who but a wise guy would engineer some of the stunts Davis has pulled, then have the audacity to talk about them? Like the time he shot a ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (53) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $3.48   
  • Used (45) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

This collection of hilarious stories, recorded in front of a live audience, reminds listeners to lighten up and remember that they are not perfect, but they are perfectly loved by God.

Ken Davis is a very, very funny guy. And as his friends and family will tell you, he's also a very wise one. After all, who but a wise guy would engineer some of the stunts Davis has pulled, then have the audacity to talk about them? Like the time he shot a screwdriver through the ceiling of his kitchen with an M-80 firecracker? And who else would have an international collection of airline barf bags? Yes, only a real wise guy could pull off Ken Davis's brand of twistedness — and use it to drive home insights that cut to the heart of Christlike living. Because Ken, being Ken, knows what human fallibility is all about. He knows how tough we adults can be on ourselves. He knows how hard we try to appear more together than we really are. And to all of us, he offers two words of very solid wisdom: LIGHTEN UP! Ken's hilarious stories underscore one simple, encouraging theme: there's grace to be who you are. Not perfect, but perfectly loved by God. So take it easy. God doesn't just love you, he enjoys you. NO reason you shouldn't, too!

Author Biography: Ken Davis provides a unique mixture of side-splitting humor and inspiration that never fails to delight and enrich audiences of all ages. Davis's daily radio program, Lighten Up! is broadcast on over 500 stations nationwide.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310227571
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,349,816
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Davis provides a unique mixture of side-splitting humor and inspiration that never fails to delight and enrich audiences of all ages. Davis’s daily radio program, Lighten Up! is broadcast on over 500 stations nationwide.

Ken Davis provides a unique mixture of side-splitting humor and inspiration that never fails to delight and enrich audiences of all ages. Davis’s daily radio program, Lighten Up! is broadcast on over 500 stations nationwide.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

No Easy Steps Foreword

I set out to write a book just for you. It's filled with real stories about real people. As you read I'm sure you will recognize some places where details have been added or exaggerated to make the reading more fun, and occasionally names have been changed to protect the privacy of people involved.

I want this book to provide genuine hope and encouragement for your life. I hope you'll spit coffee across the room as you laugh at the truth on these pages. I also hope you'll occasionally reach for a tissue to wipe a cleansing tear from your eyes. And it could be that every now and then, you'll spit coffee into the tissue as you laugh and cry simultaneously. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your reading. The lessons drawn from each story still hold the power to jolt your life. Most of all, I hope these stories will lighten your load and brighten your day.

I spent much of my life trying unsuccessfully to live up to unrealistic expectations -- and pretending I'd already achieved them. The whole thing left me wading in guilt and totally confused. Was I the only one struggling with the process of becoming everything God created me to be? Everyone else seemed to have it all together. Even my friends maintained the perception of perfection.

Then, every once in a while, someone would come clean. And their moments of honesty were never discouraging. They were never the pity-party, misery-loves-company, muck-wading experiences you might expect. Instead, they were a refreshing affirmation of some important truths. I was not an aberration of nature. Life was actually a process for other human beings as well as for me.

It was also wonderful to realize that God is at work in the lives of imperfect people. Hope is the end result of seeing people be honest about their lives. If God cares about imperfect people, then he cares about me. What an encouragement to discover he has the power and he'll help me change -- one step at a time. This process of change can only begin as we let people into our lives -- as I'll be letting you into my life in the book you're holding.

My friend Carol Maxwell tells about an encounter she had with an intoxicated friend. Carol was seeking to build solid relationships. She'd grown tired of superficial conversations and surface friendships. One night at a party, a bleary-eyed acquaintance ambled up, drink in hand, and inquired, "How are you doing?" Then, without waiting for Carol's answer, the woman turned and waved at someone across the room.

The insincerity was too much. Instead of responding in kind, Carol rebelled. She smiled and replied, in normal conversational cadence, "Hey, diddle diddle. The cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the moon."

Her acquaintance noticed nothing irregular. She wasn't even listening. As Carol finished, the woman touched her arm gently and responded, "How nice!" Then she set off for another corner, another face, another meaningless conversation.

Mother Goose? Why not? Carol could have offered a full confession to murdering her husband and spooning him into the garbage disposal. She would have received the same reply -- "How nice!" Yes, I know that people with dulled senses make easy targets; yet we're all victims of the same social disconnection. Why do we seem to lack the time or courage to connect meaningfully with those around us?

Try this simple test. Hang out in the lobby of your church one Sunday. You're likely to meet someone like Bill Jones, who's struggling to keep his life together. As his marriage crumbles, he's drifting into an affair. Bill stands at one of those great crossroads in life. What he needs is someone to help him put his life in perspective -- to warn him of the treacherous cliff he's approaching.

As people mill about in their Sunday best, Samuel Carter steps forward. Samuel has just been laid off and his daughter has been expelled from school for using drugs. "How's it going, Bill?" Samuel asks, a broad smile and a firm handshake obscuring his insecurity and fear.

"Things are great," Bill lies. "How about for you?"

"Same old grind," Samuel responds. He doesn't hint at the depth and pain of that grind. He simply puts in a moment or two of small talk punctuated by his best wishes. Then two men who desperately need each other go their separate ways, never connecting.

I remember attending a horrible party. A broken heart makes any celebration intolerable, and I didn't want to be there. I was in a room full of strangers, and I was hurting as badly as I'd ever hurt in my life. I was relieved to see the face of a friend who I knew would have a sympathetic ear. He spotted me too and began to make his way toward me through the crowd.

My life was a mess, and I desperately needed encouragement. I needed a foothold so I could begin to climb out of the terrible pit I was in. "It's so good to see you," I said, embracing my friend and clasping his hand firmly in mine. "How are you?"

"If I were any better, I'd be twins," he bubbled.

My heart tipped up on end and began to sink like the Titanic. I was falling to pieces and my soul was in shreds. My spirit didn't have enough substance to be a shadow. How could I relate to someone so on top of things that he'd cloned himself into twins? I knew there'd be no healing that night.

"How 'bout you?" he inquired.

"Never been better," I lied.

Several days later I caught my friend alone. This time I dared to pour out my soul, and he was indeed a friend. He listened, he cried, and he prayed with me. He also told me the truth. His bubbly exterior at the party had been a trick done with smoke and mirrors. Behind the cheerful, not-a-care-in-the-world exterior, he too was struggling. The twins were gone; he became an only child again.

In the midst of pretending, we'd almost missed each other.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents
Part 1: Living Light
No Easy Steps Foreword
Turn Left at the Pink Flamingo
The Executioner’s Song
Things That Go Bump in the Night
The Old Man in the Mirror
Showers of Blessings, Coals of Fire
Words That Change Lives
Sink Your Teeth into This
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Making a Big “To Do” Out of Life
Absolutely Flabulous
Who’s in Control?
Slow Down and Enjoy the Ride
It’s All Downhill from Here
Another Night with the Frogs
Burned Bridges and Strawberry Underwear
Who Holds Tomorrow?
Out of Habit
Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wisdom
“He’s Baaaaaack!”
I’ll Sing for You, Daddy
The Author of Joy
A Shelter in the Time of Storm
Empty Nest
Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
Rest in Peace
My Hero
Signs of the Times
Is Sex a Four-Letter Word?
It’s Easy!
Hit It Straight — Finish Well
Alive and Screaming Clean
Don’t Give Up
Part 2: Living Lite
Air Bags, Seat Belts, and Change
Opportunity Knocks . . . But Not Always at the Front Door
Love in a Vacuum
Going First Class
Wake Up and Live!
The Proof Is in the Tapioca Pudding
Bettin’ Fifty Bucks on the Lord’s Prayer
Take It, Stupid!
I Wanna Sing!
Best Friends
You Can’t Get There by Standing Here
A Dozen Wilted Roses
And If I Die Before I Wake
Getting Taken for a Ride
The Brass Monkey Principle
Getting in Character
Get on Your Trike and Ride
The Three Greatest Words on the Face of the Earth
A Story Worth Telling
No News Is Bad News
No Pain, No Gain
The Truth About Cats and Dogs
Who Am I?
God’s Wife
What If the Dog Had Been Sitting There?
Rump Roast
“I’ve Lost My Father”
What Do You Say to God?
The Invisible Sweater
I See a Ducky and a Horsey
Falling in Love Again
Ralph and the Nine Nasties
The Right Place at the Right Time
How to Kill a Grizzly Bear
Show Me the Miracle!
Leave It There
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

No Easy Steps Foreword

I set out to write a book just for you. It's filled with real stories about real people. As you read I'm sure you will recognize some places where details have been added or exaggerated to make the reading more fun, and occasionally names have been changed to protect the privacy of people involved.
I want this book to provide genuine hope and encouragement for your life. I hope you'll spit coffee across the room as you laugh at the truth on these pages. I also hope you'll occasionally reach for a tissue to wipe a cleansing tear from your eyes. And it could be that every now and then, you'll spit coffee into the tissue as you laugh and cry simultaneously. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your reading. The lessons drawn from each story still hold the power to jolt your life. Most of all, I hope these stories will lighten your load and brighten your day.
I spent much of my life trying unsuccessfully to live up to unrealistic expectations --- and pretending I'd already achieved them. The whole thing left me wading in guilt and totally confused. Was I the only one struggling with the process of becoming everything God created me to be? Everyone else seemed to have it all together. Even my friends maintained the perception of perfection.
Then, every once in a while, someone would come clean. And their moments of honesty were never discouraging. They were never the pity-party, misery-loves-company, muck-wading experiences you might expect. Instead, they were a refreshing affirmation of some important truths. I was not an aberration of nature. Life was actually a process for other human beings as well as for me.
It was also wonderful to realize that God is at work in the lives of imperfect people. Hope is the end result of seeing people be honest about their lives. If God cares about imperfect people, then he cares about me. What an encouragement to discover he has the power and he'll help me change --- one step at a time. This process of change can only begin as we let people into our lives --- as I'll be letting you into my life in the book you're holding.
My friend Carol Maxwell tells about an encounter she had with an intoxicated friend. Carol was seeking to build solid relationships. She'd grown tired of superficial conversations and surface friendships. One night at a party, a bleary-eyed acquaintance ambled up, drink in hand, and inquired, 'How are you doing?' Then, without waiting for Carol's answer, the woman turned and waved at someone across the room.
The insincerity was too much. Instead of responding in kind, Carol rebelled. She smiled and replied, in normal conversational cadence, 'Hey, diddle diddle. The cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the moon.'
Her acquaintance noticed nothing irregular. She wasn't even listening. As Carol finished, the woman touched her arm gently and responded, 'How nice!' Then she set off for another corner, another face, another meaningless conversation.
Mother Goose? Why not? Carol could have offered a full confession to murdering her husband and spooning him into the garbage disposal. She would have received the same reply --- 'How nice!' Yes, I know that people with dulled senses make easy targets; yet we're all victims of the same social disconnection. Why do we seem to lack the time or courage to connect meaningfully with those around us?
Try this simple test. Hang out in the lobby of your church one Sunday. You're likely to meet someone like Bill Jones, who's struggling to keep his life together. As his marriage crumbles, he's drifting into an affair. Bill stands at one of those great crossroads in life. What he needs is someone to help him put his life in perspective --- to warn him of the treacherous cliff he's approaching.
As people mill about in their Sunday best, Samuel Carter steps forward. Samuel has just been laid off and his daughter has been expelled from school for using drugs. 'How's it going, Bill?' Samuel asks, a broad smile and a firm handshake obscuring his insecurity and fear.
'Things are great,' Bill lies. 'How about for you?'
'Same old grind,' Samuel responds. He doesn't hint at the depth and pain of that grind. He simply puts in a moment or two of small talk punctuated by his best wishes. Then two men who desperately need each other go their separate ways, never connecting.
I remember attending a horrible party. A broken heart makes any celebration intolerable, and I didn't want to be there. I was in a room full of strangers, and I was hurting as badly as I'd ever hurt in my life. I was relieved to see the face of a friend who I knew would have a sympathetic ear. He spotted me too and began to make his way toward me through the crowd.
My life was a mess, and I desperately needed encouragement. I needed a foothold so I could begin to climb out of the terrible pit I was in. 'It's so good to see you,' I said, embracing my friend and clasping his hand firmly in mine. 'How are you?'
'If I were any better, I'd be twins,' he bubbled.
My heart tipped up on end and began to sink like the Titanic. I was falling to pieces and my soul was in shreds. My spirit didn't have enough substance to be a shadow. How could I relate to someone so on top of things that he'd cloned himself into twins? I knew there'd be no healing that night.
'How 'bout you?' he inquired.
'Never been better,' I lied.
Several days later I caught my friend alone. This time I dared to pour out my soul, and he was indeed a friend. He listened, he cried, and he prayed with me. He also told me the truth. His bubbly exterior at the party had been a trick done with smoke and mirrors. Behind the cheerful, not-a-care-in-the-world exterior, he too was struggling. The twins were gone; he became an only child again.
In the midst of pretending, we'd almost missed each other.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)