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

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

by Susan Sparks


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594732805
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/01/2010
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 205,962
Product dimensions: 2.36(w) x 3.54(h) x 0.44(d)

About 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

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

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

We Are Hot-wired for Laughter xiv

Why "Grace"? xvi

Where Are We Going with This? xviii

A Letter from God xxiii

Disclaimer xxv

Part I Why Aren't We Laughing?

1 Humor and Holiness Are Not Oxymorons: Finding My Way as an Ordained Comedian

God Is Not Funny 3

Laughter Is the GPS System for the Soul 5

It's All Holy 7

Practice, Practice 9

Reflections 11

2 The Lost Branch of the Family Tree: Remembering Our Legacy of Laughter

The Pete Townshend Question 13

Why Is Everyone Else Laughing? 14

Enlightenment through a Smile 15

My Kind of God 17

Laughing in the Ear of God 19

Sacred Clowns 21

Reflections 23

3 Spiritual Geliophobia: The Fear of Laughing in the Presence of God

The Legend of Mad Dog Murphy 25

Mad Dog Returns 27

The Legend of Mad Dog God 29

And God Smote Them with Hemorrhoids 31

The Man Behind the Legend 32

The God Behind the Legend 34

Reflections 36

4 Eating Dessert on the Titanic: The Opportunity for Joy Is Now

You Can't Laugh Until... 37

We've Been Plutoed! 39

Human Lowriders 41

The World's Greatest Buffet 43

Reflections 45

Part II What Would Happen If We Laughed?

5 High Places of the Heart: Finding Perspective through Laughter

A New Way to See 49

Helium for the Heart 50

A View from Kilimanjaro 51

Up High, the World Seems Less Scary 53

Up High, We Can Appreciate the Little Things 54

Up High, We Can See Our Way Through 57

Reflections 59

6 We're All Hells Angels: Using Humor to See Past Our Differences

Too Funny to Believe 61

Whatever Happended to "Love Thy Neighbor"? 63

Humor Is the WD40 and Duct Tape of Life 64

Is This Some Kind of Joke? 65

We All Laugh in the Same Language 67

There's a Little Hell in Every Angel and a Little Angel in Every Hell 69

Reflections 70

7 Burping in the Pulpit: Rediscovering a Fresh Spiritual Practice through the Eyes of a Child

Left, Right. Left, Right. 73

Ranger at the Helm 75

You Gotta Get Real 76

A Real Live Chat with God 80

Get Out of the Living Room 82

Reflections 85

8 Breathe, Just Breathe: The Healing Power of Breath and Laughter

Bursts of Laughter 87

Not a Good Sign 89

The Grief Trip 91

A Joke a Day Keeps the Co-Pays Away 98

Reflections 101

9 Into the Ark: Laughter in Times of Crisis

The Lifeboat of Laughter 103

Precious Cargo 106

Tears of Laughter 107

Rising Above the Flood 109

Humor as a Second Chance 111

Reflections 113

10 A Leo's Search for God: Laughter Helps Us Keep Faith When God Is Silent

God Is a Scorpio 115

We Don't Know 117

Let Go and Laugh 119

When All Is Gone, All Is Possible 123

Reflections 126

11 The Dash In Between: How We Live and What We Leave

The Critical Part of the Formula 127

How's It Going? 128

Change the World One Smile at a Time 130

Just-In Time 133

Reflections 135

Suggestions for Further Reading 137

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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
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