All too often in our walk with the Lord Jesus, we become "dry" and humorless thinking it is a virtue to be "sanctified" and "holy." Well, it probably really is but that does not mean we have to loose our sense of humor. I was probably one of those "dull" dry Christians for a short while after I became born again sometime in the very early 80's. After all, I was attending the "First Church of the Frigidaire" here in Escondido and very content to just go on Sunday, hear the word preached, sit on my hands and look holy, (like everyone else there) and then go home. (and beat my wife----no, no, just kidding!)
At that time I was certainly not aware of scriptures like Proverbs 17:22a where it says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." I did not know that laughter was indeed such good medicine for the spirit and the soul. My lovely wife, Tanya, had just finished a book by Dr. Roy Hicks entitled "He Who Laughs Lasts and Lasts and Lasts." I had but glanced through this book briefly and had not really understood much of the wisdom contained therein. A short time later this same Dr. Roy Hicks was scheduled to appear at the local Foursquare Church. That Sunday Tanya told me she would like to attend that service to hear him. I was not enamored with the prospect of going to what I called a "Holy Roller" church, (I had heard what was going on in there---people actually enjoying being to church!) but I relented and we all went that Sunday.
I had been raised in a pretty "straight laced" denomination up in Minneapolis where these churches abound. I had never wanted to play the organ for services there and actually once told a Pastor who was aware that I was a professional organist at the time that I would not mind playing "Liturgical" music, but not the "Lethargical" music that I would have to play at this church. He was not amused, but the more I think of it, that was a great line! Tanya, on the other hand, was raised in the Assemblies Church so she was well aware of what happens in a charismatic and Pentecostal church service.
When we (the entire family) arrived at the local FourSquare Church, I was shocked and amazed to see all of these people actually enjoying their time at church! They were even raising their hands and praising the Lord when they sang. (Can you imagine?) And the music was actually very upbeat and melodic. (Feature that!) It was the kind of music that I would arrange for any of my bands. After the praise and worship time, Dr. Hicks began speaking.
I don't believe that I have ever mentioned it to him but that was a day that changed my Christian walk forever! I tried going back to the "First Frigidaire" and even though the Pastor was a Godly man and preached faithfully from the Word, (although now that I have also studied for a few more years I would certainly have my differences with some of his teaching) something was just missing. There just seemed to be not the joy there as I had experienced at the FourSquare Church. And previous to my hearing Dr. Hicks, I had never heard the Word exposited in such an understandable way and sprinkled with such real wit and humor. I knew then that I needed something "more" than what I had in a fellowship of believers.
Our family started to attend the FourSquare Church and in time I was invited to join their staff as organist. (I certainly could not use my old excuse here for not playing) It was through Dr. Coleman Phillips, Pastor of the Cathedral of the Valley FourSquare Church in Escondido, that I was privileged to meet such great men of the faith including Dr. Jack Hayford, James Boersma, one of the great arrangers who also introduced me to the Ralph Carmichael organization, and of course Dr. Roy Hicks who became a good friend and mentor. I have called upon him for many things including help with overcoming certain "doorstep" cults about a dozen years ago and his advice is always to test the truth in light of scripture.
I did not know until after I was on staff at the church that Dr. Hicks was the former General Supervisor of the FourSquare denomination. Nor, at that time, did I know that his residence was in the very next town. Over the next several years, as I mentioned previously, I have sought his counsel on a variety of issues. We also have been blessed to hear him many more times over the years at the Cathedral of the Valley. As he is quite popular in the area, other pastors from various churches would also invite him to be guest speaker and Tanya and I would always try to visit the churches at those times.
When I asked his permission the other day if I could use his name for this page, he not only said I could, but he also went and got a copy of his new book "Sacred Cows---In Green Pastures". This book is Christian "dynamite" which explodes a lot of Christian myths or "sacred cows." It is a must read for everyone and should be available very soon at all Christian Bookstores as are all of Dr. Hick's great books.
This page and the pages of humor that follow are dedicated to my good friend and mentor, Dr. Roy Hicks. Press the frog to go to the joke page!