If you have read only a few of my articles, you already know that humor is important to me. I had the privilege of growing up with a mom who said and did funny things. Even though she has been with the Lord a long time, people still talk to me about her humor.

Humor has a way of leveling the rough spots on the road of life, and laughter is an amazing gift from God. It helps you cope with both sadness and with daily life. Have you ever felt angry, and then someone said something to make you laugh? Even though you were upset, the laughter made your heart feel lighter.

It’s always great to have a cheerful heart and laugh with family and friends. I do everything I can to make my 9-month-old grandson, River the Peacemaker, laugh. I make weird sounds and faces, blow on his belly and try other things I will never put in print. When his pudgy face breaks into a smile and he begins to cackle, joy floods my heart. So my goal for 2020 is to laugh more.

Laughter, along with the prayers of the saints, is what got me through 2019 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Praise God, I have been declared cancer-free. So here is my list of New Year’s resolutions for 2020.

  1. Learn more about how to find the humor when life takes an unexpected turn.

Sara was 90 years old when she found herself pregnant, and she laughed. “So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” (Gen. 18:12). So if you are at the dollar store and see a 90-year-old lady trying to read the small print on a boxed pregnancy test, just yell out “Sarah!”

  1. I want to read more this year.

The best way for me to do that is to put subtitles on my TV (Sometimes I wish pastors’ sermons would come with subtitles). Did you know the Bible gives us instructions on how to read God’s Word? Read, understand, obey, be blessed!  “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” (Rev. 1:3).

  1. I want to help all my friends gain 10 pounds; it will make me look skinnier.

Did you know the best place to go on a diet is the paint store? You can get thinner there.

But I have another list of New Year’s resolutions, too (my wife still hasn’t told me what my real resolutions are): 1. Stop making lists. B. Be more consistent. 7. Learn to count. But the following verse may be the greatest resolution of all: “Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the Kingdom of Light” (Col. 1:11-12).

If you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes a day, you burn anywhere between 10 and 40 calories. If you can laugh for 12 hours, you will burn off a pound. Laughter also increases your body’s defense system, and if your children are in school, laughter will improve their grades. See what laughter does? It makes you skinnier and smarter.

Did you hear about the man who stole a calendar on New Year’s Eve? He got 12 months!

If you are laughing at the last joke, you have lost about three calories. “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22a).

In this new year, choose one thing you want to change or improve on. The Swahilis have a saying, “Slowly, slowly grows the elephant,” which you can apply to the way you want to grow this year. If you have never had a quiet time, don’t start out the year by saying, “I’m going to read the Bible for an hour a day.” When people have this as their goal, they don’t usually last long. How about reading just one verse a day, and see where that takes you?

Ask some close friends to help you pick your one thing to work on this year. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Eccl. 4:9-10).

Happy New Year, my friends! I believe God wants to put a little more laughter in your heart this year—and that’s a resolution everyone should be able to keep.