Sunday, March 26, 2017

Put Your Hands Together

We've been so busy with other tasks that we hadn't played any poker in a month. But we had time to enter a National League of Poker tournament Thursday night. It turned out very well - 23rd place out of 1,190 entries! (Of course, only the top five earned money.)

Late in the evening, the chat went this way when two players split a big pot:

Dealer:  sloso splits Main Pot ($3,273) with Full house, aces full of deuces
Dealer:  hornytoad splits Main Pot ($3,273) with Full house, aces full of deuces
Me:  (church clap)
hornytoad:  Is that a socil disease you catch in church?
Me:  No.
Me:  :-O
Mr_BarnYard:  really
Me:  Polite applause for something
Mr_BarnYard:  church clap all day
Me:  I'll be in church this weeekend, though.
hornytoad:  OK dont need a shot for that*** lol

People who attend certain churches should know what we mean by "church clap." It's applause that agrees with a speaker's point or some member's success - but not as wild as the celebration for winning a ballgame.

With some poker players as well as some churches, even polite applause is discouraged. We personally think that's a shame, and here's why....

Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. - Psalm 47:1-2  (NLT)

In this psalm, noise-making is encouraged - as long as the focus of the noise is on God.

You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! - Isaiah 55:12 (NLT)

We mention this verse whenever someone suggests noise-making in a church service is a bad idea. If trees can "clap their hands" - and they don't have hands - why can't I?

But we realize there should be a balance here. There's a time to be quiet at a poker table - especially if a player asks for it, so he can think about a big decision. The same is true for worshipping God....

But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him. - Habakkuk 2:20 (NLT)

Some poker players and church groups go to one extreme or the other - either overly silent or excessively noisy. We suggest praying for God to provide the wisdom to know when to react in either direction, so you don't cause offense.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.... - James 3:17 (NLT)

Have fun at the table, and even at the church you attend. (Yes, we recommend that.) And don't be afraid to make some noise - as long as you keep things under control.

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