Outreach Through Comedy
I sincerely believe that God has given me a talent to use for His Glory. We live in a world that is hurting, whether the problem is financial, physical or emotional, there is, indeed, pain. Although is is not a cure for the world’s afflictions, comedy can be a good medicine. [Proverbs 17:22] As I work in the comedy clubs, I am often thanked by the audience for bringing joy to their hearts by making them laugh without any profanity or crass innuendo. The church is not immune to the ails of the world and needs a good laugh, too! That is why, I try my best to bless the church with some funny, family entertainment.
Bob Nelson's Testimony
Greetings to all who read this short description of how I ended up surrendering my life to my maker in Heaven. Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to describe in a short presentation on paper the awesome mercy, grace, and loving kindness of my God. That is how I perceive God today. Although before I was aware that He was the only Presence that could fill the void in my life, I saw Him as a powerful, dangerous, authoritative, distant, almost mythical being with all kinds of rules and regulations that no one could possibly follow.
I grew up in a household that was not very functional. There were a host of problems and situations that caused a lot of confusion for everyone. My family was not the kind of family that would hug each other, share feelings, pray together or anything like that. If anything, we were the total opposite. As a result, the situation that we all shared created quite a few character flaws in all of us.
The way that I dealt with it was to try and escape from it all. Physically, I would be out of the house as much as possible. Emotionally, I would repress my true feelings and create through my wonderful imagination a fantasy world. Mentally, I shut out the real world as best I could to protect my dream world. I would watch Red Skelton, Jerry Lewis, Abbot & Costello, Jonathan Winters and Walt Disney movies.
I was always trying to make people laugh, from as far back as I could remember, from when I was a little boy, to this present day. However, as I got older and on my own, I began to realize that life was not so easy, a change took place in my heart. I became aware that Walt Disney was a dreamer, just like me and it was all fabricated. Cynicism, grew deep in my soul and the roots dove deep down into my character as well. I became very disciplined in my career which is comedy. It is a very tough business, not only on stage, but off stage as well. It is very competitive and has a very joyless foundation. I say joyless because comedy is really commenting on a tragedy from a distance. (That is why, someone will almost always become offended at a comedy show... because they are too close to the tragedy.) I became a very manipulative person and always protected myself. I became a master at standing right next to people and being miles away at the same time.
By the Grace of God, I married a Christian girl. Somehow, God had allowed her to see something deep in my eyes that I did not even know was there. It was the call of God on my life. Though my exterior was razor sharp and bullet proof, my interior was extremely vulnerable. I was doing very well in my career... From Merv Griffin to Johnny Carson, from Las Vegas to Carnegie Hall, from HBO specials to Feature Films. I had a nice house and some fancy cars. I had money and clothes. I was blessed with a perfect little boy. And to top it all off, I had a beautiful wife. Everything was perfect... Or so I thought... In actuality, I was out of control. My ego was huge and my lusts were even bigger. I was always lusting, especially after women.
My wife was not pleased with the progress of our relationship. She knew that I had some rough edges, after all nobody is perfect. And as she tried to reach me, she made many concessions in her life. I was determined, without even knowing (if that is possible) to protect myself from her by becoming more distant, and as usual, while standing as close to her as I could. I bought her a BMW and bought a bigger house... I even said I was born again. She did not believe it because she saw my rotten fruits. She began to think that what she had seen in my eyes way back when we met was all a hoax. I, on the other hand, did not know how to be real... I thought I was. I tried my best to be a Christian with all my might to please her, to please me, to please God! I would think "What on earth do I have to do?"
My wife began to lose her peace and it was very noticeable to me. Being the expert in manipulation that I was, I pointed out to her that she did not have "the joy of the Lord" that I had heard preachers shout about... I asked her "Where is your joy of the Lord?"
That was all she needed to hear. She began to refocus her life on Jesus. It wasn't too long before she had her joy. She did not respond to my manipulations and I could not reach her. Her armor was more powerful than mine, her countenance was peaceful, her joy was evident and real. Her protection, peace and joy were all provided by Jesus.
I began to unravel. My career came to a stand still and nothing could satisfy my pains or desires. My lust grew stronger and more obvious in my actions. My wife had asked me to leave our home and that is when I sensed a loss of power. My armor was deteriorating from the brilliance of the armor of God which encased my wife. At that point, I understood that I was not in control anymore. I thought that if I could not control my wife, who I lived with 24 hours a day, than I could not control anything around me. I began to panic and being at my wits end, had asked the Lord to come into my life. The changes in my life have come slowly, yet surely. I now know that if I keep my eyes on the Son of God, my shadowy past will remain behind me.
It has been a long road to get where God would have me. I had been traveling the wrong way on the road of life for over 30 years. I thank my gracious Lord each and every day that my wife and son are at my side making the journey with me.
I minister through my comedy in the comedy clubs, theaters and casinos around the country. And recently, the Lord has opened the doors of the churches for me to come and minister to the body and their unsaved friends during the same performance. I have found that I am rejuvenated as I perform in the churches as well, sort of a recharging of a battery. My testimony of "having it all" and having no peace or joy seems to be a common problem among common men.
May God Bless You, Bob