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I Think I’ll Sing

During most of the past year, I think I’ve done pretty well with the whole pandemic, stay at home, social distance thing.

Probably because home is where I prefer to be anyway.

Then, for reasons unknown to me, somewhere around Thanksgiving, I felt myself beginning to sink.

Looking for the reason, I began to assess my my relationships, my schedule, my health.

Beginning with looking at relationships, I found that social distancing had not done me any favors.

Covid had given me a reason to not be around so many people, but also it was keeping me away from those who were important to my life.

Except for my husband and children, all others were out, and I had no idea how distressing that was to my soul.

During that time, my relationship with God stayed strong, or I would have probably given up.

Psalm 27:13-14 says I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Assessing my schedule, I realized that where I used to schedule my days, I had fallen into a time of very lax scheduling.

Personally, if I don’t schedule it, or write it down, it does not happen.

It did not take long to go down that slide for sure!

For about two months I went through several tests given by some specialized doctors.

After these tests, the findings, all my numbers, with some medication, lined up into the healthy range.

Each one of these assessments ended up bringing me to a positive place, but I still felt that something was missing.

I really couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then one morning as my husband was readying himself for the day, and per usual, he had his music playing.

Very loudly.

I had long since passed the point where I let the volume annoy me, so this time I began to listen, and sing along.

To my surprise, the song I was singing got stuck in my head. Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw .

Others songs got stuck there too.

Songs from church, Is He Worthy? – Chris Tomlin.

Songs from my exercise class, Move (Keep Walkin’) – Toby Mac.

I began singing these songs out loud, unprovoked, and even in my sleep.

Let me tell you that I’m feeling much better, getting more done in my scheduled time, and even have been visiting with people.

Real people.

Zoom people.

Known people.

Stranger people.

What a difference!

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Psalm 32:3

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 ESV

According to an article I read on Spinditty.com, renowned vocal coach Audrey Hunt says there are many reasons for you to sing.

She lists six in her article, and I share them with you here.

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Releases stress
  • Benefits your heart
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your memory
  • Fosters clear thinking through correct breathing

Hunt’s article sites How Music Affects Your Brain with this short video.

I have found all of these things to be very true.

So I encourage you – like Audrey Hunt and Karen Carpenter to Sing, Sing a Song.

Until next time ..

Birds of a Feather

I would like to share a few questions come from one of my mentors, Lance.

Lance can be a little crazy.

His ideas, at first blush, can seem a bit outlandish, but for all the years, and twists and turns I have followed him on, I have found him to be quite accurate.

His studies, and his experiences bear him out.

I trust him.

The questions I want to share, I heard from him some time ago.

But as many things we hear that are important, they come back around.

Often at times when we need them most.

Pandemics, lockdowns, governmental upheaval, violence, and just general chaos have made these questions important again.

So, let me ask you;

Who do you serve?

Who do you run with?

Who do you teach?

The answers to these questions are important if we want to be successful in leading ourselves and others through the chaos, and into an open place where we can be free.

You may not consider yourself a leader, or even want to be one, but I can tell you; someone is always watching.

You will lead someone, for good or for not.

So, please consider each question with me, would you?

Who do you serve? (What/who is the most important thing to you?)

Why is this question important?

We were created to serve.

We were created to worship.

Serving the wrong things can take a toll on us; physically, mentally, spiritually.

Who or what we serve can bring us life, or bring us death.

Scripture tells us this; “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24.

We can only serve one thing (person, place, thing) fully, at one time.   

Serve Somebody – Bob Dylan

 Who do you run with? (Who do you spend your social time with?)

Why is this question important?

Foundationally, humans were not created to be alone. (Think Adam and Eve)

Remember the old saying “Birds of a feather flock together”?

Individuals of like character, taste or background tend to hang together.

Affiliations, clubs, or societies; Colleges would call them “Fraternities” or “Sororities”; more urban terms could be our “Posse”, “Tribe”, or “Crew”.

The thing about these groups is that each one has its own world view.

This could be either positive or negative.

Think how you want to be perceived.

Your reputation will always precede you.

Make it what you want it to be by just who you let be your influence.

Another important factor about having a “Clan”, is that when trouble comes our way, because it will, we have someone to hold on to until the darkness passes.  

I Just Need U – Toby Mac

Who do you teach?  (Remember I said that you will always lead someone?)

People may not say anything, but they ARE watching.

What is your character, your influence, showing them?

Do they want to become like you? (For good or bad)

Do they aspire to be what they see in you?

Many times there is a problem here, because people only see what is directly in front of them.

They have not seen the history behind your choices, or the process that you used to get there.

To my way of thinking, this makes how we act even more important.

Unless we have had a chance to really get to know someone, and their background, the picture we see, can be skewed.

Is He Worthy? Chris Tomlin

Let me summarize the time we spend with others here.

Wherever and whoever you spend time with, should hold these three elements;

There should always be someone that you can show love to by serving. (This shows them who you are)

There should always be someone who is on the same level of process that you are. (You can grow further together)

Then, there should always be someone whom you can teach. (We are here for a reason, right?)

I hope you have found these ideas helpful, and can put the principals here to good use.

I know they have made a profound difference in my own life.

Until next time …

It’s Foundational

At the beginning of this month, I was part of another Three-Day Challenge.

This one was about “Creating a Devotional Lifestyle with God”.

At some point in each challenge there are what are called “Activation Questions”.

These questions help the participant to “work through” what has just been taught to them.

There are also specific “keys” to help us along the way.

The key that stuck to me the most was key #3;

You can’t get to the new you from the old you.

In this particular lesson, we were told that we are not responsible for fixing our “old life”.

Instead, we are responsible to receive what God tells us, and then focus on “being” with Him, and not particularly on “doing” everything there is to be done.

I want to share with you a couple of the “Activation Questions”, and my answer to them.

I am positive that the answers will not be the end of my thoughts, but that they will continue to simmer in my heart and mind until the process is complete.

It has been my experience that the process should simply be allowed to flow, and not be rushed.

I hope this will encourage you to consider some things in your life that you may not have thought of before.

  Question #1; Based on what you have heard, what do you think you may need to “Unlearn?”. Any old habits, perceptions or mindsets about devotional life with God that you may want to lay aside?

Mostly, I need to keep learning, and relearning that I am not doing it wrong.

There really is no wrong way to have a devotional lifestyle.

From the physical place, or posture that I take for prayer, to the words, that I speak.

A heart that is tuned to Him, will most certainly get it right.

Question #2; What new perspectives of God’s thoughts towards you, and your freedom, from striving and performance, do you want to choose instead?

I need to continue to learn again and again, that the way I; am, look, think, relate, is not defective.

I am just how God created me, and that in itself will make my devotional life different than anyone else’s.

The purpose He has for me and my devotional life is constantly growing.

Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Little by little.

Last years projects, troubles, joys, slip ups, stand stills, happiness’s, and woes, and how I handled them in my devotional life, are simply foundational for what comes next.

What I have learned has not been made irrelevant.

It may not even be used at this time, but instead, is foundational to whatever comes next.

Tall buildings need deep foundations, made from strong materials.

While digging these foundations, time can drag on slowly, and at times even seem to stop all together.

We may have to wait for inclement weather to pass by.

We may have to fix broken tools, or learn different skill sets.

Perhaps new materials are to be delivered, and all we can do is wait.

These things take time. Building strength and quality cannot be rushed.

I look forward to a quality product, and even a considerably larger devotional life.

2020 has given me the tools to be able to wait with out angst.

God’s timing is perfect.

Would your answer to these questions echo mine?

Or would they look completely different?

I would love it if you’d share a thought or two with me.

Until next time …