Wisdom Wednesday: Sing, Whistle or Blow Bubbles

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One of the easiest and fun things we can do to improve our mood and health is to breathe. Have you ever found yourself breathing so shallowly that you were almost unconsciously holding your breath, especially in moments of concentration or stress? Breath equals life.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” —Genesis 2:7

“Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and all good things will be yours.” —Swedish proverb

As you may have heard or read, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” and while doing deep breathing exercises can help us feel better, there are fun ways to get more oxygen into our bodies.

 

Sing!

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“Singing lightens sorrows.” —Spanish proverb

 

Play a wind instrument or just whistle!

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“Breath is the music of life.” —Indian proverb

 

Blow bubbles!

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Bubbles are like wet kisses floating in the air, waiting to pop and tickle the one who touches them.

Although all these things may not equal deep breathing exercises, they do encourage a greater intake of oxygen and can create a positive mood and improved health.  Blowing bubbles is also whimsical, relaxing, and can produce fun and entertainment when children leap and run to pop them. So the next time you feel stressed, take a moment to breathe.

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If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Laughter

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 8 – Go in Peace

The 8th installment of my son’s online fiction series.

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“So, Virginia?”

Richie dropped his bags on the wooden walkway and turned to face May who stood inquisitively looking back at him. She was wearing a blue dress and her usual white sun hat. She looked gorgeous; her hair was in curls and her cheeks were rosy.

“That’s what they tell me, Teach. Orders are to meet there and join the other recruits who are making up the 6th Marine Regiment.”

May nodded and smirked. “I’m sad I’ll miss seeing you in your uniform. I am sure you’ll look dashing as a marine.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to wear it for you when I get back.”

“You better.”

Richie could see May’s gaze fall on the train that stood behind him. Her forced cheerful expression began to crack and show the anxiety within. Richie placed his hand… (read more)

 

If you are just tuning in, click here for the other installments.


Godly Songs Are Not Repetitious and Are Full of Doctrine. Oh Really?

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A few weeks ago, I attended a local event hosted by a church, which was also attended by several pastors within their association. Have you ever heard Christians dis other churches for singing anything other than hymns? They say things like, “Godly music must be rich in doctrine,” or “Songs of worship should not be repetitious. That’s what’s wrong with today’s contemporary songs. They’re just fluff,” and they actually call the songs that other churches sing “ungodly”. I often wonder if they have ever read, studied or been helped by the book of Psalms.

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Psalm 136 is an example of a psalm that contains a lot of repetition:

An exhortation to give thanks to God for particular mercies

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

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Is Psalm 136 ungodly and unsuitable for church worship because it is repetitious? If not, then why are contemporary songs rejected simply because they contain some repetition?

The song in the video below is the cry of a broken heart, a crushed spirit due to the loss of a child. The lyrics reveal the struggle of the heart to continue trusting in God— “To think that Providence would take a child from his mother while she prays, is appalling.”

Wasn’t King David open and honest with the LORD? Can we not be as well, or is this song also unacceptable and ungodly?

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Psalm 6 is an example of a psalm that does not contain the kind of doctrine that the pontificators say godly songs should contain. It is a cry of the heart:

David’s complaint in his sickness

To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?

Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.

For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.

Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

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The same pontificators talk about how things are a matter of the heart, and yet deny the same when they reject songs that are cries of the heart to God. Which is it? Is it really a matter of the heart or a matter of musical taste?

 

If you liked this, you might also like… God Danced?

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 7 – Unmade Choices

I was on vacation and am in the process of catching up.  Here is the 7th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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May plopped into her desk chair and stared out her room window. Now that school was over, she had taken a temporary job as a store clerk for the summer. It had been an especially long day and all she wanted to do was relax. She let her mind rest as she stared blankly out into the Maine countryside.

After a few moments, May sighed and pulled out her journal. She reached for her pen.

Monday, June 18, 1917

“May!” Mrs. Branson’s voice called from downstairs, interrupting her writing.

May sighed again and placed the pen next to the book. Going out of the room and to the top of the stairs, she called back, “Yes?”

“Richie’s here to see you, dear,” Mrs. Branson replied with the hint of a smile in her voice…. (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

The Prayer Journal: Part 3 – Diligence But No Direction

The Prayer Journal: Part 4 – Sweet Answers

The Prayer Journal: Part 5 – What Is Best

The Prayer Journal: Part 6 – Register to Bravery

 

 


Wisdom Wednesday: Keep Your Heart

Photo credit minus type:  Nithya Ramanujam via Free Images

Photo credit minus type: Nithya Ramanujam via Free Images

This post is mostly for young people, but since I’m not immune, it’s a good reminder for those of us who are on the other side of the hill, too, especially for those who may be just starting a new stage in life.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” —Proverbs 4:23 NLT

I, and I’m sure many others my age and older, can confirm the validity of Proverbs 4:23, because the course of our lives has been determined by what our hearts have followed. For some, it has been a pretty good road, but for others, it has been hard and filled with regrets. Although some people would say they are grateful for the lessons learned, if they could go back and have a do-over, they would.

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.”  —Chinese proverb

“We’re prone to let circumstances fuel our emotions. Then our emotions dictate our responses, and so we become victims of our circumstances and of our emotions…” —Nancy Leigh DeMoss in Trials That Reveal Your Heart

“Look not upon your desires and your heart will not be confused.” —Chinese proverb

Sometimes flattery grabs the attention of our hearts, because it fills the common need of acceptance and love. Compliments and encouragement are one thing, but be careful of flattery that is intended to capture your attention for selfish reasons.

“The ear is the road to the heart.”  —French proverb

Sometimes our present circumstances are tough or even bad, and all we want to do is escape, and we go for the first person or circumstance that would appear to rescue us.

“A fleeing person is not choosy about his road.” —Japanese proverb

“Whether you understand the motivations of your heart or not, really what’s driving your actions, and what’s driving your life and how you fill your day, actually comes back to what you believe is actually gonna bring about the most fullness of life possible for you.” —Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Fig Leaves, Lies and the Grace of God

“If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.” —Unknown

“Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.” —Irish proverb

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  —Jesus

“For where your treasure is…”

The deeper meaning of Proverbs 4:23 reveals the value of our hearts. Most other English translations more accurately read similarly to the NKJV, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Our hearts are like a water spring, a source, and everything in our lives flows from it, and that is what determines our course. It is like a life giving spring, but if it becomes polluted, it can mean disease or death, suffering and heartache, so we must guard it well.

I would be the last person to tell you that it’s easy to control the direction and affections of your heart. And changing the course of that direction can be especially difficult when it involves the heart of another as well. Have you ever found yourself involved in a relationship and found it difficult to let go because you didn’t want to hurt the other person? They usually end up getting hurt in the end anyway, so it’s better to guard your heart— and theirs— from the beginning.

“He is most free from danger, who, even when safe, is on his guard.” —Latin proverb

“It’s okay to follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” —Nicole Hill

 

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Breaking & Making Habits and God’s Plan for Your Life May Not Be What You Think It Is

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 6 – Register to Bravery

The 6th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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Tuesday, June 5, 1917 – Courage

“What’s that book, Teach?” Richie asked. May turned her gaze from her journal to look at him from under the shade of her sun hat. Richie was squinting from the glaring sunlight, dressed in his suit with his hands casually in his pants pockets. His flat cap did little to keep out the sun, but it looked fetching on him.

“My grandfather’s journal,” May replied. “Since he passed, it’s passed to me. I haven’t written anything for a few weeks and thought I would probably have time today.”

“Journal, huh?” Richie asked. He grinned and looked at her sideways. “Am I in there?”… Read more

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 5 – What Is Best

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Monday, May 14, 1917 – Wisdom

May lifted her pen from the page and her eyes from looking at her desk. She quickly scanned her classroom of students who were applying themselves diligently to the spelling test she had handed them moments before. She smirked. When May had been a student she had not realized tests were as much for the teachers as they were for the classroom. Silence is a beautiful thing.

Taking advantage of this rare reprieve, she took a moment to consider the events of the past weekend. The parade had been wonderful, although she was not sure if she would have felt the same if she had not spent it with Richie. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but his imperfections only attracted her to him more. One example was his overly talkative nature; that was all the better for May as she preferred listening anyway. Their conversations that day had felt so natural, so normal that it was startling. In a good way, of course.

I’ve noticed that I rarely pray for wisdom when events go awry. Usually in a difficult time I know what I lack: faith, patience, submission, or something else like that. Yet when my path is dry and sunny my plea is wisdom without fail. I wonder why?

“God will grant you what you request, but it usually isn’t in the way you think, just to remind you that He’s God and you’re not,” her grandfather used to say. “When you realize you need faith, God requires that you believe He will give it. When you realize you need patience, God will see if you’re willing to wait on Him for it. When you realize you need to know how to pray… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 4 – Sweet Answers

The Prayer Journal: Part 3 – Diligence But No Direction

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 4 – Sweet Answers

The 4th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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May’s bedroom door flew open as she entered, lit lantern in hand. Her face glowed like the firelight she held. Closing the door so the latch clicked into place, she practically raced to her desk where her journal lay open from the writing earlier that day before she had left for dinner. She sat down and picked up her pen. Her smile beamed as she brought her pen down to write, but then hesitantly she halted.

She leaned back in her chair and laughed. “When I have problems, I’m as well-spoken as Billy Sunday. And now when I can’t keep from smiling, I have no words to say.”

May shook her head and started writing anyway; she could at least start with her date.

Monday, May 7, 1917 -

She left the space blank where she would normally write her topic of prayer. Before her dinner it was clear what she needed. Now that her prayer had been answered, what should her prayer be?… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 3 – Diligence But No Direction

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

 


The Prayer Journal: Diligence But No Direction

The third installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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Monday, May 7, 1917 – Direction

Mr. Branson came home with a telegram today, couldn’t wait to show Mrs. Branson. It was from their son, George. Told them he enlisted to help end all this fuss over in Europe. Mr. Branson was so proud. He’s been in a fine mood since he got home.

A knock rapped at May’s door. She placed her pen next to her journal. “Come in.”

The door creaked open. Mrs. Branson poked her head through. “Dinner in about fifteen minutes, dear.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” May replied. She noted the tense expression. “Need any help?”

“Oh, no, not tonight. I’ve been in such a tizzy since Mr. Branson came home my hands are happy to have something to work with.” Mrs. Branson nervously rubbed them together, then realizing she had betrayed her emotions… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

 


I am Ryland – the story of a male-identifying little girl who didn’t transition

Rene Yoshi:

The story of a beautiful young woman who once acted more like a boy, just like Ryland, only her parents did things differently, and she hopes Ryland’s parents eventually will, too.

Originally posted on lindsay leigh bentley:

I have been shying away from highly controversial topics on this blog recently because I just couldn’t take the drama that naturally associates with it.  But I keep hearing the story of Ryland, a child who was born a female, whose parents have transitioned her to male at 5 years old.  You can see the full story HERE, but in short, because their daughter identified herself as a boy, and liked “boy” things as opposed to “girl” things, they cut off her hair, bought her “boy” clothes, and have begun telling her, and others, that she is a boy.

I have no degree in early childhood development, nor have I studied psychology.  I didn’t even graduate from College.

I am also not here to pass judgement on Ryland’s parents.  I believe that they are doing what they believe to be the most loving thing for their child.  I’m simply sharing my…

View original 1,688 more words


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