Wednesday, October 31, 2018

There's a Song in My Heart!

Forty-five years later I still vividly remember one specific day after PE in junior high. I was rushing to get showered and changed back into classroom clothes from the horrid one piece red and white striped polyester shorts jumpsuit we had to wear, sure that I would be late for class.  As I was hurrying, I realized a song was "playing" in my head. I stopped worrying long enough to actually "listen" to the words and I had to laugh at the message.

And I know I'll not be late!
I'm going to Heaven and
I can't wait!

I calmed down and made it to class on time.

Do you ever listen to your internal play list? What is usually playing?

Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinks so is he." I'm currently reading the book Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. In it she explains how our thoughts actually change what is happening physically in our brains and then in our bodies. Worry and praise have very different effects on our health!

We actually become peaceful, physically as well as emotionally, when we experience joy. We can force joy on ourselves by focusing on the attributes of God. Think of Philippians 4:8-9, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on theses things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." The Bible tells us that our minds can be controlled and can even help our health.
Challenge: Use Philippians 4:8-9 as your devotion for a day (or several days) and find an example of God being each of the attributes mention there. I did it and enjoyed the exercise of praising God for who He is. Extra Credit: Think of and sing to yourself or play a song for each one.
When my brother-in-law was dying of cancer, my mother-in-law would wake up in the night upset thinking of losing her son, and thinking of the loss to his wife and children. She tells us that what comforted her the most was was the hymns she would go over in her mind verse by verse. The words that had been sung by rote now became real and very meaningful to her. They brought her peace, and eventually sleep.
Challenge: Can you mentally sing through all the verses of your favorite hymn? Try it!
Back in the day, our car had one cassette player and we all had to listen to it. Our family took many road trips and we took turns listening to each other's choices. The story is that Mom chose hymns, I chose pop Christian music, my brother liked rock. And Dad? Well, he had a 90 minute blank tape! But seriously, everyone with their own playlist and earbuds not only separates us, it keeps us from knowing what our kids are filling their minds with.
Challenge: Sit down with your child and listen to their favorites playlist and talk about what they are hearing and how it can affect them.
Recently my reading took me through the Psalms. I started noticing how often the command to sing came up. I counted. The words "sing" and "song" appear 114 times in the translation I use. In the midst of many life-threatening and heartbreaking circumstances David and the other Psalmists found strength in singing the praises of God.
Challenge: Find more ways to listen to, and even to sing, songs, hymns, and spiritual songs personally and with your family. My kids often sing to their their kids before bedtime.  A lot of time the younger ones don't sing with them, but I've heard those kids singing all five verses of a hymn as they play! I like that internal playlists!
Singing about God will stay in our minds even when we aren't consciously "listening". Those words along with the music will change not only our attitude but our physical being allowing us to experience God's peace throughout our bodies. 

How about playing some of these songs as background music during your family dinner tonight?  

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  1. I read that book a while back. We are finally beginning to realize scientifically how following God's Word actually affects us physically!!Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I agree that singing about the Lord and focusing on gratitude instead worrying can lift our moods drastically, not to mention, encouraging all who are near us, Sharon. I remember those old cassette tapes. My how things have changed! Lol! I'll be pinning your post!



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