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RubyMARCH2017


God

Sing out! It’s good for your health.

 
Hi, friends!
 
A while ago, I wrote about being in a funk. I took my own advice, picked up singing again, and joined the Lakeland Choral Society. Rehearsal night is one of the highlights of my week.
 
I love everything that comes with singing in a group.

  • Interacting with people of all ages and lifestyles.
  • Feeling accomplished when I hit the notes in a difficult section of music.
  • Watching others enjoy singing.
  • Absorbing our director’s passion.
  • Following his precise cues.
  • Practicing different styles of music.
  • Doing the warm-up exercises–deep breathing, stretching, massaging.
  • Singing scales with different vowel sounds.
  • Feeling refreshed at the end of it all.

 
All of these reasons–and plenty more–have scooped me out of my funk. I love to sing out!
 

 
As if singing in the choral group weren’t enough, shortly after joining LCS, our director informed us of an opportunity to sing in an opera with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra. Who would’ve guessed that singing in an opera–one of my bucket list items–could become a reality! Without a second thought, I–along with several other choral members–volunteered to be in the cast of the ISO’s presentation of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.
 

Sometimes, I felt way out of my league, and I wanted to quit, but I remembered why I volunteered–not just to sing, but to sing deeply, to feel the intensity of emotions in an operatic presentation. This was way more than singing opera in my living room, which I do regularly. This was singing opera with professionals and other people who love opera. This was experiencing the highs and lows of every aria. Many times while we were on stage, we forgot we were acting. Emotion overwhelmed us as we sang out.
 
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience–one I’ll never forget. I treasure the intensity of it all.
 
It might seem an exaggeration, but to someone who struggles with depression, singing in general–and opera, specifically–has helped me release a host of pent-up emotions–sadness, anger, jealousy, internal strife, joy, mania. Whether it’s our weekly rehearsal or an opera performance, within two hours, I’ve exhausted my entire being in the most refreshing way. I sleep soundly.
 
Hard to believe?
 
Research shows music and singing have many benefits. Singing improves physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Singing in a group amplifies those benefits.
 
Even the Bible is filled with references to singing, commands to sing, and the power of singing.
 

Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. (Psalm 47:6)
 
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. (Psalm 95:1)
 
When they began to sing, the Lord threw the invading armies into a panic. (2 Chronicles 20:22)
 
I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (Psalm 104:33)
 

 
All of God’s creation sings out.
 

All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name. (Psalm 66:4)
 
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)
 
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. (Psalm 96:12)
 

 
God sings!
 

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
 

 
Even Jesus sang.

So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve…. When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:17-30)
 

 
You might not be interested in joining a choral group, much less singing in an opera. You might think you’re not even a good singer. Whatever your reservation, sing! Sing out! Incorporate singing into your life.

  • Crank up the car stereo and sing along.
  • Try karaoke.
  • Sing in the shower.
  • Practice singing the musical scales.
  • Play singing games with your family. Instead of speaking to each other, sing!
  • Sing the Psalms in the Bible.
  • Sit in on a choral rehearsal.
  • Take voice lessons.
  • Sing along to operas like Pagliacci. Here’s a list of the top 50 operas.
  • Join a choral group. (Have I convinced you yet?) 😉

 
Whatever you do, whatever you feel, sing out! Sing for your health. Sing out for God. You were made to sing out!
 

 
 
Come alongside… Do you like to sing? Why or why not? What would it take for you to sing out? How can you incorporate singing into your life? What health benefits have you experienced as a result of your singing out? Comment in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 

Are you feelin’ it? You don’t have to.

 
Hi, friends!
 
It’s hard to encourage others when you yourself are discouraged. That’s where I’ve been lately.
 
Okaydiscouragedrev
 
Hey, this blog is about transparency, right? 😉
 
 
One thing I’m learning—sometimes, not very well—is that discouragement comes when I expect something and then don’t get it, when I long for something and it doesn’t come about. For most of us, wanting these things isn’t necessarily bad:
 
 

  • A job
  • A husband
  • A child
  • An improvement in health
  • A publishing contract (for my fellow writers out there!)

 
 
What to do?
 
 
It’s easy to tell someone to just put their eyes on Jesus. But when your bills stack higher than Mt. Everest, your biological clock is ticking, your health slides downward, or the publishing contract loses its way in the mail, it’s hard to get your eyes on anything other than what your heart desires.
 
 
That’s why I start with my heart.
 
 
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a firm believer in acknowledging and processing my feelings. That’s how we heal and grow. It’s also how we experience the range of emotions God gave us. But if I stop there—with my heart, I will stay discouraged, maybe even dip into depression.
 
 
So I move from my heart to my mind, to what I know is true—even though I might not feel it.
 
 

  • I don’t feel loved, but I know God loves me (John 3:16).
  • I don’t feel like He’s listening, but I know He leans in close (Psalm 4:3).
  • I don’t feel like I have all I need, but I know He provides for me (Philippians 4:19).
  • I don’t feel like I have good things. But I know He gives me only the best (James 1:17).
  • I don’t feel like I’m going in the right direction. But I know He leads me (Psalm 143:10).
  • I don’t feel like I have anyone who stands up for me. But I know He protects me (Psalm 121:7).

 
 
It’s not “fake it ’til you make it.” It’s an “I don’t feel it. But I don’t have to because I know it!” Why?
 
 

Because I know my God. And I believe His word.

 
 
knowGodwordrev
 
 
See the difference? I’m not stuffing my feelings; I’m acknowledging them and reminding myself I don’t have to rely on them solely. I can rely on what—er, who—I know.
 
 
This is especially important for people who struggle with mental illness, especially depression, like me. Many times, I haven’t felt … anything. This is a daily thing for me. But it’s at those times, when I choose to rely on what I know about my God.
 
 
Start with your heart. And then move to your mind.
 
 
Don’t just feel it. Know it!
 
 
Come alongside… What are you not feeling lately? How can you know it? Share with us in the comments below.
 
 
 
 
 


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God is all you need

 
Hi, friends!
 
godallyouneedrev
What do you need today?

  • Physical healing?
  • Restored relationships?
  • Financial miracle?
  • Direction?
  • Emotional stability?

 
Today, I want to encourage you: God can do all those things. More importantly, God is all those things:
 

  • Healer
  • Restorer
  • Miracle-worker
  • Provider
  • Guide
  • Prince of Peace

 
Whatever you need today, God is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Forever. He is what you need him to be. When life pierces you, keeps you up at night, breaks your heart, and messes with your mind, God is “I AM.”
 
He is God almighty. Nothing is too difficult for him. He needs no one’s help to bring things about. He alone is all you need!
 
Listen to this beautiful song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean and be encouraged. God is “I AM.”
 
 

 
 
Come alongside… What do you need today? Will you trust that God is “I AM” in your situation? Will you let him be “I AM?” Share with us in the comments. Remember, you can post anonymously.
 
 
 
 
 


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Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Life is Good, Positive Promotions, BloomThat, CesarsWay, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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