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RubyMARCH2017


Praise

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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empty. (Living Full of Faith When Life Drains You Dry) (Kindle Edition)


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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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News: Lots going on at DaphneWrites

 
Hi, friends!
 
The Lord has blessed this ministry a lot in the past couple months. Here’s what’s been going on:
 
 

Events

I had some opportunities to display and sell my books at the 4th Annual Polk Writers and Illustrators Festival here in Lakeland, Florida. I met a lot of great people and was able to share my story with them.
 
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I was so proud to be one of six writers from our very own Lakeland Christian Writers, a chapter of American Christian Writers (ACW). Here are some of them.
 

With April Whitt, author of the Romeo Riley Series, and member of LCW

With April Whitt, author of the Romeo Riley Series, and member of LCW


 
Chris Pylant, co-author of A Touch of Heaven, and member of LCW

With Chris Pylant, co-author of A Touch of Heaven, and member of LCW


 
Beth Miller, co-author of Under His Wings, and member of LCW

Beth Miller, co-author of Under His Wings, and member of LCW


 
I was also invited to display and sell my book at Truth Factory’s artistic production, “Bet on Job.” (That’s Job like Job in the Bible.) 🙂 Here is some information from Truth Factory’s Facebook page:
 

Truth Factory is “a platform for local Christian artists to share their unique and inspirational gifts with the greater Lakeland community. We strive to encourage creativity which portrays the principles of Christianity in the tangible form of artistic expression. Artists are invited to showcase their talents and demonstrate the breath of creation reflected in their body of work. We promote artistic freedom for artists to express their love of God, to share His message of hope and to communicate their personal experience of Him with others.
 

I look forward to participating in other Truth Factory productions, along with other local artists.
 
 

Books

I’ve been working on two books. One I’ve already written you about in an earlier post. That one is still a little ways off. Be in prayer for that. The other book is further along and will be published in the next few weeks–just in time for the holidays, although it can be used year-round. Be on the lookout for it. I’ll write more about it as we get closer to publication date. And I’ll be holding some giveaways, so watch for those too. 🙂
 
 

Affiliate Merchants

I’ve been trying to work on my writing full-time and treating it as the career I want it to be. I’ve also been in prayer about the best ways to supplement my family’s income with the talent God has given me. After much research, I’ve decided to become an affiliate publisher of several big-name and respected merchants: DaySpring, Family Christian Stores, and Amazon. Please know I am in no way employed by these companies. What it does mean is that you might see links and images throughout my web site that advertise products from these merchants. When you click on a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission in return. You can read more about my role as an affiliate publisher on my disclosure page.
 
If you look on the new Resources tab on my web site, you will see several drop-down menus:

  • Disclosure
  • Printables
  • Books, Movies, and More
  • Sales and Specials

I hope you will browse around those pages and see what interests you. Share the resources with your friends and family. I will update the products periodically, so check back often.
 
 
Phew! That was a lot.
 
Please keep me in prayer as I continue doing what God has laid on my heart. I want to encourage others with the comfort He has given me. I want everything I do to point to Him.
 
I love you all.
 
Big hugs,
Daphne
 
 
By the way, what’s going on with you? Share in the comments. I want to join with you in prayer.

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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