DayBreaks for 1/05/18 – What We Put In Affects the Future

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DayBreaks for 1/05/18: What We Put in Affects the Future

From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:

A psychiatrist in England made an interesting revelation at a conference in Wales.  Dr. Nick Warner revealed that a hymn penned in the mid-1800’s is the most common theme heard in what he termed “musical hallucinations.”  We all have a tune that gets stuck in our heads (also called an “ear worm”) but in a musical hallucination, the song is heard as if it were really being played.  About one in 10,000 people over 65 years of age report musical hallucinations.  They are most common in people suffering from hearing problems.

Dr. Warner and a colleague studied 30 elderly people who experienced musical hallucinations.  The tunes they heard ranged from “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” to “Yes, We Have No Bananas.”  Over half of the people heard some sort of religious music, either hymns or Christmas carols.  Six of the thirty heard the same song, “Abide With Me.”  That is a statistically significant number considering the people did not have the opportunity to speak to one another about what they heard.

Dr. Warner believes the reason many people hear this song is that it brings sense of comfort and hope.  He said, “The words of ‘Abide With Me’ are tremendously uplifting, hopeful words about heaven and God not abandoning us when we are dying.”  Warner says, since we are becoming increasing secular, as the population ages, more people may start hearing the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones, because musical hallucinations tend to be songs people have heard many times. – —Reuters, ‘Abide With Me’ is Top Musical Hallucination, March 8, 2004

I’m sure that you’ve had songs that get “stuck” in your head that keep on playing over and over until you’re about to go nuts.  And if you’ve not experienced that, maybe I’ve had your share of music playing in my head. 

The human mind, created in all its wonder by God Almighty, is an amazing thing.  It can perform more complex calculations in a fraction of a second than any computer ever built – and by a large margin.  It constantly monitors our body’s chemistry and adjusts our blood pressure, heart beat, breathing, fluid balances, hormones and it does all those things without you ever giving it a thought.  The mind of man is truly a wonder. 

What we put into our mind is important.  We need to be careful what we put into our minds today, because it may return in unexpected ways tomorrow or 10 years or 30 years in the future.  It makes Paul’s passage from Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV) come to life: Finally, brothers whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praise worthy —think about such things. Whatever you have received or learned from me, or seen in me— put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

PRAYER:  Help us to fill our hearts and minds with thoughts of your goodness and songs of praise, so that in times of need, it is You that comes to mind and nothing else.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 8/30/16 – Choose Your Song Carefully

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DayBreaks for 8/30/16 – Choose Your Song Carefully

We live in a time where music is readily available everywhere. Couples talk about “our song” that represents their love and life together. Athletes in baseball have “walk-up songs” that plays when they come to bat or go out to pitch. People work out at the gym with earbuds while they listen to workout music. And these songs are chosen because of their appeal to the listener.

In the great classical piece of literature, Homer’s Odyssey, one can find the story of Odysseus, a great hero who was sailing toward his destiny and finds himself confronting a dangerous dilemma. As he is on his way, he must sail through a very narrow passage. It isn’t the passage itself, that is the problem, it is the sirens that are the inhabitants of the place. They were said to be beautiful, mythical creatures – part woman and part bird – that lured sailors with their enchanting music and lovely voices long enough that their ships would strike the rocky cost of the land. Later writers said that they would then eat the shipwrecked sailors who gave in to the siren song that lured them to their death.

Odysseus was warned of this peril, and not wanting to shipwreck himself or his crew, settled on a seemingly shrewd stratagem: he instructed his men to fill their ears with beeswax so that they could not hear the song. He, himself, would not do so – he wanted to hear this strange, beautiful song and so he asked his men to bind him steadfast to the mast of the ship so that he could not steer the ship into danger, but he could hear the sirens because he longed to hear the siren song.

The other character who encounters the sirens in ancient literature is Jason. He, too, must sail past the location of the sirens. But rather than filling his men’s ears with beeswax and being tied to the mast, he is advised to bring Orpheus, the greatest musician, with him aboard ship so that as they pass the island of the sirens, Orpheus could play his music that would be so wonderful and louder than the song of the sirens that Jason and his crew could safely pass – and they do. Orpheus’ music was so overwhelming that they didn’t even hear the siren song that would lure them into death.

What’s the point of these stories? To me, they represent some choices that we must make in life as believers. We say that we belong to Jesus, yet sometimes we want to hear the siren song and are so captivated by it that it can destroy us. We want to hear it – to get as close as we can to the danger without actually giving in. In the case of Jason, he didn’t want to hear the siren song – he believed that something more beautiful and haunting could and would overpower the siren song and drown it out.

We can listen to many different songs: the songs of power, position, passion, money, immorality, infidelity or one of many others – and they can drive us mad. We think we can survive unscathed by “tying” ourselves while letting the songs of these competing things enter our ears and hearts and minds.

Or, we can replace these other songs with the song of Jesus that is far superior to anything the world would use to lure us away from the safety of the Father’s presence.

Which will we choose? What “songs” have you been listening to?

PRAYER: God, I don’t know why it is that we so often try to get as close as possible to giving in to the siren songs of the world when we have You and Your song of love for us. Help us listen constantly to the music that is You and the son of love and grace You sing to us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 2/16/16 – Death Was Arrested

DayBreaks for 2/16/16: Death Was Arrested

There is a wonderful new Christian song out there titled Death Was Arrested. Brandon Coker was describing it to some of his friends, describing how he was walking through a cemetery when he came across a tombstone with these words engraved into it: Here rests what was mortal of Samuel Burr, Age 42. In search of health far from his endeared home, death arrested his progress on 2nd of April 1831. Quietly he fell asleep in the Christian hope of immortality and glory forever. Oh the vanity of man in his best estate. Traveler pause and drop a tear at a grave of one so highly worthy and so deeply lamented and learn wisdom for eternity.

The phrase, “death arrested his progress” stirred the imagination and led to contemplation of how in this world death does, indeed, arrest progress…sooner or later, we shall all experience the end of our earthly “progress”.

That, however, needs to be balance and contrasted with what Christ did on the cross. Through his death, he arrested death and overcame it…and though we will all still die, we have his promise from John 11:25-26 (NLT) – Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”  

The lyrics to the song, and the link to the song, are the rest of today’s DayBreaks. Be blessed!

V1: Alone in my sorrow dead in my sin
Lost without hope with no place to begin
Your love Made a way to let mercy come in
When death was arrested and my life began
V2: Ash was redeemed only beauty remains
My orphan heart was given a name
My mourning grew quiet my feet rose to dance
When death was arrested and my life began
CHORUS
Oh your grace so free
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with you
It’s your endless love
Pouring down on us
You have made us new
Now life begins with you
V3: Released from my chains I’m a prisoner no more
My shame was a ransom he faithfully bore
He cancelled my debt and he called me his friend
When death was arrested and my life began
V4: Our savior displayed on a criminal’s cross
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That’s when death was arrested and my life began
That’s when death was arrested and my life began
POST CHORUS:
Oh we’re free free
Forever we’re free
Come join the song
Of all the redeemed
Yes we’re free free
Forever amen
When death was arrested

And my life began.

Link to listen to this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1fEJC0JtBw 

TODAY’S PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for defeating death and giving life to those who were dead! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.