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The Soothing Sound of Music

Record players, eight tracks and cassette tapes were just the beginning to the revolution called music.  Today, MP3 players, iTunes and computers able to download thousands of song, enable the soothing sound of music to be just one click away.  Life without cell phones, electronic devices and voice activated technology is now unthinkable as silence has been replaced by your favorite play list.

Yoga and meditation rely on music as an alternative to healing and relaxation.  Serving as a substitute for God, retreat centers, seminars and private classes are exploding in popularity, ushering in a New Age.  The angel of song, Lucifer, uses all kinds of music to entice individuals like Eve in the garden, replacing an apple with a catchy beat, void of any true meaning.  Meanwhile, whispers penetrate your soul, “I don’t listen to the lyrics,” planting seeds for compromise to commence.

To battle this movement, churches are introducing Soaking in the Spirit, turning prayer rooms into a comfortable place to relax while listening to worship music.  Based upon the principles within Romans 12:1-2, minds are being transformed by words inspired by the Bible, Romans 10:17.  Considered a skilled musician, 1 Samuel 16:14-23, David understood the gladness, joy and peace one experiences while listening to music, Psalm 45:8.

For me, the choice of my music often dictates my mood and or behavior.  Whether you prefer hip hop, rap or classic rock and roll, pieces of the songs you listen to stay with you for hours, days or weeks.  If you’re skeptical, take the Music Challenge.

Spend one day listening to secular music, journal at the end of the day how this music influenced you.  Then, take a day listening to Christian/Gospel/Worship music, using Pandora if you don’t have a large selection.  Compare your language, thoughts and overall mindset.  If you don’t see a definite difference, consider a longer time span, like the challenge found in Daniel 1:8-16.

Feel free to share any findings you discover or interesting insights on the soothing sound of music.

by Jay Mankus

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Sunup to Sundown

Beginning December 1st, I will only witness the sun on Sunday’s over the next 3 weeks leading up to Christmas.  As the peak shopping season has commenced, I am planning to spend 18 of the next 21 days at work, from sunup to sundown.  Since my shift starts at 7am and goes until 5:30 pm, the sun doesn’t rise before I arrive and has set well before my ride home.  While there are plenty of lights inside, for now making enough money to survive is of vital importance.

At least for one month, I can relate to the schedule Moses kept during Israel’s 40 year trek in the wilderness, prior to experiencing the promised land, Exodus 18:13-14.  That is until Jethro, a concerned father in law, intervened, providing Moses with a plan to elevate his stress level.  Although I will miss several opportunities for fun in the sun, the bigger picture is etched in my mind.  Despite the exhaustion and pain my body will endure, a large paycheck will make Christmas that much more merrier, knowing I will have the funds to pay off most of our bills.

As a child, I went to sleep every night listening to Here Comes the Sun by the Beattles off their Abbey Road album.  Before the days of itunes, mp3 players, CD’s and cassettes, all I had was a hand me down record player with an 8 track deck.  It wasn’t much, but I treasured this possession, taking good care of it for nearly 20 years until I could afford to buy a new stereo.  Thus, I had a tradition, when the sun set and my lights went out, I maneuvered the needle just in the right place, listened to the dust, occasionally making a skipping sound and feel asleep dreaming of another day of the sun rising over the ocean.  In this Christmas season, may the sun shine bright on your life and family.

by Jay Mankus

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