Let’s Talk

Choosing Not to Fear

Q. Could you please share some more thoughts on not choosing FEAR while I am waiting?

A. Let’s Talk! Here’s a word picture. In that waiting room there is a door named FEAR and another door named REST. Behind the FEAR door is more worry, anxiety, destruction, and darkness. Behind the REST door is love (believing the best), a list of what’s true, worship music, nudgings from God as you listen to Him, and a button for fresh dependency on Him.

Ahhhh, do you feel the difference just hearing what’s behind the doors? Fear never solves a problem—it creates problems. Sadly, we default to fear as a part of the human race as we face uncertainty and delay. BUT WE CAN CHOOSE TO SHUT THAT DOOR. It really is a choice which door you enter fully.

Did you see the video this week of the two elephants swinging their trunks in perfect time to classical violin music? Have you seen the faces of busy shoppers (even grumpy ones) change miraculously when a flash mob of singers and instruments enter the scene? What a change of mood! We can reverse fear and train our hearts to rest as we listen to music and even sing along. Music on a secular level changes our hearts, but imagine the giant step above that if you listen to and even sing worship songs to your Creator! Would you try it this week? Let us know the effect you had closing the door on fear as you immerse yourself in soul-lifting music.

For Deeper Reflection

Psalm 150:1–6 (ESV) Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Psalm 100:2 (ESV) Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Psalm 95:1-2 (ESV) Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.



Music to the Ears

Spring is here, but in many ways, I haven’t truly noticed. Sure I’ve delighted in the fuchsia apple tree buds and the wild purple pansies popping up, but I’ve let my sight fool me about this enlivened time of year. Just today I noticed something beyond the greening grass and the sprouting iris leaves. I heard the chirp, whistle, and shrill of my backyard birds.

IMG_3145 - Version 2Spring possesses a melodious SOUND! Where have I been? Stuck in the shadows of winter? Too focused on the rogue dandelions in my yard? Oh, what music to the ears to hear the robins and the petite red-breasted sparrow-looking birds (how’s that for my ornithological giftedness?!). Even if I can’t always spot these winged fellows in the ‘hood, I can hear them loud and clear singing to impress mates and announce their territory. A quick look online and I learned that a red-eyed vireo sings more than 20,000 songs each day. And some birds have extensive repertoires—as many as 2,000 distinct golden hits.

Springtime does resonate with the  iTunes of nature, but in every season, tuning into the sounds around us is not just for the birds. Just this morning I heard a receptionist sigh-h-h-h-h-h at her keyboard. Yesterday I heard a grade school boy plead-d-d-d-d for me to help me find his dog. Even my dog last night was whimper-r-r-r-ring at the sight of company coming up the front steps. Sighs. Pleads. Whimpers. What everyday sounds you are you paying attention to these days? Perhaps like me you’ve been a bit too preoccupied lately  to even catch the background music of spring, let alone the softer intonations of the people in your life.

Yet we can be encouraged as spring bridges a chorus to summer. Be brave. Lean in. Listen up. Every day brings a symphony of unheard of music that God longs for us to take in and appreciate.

Brave and Resilient Tip #65: Lean in. Listen for life’s everyday music.