Dad has been slowly going through the mountains of papers that Mom had accumulated. Mom is a sentimental pack-rat like I am. He recently found a lesson Mom taught sometime in the early 2000’s, we think, because of some of her references. She wrote it in pen without hesitation or error, save one crossed out line where she repeated a title. I wanted to share her words today. Here it is, exactly as she wrote it in her beautiful, elegant handwriting. She titled it “Seven Ways to Shake the Blues: Spirit-lifters for Winter-Bound Souls.”
- Spirit-Lifter One: Shake the Blues by Reading
Isaiah 34:16 says – “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read.”
Reading can greatly affect our moods and attitudes. If you’re feeling low or anxious about something today, a book may be just the ticket you need to transport your mind away from your troubles. Psalms and Proverbs can help put things in perspective. If your spirits are low today, read the 91st Psalm. It begins, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Then in verse 11 – “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
- Spirit-Lifter Two: Shake the Blues with Work
Psalm 14:23 says “In all labor there is profit-“
When we’re confused, bogged down, worried, unsettled; we sometimes need to step back and ask God to help us. While we’re waiting for Him to show us the way, it’s best that we occupy ourselves with something else. There is always something waiting for us to do, someone in need who could use our help.
- Spirit-Lifter Three: Shake the Blues with Variety
Proverbs 13:19 says “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.”
All of us have had the experience of getting into a rut. Maybe you’re in one right now. We can change the patterns of our daily lives: get up earlier so you can accomplish more, take an exercise class, read, write, conduct our spiritual disciplines, change the way we eat, watch less TV, visit a museum, go to a movie, attend a concert, call or visit a shut-in, plan your vacation. So many things to do and enjoy. Ask God to help you use your life more productively. His strength combined with your desire can work miracles.
- Spirit-Lifter Four: Shake the Blues with Exercise
In I Cor. 6:15 – the Bible says, “Know Ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?”
If you feel tired all the time and you’re in seemingly good health – try exercise. Walk-bicycle-do water aerobics with Sandy [Bunce] – do something!
Ask God to renew your strength, so you can “run and not be weary … walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
- Spirit-Lifter Five: Shake the Blues with Conversation
Duet: 5:4 says, “The Lord talked with you face to face.”
Sometimes when we are feeling unloved and unappreciated- it helps to have someone to share with, The Lord is always available to listen to our every need and pouring out our needs in prayer is a great faith blessing. But human ears are also valuable, good friends are indispensable. There are so many lonely people that we can bring the light of God’s love to – a telephone call, a visit. Who supplies the light? The One who said, “I am the light of the World, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness” (John 8:12)
- Spirit-Lifter Six: Shake the Blues with Music
“Take a harp, go about the city…make sweet melody, sing many songs… Isaiah 23:16
When we are tense and upset, can music cure our ailments? It certainly can help. Whatever kind of music we choose to listen to, it is like a balm. If you like; sing or whistle. Listen to the sigh of the wind, the rhythm of the sea, the laughter of children at their games. All it takes to hear his gifts is a mind willing to listen to the sights, sounds, -and music-of this world.
- Spirit-Lifter Seven: Shake the Blues by Giving
Every man as he purposeth in his heart, let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. II Cor. 9:7
A large city newspaper once told the story of a very rich man who on cold winter days stood on the street in one of the poorer sections of town and gave away gloves and mittens to people who had none. Why? He explained that as a kid he was too poor to afford gloves and vowed that if ever he could afford it, he would see that others fared better. He didn’t forget.
Relate the experience in Austria/Carla helping the young woman with her luggage.
Find someone that is loaded down and help them.
Our Father, when we despair, help us find truths in our reading that enable us to get over the rough spots. Calm us when we’re anxious, so we can think and act wisely. Help us to dedicate our time to you. Keep our spirits and our minds supple, ready to do your bidding. Give us ears to listen when we are hurting, and teach us to be good listeners when others need us. Lord, when discord fills our lives, send us a melody of love. Help us to emulate your transcendent Love and to aim to please you in all we do
In the name of Jesus – Amen