Saturday, February 11, 2006

Good Medicine

If you read my previous post you know I am "down for the count" with a head cold or whatever. It usually is an indication that I have worn myself out or become too stressed. When this happens, I realize I need to retreat to that which builds me up and replenishes. For me, this is what works:

1) Quiet time with God.

I like to go to a nearby lake, park the car, watch the wind move the water, admire the geese, gaze at the trees, and just soak up the fact that God loves me. God often speaks in that still, small voice, but I find myself too busy with trying to figure things and make things happen on my own that I end up not listening. Ever messed with an ant hill and watched them immediately scurry around to rebuild? I tend to be like the ants. In a way, that's a good thing. We have a part to play. However, a great strength can also be a great weakness. It helps me to take a break and get away for a while, just to be quiet and listen.

2) Good music.

Most of what I listen to is classified as Christian music, but occasionally I also find that Norah Jones, Enya, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Charlotte Church, Christopher Parkening, and other similar music helps me relax and refocus. I hope listening to those that I mentioned does not offend anyone. If it does, I apologize. The vast majority of what I listen to is Christian music.

3) Laughter.

Finding a comedian these days who is not vulgar is becoming increasingly difficult. I miss Steven Wright's material. His genius mind still amazes me. Click HERE for a sample. Of the presently-popular comedians, I think Brian Regan is my favorite. Click HERE for some sample MP3s. Of those on the page I linked to, I particularly like the "Emergency Room", "You Too", and "Evel Knievel" bits. I also like flipping through my collection of "The Far Side" books by Gary Larson. I couldn't find much in the way of links, but all the books are good. Finally, I get a kick out of watching shows like "Planet's Funniest Animals" on the Animal Planet channel. It makes me smile so much my face hurts.


At 2/11/2006, Blogger Patti said...

Hi Mark,
I don't think you need to apologize for listening to "non Christian" music. My husband is an audiophile and has tons of music. Some of his secular music reflects many Gospel values. Some of them even talk about Jesus (in a good way).

Music is a gift from God. Many people make music that reflect God's glory even if it isn't labeled Chrisian. Of course their is the other stuff.

By the way, what is the meaning of your blog title-you certainly are not dead. Unless you mean dead to sin and alive in Christ.

At 2/11/2006, Blogger Mark D said...

Hi Patti,
Thanks for stopping by. I definitely stay away from music that promotes a lifestyle or message that is clearly worldly in the bad sense. Those I mentioned I think are not in that category, but I never want to force a liberty on someone else or cause them to judge me for it. I guess part of it may be that I play, sing, and write music myself. There is an artistic part of me simply appreciates the aesthetic beauty of music, whether or not it is labeled as Christian.

My blog title serves as a reminder to myself that I am:
dead to sin but alive to God;
dead to doing things my way, submitted to His way;
dead to selfishness, willing to be selfless;
dead to asking God to bless what I think I want to do, ready to be a blessing by letting Him work through me;
dead because I really shouldn't be here - The title of my blog reminds me of being supernaturally delivered from drowning. The least I could do in return is simply obey God, every precious minute of every precious day. Life is a gift.

"He who seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

At 2/11/2006, Blogger Mark D said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2/11/2006, Blogger Mark D said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2/11/2006, Blogger Fred said...

I'm with you, Mark. A walk to a local pond with a nice bench allows me to look at nature and just enjoy life.

When looking at the water, it's very tranquil and gives me the opportunity to think about life.

Have a great weekend.

At 2/12/2006, Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Oh I like doing those three things to retreat too :) Quiet time with God and solitude gives me rest and recharge, good music sooths my heart, and laughter is certainly the best medicine!

At 2/13/2006, Blogger A Stack said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog...I have enjoyed yours as well! Thanks for the reminder of the things in life that make us feel, well, alive! I definitely relish the time I have with the Lord, and I must confess that I too can get lost (in a good way) in music. One thing my husband and I have been talking about lately too is having a good laugh and good fun from time to time...for us, it's ice skating or playing cards together...and thanks for the links to the comedians, I'll have to check them out since I LOVE to laugh : )

At 2/13/2006, Blogger Mandy said...

Laughing is awesome and always makes me feel good!

Music always moves me in some way. Secular and Christian. I believe taht all good gifts are from the Father, so I hear that in so many artists. I often wonder if His heart yearns as He hears beautiful, artistic creations that should glorify the Creator instead of the creator.


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