HymnDescants
Is this what they call spiritual dance? :)

Is this what they call spiritual dance? :)

Mark Keathley’s Dance of Grace

"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance"

Luke 7:32

Spirituality of Dance

gospelaccordingtodoctorwho:

Little Groot dancing

YES, WE ARE GROOT!

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Ps 30:11 NLT

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Ps 150:40 NLT

(via Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke)

WHILE MILITANT ATHEISTS like Richard Dawkins may be convinced God doesn’t exist, God, if he is around, may be amused to find that atheists might not exist.

    Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.

    While this idea may seem outlandish—after all, it seems easy to decide not to believe in God—evidence from several disciplines indicates that what you actually believe is not a decision you make for yourself. Your fundamental beliefs are decided by much deeper levels of consciousness, and some may well be more or less set in stone. 

    This line of thought has led to some scientists claiming that “atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,” says Graham Lawton, an avowed atheist himself, writing in the New Scientist. “They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.”

    This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since we are born believers, not atheists, scientists say. Humans are pattern-seekers from birth, with a belief in karma, or cosmic justice, as our default setting. “A slew of cognitive traits predisposes us to faith,” writes Pascal Boyer in Nature, the science journal, adding that people “are only aware of some of their religious ideas”.
Read more of this article at the link above

(via Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke)

WHILE MILITANT ATHEISTS like Richard Dawkins may be convinced God doesn’t exist, God, if he is around, may be amused to find that atheists might not exist.

Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.

While this idea may seem outlandish—after all, it seems easy to decide not to believe in God—evidence from several disciplines indicates that what you actually believe is not a decision you make for yourself. Your fundamental beliefs are decided by much deeper levels of consciousness, and some may well be more or less set in stone.

This line of thought has led to some scientists claiming that “atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,” says Graham Lawton, an avowed atheist himself, writing in the New Scientist. “They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since we are born believers, not atheists, scientists say. Humans are pattern-seekers from birth, with a belief in karma, or cosmic justice, as our default setting. “A slew of cognitive traits predisposes us to faith,” writes Pascal Boyer in Nature, the science journal, adding that people “are only aware of some of their religious ideas”.
Read more of this article at the link above

(via An Idea That Stuck: How A Hymnal Bookmark Helped Inspire The Post-It Note : NPR)
3M employee Art Fry had a problem: When he sang with his church choir, his paper bookmarks were forever falling out of his hymnal. Thankfully for Fry, his coworker Spencer Silver had a new adhesive in the works.

(via An Idea That Stuck: How A Hymnal Bookmark Helped Inspire The Post-It Note : NPR)

3M employee Art Fry had a problem: When he sang with his church choir, his paper bookmarks were forever falling out of his hymnal. Thankfully for Fry, his coworker Spencer Silver had a new adhesive in the works.

How playing an instrument benefits your brain

Fascinating, better get out that instrument and get practicing.

1. Prepare
We all know the importance of practice prior to a big recital or performance, but if you suffer from stage fright it might be helpful to take it one step further. While practicing your piece, think about exactly what you’ll think about while performing the piece. Don’t allow yourself to go into auto-pilot practice mode, but rather fully engage with the music. Visualize upcoming difficult passages while you play and immerse yourself in the rhythm.
Next, instead of practicing by yourself at home, ask close friends and family that you feel comfortable playing in front of to serve as your audience. Also, it’s ideal to practice at the venue you’ll be performing at, but if that’s not possible find a similar location, or try playing at a variety of locations, which can help eliminate setting distractions altogether.
2. Skip the Latte
You may think it’ll help you be more alert, but caffeine and sugar actually can agitate the negative symptoms of stage fright. It’s best to avoid sugary foods or caffeinated beverages the day of your performance. Believe us, the natural pre-performance adrenaline boost will be more than enough to keep you alert and energized! (Feeling too pumped up still? Try eating a banana. Its natural beta-blockers may help regulate your energy levels.)
3. Accept the Fear
Accepting that what you’re feeling is a natural biological response can be incredibly freeing and allow you to work past your stage fright. Have faith in your preparedness and…
4. Don’t Focus on Yourself
Think about how cool it is that you have the opportunity to bring enjoyment to those in the audience.
5. Be Confident
Don’t fixate on what could go wrong, but rather imagine all your preparation, skills and musical talent aligning perfectly. Remember the audience is there to support and encourage you. Avoid any and all feelings of self-doubt.
6. Listen to Music
Sport psychologists have long encouraged athletes to listen to music prior to big competitions, and some of the same benefits can cross over to musicians as well. For one, we can choose songs to put us into the right mood. Need an added boost? Pick a song that fires you up. Too worked up and need to relax a bit? Listen to your favorite chill-out song.
7. Breathe/Meditate
We all have our own way of entering the ‘zone.’ Practice your relaxation technique ahead of time, so that it’s ready to go when you need it. One suggestion is to find a quiet spot to sit. Slowly take 10 full breaths, in and out, through your nose. Count each breath as you go.
8. Stretch
Stretching will help loosen tense muscles and allow you to focus on something other than your jitters right before the show. Take it easy, concentrate on your movements and shake it out when you’re done. Imagine all the negative energy leaving your body.
9. Use the Facilities
It may sound silly, but DON’T FORGET TO USE THE BATHROOM. Believe us, we speak from experience when we say there’s nothing worse for stage fright than having to ‘go’ when you step onto the stage.
10. Enjoy Every Moment
Smile as you walk onto the stage and look at the audience. Imagine all the people who supported you during practice out there cheering you on. Play as you know you can and graciously accept their applause at the end. Not only did you kill your performance, but you overcame your stage fright to do so!
(From the MusicNotes Blog: 10 Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright)

1. Prepare

We all know the importance of practice prior to a big recital or performance, but if you suffer from stage fright it might be helpful to take it one step further. While practicing your piece, think about exactly what you’ll think about while performing the piece. Don’t allow yourself to go into auto-pilot practice mode, but rather fully engage with the music. Visualize upcoming difficult passages while you play and immerse yourself in the rhythm.

Next, instead of practicing by yourself at home, ask close friends and family that you feel comfortable playing in front of to serve as your audience. Also, it’s ideal to practice at the venue you’ll be performing at, but if that’s not possible find a similar location, or try playing at a variety of locations, which can help eliminate setting distractions altogether.

2. Skip the Latte

You may think it’ll help you be more alert, but caffeine and sugar actually can agitate the negative symptoms of stage fright. It’s best to avoid sugary foods or caffeinated beverages the day of your performance. Believe us, the natural pre-performance adrenaline boost will be more than enough to keep you alert and energized! (Feeling too pumped up still? Try eating a banana. Its natural beta-blockers may help regulate your energy levels.)

3. Accept the Fear

Accepting that what you’re feeling is a natural biological response can be incredibly freeing and allow you to work past your stage fright. Have faith in your preparedness and…

4. Don’t Focus on Yourself

Think about how cool it is that you have the opportunity to bring enjoyment to those in the audience.

5. Be Confident

Don’t fixate on what could go wrong, but rather imagine all your preparation, skills and musical talent aligning perfectly. Remember the audience is there to support and encourage you. Avoid any and all feelings of self-doubt.

6. Listen to Music

Sport psychologists have long encouraged athletes to listen to music prior to big competitions, and some of the same benefits can cross over to musicians as well. For one, we can choose songs to put us into the right mood. Need an added boost? Pick a song that fires you up. Too worked up and need to relax a bit? Listen to your favorite chill-out song.

7. Breathe/Meditate

We all have our own way of entering the ‘zone.’ Practice your relaxation technique ahead of time, so that it’s ready to go when you need it. One suggestion is to find a quiet spot to sit. Slowly take 10 full breaths, in and out, through your nose. Count each breath as you go.

8. Stretch

Stretching will help loosen tense muscles and allow you to focus on something other than your jitters right before the show. Take it easy, concentrate on your movements and shake it out when you’re done. Imagine all the negative energy leaving your body.

9. Use the Facilities

It may sound silly, but DON’T FORGET TO USE THE BATHROOM. Believe us, we speak from experience when we say there’s nothing worse for stage fright than having to ‘go’ when you step onto the stage.

10. Enjoy Every Moment

Smile as you walk onto the stage and look at the audience. Imagine all the people who supported you during practice out there cheering you on. Play as you know you can and graciously accept their applause at the end. Not only did you kill your performance, but you overcame your stage fright to do so!

(From the MusicNotes Blog: 10 Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright)

Happy Independence Day - Celebrate your freedom to believe (or not) (via American Religions Born In The U.S.A. Bring Home The Country’s Rich Religious History)

Happy Independence Day - Celebrate your freedom to believe (or not)
(via American Religions Born In The U.S.A. Bring Home The Country’s Rich Religious History)

…Because imagination matters. To God. And therefore, to us. When we imagine Jesus right there with us (as he is), our relationship with him deepens. When we imagine God hearing, considering our hard questions (as he does) as we fire them toward heaven, our prayer (or lament) life sharpens. When we imagine the Holy Spirit fueling our steps, shoring up our words (as he does), our courage strengthens. When we imagine, when we pretend, when we write silly songs or serious stories, when we make up games or drift off and dream, when we get lost in our big “What if?” questions, the mystery and wonder of this whole world and of the God who imagined and then created it opens before us.

How our very-real God loves an active, creative mind:

Theology of the Imagination | Her.meneutics | Christianitytoday.com

LETTER TO AN ATHEIST NATION

Neo-atheism seems to be on the rise. Is our instinct to believe in God a result of bad evolution, as this group believes, or is our instinct based on something else? VOP speaker Shawn Boonstra explores the differences between modern atheism and traditional faith.