The Cough

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 150:1a – Praise the Lord. (NIV)

I got a scare the other night. I was outside throwing scraps into the chicken yard when I heard the strangest sound. I stopped what I was doing. I listened. I heard it again, and then again. It was coming from the main corral. What is that noise? I wondered. Whatever it was, I didn't like the sound of it. Laying down the scrap bowl, I headed toward the corral, eyeing each of the animals within sight, looking for any problems. The strange sound continued. Arriving at the corral, I spied the ponies in the feed barn. Standing together, Frankie seemed almost protective of Mama, as she stretched out her neck and coughed. The cough was the strange sound that I had never heard before.

I called a neighbour as soon as I went back to the house. He said that horses may cough if the hay is too dusty or dry. Another neighbour told me that if the hay is sprinkled with water, it can prevent this problem — sound advice from long-time horse owners.

As I digested this new information, my mind strayed to the fact that sometimes, for me, the reading of Scripture can get pretty dusty and dry, too. In truth, there are days when I really just don't want to read any at all. It's almost like my mind coughs it aside in favour of wandering away to find other thoughts and ideas to chew on, a happening which I have found to be quite scary, as it made me wonder what was becoming of me as a Christian.

After pondering this dilemma for quite some time, however, I discovered a solution. On dusty days, I choose to water the dryness of simple reading with the rippling, flowing notes of music. I sing. I sing hymns and choruses. I strum on my omnichord. I praise the Lord. After all, hymns and choruses are based on the truth of the Word. In fact, some of them are taken straight from the pages of Scripture. And as I sing and strum, the Word becomes alive and vibrant once again within my heart and mind.

Psalm 33:1-3 – Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy. (NIV)

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the gift of music and how it has the ability to whet our appetites for Your Word in new and vibrant ways. Bless us with songs of praise and joy in our hearts this day as we digest Your truth. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one Lynne, Thank you.

    Thanks Lynne for another wonderful reminder.

    Hello Lynne, this is a great reminder! Thank you for sharing with us today.

    Lovely devotional today Lynne. Thank-you so much for sharing this thought. Blessings on your day!

    Dear Lynne:
    Thank you for the insight into making Bible reading come alive. I must try it.

    Dear Lynne:
    Wonderful advice!!
    Praise the Lord and I pray He blesses you always.

    Excellent analogy. As always, very good advice for all of us.
    Keep writing.

    Dear Lynne;
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. I love the way you write. I was there walking alongside you to the barn to find out what that strange noise was. Amen to your prayer; I totally agree with you.

    Lynne, I love your analogy this morning. My daughter being a horse lover helps me to relate to your message, too. I often use pertinent hymns and choruses in my morning times with the Lord. God bless you as you continue to write for Him and our readers. Have a great day!

    Thank you for your devotional, it was insightful. There are lots of horses where we live.
    Blessing to you and all of your animals.

    Hi Lynne
    Glad you solved the problem of the coughing horses. In this S.P.C.A. home anything amiss with animals brings panic. It was also nice to read your solution to spiritual dryness. Aye. there is northing to beat the singing of hymns.
    Blessings Lynne.

    Dear Lynne
    I always love your animal stories. Your application here was awesome! I didn’t know you played an instrument too – what a wonderful gift! Thank you for this beautiful example of how the Holy Spirit can water the dryness of our souls and replenish God’s Word in our hearts through the ministry of song.

    Hi Lynne
    Yes – water on dusty hay – like hymns and songs of praise to our souls! I enjoyed these thoughts and analogies today. I was watering the hay for my cousin’s horse in England earlier this year (same problem). Hope Mama is OK now, and that praise music will always lift our hearts and minds to a higher plane.
    Enjoy your animal friends.

    Thanks for sharing how you cope with the dry times. I’ve discovered “Gentle Praise” on Internet radio. For quite a while I listened to it over my computer speakers. When the announcer came on to say an Internet radio was available, I ordered one. Now I just turn it on, once my Internet is turned on, and sing along to the praise songs. It’s been absolutely delightful to be able to listen to gentle music and sing God’s praises while I’m dusting or sweeping the dust from my environment, while my Lord dusts my soul with His Light touch. Blessings.

    Great idea, Lynne: Anything that keeps our faith lively – that enlivens our relationship with our Lord – is a terrific avenue to take!

    Lynne – I love your references to singing and to music, in general. I have always used music as part of my worship. Singing in choirs my whole life has given me such rich insights into the reciprocal love that is expressed between ourselves and the Lord, especially through the anthems written from the Psalms.

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