How’s your mood right now? I have a fun experiment for you to try.
Find a pen or pencil.
Hold it between your teeth, sideways, kind of like a horse’s bit, while you work at your desk, surf the internet, etc.
You may find that your mood improves a little.
Did you notice that the muscles that were activated when you held your mouth the way the pen or pencil demanded are mostly muscles that you use to smile?
I remember this experiment from my psych courses. Our emotions and their visible signs aren’t necessarily one-directional. We know we smile when we feel happy. But did you realize the act of smiling, even if we just trick our brain by activating the muscles for a while, can also make us feel happier? Or at least, as in the study, find comics funnier after we’ve sat like that for a while.
We’ve primed our brain to feel the emotion that goes with the physical sensation it’s experiencing.
If you’re already feeling down, you may not want to try the opposite way of holding your writing implement, with the end between your lips. The weight pulls your lips and face down in the way a frown does. You can guess the result found in the experiment. The “frowners” weren’t so easily amused as their counterparts. They didn’t enjoy themselves as much. It would seem they couldn’t. Because their brain was primed to feel the emotions that went with the muscles that were working.
The brain is an amazing, confusing, intricate thing… and the mind!! Wow.
My older son has taken his and his siblings’ diamante writing to the next level. The word stickers on card stock are still fun, but the kids are enjoying the novelty of big brother taking them digital. He’s still working on adding features, but the app is functional.
We’re all looking for something when we come to Jesus. The women who came to Him when He walked on earth were no different. From our 21st-century perspective, it can be difficult to understand His interactions with them. Without an understanding of the culture, and in-depth Scripture study, we may even be offended.
If you wonder how God feels about women, especially if you struggle with doubt that He understands and cherishes you, Julie Zine Coleman’s examination of Jesus’ conversations with women will help you see God’s heart and know that He loves you. He loves you enough to meet you where you are, and, even better, loves you enough to not leave you there. He knows what You want, but desires to give you what He knows you need.
Coleman guides readers into a fresh perspective on Jesus’ conversations with nine women, including His mother. Each chapter begins with the Scriptural account of a conversation Jesus had with a woman, followed by a creative retelling. Next is a “Digging Deeper” section in which the author explains the Biblical accounts and her interpretations by putting them in both their historical and Scriptural contexts. She then gives readers ideas for practical application by relating the freshly-understood truth to Christ-following women today and providing opportunities for deeper understanding through other Scripture passages, questions, and journaling prompts.
Unexpected Love is a well-written, well-researched book. The author’s desire to seek and share God’s love and Biblical truth is obvious. I appreciate the new understanding I have of God’s heart and recommend this book!
Disclaimers: I received a free digital copy of this book from Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program for an honest review.
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