Oh Merciful Patience!


“Patience is a virtue” they say, I’m not quite sure who ‘they’ are, but as I join the applause and celebrate this God-quality, I am so very aware of the ‘duck quick’ mentality we have for patience, the closest we get is ‘Hurry up and WAIT!’

Louisa (my co-teacher) and I rigged bible study this last week to help the gals ‘get into character’ for teaching on patience. Before entering the room, there was a sign that read (boringly so) “Form One Line and Take a Number” The gals did just that, took a number and stood along the wall. Louisa and I stood at the head of the line, smiling, chatting, drinking coffee and ever so ignoring the line forming. Then a few minutes PASS the time our gathering is to start, numbers were read off, “Numbers 1-3 you may go in…” Our goal as the women FINALLY took their seats was to simulate how quickly non-patience can occur. They felt the frustration with the circumstance and the personnel up front. Patience.

In the New Testament there are two main kinds of patience mentioned, and often seem to be interchangeable according to the different translations. “…bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father.” Paul, Col 1:10-12 (emphasis mine) Endurance, (‘hupomone’ in the Greek) is patience in circumstances, the quality of ‘steadfastness.’ Some would say … staying power. That is hupomone. This ‘staying power’ is motivated by HOPE. It is the characteristic of a man(or woman) who is not swerved from their deliberate purpose, sustaining through to the end. Keep, keeping on.

weightlifting2-superjumboEndurance, perseverance, patience, we’ve heard it defined as ‘staying up under pressure.’ But it is much more, it isn’t just standing there, surviving (if you will) it is applying pressure, a leaning into. So when conflict or tough circumstances come our way, we don’t just merely stand there holding it up, we are leaning into it. What happens when we exert energy? Muscles are used and muscles are strengthened. Right? Metaphorically – our spiritual muscles are exercised and strengthened as we lean into – against in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances.

There is a prime example of endurance that pointed to hope in the Old Testament, Noah. Genesis chapter 8, they have been out on the water for a very long time, can you image all the ‘poo’ on board and how many rounds of ‘Row, row row your boat’ they sang. After 40 days Noah opens a window and sends a raven out, it flew around, coming back with nowhere to land. Later he sent out a dove, with the same results. Then, v10 “He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.” Noah waited. Verse 11, When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.” Looking at this we’d think Noah got really good at ‘waiting.’ But you see his waiting changes. After the lack of results the first couple of times, he waited and tried again, this ‘waiting’ is the Hebrew word, ‘kuhl’ (pronounced ‘cool’) which means to dance or writhe in pain… to twirl in motion, painting the picture of to ‘wring the hands.’ This is a painful waiting. But the next time, the dove he sent returned with an olive leaf in its beak. Verse 12, He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again. This ‘waited’ is completely different; it is ‘ya-hawl’ – HOPE. Noah waited with hope, gone are the wringing of the hands. He had hope! I love the end of verse 12, “But this time…” in the midst of HOPE. Isaiah speaks of this too, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those(BUT THOSE) who hope (ya-hawl) in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (40:29-31) The writer of Hebrews: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere (hupomone) so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” (10:35,36) The King James says: “For ye have need of patience” We have to fulfill the ‘need’ to get the ‘you will.’

The fruit of the Spirit, is love, joy, peace… patience. God inspired the word Paul used here not ‘hupomone’ (though defiantly a quality of the Spirit, we determined that) BUT Paul uses ‘makrothumia.’ Makrothumia unlike hupomone which is patience in circumstances, inspired by hope, makrothumia is patience with PEOPLE, inspired by MERCY. Remember the parable Jesus tells in Matthew 18, the King has a servant who owed a large sum of money, when the debt was called, the servant fell on his knees before the King. “Be patient (Makrothumia) with me!” he begged. The King offered mercy, holding back punishment, releasing him. As soon as the servant went out, he found a friend that owed HIM money, he too called the debt, the friend begged the same, “Be patient with me…” But the servant refused mercy and put the friend in prison. The King heard of this, summoning the servant, stating I gave you mercy, shouldn’t you have given mercy as well. What an amazing picture, the unmerciful servant. Patience is motivated by mercy. May we too ‘remember imagesxbt1sfgswhen…’ When God has patience with us!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.(Makrothumia) Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col. 3:12-14, again I emphasis) And “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, (makrothumia) bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1-3) Both verses seem to repeat… especially the phrase ‘bearing with one another.’ The word is ‘anecho’ in the Greek. It literally means ‘to put up with’ – but not just that, it is holding back, to hold in. STOP! Patience is not only about what we ‘DO’ but what we don’t. Patience is RESTRAINT. God’s mercy is withholding what we do deserve, where His grace is giving us what we do not. One hand pushes forward in giving, the other holds back in restraint. Patience.

“Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at oxheart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matt. 11:29-30    When fitting the ox with the yoke, it is BEST that the ox raises its head up into the yoke for the most comfortable and easy fit. This comes by time and trust, that the animal is willing to voluntarily lift their head to the master. If forced down by the master, the fit could cause irritation, causing the ox to lean, favoring one side and not work at full potential. Jesus says, ‘Take My yoke… for My yoke is easy to bear.” May we rise up into His yoke.  God is SO patient with us.

To pray for patience sounds a bit risky (in all honesty) do we really want to point out, wave in the direction of patience? Perhaps we too, like Noah was, in a ‘painful waiting’, may God show us the ‘olive leaf’ leading us to hope!   Let’s ask God to remind us of the patience & mercy He has for us. As the verses above declare, the bearing with one another is done in ‘love.’ Love through us Lord.


In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)

The Ruling Power of Peace


The ladies and I at bible study have been treading around in the Fruit of the Spirit, while we splash about, we found ourselves going from knee deep – to take a deep breath here we go! We’ve looked at love, joy and this week … peace.

“Shalom!” You may hear on the streets of Jerusalem, as a greeting or as waving good-bye, the gesture stating ‘Peace unto You” in Hebrew. Meaning, prosperity to you, but not in the sense that we know today, we think prosperity, “WHAOO! I’m rich!” Prosperity is wholeness, soundness, well-being WITH God.

As a quality of God, what is peace and how do we get some! When asked of others, they all answered with pretty much the same theme, “Peace is NOT having strife, turmoil or war.” Which is true, but peace is not just what we no longer have (strife, turmoil), or the absence of something, it is what we possess.

The word Paul uses in Galatians 5:22,23 as peace is ‘eirēnē’ (a-ray-nay) This peace is the recognition and acceptance of the redeeming power and authority of Jesus in my life. In short, (in the Greek) ‘to set at one again.’ Think about the picture it paints. Something that has once been erected has toppled over. Chaos, strife, irritation even war are the results. Once it is set back, PEACE is the result; all is in its rightful place. The gap between us and the Creator of the Universe has now been bridged. Ever feel that IRRITATION – and can’t seem to identify what or why? Consider looking for what, or (may I suggest) ‘Who’ has been toppled over.

Isaiah 9:6-7 The foretelling of Peace. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” (bold emphasis mine)

The increase of peace accompanies the increase of Christ’s governing power over our lives. (read that again) Now consider Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ RULE in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Again adding emphasis) If I want peace in my heart, do I allow Jesus to RULE in my heart? He is King, yes indeed, but do I bow to Him as … King. Does my life behavior reflect my heart condition (or my words) declaring Him as King? Does He take the rightful place on the throne of my life? calm-peace-innerpeace1Do I place HIM in the very center of my circumstances? Here’s a dandy thought: We will know peace to the degree that we bow to Jesus’ authority.

In practical terms: Let’s say we put our ‘stuff’ in the middle of the room, walk around it dozens of times, call in others have them take a look at it, ask what THEY think, if we don’t like what they advise, we politely dismiss them and invite in others for another tour around our stuff. God’s way: We place it at the feet of Jesus (in the middle of the room – our lives) “What do YOU say Jesus?” And we go with what HE says. It is NOT about peaceful circumstances, it’s about the APPLIED authority of Christ. There will be times we may not have time to put it in the center and consider and pray. Ever hear that voice, you’re in a situation “OH DON’T YOU DO THAT!” Don’t you SAY that!” Do we STOP, and apply His ruling voice over us? If not heeded, you walk away and later you are unsettled? May I offer: Jesus would say, “I will minister My peace where I am in authority.” In the upset of obedience vs disobedience, His voice over our own, God doesn’t come to take sides, He comes to TAKE OVER.

How do we pray for peace? Ask Jesus to SHOW US, where something has toppled over, where we may have kicked Him off His rightful place. Once He shows us, take it and place it in the middle of the room, at His feet. Or move over, get off the throne, stop playing musical chairs and let Him back on the throne of our life.  Remember, ‘Peace is like a river…’ (Is 66:12) NOT a pond, stagnant and settled. Unlike the river, that flows from the mountain top, always moving, always refreshing, always pure. “Peace like a river.” Flow Lord!

Peace, allowing Jesus the rightful place, the ruling place of our heart.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)


Rise Up Into His Yoke



Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matt. 11:29-30 When fitting the ox with the yoke, it is BEST that the ox raise its head up into the yoke for the most comfortable and easy fit. This comes by time and trust, that the animal is willing to voluntarily lift their head to the master. If forced down by the master, the fit could cause irritation, causing the ox to lean, favoring one side and not work at full potential.

Jesus says, “Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” (The Message) May we rise up into His yoke, our Master, connected to Him, at our best, in full potential.

Learning the unforced rhythms of grace.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)


Joy is a Choice


I have the privilege of co-teaching the women’s bible study at our church, this week I offered the challenge to discern the difference between happiness and biblical joy. Before diving in, I asked the gals to close their eyes, when I say the word ‘chair’ what first comes to mind, what image do you see?  Asking around the room we had quite a variety; from old wooden chairs to high wing backed, to a big white stuffed comfy chair. There was ‘my chair at work’ also ‘this chair right here next to me.’ One gal pictured her friend, who was the ‘Chair-man’ of an organization they both belonged to.

Perception. How we view things, people and circumstances. These primarily are defined by our senses, what we see, hear, and touch and we as women basically by what we …FEEL!  I feel unhappy today, so today will be an unhappy day. So goes our day.

What is the American dream (in a nut shell) ‘The pursuit of happiness.’ Happiness, we all want it, desire it, seek after it and sometimes make extremely poor choices in attempt to …get it.  Webster’s defines happiness as: The mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions. What a cycle!  So I FEEL happy, than I must BE happy!  If I don’t FEEL happy, than I am not. In this cycle we tend to ‘whine.’  “I just want to b-e H-A-P-P-Y!  I have a RIGHT to be happy!  We even go so far as to DEMAND others make us happy.  We are happy junkies!

Please don’t get me wrong, these emotions are real.  But we cannot define our moment, our day and lives by the coming and going of these emotions.  We get happiness and joy, God’s joy so confused.  Happiness is the result of external happenings.  What is done to me, around me.  It is circumstantial, and circumstantial is temporary.  So as soon as the circumstances change, our mood changes, our happiness shifts.  Joy, biblical joy is the result of an internal heart condition (read that again).  Joy is our response to God’s heart for us, understanding His presence, purpose and power in all He does and is in our life. Joy.

Oswald Chambers said, “The first thing that will hinder joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances.” Too much thought, we do that don’t we.  We re-hash, revisit and restate finding ourselves in … remorse.

What is the reason for our joy?   Luke chapter 10.  Jesus had sent the 72 out to minister to the people,  “… they returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.” (v17) Jesus replies, He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning, and gave them authority to trample icky things and overcome all the power of the enemy. (paraphrased) Then, He continues, “HOWEVER, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (emphasis mine)  He is saying all this stuff is not any biggy, BUT, your name written in heaven, in the Lambs book of Life, now THAT is to be rejoiced over!  Salvation.

And who’s salvation is it? Psalms 51:12, King David had just been confronted by the prophet Nathan for his sinful behavior with Bathsheba, David responds, (beginning at v10) “Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”  John shares his vision in Revelation 7, the multitude “…cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who 14317333_1185024718187626_9369053828441065_nsits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (v10) Amen, and amen. Salvation is God’s.

God holds the ownership of salvation, it is a gift, His gift of grace. It is His to give.  Apart from the demand to take in happiness, grace is the privilege to accept what is offered. In the Greek, the word for joy is ‘chara’ and for grace, ‘charis.’ See how so very close they are? They are so entangled, it is like the price tag hanging from Minnie Pearls hat, it is always there, always attached.  Everywhere I researched, joy pointed to grace and grace pointed to joy.  Grace is the unmerited favor of God, the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God, His divine influence upon my heart and life.  Saved by grace… the internal heart condition.  Yes, this does indeed equal joy.  Joy is living out a grateful response to grace.

Pausing for a moment, I want to add a side-note. In my studies I came across something that changed the colors in my understanding of the Fruit of the Spirit.  I found that all (ALL) 9 qualities mentioned: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, (breathe) are all ‘nouns.’  That’s right, all are rendered nouns in the original language. God deposits His qualities in us, we posses them. By His enabling power they turn from love to loving, from joy to rejoicing.  Just like any other noun (person, place or thing) He can give us His ‘arm’ for example, a thing, we could take it and put it nicely on a shelf and declare ‘here sits the arm of God,’ or we could use the arm to serve, help (action) the noun now has function and purpose.  Love and joy now have purpose; goodness finds purpose and action in showing kindness.  We extend mercy to others through our patience.  We always hear love is a verb. YES, it is.  But in its deposited form it is something God gives us.

In 2 Cor 12:9 Paul said Jesus told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Paul had an amazing understanding, a revelation in knowing Jesus.  In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he opens chapter 3 with “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!” Then he goes on to explain that knowing Jesus is everything.  This knowing is 1st hand knowledge.  In today’s society if we saw it on YouTube, we assume we KNOW it.  I’m quite certain there is a HUGE difference from watching skydiving on YouTube – to actually being thrown out of a plane at 13,000 feet and free-falling.  We’d KNOW skydiving.  This is what Paul is talking about, “I consider everything a loss compared to the SURPASSING GREATNESS of knowing Jesus my Lord.”

But even in this, often we don’t have a knowledge problem but an OBEDIENCE problem. Remember in John chapter 20, Jesus appears to the disciples behind closed doors, (this following His death, and resurrection) later the disciples tell Thomas about it, (he wasn’t there) Thomas says, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, I will not believe…” Well a week later, (Go God!) Jesus appears again, this time Thomas ‘IS’ there. Before Thomas had a chance to say anything, Jesus tells him, “Put your finger here, and see My hands. Reach out your hand put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”   What do you think would have happened if when Jesus told Thomas to look and touch, Thomas refused, looked away and left the room? (Pause, think on that) Our obedience steadily impacts our revelation. Our revelation of Who God is. Thomas did look & touch, His response, “My Lord & my God!”  (yes, this is long, but keep reading)

The New International Dictionary of NT Theology (yes, I am a geek) explains the joy mentioned in Philippians (14x) as a ‘Continuous defiant NEVERTHELESS joy.’ Defiant joy.  How many of us need us some DEFIANT JOY!  Nevertheless, regardless, I WILL rejoice.  Joy defies what we are ‘feeling’, defies our circumstances.  Joy can even defy our pain.  It is easy? NO!  It is purposeful, is it chosen?  YES!  We take what God gave us and surrender and allow Holy Spirit to grow it in us, we grow from joy to rejoicing.

Psalm 30, David again pens, “For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (v5)  I love King Jimmy’s version, “Joy cometh…”  Such hope.  Just wait.  It’s coming.  Holding this thought: John 1:14  “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (jumping to verse 16)  “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.” It literally reads in the original text: “We all have received grace and grace” (or ‘grace for grace’) What this means for us, as we stand in grace, the next step will be grace, then the next and the next. And just like Minnie Pearls hat, joy will be attached.  Progressive joy. That joyful confidence in Who Jesus is, what He has done, and what He will continue to do and be.  Joy cometh.

Can our joy be challenged? Yes.  I have friend, his name is Robby.  Robby and I worked together for about 4 years.  We were as different as night and day, he nicknamed me, ‘Preacher Girl’ a name of endearment.  When we first met, we chatted up a storm, the next day and the next.  Then one day, he asked, “Why are you talking to me?”  Hm, interesting question. “Um, why not” I replied. He said, “But you’re a Christian?”  (I hadn’t told him, but you could tell) I said, “Yes.”  He continued, “But, I’m gay.”  (yes, you could tell)  He told me when he ‘came out’ his family abandoned him.  Over the course of the next 4 years, Robby and I had amazing conversations, I found out he was raised in the church, in high school he helped teach Sunday School.  Robby knew.

One day he looked at me with his eyes welling up, and saying, “You are restoring my faith in the church.” Christians can be so mean. I was humbled. We had a strong understanding, boundaries were set, our lifestyles so very different.  When he and his partner were going to Washington to get married legally, I told him I couldn’t go, he understood.  Long story – short: We hadn’t worked together for over a year, but we kept in touch.  Robby contacted me a few weeks ago, upset, stating his partner had left him for another.  We talked, I prayed, I encouraged.  I checked in with him often.  He asked one day, “How do you do it, how do you know God doesnt give you more than you can handle?”  I told him, you take one day, one moment at a time and you cry out to Him.  I asked him if he could do that, he said he would try.  Yesterday morning, a friend called to tell me Robby took his life on Monday, Oct 3rd.

Can our joy be challenged? Yes.  (Especially when we are teaching on this topic) After I hung up the phone, I broke down.  My heart was broken.  I loved that kid.  You know, the first voice I heard , “Where is your joy NOW!” It enveloped me. I took pause.  Then realizing where this was coming from, from the pit of hell, I boldly declared, “My joy is right where it was last night when I went to bed! My joy is right where it was when I woke up, and my JOY is right here, right now in Jesus Christ!   I have NO doubt in Who and where Jesus is!”  Defiant Joy!  Nevertheless!   Joy is a choice! Jesus said, “The thief comes ONLY to steal, kill and destroy…” (Jn 10:10 emphasis mine) It is my choice to ALLOW it to be taken away, taken from what I KNOW is true. Jesus is King, Lord, Master and the One to Whom I run. I rejoice in this. He is!

We learned that grace and joy belong to Jesus, He is the possessor and the Giver. Joy as opposed to its counterfeit, happiness, it is not a right, but a gift we freely accept through grace.  Happiness is external, but true inner joy, is the calm delighted confidence, the knowing and continual connection with Jesus.  Jesus says in John 15, to tap into His deep reservoir of joy, ‘Remain in Me.’

Standing before Pilate, just before His crucifixion.  Pilate says, “You are a king than!”  Jesus’ response, “You are right in saying I am a King.” (Jn 18:37)  I believe those are some of the most profound words in red.  May that be said of me (always) “You are right in saying I am a King.”  May my life represent Him in such a way that love, and kindness are so evident, others see Him.  May we all be like Paul, seeking to know Him, like Thomas stay, and receive the revelation of Who God is.  “My Lord and my God.”

After this teaching, our worship leader came in, with acoustic guitar, we worshipped.

Grace. Joy cometh.

For Robby.



Our Turn


The first thing Andrew did was to FIND his brother Simon and TELL him, “We have found the Messiah.” And he BROUGHT him to Jesus.” (John 1:41,42, emphasis mine) What amazing progression. But first, the narrative says, Andrew and John were with John the Baptist. John B points to Jesus saying, “Look the Lamb of God!” (Yes, there is an exclamation mark in the text!) The two guys turn and follow Jesus. They spend time with Him, THEN… found, told and brought.

Remember when someone pointed YOU to Jesus?   You follow, spend time with Him…

Your turn, our turn: “Look the Lamb of God!”  Find, tell-bring.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)


Empty Handed



I will praise You as long as I live and in Your name I will lift up my hands.” David, Psalm 63:4 Hands, literally means the ‘palm,’ emphasizing the EMPTY hand. “Be still and know I am God.” Ps 46:10 ‘Be still’ in the Hebrew conveys the imagery of ‘let it drop,’ cease striving with fisted hands. The hand that was once tight fisted, holding on to ‘stuff’ – we let it go! Giving God room to move, to fill and to use.

What’s in our hands? It could be a literal holding of something we need to give up to honor our love walk with Jesus, or metaphorically speaking those things we hold tight, whether a mindset, attitude or heart condition. What do we need to let go?

The empty palmed hand raised heavenward in prayer, symbolizing our longing to receive.  Our empty hands clapping together in joy and applause, we praise.

Empty handed we come Lord.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)

Just Breathe!


Walking into church, a bit tattered from the week that led to this day, I take my seat (5 rows back, first seat in) Placing my bible next to me, the first thing that captures my attention is the quiet melody coming over the sound system, it is familiar and soothing, “As the deer panteth…” It was then, I felt the Lord impress on me, “Just breathe!” As the worship began, we all stood, I closed my eyes and did just that: Took a deep breath. Overwhelmed with His presence, I was reminded of … the breath of God.

How often do we find ourselves in survival mode? Barely making it, you feel your existence evaporating with each step forward. As the day goes on you find yourself unsuccessfully reaching and grabbing for anything solid. Thinking if I can just make it through this day… through this season… to the next paycheck… see that person… BE that person … get this done, that done … clean this … lose this, gain that. BREATHE! Just breathe.

In pondering this, (it may sound totally silly) I began looking our breath and the ramifications of the lack of oxygen that takes place physically, how it affects us and how long it takes for a body to die. Not to be morbid or anything, but I feel it has quite a few similarities to our spiritual man.

In all the medical hymhaw, I found this quote: “A lack of oxygen to the heart muscle can cause heart attacks, and even if the individual survives the anoxic event (complete depletion of oxygen), there may be damage to the heart that proves deadly.” This doesn’t even speak of the damage to the brain. There are also ‘quiet’ symptoms that are attributed to a lack of oxygen as well: Depression, irritability and irrational behavior. Sound like your week? Just breathe!breath_of_god-bible

Like that of our physical body, so it is with our spiritual man. We NEED to breathe. Without a constant intake of God, the ramifications can to prove damaging if not deadly. I believe we all have people in our lives that once were thriving active God-loving folks, but somehow, somewhere along their spiritual timeline, they stopped.  They stopped reading God’s word, fellowshipping with other believers, stopped believing God and stopped breathing God.  Now where are they?

Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” Our bodies were made of the dust – earth – biological. The soul was not made of the earth. So… earthly things cannot quench the hunger of the soul, (regardless of how much kale we eat!) nor can the soul continue to survive. It is only the breath of God that feeds and nurtures the spiritual man! Read that again. “It is ONLY the breath of God that feeds and nurtures the spiritual man!” It is divinely birthed and divinely maintained.

How often do we seek things, people, position even ‘events’ to satisfy our deep longing, and cravings. Without God’s breath and presence in our life, we are an empty dusty vessel. God initiated this for mankind, now we by invitation in turn seek that breath. Just breathe!

Paul spoke to this in 2 Timothy, “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” (3:15-17 – The Message) And the one who penned Hebrews wrote, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. (sound like breath?) It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.” (4:12, emphasis mine)

WorshipIf we are to survive, let alone THRIVE spiritually we need God’s presence and His word to do so. Have we found we can’t seem to catch our spiritual breath? Are we low in emotion, irritable and even find our self being irrational or treating others unkindly?  Are we apathetic about spiritual things?  Or how about walking to the ‘frig of life’ looking for something to satisfy us.  When was the last time we quietly spent time with our God? Prayed, invited His presence, and opened His word, pursued Him, His qualities? Just breathe.

In the garden just before Jesus’ betrayal, with the disciples, He instructs them to sit and wait. Taking Peter, James and John He goes further, leaving them also behind. He goes on alone further still. He falls to the ground face down and prays, “FATHER...” May we too go further still…fall before our God in complete honesty and surrender. (Matt. 26:36-46)

Just breathe.

May I offer, click on this link: (  Close your eyes, take a deep breath… allow this to sing over you, BE your prayer.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)