Monthly Archives: February 2022

Deep Breathing

deep breathing

Most people are familiar with deep breathing techniques, ways to calm you down by breathing slowly in for a count of 10 or so and slowly out for a count of 10 or more. It is a practice that I have used and have found helpful in stressful times.

The more I thought about deep breathing, the more I realized that deep breathing is a regular part of God’s interaction with us. We know that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and gave him life (Genesis 2:7). The apostle Paul tells young Timothy that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Then we read in John that the risen Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).

We can learn from these examples of divine deep breathing that the breath of God is very powerful. Far beyond simply resuscitating someone who couldn’t breathe for a time, the breath of God brings something into being that had no life before. We take for granted that we can breathe in and out each day. But we must remember that it was the breath of God that first brought life to humanity that we might keep on breathing every day of our natural lives as we live for him. What a gift!

We so often consider the words of Scripture as something similar to the words found in other books. But what we need to realize every time we read the Bible is that these words came directly from the mouth of God to the mind and pen of the writers so that we might know the very mind of God and understand his desires for us.

The way in which Jesus breathed on his disciples indicates that he was close beside them. We need to recognize that the Holy Spirit truly is only a breath away from us. Our Savior, Jesus, made certain that the Holy Spirit is near to us and flowing in us with the energy and strength to move us forward in our faith, no matter which way the wind blows.



We live in a society that is obsessed with superheroes. The recent Spiderman movie was the highest grossing film of all time with $300.5 million earned. I know people who know everything there is to know about Marvel’s Avengers franchise, which includes Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Loki and Hawkeye, among others. Then there is the DC Comics world that includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Even by writing this, I feel that I am missing a few major characters or groups of characters. All of this to say, our screens and minds are filled with stories and images of superheroes that are not real.

Why not spend more of our energies thinking and talking about the only Superhero that really matters: Jesus? What are his superpowers? How about turning water into wine, multiplying 5 loaves and and 2 fish into a dinner for 5000, stilling a storm, and walking on water? How about healing people, raising people from the dead, forgiving people of all their sins? How about rising to life to save us all? No other superhero, fictional or otherwise, can claim to do all of that. It is a wonder, then, that Jesus is not given superhero status in most realms of society. As John acknowledged long ago: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:10-11). It is our task to make him known, to tell others of his power and might, to share his impact on the lives of us all. Take some time to think about how Jesus has been your Superhero and how his presence brings truth, justice and the heavenly way to us today.


church door

A few years ago, I decided to take pictures of church doors in the St. Louis area. It led to some interesting discoveries. For instance, did you know that a great number of church doors are painted red? It seems that historically church doors were red to signify that the church was a safe place or refuge if you were in danger. Red doors also symbolize the blood of Christ and that when you pass through the door you are in a holy space.

I found that church doors come in many shapes and sizes. Many people could recognize a particular church’s door at first glance at my photos. The uniqueness of a church door speaks to the unique quality of each person in the Church.

Christ called himself the Door (John 10:9). Only through him can we pass through into heaven and everlasting life. Jesus also says that when we knock, the door will be opened unto us (Matthew 7:7). That calls to mind the truth that Jesus listens to our every prayer each time we come to him for help. He will never close the door on us. In Revelation, Jesus proclaims, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20). That reminds us that we should never shut the door on Jesus, but should always allow him to be with us.

Doors in the kingdom of God are meant to welcome and not keep out. May the doors of your church open often to invite more people into God’s house. May the doors of your home swing wide to greet visitors who have come to spend time with you. And may the doors of your heart let Jesus in each and every day.

Backup Camera

backup camera

Newer cars are now equipped with a backup camera. I am getting used to using mine. Whenever I back up, lines appear to show me what direction to go so that my car does not hit anything. I have gradually been able to turn the wheel in the way it should go for the best results going in reverse, but when I put the car in drive, I have no camera telling me where to go.

I find that kind of fascinating. In life, we can always backup and see where we went and where we maybe should have gone. But when we look forward in our lives, we have no way of knowing the exact direction our lives will take. It is very much a mystery of what lies directly ahead. We cannot predict the future completely in the same way that we can know the past.

To me, that is a blessing, really. Some people I know say they wish they could know the future. But I would rather be surprised in some ways. If we knew exactly what would happen to us in the coming days, months and years, we would lose a sense of excitement, wonder and adventure, I think.

Jesus tells us: “You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64). Jesus will return in the future to take us home in the end, we know. And that is really all we need to know.

And how do we know to trust him? Because the Bible is our backup camera, if you will, that tells us where to go to see what God has done in the past through his Son Jesus. When we backup and look behind, we see a manger, a cross and an empty tomb where Jesus displayed his humility, sacrifice and might on our behalf that our future destination might be bright.

We don’t know what the intervening future days hold, but we do know our ending will be happily ever after. So keep moving forward.

Going Wireless


I know I am late to the game, but I recently purchased some wireless earbuds so I can listen to music and watch videos on my smartphone on my own, without bothering those around me. I also discovered that I am able to listen to the music from my smartphone wirelessly through the bluetooth capability in my new-to-me car.

Everything is wireless these days. No need for cords or holes to plug into for most things anymore. The spread of wireless features, it seems to me, reveals that we as a society do not like to be tied down or physically attached to much of anything. Wirelessness is a symbol of our desire for independence and freedom. In many ways, we want to be unencumbered by connections and have the ability to move around without lugging tangible attachments with us.

Unfortunately, in many ways we have “gone wireless,” if you will, in our relationships with God and others. What I mean is that we have more and more removed the physical connections to God and others. Our leather-bound Bibles have not been opened as much. Our attendance in brick-and-mortar churches has decreased. Our faith has become something that we do on our own without any demonstration to the outside world.

The same is happening in our human relationships to some degree. Not as much hugging or handshaking these days due to pandemic concerns. Not as much visiting one another face-to-face. Most correspondence is done through texts that no one else can see or hear. Many relationships can take place without much actual talking to one another.

What are some ways, then, that we can reconnect with God and others? One way, of course, is through prayer. Consider praying out loud with your family and friends more often. That builds relationships with fellow believers and with God. Another way is through Christlike service. Jesus did not conduct his help and healing alone in a room. He served where people were present. Reaching out to truly touch the lives of others has an enormous impact. Hosting home Bible studies is also an avenue for creating deeper bonds with each other and with God. Reading the Word on paper pages with people in the same space to listen and learn can do a world of good for establishing real community centered on the God we see at work. Let your Christian connections be more visible and less virtual.