Monthly Archives: February 2014

Breathing In

I have done mouth to mouth resuscitation many times in my medical career.  I have performed it on apneic newborns, overdose victims, and heart attack sufferers.  Like anything, mouth to mouth is pretty routine when you have done it enough, kind of like riding a bike, but it is important to know the process.  To do it effectively, each of the following steps must be followed, and each done in sequence:

  1. Check to see that nothing is obstructing airflow into the patient’s lungs.
  2. Position the neck so the airway is straight, and pinch the patient’s nose.
  3. Take a deep breath in.
  4. Seal  your mouth over the patient’s mouth, and blow.
  5. Observe the patient’s chest, to be sure it rises and falls.

It is amazing how effective this simple little procedure is, and how often it has saved a person’s life.

God breathes life into us in a different way, a more enduring way, and helps us in turn to breathe life into those around us.  Jesus said:

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  (John 10:10 NASB)

I want to live life abundantly, and help others to do the same, but often my efforts have seemed futile or ineffective.  Even worse, they seemed to drain me.  This important truth is changing my life:

In order to give love to others, I must first receive love from God. I must take a deep breath in—soak in God’s presence, and His love for me personally.  The more life-giving love I receive, the more I have, and the more I have to give.

Step #3:  Take a deep breath in. 

embrace God's lifechanging love

How does one take a deep breath in of God’s presence and love?

This is what has worked for me so far:

  • Make space in my life to be still and quiet, usually in the early morning.
  • Remember that everything in life, including life, is a gift from the father above.
  • Focus on the fact that God is with me, and within me, and loves me, and is taking care of me.
  • Thank God for who He is, what He is doing, what He has done, and what He will do.
  • Listen for His still small voice in the morning.
  • Be aware of the many ways He chooses to communicate with me throughout the day.
  • Make it your number one priority.  This is probably the most important suggestion I can give.  On your “to do” list, put this item at the top every day:
  1. Be loved.

Be loved.

Breathe in God’s life-giving love every day.

It is the most important thing you can do.

His love will give you the joy-filled life you so desire.  In turn He will empower you to breathe life into those around you.

We love, because He first loved us.  (1 John 4:19 NASB)

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.   (Job 33:4 NASB)

And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  (1 John 4:16 NASB)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”   (Jeremiah 31:3b NASB)

Share with us:  How have you learned to breathe in God’s presence and love every day?  What works for you?  

God breathes life into us

No Condemnation

no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 NIV)

Really?  Because I feel condemnation all the time.  I am not good enough. I fail. I screw up. I am selfish, willful, petty, uncontrolled, petulant, uncaring, grumpy, reclusive, controlling, critical, judgmental, prideful, gluttonous.  And then I am paralyzed by guilt, remorse, shame, embarrassment.

And Satan claps his hands:  he “gets” me with my sins, he “keeps me” with the guilt.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Really.  I must face the reality of my imperfections and accept them, but at the same time know that no matter what I have done, and what I will do, I am not condemned. I am not held hostage to ongoing guilt, pervading doom, defeat, anger, resentment, worry.  I do not have to–I am not supposed to–live in such an environment.

Being in Christ Jesus is having the power and the courage to face my sins every day, and receive forgiveness for them. Every day. It is the easiest and the hardest thing.

“I can do it myself”  The biggest most difficult sin I have to face—every day—is that I think I can do a better job of directing my life than God can.  There is a two year old in my head stomping her foot  declaring “I can do it myself.”  I am convinced that my way will make me happy, bring me joy.

  • How many times do I have to fall down and scrape my knee before I willingly reach up and grab his big comforting hand–always extended–and choose to hang on?

As many times as it takes.

  • How much longer will he extend His hand to me? How long  before he grows tired of my petulance and rebelliousness? My disrespect? My not believing that he truly does love me, and will lead me and take care of me if I let him?

Until I die. That is how long his hand remains extended.  That’s how much time I have.

  • Am I really going to waste whatever time I have been given by insisting on my own flawed way?  Am I really going to miss out on joy in this life, and in even having a life after death, because of my willfulness?

I hope not.

Once I start to get this, I stop.  Turn around. And run into his arms. There is no condemnation there. Only love, and His delight that I am there with Him.

In Christ Jesus, I can relax and truly begin to live.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:1-2  NIV)

no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus