118 North Elm Street, Elm Springs, AR 72728 elmspringsumc@gmail.com 479-248-1290

You’ve Gotta Breathe!

1.  Tomorrow is my brother Michael’s birthday. (I think I am the only person that calls him that).  I am a blessed, fortunate man to have a brother that “is closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Michael is a godly man. He is STILL my “big brother.”  Michael, not only for me, but for many, many others; is RELIABLE, AUTHENTIC, and LOVING/TOUGH at the same time.  Michael is the first person I call in times of good and in the times of bad.  Michael is one of many blessings that God has given me.  God, thank you for Michael.  God bless my “Big Brother.”  My prayer is that every one of you reading this message, has “a Michael” in your life.  And, may God make you “a Michael” as well.

2.  Trying to relax more (physically, spiritually, and emotionally), I’ve now gone to three yoga classes.  An important part of the process is deep breathing. The instructor recommends the students concentrate on a word or phrase, especially when a mind begins to wander (Does your mind ever wander?  Mine sure does.). Deep breaths in.  Long exhales. For me last night, I tried to concentrate on the word “hope.” Candidly, and more than a couple of times, the word “peace” and the phrase “choose joy” also popped into my head and heart.  I also thought about breathing in Jesus, and exhaling as much of my stress, uncertainty, and pain as I could.  I may not let go of all of it, but a little let go is better than none. I’m going to repeat that, “A little let go is better than none.”  Remember 2 Timothy 1:7 (CEB), ” God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid (“fear” in the KJV) but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.” That sounds great, but how do I do it?  Breathing in Jesus is a start.

P.S.#1: There is personal worship “technique” called Breath Prayer … breathing in deep a word, a short scripture, etc. then exhaling. Doing it, you simply use your body to engage your head and heart with God’s word that restores the soul.  It is really simple.  For example, breathe in “The Lord is my shepherd” for 4 seconds.  I suggest holding your breath and thought for 4 seconds.  Then, exhale for 4 seconds, “I shall not want.”  The words “Lord,” “Shepherd,” and “I shall not want” have a lot of meaning and can mean different things at different times of your life and day. Plus, research has proven the 4-second technique alone will drop your blood pressure a few points within a few deep breaths, holds, and exhales.

P.S. #2: Folks, too often when stressed out with the latest “Life Interruption” we forget and/or fail to breathe  (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).  Remember to breathe!  In yoga, in life … to get through it, to let go, to heal … you gotta breathe!

Be blessed,
Dixon