I am grateful for the men and women that I share life with.  I’m indebted to these friends. Some are mentors, some peers, and some protégés. Each mediates the presence of God and teaches me as I (hopefully) add a little something to their experience.  This week I was reminded that breath is important.
                I met with an undergraduate ministry guidance student from Baylor yesterday and we discussed Brother Lawrence’s notion of practicing the presence of God. This very bright student was a little stumped about how to get this going so I suggested stopping eight or ten times during the day to simply take note of the fact she was breathing. Breath is symbolic of the Spirit. God is present and our breath can prompt us to recognize the goodness and mercy that hounds us all day long.
                I went immediately from this meeting to a meeting with Ron Cook (I think of Doc Cook as my pastor), Jamie McCallum, and Roger Fredrikson. Dr. Fredrikson joined us by phone. The purpose of the call was to discuss ministry with the 90+ year old pastor. Jamie read his book, The Church That Refused To Die as part of her ministry mentoring experience and I tagged along for the ride. It was a special phone call.
                Dr. Fredrikson imparted wisdom, gave a word from God, and prayed. He closed our conversation with a brief encouragement from John 20. He pointed to John 20:21b as our mandate, “…as the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” Then he said, “And then Jesus breathed on them. That’s what will happen in your churches. God will breathe again and again.” There’s the hope of renewal!
At the end of his book Dr. Fredrikson talks about the posture of the kneeling, open, repentant, expectant spirit. He says that it is only in this posture that we receive God’s greatest gift – the intimacy of Himself. When we come before God like this, “Then, He fills, baptizes, and immerses us in His own life.”
                Breathe on us Holy Spirit. Renew Your Church. Renew your churches. Amen

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