Search: When i forget to breathe

Dead Fish

There’s a certain kind of tired, a certain kind of strain
A certain season of get-it-done-now
When it’s a good thing that some things run on autopilot.
Otherwise, I may just forget to breathe.

But then You specialize in keeping my whole world turning
My light still burning, My heart still yearning –
And after all these years I’m still learning
To trust and know You’re there. [click to continue…]

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path(Fumes, Form, and Fashion, Part 2)

Something in the woods near his grandfather’s farm seems to call to Adam. Ever since he was a little boy and his dad took him hiking or hunting there, this is the place where Adam, now a father himself, returns.  It doesn’t happen nearly as often or nearly enough these days. After all, Adam has responsibilities and stresses, and there never seems to be enough time.

For Phillip, it means a return to old disciplines that kept him in good shape throughout his 20s.  Now pushing 40, the problem for Phillip isn’t knowing what to do. It’s finding the will to actually do it.

Jacob follows the trail of his biblical namesake.  Just as the Lord called the patriarch back to Bethel – a place where he had previously encountered the Lord – so also Jacob is sensing a stirring to return to a place of spiritual life and growth he has known in the past.

Each of these are examples of a powerful and important tool of renewal and restoration, regardless of who you are.  But this is particularly true of men.  It’s why you often hear football coaches talk about “going back to the fundamentals.”  The biblical language mentions things like “remembering the former days.”  Check this out: [click to continue…]

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Notebooks

Welcome back to my front-row seat.  In my work I have the privilege of reading a lot of stuff.  Some of it is forgettable.  Some of it is way-past-profound, either because of the quality of writing or because of the truth it conveys, and I keep a collection of the ones that bowl me over.  You can see previous collections here and here.  Both are quick reads, but profound in what they speak.

Now this collection of seven happens to have a leadership theme, but they also speak to your spiritual life, your courage, and you humility (or lack thereof).

Now… slow down… breathe deeply… and take these in.  You’ll be glad you did. Click here – you’ll be glad you did…

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My 2013 Christmas Prayer for You

by Andy Wood on December 25, 2013

in Life Currency, Love, Words

Three Candles

In the stillness of the night or the glory of the morning that is Christmas, my prayer for you is that beyond the traditions and trappings, through the gifts and the connections, you approach it all with a heart that is fully awake and aware of the Larger Story and the part you still must play.

I pray that you would fall in love again this Christmas with a first-love kind of desire for Jesus, whose birth we celebrate. I pray that your soul would find in Him and in those whose lives you touch the sweetest of love that gives graciously, forgives completely, and waits patiently when you or I fail miserably.

I pray that you have those God-breathed encounters in which your heart is so full you are lost in the moment.  I pray that your heart is so captured with the wonder and joy of the presence of God, even in the simplest of experiences, you could stay in that moment and hold Him tightly. [click to continue…]

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Desperate PrayerYou wouldn’t believe it.  Not unless you saw it with your own two eyes.

You wouldn’t recognize him. Not unless you were with that band of misfits that united under his leadership.

But here you are and there he is and My God, what has happened?  This is the guy whose exploits they sang about.  This is the Giant Killer.  In one afternoon you saw him rally his own people and send an army of Philistines running in fear.

And now he and you are living like pathetic dogs in a cave.  Dirty. Haggard. Weak. Exhausted.  And there before your eyes the man you knew would be king is at the end of his life.

Why?

Because he’s at the end of his courage.  [click to continue…]

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How many times have you heard or said something like this:

  • “This place feels dead.”
  • “We have some unresolved issues.”
  • “This relationship just isn’t working.”
  • “I can forgive, but I just can’t forget.”
  • “I don’t feel like I belong – I just don’t feel any connection with them.”
  • “It’s just going to take some time before I can trust him again – if I ever do.”

These and many more are expressions of a strained or dysfunctional fellowship.  And if you’ve ever been part of the church scene or had any experience with Christ followers for any length of time, more than likely you’ve landed there.  Which reminds me…

Somebody once asked, “Pray for me. I’m surrounded by non-believers every day at work.”

My reply:  “Pray for me – I’m surrounded by Christians every day!”

Is it any wonder that Jesus’ one explicit prayer request for this generation was that we would be one, so that the world would believe in Him (John 17:20-21)? So, Phil, how’s that workin’ out for ya’? [click to continue…]

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I’ve lost count of the number of times I have written this word – much less said it (at least to myself).  It was a complete waste of time.

I’ve kept a journal for 17 years now (something I highly recommend), and there’s no telling how many times I confessed to this feeling.  But not once did it ever create my future, solve a problem, or breathe life into a situation.  In fact, it’s more likely to be a sign of defeat, discouragement, or slow death.

It may be a legitimate feeling.  But if feelings are designed to prompt us to action, the only thing this feeling ever prompts us to do is make excuses, whine, or wave the white flag.  In small doses it may be a call to action.  But in standard use, it’s emotional poison, and I hate it.

So I’ve decided to lock this word in a vault and reserve it for special occasions.  I may let it out every once in a while, but only with a chaperone.  I suggest you do the same.

The word? [click to continue…]

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UPDATE:  The giveaway has been moved to Tuesday, May 29.  (Forgot it was Memorial Day Weekend.)

(Shameless Plug:  Be watching Sunday, May 27, for our first-ever prize giveaway.)

The Thanksgiving holiday is still a long way off.  The turkeys are still strutting around the barnyard as if life will go on forever.

Nobody’s playing football on TV, though I did hear that Peyton has started working out with his new team and somebody else has joined the sue-the-NFL club.

School is out this week in a lot of places, so maybe families will be getting together for the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.  But I fear as a nation we’re just as thankless on Memorial Day as we typically are on the fourth Thursday in November.

So.  Since nobody’s going around the table making you share what you’re thankful for, what are you thankful for?  Since you haven’t eaten yourself into a ‘bout-to-pop stupor, what are you thankful for?  Since nobody is having a pre-Christmas sale right now (that I know of), what are you thankful for? [click to continue…]

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Somewhere in the places where sighs give way to hope and promises sing to aching hearts, your soul waits for something different.  More than the pleasure of a passing moment or those 15 minutes of look-at-me, you were created with a craving soul.  “He has planted eternity in the human heart,” Solomon said, “but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

One day – sooner rather than later – that craving will be satisfied.  And not by what the pavement is made of or what the real estate market is like past the pearly gates.  Not by something that resembles Sunday morning at the church house, Monday noon at the White House, or Friday night at the penthouse.  Craving souls are smarter and deeper than that.

One day – nearer rather than farther – tired hearts, stale relationships and flyblown religion will give way to a new dawn.   And at long last your soul will taste satisfaction.  Ashes will give way to beauty.  You’ll trade your mourning in for the oil of joy.  You’ll wear a garment of praise – complete with dancing shoes – instead of a spirit of heaviness.  In the satisfaction of the soul… [click to continue…]

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The Face in the Window

by Andy Wood on March 12, 2008

in Esteem, Life Currency, Love, Turning Points

(A Turning Point Story)

Joel024This is an article I first wrote about my son 16 years ago, about what a powerful thing encouragement can be.   It means as much to me today, if not more, as it did in 1993.  Click “share this” and forward it to the encouragers in your life.  Thank them for being your “Face in the Window.”  And let somebody know you’ll be theirs….

It was one of those forgettable days, when nothing seemed to go right.  I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.  The summer heat was unbearable, the humid West Alabama air unbreatheable.  But I had to bear it, and I had to breathe it on this day. 

Name a pitiful emotion – I’m sure I felt it on that day.  Rejection, anger, discouragement, depression, loneliness, fear, shame – they all showed up with the intention of staying. 

“Nobody needs you,” they said.  “And nobody believes in you.”

It was a day of giving.  Normally that rejuvenates me, but not today.  On this Saturday, I had given time, love, and tenderness, together with a whole lot of physical energy.  I had given my best (I thought).  Apparently, others had disagreed, and I had been humiliated in front of a large family gathering. 

I was spent.  I would say that I came home with my tail tucked between my legs, but honestly I don’t think I was standing that tall.

[click to continue…]

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