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The Gift of Breath

Today’s Reflection

GOD IS THE GIVER of life and breath. Miraculously, your breath flows in and out of your body, offering life. You live in the physical sense with your body and in the spiritual sense with your spirit; yet, no life exists—either in the body or spirit—without the starting point of the breath. While there are surely moments in this life that literally take your breath away—some good, some not so good—each breathtaking moment can only occur because of the moment when God first gave you breath. Since that first breath, each moment has shaped you, molded you, and made you into the person God created—one breath at a time.

—Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit

From page 9 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What are some experiences that have shaped your life the most? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
—Job 33:4, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
(A “breath prayer” from author Whitney Simpson). Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller June 18, 2019, 7:26 am

    Perhaps the biggest life changing experience came when I was not sent to Vietnam, as expected, but to Korea. My experience there lead me to return as a teacher, meet my wife, and witness the birth of my daughter.
    A more recent life changing experience is the decision to move from my native state, VT, to a state I hardly know, NH. After almost 50 years away from VT I returned only to learn that job opportunities for my son are not very abundant. The condo closing accomplished, the effort to move physically has begun. Thank You, Lord. You have helped me through the valley.

    Prayers for Marcy, Julie and Megan, Jill and her Dad, Mary and her sister Molly, Connie and her husband, Lou and her children, Betsy, Kelsey, and Harrison; and Andrea and Lowell. Prayers for all the UR family, God is with us. Thank You, Lord.

  • Freddie Surber June 18, 2019, 7:35 am

    My main prayer concern is for my wife(Crystal) to get the want and willpower to try to get healthier also for her pain to subside. Just to list a few places her pain comes from- a)fibromyalgia
    b)a recent back surgery c)arthritis everywhere and d)migraines.
    I reccon that is enough for now. Please pray for her to be well asap!

    • Connie June 19, 2019, 7:57 am

      Lord, please take away Crystal’s pain so she can regain her strength. Amen

  • Jill June 18, 2019, 7:42 am

    My thoughts immediately go to what has transpired in the last two years. Coming to grips with my diagnosis and surrendering my desire to play tennis and to have an active lifestyle – this was a game changer, no pun intended. Peace, like never before experienced, flooded in. This gave me the assurance that my surrender was true and what He desired. That peace has never been absent since then. And how I needed it through the 13+ months of my mom’s journey. Seeing the impact of others’ prayers and presence – indeed the Body of Christ – how He intended us to be with others. I am grateful. I am able to be appreciative of simple things. And I desire to be the hands and feet of Christ for others. Thank You, Father – for using all things as You transform me.
    And now, in the midst of tennis – my body is struggling again. And – I must re-up my surrender, re-commit to His plans…tennis in pain, maybe no tennis. I see my rheumatologist Thursday – a timely appointment, with much to talk about.
    I am learning about surrender. Thinking I know what it is, that I have surrendered fully. Nope, not fully. Father – keep leading, teaching.
    Father – thank You for continued progression for Robert and Erich.

    • Connie June 19, 2019, 7:59 am

      Lord, please give Jill “pain free tennis”. Amen

  • Julie June 18, 2019, 8:09 am

    I had a turbulent childhood, put myself, literally, through college, a doomed first marriage and an abusive second which I am currently in. Not much good shaped me other than the gift of my daughter. I then had a miscarriage and was unable to conceive again even with infertility treatments.
    Prayers for a safe move for Robert and Erich.
    Prayers for Jill that her doctor is able to relieve her pain.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her car pass inspection and may she and Mary be safe.
    Prayers for Connie, may God enlighten her doctors as to the cause of her weight loss.
    Prayers for Mary, may God bless her and her family abundantly.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 18, 2019, 8:53 am

      Thanks Julie!

      I studied at a mission school from age 7-16 and that has shaped my life the most cause I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior during one of the holy week chapel services.

      Blessings!

      May all be well and God’s presence be with each and every one of you!

  • robert moeller June 19, 2019, 5:57 am

    The most recent event came from trips through the White Mountains of NH. They have resulted in a move to Conway NH. Am preparing for the move, items here in VT are being taken off the move list and items in NH are being removed from the condo to make room. It shouldn’t take long to move once these steps are complete.

    Another event with wider scope, it deals with more people, is the recent annual conference of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. Ways to include everyone across the spectrum are being researched and the continuance of ordaining and marrying LGBTQ members were approved.

    Watched a PBS program that explored the history of lesbians and gays from pre-WWII to today. In war time anyone could serve. Surprisingly after WWII President Eisenhower wrote an executive order banning lesbians and gays from government service. This continued until President Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I’m very hopeful that the LGBTQ community has full civil rights. Denying them is wrong. God made all of us in God’s image. We are all God’s creation. There are many facets to LOVE.

  • Lou June 19, 2019, 7:43 am

    Yes Robert- yes.

    Prayers for Crystal and for Freddie.
    God hears you – He is near.

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