One of the most important things we can do post Christmas is…

…to ensure we get our garbage & recycling sorted out.

How happy was I to see that my street’s garbage collection would not be affected by the holidays.

However, that morning, I woke up to…hearing…you guessed it…the garbage truck only a few houses away from  mine… (I woke up later than I intended:)

What was not going to happen that day?
The recycling, compost and garbage was not staying in my house…it had to be gone.
What did I do…? I used my the bottom of neighbour’s driveways to put out my garbage and compost. Note that I’ve pre-asked some of them in case this ever happens. So we’re good.

This is a weekly rhythm for all of us…
– Buy groceries / Consume food
– Collect the remains and bring it to the curb

Some times it’s the opposite…we take things out, to make room for something new to enter our home.

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Life, at it’s basic level is breathing in and breathing out.
(Remember the Karate kid: wax on, wax off, breathe in, breathe out)

This New Year I wasn’t pulled in or attracted to resolutions or lists or goals…but this simple idea:

Breathe in what you want. Breathe out what you don’t.

Kathy Escobar says it this way, “Take in what we need and let go of what we don’t”

If you follow The Village on social media, you would’ve seen this image pop up on New Year’s day…

Breath in Peace               Breathe out  Anxiety
Breath in Hope                Breathe out  Despair
Breath in Courage           Breathe out  Fear
Breath in Mercy               Breathe out  Unforgiveness
Breath in Peace               Breathe out  Division
Breath in Rest                 Breathe out  Hurry
Breath in Jesus

These words from Isaiah will help us here…(43:18-19)
Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland…

Forget the former things…
– Let go of 2019
– Not like it didn’t happen, but don’t let it hold you down or hold you back
– What pain or fight or hurt or conflict, may have helped you grow, but now is time to say goodbye to it? Is it  occupying too much space in your mind and heart?
– open your eyes to God’s newness
I am doing a new thing (what is it? ask God?)
I am making a way in the wilderness
– verses 16-17 speak to this as God reminds Israel about their deliverance from Egypt)
And streams in a wasteland
– 2020 won’t be perfect, but God will lead you through whatever comes your way.

None of this newness can happen to us when we’re in a hurry.

For us to breathe in God’s newness, we need to stop, think, pray, be quiet, and hear from him about what that newness actually is!

Slow Down
Be Quiet

Listen to the first words of Psalm 23…
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul…

I love what David does here. He tells us that we must ‘lie down’, and we must be ‘led to quiet waters’, and when we do that, our ‘souls can be refreshed’.

Listen now to Psalm 46:10
Be Still and know that I am God

The word still comes from the word vacate. So maybe God is telling us to take a vacation from trying to be god, and let him be God instead?

Finally, the word Selah, that pops up 71 times in the Psalms – this is a ‘middle’ word or an ‘in between’ word between verses and phrases in the Psalms. No one knows for sure what it means. It’s possibly just a technical note for readers and musicians.

Best guess? Selah is an invitation to pause, to weigh the words we are praying. An intermission, if you will. A moment to reflect on what just happen, and plan well for what we may hear next or what may come next.

Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Pascal said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Only when we pause, when we rest, when we Selah, when we are quiet…is when we can Breathe in Jesus!!!

– – – – – –

Why do we call Sundays an Intermission at The Village? Because our hope is that in the few minutes we have together, we want to breathe out the week before, and breathe in Jesus! Time well spent eh?

– – – – – –

This week, take time, make time, to…

Breath in Peace               Breathe out  Anxiety
Breath in Hope                Breathe out  Despair
Breath in Courage           Breathe out  Fear
Breath in Mercy               Breathe out  Unforgiveness
Breath in Peace               Breathe out  Division
Breath in Rest                 Breathe out  Hurry
Breath in Jesus