From the smokey haze of California, a breath of fresh air sounds pretty awesome. To draw a deep, clean breath can clear the mind, and exhaling can refocus our spirit.
“I can’t breathe,” has become a too-often used refrain this year whether it’s black men under the knee of a racist police officer, a patient gasping for air with the COVID-19 pandemic, or the horrible fires and resulting smoke we’ve had recently on our West Coast. There is nothing more powerless than the feeling that you can’t get a breath and are suffocating in the overwhelming circumstances of life. I’ve had bouts of asthma, been in smoke-filled rooms, and had the wind knocked out of me several times. There’s nothing like being able to take a deep breath when you haven’t been able to for a while.
When people write to me, that’s how they often refer to something they have read or heard me say. Others, from warmer climates, will refer to it as a cup of cold water. I love hearing how something I’ve put out there has invited someone into a more refreshing place spiritually and allows them to catch their breath again inside their own relationship with Jesus. So, we’re making some changes here at Lifestream to help people have access to that kind of information.
First, we’re going to send out email encouragements three times a week from the resources here and at the God Journey, just like the one above. We’re calling them A Breath of Fresh Air. They won’t always be as artistic, but on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings, you will find one in your inbox if you want. They’ll be brief, just a chance to pause a beat and be encouraged in your journey. I’m going to send them to everyone on our Lifestream Update list for the first week, so people can decide if they would like to get them. If that’s too much email for you, do nothing. They will stop after next Thursday. If you want it, however, you will need to add it to your email preferences at MailChimp. There will be a link in those three emails to make it easy for you to do that.
If you aren’t already subscribed to Lifestream updates, sign up here. That is a different list than those who subscribe to my blog and are receiving this email. How do you know if you’re on the other list too? If you get one this Sunday, use the link above to sign up.
Second, we have put the Embracing His Glory recordings from the God Journey on its own Lifestream page. Like Transitions and The Jesus Lens, this will be a major tool to help people explore their own journey. Specifically, Embracing His Glory gives people language and perspective to recognize how Jesus shapes his glory in us. We’ve released them on the podcast for the past 14 weeks, but are now including them here. It describes in better terms than I’ve had before how learning to live in the Father’s affection has been transforming me and allowing me to live more deeply in his reality. This has been my journey for the past 26 years—letting Jesus poke holes in my illusions and finding the confidence in his love to walk away from them and to embrace what’s really true—about him, ourselves, the circumstances we’re in, and with people around us. So many people who have heard them have written to tell me how much they have been a blessing to them.
Finally, we’re adding a whole new section to the Lifestream website. I was talking to a friend recently about Lifestream and, knowing she is a branding expert, I asked her if there were any glaring weaknesses to this site that we could improve on. She had read and listened to almost everything at Lifestream and told me how deeply it had impacted her. “Your site is a gold mine, with so much free stuff to access.” But she added that it was difficult to access. “I’m probably one of only about twelve people on the planet that would take the time to drill down through everything you have there.”
So, she asked me to consider arranging that material into five key questions that I’m asked a lot and point people to the best resources that would help them answer those questions. I will share more about this feature in the future, but if you go to Lifestream.org, you’ll notice the new banner at the top of the page, helping people find the resources here that most interests them.
Here are the five new Lifestreams that people can use to help them mine the content on this website. Under each heading, you’ll find the articles, books, podcasts, and recordings that we think will most help people answer those questions in their own journey.
- Lifestream #1 – How Can I Live Every Day in Father’s Love?
- Lifestream #2 – Where Will I Find the Church Jesus is Building?
- Lifestream #3 – How Can My Freedom to Trust Jesus Grow?
- Lifestream #4 – How Do I Find Encouragement in the Bible?
- Lifestream #5 – How Can I Live More Generously in a Broken World?
Each of these pages will offer you a host of resources to help you and Jesus sort through these questions in ways that can enhance your journey. You can quickly get some things to think about or dive deeper into an extensive study that could change the trajectory of your life. There are months and months of resources here that can help you find the fullness of his life and freedom. That’s my hope and prayer for all of it.
Check it out. Let me know if it is helpful to you.