Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Do you have BAD BREATH? - John 20:21-23

Do you have BAD BREATH?
John 20:21-23
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BlogFam, As we continue through our AFTER HE ROSE Series, I hope that you are making a mental note as to the differences between each of the four Gospels.  Each Gospel offers a different perspective for our consideration.  There are some similarities but there are several very clear differences as well. Today and for the next few days, we will read few encounters and conversations that John records which are not included in any of the other Gospels.  As is customary of my BlogFam, I pray that you would remain open to how the Spirit speaks to all of us and trust that even when our own life experiences do not resemble those with whom we are in relationship – friends and family – that God is able to speak and to move in the midst of our lives in the same way.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
BlogFam, it is time for a Breath Check!  YES, that is exactly what I said.  Take a quick second and check your breath because I do not want my BlogFam walking around offending folks nostrils because your breath is foul!  Check it out and if you do NOT pass your own breath test, then please be considerate enough to correct your breath issue before your next face to face conversation!  I can wait a few seconds... but come back and join us!
OK.  Now that we all have fresh, fruity or minty smelling breath, we can talk! LOL! Have you ever been in a conversation with ANYBODY who has bad breath?  I have and I could not hardly stand their hot, foul smelling breath coming at me.  But I will admit, as uncomfortable as I am in those kinds of conversations, I do not think I have ever just told someone,that their breath is truly offending me in the moment.  I always carry gum or mints because I like to keep myself in check but to check someone else on their breath, that, I have never done.  I do not know why.  I will tell people when they have a hair out of place or when their clothes need to be adjusted or when a crumb or sauce is in the corner of their mouth or resting on their chin but telling ANYONE about their bad breath, that, I have NEVER done!  I just try to cut the conversations short or avert the direction of my nose and try to keep my face from disclosing my discomfort with the proximity of our conversation due to their nasty breath!  Yes Lawd, it is time for a breath check! Do YOU have bad breath?
My sistas and brothas, did you know that bad breath is a symptom, a clue that something else is not in order in your own system? Bad breath, medically called halitosis [this word would start with an “H”], can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Basically,all the food you eat begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors(such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing -- even mouthwash-- merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
If you don't brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue.This causes bad breath. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.
Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath, stain teeth,reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate the gums.  Many other diseases and illnesses and medications may also cause bad breath.*
Again, I ask, do YOU have bad breath?  Because if you are not honest with yourself, well, I am clear that everybody is NOT like me who will suffer through our interaction. Your next conversation may just be with someone who is not as tolerant. 
And this brings me to our scripture for today.  I wonder if Jesus had bad breath.  It says He breathed on the disciples and I can only imagine what His breath might have smelled like having just come out of the grave and all.  I wonder if it smelled like death.  I think this is a valid inquiry until the verse continues to say that Jesus tells the disciples to “Receive the HolySpirit.”  So, maybe not!  But, who knows, except those who were there? 
Jesus breathes upon the disciples and He speaks words of peace, life, hope, and wisdom.  He empowers them with every breath and He prepares them for their life of ministry as He sends them forth just as God has sent Him forth.  He also encourages them to forgive and to reconcile broken relationships.  He warns them that if they do not forgive, the offender will not be forgiven.  Jesus had already taught the lesson on forgiveness so they are aware that when they do not forgive, they also put their relationship with the Holy in jeopardy for they will be forgiven as they forgive. Jesus knows that if they do not receive the Holy Spirit and the grace of His love and peace which He speaks in this moment, that spiritual halitosis will set in. If they do not receive what He breathes upon them in this moment, thedisciples’ ministry will be stifled because the Holy Spirit as teacher, corrector,leader, cleanser, will be inoperable which will then expose spiritual halitosis as a symptom because the disciples did not receive and do not rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit.  
BlogFam, Do you have bad breath?  Perhaps the physical halitosis that we avoid socially should be the way we approach the spiritual halitosis that is made evident when we speak words that are offensive, ugly, mean, and nasty!  Your breath just might be fine physically but what kind of air are you breathing out spiritually?  If any of the words you speak stir up strife, justify your jealousy, harp on hatred, manipulate the ministry, obstruct another’s purpose, then your spiritual halitosis is clearly an issue!  It is time for you to check your breath!  It is time for you to receive and rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to perform a work inside of you so that as you go forth as a representative of the Kingdom of God, your breath is sweet – full of peace, life, hope, and wisdom.
Do you have bad breath?
God LOVES You and I Do Too!!!
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