No Strings Attached

 

I am always suspicious of an unsolicited phone call announcing that I’ve received something for free. I realize that there is a “catch” to things like that. I have won 3 days and 3 nights at a nice resort only to find out that I had to go to a meeting where they try to sell you a time share in that resort. I’ve also been offered a free 6-month subscription only to find out that they will start billing me automatically after that first 6 months. There are many gimmicks that promise something Free that I am a bit jaded about it. I usually say that something that is free to me always cost someone else something. There is no such thing as a free lunch. After reading in the Word this morning, I realize that there is something that is free. Check this out…

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, 12 since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9-13 CSB)

I have not done anything to deserve the love from God that I’ve experienced. He doesn’t love me because I love Him. He loved me first. He loves me even when I don’t love Him. I can’t quite wrap my head around that level of love. I have accepted Him as my Lord. I do believe in Him. I don’t deserve His love. I don’t deserve to be saved, but I am profoundly grateful.

I used to think going to church made me a Christian.

I used to think that not cursing made me a Christian.

I used to think that obeying my parents made me a Christian.

That could be a long list of what I used to think. I understand now that I go to church; guard my tongue, honor my parents BECAUSE I’m a Christ follower NOT to become a Christ follower. I am a Christian because I have surrendered my heart to the Lord. I believe in God. I believe He is the ONLY ONE Who can save me.

Nothing I can do contributes to my being saved. He did it all. I honor Him BECAUSE He has saved me and promised me a future. My life has been different since I figured this out. I can’t do enough or not do enough to be saved. He has that handled. There are no strings attached to my salvation. I see life different since He’s saved my soul. I want to live for Him. I want to live in honor of Him. I want to trust Him in obedience. I want my surrender to Him to continue today not out of fear, but in faith that He will continue to walk with me through this life.

He saved me with no strings attached.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The Rock

 

stone isolated white background natural rock granite solid bouldWhen I think of the word rock, I think of something solid. A rock is hard to break. A rock makes a great foundation – we manufacture a rock like substance called concrete. The Lord refers to the Rock often as our faith foundation. There is a song that says: “On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand”. I have also been known to trip over a rock. If the rock is big enough I can stand on it or go around it.

Paul makes it clear that even those that are not of Jewish decent have access to the foundation of Jesus Christ which produces in us righteousness. Check this out…

30 What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith. 31 But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. 32 Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written,

Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over
and a rock to trip over,
and the one who believes on him
will not be put to shame. (Romans 9:30-33 CSB)

I am putting my faith in Creator God. I believe He created the earth, the universe in all its expanse and intricate detail. He is the One in Whom I trust to lead me through whatever I face in this life. My journey here for what feels like a short span prepares me for eternity which is unmeasurable time.

I love David’s prayer – seeking God as a refuge. Check this out…

Be a rock of refuge for me, where I can always go. Give the command to save me, for you are my rock and fortress. (Psalm 71:3 CSB)

I stand on the Rock Eternal because He gives me strength.

I stand on the Rock Eternal because He picks me up when I stumble.

I stand on the Rock Eternal because He saved me.

I stand on the Rock Eternal because He loves me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

#Buy/SellSaturday- May 20, 2017

By 

The final walk-through is your chance to ensure all negotiation requirements have been met, and that nothing is out of sorts before closing on escrow. Here’s the best way to approach it!

What to Check on a Final Walk Through

Living Room

First you will want to inspect ceilings, walls, and floors. They may look different now that they’re barren from when they were staged to look enticing. Turn on and off all the light switches to make sure they’re not stuck and do, in fact, connect to something. Even though it may be time consuming, test the heating and air conditioning, as those will be of dire importance to you soon enough.

Kitchen

In the kitchen, you’ll first want to check that all of the appliances are in working order. Also try out the garbage disposal and any exhaust fans, such as the one above the stove.

Bedrooms

Throughout the house, check that the doors don’t squeak or wiggle off their hinges. Test all the outlets with a simple power cord or charger of some kind. Open and close all the windows.

Bathroom

What to keep an eye out for in the bathroom is pretty obvious. Inspect around all visible piping for leaks, cracks, puddles, etc. Also run the sink and tub water to make sure everything is running smoothly, no funny smells, etc. And don’t forget to flush the toilet!

Other Tips

People often forget to test the garage door opener. You’ll need that!

Check for things you though would be included. This could include appliances, lights, chandeliers, and so on.

Make sure the previous owners didn’t leave any trash, debris, stains, etc.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t do your final walk through right before it goes to escrow. Give yourself a night to sleep on it. This is about to be the biggest investment of your life! It’s okay to take your time!

Credit to: https://www.househunt.com/news-realestate/what-to-check-on-a-final-walk-through/

 

Adopted

 

LucasFullSizeRenderIt was 7 years ago next month that I first met a young boy from Nicaragua named Lucas. He still remembers meeting me for the first time, even the clothes I was wearing. There were four families in our church seeking to adopt 5 siblings from Nicaragua and bring them back to Carroll County, Georgia. I can’t begin to put into words the events that happened from June 2010 to February 2011, but we landed in Atlanta with all five kids legally adopted! There were some heroes involved and some amazing miracles from the Lord that helped us pull that off. Today my son Lucas graduates from high school and we are so excited with him.

I must say that I’ve learned more about my Heavenly Father since becoming a Dad. Luke was my 5th child so I had some experience being Dad. I still can’t describe the fulfillment of being a Dad and how much love I have for them. When Luke came along, that same love started coming out. He was nearly 12 years old, but the love that the Lord had for me really helped me love Luke even deeper. We had missed so much of Luke’s childhood. It hasn’t always been easy over the past 6.5 years, but God has shown us even more how to love deeply like He loves. Check this out…

14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17 CSB)

I am an adopted son of God. He made me an heir to all the promises and the future that He’s prepared.  I am so humbled to think about the Lord adopting me into His family. I am certainly not perfect and I’m sure I hurt Him at times and embarrass Him, but He just keeps loving me.

Today as Luke graduates, there is a sense of accomplishment for him. Tina and I also feel a sense of accomplishment as he gets ready to enter the work force and build a life of his own. It’s exciting to look back on the journey when growth and progress happen. It’s hard in the middle of it because we can’t always measure the progress.

My walk with the Lord sometimes feels stale and slow but I just keep plugging along. He honors my faithful “plugging along”. He speaks to me. He sustains me. He encourages me. I am His son. I am adopted into His family with an incredible future. I am so thankful to know the Lord and the promise and purpose that He gives for my life and the hopeful future that is ahead.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The Fight Within

 

devil angelI remember the cartoons when I was a kid that depicted the devil with a red body and a pitch-forked tail sitting on one shoulder whispering in my ear. He’s coaching me to do bad stuff. Then, on the other shoulder is an angel trying to coach me to do the right thing. I remember thinking this was “cute” when I was young. As I aged and grew in wisdom, I can see some truth in that. The enemy has never relaxed at pushing me. He is constantly pulling and trying to coach me into areas of weakness of my flesh. As I read God’s Word and lean into Him for wisdom and strength to live out my faith, the fight within keeps going. In Romans 7, Paul, the Apostle addressed this very battle and in fact, he verifies the inward fight. Check this out…

18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me. (Romans 7:18-20 CSB)

There is always a fight with my flesh brewing somewhere in my life. My fight can be traced back to pride. I must constantly beat down pride so that The Lord can do some good work inside my soul. Pride is like the fuel that fuels my fleshly desires of lust, greed and notoriety. When the Spirit can win the battle for my heart, I become humble, grateful and generous. I have been approaching the Word of God differently because I believe The Word is a huge help in putting pride in its place and allowing the Spirit of God to shine through me. I want the Spirit of God to direct my flesh in proper choices and ideas. I want the Spirit of God to win today’s battles. I’ve read the end of the book and I know Who wins in the end. I want to finish my life strong with the Spirit of God clearly keeping my flesh in check.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Amazing Law

legal gavel, scales and law bookI’ve never heard anyone say, “Amazing Law”. No one ever talks about the law the way we speak of grace. Every person on the planet has received grace from someone. The Person Who defines Grace is God. He has forgiven sins that are profoundly harmful to my heart and others. He’s forgiven murderers, liars, adulterers, thieves and the list could go on and on. His Grace is complete. His Grace is very thorough. His Grace is like a “hard reset” on my computer or my phone. God chooses that kind of memory with His Grace. When I really put my head to His Grace, it is ridiculous, lavish and “mind blowing”.  I deserve punishment, I deserve death, but instead I get promoted!

Romans 6 is packed with some amazing details about my new life in Christ. I came across one short verse yesterday and today while reading and it stopped me in my tracks. Check this out…

14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace. (Romans 6:12 CSB)

I am no longer a slave to sin.

I am free to live for the Lord.

I am no longer guilty under the law, I am under grace.

As a recipient of grace, I’m also called to dispense grace. I see people every day who need grace. I see people who have never known grace. I see people who’ve received grace but then they are selfish with it – like it’s theirs to be selfish with. Grace is God’s gift NOT mine. I get the privilege of delivering God’s Grace to others. It’s better than delivering lavish gifts that someone else paid for, but the recipient of those gifts think I’m responsible

God’s Grace is hard to describe.

God’s Grace is hard to define.

God’s Grace is NOT hard to accept.

I’m so thankful to live under His Grace. I’ve failed miserably trying to be a rule keeper under the law. Now that I know Grace, I want to honor the One Who delivered me from the law. I’m a better follower of God because of Grace NOT the rule keeping.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound

That saved a sinner (aka wretch) like me.

______________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne