He Came! (Merry Christmas!)

 

Christmas NatavityThe barn was probably like other barns – wood floor. There was the pungent smell of urine, dung, sheep and cattle. The ground is probably hard and the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. There are some shepherds a bit perplexed at what they are seeing. Joseph is off to one side, his eyes are heavy. It’s been a tough few days, but Mary & the baby are safe. He has lots of questions, but not the energy to put of sleep that is over taking him.

Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph’s saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in human history, the human being who best understands who God is and what He is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God.

Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter. Angels watch as Mary changed God’s diaper! (God Came Near by Max Lucado – my favorite read at Christmas!)

1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. (Luke 2:1-7 NLT)

If I’m not careful, I will miss Him again.

I’m so thankful He came in such an unusual way.

I’m so thankful He did what He came to do – overcome sin & death.

I’m so thankful He opened access to God Himself for regular people like me.

I’m so grateful that God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son…

Merry Christmas from my heart and my family to your heart and your family!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Amazement!

Happy surprised manI am amazed at what great lengths people will go to for a free gift or money. In the past, I have endured a sales pitch in order to win a free TV or an overnight stay somewhere that always looks much nicer than it is. I do like to get something for nothing. I know better, but I will still try, much like the next person.

I’m also amazed at how people follow other people and give them celebrity status. If a guy or girl can play a sport really well, we give them special status. If someone is really wealthy we treat them quite differently than another person who doesn’t have as much wealth.

Jesus amazed people with His teaching – His Presence. He didn’t play a sport that I know of and He didn’t have a lot of wealth. His teaching was powerful and moved people. He did heal people from what was often a terminal disease – leprosy. He also healed other diseases and casts out evil spirits from people possessed. People were moved His teaching and His power to heal. Check this out…

27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee. (Mark 1:27-28 NLT)

I sometimes take the Lord’s Presence for granted. I read His Word almost every day. I talk with Him throughout the day. I participate in corporate worship each week with the church. I realize that not everyone in the world does this each week. I’m still following Him so closely that I’m not as amazed as I should be. When I stop for a minute and look carefully at Who He is and what He has done – I’m truly amazed.

I want to continue to be amazed at Him.

I want to continue to notice what He is doing in my life.

I want to continue to express my gratitude to Him for my life and loved one.

I love this old hymn: I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Chris Tomlin

I want my life to bring glory to Him because I live in amazement at all that He has done and all that He is doing in me and around me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Awestruck

 

Happy surprised manThis to me is a speechless, incredible and overwhelming moment of admiration or inspiration. I do remember occasionally as a kid being amazed at certain people and their talents or gifts. As I got older, I’m harder to impress. Occasionally, I am blown away by something or someone. The more I study the life of Jesus, I think I would have been awestruck quite often to see His healing power and to hear His teaching first-hand.

Luke’s gospel is written very precise as Luke is a physician. I love how he tells the different events that happened in Jesus’ life and ministry. On one occasion, the crowd was so big by the Sea of Galilee, that Jesus got in a boat and pushed out a bit to teach. It was Simon Peter’s boat, so I’m guessing that Peter was in the boat with him. Check this out…

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:4-11 NLT)

This was the beginning of a long and storied journey of Peter following Jesus. I often give Peter a hard time about being so impulsive and quick when studying the disciples, but it’s hard to argue with his passion for following Jesus.

Peter was awestruck by what Jesus did for him. His partners, James, John and brother Andrew were amazed as well. They left everything and followed Jesus.

I still have a good memory of times when I’ve been amazed and awestruck by something the Lord did in my life. I’ve seen His work first-hand. I’ve never visually laid eyes on Him, but His Presence is a powerful moment and impossible to go unnoticed. I want to walk with the Lord daily and notice His Presence and His Power in my every day, regular life. I am empowered by His Presence. I feel confident and courageous with His Spirit in me. I don’t want to miss what He’s doing in my world.  I want His help being a husband, Dad, friend & REALTOR. He can help me encourage and inspire others. He is awe-inspiring to me and I want others to notice that He is with me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Amazed

Worship to GodThere are times when I’m speechless. I’m sure people who know me very well might find that hard to believe. I’m not usually at a loss for words. When I get the proper perspective of how incredible God is, I run out of words. I’m thinking. I’m pondering. I’m trying out adjectives. Speechless. He is the Introduction, the Conclusion and everything in between. He is the Cover of the book. He is the Table of Contents. He is the Prologue. He is the Epilogue.  King David penned a great Psalm that I can refer to when I have no words. Check this out….

1 I will exalt you, my God the King;

    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
 
   and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;

    his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;

    they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—

    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—

    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness

    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,

    slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:1-8 NIV)

 

I will rest in the glow of these words of Praise and Exaltation today. I was reminded of a simple song that exalts the Lord.

I Exalt Thee by Jesus Culture

Pressing On!
Dwayne