Escape

 

Running Man from blocksI have used this word escape many times. I like to watch movies for entertainment, but also a brief “escape” from reality. I had fun with our family at an “Escape Room” in Atlanta about a year ago. I have escaped car accidents. I’ve escaped bad relationships. I have escaped some pretty bad situations and I give the Lord credit for helping me escape. I am learning to let Him lead because always has an escape plan – a way out.

Paul talks about how the Lord will give us a way out of temptation. I have lived this out for sure. Check this out…

12 So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 CSB)

The Lord is powerful and insightful enough to make a way where there seems to be no way. I should never be full of pride for my behavior. I am who I am and what I am because of Jesus living inside of me. It’s not what I’ve done but what He’s done. I want to make Him known and let me fade into oblivion.

He has made an escape route for me too many times to count. I am so thankful. My life could have been destroyed. He is strong – I am weak. He is completely aware – I am often naïve. He is always present – I’m often absent minded and forgetful. I’m going to stick with Him as He helps me navigate the mine fields of this life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Watch Out!

Stop HandI enjoy being outdoors and walking around in the woods. I am not a fan of snakes at all. I usually kill the snake and then see what kind it is. I apologize to any “snake lovers” who make take offense but they simply freak me out. I remember being in Zambia, Africa when I was a sophomore in college and two deadly snakes where killed near the church where we spent a lot of time. One of the snakes was killed on near the path leading to the bathroom, which you can imagine didn’t involve running water or electricity. I have learned to be very careful and attentive when walking in the woods or simply walking outside in the yard.

Paul was warning about people who were a bit less obvious than a snake. There are people who appear helpful, genuine and kind, but they may be looking for an opportunity to pounce and bring harm. I think it’s important to watch carefully where we walk, who we walk with and where we go. Check this out…

17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them,18 because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.

19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore, I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:17-20 CSB)

I simply want to walk with the Lord. I want Him to help me watch every step I take and every move I make. I don’t always see the obstacles or the dangers in the path ahead, but He does. He will crush the enemy on my behalf. He will make me aware of people who are self-centered and deceptive.  I want the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing, good, and honorable to the Lord. I want to be well-spoken but not deceptive or manipulative in any way. I want be persuasive and passionate but not naïve to the enemies schemes. I should also stay aware and alert to every situation. I want to listen to the prompting of the Lord when He gives me a signal. I need my spiritual eyesight to be enhanced by His Presence.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Consistent Respect

RespectI grew up being taught good manners. My parents taught me to say “Please” & “Thank You”. They also taught me say Ma’am & Sir when replying to someone with respect. I remember being taught to bow my head and close my eyes when praying. (I must confess that I checked to see if they were actually doing this as well J – they were.) I can probably make quite a long list of “respect responses” that I was taught growing up. I almost forgot to mention that my Dad also taught me how to be a gentleman – to open the door for ladies.

I remember being taught further in Sunday School and youth group functions about respecting God. I learned to respect His Word and the people who taught His Word. I actually put them on a “pedestal” and really shouldn’t have. I do remember standing up when reading the Word of God publically.

When the people of Judah were finally finished with the rebuilding of the wall and the Temple, they assembled on the first day of the 7th Month. They asked Ezra, the scribe to read from the Law of Moses. He obliged and I can feel the respect and reverence that these people were feeling. Check this out…

5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read. (Nehemiah 8:5-6; 8 NIV)

I believe that my respect for the Lord should be consistent. I don’t think it should matter where I am or what I’m doing – my respect for Him, His Word, His Word and His call upon my life should be steady and consistent.

I want to be keenly aware of Him speaking to me through His Word.

I want to be keenly aware of Him speaking to me through another person.

I want my respect toward others to come from a profound respect for God Who created all of us. I want to worship God from a place of profound gratitude and respect. I want this to happen without giving much thought – in other words, I want to be consistent in respecting Him and others.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Fragile

Fragile stampI remember when I first learned this word “Fragile” – it looked like a French word to me. I learned to be careful with breakable things that were family heirlooms or expensive. I knew that that word mean “handle with care”.

The Lord had set apart the Levites to serve in the Tabernacle when it was set up and all the families were camped around it. The Levites where also in charge of “tear down” and “set up” of the tabernacle. This was no small task. The Lord was very specific as to who did certain tasks. The three sons of Levi and their families were assigned different duties.

15 ‘After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting. (Numbers 4:15 NIV)

The Lord was very serious about how the people dealt with holy things. When I read this it reminds me to have a tremendous level of respect and reverence in handling His Word.

I was also reminded that as a Christ follower, I should pay close attention to the activities of my life. There are lines that can get crossed in treating the place where God dwells with respect. I need to be careful how I eat and treat my body. I should also be very careful how I handle others hurts and struggles when they seek my help.

Another application for me was in my role as a REALTOR. I help others handle the purchase or sale of real estate. I believe as a Christ follower that I should take very seriously my fiduciary responsibility on behalf of my customers and clients.

I want to be more aware today of the fragile so that I can give proper care to each.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

 

Notice

 

Word on yellow wallI think of this word when advising someone of something I know or a deadline that is just ahead. I also see that this word means I’ve become aware of something. I noticed something. I think it’s very wise to pay close attention to my surroundings. I think it’s wise to pay attention to what others say or don’t say; do or don’t do. In noticing things, it can sometimes alter my response to the situation. I think it’s important to be alert and aware. Jacob was aware of his situation changing. Check this out…

1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, ‘Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.’ 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude towards him was not what it had been.

3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.’ (Genesis 31:1-3 NIV)

When I notice a change in condition or change in relationship, I can often ask the Lord and He reveals the next step or the solution. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to wander through life without Him. He gives me a wise and discerning heart to make me aware of my situation. I am constantly working at being aware of His Presence in me and in my situation. He loves to help me. He loves to give me direction and wisdom. I am a clueless idiot without His Presence in me. I’ve noticed what a Difference Maker He is in my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne