Where You Are

Man Hand writing Living a Thankful Life with black marker on visThere are times when I find myself in a place (not a physical place) and I wonder how I arrived here. If I allow myself to be moved around by the circumstances in my life and on this journey of life, I can drift just about anywhere. I have recently been encouraged and inspired to “sit up straight” and take notice to things around me. I am noticing my response to things that are negative. I am noticing my response to things that are positive. I’m am noticing my response to negative people as well as positive people. I am becoming aware of where I am currently, but more importantly where I want to go.

I don’t have grandiose dreams of being President, representative or hold any elected office. I don’t mind serving and helping the people who hold positions of leadership, but I don’t aspire to those positions. I’ve seen first-hand the games that must be played to hold those positions and it’s quite distasteful to me. I’m in a place of servant leadership in my church and I feel called to be here. I serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings. His credentials are stellar and complete. Check this out…

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8 CSB)

I don’t need a title to serve. I don’t need a position to hold. I don’t need lots of equipment or wardrobe to serve. The training is “on the job” serving.

John, the disciple/apostle was an eye-witness to the Son of God. He saw Jesus heal. He saw Jesus forgive. He saw Jesus teach. He saw Jesus love on people. He saw Jesus serve.  John finds himself on the island of Patmos – tradition says he was banished there away from people and society. He embraces where he is and serves from there. Check this out…

I, John, your brother and partner in the affliction, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  (Revelation 1:9 CSB)

“Wherever you go, there you are” is credited to Confucius. I need to become aware of where I am. I need to be aware of my attitude. I need to be aware of my heart condition. I need to be aware of outlook. My circumstances change quickly and I must adjust. I can’t control what others say or do. I can’t control the weather. I can control my attitude and response to the things that happen to me.

I made a commitment to follow Jesus many years ago and I’m determined that where every I go, He’s going too. When I get to wherever it is I’m going – I won’t ever be alone. He has never left me alone. His Presence make my “present” make sense. He knows right where I am, even if I’m not sure. I am here largely because of choices that I’ve made and He’s right here too because I wouldn’t be here without Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Caught!

 

Always Time to Do What's Right Saying Clock QuoteI remember getting away with things when I was a kid. The times I was caught are really etched in my mind. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I was trying something new and, BAM! –Busted. Looking back, I think getting busted was a good thing because I became keenly aware of boundaries as well as consequences. These two words have accountability built right inside them. I often wish I could go back and do some things differently, because I know that my bad choices hurt my grandparents and my parents. They really had confidence in me and I let them down. I’m thankful that I didn’t stay there. I’m sure that they kept praying for me that I would get back on track with the Lord.

Paul is giving Timothy some very practical counsel from a seasoned apostle to a young preacher. He gives Timothy a few tips in dealing with people and their behavior. Check this out…

24 Some people’s sins are obvious, preceding them to judgment, but the sins of others surface later. 25 Likewise, good works are obvious, and those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:24-25 CSB)

I remember my mom telling me that “remember your sins will find you out”. I hated that phrase because I knew what it meant. I also knew that she was suspicious of something that I had done or hadn’t done.

When I became a parent many years ago, I read a great book called “Raising Positive Kids In A Negative World” by Zig Ziglar. This book had a huge impact on my life. I think it was in this book that he challenges parents to “catch their kid doing good things” and reward them appropriately. I loved the idea because it affirmed the positive behavior instead of watching for the child to make a mistake.

I love people who do good works secretly. I believe the Lord loves this too. When a person does good works secretly, it’s not about them, but the person or persons being served. I also think that this speaks to the motive of the giving. I’ve given to be seen and I’ve given secretly and the secret giving is way more fun and profoundly rewarding.

I want to honor the Lord by doing good to others today and every day. I know that the Lord sees what I do secretly whether good or bad, so I’m going to choose the good way!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Called

Phone vector  iconsI sometimes have a hard time explaining to someone how God called me. I can’t say that He spoke to me in an audible voice like I would do to call one of my kids. He didn’t have someone else call me. He does use others to speak into my life for sure, but I felt like He called me to be right where I am. I believe the call of God is the direction He wants to give me. He wants to lead me in my daily decisions. He wants to lead me in my life changing decisions. I believe the call of God comes directly from my relationship with Him. He’s probably called me a lot more often than I realize, because I wasn’t listening due to the “noise” in my life. Check this out…

17 Let each one live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. This is what I command in all the churches. 

22 For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of people. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person is to remain with God in the situation in which he was called. (1 Corinthians 7:17, 22-24 CSB)

I believe that the Lord calls me daily through His Word.

I believe the Lord calls me daily through His people.

I believe the Lord calls me daily through places I go.

I believe the Lord calls me daily as I listen to Him speak.

God’s calling on my life, no matter what He calls me too, is Holy because He is Holy. I believe sometimes just resting can be a Holy Moment. I believe that the Lord calls me throughout the day to listen sharper and more intentional to Him speaking into my heart. I believe God calls us all the time, but we’re often to busy listening to ourselves that we miss His call.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reputation

 

reputation conceptual meterI’ve learned over the years that my reputation is based on many factors, but honesty and integrity stand near the top if they are not the top. I believe that others look at my behavior and make a judgement. If I made a decision they didn’t like, they might try to use that to tarnish my reputation. I care much about my reputation, but if I stay there too long, I’m worried too much about what someone else thinks of me versus what the Lord thinks of me. If the Lord knows me like no one else, He is the judge of my very heart. I believe my reputation is determined by where my heart is.

King David speaks of the Lord’s reputation and it’s clear that He knows the Lord and is trying to follow Him. David’s reputation as a man after God’s heart is based on his walk with God. His writings reveal his walk. Check this out…

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations. (Psalm 145:9-13 NIV)

I make bunches of decisions and choices each day and I don’t always have a ton of time to prepare. I must make decisions based on the information that I have in front of me at the point the decision needs to be made. The cycle of reputation begins in my heart, then moves to my behavior and the perception of that behavior. The Lord has inside information to my reputation because He knows every thought and every motive. I’m not concealing anything from Him. I’m confessing everything to Him. Confession is agreement. I care more about my reputation before the Lord than what others think of me. I can’t control what others think or do regarding me. I can only have influence and control over my behavior or response to them. My behavior and response to others comes directly from my heart and the work that the Lord is doing there.

I want others to know of the Lord’s reputation and not be super concerned or worried about my own. He is Creator God. He loves like no other. His mercy and grace is beyond description. I really want to live for Him and honor Him. I want to be known as a follower of the Lord – a man after God’s heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity

 

integrity conceptual compassThis word means to live by moral & ethical principles – sound moral character, honesty. There is a lot packed into that sentence. This word has a lot of life packed into it. It is not one single incident, it’s a combination of my life choices and little, seemingly insignificant choices as well. I believe my character should reflect integrity always, not just when others are paying attention.

King David displayed great integrity that came out of his walk with God. He wasn’t perfect, but he was pursuing God Who is perfect. In his pursuit of God integrity makes its appearance.  David was often a mess in crying out to God, but he was an honest mess. He was full of fear, then faith would take over. His pursuit of God allowed faith to win that fight. Check this out…

11 I know that you are pleased with me,
    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
    and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41:11-13 NIV)

I believe my character is built one decision at a time. Some of those decisions are big and I have time to think through them. Other decisions must be made quickly. Event still, there are other decisions that seem insignificant at the time that later turn out to be huge. I want to be consistently honest in every area of my life. I want to live out of my relationship with God as He calls me to be like Him. He is the Supreme Example of Integrity.

Even when King David sinned profoundly – he repented profoundly and honestly – owning his sin and the gravity of it. His failure was not fatal because of his repentant heart. The man of integrity has given humility a significant place in his heart. I want the fabric of life to be woven together with integrity and humility.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Founder

 

steve jobsI’ve met people who were the founder of their own company. They built the company from their living room or garage into a multi-million-dollar company. It is cool to hear their stories of the early days. I read the biography of Steve Jobs of Apple. The stories almost seemed surreal as they kept trying new ideas and then when they felt like they were on to something – it fueled their passion even more. People who start and build something like that are way different the CEO who was hired to change the direction or build the company differently. I’m not implying that the latter won’t work, but there is a different dynamic.

The Psalmist speaks about God as the founder of the earth and all that we have. It dawned on me this am why God is so passionate about His creation. Check this out…

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,

    the world, and all who live in it;

2 for he founded it on the seas

    and established it on the waters.

3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?

    Who may stand in his holy place?

4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,

    who does not trust in an idol

    or swear by a false god.

5 They will receive blessing from the Lord

    and vindication from God their Savior.

6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,

    who seek your face, God of Jacob. (Psalm 24:1-6 NIV)

The Lord wants His creation to trust Him. He wants us to honor Him with our lives. The Lord is very proud of His kids – I think He has my picture in His wallet!  When I understand just how much He loves me – I want to honor Him with my life. My life is made up of daily choices that honor Him. The Lord loves it when I sing to Him and pray to Him. He examines my heart and when my heart lines up with my life choices and worship then I’m living the way I was built to live. The Founder of the world, loves to walk with me and talk with me. I now look at others and God’s creation from a different perspective.

Pressing On!

Dwayne