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

Watch My Step

watch your stepI sometimes actually watch where I’m going. I don’t usually stare at my feet when I’m walking, however, if I’m hiking in the woods or in the mountains and the terrain is unsteady, I would be wise to watch where I put my feet. I also would be wise to watch the direction of my steps. There is usually a trail that I should follow. If I get off the trail, then I must watch not only my steps, but I should watch several steps ahead or I might accidently walk off into a ravine.

The older I get the less for granted I take walking. My heart goes out to people who can no longer walk. I want to stay as active as I can for as long as I can. Watching my step also applies in a spiritual way. I must watch my spiritual steps as well. The road map for my life is found in the Word of God. I also need to consult the Author & Creator of Life about my spiritual path. Check this out…

5 My steps have held to your paths;

    my feet have not stumbled.

6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;

    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

7 Show me the wonders of your great love,

    you who save by your right hand

    those who take refuge in you from their foes. (Psalm 17:5-7 NIV)

I want to follow the Lord and walk in His steps each day of my life. I need to make the right choices daily to stay in step with Him. He’s clear in His Word what my path should look like. My choices either honor Him or dishonor Him. I know what it’s like to feel His Presence near me and I know what it’s like for Him to seem far away. The choices I make today often determine the closeness I feel to God. I must choose His way for my steps. I must choose His way for my thoughts. I want to rest in the wonders of His great love for me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Close Look

 

search with magnifying glassI’ve noticed that as I get older my physical sight or vision gets worse, but my insight improves greatly.  I don’t know everything about everything, but I do know some things that work and some things that don’t. I have experiences now that I didn’t have years ago. My journey with the Lord looks significantly different now than it did when I was younger – I think it’s even different than it was just 10 years ago. If I were to do an audit of my spiritual journey, it would bring me back to a closer look at my heart. I’m not sure the Lord cares about what I wear or how many hairs are on my head (even though He knows that) – He cares about the current condition of my heart. This is where all the decisions and choices I make originate from.

When my kids were small, I remember being clearly aware of when they did something that was ignorant or dumb versus doing something that was thought out and straight up disrespect for the rules and code of our family. I made the punishment swift and sure for the disrespect and the other were great teaching moments to mold them. I had to be discerning to know the difference between the two types of behavior.

King David was constantly pouring out his heart before the Lord. He seemed to get the fact that God cares more about the heart than any external behavior. The Lord knows the difference between my stupidity and my premeditated sin or rebellion. Check this out…

8     Let the Lord judge the peoples.

Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,

    according to my integrity, O Most High.

9 Bring to an end the violence of the wicked

    and make the righteous secure –

you, the righteous God

    who probes minds and hearts.

17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;

    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:8-9,17 NIV)

The Lord knows my heart. The Lord shapes my heart. The Lord builds His righteousness into my heart. I don’t want anything to enter my heart except what brings honor and glory to Him. I must be careful not to make my life and behavior about me. My life and behavior reflects Him inside of me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Dark Day

Storm Brewing Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.There are days that I remember that were dark days in the history of our country. I wasn’t here when Pearl Harbor was bombed and we were drawn into war. I was too young to remember when JFK was assassinated. I do remember the challenger bursting into flames upon take off. And more recently, I remember September 11, 2001. I remember where I was on the dark days in our history. There have been other dark days when the values of our country continued to erode and really disappointed God. It’s a bit of a challenge to be a follower of God and stand on that truth no matter what.

The Lord had had enough of the dark disobedience of His people. Nebuchadnezzar appears on the scene. Check this out…

God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. (2 Chronicles 36:17b-19 NIV)

I believe it’s important that I learn lessons from biblical history. Our God is a God of Grace, but He is also a God of Justice. I sometimes wonder how long He will tolerate the erosion of Biblical values in our culture. I also realize how little control I have over any of this. I am the one person that I can control. I am responsible for all the decisions and choices I make every day. I can lead my family and any others that I might have influenced to follow The Lord’s way. I sometimes wonder about another dark day in our country when we are punished much like Judah was for our despicable behavior.

I will lift my head to the heavens to seek direction from God all day every day. I want to grow in my trust of Him. I want to live for Him. I want to honor Him with all I have and all that is in me. Following the Lord makes me a much better husband, Dad, friend and REALTOR. The Lord’s Presence brings light to any dark day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reputation

 

reputation conceptual meterThis word speaks to what others believe about me. To a certain extent, I can’t control what others think of me. Perception is not always correct, but to those who have a certain perception it’s reality for them. I’m aware that there can be huge misunderstanding and communication issues in nearly every circumstance, but I can often correct this when I’m aware of it.

I love the story of Ruth meeting Boaz for the first time. I love how the passage of scripture says that as Ruth went out to glean the fields for leftover grain, “she happened to glean in the field of Boaz”. I don’t see this as accidental. I love it when God is behind the scenes orchestrating and organizing – He’s always doing this. After Boaz finds out who Ruth is, he instructs his workers to give her water to drink and not to bother her. He made the work as easy as he could for her. She is stunned by his kindness. Check this out…

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, ‘Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me – a foreigner?’

11 Boaz replied, ‘I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband – how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.’ (Ruth 2:10-12 NIV)

I love how the day-to-day love and respect that Ruth shows her mother-in-law was noticed. She didn’t love Naomi and stay with her to get noticed – she did what she did out of love, respect and honor for her. I believe that my choices today continue to build (or tear down) my reputation among people where I live and work. I received a phone call this past Friday and a guy had been given my name as a good REALTOR. The person who gave my name is a friend and acquaintance. This friend spoke of my reputation and the guy he gave my name to wanted me to list his house. I really try to serve each client or customer with the utmost care and professionalism, but this guy was a referral based on my reputation and I’m busting it hard to serve him.

I believe that reputation can be a fragile concept. I can spend years building my reputation only to destroy by stupid choices or behavior. I believe that I should live today totally aware of how the things I do affect my reputation in the future. I have a lot of control of my reputation when it’s drilled down to my daily actions and my attitude.

I want to be known as a follower of Jesus.

I want to be known as an honest and honorable man.

I want to be known as a good husband and Dad.

I want to be known as an excellent REALTOR.

I want to be known as a leader in the community.

I want to have a stellar reputation as I’m consistently following the Lord. I want Him to give me favor with strangers, acquaintances, friends and referrals.

Pressing On!

Dwayne