Great Generation

happy and motivated old people 3dMy Grandpa (aka Pappy) was part of The Great Generation who made it through the Great Depression and fought in WWII to save our nation from those seeking to destroy our way of life. I’ve had the privilege to hear him tell stories and to see how He lived. I know why that generation was called the Great Generation. They lived off the land and lived out the values that made this country great. I have always been fascinated with the historical events of that era and the people who built their lives in the middle of such challenges.

I am now two generations removed, but I am still grateful for the privilege of knowing my Pappy and learning so many things from Him. He left an indelible mark on my heart. My grandmother (Mammie), his wife was spiritually deep and she lived out her faith every day. I can remember seeing the Bible that she read each day. Here gentle spirit could become very firm while still being gentle. I’m so thankful for the privilege of having known my grand parents.

I believe it’s important that we study history and learn from it or we will absolutely repeat the mistakes that we’ve made. The people of Israel are loosing their way because there’s a whole generation who don’t know the history of how the Lord lead them. Check this out…

10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10 NIV)

This passage really made me stop and think about my life and how I live.

I want to pursue the heart of God as long as I live.

I want my life to display the character of God as long as I live.

I want to remember what it was like to be lost.

I want to remember what it felt like when I first felt His Grace.

I want to remember how faithful He is even when I’m not.

I want generations who come after me to follow Him whole-heartedly.

I need His help to daily live out what I believe.

I need His help to grow my faith every day.

I need His help to grow in my love and patience for others.

I would love for my life to be noticed by generations after me as a man who pursued the heart of God all the days of my life. Each choice I make today affects how I’m seen in the years following me. The priority is my heart-work NOT my behavior. As I surrender my heart to Him each day, my behavior will follow.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Daily Choice

 

make a choice street sign illustration designThere are choices that I have to make every single day of my life. It doesn’t matter where I’m at; I still make some of the same choices every single day. I choose the clothes I wear, the food I eat, the coffee I drink. I choose the things that are most important for each day. A long time ago, I decided to give the Lord the best of my day, which is also the first of my day. The past few days I’ve been sick and there wasn’t much to give. Today I’m getting a late start, but I still choose to start with Him.

Joshua is one of my favorite leaders. He is loyal, energetic and very inspiring. He tells the people early in his career as leader to “be strong and very courageous” as he leads them into the Promised Land (which was unknown to him, but know to The Lord). He simply trusted God to lead him as he led the people of Israel.

At the end of his life after conquering the Promised Land, he challenges his people to renew their allegiance to the Lord. Check this out…

14 ‘Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshipped beyond the River Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14-15 NIV)

This is another choice that I have to make each day – to serve the Lord. I always have the opportunity and option to serve myself, but that is temporary because I can’t get enough for myself. If I learn to serve others then I’m blessed beyond words. I must make a conscious choice to follow the Lord. In choosing Him, I will have to say no to other options. It’s not hard to choose the Lord when I take a look into what my future looks like Him. I’ve come a long way in my journey with Him and I have a few “miles” to go. I want to serve the Lord and follow Him all the rest of my days here on earth. He promises eternal life if I follow Him now and trust Him completely. I believe Him. I am choosing again today to follow Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

New Menu

menuI enjoy going to a new restaurant and gazing at the menu. I should confess that I also like to look at the pictures. Some of my favorite restaurants are the ones with the simplest menus. I do like choices and I also like to mix and match the sides to make my meal what I want. If I go to a restaurant where all they have is one thing, there is no need for a menu. I have a couple of breakfast restaurants where I enjoy breakfast and I never need a menu.

The people of Israel have just crossed the Jordan (on dry land) and are at Gilgal. They are about to start their conquest of the land with the city of Jericho. I didn’t realize that all this time, the Lord had still been providing manna every morning. Check this out…

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan. (Joshua 5:10-12 NIV)

The Lord provided manna for years and years, but now their dream of a new land and new food choices was coming true. I think it’s cool to branch out every now and then to try new menu choices. I’ve learned that there are some things I don’t really prefer to eat, if I have a choice. Food is needed to sustain our physical body. I am blessed to live in a land where food is plentiful. I was moved by the way the Lord was faithful in providing the manna even though it wasn’t mentioned for a while in scripture. The Lord was providing all those years and now He’s provided differently.

The Lord is creatively providing for me all the time. I’m grateful every day for His Provision and Presence. I’m grateful for choices. I’m grateful for His Spirit in me that helps me notice His Presence. I am blessed beyond words with the Lords provision and while His provision might change, it never stops. (All this talk about food has made me hungry for breakfast- lol!)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Easy Choice

 

Life and deathI am faced with so many choices every day of my life. A lot of choices are very easy, while some are quite difficult. I began trusting the Lord with my life many years ago. I am still learning that putting my trust in Him is still a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute idea. This is not a “one and done” idea for sure.

The people of Israel were about to have the land that had been promised them for years. They were about to realize some prosperity that they had not seen in decades. Moses began preparing them for the distraction of prosperity. We still have a choice as to what we do with the Lord. Check this out…

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NIV)

I want to choose life at every opportunity. I want to choose the abundant life that the Lord offers as I walk in obedience to Him. I want to choose eternal life that the Lord promises after this life is finished. I do not want death or destruction, which is the alternative to the life He offers. It’s not a hard choice when I look at it that way, but the choices that I’m faced with are oh so subtle and deceptive. The enemy makes it attractive to walk with Him instead of walking in obedience with the Lord.

Good choices take discipline.

Good choices take preparation.

Good choices take research.

Good choices take trusting God.

Good choices are sometimes really hard.

Bad choices are easy and simple.

Bad choices are chilled out.

Bad choices take no thought.

Bad choices are sometimes premeditated.

Bad choices seem temporarily good.

It really is simple and easy: If I choose life, I can have life. I can have the resources of heaven to draw upon to live out my life. The Lord is the Giver of Life. The Lord is the Sustainer of Life. I want to walk in obedience to Him making “easy choices” to walk in His way the rest of my days.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Consequences

 

businessman making decisionThere are times when the consequences of my choices are very hard to take. I don’t always calculate properly the “fall out” from a decision I make. More often than not if I make a decision in haste, I will miscalculate the consequences. I know of people who repented and were forgiven of sin, but the consequences are real for the rest of their lives. Sometimes the choices I make today have life-long implications.

The people of Israel faced one of those life-altering decisions. The 12 men who went in to explore the land came back to report. I remember a simple song I learned in camp years ago about these men.

Twelve men went to spy on Canaan

            10 were bad and 2 were good

            What did they see when they got to Canaan

            10 were bad and 2 were good

            Some saw giants big and tall

            Some saw grapes in clusters fall

            Some saw God was over all

            10 were bad and 2 were good

These men spent 40 days in the land exploring and yet they were paralyzed by fear that they couldn’t take the land. Their faith in God was weak beyond words. Only Caleb & Joshua felt differently. They believed that God could do anything.

When the people grumbled against the Lord, He was ready to punish them on the spot and Moses begged for their forgiveness. The Lord forgave, but the consequences of their blatant rebellion were still coming. Check this out…

20 The Lord replied, ‘I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times – 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. (Numbers 14:20-24 NIV)

I am inspired by Caleb & Joshua. I want to see the road ahead of me from God’s view point. I want to trust Him without fail. I want to act on what I say I believe. I want to trust the Lord radically with my everyday walking around decisions. I want to trust Him in the smallest detail or in the largest decision. I want to have a different spirit in me like Caleb and follow the Lord wholeheartedly. I can accept the consequences of my decisions to follow the Lord without worry. He’s got those covered too!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Choices

businessman making decisionI have tons of these every day. I can choose what to wear, what to eat, what time to get up…. I have lots of choices. I am making many choices when I’m simply driving to work. My choices that I make early in the am sometimes set the tone for the whole day. Likewise, choices I made years ago changed the course of my life that I’m living now. It’s hard to see the journey ahead and I believe that I have to make choices today given the information that I have in front of me as well as my experiences. I also believe that the Lord can counsel me in my choices IF I will tune into to His voice.

Cain & Able were the first human offspring on the planet. They were obviously instructed how to worship and honor God. Cain evidently ignored the Lord’s instructions and brought produce instead of the sacrifice that the Lord required. God was please with Able’s sacrifice but disappointed in Cain’s offering. I’m not sure Cain knew what to do with his frustration. The Lord tried to counsel him. Check this out….

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’ (Genesis 4:6-7 NIV)

Most all of my choices that I have today have a good side and a bad side. Some choices don’t seem to matter much, like what color shirt I wear or the choice of shoes. A significant number of my choices do matter. Some choices that I make today will shape my eternity. I believe that for the remaining days I have on this earth, I will need to carefully make choices that honor the Lord. I can choose to satisfy my flesh, but that can also wreck my soul. I do believe that sin is always crouching at the door of my heart to take me out. I would be wise to choose right every time I’m given a choice.

Pressing On!

Dwayne