Recall – Remind – Rekindle

Memo with Paper Clip - rememberWhen I think back about my life and my journey of faith, it must include my grandmother, Gladys Greer (aka Mammie). She was a dear lady who loved the Lord and I can still remember her big Bible near her chair in the living room of her house. She studied it often. She had a Bible that was falling apart, but her life wasn’t’ because her deep faith gave purpose and helped her navigate any situation in life. She passed her faith on to my Mom and then to me. I have quite a heritage of faith. I find myself praying for my kids that they will know the Lord. I want them to see the Lord in my life.

The Apostle Paul was writing a second letter to his young protégé Timothy. I can feel the emotional connection between the two. He is connecting Timothy’s journey today with his journey of faith in the past. Check this out…

I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced, is in you also.

Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. (2 Timothy 1:5-7 CSB)

I love the encouragement from Paul. I can take that into my heart and my life today. I need to recall my journey. I need to be reminded of all that the Lord has done in my life. I must daily rekindle the Holy Spirit that is in me. I can be strong and bold as I face challenges in life because I recall, I’m reminded and I’m rekindling the fire that is in me.

I also love the last line of this passage – it’s almost a “because” passage. I can recall, remind and rekindle BECAUSE the Lord has given me “a spirit of power, love and sound judgement”. I’m brimming with confidence because of His Power in me. This perspective shapes and remakes my perspective on everything in my life. I can face any challenge in my life, because the Creator lives in me and lives through me.

I think it’s healthy to revisit my journey often and realize that I’m standing on the shoulders of faith of my grandmother and my parents. I’m also standing on the shoulders of Paul, Timothy, Peter, James and John to name a few. I want to recall, be reminded and rekindle the Spirit of God in my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Fearless & Faithful

 

Brave Courage Overcoming Fear Bravery Vs AfraidNo long ago I read a book called “Fearless” by Eric Blem about the courage and sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown. I could hardly put the book down as I went on the journey with Adam, his seal team and his family. It was courage on steroids. He epitomized fearless and faithful in a physical sense.

I believe that Christ followers are called to be fearless and faithful too. I should not live in a state of worry and fear wondering what will happen next. I should be faithful to seek the Lord’s heart and His will for me. I believe that I hear from Him through my journey in His Word. When I’m faithful to Him, He seems to remove my fears. I do often wonder as I get older how my life will end. I learned of the death of a friend in a car accident and death was instant. I’ve also watched as a friend suffered and battled for long tough road to death. I also wonder about how things are after you die. I know that scripture promises that God has that, but I don’t know of any eye witnesses who have come back and reported on that. Everyone who dies stays there. I have less of an anxious heart about that than in the past only because I’m learning daily to trust the Lord with the unknown as well as the known. Check this out…

16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 CSB)

I’m not going to leap tall buildings in a single bound or become reckless with my life. I do want to live on purpose and balanced. I simply don’t want to allow fear to creep into my spirit and stress me out about what is coming. I trust the Lord that whatever happens, He will help me through. When I reflect on my journey – this has been the case every time. He has not left me alone at all. He was with me in the darkness of divorce, cancer fight with my son, harrowing near death experience of my youngest son – He is with me through storms of this life and He will be with me in the sunset years as well as my departure from this life. I’m fearless because I’m faithful.

There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. (1 John 4:18 CSB)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Mirror Mirror

 

Young man dressing up and looking at mirrorI look at myself in the mirror in the morning and I must admit it’s scary. My hair is usually disheveled and I look old – wait I am relatively old. I’ve noticed a grayer goatee and my grayer sideburns. I’m not one to whine and moan about getting old, but it’s weird how sometimes when I look in the mirror, I feel like I look younger than others. The mirror is simply a reflection of what I look like, but it’s the perception of the reflection that dictates my behavior. I realize that is a mouthful.

I really want to see myself as the Lord sees me. I want to see myself as others see me. Paul began reflecting on the confidence we have because of Jesus who surpassed the law with the new covenant. If the law brought forth the glory of God in its time, how much more glory the grace that Jesus delivered. Check this out…

12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness. 

 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:12,17-18 CSB)

I want to look in the mirror and see the Spirit of God in me. I want others to see Jesus in my actions and activities. I want my life to reflect the Word of God living in me. I want people to see my heart which is not physically visible, but is visible through my actions and activities.

As I spend time in the Word of God, He is shaping me and molding me to look more like Him than I currently look. I’m so thankful that He has saved me and is making me more like Him. All I must do is surrender to Him and then He gives me incredible freedom in return. I like the Lord’s mirror better than the ones I look at each day!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bold & Confident

 

I am bolder in some situations more so than in other situations. I think boldness comes from confidence. If I have confidence in my understanding of the situation, I will often feel bolder. I am growing in my understanding of how confident and bold I can be when I have the Presence of God in me. He listens to me when I call upon Him. He doesn’t always do things the way I would do them, but He ALWAYS listens when I pray. He ALWAYS comes when I call. I was reminded of how much the Lord gives me strength, poise and boldness when He comes. His Wisdom, His Strength, His Power is not matched by any education of workout regimen. King David was who he was because of his relationship with the Lord. Check this out…

When I called, you answered me;
    you greatly emboldened me.

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
    though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
    with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me;
    your love, Lord, endures for ever –
    do not abandon the works of your hands. (Psalm 138:3,6-8 NIV)

I don’t always understand God’s timing, but I’m learning to trust Heart without exception. He has a bigger plan than I can see or understand. I feel like I’m a “big picture” thinker, but when it comes to His ways, they blow past my finite ability to comprehend or grasp. I will simply trust Him. My trust in Him gives me confidence that He has got whatever comes. There is no need to stress on my part, I simply trust. I don’t need to wrestle the situation away from Him or try to take over for Him, He has more than enough expertise to handle ANYTHING that He is faced with. The stuff that surprises me NEVER surprises The Lord. He is not shocked by cancer, death or stupidity. I think they all hurt His heart because those things were not in His original design for humanity. In giving us freedom to accept or reject His way, we chose differently and that rebellion has changed everything.

I want to live for Him. I want to live my life committed to following Him. I want to choose Him the first thing every day. When He lives, and moves in me, I have a boldness and confidence that should not make sense to others. I would be comfortable dining with the president’s and princes, the wealthiest to the poorest because the Lord lives in me and He will help me through any situation or circumstance I’m faced with.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bravery

First RespondersWhen I see our first responders come upon a dangerous situation, they immediately go into this role of trying to remedy the situation for those who are threatened or in trouble. Whether it’s an accident where a person’s life is in grave danger or building that is on fire and someone needs rescue, they are very brave. They are also well trained in nearly every circumstance about how to respond bravely, but with knowledge and skill. I really have a lot of respect for our first responders and our law enforcement who put themselves in dangerous situations to save someone they often don’t know anything about other than they need saving at the moment.

David exhibits bravery when Saul threatened him. He and his men were fugitives from the king’s reach. While they were hiding out they heard of a situation where the Philistines threatened a town. Check this out…

1 When David was told, ‘Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing-floors,’ 2 he enquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’

The Lord answered him, ‘Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.’

3 But David’s men said to him, ‘Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!’

4 Once again David enquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, ‘Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.’ 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. (1 Samuel 23:1-5 NIV)

I admire David from many angles, but when told of this situation, his first response was to enquire of the Lord. He knew the secret of his success as a leader came from following the Lord. I also love his approachability when his men declared their fear, David went back to the Lord. His bravery came from the Presence of God in his life. This young man who sang songs to the Lord on his harp was also a brave warrior and in both situations, his confidence came from being in the Presence of God.

I needed this reminder today. I will not be afraid of any one or any think when the Lord is leading me. He gives me confidence I didn’t have. He gives me strength. He gives me peace. He gives me wisdom. He gives me discernment. There is nothing that I can face that scares the Lord. He is all knowing and He is over all things and He is in all things. His Presence in me is a big game changer in how I view the tasks that are before me. He instills confidence and bravery in my heart as I seek to live with His Presence in me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Brave

The word Courage riding an arrow over and overcoming Fear, representing the bravery and confidence needed to succeed and win in the face of your fears

I remember studying the American Indian culture when I was a young boy and discovering what a young brave was all about. The way I remember it was when a young Indian boy was about to become a man, he went into the countryside on his own for several days and survived by living off the land. He would come back and a ceremony took place to welcome him into manhood. My apologies to the Native Americans (aka American Indians) if I misspoke about this life changing process.

To be brave is to be courageous in the face of fear. I think the longer I walk with The Lord, the less fearful I become as to what anyone can do to me. His Presence gives me great courage and confidence to trust Him.

Jonathan, King Saul’s son, was at the camp with the Israelite army. They were across the way from an enemy outpost. Jonathan gives some thought to going over to them to mix it up a bit. Evidently he had to climb down a cliff on one side and go up a cliff on the other side.

6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, ‘Come; let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.’

7 ‘Do all that you have in mind,’ his armor-bearer said. ‘Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.’

8 Jonathan said, ‘Come on, then; we will cross over towards them and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, “Wait there until we come to you,” we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, “Come up to us,” we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.’ (1 Samuel 14:6-10 NIV)

This story reminds me of the simple act of trust in the Lord. Jonathan and his armor bearer actually start a series of events where the Israelites actually turn the tide and push back their enemies.

I need to be brave as I follow the Lord. His Presence in me makes me brave. I was reminded of this great song by Amanda Cook called: You Make Me Brave.

I stand before You now

The greatness of your renown

I have heard of the majesty and wonder of you

King of Heaven, in humility, I bow

As Your love, in wave after wave

Crashes over me, crashes over me

For You are for us

You are not against us

Champion of Heaven

You made a way for all to enter in

I have heard You calling my name

I have heard the song of love that You sing

So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore

Into Your grace

Your grace

You make me brave

You make me brave

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

You make me brave

You make me brave

No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

© 2014 Bethel Music

Pressing On!

Dwayne