Awestruck

 

Happy surprised manThis to me is a speechless, incredible and overwhelming moment of admiration or inspiration. I do remember occasionally as a kid being amazed at certain people and their talents or gifts. As I got older, I’m harder to impress. Occasionally, I am blown away by something or someone. The more I study the life of Jesus, I think I would have been awestruck quite often to see His healing power and to hear His teaching first-hand.

Luke’s gospel is written very precise as Luke is a physician. I love how he tells the different events that happened in Jesus’ life and ministry. On one occasion, the crowd was so big by the Sea of Galilee, that Jesus got in a boat and pushed out a bit to teach. It was Simon Peter’s boat, so I’m guessing that Peter was in the boat with him. Check this out…

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:4-11 NLT)

This was the beginning of a long and storied journey of Peter following Jesus. I often give Peter a hard time about being so impulsive and quick when studying the disciples, but it’s hard to argue with his passion for following Jesus.

Peter was awestruck by what Jesus did for him. His partners, James, John and brother Andrew were amazed as well. They left everything and followed Jesus.

I still have a good memory of times when I’ve been amazed and awestruck by something the Lord did in my life. I’ve seen His work first-hand. I’ve never visually laid eyes on Him, but His Presence is a powerful moment and impossible to go unnoticed. I want to walk with the Lord daily and notice His Presence and His Power in my every day, regular life. I am empowered by His Presence. I feel confident and courageous with His Spirit in me. I don’t want to miss what He’s doing in my world.  I want His help being a husband, Dad, friend & REALTOR. He can help me encourage and inspire others. He is awe-inspiring to me and I want others to notice that He is with me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Different Code of Conduct

Moving escalator stairs, love hate signI recently returned to work after a time of vacation. I must say that I did have a relaxing time with my family. My work can sometimes demand my immediate attention and at other times it rocks on smoothly. The biggest challenge in most of our lives are not necessarily with technology or certain products – our challenge is dealing with people and the different personality and perspective of others.

I must say that I was really ticked off the other day when another agent and I were really trying to work through a misunderstanding of our clients. I was really frustrated and my blood pressure was up. After getting off the phone, I remembered that I somehow must display genuine love and not speak the things that were going through my mind. That doesn’t mean I back down from my position on behalf of my client – it does mean that I stay in control of “output mechanism” (aka my mouth!) when engaging the other person.

This morning I came across a short two verses under the heading of “Final Exhortations” in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. Check this out…

13 Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

(1 Corinthians 16:13-14 CSB)

I can be alert.

I can stand firm in the faith – most of the time.

I can be courageous.

I can be strong.

That part about “do everything in love” really pushed on me. I don’t want to love people who are being total jerks toward me or my client. I don’t want to love people who try to harm me in business. I don’t want to love people who talk negatively about me and don’t have the courage to speak with me personally. My flesh wants to take over my heart on this topic. There are some people who are hard to love and there are others who are so sweet, genuine and kind that are easy to love. Paul used that word “everything” which left no exceptions. I can’t “do everything in love” only to the people who are easy – I must learn to “do everything in love” to those who are hard to love as well.

Today is a new day! I’m thankful to recall a passage from the prophet Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations. Check this out…

22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:22-23 CSB)

I will love even when it’s hard because Jesus loves me even when I’m an idiot or jerk. I don’t deserve the love and kindness of the Lord, but He gives it. I really want to learn to love like Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Courageous

Courage Vs. Fear Bowling Ball Strike Pins BraveryThis word is a derivative of the word courage which is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” There are many examples in our world today of people who are very courageous. I believe to be a first responder; you have to have great courage. I also believe to serve in the military; courage is a fundamental “must have”. When fighting against cancer, great courage is really important. I feel like my courage has grown significantly over the years as I walk out my faith in the Lord. He has inspired me profoundly. He has spoken great truth into my life. He has walked with me through valleys that were very deep and dark. His Presence in me has made me courageous.

I love the story of Micaiah when he was asked to address King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah and give them counsel from the Lord before fighting against Ramoth Gilead. He was one of at least 400 other prophets who was asked to give the kings counsel. Check this out…

11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.” (2 Chronicles 18:11-13 NIV)

I would love to meet this guy Micaiah. He was courageous and stood strong on the truth that came from the Lord. He was unpopular but he was correct. It turned out that Ahab did die in the fight against Rahab Gilead just as Micaiah had predicted. It takes great courage to “go against the flow”, but when it’s the right thing to do there is no other option for a courageous Christian. I thought about the movie Courageous where four men protected the citizens from harm, but it was even more courageous of them to raise their families to know the Lord.

The title song has solid content about what it means to be courageous. There were some lines from this song that spoke to my heart. Casting Crowns is the artist performing the song here.

…….The only way we’ll ever stand

Is on our knees with lifted hands

Make us courageous

Lord, make us courageous

 

This is our resolution

Our answer to the call

We will love our wives and children

We refuse to let them fall

 

We will reignite the passion

That we buried deep inside

May the watchers become warriors

Let the men of God arise…

I want to be a courageous follower of God. I want to live by the truth and values found in the Word of God. I want to follow Him even when it’s unpopular or I’m in the minority. I want the courage inside my heart to continue to grow as I choose to follow Him again today.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Strong & Courageous

 

Man praying with the BibleI’ve learned the hard way that being strong doesn’t have a lot to do with my physical strength – it’s inner strength. Being Courageous is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear”. I believe both these words are character qualities of the heart and mind that are displayed outwardly and visibly.

Joshua epitomizes these two words in my view. This young man was the protégé of one of the godliest men on earth – Moses. Joshua became the leader to succeed Moses in leading the nation of Israel. After a time of mourning, the Lord started everyone moving, including Joshua. The Lord gives quite a “pep talk” to His young leader. Check this out…

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: 2 ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites.

5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

7 ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:1-2; 5-9 NIV)

Strength and Courage point me back to the Lord. He is my Source of all that I am and all that I possess. I believe that as I walk with Him through His Word, He reveals more of Himself to me so that He becomes more and I become less. These few verses are very inspirational to me because they come from the heart of God. He loves this people and He’s delivering on a promise that He made to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob many years before. This young leader, Joshua needed just what the Lord was speaking into him.

Being strong and courageous in God’s economy is about dependence and trust upon God. It is not about mental strength and self-help. I believe that a person can appear weak on the outside, but actually be incredibly strong and full of courage inside. I think it’s a bad idea to “judge a book by its cover”. Inner strength is invisible until the action takes place. I’ve seen people say they are strong and courageous only to seem them cower and hide when the heat is on. I love the way the Lord installs His young new leader. The Lord promises His Presence. The Lord requires obedience. The Lord promises Joshua prosperity and success. I believe the success and prosperity that came with this promise wasn’t about possessions and power – it was about position in the Kingdom. The Lord always promotes His leaders based on the inner devotion of ones heart and not their appearance. The Lord always starts with the heart and works His way out from there. I want to be strong and courageous because of my dependence upon the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne