Secrets Revealed

Top secret stampI have learned over the years to keep my mouth closed on lots of topics. I know things about some people that should not be shared. I have been in the position to learn secrets that would destroy relationships and really harm lots of people if shared. I have also learned the value of having a confidant that I can share my struggles, confess my sin or share my deepest joys with. I can only imagine what it might be like to be in the CIA, FBI, NSA or Secret Service and know some of the stuff that they must keep secret. In fact, my using these acronyms might flag this post to make sure I’m not a terrorist.  The best kept secret is one that is never repeated or shared with anyone.  Jesus is speaking to His disciples and He reminds them that what they do in secret will one day come to light. Check this out…

The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!

“Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear. (Luke 12:2-5 NLT)

When I read this passage, I was reminded that when you run for political office in our country, your life is searched for any little nugget of a secret unrevealed so that the opponent can have the “upper hand”.  We’ve had good candidates brought down by secrets revealed that happened when they were in college that very few knew about. We had some candidates own their secrets, while others deny that the event in question ever happened. I remember telling one of my kids, that if you are where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you don’t have to worry about being in trouble with me. It’s when you deceive and lie that you get in trouble with me. My Mom used to remind me that there was always someone watching me.

I want the activities of my life to be known by the Lord. There may be some secrets kept in order to prevent others from stumbling because of the freedoms that I have. I want to always be ready to explain what I’m doing and where I’m at to anyone who asks. I’m accountable for every action before the Lord. I’m also accountable for my activities before my wife and my family.

Most secrets will eventually come to light – it’s important that I live in such a way that the Lord is honored by the activities of my life. I am who I am and you are free to examine my somewhat simple life as I seek to honor God with my daily choices and decisions that ultimately make up my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Called Out

 

Why MeI’ve been “called out” because I’ve done something wrong or stupid. It’s another example of accountability. It’s not pleasant being called out, but it is sometimes necessary. I can’t always see my actions from the proper perspective. I’ve given several people in my life permission to “call me out” if I do something stupid or wrong. My wife has called me out on many occasions for sure. I have close friends who do the same. I seek counsel in areas that my knowledge and experience are lacking so that I won’t be “called out” later. I see law enforcement as “calling me out” if I’m speeding or pushing the limits of the law.

I am a follower of the Lord and I have made a commitment to follow Him. I want my life to honor Him. I am trying to live by the call of the Lord on my life. I want him to prompt the little decisions in my life as well as monumental decisions that I face.

I started reading 1st Peter this morning and I love his perspective because He walked with Jesus and saw His life and ministry up close and personal. Check this out…

Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

13 Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:8-9,13-16 CSB)

I’m facing everyday decisions with Him directing me and prompting me. I have ignored Him at times and regretted it. I have pushed back or ignored being called out and held accountable. I have been humbled and convicted of my sin. I want to walk humbly before the Lord every day asking for His counsel on the smallest daily decisions. I want His help as a Christian. I want His help as a husband. I want His help as a Dad. I want His help as friend. I want His help as a REALTOR.  I am open to be called out by people who know me and love me deeply. If you feel like you need to ask me about decisions that I make I want to always be willing to explain why I do what I do or say what I say. The Word of God often calls me out- I’m open to others close to me calling me out as well.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Decision

I have seen people who are usually wise and discerning making some of the dumbest decisions when they were in different circumstances. The circumstances can range from incredibly angry to stupid drunk and everything in between. Decisions need to made with good information.

Decisions often need to be made in a timely manner.

Decisions need to be made when completely sober, alert and attentive.

King Xerxes, King of Persia threw a 6-month celebration showing off the wealth and the advancement of his kingdom. He closed out the celebration with a 7 day banquet/feast and had an open bar. Anyone could drink as much as they wanted, including the king. (He could drink like this anytime – after all he is the king!) The story picks up with the king being inebriated and making a decision. Check this out…

10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him – Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas – 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger. (Esther 1:10-12 NIV)

This simple explanation of Queen Vashti doesn’t give out a lot of information about her. I tend to make some assumptions at this point. Was the king asking her to come before him partially clothed or not clothed at all? Was she really shy? It’s hard to understand her position in this, but I suspect it has something to do with the king being in “high spirits from wine”. The king then seeks council (again while he’s still “under the influence”) from his advisors. We don’t know if they were also drinking, but they gave him counsel on how to remove the queen from her position and replace her. I end up feeling empathy for Queen Vashti even though I know nothing about her, it feels as if she was disrespected by the king and then when she “pushed back”, she was “pushed out”. I think that the presence of alcohol has a lot to do with this incident. Brad Paisley recorded a song called “Alcohol” and it carries some truth for sure when the substance is over used or even abused. The lyrics to the song are here.

I think I’d be wise to have a healthy respect for alcohol and it ability to alter perception. I could give case after case where peoples lives where changed by it’s presence – and not in a good way. I’m not advocating abstinence, but I am certainly advocating incredible restraint and caution. In the book of Esther, the Lord is about to do something amazing through this crazy story of a drunken king. The Lord makes beauty come from ashes all the time, I’m trying hard not to create my own “ashes”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

LOTtery

 

LotteryThere are times when you have 5 prizes and you have 20 people who are eligible to win. The lottery method is probably the most balanced approach in that everyone has a chance to win. Just put their names in a bowl (or hat) and pull 5 names out to determine the winners. The Lottery has become a pretty big deal here where I live. The most recent Powerball was a record pot. The odds of winning were like 1 in 292M.

When dividing the Promised Land up among the 12 tribes of Israel, they did most all of it by lot (aka Lottery). Check this out…

49 When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, 50 as the Lord had commanded. They gave him the town he asked for – Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he built up the town and settled there.

51 These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel assigned by lot at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And so they finished dividing the land. (Joshua 19:49-51 NIV)

I’ve seen people who’ve won big money only to squander it with poor decisions and undisciplined behavior. I’ve also seen people who were incredibly smart in handling the huge blessing of wealth. They seek wisdom and council from trusted advisors and therefore they are still wealthy and they can pass that blessing on to generations to come.

I don’t always understand the “Lot” system in scripture. It is used quite a bit and it seems to have the stamp of approval from the Lord. I believe that the Lord can orchestrate and do anything He wants. I’ve never really asked the Lord to help me win the Lottery. First off, I don’t play it. (I have chipped in a couple of bucks to an office pool.) Second, it violates a principle of getting something for nothing. I don’t want to live my life hoping to “hit it big”, when I’m really blessed “big” already!

I’ve said it before that I need to learn to play the hand I’ve been dealt. I shouldn’t wish for what someone else has or covet their possessions. I need to learn contentment and fulfillment with my position in this world. That’s not to say that I’m not working to earn more money to position myself stronger financially. I believe that work comes before success – except in the dictionary.

I want to continually ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment as I live, work and play. I want to trust Him with the outcome of my ideas. I’m not leaving them to chance when He is in the drivers seat. The outcome will be just what He wants. He gives my ideas to me in the first place – He built me, wired me and He blesses me. I’m putting my “Lot” in completely with Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Either Or

JesusI face choices every day of my life. In fact there are many choices to be made throughout each day. Some choices I make early in the day affect the entire outcome of my day. Other choices seem insignificant, but those choices can have consequences for years to come.  I want to be a good “chooser” or decision maker. I want to make the right choice more often than I make the wrong choice.

I believe all of life hinges on one choice – to accept or reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Everything else in insignificant compared to that choice. Some choices are much bigger than others, but no other choice I face in life supersedes that one.  Check this out….

8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.
10 “If anyone is to go into captivity,

    into captivity they will go.

If anyone is to be killed with the sword,

    with the sword they will be killed.”
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. (Revelation 13:8-10 NIV)

I want to stay focused on following the Lord. I don’t any choice I make today to chip away at my first choice to follow Him. I want to be alert to the activity of the enemy and push him off. I want the ears of my heart to hear what the Lord wants me to hear. I want the windows of my soul (my eyes) to see His way and have the courage to walk in that. I want my feet to go where He leads. I think it comes down to either or. I am either following Jesus or I’m following the enemy. There is no in between.

Pressing On!
Dwayne