Let’s Get Together

I love connecting with my family and friends. I generally like people, for the most part. I have met some people that were difficult to get along with. I struggle with people who are rude and have a condescending attitude toward me or others. I struggle with people who are arrogant and “snooty”. I am drawn to people who are humble and full of kindness. I also like people who are unselfish and interested in others instead of only talking about themselves.

Jesus spoke to His disciples plainly about relationships inside the church. He gave them instructions about dealing with disputes and broken relationships. He had just advised them that the greatest in the kingdom is like a humble little child. He then gives one more additional thought that I really needed. Check this out…

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19-20 NLT)

I have a few friends that I like to connect with on a regular basis. We often gather over coffee and catch up with one another. I find it relaxing to enjoy some coffee and conversation. It’s crucial to be open and vulnerable with the truth. I’m not trying to protect my image, I’m really wanting to continue building a deeper relationship where The Lord is at the center.  Jesus takes it a step farther and says that when two or three gather together, He is among us. He also says that if we pray about something in agreement, our Father in heaven will do it for us. I want to make sure that I’m asking others to join me in prayer. It’s way more powerful when lots of us pray.

I think our gatherings on Sunday at church are really important for prayer, praise, & preaching and teaching. I want to know more about the Lord. Others perspective about a passage of the Bible that we read together can be very insightful. Life is much better if we make connections with others and join together in prayer and Bible study.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Surround

Smiling manI have believed for many years that a wise leader will surround themselves with wise people. It could be argued that if a smart man surrounded himself with idiots, he would then become one. I do believe that our environment has influence upon us, maybe not to that extreme!

When I’m watching TV and the police surround the place where the perpetrator is, you know it’s just about over, unless he had an escape route planned via tunnel. At night when I set the alarm system of my home, I feel like I’m surrounded with some level of protection. I would probably feel a lot safer, if I had secret service level of protection. The Psalmist writes about the Lord’s protection. Check this out…

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
    which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people
    both now and for evermore. (Psalm 125:1-2 NIV)

I feel safe surrounded by the Lord.

I feel protected surrounded by the Lord.

I feel loved surrounded by the Lord.

The Lord’s surround protection works in two ways. He protects me from enemies coming in to attack and He prompts me when I’m stepping outside His protection.

I’m also part of Southern Hills Christian Church and I feel a level of protection from my fellow followers of the Lord. I find encouragement in these surroundings. I find inspiration from my brothers and sister in the Lord. I was also reminded of a passage in Hebrews. Check this out…

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)

I’m surrounded by the Presence of God.

I’m surrounded by the People of God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Therapeutic Prayer

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere have been times in my prayer life that as I heard my prayer out loud, I saw and felt it quite differently. I pray mostly with unspoken words. I do believe that prayer feels different when spoken aloud. I will often pray aloud when I’m alone with the Lord.

In Job’s first response to one of his friends he speaks about his situation and I think he’s addressing the Lord directly. Woven throughout this story is the depth of the Lord’s relationship with Job. Check this out…

7 Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;

    my eyes will never see happiness again.

8 The eye that now sees me will see me no longer;

    you will look for me, but I will be no more.

9 As a cloud vanishes and is gone,

    so one who goes down to the grave does not return.

10 He will never come to his house again;

    his place will know him no more.

11 ‘Therefore I will not keep silent;

    I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,

    I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

17 ‘What is mankind that you make so much of them,

    that you give them so much attention,

18 that you examine them every morning

    and test them every moment? (Job 7:7-11; 17-19 NIV)

I can feel the angst in Job’s spirit as these words flow off the page. I can feel his sense of loss and trying to understand why he’s in this situation. In the midst of crisis, I found great peace and comfort in prayer. I can be clueless as to what the next move should be, but I’m determined to be led by the Lord whatever that move may be.

I also find great comfort from the Word of God. As I journey through Job, I realize that my sufferings and struggles feel quite small. This man Job was really “put through the ringer”. His question about mankind was also very revealing of his relationship with the Lord. It was a daily examination of his heart and he walked with the Lord each moment. Job is an example of tight fellowship with the Lord.

I would be wise to view today as an integral part of my journey with the Lord. If there are not big events, I will simply walk with Him and be thankful for this day. I will welcome Him to examine my heart as I walk through this day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne