Debate

 

Mother scolding her sonI think “debate” is another form of argument. I don’t remember winning any “debates” with my parents when I was growing up. I knew that “yes” meant Yes and “no” meant No! I do remember thinking I knew way more than my parents from a fairly young age. I remember getting my Grandpa (aka Pappy) a card once that said: “The older I get the smarter you get” (paraphrased I’m sure). My Pappy loved the card and beamed. He knew that I was finally getting wise to some insights that I needed to become an adult.

I came across a passage this morning that made me chuckle a bit, because of the truth taught in the passage. Check this out…

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
    Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
    ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
    ‘How clumsy can you be?’ (Isaiah 45:9 NLT)

I must confess that this made me smile to think about an inanimate object arguing back about how I make the handle on the cup that I’m molding out of clay. I also chuckled as I thought about a child calling out their parents about why they were made this way or that way. I must confess that on more than one occasion, I’ve instructed God on what I thought He should do. I’ve learned that if I come to Him in humility and respect that He actually cares what I think and how I feel. I can’t always understand His decisions or His way of doing things, but at the end of the day, I trust Him. I’ve always wanted and tried to do what is best for my children, but they sometimes couldn’t see it that way.

I’ve walked with the Lord through enough suffering and struggle to know that He never leaves me alone – He is ALWAYS near. He gives me strength needed to push through the struggle and suffering so that He is honored. I must look at my suffering and struggle through His perspective and not my own. He may be building something into my life that is needed in the years to come. He sees the whole picture and I just see one little snippet of the big picture.

I’ve stopped debating the Lord about anything. I do still share with Him my opinions and feelings on a diverse set of topics. I also do so with respect and reverence. I’ve learned that He is a Great Listener. Sometimes in my conversations with Him, the light bulb comes on and I get it. My conversations with Him are more for me than for Him – He grows me through my questions and conversations with Him. At the end of everything, I trust Him. Even when I don’t understand, I trust Him. I trust the Heart of God in everything.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Inspiration

Grace AND Truth

I am inspired by the stories of people who have gone before me. I am reading a book called “The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965” It is about the long and storied history of Churchill’s leadership during the World War II era. The hardship that he and the people of England faced was very hard and very real, but they emerged in great strength through the hardships. Churchill was an inspirational leader. He was a motivator. He was a thinker. He had his weird moments. He inspired others by his speeches, writings, but most of all his leadership. Great leaders inspire others to follow their lead.

The Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy is encouraging his young protégé by writing to remind Timothy of his journey thus far. It is often helpful to reflect on where we’ve been to truly appreciate where we are today. Paul closes out one of the chapters by reminding Timothy that tough times are ahead. He reminds him that there will be opposition and persecution. He gives some strong counsel to Timothy in the face of trouble. These words inspired me many years ago and I was reminded of the significance of The Word as I read these words. Check this out…

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 CSB)

I think I was around 14 years of age when I gave my first message to the little church I grew up attending in Casey Creek, KY. I remember being encouraged by this passage of scripture that talks about its value to my life. I can’t say that I had a daily discipline of reading scripture every day, but I am thankful that the Lord spoke into my heart and used His Word to build me and equip me for whatever was ahead for me. My journey has most definitely had struggles and hardship, but God’s Word kept speaking into my life. The Word teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains me. I am inspired to keep reading The Word as I live out my life, because I feel Him speak directly into my heart. Reading His Word daily doesn’t make me anyone special, but I’m reminded and inspired to keep surrendering my heart to Him and the peace that only He can give settles into my soul.

I want to live my life inspired by God’s Word. I want to lead my family inspired by God’s Word. I want my career to continually be inspired by God’s Word – His character, His Wisdom for my life. The journey of my life has been profoundly influenced and directed by my daily discovery of God’s heart found in scripture

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Dwelling Place

protected homeI live in a pretty simple house built by a friend some 21 years ago. It is significantly simpler than houses that I list and sell every day. I do love my simple house and my ordinary life. I do not seek fame, although I once did. I would like to continue to build a life that honors the Lord and I am building resources that I can honor the Lord with as well as my family. The house I live in is not my dwelling place. It is temporary occupancy for the past 21 years. The Lord is preparing an eternal home that is not stick built on a basement. He is building my eternal home.

Moses pens a Psalm that really gives some perspective to this whole conversation about our heavenly home while we’re here on earth. Check this out…

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:1-2,12,17 NIV)

I want to live in the Presence of God and He wants to live inside my heart. I can’t always grasp this concept. I get busy with my everyday life and work. There are times that I ignore the Presence of God in me. I need to take a few minutes each morning to ask for the favor of God upon my life. I need to take a few minutes each day to seek a heart of wisdom. I need to take a few minutes each day to recognize the dwelling place of God and His story that has become my story. I really want my simple life to bring honor and glory to the Famous On. I don’t need recognition or fame – I just want my life and journey to give Him recognition and fame. He has done all the “heavy lifting” in my life to make me who I am.

I don’t have to step outside of “my dwelling place” or outside the “favor of God” to become successful and significant. I become successful and significant only when He’s in charge of my life.  I want His favor and His wisdom to wash all over my heart and my life. I want my dwelling place to be the heart of God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

King Of My Heart

Royal Gold CrownI grew up in the USA where we elected our President, Senate & Representatives. We did not have a system where the king is in charge and if you didn’t like his policies – oh well. If we didn’t like the way a president led our country, we would vote him out at the next election. I’m fascinated by the monarch system, but I’m glad we don’t have it here in the USA.

As I read scripture, I am under a monarch system. The Lord God is King over all the earth. He created all we see and know. Everything on earth can be traced back to Him. He is the only One who make something out of nothing. He

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter. (Psalm 74:12, 15-17 NIV)

God is the Supreme King over all the earth and He wants to be King of My Heart. He wants to take possession of my heart to make it compassionate, kind, full of love and grace – just like His heart.  He wants me to surrender my heart to His heart every day and in every situation I face. This made me think of one of current favorite songs by John Mark McMillan & Sarah McMillan called King of My Heart.

Let the king of my heart

Be the mountain where I run

The fountain I drink from

He is my song

Let the king of my heart

Be the shadow where I hide

The ransom for my life

He is my song

Let the king of my heart

Be the wind inside my sails

The anchor in the waves

He is my song

Let the king of my heart

Be the fire inside my veins

The echo of my days

He is my song

You’re never gonna let me down.

__________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Giving Angle

 

The Power of Sharing Billboard Message Donate Give Help OthersI’ve seen people who are amazing givers. They are wired to give of their time, their money but most importantly – themselves. These givers are generous from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. People who give generously really love deeply. God loves generous givers because it’s part of Who He is.

Moses is finished setting up the tabernacle (aka tent of worship) and the leaders of each of the 12 family tribes brings gifts to the Lord in celebration of what He’s doing among them. Their gifts included silver plates, silver bowls, silver ladles and animals for burnt offering. The Lord was pleased with their giving. Now Moses enters the most holy place. Check this out…

89 When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him. (Numbers 7:89 NIV)

I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but I’ve felt Him speak into my heart. In fact I believe the more I seek His heart, the more Present He becomes in my heart. I think it’s interesting that after Moses consecrates the tabernacle and the people give, He goes in to meet with God and hears Him speak.

I am really like God when I give generously and lavishly. He is so very generous in His giving to me. I could never out give Him. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I notice His giving – it’s in His DNA. I believe He wants giving to be in my DNA. Giving gives me an angle to see things from that I can’t get any other way. I believe that the Lord can lead and speak to me in many ways, but giving sets me up to hear clearly from Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Prophet

 

Survey or QuestionnaireI’ve had a deep respect for the Word of God since I was a young man. I remembered reading the names of people I couldn’t pronounce. I remember being a bit freaked out at the prophets and how they foretold things that were coming. As a youngster I couldn’t wrap my head around how they knew what was coming.

I began the book of Amos this morning and right out of the gate I discover that he’s a shepherd from Tekoa and his name means “burden bearer” and he was called to be a spokesman for God. Here is a regular guy called to speak about things that are about to happen way before they happen. Check this out….

1 The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa – the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel. (Amos 1:1 NIV)

There are many self-proclaimed prophets today. I’m not always sure that they are speaking the Lord’s word or their own. I suspect that it’s pretty difficult to discern when a person’s opinion comes out at “this is what the Lord says.” In the New Testament Jesus spoke of prophets from the Lord and He called out false prophets. I believe it’s important to be discerning when trusting a self-proclaimed prophet. John gives us a plan to “test the prophet”. Check this out…

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. (1 John 4:1-6 NIV)

Another more practical way to test a prophet is if what they say prophesy comes true that is certainly an important part in trying to discern if their message is from the Lord or from their opinion.

This is not easy – I do believe that the Lord will NOT contradict His Word through prophets of today. If prophets today speak something that is contrary to His Word, I believe they’re a false prophet. I will do my best to study the Word of God and seek His Heart in order to hear Him and know Him. I trust His Word over people who interpret or speak of or about His Word. I am not a prophet – just a follower of Jesus who wants to know Him more with each passing day. The words I write here are simply how His Word speaks to my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne