Home

 

protected homeI am sort of a “home body”. I don’t mind short trips for vacation or brief business trips, but I really love coming home. Home represents my family and the main location of my life. I eat at home. I play at home. I hang out at home. I sleep at home. I learned a long time that home is wherever my family resides. I grew up in Kentucky and in some ways, that will always be home. I’ve been in Georgia for 31 years now and it is home.  I love it when my kids come home for a visit. So much of my life was built at home in Kentucky. I am still building my life at home in Georgia.

I started reading the Gospel of John this morning in the New Living Translation (NLT) and I loved how this translation stated that Jesus (The Word of God) came to earth and made His home here. Check this out…

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:14 NLT)

Jesus called this earth home for a season. It wasn’t His permanent home, but He was born of a virgin and reared in a carpenter shop. He really understands the stories and the struggles of our lives. He became a human – one of us.

As I go through my day today, I want to remember that He came here and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. Having Him in my heart has changed everything about my life. I want to love like He loves. I want to live like He lives. I want to give like He gives. I want to serve like He serves. He now lives in me by way of His Spirit. I want the Lord to make His home inside my heart. I want people who know me or meet me for the first time to see The Lord at home inside my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Home In My Heart

 

Young man suffering pain on his chest, isolated on whiteI’ve heard it said that “home is where the heart is”. This speaks to where I live. Wherever my family and I live is now home. I grew up calling Kentucky home as that is where I lived nearly 18 years of my early life. I’ve since lived in Tennessee and Georgia. In fact, I’ve lived in Georgia over 30 years of my life. I still call Kentucky home when I’m asking about family “back home”. Georgia is now my home and has been for a long time.

As I read in Psalm this morning about God making His home in Zion, I was reminded that He now makes my heart and the hearts of His people His home. Check this out…

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 ‘This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
    her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
    and her faithful people shall ever sing for joy.

17 ‘Here I will make a horn grow for David
    and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but his head shall be adorned with a radiant crown.’ (Psalm 132:13-18 NIV)

When Jesus came and conquered sin and death, He left us with the very Spirit of God to dwell in our hearts. There are churches being built where people gather to worship, but the Lord no longer dwells in temples made with hands, He dwells in our heart. I like how Paul describes it. Check this out…

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV)

I can live out my life in confidence that the Lord has made His home inside my heart. He directs me. He leads me. He settles my heart. His Presence in me gives me Power to combat temptation and sin that creeps in. He gives me strength that seems impossible and peace that is hard for others to understand. My heart is not His home – His dwelling place.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Pilgrimage

 

old life new lifeI have been on trips before, but I always return home. I don’t mind a little bit of travel, but it’s not nearly as fun without my family along. If I am gone more than 3 days, I start getting anxious to get home. I love my wife, my family, my simple home, my simple life. I really enjoy my work of serving people in one of the largest decisions of their lifetime – purchasing or selling their real estate. I tend to see my life more of a marathon than a sprint.

I was reading this beautiful Psalm written by the sons of Korah. It speaks for the dwelling place of God. It reads more like His dwelling place in a literal place, but because of Jesus, we know that God no longer dwells in temples made with human hands – He dwells inside the hearts of the people, He made, who welcome Him inside their heart. Check this out…

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.

Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

10 Better is one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.

12 Lord Almighty,

    blessed is the one who trusts in you. (Psalm 84:1-2, 3b-5, 10-12 NIV)

I remember singing a song years ago in worship that declared “one day in the house of God was better than a thousand elsewhere”. I’d rather be a greeter in God’s house than sitting at the largest board rooms advising CEO’s and Owners. I’d rather be a door holder in God’s house than the wealthiest guy on the planet.  This pilgrimage/journey with God changed the direction of my life years ago and the course has only gotten clearer as the days fly by on this earth. He offers hope and promise of eternal life. He also makes my life here more abundant and on purpose. My pilgrimage/journey with the Lord continues.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Here is the song I was speaking of: Better Is One Day

Dwelling Place

Human heart anatomy from a healthy bodyI enjoy a lot of things about my home, the place where live. I enjoy the comforts of home. I enjoy my home because it’s simple. I have some incredible memories in my home. This could end up being a long list.  I think home is so near to my heart because I’ve spent so much time there with the people I love the deepest. I see this emotion when someone has lived in the same home for years and they are now selling – the emotion is very strong. I do love where I live and feel blessed to call this place home.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord dwelt in a specific place. When the people of Israel were in the desert, they carried the tabernacle which served as a portable temple. They later built a huge temple in Jerusalem for God’s dwelling place. Then when Jesus comes onto the scene, He makes the new dwelling place of God inside the hearts of those who welcome Him. Now when I read in the Old Testament about the temple, I look at my heart as His temple. Check this out…

Within your temple, O God,
    we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
    your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
    your right hand is filled with righteousness.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    he will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:9-10,14 NIV)

I was reminded today of God’s dwelling place inside my heart. I have a role to play in making room in my heart for Him. I need to empty my heart of self so that He make me selfless. I need to empty my heart of me so I have more room for Him. The Lord loves it when I have plenty of room in my heart for Him to move and work. He loves to use me to encourage and inspire others. I can only do this when He’s in charge. The Lord wants to dwell in my heart completely so that His blood is running through me. He wants the deep fellowship that He & I share when He’s lives in me and is given complete control of my heart and therefore my life.

My life will look different and I should act different because He’s in my heart and I keep that in the forefront of my mind. My praise for Him comes out as He dwells within. I want Him to dwell in me until the very last breath I take.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Home

protected homeI’ve had the opportunity to travel some in my life. I actually enjoy going new places for a short period of time. I always miss my family, my chair, bed, my pillow – my routine. I traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to the REALTOR convention. I had the opportunity to meet with our two Senators from Georgia as well as our representatives. We talked a lot about life back home in Georgia. They were all very appreciative to see people from back home. One of our representatives is retiring after 12 years. He was glad to come home. I can definitely say that I had a great time, but coming home to my family Friday night was the best. I actually got to hold my grandson – it was very special just to be home.

King David is pretty much on his deathbed, but still very much the King of Israel. One of his sons, Adonijah decides to appoint himself as king. He starts building a coalition and leaves out some of the key players. He offers sacrifices and starts a pretty strong campaign. When Nathan the prophet alerts Bathsheba, then she tells the king. Her son Solomon was who David wanted to be king after him. After hearing what Adonijah is doing, David moves quickly to anoint Solomon as his heir to the throne. He puts him on the king’s donkey (motorcade) and they go through the city making the announcement. Adonijah was told what had happened. Check this out…

49 At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”

52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.” (1 Kings 1:49-53 NIV)

The Wisdom of Solomon is already starting to show in his response to his brother who really wanted to become king. I’m not sure Adonijah would have treated Solomon with the same kindness. I love what Solomon tells Adonijah when he’s brought to his presence. He tells him: “Go to your home”. I hear in those four words, I’m not going to punish you. I hear: “Go back to your normal life.” Home is the one place that I can retreat to no matter how things are going elsewhere. I believe that home is the best place for me to find rest for my mind and my body. I get to relax around my family and just “chill”.

I’m thankful to be home. I’m thankful for my home. I’m thankful for my family that makes my house a home. I’m thankful for The Lord Who is in charge of my home. There is no place I’d rather be than home.

I love this song by Phillip Phillips – called “HOME”.

Hold on to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

 

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble—it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

 

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

____________

On a side note… I think that’s the reason I love what I do as a REALTOR – helping people find their new home. If I’m helping someone sell; it’s usually in order to move to a new home. I see home as where my family is. If I lived in an apartment, townhouse or a mansion – as long as my family was there – it would be home.

One of these days I will be going to a new home – an eternal home. I have lots of family members who have already gone. That will be really special too – The Lord will be there too for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Visiting Home

Connected Families in NeighborhoodsI graduated Adair County High School in Columbia, Kentucky in May and left for college three months later in Knoxville, Tennessee. I can still remember those visits back home in Kentucky when I’d take a friend or two. I would introduce them to some “Kentucky cooking” from my Mom. My friends would get to meet my Mom, Dad and the rest of my family. I can also remember vividly when I would leave to go back to college and my Mom would weep. It always made me feel bad for her and I hated leaving. I know that my parents were supportive of what I was doing. It was hard to separate because it’d be a few weeks before I’d come home again.

I believe Samuel had a similar issue with his parents. After he was dedicated as a young boy to serve the Lord at the temple, he grew in wisdom, stature and maturity while serving the high priest. When the high priest died, Samuel was informally still serving. The Lord had Samuel lined up to be leader for quite some time. I believe Samuel still loved to see his parents too. Check this out…

15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 He went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord. (1 Samuel 7:15-17 NIV)

There is an old cliché that says: “Home is where your heart is”. I do agree with that but it’s missing some pieces… My family fills my heart. I loved going home to Kentucky because my Mom and Dad were there. I also loved visiting with my grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. My parents were the main reason I visited home. I think Samuel visited his home each year to see is dear mother and his dad.

Fast forward 30 years and my youngest brother and I started trying to figure out how to get our parents to move closer to us so that they would have our help in the sunset years of their lives. They’ve lived in Georgia nearly 10 years. I’ve had the opportunity to help many times. I’m so thankful that they live close by. Now if I could get all my kids and grand kids closer…

I believe that family can really help us stay grounded. Being close to my parents and my wife’s parents simple settles my heart on so many levels. I believe that God’s heart is for family. He felt it important enough that one of the 10 Commandments addressed it. Check this out…

‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16 NIV)

I’m so grateful for the heritage of faith that was passed on to me by my family. That family includes my extended family of grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to have my parents and my wife’s parents close by to stay connected, to serve and to love for the rest of their lives.

Pressing On!

Dwayne