Honorable

Honesty Sincerity Integrity Virtues Reputation Megaphone BullhorI really like this word. It is a word that has become a mantra that I want to live by. The word honor brings with it high respect, distinguished, distinction & consistent. To be honorable is to cultivate a lifestyle with these characteristics. My heart was moved when Paul tells the church at Corinth about being honorable. Check this out….

 21 We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable. (2 Corinthians 8:21 NLT)

Paul writes this when he and his companions were trusted with handling the offering given from other churches. I believe handling someone else’s money requires great care and great systems of protection in place. I learned early in my real estate career how important trust is in this field. When there is a lot at stake, I want the most trustworthy and honorable person possible assisting me.  I believe Christ followers should be above reproach, honest and honorable.  I’m going to let this small verse settle into my heart. This is part of my personal mission statement. Several years ago I put my mission statement into writing. I now use it in my email signature.

My Mission Statement

It is my mission to serve others with the highest professional care and skill while upholding the highest of ethical and moral standards. My highest goal is to honor God in all I do and that includes serving you.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Straight Obedience

Teenage girl in trouble with parentsI will obey, but I might not like it. I remember letting my parents know if I didn’t like it. I have learned in my journey with the Lord that He really likes obedience. He wants me to obey without question. I can hardly imagine the obedience that Joseph was called too. His fiancé turns up pregnant prior to their marriage. She swears that she has remained pure. He has a dream. Check this out…

19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:19-21,24-25 NLT)

I believe that the Lord had rather have my obedience than any offerings or gifts I give. He would rather have my obedience than my worship. My worship is empty and meaningless, if I’m not walking in obedience. (I have been guilty of this for sure.) The Lord wants my obedience above anything I could offer or do.

I love Joseph’s obedience to the angel’s command. The world is different because of Joseph’s obedience. I’m sure that God would have found another way, but He didn’t have to. Joseph obeyed and honored the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Trust Him To Build My Life

Trust with blue markerI want to be trusted. In fact, the subtitle of my REALTOR title is to be a “trusted advisor”. I must maintain integrity, honesty and honor to be trusted. Included in this description is competency. I must know what I’m doing. I must do what I say I’ll do and be who I say I am. I am continually building my business and it’s all based on these deep values. I take keeping other’s trust very seriously.

Jesus takes trust very seriously as well. He compels me to trust Him. I came across a small passage of scripture that I’m not sure I’ve ever noticed before involving trust. Check this out…

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. (John 2:23-24 NLT)

I read this and I began to wonder if the Lord trusts me. I do trust Him. I do try to order my life around His call upon my heart. I don’t think I’ve ever wondered if the Lord trusts me. I been overly concerned about my trusting Him. I want to be one of His trusted friends. I am Dad to five amazing kids. It is interesting to watch them grow and try things. It’s comical to think of the things that they tried that were wrong, but they tried to “get away with it”. It is a huge blessing to be able to put my trust in them. They are go where they say they are going. They give me reason to trust them. Yes, I’ve had trust with them broken.

Building trust is a delegate work in progress. It can take years to build and a millisecond to destroy. I want to keep building my life on the foundation of trust in the Lord. I love this song recorded at Passion 2017. It was written by Pat Barrett, Karl Martin, Matt Redman, Brett Younker.

Build My Life

Worthy of every song we could ever sing

Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring

Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe

We live for You

Jesus, the name above every other name

Jesus, the only one who could ever save

Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe

We live for You

Holy, there is no one like You

There is none beside You

Open up my eyes in wonder

Show me who You are

And fill me with Your heart

And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love

It is a firm foundation

I will put my trust in You alone

And I will not be shaken

________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rich VS Poor

 

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I believe that these two terms are relative terms. I know people who are wealthy (aka rich), but who are poor in spirit. They are miserable. Their wealth did not lift their spirits at all. I also know people who are on the poverty line who are full of joy and peace. They would probably like to have more money, but they find joy in the little things of life. For some reason, it seems that our culture gravitates to the wealthy instead of the poor. I believe it’s because we think the rich will share their wealth, while the poor have very little excess to share with anyone. I came across a passage in James and it hit me that I really do show favoritism to the rich. Check this out…

1My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor person dressed in filthy clothes also comes in, if you look with favor on the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor person, “Stand over there,” or “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,” haven’t you made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? (James 2:1-5 CSB)

People who are wealthy know lots of others who are wealthy. They also know others who have more money than they have. Poor people know others who are poor and especially the ones who have less money than them. I see money as a medium. It doesn’t do anything except what it’s told to do. It’s like planting seed in the soil – whatever seed is planted is what comes up. The soil was a medium. It can grow kudzu or it can grow grass.

I felt deep conviction after reading this today, because I find myself passing judgement on others based on how they carry themselves, how they dress, the type of car they have or how nice of a house they live in. This is a dangerous behavior. James goes on to say that this is “straight up” sin. I am passing judgement on someone’s worth based on their bank account rather than their heart.

The Lord is way more concerned with my heart and my obedience than the size of my bank accounts. In fact, I believe the Lord is drawn to the poor – Jesus was born to a Carpenter (blue collar) and visited by shepherds (blue collar) and wise men (white collar). Look at the disciples that Jesus called to serve alongside Him…. They were fishermen, tax collectors – very ordinary people who I would contend didn’t have a lot of material possessions or money.

I want to be wealthy in spiritual values. When I’m blessed with material wealth, I want to invest it in His Kingdom and people made in the image of God. I’m seeing forgiveness when I’ve made my life about me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

One-Sided Relationships

quarreled couple in their living roomI remember as a kid sending a note to this cute girl asking her if she would “go with me”. I also knew how to get other friends to “set me up” with the girl I was interested in. I’m not sure we went anywhere. I remember some childhood girlfriends and I’m sure I got hurt in that process as well as I inflicted hurt on others.  I believe that divorce is the result of a one-sided relationship. For a relationship to go sideways, it only takes one participate to start being selfish or self-absorbed.

Relationships are delicate and sometimes difficult. If a relationship is one-sided, someone is a doormat and getting used. Relationships are God’s idea and He built us for relationship. The Lord created us for relationship with Him and with others. He longs for fellowship with us – His kids. He also created us for fellowship with one another. Paul is trying to restore his relationship with the Corinthian church. Even relationship with our pastor and teachers need to be reciprocal to be healthy. Check this out…

 11 We have spoken openly to you, Corinthians; our heart has been opened wide. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 I speak as to my children; as a proper response, open your heart to us. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 CSB)

As my kids were growing up, we had lots of discussions about relationships. I talked to my sons about how to treat a young lady. I want there to be respect and honor “built-in” to those relationships. I believe that trust and respect are foundational to building a life-long relationship in any arena. If I can’t trust you, we will only be “casual friends”.  Some of my deepest relationships over the years have been with friends that also believe in God and want to walk with Him.  Relationships begin with something in common and builds from there. My faith is a huge part of my life and I have an immediate connection with others who are Christ followers too.

One-sided relationships are painful and expensive. They cost more than money. Their expenses are too numerous to mention, but I’ve almost lost myself in broken relationships. I also believe that there are ALWAYS two-sides to the story of a broken relationship. I’ve learned to enter new relationships with a lot of grace and truth. I am willing to work on building a relationship, but I’m not willing to do all the work.  My relationship with God don’t “require” a lot of work, because He did all the “heavy lifting”. If my relationship with God is going to work, I must invest myself into it. Someone spelled love TIME. I spend time investing in the relationships I love. It can be said that I love what I invest my time in.

I am a “people person”, but with loving deeply, I can be hurt deeply. I try to show patience and understanding. I have decided that I will only invest “lightly” in one-sided relationships. I will continue to love others, but I will pull back on my time-investment if things are simply one-sided. The Lord has been so patient with me over the years – He has my heart now, but I was reluctant at first. The more I know of Him, the more love and respect I have for Him. My relationship with the Lord is a more balanced than it ever has been and I think that’s how He meant for all healthy relationships to be.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Belong

Many hands together: group of people joining handsI belong to my parents as their son. I belong to my wife & family because I made a commitment years ago. I belong as a member of Southern Hills Christian Church where I’m committed to growing in my faith and helping others grow as well. I belong to the Board of REALTORS because I’m a member. The most important membership I have is in God’s family. I belong to Him. In each of these situations I bring honor or dishonor to the place I belong. I’m thankful that the Lord makes up for the many deficiencies that I have. Check this out…

 For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; Lord. Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. (Romans 14:7-9 CSB)

Sometimes I look at my hands and feet and realize that these are the same hands that did some stupid thing in 7th grade. These are the same feet that went places I shouldn’t have in High School. As my body ages, I’m coming to terms with the end of this life which is death. I am not afraid of death, I just want those who count on me to be prepared because it does happen. Hopefully I’ve got several more years of life left.  I need to be prepared today if eternity knocks. If I’m living for the Lord, my preparation is well on its way. If I’m living for me, then I’m missing the destination instructions.

I want to live today knowing that the Lord holds this day and He also holds tomorrow. It is not my role to worry, it is my role to trust Him and seek to honor Him. I want to live as someone who has already died to myself. If I’ve died to me, then I can’t change the stuff I worry about. I can’t protect my family – He does that. I really can’t do anything IF I’m already dead to myself. I trust in the Lord completely to direct my path and guide my heart. In dying to myself, I’m really living for Him. I belong to Him – all of me; all for Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne