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

No Strings Attached

 

I am always suspicious of an unsolicited phone call announcing that I’ve received something for free. I realize that there is a “catch” to things like that. I have won 3 days and 3 nights at a nice resort only to find out that I had to go to a meeting where they try to sell you a time share in that resort. I’ve also been offered a free 6-month subscription only to find out that they will start billing me automatically after that first 6 months. There are many gimmicks that promise something Free that I am a bit jaded about it. I usually say that something that is free to me always cost someone else something. There is no such thing as a free lunch. After reading in the Word this morning, I realize that there is something that is free. Check this out…

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, 12 since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9-13 CSB)

I have not done anything to deserve the love from God that I’ve experienced. He doesn’t love me because I love Him. He loved me first. He loves me even when I don’t love Him. I can’t quite wrap my head around that level of love. I have accepted Him as my Lord. I do believe in Him. I don’t deserve His love. I don’t deserve to be saved, but I am profoundly grateful.

I used to think going to church made me a Christian.

I used to think that not cursing made me a Christian.

I used to think that obeying my parents made me a Christian.

That could be a long list of what I used to think. I understand now that I go to church; guard my tongue, honor my parents BECAUSE I’m a Christ follower NOT to become a Christ follower. I am a Christian because I have surrendered my heart to the Lord. I believe in God. I believe He is the ONLY ONE Who can save me.

Nothing I can do contributes to my being saved. He did it all. I honor Him BECAUSE He has saved me and promised me a future. My life has been different since I figured this out. I can’t do enough or not do enough to be saved. He has that handled. There are no strings attached to my salvation. I see life different since He’s saved my soul. I want to live for Him. I want to live in honor of Him. I want to trust Him in obedience. I want my surrender to Him to continue today not out of fear, but in faith that He will continue to walk with me through this life.

He saved me with no strings attached.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

My One Aim

Worship to GodMy life here on this planet comes down to one significant goal. As I live and learn more about the Lord, I realize that my one aim is to bring glory to Him. I’m not supposed to drawing attention to myself, but to Him. His heart is so BIG. His LOVE is beyond measuring. His MERCY is new every day. His GRACE has given me hope in the most hopeless situations. I came across the smallest Psalm in the scripture this morning and I was reminded to “keep the main thing, the main thing”. Check this out…

Praise the Lord, all you nations.
    Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
    the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 117:1-2 NIV)

I love music and songs that help me express my heart to the Lord. These are certainly in my Top Ten right now:

King of My Heart by Sarah McMillan & John McMillan

Worthy Of Your Name  by Brenton Brown, Brett Younker, Sean Curran

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan & Melissa Helser

Your Love Awakens Me by Phil Wickham

This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

Today is a new day to bring honor to the Lord from deep within my heart, I want the activities of my day to day to reflect a heart that is laser focused on honoring the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Sunrise Sunset

Country road at sunriseI love daytime and I really like it when we change to daylight savings time. The days seem a bit longer (the daylight hours are longer), but in fact we have the same 24-hour day. I enjoy it most this time of year. I’m an early riser, so I love seeing the sunrise pretty much every day. I don’t always take advantage of this beautiful artistic spectacle that the Lord displays, but I really enjoy seeing the fresh dawn of a new day. I also enjoy the sunset in the west as the day ends. I like reflecting on my day and preparing for rest. No matter what I’m doing on any given day, I want my life to reflect the Lord Who lives in me. I was captivated by this passage of Psalms this morning. Check this out…

Praise the Lord.Sunset worship

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens. (Psalm 113:1-4 NIV)

If you type the words “sunrise sunset” into google it will tell you what time the sun rises today and what time it sets. As I think about the sunrise and sunset, I realize that on rainy days, I can’t see the sun rise even though it does. The clouds settle in and block my view of the daily experience. The sun rising and setting is consistent and reliable.

I don’t think it’s accidental that the Psalmist reminded me that the Lord is to be praised from the rising of the sun to the setting of the son and all the moments in between and outside the day. The Lord loves the praise of His people all the time. He wired us to give Him honor and praise. I don’t always understand all that He’s doing, but I know He is constantly up to something good. He loves His kids (mankind) and He loves it when we praise Him and pray to Him. I am dependent upon Him and He’s totally good with that.  The wisest man who lived (King Solomon) wrote a beautiful passage about the Lord’s compassion and mercy. Check this out…

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Music Then & Now

 

169 Vk0gMDA1XzIwMTIgLSAwMTAuanBnI think music has been a part of my life since I was very young. I remember bringing my grandmother out to our house with her guitar. Our neighbor up the road played the fiddle. I was just learning to play and we sat in the living room and played Appalachian music until late in the evening. I believe music moves the heart and soul of a person like no other medium. It evokes passion, memory and all sorts of emotion. I can remember the season of my life when I hear a certain song from the 70’s or 80’s! Certain music used to reveal a person’s age, but it’s cool that young people today are rediscovering music from years ago.

Church music has changed a lot in the past 30 years for sure. I remember singing from an old red hymnal and my heart was moved. Fast forward today and I hear a song like “You Are Worthy” that was just recently written and performed and it moves my soul now more than singing that same hymn again today. There are exceptions though – I love the remakes of the old hymns. I remember moved to near tears as Karrie Underwood and Vince Gill played “How Great Thou Art”. I believe music can move my heart toward God or away from Him. I need to be very aware of the songs I sing.  Check this out…

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:4-9 NIV)

The creation of God makes beautiful music to His ears. He loves it when my life makes music to Him. I believe the Lord is fair and equitable in all His actions. He has made the brokenness of my life into a beautiful mosaic that brings honor to Him. He is beyond describing or possibly giving proper thanks too. I want the activity of my life to bring honor to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne