Simple Questions

 

Young pretty woman with question marksI do like to ask questions. My kids over the years have often become weary with my questions, so I’ve tried to back off a bit and become more selective in my questions. I don’t necessarily ask questions like: “What are you doing tonight?” or “When will you be home?” I usually ask: “What sort of plans do you have tonight?” – a bit broader question that calls for more thought. I try hard to never ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”.

The Psalmist asked some obvious questions, but nevertheless required some thought. Check this out…

Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile. (Psalm 94:9-11 NIV)

The older I get the more important I think it is to craft the correct questions in every circumstance rather that make polished statements of truth. I think the most successful attorneys are the ones who’ve learned to ask the best questions.

I believe that the Lord loves it when I ask Him questions. That is a sign that I don’t have all the answers, but I’m coming to Him because He does have all the answers. Asking questions bring clarity. Asking questions sometimes reveals humility. I try hard to not perceive any question as dumb – but there are times when the questions are simply tricky. Check this out…

What goes up & down yet never moves?

How can a man go eight days without sleeping?

If there are 6 apples and you take away 4, how many apples do you have?

I found these tricking questions here.

I need to remember that the Lord loves my questions. I need to remember to ask Him everything about everything. I’ve asked him to help me find something that I’ve lost. I’ve asked Him to help me know what to say to my child who deserves punishment. I will keep asking questions of the One Who has every answer because He made me – wired me and built me from the ground up.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

_______________________

Answers…
a-Stairs
b-He sleeps during the night
c-The four you took

Who You Know

 

US President SealI look forward to meeting new people. I usually will give people the “benefit of the doubt” when I first meet them and get to know them. If after I’ve spent some time with them and I learn that their values are much different than mine, I move them into a different spot. Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to visit with US Senators and Congressmen on with the REALTORS on behalf of the private property rights of people I serve in Real Estate. I have also had the privilege to connect with our state officials from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and our State Senators and State Representatives. I’ve learned to not be impressed with the position they hold but to carefully look at their voting record, their work ethic and how engaging they are personally. Some of our elected officials are genuinely doing their best to make our country and our state a better place for our children and our children’s children. On the flip side of that, some people simply love power and it corrupts them. They learn quickly how to abuse power. I’m disgusted with those individuals. They have forgotten the people who they answer to and they’ve often sold their soul to the evil one.

David pens a Psalm that is beautiful in describing just what the Lord means to him and certainly to me. It is refreshing to know that David, even though he was Israel’s greatest king, he was so humble before God. He didn’t forget where he came from and Who put into leadership. Check this out…

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
    to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
    to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
    you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose
    and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
    of your holy temple.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:1-4,8 NIV)

I don’t ever want to get so full of myself that I forget where I came from. I believe that PRIDE can destroy good people. I believe that HUMILITY is a characteristic that can build the best leaders. I do pray for the men and women who are in leadership of our country, our state and local government. I am not the least bit intimidated by any one of them, because they answer to God, just like everyone else. They also get dressed just like everyone else and they get colds, stomach aches, and their bodies function like everyone else. They are currently in a position of leadership and they are well known by a lot of people – but at the end of the day, they are human and they come under the authority of God.  I do like knowing people in leadership and power, but I’m not going to be over impressed with them because the Lord is the ULTIMATE LEADER of every living being. I want to know Him first and formost.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Ultimate Reward

 

reward stamp. sign. sealI’ve been to award shows and certainly watched my share on television. They are some good people who win and there are some people who are really “out there” and lost but they win. I’ve also seen good people make it big and become incredibly successful and wealthy, but I’ve also seen some bad people who are successful and rich as well. There are those whom it seems that everything they touch turns to gold.  I’ve decided that I’m not going to participate in any sort of “rat race” or “gold rush”. I am, however, going to show up to work each day with the Lord leading my life. I’m going to serve as many people as I can in the real estate world or simply in life. I have a busy schedule, but the Lord leads as I navigate my day. I have the same number of hours in my day as anyone else. I want to use my time as wisely as possible. I can’t spend a lot of time worrying about what others are doing or not doing, I need to stay focused on my work.

King David had a lot of drama in his life over the years. I feel confident that he relied on the Lord to help him keep his priorities in the right place. He was pursued by the wicked often because he was the King. He made some statements in this psalm that are very bold, but also somewhat comforting to recall. The imagery is a bit much for me in the middle of this passage. Check this out…

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
    whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away,c
10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
    when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
    “Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
    surely there is a God who judges the earth.” (Psalm 58:9-11 NIV)

I believe that the righteous win in the end. I believe the righteous win because of Who we serve. I don’t believe the righteous are successful because of what they are doing or have done. I believe they are righteous because of what God is doing or has done. I can’t work like I work without Him. I can’t serve like I serve without Him. I believe the number one character trait of the righteous is humility. The righteous are nothing without Him, but with Him their confidence can soar and rightly so.

I heard recently that “the days go by slow and the years go by fast” – I’m starting to grasp or understand that. My daily choices end up defining my life’s journey. I think the battles are often won or lost in the small daily choices that I’m faced with.

I’m encouraged to know that the Lord never leaves me or lets me go. He is faithful and present even when I’m successful or I fail miserably. He is the Ultimate Pursuit of my life and He holds the Ultimate Reward. I want to follow Him all the days of my life as I pursue a life of significance.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity

 

integrity conceptual compassThis word means to live by moral & ethical principles – sound moral character, honesty. There is a lot packed into that sentence. This word has a lot of life packed into it. It is not one single incident, it’s a combination of my life choices and little, seemingly insignificant choices as well. I believe my character should reflect integrity always, not just when others are paying attention.

King David displayed great integrity that came out of his walk with God. He wasn’t perfect, but he was pursuing God Who is perfect. In his pursuit of God integrity makes its appearance.  David was often a mess in crying out to God, but he was an honest mess. He was full of fear, then faith would take over. His pursuit of God allowed faith to win that fight. Check this out…

11 I know that you are pleased with me,
    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
    and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41:11-13 NIV)

I believe my character is built one decision at a time. Some of those decisions are big and I have time to think through them. Other decisions must be made quickly. Event still, there are other decisions that seem insignificant at the time that later turn out to be huge. I want to be consistently honest in every area of my life. I want to live out of my relationship with God as He calls me to be like Him. He is the Supreme Example of Integrity.

Even when King David sinned profoundly – he repented profoundly and honestly – owning his sin and the gravity of it. His failure was not fatal because of his repentant heart. The man of integrity has given humility a significant place in his heart. I want the fabric of life to be woven together with integrity and humility.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Leaders Don’t Need Titles

 

Leadership Tools Skill Management Experience TrainingI’ve had the privilege of serving under some incredible leaders over the years. I have learned much about their lives and where their heart is by the way they lead. I believe that we have all kinds of unnoticed leaders in our culture. We have elected leaders and self-appointed leaders, but sometimes it’s hard to follow a leader who seems to lead without certain characteristics.

Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate each day watching the activities there. I believe he was there because his niece, Esther, whom he had raised as his own daughter, was now Queen Esther. He just wanted to be close by. He overheard a plot to assassinate the king and he reported it. He also helped encourage Esther to speak up for her people. He exhibited leadership qualities that caught the eye of the king when Haman’s wickedness was discovered. Check this out…

1King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores. 2 And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. (Esther 10:1-3 NIV)

I noticed some important character traits about Mordecai’s leadership that was valuable:

Humility – doesn’t think more highly of himself than he ought.

Consistent – he was dependable and faithful to his post.

Wisdom – he was knowledgeable in the things of God as well as Persia.

Courage – he led from within his faith – the Lord gave him great courage.

Memory – he never forgot who he was and what he was there for.

Work Ethic – He worked for the good of all his people.

Loyal – he was loyal to King Xerxes who gave him his position.

I don’t like to follow leaders who don’t lead with most of these character traits. I do believe the Lord calls me to honor our leaders and respect them. He does not call me to blindly follow them when their leadership conflicts with His Word. I believe that leaders should seek the wisdom that only the Lord can give to lead and serve the people entrusted to their care. Mordecai was acting like a leader long before he was given a title and a position.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Leadership Intercession

 

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI’m thankful for leaders over the years that I could learn from as they walked out their faith. I can bring up pictures of leaders who have influenced me tremendously and some of them may not even be aware of it. Other leaders that I’ve followed, I’ve had the opportunity to tell them personally about how they influenced me. Some leaders who have influenced me have been family; some have been ministers and some have been hardworking business owners. One of the things that all the influential leaders in my life have in common is that they are prayer warriors. They prayed for others and me as I grew up. I’m so thankful for their “leadership intercession” on my behalf.

Nehemiah comes on the scene some 100 years later than the first exiles return to Jerusalem. The first wave of exiles was rebuilding the temple as well as the walls of Jerusalem. They were meeting some resistance and word got back to Jeremiah, who was still in captivity, but serving in the king’s presence. When news of this hardship reached Nehemiah, he began to grieve and intercede. Check this out…

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:

‘Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.

10 ‘They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.’

I was cupbearer to the king. (Nehemiah 1:4-6; 10-11 NIV)

There are times the most important leadership activity that I can do involves intercessory prayer. I can talk things out until I’m blue in the face. When I talk to the Lord I’m bringing Heaven’s Resources into play. I’m still learning the value and the power of prayer in any given situation.

I think leaders should pray more intensely than others because of the weight of the responsibility of the leadership position. I also think that prayer really changes the heart of the one praying. Prayer opens the way for humility to enter and pride to exit. I believe a humble leader is way more effective than a prideful leader. It’s hard to be full of pride when you’re praying for the people you’re tasked with leading. Nehemiah is such a strong example of servant leader in his position as cupbearer. He also was a strong intercessory leader before the Lord through his humility and intense prayer on behalf of his people. I want to lead like that. I want to intercede for the people I’m blessed to lead.

Pressing On!

Dwayne