Special Training

Smiling sport child boy showing hand biceps muscles strengthSeveral years ago, I used to work out regularly.  I would take my lunch hour and go to Sportsplex and lift weights, working out the different muscle groups, mostly in my upper body. I participated in a Boot Camp that was a high energy, cardio work out. I told someone the other day, as I gestured toward my upper body, that this is what happens when you quit working out. Muscle will deteriorate and fat will take over when workouts cease. Unfortunately, I can be the poster child for this season of my life.

Recently, my wife and I downloaded FitnessPal onto our smart phone. This is a “calorie counter” & fitness tracker app. The first step in diet and exercise is to discover what I’m doing. I’m trying to keep track of everything I put into my mouth. I’m also tracking my physical activity. Who knew that table tennis and jet ski riding could burn calories! I remember a friend of mine used to say that he was never going to take up jogging, because he never saw a runner with a smile on their face! He also used to say that being in great physical shape is overrated because you can still get hit by a truck and die.

I came across a passage this morning where Paul was speaking to the significance of a different type of workout regimen. Check this out…

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 10 For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7-10 CSB)

I have been training in godliness for quite some time now. I’m not sure when I started this blogging/journaling of my journey in God’s Word, but it has made a HUGE difference in my life and in my perspective. I have felt the Lord speak into my life in powerful ways just by simply setting aside time each morning for my spiritual training/workout. I want to keep my eye on eternal life while I live out the abundant life here on earth. I don’t want to be so “heaven bound” that I’m no “earthly good” to anyone. I want to keep growing in my faith as I train in His Word daily and make application to my life.

I’m working at adding a physical element to my spiritual workout – a prayer walk. I walk a good bit throughout the day (thanks FitnessPal), but I want to be more intentional about walking with the Lord and seeking His Wisdom throughout the day.

All My Hope Is In Jesus  – Crowder

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Leadership Prayers

 

Praying ManSomeone once said that if there are tests in our schools, there will be prayer in our schools. Prayer, in my opinion is way more powerful in private, but can be an effective communication tool in public. I have always felt that the most effective public prayer warrior is one who privately prays regularly and often.

I believe that prayer is a powerful tool that the Lord has given us. Prayer calls upon the Lord to come help, come heal, come direct my journey. Sometimes I’m not sure what the next step in my journey looks like, the Lord can speak to that. At other times, I feel helpless to know what to say or do – the Lord can direct my words and my activities. Paul challenges Timothy regarding prayer – we should lift our leaders in prayer constantly. Check this out…

1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-3 CSB)

I must confess that there are some elected officials that I didn’t vote for, but they were chosen as our leaders. I can pray for them, even if I disagree with some of their policy decisions or core beliefs. I figured out a long time ago that I simply don’t know everything, nor does anyone else. I need to give those in leadership some room to navigate through the challenges and decisions before them. Now this doesn’t mean that I should stand by and watch them make bad decisions without me speaking up or speaking into a decision that’s before them. If I’m praying for them, it becomes harder for me to attack them on a personal basis. I can disagree with passion, but I should still show respect to those in leadership over me. (This is often easier said than done.) When leaders act immature or they misbehave, it is hard to respect them and the position they hold.

I will continue to pray for the leadership of our nation, state & local government. I will pray for wisdom and discernment to saturate their thinking. I will encourage them and be available to help them anyway I can. The Lord calls me to serve like this. There are benefits for me as well – “to lead a tranquil & quiets life in all godliness and dignity”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Insight

Insight Light Bulb ConceptI have had many “Aha” moments in my life. I enjoy reading and learning new things. I’ve said many times before that I want to be a life-long learner. I also enjoy seeing others have that “Aha” moment and grasp a thought or insight that really opens the horizons up for them. I enjoy teaching and helping others have insight to a topic or subject.

I also enjoy teaching from my spiritual journey. I feel like that every day I open His Word, He teaches me something new or gives me a clearer and deeper understanding of a truth that I was already aware of.  I enjoy reading His Word in different versions and translations to give further insight of the context of certain passages that speak into my heart.

Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus, pens some of the greatest truths simply tucked away in this letter. I came across this passage and I’m praying that this over my heart and the hearts of anyone who reads this little blog. Check this out…

15 This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. (Ephesians 1:15-19 CSB)

I want an “Aha” moment regarding the Spirit of Wisdom.

I want an “Aha” moment regarding the revelation of Him.

I want an “Aha” moment regarding the knowledge of Him.

I want an “Aha” moment regarding the hope of His calling.

I want an “Aha” moment regarding the glorious inheritance.

I want an “Aha” moment regarding the immeasurable greatness of His Power.

I want the eyes of my heart to be open to see Him like I’ve never seen Him before. I want to see Him more clearly than I do now. I want more wisdom, insight and understanding of Who He is and what He’s calling me to do and be. The insight that the Lord gives is like none other. I’ve learned more from my time in His Word than the volumes of books I’ve read or seminars I’ve ever attended. The Word overflows with insight to God’s heart. I’m profoundly grateful for His heart that is saturated with Grace for His kids – like me!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Foolish

wisdom, stupidity road signThere are many circumstances where I’ve felt foolish before. I’ve done some foolish things and been embarrassed more times than I can count. I usually look foolish when I try to look so smart. It’s better for me to let people think I’m very smart than to open my mouth and let them know I’m not! LOL! Smart people look even smarter around foolish people. I think smart people are a bit overrated though. I’ve seen smart people without common sense. I’ve seem smart people do dumb things. I’ve seem foolish people do smart things.

The Apostle Paul was reminded the church at Corinth that even the smartest people in God’s economy may not be “top of the class” in the world’s economy. Check this out…

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. 19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent.

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached.

24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21; 24-24 CSB)

I would rather be called foolish in the world’s eyes and wise in the Lord’s eyes. I don’t believe that my faith in God is always logical. I don’t believe that my decisions will always make sense to an unbeliever. I want the Lord to lead my life how He sees fit. I want to follow Him and His ways in my personal journey as well as my business life. I don’t think that there should be a different standard for each. In fact, I think it would be hypocritical of me to act one way at church and another way in business.  This may not make sense to business people, but the Lord is the Ruler of everything including my business. Everything I have and everything I know is subject to Him, without exception.

The Lord’s wisdom is profound.

The Lord’s wisdom trumps any decision that I think I might make.

I trust Him.

He is not illogical or “out there”. He is ALWAYS “spot on” with His Wisdom and insight.

I may be foolish in some people’s eyes, but I want to be brilliant in God’s perspective – that may mean being foolish for His call upon my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Counsel & Guidance

 

Discussing the truthMany years ago, I earned a Master’s degree in Guidance & Counseling. That degree was probably the most practical degree I could have earned as a student pastor. I remember upon graduation realizing how little I knew about giving counsel. I became a source of counsel to a lot of the students and their families. I’ve been reminded recently how vital the Word of God is to any counsel. In fact, I try hard to NOT give counsel. I want the Word of God to speak into my life and give me the counsel I need for my life. I love this Psalm of Asaph and how he submits to the counsel of God. Check this out…

23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:23-26 NIV)

I believe it’s wise to seek counsel from a wise and experienced person. I believe there are many people who can give me wise counsel. I read good books for wise counsel. I seek people who have gone ahead of me to help me know the possible traps ahead. My Ultimate Counselor is God. He can and does advise me on everything. He can give me counsel on what to wear and how much money to spend on a certain item. I am learning to complete trust Him in my decision making. I am growing in wisdom as I study and meditate upon His Word each day. There is no one who gives better counsel or has more wisdom that the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Finding Rest

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopSome days are quite long and stressful. I know that some people commute an hour or more and then put in a 10-hour day before driving an hour back home. I know what it’s like to work hard as my parents set an excellent example for me. I am learning about finding rest. I believe that there is a healthy balance with rest and work. I believe people who work too much without rest are less productive and their work product suffers.

David spoke right into my heart this morning as I read Psalm 62. Check this out…

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV)

I’m still learning to depend upon the Lord. I’m learning that the things I do, the people I serve and the places I go are meant to bring honor to God. If I’m successful serving as a REALTOR, it’s because of Christ in me. He gives me rest daily. He relieves my stress daily. I can trust Him with the simplest or the most complex details.

I do wish that I would have learned this valuable lesson much earlier in my work life. I can do nothing without Him. The work I do matters when He’s leading me. He can give me insight into my work that no amount of education or experience can touch.

There have been times in my life when it seems like it’s coming apart at the seams. I feel pushed and pulled from every angle. I’m learning to trust Him no matter what the day brings. I’m determined to rest in Him in the middle of any storm that comes way. I must fight the noise of my busy life to find rest in Him.  This song came to mind this morning during my time of study and prayer. It’s called: “In The Eye of The Storm” by Ryan Stevenson. Here are the lyrics:

When the solid ground is falling out
From underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes
I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been let down by my friends and my family
I can hear the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds, me in the eye of the storm

When my hopes and dreams are far from me 
And I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

When they let me go and I just don’t know 
How I’m gonna make ends meet
I did my best
Now I’m scared to death
That we might lose everything

And when a sickness takes my child away
And there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You
I trust You LORD

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

_________________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne