Disreputable

Reputation Words on Box Credible Reliable ProductI began my career as a REALTOR in February 2003. I remember hearing a slogan that my brother used in his real estate advertisement. His slogan went like this: “I’m building a reputation, not resting on one”.  I’m pretty sure that the phrase was offensive to some and challenging to others. I knew what he meant, because he had just started his own firm. I remember deciding that I will always be building my reputation every day of my life. I’ve seen people who destroy their entire reputation with one bad decision. Except for the grace of God, that could have been me. I think about dumb decisions all the time and I think about the destruction that would left behind if I were to make a really dumb decision. I decided that I can’t spend a lot of time in that place though. I must keep my focus on growing and learning and as I do this, the thoughts of dumb decisions fade away. I want to grow and improve who I am becoming in the Lord’s eyes. I believe any success that I have as a REALTOR comes because the Lord is leading and directing my life. He is the reason, I’m careful to be honest, live and serve with integrity and have a strong work ethic.

Jesus calls Matthew (aka Levi) from his tax collection booth and asked him to be his disciple. Jesus obviously saw something in Levi that would benefit the kingdom. Levi followed Jesus. Check this out…

15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17 NLT)

I am blown away by the arrogance of the Pharisees and the religious leaders. They really didn’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. They were concerned about their reputation more than they were concerned for lost people. When I put myself in this passage, I would have been considered one of these “disreputable sinners” or “scum”, according their definition.

When I gave my life to the Lord, He changed me.

He changed how I see others.

He changed how I see my work.

He changed my view of marriage.

He changed my view of being a Dad.

He changed my view of being a friend to others.

If I’m following the Lord fully, you can call me what you will. He is the reason I seek to serve others with honesty, integrity & hard work. These are my values, because they are His values too. I’d rather keep my reputation in tact with Him than to worry too much about what others are saying about me.

I need the Lord every day of my life. I haven’t walked with Him enough to “take a break”. He is woven into the fabric of who I am. I need His healing upon my heart daily. I need His wisdom daily. I need His Presence constantly.  I am definitely one of the “sick people who need a doctor”. I guess I’m saying that I’m a disreputable person who needs the Lord each day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Truth

 

Lies Have Speed Truth Has Endurance SpeedometerI have been lied too before. I have been cheated. I have been misled. It is frustrating to take someone at their word, only to find out it’s not true. Trust is destroyed by lies and deceit. I believe truth to be absolute. It is not simply relative to whatever situation I find myself in. I’m not going to say that I’ve never told a lie. I find comfort in telling the truth, even if it’s painful.

In “REALTOR world”, I work with people every day. I work with lenders, appraisers, roofers, pest control experts, plumbers, electricians, other agents and members of the public. There are many opportunities to leave out important facts that are part of the truth. I recently had a buyer that was “on the bubble” with getting a loan. The lender told me that is was going to be really close, whether or not they would get approved, because it was a complicated file. I told the lender that I appreciated his honesty. I often think back to the line in the movie: “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson’s character proclaims from the witness stand “You can’t handle the truth!”

Jesus, at the end of His time on earth spent some time explaining His ministry to His disciples. He explains His purpose for coming and investing in their lives. There was obvious confusion on their part. He goes before the Father with an intense prayer for His followers. Check this out…

13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do.17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. (John 17:13-19 NLT)

In my journey with the Lord through His Word, I find truth revealed. I find the hope I have in eternal life. I find insight into suffering and struggle. I find peace that is beyond understanding and comprehension. I find that the purpose of my life is to bring glory to God. I’m thankful for this prayer of Jesus that reveals His love for His followers. I want to follow Him all my days, walking in truth and love that He has installed in my heart.  I believe that He is continually cleaning me up and making me whole in Him. I am certainly standing on the truth of His Word and His Promise.

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

Integrity of Heart

senior cool man proud conceptI begin nearly every day of my life with a shower first thing in the morning and then choose what I’ll wear that day. I try to dress for the occasion. If it’s a normal work day – a branded shirt and casual slacks.  I decided a long time ago before I get dressed physically that it’s important to dress up my heart first thing. I love hearing from the Lord as He builds out my heart. The more time I spend with Him, the more I know Him and I start acting more like Him in the different circumstances I will face each day.

Asaph pens a long and detailed psalm that contained quite a history lesson for the people of Israel. He concludes the psalm by telling his readers that God chose David for a reason. Check this out…

70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72 NIV)

I was moved by that last verse describing David’s leadership -” his integrity of heart”. The heart can be hidden most days from most people. I believe that the Lord looks to my heart way more intensely and consistently that He looks at any action I take. The Lord is way more concerned with my heart that my behavior. I believe that ALL BEHAVIOR comes from the heart. My good choices and bad choices all come from my heart. I believe that there is a constant battle going on inside my heart for control. When I made Jesus Lord of my life, the battle for my heart started and is continuing even today. I want to equip my heart with the Word of God so that my heart capacity for God can expand and grow. I want to be known as a leader with integrity. I give permission for any Christ follower to challenge me or to check my heart if they see some behavior that lacks integrity. I believe integrity begins in my heart and displays itself in my everyday life. It’s not a one-time action – it is a lifestyle.

Today and every day, I surrender my heart to the Lord. He alone can build my heart to reflect His.

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

A Close Look

 

search with magnifying glassI’ve noticed that as I get older my physical sight or vision gets worse, but my insight improves greatly.  I don’t know everything about everything, but I do know some things that work and some things that don’t. I have experiences now that I didn’t have years ago. My journey with the Lord looks significantly different now than it did when I was younger – I think it’s even different than it was just 10 years ago. If I were to do an audit of my spiritual journey, it would bring me back to a closer look at my heart. I’m not sure the Lord cares about what I wear or how many hairs are on my head (even though He knows that) – He cares about the current condition of my heart. This is where all the decisions and choices I make originate from.

When my kids were small, I remember being clearly aware of when they did something that was ignorant or dumb versus doing something that was thought out and straight up disrespect for the rules and code of our family. I made the punishment swift and sure for the disrespect and the other were great teaching moments to mold them. I had to be discerning to know the difference between the two types of behavior.

King David was constantly pouring out his heart before the Lord. He seemed to get the fact that God cares more about the heart than any external behavior. The Lord knows the difference between my stupidity and my premeditated sin or rebellion. Check this out…

8     Let the Lord judge the peoples.

Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,

    according to my integrity, O Most High.

9 Bring to an end the violence of the wicked

    and make the righteous secure –

you, the righteous God

    who probes minds and hearts.

17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;

    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:8-9,17 NIV)

The Lord knows my heart. The Lord shapes my heart. The Lord builds His righteousness into my heart. I don’t want anything to enter my heart except what brings honor and glory to Him. I must be careful not to make my life and behavior about me. My life and behavior reflects Him inside of me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne