The Way I Used To Be

 

Life changesThere are lots of things about my life that are way different than they used to be. When I think back to the courtship of my wife 23 years ago things are different now. Our love for one another is much deeper and mature. It is fun to think back to how we once were early on in our dating relationship and early marriage. Relationships grow deeper and expand at a deeper level.

If I think back to my early relationship with the Lord, it was very vibrant and full of energy. I was young and excited to follow the Lord. When the “new” wore off, I found myself doing stupid things that hurt His heart. I wandered away from Him and went my own way for a season. He never left me. He showed great patience with me as I tried to figure some things out. I guess I had to learn on my own that when the sign says, “dead end” – it really is. I was warned about many dead-end decisions, but I tried them out anyway. He still was waiting patiently.

In the letter to church at Ephesus, He calls them out for forgetting their first love. Check this out…

I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. I know that you have persevered and endured hardships for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:2-5 CSB)

I have returned to my journey with Him over the past several years. He has spoken volumes into my life through the steady study of His Word. I’m still steady and growing in my love for Him. I’m still trying to walk in obedience of Him daily. I want to live like He lived. I want to love like He loves. I want to push through the times of hardship and suffering. I want my life to reflect a faithful, consistent follower of Jesus.  I want to love Him more today than yesterday. I want to love Him deeper that yesterday. I want my relationship with the Lord to grow and grow with the roots of my relationship planted deeply in His Word.

I want to keep returning to the love I had for Him early on before being “tainted” by what the world offers. I want to be faithful to Him, He has been so faithful to me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Work & Wages

Work Characters Shows Working Workers And Manual LaborI remember as a kid working on the farm doing various jobs. My Dad had a small farm, as did my Grandpa (aka Pappy). I learned to work in the tobacco fields, the garden and the hay field. I remember at one point my Pappy raised a few acres of bell peppers as a cash crop. There seemed to always be work to do on the farm. I was also hired by other local farmers to work the hayfields or tobacco fields. I remember getting paid for my labor and feeling good about what I had done. I also remember the fact that I was a teenager working as a laborer to earn extra money and there were others who were working for their livelihood. Work is how I earn wages to provide for my family and myself.

In the long litany of miscellaneous laws that Moses was sharing with the people of Israel, he addressed daily workers too. Check this out…

14 Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. 15 Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 24:14-15 NIV)

“He who loves his work never labors”

I’ve hired day laborers to work before and it’s a blessing to provide work for them. It’s also a blessing to find someone skilled and strong to provide extra help when and where it’s needed. Hiring others to help can provide a service to me and can be a blessing to them.

I was on the phone while riding home with one of my sons the other day. After I got off the phone, I realized that a lot of my work is mentally straining. I don’t dig ditches or haul hay as my labor, but I market property on behalf of sellers. I also help buyers through the process of purchasing a home or leasing a property where they will live or work. There are many days that I’m mentally exhausted and tired, but there are other days where it’s very fulfilling to serve and help others achieve their goals and dreams. In the process of helping and serving others my goals and dreams come true too.

I believe that the Lord has never been a fan of lazy people. I believe that God wired us to live and prosper in this life by the work of our hands and the sweat of our brows. I believe that a person’s work ethic tells volumes about that person’s life. I also think it’s wise to learn to work smarter instead of harder.

It’s about time for me to get to work, so I need to wrap this note up and get to it!

Pressing On!

Dwayne