Quiver Full of Arrows

 

Indians bow and arrows color flat iconI try to daily look at my life through the eyes of eternity. The decisions I make every day seem rather mundane, small or even insignificant. When I look at my life through the “eternal lens”, life is full of small decisions and choices. These small decisions and choices soon make up my life and my destiny.

I grew up in a family of five kids. We didn’t know we were on the lower end of the economic scale. I felt like we were rich even though we didn’t have a lot of possessions or extra money. My parents worked hard to provide for own kids. I really didn’t imagine that I would one day become a Dad to five kids of my own. I love being a Dad. I love seeing my kids figure out some deep things about the Lord. I love seeing them grow up and build relationships that will last their whole life long.

I came across a Psalm that I often quote when I connect with people with large families. Check this out…

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court. (Psalm 127:3-5 NIV)

One of the overflows of being a parent is often when our children start having children. I love being Pop and my wife is Nana. We love soaking up the love from those sweet little children to whom we are Pop & Nana. They really melt my heart quickly and often. I like what Zig Ziglar said about grandchildren… “If I knew grandkids were this much fun, we would have had them first!”

I continue to pray over my children.

I continue to love my children deeply. (Love is spelled TIME!)

I continue to listen to my children.

I continue to invest in my kids with my time.

I will continue being a Dad until the Lord calls me home.

I have a quiver full of arrows that has blessed me beyond my ability to express in words. I am so humbled that the Lord trusted me with children. I’m so thankful that they are growing in their love for the Lord.  I hope that for generations to come, my children, their children and their children’s children seek the heart of God in their daily journey.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Heed & Ponder

Discussing the truthI want to be known for wise and sound decisions. I want to be cautious and careful of my words & actions as they will reveal whether I’m wise. I’ve had moments when I’ve made great decisions over the years and I’ve also had moments when I wish I could go back a make a different choice. I’ve learned to gather facts and seek wise counsel in all areas of my life. I may think I know a lot about a topic or subject only to find out that I still have lots to learn. It’s the people that act like they know all about everything that get into real trouble. I don’t want to be like that at all.

As I journey through the word of God, I discover that He speaks clearly into my heart. I must tune my heart to hear. As I read the passage below I was reminded that I want to keep seeking Him and learning from Him. Check this out…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
    and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice,
    but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
    and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. (Psalm 107:1-3,8-9,41-43 NIV)

I am reminded that the Lord is the giver of all good things. He will counsel me and lead me through the darkest days of my soul. He will forgive my stupid choices and shower me with love and grace. The Lord is known for His grace and His mercy. He is known for His wisdom and profound insight. I would be an idiot to ignore Him as He speaks into my life and my situation every day. I want to hear Him. I want to ponder His wisdom and discernment. I want to walk in the way He points out for me to walk.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Quick

quickI grew up playing basketball every chance I had. In Kentucky, basketball was to preferred sport. It’s a fast-moving game and quickness really counts. Quickness counts in lots of sports – football, tennis, NASCAR, swimming, just to name a few. Golf on the other hand, doesn’t require quickness as much as it does accuracy and distance. Quickness even helps in baseball even though it’s a “slow-moving” game, the quickness of players and the bat speed when hitting matters. Quickness matters a good bit even in my everyday life.  I think it is in James where we are challenge with good quickness to listen. Check this out…

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (James 1:19 NIV)

I have much to learn about quickness. I have learned over the years that if I respond to situations too quick, I might make a mistake. However, if I move too slow, the decision is irrelevant. Asaph reminds the people of Israel to return to following the Lord because He responds quickly. Check this out….

13 “If my people would only listen to me,
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (Psalm 81:13-16 NIV)

I want to start every day seeking counsel from the Lord. I want to give Him each day at the very beginning of the day. I want Him to direct my path each day. I want to follow His guidance each day. I want to hear from Him all throughout the day. I can’t begin to describe the peace that rules my heart, when my life is surrendered to Him. I have given up control, but He has everything under control because I trust Him. He is so quick to respond to my needs, my requests, my hurts and my joys!  I can’t imagine my life without the Lord leading.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Hear

Young woman with big funny earsThe older I get the more my hearing has “fallen off”. I must confess that I’ve listened to a lot of loud music over the years. I feel like I can hear more details of the song if the volume is cranked up! I remember my Dad warning me to be careful with my hearing. His hearing was damaged when he was a young man.

I’m thankful that God’s hearing never “falls off”. He hears me EVERY TIME I call to Him. He doesn’t get tired of me “bugging Him” or crying out to Him too much. He wants a close relationship with me. He wants to know my heart as I get to know His heart. Check this out…

2 Hear my cry for mercy

    as I call to you for help,

as I lift up my hands

    towards your Most Holy Place.

6 Praise be to the Lord,

    for he has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;

    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,

    and with my song I praise him.

8 The Lord is the strength of his people,

    a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;

    be their shepherd and carry them forever. (Psalm 28:2, 6-9 NIV)

As I walk through His Word this morning – I can clearly hear Him even though He’s speaking through His Word. Hearing is not only what comes to my heart through my ears. My eyes are listening devices as well.

When I cry out to God He hears me.

When I cry out to God He listens to me.

When I cry out to God He acts on my behalf.

When I cry out to God I’m clearly recognizing my need for Him.

I can’t imagine a world where God doesn’t hear me or where I don’t hear from Him.

I’m so thankful for His hearing and His Presence in me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Cut Your Losses

 

Basic RGBThere have been times when I bought something that I thought would really be helpful and work well for me only to find out that I had made a mistake. I really hate to loose money. I like to be wise and prudent prior to spending it, but there are times when a mistake is made. This not really a super example, but I once purchased a table top gas grill off of a TV infomercial. I purchased it to take camping because it was compact yet folded out and it even had a light! I now laugh at all infomercials. This was the biggest rip off. The marketing crews made this grill look amazing. When it arrived, it was small and very cheaply made. I think I may have used it once or twice – it was a piece of junk. I threw it away and chalked that up to a lesson learned.

King Amaziah was gathering his troops up to prepare for war against Seir and Edom. He decided to rent/hire a 100,000 troops from Israel to help fight. He paid the king of Israel 3 ¾ tons of silver for these troops. This was a huge mistake. Check this out…

7 But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel—not with any of the people of Ephraim. 8 Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.”

9 Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?”

The man of God replied, “The Lord can give you much more than that.” (2 Chronicles 25:7-9 NIV)

I think I would have asked the same question that the king asked. I think his first mistake was not asking the Lord before doing the deal. Every day in my business, I see people cut their losses. I remember when banks in our area were struggling and the bank stock value plummeted. There were still people who believed it would come back and were still buying. Some of the people who should have sold their stock at a reduced rate wishes they would have cut their losses and got at least something out of it. Instead many rode it all the way to zero.

I’ve determined that my pride will fight me when I’m ready to cut my losses. It is often humiliating to loose. It is humiliating to make a bad decision and have to admit it. I think there are times it is completely necessary. It takes a lot of courage to admit a mistake and own it.

I’m learning to pray about everything and worry about nothing. I certainly don’t listen all the time to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but my hearing is improving! I believe that talking to the Lord prior to a decision will give me insight that I didn’t have. He will lead me when I listen to Him. I haven’t had to “cut my losses” nearly as much since I’ve been seeking His council.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity Matters

 

The word " integrity"I learned at a very young age that what you say should match up with what you do and who you are. Integrity is defined as: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. This is easier to say than to do. I believe our character is often tested in secret, but eventually gets revealed. Who I am and what I do when no one is watching is really who I am. The person I am that is noticed in public should be the same as the one the Lord knows privately.

King David lived in the public spotlight for sure as king. His sin with Bathsheba made the national inquirer for sure. He had a tremendous lapse in integrity and judgment. He did repent profoundly and the Lord restored David’s life. He is known as a “man after God’s own heart”. What an incredible compliment to David and his heart for God.

At the end of his life, David really finishes strong. He gets the materials list together so that Solomon can build the Temple. David also donates generously from his personal wealth. He gathers everyone together and challenges them to support the building of the Temple as well as support his son Solomon as king. He starts off with a praise song and ends with a charge/challenge of sorts. Check this out…

17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” (1 Chronicles 29:17-19 NIV)

I’m asking the Lord to test my heart this morning. I want Him to look through the “nooks and crannies” of my heart to see if there is something in my heart that needs to be removed. I want the Lord to see the honest intent of my heart. I want Him to help me to live a life of integrity and honesty that is without question. I want to consistently walk with Him and listen to Him speak into my heart. I want Him to help me eradicate pride from my heart. I want the person that I am in His Presence to be the person I am all day – every day. I do believe that integrity matters to God. I do believe integrity matters in every relationship that I have.

Pressing On!

Dwayne