Deep Strength

Smiling sport child boy showing hand biceps muscles strengthI used to work out lifting weights and doing some good cardio, but I’ve slipped tremendously over the last 20+ years. (Please try not to laugh at this confession.) I exchanged one discipline for another and the truth is I need both. I have grown deeper and stronger spiritually over the last several years, but physically I’m weaker (and older) than I’ve ever been.  I enjoy some forms of exercise like bike riding on the Carrollton Greenbelt. I must pay attention to my physical body and cultivate physical strength. The more important strength conditioning comes from my spiritual exercise. I started getting up early many years ago to carve out time that I could spend with the Lord focusing on His Word and His heart. That one decision changed everything about my perspective and game me insights into life that I never had before. The more I study and walk with the Lord, the deeper my love for Him grows. I look back and realize that I spent way too much time in the shallow end of His swimming pool. I want to go deeper every day with Him. The Psalmist was a human being who loved the Lord and walked deeper. Check this out…

13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!’
17 I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (Psalm 118:13-17 NIV)

I would rather have deep inner strength than brut physical strength any day. The ideal would be both!  I have had times of suffering in my life where they physical exercise was a great distraction and helped me work out some stress, but it did very little for my spiritual journey. That takes time alone with the Lord in deep study, discernment and conversational prayer. He gives me strength I can’t describe. He gives me insight that is way beyond my education and comprehension. His Presence calms my soul. His Presence gives me strength to navigate the most challenging path.

I will say that there are times in my life, I’m not sure how I lived to talk about the struggle except that His is in me and He is for me. He flat out saved me and I want Him to use me now for His Glory and His Fame. I am nothing without Him, but with Him I have everything.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Who I Am

God's mercy at the CrossI learned many years ago that my family was very solid. I grew up in Kentucky with my family all nearby. My grandparents lived less than a ½ mile away and I was always popping in to see them. I grew up in a small town called Roley, but the mailing address was Casey Creek, Kentucky. Everybody new everyone and mostly everyone’s business (if you know what I mean). My family was very involved in the church. After graduating Adair County High School, I moved away to attend Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) in Knoxville, TN. Upon graduation, I began serving in the field of youth minister (aka student pastor). I spent just over 20 years in ministry before becoming a REALTOR in 2003. I didn’t check my faith at the door of this new profession. I have enjoyed my REALTOR family and in fact, I’ve become very close friends with so many. As I trace my history, I realize that I wouldn’t know anyone where I live (except my parents and brother who live close by) if it weren’t for my journey with the Lord. I wouldn’t know my wife or her family.

David often reflected on who he was and who he wasn’t. He noted that the Lord was the sources of who he was. Check this out…

But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    Lord, do not delay. (Psalm 70:4-5 NIV)

When I think of who I am and who I’ve become, I realize that I am NOTHING without the Lord. He has directed my path. He gives me wisdom every day. He provides strength when I’m weak. As I reflect on the days and years that make up my life and the experiences and choices that have shaped me, I can’t help but realize that the LORD has been there with me since I was born. My parents trusted the Lord and trusted me to His care. I want each day going forward to be clearly surrendered to the Lord. I want Him to direct my daily decisions and choices that make up who I am. I feel safe being who I am in Christ. I want my life to be significant to my family and others that I meet – but it’s only because of Him and for Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne