Amazement!

Happy surprised manI am amazed at what great lengths people will go to for a free gift or money. In the past, I have endured a sales pitch in order to win a free TV or an overnight stay somewhere that always looks much nicer than it is. I do like to get something for nothing. I know better, but I will still try, much like the next person.

I’m also amazed at how people follow other people and give them celebrity status. If a guy or girl can play a sport really well, we give them special status. If someone is really wealthy we treat them quite differently than another person who doesn’t have as much wealth.

Jesus amazed people with His teaching – His Presence. He didn’t play a sport that I know of and He didn’t have a lot of wealth. His teaching was powerful and moved people. He did heal people from what was often a terminal disease – leprosy. He also healed other diseases and casts out evil spirits from people possessed. People were moved His teaching and His power to heal. Check this out…

27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee. (Mark 1:27-28 NLT)

I sometimes take the Lord’s Presence for granted. I read His Word almost every day. I talk with Him throughout the day. I participate in corporate worship each week with the church. I realize that not everyone in the world does this each week. I’m still following Him so closely that I’m not as amazed as I should be. When I stop for a minute and look carefully at Who He is and what He has done – I’m truly amazed.

I want to continue to be amazed at Him.

I want to continue to notice what He is doing in my life.

I want to continue to express my gratitude to Him for my life and loved one.

I love this old hymn: I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Chris Tomlin

I want my life to bring glory to Him because I live in amazement at all that He has done and all that He is doing in me and around me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Taste & See

Coffee cup and beans on a white background.I enjoy eating food. I enjoy something that tastes great. My wife made some excellent home-made ice cream last week. I went to Jekyll Island for a REALTOR conference and tasted some great food as well. Just this morning, I borrowed a percolator pot to make some fresh ground coffee –going for the best taste. I’ve also eaten things that didn’t taste great, but they were for my nutrition. My body needs food and the nutrients found inside.

Peter writes some simple but important instructions regarding the Word of God. He uses the metaphor of it being food. He quotes from Isaiah the chapter before and then offers some great instruction. Check this out…

The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:8 CSB)

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3 CSB)

I remember the first time I looked a guacamole. It looked putrid and disgusting to me. My wife coached me to try it with a corn chip and I was hooked. I didn’t normally eat anything that looked like that. I believe that Peter is touching two of our senses – our sight and taste.

I believe in God because I’ve seen Him do incredible things. I’ve seen things where there is no explanation except Lord. I’ve also experienced His grace first hand. I deserved punishment and severe consequences, but instead I received grace. I understand that these were subjective experiences, but they are real and significant to my journey with the Lord.

I think tasting and seeing are intricately related. Seeing with my eyes helps the tasting part for me. I have watched others who know the Lord and walk with Him. I’m standing on the shoulders of some great people of faith who cut the path before me. They tasted and experienced His Presence in their lives. They saw the action of the Lord. I want to do good because I’ve tasted and seen up close and personal. I’m motivated to live for Him because I’ve experienced Him first hand. I long for others to know the Lord as I know Him. He has changed everything about my life – my hopes, my dreams, my goals. There is not one area of my life that He hasn’t touched.  I want to keep growing up into salvation by walking daily with Him in His Word.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

See His Face

bifocal glassesI can remember faces way better than I can remember the names that go with the faces. This drives me nuts, because I realize the importance of remembering someone’s name. I was at a gathering just yesterday and it seemed like our whole town was there and I saw a lot of people I know. There were several people that I knew their face and I would ask my wife if she knew them and could help me with a name. I’m sure that there is a finite number of names that I can remember, but I remember faces. I wish that could count.

King David penned a lot of the Psalms speaking of seeing God. I came across one this morning where God is also seeing us. Check this out…

1 In the Lord I take refuge.

    How then can you say to me:

    ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.

2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;

    they set their arrows against the strings

to shoot from the shadows

    at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,

    what can the righteous do?’

4 The Lord is in his holy temple;

    the Lord is on his heavenly throne.

He observes everyone on earth;

    his eyes examine them.

5 The Lord examines the righteous,

    but the wicked, those who love violence,

    he hates with a passion.

6 On the wicked he will rain

    fiery coals and burning sulphur;

    a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the Lord is righteous,

    he loves justice;

    the upright will see his face. (Psalm 11:1-7 NIV)

I believe that I’ve seen the face of God. I see His face in the face of a child. I’ve seen His face in the eyes of an elderly person. I’ve see His face in the eyes of many other people that He created and built. He wired all of us to honor Him with our lives. He built us to serve and love one another. I believe He sees what I do and where I go. I believe if I will look with eyes of faith, I can see His face everywhere I go. The Lord looks upon my life and He wants me to look upon Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Stop

Stop HandI’ve grown up knowing exactly what a Stop sign means. I also learned the silly phrase that makes the word STOP an acronym after I started driving. Someone told me the word “Stop” on the sign meant “Step Toe On Pedal” or “Squeal Tires On Pavement”. The dictionary says, “Stop means to cause an action or activity to end”. I’ve learned to stop what I’m doing and be present when one of my agents/friends needs me. I also need to learn to stop and notice things that if I’m going too fast, I might miss. Mac Davis, a singer songwriter back in the 70’s had a song that I learned as a kid called: “Stop and Smell The Roses”. The song reminded me to notice things around me every day and do not take life for granted.

Balaam was a character in the Old Testament that on one hand seemed to follow the Lord’s leading. He also liked the prestige of being sought out by kings and princes. The Lord spared him by using a donkey to stop him. Check this out.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’

29 Balaam answered the donkey, ‘You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you here and now.’

30 The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?’

‘No,’ he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell face down. (Numbers 22:26-31 NIV)

There are times that The Lord says, “Stop”. He doesn’t always give an explanation to His instruction. I have learned over the years that He’s looking out for my best interest and me when He tells me to stop. I remember a friend of mine who barely missed a flight that he was trying to make only to learn later that the flight had crashed and everyone on board died. I think that there are times when the Lord closes a door for my protection. I need to notice when the Lord is saying “stop” or “slow down”. There could very well be a reason why He’s directing my path. I don’t want to be so “hard headed” or “hard-of-hearing” that He has to use a donkey to speak to me.

My journey with the Lord really requires me to listen to His Spirit speaking into my heart and prompting to do or not do certain things. His Spirit will actually shape my words and my activity if I will learn to listen and let The Lord lead. Today I want to listen to the Lord today as He directs my path and also guards my steps.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Notice

 

Word on yellow wallI think of this word when advising someone of something I know or a deadline that is just ahead. I also see that this word means I’ve become aware of something. I noticed something. I think it’s very wise to pay close attention to my surroundings. I think it’s wise to pay attention to what others say or don’t say; do or don’t do. In noticing things, it can sometimes alter my response to the situation. I think it’s important to be alert and aware. Jacob was aware of his situation changing. Check this out…

1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, ‘Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.’ 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude towards him was not what it had been.

3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.’ (Genesis 31:1-3 NIV)

When I notice a change in condition or change in relationship, I can often ask the Lord and He reveals the next step or the solution. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to wander through life without Him. He gives me a wise and discerning heart to make me aware of my situation. I am constantly working at being aware of His Presence in me and in my situation. He loves to help me. He loves to give me direction and wisdom. I am a clueless idiot without His Presence in me. I’ve noticed what a Difference Maker He is in my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne