Discipline

 

Discipline is the bridge from WEAK to STRONG. Concept 3D illustration.I used to think of this word as punishment (aka – grounded or “the board of education applied to the ‘seat’ of understanding”). It wasn’t a positive word from my point of view. I now have an additional meaning to this word that speaks to regimen and behavior that develops skills and positive traits in my life. I still have a lot of room to grow in this area as I try to be more disciplined in the food choices I make and the volume of food I consume. It pains me to write about this because it’s a weakness that I’m working on. These two different meanings of the same word are very much related. The punishment that I received when I was “out of line” affected my behavior and taught me some boundaries. The daily disciplines I employ also reach a very similar destination.

Asaph was calling upon the Lord to punish (aka discipline) people who wanted to destroy Israel. He wanted the Lord to show up in power and show them Who they were dealing with. Check this out…

13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
    like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
    or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
    and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord,
    so that they will seek your name.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
    may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—
    that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. (Psalm 83:13-18 NIV)

I am reminded that the Lord has unmatched Power. He has unmatched Presence. His Patience with me is “over the top”. I deserve punishment, but I receive Grace. I’m thankful that He doesn’t give me what I deserve. I have been disciplined by the Lord, but I’m learning that self-discipline is much more proactive. (He helps me with that too!) I have done some stupid things in my life and the Lord has forgiven and restored me. I don’t ever want to forget His Love and His Grace. Because of His Love and Grace, I want His help with discipline in my life because the root word of discipline is disciple and that is exactly end goal – to be a life-long disciple of The Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Great Love Of God

Worship to GodI remember singing a hymn in church as a young kid called “The Love Of God”. I remember that the words of that song attempted to describe something that was indescribable. I remember the second verse the best. Check this out…

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Chorus: Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song. (author Frederick Lehman)

I can only write about what I know about God’s love for me. I’ve seen His love for others. I’m experienced His love first hand in my life. God’s love is a conviction of mine that is not up for negotiation. He has been faithful even when I’m unfaithful. I can’t wrap my head around His Grace or His Love. They are both inner connected and inseparable.

David writes about the rescue of God many times in the Psalms. David realizes that he’s never along –God is always there to rescue and save. Check this out…

You, God, know my folly;
    my guilt is not hidden from you.

Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    may those who hope in you
    not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
    may those who seek you
    not be put to shame because of me.

13 But I pray to you, Lord,
    in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
    answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,
    do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
    from the deep waters. (Psalm 69:5-6,13-14 NIV)

I’m so thankful for the Love of God that rescues me.

I’m so thankful for the Love of God that restores me.

I’m so thankful for the Love of God that shapes my life.

I’m so thankful that the Love of God is displayed through His Power & His Presence in my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

PS: I’m also a fan of the song: “O Great Love of God” by David Crowder.

In God I Trust

 

In God We Trust from the dollar billI heard a story about a guy who always stopped to pick up a penny, not because of its value, but because it has the words inscribed: “In God We Trust”.  I saw a penny on the ground a day or so after that and picked it up. It reminds me that I trust in God too. I’ve been through some hard and scary times in my life where trusting God didn’t seem like an option. I was desperate for His help and for Him to settle my heart.

David was running from Saul and desperate for God to protect him and lead him. He often writes from his personal perspective, but it speaks volumes to me about his relationship with God. I can relate to his fear as well as his faith. Sometimes the distance between fear and faith is very close. Check this out…

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll—
    are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
    when I call for help.
    By this I will know that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?

12 I am under vows to you, my God;
    I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
    and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life. (Psalm 56:3-4, 8-13 NIV)

My fear is often a result of the present circumstances. When I have a moment to take a breath and get some perspective, it can change everything. My faith has grown deeper and stronger over the years because I was fearful and struggling when the Lord spoke into my heart. He came to comfort me. He brought peace to my very soul. I now have a track record with the Lord. I can’t lean on that because that’s in the past too – just like my stupid choices. I lean on Him today because He’s here with me. He speaks through His word today. My journey with the Lord is more real today than ever before because of my journey in His Word. My trust in God is stronger because I feel like I know His heart even better. I’m thankful beyond words for His patience with me – such grace. I’m thankful for His presence with me – so faithful. He has changed my entire perspective on life. In God I trust today and always.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Build My Life

 

House projectThere are times when I reflect on my life and it appears to be crumbling. I’m hurt or wounded by something or someone and it gets me down.  When I read King David’s journal of sorts, I realize that he struggled and his life was a mess at times too.  I know that my life is not always going to be easy, but the difficult times seem to come by too often. I love David’s honesty and constant confession. He doesn’t sugar coat his sin or his struggles. I am thankful for his writings because the struggle is real, but so is his faith in God. Check this out…

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods. (Psalm 40:1-4 NIV)

I am thankful for the patience of God. I am thankful for the grace of God that comes to me out of His Patience. I am thankful for His Power to lift my head and lift me up out of the places I find myself in. He doesn’t give up on me. It reminded me of a song that my son recently told me about called Build My Life by Housefires performed by Passion Band 2017.

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 a name above every other name

Jesus the only one that could ever save

Worthy of every breathe we could ever breathe

We live for you

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 oh lord

And I will not be shaken

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Blessed

 

Count Your BlessingsThere are so many times that I reflect on this word and how I’m showered with blessing. I have so much to be thankful for. Many of the people and things I’m thankful for are straight-up a blessing from the Lord. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. I keep asking the Lord to cultivate a grateful heart in me. I don’t want to miss the blessings He is showering on me.  Even during struggle, suffering and pain – I want to see Him at work in my life.  David pens blessing quite well. Check this out….

1 Blessed is the one

    whose transgressions are forgiven,

    whose sins are covered.

2 Blessed is the one

    whose sin the Lord does not count against them

    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you

    and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, ‘I will confess

    my transgressions to the Lord.’

And you forgave

    the guilt of my sin.

7 You are my hiding-place;

    you will protect me from trouble

    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

10 Many are the woes of the wicked,

    but the Lord’s unfailing love

    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

    sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7, 10-11 NIV)

I am so not perfect. I need the forgiveness and grace of God daily. I’m so thankful for His patience and His grace which go hand in hand. He is so patient with me when I stumble. He gives me grace when I deserve punishment. I am so blessed to know the Lord and to call Him my Friend. He loves like no one else. He protects like now one else. He provides like no one else. His blessings are beyond measuring. I’m a fool when I disregard His direction and His leading upon my heart. I want to hide in Him to keep me from temptation. I want my heart to be upright before Him. I am blessed beyond the ability of my words to express.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Credit Is Due

 

Worship to GodI think it’s always a good practice to give credit to people who done the work and overcome the obstacles in their path. I’ve never been a fan of someone who takes the credit for something that they didn’t do. It takes humility to acknowledge the great work and accomplishment of someone else and give them the credit that is due them.

Michael Phelps did swim that fast. He is quick to give credit to those who coached him and trained him – but he put in the time training and did the hard work. His accomplishments are a result of the work he did and the coaching and training he received. I think it’s valuable to be quick to give credit where its due to others.

King David penned a Psalm that gives credit to The Lord for Who He is and all that He’s doing. Check this out…

1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,

    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;

    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;

    the Lord is enthroned as King forever.

11 The Lord gives strength to his people;

    the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:1-2,10-11 NIV)

I gain great perspective by reading the Psalms. This passage reminded me of the proper perspective that I should have of God. My life is built to bring glory and honor to Him. He is the Creator of my life. He is the Conductor of my life. If I’ve done anything of value to others – it’s for His glory and not my own. I am nothing without Him.

I was reminded of a song that we sometimes sing at church called “Glory To God” by Steve Fee.

Before the world was made, before You spoke it to be

You were the King of kings, yeah You were, yeah You were

And now You’re reigning still, enthroned above all things

Angels and saints cry out, we join them as we sing

 

Glory to God, glory to God

Glory to God, forever

Glory to God, glory to God

Glory to God, forever

 

Creator God, You gave me breath so I could praise

Your great and matchless name, all my days, all my days

So let my whole life be a blazing offering

A life that shouts and sings the greatness of our King

 

Take my life and let it be

All for You and for Your glory

Take my life and let it be yours

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne