Relax…

Thoughtful little girlWhen I think of the word “relax” – I’m thinking of jumping off the stress bandwagon and “chillin out”. I’m thinking of floating on the lake in a boat or sitting by the lake with an evening campfire. There are all sorts of ways to relax, but they often seem so very far away. I can get something on my mind or “up in my grill” and no matter where I am, relaxing might just take extra effort.

As a follower of Jesus, I’m learning to trust Him more with the stress of my life. I simply can’t do everything or be everything that others want me to be. My goal is to honor Him above all in my relationships. If I learn to love and live out of my relationship with Him, then I become better in every relationship I have.  I love this simple passage in Psalms that sort of screamed out to me to relax. Check this out…

Many, Lord, are asking,
 “Who will bring us prosperity?”

    Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy

    when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,

    for you alone, Lord,

    make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:6-8 NIV)

 

It’s hard to relax if I’m worried about keeping up with others. It’s hard to relax if I’ve set unrealistic expectations for my, my family, my friends or co-workers. I really want to be balanced in every area of my life. I want the balance of my life to come out of my journey with the Lord. I want to listen when He tells me to relax. I want to be wise about work when He’s speaking into my heart and my life. I want to grow today to trust Him more and more. As I walk out my faith journey, my work journey gets clearer and clearer as I hang out in His Presence and seek His wisdom for the journey.  I’m really pretty relaxed now and the subject matter that was on my mind first thing this morning can wait a minute because the Lord and I are going to talk extensively about it.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Access Code

LKR032459I had a loud wake up call this morning as I’m stumbling into the kitchen my normal sleepy stupor.  One of my boys had set the security system and accidentally (I hope!) set the motion sensor. That ear-piercing alarm scared the crap out of me and freaked me out a good bit. At times like that, I’m so out of it, I can barely remember the code to shut the darn thing off. Then I try to find my phone to report the false alarm. I can’t remember the code to open my phone (which is not the same code to shut off the alarm!) and all of this before my first cup of coffee. My hands were shaking not because of fear, but my heart was racing because I couldn’t get my mind awake. You’d think after that 150db alarm, I’d be awake! The alarm company calls me first and I tell them all is well – even though my heart is racing after that madness! After getting my coffee started, I opened the Word to Romans 5 and Paul talks about our access to God. This passage blessed my heart and directed my thoughts to gratitude for such grace. Check this out….

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:1-8 NIV)

I have to say that this never gets old to me! I love being showered with the amazing Grace of God.  I can have peace with God every minute, every hour of every day through Jesus. He became the sacrifice/payment for my sin. I have the ticket to Eternal Life with God through Jesus. I also have the secret code to the abundant life before eternal life!  Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, I can walk in faith through my everyday normal life as a Husband, Dad and Friend/Realtor. The components of this life are no longer a mystery because I have the access code. The bad things that happen build me and the good things that happen bless me. I am wide awake – eyes wide open – basking in the glow of grace this morning! BTW, I think my heart rate is getting back to normal too!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Overcome

Strength Level Measured on Thermometer Ultimate StrongThere are events and experiences that really rock my world – sometimes to the point of really shaking my faith.  There are things that happen that are hard to understand and process. I still believe the Lord helps me to overcome them all. His Presence directs my path as I meander through uncharted territory of struggle and pain. I sometimes feel like the struggle is going to take me out. But then…. But then, I remember His Promises, His Power and His Presence! It makes all the difference in the world. Check this out….

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:29-33 NIV)

I can overcome any obstacle that I face when I have the Presence and Power of God in my life. I know for sure that it will not be a “cakewalk”, but I can overcome with Him. He positions me to not only survive tremendous difficulties, He actually helps me thrive and grow in the middle of trouble. His economy revolves around my trust in Him. His economy involves lots of mercy and grace for stupid choices and ignorant decisions. I am thankful for His Promise, His Presence, His Power and His Peace! It makes all the difference in my worldview!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Peace

Joy, Love, Hope, Peace and FaithThis word to me means freedom from stress or worry. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s quiet around me. It means relaxation and rest from the things that cause me to worry or stress about.

I love having peace of mind that says “all is good”. I love having a peaceful home where my boys are getting along great and not “picking” at one another.

I would love knowing that our world is at peace. That is a lot more complicated than I can even wrap my head around. There are people who believe that peace for them is my country’s destruction.  They are filled with hate, revenge and rage. To me these are the opposite of peace.

Nahum opens his little book of prophesies by describing a God of justice. He wraps up chapter one speaking of peace. Check this out…

15 Look, there on the hills,

    someone is bringing good news!

    He is announcing peace!

Celebrate your feasts, people of Judah,

    and give your promised sacrifices to God.

The wicked will not come to attack you again;

    they have been completely destroyed. (Nahum 1:15 NCV)

The Lord brought peace to His people. They were restored from captivity to their home. When I think about the peace in my little corner of the world, I must realize that there are men and women who are standing as guardians and protectors of our nation so that I can enjoy peace.

I want to be a peace with God. I want to honor Him with my decisions today. I want to trust Him with the details of my life. I’m so grateful for grace because I probably wouldn’t be at peace with God without grace. He initiated the peace I have with Him through Jesus. Without Him I would not know peace.  I love the little bumper sticker that reads: Know Christ – Know Peace; No Christ – No Peace!

Pressing On!
Dwayne