Perspective

 

Mountain ViewThis is an interesting word to define. As I look up this word in the dictionary, the definition has little to do with how I use the word. I’m thinking of perspective as the position of my view on something. My angle or my point of view is my perspective. My perspective of life has been changed as I live my life over the years. My view of life looked a lot different at age 25 than it does at age 55. My perspective of The Lord has changed as I’ve walked a lot closer to Him in the last several years. The writings of Psalms often give me perspective with the Lord. I want to follow Him and walk with Him all the days of my life.

Praise the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
    who find great delight in his commands.

Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:1-7 NIV)

Proper perspective can lead to being righteous.

Proper perspective can lead to the light.

Proper perspective can lead me to generosity.

Proper perspective can lead me to confidence in the Lord.

Proper perspective gives me great strength.

Proper perspective gives me calm during bad news.

Proper perspective keeps my heart steady – trusting the Lord.

I want the perspective of God that comes from His Word, not just my personal experience and personal perspective. His Word speaks from the proper perspective of God of Creation. He is faithful, loving, grace-filled and strong. His Word speaks truth and from that truth I can have the proper perspective of Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Looking Back

Beautiful young woman smiling and looking behindI am a huge proponent of looking forward. I blogged a while back about how important it is to notice the size of the windshield versus the rear-view mirror. That blog is called The Rear View Perspective. I can learn a lot about where I am today by reflecting a bit on where I’ve been. I get into trouble if I live in the past rather than simply glance back at my journey. I have some good times with the Lord in my past and I’ve also had some very rocky times when I was ignoring Him and resisting His love.  I’ve since learned the stupidity of running from the Lord or ignoring Him. I really identified with Asaph’s writing as he reflecting on some of his past and how he was going to move forward. Check this out…

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

13 Your ways, God, are holy.
    What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
    you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:11-15 NIV)

I heard the phrase “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. I read it connected to Winston Churchill, but it is attributed to George Santayana. This is a catchy phrase, but not always true. I have learned from my past sins and mistakes and I still repeat them. I get so frustrated with myself when I stumble at the same spot. I will also say that it really inspires me when I look back at my life and see the hand of God all over me. He was with me when I was a kid in High School. He was with me through my college years. He was with me in my early days of youth ministry. He was with me through a hard divorce. He was with me through being fired. He was with me through the transition to real estate sales and service. He was with me when my kind fought and beat cancer. He was with me when my youngest kid fell from a tree and survived. He has never left me – not once. He is not a “fair weather friend”. He is a loyal friend that knows me like no one else. He is faithful, consistent, constant and kind. I need to be reminded of my past journey with the Lord as these memories can illuminate my path today and going forward.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Perspective & Perception

 

Man praying with the BibleI believe that perspective shapes perception. To take it a step further, perception for most people is their reality. There have been times, I confess, that I have formed an opinion based on my perception rather than the facts of the matter. King David seems a bit stressed, but he manages to give me a solid perspective about God from his personal journey. Check this out…

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
    extol him who rides on the clouds;
    rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.

19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves;
    from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

28 Summon your power, God;
    show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
    sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
    who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
    the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God! (Psalm 68:4-5,19-20,28,32-35 NIV)

God brings Presence to those who are lonely and afraid.

God bears our burdens so that our load is much lighter.

God brings the Ultimate Power to a situation that it totally beyond my ability or my power.

God’s strength and power are beyond my understanding, but I’ve experienced both and I often need both.

My perception and perspective of God comes through my journey in His Word.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

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

Different Perspective

 

There are times when I keep looking at the situation the same way, no matter how many times I come back to it. However, a good friend or confidant might see things from a totally different perspective. I think it’s very wise to have multiple perspectives when dealing with a challenging situation that is way bigger than I can handle on my own.

Job has lost all his possessions, family and now his health. He is beyond distraught and He’s asked God to curse the day he was born. He has three “friends” who come to be with him during this very hard time. One of them attempts to give him a different perspective. Check this out…

2 ‘If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?

    But who can keep from speaking?

3 Think how you have instructed many,

    how you have strengthened feeble hands.

4 Your words have supported those who stumbled;

    you have strengthened faltering knees.

5 But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;

    it strikes you, and you are dismayed.

6 Should not your piety be your confidence

    and your blameless ways your hope? (Job 4:2-6 NIV)

I really need to see things from multiple angles when I can. It helps develop a healthier perspective of the issue at hand. This guy, Eliphaz the Temanite was reminding Job of what he had done in the past by helping others. In the middle of my struggle and pain, it is often difficult to have a different perspective, let alone several perspectives. I see perspective as a particular angle from which I see things.

I do think that when hearing different perspectives, we have to consider the journey of the friends who are sharing the different perspectives. There are times when my friend’s perspective may be skewed because they’ve been a life-long friend and can’t say what needs to be said. At other times, they speak into my life from their angle and it’s very sobering and spot on. I think that suffering and struggle can be used to bring glory and honor to God. He doesn’t leave me when I suffer and struggle. He is ALWAYS there to guard and guide my steps. The suffering sometimes screams so loud that I loose my memory of how powerful and protective the Lord is.

While I’m thankful for other perspective, I should pay closest attention to the Lord’s perspective. He knows what is best for me, because He built me. I want all that I am and all that I experience to bring honor to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Different Perspective

 

woman creating a frame from fingersThere are times when I’m so engrossed in a situation that I can’t see a way to solve the issue. If I step back and look at it from a different perspective, I can usually work through it. There is almost always a different perspective. As I walk through the Word of God, I’m learning that there are many alternative perspectives from which to view most situations. There is my view based on past experience or simply seeing what I see. Then there is God’s view and He see’s past the exterior and goes right to the heart of the situation.

God’s perspective is clear when Samuel is sent to the home of Jesse from Bethlehem. He is to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next King of Israel. The Lord is clearly in charge and Samuel is being obedient to Him. When Samuel sees the first son, he things that this is the one. I’m sure he’s rugged, handsome and probably bold in appearance. The Lord made it clear that this wasn’t the chosen one. If fact the Lord reveals how He’s searching for a leader. Check this out…

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

I must confess that when I shower, shave and get dressed to show houses today that I’m going to look in the mirror to make sure my appearance is as good as I can be. (I only have so much to work with! LOL) I do want to make a good first impression. I think what’s more important is that I’m taking time to let the Lord work on my heart. He’s is way more concerned with my devotion to His Way and His Word than my receding hairline or expanded mid-section. The Lord examines my heart all the time. In fact I don’t think there’s a moment that goes by that’s He letting slip by. One of the things I’ve noticed about my heart is that it’s flawed. I still allow sin to slip in and the Lord helps me push it right back out.

I’m pretty sure that people have passed judgment on my motives and decisions that I’ve made in the past. I’m probably not always right, but I sure try to be. I welcome any discussion about what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. I know that the Lord is holding me accountable for my “heart condition”. I welcome His work in me even though at times it’s difficult. I believe it’s the most important work I can do while I’m on this earth. My heart is His home. I would rather look like a pauper with a good heart than look incredibly successful with a diseased heart.

“Here’s my heart Lord – speak what is true!” (Here’s My Heart by David Crowder)

Pressing On!

Dwayne