Preparations

Time to PlanI get excited about big days and big events in my life. I will sometimes lay my clothes out the night before in order to make the morning go smoothly. Many years ago, I decided to become a morning person. I love the quietness of the morning. I can read, pray and meditate in the quietness of the morning. I learned very early on that I could not be a “night owl” and a morning person at the same time. I can still remember my grandpa telling me: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise”. I do enjoy my morning time with the Lord in His Word.

I came to the end of Mark this morning and I noticed something that I hadn’t noticed before. The ladies who went to the tomb to put the spices on Jesus’ physical body, prepared the spices the night before so that they could have everything ready for first thing the next morning. Check this out…

1Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” (Mark 16:1-7 NLT)

I remember the Scout motto: “Be Prepared”.  I think it’s wise to think through the events of my day. I started working on the events that come first and knock them out, then move to the next one in line. If I have a 10 AM appointment and a 3 PM appointment, I prepare for the early one first and then the next one.  Believe it or not, I had to make myself consciously choose, because sometimes I like what is happening at 3 PM and I dread the 10 AM. The point is, I try to always be prepared for each part of my day.

The other lesson I learned when I’m prepared is that I can handle interruptions much easier. If I’m not in frantic, “prepare” mode just before something is due, I can navigate through the unexpected with a calmer spirit for sure. So today is the end to the business of 2017 and the new year is just around the corner. I have been preparing for a while now the events of the new year. When I’m prepared, I have more time to anticipate and that is part of the fun.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Plans & Intentions

Project preparationThe best of intentions can sometimes create problems. In the case of our lawmakers who make laws that intend to help, but in realty cause problems and unintended consequences. Planning and thorough study at the planning stage is critical to big projects and complicated ideas.

King David longed to build the temple, but the Lord said not now. Instead the Lord planned for David’s son/successor to build the temple. That didn’t stop David from planning and preparing. He bought the land, (formerly a threshing floor) and he started getting the materials list together. Solomon, his son, just had to follow through from there. King Hiram from Tyre, a neighboring country became a huge ally in the building of the temple. He and David were communicating back and forth after King Hiram reached out to Solomon. Check this out….

3 “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. 5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’ (2 Kings 5:3-5 NIV)

I really believe that the Lord put it in Solomon’s heart to build the temple. The Lord gave Solomon ideas and creativity in the process. I believe that the Lord built the temple through Solomon. Solomon amassed a huge labor force to get the materials together. He hired thousands of skilled craftsmen and tradesmen. This was a big project, but the Lord gave Him wisdom throughout the process.

I can look back on some of the accomplishments in my life and I realize just how the Lord led through so much of the process. I would simply be showing up every day to work and He would plant some great idea in me and I would go down that road. I believe that a person fully following the Lord can be wise beyond their years. I want to live like that. I want the Lord to direct my every step whether I’m at home with my family; showing a house to a buyer; helping a seller get ready to sell; leading in my business or whatever. I want the Lord to direct my path and clear my head so that I can truly listen to His wise instructions.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Preparation For Presence

 

God's mercy at the CrossI remember as a kid joining Boy Scouts. I learned the motto at the first meeting – Be Prepared. Preparation is something I do to get ready for something else. I like to be prepared for work and any meeting I have. I like to be prepared when I’m taking a day off or several days off. Preparation is a really important part of today, as I get ready for something in the future. In fact, some choices I make today will really shape my future.

Moses had given all the instructions to the people as well as to Aaron and his sons, who were to serve as High Priests. The day is here when Aaron and his sons begin their ministry. There were lots of preparations to be done. There were lots of sacrifices and rituals to be completed according to the Lord’s commands. They carried out each sacrifice to the letter. Then – it happened – the Lord showed up. Check this out….

23 Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. (Leviticus 9:23-24 NIV)

I want to always be prepared for the Presence of the Lord. I want His Glory to be over me and in me. Today is Sunday and I look forward to joining my church family in worship. I think it’s important to prepare for the Presence of God in me every day of the week. Today should be extra special because of the appointment of worship with my church family. There is something special when I join my brothers and sisters in worship. His Presence is always there – sometimes He’s way more obvious than at other times. I believe the Lord is ALWAYS where His people are.

As I finish writing this I listened to the song: “Holy Spirit” by Bethel Church. I want the Lord to know that He is ALWAYS welcome in my heart. Sometimes, I really need to clear some stuff out of my heart to make sure He has room to take over my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Disaster Is Looming

 

Tornado aftermath in Henryville, IndianaThere are occasions when the meteorologist can forecast hurricanes and tornados because of incredible technology available to us. I remember seeing the leaves blow and turn over and I was told that a storm was coming. There are times when we can see disaster on the horizon. Some economist can make predictions about an economic disaster that is looming. There are people predict impending doom out of predictors that are happening. Moses was not predicting disaster on Egypt – he was warning them straight up about what is about to happen. Check this out…

4 So Moses said, ‘This is what the Lord says: “About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt – worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.” Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, “Go, you and all the people who follow you!” After that I will leave.’ Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh. (Exodus 11:4-8 NIV)

I can hardly put my head around what is about to happen. Moses is obviously frustrated and angry that this situation has reached this point. God has sent 8 other plagues to showcase His Power and His Presence. Pharaoh and his leadership team are ignoring what is going on, or they have super short-term memory. God is about to bring a massive disaster upon the land of Egypt. I am a Dad and I simply can’t imagine the pain that is about to be inflicted on Egypt. The loss of life in any disaster is painful, but in this case every single family will be dealing with the death of a family member. I have been convicted recently that I’ve been guilty of putting my family and my love for my family ahead of love for God. God doesn’t want me to love my family less, He just wants me to love Him more.

If I see or hear of disaster looming on the horizon, I should take precautions and make preparation. If there is a storm warning, I should take cover. If I feel in danger in my heart, I should make preparation. When disaster comes, I will keep holding on to the Hand that saved me in the first place and He will walk me through whatever I face. His Presence in the middle of a disaster or time of suffering is immeasurable. I will not let go of His hand even when everything is calm and I sure don’t intend to let go His hand in the middle of a disaster.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Preparation

Man praying with the BibleI think it’s important to do the preparation ahead of time so that when things come my way, I’ll know how I want this to play out. I make preparation for things I know that are coming. I make preparation for things that I have no idea are coming my way. The thing is, things that come my way NEVER surprise the Lord. With Him in my heart, I can be prepared for anything that comes my way. I may never have walked through the path of a certain surprise, but He walks through it with me and He equips me to be strong and walk through it. Check this out….

1 Praise be to the Lord my Rock,

    who trains my hands for war,

    my fingers for battle.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress,

    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield,
 in whom I take refuge,

    who subdues peoples under me.
3 Lord, what are human beings that you care for them,

    mere mortals that you think of them?
4 They are like a breath;

    their days are like a fleeting shadow. (Psalm 144:1-4 NIV)

 

In preparation, I try to plan what will happen next. As I read through the Word of God and go on the journey with Him, He gives me wisdom and discernment for each step of the way. If I don’t have the Lord, I’m very ill-prepared for what is ahead.  He is the Rock that don’t move and He leads me through anything that comes my way. I was reminded of this new song, that I’m looking forward to singing with our church.

The Rock Won’t Move

By Vertical Church

Video Here

When the ground beneath my feet gives way

And I hear the sound of crashing waves

All my world is washing out to sea.

 

I’m hidden safe in the God who never moves

Holding fast to the promise of Your truth

You are holding tighter still to me.

 

Chorus:

Oh, the Rock won’t move and His word is strong

The Rock won’t move and His love can’t be undone

The Rock of our salvation

 

My hope is in the promise of Your blood

My support within the raging flood

Even in the tempest, I can see

 

I’m hidden safe in the God who never moves

Holding fast to the promise of Your truth

You are holding tighter still to me.

 

Chorus:

The Rock won’t move and His word is strong

The Rock won’t move and His love can’t be undone

The Rock of our salvation

 

Bridge:

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

The Rock won’t move

 

And when darkness seems to hide His face

I rest on His unchanging grace.

The Rock won’t move

No, the Rock won’t move

 

The Rock won’t move and His word is strong

The Rock won’t move and His love can’t be undone

The Rock of our salvation

 

 In my preparation I want to be found holding on to the Rock through anything and everything I face!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Be Prepared

Project preparationThe Cub Scout motto has been around for many years. I remember learning it as a child being introduced to the scouting program at my home church in Kentucky. Those two words were very easy to remember. I do not always fulfill them, however, if I am prepared for whatever it is I’m planning to do, it almost always goes much smoother.  Peter speaks about being prepared as well. Check this out…

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:15-17 NIV)

 

I’ve grown over the years in my depth of understanding of the heart of God. I have deep respect and honor for God and I’ve noticed how He’s constantly working behind the scenes to protect and provide for me. His Presence is constant. His Patience is long. His Love is beyond describing. I love God and I want to honor Him with my little life lived out big and loud! I want to always be prepared to speak a good word on His behalf.  I want to be prepared for anything that comes my way. With His Presence in me, I can do just that!

Pressing On!
Dwayne