Show & Tell

Pet BirdOne of my favorite parts of grade school was when we had “show and tell”.  My classmates and I would bring unique things from our home or life and show off the item and tell what it does and/or what it means to us.  I enjoyed it because it was different and I was hearing from my friends about topics they loved. It was a good learning experience.  I always enjoy hearing personal stories when I’m sitting under a teacher. I tend to lean in a bit more when the topic becomes personal.

Jesus had a wild confrontation with a man possessed of many evil spirits. Evidently the man was totally out of control and uncontrollable. When Jesus arrived on the scene, He immediately confronted the evil spirits. The evil spirits are weak in the Presence of the Lord. Jesus is about to call them out of this man and the demons asked to go into a heard of 2000 pigs. Jesus gives permission and the demons enter the pigs which immediately go crazy and run off a cliff into the water and drown. This whole scene freaks the people of the area out. Instead of getting to know this man Jesus – who has this sort of power; they ask Him to leave.  Check this out…

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. (Mark 5:18-20 NIV)

Jesus’ instructions were very simple: “show & tell what the Lord has done for you”. (my translation)  I’m not always able to give an explanation of what I know about the Lord, or what I believe – but I can tell you what He’s done for me and all that He’s doing in my life. I have lived through some dark and challenging times in my life and He’s been right there with me. His strength and His Presence has often sustained me when nothing or no one else could. I’ve seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears some amazing faith stories and I believe that the Lord can do anything – be anywhere. I just know that He has changed my life many times. He’s been so patient with me as I stumble my way through big stuff. His grace is absolutely ridiculous! I want to live the rest of my life “showing and telling” what the Lord has done for me. I want others to know what a difference He has made in my life and can make in their life.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Strength

Strength Level Measured on Thermometer Ultimate StrongI used to work out pretty regular and as a result, my strength and stamina was drastically improved. As I’ve gotten older and less motivated to find the time for a strong work out, I’ve seen my strength and stamina fall off a bit. Our muscles are unique in that they develop with use and develop more when they face resistance on a regular basis.

The people of Jerusalem were strong not because of their strength, but because the Lord was with them. Zechariah explained it clearly. Check this out….

 1 This message is the word of the Lord to Israel. This is what the Lord says, who stretched out the skies, and laid the foundations of the earth, and put the human spirit within: 2 “I will make Jerusalem like a cup of poison to the nations around her. They will come and attack Jerusalem and Judah. 3 One day all the nations on earth will come together to attack Jerusalem, but I will make it like a heavy rock; anyone who tries to move it will get hurt. 4 At that time I will confuse every horse and cause its rider to go crazy,” says the Lord. “I will watch over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the enemies. 5 Then the leaders of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord All-Powerful is their God.’ (Zechariah 12:1-5 NCV)

My physical strength comes from the body that the Lord gave me. I have some responsibilities in taking care of my body. I still believe that the Lord gives me strength at times when I thought I was empty.

The Lord is the only Source of my spiritual strength. He alone holds me and shapes me. He does His best work when I trust Him completely. My strength is built up when I spend time in the Word with Him. My strength grows when I converse with Him in prayer and I see His Hand in my life and in the life of others.  His Presence is amazing to both my spiritual and physical being.  I must learn to hold tight to Him in any and every circumstance that I face. He gives me strength when I’m all out. He gives me just the right amount. I trust Him. I love Him. I honor Him. By surrendering all that I am to Him, I’m made really strong.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Among

Crowd of peopleThat word means “surrounded by; in the company of”. It’s not a word that I’ve thought much about.  When we adopted Luke, I think about words in our language much more. He has learned to speak English so quickly that we were shocked. However there are times when we come upon a word that is not used real often and it needs some further explanation.  Zechariah was the Lord’s mouthpiece to the people and the Lord made a promise through him. Check this out….

10 “Shout and be glad, Jerusalem. I am coming, and I will live among you,” says the Lord. 11 “At that time people from many nations will join with the Lord and will become my people. Then I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord All-Powerful has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will take Judah as his own part of the holy land, and Jerusalem will be his chosen city again. 13 Be silent, everyone, in the presence of the Lord. He is coming out of the holy place where he lives.” (Zechariah 2:10-13 NCV)

Having the Lord live among us changes absolutely everything. He brings Power and Peace and Perspective. He bring Salvation and Joy with Him. He is so Powerful, yet so Gentle and full of Mercy. When He is among us , I can see everyone else differently. My vision of me changes with His Presence. My vision of others changes as well.  When the Lord living among me and my family and my work takes on a different value because honoring Him is the supreme calling.

I love having Him dwell among us as He gives direction. I will be available to Him. I will listen to Him. I will do what He calls me to do. I don’t have to go far to seek His wisdom – He is among my circle of influence!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Power – Punishment – Presence

I remember as a kid thinking of how sweet my grandmother was. Mammie was this sweet lady who always had a smile for me and always had a way of making things right. I can’t remember the incident when I saw her get angry, but I remember thinking: “I don’t want to get her mad at me!” She believed in the “board of education applied to the seat of understanding”! She was gentle, sweet and kind but also strong and firm.

The Lord is powerful beyond words and there are times when His power is needed to punish. There are also times when His power is needed with simply His Presence. Check this out….

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”

2 Hear this, all you nations;


    listen, earth and all you who live on it.

The Lord God will be a witness against you,

    the Lord from his Holy Temple.
3 See, the Lord is coming out of his place;

    he is coming down to walk on the tops of the mountains.
4 The mountains will melt under him,

    and the valleys will crack open,
like wax near a fire,

    like water running down a hillside.
5 All this is because of Jacob’s sin,

    because of the sins of the nation of Israel.
(Micah 1:2-5b NCV)

I don’t necessarily want to see the power of the Lord through punishment. I love knowing the power of the Lord through His Presence. His Presence brings me peace and comfort. His Presence brings clarity. His Presence brings wisdom and discernment. His Presence brings healing and hope. I want to remain in the Presence of God today and every day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne