Soul Rest

Man Sitting On Bench During A Beautiful SunsetI try to get to bed at a certain time range each evening. I believe that my morning begins the night before. I learned a long time ago that these two were intricately connected. There are some nights that rest comes so peacefully. There are other nights when for whatever reason, I don’t rest well. Sleep usually means rest, but rest doesn’t always mean sleep. I like my life to have a bit of rhythm. I don’t mean musically, although I love music. I like to have some routines and systems in place for my life. When I change up my routine, it takes a minute for the rhythm to return.

Jesus is teaching the people and He has just complimented John The Baptist for his work in preparing the way for Him. He also complimented people who simply follow Him completely. He then makes a statement that really settles my heart. He speaks of soul rest. Check this out….

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

I love the fact that Jesus has strong shoulders. He gives an open invitation for me to come.

He can carry any of my burdens.

He gives me strength when I’m weary.

He gives me calm in the midst of chaos.

He gives physical rest.

He teaches me from His humble & gentle heart.

He gives soul rest.

He replaces my struggles and burdens with a different calling. Instead of seeking success, He invites me to serve. Success comes after serving. Success comes after sitting at the feet of Jesus. Success comes after rest. I understand that is sounds backward, but the Lord want me to trust and lean on Him. This does not mean I’m lazy and sitting around “resting” all the time. If I never work, rest becomes boring.  I intend to keep trusting the Lord to lead and direct the activities of my life. I trust Him to help bring balance and rhythm to my journey. He gives me soul rest which also connects with physical rest. I’m thankful for His gift of soul rest.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Relax

relaxSometimes it is easier to talk about relaxing than doing it. I am still learning to lean upon the Lord for help on this one. When bad things happen, it’s hard to relax a bit and take a step back to “take in” what happened. It seems easier to jump in with options and start “swinging away” trying to fix everything. There are some things that are way beyond my control to fix or repair. I do have to accept the things I can’t change and look closer at the things that I may be able to change. For example, the weather is expected to get dicey here in Georgia later today and overnight into tomorrow from Hurricane Irma who will probably be Tropical Storm Irma or Tropical Depression Irma by the time it hits our area. I can do some storm preparations and “hunker down” or evacuate to another location, but I can’t change the fact that there is bad weather coming. I can’t always change my circumstances, but I can check my attitude toward my circumstances.

Peter gives some great instructions regarding suffering and struggle with things that I can do very little about. Check this out…

13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:13-16 CSB)

I don’t always know what to say, but I can be quiet and trust in the Lord with the outcome. I don’t think the Lord expects me to defy danger and get in its path and then expect a miracle. I do believe that the Lord is with me wherever I go and wherever I am. He doesn’t leave me to face struggle and suffering alone. He doesn’t leave me when I’m celebrating victory either. (That’s when I usually forget about Him.) I want to live every day of my life with Him at the center of my heart. I want Him to be noticed in my life and in my decisions. I want Him to be noticed in my relaxation. I trust the Lord wholeheartedly. I can’t control what is about to happen, but with His help, I can control my response to it.

I view the Lord as holy. I have surrendered my heart to Him – it is a daily exercise. I want to keep in mind, if I’m successful, He’s responsible. If I fail or make a mistake, He won’t leave me stranded and alone. He is my hope and He is the reason I can relax and trust. He is in charge of this world and He is with me no matter what life throws at me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Finding Rest

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopSome days are quite long and stressful. I know that some people commute an hour or more and then put in a 10-hour day before driving an hour back home. I know what it’s like to work hard as my parents set an excellent example for me. I am learning about finding rest. I believe that there is a healthy balance with rest and work. I believe people who work too much without rest are less productive and their work product suffers.

David spoke right into my heart this morning as I read Psalm 62. Check this out…

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV)

I’m still learning to depend upon the Lord. I’m learning that the things I do, the people I serve and the places I go are meant to bring honor to God. If I’m successful serving as a REALTOR, it’s because of Christ in me. He gives me rest daily. He relieves my stress daily. I can trust Him with the simplest or the most complex details.

I do wish that I would have learned this valuable lesson much earlier in my work life. I can do nothing without Him. The work I do matters when He’s leading me. He can give me insight into my work that no amount of education or experience can touch.

There have been times in my life when it seems like it’s coming apart at the seams. I feel pushed and pulled from every angle. I’m learning to trust Him no matter what the day brings. I’m determined to rest in Him in the middle of any storm that comes way. I must fight the noise of my busy life to find rest in Him.  This song came to mind this morning during my time of study and prayer. It’s called: “In The Eye of The Storm” by Ryan Stevenson. Here are the lyrics:

When the solid ground is falling out
From underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes
I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been let down by my friends and my family
I can hear the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds, me in the eye of the storm

When my hopes and dreams are far from me 
And I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

When they let me go and I just don’t know 
How I’m gonna make ends meet
I did my best
Now I’m scared to death
That we might lose everything

And when a sickness takes my child away
And there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You
I trust You LORD

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

_________________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Contentment & Rest

 

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopI am not often content. I enjoy new technology and “tech toys” for sure. I try to always be aware of new technology that makes my job more efficient as well as cost effective going forward. Technology seems to move at a “break neck” speed for sure. I do think it has helped take some of the clutter out of my life, but it also certainly introduced some clutter too.

I believe contentment and rest are very necessary to everyone. I believe God wired us this way. He created for 6 days and rested on the 7th day. I think a day off every week is a great start. I also believe contentment and rest are not just physical – they are mental as well. I can be sitting in my recliner and my mind can be going ninety miles per hour.

David pens a lot of snapshots from his life journey in the Psalms. He articulates some ideas of contentment and rest. Check this out…

6 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.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,

    for you alone, Lord,

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

I get up every morning and go to work in pursuit of prosperity – it’s a never-ending pursuit. Once I attain it, I will pursue something else. Prosperity is not always related to contentment. I’ve used words like “if only…” very often in my past. Contentment is not found is prosperity. Contentment is found in peace with God. When I surrender my heart to the Lord, there is a contentment that is difficult to articulate. When I surrender my heart to the Lord, I’m in harmony with my Creator and contentment comes on the scene.

I want to start and end today with contentment and rest. The Lord supplies me with both.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Home

protected homeI’ve had the opportunity to travel some in my life. I actually enjoy going new places for a short period of time. I always miss my family, my chair, bed, my pillow – my routine. I traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to the REALTOR convention. I had the opportunity to meet with our two Senators from Georgia as well as our representatives. We talked a lot about life back home in Georgia. They were all very appreciative to see people from back home. One of our representatives is retiring after 12 years. He was glad to come home. I can definitely say that I had a great time, but coming home to my family Friday night was the best. I actually got to hold my grandson – it was very special just to be home.

King David is pretty much on his deathbed, but still very much the King of Israel. One of his sons, Adonijah decides to appoint himself as king. He starts building a coalition and leaves out some of the key players. He offers sacrifices and starts a pretty strong campaign. When Nathan the prophet alerts Bathsheba, then she tells the king. Her son Solomon was who David wanted to be king after him. After hearing what Adonijah is doing, David moves quickly to anoint Solomon as his heir to the throne. He puts him on the king’s donkey (motorcade) and they go through the city making the announcement. Adonijah was told what had happened. Check this out…

49 At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”

52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.” (1 Kings 1:49-53 NIV)

The Wisdom of Solomon is already starting to show in his response to his brother who really wanted to become king. I’m not sure Adonijah would have treated Solomon with the same kindness. I love what Solomon tells Adonijah when he’s brought to his presence. He tells him: “Go to your home”. I hear in those four words, I’m not going to punish you. I hear: “Go back to your normal life.” Home is the one place that I can retreat to no matter how things are going elsewhere. I believe that home is the best place for me to find rest for my mind and my body. I get to relax around my family and just “chill”.

I’m thankful to be home. I’m thankful for my home. I’m thankful for my family that makes my house a home. I’m thankful for The Lord Who is in charge of my home. There is no place I’d rather be than home.

I love this song by Phillip Phillips – called “HOME”.

Hold on to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

 

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble—it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

 

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

____________

On a side note… I think that’s the reason I love what I do as a REALTOR – helping people find their new home. If I’m helping someone sell; it’s usually in order to move to a new home. I see home as where my family is. If I lived in an apartment, townhouse or a mansion – as long as my family was there – it would be home.

One of these days I will be going to a new home – an eternal home. I have lots of family members who have already gone. That will be really special too – The Lord will be there too for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rest From Running

 

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopI used to run 3 miles a day to work at keeping in shape and I gave that up quite a few years back. I liked the early morning running. I didn’t like running nearly as much as the rush of endorphins after the run. That part made the pain of running worth it. I had a friend that said he didn’t ever want to run because all the runners he ever saw looked like they were in pain as they ran.

I’ve also run from trouble before. I remember the first ministry that I served in; I was a bit young and often ignorant. I started getting frustrated with some of the leadership and I thought I knew more than I actually knew so I ran. I learned a lot after running from that ministry and into another that if the problem were me (and some of it was), it would follow me wherever I ran too. I learned to work through struggles and disagreements to grow and mature.

David had been running from Saul for quite a while. He decided to go into the Philistine country and Saul wouldn’t bother him there. Check this out…

2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. 3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. 4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. (1 Samuel 27:2-4 NIV)

David lived there for a year and 4 months. He didn’t rest long – in fact I think he became restless. He secretly started raiding towns of the Philistines and wiping them out. The king of Gath never really learned about these secret raids. I think this time of rest was good for David as he put some distance between he and Saul.

Sometimes a time of rest gives perspective and allows me to process what all is happening in my day and in my life. When I was in the practice of running, I would have to prepare to run. I also think it’s important to prepare for rest. I’ve learned to designate a place of rest and a time of rest. It’s also good to have a routine of rest. After a time of rest, then a time of refreshing can come. Rest can help my body as well as my soul. I’m trying to find a rhythm of life where some scheduled rest in part of my day. I’ve stopped running from things and working through them.

Pressing On!

Dwayne