Safe & Protected

 

LKR032459I have a security alarm in my home so that if someone comes into my home during the night, I will be alerted. If it is one my family members, they know the code to bypass the alarm. I have to admit that I rest better at night knowing the home is secured. I do have “other means” of security as well, those will remain private.

A few nights ago, the security system mal-functioned just after midnight and I wasn’t home. At that point, it became an irritating and obnoxious system. It needed a “reboot”. It is now working fine.

Jesus explains His position as the Son of God and the keeper of His sheep (followers, disciples, believers). He is like a farmer who knows his livestock and gives them each a name. He feeds them and provides for them. He watches out for the sick or weak. Check this out…

24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” (John 10:24-30 NLT)

As I walk out my faith daily with the Lord – He and I talk a lot. We talk about everything. We talk about the little things and the big things. We talk about whether I should eat that piece of candy (sometimes I don’t listen) or not. I want Him involved in every facet of my life. He gives the best counsel. He gives the best directions. He leads me where He wants me to go. I’m also listening to Him so that I can say what He wants me to say.

I feel safe and protected wherever I am and whatever I’m doing because I know that the Lord is with me. I don’t worry because I’ve surrendered to His Will and His Way for me. I want my life to bring glory to Him and not to me. I want Him to be noticed in how I live. He keeps me safe and protected for Himself. If I were to get sick, hurt or killed – I want those events to draw attention to my total trust in the Lord. I will die one of these days and He alone knows how or when that will happen. I want my life and my death to bring glory and honor to Him. Having my total trust in Him is the ONLY way I feel safe and protected.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Self-Defense

 

self defenseI remember years ago taking some judo classes and then later some karate classes. I was learning to defend myself if I were to be attacked.  It makes me smile to remember getting into the little white, loose fitting outfit and doing my routines. I don’t remember “wipe on – wipe off” like The Karate Kid, but the routines were similar. I haven’t ever had to use any of my “ninja skills” in self-defense, and I’m not sure I could. A good bit of life has gone by since those classes.

Just about everyone I know would defend themselves in some way if they were threatened. I know people who are “packing heat” aka carrying a gun wherever they go. I know others who think nothing bad will ever happen. I try to assess situations and choose safety, I try hard not to be an easy target for someone who would want to harm me or my family. At the end of the day, I can’t control all of this. I was reminded this morning that God is my protector and my deliverer. Check this out…

I put no trust in my bow,
    my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
    you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
    and we will praise your name for ever. (Psalm 44:6-8 NIV)

The Lord is my source of victory. I can’t possibly defend myself like He can. He is my Protector. He is my Provider. He is my Defender. If I trust in my weapons or my training, I will likely be beaten. When I trust in Him, I feel safe and protected.  I’m learning to trust the Lord to lead me away from danger and threats. I’m trusting Him to protect when I am threatened. He is God of Angel Armies – He goes before me and He comes in behind me. I love that song by Chris Tomlin.

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in your name
For you alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in your hands
I’m holding on to your promises

You are faithful

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Protection

 

ProtectedI don’t often think of all the steps I take in protecting myself. I wear proper clothing to protect myself from the weather. I have protections inside my home. I have protection systems on my computer equipment.  I have also sorts of physical protection in place and I was reminded this morning of the spiritual protection I need to go along with the physical protection. Check this out…

1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;

    let me never be put to shame;

    deliver me in your righteousness.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,

    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,

    for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;

    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,

    for you saw my affliction

    and knew the anguish of my soul.

23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!

    The Lord preserves those who are true to him,

    but the proud he pays back in full.

24 Be strong and take heart,

    all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:1,3-5,7,23-24 NIV)

I feel safe in the Presence of God. When I’m threatened – I can feel safe with the Lord as my Fortress and my Rock. The Lord is with me always. He & I can face anything that comes my way. He knows my fears. He knows my doubts. He knows my heart completely and He loves me anyway. I find strength in knowing He can handle whatever comes my way.

My Rock, my Fortress, my Refuge, my Protection, my Counselor, My Deliverer – He is the Lord of all.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Safe & Secure

LKR032459I have a security system in our home that will warn us audibly if there is an intrusion into our home. It works well we our brain skips a synapse and we forget to turn it off before going outside. The alarm is a serious violation to my ear. I originally installed the alarm so that my wife would feel safe when I’m away traveling. I should confess that over the years I’ve gotten used to having the security system in place when I lay down at night.

Security and safety are important to me. I feel responsible to protect my family and keep them secure. I’ve learned that the Lord has a way better protection/security plan than a simple alarm system. Check this out…

1 Keep me safe, my God,

    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;

    apart from you I have no good thing.’

7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;

    even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

    With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

    my body also will rest secure,

11 You make known to me the path of life;

    you will fill me with joy in your presence,

    with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:1-2,7-9,11 NIV)

There is something about this passage that relaxes me. I find comfort knowing that I have protection and security with me all day every day. It’s not simply a physical protection, but spiritual protection as well. The spiritual threat feels way more significant to me than the physical threat.

I have come to realize over the years, that without the Lord – I am nothing. With Him, I am somebody who has value and can bring value to others. He has made me who I am today. It’s been a bit of a crazy journey with some detours, but I’m here now and The Lord is in charge of every area of my life. He leads me through the simplest or the most complex decisions. I can’t imagine my life without Him. I don’t want to try. My role at this point is continuous surrender of areas of my life that I’m still trying to hold on to. The Lord has the best security system on the planet. He knows every threat to me and He’s handling each of them.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Stronghold

 

security guardThe title here represents two words put together they have even greater significance. I need the Lord to be strong for sure – He is the Creator for sure so He’s above all creation – stronger that all the strongest creatures of His creation combined. The “hold” part of that word means He has a strong grip. He will not let go of me even when the fighting is fierce and hard. That is a comforting thought for sure.

As I read this Psalm of David I was reminded to trust the Lord completely. He has my care as His concern. My part is to trust Him even when I can’t see what is next.  Check this out…

1 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;

    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;

    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

7 The Lord reigns for ever;

    he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He rules the world in righteousness

    and judges the peoples with equity.

9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,

    a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name trust in you,

    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:1-2; 7-10 NIV)

I feel safe under the Leadership of the Lord. I’m not sure what crazy thing or things will happen next, but I’m trusting the God Who Created all of this to keep His stronghold open for business.  Our country is more polarized than ever before it seems and our new President-elect has a tall task on his hand to lead such diversity and polarity. I do believe in praying for our leaders and staying in touch with them.

I think the most value thing I can do others is to pray for them. To pray for them is to offer hope and encouragement. To the young man who just lost his wife to cancer – I can pray. To the young man who just lost his dad – I can pray. To the parents who just lost a child – I can pray. In my prayer, I’m calling upon the Lord to put these people in His Stronghold. They desperately need someone bigger and stronger than they are.  I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than in the stronghold of God’s amazing love and grace.

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