Body Parts

Vocabulary worksheet - parts of the body
Vocabulary worksheet – parts of the body

I’ll never forget a time when I was about to have “minor surgery”. I remember the nurse coming to make sure I that cute little gown on and nothing else. She was trying to help me relax and she said: “Honey, it’s ok – we all have the same parts in our body, some come in different shapes and sizes”!  She made me laugh, but there was significant truth to it as well. She somehow helped me keep my dignity while giving up my modesty. That was almost 30 years ago, and I still remember it well. Our bodies are very special to us. Some of us do a better job than others taking care of our bodies. I remember an old man saying, “If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of my body”. If you know me, you can tell right off that I’m not great at taking care of me. I am a work in progress on this subject.

I came across a passage of scripture where Paul is writing to a church about the church being like a body. It is a really strong analogy and I think it’s one that can apply to all sorts of organizations. Check this out….

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:18-27 NLT)

I don’t want to get graphic by any means, but I have experienced broken or damaged body parts. I had shoulder surgery all the way down to a splinter in my finger. If I have a splinter in my finger, it’s a nuisance. If I have a broken bone, it’s a bit more inhibitive. At the moment, my muscles are a bit sore, but that may simply be that I’m getting old! There are lots of things that are mildly uncomfortable the older I get, and my body can’t do everything the way it once did when I was younger. (Duh!)

I was struck this morning as I compare the functioning of the church to the functioning of the physical body. There are heads, hearts, fingers, toes and dozens of other parts that make up a body. The church has all these people with different gifts and different levels of commitment to the body. Christ is the head of His body, the church, so we all should be where He puts us, NOT where we simply want to be. He knows our giftedness and our passions. If we are all surrendered to His leadership, there should not be squabbles about where we serve or jealousy about one another’s giftedness.  This can sometimes be a tough one in lots of churches, because everyone wants to be in charge. This can happen in lots of other organizations as well. If a few are seeking to bark orders and be in charge, it gives the other parts of the body reasons to push back. I don’t enjoy being part of organizations whose primary mission is to serve, but instead the leadership wants to be served. This becomes a problem and is not the way it was designed. When I start using my body in ways it wasn’t designed to work, it will fail.  I will keep seeking the Lord for direction in how I can best serve to each place He has called me to serve. I serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings; the Son of God – the Leader of my life!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Know It All

i want to know moreI am not a fan of “know it all” people. I do enjoy being around smart people. I heard a quote recently that said: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room”! If I know it all, how can I keep growing? I personally believe people who “know it all” are prideful and arrogant. We should never be too old to learn. We should never become so well educated that we can’t learn or refuse to learn anything new. The Apostle Paul was dealing with the freedoms of some people at church and the strong convictions of others. It is easy for me to tell others what to believe based on my convictions. The Pharisees and the Sadducees did this with great regularity. They enjoyed making other people feel inferior to their beliefs and teachings of scripture. When Jesus encountered them, He often made them look foolish in their prideful behavior. Check this out…

But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.

But for us,

There is one God, the Father,
    by whom all things were created,
    and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    through whom all things were created,
    and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:1b-3,6 NLT)

I do have some convictions based on my knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and my journey with Him over the years. I am open to the teaching of His Word by others. I also don’t want to become prideful and arrogant based on what I know or believe about the Lord. Jesus modeled humility even though He was The One & Only Son of God. I want to know more about the Lord. I want to know more about God’s heart. I want my understanding and knowledge of Him to continue to expand and grow every day of my life. I do have convictions – belief that is set in concrete, but I’m open to the Lord’s teaching me new insight into His heart. I don’t want my freedoms to destroy other people’s convictions. I simply want to know more and more about the Lord in Whom I put my trust for this life and eternal life!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Declaration of Dependence

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI am grateful to have been born in the United States of America. I have been a patriotic person since I was a young kid. My grandfather (Pappy) served in World War II and what little I knew about all of that, I was thankful for the freedom we enjoy in this country. I’ve learned over the years the price that many before me had to give for this freedom. I’m grateful today for the men and women who are standing watch so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy here in the USA!

On July 4th of every year, we celebrate “Independence Day” here in the USA. We celebrate our independence from being under any other government other than the one elected by our citizens. Our freedoms still come with boundaries, but nothing like other countries under totalitarian rule or a dictatorship.  The Apostle Paul writes about marriage to the church at Corinth. He also writes about being a slave and being free. His counsel is interesting. Check this out…

20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you. (1 Corinthians 7:20-24 NLT)

I need to consistently declare my “Declaration of Dependence” upon the Lord. I really try to lean on Him before making any significant decisions. I really want His counsel in every area of my life. I want to depend upon Him as I lead my family. I want to depend upon Him as I serve and lead in His church. I want to depend upon Him as I lead and serve at Metro West Realty. I want every area of my life subject to dependence upon Him – no exceptions. (Please note: this is easier said than done.) The cool part is that I have His assistance as I keep working at this dependent lifestyle. This was the Lord’s plan all along. I’m dependent upon Him so that He can do amazing things in me and through me. He wants to be glorified and honored with my life. My self-serving and self-centered behavior clearly blocks that goal. I’m going to repent and get back to living dependent upon Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Misunderstood Mission

 

Achievement Success Goals Target Jigsaw Puzzle ConceptThere are planned mission trips that have clear goals and purposes to each place. I know missionaries in Indonesia, Africa, Nicaragua and many other places in the world. Their mission is to tell others about Jesus so that they can be saved and have the abundant life here and eternal life after this life. Jesus came to bring that life. His mission was to do what the Father sent Him to do – give His life as the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin. Jesus understood His mission, but lots of others misunderstood His mission. It took a good bit of repetitive instruction before the 12 disciples understood. The religious leaders and teachers of the law didn’t get His mission. They were too busy keeping the rules that they made up to go along with the law. Jesus had called them out about this and so they turned a “deaf ear” to His teaching.

Jesus, the Only Son of God was totally misunderstood by most of the people whom He came to teach and lead. He was crucified on “trumped up charges”. He was mocked, ridiculed and beaten, but He didn’t give up on His mission. As He was on the cross, He was still verbally abused and scoffed at. He completed His mission even though He was totally misunderstood. Check this out…

39 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. (Matthew 27:39-44 NLT)

I am so thankful that Jesus stayed on mission. I have hope today because He endured the mission of His life. The Fathers plan was one final sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice was the death of His Son. Jesus not only died for the sins of the world, He conquered death. He did rise from death on the third day after He was crucified. I often wonder how many of the people who were in the crowd yelling “crucify Him” repented of their sin and turned to Him. I wonder if Paul’s mission and teaching changed their minds about Jesus later. He was here. He was killed. He was gone. That had to baffle them.

I believe that Jesus calls me on a mission to grow in my love for God and to love others like the Lord loves. I show my love for God by serving others. I want to be on mission in my life, even if I’m misunderstood.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Do Something Now!

Get Things Done handwritingI can’t count the number of times I’m thought about doing something, but didn’t do it for one reason or another. The action that I “thought” about was never done – it was only in my mind. I recently heard a guy say that intention is similar to ignoring. I remember my Grandma telling me that the “road to hell was paved with good intentions”. I’m learning as I get older that people with good intentions are no different than people who don’t care. Their actions are the same. I realize that the Lord will judge us based upon our heart, but our actions reveal our heart.

Jesus was describing the final judgement for His disciples and He spelled it out clearly that when we serve the down and out, we’re actually serving Him. Check this out….

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:31-40 NLT)

This passage of scripture really troubles me at times, because over the years I’ve helped others and felt like they were often simply too lazy to work. I remember one instance when I was in my early 20’s and a guy showed up asking for money so I gave him my last bit of cash, which was $5. I learned later that he was the town drunk. He probably spent that money on alcohol. I have been a bit jaded in trying to discern people who were simply taking advantage of me or people who really needed my help. It’s not an easy decision. I’ve started trying to give items that are needed instead of money. Often people who are in deep need are there because they simply can’t manage money. If I keep giving them money, I’m actually not helping – I can work on their needs instead of their wants. God loves a cheerful giver and He calls His people to give. We are never more like God than when we give – He gave His One and ONLY Son for us. Giving is not just about money and resources – it’s also about our time.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Different Leader

Waiter with trayI have served under a lot of different leaders in my work life. I have known insecure leaders, who always need to share their title or profession, which they hope to set the tone for authority for them. I have also served under leaders who were strong leaders beyond their title, but they simple served with respect and humility. After learning of their title and seeing first-hand how they lead, I was profoundly influenced. Leaders without followers are not leaders. I remember Charles Barkley resisting the “leadership role” he was in by nature of his celebrity status. I believe our world is starving for servant leaders. Servant leaders are not insecure. Servant leaders are secure in who they are and what they bring to the table. Servant leaders inspire me. Some people use their power to influence others – while servant leaders use service to influence. Servant leaders care deeply about the people they are leading. Jesus called His disciples to servant leadership. It’s not about titles and positions of power – it’s about leading from a place of service. Check this out….

24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:24-28 NLT)

I have had the opportunity to lead our real estate company for the past seven-plus years. It is an honor to lead from place of service. It’s a bit counter cultural to lead while serving. I see the real estate industry as a profession of service. We serve buyers and sellers of real property. We seek to protect them and provide counsel to them in each conversation. I want to learn and grow in my depth of service to my clients and customers. I believe that every profession where the leader is a Christ follower is in a position of serving others.  I believe that the “servant leader” is way more effective that the “authoritarian leader” who barks orders. Jesus set a profound example of servant leadership – I would be wise to keep following His example.

I was really inspired by the Clay Scroggins Podcast on Entreleadership recently. Clay reminds us to:

  1. Lead Yourself
  2. Choose Positivity
  3. Reject Passivity
  4. Think Critically

Pressing On!

Dwayne