Integrity of Heart

senior cool man proud conceptI begin nearly every day of my life with a shower first thing in the morning and then choose what I’ll wear that day. I try to dress for the occasion. If it’s a normal work day – a branded shirt and casual slacks.  I decided a long time ago before I get dressed physically that it’s important to dress up my heart first thing. I love hearing from the Lord as He builds out my heart. The more time I spend with Him, the more I know Him and I start acting more like Him in the different circumstances I will face each day.

Asaph pens a long and detailed psalm that contained quite a history lesson for the people of Israel. He concludes the psalm by telling his readers that God chose David for a reason. Check this out…

70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72 NIV)

I was moved by that last verse describing David’s leadership -” his integrity of heart”. The heart can be hidden most days from most people. I believe that the Lord looks to my heart way more intensely and consistently that He looks at any action I take. The Lord is way more concerned with my heart that my behavior. I believe that ALL BEHAVIOR comes from the heart. My good choices and bad choices all come from my heart. I believe that there is a constant battle going on inside my heart for control. When I made Jesus Lord of my life, the battle for my heart started and is continuing even today. I want to equip my heart with the Word of God so that my heart capacity for God can expand and grow. I want to be known as a leader with integrity. I give permission for any Christ follower to challenge me or to check my heart if they see some behavior that lacks integrity. I believe integrity begins in my heart and displays itself in my everyday life. It’s not a one-time action – it is a lifestyle.

Today and every day, I surrender my heart to the Lord. He alone can build my heart to reflect His.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

King Of My Heart

Royal Gold CrownI grew up in the USA where we elected our President, Senate & Representatives. We did not have a system where the king is in charge and if you didn’t like his policies – oh well. If we didn’t like the way a president led our country, we would vote him out at the next election. I’m fascinated by the monarch system, but I’m glad we don’t have it here in the USA.

As I read scripture, I am under a monarch system. The Lord God is King over all the earth. He created all we see and know. Everything on earth can be traced back to Him. He is the only One who make something out of nothing. He

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter. (Psalm 74:12, 15-17 NIV)

God is the Supreme King over all the earth and He wants to be King of My Heart. He wants to take possession of my heart to make it compassionate, kind, full of love and grace – just like His heart.  He wants me to surrender my heart to His heart every day and in every situation I face. This made me think of one of current favorite songs by John Mark McMillan & Sarah McMillan called King of My Heart.

Let the king of my heart

Be the mountain where I run

The fountain I drink from

He is my song

Let the king of my heart

Be the shadow where I hide

The ransom for my life

He is my song

Let the king of my heart

Be the wind inside my sails

The anchor in the waves

He is my song

Let the king of my heart

Be the fire inside my veins

The echo of my days

He is my song

You’re never gonna let me down.

__________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Who You Know

 

US President SealI look forward to meeting new people. I usually will give people the “benefit of the doubt” when I first meet them and get to know them. If after I’ve spent some time with them and I learn that their values are much different than mine, I move them into a different spot. Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to visit with US Senators and Congressmen on with the REALTORS on behalf of the private property rights of people I serve in Real Estate. I have also had the privilege to connect with our state officials from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and our State Senators and State Representatives. I’ve learned to not be impressed with the position they hold but to carefully look at their voting record, their work ethic and how engaging they are personally. Some of our elected officials are genuinely doing their best to make our country and our state a better place for our children and our children’s children. On the flip side of that, some people simply love power and it corrupts them. They learn quickly how to abuse power. I’m disgusted with those individuals. They have forgotten the people who they answer to and they’ve often sold their soul to the evil one.

David pens a Psalm that is beautiful in describing just what the Lord means to him and certainly to me. It is refreshing to know that David, even though he was Israel’s greatest king, he was so humble before God. He didn’t forget where he came from and Who put into leadership. Check this out…

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
    to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
    to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
    you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose
    and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
    of your holy temple.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:1-4,8 NIV)

I don’t ever want to get so full of myself that I forget where I came from. I believe that PRIDE can destroy good people. I believe that HUMILITY is a characteristic that can build the best leaders. I do pray for the men and women who are in leadership of our country, our state and local government. I am not the least bit intimidated by any one of them, because they answer to God, just like everyone else. They also get dressed just like everyone else and they get colds, stomach aches, and their bodies function like everyone else. They are currently in a position of leadership and they are well known by a lot of people – but at the end of the day, they are human and they come under the authority of God.  I do like knowing people in leadership and power, but I’m not going to be over impressed with them because the Lord is the ULTIMATE LEADER of every living being. I want to know Him first and formost.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

2-4-6-8 Delegate

Delegating Word Cloud Concept in red capsOver the years I’ve been involved with several projects that was built in stages. It is very common for large projects to be built out in phases. A new phase is an opportunity to continue to build upon the recent success, but it’s also a time when changes can be implemented a bit easier. I remember a stupid little phrase that a good friend told me when I seem bogged down in planning. He would say: “2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – we must learn to delegate”! I can be way more productive when I learn to delegate tasks that others are gifted at and can do instead of the responsibility follow on me.

Nehemiah had been the “general contractor” on the rebuilding of the Temple as well as wall of Jerusalem after the people of Judah had been in captivity for over 70 years. He was called by The Lord to do this project. He organized the workers. He put together the materials. He had to play a bit of defense against some enemies nearby. After the work was completed a new phase of his leadership began. Check this out…

1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.

4 Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. 5 So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. (Nehemiah 7:1-2; 4-5a NIV)

Delegation is not “skipping out”.

Delegation is not “ducking the work”.

Delegation to me is working much smarter than harder. If I can surround myself with people with similar work ethic and skill, then together we can accomplish much more work product than I could ever do alone.

I also believe that delegation gets “buy-in” from others. When a team comes together and everyone contributes – there is a great sense of accomplishment as well as a greater work with less stress on everyone. I also believe that the Lord gifts us all differently. There are those who are gifted leaders and then there are those who are gifted at doing the work very efficiently.

The church was started with delegation right out of the gate. Check this out..

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV)

I’m more effective when I learn to get others involved in my work.

I can serve more people when I delegate some to others.

I give others the opportunity to grow and be involved when I delegate.

I have more energy and life in me after a day or weeks worth of work.

Delegating can be challenging to the person who likes how they do things. I can get so much more accomplished in a shorter time frame when I learn to delegate. I think all great leaders (big or small), parents, teachers, government officials, pastors…. everyone, should learn this concept.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reverence & Respect

 

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere are some people that I will always show respect for because of the office they hold. There are still people who serve in high levels of government that are worthy of respect for sure. I respect people who have gone on before me and been willing to share the mistakes they’ve made as well as the secrets to their success. I’ve also seen people who are very worthy of respect treated with tremendous disrespect. Respect is a delicate but important character trait. People who don’t respect others as a general rule, probably don’t even respect themselves. I’m pretty sure that I learned a lot about respect when I went to kindergarten. I learned a lot about respect in my first job opportunities. Respect for others can build lasting relationships for sure.

Nehemiah learns that some of his fellow, wealthy, countrymen are taking advantage of the poorer people among them. They are leveraging their land and abusing them financially instead of helping. He gathers together a huge meeting and calls them out. They accept his challenge of dropping the mortgage liens on their fellow countrymen and return all that they’ve taken from back to them. He is then appointed governor and chooses to lead by example. Check this out…

14 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year – twelve years – neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. 15 But the earlier governors – those preceding me – placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. 16 Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. (Nehemiah 5:14-16 NIV)

I do believe respect and reference are related terms. I do believe however that reverence is reserved for God. I don’t think that I should have more reverence to any human on the planet over reverence for God. I also don’t believe I can show reverence for God without respect first. I do believe it’s honorable to show respect and reverence before God in everything I do. I also believe that I should live my life out of respect and reverence for God. Check this out…

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, (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

I can look at my task list or things to do much differently when I’m living and working out of respect and reverence for God than when I’m just trying to “check everything off”. I want to live and work out of respect and reverence for God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Good Neighbor

 

Connected Families in NeighborhoodsI have great neighbors where I live and they are family as well. I also have great neighbors up and down the road where I live. When I look at the city where my office is located, I find great neighbors there as well. I had someone tell me years ago that to have great neighbors, I needed to be a great neighbor.

When I study scripture, I find that my neighbor is pretty much anyone. When Jesus told the story of the “Good Samaritan” in Luke 10:25-37, He was defining my neighbor as anyone, not just those living near me or working near me.

As Nehemiah leads the team that is rebuilding the temple and the wall around Jerusalem, he strategically has most everyone involved working on different parts of the wall as well as the city gates. Check this out…

31 Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner; 32 and between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs. (Nehemiah 3:31-32 NIV)

There were people doing woodwork and stone work who were really goldsmiths, shop owners and musicians. Everyone was helping everyone. This was definitely a project where neighbor was helping neighbor. There is energy and synergy that is created when neighbors work together. I recently spoke with a guy who went to the state of Louisiana to help some of the flood victims. There were people from all over the United States arriving to help flood victims find housing and to restore their damaged homes.

Our church recently did a series about “How To Neighbor” and we learned that there are multiple ways to be a good neighbor. We had a group visit the VA center, Nursing Home, Pregnancy Resource Center and Department of Family & Children Services to show support and care for people who are in all walks of life and in all sorts of different circumstances. I have a lot to learn about being a good neighbor to strangers in my life. I feel like I’m a pretty strong neighbor to those I know and like. I believe the Lord calls me to be a good neighbor to everyone.

Pressing On!

Dwayne