Unselfish

 

Unselfish rubber stampIt is not always easy to be unselfish. I’ve chosen the biggest piece of cake first. I’ve taken the cookie with the most icing. I think I learned to be selfish at a very early age. I’ve been fighting this urge to be selfish ever since I accepted Jesus into my heart. He is the most unselfish person to walk the earth. His agenda was not self-serving. By His own declaration, He came to this earth to seek and save those who were lost.

I’ve been reading in Luke and his account of the story of Jesus. He gives great detail to Jesus life and His crucifixion. I found it interesting how the people made fun of Jesus when they were carrying out the crucifixion. Check this out…

32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”  (Luke 23:32-35 NLT)

While they were carrying out the execution of Jesus, they noted that He saved others.  He didn’t come to save Himself. His very birth, life, miracles, healings and His death was to save others. Jesus came from the Father to accomplish the heart of the Father for His Creation – us. His life, His ministry, His death – it was all for us. Jesus didn’t come to serve Himself. He came to serve us and to call us to a new life. He invites us into His Kingdom work which is very unselfish. He wants our heart to reflect His heart – unselfish.  He is still in the process of changing and shaping my heart to be like His. I really try to be unselfish and I feel like most of the time, I’m winning – but when I screw up, I screw it up quite well. I am so thankful for His patience with me as I work toward being unselfish at all times. Being unselfish shows great restraint and self-control, just like Jesus.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Unselfish

 

Man holding microphoneIt’s really hard to be unselfish. I want what I want when I want it. I do want the biggest piece of cake or the best looking donut. If given the first choice, I will sometimes choose what is best for me without thinking of the other person. I will probably battle selfishness until I die. The Lord has been trying to “rewire” my selfish brain for years and there are actually times that I do honor Him, but putting others first. I do think I’m getting a lot better at it as life rolls on and He keeps shaping and molding my heart.

Abram and Lot were growing wealthy in cattle, silver, gold and servants. They each had quite an empire and the land wouldn’t support both huge family clans. Some issues arose among their respective herdsmen. Abram came up with a plan to separate. He let Lot choose first. Check this out….

8 So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.’

10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. (Genesis 13:8-13 NIV)

I heard a great quote once and I’m not sure where the origin is, but it went like this: “Yes the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it’s because there’s a septic tank underneath”. I think Lot chose what looked to be the nicest pasture for himself and it actually ends up backfiring on him. Abram’s spirit impresses me. He’s not only raising his nephew, he gives him first dibs on the land. I see Abram as a very unselfish person. The Lord then gives Abram a promise – that as far as he can see in all directions, the Lord will one day give this land to Abram’s offspring. I love Abram’s relationship with the Lord because He’s always worshipping God. I believe the source of Abram’s unselfish spirit comes from his close walk with the Lord. The Lord can take a selfish heart like mine and convert it to a selfless heart like His.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Feet

Shocked man holding smelling shoeI am not a fan of feet. I’m thankful that I have feet. But I’ve never thought that feet were pretty. They are definitely functional to get me where I need to go. My feet go places and step into things that are pretty disgusting. They stay stuffed away in my shoes all day or if I wear sandals, they get pretty dusty and dirty too.  One of my kids had stinking feet all the time. They weren’t allowed to take their shoes off when traveling in the car! J  I’m thankful for Podiatrist to help keep my feet working properly if I need them.

In Jesus’ day, everyone wore sandals or went barefoot. Their feet were pretty dirty at the end of the day. Before they would eat, they would wash their hands and feet because without chairs at the table, they might be next to someone else’s nasty feet. (ewe!) Check this out…

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.(John 13:1-5; 12-17 NIV)

Jesus taught a very powerful lesson by example. He washed the feet of all His followers – even the one who was about to betray Him. He established that His followers were servants and would be wise to follow His example. I believe this to be one of the big turning points with His disciples. They began to understand after His death and resurrection what all of this meant. How could they forget Him washing their feet.

I had someone wash my feet when I was a student pastor and it was a humbling experience, both for the young man washing my feet and for me. I believe Jesus wants me to serve with humility and kindness. I believe that He wants me to love like He loves and to serve like He served. Love is more than words – it’s sometimes washing nasty, stinking feet.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Volunteerism and Your Family

Volunteering in Your CommunityDrink in the giving spirit of the season. Our changing and sometimes challenging economy has compelled many of us to reach out more than ever, family-to-family, neighbor-to-neighbor and throughout our community. Finding extra time to give may not always be easy, but the rewards for a family that volunteers together can be lifelong. It can provide an opportunity to share quality together time while serving a greater good, teaching valuable life lessons and of course, helping those people in need.

By volunteering as a family, you can accomplish more in less time, help ease the apprehension of new experiences since everyone’s together and foster a passion for volunteerism that historically will lead to generations of family members who will lend their hands, minds and voices to causes for years to come.

This holiday season, as you prepare for another year ahead, consider adding one or more of these family volunteer ideas to your family calendar over the next twelve months:

  • Giving Back Brigade: Visit a veteran’s home or hospital and offer to interview our brave men and women and tell their story, or organize a board game day to say thank you for their service and lift their spirits.
  • Furry friends Foundation: Collect pet food, rags, pet carriers, blankets, treats and toys and needed items for your local animal shelter.
  • Book It: Arrange a book drive for an underprivileged school or have a read-a-thon at a local children’s home, nursing home or hospital.
  • Mother Earth Makeover: Why not arrange a cleanup? Whether in conjunction with your local community organizations or just as a group or neighborhood, get a team together to clean up your neighborhood, a playground, beach or park and take care of our little patch of Mother Earth!
  • Child Watch: Help collect pajamas, sneakers, socks, bath items, backpacks, school supplies and more for children living in local shelters. Call ahead to find out what’s on the top of their wish lists!
  • Homebound Helpers: Visit the homebound in your area. They often could use help with gardening, yard cleanup, simple household repairs, grocery shopping, delivering prescriptions, driving to the doctor’s office, etc. Many too, just would enjoy the company. Playing cards or a board game, or enjoying a meal with a family are gifts they treasure.

However your family lends their helping hands, know that by fostering that spirit of giving all year around, we certainly get as much or more than we receive. I wish you every blessing this holiday season and a safe and extraordinary new year ahead!

Easter Egg Hunt

I’m not sure where the idea came from, but this is a fun time for kids. I’ve always enjoyed helping with the Easter Egg Hunt. It’s like finding a lot of prizes all over the yard. I’m not sure how the Easter Bunny and egg hunting got connected to Easter. My youngest son is old enough now to help with the Easter Egg hunt instead of participate. It’s a different kind of fun serving others instead of participating in the hunt.

I feel the same way about Real Estate – I don’t need a new home, but I love helping others find just the right fit for them!

Helping others is a good place to be!

Pressing On!!
Dwayne Hicks