Appearances

 

I have seen people who appear to have it all together. They have a nice house, nice car, beautiful spouse, beautiful children – but once you get to know them, you learn just how broken and miserable they are. They are not who they appear to be. I’ve seen people at church who “appear” spiritual, but their actions speak otherwise. I’ve also seen people who appear to be poor as dirt, but are quite wealthy and good managers of what they’ve been blessed with. It’s dangerous to “judge a book by its cover” – especially when the axiom involves people. It seems that there are a lot people who try to impress others with how they live – the house they live in, the car they drive, the clothes they way – this stuff is way overrated, in my opinion. I want to live a life of influence and significance with my goal of impressing the Lord alone.

My wife and kids know me like no others. I have close friends who know me as well. I have weaknesses and I have strengths. I have never been perfect, but I’m sure trying to be like Jesus, Who was perfect. I don’t ever want to become full of pride where my friends can bring me down to earth. I want to be a humble follower of the Lord and I want the activities of my daily life to validate my faith. Check this out…

15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:15-17 CSB)

I must be humble and broken before the Lord. He can use me when I’m empty of me. If I’m empty of me, He can fill me up and spill into the lives of others.

Lord I Need You by Matt Maher

The good news for me is that the Lord can use me right where I am. I just should trust Him to prune the things off me that are “in the way” of Him. He can use me when I surrender all of me to Him and His plan. I DON’T want to be lukewarm.

If I give off the appearance that I have it all together – trust me, I don’t. I have The Lord in my life and He has it all together. He is the reason I appear to have it all together – He is leading my life. He’s leading me as a husband. He’s leading me as a Dad. He’s leading me as a friend/REALTOR. He’s leading me as a Broker.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Love Like That

Colorful typographic motivational poster to raise faith in yourself and your strength. The series of business concepts on a textured background of an old love. VectorIt blesses my soul to see an elderly couple who are still in love with one another after years of life together. I see something in them that I want. I think what I see is genuine love and respect for the other.  I must confess that I’ve got some ways to go in cultivating love that lasts a lifetime. I believe that love is a choice. I can choose to love whomever I want. I can also choose to hate. I believe that hate does way more harm to the one hating than the object of their scorn. I believe that as a follower of Jesus, the only hatred that should be in me is hatred for sin. Jesus teaches me to love others.  John reiterates this in his first epistle. Check this out…

16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 CSB)

When my children were young, I read a quote that said: “Love is spelled T-I-M-E”. The message was clear that my time was spent investing in my children – just being with them is very important. As I read this simple passage this morning, I realize that Love is spelled G-I-V-E. The Lord calls me to put my money and resources where my mouth is.  One of my life goals is to live a life of significance. I want to invest in the lives of others to pay if forward on behalf of the people who have invested in me.

I love the parallel here with John 3:16:

 16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (Spoken by Jesus)

16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (Spoken by John)

If Jesus did anything while He was here on earth, He loved and taught us to love. If I’m called by His name, love must be obvious in me. I want to love like He loves. He loves me profoundly despite my sin and His love compels me to leave sin behind and pursue love with all that I have.

How He Loves by Jesus Culture

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Big Family

IMG_4701It’s interesting to research the family tree. Here in the Deep South we have despairing jokes about how some peoples family tree don’t fork. It’s interesting to trace my roots back for several generations. I grew up in Kentucky with deep roots there on my mother’s side. My Dad’s family was from North Carolina. I remember as a kid visiting our relatives in Boone, NC. It was memorable to see where my Dad’s family grew up and did life. At family reunions in Kentucky, we used to get together and all the aunts, uncles and cousins would show up to my grand parents. They were the patriarchs of our family. My mom and dad both came from big families.

As I read this morning in 1 Chronicles, I came across the family tree of David, who later became King of Israel. He was from the tribe of Judah and his dad was 7 generations down from Judah. Check this out….

13 Jesse was the father of

Eliab his firstborn; the second son was Abinadab, the third Shimea, 14 the fourth Nethanel, the fifth Raddai, 15 the sixth Ozem and the seventh David. 16 Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah’s three sons were Abishai, Joab and Asahel. 17 Abigail was the mother of Amasa, whose father was Jether the Ishmaelite. (1 Chronicles 2:13-17 NIV)

David was the seventh (youngest) son of Jesse, yet he became the greatest because of his walk with God. He figured out just how uncomplicated following the Lord is. He sang songs to God while watching the sheep. He trusted in the Lord when he faced an animal that threatened the sheep under his care. David evidently learned at a young age the importance of trusting God. He grew from obscurity to significance because the Lord was with him.

I’m good with being the son of a Kentucky man with North Carolina roots who follows the Lord. I learned about the Lord at a young age, but it took a minute for me to trust Him completely. I want my life to be significant and have a positive impact on others. I don’t have to become a king or president. I simply need to live a life of significance from where I am and the Lord will work through me to accomplish His significant plans.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Success = Obedience

What's the Combination Secret Code Unlock PotentialI remember as a kid growing up how important obedience it. I remember that at times I received the punishment for disobedience. As a parent, I’ve learned just how significant it is for my kiddos. I know that even though “I turned out all right” that I broke my parents heart some growing up. They remained faithful and vigilant in following the Lord and I finally figured it out.

There is not some huge formula for success in the Lord’s economy. I don’t have to try to dress to impress. I don’t have to have a minimum financial level. I don’t have to be known by anyone other than the Lord. In the Lord’s economy He equates success with obedience. One of the young kings of Judah was like no other king and his obedience was the secret to his success. Check this out…

2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6 He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. (2 Kings 18:2-7 NIV)

The world defines success with money, fame, friends and possessions. The Lord defines success with simple obedience and trust. The Lord wants a relationship with me that will change all other relationships. If my relationship with God is strong, then my relationship with my wife, children, colleagues and everyone who knows me is affected.

The Lord brings order to my life.

The Lord brings purpose to my life.

The Lord brings significance to my life.

The Lord brings peace to my life.

The Lord so wants to live in me and live through me to showcase Him to others. The benefits of obedience are limitless in God’s economy.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Riches, Wealth & Generosity

 

Hand giving moneyI actually enjoy being around people with money. It’s not that I’m jealous or envious (at times I must confess I struggle with that), but because they act different. When people have money they are treated like they are more special than people without money. While I enjoy being around people of wealth, I’ve learned that they have some of the same feelings and fears that I have. I have also learned that when I travel around the world even at my income level, I’m quite wealthy compared to some. There will always be a lot of people way wealthier than me and there will also always be people who have less than I have.

I see wealth and riches as way to glorify the Lord. I love being generous. I enjoy giving even more when it’s secretive and quiet. Those are times when the Lord is most pleased with me.

King Solomon was “filthy rich” – he was known for his wealth and his wisdom -that’s a pretty good combination. The Lord had richly blessed him. He built the temple, which took 7 years, and then he built his castle, which took 13 years. He was in construction for 20 years! He continued to amass great wealth even as he spent great wealth. He also finished what he started with the temple. Check this out…

51 When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple. (1 Kings 7:51 NIV)

I’m actually waking up this morning in the lake home of a wealthy individual who is incredibly generous with what the Lord has blessed him and his family. I do believe that it is difficult for wealthy people to trust in the Lord instead of their money. The recession that we all lived through taught us that wealth could be fleeting. I want to earn more and more money, but I want to be careful that I follow the Lord fully and have a generous spirit as I continue to grow my wealth.

Another major thought about people who manage well and accumulate wealth is that they can live a life of significance and influence. They can dig a well in a community in Africa or Nicaragua and give clean water to a whole community of people. They can provide for a homeless family to get a fresh start. We are never more like God than when we give. He gave His Son. He came to us. God is proactively generous, loving and kind. Wealthy people who can immolate that are blessed beyond compare.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Caught Up In The Moment

One man between past and future.This sure seems like a temporary thought – because it is. There are moments in this life where time seems to stand still. There are other times when life buzzes seemingly at the speed of light. The truth sometimes gives me a sobering perspective – all of this life is temporary. The things I accomplished yesterday – temporary. The things I will do today become yesterday tomorrow. It is ALL so temporary. As I read some of King Solomon’s writing this morning, I was reminded to NOT get “caught up in the moment”. Check this out….

1 These are the words of the Teacher. He was the son of David. He was also king in Jerusalem
2 “Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”

    says the Teacher.
“Everything is completely meaningless!

    Nothing has any meaning.”
3 What does a man get for all of his work?

    Why does he work so hard on this earth?
4 People come and people go.

    But the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises. Then it sets.

    And then it hurries back to where it rises. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-5 NIV)

 

My life here on earth is temporary, but what is next is really significant and matters. My life here matters in light of eternity. I need to make my days count while I’m here and as I’m preparing for eternity. It is important that I NOT get caught up in a given moment and get distracted from my view of life after this. The “here and now” screams for my immediate attention and often at the expense of all else. I must keep a “level head” and keep one eye on eternity and one here on earth. I want my life to have significance but only as it connects to eternity.

I want to be a good husband to my wife and good Dad to my kids because I’m living with heaven in view. I want to be a good REALTOR/Broker because I’ve got heaven in view. I don’t want to do anything on this earth where heaven in not in view. There are only so many things that can’t collect my attention each day and I need to be aware of how quickly I can get caught up in the moment and miss the “main objective” of this life – heaven!

Pressing On!
Dwayne