Taste & See

Coffee cup and beans on a white background.I enjoy eating food. I enjoy something that tastes great. My wife made some excellent home-made ice cream last week. I went to Jekyll Island for a REALTOR conference and tasted some great food as well. Just this morning, I borrowed a percolator pot to make some fresh ground coffee –going for the best taste. I’ve also eaten things that didn’t taste great, but they were for my nutrition. My body needs food and the nutrients found inside.

Peter writes some simple but important instructions regarding the Word of God. He uses the metaphor of it being food. He quotes from Isaiah the chapter before and then offers some great instruction. Check this out…

The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:8 CSB)

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3 CSB)

I remember the first time I looked a guacamole. It looked putrid and disgusting to me. My wife coached me to try it with a corn chip and I was hooked. I didn’t normally eat anything that looked like that. I believe that Peter is touching two of our senses – our sight and taste.

I believe in God because I’ve seen Him do incredible things. I’ve seen things where there is no explanation except Lord. I’ve also experienced His grace first hand. I deserved punishment and severe consequences, but instead I received grace. I understand that these were subjective experiences, but they are real and significant to my journey with the Lord.

I think tasting and seeing are intricately related. Seeing with my eyes helps the tasting part for me. I have watched others who know the Lord and walk with Him. I’m standing on the shoulders of some great people of faith who cut the path before me. They tasted and experienced His Presence in their lives. They saw the action of the Lord. I want to do good because I’ve tasted and seen up close and personal. I’m motivated to live for Him because I’ve experienced Him first hand. I long for others to know the Lord as I know Him. He has changed everything about my life – my hopes, my dreams, my goals. There is not one area of my life that He hasn’t touched.  I want to keep growing up into salvation by walking daily with Him in His Word.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Special Training

Smiling sport child boy showing hand biceps muscles strengthSeveral years ago, I used to work out regularly.  I would take my lunch hour and go to Sportsplex and lift weights, working out the different muscle groups, mostly in my upper body. I participated in a Boot Camp that was a high energy, cardio work out. I told someone the other day, as I gestured toward my upper body, that this is what happens when you quit working out. Muscle will deteriorate and fat will take over when workouts cease. Unfortunately, I can be the poster child for this season of my life.

Recently, my wife and I downloaded FitnessPal onto our smart phone. This is a “calorie counter” & fitness tracker app. The first step in diet and exercise is to discover what I’m doing. I’m trying to keep track of everything I put into my mouth. I’m also tracking my physical activity. Who knew that table tennis and jet ski riding could burn calories! I remember a friend of mine used to say that he was never going to take up jogging, because he never saw a runner with a smile on their face! He also used to say that being in great physical shape is overrated because you can still get hit by a truck and die.

I came across a passage this morning where Paul was speaking to the significance of a different type of workout regimen. Check this out…

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 10 For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7-10 CSB)

I have been training in godliness for quite some time now. I’m not sure when I started this blogging/journaling of my journey in God’s Word, but it has made a HUGE difference in my life and in my perspective. I have felt the Lord speak into my life in powerful ways just by simply setting aside time each morning for my spiritual training/workout. I want to keep my eye on eternal life while I live out the abundant life here on earth. I don’t want to be so “heaven bound” that I’m no “earthly good” to anyone. I want to keep growing in my faith as I train in His Word daily and make application to my life.

I’m working at adding a physical element to my spiritual workout – a prayer walk. I walk a good bit throughout the day (thanks FitnessPal), but I want to be more intentional about walking with the Lord and seeking His Wisdom throughout the day.

All My Hope Is In Jesus  – Crowder

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Deep Strength

Smiling sport child boy showing hand biceps muscles strengthI used to work out lifting weights and doing some good cardio, but I’ve slipped tremendously over the last 20+ years. (Please try not to laugh at this confession.) I exchanged one discipline for another and the truth is I need both. I have grown deeper and stronger spiritually over the last several years, but physically I’m weaker (and older) than I’ve ever been.  I enjoy some forms of exercise like bike riding on the Carrollton Greenbelt. I must pay attention to my physical body and cultivate physical strength. The more important strength conditioning comes from my spiritual exercise. I started getting up early many years ago to carve out time that I could spend with the Lord focusing on His Word and His heart. That one decision changed everything about my perspective and game me insights into life that I never had before. The more I study and walk with the Lord, the deeper my love for Him grows. I look back and realize that I spent way too much time in the shallow end of His swimming pool. I want to go deeper every day with Him. The Psalmist was a human being who loved the Lord and walked deeper. Check this out…

13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!’
17 I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (Psalm 118:13-17 NIV)

I would rather have deep inner strength than brut physical strength any day. The ideal would be both!  I have had times of suffering in my life where they physical exercise was a great distraction and helped me work out some stress, but it did very little for my spiritual journey. That takes time alone with the Lord in deep study, discernment and conversational prayer. He gives me strength I can’t describe. He gives me insight that is way beyond my education and comprehension. His Presence calms my soul. His Presence gives me strength to navigate the most challenging path.

I will say that there are times in my life, I’m not sure how I lived to talk about the struggle except that His is in me and He is for me. He flat out saved me and I want Him to use me now for His Glory and His Fame. I am nothing without Him, but with Him I have everything.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Humble

Man praying with the BibleHumility is a skill to be learned not necessarily a gift or talent that I’ve been born with. It’s important for me to learn humility. I’ve always remembered the scripture that says “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10) I like how it’s worded in the New Century Version: “Humble yourself in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.”

Being humble is important to the Lord. There is room for only One as the King of my heart. I must step down from that role and surrender it to Him. He is the Heart-Shaper and King-Maker. When I come before Him in humility, my life is like a blank canvas for Him to paint a beautiful life portrait upon.

He speaks through the prophet Zephaniah destruction and punishment on the people groups who have spurned Him and His people. He calls them and His people to humility before He disciplines. Check this out…

1 Gather together, gather,

    you unwanted people.
2 Do it before it’s too late,

    before you are blown away like chaff,

before the Lord’s terrible anger reaches you,

    before the day of the Lord’s anger comes to you.
Come to the Lord, all you who are not proud,

    who obey his laws.

Do what is right. Learn to be humble.

    Maybe you will escape

    on the day the Lord shows his anger. (Zephaniah 2:1-3 NCV)

Humility is a posture of my heart and my head. I must come to terms with any success that I have comes from the Lord. He directs my path so that I can be successful when I listen to Him. He defines success way different than the world defines success. I’m a success if I follow Him – period.  The amount of money I earn and the material possessions I have are meaningless to my eternity. It’s the condition of my heart before Him. I should always seek humility and show incredible respect to Creator God for Who He is and all that He’s doing in my life. I want to humble myself in His Presence so that He will honor me when it really counts!

Pressing On!
Dwayne