Contentment

contentment road sign illustration designThis can possibly be a tough concept to grasp, given the fact that our culture seems to be quite the opposite.  In fact I feel like my mind is being assaulted with ads saying that I “need” this or I “need” that. When I take a good hard look at how blessed I am, I need to indeed find contentment.

I recently had this discussion with my 14-year-old son. He had a perfectly functional computer, but found one on eBay just a bit better. The only real difference was that the other one “looked better”. I really tried to explain contentment with what he has. I couldn’t make the case, so we’ve gone through with the sale of his and about to receive the “nicer looking” one in the next few days. Contentment can be an illusive concept even for the parents.  Paul speaks to this subject quite openly and bluntly. Check this out…

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-14 NIV)

 

One of the reasons this goes “against my grain” is that ever since I became a REALTOR, I’ve been trying to build my business. I want to continue to grow my customer and client base. If I get content in my business, my income will dwindle away. I also need to be content with technology. I converted to the Mac world about 3 years ago and this was one of the best business decisions I’ve made. I’ve had very little tech issues and when I added the iPhone and the iPad to my arsenal, I am really very well connected with technology. I’m learning to balance contentment with growing my business. I’m learning that contentment is really more a state of balance and simple trust in the Lord. I have to really decide between want and need – desire and necessity.  I think Paul is speaking to the mindset of “always wanting more than I have”.

Christmas and birthday’s is a perfect time to practice contentment. I was reminded of this when several friends got together and instead of exchanging goofy gifts, we gave our money toward a Micro Loan via www.kiva.com. I’m content with what I have, so how can I make someone else’s life better. There is serious joy in giving! I can do this with the Lord’s help.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Timing

Pocket watch with timing signThis is usually a choice. There are things that I can control the timing one and there are things that the timing just happens when it happens. I can’t always control the timing. God’s timing is ALWAYS “spot on”. He never is late and He’s never early. He knows the future and He knows my future. He can always deliver right on time. Check this out….

 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7 NIV)

 

I have learned to love the Lord’s timing. Sometimes it feels like He’s late or He’s missed it – He NEVER does. He adopted me as His kids and He blesses me every day with His Presence and His discernment. He has made me an heir and therefore I receive eternal life. He also gives me the gift of His timing. I can have appointments that He has set for me and they are huge blessings timing wise. I don’t always understand His timing, but over the years in my journey with Him, I’ve learned to trust His timing.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Rest

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopThat word carries with it ideas of relaxation, recovery, and a stress-free place and time. There are times when I’ve joked about having a busy vacation and coming back to work to relax. Rest can reinvigorate every part of me. It’s early in the morning and I’ve just awakened from a night of rest. It was shorter than others, but rest is necessary to the functioning of my body.  Jesus practiced a time of rest. Check this out…

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. (Mark 6:30-32 NIV)

Rest can give me renewed energy and attitude. Rest can restore clear thinking. Rest is crucial to my daily life. I have to find time to rest.

I remember as a younger man hearing about a “siesta” in the Mexican culture. It’s a short nap taking right after lunch to push out the mid-afternoon drowsiness. I would vote for that to become part of my routine. I call them “Power Naps”. Rest shows respect for my body and my spirit. I can see clearer and think clearer after a period of “stress-free rest”.

I need to rest in the Lord on a daily basis without worrying about things that I can’t control or fix. This type of rest is an important part of my relationship with Him – trust.  I can rest in Him because I trust Him.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Logistics

Logistics ConceptThis word is defined as a “the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, locations and supplies”.  I now get why UPS started pounding this word into their brand. That is definitely who they are and their mission as a company.

I often think of Logistics as the details of planning. Certain things must happen in a certain order for things to turn out well. In planning a big event, the bigger the event, the more logistics are needed.  Jesus was grieving the death of His cousin and the crowds followed Him. He had compassion on them and began to heal their sick and to teach them. His disciples began worrying about logistics. Check this out…

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21 NIV)

In my past experience as a student pastor, I often had to deal with logistics. The thing that dawned on me this morning is that the Lord has His own logistics. I do logistics in my human realm of life here on earth. The Lord’s logistics are super-natural. They are often outside the realm of human thought or understanding. I can’t always get my head around His logistics.  The cool thing is, I don’t have too. He has plans that are higher and more complicated than I’m capable of planning or understanding. He also has plans that are simple that a child gets it. I want to totally trust Him with the logistics of my life, my family, my work – my influence on others. He is my Logistics. He’s got the big picture – the big event completely under control. My role is obedience and trust in the Leader of Logistics!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Faithful Again

Word on black buttonWhen I think about my faithfulness – I feel pretty good about it. If I look below the surface I see how unfaithful I am to the Lord’s call upon my life. He calls me to consult Him in everything. He calls me to trust Him in everything and with everything. I still go my own way often. I still don’t let Him have everything. My faithfulness calls for complete trust.  He has all the resources He needs to take care of my situation and me. He calls me to help Him serve others. I simply need to be faithful again and again to His call upon my life.  Check this out…

1“Come, let’s go back to the Lord.
    He has hurt us, but he will heal us.
    He has wounded us,
 but he will bandage our wounds.
In two days he will put new life in us;
    on the third day he will raise us up

    so that we may live in his presence
 3 and know him.

Let’s try to learn about the Lord;
    he will come to us as surely as the dawn comes.
He will come to us like rain,
    like the spring rain that waters the ground.”
The Lord says, “Israel, what should I do with you?
    Judah, what should I do with you?

Your faithfulness is like a morning mist,
    like the dew that goes away early in the day.
I have warned you by my prophets
    that I will kill you and destroy you.
    My justice comes out like bright light.
I want faithful love
    more than I want animal sacrifices.

I want people to know me
    more than I want burnt offerings.
But they have broken the agreement as Adam did;
    they have been unfaithful to me. (Hosea 1:1-7 NCV)

The Lord wants my faithful love, honor, respect and obedience more than He wants anything. I must listen and learn what He’s asking me to do next. I should not think that my talent or giftedness will replace my being faithful to Him. He wants that most of all. If I’m faithful to Him – everything else that matters will follow.

Pressing On!
Dwayne