Disreputable

Reputation Words on Box Credible Reliable ProductI began my career as a REALTOR in February 2003. I remember hearing a slogan that my brother used in his real estate advertisement. His slogan went like this: “I’m building a reputation, not resting on one”.  I’m pretty sure that the phrase was offensive to some and challenging to others. I knew what he meant, because he had just started his own firm. I remember deciding that I will always be building my reputation every day of my life. I’ve seen people who destroy their entire reputation with one bad decision. Except for the grace of God, that could have been me. I think about dumb decisions all the time and I think about the destruction that would left behind if I were to make a really dumb decision. I decided that I can’t spend a lot of time in that place though. I must keep my focus on growing and learning and as I do this, the thoughts of dumb decisions fade away. I want to grow and improve who I am becoming in the Lord’s eyes. I believe any success that I have as a REALTOR comes because the Lord is leading and directing my life. He is the reason, I’m careful to be honest, live and serve with integrity and have a strong work ethic.

Jesus calls Matthew (aka Levi) from his tax collection booth and asked him to be his disciple. Jesus obviously saw something in Levi that would benefit the kingdom. Levi followed Jesus. Check this out…

15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17 NLT)

I am blown away by the arrogance of the Pharisees and the religious leaders. They really didn’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. They were concerned about their reputation more than they were concerned for lost people. When I put myself in this passage, I would have been considered one of these “disreputable sinners” or “scum”, according their definition.

When I gave my life to the Lord, He changed me.

He changed how I see others.

He changed how I see my work.

He changed my view of marriage.

He changed my view of being a Dad.

He changed my view of being a friend to others.

If I’m following the Lord fully, you can call me what you will. He is the reason I seek to serve others with honesty, integrity & hard work. These are my values, because they are His values too. I’d rather keep my reputation in tact with Him than to worry too much about what others are saying about me.

I need the Lord every day of my life. I haven’t walked with Him enough to “take a break”. He is woven into the fabric of who I am. I need His healing upon my heart daily. I need His wisdom daily. I need His Presence constantly.  I am definitely one of the “sick people who need a doctor”. I guess I’m saying that I’m a disreputable person who needs the Lord each day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Trust With Treasure

Trust with blue markerOver the years, I’ve become a bit less trusting of people in certain areas. I think that some people live by deep convictions and would never lie, cheat or steal. Then there are others who appear trustworthy, but somehow justify taking a little for themselves here or there. I’m thinking specifically of people who serve in the area of managing other people’s money. I think it’s important to take extra precautions to assure that there are no misunderstandings or mistakes made.

King David had appointed people as singers, gatekeepers, and also treasurers. He had some of the Levite descendants who took care specifically of his treasury. When they defeated another king in battle, they would seize the plunder and put it in the king’s treasury. Check this out…

26 Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for the things dedicated by King David, by the heads of families who were the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and by the other army commanders. 27 Some of the plunder taken in battle they dedicated for the repair of the temple of the Lord. 28 And everything dedicated by Samuel the seer and by Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner and Joab son of Zeruiah, and all the other dedicated things were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives. (1 Chronicles 26:26-28 NIV)

I can only imagine what a job it was to keep inventory of the Kings treasury. David was very successful as king, and he seemed to have lots of treasure. I also think that David was a good leader and he knew he had to have wise and trusted people around him to help manage his success.

As I read this passage this am, I was reminded of the word accountability. I believe that when someone is managing other peoples money, there should be layers of accountability to protect the people managing the money as well as the person whose money it is.

Accountability says that I’m vulnerable.

Accountability says that I’m trustworthy.

Accountability says that I’m honest and open.

Accountability is protection.

Accountability is promise.

I think it’s wise to always recognize who I’m accountable too. As a follower of Jesus, I am accountable to Him in everything. I think it’s also wise to have an accountability partner with the same values and who represents the Lord in my life. A person with values like mine will not hesitate to speak truth into me. I do believe that trust is a two-way street until it’s violated. It’s takes time to restore trust as well as humility and forgiveness. Trust is a strong but delicate attribute in all relationships.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Write It Down

 

taking notesIf I will write something down, I have a better chance of actually remembering it. I can definitely tell that my memory needs some support, as I grow older. I am a huge fan of Evernote, one of the best apps for keeping up with stuff I want to remember. I can’t remember the actual first day that I started writing this blog after spending some time with the Lord in His Word. I can say that taking the time to write down what the Lord is saying to me through His Word had been life changing for me. I have greater clarity when I write this down.

Even at the turn of a New Year, I think there is great value in writing down highlights of where I’ve been and where I’m going. I really want to stay sharp and on point with my life. It really helps to write down priorities and goals.

The Lord has the wisdom faucet turned on as Moses is imparting wisdom and solid teaching to the people of Israel prior to their conquest of the Promised Land. He was reminding them of how critical it is for them to follow the Lord personally and to teach their children and grand children about the incredible Love and Presence of God in their lives. Check this out…

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NIV)

I believe there is great value in having a Bible verse printed on a plague to remind me of the promises of God. I think it’s valuable for me to put in writing because then it’s not just a concept, thought or an idea. For me to write it down makes is something tangible and concrete (even though it might be digital at the time) – it takes the idea or thought and makes it more tangible and relatable. (I’m actually having a hard time “writing” about this concept of writing down things that really matter.

I love the fact that the Lord wanted the parents to teach their children about their journey. He wanted them to make it a topic of conversation as they were walking along the road (riding bikes), sitting down to breakfast or at bedtime. He suggested writing in on the doorframes of the house. I can so tell that teaching these truths to children were a priority. I can do more teaching with my life than writing an ocean full of books on the subject. I do want to live out my faith even as I write about it.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity Not For Sale

 

The word " integrity"There are some things that are for sale to the highest bidder. I remember hearing a story about a millionaire who propositioned a young lady and offered her $1Million dollars to sleep with him. She thought about it for a bit and then said “yes”. He then said, “would you sleep with me for $500,000?” She had to think about it for a bit and said, “yes” again. Then the man came back a third time and said, “would you sleep with me for $100,000?” The lady was starting to be a bit put off, but said, “yes” once more. Finally, the man asked if she would sleep with him for $25,000?” This time she was pushed over the edge – she answered with an emphatic “NO”. She then said, “What do you think I am?” The man answered, we know what you are, we are simply negotiating terms”.

Balaam, (donkey man) was asked to curse Israel’s enemy by King Balak, but instead he blessed them. He was offered nice payment. He responded that his prophesy wasn’t for sale. Check this out…

10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, ‘I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now leave at once and go home! I said I would reward you handsomely, but the Lord has kept you from being rewarded.’

12 Balaam answered Balak, ‘Did I not tell the messengers you sent me, 13 “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord – and I must say only what the Lord says”? (Numbers 24:10-13 NIV)

There are people who will do some crazy things for money.

There are people who will say anything for money.

There are people who will testify in court and perjure themselves for money.

There are times that really good people, who get desperate for money will do or say just about anything for money.

I’d rather be poor and completely honest rather than wealthy and shady or untrustworthy.

I want to hear from the heart of God what I should say and do in any and every situation. If the Lord pressing something into my heart, I want to have the courage to say what He’s telling me to say.

I believe Integrity is the hallmark of a Christian’s character. I believe integrity comes directly from my heart. Check this out…

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

When it comes to honesty and integrity, I want to make sure that those values are negotiable at ANY cost. My integrity is NEVER for sale to the highest bidder. Right is always right and wrong is always wrong even if there are a lot of numbers involved.

Pressing On!

Dwayne