Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
Then you will know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect. ROMANS 12:2 (NLT)

I desperately desired to do God’s will – I desperately needed a change to take place within my mind. After turning to the Scripture for the answer I read Romans 12:2 and I knew I needed a change in my thinking but how was I to let God transform me? I found the answer in Romans 12:2 in The Message translation which states:

… fix your attention on God.
You will be changed from the inside out.

Yes!! I knew I did not have the power to overcome my weakness in my own strength, but God did and only if I was willing to give God permission to change me from the inside out – an act of my will that I knew I had to take.

I was desperate and I knew it was going to be a slow process. But by “fixing my attention on God” through daily being in His Word, daily surrender through prayer, daily practicing PPR (Pausing, Praying, then Responding), God began to slowly bring an end to the “civil war” that was taking place between my mind and my heart – (Psalm 27:17).

Are you struggling with a “civil war” within you? Are you desiring a transformation within you? Then “fix your attention on God”, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and you will be blessed – we have Jesus’ promise on that.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world –
your heart and your mind – put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Uncategorized

Adherence Produces the Fruit of the Spirit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus
have nailed the passions and desires
of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Don’t we all have an innate desire for all of the fruit of the Spirit once we become aware that the power of the Holy Spirit lives within us? I know I do! I am totally aware of the fruit that I bear and the ones I don’t bear. The hard part is that I can’t produce the fruit even though I desire it. Only the Holy Spirit can produce Its own fruit not my own fleshly efforts.

How then do we trust the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives? Well for me, it’s been a daily surrender to the Holy Spirit, a daily awareness of His Presence within me, a daily Pausing, Praying and then Responding (PPR) in all my relationships and interactions with others and myself. It’s been getting to know the God within my heart by being daily in His Word. It’s having a heart of sincere thankfulness for everything that is good in my life. A thankfulness for God’s promises in the areas of my life where there is hurt and pain.

In other words, I have found that it is the daily adherence to all these practices that has produced and is producing, the fruit of the Holy Spirit within me, living through me. Through daily adherence, God has been transforming my heart and I must tell you; I am in awe. So much in awe, that I never want to go back to my old ways of living out of my flesh again.

Of course, every now and then, I resurrect my flesh but when it does, I become immediately aware of it. When I ask the Holy Spirit, He reminds me and makes me aware. I no longer trust my flesh – I had to learn the hard way! I am so grateful that I can now trust the Holy Spirit within me – I am His work in process!

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds.
And to everyone that knocks, the door will be opened.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.
I will talk to the Father, and He’ll provide you another Friend
so that you will always have someone with you.
This Friend is the Spirit of Truth.”

“But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of Truth
He will take you by the hand and
guide you into all the truth there is.”

I invited Jesus into my heart over 40 years ago and I also know that when I did that, I also received the Holy Spirit. Throughout the years, here and there, I knew the Holy Spirit was guiding me, when I asked him to, but other times (probably most of the times) I relied on my own instincts and past experiences to be my guide. But after starting the Transformation Process of Awareness, Acceptance and Appreciation, I faced the realization that now I needed to take the next step – Action. I knew that my personal fleshly attempts of taking action to bring a maturing and change in my life had failed miserably – I knew I could not do this alone. I needed the Holy Spirit to do what I felt was impossible.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long in my walk with Jesus to realize that I have a Miracle Worker living inside my heart, but it did. I decided that every morning, after I had awakened, before my feet hit the ground, I would ask the Holy Spirit within me to guide me, and teach me – my first step of Action!

Everyday I would pray Psalm 51:10-12:

Create in me a clean heart, O’ God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
PSALM 51:10-12 (NLT)

And then, I let the maturing and miracle change of my heart begin and I am in awe of how gently the Lord performed a miracle within my heart and mind.

“It is God’s Spirit that changes the atmosphere
of our way of looking at things,
and then things begin to be possible which before were impossible.
Getting into God’s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him.”
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so that we can do the good things
He planned for us long ago.

Nothing exposes our good, bad, and ugly sides, more than spending the weekend with your adult children. They are all too familiar with our strengths and weaknesses – there is no fooling them – they’ve lived with us. This past weekend Dave and I went to visit our daughter’s and son’s families. We love being with our family but this time I prayed specifically that I would love my family well – seeing them through His eyes and that I also would be able to engage and receive their love.

Acceptance of my good, bad, and ugly has enabled me to receive love from the Father because He loves me just as I am. He knows everything about me and yet He still loves me. God knows that I am still a work in process, and I know that if I surrender daily to His Will that He will mature me to be the Masterpiece He created me to be. Knowing this Truth enabled me to look and experience my family in a totally different way.

This past weekend I was able to laugh (with everyone else) at my own weaknesses (and I have many) instead of being ashamed and withdrawing. I was aware of how much they loved me as they teased me – I laughed with them.

I smiled at my daughter when she became frustrated with me when I didn’t give her the answer she wanted to hear. Normally I would be hurt, angry and withdraw but I just smiled and marveled at her beautiful heart and passion – I saw beyond her frustration with me and stayed engaged in the conversation.

When our 6-year-old granddaughter exhibited her strong will against her mother – our daughter, I chuckled and smiled too. Not because I was enjoying her mother getting back what she deserved (although that would have been the case in past) but because I now know that God instilled in our granddaughter that strong spirit. I know He will mold and shape that young wild mare into something beautiful just like He did for our daughter. I saw her strong will as a blessing instead of a curse.

It was a wonderful weekend.

Therefore accept each other
just as Christ has accepted you
so that God will be given the Glory.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Then David sent messengers to get her.
She came to him, and he slept with her.
Then she went back home.
2 SAMUEL 11:4 (NIV)

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Like most of us, David’s greatest challenge wasn’t battles or enemies or the daily struggle to survive. It was dealing with success. He stood on that roof, out of place (he should have been leading his army), out of time (this wasn’t the moment to rest on his laurels), and out of his element (he wasn’t battling an army or a giant, he was doing battle with lust). In his success David let his guard down.

One of the advantages of living with adversity is that we are so dependent upon God, so aware of our need, that we aren’t even tempted to go it alone. Success, rather than adversity, often poses the greatest danger to our soul.

David went from standing tall on his palace roof to lying on his face before God, begging for forgiveness for the mess he had made. His fall from grace is a warning and a reminder that our need for dependence upon God is just as great on the mountaintop as it is in the valley. As the Apostle Paul put it…

So if you think you are standing firm,
be careful that you do not fall!

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Words of Endurance

First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.

You have been journeying with me on my “Discovery Tour” for quite a while now and today’s writing will be the final one on this tour. I have shared a lot of momentous life changing moments along the journey. But the most profound moment – the most life changing for me took place thirty years after I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and it was when I finally understood the Original Good News – the Gift of Grace.

This was my ultimate “Aha Moment!” Once I understood the Original Good News – God’s Grace for me just as I am – it was then that I was able to fully receive His love. What a gift – and all I had to do was receive it! Accepting His Grace removed my burden of continually trying to earn His Love. The burden was so heavy and frustrating for me in my walk because in my own estimation I always missed the mark and I never felt worthy of His Love but then I accepted Jesus’ invitation to learn the unforced rhythms of grace …

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me
and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I am still learning the unforced rhythms of Grace but now that I feel so fulfilled with the Lord’s love I want nothing more than to extend that same grace to others. I have discovered that as I extend that grace it is so easy for me to love others – warts and all! And I have also discovered that my love and grace for others is born out of His Love and Grace for me – warts and all. I will be forever thankful that He loved us first!

So this is my prayer:
that your love will flourish and
that you will not only love much but well.

On the Journey with You,
Dave Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Healing, Hope, Words of Endurance

Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

With all the “aha moments” that I have experienced over the past several years – one that has caused me to do a one-eighty in my thinking was learning to reflect and discern the friends who are the positive influencers in my life. See I always thought that the positive influencers in my life – the “wise” – were those who spurned me on in my walk to be more Christ-like – who I believed to be wiser than I because they knew how to “fix” me and would lead me in the right direction.

But I have learned the truth is that no one is capable of fixing me – except for God. It is not my friend’s responsibility to fix me nor is it my responsibility to fix my friends. Thank you God! But it is our responsibility to love one another and be positive influencers in one another lives. This I can do!

There are two very distinctly different kinds of friends formed by two very distinctly different rooms.

It would be great, at this point, to reflect on those who’ve had or are attempting to have influence in your life.

Negative influencers will demand your trust of them, as a condition of their support. But it is a trust for their benefit not yours.

Positive influencers ask permission to earn trust. They will wait for permission to be let in. They put the onus on themselves, not you.

Negative influencers will see you as a sinner who needs help becoming a saint. Their goal will be fixing your issues.

Positive influencers will see you as a saint who still fails. Their goal will be to foster an environment where nothing stays hidden.

Negative influencers will measure your righteousness by how little you sin.

Positive influencers are convinced you are righteous, so they’re interested in how you’re receiving and giving love. They know that striving to sin less will not mean you love more, but that living in love will mean you are sinning less.

In the Room of Good Intentions I make you accountable to me so I can control your behavior. The result is that you end up hiding, resenting and mistrusting me. Unresolved issues remain unresolved.

In the Room of Grace I want to earn your trust so I can love you and be loved by you. The result is that you might want to give me permission to protect you, so you end up hiding nothing in the safety of my commitment. Unresolved issues are brought into the light for healing. THE CURE (JOHN LYNCH, BRUCE MCNICOL, BILL THRALL

I no longer desire to fix my friends or journey with those who want to fix me but I do desire to do life with friends with whom I can trust who I truly am. I desire doing life with a few good friends – those positive influencers – who will love me and will walk alongside me through the good times and the bad.

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another.
In the same way I loved you, you love one another.
This is how everyone will recognize
that you are my disciples—
when they see the love you have for each other.”

On the Journey with You,
Dave Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Grace, Healing, Words of Endurance

At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask,
“Master, how many times do I forgive
a brother or sister who hurts me?
Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly.
Try seventy times seven.

I can honestly tell you that it has only been over the past five years that I have had to learn to forgive and it was someone who had hurt me deeply. And what made it even more painful was that it was a Christian brother. I know that this is unusual being that I am 57 years old but it is the truth and I can tell you that I experienced such deep pain that I thought I would never be able to forgive that person.

What made it so difficult was that I also needed forgiveness for my part. But I remembered that the Apostle Paul declared …

Make allowance for each other’s faults,
and forgive anyone who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you,
so you must forgive others.

But regardless of how much I knew that I needed to forgive him – I simply did not know how! Ever been there? Well I was fortunate enough to get some wise counsel from the book, The Cure, and I want to share that wisdom with you.

Forgiveness has an order. We must initiate the vertical transaction with God before we can move into the horizontal transaction with another. First, before God, I forgive the offender (s) for what they’ve done and the consequences they’ve borne in my life. This is before God and me and it does not excuse any action. It does not restore relational forgiveness to the other. This is the vertical transaction. It is a choice to free myself, to begin healing.

Trusting God’s character, strength. love and protection, I place the entire list of consequences and loss into His hands. This is a big decision. It’s a scary beautiful, overwhelming moment of trust.

I actually imagine removing every effect of that sin and placing it onto God. I hand over everything. I trust God will not mock me or ignore this or forget my pain. I trust He will protect me and defend my heart, bring beauty out of hurt. I trust He will cleanse me as He promised.

I am giving up my rights to decide what is best for that person or myself. I’m handing the case over to the only Judge who can see the entire story and who loves both the offender and the victim perfectly.

This is a unique moment when faith becomes a risked action. I’m putting everything on the line because after all this is my life my pain my reputation. Never is the proof of new life more evident than when I cede control because of my trust in His character, love and power.

Then the whole incident moves out of my sphere into God’s.

Only then will I be freed to go to my offender and forgive him. If I don’t get this right – if I attempt to forgive, unclean before God – I move toward my offender in veiled bitterness, judgment and a spirit of retribution. I bring the residue of unresolved sin into the equation and everyone can smell it.

If I say, “I’m not going to forgive until he repents,” I end up in resentment. In my unwillingness to forgive before God, I become the issue.

The question then is how do I know I’ve actually forgiven someone who’s sinned against me? Answer: The moment I can offer that person my love again. When forgiveness stays only in my mind, as a formula or technique, it doesn’t sink deep into my heart.

When I choose to let go, to forgive vertically before God, it’s like huge cement bags have been lifted off my shoulders. It’s like coming out of a moldy basement with a a cement floor and suddenly breathing ocean air on the sand at Big Sur. It feels like being home.

And now, I’m ready to move on.

And so my first step was a vertical move to bring it before God because I knew I was unable to force this in my own strength. It was the first step in the right direction.

It is not by force nor by strength,
but by my Spirit,
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

On the Journey with You,
Dave Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Grace, Words of Endurance

This is my command:
Love one another the way I loved you.
This is the very best way to love.
Put your life on the line for your friends.
You are my friends
when you do the things I command you.

We have heard it said before that the best way to have a friend is to be a friend. So how do we “be a friend?” Jesus gives us the answer when He commands us to love one another the way He loves us – with grace and unconditional love.

The greatest gift we can give to others is to love them well. But you may ask – as I once did – “How do I love others well?” Well once again we can go to the Scripture and learn and see what true love in action looks like …

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

That is a pretty tall order if you ask me! I don’t know about you but there are a number of actions on this list – if I am going to be honest – at which I have failed miserably – like “me first” – ”flying off the handle” and “putting up with anything.” Just ask my wife, Jan.

But I can honestly tell you (and Jan will confirm) that as I have been discovering who I am and learning about the Grace and Love that God has for me – loving others well has become much easier and more natural. Loving others is easier when it is the natural overflow from the heart that starts with the love that our Heavenly Father has for us.

Love from the center of who you are;
Be good friends who love deeply;

On the Journey with You,
Dave Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Relationships, Words of Endurance

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.

We all long for strong healthy friendships because deep down inside we know how much we need them to journey with through this life. We desire to trust our friends with who we truly are knowing that – no matter what – we will still be loved and accepted. And we also desire to have friends that we can trust to give us heartfelt counsel and are willing to be honest with us.

An honest answer
is like a warm hug.

The defining moment in a friendship is when you give your friend permission to speak into your life. But whenever we take this step there is always an element of risk – a risk that we may be hurt. But the Scripture reminds us that …

Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.

I have found this to be so true in my own friendships – I can trust the heartfelt counsel of a sincere friend even when it hurts because their only motive is to see me mature into who I truly am. I can trust that their heart is not to harm me but to encourage me on the journey.

The right word at the right time
is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
PROVERBS 25:11-12

I have learned though that this kind of trust does not happen over night but that it develops over time. I can honestly tell you that I have only just over the last couple of years realized that I have this type of trusted relationship with only a handful of friends for which I am forever grateful.

A closing thought – friendship is a two way street – it is when you give permission and are given permission that a healthy friendship can begin to grow.

On the Journey with You,
Dave Dravecky