#InvincibleSummer

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Invincible– “too powerful to be defeated or overcome.” A couple weeks ago I was at the beach with some friends and my friend Kourtney and I ended up coming across the same quote in two different pieces of reading material. It was:

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger- something better, pushing right back.”

-Albert Camus

I wasn’t exactly sure what to think about this, to be totally honest. I didn’t get it to its full extent when I first read it. I sure didn’t understand why in the world the Lord was highlighting it the way He was.

Summer, though…I LOVE summer!!! Most people hate it because of the heat and I respect that. However, there is a certain vibe that comes with this season, a certain essence. It’s sings songs of freedom, fun, mystery and spontaneity. It seems like people are more likely to take risks, go on adventures and explore as though they were kids again. There is more wonder in their eyes, more fire in their bellies, and more passion in their hearts. For me at least, it just has a way of bringing out my true self. It has a way of making me want to dream, write, sing, dance, laugh, go everywhere and do everything all at the same time! I want to chase sunsets, go on drives, play in the mud, travel to places I’ve never been, and do things I’ve never done all in the name of “JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT.” It feels like there’s no boundaries and endless possibilities.

THIS IS SUMMER!!!

Monday was my 29th birthday! I have mentioned before in one of my blogs about how much I love dates, because they make things special and extraordinary. So my birthday is, well of course, one of my favorites. On Monday morning I got up, got ready, went to one of my favorite coffee shops and went for a short walk. I was just talking with Jesus and reflecting on why I love birthdays so much. (I’m one of those people that constantly examines myself, so I was really making sure that my motives weren’t selfish.) The tears began to fill my eyes as I thought about it. THIS was the day, that the Lord chose to breath HIS breath into me. THIS is the day that HE put HIS GRACE upon my life. THIS is the day that HE began to write my story into HIS. THIS is the day that HE chose for me to be born out of 365 days. And every single bit about THIS day 29 years ago mattered to Him. The date, the time, the year, the family I was born into. THIS is something way more beautiful, than getting a bunch of gifts, or cards, social media posts, cakes, parties….etc. THIS is a foundation of worship, a platform to praise, and the beginning of HIS GOODNESS and PEACE surpassing my own understanding.

Every year on my birthday I chose to do something I’ve never done. Or it might be something I have done and I just add a new twist to it. The difference between this day and every other day of the year is that I add purpose to it. Purpose that wakes me up. Purpose that not only encourages my spirit but it overflows from within me to everyone around me.

So what exactly is the Lord wanting me to understand about the INVINCIBLE SUMMER? I think He wants me to start looking at every day as if it’s my birthday. This world belongs to the enemy, therefore, its goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. In other words, it wants to steal your joy, your wonder, your spontaneity. It wants to kill your child-likeness, your faith, your dreams. It wants to destroy your relationships, your identity, your community, your courage, your hope, your peace. It wants to suck you in to a winter of despair, routines, circles of bondage, fear, numbness, and snuff out even the smallest flame still flickering inside you. It wants to take the abundance out of life. BUT….(I love THAT word)…. There is something within that is stronger, that is better!!! With every breath your take, HE is breathing HIS GRACE upon your life for you to realize that within you there is a purpose, a fire, a song, a story, there is destiny.

So I’m saying yes to allowing the invincible summer to begin within me. I’m saying yes to doing one thing every day differently than I’ve done before. And I am saying yes to allowing the Lord to bring forth purpose and ignite an invincible fire within me of HIS Spirit to pour out love, joy, laughter, spontaneous adventures, risks, and freedom to all those around me.

The Reality of Real Estate

By Kristen Hicks

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My Dad has this vision. He has always loved community and the people that make it up. Being in real estate he gets to meet a lot of different kind of people looking for a lot of different kind of things. When a person or family is looking for a house they aren’t just looking at the structure itself, they are looking at it from a lifestyle point of view. “Can we see ourselves living here? What would our life be like? What would our friends be like? How would this effect our day to day routines?”

There are so many questions that go into this decision making process.

So here is the vision. Let’s shine light on the communities itself. Let’s show people what the different communities have to offer and not only sell them a house itself but give them the opportunity to see the lifestyle that they could have within the community.

I am a Christ follower, and one of the most profound things that Jesus taught was the idea behind community. In the early church, they met together daily, they listened and put into action the apostle’s teaching, and they gave to anyone as he had a need. In a shorter version, they had community, they shared life together. Now regardless of if you are a Christ follower or not, community means something to you on some kind of level. It has an impact on you whether you want it to or not.

Let’s even take some popular TV shows, for example, New Girl, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, any superhero show you can think of…I could probably keep going but there is an underlying theme to all of these that keeps us wishing we were a part of their lives…community.

So here is what we are going to do. We are doing a 12 week project, starting March 5th, that we are going to call “The Reality of Real Estate.”  In these 12 weeks, we will have a theme for every day. We will talk about buying and selling your house, managing your money, answering questions, and shining light on the different communities around our area.

WE WANT YOU TO INTERACT! Community is only worth what its people put into it!So feel free to make comments, post questions, or tell your own stories. Looking forward to interacting with all of you!!!

I Resolve to NOT Make New Resolutions

 

Happy New Year 2016 I’ve made my share of New Years Resolutions in the past with limited success. This time comes every year and it seems like a good time to start something new or “turn over a new leaf”, but this year I’m resisting the urge to do that.

This year I’m going to strengthen and build up who I already am. I already have a unique DNA in my physical body. I want to strengthen my Character DNA.

I want my faith to grow deeper and more mature.

I want my positive attitude to grow stronger.

I want my marriage to grow stronger.

I want my family to grow closer.

I want my work ethic to expand.

I want my keep listening to my body.

Watering and cultivating who I already am is where I’m at and where I’m headed in this new year! I don’t need to add a lot of new resolutions and self-induced pressure – I simple need to build on who I already am!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Less Than Impressive

I am getting old.IMG_8463-34

I am getting (been) overweight.

I eat too much.

I don’t sleep enough.

I have wrinkled skin.

I have thinning hair.

I live a somewhat normal life.

I live in a small white house on a small piece of land.

I drive an old truck most days.

I drive an old SUV on other days.

I’m not always kind.

I’m not always funny.

I’m not always spiritual.

I am a “less than impressive” man who lives in a small area of West Georgia in the United States. I have an unimpressive life, but God has blessed me with an impressive family in spite of who I am. If you look at me like the Lord looks at me, I am quite impressive. My Father owns everything. I mean He really owns everything. He created everything. He is ALWAYS with me. He has promised me that He will ALWAYS be with me – here with me. I am His kid. I belong to Him. I wear His Name.

Without Him, I am less than impressive.

With Him, I am an amazing child of God and with Him living in me – HE is quite impressive! He does things through me that I can’t imagine doing. He has used me to speak truth into other. He has used me to bless others with a gift. He has used me to give another a hug from Him. He is living in me and I carry the Hope of Glory in me, through me and with me everywhere I go.

He is Impressive! He has impressed His Spirit right into my heart and soul.

Confession

flashlightThis word means admitting mistakes and embarrassment. This is an important first step to coming to terms with my sinful nature. I’m prone to wander into sin. In fact I’m often drawn to it like a magnet. The Word of God speaks into my life to help me avoid getting caught up in the deceit of sin. I really needed to hear this Word from John this morning. Check this out…

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10 NIV)

 

I’m thankful that when I stray, the Word of God is there to show me the proper path. His Word is the keeper of the way I should live. The Word illuminates the path for my life and keeps me walking in the light. The darkness is lurking just beyond the light, but I’m staying within the glow of His Word. He is faithful to forgive me when I wander off into the darkness – His Word still shines!

I’m so thankful for forgiveness and “do-overs”. I’m so thankful for His Mercy and Grace that extends even to me. I need washing of my soul on a regular basis. I need Him to purify my mind! Confession is a lot of work – but necessary work.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Mouth

perfect mouthMy mouth reveals a lot about me. It is the doorway for my voice. My mouth speaks what my brain tells it to say. My mouth is very revealing about what is going on in my head and my heart. My mouth gives volume to my feelings & emotions. My mouth speaks words of compassion and blessing. My mouth can also speak words of harm and hurtful things. When I’m frustrated and angry, my mouth can get me in trouble, because I say things out of those emotions and my “editing machine” doesn’t function as well in those circumstances. I still have to take responsibility for what I say along with my actions. The things I say are part of the things I do.  Paul connects the mouth with the heart with salvation. Check this out….

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13 NIV)

I really want my mouth to ONLY speak good words – well thought out words. I certainly want my mouth to speak out about what I believe. I also want my heart to stay pure and clean before the Lord. I have to protect it. I have to shield it from the enemy who wants to spread disease inside my heart. The enemy  wants to take me out, so that my mouth can’t be a blessing to others.

I believe that my heart and mouth working together as a team really reveal who I am and what I believe. My actions follow both of these. I have to be careful with the words of my mouth because they have the power to cause great pain as well as cause great blessing. I want to profess what I believe about the Lord all the rest of my days on earth. I know that salvation means a home in heaven after this life is finished. I will pursue Him and His heart with my heart so that my mouth continually brings honor to Him!

Pressing On!
Dwayne