Nickname

 

Name tag blank stickers.I have had several nicknames over the years – some I liked and others I didn’t like. Nicknames are names given informally that are sometimes humorous and often given by a friend or co-worker. One of my favorite nicknames was given to me by a group of college students while we were on a mission trip to Mexico. I was notorious for adding an “o” to most all of my words and then adding volume when trying to communicate with the Mexican people. It was quite funny and I received the nickname: “Dwayne’o”.

The Lord gave a nickname to a guy named Joshua because of the work he was about to do. Check this out…

12 Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.” (Zechariah 6:12-13 NIV)

I wonder what nickname the Lord would give me today based on my life and the condition of my heart devoted to Him. He knows me like no one else. I want to walk with Him closer every day and He can name me whatever he wishes. For now, I want to be faithful, obedient & honorable. I want wear His Name – CHRISTian. I want the fruit of my life to exhibit that my heart is devoted to Him. Nicknames don’t really bother me one way or the other.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Faithful To The Lord

 

faith messageThe Lord used a good number of events in my life to orchestrate who I’ve become even today. I remember in 3rd Grade (Mrs. Blades class) wanting to be a preacher. I may have waffled once to being a policeman or fireman.

I remember preaching my first sermon at the age of 14.

I remember a deeply personal encounter with the Lord where my faith became my own.

I remember feeling called to be a student pastor instead of the lead pastor. (I had always thought I was supposed to be a preacher at a church like I grew up in.)

I remember when the Lord called me to build a youth ministry at a church that didn’t have one.

I remember when He moved me to a church who had a youth ministry that was in dire straights and the Lord used me and my gifts to bring that ministry back to life.

I remember the painful demise of my marriage of 11 years and three beautiful children.

I remember God making something beautiful come out of something so painful.

I remember a son being born when the odds were stacked against that.

I remember asking the Lord what is after student ministry.

I remember studying for my real estate exam.

I remember feeling released by the Lord from the responsibilities of a ministry.

I remember holding on to the Lord as He healed me from deep spiritual pain.

I remember holding on to the Lord when I was trying to start a new career in real estate.

I remember connecting with Him at the church we now call home – Southern Hills Christian Church.

I remember exploring the idea of four families adopting 5 kids from Nicaragua.

I remember the Lord moving mountains time after time for that miracle adoption to happen within 9 months.

I remember meeting a man who had been in real estate 4 times longer than me and the conversations led to a merger and the building of an incredible real estate company.

I’m not sure when I started my daily journey with the Lord in the early morning and writing my thoughts about what I read. I just know that He speaks to me each day that I listen. I started the prophet Nahum’s book this morning and the prophet comes out speaking truth about the Lord. Check this out…

7 The Lord is good,

    a refuge in times of trouble.

He cares for those who trust in him,

8     but with an overwhelming flood

he will make an end of Nineveh;

    he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.

15 Look, there on the mountains,

    the feet of one who brings good news,

    who proclaims peace!

Celebrate your festivals, Judah,

    and fulfill your vows.

No more will the wicked invade you;

    they will be completely destroyed. (Nahum 1:7-8,15 NIV)

I’ve learned in my journey to trust the Lord.

I’ve learned in my journey to deeply respect and revere the Lord.

I’ve learned in my journey that the Lord is gentle.

I’ve learned in my journey that the Lord is just.

I’ve learned in my journey that the Lord forgives my sin and my stupidity.

I’ve learned in my journey that the Lord is full of grace – I’ve needed it often.

I’ve learned in my journey that the Lord created all that I see and know and He is ultimately in charge of it all.

I’ve learned in my journey that I’m simply the manager of what the Lord has entrusted to me.

I want to be faithful to Him until the last breath I breathe. He has and always will be faithful to me – after all – I’m His kid.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Consistent

Basektball TeamI used to play basketball a good bit. I played intramural basketball in college and then as I got older I moved to Church League men’s basketball. I tried being consistent shooting free throws, but honestly I was pretty terrible. The bad part was I played down low a lot and got fouled a lot. I could never get consistent in shooting free throws.

One thing I know about the Lord is He is most definitely consistent in Who He is and His promises are consistent too. Check this out…

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;

    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,

    I will call on him as long as I live.
The Lord is gracious and righteous;

    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;

    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,

    for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,

    my eyes from tears,

    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord

    in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:1-2,5-9 NIV)

 

While I may not be consistent in shooting free throws, I can be consistent in character. I can consistently be dependable and consistently honorable. I am still learning this principle of the journey. I often still try to do things on my own without any help from Him and things don’t turn out so great. The Lord has all the “tools” available to Him to consistently build me and shape me. I don’t always see what He’s doing, but I can notice the results of His Power and His Presence.

Pressing On!
Dwayne 

Always

Set of stampsThis is one of those words that imply no exceptions. When I looked up the definition it says: “at all times, on all occasions”. This word carries with it consistency – good or bad. King David was speaking of how consistent the Lord is with Hope. It is part of God’s character. Check this out….

 14 As for me, I shall always have hope;

    I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,

    of your saving acts all day long –

    though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;

    I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,

    and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. (Psalm 71:14-17 NIV)

 

The Lord is most consistent with His Character. I make mistakes and fail sometimes, but He NEVER fails and NEVER makes a mistake. He is the epitome of consistency and faithfulness. I’ve known the Lord a long time, but I feel like I know Him better today than ever because I want to consistently seek Him and He is ALWAYS there and ALWAYS available to me.

I want to be consistent with my life – a life that honors Him.

I want to be consistent with my words – words that honor and praise Him.

I want to be consistent in my pursuit of His heart – pursuit of Him in His Word.

I want to ALWAYS love and honor Him because He ALWAYS loves me, protects me and leads me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Consistent

Grace AND TruthThis word describes someone whose behavior or actions are unchanging for a long period of time. I am pretty consistent about eating every day. There are all sorts of things that I can be consistent at. I love seeing someone consistent at practice so that his or her performances can be consistently good. The sons of Korah speak of God’s consistent behavior too. Check this out…

9 Within your temple, O God,

    we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,

    your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;

    your right hand is filled with righteousness.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;

    he will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:9-10;14 NIV)

 

The Lord is the epitome of consistent. He is faithful all the time. He loves all the time. He listens all the time. He is present all the time. When I compare my life to the Lord, I realize how inconsistent I am. I am consistently inconsistent. He still loves me even though I’m not consistent in my journey with Him. His love endures forever. His faithfulness endures. I can’t imagine how I’d do live without His presence in my consistently inconsistent life. I’m so thankful for His Grace that coves my inconsistencies. His love is amazing, steady and sure.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

As Usual

Man praying with the BibleThere are things that I do pretty much every day without fail. I usually start my day with a cup/pot of coffee. I don’t miss many meals. I can’t think of many days in my life that I’ve missed any meals or not had water or drink. I’ve recently learned of the value of starting my day off with a time of spiritual growth just taking in the Word of God. He speaks through His Word so often and so thoroughly that I can’t miss it.  I came across two simple words that really made me think. Check this out…

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. (Luke 22:39 NIV)

As usual Jesus prayed.

As usual Jesus led His disciples.

As usual Jesus engaged His disciples.

As usual Jesus found teachable moments.

As usual Jesus walked with integrity.

As usual Jesus healed the sick.

As usual Jesus honored the Father.

I want to see the Lord daily – as usual. I don’t want there to be anything “unusual” about me walking with the Lord daily. I want the way I engage people and work with people to honor Him. I want my integrity to be my “usual behavior”. I want to have routines and usual behavior that honors my Creator.  I don’t want to be “stuck” in some bad behavior or in a rut – I want to be faithful and honorable servant that walks with the Lord in a steady and usual manor to know Him more.   When I walk with the Lord as usual, I’m more prepared for the unusual. As usual, the Lord shows me the way and invites me to come along with Him.

Pressing On!
Dwayne