Good Morning!

Grace AND TruthI am definitely a “morning person”. I enjoy the quiet and solitude of morning. I enjoy the fresh new day in the morning. It’s like I have a blank canvas upon which to paint my day. I don’t know when I became a morning person. I remember when I was in 8th grade, I would help milk the cows by hand each morning. We kept three or four cows on our small farm and milked them by hand each morning and evening. I helped my Dad in the morning before he went to work and I went to school. Yes, we drank fresh cow milk and I’m not a “milk fan” to this day. Several years ago, I felt like the Lord was calling me to spend some time with Him each morning before starting my day. I started setting my alarm a bit earlier so that I could do that. I started reading His Word each morning along with a fresh cup of coffee. Over the years He has spoken such profound truth into my heart. He comforts my soul when I’m worried or stressed. He gives me wisdom and insight beyond what I could ever manage. His Word is alive and active in my life each day and I believe it’s because I begin with Him each morning. Check this out…

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
    so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
    and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
    and I have listened.
    I have not rebelled or turned away. (Isaiah 50:4-5 NLT)

This passage reminded me of another passage in the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Check this out…

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

I continue to grow in my love for the Lord because of my morning time with Him. I continue to find peace and comfort while listening to Him speak. He gives me wisdom and insight into any situation I face. His Spirit is definitely present in the morning as I spend time with Him.

A few years ago, I started opening up Microsoft Word and journaling what The Word was speaking to me in the morning. I then felt like I should share that with others. I’m not sure when I started blogging from my spiritual journey. I’ve been wondering how long the Lord wants me to keep doing this. I have no idea how many people read this. I actually don’t write for any one in particular – I write for me to remember what He is speaking into my heart through His Word. I am not some sort of spiritual guru – I’m just Dwayne, a man who desires to know the heart of God more fully today than yesterday. I love my morning time with Him and if He uses my journey to bless your journey, then I’m thankful. I wish anyone who reads this would trade their time here for time with Him. If you’re not sure where to begin, I love the gospel of John and his perspective on Jesus. I also love the Psalms where real life intersects with our spiritual journey. If you’re reading these words, please consider some morning time with the Lord and His Word. This simple change in my schedule many years ago has changed the entire trajectory of my life. I’m so blessed and thankful.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Endurance & Faithfulness

EnduranceThese two words could be relatives in Gods economy. They both imply dogged determination. I really want my life to feature generous doses of both. I have had my moments in life when I took my eye off the big prize of eternal life and lived only for the moment or the day. I’m so grateful that the Lord is full of grace and mercy and He is so patient with me.

I came across another weird passage in John’s description of the Revelation that he’s experiencing. I am sometime perplexed and confused about the meaning of all that he’s seeing and writing about. At times, there is a simple verse tucked inside all the symbolism and sci-fi type scenes that speaks to me. Check this out…

10 If anyone is to be taken captive,
into captivity he goes.
If anyone is to be killed with a sword,
with a sword he will be killed.

This calls for endurance and faithfulness from the saints. (Revelation 13:10 CSB)

I don’t know how this world is going to end, but I’m trusting in the One Who created the earth. I’m hanging on to Him. I know that there are crazy things happening in our world at the moment that makes me wonder if we’re getting close. We’ve had two hurricanes, a tropical storm within 3 months. We are on the brink of war with North Korea. It is easy to get worried and distracted by all that is happening around me.  I’m leaning into Who I know and what I know about Him during these turbulent times.  If I see a beast with multiple heads and horns, I’m running to the Lord. I don’t know how this all ends, but I know Who is in charge and I’m going to endure and remain faithful to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

My Highest Aim

love heart riffle targetSometimes as the years go by so fast, I reflect on my life and evaluate my journey thus far. A bunch of my life is in the rear-view mirror. There are some things I would do differently but for the most part it’s been a good ride. There has been pain and struggle along the way, but that has made me sharper and more grateful for the joy that comes in the morning after suffering. I have learned that through it all – the Lord is faithful and present. I can’t imagine going through the suffering in my life without Him. As I read one of my favorite Psalms this morning, I was reminded that my highest aim is the live for Him and bring honor to Him. Check this out…

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5 NIV)

Gladness

Joyful Songs

He is God

His people

His sheep

Thanksgiving

Praise

Love endures forever

Faithfulness continues

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My Personal Mission Statement:

It is my mission to serve others with the highest professional care and skill while upholding the highest of ethical and moral standards. My highest goal is to honor God in all I do and that includes serving you.

-Dwayne Hicks

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Pressing On!

Dwayne

Complete Forgiveness

God's mercy at the CrossSometimes I just can’t get my head around the forgiveness of God. He knows me like no one else and He loves me deeply. He pursues a relationship with me – someone who is prone to sin. I am humbled in the Presence of that kind of love. His love is deeper than my mind can go or understand. His love reaches farther than my mind can fathom. The way He loves me and I know me, makes it easier me to forgive others who don’t deserve my forgiveness. He loves hardened criminals and He loves hard headed followers too. Throughout the Word, He is seen forgiving and restoring those who deserve severe punishment – even death. The sons of Korah pen a Psalm of forgiveness for the worship leader that is dripping with the grace of God on His people. Check this out…

You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people
    and covered all their sins. (Psalm 85:1-2 NIV)

This song is still on my heart this morning as I’ve been taking a closer look at my heart and my life:  No Longer Slaves by Jonathan & Melissa Helser.

You unravel me with a melody

You surround me with a song

Of deliverance from my enemies

‘Til all my fears are gone

 

I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God

I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God

 

From my mother’s womb You have chosen me

Love has called my name

I’ve been born again Into your family

Your blood flows through my veins

 

I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God

I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God

 

I am surrounded by the arms of the Father

I am surrounded by songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated from our bondage

We’re the sons and the daughters

Let us sing our freedom!

 

You split the sea So I could walk right through it

My fears were drowned in perfect love

You rescued me And I could stand and sing

I am a child of God…

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Pressing On!

Dwayne

Kindness Noted

 

expression -  Kindness begets kindnessI believe kindness is a character trait that is pretty basic yet very important. If someone is kind to me – even though they may be delivering bad news, I find it easier to manage. If they are rude or condescending, it’s a lot harder to take. I have been challenged to be kind even in the midst of someone else’s rude behavior. It’s not easily accomplished, but definitely worth pushing for.

David had just been anointed king over Judah. One of the first things he did is show appreciation to others. Check this out…

When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, 5 he sent messengers to them to say to them, ‘The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. 6 May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 7 Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.’ (1 Samuel 2:4b-7 NIV)

I think the actions of David shows the kindness inside his heart. He officially noticed the kindness show to Saul and his sons by the men who had made it happen. He not only thanks them, he blesses them. He’s asking for the Lord to show kindness and faithfulness to them because of their actions.

I want to be kind because the Lord is kind to me.

I want to be faithful because the Lord is faithful to me.

I want to be full of love because the Lord has shown love to me.

I want to reflect Who the Lord is and what He’s doing inside my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne