My One Aim

Worship to GodMy life here on this planet comes down to one significant goal. As I live and learn more about the Lord, I realize that my one aim is to bring glory to Him. I’m not supposed to drawing attention to myself, but to Him. His heart is so BIG. His LOVE is beyond measuring. His MERCY is new every day. His GRACE has given me hope in the most hopeless situations. I came across the smallest Psalm in the scripture this morning and I was reminded to “keep the main thing, the main thing”. Check this out…

Praise the Lord, all you nations.
    Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
    the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 117:1-2 NIV)

I love music and songs that help me express my heart to the Lord. These are certainly in my Top Ten right now:

King of My Heart by Sarah McMillan & John McMillan

Worthy Of Your Name  by Brenton Brown, Brett Younker, Sean Curran

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan & Melissa Helser

Your Love Awakens Me by Phil Wickham

This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

Today is a new day to bring honor to the Lord from deep within my heart, I want the activities of my day to day to reflect a heart that is laser focused on honoring the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Sunrise Sunset

Country road at sunriseI love daytime and I really like it when we change to daylight savings time. The days seem a bit longer (the daylight hours are longer), but in fact we have the same 24-hour day. I enjoy it most this time of year. I’m an early riser, so I love seeing the sunrise pretty much every day. I don’t always take advantage of this beautiful artistic spectacle that the Lord displays, but I really enjoy seeing the fresh dawn of a new day. I also enjoy the sunset in the west as the day ends. I like reflecting on my day and preparing for rest. No matter what I’m doing on any given day, I want my life to reflect the Lord Who lives in me. I was captivated by this passage of Psalms this morning. Check this out…

Praise the Lord.Sunset worship

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens. (Psalm 113:1-4 NIV)

If you type the words “sunrise sunset” into google it will tell you what time the sun rises today and what time it sets. As I think about the sunrise and sunset, I realize that on rainy days, I can’t see the sun rise even though it does. The clouds settle in and block my view of the daily experience. The sun rising and setting is consistent and reliable.

I don’t think it’s accidental that the Psalmist reminded me that the Lord is to be praised from the rising of the sun to the setting of the son and all the moments in between and outside the day. The Lord loves the praise of His people all the time. He wired us to give Him honor and praise. I don’t always understand all that He’s doing, but I know He is constantly up to something good. He loves His kids (mankind) and He loves it when we praise Him and pray to Him. I am dependent upon Him and He’s totally good with that.  The wisest man who lived (King Solomon) wrote a beautiful passage about the Lord’s compassion and mercy. Check this out…

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Music Then & Now

 

169 Vk0gMDA1XzIwMTIgLSAwMTAuanBnI think music has been a part of my life since I was very young. I remember bringing my grandmother out to our house with her guitar. Our neighbor up the road played the fiddle. I was just learning to play and we sat in the living room and played Appalachian music until late in the evening. I believe music moves the heart and soul of a person like no other medium. It evokes passion, memory and all sorts of emotion. I can remember the season of my life when I hear a certain song from the 70’s or 80’s! Certain music used to reveal a person’s age, but it’s cool that young people today are rediscovering music from years ago.

Church music has changed a lot in the past 30 years for sure. I remember singing from an old red hymnal and my heart was moved. Fast forward today and I hear a song like “You Are Worthy” that was just recently written and performed and it moves my soul now more than singing that same hymn again today. There are exceptions though – I love the remakes of the old hymns. I remember moved to near tears as Karrie Underwood and Vince Gill played “How Great Thou Art”. I believe music can move my heart toward God or away from Him. I need to be very aware of the songs I sing.  Check this out…

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:4-9 NIV)

The creation of God makes beautiful music to His ears. He loves it when my life makes music to Him. I believe the Lord is fair and equitable in all His actions. He has made the brokenness of my life into a beautiful mosaic that brings honor to Him. He is beyond describing or possibly giving proper thanks too. I want the activity of my life to bring honor to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Music Messages

 

169 Vk0gMDA1XzIwMTIgLSAwMTAuanBnI believe you can say things with music that are nearly impossible to say any other way. Music captures emotion, energy, deep thoughts and somehow communicates these in a song accompanied by music. I’ve written some pretty funny songs when I look back on them. There are some songs that are classic and stand the test of time. I used to think that every country song ever written was about someone who cheated on their spouse and their dog died and the truck was a must have some mention in the song for it to be successful. I’ve now learned that often country songs tell a life story.

Praise and worship music has replaced some of the Hymns of old. These worship songs cry out to God acknowledging Who He is and all that He is doing. I must confess that I like doing “remakes” of old hymns. I really love using music of scripture to praise the Lord in a personal way even though there’s a bunch of people there. Check this out….

It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts! (Psalm 92:1-5 NIV)

I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to God. I want to speak words that He’s speaking into me. I want to be kind hearted but firm if needed. I want to be gentle, but strong. So much of my journey with the Lord got it’s fuel from worship music. I’m thankful to have been introduced to music. I’m thankful to the gentlemen who showed great patience as he taught me to play.  The song on my heart when I woke up this morning was by Phil Wickham. “Your Love Awakens Me”

There were walls between us
And by the cross you came
And broke them down You broke them down
And there were chains around us
And by Your grace we are
No longer bound  No longer bound
You called me out of the grave
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive
Your love is greater Your love is stronger
Your love awakens Awakens Awakens me
Your love is greater Your love is stronger
Your love awakens Awakens Awakens me

Feel the darkness shaking
All the dead are coming
Back to life back to life
Hear the song awaken
All creation singing
We’re alive Cause You’re alive
You called me out of the grave
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive
Your love is greater Your love is stronger
Your love awakens Awakens  Awakens me
Your love is greater Your love is stronger
Your love awakens Awakens  Awakens me

And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive Cause you’re alive
And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive Cause you’re alive
And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive Cause you’re alive

____________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

I Want To Live Like That

Worship to GodEvery now and then the lifestyle of a wealthy person catches my attention. It may be something like the vehicles they drive, the location of their home or a very big yacht. Those are some of the finer things in life that money does provide. I’m generally a very content person when it comes to material things. I don’t need lots of money and possessions to find happiness and joy. The Lord brings much contentment because He manages my worry. He reminds me of what is the most important pursuit of my life.  I want my life to bring honor to God Who created me and is building me. Check this out…

My heart is stirred by a noble theme
    as I recite my verses for the king;
    my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of men
    and your lips have been anointed with grace,
    since God has blessed you forever.

Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
    clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
    in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
    let your right hand achieve awesome deeds. (Psalm 45:1-4 NIV)

I want to live like that guy! I want my words to measured well and understood well. I want my lips to be anointed with grace because I’ve experienced His Grace. I want the rest of my life here on earth to bring honor to God. I want my daily choices today to please Him.

This passage reminded me of a song that I’ve heard on the radio called: “I Wanna Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets.

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of us
Was my worship more than just a song
I wanna live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You
If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back
I wanna live like that

Am I proof
That You are who You say you are
That grace can really change your heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don’t know my name
Is there evidence that I’ve been changed
When they me do they see You

I wanna show the world the love He gave for me
I’m longing for the world to know
The glory of the King

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Truth is Relevant

 

Man praying with the BibleI know people that say truth is relative to whatever your situation. I believe in the truth of God’s Word. I do not believe God’s truth can be manipulated to whatever I want it to be. I believe that the Word of God has the answers that I and others are searching for. I do believe that God’s Word is RELEVANT to today. Even though it was written centuries ago, I’ve experience its truth inside my heart.

I have the privilege to teach a class at our church called Equipped To Counsel. We are in the process of equipping fellow Christ followers to help others navigate through life using the Word of God as our guide. The Word of God has the answers to today’s struggle and yet the Word of God was written a long time ago. Its answers are relevant today because the ultimate Author is Creator God. He knows His creation – He knows my needs. He knows the desires of my heart. As I read Psalm 43 this morning, I was reminded of my quest for truth. Check this out…

Send forth your light and your truth,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4 NIV)

These two verses affirm the groundwork of our lesion last evening. The Word of God speaks into my heart. I believe the Lord loves for me to start my day with Him in His Word. I don’t have a bunch of commentaries, just Him and me. I can’t leave out the Presence of the Holy Spirit Who often explains and makes His Word understandable to me.

I need to pray the prayer of this Psalm often because I want to pursue truth. I want to be led by His truth. I want to hang out in the place He dwells.

As I look back on my life journey, I realize how He was leading me and holding me close through the valleys. He was also with me on the mountain tops celebrating great victories. He was with me everywhere in between as well.  The Word of God serves as a compass of sorts, always leading me to His Truth. When I get in the Presence of God, I’m humbled to be there, but at home there too. I belong there in His Presence. I was created just for this – to honor Him and thank Him for His Truth. I want to pick up my guitar and sing a song that connects my heart to His.

Pressing On!

Dwayne