Small & Great

Big black pawn surronnded by four little chess kings isolaged on white backgroundIn our culture, we don’t always connect great with small. I do like that computer storage that once took a warehouse is now the size of a pack of gum (almost)! Sometime great things come in small packages. I must confess that if given a choice of a large mystery package or a small mystery package, I usually choose the bigger one.

The scene is taking place in heaven. John is still blown away by what he is seeing and hearing. Nevertheless, he is writing it down and doing his best to describe all that is happening. Trumpets blowing, people worshipping God – he has quite a challenge. He quotes the 24 elders as they bow in worship. Check this out…

15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.

16 The twenty-four elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, 17 saying,

We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty,
who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
but your wrath has come.
The time has come
for the dead to be judged
and to give the reward
to your servants the prophets,
to the saints, and to those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and the time has come to destroy
those who destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:15-18 CSB)

I love those three little words: small and great. I feel like I fit into that “small” category for sure. I’ve been a follower of the Lord since I was in 3rd grade. I needed lots of grace and mercy along the way – but the Lord is famous for that.  I’m still walking out my faith each day and I don’t need to be noticed by others. I don’t need accolades or “pats on the back”. I am striving for a reward that is unseen and way bigger than notoriety here on earth. I want to be known as someone who “fears the name of the Lord” – a profound respect for the Lord. I seek Him and worship Him daily. I walk with Him and talk with Him daily. I want to live today with my eye on eternity. The way I live my life for Him will outlast any other thing I can do. I want to be known as a man who sought the heart of God each day. It’s only because of the grace He has poured out on me during the journey that helped bring me to his place. #thankful

I believe that on that day there will be some great prophets, teachers & preachers bowing before the Lord in worship and I get to be part of that – Wow! I get to worship alongside some heroes of mine – Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Elijah, King David, Jeremiah, Peter, Martin Luther King, Jr., Zig Ziglar, Billy Graham and many more. They are great in my eyes and I’m small – but just to be there! #humbled

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Hope Filled Heart

 

Girl holding a heart-shaped boxI know what it is like to be hopeless and feeling helpless. I must say though, that as I study the Word of God and pursue His heart, I find that those times are a lot fewer than ever before in my life. As I journey through His Word, I find that I ALWAYS have hope. He never leaves me alone. Recently, upon hearing of my brother-in-law’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma cancer I was stunned and I allowed hopelessness to enter. I’m thankful that the Lord keeps pursuing my heart as I pursue His heart.

David pens a hope-filled Psalm that reminded me of His Presence. Check this out…

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendor all day long. (Psalm 71:5-8 NIV)

I have followed the Lord at some level since I was a young boy. My parents and grandparents invested in building my faith consistently for many years. I am so thankful for their teaching and example over the years. As I read this passage this morning I was reminded of a tag line that Kari Jobe used in one of her live performances at the end of a special song. The song was “When You Walk In The Room” as a tag line. She then goes into a song called Majesty written by Delirious. Check out this simple worship chorus.

Majesty, Majesty.
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed but alive in Your hands.
Singing Majesty, Majesty.
Forever I am changed by Your love,
In the presence of Your Majesty.
Majesty.

I’m so thankful for God’s Presence in my life. There is no place I can go that He is not there. There is nothing I face without Him. He has filled my heart with hope and forever changed my heart. I will put my hope in Him because He’s filled me with hope.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Humbled By The Word

Grace AND TruthThis morning I came across a beautiful passage of The Word that simply blessed me as I read two or three time. I’ve actually looked at it a couple more times since early this am. I’ve highlighted several parts of the beautiful passage here. Check this out…

1 David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;

    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.

He is my shield, the power that saves me,

and my place of safety.

He is my refuge, my savior,

the one who saves me from violence.

I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and he saved me from my enemies.

“The waves of death overwhelmed me;

floods of destruction swept over me.

The grave wrapped its ropes around me;

death laid a trap in my path.

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;

yes, I cried to my God for help.

He heard me from his sanctuary;

my cry reached his ears.

“Then the earth quaked and trembled.

The foundations of the heavens shook;

they quaked because of his anger.

Smoke poured from his nostrils;

fierce flames leaped from his mouth.

Glowing coals blazed forth from him.

10 He opened the heavens and came down;

dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.

11 Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,

soaring on the wings of the wind.

12 He shrouded himself in darkness,

veiling his approach with dense rain clouds.

13 A great brightness shone around him,

and burning coals blazed forth.

14 The Lord thundered from heaven;

the voice of the Most High resounded.

15 He shot arrows and scattered his enemies;

his lightning flashed, and they were confused.

16 Then at the command of the Lord,

at the blast of his breath,

the bottom of the sea could be seen,

and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

17 “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;

he drew me out of deep waters.

18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,

from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

19 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,

but the Lord supported me.

20 He led me to a place of safety;

he rescued me because he delights in me.

21 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;

he restored me because of my innocence.

22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;

I have not turned from my God to follow evil.

23 I have followed all his regulations;

I have never abandoned his decrees.

24 I am blameless before God;

I have kept myself from sin.

25 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.

He has seen my innocence.

26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;

to those with integrity you show integrity.

27 To the pure you show yourself pure,

but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

28 You rescue the humble,

but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.

29 O Lord, you are my lamp.

The Lord lights up my darkness.

30 In your strength I can crush an army;

with my God I can scale any wall.

31 “God’s way is perfect.

All the Lord’s promises prove true.

He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

32 For who is God except the Lord?

Who but our God is a solid rock?

33 God is my strong fortress,

and he makes my way perfect.

34 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,

enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

35 He trains my hands for battle;

he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.

36 You have given me your shield of victory;

your help has made me great.

37 You have made a wide path for my feet

to keep them from slipping.

47 “The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!

May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Gratitude on Steroids

 

Gratitude Word CloudI sometimes get very busy and move from one area of my life into another. My life is somewhat compartmentalized into three areas: Personal, Work and Ministry. The lines or boundaries between these three areas are not very clean and clear. I sometimes end up trying to find someone a home and end up praying with him or her over something they are going through personally. I also find myself at church serving and someone asks me a real estate question. I’ve learned that all areas of my life impact the other. I believe I’m right where God has called me to be…in all of these distinct areas.

This past Sunday when I got word that my son Luke had fallen from a tree and was being airlifted to a Trauma 1 hospital in Atlanta, my three worlds collided and time seemed to stop. I talk to God pretty often, but our conversations went to a whole different level. My adrenaline was pumping as I started trying to get to my son as quickly as possible. The unknown can be a crazy place to be. Upon arrival to the hospital, I was able to see him and while he looked terrible, the doctors and the nurses began reporting that his injuries were not life threatening. I began thanking the Lord. We are home now and it’s been 5 days and he’s doing well. We have a ways to go in recovery from his injuries, but his life was spared. I’ve been trying to think of a way to express to the Lord my gratitude. I felt some help in this area as I read Hannah’s prayer for her son Samuel, when she was dedicating him to the Lord and leaving him to serve in the temple like she said she would. Check this out….

1 Then Hannah prayed and said:

‘My heart rejoices in the Lord;

    in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high.

My mouth boasts over my enemies,

    for I delight in your deliverance.

2 ‘There is no one holy like the Lord;

    there is no one besides you;

    there is no Rock like our God.

3 ‘Do not keep talking so proudly

    or let your mouth speak such arrogance,

for the Lord is a God who knows,

    and by him deeds are weighed. (1 Samuel 2:1-3 NIV)

I am thankful beyond words. I can’t find the proper words for my fingers to hammer out on my laptop. I have found myself just looking at Luke this past week thanking the Lord and thinking about what could have been.

For the last month I feel like the Lord has reminded me to have gratitude deep in my heart. I’ve prayed often that the Lord cultivate gratitude in my heart for all that He has done for me and all that He’s doing for me and my family. I feel like my gratitude prayers are now on steroids. I feel so very blessed and humbled by the miracle of Luke’s fall. I’m sure that God has something significant to do through that young man.

As I reflect on the passage in 1 Samuel, the word says…. 26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people. (1 Samuel 2:26 NIV)

I’m praying for Luke to hear God’s call upon his young life. I’m thankful for the call of God on our life to love this kid and welcome him into our lives as our own. I’m so thankful that I’m somewhat speechless.

Pressing On!

Dwayne