Co-Worker With Truth

four hands isolated on whiteOver the years, I’ve been part of teams, staffs, ministries, partnerships & missions. I remember collecting old pairs of glasses for people in Africa who didn’t have access to glasses. The missionary there was trying to help them with something as simple as seeing and being able to read. I’ve partnered with mission teams to build wells so that a community could have something as basic as fresh water available. When I participate in those types of “fund raisers”, I realize just how blessed I am to have opportunity and access to so many resources that make my life easier.

John was writing to one of his good friends in the church. He was commending him for his hospitality and generosity. Check this out…

Dear friend, you are acting faithfully in whatever you do for the brothers and sisters, especially when they are strangers. They have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God, since they set out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from pagans. Therefore, we ought to support such people so that we can be coworkers with the truth. (3 John 1:5-8 CSB)

It dawned on me this morning that when I help a missionary with resources for his or her ministry, I became a co-worker with the truth. I was in fact a partner with their hands-on ministry taking place half-way around the world. This can be significant. I can be generous and affect change in people’s lives that I will never meet. I can be the hands and feet of Jesus from right here where I live.

I am thankful that my path crossed paths with Michael & Lisa Perkins over 8 years ago. They are missionaries in Nicaragua. They sold their restaurant and walked away from their “normal” American life in Oregon around 12 years ago to accept God’s call upon their live to serve Him and share the Gospel in Nicaragua. I got to know them well as they began serving us as we pursued adoption process spearheaded by our Pastor Shannon Lovelady and his wife Natasha. The journey had so many obstacles, twists and turns and Michael and Lisa prayed with us and connected us to the right people in Nicaragua. In just over 1 year from when the first conversation happened about adopting 5 kids from Nicaragua, four families from our church came home with the five kids. We are forever connected and co-workers with The Mustard Seed Mission in Managua, Nicaragua! This passage reminded me that I’m a co-worker with them in the truth!

I’m so thankful that the Lord is writing a new chapter for the restaurant that they sold in Oregon many years ago, it was called The Mustard Seed Café. That is the name of the new restaurant here in Carrollton, GA that will be at City Station. Their mission in Nicaragua will continue as we broaden our relationship with Mustard Seed Missions and Mustard Seed Café. The Lord has really expanded the whole concept of “Co-Workers with the Truth”!

I want to encourage every believer who reads these words to become a Co-Worker with Truth. Get involved with a bible teaching church. Get involved with bible teaching missionaries. It is very fulfilling to think about serving and giving to people you will possibly never meet in the name of Jesus. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet them in heaven one day – How cool would that be?

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Unity

Many hands together: group of people joining handsI like this word in many different contexts. I like it when my wife and I are in unity (this contrasts with when we have extremely different ideas about an issue). I also like it when my family is in unity. Unity doesn’t mean we always agree, but I do think it means we are always agreeable. It is not always easy for sure, but I think unity means that I’m keeping my eye on the big picture. I see unity as agreement on the big picture items. Unity is defined as: “the state of being one; the parts of a whole; oneness of mind; harmony and agreement”.

This word jumped out of a Psalm of David – a song of assents and it reminded me of what a beautiful concept unity can be. Check this out…

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life for evermore. (Psalm 133:1-3 NIV)

Unity is sometimes very difficult to achieve because I or the other person want our way. Unity can only be achieved when we are all working for the greater good of any team that we are part of. I believe every group I’m part of needs a mission. I didn’t say that they need a mission statement, although I think it’s an excellent idea. A mission statement is simply our mission in writing. In my family, we seek to honor God in our choices and decisions every day. It’s not written down anywhere, but we know it and try to live it out. At Southern Hills Christian Church where my family and I serve, the mission is: Disciples who make disciples.  At Metro West Realty, our team of REALTORS rally around a mission of: EXCELLENCE. Always.  I know that there are other organizations that I am part of that are on mission. If we get “off mission” then the tensions begin quickly.

Unity is an incredible concept and can be very fulfilling to be part of. If there is to be unity, then I can’t always have everything “my way or the highway”. I must seek common ground underneath the mission.  I have been part of organizations where there was no unity and it can be frustrating. When unity disappears, dysfunction comes on the scene. There are so many instances where the Lord has “sanded my rough edges off” and helped me see the big picture. I need to remember that any organization that I’m part of is only as strong as the unity of all its members.  I do believe that everyone needs a big picture view even in the trenches of debate and discussion.  I love the last line of this passage: ”for there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore”.

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

__________________________

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

__________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

On Mission

 

Mission concept in word tag cloudI enjoy reading stories of military operations and how the missions are planned out thoroughly and followed to the letter. Some operations are huge and some are fairly minor. The principles about the missions are similar – everyone has a job to do and they are trained to carry it out. I’m very thankful to the men and women of our American military who are on mission every day to protect the freedoms that my family and I enjoy. I enjoy living in my community, my state and this nation because we have people defending these freedoms. I could never say thanks enough.

The people of Israel had an unusual circumstance with the tribe of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh as these groups decided that they were happy with the land east of the Jordan River. Moses had commanded them to help with the securing of the Promised Land before going back to their families. The time had come when the Promised Land had been taken and secured. They were ready to return and Joshua calls them together to send them off. His words of inspiration inspired me too. Check this out…

3 For a long time now – to this very day – you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. 4 Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.’ (Joshua 22:3-5 NIV)

I love the challenge to follow the Lord given by Joshua:

  1. Love the Lord your God
  2. Walk in obedience to Him
  3. Keep His commands
  4. Hold fast to Him
  5. Serve Him with all your heart and soul.

I can use that today. As I face another day on this journey of life, I need to pay close attention to all five of those challenges. I need to stay “on mission” with my life. I would be wise to look at today and everyday as an opportunity to fulfill the mission that the Lord has given me.

Jesus put in another way… ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 NIV)

That is a good mission for the remainder of my life – I need to be on mission with that!

Pressing On!

Dwayne