Ultimate Invitation

 

InvitationI enjoy a good invite. A few weeks ago, I received a formal invitation to my oldest grandson’s birthday party. The theme was Mickey Mouse! Of course, I made plans to be there. The party was yesterday and we most definitely had fun with him, family and friends. Invitations are most always optional. If it was mandatory the language would be different. There are some invitations that I’ve received that I “felt” were mandatory or I “needed” to be there. The Lord has given the ULTIMATE INVITATION – He invites me to eternal life. He also invites me to enjoy the abundant life while I’m here on earth.

John is wrapping up his revelation and he hears from Jesus, himself. The Lord gives a profound declaration and invitation. Check this out…

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. (Revelation 22:16-17 NLT)

I am responding to the invitation of the Lord each day. I have surrendered my life to Him. I have been baptized and I’m walking out my faith in Him daily. I stumble often, but through confession and repentance, He restores my soul. His forgiveness is complete. When He introduced me to His grace, I was blown away. I look for Him to invite me into closer fellowship with Him as I daily seek His face. I seek His heart through His Word and my heart is molded and changed.

The invitation from the Lord has changed everything about my life. I’ve RSVP’d to Him and I’m committed to His call upon my life. He offers life-giving water. He offers the life-sustaining Presence of God. He Lights my path because He’s the Light of The World! I’m blown away that He welcomes me into His family. This is one invitation that doesn’t just stay on the refrigerator but I carry it with me everywhere.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

All Things New

 

Word in Stars Announcing Brand New Product or ImprovementI love the smell of a new car. I used to love owning a new car, but I hated the payments and I also hated the depreciation that descended the minute I drove off the lot. I do like new stuff. I especially like new technology toys. Right now, I’m enjoying the new iPhone operating system (aka IOS) because “my phone feels new, yet somehow familiar”.  New & Improved are marketing tools for a whole host of products. There are times that “new & improved” are simply marketing slogans and nothing much has changed.

John is nearing the close of his revelation. He is seeing more things that are hard to describe and explain. He writes what he hears and does his best to describe the scenes before him. This scene is one of my favorite. Check this out…

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give free from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:3-7 NLT)

I am thankful to serve the Lord as He dwells with me. He has been with me through some dark valleys for sure. He has been with me through some deep pain and suffering. His Presence is most definitely a game changer. He brings hope with Him. He brings healing – spiritual and often physical, when He enters. I look forward to a world without death, sorrow, crying or pain. I look forward to being in His Presence without a worry or care in the world.

Just yesterday, the daughter of a REALTOR friend was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. It immediately brought some memories back when my son was diagnosed with cancer. I remember the helpless and hopeless feelings that came with that. As a Dad, I would have exchanged places with my son through that battle. My heart is heavy for my friend and the journey that she is on with her daughter. I’m envisioning a place with no cancer, no sickness of any kind. I’m longing for that place.

A song that ministered to me during our journey is still speaking to me today.

Let Me Feel You Shine by David Crowder.

This place is trying to break my belief 
But my faith is bigger than all I can see 
And what I need is redemption 
And what I need is for You for to put me back on my feet 

I swear I’m trying to give everything 
But I feel I’m falling, make me believe 
What I need is resurrection 
What I need is for You to put me back on my feet 

If I could feel You shine Your perpetual light 
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight 
If I could feel You feel You shine 
Oh let me feel You shine 
So beautiful and warm 
So beautiful and bright 
Like a sun comin’ out of a rainy sky 
Let me feel You shine Oh
Let me feel You shine

I lift the knife to the thing I love most 
Praying You’ll come so I can have both 
What I need is You to touch me 
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need 

God I need a Savior 
O come generous King 
O God I need a Savior 
To come rescue me 

Oh let me feel You shine Your magnificent light 
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight 
If You let me feel You feel You shine 
Oh let me feel You shine 
So beautiful and warm 
So beautiful and bright 
Like a sun comin’ out of a rainy sky 
Oh let me feel You shine 

______________________________

I want to feel the Presence of God all over my life every day of my life. I want to feel Him shine upon my life with His life-giving LIGHT!  He is the LIGHT of The World! He has the power to make all things new – in fact it’s a promise!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Hold Firmly

 

HandshakeI remember at a very young age swinging from “the monkey bars” on the playground.  Part of the key to navigating “the monkey bars” was a strong grip. It also took some upper body strength to accomplish that.

As I get older, my grip may not be as strong as it once was. My physical body has changed a good bit in the last 40 years. My spiritual grip has improved greatly over the years. I’ve learned to hold on to the Word of God. I’ve learned that His promises are true. I’ve learned that His Presence is real. I don’t want to lose my grip on my faith.

As John was experiencing some additional mind-blowing scenes happening in heaven. He was approached by an angel who spoke to him. It was an encounter of teaching. Check this out…

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”

10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.” (Revelation 19:9-10 NLT)

Don’t worship the messenger unless He’s Jesus.  I have tremendous respect for great pastors and teachers. I have read multiple books from some of my favorite, beloved pastors. It’s important for me to remember that they are not worthy of my worship. I have to be careful of the status that I give them. They are human. Yes – they are devoted followers of the Lord, but the Lord is ONLY ONE worthy of my worship. I want to hear from Him. I want to worship Him. I want to hold firmly to His hand as I navigate this life. I want to hold firmly to His hand no matter what I face in the future. He is the ONLY ONE Who can lead me from this earthly life to eternal life. He has a firm grip and I’m wise to hold on to Him and worship Him only.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Victory Song

Hands Raise in WorshipI’ve danced a victory dance and I love winning! The flip side to winning is losing. I do not like losing at all. I’ve learned to care about winning things that are important. I used to get way too “worked up” about certain sports teams. I can randomly pick a team to “pull for” and I can get really excited when they win & really frustrated when they lose.  I began to notice my blood pressure rising when I would try to watch a game. I still struggle with this when I’m watching Kentucky basketball! I began to realize that the outcome of the game really doesn’t change my life. I don’t gamble or place bets on games – I just watch.

I came across a scene from the apostle John’s “play by play” in his vision. It was cool scene of victory for the ones who were victorious over the beast. Check this out…

They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb:

Great and awe-inspiring are your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
Lord, who will not fear
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you
because your righteous acts
have been revealed. (Revelation 15:3-4 CSB)

I love songs that express my heart to the Lord here and now. I can look back on songs that really spoke to my heart and it will be a long list. The ones that are speaking to me the most at this season of my life are from the Passion “Worthy Of Your Name” Album.

Here is a song that moved my soul for many years. (This takes me back!)

Lord, I Lift Your Name on High (by Mercy Me)

About 6 years ago in December this song was blessing me in a season of struggle as my kid battled cancer.

Let Me Feel You Shine (by David Crowder)

I am singing songs of victory all day – every day! The Lord has saved my soul. He directs my path. His Presence in my life is real and He is so Powerful. He gives perspective to my struggles and stumbles. I’m so thankful that the big victory is already won when Jesus gave His life on the cross.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Enemy

 

devil angelI have tried hard over the years to avoid making enemies. I’m not a doormat that others can walk upon. I also don’t intentionally harm others. I have opened my mouth and stuck my foot in more times than I can count and hurt myself and others. I’ve always thought it was a mistake to make enemies versus friends. I may have significant disagreements with you, but there doesn’t have to be hatred involved. I do have an enemy and I try hard to avoid any association with him because he seeks my destruction. He employs whomever he can in his schemes and plans. The enemy has no power over me except what I give him. The Lord is the King of my heart and He squashes the enemy like a bug.

John, in writing about what he sees and hears, sees war break out in heaven. The angels throw satan down to earth. He longs to destroy the people of God. He wants to bring destruction to the church. He can bring temptations that are incredibly beautiful and appealing, but full of poison and death. Even though he has some power, I am full of God’s Spirit and the Power in me is much greater than the enemy. After the enemy was thrown from heaven, John heard a a loud voice. Check this out…

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say,

The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ
have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night,
has been thrown down.
11 They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
for they did not love their lives
to the point of death. (Revelation 12:10-11CSB)

The enemy makes lots of promises that he can’t keep. His promises are full of lies and deceit. He promises life when he’s full of death. He knows what his end looks like, so he longs to take as many as he can from the Kingdom of God. He will say and do whatever he can to accomplish that.  I must keep seeking the truth in God’s Word so that I can recognize the schemes of the enemy. He will be defeated in the end. I just don’t want to be among those he’s caught.

I want to follow the Lord closely each day and discover deep truth from His Word to insulate me against the enemy and his attempts to take me out. I look forward to eternal life more than this brief vapor of life here on earth.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Where You Are

Man Hand writing Living a Thankful Life with black marker on visThere are times when I find myself in a place (not a physical place) and I wonder how I arrived here. If I allow myself to be moved around by the circumstances in my life and on this journey of life, I can drift just about anywhere. I have recently been encouraged and inspired to “sit up straight” and take notice to things around me. I am noticing my response to things that are negative. I am noticing my response to things that are positive. I’m am noticing my response to negative people as well as positive people. I am becoming aware of where I am currently, but more importantly where I want to go.

I don’t have grandiose dreams of being President, representative or hold any elected office. I don’t mind serving and helping the people who hold positions of leadership, but I don’t aspire to those positions. I’ve seen first-hand the games that must be played to hold those positions and it’s quite distasteful to me. I’m in a place of servant leadership in my church and I feel called to be here. I serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings. His credentials are stellar and complete. Check this out…

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8 CSB)

I don’t need a title to serve. I don’t need a position to hold. I don’t need lots of equipment or wardrobe to serve. The training is “on the job” serving.

John, the disciple/apostle was an eye-witness to the Son of God. He saw Jesus heal. He saw Jesus forgive. He saw Jesus teach. He saw Jesus love on people. He saw Jesus serve.  John finds himself on the island of Patmos – tradition says he was banished there away from people and society. He embraces where he is and serves from there. Check this out…

I, John, your brother and partner in the affliction, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  (Revelation 1:9 CSB)

“Wherever you go, there you are” is credited to Confucius. I need to become aware of where I am. I need to be aware of my attitude. I need to be aware of my heart condition. I need to be aware of outlook. My circumstances change quickly and I must adjust. I can’t control what others say or do. I can’t control the weather. I can control my attitude and response to the things that happen to me.

I made a commitment to follow Jesus many years ago and I’m determined that where every I go, He’s going too. When I get to wherever it is I’m going – I won’t ever be alone. He has never left me alone. His Presence make my “present” make sense. He knows right where I am, even if I’m not sure. I am here largely because of choices that I’ve made and He’s right here too because I wouldn’t be here without Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne