Morning Prayer

Country road at sunriseI love the morning – it seems like everything is new and fresh. Yesterday is now history and time to look forward. I love starting my day in God’s Word and listen to Him speak into my heart as I begin a new day. I decided a few years back that I would not do anything in my day prior to listening to Him.  I believe my time with Him is the most important meeting on my schedule. The morning I was blessed with a morning prayer from King David. Check this out…

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:8-10 NIV)

Trust – I affirm my love, respect & honor for the Lord.

Rescue – He helps me deal with those who want to harm me.

Teach – He speaks directly into my heart & then I live out my heart.

Lead – He prompts, shows & levels me out – He makes my path clear.

I just want to rest and abide this day under the Word of God. I need Him more than I need anything. His Presence in my heart brings great clarity to my schedule. This morning prayer clarifies my need for Him first thing.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Mercy, Refuge & Rescue

 

God's mercy at the CrossI can remember in my life in the not-so-distant past when I felt like I could not stand under the strain of suffering. I remember having a job one day and the next it was gone. I remember clearly the devastation of divorce nearly 25 years ago. I remember the news of my son having cancer. I remember the call from the ENT telling me that they are air-lifting my son to Atlanta because of injuries he incurred when he fell from a tree.  I could go on and on about suffering and struggle in my life, but those are in my top 5. I have learned that my strength to stand comes from kneeling down before the Lord in surrender and worship. I believe that King David felt the same way. He was hiding in a cave and penned a great psalm/prayer of mercy, refuge & rescue. Check this out…

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
    before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
    no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
    no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, ‘You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.’

Listen to my cry,
    for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
    for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
    because of your goodness to me. (Psalm 142:1-7 NIV)

I can do nothing without the Lord. I can’t possibly navigate through the ups and downs of life without Him. The longer I walk with Him daily, the more convinced of this I am. His Presence and His Strength are beyond measuring. He helps me understand the struggle. He helps me through. I believe in His mercy. I believe He is my refuge – I can ALWAYS lean into Him. I can always count on Him for rescue. The way He supplies mercy, refuge and rescue does not always come when I command or ask – His timing and His plan is always spot on – even when I don’t understand.  I look back at the big struggles in my life and see how the Lord made good out of bad situations. His plan is way bigger than my plan. He’s used my struggles to teach me and build me for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Help Is On The Way!

Brave Courage Overcoming Fear Bravery Vs AfraidI remember a time when I was in college (before cell phones) and I was making a 4-hour drive home across Jellico Mountain on I-75 in Tennessee. The car overheated and I had to pull over on the side of the interstate. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next.  I remember praying for the Lord to send some help. He did! It came through another student from the same college traveling the same highway – he saw us and stopped to help. We bought some antifreeze and put in back in the radiator and we took the car to a mechanic to patch things up to get me home. I was very thankful for the help. I have never forgotten that moment because I was not sure what I would do or could do to get out of that situation. I need help often and I’ve learned to ask for help and try to be prepared for lots of variables in many situations. The Lord will show up and help. He sends me help and He’s never far away. Check this out…

21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
    help me for your name’s sake;
    out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
    and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
    I am shaken off like a locust.
24 Many knees give way from fasting;
    my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
    when they see me, they shake their heads.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
    in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
    to save their lives from those who would condemn them. (Psalm 109:21-25, 30-31 NIV)

The Lord is always available and willing to help. He doesn’t always provide the help I think I need. He goes with what He sees as my need. I am continually learning to be obedient and humble before Him. I do not have it all together. I am a broken person whom He has put back together and I trust Him and I want to live for Him.  As I study the Word and I see just how the Lord gave help to David and protected him from his accusers, I find hope in that. I want His help dealing with people who want to harm me or threaten me. I want to be strong and consistent in my decisions and choices to live my life in a way that brings honor to Him. His help for the struggles I face is always nearby and on the way!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Defend & Rescue

 

baby under blanketI remember when I was a kid, I wanted to be in law enforcement. I wanted to protect and defend others. I also went through a period of wanting to be in the military. I wanted to be part of the world class armed forces of the USA. I wanted to defend our country against all enemies and I wanted to be part of a group who rescued people from danger. To save people who will die otherwise, must be very fulfilling for sure.  I am past those days of thinking I could physically defend and rescue. I do know Someone Who always defends and rescues.

My wife Tina and I kept our little grandson yesterday and as all parents and grandparents do, we “child-proofed” our house some. We also kept a watchful eye on the little guy all the time he was with us.  We were protecting Him and determined to keep him from harm. We were ready in milliseconds to defend and rescue that little guy.  Asaph was calling upon God, the Father to come help his people much like a parent wants to help their kid.  Check this out…

Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4 NIV)

The Lord is never far away. He knows my predicament.  He knows every situation I face. He is never surprised or “caught off guard” by my circumstances. He has come to my defense before and He will come again. He has rescued me before and He will rescue me again. There are times He rescues me from my own ignorance and stupidity. I get myself in a bad situation and He will still come to defend and rescue.

The more I read in His Word, the more I understand that He never leaves or abandons His kids. He is always near to defend and rescue. I’m thankful for His Presence and Power to always defend & rescue.

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan & Melissa Helser

“You split the sea so I could walk through it

My fears are drowned in perfect love

You rescued me and I can stand and sing

I am a child of God.”

___________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Ransomed

First RespondersI get pretty uptight when there is a kidnapping on a television show and the bad guys are using a person’s life to extract money from another. The ransom demand is stiff.  It is impossible to put a price tag on loved ones. I can’t imagine having to walk down that road. I obviously am not wealthy or “stupid rich” that it would be worth someone’s time to extort me by taking a family member. I would be that guy who would give everything I must to ransom my loved one. All my stuff is replaceable, but a life doesn’t work like that.

King David is often an emotional wreck when he cries out to God in one of the Psalms. He battles fear on so many levels. It seems that his personal struggles here in Psalms was unknown to his enemies because he was also a strong warrior. Check this out…

16 As for me, I call to God,
    and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
    will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:16-18, 22-23 NIV)

The Lord ransoms and rescues. David speaks out of experience. He has seen what the Lord is capable of to protect and provide. The Lord will do what it takes to rescue or ransom His kids from the enemy.

I’m learning that my role is to trust in my God Who is stronger than I can imagine. He can endure more than I can wrap my head around. He created the whole universe and He cares for me and my struggles whether big or little. I’m so thankful for His promise to rescue and ransom me. There are times, that He saves me from myself. I need rescuing pretty much every day. He is so up for the task!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Strength In Struggle

 

depression teen girlThere have been way too many times in my life when I felt like all was lost. The pain that comes through suffering is almost devastating. There are times when I find it hard to lift my head because of what I’m facing. I’m still learning that there is ALWAYS Hope because of Creator God. He is NEVER too tired or too weak to help. He is NEVER too busy to listen. He comes to my rescue quite often.

David was in need of rescue. He and his men had gone out with the Philistines preparing for battle only to be sent home because the leadership didn’t trust him and his men to fight against his own countrymen. Upon arrival home the devastation was overwhelming. Check this out…

3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured – Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:3-6 NIV)

That last line of the passage jumped right in my lap as I read it. I needed to be reminded that my Source of strength can ALWAYS be found in the Lord God. I don’t always look to Him first – I often try my own way. I’m learning that He NEVER leaves and He’s ALWAYS the best Source of strength that exists. I’m so thankful for His rescue of me.

I immediately thought of this song by Hillsong called: Came To My Rescue.

1 Falling on my knees in worship

Giving all I am to seek your face

Lord all I am is yours

2 My whole life

I place in your hands

God of Mercy

Humbled I bow down

In your presence at your throne

C I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

3 My whole life

I place in your hands

God of Mercy

Humbled I bow down

In your presence at your throne

C I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

B In my life be lifted high

In our world be lifted high

In our love be lifted high

C I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne