Light Leads To Life

Hand drawing light bulbI am not generally afraid of the dark. I will say that I’m not a fan of the dark. When I say dark, I don’t usually think of “pitch black darkness”. There are usually lights on the refrigerator, microwave, modem, etc.… that add a little light to the room. A week or so ago, the power went off in the middle of the night and that is dark – no light from appliances or the security light in the back yard. I’m thankful that iPhone has a flashlight feature! True darkness is the absence of any light. I’ve not experienced that a bunch in my life for sure.

I came across a passage that Jesus spoke to the people and He clearly says He is the LIGHT of the world. Check this out…

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)

Light is a unique force. I decided to look up “characteristics of light” and it speaks of how critical light can be to the photographer. I don’t know a lot of details about that. Some characteristics about light that I thought about:

Light is silent

Light gets attention

Light chases darkness out

Light gives direction

Light reveals

Jesus calls His followers the Light of the World too. He wants us to illuminate the world we live in with truth, honor, goodness, and importantly, LOVE. I feel like His Word has illuminated my way and I’m responsible for illuminating the way for others. I want to follow The LIGHT OF THE WORLD – Jesus and let Him shine inside of me. I want Him to show me the way. I want to follow Him and show others the way.

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

Revive & Restore

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere are times when it starts getting daylight and I went to bed way too late – the struggle to get up and face the day. On top of all that it’s raining outside. I made it up because I need to get my day started with the Lord. I’m moving slower than normal, but it will be ok. I do love Saturday’s when it seems like my work week takes a short breath and my family is home. As I woke up this morning and opened the Word, I was on Psalm 80, written by Asaph. He was a bit discouraged at the trials and tests that his people were enduring. He was crying out to God to revive and restore. Check this out…

17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
    the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
    revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:17-19 NIV)

I need to be revived when I’ve been sluggish or dead in my walk. I need to be restored when I’ve wandered off the path that He’s set for me. Revive makes me think of someone getting CPR and restored makes me think of a piece of furniture restored to its former state.

My heart needs revived and restored daily. It seems like I can get off track and sideways very easily just living my life. I want to honor the Lord with my life. I want my life to bring a smile to His face and glory to His name.

I don’t want to do anything today unless His hand is upon me. I want His face to shine on my life so that I’m walking in the way He’s called me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Shine

Man walking to the lightI love the day time. I love it when it becomes daylight and the sun is illuminating the earth. I like it when it’s so bright that I need sun glasses to calm the light from my eyes! I like light a lot better than darkness. At night, we are limited to lumens to measure the brightness of the light. When it’s dark, I’m looking for light except when it’s time to go to sleep, the light can bother me. A few nights ago, part of the power grid in our area when down and we had no electricity. I had flashlight on my phone, I lit candles. I couldn’t’ find my oil lamp or I would have lit that too. Light is noticeable when it’s missing or not functioning well.

The Lord is the light of the world. He created light. Check this out…

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us-
so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him. (Psalm 67:1-2, 5-7 NIV)

I remember some times in my life when I felt like the darkness was squeezing the light out. I was looking for light, but it felt like a dark fog settling in around me. I remember especially when my son was fighting cancer feeling like I was in a dark fog. I was pretty ticked at God too. I remember hearing a song that started lifting the fog from my life. The song was “Let Me Feel You Shine” by David Crowder Band. Here are the lyrics…

This place is trying to break my belief
But my faith is bigger than all I can see
What I need is redemption
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, oh 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
Oh 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 for You to touch me
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need

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
Oh let me feel You shine
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

________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Despair

There have been moments and even days of despair during certain seasons of my life. I can think of three particular seasons right off the bat – Loss of Job, Divorce & Cancer. I could probably write a book about my journey through these seasons of life. I’m not sure that I could very eloquent with my words because I was very fearful and weak. Despair in its simplest form is hopelessness. A world without hope is a world full of despair.

As I read the first of Job’s responses, I could sense the despair and desperation of this man. He wanted his life to be over as the struggle he’s in is huge and he doesn’t feel like he can manage it much longer. Check this out…

8 ‘Oh, that I might have my request,

    that God would grant what I hope for,

9 that God would be willing to crush me,

    to let loose his hand and cut off my life!

10 Then I would still have this consolation –

    my joy in unrelenting pain –

    that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

11 ‘What strength do I have, that I should still hope?

    What prospects, that I should be patient?

12 Do I have the strength of stone?

    Is my flesh bronze?

13 Do I have any power to help myself,

    now that success has been driven from me? (Job 6:8-13 NIV)

As I read this passage this morning, I was reminded of a song that really ministered to me during the despair of the cancer struggle with my son (which he won!).

Let Me Feel You Shine by Crowder

This place is trying to break my belief
But my faith is bigger than all I can see
What I need is redemption
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, oh 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
Oh 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 for You to touch me
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need
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
Oh let me feel You shine
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

When the Lord comes on the scene or into the room – Hope has arrived. His Presence can push despair out the front door. I can still remember how it felt to have Him shining His Light into my hurting, desperate heart. #gamechanger

Pressing On!

Dwayne