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

Lift Up Your Hands

Worship to GodI remember the first time I saw someone raise their hands in worship. I was a bit freaked out by that. After I moved past the sarcastic thoughts about them having a question or thinking that they were drawing attention to themselves – I then ignored them.  I can remember where I was when I heard a worship leader challenge us to lift our hands to our Heavenly Dad like a toddler asking to be picked up by his parent. I began to grow a little bit in my understanding about posture in worship and physical presence as well as spiritual presence. I grew up in a church where the lifting of hands never happened. You might even have been asked to leave if you did that. As a student minister, I went to a lot of youth conferences and the kids were not bothered by feeling weird by lifting their hands in worship. The music was incredibly moving for me in my heart. It took a few years of my journey to get comfortable in raising my hands in worship. Now I see the Lord as my Heavenly Dad and I love honoring Him and submitting to Him with my hands held high and open before Him.  I’m not sure if this is what the Psalmist meant when he spoke of lifting hands, but I enjoy the freedom that comes when I surrender my heart before the Lord in worship. Check this out…

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
    who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
    and praise the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion,
    he who is the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 134:1-3 NIV)

I do believe my outward posture should reflect my heart posture. I don’t think I should lift my hands just because others are. I realize that I get a little animated when I go to a baseball game or a college basketball – I cheer for people I don’t even know because I’ve chosen to root for them. I cheer at concerts because the music moves me. I have come to a place in my journey with the Lord where He moves my heart in all sorts of ways. My God loves me and He loves it when I lay down my pride and come before Him in worship. There are songs that make me want to sing loud. There are other songs that I feel prompted to bow down. There are other songs where I want to empty my soul before Him in surrender. When I sing “Here’s My Heart Lord”, I lift my hands in surrender and worship. I am not trying to draw attention to me, I simply get lost in His Presence and I try to focus only on Him and not others around me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Creative

creativeI used to think that I wasn’t creative. Don’t mishear that comment as I’m not super creative, but I can come up with ideas or suggestions that might work in each situation. I also have an opinion on most everything, but I try hard not to share without invitation. I love to be around creative people, they are fun and crazy. They seem so full of life. Creative people see how things could be not necessarily how they are. They seem to have different views of boundaries too.

This morning I read a Psalm that speaks to the creative nature of God. These few verses really blew me away as I thought about all the God has done on this earth to sustain life here. Check this out…

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord. (Psalm 104:19-24; 31-34 NIV)

As I think about the science, chemistry and math involved in God’s creation – my mind is blown. I love how He created. I love what He created. I love how He sustains and maintains His creation. I am humbled to know Him. I am humbled that He created me. I humbled that He loves it when I talk or sing to Him. God’s creative nature is everywhere in everything. There is nothing that I have or know about that doesn’t trace back to His creation. I want to continue to pursue His heart with my everyday activities and bring honor to Him with all of me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Sing A New Song

Adorable Child Singing into MicrophoneI love songs and music that goes with the songs. I especially love songs that honor God and speak truth about Him. I don’t always like hearing a new song in church because I like hearing familiar songs. I realized that if all I ever do is sing song that are familiar, I would have never heard the songs that are currently stirring my heart.

This past week I was sharing with a friend my journey from full-time ministry to becoming a real estate broker. Every time I tell that story, I remember how the Lord was leading and directing. My friend made a comment that I have been thinking about since. He said, “Hey, when the Lord gives you a new song – sing it!”  The Lord has given me many new songs over the years as I journeyed with Him. I love the simplicity of that statement as my wife and I soon watch our youngest son graduate High School and move forward as an adult. I guess we will sing an “empty nest” song.

As I read in Psalms this am, my heart was blessed by the words “sing a new song”. Check this out…

Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and glory are in his sanctuary. (Psalm 96:1-6 NIV)

Today is a new day and a new song that I can sing to the Lord. I want to have a heart overflowing with gratitude to Him Who gives me life. I want to honor Him with my choices today and every day. I want to sing of His Love, His Mercy and His Grace poured over me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Morning Song

Performance at Creation NW 2006I love mornings. I guess you could call me a morning person. It’s because I choose to be. I have found that if I’m going to be a morning person, I must go to bed in time to allow for enough rest. This morning fell on a weekend, so I could sleep in a bit. I awoke just in time to see a gorgeous sunrise and enjoy a good cup of freshly ground coffee with the Word of God.

I came across a passage that King David had penned when he was early on the run from Saul. Saul had just sent men to his house to kill him and he was confused as to why. I feel like I relate to David, because I move from faith to fear and back to faith in a very short time frame. Check this out….

16But I will sing of your strength,

in the morning, I will sing of your love;

for you are my fortress,

my refuge in times of trouble.

17You are my strength, I sing praise to you;

you, God, are my fortress,

my God on whom I can rely. (Psalm 59:16-17 NIV)

I love singing to the Lord. It refreshes my soul. I find strength when I sing to the Lord. Some of the songs I like to sing affirm my faith and trust in the Lord. When I sing of my love and trust in God, my struggles fade into the background.

One of current favorite songs to declare before the Lord is: “Here’s My Heart” recorded by Crowder & written by Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin & Louie Giglio. Here are the lyrics that also make a great morning prayer…

Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true

‘Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe

‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everything

________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Singer of Songs

 

Songwriter with a guitarI grew up singing at church, singing at home, singing in the car – singing everywhere. I love music and I love good songs. Someone can mention a song (good or bad) and it gets stuck in my head for a couple of hours. I’ve said many times before that I believe music and songs can say things like no one or nothing else can.

Over the past several years, I’ve had the privilege of singing songs and leading worship. There are so many songs that simple stir my soul and really drive me to my knees before the Lord. One song I sing nearly every morning before reading the Bible is “Word Of God Speak” by MercyMe.

This morning I read what is believed to be the last words of King David. His relationship to the Lord really blesses me. I don’t understand all there is to know about him, but I feel like through his songs and psalms he has shared his heart and soul. He deeply and profoundly loves the Lord. Check this out…

1 These are the last words of David:

‘The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,

    the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,

the man anointed by the God of Jacob,

    the hero (some version says “singer”) of Israel’s songs:

2 ‘The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;

    his word was on my tongue.

3 The God of Israel spoke,

    the Rock of Israel said to me:

“When one rules over people in righteousness,

    when he rules in the fear of God,

4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise

    on a cloudless morning,

like the brightness after rain

    that brings grass from the earth.” (2 Samuel 23:1-4 NIV)

I love the picture here of the Lord totally leading David’s life.

He wants the Lord to be the delight of his heart.

He wants the Lord to speak through him.

He wants the Lord to lead through him.

When the Lord leads a leader – it’s a remarkable and refreshing thing to see. David penned some of the most beautiful words of scripture because the Lord lived inside him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne