Walk Instead of Worry

Yellow roadsign with WORRY FREE ZONE messageI remember reading a quote years ago that said: “Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it will get you nowhere”. I have my own secret way of worrying. I actually use a different word. Instead of saying I’m worried about something, I use the word “concerned”. The concept is still the same. I find myself worrying about things that I have zero control over. I can do nothing about the weather. I can do nothing about what people in other parts of the world choose to do. I can do nothing about my past. I can really only control my response to the past while living in the present and planning for a future – which I have little control over as well. When the dust clears, worry does NOTHING to help me, instead it actually harms my heart deep within.

Jesus spoke clearly in His teaching about worry and what a waste of time and energy. He goes a bit deeper inside it and calls out the source of our worry – money. Check this out…

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:24-27,31-34 NLT)

I came away after reading that this morning thinking that I simply need to keep walking with the Lord and not worrying about anything. I think about money every day – how much I have; or how much this will cost; I don’t think I could ever have too much. I need to care less about what others think of me and care more about how I’m walking with the Lord. I need to care less about my past and how things used to be and embrace what my future looks like with the Lord in charge. I need to quit worrying and start walking in step with the Lord. He created me. He created this world. He owns everything and I’m simply His manager. I will get a lot more done for Him and His work, if I stop being so self-absorbed in worry.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

I Know What I Know

 

i want to know moreI find it hard sometimes to articulate my faith in God. My journey is personal and subjective. I have experienced things with the Lord that is hard to explain. This faith that I have in the Lord is not meant for me to just keep it to myself. It is good news for the whole world. Jesus came to seek and save all mankind. His mission was to make a way to restore our relationship with God. He did that and more. He gave us an amazing gift to help us in this journey. The Holy Spirit gives great wisdom and insight.  The Holy Spirit provides great strength to manage suffering and hardship. The Holy Spirit is a Presence that is hard to explain. I feel incredible peace in my soul with the very Spirit of God dwelling in me. It is His Promised Comforter to me and I know He’s here. These are things that I know and I’ve experienced. I have a hard time explaining, describing or teaching these things I know. John speaks to how I know Him by following His instructions – living out my faith. Check this out…

This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked. (1 John 2:3-6 CSB)

“This I Know” – Crowder

I try to start every day acknowledging the blessings from the Lord and thanking Him. I want to hear from Him in His Word each day. I’m certainly not trying to “earn” my salvation. I do want to walk out my salvation with Him each day. I want to walk just as He walked. I want to love as He loved. I want to serve as He served.

I wish I could explain more clearly how I know what I know. It is not super complicated – it’s simple, but sometimes hard. It’s not always easy to walk in His way when it seems like very few people are walking this path. I know that this is where He called me to walk. He has changed my life forever. I’m honored to walk in His way. I’m honored to serve Him. I’m honored to be called a Christian or Christ follower.  I am still very much a “work in progress”, but I know things that are simply not negotiable with my journey in Him.  I want the activities of my day to day to be “in step” with His call upon my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Adopted

Family PIcture 2016I am blessed with three grandchildren presently and I’ve talked to my two sons who have become parents in the last couple of years. First, I didn’t know I could love like that until I became a Dad. Second, I learned a lot more about my Heavenly Father. I began to understand His heart in the scripture. Becoming a Dad has been a blessing beyond my ability to describe. I am humbled and thankful for the privilege and responsibility.  It was just over 7 years ago that my wife and I started working on adoption of our youngest son. We were one of four families from our church who were adopting 5 siblings from Nicaragua. Their situation in Nicaragua was tough and we felt called to help. It was an incredibly hard journey, but here we are now and Luke has become my son by adoption. Again, I learned some deep truths about the Lord that I had not known before. The Lord adopted me as His son and He has given me all the rights and privileges of being part of His family. Check this out….

When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7 CSB)

I am God’s kid. I am adopted into His family. I am an heir to the promise. Creator God has put the Spirit of His Son in my heart. I’m wear His name. He has a picture of me in His phone! (LOL) I am loved by God. I am cherished by God. He is my Heavenly Dad. He cares for me. He loves to speak into my life each morning and I love hearing from Him. I feel loved. I feel accepted. I know what it’s like to feel lost and abandoned, but NEVER again – I am a child of God.

My family here on earth reflects my Jesus family. I am a child of the Most High God. I can walk in confidence bearing His Name and representing Him in how I talk, walk, live and love. I am profoundly thankful to be adopted by Him. I wear His Name with thankfulness and humility in my heart. He has changed me forever.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

(Not Pictured: Finneas Dylan Hicks arrived on May 20, 2017 – He’s such a handsome little guy! #thankful)

Good Ole’ Days

 

happy and motivated old people 3dI’m old enough to remember the “good ole’ days” for sure. I remember when a loaf of bread was 25 cents and gasoline was 45 cents. I was really young, but I remember how different things were back in the 1960’s. I grew up without a lot of money or possessions (aka poor), but I didn’t really realize it because it was fairly normal for that part of rural Kentucky. My parents and grandparents talked about their childhood like it was the good ole’ days too. I think it’s pretty easy to remember to good times of days gone by. We tend to forget the struggles and hardships and hang on to the good things that came out of that time frame.

Job began thinking back to his “good ole’ days” before he lost his family, his possessions and his health. He was a very wealthy and wise man – well loved in his community. Check this out…

2 ‘How I long for the months gone by,

    for the days when God watched over me,

3 when his lamp shone on my head

    and by his light I walked through darkness!

4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,

    when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,

5 when the Almighty was still with me

    and my children were around me,

6 when my path was drenched with cream

    and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.

7 ‘When I went to the gate of the city

    and took my seat in the public square,

8 the young men saw me and stepped aside

    and the old men rose to their feet; (Job 29:2-8 NIV)

This man Job was once an incredible influential man in his community. He was well respected. He was wealthy. He was a rescuer. He was a good neighbor. He was royalty to his community because of his character, his wealth and his gentle spirit. He was now in the midst of the darkest days of his life. His suffering was real and it was lengthy. He desperately wanted to go back to the days of his success and affluence – but here he was in the midst of struggle and suffering.

As I look back to many of my struggles and suffering – it was a short season, but it felt like a lifetime in the midst of it. Whoever first spoke the axiom “this too shall pass” was pretty wise. It’s true but I still wanted to smack the person who said it! The good ole’ days weren’t really all that good. The days we live in now will one day become the “good ole’ days”. I want to do my best to drink in the moments of today with my relationships with family and friends. My circumstances or situation could change drastically tomorrow or a few days after and make me long for this moment in time. I want to live in this moment today. I want to seek the Lord with my whole heart. I may one day need the courage and strength that He is building into me today.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Be vs. Do

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopI will admit that I’m pretty busy at times multi-tasking in many different areas. I work sometimes at a crazy fast pace. It’s not always because I want to be this busy, my work just “breathes” like that. I feel often like the Lord is settling my spirit in the early morning and He helps me prepare for the day ahead. I want my soul to be anchored to Him no matter how hectic or busy I become. I was reminded in reading from Isaiah this morning that sometimes I need to stop “doing” and just “be”. Check this out…

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.
18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!
19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:15-21 NIV)

 

When I learn to simply “be”, the Lord is actually “doing” a lot of work in me. I am who I am because of Him being and doing in and through me. Without Him I can do nothing. Without Him I am nothing. With Him in my heart – directing my every move I’m destined to make Him proud of me. He will use my meager efforts in huge ways to bring honor to Him.

Reminders:

  1. Be patient.
  2. Rest in Him.
  3. Trust in Him.
  4. Pray to Him.
  5. Look for Him.
  6. Listen to Him.
  7. Walk in His way.
Pressing On!
Dwayne

Walk

Man praying with the BibleThis is simply picking up one foot at time and put it down further away from my body. I can’t walk with both feet on the ground. It is also “the act of traveling or an excursion on foot”. I walk every day. I just started wearing a Fitbit and it counts my steps during the day. Walking briskly can be great exercise because it gets my heart rate up to a healthy place and it tones my muscles throughout my body. I don’t walk nearly as much as I could because it’s too easy to get in the car and drive.

The word walk also refers to this journey called life. I “walk” through different phases and some parts of life are quite hard. I can’t imagine the walk of life that some have had to deal with. Then again others can’t imagine what it would be like to “walk a mile in my shoes”. Check this out….

2 In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.’
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into ploughshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war any more.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Isaiah 2:2-5 NIV)

 

I don’t know how the rest of my life will go, but I do know that I want to be found “walking in the light of the Lord”. I want Him to teach me his ways “so that we may walk in His paths”.

My walk with the Lord is really connected to my journey in His Word. I don’t believe for a moment that spending time in God’s Word automatically makes everything in my life good. It does change my perspective though. I see life from a different angle when I walk in the light of the Lord. I interpret things that happen in my life differently because I’m walking with Him through His Word.

I want every day of my life here on earth to be a journey of walking in step with the Lord. He makes my journey understandable each day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne