Prayers 101

Prayers 101 cover

I’m standing in the middle of the field, halfway from where I started and halfway toward my future. Looking up, it seems like there is four thousand people. My heart sinks. As I intently observe, I wonder what they are thinking? Are they or are they not praying? It could be they are only here physically, but not mentally. I’m not sure at this point.

So I begin with, “Good morning!” It’s dead silent.

OK, let’s try this again, but louder. “GOOD MORNING!”

If only 50% of the people replying to my greeting was any indicator, then I guess this might be the problem, but I begin to talk anyway. “My first question is, who prays? Do you subconsciously pray, or do you reverently ask your Father in heaven for His advice and direction out loud? Do you only pray in church? Why? Hey! Why don’t we pray right here, in this beautiful atmosphere – outside in the bright sunshine?” The crowd, as a whole, was perplexed by my invitation.

I spoke, “Let’s bow our heads, shall we? Heavenly Father, we thank you for the wonderful bright sunshine. Thank you to those who came to share in this occasion. If I can only reach out and touch just one person today Father, then I have succeeded and I pray to please You. Amen.”

People looked at me as if I had two heads, but I had to find out how they prayed. So, I came up with a simple idea. I asked, “How many of you are married?” Most raised their hands but still doubting my intentions.

My next question stumped them. “Of the married people here, how many of you spoke your vows subconsciously instead of out loud to one another?” No one raised their hand.

So I continued, “Why did you share your vows on that special day with God verbally, but you can’t pray the same? And speaking of a church, what if you tied the knot at home or possibly at sea on a yacht? Maybe a garden was your favorite spot? My point is when you pray, you are speaking to a God that loves you deeply and He wants to hear what you have to say. You don’t have to sound spiritual – just talk to him as a friend! Share your personal life and thoughts with him for He continuously listens to you. If we pray aloud with others, it will strengthen not just you but all that have gathered.

Prayers 101 Matt 18,20

But, understand when you can’t find the words to speak, the Holy Spirit knows what you think and need, and speaks to God for us.

Prayers 101, Romans 8

God is omnipresent-–you have to believe. But, if you don’t believe in prayer, then you only get out what you put in. God put us here for a purpose, and if you don’t know yours, you will soon.”

I closed my speech with, “Go in peace and with God in your heart. Amen.”

People ushered out, and those that clapped were about the same that responded when I said, “Good Morning”. This proves my point. You only receive what you bring to God in prayer.

Facing East

Obscure details of facing east and swans….

Facing East cover

Straining to see into the depths of the tall trees, the trunks somberly stood alone. I wondered if evil lied under the fallen leaves and decomposed twigs. Even the heavens were shaded in the dark by the bark as branches lurched toward me. Fearing the worst, I turned my back toward the dark and prayed as another sun poised on the horizon. My God, my God! Where is the respect in mankind?

I found my place as though I was in an arena. The first act was about to begin. The curtains drew up on the stage and lights glowed. It was inconceivable to me, a horizontal stage could ever look so beautiful. I impatiently waited. I wondered how many more suns God would permit me to enjoy before it’s my turn. The world was flat as far as the eye could see, but I remained optimistic that He would protect His chosen forever. I sat alone and watched, wondering, and waiting…

Not a sound did I make for I could wake the earth. I waited on the heavens to prevail as though the world remained still. Was this Jesus’s second coming? Maybe it was time, so I prayed. Sitting in His awesomeness, I clutched my soul. I knew my Father from above was present. The rays from heaven shone in my direction. Accepting the inevitable—it was too late to prepare. I called your name to share in the phenomena but you couldn’t hear me. So, I rose to the occasion and stood still yet not a sound, nor a ripple came from the water’s below.

In all the holiness of dawn, I asked God if it was time, yet the silence persisted. A gentle hint of something in the air invaded the chemistry. Then a wedge of swans took off from around the point and mallards scattered from the noise. A cool sweat erupted from within. I guess I was wrong – it wasn’t today!

From this day forward, I remain vigilant, facing east, for I know God’s Son is not far from making a grand entrance. His perfect stage is right here beneath my feet and I never knew it until now.



Upon reading this beautiful piece, I did some religious research on the direction of facing east and swans. The author, Dana, and I was surprised to find out the following information after he wrote it. Seemingly obscure details can teach us something.


The Significance of Facing East and Swans

Tombstones are often placed facing east to see the past and present. You will see God coming at the rapture. If you want to move onward to heaven, you must travel westward now, towards a future with God. The east is the source of blessings and divine salvation only on earth.



Christian churches were built with their entrances facing west so that worshipers faced east during the services as they looked toward the altar.

The Garden of Eden from Genesis was entered into from the east, facing west. People exited west, facing the east.

In Matthew 24:27, Jesus details what happens in His Second Coming.

Facing East bible verse


Clergy members are buried facing west. An educated guess signifies that when the dead are risen, clergy will rise facing their congregations, ready to lead their people once again.


The symbolism of swans signifies spiritual devotion and the presence of angels. They give you wisdom and guidance you need at the moment.

Facing East swan

The swan acts as a messenger of faith.

The swan symbolizes the end of one’s life.


….and Are You Called To Shepherd Others?

Shepherding cover

I awoke in a hotel of rooms stacked one on top of another. Reminiscing about the previous evening with friends, a thought comes to mind in the bright morning light. God blesses our relationships we honor. Friends are valued like Mom’s fine China she’d use on Sunday. Taken out of a hutch, like a trophy from a shelf, you hold this connection delicately for there’s nothing else like it. We look at each other and wonder why life sent us different directions yet we’re still allowed to share our experiences as we retire from life’s ventures. God rounds out our personalities because He somehow understands the importance of camaraderie.

Some though merely exist, alone and separated from the love of others. Late in life, when we need each other the most, some wake with their lives closed out from their souls. You can’t help but wonder where God is in their world. Painting a way to find Jesus, our mornings are brighter when we live in prayer.

Returning to my roots, I look for spirits to connect to once again. Many are more interested in appearances and status than acquaintances. I feel the absence of strength as I walk about in the misty harbor. So, I ask God how I can shepherd those too busy with their self-absorbing destinies. They’re not aware that He is the tour guide carrying their spirits. Many are too wrapped up in material gifts to justify their tranquility which exists only because of God. At the end of the day when goodbyes are made, we walked away with our heads held high. I know, in some small way, I gave my heart to the good of mankind…. shepherding His name.

Shepherding 2


Are You Called To Shepherd Others?

  • A Christian leader must pick up the towel and serve others. He/She is a constant guide of encouragement to their flocks – a caretaker, if you will. Much time and energy may be spent “herding the sheep”, sacrificing every waking moment.
  • A Christian must lead their sheep to the greener pastures of God’s word. Sometimes, this may mean becoming personally involved in other’s lives, ensuring that all are “fed”—and fed well. Discipleship and sharing every day are key characteristics of a shepherd.
  • A Christian leader should remove fear from others and strive to resolve conflicts. They will not hesitate to confront others about things in their life that need to be removed. Using a “rod and a staff”, they fend off evil and rescue the good sheep by helping them get through the rough spots of life.
  • A strong Christian follows the Lord as well. Our leadership is only successful if we are leading people in the path of Christ.


Shepherding 3

Choices of Fate

We must notice that life encompasses facts of fate and we should turn the control over to God.


Choice of Fate cover

Tonight in the quiet, I rock in my recliner and listen to the lightning. The lights dim, so I light a candle or two and enjoy the ambiance of shadows dancing upon the walls. Today is a landmark of sorts. I realize God has his hands in directing my life. I think about fate and how it controls the storms we face. My pastor, bless his heart, once preached on the miracle of God reaching out to save us from the inevitable in life.

Looking back at times of strife, grief seemed to take control but now I realize I was being prepared by God. I held on to my faith and gave my life to Christ even though doubt clouded my soul. Life is sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but rejoice always follows reject in the dictionary. We must notice that life encompasses facts of fate and we should turn the control over to God.

Choice of Fate 2


Faced with adversity, storm clouds brew, the winds blow, challenges present themselves, and we ask – which way do I go? To God, of course, for the outcome of perils in life are predestined, based on the decisions we make according to our guide–the Bible. It helps us make wise decisions and keeps us on an obedient path versus one of unwanted consequences.

Storm clouds may separate as we travel onward in life, along with hail to the north and tornados to the south. Press on though, for our ventures are controlled by the Lord. He blesses our paths as we follow our soul.

As for myself, I know doubt might show its ugly face, but the sun shines despite myself. God is watching over me. Afraid of my own inhibitions, all I have is my faith and the belief He offers us forgiveness for unwise choices.

No roadmap can predict our destination but it helps bring us back to the path God wants us to be on — if we’re receptive to it. We will ultimately go home to God’s grace where He makes a table of harmony. Love, shared from the heights of heaven, will congregate around us…. despite our choices of fate.


Acts of Kindness

….He asks so little of His children but to just give.

Acts of Kindness cover

Today in the crisp winter air, the sun shone with vibrant rays over the earth. I felt the warmth as our hearts plateaued to another plain. Love, today, flowed from the Holy Spirit as He showed His immeasurable love, yet again.

I leaned up against the fender of my wife’s car and as she backed out, she wore a huge smile on her face. Crossing my arms, I felt the love as she drove off. God was with her…. anointing her dreams. The warmth of the sun penetrated our hearts together and a calming sensation crept along my body. It’s times such as that, I realize God is nearer to the everyday humdrum of life. I pause as He blesses our actions, always remembering He is in control.

Driving home from work, I thanked God for His miracles that persistently come to us. Pulling into a tollbooth, the car ahead paid my toll. Was this a message? Humbled, I told the attendant to use my money for those behind me. I wondered…. was God using us to witness His love in action? It is awesome to know He asks so little of His children but to just give.

As the sun set behind us, God’s anointing was clear. It was three vehicles in tandem and perhaps a dear, sweet lady in a tollbooth who may have not understood how God works in her life. There was no contact or a sound of the horn to thank one another–just random acts of kindness.

Day after day, God gives us opportunities to show who we truly are to others. We are instructed to share and pass on His love for positive changes. One act of kindness can transform a person’s day or even their life. There is always a great power in His name.

Acts of Kindness 2

What Happened To My Marriage?

What Happened to My Marriage 1

Written by Anne L. Bicks, Editor of Dana Bicks LLC


Dana and I were united in marriage on the beautiful beach of Okaloosa Island in Florida, last November, and one of the first verses recited were, “It is love and God’s grace that has brought you here, and it is love that will keep you together always”. Well, this statement is true! It was and still is, one of the most beautiful moments of my life. He is truly the love of my life. Recently though, I came to acknowledge the Bible’s explanation that marriage is dissolved at death and will not exist in heaven. What?? For me, this was a true panic attack because I cannot envision life without my husband. So, a ton of questions popped into my mind: Why did I fall in love and get married if he will be taken from me? What is the purpose of getting married? What happens if we marry more than one time? Which spouse will be mine in heaven? Can I trust God will make it better there for all couples?

What Happened to My Marriage 2

No need to panic for God is in control! First of all, in this life on earth, marriage is designed for procreation and companionship. We are to raise children and promote goodness and holiness of our spouses, building a foundation and family for our afterlife in heaven. He clearly states we will not give birth after death because His nation of people will have already been created in this life.

What Happened to My Marriage 3

Contrary to belief, Jesus did not say marriage doesn’t exist in heaven. What He said is people blessed with eternal life will not get married in the afterlife, for it is only an earthly concept. There’s a big difference! This does not mean that spouses will no longer know each other in heaven or keep an intimate relationship. It will be a perfect bond that unites two humans into one under Christ and the Church. I envision this as the immaculate union we will share with Christ and all our loved ones. It will be fully unraveled in all its glory in the eternal form of agape love in heaven.

So, how will this affect us if we were married more than once? Just because a man and woman might not be married anymore doesn’t mean they will lose their relationship. They will still remember their time they had on earth and the intimate love they shared, but Christ will take away the earthly sins of that relationship. Because sin will be non-existent, everyone will be filled with God’s love. We will love one another (yes, even the exes) with an intensity never known while on earth. Even if an earthly marriage was not made in heaven, it will be fulfilled there. The close relationships we have now will be even better as we won’t hurt or disappoint each other anymore.

It is hard for me to conceive having a marriage in heaven that is just perfect! I can’t imagine loving my husband even more than I already do here on earth, but God guarantees it. Personally, I can’t wait to live in a God-centered world and be in a marriage where no laws are needed. We must trust and believe God’s word of the continuance of marriage in heaven. Couples will have all of eternity to learn and grow deeper than they ever were on earth. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally excited!

In The Name of Love

and….Signs of the End Times


Signs of the End Times As Told In The Bible:

Deception: Many people will claim to be the Messiah.

Disputes Among Nations: The Bible says that as we move toward the End Times, there will be constant talk of conflicts, border skirmishes, race wars, and national battles.

Devastation: As we get closer to the End Times, there will be more and more famine, earthquakes, and pestilence.

Persecution of Christians: We are seeing this happen today with the rise of ISIS and their attacks on Christians in the Middle East.

In The Name of Love