Category Archives: Be A Leader

Articles celebrating, instructing, encouraging, and inspiring leaders and promoting leadership principles, especially in the service of the King.

Awaken The Dawn

I was awakened before dawn this morning, to read, journal, listen, and meditate on what the Lord might be doing and saying, especially to me personally. There is a lot swirling around in our realm at the moment. 

We sold our home yesterday, so we’re homeless for the first time in many years. But we’re scheduled to close on a home in Northwest Arkansas later today. And we’re building a cabin at a different location. So life for us has gone in the last couple months from a great deal of peace to considerable chaos. Yet we’re feeling led to make all these changes, and experiencing considerable peace in the storm, praise be to God for His nearness and leading. 

But my reason for blogging early this morning is not about us. It’s about my friend Jeff, who has a lot going on in his realm this weekend too! He’s a good man and a good friend who’s helped me a number of times in natural matters and spiritual ones. I’ll share a couple things he shared with me recently that will give you an idea of where his heart and mind are. “The Bible tells us a couple of amazing things about faith: [1] It pleases God, and [2] It moves mountains.” He also said at breakfast recently, “Most of the problems in our country would be solved if Christians just read their Bibles every day.” All of this struck me as profound, and true.

I’m late to this fight, with all that’s going on around me, but I want to ask you to help this brother in two ways, right now. Pray for him and his wife in these two initiatives I’m about to share, both of which are going on this weekend. Then make these things known to your friends, and do anything you feel led to do.

Awaken the Dawn is a national movement of simultaneous worship and prayer for our nation in all fifty state capitols and many college campuses. Jeff and his wife are the Arkansas state coordinators. It’s happening in Little Rock and across the land even now. Please pray for their mission and purposes to be blessed by God, and pray to God for our nation.

Besides owning and operating a small business in NWA, Carter’s AV, and being involved in their church, missions, and other kingdom activities, Jeff and his wife are film makers! They have produced a documentary film about Dogpatch USA, the theme park located near Harrison and Jasper Arkansas that was in operation for several years and may have touched your lives if you’re in our five state region. It’s opening this weekend in theaters across the country. Click here if you’re interested in seeing where it’s showing, and please tell others. Thanks!

May God bless you Jeff, your family, your friends, and whatever you put your hand to do. Godspeed on your weekend, and your life’s journey.

Serving In the Storm

(From my journal) July 31, 2018      FSM-DFW-BIL-Zortman Montana    Up early with Beth who takes me to the airport at 0600L.

We both feel it’s right for me to go but are hesitant to separate with so much swirling about us?

Cabin framing started yesterday (amid showers — signs of Father’s blessing) We found a house in Springdale EB loves and I am content and comfortable with. Our Adelaide oasis has shown 8 times today, after only three days on multi-list. With a quick call to USAA we were pre-approved for a VA loan. Kim is helping sell our Fort Smith home. Barbie is helping us buy one in Fayetteville / Springdale. All this coming about in the last three weeks!

I’m going today to Zortman, MT and an Indian reservation where Justin died about one year ago on mission — for six days of spiritual focus, prayer, asking and listening, and service to the people there — some who know the King, and most who do not. Lord show us Your grace and favor. Amen. A prayer.

I just read on my flight out, from front to cover, “God Came Near” on my iPad and received much, much, much peace, faith, grace, and confirmation from it that “all is well.” Ps 23, Isa 30:15, Zech 4:6 TYL! Amen.

I texted EB to read it within the next 24 hours — starting with chapter 10, “Selling the Farm.” There are many, many similarities! And many, many marks of the Lord’s leading and favor!! :):) TYL! for leading me to write it and then read it — perhaps “For such a time as this.”

I’m going to Montana also, and primarily, to honor Justin and pray for what was important to him. And to thank God for the privilege of having such a friend. 🙂 Amen.

Arriving in Billings Intl Airport, I realize I haven’t even asked some praying people I know to cover our time and efforts with prayer — something I’ve leaned by experience is critical. I do so with texts, emails, and phone calls; then have a salad lunch, pick up a rental car and start the three hour drive north to the reservation.

I cross the Missouri River, and drive a little distance past the quirky, beautiful little town of of Zortman to Beaver Creek Camp on the Belknap reservation. I have dinner, meet Rick & James from TN, also Michelle, Bruce’s daughter. And several other interesting folks, Philip from Lavaca, his wife and daughter, and Carol, with here friend Stephanie from TN. I walk up the beautiful valley past the camp, enjoying the pristine weather, and pray. The main part of our Arkansas  group is scheduled to arrive about 10 pm tonight.

Thank you Lord, for a good, good day of remembering Your faithfulness. And for allowing — leading me on this adventure! 🙂

Those new friends I met a bit ago from TN & GA, who are returning home in the morning, were so pumped up about the Milk River Pow Wow they had just experienced! They say Rocky Boy is much (4x) bigger. They also said it was so rough a few years ago that Bruce wouldn’t go, nor take anyone. Then two years ago two ladies from the mission were invited by the chief — Bruce said they could go under his protection — and since then Bruce has started going back there…

Sounds like adventure to me! ?:)

These folks in the camp tonight are from all over — and some have been coming since 2002 — 13 or 14 years — some stay for weeks, and some all summer. They have a calling and have developed a heart for the Native Americans here. TYL! for caring and for pouring out Your heart to and in these people. Amen.

Click here for photos of the week and adventure.

Click here for a video of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tent and An Altar

I’ve not really blogged about this nor told all that many people, but we are considering moving to another city an hour to the north, and into a new chapter of being, with God.

It’s a decision I don’t take lightly at all. We’ve lived in this area since the 1980s, a period now spanning most of our lives, some thirty-seven years. We’ve worked here, raised our children here, been a part of the same church family here for thirty-five years. Most of our close friends are here. We love our home. We love our neighborhood and neighbors. I’ve been a part of three men’s groups here for the past four or five years, and have made some deep spiritual friends. Life is pretty simple and comfortable here. Why would we leave?

About a year ago, I started feeling God was leading us into a new chapter of life and adventure with Him, especially spiritual adventure. I’ve been hearing and sensing His leading and promptings ever since then, and journaling about them, after times of reading His Word, sharing faith with others, and of meditation. Those promptings have intensified in frequency and intensity in the last six months. But there has been one serious sticking point — my wife. She hasn’t been hearing what I have been hearing or sensing the same thing.

And I couldn’t see dragging her away from her friends, and the life we have built here, unless I heard so strongly this is the will of the Lord and the right timing that I just did it. I have confidence she might come screaming and kicking, but that she would come in that case. Yet I’ve been praying as I walked, “God if this is You, please change her heart in this matter.”

About four weeks ago, after a sleepless night of “wrestling with the Lord,” to quote her, she said to me, “I think the Lord is telling us to move to Northwest Arkansas.”

And so it is… with somewhat heavy hearts, and somewhat excited hearts, we’ve moved out in faith (faith involves risk) and put our home on the market, looked around in NWA and made an offer on a home there. I would also mention we are building a cabin during this period. Are you kidding me?! All this upheaval at the same time? After we’ve fought for the peace and simplicity we have here?

Well, we who desire to follow Jesus as Lord, and count His Presence the most important thing in our lives, know that “when the cloud by day or fire by night” moves, we must move with it and Him. Maybe that peace and simplicity has allowed us to hear His gentle voice? And that same peace and simplicity can also translate to “comfort” or “being too comfortable?” which can be an enemy of our spiritual lives. I’m thinking of a quote from a recent blog: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” Paulo Coelho

At any rate, during this time of amazing activity, it’s been relatively peaceful spiritually, feeling His nearness. I went on a long-scheduled mission trip to an Indian reservation in Montana, and Elizabeth went on a trip to NYC with a friend to visit our son, while we trusted the Lord to work out the details as He wished. Proverbs 3:5-6, my life verse, continues to be applicable to my life and guidance. As does the main Scriptures journaled in the past chapter of my life: Isa 30:15, Ps 23, and Zech 4:6.

On my way to Montana, I reread my recent book, beginning with chapter 10, “Selling the Farm.” It seemed to be amazingly apropos to this chapter of our lives, as did the entire book. 🙂 Seems like the Spirit may have had me write it so I could read it and have my faith renewed, reflecting on His past faithfulness in our lives “for such a time as this.” 🙂

Yesterday I was with a new friend Jeff on top of a mountain standing by our cabin under construction. He said, “The Bible tells us two amazing things about “faith.” [1] It pleases God, and [2] it can move mountains.” May it be so!!

I told a new friend Joe at our early morning men’s meeting today, who had just prayed for us and expressed his excitement about the new chapter God was providing for us, “Derek Prince once said when teaching about the life of Abraham, “‘From the time Abraham started following God, he knew only a tent and an altar.’” Amen. He also came to know God better than thousands, and seemingly experienced God’s nearness and covenant love at every bend of his journey. Isn’t that what we all seek?

************************

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”” (Romans 4:3)

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...He leads me ...” (Psalm 23)

 

Ralph Irwin.Friend of the King

Ralph Irwin 1942-2018

Ralph Irwin, a good friend, a friend of many, and a friend of the King stepped into his Lord’s presence at 3:15 a.m. today.  A day of inexpressible joy for him, and a day of some sadness for those of us who will miss his gentle words, kind actions, sense of humor, and beautiful art.

The Focus and Center of Ralph’s Life

Ralph was a family friend, church friend, missions friend, and personal friend. He supported my writing any way he could, especially “A Friend of the King.” He volunteered to do the art work for the cover, and it was perfect! Thank you Friend.

Early in the week, I had the strong impression to visit Ralph and read to him from Paul’s last epistle, 2 Timothy 4. I got distracted and didn’t get it done in person, so I’ll do it here and now.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6–8, NKJV)

We’ll be reunited soon Friend. May the LORD bless and keep your family and extended family, forever. Amen.

*****************************

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  (2 Corinthians 5:1,5)

Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

Scene from movie “The Blindside”

Over three hundred people showed up at 6:15 a.m. yesterday for the 47th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in downtown Fort Smith to honor Christ and those in authority in our region.

An energetic young man, SJ Tuohy, the real younger brother behind the character in the movie “The Blindside,” was our speaker. He had a lot of really good things to say, but his speed in talking made me doubt he was really from the South.:)

Michael Oher with adopted Tuohy Parents

Here are some insightful things he said relating to life, living, and faith — which may not be exactly correct due to his speed in speaking or my slowness in hearing. 🙂

“Be where your feet are.” “Be in the game! You can’t make a difference if you’re not in the game.””It hurts when you get pinched — you’re injured with a broken arm. You can play hurt — you can’t play injured. And the great part about being a Christian is that we are ALL hurt , but NONE of us are injured. You are never beyond grace and mercy. You just gotta make the choice to get in the game.”

New Friends Greet & Visit with “SJ” Sean Tuohy

He talked about how people today have so divided themselves from others over race, gender, politics, etc., then said, “If how you define yourself, divides you from others, then your definition of yourself is too small.”

“Value people. Value others. There are Michael Ohers in this room — in and around your lives. You typically avoid them. Jesus didn’t! He spent time with them.”

He never got around to the topics of “kindness and hard work” as mentioned in his bio; but come to think about it — he did! 🙂

Thanks for coming SJ Tuohy! And for sharing your heart and life with us. May the Lord bless you and yours continually. Godspeed on your journey at the U of A, and through life.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24–26, NKJV)

T U O H Y Tomorrow

Fort Smith’s 47th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is tomorrow! Hope you’ve made plans to attend, or will do so now, on the spur of the moment. And bring a friend who needs to hear about Jesus. We all do!! Tickets for breakfast and the program are $20 and can be purchased at the door. 🙂

Our speaker, SJ Tuohy, from the real family in the hit movie, “The Blindside” emailed me today after seeing the article in the Times Record, and noticed they spelled his name incorrectly; something we too had noticed. But, hey, we are glad for the news coverage and thankful for the reporting, done as it was at the last minute! We’ve also had a couple of radio interviews about the event, and some bill boards around town. So we’ve been shown favor and are grateful to all. Tomorrow we hear from this interesting and intriguing speaker and person. See you there!

Blindsided

Thought about your blind side lately? We probably all have one, that we need to be aware of and we do need protection there! That would make a great topic for a post, but not now… 🙂

Instead, do you recall the movie, “The Blindside?” Click here for a short trailer — you’ll be glad you did. 🙂 Not the actor, but the real SJ Tuohy, from the family that adopted Michael Oher the NFL star, will be our guest speaker at the 47th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast July 20th, 2018. The event will be held at the Double Tree Hotel City Center, 700 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas with breakfast starting at 6:15 a.m., and the program beginning at 6:45 a.m..

Frank Lay & Butch Edwards . Servant Leaders

Tickets are $20 per person and available from the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, any CBMC member, or at the door. Hope you can come!

By the way, S.J. Tuohy is also on the  Arkansas Razorbacks Football coaching staff   having made the journey from SMU with new Hog’s head coach Chad Morris. I’m not sure if he’ll talk about the 2018-19 Hogs or not? But it’s possible. 🙂

“Why are you promoting this Dwayne?” you might ask. [1] I missed a recent Wednesday morning CBMC meeting, and in my absence they made me this year’s chairman. (Not really, but it almost happened that way.) And [2] I’m very interested in hearing this very interesting person talk about his life and faith.   I think you will be rewarded as well!

 

Geno, Tom, Butch, Andrew & Larry Help Get the Tickets Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering… 2018

At an early morning men’s meeting recently a man prayed about Memorial Day, that we would “remember the sacrifices that gave rise to our freedoms and our futures.” Amen. May it be so. It certainly should be so…

It reminded me of what I journaled on Memorial Day.

“”The Bob Goff book “Everybody Always” that Elizabeth read to me over the weekend is impactful. It was a joy to read and to contemplate, full of “self revealing thoughts” as well as “wonder” at the life of imagination and faith we can live with God… here and now —  with “everybody always.”

The book could be placed in the genre of “dream and believe big” looking to God for favor, leading, and help – like”Chase The Lion” by Mark Batterson … but is remarkably different in it’s  focus on “love” as the motivation and method.

There is a tendency to feel and think you’re used-up and your impact in the world has come and gone – or going quickly —  when you’re mid-sixties in our youth-worshiping, humanistic culture and times.

But there is never a better time to play offense or go on the offense! [A] You live with more awareness of the brevity of life. [B] This is a strength because you’re seeing and functioning in truth. [C] It helps you with humility, focus, and to act more in accordance with reality. Something along the lines of Solomon’s words,” It’s better to be in the house of mourning than in the house of feasting.” And,”The day off one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” [D] If you have been blessed and exercised some restraint and wisdom, you probably have more time, freedom from work, and money to play offense. 🙂 [E] You are probably quiet – or more quiet — in your spirit and more philosophical about life and living – its meaning and purpose. [F] You realize it’s your last chapter (or 4-5 chapters) to enjoy your earth life and live it as intended. [G] Or to “store up treasure in heaven” by “feeding His sheep” or acting with His “sheep and goats” story in mind. [H] Or both.:-) [I] Grace to you all. We all need it! And it is His intention. 🙂

So what about those serving now, and those who have gone before? Soldiers in the military and soldiers in the faith, who have laid down their lives, serving others, for our freedoms and our futures?

Let’s remember. And let’s purpose to live lives worthy of their sacrifice, with thanksgiving for  them and to God.””

Right now I’m thinking of Navy Seal Adam Brown who’s from Arkansas and whose story is told in “Fearless.” And another seal who wrote, “Make Your Bed.” And the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, many recorded in the Bible, and many in books like “7 Men” & “7 Women” by Eric Metaxas. My aunt Reba Gann, 96, who passed into glory last month. My good friends Brian Fields, Justin Blasingame, Charles Saulsbery, Bill Spilman, Clyde Davis, and Harold Hartley… I remember. Thank you for your example, sacrifice, and service for me, for your family, for your friends, for your country, and for your King. 

May He bless your descendants — physical and spiritual — forever. Amen.

***************************************************

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1, ESV)

So with Paul the Apostle we can also say…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7, ESV)

And with Paul, and those mentioned above, we can say…

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8, NASB95)

And remember these words…

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus (John 6:51, NIV)

Remember this Promise! The Bread & the Wine! And the greatest sacrifice of all times, giving us the greatest prospects for the greatest of futures…

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus (John 10:10, ESV)

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist (John 1:29, ESV)

Solace in the Smokies

Greetings from the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg TN. I’m in the midst of the annual CSM (Charles Simpson Ministries) Leadership Conference. Since retiring from the airline and starting this new chapter of life, I’ve attended four of these conferences, finding them always refreshing, restful, relational, and renewing. Hearing from God makes one feel very much alive, and renewed. 🙂

On the hearing note, Charles Simpson was the keynote speaker last night. and his message was clearly about miracles– that our faith is based on miracles, and our God a God of miracles. We must grasp this again and own it to have the vibrant faith needed in our time and culture and to finish our races strong.

Around our breakfast table this morning several different brothers shared about   miraclous healings and provisions they had witnessed in the last three or four days!

Charles mentioned Eric Metaxas book “Miracles” several times and talked often and much about God’s goodness and faithfulness. In fact the whole conference this year revolves around testimonies of God’s miracles and faithfulness in peoples lives… incredible, inspiring stories by real, ordinary people.

It’s very encouraging to me, and confirms or validates in a way what I’ve been hearing in recent days! In fact, it’s like the storyline came from my most recent book,”God Came Near,” which I suppose I’ll announce right here and now with a couple links and no more discussion or fanfare for the moment.

I’ll also mention the book I’m continuing to read by Mark Batterson, “Chase The Lion,” that runs exactly along the same lines. Miracles and the faithfulness and goodness of God, with God-sized dreams thrown in the mix. The Spirit has really been speaking to me through the book, and times of solitude and journaling here, as well as worship times and testimony times.

With a full and expectant heart, it’s time to head to the next session. I’ll report more of what Charles shared and what I have heard and seen in another blog post.

Blessings,     Dwayne

God Came Near” by B Dwayne Bell on iTunes

God Came Near” by B. Dwayne Bell on Kindle

 

Books Worth A Look

For sometime now I’ve wanted to start a new category of blogs on books I’m currently reading that [1] seem pertinent to living a life of purpose and adventure in our day,  [2] reflect or speak to what God seems to be saying to His people at our time in our culture, and [3] encourage or equip us to stay in the battle, make our lives count, and enjoy our journey, hopefully with others.

Heavy Rain” by Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church will start the process, and I’ll introduce the book with a letter to one of the three men’s groups I attend weekly.

Heavy Rain Forecast!

[A letter to a men’s group I attend.]

Our leader, Ryan the Curtis, has determined that this week is our last to read and discuss Heavy Rain by Vallotton. Wanting to finish it, and get the most out of it, especially the main point/s, with so many heavy hitting Christian leaders singing it’s praises, I read the last of chapter 10 where I had left off, and now am plowing through to the end.

It’s rich and getting better and better! I encourage you to read it to the end, and be ready to discuss what really stood out to you! Also, you could start journaling your thoughts when something interests you, and see if the Spirit gives you more insight on that point.

The title of chapter 10 is “The Tipping Point.” Indeed, that chapter maybe a tipping point of the book. From there he gets rapid fire, real, and states a lot of truth — no punches pulled. I’ll include a couple quotes as examples from chapter 10. Then I’ll end with a coincidence, or “God-wink “as we call them, indicating to me that this is a word from the Lord–one that he wants us to hear.

“I will not allow someone’s fear to constrain my own exploits. I will not bow down to anyone’s idol or be conformed to old religious ideologies that will render me irrelevant to the Kingdom.”

“I therefore will allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, guide me and correct me. I will submit to true leadership and remain moldable, teachable and humble. I will love passionately, live zealously, work wholeheartedly, laugh joyfully and be completely spent at the end of my life. I will walk powerfully, pray unceasingly, give extravagantly and serve God with my whole being.”

“It takes courage to break ranks with religious clones and think for ourselves.” “What you know can keep you from what you need to know.”

“Mobs become swamps–stale, murky waters of inaction.” “The majority does not rule in the natural world… and God is not moved by the masses in the unseen realm, either.” “He is not the cosmic pollster..” “That is ridiculous, yet it is the predominant mindset of the Church.”

“God told the Israelites,” The eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely is.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

“God is not looking for a crowd; He is longing for a person.” “Neither is He put off by the powerless.”

“He is simply longing once again for a person like David to emerge from the wilderness and let the giants of life know that… they have taunted the armies of the living God. When we step out of of the crowd and become God’s courageous people, we create tipping points where breakthrough is inevitable.”

See what I mean about the clear message? And it gets stronger and better. It is a message for now — and for the past, present, and future leaders of City Christian Fellowship / Hope Fellowship. To not hear it and heed it will spell hurt for us, our families, and the Kingdom in the River Valley. Brian was right in suggesting it. And Ryan for leading us through it. I’m thankful for the book at “such a time as this.” I hope you feel inspired, as I have, and enlightened … and that you will come with what you hear the Lord saying to you, whether different or the same.

See you Thursday!

Oh, yeah, the synchronicity? Or God wink? I received this Charles Simpson newsletter the same day I read Chapter 10 and started to finish the book. Reading his letter is like reading the same message from a different author. Perhaps it’s what the Lord is saying to His church? 🙂

And a few days later I was led to download and read “Chase The Lion” by Mark Batterson, with much the same message! The synchronicities continue… the Lord is speaking this “now word” to men and leaders in our day of delusion. Listen! Live! Enjoy your journey! For the Lamb’s reward…

Blessings in Jesus Name,

Dwayne