Category Archives: Kingdom Events

Honduras 2019

I just returned from a week long trip to Honduras, Jan 16-23, with friends from Louisiana, Colorado, and California. There were eleven of us, 7 men and 4 women. The bulk of the team and it’s leadership was from the West Monroe, Louisiana, area. Our intentions were to teach a group of 20-30 village pastors from the surrounding mountains from the Bible and a book, “The School of Obedience,” by Andrew Murray, as requested by their pastor and leader, Dairo Deluca, in a two day conference at a remote mission house in the mountains. We also came to preach the gospel, pray for the sick, visit a prison to share the Gospel and distribute some needed supplies, then visit two villages with preaching, teaching, prayer, music, large boxes of food for families, and toys for the children.

It was a very enjoyable, successful, rewarding trip on many fronts. Unexpectedly in degree, because I’ve been to Honduras seven times now in the past five years, and five times with this team. I can’t really put my finger on the reason, but these trips seem to get more and more special and intriguing.

I continue to be amazed and impressed with what God is doing in this country and with these people. The people impress me too, with their humility, hospitality, transparency, and simple joy in living.

Honduras is in Central America about a three hour flight south from Houston. It’ s the second largest country in CA, slightly larger than Tennessee, beautiful, mostly mountainous, with both a Caribbean and Pacific coast. According to Operation World, Honduras is “one of the Western hemisphere’s poorest countries,” with “widespread unemployment, low wages, and long lasting devastation from  Hurricane Mitch (1998)”… making it a country of great need.“ Thirty-seven percent of the population is under fifteen years old.” So there are lots of needs and opportunities to serve children in Honduras.

Operation World further reports that “Honduras has experienced five decades of evangelical growth. In 1960, evangelicals numbered 32,000 and were 1.7% of the population. They are now 1,750,000 and 23%, and growth shows little sign of stopping. Some polls show that up to 36% of the population identify with evangelical beliefs.” Local pastor Dario tells us more recent statistics show the number to be 45%. These statistics make me believe God’s heart and ear is turned to the people there, and the people are responding.

This infusion of truth from the Gospel and the resultant teaching of truth from the Bible, along with God’s love,  will transform this country, as it will any country and has historically, from the inside out.

The attractive lady sitting next to me on the airplane on the trip down was from Austin, TX, and had been to Honduras several times. She was traveling alone this time to spend two weeks at an orphanage where her purpose was to “refresh the workers, and love on the kids.” There were also several small groups on the plane wearing Christian t-shirts coming to serve. This has been the case every time I’ve come here. Maybe you’ve not heard about this on CNN. 🙂

Each year this group breaks up the long van ride back to the airport by stopping for rest and reflection for the night at the seaside city of Tela. Besides swimming, walking the beach, reading with the sounds of the surf, and enjoying some good food; the team meets and shares with each other their defining moment or moments of the trip. Let me end this post by sharing mine from my journal. Other reflections will follow in future blogs, I’m sure.

“The first thing that comes to mind is the twilight at Los Enquentros two nights ago. A sizable group of women walking down the road with heavy boxes of rice on their heads. I know that may sound strange for a defining moment but it just hit me: [1] The beauty of it [2] How other worldly it seemed and surreal [3] How happy they were with the gifts and to see their children happy and amused with toys [4] The joyful children [5] The curious attention they all paid to Mario while he preached his heart out minutes earlier [6] No idea what their thoughts were? [7] But we were in a village in the mountains of Honduras, preaching the gospel, praying for the sick, feeding the poor, loving on children and their parents [8] Are you kidding me? [9] Topped off by six boxes of rice being tossed back in Dario’s truck as we drove away with six grown women running like school girls, laughing and climbing in the back of the moving pickup with three men from the US — a truck that died on the bridge, then twice more in a short distance, before stopping to let them out as they unloaded the rice themselves before we could help — in front of their homes on the main gravel road, in the early evening darkness, right in front of two soldiers in starched fatigues with automatic rifles standing in the middle of the road. You can’t make this stuff up! The end.”

“The need, the joy, the love, the strangeness of the encounters, the leading and provision of the Lord. How the Spirit had us each doing our own thing but completely a team — comfortable and glad to serve and depend on each other. 🙂 How beautifully peaceful it all seemed. The end, again.”

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

“How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house; you give them drink from Your river of delights.” Psalms 36:7-8

Christmas 2018

Christmas is here! I have resisted the urge to blog or write about advent and simply read, meditate, and enjoy this season and its Reason the last month of 2018.

I wrote early this morning in front of our fire, with all our kids home in their beds, “Thank You Lord for this nice place to gather, and for Your indescribable Gift — becoming human, to dwell with us…

In accordance with the Word of the LORD given through the prophet Isaiah and other prophets:

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5)

“For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.” (Isaiah 60:2)

“… land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali …, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.” (Isaiah 9:1–2)

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6–7)

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, ….” (Isaiah 11:1)

““Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

“… which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”(Matthew 1:23)

You can’t say it better or more succinctly than that! Scriptures about the Blessed One — given 2700 years ago and lived out 2000 years ago. God is a faithful King. Amen. אמן”

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

Time to add a few photos of our new home, with a Christmas poem I was inspired to write a few Christmases ago, then join the family to enjoy this moment in a quiet and relational way, as it began on that humble day. Noel.

Twice a King

In Bethlehem twenty centuries ago
A young boy was born and began to grow
He worked in Dad’s shop and built wooden things
He, nonetheless, was, the King of all Kings.

He now sits by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth
And remembers a time, when the Spirit of God
Was sent to give Him birth.

Into a life He hadn’t known
A life of joy and pain He was thrown
A life quite low, for a Being so high
Yet He bowed to His Father, and went without sigh.

He helped people daily
He healed many lives
By many men worshipped
By many despised
Now see what is written! What is said He did do!
Remember His living — He was king then too.

He’s coming again in unspeakable power
As a time is reckoned, we’re close to the hour
The whole earth will witness this most righteous King!
Rulers will bow, angels will sing
Tongue nor pen can describe what we’ll do
Now worship the Christ Child, He was King then too.

Within the vast expanse of space
Sits a resplendent, most beautiful place
Home of great beings, powerful and bright
It’s Sovereign sits clothed with all glory and might.

He is creator; sustainer of all!
He’s worthy! He’s worthy! “
Around Him they call!
Angels and angels, their numbers a hoard
Fall before Him Who’s rightly adored.

Bethlehem Judea; a destiny for who?
Worship the Christ Child; He was King then too!

Dwayne Bell 2003
Based on Micah 5, Isaiah 6 & 9, Rev 5
[In a moment when a heart was warmed and spiritual eyes were open. Amen אמן ]

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Movie Making for the King

Gary practices Jeep Operations for Film Shooting

This story began for me one week ago exactly. A good friend Devon called me just as I was about to leave church, and since he’s moved away and I don’t hear from him often, I quickly found a quiet place to take his call. Were I a better FaceBook friend, I would have seen his message earlier, but in his call he repeated his message:

“Hello Dwayne! I hope you’ve been well since that last time we saw each other! Such a random and strange story, as you may or may not already know, I’ve lived in LA for the past 4 1/2 years working in the film industry as I was pursuing back when we shot with a camera hanging out of your plane! I’ve been back in Arkansas not only shooting a feature film but also working on a television series for TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network). The largest Christian broadcast network in the world. We’re shooting a 10 part series based on the best selling book, Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson. That said, we’ve shot all but one and we’re shooting the last episode on April 28th which is what’s leading to my message. Last night at about 3AM I saw some pics you posted in a field with a plane, and accompanied by an old Jeep. I’ve been scouring the area for a Jeep nearly identical to that, that could serve as a picture vehicle in the last short we’re doing, which would be driven down a road by four Congolese rebels before they “kill” the well know Missionary J.W. Tucker. All of that to say, I wanted to reach out and see if this is even in the realm of possibility! Would love to chat more if so! Just let me know a time we can connect! All the best, Dwayne!”

My brother agreed to loan his Jeep for the project to honor the fallen missionary. I delivered it to a set on the banks of the Arkansas River about 5 p.m. yesterday. Amazingly my good friend Gary Phillips showed up about the same time as an extra for the movie, and was assigned to drive the Jeep, which was a relief for me because I know how my brother values his Jeep! :),  and at 12:30 a.m. this morning, after watching the shooting of the last four scenes, I loaded the Jeep and headed to the house to sleep, full of wonder and amazement at God’s working in the lives of His friends, through the centuries and extending on to “Today” and until “That Day.”  “Those are the two most important days for each of us, whether we know it or not,” our preacher said in his sermon today.

Keep an eye out for the TBN special when it appears later this year. And even though I’ve read only half of the book, I highly recommend “Chase The Lion” by Mark Batterson.

Blessings

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

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8–9)

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)