Category Archives: The Book Journey

Describes the continuing story of getting “A Friend of the King” published, and then due diligence in making it known, expecting the Lord to do with it what He will.

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)

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


Friends Freedom Flight

Awaiting the Freedom of Flight

As some of you know, and others may have gathered, I’ve been led to a life long career and love of aviation. After having the unanticipated pleasure of flying fighter jets and commercial airliners, I’m experiencing presently the unanticipated joy and opportunity to own and fly a private airplane.

This experience continues to teach me a lot about God. His largeness, His generosity, His joy in creation, His joy in adventure, and His joy in showering good gifts upon His children. I continue to be humbled by His goodness, as well as, quietly and joyfully overwhelmed by the same.

N188DL Visiting Her Previous Home and  a True Friend

Recently I was invited to join a fraternal organization of pilots with all types of back grounds in aviation. Apparently it’s a friendship fraternity centered around flight. It’s a bit mysterious, and I usually steer well clear of secret or mysterious organizations, but I took courage by meeting the members a number of times, and because two of the members have been my close aviation and personal friends for more than thirty years. “What could be wrong with it?” I thought. And, “I’m all about friendship!”

Getting a Friend Out of the House for a Spiritual Lift

So on the appointed night of my acceptance (or rejection?), I felt the Spirit impress me to write a short poem as an acceptance speech, should there be an acceptance, and such an occasion to speak afterwards arise? 🙂 This I did hurriedly by the fire on a scrap of paper, the inspiration and words flowing into my mind surprisingly quickly, within five minutes. Sticking it in my pocket I kissed my wife goodbye and headed out the door to the meeting.

And Enjoying a Day Out in Creation

After the hilarious  meeting, I was asked to step out, while I assume some sort of vote was taken. I returned and it was announced that I  had been accepted as a member to smiles, laughter, and a short round of applause. While this was dying down, I ripped the little paper from my pocket, and announced, “ I have prepared an little acceptance speech for you, in the event you accepted me? If it’s appropriate to do so? It’s actually an acceptance poem.” They nodded their quizzical approval with smiles, and I began.

Friends On a Mountain Top to Enjoy a Sunset

[The name of the organization isn’t important, and I told you they were a bit mysterious, so I’ll just use XX for the name. 🙂 Thank you for your understanding.]


What the heck’s a XX?
I don’t really know.
It seems by evenings end,
I may be one though.
It may be a man
With courage to leave the ground,
To launch toward the sky,
Where more that blue is found.
To soar with the birds
And look down on things,
To trade gravity’s bonds
For engines and wings.
And to walk among men,
Who similar paths have trod.
Some trusting in their aircraft.
And most trusting in God.
A fraternity not earthbound,
With skill and courage they flee, 

Mostly they have in common

The desire to be free.

Thank You Brothers and Friends In Flight , 
And have a good night. 

An officer asked me for the poem which I handed over with a smile. And I wouldn’t even have a copy except for the fact it was published in their national magazine last month.

There is a lot of freedom in flight, along with adventure, joy, beauty, spiritual truth, and friendship. But instead of exalting flight, the gift, I want this writ to exalt the Giver of flight, friendship, and freedom, even Jesus Christ, the Lord. His peace to you all in this Easter season of meditation and contemplation of His holy life, and His holy gift, freedom. Also His joy!!

Flying Into the Sunset … Arriving Home

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue … you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”” (John 8:31–32)

[Dedicated to Friends who soar in flying machines, and spiritually.]

Blessed is the Nation… 2016

img_9627If you follow this blog, you may have noticed I’ve been pretty quiet about the election in social media. I’ve been quiet period, and quiet in my own soul. Oh, I’m aware of what’s going on around me and tumult in the nation, even though I’m seldom on Facebook and almost never watch the news on TV. It’s just that I put my trust for our national well being, and my personal well being in God, and not in man, or the political system. Psalm 131  could well be my creed in this matter. Yet I intend to write more often on this subject in the days ahead, as led, to espouse the light the Bible shines on this matter, and on our path as a nation.

I’m very aware the government of God and the governments of man are both realities and that they intersect at times, if not at all times. 🙂 There is much teaching about this in the Bible. I’ve tried to understand it and do my part led by God’s teaching and the laws of our land. God’s Word, His giving us a free will, and world history make it imperative that I be as active as legally permitted, that I vote, and that I pray. Still my trust is in the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, not man, nor the political system of the USA or any other nation.

img_9628You can read my only pre-election writing in the last post. The election was easy for me from the beginning. I didn’t struggle to decide. It could be summed up in three or four Bible verses that came to me early in the process. [1] “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12) [2] “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) [3]  “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16) And with most (but not all!) of my friends and family I voted for the platform that stood for the most right and against the most wrong.

I believe this article by Thomas Sowell in the Wall Street Journal and other news papers around the country hits the main points quite well. The Constitution. Contempt for the law. Real leadership. Supreme Court justices. And more.

img_9633Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about, some do not, and some will contest who or Who gets to decide what’s right and wrong? That’s the real problem as I see it. We have good news and bad news in the outcome of this election.

The good news is we have a reprieve. And what a welcome relief it is to many of us! We were being led and going down a path that would have invited or required God’s judgment on our nation, according to the Bible, and as demonstrated in history.

Painting of my wife's church in SE Arkansas

Painting of my wife’s church in SE Arkansas

The bad news is we are still a deeply divided nation as shown by the popular and electoral vote. The results were 48% to 46% in the popular vote, with both coasts seeing things differently than the interior of the country. The results were 20 states to 30 states and 232 to 306 electoral votes. Surely as you watched the venom of the candidates during the election and the venom of the voters during and after the election, one must wonder about our division as a nation and our character as a nation. I would suggest that we haven’t been this divided as a nation since the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln’s “A House Divided” speech comes to mind. Of course Mr. Lincoln borrowed this quote from Jesus Christ almost 2000 years earlier.

Our Times . Acts 17:26

Our Times . Acts 17:26

If you fear God, and believe the Bible, as our founding fathers did, and Christians do in every age, you feel we have been given a reprieve from judgment. A time to breathe easier, while gearing up to further work and prayer for healthy spiritual and moral change in our nation, and in the world we so clearly affect. I pray we can come together and farewell with God’s help.

A quote from Elton Trueblood in my book at the beginning of chapter 3, “Understanding Your Times,” comes to mind.

The greatest problems of our time are not technological, for these we handle fairly well. They are not even political or economic, because the difficulties in these areas, glaring as they may be, are largely derivative. The greatest problems are moral and spiritual, and unless we can make some progress in these realms, we may not even survive. This is how advanced cultures have declined in the past. 

Let’s rest a bit and enjoy a small, but major victory for our country, or that’s the way I see it.  Then let’s get back to work; the work of the kingdom, the ongoing work of the King!

Christmas Peace in His Name

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'” (Matthew 6:9–13)

But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” (John 5:17)

One Year Old Birthday

Harrison AR Book Signing

Harrison AR Book Signing

The book, “A Friend of the King: David and his Mighty Men”, is one year old this month. So it seems appropriate to give those of you who’ve supported and followed the book a progress report.

I just pulled the numbers from the Westbow Press publisher’s website which shows 600 books have been distributed this past year. The largest share of those were paper backs, but E-books and hard back copies were well represented too.

An exciting development this month was an unexpected live radio interview from AFR, American Family Radio. They conducted a twelve minute live interview with me June 5th and I received a copy by mail a few days ago. You can listen to it here, slightly edited for brevity, or visit the AFR archives for the complete interview.

Good Friend Larry and My Dad

Good Friend Larry and My Dad

AFR has a listening audience of about 350,000, so I’m very much encouraged the book received  a real boost in visibility from their notice and promotion.

I’ve become very impressed with AFR and the strong voice they continue to be to our country, speaking up for family values and Biblical truth. They do so in a spirit of fairness, kindness and love, with courage. You can listen to AFR while you work on your computer, or you can click here for a list of AFR radio stations in your area.

The LORD Leads... Ps 23

The LORD Leads… Ps 23

Venues for making the book better known in the coming year include book signings and speaking to men’s groups when invited, like “The Barn” men’s group in Natural Dam, AR, where I spoke a couple weeks ago to about twenty men.

Many thanks to you who support the book by word of mouth, or sharing the website, or sharing the Facebook page. May the Lord continue to make “A Friend of the King” known and use it as He sees fit.


Dad Attends A Book Signing In Harrison AR


AFR Radio Interview

My Good Friend Luke Now In Seminary

My Good Friend Luke Now In Seminary

A month ago I was contacted by American Family Radio and asked to do a live interview about my book, “A Friend of the King,” on Thursday, June 5th, from 10:15 to 10:30 CDT. I’m very excited about this opportunity that seemingly came out of nowhere to talk about the book and make it better known. May the Lord that inspired it be lifted up. Thanks for praying for me, the book, and listen in if you can.

For AFR local stations click here.

The interview will be hosted by Tim Wildmon & Ray Pritchard of AFR. Should be interesting, and hopefully fun for all involved.

2014 Canoe Trip with Three of the Next Generation

2014 Canoe Trip with Three of the Next Generation

Those of you who know me know that I am largely detached from the media, preferring reading, meditative and spiritual pursuits. After being a media and news addict for the first three decades of my life, my wife and I didn’t have a TV for eighteen years, our two children being raised without one. We have several funny family stories about these times.

That said, I’ve been listening to AFR while blogging today in preparation for this interview. I’ve been impressed by the speakers, the music, and the truth being shared in a positive manner. Also many of the ministries associated with this organization I’ve appreciated and supported for years, as they are firmly supporting family and historic American values.

This is about the Next Generation to a large extent! That is a major motive behind the book.

   “And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,Until I declare Your strength to this generation,Your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18)

As I prepare for the interview, my thoughts turn to Luke and some other young men I’ve met lately, since I’ve published the book. I know it’s God’s heart for older men to share their faith and mentor younger men, as I said clearly in the book. Two things stick out in my mind about my time and friendship with Luke. [1] After reading the book, he purchased ten of them, and held a six week Bible study at his home with friends, other young college men. It encouraged me, and he reported that it was a good and worthwhile pursuit for them. [2] In one of our frequent discussions about the book, he brought up homosexuality saying, “I thought when I first read that part of your book, you were being a bit hard on the issue because how it is today is all I’ve known all my life.” “But I see now you have a Biblical perspective on the issue.” What he shared was a bit shocking to me for a couple reasons, but that is a story for another time.

My Friend Brock (Right) in Cuba

My Friend Brock (Right) in Cuba

My thoughts also turn to a young University of Georgia man I met on a recent trip to Cuba. There were 15 UofG students among our group of 40. There were several couples there in their seventies, and several ages in between. As is almost always the case with the family of God, we bonded in close and amazing ways. Brock said one day to a small group of men, ages 40-60, standing and sharing with him, “Where have you guys been!?” “You’ve deserted our generation!”

It was good food for thought, and for frank discussion! But I want to take away from it here that there are many young men (and women) who would love to have the attention, counsel, and friendship (mentoring) of the older generation! And there are plenty of the older generation that would profit beyond measure by having one of these young men or women in their lives. Don’t quit! Don’t give up. You’re still here, so it’s part of your mission to declare God’s faithfulness and ways to the succeeding generations. Be open to it. Seize the opportunities. Do it!

Laura  & Ann in Cuba

Laura & Ann in Cuba

  “That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,That they may arise and tell them to their children,That they should put their confidence in GodAnd not forget the works of God,But keep His commandments,” (Psalm 78:6–7)

Tell your sons about it, and let your sons tell their sons,And their sons the next generation.” (Joel 1:3)


The Book Makes Fall Friends

"Life is a daring adventure or it's nothing." Helen Keller

“Life is a daring adventure or it’s nothing.” Helen Keller

The book is making new friends, the pace at just the right speed, steady as the Spirit leads. Slow enough to meet people, get involved in their lives to some degree, look into their eyes and journeys, pray over issues spoken and unspoken, enjoy their gifts, their lives, their characters, their personalities and their human being. Yet steady enough to get the book known in new circles of friends and keep me somewhat occupied with it’s mission in the world, without it becoming a burden or chore.


Pastor Patrick Kimberland with Dwayne

Pastor Patrick Kimberland with Dwayne

On a rainy Saturday morning, October 5th, I spoke to the Butterfield AOG men’s group about the book, our times, and issues facing men — also about the preeminence of Jesus and us deepening our relationship with Him through the disciplines. Many thanks to good friend Jeff Beauchamp who arranged this meeting with some excellent brothers.


Librarian introduces authors

Librarian introduces authors

On the beautiful Sunday afternoon of October 27th, I participated at a book signing and “Meet Our New Author’s Event” at the Van Buren, AR, Public Library, along with about ten other area authors and area citizens who came to listen, learn, buy signed copies, and ask questions about our books. Several books were sold and signed while making new and interesting friends.


On October 31st, Halloween Night, I was asked to speak at a church in Yates Center, KS, after a member read my book and recommended me to the pastor for their Hallelujah Night event. This was a great experience with some very loving, genuine people who live in community

Doug and I leave the house for a day spent together

Doug and I leave the house for a day spent together

and worship the King. A  very nice extra benefit for me was getting to spend two nights and days with a long-time friend, former fighter pilot, and squadron mate Doug Lamb, reconnecting with his family due to the fact he lives only thirty miles away.



Marsha and the Ladies serve up a great meal for Hallelujah night!

Marsha and the Ladies serve up a great meal for Hallelujah night!

Nuf said! :)

Ummm Hmmmm…

Sarah Lamb Stockebrand, a princess to me, and a friend of the King.

Sarah Lamb Stockebrand, a princess to me, and a friend of the King.

Ahhh! The Country Life ...

Ahhh! The Country Life …

By the way, this Tuesday night, November 19th, I’ll be at the Harrison, Arkansas, Public Library for a book signing event. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there! The journey continues!

Friends of the Library and Friends of the Book

Amy & Chad stop for a hardback and some chat

Amy & Chad stop for a hardback and some chat

September 10th, several friends dropped by the main library near our home and the city center to purchase books or have purchased books signed.


The library staff was most helpful and efficient in promoting the event and facilitating the same. They advertised the book by name in the local newspaper, “The Times Record,” as well as in a popular local magazine, “e Fort Smith.”

Have books - will sign :)

Have books – will sign 🙂


A place was set up for me at the main library entrance at the appointed time, and friends old and new begin to filter in, to talk about the book and enjoy friendship.

Val stops by for a signed copy and a visit

Val stops by for a signed copy and a visit

There were many surprises, including a former college professor, who saw the advertisements, and stopped by to purchase a book. Two dear friends from First Baptist who recently traveled with me to Israel purchased a book on Amazon, coming by for a visit and a signature. A young lady I

The Fort Smith Public Library on Rogers Ave.

The Fort Smith Public Library on Rogers Ave.

came to know on a mission trip to Belize came by with her new husband for a book and a chat. A young man I know from the business world, coming to the library to study for a college class happened by and purchased a book. There were many more visits, and there was never a lull. Three hours passed very quickly as life and the book were shared with friends.


Many thanks to all who came! And to the Fort Smith Public Library for their “over the top” support of local authors!


The book journey continues….


Book Status August 2013

IMG_0850Greetings Friends of “Friends of the King”,

Many of you have expressed interest in the process of getting a book published and promoted. Lot’s of beautiful and exciting water has gone under the bridge since the book’s official drop date, May 23rd, and I won’t try to recreate that with you here.

But as of today, here is the status and some of the things going on.

[1] The official press release from the publisher, WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, has gone out this week to over 500 media outlets with whom they have a relationship. Please  pray that this press release finds it’s marks, helping the book to become known outside it’s present circles, perhaps nationally.

[2] The webpage for the book seems to be functioning well, making the information about the book easily found in one location. The Facebook page  is helping get the word out to friends  via friends. Thanks to many for your feedback, for liking the Facebook page , and for sharing the book information with your friends.

[3] I have a book signing scheduled at the Fort Smith Public Library on September 10th. If

Working on the book at the Apple Store

Working on the book at the Apple Store

you’re in the area, or want a closer look at the book, I’d love to see you.

[4] I’m supposed to receive a report from the publisher soon with the number of books sold to date (WestBow Press & Amazon). From my personal records, I’ve distributed 19 hard backs, 152 soft backs, and 5 electronic versions.

That’s it for the state of the book as of the end of August 2013. Thanks for your interest and continued support, in action, and in prayer. May the Lord do with the book what seems best to Him. Remember to “Befriend the King!” Spend time with Him, and enjoy your journey.

Blessings and Shalom,  Dwayne

Image texted to me from a friend reading the book at lunch

Image texted to me from a friend reading the book at lunch

PS  Simple ways to help! And much appreciated!!

[1] Pray for the book.

[2] Share the website and/or the Facebook link with your friends.

[3] Buy a copy for a friend who could use the encouragement or insights.

[4] Go to the “Friend of the King” Facebook page and “like” it.

[5] Pray for the book! 🙂

(I know prayer is there twice, but it’s more than twice as important as anything on the list! The power of prayer is potentially the power of God!!)


Coincidence or Synchronicity?

Three friends, and aspiring to be friends of the King

Three friends, aspiring to be friends of the King

Today started out as flurry of activity, but ended up in peace and rest.

After the normal early morning men’s meeting in Van Buren, I stood in the parking lot too long visiting. Now everything had to go perfectly to honor a couple commitments and make it to my house in time to pick up two brothers who were to join me for the peaceful, relational drive to a monastery one hour east of Fort Smith for a little solitude and spiritual retreat.

The first stop went perfectly, as if the Lord went before me. Then there was a long, fast drive to the south side of town to deliver five books to a good friend who had already bought books for himself and his three sons, but wanted five more for gifts. I was naturally honored to oblige. I wheeled into the Waffle House parking lot just as my friend and another good friend were sitting down for breakfast. We greeted each other with smiles, hand shakes, and hugs, and I plopped down at the end of the table and began signing the gift books as quickly as I could. I had told these two about the retreat,  waiting friends, and that I was on the run.

Part of the helpful Coury House Staff, Friends

Part of the helpful Coury House Staff, Friends

I had just finished signing number three, when the waitress started asking questions about the book, with my friends answering for me. Then she asked, “How much?” I turned and told her. She said, “I’ll buy one.” My friend buying the five quickly spoke up and said, “No you won’t; I’m buying it for you.” We all looked  at each other smiling, and I asked, “Who do you want me to sign it to?” She replied, “Don Hutchings, my pastor.” “ I owe him everything. He led me to the Lord. I’ll read it first, then I’ll give it to him.” “Coincidence,” but Don is a friend of mine in another church in our city. Just as I hand the book to her, and start to sign the next one, my book buying friend, Shep, exclaims loudly, “Charlie Huff!”  I keep writing and don’t look up, conscious of the escaping time, but I know I will. Charlie Huff is an old squadron mate of ours! The four of us flew F-4 Phantoms together in Fort Smith and around the world. What a “coincidence” that he would be in town, and show up at the same restaurant, at the same time, when we hadn’t seen each other for years? He asked about the book as he watched me feverishly signing, catching up through conservation at the same time. The others answered his questions, just as with the waitress, then Charlie said, “Well, I guess I ought to buy one!” Shep spoke up quickly again, as before, “No you’re not! I’m going to buy one for you!” So with five books turning into seven, I ran out to the truck to fetch two more. With all books signed and delivered, I’m about to head out the door and drive to my house, but I have a strong impression that leads to the next “coincidence.”

I had written a Scripture reference in Charlie’s book, but I had a strong impression to stop at the table where he was now seated for breakfast with his childhood friend, and ask if I could write another verse in his book. I wrote Isaiah 40:31, “They that wait upon the LORD, He’ll renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary, walk and not faint.” I quoted it to him as I wrote. I don’t really know where Charlie is spiritually, but he looked me straight in the eye and said, “That was written over the door of life support in Ubon Thailand; I walked under it as I headed to fly many missions in Vietnam. It was very meaningful to him. “Coincidence?”

Beautiful, peaceful, quietI told my friends about all this “coincidence” and the Spirit’s leading as we drove through fields and forests to the monastery, sharing our lives and relationships with the Lord. Then as we went to our rooms for the afternoon, I was lead to Matthew 16, and the point where Jesus started to set His face like flint toward Jerusalem, the time of laying down His life for others, even down to this day and to us. It’s recorded in Matthew 16. I read and journaled from Matthew 16:13 through Matt 17:8.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”” (Matthew 16:13)

Peter gives his famous answer, and enters his famous discourse with Christ.

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16–17)

I read on to Matt 17:8 before going to dinner with the guys.

And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.” (Matthew 17:8)

From the prayer book

From the prayer book

After dinner and a little rest, we joined the monks for evening vespers. Guess what Scripture they were singing and reading for their vespers? You got it. Exactly what I had read and journaled about that afternoon–out of all the verses in the Bible? What are the chances? “Coincidence?”

The Lord has a great sense of humor, and He likes to be intimate with His sons.

Among many other things, Ryan heard this, “Relax. Relax.” And later this passage in Eph. 3, saying we are His sons, we should act like it, and believe He will empower us:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14–21)

Brian heard among many other things, what the Lord said to Peter after he began to sink at the end of his water walking encounter with Jesus:

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”” (Matthew 14:31, NASB95)

Again, you are My sons. I will empower you. Why do you doubt?

It seems like a good and valid question, when you’ve come aside and immersed yourself in the Word, focusing on the Lord, sort of like the guys at the transfiguration… they “saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.” But in the world of business and education and life, the wind and the waves can easily get your attention and draw your gaze from the One Who saves.

I wish I could take credit for this outing to “come aside” but the young men I meet with on Thursday mornings to talk about spiritual things, and the Holy Spirit in particular, suggested it, and we put the date on the calendar a few weeks back.

I’ve been to Subiaco Abby serval times before and will be again, Lord willing. I think they’ll be back many times in their futures too. They seem greatly encouraged in what they heard and saw in the spirit during our twenty-four hour stay here. I know I was.

Subiaco Abby, Arkansas

Subiaco Abby, Arkansas

If we will take the time to come aside, rest and listen; perhaps God will take time to meet us and speak? A meaningful, healthy life in our day depends on such.

Remember what the flight attendant says  before every airline flight, “In case of a rapid depressurization, put your own oxygen mask on first; then help those seated around you.”

His blessings as you seek Him,    Dwayne

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)” (Mark 6:31)

and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’” (Acts 17:26–28)

Synchronicity: “the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality ….” Mirriam Webster,     [A few more photos here.]