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Archive for March, 2016

Finally done with Nairobi. We did 7 or 8 churches and I don’t know how many services. I can tell I’m tired because I can’t think. Everything feels like molasses. I’ll be driving and not know where I’m going, and I’m always tired. Between dirt, the traffic jams, the mosquitoes and the humidity, I am ready to get out of the city and into the countryside so I can get some rest.

We’ve been staying in a tiny hotel on the gritty side of Nairobi. We are the only guests here. I’m not sure how they pay the bills, but it is nice to have the whole place to ourselves, including the cook. But it would be nice to get out of this tiny shoebox of a room.

All the meetings were good. I revisited some churches that I had not been to in a decade and they still remembered and were excited to see me. That was a very reassuring feeling.

Sometimes you wonder. I put in a whole lot to bring this message to hundreds of small churches scattered like seed all over the country. Besides the money and effort, the sacrifice of time that could have been spent with my girls as they were growing up is the hardest thing that I had to give. In the end, however, there is no doubt in me that God has sent me in this manner to these places. This is how He always does it – not to the big shots, but to the foolish things of the world so that God alone gets the glory.

In one of these small churches some 8 to 10 years ago, I prayed over a women who was deathly sick and healed her. Today, she is a pastor in one of the churches here. They have not forgotten. Big things can happen in small places.

In many places, they have seen the things that I told them years ago come to pass. In other places, they have seen exponential growth because of the message I delivered to them. They still remember.

There are still five weeks to go. Tomorrow we head for the interior and then down into the arid bush country of the south. I have Richie, a young friend of mine, with me. He is about to have an incredible experience these next few weeks that will change his life. It will be something he will remember for a long time.

If nothing else, that alone will be worth it

 

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It’s been a week and a half and we’ve been to 6 churches so far. All of them have been poor churches – dirt floor, tin roof held up by sticks, no windows or doors. One church we were at was nothing more than a ragged, sun-worn tarp over a steel frame. This is by no means some glorious crusade with lights and accolades and glamour. This is the gospel at its most basic level.

Going into the morning service on Easter morning, there was only 4 or 5 women with some kids and a couple of men in the church … and about 20 empty plastic chairs. Lord, is this where I am really supposed to be? Have I made a mistake in coming here? All this trouble, effort, sacrifice, and money to come here, and this is it? I am not looking for fame and glory, but honestly, shouldn’t I be ministering to more than this?

I’ve asked this question many times before. And I don’t always get an answer. But I am reminded that God uses the small, foolish things to confound the wise. Peter’s meeting with Cornelius in Acts 10 was pretty small too, but it opened up the dispensation to the Gentiles – no small matter.

Still, we would all like to see results that are powerful and earthshaking for our efforts. But God doesn’t do things that way. May God bless all those great big churches with all their grand services with thousands of people, but somebody has to come down here and minister to the poorest and most precious of His saints. So here I am.

I once told God I would take the jobs that no one else wanted. I guess He heard me.

So I sucked it up and went inside.

When I preach, the only thing I can see is the message that I am preaching. I just can’t focus on anything else. So I didn’t notice as the place filled up. But I did know we were on fire!

I don’t know where everyone came from. They must’ve just drifted in as I was preaching. It no longer mattered. God was there – not by wishful thinking or theological conjecture, but inRueben1-sm power and in spirit. The anointing was there to lift every one of us into the Spirit. Happy Easter. God showed up.

On Monday, we took the message into the Rueben slums of Nairobi. I won’t show you the worst pictures — they are that bad. But guess what? That’s where Jesus asks us to go. Like the lowly Nazarene, searching for souls amongst the dregs of society, amongst the most needy, sick, and poor, and in slums like this, this is where you find the real Gospel at work.

Somehow God uses stuff like this to enact great moves of God. I have no idea how. It makes no sense to me to sacrifice and spend so much to come to such tiny places with such little people that are so poor, but I said I would do it. And I have kept my Word. I expect Him to keep His also.

“For who hath despised the day of small things?” Zechariah 4:10

Brother Dale

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The air here hangs heavy, like a wet woolen blanket. It’s barely noticeable except in that dragging lethargy that you feel all day. I don’t know if that’s what it is or just the hangover of jet lag that stubbornly hangs on to wake you up in the middle of the night and then drag you down in the middle of the day. Hopefully, it will get better as we get acclimated to either the time zone or the African humidity.

I’ve done 7 services in 5 days. I have 42 days of services ahead of me with one day for a break. While the intensity can be exhausting, the curious thing is that I seem to fill back up again quickly. I hope that continues to be the case as we get through this trip.womanonfloor2-sm

Last night we cast the devil out of one young lady. Another girl had fits, but I think that was mostly from an overworked emotional response. But not this other woman.

Often, whenever the Spirit is falling heavy during a service, the congregation wants to get prayed over – healings, greater dedication, faith, sin, a husband, and whatever else is oppressing their lives. The hearts of these people are very soft and their needs are great, so they possess a deep desire to be in communion with their Father. Failure, sin and separation breaks their hearts. Whenever they can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit’s anointing, they want to take any advantage of it.

So we had a prayer line.

I went down the line and it was all the usual requests. Their deep sincerity really touches my heart and makes me pray all the more harder for them. There is also a feeling like oil flowing through you into them. It’s faint, but unmistakable. I’ll tell you what, if it is just
my imagination, then it sure is a good imagination!

The one lady started winding up as I laid hands on her, and in a short while, she couldn’t contain it. It took three women and myself to calm her down.

But then came the lady at the end of the line.

Something about her made me feel like she was going to explode. I just knew it. Sure enough, as soon as the oil on my hands touched her, she turned into a wild woman. BUT – and thdale-prayerline3-smis is telling – she wouldn’t (or couldn’t) take her head away from my hand. She twisted, and contorted, and turned all around, but always my hand remained on her forehead. There was more going on here than some emotional overload.
As I was commanding the spirit to come out and pleading the blood of Jesus against it, it turned and looked at me through her eyes and growled, “I’m not coming out! I’m NOT coming out!” Let me tell you, it is an eerie feeling when a demonic spirit speaks right to you.

That was it for me. I put my face right in front of her and said, “You know who I am. YOU KNOW WHO I AM! And you know the authority I have over you. GET OUT! NOW!”

And it did.

She was delivered in a moment. Immediately I made her start praising and thanking the Lord. There is power in praise, and it is a healthy antidote against any loose spirits that would try to come back in. A feeling peace settled down on us like snow. It was done.

Services aren’t always that wild, but then again, this is Africa and anything can happen. But as they say here in Kenya, “Hakuna Matata” – “no worries”.

Thank God we have a Savior that we can go to with whom deliverance such as this is freely available.

 

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Well, we are two days down, and a whole bunch yet to go. So far so good.

Services both yesterday and today were … um … I’m trying to choose between “electrifying” and “wild”. It depends on which side of the Atlantic you are from.

Richie, the young man who is traveling with me, is looking wild-eyed at what he is seeing. He expected the song service to be lively. He has come from a Pentecostal background, his family being intimately involved in the Brownsville revival, so he knows what it is to have the Spirit of God fall on a service. This was much more than he had ever experienced, but he was at least prepared for it.

To the folks here in Africa, it was simply an anointing of the Holy Spirit. This is Africa, and they know how to praise the Lord here with everything they have. And everything they have, they give to their worship in singing, dancing, and praise. To many of us sedate Americans, it would seem wild, but them it is just God.

But it was the closing prayer that Richie was really not prepared for.

After the message was done, instead of praying with the congregation, I handed it over to Pastor Kibedi. (Actually it is now, Archbishop Kibedi. He has grown immensely in God during the last 12 years that I have known him.)

Kibedi started praying … and praying … and praying. As the intensity grew the passion started to rise and spread throughout the entire church. The closing prayer became 45 minutes of fire. People were praying at the top of their lungs, crying and calling out to God with everything in them.

For them, this was transforming; for Richie this was wild! You just don’t see anything like this in America. Too bad for us.

It would be easy to think that this was just “wild fire” – all emotion and bluster – but after 12 years out here, I have learned that while this might be too much for our polished services in America, this is very real for Africans. They deal with God on a very different level than we do.

As the service ended, several answered the call, crying and weeping for individual repentance, rededication, and healing. Their hearts had been deeply broken and affected. God is their Father and they are so softhearted toward God that they cling desperately to their deep, personal relationship with Him.

This is the stuff that I live for. This is the real Gospel at work. Call it crazy; I call it God.

We have a ways to go. Richie will see this many times before we board the plane for home. It may seem wild to him now, but I have a feeling he will look at it more as the supernatural anointing of the Holy Spirit by the time we are done.

And then, like myself, he will have to figure out how to explain what this is like to the folks back home. Good luck on that one, Richie.

Brother Dale

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Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be able to see all the invisible things that go on in the spiritual world. You know there is activity there by all the crazy things that happen on this side of the veil, you just can’t see them.

For instance, every time I head out on for another round of revival meetings in Africa, all hell breaks loose. As soon as I purchase the tickets, we start battling some of the weirdest stuff. It has gotten so bad that the owner of the computer store that fixes our computers started laughing at me this time. “Nope, I’ve never seen this problem before with anyone else. You must be heading out on another trip, aren’t you.”

I always used to figure that the more intense the battles were, the greater the mission was going to be. I’m not sure that’s necessarily true anymore. I think it’s just gotten to be routine for the devil to go into high gear whenever he see the next itinerary come up. Old habits die hard.

This trip hasn’t been any different. This time, the trouble followed us all the way to Nairobi, but usually, everything smoothes out as we get into gear. We still have battles, but it is as if everything shifts and the old crew of demons is dismissed while the next crew takes over.

You think I’m kidding, but there is a definite difference in the kinds of things that happen once the campaign has begun. Before I leave the States, everything just seems to be designed to drive us crazy. Once the campaign has started, however, trouble happen all around me, even to those who are helping us in the campaign, but not to me. It’s as if I am in a bubble while a war rages around me.

Does it happen like that all the time? No, but it happens enough to form a definite pattern. And enough to make you wonder what is really going on in the invisible world of the spiritual realm. Are there generals and privates in Satan’s armies? Do they map out battle plans, send out spies and special ops? Do they have pictures of us posted on their Post Office wall as the 10 Most Wanted? What is really going on behind the scenes?

I don’t know. God never put any graphic descriptions in His Word for us to ponder on other than to admonish us to put on the whole armor of God because Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour and that he would be loosed on the earth in the last days. I guess that’s small stuff for Him.

Instead God pointed us to focus on having mercy on the lost who do not know Jesus, and who have never known the freedom of salvation. That’s the big stuff. Our job is to push through the smoke and fire and hold up the Great Commission as our battle cry. Let God be our rear guard to cover us as we take the battle to the enemy to hold up the Blood Stained Banner and claim victory.

No its not easy. And I don’t know what is going on in the subterranean world. I guess we’ll see it all when we finally pass through the veil. In the meantime, however, we have the weapons of prayer to bring to bear upon the enemy.

The rest is just small stuff.

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“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” Acts 19:13

It always sounds so easy. Just say the words, clap your hands twice, click your heels, and kazaam!

I am so tired of hearing that all we have to do is speak positive words and it will bring life or blessings or healing or whatever we are trying so desperately to believe. But that isn’t faith talking; that’s presumption. Motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar may sound inspiring and fill you with neat sayings that make you feel good, but that doesn’t make them prophets of God. The power of positive thinking does not equate to the power of the blood of Jesus.

Those sons of Sceva in the above chapter of Acts saw all the miracles that Paul did and naturally figured that if they did the same things and said the words that they would get the same results. Except they were missing the one thing that made all the difference – the power that only comes through a crucified walk before God in deep, broken subjection to the Spirit of God. Everyone wants to be a prophet, but no one wants to pay the price.

Instead we grasp for shortcuts in our lives. We hypothesize. Just say the words, and it will come to pass. “This will be your year of blessings and prosperity …” Oh, wait a minute. Didn’t we hear that last year? And the year before?

Or how about this? “Call those things which be not as though they were …” And so we run around speaking things into the air to make them happen. But that’s not faith either; that is sorcery. You go to Hogsworth to learn that.

Faith has to be built (Jude 1:20); it is not wished into being. And there is a price for it, just as there is a price for everything in God. Anything other than that is just wishful thinking and will not produce lasting and full results. Every great man or woman of God had their 40 years in the backside of a desert before they were ever brought forth by God to exercise His power.

Ah, but that’s not what we want to hear, is it? We want everything to be quick ‘n’ easy in our microwave society. Snap your fingers and be healed!

And the demon taunted back to the sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”

He knew who Paul was. I’m sure Paul was famous in hell. Why? Because Paul, unlike Sceva’s lightweight sons, had paid the price in blood, tears, and prayer. He had stormed the gates of hell armed with a faith that had been built one block at a time, and he had declared victory in the blood of Jesus Christ over everything Satan had thrown at him. Oh yes, that demon knew who Paul was … and he feared.

But empty words of presumption based on a theological faith without any suffering, blood, or effort will not turn back the tides of darkness. Faith is built one precept at a time, and power in God is brought forth out of the crucified depths of prayer. There is a price for power in God, and it is not cheap or easy.

That is why we see so many false prophets running around the church today, like Pied Pipers declaring all the things that our itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). Our church world has become little more than a revolving social circuit of entertaining speakers speaking great swelling words of encouragement to a church that instead is in desperate need of repentance. Instead of bringing us into the fear of the Lord, they are leading us in the power of positive thinking. In doing so, are leading us away from the altar of repentance which is the one place we need to be in order to see revival.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20

 

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“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she broke the box, and poured it on his head…” (Mark 14:3)
“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”  (John 12:3)

Simon the leper was probably the same Simon in Luke chapter seven who was also a Pharisee.  He must have been healed of his leprosy by Jesus otherwise no one would have been allowed to enter his house – hence the party that he threw for Jesus and his disciples. How exciting to be washed clean of that awful disease and to be free again! No longer did he have to suffer the loneliness, pain, and suffering of being leprous. He had been cleansed from his sin.

Into the midst of this party comes a woman who is known throughout the community as a prostitute. She is probably the same woman that Jesus delivered from being stoned by these same Pharisees in John chapter 8. While the disciples surrounding Jesus probably had no idea of what was going on with this woman, the religious attending the party must have been aghast at this her audacious entrance. Without so much as a nod to the host, she breaks an expensive alabaster box and anoints Jesus with a precious ointment. She then washes His feet with her tears and wipes them with the hairs of her head.

The alabaster box that she broke was her heart, and the costly spikenard she anointed Him with was her ointment of praise … and the odor filled the room!

What a different response than Simon’s! One in a celebratory dinner party hadn’t even washed Jesus’ feet; the other in broken-hearted humility of praise washed His feet with tears. There is a difference between thankfulness and praise.

Whenever there is a new beginning, there is an ending of something old. The depth of our reaction to that change sets the pace and intensity of our new beginning.

When we step into a new beginning with Jesus Christ, do we look back at the pit of sin that we were dragged out of with overwhelming thanksgiving and humble ourselves before our Savior in abject praise? Does the odor of your praise fill the room? Are you broken in humility before Him for what God has done for you?  Or do we consider our salvation merely a change in religious status?

Simon was thankful, but Mary was transformed. Simon’s new beginning lasted until dinner was over.  Mary’s will last into eternity.

“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” (Mark 14:9)

Brother Dale

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