DALE'S STORY



EDITOR'S NOTE: How does one write their own story without bias? My thought is that it is an exercise in futility to even imagine such a thing. But, as a trained journalist, that is where my thoughts go--must be unbiased.
Many have asked for me to tell my story, but I have been reluctant to do so. I've never been good at promoting myself, and that is what this seems like to me. Then again, I know that many people need to know the basis from which I write and teach. What are my credentials, so to speak. I could simply list my credentials, the places I have studied and been trained; but that would not tell the whole story, either.
I have decided to keep this part, at least, to the aspects of my spiritual journey. However, it goes without saying, that everything in life contributes to what and whom one is at the moment. Since this is a blog about things spiritual, and people come here seeking practical applications for their spiritual life, I will try to remain within those parameters.
So, this is NOT a biography. It is only a chronological parade of events in my life that I know have shaped my beliefs.
I hope this serves you in some fashion in your own journey toward perfection.


I was born at a very early age to a Catholic mother, and a father with no religious convictions. He agreed that his children would be raised Catholic. He even made the sacrifice to send me to Catholic school for 12 years--a sacrifice that I thanked him for many times before he died. While I am no longer a practicing Catholic, there is little I regret about my education other than my own propensity to not avail myself of such an opportunity. I took it for granted as a part of growing up.

At family reunions, there were only three Catholics--my mother, brother and me--in the midst of 50+ Baptists. No one ever witnessed to us about Jesus. They only told us how wrong we were for being Catholic. That is the way things were in the '50s-'60s.

My spiritual journey began when I made my first communion. I can still feel the disappointment that "nothing happened" when I made that important step in my life. I do not know what I was expecting, but "nothingness" certainly was not it.

That did not stop me from becoming involved with the church. I soon became an altar boy and loved serving at Mass. During high school, I would volunteer to serve for a priest who came in early to do his daily requirement at the school chapel. I joined the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christian Students Mission Crusade. I would ride my bike to attend Wednesday night Novenas at the church where I attended elementary school.

I was searching.

After I joined the Navy, I pretty much rejected Catholicism, which was the only religion I knew.
But questions persisted.

I found Edgar Cayce's Center for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach. I began exploring the paranormal of that time. I began studying yoga and reincarnation. The hunger persisted.

There was a group of men who were usually outside the YMCA on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. They would pass out tracts and try to engage the sailors in conversation. I talked with one who gave me his phone number, and said if I ever wanted to talk, give him a call. When we got back from our next cruise, I called him.

He invited me out to his house. We talked. He answered my questions mostly with Bible verses that he would show me in the book. I prayed the "sinner's prayer" with him, left, and went out and got drunk. I stayed that way for almost the next four years.

While touring Florida on my motorcycle, I stopped in Tallahassee, where I met a group of students who were involved in Campus Crusade for Christ. They enjoyed life and having fun together. I was impressed with the lack of their "churchiness."

I returned to Pensacola, and that is when things began to move rapidly, taking me in a direction I never dreamed.

I enrolled in college to pursue a degree in education, because I thought I wanted to be a teacher. Prior to this, I had been reading the Good News For Modern Man every night for 3-4 hours at a time. Something began happening on the inside that I cannot put into words.

While at school, I would take my Bible and read between classes. I joined the Baptist Student Union and began to participate in their activities. That was where I met Kathy, who would eventually become the mother of my children.

I began having difficulties with things I was learning in Philosophy of Religion. One day in that class, I heard a voice inside my head say, "I'm not going to call you again." I got up, walked out, went to the Student Union to consider the ramifications of what I was sensing. After about an hour of mulling this over in my mind, I went to Admin and withdrew from college.

My path was set.

I continued to go out to the campus everyday with my Bible, and I would sit in the Student Union. I would converse with any who showed up at the table. Eventually, we had to move to the back of the room where we could pull two long tables together.

With my friend, Peter, I had rented an old large house in downtown Pensacola which soon became what was known at that time as a "house ministry." I was teaching on Tuesday nights. As we began having more than 75 people join in those studies, we added a Thursday night meeting, which was also packed out.

We had guys living in the house, which we dubbed the One Way House. We also had another house a block away where the girls lived. We eventually moved the girls into the main house, because maintaining the rent on two places didn't seem feasible. This was during the height of what was known as the "Jesus People Movement," which coincided with the Charismatic movement within the established church.

God confirmed me as a teacher during this time through numerous prophecies spoken over me and the reality of my experience of having people seek me out for such teaching.

There is no point in going through all the various experiences I had over the course of the next few years. Suffice it to say that I went through a lot of good times and a lot of bad times--times when I would seriously doubt my calling and sometimes even my own salvation.

One November night in 1992, after a Bible study in my home, I turned to my wife and told her, "I'm done. From now on I will not read my Bible, go to church, pray, say grace before meals, or do anything else religious. I quit."

My wife had gotten caught up in pop psychology, and was no longer following the teachings of the Bible. I was lost in a maze of doubt and questions for which I had no answers.

My wife's identity was wrapped up in being a minister's wife and a mother. The kids were gone, and now so was the other part of her identity. She fought hard to find herself, eventually leaving me and asking for a divorce.

I have detailed some of the problems and challenges I faced being subjected to her emotional abuse of me and the kids in another blog post. (read it here)

She quickly married a Baptist pastor, and they are still together.

I wandered mentally, spiritually, physically, and philosophically for the next few years. But, God, true to His Word, never let go.

I eventually found my way back, and 14 years later married a wonderful woman, and have settled into the new ministry the Lord has given me. I am no longer in the public eye. I simply share truth with those whom the Lord brings across my path.

If you have read this far, you are one whom the Lord has brought across my path.
I invite you to subscribe to my random thoughts by clicking on the link below. Thanks.




Powered by Benchmark Email

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully written about your awesome journey,,, with many more chapters on the way.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are welcome here.
Feel free to critique, criticize, question, or otherwise make your voice heard in relation to this post.
I only ask that you keep it civil and appropriate to the post.
Thanks.