It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Charisma House (October 5, 2010)
***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Book Group |
Strang Communications for sending me a review copy.***
Don Dickerman, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has directed an evangelistic ministry to prisons since 1974. Don received an anointing from the Lord Jesus to minister in the areas of deliverance and healing and has seen many lives transformed through his ministry. Prior to answering God’s call to Minster in prisons, he pastored churches and worked as an evangelist. Don is a graduate from a Baptist seminary and is Spirit-filled and anointed with an exciting ministry both to prisons and churches.
Visit the author’s website.
Here’s a book trailer for the the first book about keeping the pigs out, When Pigs Move in:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (October 5, 2010)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Within a Dream
During a nighttime dream, I saw a huge winged creature hovering in the sky. It was more like a vision within a dream than a dream. The sky itself was bright and clear, and there were no clouds. The scene was somewhat tranquil. The bird-looking creature was brilliant in its appearance. It had a neon glow to it. The best way I could describe this creature is that it looked very similar to the mythical griffin—a legendary creature with the body of a lion, the head of an eagle, and the wings of a dragon. It was huge, white with a green-and-gold glowing outline. This was a splendid creature with great beauty, somewhat majestic in its appearance. It was so magnificent that it almost seemed expressive of worship. It appeared that either someone was seated on the creature or was part of his being. He had a bow in his hand.
Now, before I proceed with this vision within a dream, I feel I must qualify what I am sharing with some personal knowledge about myself. I am a conservative Christian. I am a licensed and ordained minister through Southern Baptist churches. I would say that I’m a pretty normal guy. I dream every night, but generally not about spiritual things. I dream about life happenings, you know, just regular stuff—high school, sports, or not being able to find where I parked my car. Like most dreams, that’s all they are, just entertainment as we sleep. I don’t try to figure out if a dream has some significant meaning. I’m a very basic guy, and what qualifies someone to be a dream interpreter anyway?
I proceed with careful forethought and biblical analysis in these areas. I guess I’ve seen and heard too many false prophecies and false words. I would say I am spiritually cautious, and I “try the spirits” to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1, kjv). I desire Holy Spirit discernment, and I despise deception. Often I reverently say, “God, if You are going to speak to me, give me something clear. Don’t ask me to figure it out or to make some kind of spiritual application. Just make it plain for me.”
This particular enlightenment came like a vision within a dream. It was like a flash amidst other things I was dreaming about. I could not tell you what else I dreamed about that night, but I could draw you a picture of this vision—it was so vivid. It is difficult to tell how high in the air this creature was, perhaps fifty feet. It was somewhat low in relation to where clouds may be.
On the ground beneath this celestial creature was a herd of sheep. The sheep were huddled together on the side of a hill. The hillside was a beautiful green color, and the rolling hills somewhat reminded me of Ireland. The sheep were near a fence, and it was as if I were viewing this from across the fence. There seemed to be acres and acres of rolling pasture, almost like a golf course, but it was pasture. The sheep were all together near the fence. It was not a great number of sheep, maybe twenty-five to thirty.
The sheep had the faces of men; I hope I can describe this so that you get a glimpse of it. I realize as I’m sharing this that it may sound like I think I’m Ezekiel or a prophet of God. I am neither. I’m just a regular guy. However, in this vision each one of the sheep had the face of a man. Each face was different; it was like I was gazing into a small crowd of people. All of the sheep seemed very sad, some of the faces were bleeding, and some had tears in their eyes. They just stood there.
The creature from the sky pointed his bow at them and shot what seemed to be hooks or barbs into their flesh. The sheep appeared not to know where this attack was coming from, and they put up no defense. They only looked at each other. They all seemed to be bruised in different ways. They just stood there and took it. Each of them had the countenance of having been beaten and bruised. They seemed to have no leader among them. There was no shepherd in the vision. They were vulnerable and ignorant of the assault. The vision was brief but indelible.
The Dream Come to Life
The following night I was a guest preacher at a church in rural Fort Worth. I had actually forgotten the dream until I made a turn on a country road to get to the church. I saw a small herd of sheep huddled near the roadway fence. Immediately the dream came alive. Tears came to my eyes as I recalled the dream.
As I think about that dream today, I think how difficult it is for our modern society to relate to biblical accounts of sheep and shepherds. I don’t know if I’ve ever even touched a sheep, and I know I’ve never met a real shepherd. It is clear, however, that God’s Word compares believers and true followers as sheep, sheep of His pasture.
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am
the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves
and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If
anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and
find pasture. . . . I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,
and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I
know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
—John 10:7–9, 14–15
The words of Jesus in John 10 say that believers are the sheep of His pasture and that He is the Good Shepherd. Man can only come to God through a door, and that door is Jesus. Actually, the proper way to enter any place is through a door. God’s Word unmistakably compares believers to sheep. Psalm 95:7 says we are the “people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Again in Psalm 100:3 it says, “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
In my dream all of the sheep were bruised, and the hurt was visible in their painful expressions. That is such a picture of the church today. Virtually all of the sheep in the church today are carrying wounds. Most don’t know how to defend themselves and are really not sure how the wounds got there. Having a shepherd that does not lead is like having no shepherd at all. Sheep know how to follow, but they don’t know how to fight. Jesus did not leave us defenseless. He left us with His Spirit and His Word. It is the call of the shepherd to equip us to stand.
I want to expose some of the “wiles” of the demons and how they access our lives. We cannot responsibly act upon things we do not know. Having no knowledge makes us extremely vulnerable. Ignorance gives great advantage to the demons. For the most part, Christians do not know because the demons have done a good job of keeping the information out of the pulpits and classrooms. It always amazes me at how Christians retreat when the D word is mentioned. Why is deliverance so difficult to discuss?
Why are people so quickly offended or intimidated by the subject of demons? Why can’t you talk about it? Why is the subject so unapproachable? I believe it is because of ignorance, or because of nonteaching and false teaching. Those Christian leaders who do talk about it have often made it to be something it is not, and that does great damage.
It is difficult for me to understand how a preacher can open his Bible and preach fifty-two Sundays in a year and never mention the deliverance and healing message of the Gospels. I don’t see how that can happen. I don’t see how a seminary can instruct their Bible students for three years and never prepare them for dealing with sickness or for engaging demon spirits. I honestly don’t get that. How can you sit in Sunday school and Bible classes most of your life and not be taught the reality of demonic activity in the life of believers? Would you agree that the demons have done a good job of keeping Christians in darkness? How can this be? Is it willing ignorance?
Second Peter 3:5 talks about deceived people who “willfully forget.” Willing ignorance—I believe that is what it is. It is a conscious choice not to preach or teach the scriptural truth concerning the work of demons. What else could it be? Why else would it be? Isn’t that like being dumb on purpose? I don’t mean that in an unkind sense; we have been and are being duped by a message with a lack of truth and power.
In the walk of spiritual freedom, there are things we need to do to remain free. As important, maybe even more important, are things we should not do.