About Dale Yancy

I grew up in Southern California in the burbs of Lawndale and Gardena, across the street from El Camino College. After graduation from Leuzinger High, I attended El Camino Jr College and transferred to Cal-State Univ. at Fullerton,

1963 Billy Graham Crusade, L.A. Coliseum where I found Jesus at age 14

1963 Billy Graham Crusade, L.A. Coliseum where I found Jesus at age 14

When I was 14, I attended the Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade at the L.A. Coliseum. It was there that I heard the good news about Jesus for the first time in my life and after 3 nights of hearing Billy Graham present the case for why Jesus is God and why he is the only way to eternal life, I became a follower of Jesus. That changed everything in my life including my future direction. Upon graduation from Cal-State Fullerton, I along with 8 friends moved across the country, from Manhattan Beach to Burlington, Vermont to start a Christian commune. That is a story all by itself. I remember telling friends that I was moving to Vermont, and the typical So. California response was “Where’s that?!!”  For some, there is no life outside of the South Bay.

Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach. What a awesome place!

Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach, CA.                 What a awesome place!

In 1978, I moved from Vermont to the Rochester, NY area where I met Renee. We were married in Brockport, NY on May 12, 1979, and a year later, moved back to the South Bay in So. California where I joined the staff of Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach. It was and still is one of the greatest experiences of my life serving with the staff there. Hope Chapel was and still is a city on a hill shining brightly throughout the South Bay area and beyond, where many have discovered the Good News and have received hope and new direction for their lives. There are Hope Chapels all over the world, and they all offer a place where people can be themselves and discover the love and acceptance of Jesus as their Savior.

In February, 1982, our first child, Sarah, was born at Torrance Memorial Hospital. What a blessing!

In 1983, Renee and I were sent out to start Hope Chapel of the Valley, with a rag-tag band of young believers who grew and became strong leaders in their own right. While living in the Valley, the twins, Noah and Josh, were born in 1983 pre-mature, and we spent several weeks making the long drive through rush-hour traffic over the Hollywood Hills back down to Torrance Memorial to visit Josh and Noah who needed to gain almost a pound before they could come home. In 1986, Renee and I along with Mark & Lisa Gallego, moved to Merrimack, NH to plant the first Foursquare church in the state of Vermont.

Lake Champlain, Vermont, 1998

                    The Yancy Family on Lake Champlain, Vermont, 1998

Much has happened since our arrival in New Hampshire in 1986, and there are now more than 25 Foursquare churches in New Hampshire making an impact for the kingdom, throughout New England and the rest of the world. I am grateful to have been used in some small way as part in God’s plan for New Hampshire, which is also where our three kids: Sarah, Josh and Noah, grew up and still consider their home. Sarah just recently moved back to Somersworth, NH. near the seacoast.

Paducah at the intersection of 4 rivers.

Paducah at the intersection of 4 rivers.

On Dec. 28, 2006, Renee and I moved to Western Kentucky. We arrived in Kentucky on January 1, 2007 with a mission to help care of my Mom, since my dad had died quite suddenly 6-months earlier.

That brings us to the present. We’re still here in Paducah, KY. where I work part-time at LYNX Services, taking calls for State Farm, Church Mutual Insurance claims, and Wheels. Renee works

Market St., downtown Paducah

Market St., downtown Paducah

part-time as a nurse at Baptist Health. We’ve finally connected with a good church, Grace Fellowship, here in Paducah (our experiences with churches here in Paducah would fill up several posts!) Needless to say, I have much more empathy for those who feel a disconnect with the local church, and many often have valid reasons for staying away. It’s not always because they’re “backslidden” or “prodigals.”

I now have a greater appreciation for those believers who choose to gather in homes on Sunday morning or any other time to nurture their faith and encourage others. In many cases, small is good-maybe even better, and home churches and fellowships are the norm for many Christians around the world.

My wife, the author, now writing her 3rd novel.

My wife, the author, now writing her 3rd novel.

About 2 yrs. ago, Renee created a blog for me at blogger.com. She was tired of hearing my continual rants and felt that I needed an outlet, so that’s how all this was started. Now, I have relocated to WordPress with a new title, “The Brainwashed Pilgrim.” What does that mean? I heard a Christian singer, Barry McGuire (Eve of Destruction) say years ago, “We’ve all been brainwashed. I’ve just chosen who it is that is going to do the ‘washing’ of my brain.” That pretty much sums it up. At the age of 14, Jesus began the process of “brainwashing” my head, changing my thinking and my worldview–and it continues to this very day. It’s an adventure and you’re welcome to join me on this pilgrim journey!

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Recent Posts

God in a box

Gods_Forever_FamilyI’m currently reading the book, God’s Forever Family” by Larry Eskridge which is a definitive work chronicling the Jesus Movement from 1966 to 1976 across America. I’m especially interested in this account since I lived through the Jesus Movement and was part of it, but more about that in another post. The Jesus Movement began around 1966 in the hippie subculture of San Francisco’s Haight-Asbury district. Some of the early converts in the Jesus Movement included Jim and Judy Dopp. Larry Eskridge writes:

Jim was a native of Des Moines, Iowa and had served in the Marines. Married after a 3-month whirlwind courtship in 1959, they headed out to California and ended up in Berkeley. Hoping to pursue his dream of becoming a comedian like Lenny Bruce, Jim began working in clubs and strip joints as well as maintaining a regular job as a factory sales rep for the Philip Morris Tobacco Company. On Sundays, the Dopps attended the local Lutheran church–despite the fact that they were fairly doubtful about there even being a God. Along with being Republicans and admirers of Barry Goldwater, they were members of Berkeley’s Sexual Freedom League.

They found themselves caught in the allure of the Bay Area drug scene, as well as a haightashbury666desire for spiritual truth. After experimenting with LSD a couple of times, Jim Dopp dropped by the home of his new found friend Ted Wise in October of 1966 to visit and smoke some joints. Dopp recounted that during that visit, Wise leaned close to him and shared his own revelatory insight about “the Rat that lives in the cellar of our soul.”

Haight_Asbury_Summer_of_LoveAffected by the marijuana, Dopp lay down on the floor and began to contemplate Wise’s words with the lyrics of a Bob Dylan song that was playing in the background. While he lay there, he began to meditate on his spiritual condition and came to a profound realization:

 

I finally got it. I was a rat. And it was my soul that was repenting. I thought to myself, “Maybe there is a God.” I hadn’t considered that possibility in a number of years, when suddenly a peace came over me, my breathing became easier. My chest became lighter. And I said, letting out a long sigh, “Oh, Father forgive me.” Immediately the entire weight that was on my chest was gone, and the rush of relief from my heart was one of exultation….My eyes were closed and there was a bright light in front of me. I felt such happiness.  I had never known anything like this before….I understood in an instant that God is my Father and I am his child…They joy, peace and love that I had in my heart for God and others was just incredible. Never had I realized anything comparable before….”

Here’s what really caught my attention: As the Dopps embarked on their new found odyssey with Jesus, they were hanging out with their friends, dropping LSD and leading others to Jesus. Steve Heffner, a dj on one of San Francisco’s rock stations, visited Ted Jesus_PeopleWise and quizzed him as to what he was up to. Wise whispered to him, “Jesus Christ, man….He’s gathering his church in this period and a lot of people are going to be coming to the Lord…that’s what’s happening, man.” With that, Wise shepherded Steve Heffner on his first acid trip. Afterward, he recalled that it was immediately after coming off the acid that he had seen the light:

“All I know is that when I took LSD, I was a seeker, and when I woke up the next morning, I was a Christian!”

Now, this is the place in the story where some of you reading this are saying, “That’s not God. God wouldn’t do that.” And that’s my point, why not? Why can’t God bring someone to know Him while they are on an acid trip. And, I’m not advocating drugs. I’ve never used drugs, but I do find Sudafed helpful to keep me awake at times.

Time_Jesus_RevolutionBy the way, these early believers in the Jesus Movement in San Francisco and elsewhere eventually stopped using drugs as they grew and matured as followers of Jesus. They all can point to the day and time when the Spirit of God convicted them that their drug use was a crutch and a poor substitute, getting in the way of their witness and becoming a stumbling block to others. As someone once said to me, “When we come to God, He cleans our ‘house’ one room at a time.” Eventually, God got to the room where they kept their drugs and cleaned that out, but He did so in His own good time. Were they still saved, while doing LSD? Of course they were. Does God’s grace not extend to and beyond the use of LSD, or alcohol, or whatever? Of course.

As I read this, I thought of all the ways that we “box God in.” We ALL put God in a box, saying or believing that He can’t do this or won’t do that. We LIMIT God and what He will do to bring others to the knowledge of Him, or what He will do in our daily lives to show us that He is the strong and mighty God, the Creator of the Universe.

I’ll follow up on this post with a few more thoughts. But what about you? Do you have God in a neat, little box? In what ways have you boxed God in?

 

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