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Lambert Dolphin Ministries

Good News
for all who seek the Truth

Life is a Privilege - On Returning to Ministry                            Newsletter #2

[Lambert is doing well and has worked hard for his recovery. He is recovering strength quickly, eating the most nutritional food and exercising daily. He climbed the stairs last week and in his daily walks with his caregiver has worked up to an hour and a half long! He's restarted his men's bible study class with a core of old friends, received many visitors, and four months later has written his own firsthand account!]*

Recalling my Hospital Stay 
Newsletter #1 in the present series, written by my friend and Christian brother, Lawrence Hoppis, describes my hospital visit in June and my return home in mid-August of this year. Here is my account of the miraculous recovery granted to me. Many great friends visited me in June in the hospital--and prayed for me diligently in spite of my dire circumstances. I was delirious for several weeks and my memory was eclipsed. On or about July 5 or so, I vaguely remember a short ambulance ride just across the street from the main hospital where I had been staying since mid-June. 

A Prisoner of God
My new home away from home was a fantastic rehabilitation hospital complete with great nurses around the clock, plus very fine physical trainers and a gym so I could regain my strength and hopefully go home soon. 
My first recollection of who I was soon became clear. I was "a Prisoner of God" -- in a modern, well equipped hospital with the best care possible, but I could not leave until I was discharged, and the days were long and arduous. Why then did God seem so remote and distant? I thought of the Apostle Paul's frequent imprisonment in awful prisons like the Mamertine In Rome and elsewhere. His Prison Epistles are full of life and joy. Evidently I needed to talk one-on-one with my Heavenly Father...

Consecrate a Fast
Looking back, I was apparently incoherent at first in my new hospital bed. In fact, I later learned I had indeed been delirious up to then -- oblivious to visitors and to the hospital staff. In my new hospital, it would be a few days before I could sit up on the edge of the bed and begin to learn how to walk again. Right away I began to eat three meals a day. My gastric feeding tube was still in place, but no longer needed. [Lambert was on IV fluids only for two weeks, followed by three weeks on a liquid feeding tube.] Pushing against my own stubborn resistance, I began to cooperate with my physical trainers who pressed me further one day at a time. Then, as I found myself praying, I began to know that God was Himself personally speaking to me. 

No Other Foundation
The first time God clearly spoke was in a dream. In the dream I was somehow transported to the rim of Nyriagonga volcano in Africa. (This is one of only five volcanoes in the world with an active lake of molten lava), I seemed to be in some sort of hospice for the dead and dying built right on the edge of the crater. A great catapult stood ready to hurl bodies, living or dead, into the lava lake. Was I about to be catapulted into that burning lake of molten lava? Was this how my life would end? 
The Scripture that immediately came to mind is 1 Corinthians 3:11ff: 

The Fire
"No other foundation can any man lay than that which has been laid which is Christ Jesus. Now if any many builds on that foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble, the Day will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each man's works, of what sort it was. If any man's works which works which he has built endure he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he will be saved, yet as through fire."

Daniel 3
At the time this dream took place, Daniel Chapter 3 was far from my mind--Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. 
When Lawrence told me I had a web site, and that many friends were praying for me, I was nonplussed. Apparently I had forgotten most of my life history and lost most all my connections to the real world. For the time being at least. But God was personally and frighteningly real, and so was my dream. Then the Lord said to me clearly, "Suppose all your life work was destined to be burned up, would you be willing to walk with me if I sent you back home for a season?" I readily agreed. At the time I was unaware of my history as a Christian. As I said, I had forgotten most everything I had ever said or done up to then. 

Our Lord's Perspective
My memory then began to come back in stages. First, God gave me a vivid flashback of my entire life from the First Grade on. The clarity and overview was something I had never had before. For the first time, I saw my entire life from God's perspective, with clarity and sharp focus. 
(In my enthusiasm I thought all my memory had been restored. Not so, but in the ensuing days and weeks, God has been reconnecting me with wonderful friends and memories of great times in the past. Every night so far I tend to wake up in the night flooded with "recovered" missing history and the memories of friends around the world I had "forgotten." [Lambert says he received a telescopic lens from the Lord with which he can relive the details of his life with clarity.]

One Huge Blessing
Lawrence Hoppis, my friend and Christian brother, tells me that one factor in my recovery in hospital was recovering from a long addiction to the prescription opioid pain killer, Oxycontin. I had been taking 160 mg per day for "arthritis pain." But after stopping Oxy I had no more arthritis pain at all! Surely God was involved! 
Day by day my mind cleared and I soon wanted to go home. Then I saw, as mentioned above, that I was "in captivity" in that hospital. I would not be able to go home until discharged, and Lawrence was very busy cleaning up my condo and preparing a safe nest for me to come home to. If the Lord and I were alone together in the hospital away from TV and the Internet, why then didn't I feel at home with the Lord, why did Jesus seem so far away? 

Through the Bible
Lawrence brought me 60+ sermons by my old mentor, Ray Stedman. The messages were part of a series, "Through the Bible Book by Book." I played all the messages at least once and read through many books of the Bible. (My old Bibles have copious notes in the margins from Ray's years of expository teaching at PBC). How much I had forgotten! How far from the Lord Jesus I had strayed! Did I have any "works" in God's record books, or was my 55 years as a professing follower of Jesus all "hay, wood and stubble?" 
But God was still speaking to me personally. In the hospital; He gave me a new sense of his personal presence which I had never before known! 

Crucified Once for All!
Then, from Romans, God reminded me of His complete work accomplished when any man, woman, or child trusts Jesus fully. Justification by faith means one's sins past, present or future are wiped clean in God's record book in heaven. This happens the moment we truly believe and trust Jesus as Lord. ("Just as if we had never sinned" is how Ray put it years earlier). When anyone realizes what Jesus has done for us, their is no reason to hold on to the past, or embark on a life of "dead works" driven by guilt or shame for past deeds! The only authentic response to God is it to trust Jesus one step at a time--one day at a time. "Truth never changes" Ray Stedman often said, "If something was once true, it's still true today." 

"If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold all things are made new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Instructions for Life and Godliness
God then gave me two specific guidelines I was to follow when I returned home. These guidelines are for me only, though the second guideline seems me to be universal for all followers of Jesus Christ. 
The first guideline: I had been reading far too widely and had become preoccupied with UFOs and marginal science, and world religions, and even the occult. My frequent emails to many people were easily misunderstood as probably even reflecting the ravings of an apostate. God said, "Leave the Dark Side to me, for now. I'll fill you in later." Jesus is now ruling the entire universe with Principalities and Powers subject to Him.  (Colossians Chapter 1 covers all the bases). 

Walking with Jesus
The second guideline: "Would I spend my remaining time in this mortal body--whether days or years--cultivating intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ?" I was glad to embrace this guideline because God's restorative grace had recently been so overwhelming. 
I came home from the hospital in mid-August. To my amazement, friends had arranged my downstairs living room into a sanctuary where I could eat, sleep and minister. Friends could visit without me worrying about stairs for now. I also enjoy the daily help of a wonderful Christian caregiver from Tonga who provides healthy meals and needed daily exercise. I have acclimated again to having a phone, tablet and laptop and being back in touch with the "real world."

Why not Live?
So much has begun to be clear to me that never was before; timeless Bible wisdom comes alive for me in new ways every day. One of the things the Lord has shown me clearly is to detect the difference between "Justification" and "Sanctification" toward our ultimate goal of "Glorification."  Ray Stedman's excellent sermon sums up this crucial difference well. Note: If you are looking for Ray Stedman sermons and audio, they have been moved to Elain's new website: []. 

The Gift of Righteousness
"The gift of righteousness is used in two ways in the epistle to the Romans, and at this point we have to make the distinction between them very clear. We have already seen righteousness is a gift that is instantly imparted to our human spirits when we believe in Jesus; and, from that vantage point within us, it is continually available to us. We can turn to it any time we feel pressure or insecurity or need. It is available continuously by faith. That is what the Bible calls 'justification by faith.' It is our new identity which we have because we are in Christ -- we are no longer in Adam. But now a new form of righteousness comes before us. It is what we might call righteousness displayed. It is righteousness in the spirit that has worked its way out to visibility. That is, it is actually seen in our actions and deeds and words and thoughts. We are acting like Christ. As well as being like Him in the spirit, we now begin to act like Him."

Ray Goes on to Say:
"Beginning with Verse 5, the apostle explains to us these two possibilities in our Christian life: Are we going to live according to the Spirit, or according to the flesh? [Romans] Verse 5 describes these two alternatives for us so that we can identify them and recognize them in our lives:"

Those who live according to their sinful nature[i.e., according to the flesh] have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5 NIV)

Two Possibilities
"There is the difference. There are two possibilities before us, as Christians, that will determine whether or not we manifest the righteousness [Sanctification} which the Law demands, depending on whether we walk according to the Spirit or according to the flesh. Notice that the difference is what you set your mind on, i.e., what you are thinking about all through the day, what is important to you, how you view life, what you think is important about the things that are happening to you from day to day. Is it the viewpoint of the flesh, which governs the thinking of the world? Or is it the viewpoint of the Spirit -- God's viewpoint -- on life? That is the determining factor -- what you do with your thinking. Where you set your mind is going to make the difference." Ray Stedman, October 10, 1976

My Life, Hidden in Christ
How much time do I have? Only God knows. Keeping His end of our bargain He has clearly granted me a season of renewal such as I never dreamed of before. I do know that I have been given this opportunity to grow in faith and learn to better hear and follow His voice; to better reach out -- to get to know, appreciate and pray for all my friends -- and to build the power of my life testimony. We just finished recording my teaching series from the book of James.Here is a link for my first installment. More in the days and weeks come.

Your Brother,
James 1 Study - 9/17/17
*[Editors Notes in brackets are by Lawrence Hoppis.] 

NEWS UPDATE: Lambert lost his Tongan caregiver this week as she needed to find more full-time employment. A replacement is being found. He received generous contributions this month toward his hospital stay bills and sends out a huge praise! Lambert also says the prayers of his many friends have made all the difference for him. If you haven't been in touch yet, he would love to have you reach out to him sometime soon. (

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