Monthly Archives: April 2017

When does “Lookin’ good!” become sexual harassment?

I heard this morning that 20% of college female students are being sexually abused—not harassed—beyond that. The harassment subject needs to be discussed in families and most gatherings.

A charge of harassment has become the current nuclear word to bring down a person or organization. That is a bad trend that divides and destroys.
We showed up for a funeral a week early. The lady responded to my “You mean I got dressed up for nothing?” with, “But you look lovely.” I said in a non-provocative tone, “And so do you.” We were both right in our evaluations. But in another setting those affirming words could be interpreted as sexual harassment.

Carole and I had the discussion about what makes words harassing or affirming. Then this article by Dr. Michael Brown hit my screen. I think it makes sense. Perhaps it will help you sort out the issue.

I would like to hear your opinion, if you care to share it with me or my readers. Thanks.

©2017 D. Dean Benton

Our Generation

A dear friend, who edited my early books, missionary, teacher, office manager, magazine editor, secretary to a denominational head, went to be the Lord on Good Friday. We have not had any communication for about three years when Alzheimer’s set in.

She married for the first time after she retired. We visited the couple in Florida and listened to their stories of mission work. Marion baked bread to sell to raise money for mission projects in her Florida condo. She and Ernie shared their lives and asked about our work and lives.
Miss Marion was of a different generation. I’ve always wondered how we moved into the relationship. She used her blue or red editor’s pencils with abandonment. She was more liberal with verbal affirmations. When too many weeks passed without a note from us, she would call to ask about us.
I have been surprised and confused by my reaction to her death. I’ve tried to name the deeper reasons. I’m glad she is free from her illness. She’s home with Jesus and family. I, however, feel as if I have lost something more than precious—it feels as if I have lost a supporting pillar: Someone who believed in me when she had to cast a minority vote. A disconnect with a former life.
One of her friends said she was like King David who…

“When David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried…” (Acts 13:36a).

That may be the finest of all epitaphs.

In the 80a—90s, Youth evangelist Ron Hutchcraft said the Millennials would be characterized by four things. One was that suicide was an option. Today in America, suicide is the second cause of death among young men of that generation. In England, it is the number one cause and surpasses the next three causes combine.

Matthew West captured us with his song, “My Name Is.” His book by the same name was released yesterday. He and Max Lucado talked about the subject matter and emphatically stated a basic issue among us is that many do not know “who we are.”

“Served his/her own generation.”

I have young friends who have responded to the call to minister to evangelism on college campus and other ethnic and geographical peoples. I do not think I have ever heard an altar call given to minister to the Millennials who do not know who they are or what their calling is. Lost. Vulnerable. Angst. See no purpose. It is a large constituency.

Who has the passion? Where is the ignition point for the belly fire? Who is doing that ministry, today? It demands a special call and education.
A generation in secular terms is defined by historical/social events that shape the youth who live in the era. A biblical generation is 40-years. A ministry generation are the people alive in your “neighborhood” during your lifetime. We found Carole’s mother served her generation. We were not aware that her “generation” covered a wide age spectrum.

“I’m Possible!”

Can we talk?
Copyright 2017 D. Dean Benton

Ran across two podcasts that speaks to this crucial work: “and” and “Dan Allender Center”

Feeling at Home

The Speer Family has always been one of favorite singing groups. Their excellence and choice of songs modeled for us a way to do ministry. We were influenced by the sight of Brock praying at a Nazarene camp meeting altar. We saw the depth of the well from which their passion came.

The Speers were immaculate musicians playing on albums I wouldn’t have guessed. Chet Atkins booked Ben and Brock to sing a back-up trio with Gordon Stoker from the Jordanaires on several Elvis Presley early recorded songs.

Legendary Ben Speer was the musical director of the Gaither Homecoming Series. A friend who traveled with the Speers says Ben was a perfectionist at the piano and his sense of rhythm was impeccable. Ben went to be at home with Jesus last week.

That reminded me of an evening when we were on the program with the Speers in eastern Indiana at an outdoor concert. I think we were at a race track. It was a great event for us. Then it started to rain. We grabbed sound equipment and moved into a church in town. The singers, including us, sat in the choir loft slightly soaked to the skin. The Speers warmed our hearts. Brock and Faye Speer, Jeannie Johnson was with them, Diane Mays was in the troupe and Susan Speer was on that trip. And Ben.

I sat at the bass end of the piano. At one point it seemed to me they should sing, “Feelin at Home in the Presence of Jesus.” I enjoyed the piano licks on their arrangement and I knew if we were singing, the mood was just right for that song. I leaned toward Ben and requested they sing that song. When they ended the song they were singing, Ben did the piano run introducing “Feelin”. It just seemed right. A message for the moment–and now.

The legend and excellent musician is home with Jesus. He, no doubt, is feeling at home.

I couldn’t find an online track of the Speers singing the song. Here are the Booth Brothers singing “Feeling at Home” which is one of my favorite songs.

©2017 D. Dean Benton

“…putting my feet right under His table….”

Check Your Dream

Bishop Joseph Garlington grew up in a preacher’s home. From a very young age, he wanted to be a preacher. He responded to that call. He has pastored the same church in Pittsburgh for many years, he is a musician—some of his songs are in the Contemporary Christian catalogue.

A TV interviewer asked him: “Did you have dreams when you were a boy?”

The Bishop responded:

“Sometimes, you have to see someone doing what you’ve been called to do to recognize that God has called you to do it—what I am supposed to do.”

The late C. Peter Wagner taught widely about Spiritual gifts. One of his instructions was to “practice—test” I was not comfortable with that until I realized he was counseling us to get around people who are doing what we suspect we are called to do and see how it resonates with our spirit.

Bishop Garlington heard a five-year-old preach and that affirmed what Garlington had wondered. Garlington was fortunate that his father affirmed and encouraged his search and questioned his thinking and decisions.

A four year old was in one of our concert-preaching events. She said, “Let me go up there with them—I can do that…I want to do that.” She will enroll this fall in college with a music major.

Put yourself in the atmosphere and environment where the work you sense you are called to is being done. What do you experience? Love it? Feel as if God has given you a more effective way to do? Repulsed by a shabby approach? How about signing on as support staff?

Questioning your vision? Dream(s)? Test. Practice.


©2017 D. Dean Benton