Monthly Archives: November 2017

Exemplary Men

My soul is hurting today for Matt Lauer and all his indiscretion affects. We live in an age of Jezebel. This non-gender spirit is one of the multi-age, anti-God spirits—one of the top hierarchy generals of satan’s army. Through history, this spirit has been about taking out leaders of government, business, church. Illicit sex is one of Jezebel’s tools.

I’m trying to make sense of what is happening beyond lust. On the surface, it appears to me we are seeing the depravity of man acting out. Where there is unguarded power, there will be abuse. Fame and fortune attracts groupies. Given my suspicions about conspiracy, I wonder why all of these accusations are surfacing at this point. What is crucial at this time in history that men have to be diminished? Temptation and bad choices come with a hook in the bait. Men are responding to something and now their behavior is being displayed. Why at this time? Again, excuse my conspiracy hunting. This is one more in a series of attacks to diminish men. Statues, attacks on unarmed men, extreme displays of demonic expression of depravity.

We are seeing the end throes of what the sexual revolution began. It went main stream with the Clinton era and then the routine and ritualistic removal of all boundaries, civility and proper discourse. Sexual sin has been with us in higher places of power since the Cavemen painted porn on cave walls. We’ve had morally corrupt politicians and in every industry and institution. Now, we have it on display via technology and in full view and main stream. I suspect what we are witnessing is the inevitable outcome of men and women acting naturally without inner boundaries and sharply tuned empathy.

Given my recent study and writing about Abraham and Sarah, I spent time studying and thinking about Sodom and Gomorrah. God heard the cries of some group and went to Sodom to see it first hand. His destruction of the Cities of the Plains came as result of those “cries.” It is clearly possible that God has heard the cries of the abused and in response to these prayers and pain, He is blasting the darkness away so all can see in the Light what has been hidden.

My wife believes this is the first step in a Great Awakening. The first step in every such event is repentance of recognized sin.

Lauer has taken on fixing what he has broken as a full-time job. He’ll need outside help. My immediate reaction was to ask where he could go for emotional healing, God’s forgiveness and the skills to ask forgiveness and then skills to live from a different core. I want to say “The Church,” but the Church and local churches have lost credibility with the scandals and revelations of predatory behavior.

I have spent a lot of years thinking through what a local church with the mission of restoration of predators, abusers, harassers, would look like. What if a church saw itself called to speak into the souls of kids of divorce? What about being a safe place for the Monica Lewinskys and being channels of God’s healing for women who experience daily the fear and assumptions that Zoe—the dog with long eye lashes—feels?

Whatever is going on in our world and neighborhoods, this is the time to build godly and great men. Three things are pushing me.

1. Personal evaluation.
2. Selection of one high profile “fallen” person to pray for as well as their victims.
3. Decision how you will build great men by participating in their healing and skill-building.
Resources that are currently stimulating me:

1. Stephen Mansfield’s

The November podcasts spoke to me:
“The Power of Story.”
“The Power of a Man’s Words.”
“Every Man’s Battle.”

2. The Art of Manliness Podcast: A recent interview:

3. The principles of Emotional Intelligence.

Thank you.
©2017 D. Dean Benton

Thanksgiving–Inventory Day

Happy Thanksgiving—Inventory Day. I take holidays seriously. Monday was World Toilet Day, so I installed a new toilet. The lid closes automatically and it has its own fan. We will issue a brochure to our guests so they can thoroughly benefit from its functions.

I want to get Thanksgiving right.

A long-time friend sent a quote to me. It was the first thing I read this morning:

You aren’t the mistakes you’ve made. You aren’t the labels that have been put on you. And you aren’t the lies the Enemy has tried to sell you. You are who God says you are. – Mark Batterson

About the time my doctor put me on a new med, I gained absolute recall of every mistake I ever made from age 6 days. For a year I’ve been battered and making lists. When I thought I had confessed them all AGAIN and asked forgiveness, I began to be reminded of decisions and actions that others thought were my mistakes. It has felt like a spiritual attack by the accuser. Then I wondered if they were coming to mind so I could make them right or apologize. Can’t—too late. I don’t want you want to think I should be wearing white and black striped clothing—I didn’t shoplift anything in China. I don’t have a secret child in Idaho someplace. But regrets—I have some. (Editor’s note: regrets, not secret kids.)

My friend’s post captured me. It’s not new information, but sure feels like a gift and a direct message from The Father. I look at my list of thanks and redemption is high on the list. Forgiveness, personal growth and self-awareness.

Michael Card writes in his song, “The Things We Leave Behind,”

“Every heart needs to be set free from possessions that hold it so tight
And we can’t imagine the freedom from the things we’ve left behind.”
Sparrow Records (1994) from album “Poeima

You are who God says you are. It’s time to leave the mistakes, labels, self-accusations behind–out with the other bones. You are a “greatly bless, highly favored, forgiven child of God.” Thanksgiving!
You are who God says you are—Thank you, Jesus. Keep reminding me.

©2017 D. Dean Benton

Go Forth and Build Trust

Our daughter has a miniature, white and apricot Labradoodle with two inch long eye lashes. She is a sweet dog who is afraid of men. She was rescued from a puppy mill where it appears she was abused by a man or men. It has taken her a year to take a treat from my hand, is afraid of my feet and hides if I raise my voice. She has one basic belief—people are not to be trusted.

The other day while I was lying down, she joined me on the couch and allowed me to pet her and liked it so much she begged for more. An hour later when I met her in the kitchen, she ran from me and would not take a treat from my hand or allow me close enough to pet her. As long as I’m lying down or sitting she comes close to be touched and talked to. She likes to put her head on my leg and ask me to pet her even if the velveteen comes off.

Doesn’t take a PH.D. to discern Zoe was scolded ferociously, struck by a male hand and perhaps kicked. She has a short memory. She and I seem to start from zero each morning as if she doesn’t remember the feel of my hand massaging her ears and neck.

She is about five years old; free from a small prison cage about a year and half. She loves the world of outdoors, but only if Debi is close by. She is excited about the freedom, but overwhelmed by the vastness of outdoorsland.

I love that dog. If she were mine, I would have to get a pickup to have her ride on the seat with me. I would like to see her learning day by day that some people can be trusted. Deprived of trust is a terrible loss for man or beast.

Andy Andrews’ friend Mac Richard from Austin has recently published “The Trust Protocol.” He sees trust as “The key to stronger families, teams and businesses.”

I’ve been spending a lot of brain cells thinking how to bridge the gaps between America races, cultures, generations, political opinions. Because difference builds ratings and sells newspapers, the differences get attention. I have scraped through the debris in my brain asking the reason for the lack of friends from the other side of the aisle. At base I don’t trust them.

In my new church we will focus on relationships, worship, mission. To accomplish that we will find ways to build trust—one on one. I am building a strategy.

“Attachment trauma” mimics PTSD with roots in abandonment, abuse, neglect, and other spiritual, sexual, physical, emotional, verbal maltreatment.
“For trauma survivors, trust is earned over time, not afforded by title or position,” says Krispin Mayfield a Licensed Professional Counselors who provides therapy for teens and adults.

Zoe and some of my friends need some “over time” time and a safe, welcome table under which they will put their feet.

Come put your feet under our table. (Or ride in my pickup.) A place to learn to trust.
©2017 D. Dean Benton