Monthly Archives: July 2018

Question, Dilemma or Provision?

From Meanderings—Swapping Road Stories with Abraham’s Tour Group. (Published August 1, 2018): Chapter 34

For a touring group/ministry, transportation is critical. The vehicle is not just to faithfully get a group to their next appointment, it is home and sanctuary as well as beast of burden to carry equipment and product. When we were in a distressing vehicular problem, I dreamed we would acquire a bus and we would know it was ours by a red stripe on the sides—front to back. It was a GMC 4106. We prayed that we might find it, have the funds to buy it. In our great need, God had spoken, we believed, it was a done deal, we believed. You would have laughed at us or cried at how pathetic we were. If we met a bus on the Interstate, we would lean out of our van windows looking for a red stripe. We found one in a parking lot in Ohio—bright red stripe. I whipped around the block to claim our bus. Up close the red stripe was the only quality it had. Vision or not, we never owned a GMC 4106. We did own a GMC motorhome with purple stripes. Like all our travel vehicles, it is the source of painful, costly memories.4a

This week I have been rechecking editing before sending the manuscript to the formatter. I lived through those days that can be described as agonizing, fearful, hopeful and tense. Today as I published my blog with a note about the new book, Carole yelled up the stairs:

“Dean! Come down immediately! Hurry!”

On the street outside our kitchen window was a huge tow truck pulling a GMC 4106 with a red stripe on the side. A bus that size or style has never been on our street, let alone one with red stripes. I couldn’t get my head wrapped around what was happening. My brain was buffering. Was it being delivered to us?

I don’t want a bus, have no use for one and couldn’t afford it even if it were a gift. But its presence on our street indicated something odd was going on. I ran out to help them park it on the lot across the street. Didn’t want them to scratch it—just in case.

There it sits. I don’t know if it is there to taunt, haunt or bless us. Carole said, “That damn bus is going to sit there and torment us.” That tells you how serious those days years ago banged on our souls. We did laugh when she said, “It was being towed by a tow truck. That should tell us something.”

After the tow truck left, I walked over to touch it—not unlike the many times I placed my hands on buses to claim them for our ministry. I checked it out like parents look over a newborn. Just being next to the bus felt strange, unexplainable.

I laughed with God because the book Meanderings is about hearing, deciphering and understanding God’s voice and how to interpret it—what God was telling us. All I could say was, “Lord, what is this all about?” There was no parting of the heavens today any more than there was in the long ago.

Local dream interpreters say when evangelists and clergy dream of vehicles it usually indicate feelings or revelation about ministry—ministry size, impact or potential. A dream about a bus or ship might indicate growth or a miraculous provision.

It seems to me—this is not a provision, it is an affirmation. I heard that, but I don’t know what it means. Yet! That bus was delivered to us—not to possess, but to consider.

36 hours later. Bus is still there. Someone joked that it is my chariot coming to carry me home. I don’t think so! If my chariot will need a tow truck…the joke won’t be lost on me, but I’ll be disappointed. I seriously doubt that the chariot to carry me home will have “Trailways” bleeding through layers of paint and have 36 seats inside and a low front tire.

If this were God’s provision, it would be an Eagle or Provost with a beautiful mural on the skin. Unless someone hands me the keys and says, “This is yours,” it will not have my name on it. That bus showed up hours after I had written about the dream & vision concerning such provision. I conclude it is about affirmation and healing for a time when a GMC 4106 with a red stripe was significant to us. It sits in an odd and unusual place to speak to me about a time when we acquired questions and wounds that need healing and correction.

The timing makes the bus delivery meaningful. Meanderings has just been sent to the formatters. The purpose of the book is to share the stories of The Father of Faith hearing God as an example of how we may hear, recognize, discern and obey God’s voice. Is this a satanic taunt? My concern is this will be another “What was that all about?”

What it is not about is a bus. It is about whether God speaks to individuals about things that matter in real time, real life. If the Abrahamic Covenant is operational, is it useful? Does God speak? Instruct? Guide? Provide?

I settled that in Meanderings—Swapping Road Stories with Abraham’s Tour Group. I think.
Available August 1, 2018

©2018 D. Dean Benton—Writer, Wonderer, Meanderer

Stuff to Report

I’ve been concerned about a fella I’ve known for a long time. His ex-wife says she still thinks of him as the smartest person she ever met and always expected him to be a U.S. Senator.

I’ve been concerned. Haven’t heard from him for too long, so I wrote to him.

“How you doing? What’s going on in your world? Be in touch.”

That has always been adequate to provoke him to ask about gas prices, temps and whether the grass was growing in addiction to a massive political report. Several months later, he replied,

“Not much to report”

Not even a period at the end of his response.
I’m still concerned, now more so. He is isolated; he has cut himself off from even his quirky friends.

On a tour, I was invited to a men’s breakfast. About 20 of us showed at a restaurant. The waitress knew the men’s orders by heart. Besides a couple of clergy, the group was made of the communities of military, medicine, education, marketing, inventors, government and men running for state and national public office One man’s wife is running for mayoral election. You might know a couple of them. Several millionaires among them. A man who dressed off the racks of Salvation Army has invented electronics you see in TV newsrooms and military staging areas and the White House.

At least one Jewish man. About 70-80% are Jesus followers. There were no studies or guest speakers, just a serious prayer of food blessing and conversations.

The room was filled with a quality of caring and joy I carried to the car. It wasn’t a Bible study. Nor was it a banter session of put down and muscle flexing. A gathering of gentlemen in an atmosphere of bacon, eggs, oatmeal and testosterone.

I have not been in such a gathering. Just being in that gathering made me feel better about myself. Most of them welcomed me verbally and heartily asked me to come back next time I was in town.

Every time when I have felt or said, “Not much to report,” it was the results of absence of breakfast with such men. Stephen Mansfield calls it a Band of Brothers. Others call it Tribe or Pack. Eating breakfast alone is not good for me and among a couple of other things breakfast with some of the boy is what my friend needs.

I promise you: when Jesus gathered His friends for breakfast on the beach it was one of the most empowering and important times in their lives.

Want to grab eggs and coffee with grits or oatmeal?

Have I got stuff to report!

©2018 D. Dean Benton