Monthly Archives: September 2018

Six Things God Hates–if anyone cares.

Number two is “a lying tongue.”  Proverbs 6

The Ten Commandments are not only personal they are guard rails for human gatherings. Families, cities, nations. God gave them to Israel as a template for His People to show the world.

#9—you shall not bear false witness…(Exodus 20:16).

There are several ways in which false witness can be borne. A person can help spread a rumor and thus join hands with a perpetrator. One can indulge false witness by turning a blind eye when truth is known. Someone can determine to bear false witness and therefore be guilty of premeditation. A person can simply fail to come forward with the truth or insinuate falsehood without actually saying it is so. And, perhaps worst of all, a person can spread gossip about another, thus engaging in some of the worst forms of character assassination. The Bible Hub—Internet)

The Commandments as a whole are about the only way a community can survive. These ten specifics carry their own consequence when followed and when they are ignored or broken. We have witnessed the world disregard all ten. When the FBI came by to vet me for a high ranking government job, they found strong evidence I had broken several. I’ve been trying to figure out the inevitable consequences of bearing false witness.

We do not know if Dr. Ford is bearing false witness. In a setting where the innocent must prove their innocence, the accusation is adequate. There is no reason for her to say anymore. The damage is done.

Sexual misconduct is wrong and has consequences. My issue is the timing is conveniently timely for one world view. The whole thing doesn’t pass the smell test. The process is polluted and skewed.  Dr. Ford should testify.

This Kavanaugh vs. Ford issue is almost the perfect storm. It is turning upside down the very basis of a Constitutional government. “Innocence until proven guilty.” In what world does that still hold true?

The driving force behind this affirmation block is what has become America’s # 1 value. The delay is to force the President to put up someone who will protect Roe v Wade. Judge Brett Kavenaugh is inconsequential, collateral damage. I have yet to hear the Judge give any indication he was on any such mission to take down that law.

For many days I have been burdened that this may change the way we do government. It may be a soft coup where only a few lives are ruined. Nonconsequential collateral damage. And the decision making power will rest in the hands of accusers, delayers and the loudest and most vicious.

Before you decide about the upheaval, I would like for you to list to a Malcom Gladwell conversation about the workings of the mind. It added to what I’ve learned from brain specialists. The primary example in the podcast is Brian Williams of NBC.

Click on #7 “Free Brian Williams.” It opens to another list. Click on #28—”Free Brian Williams.” It is audio.

This doesn’t prove anything. It does open a possible explanation of what happened.

I am praying for Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh and the Government of the USA.

Thank you

©2018 D. Dean Benton

One Strategy


“…your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

(Matthew 6:9-13).

That prayer has been assumed to mean “some day” or “after Jesus comes.” Let’s see if it works in context. “Give us…our daily bread—some day.” “And forgive us our sins—someday.”  Doesn’t work, does it? Jesus was teaching us to pray in “this day” context.

Pastor Paula White said in a sermon last weekend, “Culture is not changed; it is created.”

Nothing I’ve heard recently has so motivated me. It is absolutely true whether we are talking about an office culture, church culture, personal culture or a national culture. The reason God chose and commissioned Abraham was that he would lay the groundwork for all the nations of the earth to live in a righteous culture and the Hebrews would show the template.

Paint me a word picture of what a righteous culture looks like to you. Old Testament prophets had a clear picture and the New Testament gave us tools for the picture to be activated. Amos said, “Let justice roll down like waters….”

“But let justice flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream.”

I believe in the Second Coming, but it is not an escape clause. God is not content with passivity.

Before a righteous culture can be created, we have to know what it looks like, or what we perceive it to be. It surely doesn’t mean church twice on Sunday and six other times a week and all songs in the same key and beat.

Carole and I watched the movie, “Woman Walks Ahead.” It is the story of a female artist from Brooklyn going west to paint the portrait of Sitting Bull. The movie is not 100% historically accurate in all details, but in the details that matter it is grisly accurate. Say Sitting Bull, General Custer, Wounded Knee or any current reservation and you realize the words do not describe justice rolling down like water.

I’m not too keen on Colin Kaepernick being rewarded for his behavior. He offered no positive, workable alternatives to what seemed to many to be disrespect for authority, police, military and symbols of American heritage. I applaud him for what he protests because the alleged injustice contradicts a righteous culture in a righteous nation.

Let’s stop saying “Social justice,” and call it “justice” or “injustice.” A qualifier is not needed.

A couple of things serve as foundation and umbrella: 1. God loves every person. 2. Every ethnicity and nation has peculiar qualities and treasures to be celebrated.

God’s Kingdom People had a choice when the NFL started taking a knee. We were so outraged, however, that kneeling during the National Anthem as a protest was seen by some of the population as a good thing with no repercussions, but a coach could lose his job if he knelt to pray with his team. While Colin Kaepernick was celebrated, Tim Tebow was ridiculed for kneeling to pray. That adds up to craziness for some of us. The solution is not to protest just to do more protesting.

The Kingdom—those who have a platform/influence—could recognize the injustice and make some noise about searching for healing and solutions. I don’t think I can explain to you what I was feeling about the injustice toward Native Americans as I watched Sitting Bull be assassinated, or hundreds of his kin murdered. There is no way to fix—change—what happened at Wounded Knee or the Trail of Tears. There is no way to change World (not just Civil War variety) slavery. We can express regret, repentance for whatever our circle of relationships of those whose forbearers suffered. The Kingdom—empowered by the Holy Spirit should be able to find God’s way to create a culture where protests are not needed. Why did we wait until Kaepernick was needed—for whatever his real reasons were? God’s people of specific callings and anointing should have seen the injustice—and found ways to deal with it. What kind of national culture do we need so that kind of righteousness is the norm? More people are in slavery today than were in the 1800s.

Chris Vallotten, one of the pastors at Bethel Church in Redding, California, reported that Bethel raised and gave away $1.2 million to those who lost homes in the summer fires. Bethel’s culture is miracles, signs, wonders, worship and generosity.

I’m wrestling with who we are and where we are in our ministry and how to create a culture. I’ve recently listened to a conversation with the head of Coke Consolidated—17,000 employees—and how they create and maintain. At the same time I heard Tyler Perry say, “Climb and maintain.” Here’s where I am. I’m studying two books with some conversation with authors. They teach how Jesus built culture, disciples and prepared the first Followers.

The Master’s Plan of Evangelism,  Robert E. Coleman, 1963, (Revell)

Mentoring Like Jesus, Reggie Campbell, 2017

The next step is to build interactive, groups. The words Small Groups have lost their meaning. “True North” groups is a widely used terms for effective secular groups. Coke Consolidated adopted Radical Mentoring material (Reggie Campbell) for groups of eight that last a year. Four people from the company and four from the community. (Enter Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. “Accelerating Culture Parts” 1 & 2)

I am re-examining Ralph Neighbour Jr.’s book, “Where Do We Go From Here?” (Touch Publications-1990) How to build a church on cell groups, not just being a church that has small groups.  A new culture offers a welcoming alternative that is seen as beneficial and makes senses.

I would emphasize Kingdom groups.

  1. Groups to learn about Jesus’ person, work and character.
  2. Then train how to effectively mentor.
  3. What is the culture you seek to create?
  4. The target of culture creation begins with who God has called you to and those for whom you have a vision. Single-parenting to 4th graders.

I want to be in that community. It involves some academics. It also lays ground work to create the culture that will heal social divides, expands personal capabilities and ultimately reinforce a righteous western civilization.


©2018 D. Dean Benton


Creating Inner Culture

I’ve been studying, thinking and writing about American culture. The culture wars are important. As American culture goes, so goes Western Civilization. On my dark days, it looks like Western Civilization has been overtaken by barbarians.

Okay, come on back. Unglaze your eyes. Solving that is put off to another blog. What about personal culture? Constructing “the inner person”.

Culture is not changed; culture is created.

A solid barrier reef against mental illness at worst and the continuum of depression is self-awareness. Beware and be careful of the agreements you make. An agreement depends upon a prior suggestion or accusation. Suggestions and accusations come from all directions. Joel Osteen describes agreements in almost every sermon:

“I’ll never marry.”

“I’ll always be stuck in this subsistence job.”

“No one will ever see value in my abilities.”

“I’m going to turn out just like…no matter what I do.”

That’s a few possible agreement statements that determine response, then action/lack thereof and the guides for decisions that follow. This is such a pervasive assault that your relationship with Jesus is often determined by agreements than repelled. I’m tempted to say your destiny is determined by the agreements you make and are unwilling or incapable of breaking, refuting.

After breaking agreements, Holy Spirit can help us create a healthy, productive inner culture.

John Eldredge has been talking about agreements in recent podcasts. He has been very helpful for my understanding. I list a link below that will take you to podcasts which you can listen to on your mobile device or on your computer.

Click on “Agreements, Part l” from the list. Part 2 is reached in the same manner.

John Eldredge will lead to ways to break the agreements. Then you can begin to create an inner culture that will produce Kingdom intents and God’s will. I’m thinking lately that barriers to hearing God’s voice and doing His will, thereby fulfilling His call or current assignment are tied up with agreements.

If you were to excavate your history around every disappointment, trauma, defeat and judgments made of you by peers, parents, teachers and/or your important people, you will find agreements that are blocking your advancement. Some agreements work positively, like forgiveness.

If inner culture is also created, part of my personal culture must be intentional  encouragement that inspires positive agreement in family, peers, people who need God’s touch.  “I will….”

Talking to someone you trust or a “tribe” is the best tool in the box.

Let me know how it goes.

©2018 D. Dean Benton—–writer, wonderer, witness——

Who Wants to Be a Supreme Court Judge?

Lindsay Graham has gotten my attention and appreciation over the past two weeks with his memorial to John McCain and his humorous, solid description of the court room. His apology to the circus was funny and descriptive—“not entertaining and not fit for children.”

I watched Brett Kavenaugh’s daughters as they observed the proceedings. I tried to imagine Mr. and Mrs. Kavenaugh telling their girls they can break glass ceilings and one day they could sit on the Supreme bench, a Governor’s chair, or in the Senate chamber. After watching the nominee run the gauntlet of Borkers and then being subjected to insane questioning and protestors paid out of a paper sack, I wonder how inviting they see it.

I’m concerned about youth watching these hearings and the abuse of government officials deciding that public service is a terrible career choice.

Brett Kavanaugh’s self-description reached into my hostility lined bag of sarcasm:

“I am an optimist. I live on the sunrise side of the mountain and not the sunset side.”

Chris Stirewalt, writer, historian and political commentator writes in his Half-Time Report:


The biblical story of the children of Israel is one of forgetfulness.

When the Israelites forget the God of Abraham who made them and protects them still, they suffer the consequences at the hands of a succession of sufferings in a cruel and fallen world. Sometimes it is in Egypt, sometimes it is in Babylon and sometimes it is in an occupation of their own promised land.

In their pain they cry out to their maker for release and relief, and they are delivered. But even before Moses can return to them with the law, Aaron and the others are already forgetting themselves and the great Jehovah who rescued them. Their leader finds them already worshiping at the feet of the golden calf.

It is the story of the ancient Hebrews, but it is also very much the story of Americans. When we forget the suffering brought on by our failings we are sure to fail again.

Americans are watching today as generation passes on in poignant fashion. The split-screen remembrances of Aretha Franklin and John McCain are meaningful and moving on their own. Two extraordinary lives of achievements that can never be equaled.

No matter your language, faith, color or creed, to listen to Franklin sing “How I Got Over” would make any person at least consider the possibility that God is real and His spirit is in our midst.

No matter your politics or preferred policies, McCain’s sacrifice for the country he served would give even the most cold-hearted cynic reason to think that there is something truly exceptional about our nation.

But there is something instructive about what is happening to their generation and to our country in this moment.

Baby Boomers’ ascendance changed the world. What was, at the time, the largest age cohort in American history essentially invented the concept of adolescence, bent the titans of industry to their whims of taste in culture and commerce and reinvented our politics.

The generation’s arrival into adult life was marked with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the 15 years that followed our country endured an era of disruption and upheaval marred by profound corruption in the government, America’s first defeat at war, domestic insurrections in our largest cities and a crisis in confidence about the American experiment.

Franklin knew well the wrenching pain that surrounded the struggle for the descendants of slaves to know real equality in the nation that had denied it to them and their forbearers.

McCain knew well the consequences when our government lies about the conduct of war and demands the sacrifices of its people in pursuit of unclear objectives.

But we are forgetting their lessons.

We live in an era where issues of race are recklessly exploited for narrow political advantages. We also live in an era where the very definitions of truth and accountability are in doubt.

Part of the reason we are so careless in playing with matters so potent is that those individuals who lived through the consequences of our past forgetfulness are leaving our presence. We are losing our collective memory as we lose those who paid the price when we had lost our way before.

We join our prayers with those in mourning but we pray also that we will not have to suffer so much as the generation before in order to learn the same lesson of the Israelites.

Oh, God!

  1. (c)2018   D. Dean Benton

Glad to announce the launch of our new self-hosted website:

Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs.

The digital address is


Hey, come look it over, lend us your ear:                 Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs


In 2016 I purchased webmail—email. To do that I had to also purchase a website. I didn’t have time to work on the website, so I paused it. Three weeks ago, I participated in a Michael Hyatt webinar on setting up a website. We have a website already, but it is static. I wanted a site I could host—change content to suit the day. On the day I purchased the website they were pushing, I got an invoice for my 2016 idle website. I decided to cancel the new one and get the 2016 version operational. Closing out one and updating the other turned into a miserable day.

The webinar, host and website on which I would eventually post advertised that I could get it operational in 5 minutes. Another paragraph said, “…okay about 30.”

This will be the 12th day of trying to get my new self-hosting website launched. Although frustrated, I have enjoyed some of the process because the end product would provide a place to advertise my new book, make my blog available to a larger audience and share some important resources for people who might not know about them.

This morning, I couldn’t login. The username or password that opened the lock last evening told me several reasons why I was suspended or blocked. I didn’t have time to talk to a person on chat. I had plans for prayer and lawn mowing before incoming rain.

The plan is to give me a larger—at least a more effective/efficient platform—voice. I took my prayer list of critical needs to Carole’s front porch. I have friends and family who are dealing with caskets, ICU, end of life, and infirmities that yield to no prayers or drugs and they won’t go away. I received communications describing those situations that need a response.  I had no words that were not threadbare or trite. The irony—which was pointed out to me during prayer time—I’m looking for a “larger voice” when I’m stalled with what I have. Not one of the words I would put on that website would fit the needs on my list.

“Jesus, do you mind going with me down the rabbit trail?”

The first question was, “What do my friends, cousins and hero need?” HIS PRESENCE! I’m not going to tell them that. Nothing sounds more trite or predictable. Did you hear about the little girl who was asked to pray before a meal? She began, “Dear Alexis….” She was embarrassed, but you can follow her thinking. Alexis hears the questions and answers. My people don’t need heavenly silence in addition to their emotional and physical pain.

At the second bend on the rabbit trail, I “heard” or realized something. I’m not too great with praise. Waving my hands or jumping is not my thing—although I appreciate what it means to others. Praise takes many forms. If you cannot “praise” then vocalize affirmations of what you believe about God.

“I believe God speaks to me with communication and activities that I currently need.”

That was quite a prayer time as I lifted my loved ones to the Father.

“Okay, Lord, what about that website?”

“Let’s conquer one universe at a time.”


©2018 D. Dean Benton