Monthly Archives: January 2020


The Pew Forum which tracks culture and social trends in the USA sought to find who and what Institutions do Americans trust. Who Do We Trust? July 2019 they published their research. Americans trust…

Author & speaker Stephen Mansfield reported this to ask if there is a crisis or an extremely close election, who or what institution will provide leadership? Who would the American People trust to provide answers and solutions?

At the center of any Democratic Republic is the ballot box. Peaceful transition following a free election sets our Republic apart from the non-free nations and governments.

Congressman Adam Schiff said that unless Congress removes Donald Trump Americans cannot trust the outcome of the 2020 election.

Scientists…83% of Americans trust scientists most.

Military           …. 80% (+/-)

Clergy                  61%

Journalists       .…55%

Business leaders…43%

Supreme Court     38%

Politicians…       36%

Newsman, journalist Bret Brier asks,

“So does this mean voters should never trust the vote anymore? They can only trust lawmakers to decide when a President crosses the line to get kicked out—& What qualifies to kick out that President? And only those lawmakers can do it? Not voters? Ever?”

Who do we trust? Who do you trust? Which of the institutions can we trust to provide wise leadership? Socialism/Communism says the government only. Democratic Republic says,


In every society there are 7 Spheres of Influence:

  1. Family (household and social sphere)
  2. Religion (including church sphere and spirituality)
  3. Education (k-12 and universities?)
  4. Economy (business+finance/science and technology)
  5. Politics (government sphere—all three branches of government)
  6. Media
  7. Celebration (arts+culture/entertainment/sports)

If you do not see them in that list, you will need to place the military and medicine.

If The People do not trust any of our institutions—the institutions that speak for us through representation—to whom do we turn for public leadership we trust?

If I were conspiratorial I would wonder if there is a planned attack going on. (Re: Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis) First destroy faith in institutions and then sow doubt as to the worth or the trustworthiness of voting–bomb the ballot box.

Friends will say, Trust in God. I do—that is where my primary trust is placed. But God has placed us on the Earth and made us stewards, given us dominion. That means God’s Kingdom People are to be influencers (not controllers) through our individual voices and institutions.

Rebuild The Trust

Reference: Who Do We Trust, Stephen Mansfield, Stephen Mansfield Podcast.

©2020 D. Dean Benton—I am Dean. I take responsibility for this message.



My preceding blog, Receive and Steward Your Future, needs clarity. A man in a seminar thought I was talking about profit when I talked about prophet. He thought the seminar was about investing in the market. No, it is prophet—an integral part of Jesus’ Kingdom. Segments of the Church understand and organize leadership around the 5-Fold Ministry which comes from Ephesians 4:12-13:

The purpose of the five-fold ministry is, “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Apostle Paul says God has blessed the church with Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers. Most scholars tend to list the last two in this list as “pastor-teacher.” They recognize that they are separate offices, but connected. Pastors teach, but not all teachers, pastor.

Two kinds of prophets: one foretells what is going to happen. The second forth-tells. Much like a mentor or a very good coach. There is more to say about this, but I’m centering on the forth-tellers who ask questions and make observation such as, “Have you ever thought about being an accountant?” Or, “I see in you a gift for teaching 4th-graders. Does that resonate with you?”

“You can speak in tongues, but I want all of you to prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14.)

A prime example is found in Princess Diana. Minutes after I posted the first blog in this 2-parter, Carole and I watched NBC’s Ann Curry moderate and interview several people close to Princess Dianna.

There is no doubt that the negative “prophets” in Diana’s childhood and then in her marriage are linked to a horrible life. She was called “thick” by her family. She was Abandoned, Abused, Forsaken by her husband and Betrayed. Notice in the videos  heavy bangs over her forehead and eyes behind which she appears to hide. It was not until a speech mentor volunteered to help her learn how to speak in public that she heard a “prophet” speak positive descriptions and words into her in a way she grasped. Notice her hairstyle and lifted chin, thereafter. Few people will deny for any of us that such negative appraisals will damage us long term. I’m talking about intentional speaking our “future” into us–not palaver, but real assets not immediately visible to us.

You do not need credentials to speak into someone’s life. I don’t know if that speech coach is a Jesus follower, or if he is filled with the Spirit. He is a human speaking into another human. (The limits of this needs more thought.)

We are at the big question: What if no one “speaks into you?” What if you have no neighborhood prophet who invests into your future?

Esther Fleece Allen was a fast-rising leader with Focus on the Family. She had been adopted as a child, abandoned by her father. Twenty-years after that total abandonment he reappeared unannounced and began to stalk her. She collapsed under her early life abuse and the negative input as an adult. I don’t remember hearing about any earth-moving encounter for her. She found healing and guidance through Scripture and interaction with God The Father.

Type Catalyst Podcast 540 Esther Fleece Allen into your computer search engine for the interview.

I’m thinking that most Jesus Followers are best served in finding our next season. Prophesying a legitimate encouraging or instructive word is not an attempt to control. I think it is an important Kingdom function.

Author and marketing guru, Donald Miller, asked Carol Aebersold, creator of “Elf on the Shelf,” if she felt this was her calling. She replied, “For this season of my life, it is.”

For This Season, It Is

©2020 D. Dean Benton—writer, wonderer, witness

Receive and Steward Your Future

An International preacher/teacher received a vision which he shared with his partners. A leader, pastor and close friend affirmed the message:

“This is your future

This is your vision

This is your assignment”

The words of that friend dovetails with “God speaking a word into you” or a person speaking a word “over you.” The agent is often someone with authority (to you) who affirms what God has already highlighted in your heart or mind. It may be someone saying or intentionally “speaking” something to you that you’ve hardly given a thought, but something is sparked or ignited in you.

You know that a negative word spoken over or into someone is crippling. A prophet (Office of prophet or an informal statement) can underscore or empower people onto a Kingdom trajectory.

When Apostle Paul says, “I wish that you would all prophesy,” (I Corinthians 14:5), he is not hoping that every person would predict the future, but Jesus followers would speak or affirm a person’s future.

I have spoken words like that to many and absolutely always want to do it more. I only remember saying prophetic words in a public event once. I stopped preaching and spoke over a friend. He has been in trouble with the law and in relationships ever since. I don’t regret speaking. But I could have gotten it wrong. That raises an important element in this discussion: receiving and stewardship. The first step is for the person hearing the statement to consider if the Holy Spirit is saying the same thing to him or her. What are others saying? (Be careful here. It is your vision.)

Pastor Bill Johnston says:

“…being prepared to receive and steward the fulfillment of our promises.”  

From a digital employment application: “You must sign this document to officially accept our offer.”

The two words “receive and steward” lit up centers of my brain and soul in a manner that had not been before. “I accept that, I receive that!” Stewarding is personal preparation to cooperate with God’s plan. It is your future, your vision, your assignment. If so, what must you do to prepare? Luck most often comes to those who are prepared.

One of his peers spoke to him about an issue Johnson had been seeking God to clarify. Johnson tells us how he responded:

“I took that word, wrote it down, and began to declare it over my life regularly.”

Page 144 Strengthen Yourself in the Lord, Destiny Image Press 2007)

Johnson was faithful in pursuing that prophetic word for ten years. It is fully operational today.

Receiving and stewarding:

“So how do we steward what’s been given to us? We use the tools we’ve been given to contend for the promises and desires that God has birthed in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” (Johnson)

Perhaps, the man over whom I spoke, didn’t receive the message, did not pursue the message or did not contend with negative human voices or with the devil who stole, killed, destroyed (John 10:10).

Lots of in-house language in this post. I will clarify and talk more to your questions.

Consider, Discern, Receive, Steward, Contend, Declare.

©2020 D. Dean Benton—writer, wonderer, witness