Monthly Archives: June 2021


Perhaps the preachers I listen to get together to compare notes. The weekend message was/continues to be, restoration.
Monday morning a guest on Wild at Heart podcast described an acquaintance who “fought for my heart.” (Sounds like a John Eldredge phrase.) What does “fighting for my heart” look like?
One of my preacher/teachers has been preaching through the book of Job. Yesterday he finished the series with chapter forty-two. Job’s 3-4 friends sure didn’t fight for his heart! God’s acceptance and embrace restored what Job had lost in the battle of good vs. evil. I’m also thinking about restoration of what we never had in hand, but God wanted for us.
Our ministry has news of a man whose resume includes prison, drugs, emotional needs and a family populating the road to hell. This man needs a restoration of what he never had and cannot build alone. The young man approaches being a Seeker. He needs someone to fight for his heart—someone who will walk beside him during his anxious days and pour into him God’s acceptance and the Good News—redemption and restoration—which I define in these terms:
Embrace, Encourage, Equip, Empower, Heal, Launch.
“Pray ye (literal translation: ‘ hey you, YE, yes, you’) that the Lord of the harvest will send workers into the field” (Matthew 9:38).
Restoration—Bringin’ It!
©2021 D. Dean Benton
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When we pastored near Chicago, portions of Methodism was abuzz with the Lay Witness Mission. Our church sent over 40 to share their Christ-following stories. These “witnesses” traveled to inviting churches in surrounding states.
The space program was in high gear. We adapted the phrase, “Spashdown.” The people returned home and gathered with 15-20 who celebrated their experience and their weekend ministries.
We listened to weekend experiences, asked questions sang, prayed, ate munchies and praised God. Of that group one or two became pastors; others developed ministries and gave their talents and gifts for use in industries and local churches.
At the heart of those Splashdown events was Marilyn and Gary Hansen.  Hansens moved to Ashville, NC and then to Wilmore, Ky. Through all of the moves they served on the Board of Benton Ministries, Inc offering wisdom, support of every kind, loyalty and tons of encouragement and vocalized affection.
The past two weeks have been filled celebrating the life, faith and family of Marilyn Hansen. After decades of serving several churches as executive secretary and establishing a Caring Ministry and becoming a hospital chaplain, she went home to be with Jesus. I have fixated on her arrival in Heaven as a Splashdown event—home from another place.
I’m assuming the Lord placed Psalm 68:6 on my mind as descriptive of our 50 years with Marilyn: “God places the lonely in families….
A Rusty Goodman song came as part of that welcoming time:
As you go down your list of firsts, there’s no question
We’re gonna want to see our loved ones awaiting me and         you
And when you feel you’ve shared your story with the last           one
That wants to hear you tell, just how you made it through
Look for me, I’d like to hear it too
I realize when you arrive, there’ll be so much to view
After you’ve been there ten thousand years, a million,                    maybe two
Look for me, for I will be there too.…
While Marilyn told her stories of God’s faithfulness, we told stories of her battle with Parkinson’s and the challenge of writing a book of those battles and her mission. “Broken Unto Wholeness,” (Marilyn Hansen, ©2019—available from Amazon).
Thank you, Marilyn for your obsession with saying thanks and telling your story and talking about Jesus.
©2021 D. Dean Benton—one of the tribe of “I’d like to hear it too.”

Reaching the Rim

When the announcement arrived that my great-nephew was graduating high school, I began to wonder what book he would most enjoy and benefit by reading. He is a “great” nephew—that is not just about relationship, but description. Finally, someone in my family has grown a kid who plays basketball. He has been dunking since the 8th grade. My own experience of coming from a lifetime of not being first choice for a pickup basketball team, my response is, GREAT! Definite NBA material.

I was nudged to buy Robert Benson’s The Echo Within some years ago. I was to buy ten copies to give to those whom I would be instructed. The next day, we visited a book store 100 miles from home. The book was on sale which was financially convenient. I’m down to two copies, so I’m careful whose name I hear.

Robert Benson says,

I am not a big talker on airplanes. If you talk too much, you have a hard time keeping your teeth clenched in fear. I mostly scribble in my sketchbook while I am hurtling through the air in a huge machine that has no business being this far off the ground. The man (next to me) made a couple of attempts to talk to me, but I was up to the “Just as the time came for us to stand in the aisle and wait for us to get off the plane, he asked me a question. He cleverly deduced this was his last chance to make me make conversation.

‘What do you do?’

Something about my beard and my ponytail, my eyeglasses in a style most commonly associated with folks who led the Russian Revolution, my lack of socks with my loafers even though January had just begun, the bush jacket, the purse, and the sketchbook had suggested to him that perhaps I was not a businessman.

“I am a writer,” I said.

He got this grin on his face. ‘I knew you were a something,’ he said triumphantly.”*

I have a long history of listening to sermons and speeches. The best graduation speeches conclude: Grow up to be a something. Accomplish something. Be known as the person who is a somebody because you make others feel like a somebody and because you resource them and encourage them to accomplish something.

You got this, Connor

©2021 D. Dean Benton

  • The Echo Within, Robert Benson, ©2009, (WaterBrook Press) pages 159-160.