Monthly Archives: January 2022

Just how real is Jesus?

Tucked in at page 144 of All Over but the Shoutin’ is a yellowing 4X6 file card. It has been there for several years so I could find the most worrisome experience about which I have read. It is there at Rick Bragg’s history of waiting to experience the saving grace of Jesus.

     “Every Sunday, I waited. I waited for the invasion, the infusion, the joy. I waited for the Holy Ghost to sdlip inside my heart and my mind and, as He done to all those around me, lift me out of the pew and up to the altar, Saving me. I waited for it like a boy waiting on a train.

     “But while I felt wonder and maybe a little fear, I never felt what I had seen, or maybe sensed, in the others. I was not refusing Him, rebuking Him. I wanted it, I wanted the strength of it, the joy of it, but mostly, I wanted the peace of it. The preacher promised it. He promised.

     “I just sat there…as the Sundays drained away.”

(Rick Bragg, All Over but the Shoutin’ Random House, 1997) page 144

I’ve been studying and writing about needing to experience Jesus as a reality as much as we experience or experienced sin or to quote another writer, .

“What determines our state of being is not just what we think is real but even more importantly what we experience as real. So, unless the Holy Spirit does His work at the fundamental level of our experienced self-identity, in all likelihood we will remain essentially as we are.” Gregory Boyd, Seeing is Believing (Baker Books, 2005) page 68.

Is experiencing Jesus as real as stubbing your toe during the night? Is experiencing Jesus as real as the first time you got drunk? Or…, well, you make up your own.  Feelings are fine, but they are not the final factor. God’s Word is–the promises for example.

With Bragg’s desperate desire for Holy Ghost’s gifts, I suspect his soul has been saved. I keep looking for some word from Rick Bragg that he has experienced what he thought he had missed.

In my search for that testimony, I ran across Bragg talking about his latest book. Don’t miss this youTube. It is so very rich. If you are a writer, this is what a Pulitzer from Alabama writes like.  DON’T MISS THIS:

Publication of my book Mining for Reality & Truth—Digging Worldviews is pending.

©2022 D. Dean Benton

Squall Lines

If you commute or travel with talk radio, you quickly discover there is a limited number of topics to talk about. Chicago schools, Covid, Pandemic, Fauci and the hellish shape of politics. The atmosphere smells like The Matrix and the visual in each direction looks like a handbasket with a destination.

If you are snowed in or isolating from any possible germ, watching TV is not much better. A computer-based notification asked me, “Are you prepared for a squall line?”

As I prayed for my people this morning, I projected onto all what I’ve been hearing. “I’m drained, nearly depleted. I’m not shut down but am definitely paused. I am disturbed.”

My daughter said, “We need to balance things out.” I suggest balancers:


If you see AOC today, tell her that having sex with her has never entered my mind. Not once! I am not frustrated because she won’t date me. That is the truth!! She and her crowd are going to have to live with their delusions. Their “truth” and “realities” have different names in my mind and soul. They are a squall line I choose not to allow to blow me off course.

Neo-Gnostics in government, politics, entertainment and education are telling us they alone know what is true and real and that we must think, say and do what they tell us. I am certainly open to new understanding, but some things are real and true and if dismissed or eradicated from our daily experience, culture and persons are left with a black ice foundation.

With the recent release of the fourth Matrix movie, the preachers and teachers I listen to are again talking about the Matrix as a descriptive concept of biblical strongholds as in 2 Corinthians 10. Wherever our life is controlled by lies and deception brought on by the “pattern of this world” a neurochip has been installed into our souls—like the splinter in the mind.

Those neurochips lie to us about our identity and the life God wants for us. Whether the source of those deceptions is from the constant assault by media or satan, we too can be in a matrix-type bondage.

Balancers–squall line defenders:


You usually (not always) know what you need to restore your soul. None of the music on our favorite Sunday churches spoke to me. I went to First Baptist—Dallas online. The choir and orchestra offered “In Christ Alone.” They sang a verse or chorus I don’t remember hearing before. The words lifted my soul and spoke to my mind. I appreciate them singing words just for me! What I needed, what I wanted, what I sought.

We listened to 3-4 preachers on the Lord’s Day to hear a message we needed. The 5th preacher spoke of renewing our decision to walk with the Lord and to commit ourselves to trusting Him. Those two verbs—walk and trust—told me what to do while feeling drained, depleted, disturbed.

I don’t think I heard anything new, but the words refreshed and carried a message “in due season.”


Beginning at minute 27 on the following podcast, there are five reasons listed that journaling will be beneficial as you become aware of drainage. Specifics that can balance:


As result of re-reading and study of Escaping The Matrix, by Gregory Boyd, Dr. Al Larsen, (Baker Books, ©2005), I have a new appreciation for Romans 12:1-3, especially 12:2. “…renewing of the mind.” While the movies reveal how politics and the Left with its cancelations, censorship, fear and threats can hold us in bondage, the Boyd-Larsen book talks about spiritual bondage and the wellness of your soul.

“No power of hell, no scheme of man

Can ever pluck me from His hand

Till He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”

        In Christ Alone– Adrienne Camp

Copyright 2022 D. Dean Benton

See Mining for Reality and Truth,  one of my new eBooks. Published soon.