Category Archives: Christian

Recipes

It has come to this! I’m “sharing” recipes.

Have you tried a pinolillo? It is a drink that will “replace your ice tea habit.”

From Blue Zones:

In countries like Costa Rica where pinolillo has been widely consumed on a regular basis for centuries, it was traditionally ground with a mortar and pestle and served from a hollowed-out gourd.

It does sound inviting. However, I don’t have an ice-tea habit or mortar and pestle. I don’t think Walmart sells hollowed-out gourds. Have you tried a pinolillo? I’m not going to bother unless someone will verify it is worth the effort.

We were pastoring near Joliet when David & Karen Mains pastored Circle Church in Chicago. The ministry of David and Karen and the resources from Circle influenced us. It was during the Charismatic renewal with discussion and disagreements. Karen Mains shares a story of her own hunger for Holy Spirit and no desire to get crazy. Friends of the church had a missionary friend home on leave who came to speak at Circle Church. The missionary had been working on a Pacific Island when the Japanese captured it. She was kneeling waiting to be beheaded when the Holy Spirit spoke a Scripture verse to her. She attributed her saved life to that encounter.

The missionary stayed in the Mains’ home for ten days. That visit linked to Miss Karen’s hungering for Holy Spirit was a gift—someone to answer her questions. After many conversations, her guest said,

“When He, the spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.

You may know those are also Jesus’ words recorded by John in John 16:12-15. It was a life-altering shared “word.” Ms. Mains is not a Charismatic! but her walk with Holy Spirit is valued.

My Sunday began with evangelist Mario Murillo urging the Church to revisit Holy Spirit relationships. My Sunday closed with that story from Karen Mains. Now from a few hours’ distance, the messages seem very timely and pointed. At a time when chaos, uncertainty, confusion and questions are constant and weighted, Jesus’ words catch my attention.

“When He, the spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.

Holy Spirit, You are welcome, here. Come visit us.

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

Wicked! Who, Me?

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

WHEN

There is no rain.  Weather gone wild.

Locusts are devouring.   Killer bugs and germs.

There are plagues. Pandemics. These things are going to happen in the world you live in.

REMIND THIS TRIBE

You are My People,

You are identified by My Name

You are different, not better! Unique for a special task.

IF MY PEOPLE WILL

Humble

Pray

Seek

Turn

I WILL

Hear

Forgive

Heal

“If My People will…turn from their wicked ways…”

WHAT WICKED WAYS?

Second Chronicles 7:14 is most often spoken by revivalists as the key to an awakening—a reviving of God’s people. The year 2020 has been filled with the same scripture being the key to a reset for our nation. We now see it may be the only hope for saving Western Civilization. Early on, I protested, “I am not wicked! God, what do you want from me?” Instantly! Something in me said, “More repentance would be good.”

What am I doing; what is the Church of Jesus Christ doing that is so wicked it has caused race riots, pandemics and Chaos 2020? It must be so wicked that only turning from it will gain God’s favor and blessing. What can it be?

Let’s define “wicked.”

The English word evil or wicked comes primarily from two Hebrew roots, resh/ayin/ayin (רעע)and resh/shin/ayin (רשע). Both of these roots paint a picture of breaking something into pieces.

Wicked–Breaking something into pieces.

There are other words that could have been used, but the one chosen for “wicked” is specific. It is the same root word for “wicca” and “witch” and the result of this spiritual activity breaks something into pieces. It is not “sinful,” or “mistakes-mistaken,” the word chosen is “wicked.” It breaks something of value into pieces—beyond use or destroys its value. Implied—those who practice this wickedness are broken as well as the people who are touched by wickedness.

How would the first people to hear 2 Chronicles 7:14 (Solomon’s day) have reacted? What would they assume God was talking about? Today’s reading in the Chronological Bible (2 Kings 17:6-23) answers my question: The wicked ways would include, but not be limited to, making Yahweh just one “deity” among many. The people that God called “My people” had built shrines to worship the gods of those nations whom God warned about. They had sex with “sacred temple priests and priestess” to seek favor for crops and cattle. They burned their children as sacrifices to these gods, while ignoring or rejecting what Yahweh had already provided and promised to “My people.” The People of God had turned to hell for security and supply, and did terrible things. Sounds wicked to me. God had warned them—this will break your nation and people into pieces.

Old Testament prophets used the word Infidelity to describe Israel’s behavior. They looked to the surrounding nations to be the moral arbiter for God’s Chosen.

The Israelites worshipped Asherah (also called Asheroth, Astarte depending what nation.) She was known and worshipped as “Mother of Heaven” who purportedly was God’s primary wife. That seems to be a departure from reality, not just worship practice or rejection of God.

I am not a wicked person! Sinful; bent, if not broken, but not wicked. (Remember I am trying to explain all of this to myself without excusing myself of anything.) In the Kingdom, anything I do that would “break something or someone into pieces” would be branded as wicked. Let’s nit-pick and split some hairs. God said to Solomon “turn from their wicked ways.” It sounds to me like God was not naming people wicked, but calling their behavior wicked. That seems like an important distinction.

C. S. Lewis’ words describe what I feel:

“…it would be ridiculous for me to speak about…; that would be an attempt to teach when I have nearly all to learn.”

I am trying to be honest with the biblical context of 2 Chronicles 7:14 as well as looking at any immediate 2020 cause for the chaos. The words are directed to My people in the Old Covenant and the Universal Church of Jesus in the New. Two immediate dominant crises in this year: Covid-19 pandemic and racial complaints that the Marxist Left has turned into riots, killings, demands and plans to obliterate Western Civilization.

I have asked God to direct me to resources that & who will help me understand history, the future and what today is about. Dr. Shelby Steel and his book, White Guilt—How Blacks and Whites together destroyed the promise of the Civil Rights era. (Harper Perennial ©2006) have entered my world. I sensed I was to listen to this man. He grew up in Chicago and graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids. He speaks about race and the Black experience in words I understand.

Steel says there are two defining eras. The white racist era which ended in the middle 60s. He calls the second era White Guilt. What is going on in the streets is the result of “white guilt”. I differentiate between the organization BLM, (self-identified as Marxist) and the protesters. Because black lives matter protesters are seeking justice, equality while rioters generally are anarchists, insurrections and Marxists whose objective is to bulldoze America into oblivion and to build a new nation on top of the ashes.

Dr. Shelby Steel writes in his book,

“…white guilt may have gotten its initiating, big-bang start in race relations and America’s great acknowledgement of racial wrongdoing, but it was quickly expanded by all the moral authority that America began to lose to other conflicts, especially the Vietnam War and the struggle for women’s rights.”

“It doesn’t matter, for example, that there was honor in America’s acknowledgement of moral wrong in the era of race. An acknowledgement of wrong was an acknowledgement of wrong, and it brought a loss of moral authority—and thus, adult authority—despite the good it had achieved. And when you added to civil rights the Vietnam War, feminism, the plight of farm workers, a new environmentalism, a deepening animus toward materialism and corporate power, and a ‘credibility gap’ between young and old, you could easily make a damning case against adult authority. No previous generation had been served up a richer menu of social and moral ‘contradictions’ and ‘hypocrisies’ with which to hammer away at the moral authority of adult American society.” (p 87)

“I believe that the most important—if seemingly incongruent—point to understand about the sixties is that, like the sixties’ black militant consciousness, it was largely a response to white guilt. This guilt is the vacuum in moral authority created by all of white America’s moral failings and infidelities to democracy: racism, sexism, imperialism, materialism, conformity, environmental indifference, education inequality, superficiality, greed, and so on. Thus, white guilt is a much broader phenomenon than the ‘race problem’ from which it takes its name.” (p82)

“…conspicuous instance of infidelity to democracy.”

From the Christianity Today article by Timothy Dalrymple, Justice Too Long Delayed,

…“two original sins have plagued this nation from its inception: the destruction of its native inhabitants and the institution of slavery. Both sprang from a failure to see an equal in the racial other.”  (June 10, 2020)

Mr. Dalrymple, in the second paragraph of the article, describes the slavery of the early days of America:  “It meant white men repeatedly raped hundreds of thousands of black girls and women.”

That suggests ALL white men were busy raping. That would include the truly holiness people—those who sought to build a new nation upon biblical laws and principles. All of the male Pilgrims? I don’t think so. Is that something my white male friends would do? Did the Founding Fathers beat their “slaves”? Were all Neanderthals? Would I have beaten slaves? The problem with describing the worst is to broad brush the best. Having read about the lives of the Founding Fathers, I conclude that Neanderthals, beasts or cruel generally they were not. Figures of their times, they were, just as we are. Is it really true that, “…the white society around the slaves was often deaf to their cries and did not view them as human and worthy of love…” Really? The whole lot of whites? No one taught them to read? No one sought a better life for them? No one loved them? It is hard to fathom; it is hard to believe. Were we that wicked? Are we still? Am I?

After a Church Growth seminar, a little girl I had sung to in the worship time, ran to me and hugged my legs. Her mother chased after her and apologized for the tackle. We talked. She said kind things about her singing, message and seminar. She said, “I didn’t know what to ask during the Q&A. I don’t make any decisions—I’m not a board member and I have little influence.”

That conversation returns during my calculation of “wicked” and “white man’s guilt.” I keep thinking and saying in response to broad brush accusations, “I don’t remember getting to vote on this, or anyone asking my opinion.”

I can’t escape the so-called original two sins. I like Andrew Jackson, but I’m horrified at the Trail of Tears. Dear God! Nothing is more descriptive of wicked than the history of Native Americans. Broken into pieces!

WESTERN CIVILIZATION—WICKED?

Moving from Solomon, the Temple and circa 725 BC to 2020 AD, I wonder if these verses transfer. How would this wickedness look? Can it be identified? Would we recognize it? Can we transfer this to The Church Age and the Age of Grace? Consider this, When God says, “My people” in 2020, is He describing Jesus Followers? Colossians 1:1-11 says that we are “hidden in Christ.” If we are “in Christ,” such wickedness would then be in Christ. No! No! No! That cannot be interpreted to say that Jesus Followers cannot or do not ever step into sin from rebellion or ignorance.

Another paragraph from Shelby Steel has burrowed into me seeking solution.

An interpretation of our present battle for civilized life is—with an acknowledgement of racial sin in the middle 1960s, white people and their institutions (family, church, government, education, media, entertainment, ect.) lost its moral authority.

“The authority derived from their presumed innate superiority made whites gods of the earth whose every base instinct for plunder, rape, and systemic oppression could be legitimately indulged.”

Steel is interpreting this from a wounded, oppressed point of view. He goes on:

“The loss of moral authority went too far the other way, not only denying legitimacy to the plunder of the nonwhite world, but also denying it to that entire of difficult ‘character’ principles that bring coherence and even greatness to free societies: personal responsibilities, hard work, individual initiative, delayed gratification, commitment to excellence, competition by merit, the honor of achievement…” (page 109)

The end result of such is “breaking something/someone into many pieces.”

TURNING FROM OUR WICKED WAYS

A case can be made that Jesus Followers are called to be leaders in the redemption. I am not concerned about ecology or the environment because it is a social issue. I am going to be held responsible to God for any misconduct that broke His creation into useless pieces. Jonathon Edwards is not the only one to imagine falling into the hands of an angry God!

“In the age of racism, blacks were held accountable to these values and principles even though they were openly oppressed. Therefore, there was a cultural coherence in America based on these values and principles that applied to everybody despite the problem of segregation. This coherence, in itself, was a good thing, and was surely responsible for much that was great in the character of white and black Americans. Moreover, it might have provided an ideal consensus of values out of which to build a post-white supremacy society. But the de-legitimization of white supremacy greatly injured this cultural coherence by taking authority away from the values and principles it was based on. After America admitted to what was worst about itself, there was not enough authority left to support what was best.”

If I am mentally tracking right—at the same time in America, the foundation of those values and principles was being denied and deconstructed for our society: Biblical revelation, and rejecting God as a player or source of “unalienable rights.” Yahweh was taken down and moved to a museum so he would not hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone uncomfortable. And God got into the advertising business: “Okay. Have it your way.”

Another dimension of “not enough authority left to support the best,” is the total absences of redemption. For confession of wrong and repentance to do its work, there must be good news of salvation. There must be forgiveness and expiation of sin. A broad-brush statement is that many in the Black community assume there is “no redemption” for these national sins and even if there were, white people and their institutions are beyond it. Until there is redemption proclaimed, offered and received, we will remain in this suburb of hell.

I have been instructed and touched by Dr. Shelby Steel’s thinking. He has helped me understand the wounds and history as well as politics that brought us to Chaos 2020. He writes from a mind and heart of a conservative, which means he desires to conserve what is worthy. His writing might be of value to you.

White Guilt—How Blacks and Whites together destroyed the promise of the Civil Rights era. (Harper Perennial ©2006).

TURNING FROM MY WICKED WAYS

In the 1960s, Quaker preacher, writer, theologian and teacher, Elton Trueblood, said every church should be a school of higher education. That caught my imagination. I increasingly saw the power in retreat centers, conference facilities and small interactive, sharing groups. When I heard about Dr. A. R. Bernard and his church, Christian Culture Center, the value of such churches took a firmer hold on me.

I can’t tell you who I heard say this and I missed his first element and I’ve added the fifth one which the speaker would have included in one of the other elements. You will notice that the Marxist groups have historically targeted these 4-5 institutions for destruction. They are also the core cluster in the Seven Mountain Mandate. The prophets have been telling us we must influence these places of mind-molders or someone else will—are!

  1. Shared History
  2. Family-marriage with parental involvement in education and teaching virtues.
  3. Education: School & informal
  4. Church—Where the Gospel is declared and embraced, there is/can be, upward mobility.
  5. Development-Cultural centers.

There is a realization that I can’t provide that for another race or culture, nor should I.

“We (Blacks) avoid the terrifying level of responsibility that freedom imposes by arguing that whites are responsible for our development. We even define full black responsibility as an intolerable injustice. Our understandable fear of freedom has led us to bank our fate on an absurdity: that we can develop by taking less responsibility for ourselves. We have defined freedom as a kind of heaven in which the inhabitants are forgiven responsibility. Thus, we have conspired to throw away the greatest power we have: complete responsibility for our own development, an opportunity that we have the freedom to assume.” (Page 68—Shelby Steel.)

Frederick Douglass and Malcom X responded to, “What shall we do for you?” They said, in different tones, “Nothing. Worst thing you can do is to do something for us.”

I have visioned a church—a weekly shared building and monthly shared celebration—by 4-5 churches of divergent colors and cultures to experience Kingdom fullness. That church would have a development center, an academy where the list above could be taught and experienced. For me (old white guy) to offer that is another type of colonialism or plantationism. (?) Certainly, not my intent! But to do nothing is not acceptable.

Someone has to be an apostle and put a pin on the map and say, “Let’s go there.” In an ideal world, perhaps in the Kingdom, that apostle can empower others. The object of the Kingdom and American Constitutional Democracy is not “break into pieces” but to pick up the pieces and remold them into wholeness.

Turn from their wicked ways…I will heal their land.

I am open to reckon with my wicked ways. Holy Spirit, come and reveal them and help me recognize them.

© 2020 D. Dean Benton–wonderer, writer, weeper

Okay! So We Need To Pray

If My People Will… (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Humble, Pray, Seek, Turn

I’m slow reading a C. S. Lewis book. Yesterday a statement turned on the lights.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14 TLBT:

The KJV translates it:

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Not some of them, but all spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

“If My people, who are called by My Name…will pray.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

If all things spiritual are spiritually discerned, that gives us clues how we are to pray. Read again 1 Corinthians 2:14. Add John 6:44 to the mix. “No one can come to me unless….” What does “spiritually discern” mean?

I talked to a lady recently whose 84th birthday was the next day. It didn’t take us long to get into serious stuff. She told me she has a 5000 book library. Then she told about her children. Addiction is pervasive. She could not understand why one child would not listen when she talked to her—alcohol controlled the adult child. It cost her $ and her marriage and still the offspring maintained she didn’t have a problem. Reasoning or logic were totally ineffective in changing life-death decisions.

“Unless the Spirit draw….” Whether we are praying for family or looters, our words are “foolishness to them” if they are encircled by another spirit, a commitment to “worldly values” or carrying the wounds of the past. I think anyone who is dealing (strongholds) with addiction, abuse or involved with dark spirits, just don’t (maybe can’t) get it. Some are rebellious. It is not that the Spirit does not “draw” them. The Natural person has resistors surrounding them—they can’t discern or perceive what is being said. That tells us how we are to pray.

Discernment comes as a spiritual revelation about specifics in your soul or spirit that raises questions (I wonder?) or knowledge (I know!) in your mind about something of concern to you.

Pray against the spiritual bubble

A couple of almost always come to mind:

There are almost never bassoons in marching bands.

You almost never can reason with a rioter.

A dog chasing a squirrel will almost never hear you call her name.

I have been grappling with the construct of prayer. What is it and how do we do it? Lance Wallnau reminded me when the Disciples awoke Jesus in the midst of the lake storm, Jesus spoke to the storm and then He spoke to the fear or lack of faith within his friends. Two actions that outline prayer: Speaking to the mountain/ storm/ sickness/ barriers, ect., and speaking to the inner perceptions, beliefs, fears including the adrenalin, lack of knowledge and what we “know”.

“Praying into” is a term I haven’t used. It makes sense connected to  intercession. We are not trying to convince God to do what He wants to do anyway. The spiritual bubble is what Holy Spirit must pierce. He will not assault a person’s will or personhood, but He will, in appropriate ways to each person, confront their (our) misconceptions and false beliefs leading to bad behavior and inadequate responses. That is what we call “conviction.”

If My people will…pray… (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We are praying when we “send” Holy Spirit to a specific situation or a specific person with specific instructions. I cringe a bit at that statement—who am I to instruct God!? Well, God limited Himself how He relates to earth. The Earth was stewarded to Mankind, which Adam and Eve handed to Lucifer. Someone must give God “permission” to enter the Earth realm. That is what specific prayer does.

Given Daniel 9-10 and God’s interaction with Sodom and Gomorrah (as well as some interaction with Abram), I conclude that God delegates. I’m uncomfortable speaking to angels. We have been warned against “commanding angels,” but we can give Holy Spirit permission to send angels—created beings—to interact with situations and people to tell them Truth so they might respond to God’s call to confess, repent, follow.

It is not my intention to pray that people will think like I do. I have no interest in manipulating by asking God to sneak in one of my theories or faith beliefs. I don’t want my prayers to be a dimension of witchcraft by asking and using God to kick someone’s butt. (Many prayers for judgement inadvertently affect the poor, powerless and voiceless disproportionately. Lightning bolts don’t have very good aim—a lot of collateral shrapnel.) It is a surgical prayer while honoring a person’s will, relationships and God’s plan for which I aim. I do not want to invade their space. My perception of God is “He will lift you up” (James). He commands us for our benefit.

Loosing and Binding

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

In the pre-intercession praying, I sense we need to ask God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—whichever one is in charge of this–what exactly needs to be loosed and what exactly needs to be bound. There are several facets to loosing and binding. I want to get this right, so I ask Holy Spirit to instruct me what He desires to bind and loose.

“Passive information receivers,” is a phrase Bill Bennett uses to describe the non-curious and non-fact-seeking news watcher. Heather Mac Donald appeared before Congress last week. Her words are insightful:

https://www.city-journal.org/repudiate-the-anti-police-narrative

Effective praying and seeking cannot be separated. What is always true about God? What is always true about His intent? What is always true about evil? If you know nothing more than that, you have enough to pray into the spiritual bubble and speak into the atmosphere = spiritual realm.

Polite, but aggressive, questioning is in order. What is true? How do I evaluate what I believe to be true? Who is the “bad” guy and who is making the claim? Who gains by changing things? What is God’s (as revealed in the Bible) view of injustice? What do I believe that is being questioned or attacked? How did I come to believe that? Could I be wrong? What am I denying if I change my mind? Am I “block thinking” or thinking for myself? Maybe I need to be loosed from passive thinking and acceptance. How do I question—what do I search, who do I talk to?

Praying includes binding myself to the mind of Christ and the will/plan of God. It includes loosing myself from perceptions built by prejudices, lack of knowledge related to specific situations and people as well as general ignorance. Matthew 18:18-20 gives us insight into praying for, with, into and against.

Sensitize the Receptors

Os Guinness wrote “The Last Christian on Earth.” Josh McDowell wrote, “The Last Christian Generation.” Both wrote about biblical ignorance among culture at large. Listen to testimonies of conversion to Christ and you will hear stories of a praying parent or grandparent—someone who taught them basics of faith. I wonder about praying into people and situations that sensitizes them to what Truth or landmark once guided them. What are the hungers that once challenged them or called them to a journey?

What if the person you pray for has no biblical-faith roots? What if the bubble fabric is made of dark spirits and anti-Christ beliefs? What about a totally different worldview?  Paul, teaching in Romans, appeals to natural faith or what nature teaches about The Creator.

Praying is giving Holy Spirit permission to enter the earth realm—a specific area of the earth realm to call people and situations to alignment with God’s Kingdom government—how God governs justice, redemption—all things righteous for all people. (Matthew 28).

What is the praying that moves the hand of God to heal our nation? It surely is not saying the right words in an exact way or sequence! It is not an acceptable physical posture or a preferred doctrine. I think and sense it is alignment with God’s purposes and plans. Since Jesus is our great intercessor, the constant question is, “Jesus, how are you praying for (…) and how may I join you?”

© 2020 D. Dean Benton

Email—dean@deanbenton.org

Website—https://deanbenton.org/     Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs

Dean’s ebooks— https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DDeanBenton

Dean’s blogs—https://bentonquesthouse.com/

 

Militant Humility & Praying

GOD SPEAKING

2 Chronicles 7:12-14

WHEN…

There is no rain.

Locusts are devouring.

There are plagues.

REMIND THIS TRIBE…

You are My People

You are identified by My Name

You are different

IF MY PEOPLE WILL…

Humble

Pray

Seek

Turn

I WILL…

Hear

Forgive

Heal

………………………………………………..

“…not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think ‘soberly’ as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3—NKJV).

“Don’t think you are better than you are Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” (Romans 12:3b—TLT).

A few more words about humility.

Humble yourselves before the LORD, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Whatever else is said, our stance before God is always to be humility. Humans are warned against exalting themselves against God—satan is our model of that behavior. He assumed equality. That is called rebellion. As important: When God says, “humble yourself” He is not pushing your face into the dirt just because He can or because He is insecure. The Father is all about—“He will lift you up.”

Humbling oneself is about self-perception and how we view God. It is about recognizing our place in the universe—He is God; I am not. It is recognizing and celebrating our place in the Kingdom. These words from 2 Chronicles have been like spiritual earwigs: God is not belittling, but calling us to correctly see ourselves in His sight and then living that vision. “I am God’s, therefore…!” God is declaring “THEREFORE!”

“This is KLUB Radio’s exclusive interview with Michael Jordan.

“Mr. Jordan, you have been called one of history’s greatest basketball players. What is your opinion?”

“Oh…I’m okay—if I’m having a game day. Most NBA players are better than me, even some high schoolers….”

I don’t think so! That is not humility! To “humble” oneself is not self-diminishment, debasement or denial of gifts, talents or abilities.

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves…” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Humbling oneself in the context of those words does not mean—“Oh, I’m nothing, not worthy of being the third verse in an old song. I deserve nothing…I am nothing…just crumbs and dregs.”

I can imagine the Holy Spirit smiling and responding, “Hey, Dude! You need to start a new group—Crumbs and Dregs. You could get your stage apparel at Missionary Barrel. Org.

Let’s hear God’s words—“If MY people, called by MY NAME….”

Not many people I know have a problem of thinking too highly of themselves. Mental self-hatred and self-bashing is common. Paul’s words “measure of faith” in the Romans’ verses, before and after, are related to spiritual gifts—the gift(s) God has placed in you. Measure yourself against that. How can we live with our face in the dirt given who we are—God’s People with His royal blood in our spiritual veins? An honest evaluation of ourselves! (If that is possible outside of Jesus’ view and investment.)

If you are a Prosperity Gospel Vigilante, you may want to get off this wagon, now. This conversation between Yahweh and Solomon takes place in the shadow of the luxurious Temple that had just been dedicated as God’s house. God is about to give Israel an assignment and a lifestyle. It all grows out of who they are and how they see themselves: “MY PEOPLE—MY NAME.” With that established, The LORD says, “If…will humble themselves and pray.”

(I wonder if “Turn from their wicked ways,” includes His people thinking it is about them? It is about Him! Perception is all there is! If God’s People perceive they are mere mites with no more value to Him or their world than a dead mosquito, they are flirting with blasphemy.)

If it is about Him, “Humble themselves and pray” is looking for what God is wanting to do and then praying in sync. If we are in alignment with His intent, then there is no need to plead with Him to answer. My spirit and soul jumped in response to a teacher’s statement: “I’ve been doing a lot of loosing and binding!” That praying is clearing any and all blockage that keeps God’s plan from being accomplished. Praying is speaking to principalities and powers on behalf of our Lord—“Let My people go!” We speak God’s words to the universe and all powers that are within our sphere of influence–all within the sound of our loosing and binding.

18“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  (Matthew 18:18-20)

A twist: Find what Heaven wants bound, then bind it on earth in prayer. Our battle is not to convince God, but to battle in prayer against all and anything that resists God’s intent. It is difficult to speak in abstractions. So we look at protests and anarchy through the lens of “Thy will be done!” How does God view stealing, killing, destroying? How does the Bible picture Deity’s view of the oppressed, poor, and abused? The neglected? How does He define those terms? How does God view governments, leadership, property owners, wealth, police, military and wealth-building? Let’s add education, media/creative arts, family, finances and business. Much of the Bible says God demands stewardship, generosity and grace in relationships. God is rather insistent on how those with no voice are treated. The themes and statements above have a predominant place in God’s Word, but none any more than personal responsibility.

Once those are defined and understood, then the praying is focused and militant. I am being urged to take care to whom and what I am taking a knee. To God only, not to what is soaking into our souls from the TV images. My praying will be negative or positive, hope/faith filled or fearful as a result. Praying will envision and express our “Therefore….”

Humble & Praying

© 2020 D. Dean Benton

Email—dean@deanbenton.org

Website—https://deanbenton.org/     Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs

Dean’s ebooks— https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DDeanBenton

Dean’s blogs—https://bentonquesthouse.com/

 

Bringin’ It! Chapter Four

Bringin’ It!

R—Restoration,  E—Exercise,  A—Attitude,  D–Diet

NOUN

“Attitude–A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.”

synonyms:

point of view · view · viewpoint · vantage point · frame of mind · way of thinking · way of looking at things · school of thought · outlook · angle · slant · perspective ·

“A habit (attitude) is a pattern that you inhabit, and it is not so much something you see as something through which you see everything else.” (Michael Hanby)

I ran across Attitudes That Attract Success by Wayne Cordeiro in my library. “You are only one attitude from a great life” the subtitle proclaims. The page marker indicates I stopped reading at page 17. Dean! oh Dean! Oh Dean! I have several of Cordeiro’s books and all have been helpful, so why page 17? If I had a therapist, I think I would bring that up in our next session.

You need an attitude adjustment? Maybe a whole new set of attitudes? The pre-Covid, Western world mindset and attitudinal worldview left us wide open. Unprepared emotionally and spiritual for the non-medical collateral damage of this pandemic. The mental and emotional damage is and will be great, if we are to believe the people who know such things.

Andy Stanley said, and our friend Sam Kirk reminded us:

Your PRESENT will become your PAST that will impact your FUTURE

We carry into this crisis all we did not know and all the unhealed issues. Unhealthy attitudes grow out of our experiences and expectations interpreted by the self-filter. Cumulative is a big word in stress, depression, burnout literature. Negative stress piles up–“Out of nowhere he went ballistic.”

          AND THEN, THERE’S ME

A young friend asked the FB family, (and I quote!) “Why am I only good at fucking up shit?” Assuming that is not just a single bad day, the words indicate, “A settled way of thinking or feeling” which inevitably leads to discounting possibilities and one’s future. Probably in more delicate language, but with the same passion, we trash ourselves. Those words become biblical strongholds which lock us into self-diminishment and dismissal.

An aside. Through the writing of this series, I’m wide-eyed amazed how God, or colossal coincidences, put resources in my path just at the right moment. Thanks, Lord. Such as a book: Daring Greatly, Brené Brown, (Penguin, ©2012)

Brené Brown says the church in which she grew up made her feel, “…small, unheard, unseen.” She assumed that was the gospel. It still doesn’t feel like good news to her. Or to me. To be a Jesus Follower we must embrace the values and virtues of the Kingdom, not just acknowledge we are a sinner and need forgiveness. Some of us hear and feel “small, unheard, unseen.” God’s Kingdom message includes healing of the bad news that dominates the soul. Good News Bringers enlarge us, hear us, see us and talk to us about healing.

Stephen Mansfield said in a recent blog,

“That we are going through a bruising season is something I do not need to tell you. What I may need to remind you of is the toll it takes on you. The fear, the worry, the grief, the offense, and the sheer physical strain—even while you are simply sitting on your couch—all exact a great price. Medical doctors tell us that these forces drain us biologically and can even produce a destructive rewiring of our brains.”

Monitor the cumulative and respond with corrective and healing action. I’m still thinking about Ms. Brown. Did she ever talk to anyone about the “small, unseen, unheard?” What about my friend? We can understand how a person could come to feel what my friend does, but how do we continue to feel that until it colors out lives? Dr. Brown’s research leads her to believe scarcity is one cause. Listen to these words:

“Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack.”

“Scarcity doesn’t take hold in a culture overnight. But the feeling of scarcity does thrive in shame-prone cultures that are deeply steeped in comparison and fractured by disengagement.” (27)

“Never good enough. Never perfect enough. Never thin enough. Never powerful enough. Never successful enough. Never smart enough. Never safe enough. Never extraordinary enough.” Given the social media, Ms. Brown says, “…I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”

Or, inadequate.

Brené Brown concludes the difference between people who feel they belong, are loved, are capable of competence and those who do not is—I am worthy of being loved, belonging, being seen and becoming competent. Worthy. The Children of God receive worthiness through their relationship with God.

Who am I in Christ? Then plan accordingly! What does He say about you? Therefore! Adjust attitudes and adjust lack into enough. That is what repentance means: To change our mind, turn away from the destructive self-appraisal and walk in Kingdom values. Repentance is not a one-time thing to get us into Heaven, it is also the decision to live by God’s assessment and Kingdom values.

Someone posted their new tattoo on the back of their shoulder that says, I Am Enough! I think those words should be engraved where the wearer can see them at all times.

Quoting Seth Godin, “Plan and act accordingly.”

SEEING TOMORROW

Debi, Carole and I were having lunch with Uncle Everett and Aunt Fern. Although Aunt Fern was 55 when she married, she was concerned that Debi, then in her middle 20s, was not yet married. Auntie leaned in and in a pathetic tone, asked, “Do you have any prospects…at all?”

At all?

The one most emphatic truth I’ve learned in the past dozen years is that we have not done our work of “getting people saved” until we market in healing the whole person. If local churches and Kingdom entrepreneurs come out of this crisis with a renewed passion and vision, we will experience a healed land. Kingdom driven and focused on: not one child of God dominated by small, unheard, unseen and not one person who hears the Good News and drops his or her head to think or say, And then, there’s me.

I’ve been confused by 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people…confess their wicked ways….” What wicked ways?

An acquaintance loved the Lord and followed God’s call to build church buildings and communities. While doing his work, he alienated his children because of his own wounds. He lived his whole life with a broken spirit and shredded soul. The Gospel he loved never reached far enough. He ended his life by blowing his head off with a shotgun. Were there no Bringers? Or, if there were, did he not listen? It becomes personal Good News when the offer has your picture on it and you specifically apply it.

God, send Bringers of Good News who creatively tell the world that You are concerned and have provided healing for us body, soul and spirit. Send Bringers who will refresh us with Your Word to regenerate us.

   EMBRACING MY GLORY

“…You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up head” (Psalm 3:3).

When I first heard that song, I realized how unimportant “You’re my glory” was to me. I’m all in on “Lifter of my head,” but “glory” sounded too ethereal. Then I read Psalm 3:3. That phrase is not a song lyric by a spiritual poet; it is biblical—words of a warrior. David wrote this when he was running from Absalom, who was intent on killing the king and usurping the kingdom.

Thank you, Hannah for the C. S. Lewis book, The Weight of Glory, (©1949. Renewed Harper Collins, © 2001.) I want to share some of Lewis’ words as he talks about “You are my glory.”

“Glory suggests two ideas to me, of which one seems wicked and the other ridiculous. Either glory means to me fame, or it means luminosity.

When I began to look into this matter I was shocked to find such different Christians as Milton, Johnson and Thomas Aquinas taking heavenly glory quite frankly in the sense of fame or good report. But not fame conferred by our fellow creatures—fame with God, approval or (I might say) “appreciation by God. And then, when I thought it over, I saw that this view was scriptural; nothing can eliminate from the parable the divine accolade, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”….

“Indeed, how we think of (God) is of no importance except insofar as it is related to how He thinks of us.”

“To please God…to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”

“Perhaps it seems rather crude to describe glory as the fact of being ‘noticed’ by God. But this is almost the language of the New Testament. St. Paul promises to those who love God not, as we should expect, that they will know Him, but that they will be known by Him (I Corinthians 8:3). Does not God know all things at all times? But it is dreadfully reechoed in another passage of the New Testament. There we are warned that it may happen to anyone of us to appear at last before the face of God and hear only the appalling words, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me.’ In some sense, as dark to the intellect as it is unendurable to the feelings, we can be both banished from the presence of Him who is present everywhere and erased from the knowledge of Him who knows all. We can be left utterly and absolutely outside—repelled, exiled, finally and unspeakably ignored. On the other hand, we can be called in, welcomed. Received, acknowledged…. And to be at last summoned inside would be both and honour beyond all our merits and also the healing of an old ache.” (Portions of pages 36-42)

C.S. Lewis is speaking in the last quote of that time when we shall stand before God as judge and hear Him say, “Come in!” or “Go away!” I say, while standing soul-deep in grace, that the Good News and good news are the foundation of meaningful and healthy attitudes. We have His approval! We are accepted, welcomed, received and acknowledged. We are in His pleasure.

To live to please God—feel, think, do—empowers us. No reason to be defensive or nasty. The knowledge of being accepted by God can grow healthy attitudes. It is the foundation of attitude.

I don’t want you to miss this from Lewis:

“Part of the bitterness which mixes with the sweetness of that message is due to the fact that it so seldom seems to be a message intended for us, but rather something we have overheard.” (p. 40)

Overheard as in intended for someone else. Not even in my cone of silence at Starbucks or Digger’s Rest does this seem personal, but in a private conversation God says to me, “You are accepted—I accept you. You are enough!” That does something to the soul and can influence attitudes tucked away inside or how we interact with our world.

What has this world crisis revealed to you about you? There are major-league attitudes that hit us like softball size hail; others eat at us like termites in our souls, to quote the doctor. Some just settle on us like, Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.

I question whether I should put product on my hair, trim my mustache, shave or use deodorant, after all who is going to see me. My wife’s example answers. She puts on makeup, fixes her hair each day and continues to remind me to clear the counter. She knows local or USA Today news people probably won’t drop by with cameras to do an article. But, her decisions are moderated by that overheard voice—how she feels about herself and her desire to please me. Yes!

Enough? Enough!

I was on my way to a pre-weekend preparation conversation. I don’t remember what the current economic crisis was in Ohio. I stopped in a café for coffee before the church meeting. There was a poster on the wall which showed a car in a dark tunnel. The driver said, “I see a light at the end of the tunnel.” It was a speeding train heading his direction. I tried to describe to the committee the humor and possibility of the cartoon poster. No one got it! No matter how hard I tried to explain, they just stared at me and glanced at each other.

Let me try with you. Reading headlines from the Internet does not present good grist with which to build your day, tomorrow, next week or your future. I walked away from the news this morning and was struck with—this really is a big deal! We are not going to fix it in the next few days. Dr. Birx says we will be wearing masks for months. Tyson Foods says the food supply chain is broken. And this plague is returning in the fall. I felt like Wil E. Coyote in that dark tunnel facing the on-coming light and The Road Runner had blocked my only escape route.

If we can get our assumptions, commitments and relationships right with Self, our Future and God, the probability that our attitudes toward other people and blockages will be in the positive range. It is part of the immunity package. The key is to…

      Plan and act accordingly.

©2020 D. Dean Benton

“Beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”

Destiny Weaver

From Stephen Mansfield:

“The Celtic Christians understood God as the “Destiny Weaver” and I find this an apt summary of what scripture tells us. We are each unique creations, potentially endowed with great gifts in order to achieve a glorious destiny determined before time by a sovereign God. The original language of one verse even tells us that we are—

“God’s carefully crafted poem, written in advance for divinely ordained moments still ahead of us.”

Few words excite me more than the word destiny. Jeremiah 29:11 and God’s revelatory promise to the prophet:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah1:5).

Have you wrestled with those words? Are they limited to Jeremiah or does God set each of us aside or apart for a purpose? Destiny? I want to honestly exegete those words. Are the Four Spiritual Laws specifically accurate, “God has a wonderful plan for your life” or just generally true?

I do know that every person is formed, set apart, and appointed by someone or something.

Howard Schultz founder of Starbucks grew up in poverty in the home of a brutal and careless father. In a moment of rage, the father pulled Howard out of the shower and beat him which set them at silence for over a decade. It was when the younger Schultz learned about PSTD among soldiers that he understood what drove his father who came home from the war emotionally wounded. Now Starbucks is a participant in caring for such soldiers. But words and action set Howard on a different track.

A common sermon from the Apostle Paul is “encourage one another.” He even said, “I wish that you all would encourage.” To “encourage” is one of the elements of personal prophesying. It is my bet that most of us receive more negative prophetic statements than positive, guiding words from the Body of Christ. Observations or corrections or diagnosis can become life-defining.

I’ve been prophesied over a few times. (Prophesying meaning that a person speaks what they are hearing from God about the destiny, work, calling, family or discernment about a question.) Sometimes those prophesies over me were akin to, “God, help this boy grow taller.” Hardly helpful!!

I want to flush all the ignorant, well-intended, but misguided and those who speak curses. Calculate God-directed and Spirit-anointed “words” that give direction, guidance and open the soul to possibilities and God’s plan.

What is clearer to me is that the recipient of a prophet word is not given a “grace-gift.” It is not a present to be received like a birthday gift to which it would be awkward to say, “Thanks. What do I owe you for this?” A prophetic “word” (meaning an image or a verbal paragraph of what is to happen in God’s plan for you) is an implanted image of what is to be—what can be.

Passivity is a prophetic-word killer. (Usually.) We are generally given prophetic words or visions to tell us what God intends to do so we can prepare. Using another charismatic word—I think such a prophetic word should be accompanied by an “impartation”—instructions on what we are to do to prepare to effectively utilize what has been prophesied.

“Lord, what should I be doing to prepare myself and everyone affected by your insight into my destiny?”

If God is the Destiny Weaver, and I believe He is, He works best with us as co-workers. If we have a sense of where we are headed to accomplish X then we can learn what skills we are to acquire, what knowledge we need to add and partners we are to gather around us. Some of us give up too soon and question what happened to the promise or how  we screwed up so severely that God backed out of the deal. Perhaps we have not yet prepared to receive.

The last few days, through a political source and also from a promise 2-3 decades old, a song has added insight.

“Don’t Give Up on the Brink of a Miracle.

Mike Adkins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU9wxi6HXZY&list=RDTU9wxi6HXZY&start_radio=1

Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle

Don’t give in God is still on His throne

Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle

Remember you’re not alone.

Copyright ©2019  D.  Dean Benton           Writer, Wonderer, Witness

 

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.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/revisionist-history/id1119389968

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

Breakfast on the Beach

What did you have for Easter dinner?

Traditionally it is ham, isn’t it? That’s what we did. Problem with ham—no dressing. Scalloped corn and potatoes and three kinds of cranberry sauce.

I’ve been reading about how Jesus “played” with the disciples as He appeared to them. Road to Emmaus, at the tomb and at the beach. I’ve never been satisfied with any of the solutions to why John records the miracle of the fish at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and again at the end. I assumed it was the same event—the latter a reprise.

How does one say, “Tada! It worked. I’m back!”? After the resurrection, the guys decided to go fishing to wait out the “wait” instructions.

After not much luck at the fishing hole, an unknown man is seen cooking breakfast on the beach and a discussion ensues. During the conversation, one of the disciples must have said, “Doesn’t this seem familiar? De je vu, anyone?” Peter is the first to connect the days: “It is the Lord!” Exactly what was the one irrefutable evidence? Tone of voice, the way he smiled or the way he tended the coals? Perhaps the way he gestured to them that breakfast was ready.

They get the boat and net full of fish to shore and Jesus invites them to eat what He has prepared. What did He cook for that astonishing meal? Fish, toast, grits? Does a resurrected Jesus have culinary skills uncommon to the rest of us? I’m guessing some of the disciples ate without saying a word, too overwhelmed to even think; while others talked with their mouths full. So many questions. Was there fruit for dessert?

After dishes are cleaned up, did Jesus say, “Simon, bring your drink and walk with me.” With toothpick in his mouth, cup in hand, Simon Peter hears Jesus ask, “Do you love me?”
Was there a picnic bench where they repeated the seating arrangement of the Last Supper? Perhaps they stood around the fire. Were there seagulls fighting over the crumbs?

I would have most liked to have been there for that breakfast on the beach. “Oh, and Jesus, about the love question. After the past few days, I don’t know how to adequately say yes. I can’t find the words. After seeing and hearing how much You love me, no word of mine is adequate to express thank you for what you’ve done or Yes, I love you. May I hug you?

©2018 D. Dean Benton
Writer & Wonderer

Attacked By Broad Brushes

It’s not even 8:30 and I’m already wondering.

Seth Godin talks in a recent podcast (Akimbo) about the placebo effect. He claims that 95% of your brain does not understand English. The brain functions on chemistry and feelings. What your spirit “knows” informs the brain. If you know that you are “greatly blessed and highly favored” your brain will tell you ways to show that to be true and will open your eyes to solutions and opportunities.

I am a white evangelical male. According to those who are left of center, I am not only deplorable I am responsible for everything bad that has ever happened in our Republic since Colonial Days. Not only the secularists and radical, but I’m reading Christian media people (whom I rather like) talking about the WEM tribe in grossly dismissive and contemptuous words. I listen attentively to their indictments and I don’t see many of my male friends or mentors there. I am fairly introspective. I may be self-deluding, but they aren’t describing me. I am as concerned about environment stewardship, human rights as any of my peers. I am also often without a clue how to solve societal and racial problems, but it has nothing to do with my faith, or anatomy. You could surely find me self-justifying and ignorant, but it is not because there is a WEM gene that can never be redeemed or corrected.

A left of center, white, kinda evangelical (she doesn’t like the word. She is in a serious journey with Jesus.) media woman posted a study that says Christians are more than twice as likely to blame a person’s poverty on lack of effort rather than circumstances. I do not equate poverty with skin color. When I fail or find myself into any kind of need I ask if I’m blocked because of lack of effort. I have several ways of doing that. I apply my self-directed inquisition to others. Some are blatantly not trying—more don’t know what to try. An even larger number tried and what they tried didn’t work. Disappointment leads to cynicism and iron-clad self-doubt until there is no reason in their soul, mind and spirit to try at all. It is not either or. It is not about color.

There has been an all-out war on the white male since the 60s. Now the designated scape-goat is the white American, evangelical male.
If I understood the evangelical movement as media represents it I wouldn’t like it either. The left of center has co-opted and stolen “evangelical” for a variety of reasons. The term has been redefined and made it what it has never been intended. The WME critics tend to raise a placard of Pat Robertson as the ultimate example of ignorance and stupid comments. I also cringe when he says some things. He is grouped with robber barons of another century. Have these critics researched how much Robertson’s ministries give each year to help the poor or natural disasters? I think of World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Feed The Children and many mega-churches who give millions a year. White, American, Evangelical men.

An evangelical by definition is not political. It is a group of people who tend to interpret the Bible a certain way and understand that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to die for our sin and fix what was broken in the Fall. An evangelical tends to interpret what happened on the cross and how we are to share that message with the world. Among other things. Our understanding and beliefs influence our politics because of what we know about God and what His self-revelation teaches us about inter-personal relationships and relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Ghost. The core values of an evangelical does not include our political party. We are not a lock-knee voting block.

Being an evangelical is to be “mission-minded” about the lost, the orphan, widow, poor, oppressed, hungry, uneducated and the sick—just to begin.

There is power in the pen. There is confusion and inaccurate claims in the broad brush.

Beware of the broad brush!
©2018 D. Dean Benton dean@deanbenton.org

Solid answers, reasons & strategies

I want to avoid extreme hyperbole, but I think 12 Rules for Life: An antidote to chaos (Jordan Peterson, Random House Canada, 2018) is the most important book of this young century.

It is not yet in paperback. Hardcover runs $15-$17—Amazon. An alternative plan is to get in line at your library or take a day trip to the nearest large bookstore and spot read it. There will be coffee and plush chairs.

If you have children at home, at least read the 3 page summary of Rule 5—“Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”
Summary of Principles:
1. Limit the rules
2. Use minimum necessary force
3. Parents should come in pairs
4. Parents should understand their own capacity to be harsh, vengeful, arrogant, resentful, angry, deceitful.
5. It is the primary duty of parents to make their children socially desirable (page 142-3)

When Carole hears that I went to the riverfront, she will ask, “Was He there?” I will exclaim semi-hyperbolic, “OH! MAN! OH MAN! OH MAN!”

After reading this chapter, I wonder why I’ve never seen a church advertise that they specialize in ministry to the single parent. The Kingdom is missing something here! (North Point Community Church has a Sunday evening gathering for parents and kids for Q&A.)

If you want a clear view of why there are school shootings, chaos, and troubled white, emotionally ill, distressed boys, read Rule 6—“Set Your House in Perfect Order Before You Criticize The World.”

Dr. Peterson speaks to the causes. One of Columbine shooters wrote enough clues. Peterson says about Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Colorado:

“The murderous individuals had a problem with reality that existed at a religious depth.”

I think the ideas in this book provide pro-active tactics. The writer, prof at Harvard and University of Toronto is described as “secular.” The more I hear him talk and read his articles (Newsweek) and books, the more I hear a biblical prophet.

Thank you
©2018 D. Dean Benton dean@deanbenton.org