Author unknown

Author Unknown The Book

Book Title: Author unknown

falling in love...rising in radiance...

ISBN # 9781619967465
Author: Greg Benner
Release Date: March 30, 2012


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Read excerpts from Author unknown toward the bottom of this page...

Book Introduction

Are you on a fast track to nowhere, running from life’s alligators, watching dreams vaporize, or crashing into yourself head-on? Are you sick of Mondays, easy-believisms, shallow relationships, self-help books, broken promises, and dead religion? We all need hope and help in our search for identity, purpose, love, and spirituality. Truth can be hard to see, but freeing to find. If you feel empty, afraid, uptight, or alone…these pages lead you in victory’s miraculous dance with life, love, and God. Written by a farm boy who’s been there, walked across America twice, braved Afghanistan’s war zones, sat with foreign dignitaries, survived near-fatal wrecks, and confronted fear to defend the powerless and declare Love’s practical message…

About the Book

Author unknown will lead you on a path to discover practical issues and dynamics related to life, love, faith, and God through the eyes and experiences of one who has failed, risen again, and stayed the course. Author unknown will carry you through the trenches of life, fragility of love, foundations of faith, and realities of relationship with God Himself. Author unknown is real, transparent, challenging, and encouraging to those who truly want to rise out of defeat, discover their purpose, and fulfill their destiny with hope, power, and adventure that lasts. If you long to find satisfaction, peace, and victory – Author unknown is for you...

Book Premise

Author unknown reveals the vast difference between simply knowing about God versus knowing God Himself. In a nutshell, all of us began our life journey in unique places under unique circumstances. In truth – we all enter the process, encounter life, navigate philosophies, rub elbows with religious views, and arrive to a level of stature in the sight of God and man…whatever that means. Some of us continue to ask the tough questions which must be answered in order to grow, while others choose to be immobilized in flawed self-based thinking as they leave God sitting on the sidelines in life.

Book Purpose

Author unknown has been written to help us hear God’s voice…recognize how His voice sounds, how we can test the spirits, and how the overall process looks as we discover our purpose, rise in our passion, embrace our call, and apply what we hear in daily life. It is my hope that readers will see themselves, recall things they’ve heard and experienced, and will better grasp how to sort through the pieces, step into the impossible with faith, and remain on course toward victory as they consider my personal journey, flaws, and adventure. Remember, God responds to hunger, wholehearted pursuit, and to those willing to conquer their fears…not the faint of heart. This book is written to encourage those God created and destined to members among HIs people, warriors in life’s battle, and ever in search of personal identity in Christ on the way to their King.

Book Content

Stories and events related in Author unknown are original to the author and are based on real experiences he had and people he met while…chasing God…praying dangerous prayers…building companies…rising through his humanity…walking continents…surviving car wrecks…traveling internationally…and doing his best to become God’s man of the hour. Though numerous events in his life certainly reveal “what not to do” along the way, it is his hope that you will be encouraged by how God redeemed his failures, trained him for battle, and empowered his created purpose for God's glory.

Distribution Goal

The distribution goal of Author unknown is to spread the message God has given me to people-at-large as quickly as possible during this urgent hour in history. Book sale proceeds are used to directly fund printing more books, ongoing speaking/travel schedule expenses, and placing Author unknown's real and practical message in the hands of those who will find hope, rise into newness of life, and change the world as they impact others.

When you purchase Author unknown through this Web-site...though the end cost to you remains the same, BattleCry Ministries receives a much larger portion of the book price than when you buy from alternate retailers. So, your purchase of Author unknown from this site helps BattleCry achieve its stated goals when you order by clicking on the order link found on this page. Thanks for helping me advance the gospel and kingdom of Jesus Christ. Serving my King, Greg Benner

About the Author

Greg Benner lives in America's beautiful Pacific Northwest. He is a fourth generation farmer and also the first in four generations in his family to re-enter ministry since his great grandfather planted churches between 1893 and 1920 – several of which still meet. Greg still enjoys both parents, being the only son and middle child between two sisters, being father to three girls and one son ages 26 to 33, and now being age 55 himself. God called Greg to preach at age 15 while kneeling at a church camp altar before taking an unwitting roundabout path to gain his life's practical message.

Amid the process, Greg raced motorcycles...started and ran four side-by-side companies for twenty years including contract tree production, heavy diesel repair, controlled explosives, and technical consulting. Likewise, he farmed with his father and became known in the industry as one on the cutting-edge. Along the way, Greg navigated divorce and remarriage, lost all to catastrophic winter weather, deepened his faith in God, and entered ministry in 1990. Since, he worked with youth, founded BattleCry Ministries in 1995, spoke in jails, walked and preached across America on faith two times, survived a near-fatal auto accident, traveled the war-torn Middle East, closed a three year prayer journey at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, and met many of life's world changers through divine encounter.

God calls Greg to walk the faith he preaches, to engage prophetic tasks, to stay in the game while under fire, and to spend his life for the benefit of others at extreme cost. God's watchman-to-the-nations call on Greg's life catapults him ahead of the crowd to encounter, inspire, challenge, and help people-at-large dig deeper, stretch farther, and reach higher in their lives and faith. Due to his own journey and heartache – Greg reaches to the hurting, broken, fearful, and weak of this world in over their head in life as he helps them uncover and unleash their identity, destiny, and eternity as warriors in Jesus Christ.

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Table of Contents from Author unknown...

Chapters
1. At the Door
2. Romance Theology
3. Burdens and Brokenness
4. Whales to Whirlwinds
5. Fruit that Lasts
6. Two or More
7. Clothed with Christ
8. The Bridegroom's Table
9. Love Cries Out
10. Dancing with God
11. Come Unto Me
12. Warriors of Rest
13. Light Has Come

Excerpt #1 from Author unknown...

While in this life…things will happen, difficulties will rise, and troubles will come (John 16:33). How we perceive them, respond to their impact, and exercise our choice to overcome determines the lasting mark they will leave upon us. Our adversary always comes against us with offense, rejection, fear, and anger to rattle our peace and disturb our sense of acceptance in front of the world. Even though burden can be imposed and persecution can wield its sword, solid personal identity and character rooted in Jesus cannot be crushed… As I look around in life, one of the most troubling faces of burden comes within the atrocities of what is known as persecution. It’s stories plague our television screens as we witness genocides, fill global political arenas as tyrants manipulate their masses, plays out on our streets as gangs assault the powerless, cries out as selfish revolutionaries impose idealisms which demoralize freedom, and invades our homes as mates and children grapple for power in an upside down world. Persecution is simply not as narrow as being punished or martyred for one’s religious faith as many believe. Instead, persecution includes any and all forms of oppression where destructive power or domination is imposed by one person, group, or force upon another with intent to control or destroy...

Though persecution has existed since the onset of human history as those determined to define the world and reality on their terms extract their toll at the expense of others, persecution’s burden upon those who are indeed persecuted has incited uprisings which finally stop, turn, stand, and fight tyranny’s injustice. Power’s persecution of those considered powerless has provided the very spark which has ignited wildfires of human uprising and is responsible for some of mankind’s greatest physical, intellectual, and spiritual advancements ever chronicled. Because of persecution’s weight, nations have risen to ward off their oppressors, patriots have risked their lives to gain freedom, and spiritual warriors have forfeited their lives to champion their King’s cause. The dilemma we face when persecuted however, is whether or not our view of injustice and our chosen response is rooted in reality and truth, or a lie. Persecution comes in many forms which emanate from different realms whether physical or spiritual. In the physical realm, persecution comes through people who are wrongly emboldened with pride and power’s preoccupation with controlling others. Yet, persecution begins in the dark spiritual realm with an ugly intent perpetrated by the enemy of our souls to dispatch evil forces whose mission is to manipulate power-addicted people among men who are willing to oppress peers for personal gain. Persecution is rooted in evil, rises from rebellion, and opposes the heart and love of God as hell makes its bid to destroy those created in His image.

It was persecution’s burden that scattered New Testament believers throughout the world to advance the gospel and expand God’s kingdom. It was persecution that inspired those in the free world to assume the burden and champion the cause of oppressed people who could not defend themselves. And it will be persecution’s burden that will cause a one-world system to search out, identify, and confront last day believers in Jesus Christ with a choice to either take the mark of darkness or suffer the price to stand in their faith to the end (Matthew 24:4-13). Though unfortunate, it is none-the-less true, that most people in life simply refuse to make their choice between life and death until heartache and persecution comes. Sadly, many sell out to a lie to secure temporary personal relief from difficulty at the expense of those they claim to love, while making eternal decisions that will destroy their own souls. So, you see, burden comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s simply a question as to how we will respond to that burden or suffering when it comes...

Standing in line at a local Starbucks waiting for my turn to order morning Joe…I ventured an off-the-cuff comment to a man sporting on an Iraqi fire department emblem on his shirt as he stood in line ahead of me. I asked, “Were you in Iraq?” He replied as he turned to pay for his drink saying, “Yeah, I was there for eighteen months when we took Felucia” He stepped away to await his drink at the other counter as I ordered and paid for my own cup of mud before rejoining him. As we both stood waiting for our coffee, he distractedly punched out a text message to a recipient unknown to me. As I casually looked on, he finally looked up to meet my gaze and cracked a half-hearted grin. The barista slid his coffee to the counter’s edge followed almost immediately by mine and we headed for the sugar and crème bar before finding our seats. He walked to a table, pulled out his chair, and put his coffee down. I walked by and turned asking if he had time to chat. He took a sip of coffee, winced at his torched lip, and motioned me toward an empty chair on the opposing side of the table through coffee-induced still-watering eyes. We both sat…trundled through the small talk…and introduced ourselves. I said, “Hi, my name’s Greg…what’s yours?” He replied, “Joe” as he warily-eyed his steaming cup with well-founded suspicion trying to decide if he should risk another swig. I asked him how long he’d been in the military and he said, “I’ve been in for 17 years and will be out in another 3 weeks if they don’t mess up my paperwork again.” We both relaxed and leaned back in our chairs as I stretched out my legs and he pushed his hat back on his head. As I probed a little deeper into his Middle-eastern excursions…Joe’s countenance fell as he soberly glanced beyond as if trying to fix his focus on a re-run reality...

Over the next hour…we dug deeper into the desert sands of Joe’s past as he lobbed one-word grenades of agony that pierced my soul. His mental movie became palpable as he transported us back into enemy crossfire, driving convoys deep into hostile territory, feeding hungry children unknowingly recruited to slap C-4 under US hummers, trying to identify herdsmen from could-be-terrorists, and the explosive force of IED’s leaving fragmented friends grounded, bleeding, and dismembered, languishing toward death’s elusively open grave as he watched on, powerless…in tears. There are many disclosed details I will not share…but suffice it to say that Joe’s military path had carried him through other disturbing combat theatres during his career. By now in the conversation, I had been drawn to the edge of my spectator’s seat as Joe’s tear-filled eyes glanced to the ground… Silence settled, thoughts raced, and composure clamored to climb out of Joe’s foxhole we had both jumped in. I was moved, Joe was stirred, and all I had to offer him was genuine interest, a listening ear, a different vantage point, open-hearted time, and God’s love… After a moment, Joe stood to say, “Let me grab another cup of coffee and we can talk some more. I’ve enjoyed the conversation. But, we’ll have to go outside to sit cause’ I need a cigarette.”

He flicked a match, took a puff, and charted our course deeper into enemy territory at an umbrella-donned outdoor table bombarded by the crossfire of passing pedestrians and traffic’s trajectory. We took our seats, leaned back, and Joe hit the play button again, picking up where he left off without skipping a beat… He said, “…watching friends die all around me…good men, family men, honorable men…hardened my heart and filled me with hate. How could God let such good friends die? Where is His mercy? I went from caring about life to putting enemy soldiers in my crosshairs and deciding which one of them went home or dropped in the desert that day. I stopped sorting between those trying to feed families and terrorist threats…I didn’t care…I pulled the trigger. What had previously been a moral determination between the life and death of another…had degraded to a one-sided autonomic decision already made. On the battlefield, we decided between life and death…who needed God? Later, while home on furlough, my mom encouraged me to pray and ask God for help. I told her there is no God, there is no mercy, and on the battlefield…I’m God.” Finally, the Holy Spirit began to speak as I said, “Joe, God loves you. He cares, and you are receiving mercy right now as He reaches to heal your heart. I know it seems like there is no God amid the hell and suffering you’ve seen, but God is and always will be. When you get a chance, read Isaiah 57:1 and you’ll find why a loving God lets bad things happen to good people.” At that moment, Joe said “I’ve read that verse before…interesting you would bring it up.” He then told me he’d been in therapy for a couple years and that progress had been slow at best. I gently told him that therapy may help think about things over-and-over, but only God can heal the hell and make one whole again.

I went on saying, “Though you feel God has no mercy…those people at home on US soil…Iraqi men, women, children, and families who have new chances to live…those you did not shoot…all received mercy because you were there. I know it’s hard to see God’s mercy when He has chosen you as the hammer in His hand to win freedom and extend mercy to others while you wade through the blood of friends. Yet without you, God’s mercy to those people your presence has preserved may have likely left them dead, discarded by empty idealisms. Your presence there declared God’s existence and extended His mercy to a dying people and to others back home, clueless as to what it means to buy freedom with blood. Yes, you made decisions for wrong reasons, but based in pain. Yet, there is One who knows the burden and brokenness you feel because He too spilled His blood to free wounded and wandering wayfarers at the cost of His own life on a cross long ago…” Through tear-filled eyes and trembling words, Joe said, “Thank you, no one has ever helped me see myself that way.” He sat more erect, life filled his chest, and his eyes brightened as value’s purpose flooded his soul. Then Joe said, “My dad was stern, but fair… We boys always knew he loved us as he worked hard and sacrificed for his family. He’s a good man!” And then Joe said, “I was called to preach when I was 15 and read my bible day-and-night for many years. After I joined the service and saw people dying in combat…I slowly hardened and withdrew finally not reading at all. My mom tells me she is praying for me and encourages me to read each time I come home. Until now, I couldn’t see the point.”

As the Holy Spirit rose within me…I told Joe, “It’s an urgent hour! The time is short and God is raising His army to fight for those dear to His heart. He is raising warriors whose hands have been trained for battle, to win. Though your journey until now left you weary and war-torn, filled with hatred, believing there was no God or mercy…you understand war, what it costs, and how to fight. God needs warriors, not wimps. If you will lay down hatred, acknowledge God, and yield to His plan for your life…He will heal and restore you with His unconditional love, forgiveness, and mercy will flood your soul. You see Joe, I believe God allowed you go where you went and experience what you did to grant you the privilege of feeling the pain of others, so you could lead them toward mercy in Jesus’ name. Rights are demanded and privileges are earned. Rights feed self, while privilege is selflessly rooted in opportunity and responsibility, inseparably married. First, you must experience the transformation within and own it yourself before you can lead others there. God’s people need you to rise into your destiny and to lead His warriors toward victory as the world around us comes unglued. You are a man of war, now positioned to surrender your inner fight to God so He can use your transformed heart and life to take His fight to the enemy. Are you willing?” He replied, “I would do it all again to fight for people’s freedom.” In response I said, “Even if you or I were the only ones….so would our King.”

Now three hours in, moving to my RV, and sitting back with a glass of water in-hand…the Lord compelled me to share a bit of my own life story filled with agony…common passion…and seasoned willingness to defend others at any cost. As we prayed together I looked deep into Joe’s eyes and said, “You’re a warrior…God is re-calling you, war is at hand, and the choice is yours. Will you re-enlist in His army?” He looked back at me in silence as his wheels turned within… Joe now knew that God exists, loves him, grants mercy, and has called Him back to Himself. Likewise, Joe now understood the purpose of bearing burden God’s way, because he carries it for others. And, Joe certainly knows the cost of brokenness, because he survives its savagery. Bearing burden built on brokenness bathed in blood on behalf of others, buys freedom. Jesus paid it on Calvary’s cross compelling us to carry our own each day… As Joe stepped out my door onto the sun-baked asphalt in the church lot where I was parked, he grinned and said “I never go to Starbucks man, but today I just felt like I needed coffee and met you…” With tears dried, smile back, and leaving his indelible mark on my life…Joe left a different man that day, armed to change the world God’s way...

If I had never navigated life's battlefields, invited brokenness, said yes to burden, and landed in hell's desert reaching to souls...I would not have owned God's grit, given God's compassion, shared God's time, conveyed God's interest, and acted as God's friend to Joe that day. As one call forth in heaven's battle - there is a price to be paid, it will be extracted, and victory will prevail if we love one another. If I had remained in life's barracks, bantered over theology, worried about money, and deserted the downtrodden...my decision would have stirred God's heartache, caused angels' silence, robbed heaven's warriors, and plundered humanity's hope to whatever dgree Joe's impact was diminished. That dear friend would be treason on high...

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Excerpt #2 from Author unknown...

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJB 2000) “God is love….There is no fear in love…” (1 John 4:16-21).


Before I go any further, I must simply say…


Love is not a thing, feeling, gesture, or creed. God IS Love…Who came to earth in the form of a man Jesus Christ Who indwells us, re-creates us, and empowers us to love others unconditionally at the cost of our lives.


Two weeks before I spoke in front of an audience for the very first time many years ago, I found myself growing more uneasy with each passing hour as I prepared my message and time to speak grew closer. It was unnerving as the enemy reminded me that I was just a farm boy from a town of 400 people in the middle of nowhere, woke me up in the middle of the night to remind me of past failures, and asked what a guy like me could possibly have to say to help others. After working on my message for a week and arriving to the day before I was to speak, my thoughts began to scatter as realization of standing before a crowd the next day sank in. I navigated my day, forced myself to go to bed that evening, and woke up the next morning on that infamous day feeling like I was about to face a firing squad, though I had little basis for my fears. After re-checking my notes for what seemed like the three-hundred-and-seventh time, looking in the mirror again to see if I had corn stuck between my teeth, reaching into my pocket to be sure I had my arsenal of breath mints, and putting my bible, message, and coat next to the door to be sure I didn’t forget them…the time came for me to head toward perceived slaughter. As mile after mile rolled beneath my tires, I was reminded of what other people who had been in car wrecks told me it feels like when everything goes into slow motion and one’s life passes before them...


Rolling into the church parking lot two packages of gum later, my palms began to sweat as I turned just in time to lock eyes with the pastor. “I’m dead,” I thought as realization that it was too late to escape penetrated to my core. Smiling back at him, I walked toward the entrance doing my utmost to muster confidence and appear cool, calm, and collected. The pastor and I sat and visited, joined in a time of prayer, and headed toward the sanctuary where people were already filtering in to take their seats. Making our way toward the front row, I took my seat next to the pastor where my stomach began to grumble and my vocal cords did their best to tie themselves in square knots. Without warning, the pianist began to play as the choir director trundled up to the podium telling the now-growing congregation coming through the doors to turn to page 187, Amazing Grace. As we lifted our voices, traveled our path through the hymns, bowed our knees at the altar in prayer, and the pastor took his place behind the microphone…I heard my name roll off his lips as the evening’s guest speaker. I was a mess – visions of skyrockets, tidal waves, earthquakes, tornadoes, growling lions, and a few tangible aftershocks rattled my humanity just before the pastor’s words, “Come talk to us Greg…the platform’s yours” snapped me back to reality…


I walked toward the platform, climbed the steps, approached the pulpit, set my bible down, turned to the crowd, stared into the darkness lurking behind the glare of stage lights, and thought “So good so far.” Have you ever gone to see one of those adrenaline-sapping catastrophe movies where someone survived a plane crash, the sun had just gone down, and they looked into the night only to realize they were surrounded by invisible, but obviously present, predators indicated by the big eyes of wolves looking back at them accompanied by low-level snarls on several sides? Once again, climbing out of my momentary review of mental movies in which I was the hero destined to die – the crowd, realization of my task, and the message on my heart pulled me back to center stage as I made my opening statement not knowing what to expect. Would there be tomatoes landing soon, a shepherd’s hook reaching from the curtains behind me, men running at me with butterfly nets, or a verdict with my sentence “Guilty” being announced on my way toward the gallows, I felt uncertain? Yet, the next hour came-and-went without difficulty as I relaxed, settled into my stride, and delivered the message God birthed within me the best I knew how. After ending my message and opening the altar, praying with those who responded, and gathering my bible and notes before grabbing my coat – I looked around amazed that I was still intact. No one shot me, jeered at me, called me a heretic, or rode me out of town on rail covered with tar…


On my way home, I asked the Lord, “Why was I so afraid to get up in front of people tonight?” The Holy Spirit replied, “You’re full of pride…you’re more worried about what they think, than what I know. You are created in My image, according to My purpose, to complete My work, and answer to Me…not them.” During the trip home after speaking that evening and over the course of subsequent years, God’s immortal words spoken into me that evening never left me as I rose and spoke to crowd-after-crowd from that night forward. Were my speaking experiences always easy, painless, and free from fall-out – No? Did I suffer at the hands of religionists, theologians, and the downright ornery along the way – sometimes? Did anyone ever shoot, maim, or crucify me amid the emotion – not yet? Without exception – God has been faithful to inspire, empower, and deliver His message to churches, missions, prisons, schools, organizations, pastors, couples, individuals, soldiers, officers, leaders, consulates, and foreign presidents-to-be through my life while protecting me in His merciful and unconditional love… Yet, the journey has not been without its trials, testing, and testimonies as you can tell by reading pages gone-by…


Layers


In light of a message I preached one day entitled “Onion Dynamics,” I have learned through personal experience that our destinies unfold like an onion rolling around in heaven’s onion truck in life. On a day of His choosing, God snatches us our lives out of life’s field and dirt as a dry scaly-looking onion and says to us, “I can make you shiny and new, but it will hurt a little bit.” As He holds us in His loving hand and after asking us a few questions extending us freedom to accept or deny…upon our approval…he peels away our old rough skin to expose a brand new layer hiding just beneath our crusty exterior as we embrace salvation in Him. Once done, he gently sets us down in the back of heaven’s onion truck bidding His driver to set destiny’s course down life’s highway… With each passing turn, approaching stop sign, take-off, and bump in the road – we roll from side-to-side, front-to-back, smacking a wall, or hitting a rivet in the floor leaving us cut, bruised, dry, and dingy much like that dry scaly onion He once lifted from the dirt in the field of life. Without warning and about the time we’re ready to sell ourselves to hell’s onion ring factory – God’s loving hand reaches in, snatches us out of heaven’s onion truck and says, “I can make you shiny and new, but it will hurt a little bit.” Once again, He holds us in His loving hand, asks us a few questions, and proceeds at our permission to peel away our distress and expose another new layer hiding just beneath our wounded exterior. With each subsequent re-creation cycle and descending layer God removes with love – the issues He exposes in our lives become less obvious to the world around us, but more visible to Him…


When we first encounter Jesus Christ face-to-face, He peels off obvious symptom layers which everyone sees…like indifference, lying, drinking, sex, or drugs that rise from our carnal root desires planted deep within our hearts and souls. With each descending symptom layer He peels off – root issues like pride, independence, infidelity, bitterness, hatred, and rebellion…invisible to most passing casual observers…surface in heaven’s light where they shake their fist and pierce God’s heart. Though the behavior associated with each descending layer becomes less obvious to our peers while hidden beneath our now refined exteriors, those root desires destroying us from within grow more visible and serious to God as they break His heart in His longing for love relationship with us. Years later, while deep into an extended fast, I remember topping a mountain ridge weeping my way toward home on the freeway crying out to God from my core, for Him to make me more like Him… As I drove, wept, and prayed…I sputtered, “Lord, when You stood accused and condemned by those You love and Pilate asked you if You heard the charges being brought against You…You made no reply, not a single word – nothing!” And then I said, “Lord, when heartache gets so deep inside of me and those I love and care about cut me to the bone after I’ve given my all…I can’t keep my mouth shut…please help me!” Not realizing what had just risen from my lips amid my own agonies into the presence of my Loving Savior, another dangerous prayer cried out for an answer as my emerging identity in Christ, fear of rejection, potential pain, and sense of isolation rose on my imagination’s horizon…

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Copyright protected worldwide / Greg Benner - May 2011. These materials are not to be copied, reproduced, or distributed without written permission.