Written by Greg Benner 11-08-2010

Freedom Is Not Free 

Every day…people all over the world search for lost treasure hoping to hit their projected mother lode capable of turning dreams to reality. Miners drill and blast their way past hard rock toward elusive gold…kids spin and twist their way past boring chores toward Peter Pan…inventors think and draw their way past current limits toward inconceivable solutions…philosophers research and reason their way past moral absolutes toward enlightened thinking…and social engineers edit and paste their way past national stability toward enslaving agenda. However, all such pursuits share one thing…plunging from the proven to penetrate the impossible. History shows that many brave souls risked all to stretch human experience onward toward victory. And yet, history also reveals many-a-silver-tongued-orator who promised the moon only to deliver the same miry mess trudged through by prior generations…in despair. History is the library of human experience handing those young and yet-unborn ones…tools to build a better future. Without history’s accurate transmission…today’s and tomorrow’s generations are destined to re-invent the wheel of human delusion. Freedom is not free! It finds its existence written in the blood of those who died, so others may live…


Miles Walked: 12.2 / 90 Degrees F.

Area: Calimesa through Beaumont on into Banning, CA

Nipping At My Heels 

I was glad Friday was upon and all was settled around me. My week has been full of eye-opening encounters with a wide cross-section of people, cultures, beliefs, economies, and circumstances. Hot weather added more demand as did daily logistics. Writing about my experiences fell behind due to long days, fatigue, and other unexpected issues cropping up. Making a trek like this alone carries with it certain logistical challenges. As I walked on a rural road spotted along with houses and while talking with a friend on the phone…I suddenly felt myself being nipped at from behind. When I turned to investigate, I found myself being chased by a couple of rather large and persistent bulldogs. After repeated attempts to shew them off…I finally had to stop, yell, and start chasing them instead. I was a bit unsure how that would work out…but, they left me alone.


Miles Walked: 11 / 95 degrees F.

Area: Mentone to Yucaipa onward to Calimesa, CA

First Interview 

Eyes creak open 4:20 am…feel yesterday’s sunburn as first sensation…argue with self to “rise and shine” as the girl from Sunnybrook Farms always said on TV. It was a late night last night after moving my stuff from Grand Terrace to Desert Palms 65 miles further east. Fill up with food, drink lots of water, load up, and head to launch out on my day’s walk. Threw my gear on, took off, and pressed on toward my goal… Phone rings…photographer from local paper calling to locate me…phone rings again…reporter calling to see where we can catch up. After the gal photographer walked along and snapped a few shots…the man with the by-line came to walk along with me as our conversation ebbed and flowed. Both were great young people passionate about what they do. I was honored to meet them. Their paper represented my trek’s first interview…


Miles Walked: 13.2 / 94 Degrees F.

Area: Inner city San Bernardino to Crafton through Redlands and Mentone.

Inner City To Oranges

Back to inner city to begin my trek out of town….passing by many interesting sites…people friendly and helpful…churches becoming more visible…elevation beginning to rise as I head into foothills. Boy today is hot…drinking lots of water…hills are coming… I passed a few remaining orange groves in the area.  Their trees were full of ripening yet-to-pick fruit...they looked great in warm weather.  I continued out San Bernardino Blvd through the local industrial area and happened upon a Christian school and a large area church. I went inside, found the office, and inquired at the front desk. To my good pleasure, I was quickly introduced to one of the attending pastors who took a great deal of time to sit down, talk, and pray with me. As I left and I was walking across the parking lot…I heard a voice behind me, turned, and found him running after me to give me some water. By now the heat is boiling…strange weather in November for a Northwest boy…


Miles Walked 14.2 / 94 Degrees F.

Area: I-15 Junction through Entiwanda, Fontana, Rialto, on into San Bernardino, CA

Day Of Decision 

Today is going to be hot as I walk off my third road map onto my fourth… Now, after days of prayer and the intercession of others…I made my directional decision to walk east toward and beyond San Bernardino into what many would see as negative, dangerous, and potentially unproductive. Some may say my doing so defies common sense. But, I concluded that it must be God’s will for me to head into that arena if the devil was trying so hard to make me go around it. I know those people who warned me had foundation for their concerns. My immediate surroundings were known to be both California and our nation’s “most violent” area based on statistics.  Still…Jesus told us...

82 degrees F. / Miles Walked 10.74

Area: From Montclair to Upland on to Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Wake up at 4:00 am a half hour before my alarm goes off…spend the time in prayer before getting up at 4:45 to shower…cook up some Malt O Meal and tea…fill my pack up with water…looks like another warm one. After leaving the Starbucks where I met several great people…I hit the trail eastward once again. Montclair had grown on me for some reason… As I walked along the weaving sidewalk, I noticed something on the ground to my right at the base of a tree.   Looking a bit closer…I discovered a miniature white paper bible that had been cast down by one who obviously was not interested in its message. How sad it is when the God reaches to write Himself into the tablet of one’s heart only to be rejected, thrown aside, and left lay on the lawn of life. Yet, I pondered how one man’s junk often becomes another man’s treasure… So, I left the bible lay between the blades of grass to await whom God had sent to find it praying that whoever picked it up would meet its Author...   

Moving along with my eyes set ahead…I prayed for those in the houses I passed asking God to draw them to Himself…to grant them hunger and thirst for righteousness…and for hearts that would yield to Heaven’s King with the faith of a child. Today’s trek seemed outwardly uneventful, yet I could feel tension mounting as I approached the I-15 interchange. Why? Two reasons: (1) this junction represented my valley of decision in which I would decide to either head north toward Nevada or on eastward through San Bernardino. And, (2) because it was obvious that enemy of our souls was stirring well-intentioned people to project fear and apprehension with regard to my entering the area. Making a prayerful decision in light of current realities, past experiences, and satan’s ongoing influence on people’s hearts and minds was of key import to my staying on God’s course.  With these things hanging in my heart’s balance…I ended my day’s trail a block from the junction after almost 11 miles in moderate temperatures before jumping into other life demands. More later…



Miles Walked 17.2 miles / 89 Degrees F.

Area: From West Covina to San Demas, and on through Laverne, Pomona, Claremont, and into Montclair.

To bed late last night…eyes fly open at 4:00 am alarm…argue with self about getting up…spirit finally wins and body rises to prepare for yet another day of walking eastward. Load and leave at 5:45 am…head toward my day’s stop point in Montclair…grab gear…lock rig…and head into Starbucks before grabbing a cab to my start place back in West Covina. Looks like a beautiful day… As I passed from cool morning air into the aroma of coffee’s brew…my day’s adventure began…

Divine Appointments

As I grabbed my tea and sat down in a brown over-stuffed chair next to a young man who appeared to be sleeping, I ventured out to ask if he was trying to get ready for his day. His eyes rose to half mast as he muttered, “…trying to wake up.” A few moments later, I asked if he was from the area. After pausing to muster his response…he said, “I was born in inner city LA’s eastside, bounced around the area my whole life, and am thinking about heading east to the Big Apple.”  I mentioned that I’d been there, found it a fascinating place, and asked him what he does. Finally, I stretched out my hand introducing myself as he reached back saying, “my name’s Dallas.” As we began to open and share our lives more deeply…his amazing journey as a young man in a challenging world began to unfold in living color before me as he sat more upright and engaged... I found his vantage point real, honest, objective, and filled with wisdom far beyond his years.



Dear Friend,

Please understand that my daily observational writings posted on my blog reflect what I find along my "immediate route"...not the entire face of a person, people group, community, city, or region.  They simply communicate my initial findings and are perceived through the eye of a watchman...  You can learn more of my perspective in my blog ariticle "Gateways and By-ways." 

It is important that you realized that my purpose on this journey is to observe and communicate those things which empower God's people to identify, combat, and gain victory over darkness hindering the advancement of God's kingdom on earth.  We cannot defeat what we cannot identify.  Please know that I am not focused on the negative...but, on bringing life.  I am most interested in equipping people with truth to initiate positive change which will result in the transformation and liberation of God's people prior to Christ's return.  If you feel I have unfairly portrayed anyone, anything, or any place dear to you...I encourage you to step back, to follow my ongoing observations, to look at God's bigger picture, and to join me in the battle to overcome in Jesus' name!  God bless you!  Thanks!

In Christ,

Greg Benner

BattleCry Ministries  


Tuesday Post

It’s my birthday today…1200 miles from home around no one I know…my kids, family, and some friends call…feel better. As I walked from Alhambra into Rosemead…passed third Masonic lodge on my path, Buddhist temples more prevalent… ethnic groups and combinations amaze me again. Now Hispanic and Vietnamese people…everyone friendly amid the nice weather. Interesting seeing an Asian restaurant next to Mexican restaurant next to massage business next to auto glass shop. The diversity reminds me of what I encountered in Kabul, Afghanistan and Lahore, Pakistan. Rosemead into San Gabriel… Communities are quiet and clean. Christian church less visible on Valley Blvd in the shadow of mountains. Interesting how number of churches declined when I began walking on “valley.” Hmmm.   Heaven and earth are touching again… Looking for more direct route, skirt freeway, walking in median, jump barrier walls, run for cover…through fences…cross freeway…ahhhhhhh…found continuation of that frontage road. Evening upon me…few more miles to go…into W Covina…very friendly people….many families walking with kids at night. Feels peaceful here. Weather was a bit warmer today, feeling pretty good, evening perfect temp for walking, and finally reach my end point for the day…another 15 miles. God is good!


Monday Post

This morning began by correcting a few blocks of my prior steps during my prior day’s walk. The streets split without my knowledge and I was slated to walk down inner city Main Street so I could pass by the former site of the Peniel Street Mission where the impasse between the holiness and Pentecostal denominations occurred. The event that sparked this major division within the church arose when Phineas F. Bresee removed Mr. Seymour from the pulpit for speaking in tongues. The church-at-large of all denominations would experience the troubled waters between different groups for more than a hundred years into the future.

Next, I moved on toward 312 Azusa Street where the great revival in early 1900 occurred. Leaving Azusa Street, passed by large churches surrounded by unfriendly fences sending more of a message of fortification, than the invitation of God’s love. I continued down first street passing by the Japanese American museum in little Tokyo observing how the entire culture had changed again in a matter of blocks. I was blessed to find a combination church street mission who left their doors open throughout the day for local people to enter, use restrooms, and get a message of “welcome.” I was glad to see some people still trust God to protect what He has entrusted to their care to communicate love over temporal things. From there, I proceeded out of inner city LA toward Alhambra watching ethnic groups and their combinations change. In comparison to the Pacific NW, ethic group combinations that do not blend well there…readily live and cooperate with each other in downtown LA. As I entered Alhambra, ethnicity changed again. I found graffiti everywhere I turned revealing both talent and disrespect. People were warm, kind, and helpful. Notice local business sign “Shalom Tires”…God smiled! I journey is proving to be both enlightening and enjoyable in a matter of the first few days. Scored 6 pounds of fresh nuts from Superior Nut Company…great folks. Made my arms tired carrying them for 3 1/2 miles. Beautiful weather. Greg…


Written by Greg Benner 10-24-2010

Times, Places, and Dates

Time, places, and dates are significant in heaven’s history of the world as mankind works out his salvation before a Holy God.   Though things occurring around us seem to be the by-product of external influence, random chance, or cosmic oversight…in reality…circumstances portray the cause-and-affect impact of human decision within the context of God’s transformational reach to a struggling humanity.

In an effort to help you understand kingdom dynamics in a physical world, I bring you to the realization that Santa Monica, like many coastal cities represents a secondary western spiritual gateway into America’s interior. As a point of reference, the primary spiritual gateway resides on San Juan Island off the coast of Washington State in Puget Sound. I’ll write more about that later as God leads…  

Spiritual gateways, as with other supernatural realities, carry associated physical manifestations with them. That is why we hear places like Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, New York, and Boston called “gateway” cities. If one does careful historical, geographical, and Scriptural research under the Holy Spirit’s leadership…they will discover that gateway cities share common physical, cultural, and spiritual characteristics. These similar features include, but are not limited to…social unrest, religious fragmentation, cultural identity, convergent weather, entrenched problems, stronghold thinking, resulting consequences (i.e. Seattle: liberalism, San Francisco: un-bridled sexuality, Houston-Miami: Hurricanes, New York: violence, etc.), and more. 

What lurks within the gates on the by-ways of life?

Written by Greg Benner 10-24-2010 

First off…all of us must realize that God assigns our name, defines our purpose, empowers our labor, and numbers our days before one of them came to be according to Scripture. We do not live random lives that hit the planet like an off-course comet leaving confusion in its path. Instead, God created each one of us to live with specific purpose, divine destiny, and eternal impact for His glory and our good. Choosing to remain unaware or indifferent toward God’s plan for our lives assures that we will experience empty, troubled, and unfulfilled purpose dispatched to change our struggling world.   Living life by the seat of our pants without concern for the indifference revealed by our ongoing lack of direction…robs us of God’s blessing. As a result, both our own lives and those represented in the world-at-large live without joy, freedom, and peace as God intended. Therefore; I encourage you to turn off the TV, clear your plans, and to join me as we ask God to silence our minds, draw our hearts, enlighten our eyes, correct our paths, and empower our destinies with renewed power for His glory in Jesus’ name.

Friday Post

I met a young man named Lance at a starbucks as I wrote on my laptop. He was open, informative, and interested in my life views. We shared our vantage points and parted as instant friends. Walked 15 miles on my first day yesterday…a bit sore this am…Jesus still said, “go.”   Walked from Ralph’s market on Adams Blvd. where I ended through more economic, ethnic, and spiritual dynamics. Most churches were well fortified on their perimeters, until they became nearly non-existent along my pathway. God a late start today because of numerous issues…walked past colleges in nice areas until I turned left into the inner city on Main. It was like a total culture ship occurred within feet. Walking down main into the city…I came into the Fashion district where every type of clothing was sold in warehouse direct form. The sidewalks were line with people from poor to affluent shopping for personal items. Some people smiled, others looked foreboding. From the fashion district, I entered the next area where a lot of renovation was happening to buildings, sidewalks, streets, and more. The cross-tension between homeless people and those with money seemed tangible in the air. Yet, no strife was visible. Night was coming, called a cab, and headed out of inner city toward my place to write and retire for the evening. My cab was a 44 year old man who had escaped the Iron Curtain in Czechslovakia at age 19. His story was both interesting and moving. He has lived and driven cabs in LA for more than 7 years visiting his homeland occasionally now as a man with dual citizenship. Left him my card… Looking forward to more progress the next day.


Wednesday / 8:00 a.m. (New Beginnings)

gregsantamonicapierbegin10202010smallEscalating alarm tones…4:00 a.m. Wednesday October 20, 2010…eyes open after already waking up 2 times earlier in the night. Stare at ceiling…ask myself if I’m nuts for walking across America again…flashback of last time whizzes by…can’t describe, won’t try…get out of bed…shower…dress…load car…leave for launch point on Santa Monica Memorial Pier at 5:44 am…head north on 1-5 north…traffic already…merge to highway 10 west…enter Santa Monica proper around 7:00 am….arrive at Santa Monica Pier few minutes later…drizzling rain…park rig…ask myself 2nd time if I’m I nuts for walking across America again…get out of car…put on gear…walk to end of pier in rain…notice normal (and abnormal) early morning people and activities…find other person crazy enough to be out in the rain and ask him to take a picture of me…breathe deeply…sigh…ask myself 3rd ime-am if I’m nuts for walking across America…lean forward…silently say, “here goes Jesus”…take first step…give self permission to table issue of whether I’m nuts or not……remind self that God said, “go”…


8:00 am on Thursday morning. Stop to see Jerry the service manager at Delaney and Alph...the local diesel shop. Have them install a couple u-joints and change filter in transmission, while I drain cooling system, install new hoses, re-fill, and fix electrical problem. Now, everything I know of is fixed. Head to grocery store to stock up on good food for walk. Head to LA and arrive into La Mirada after midnight and early Friday a.m. the 15th.   

Park and sleep in parking lot. Early a.m. on Friday, I move to Camping world in Anaheim until they open to ask about RV parks. Move to local RV park and set up. Go to sleep early. Saturday am 16, work on RV and paperwork. To bed. Sunday a.m 17th sleep in and catch up on rest. Work on web page. Go to store early evening to get supplies. Talk to family. Bed. Now Monday all day on web page after fixing software problem on gps unit. Chart walk route in gps. Talk to family and friends. Bed.

On my way from Harris Ranch to Fresno to get machined part revised. Jess the supervisor is a peach of a guy who was very kind and helpful. He fixed what we all assumed was the last issue, charged me nothing after giving me half his time the day before, and off I headed back to RV by 2:30 in the afternoon. 4:00 p.m. arrive to RV and begin putting on revised part. Nuts for the 4th time,


Nuts again...I arrive and put my feet in the water at Santa Monica at 12:28 am early morning October 11th. Couple on beach takes a picture in dark. Back to my car, out of the city to Santa Clarita, sleep in car in Comfort Suites parking lot before heading north to Bakersfield to rustle up RV parts on way back. Found most parts and returned to RV. Install new exhaust system in parking lot. Dirty, shower, went to bed. Next morning Tuesday October 12th... lifted hood, disassembled broken parts, call many machine shops, found one in Fresno (60 miles north) who can make my adaptor part. Deliver part and measurements to machine shop in Fresno. Use time waiting to gather more parts and return items in Fresno. Now 4:00 pm and on my way from Fresno to RV an hour south of Fresno. Arrive to try installing new part...close but no cigar. Nuts for the 3rd time. Now I must return to Fresno Wednesday a.m. the 13th.


After going without sleep for 26 hours the day before and getting out of Seattle later Friday than anticipated...I stopped to park and sleep in a store parking lot south of Portland, OR. Throughout the night, my RV electrical system turned off and on due to an unidentified circuit issue. Saturday am October 9th, I cruised down to the local Les Schwabs and installed four (4) new house batteries and found the delinquent cable that had broken off in the process. Five hundred and seventy three ($573) later, I rolled into the local fuel stop and threw on another $274 worth of diesel fuel and hit the road. Now a bit after 12:00 midnight the evening of October 9 and early morning of October 10...I stop for dinner and crash for sleep in the restaurant parking lot in Redding, CA.


Today started with too much to get done. It was my long-awaited day of departure toward Los Angeles, CA where my TransAmerican Walk 2010-2011 was to begin. All around me, final repair details lingered unfinished beckoning my attention. So, into the pile I jumped finding that my progress hummed along at a surprising pace. 6:00 pm has arrived and I still have two more trips to make to my office to store a car being left behind, to pick up remaining equipment, and to give my family a hug. Now, it is 11:00 pm and I'm on my way from Yakima to Seattle to stay the night, conduct Friday a.m. walk and other business, exchange more gear, see more of my kids, have lunch with a dear friend, and hit I-5 south towards Calli...


Vision for TransAmerican Walk 2010 came early in 2007 amid an already-under-way seven (7) year season in which God was revealing the assault dispatched against His people in the days ahead. The next several years provided ample training ground for God to bring my life into a place of "relevance" in keeping with His eternal purpose and timeline. Following the completion of that seven (7) year season on July 23, became obvious that God's time of release was closing on me fast. From world to local arenas...economic stabilities, business trends, moral values, social tones, client bases, spiritual delusions, applied responsibilities, wavering priorities, and hope levels were radically adjusted to all-time lows.


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