Area: From Austin onward toward Houston, Channelview, Highlands, Baytown, Cove, Wallisville, Stowell, Winnie, Fannet, Beaumont, and on onward to the Louisiana border.

Weather: 95-99 F, 44-50% humidity, 101-106 heat index.

Ever Amazed

My path will cross the Texas-Louisiana border over the next few days...Lord willing.  With each passing step, I find myself more aware of physical, cultural, and spiritual shifts in the environment I encounter day-by-day.  Some shifts are subtle, while others stick out like a sore thumb.  Some shifts express themselves through town layouts…others through social bias.  Other shifts make themselves known through cultural uniqueness…others through local laws.   Some shifts openly declare themselves on billboards or the militant voices of their wayward supporters. Either way, I see a daily and ongoing contrast between beauty or brokenness…happiness or horror…dignity or disgrace…abundance or affliction…love or legalism…empowerment or exploitation…peace or peril…mercy or malice…faith or fantasy…giving or greed…success or shame…blessed or busy…inspired or indoctrinated… Thus far; my journey has carried me from seashore to inner city, from tropical to desert, from peaceful to violent, from metropolitan to remote, and from multi-cultural to purist communities. I never cease to be amazed by whom or what crosses my trail! 


Please realize that my vantage point flows from the pages of the bible…  Though God loves us deeply not wanting any to perish…He is holy.  Too often, we look away from self we see in His mirror to set our sights on the failures of others who do not know Him.  Yet, the Apostle Paul calls us back to God’s reality when he asked and declared, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you” (I Corinthians 5:12).  Simply put…we will never change what we refuse to identify and own within our inner hearts.  We cannot produce what we are not nor lead where we will not go.    Therefore, we must search our own hearts with God’s help before we will ever become “instruments for noble purposes made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (II Timothy 2:21).  Short story…we must be authentic to produce fruit that lasts (John 15:16)! 

 Fellow Travelers

trafficsignalgoldentrianglesmall07092011I have been privileged to meet many wonderful people!  Some are on streets, others at Starbucks, a few in police cars, while others are in churches.  Wherever I meet whomever I meet…life uncertainties bombard them all…including me.  Everywhere I turn…people struggle to rise above the economic, relational, physical, and spiritual challenges threatening to erode or destroy their purpose in life.  Fortunately, one finds a grid of well-founded people strategically positioned to love those going down for the count in life…  I have met pastors standing strong to lead their people, while others withdraw into secondary non-essentials.  Likewise, I have met both prosperous businessmen and others going broke. And, I have met the emotionally stable and others needing Love’s transfusion.  Amid it all…I am thankful for those who rise above moral mediocrity, while hurting for those shredded by hell’s hopelessness.  Sadly, despite the many great one’s I meet…America has cut loose from truth’s anchor to drift like a ship filled with castaways in a category five social and spiritual storm.   Our great land has lost her way as she stands at the crossroads of decision wondering which way to turn.  Without apology…we need God’s direction and mercy NOW before passing the point of no return…  

Running The Race

Have you ever noticed how competitive and in need of recognition we are as human beings?  It’s as though our birth enters us in a race for position, power, and personality among our peers.  Simply put…human nature wants to be accepted, validated, honored, and empowered at any cost.  Likewise, we hang labels on ourselves that portray how we want others to see us, but rarely reveal the truth about who we are within.  Yet, our methods, motives, and madness will ultimately determine what our efforts will produce in the lives of others entrusted to our care.  As I have walked through literally hundreds of rural or metropolitan communities over the years…I remain dumbfounded by the crazy things I see.  I find people declaring themselves to be regional spiritual leaders on business cards, ministry media, and church signs.  In other areas; I encounter the race between churches revealed in first, second, third, and fourth Baptist, Assembly, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and beyond.  The bible is clear…those ordained to lead are called to be servants of all, not immortalized above others like kings.  Those wired to prophesy or foretell are too busy trying to survive the task God gave them to do too worry about labels.  And, those fixed on human approval, rather than heaven’s victory, are dangerously adrift… 

aposltesignsmall07042011Though we justify our wayward pursuits…God holds an entirely different view on the matter.  On the heels of His story (parable) about workers in the vineyard, Jesus said, “…the last will be first, and the first will be last” in Matthew 20:16.  This said…it is time for us to erase our labels, re-paint our signs, and to do what God called us to do for His glory…not ours?   Jesus set the example… He did not hire the Goodyear blimp or local radio stations, papers, or painters to declare Himself God.  Instead, He pulled out all the stops to launch heaven’s epoch picture with special affects splashing intrigue, betrayal, violence, and blood across reality’s screen…personally dying on a cross to unconditionally love and forgive the wayward…like you…like me.  You see, our race in life is not against each other or the church down the street.  Instead, our race is to “…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and to run with perseverance the race marked out for us…as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

The Plan Stands

letteronroadpicsmall07092011As I walk past billboards, glance at newsstands, and scan book titles on the shelves of coffee shops along the way…it is painfully obvious that our reeling culture is comprised of diverse interests, idealisms, and inspirations.  As my journey thumbs me through materials I encounter…a melting pot filled with a stew of human wisdom or delusion is revealed.  Upon investigation; one can find books, web-sites, DVD’s, MP3’s, and the occasional soapbox orator declaring agendas originating from sources found anywhere between common sense and sheer stupidity.  While society drifts dangerously close to lurking distinction…God’s word the bible champions His plan to love, forgive, save, and deliver humanity from itself.  As special interest groups driven by selfish ambition sever their tie to Truth by ridding our courts, schools, and airways of the Ten Commandments, religious freedom, and moral compass…unwitting members of both social and spiritual communities buy into ever-deepening deception lock, stock, and barrel.  Yet, Jesus says, “…not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of the pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18).  Jesus is that fulfillment of God’s law, Whom moved man’s motivation to know and serve Him from Old Testament duty to New Testament appreciation for all He did that we could never earn or deserve.  Though we carelessly cast God’s law aside on the roadways of life one letter at a time…His plan will not be thwarted… 

Love Letters

lovehatpicsmall07092011Personal injury, bankruptcy, and divorce attorneys cry out from America’s billboards along the highways and byways crossing the home of the brave and land of the free.  Yet; horns honk, anger flares, and fists fly in cars that roar by fueled by impatience because someone pulled out, was going to slow, or crowded another’s personal space.  Sirens blare, blue lights flash, and guardrail crews repair the damage to barriers caused the night before by people who had one too many drinks before hitting life’s wall.  And, cities die from their heart out as heaven’s Church runs from inner city turmoil toward suburban safety in its retreat from darkness, thereby shelving its role as God’s emissary of light.  Friends, we are God’s ambassadors of reconciliation as though He is making His appeal to lost people through us (II Corinthians 5:17-20)…we are the salt of the earth who changes the flavor of humanity’s soup and the light of the world who illuminates others with hope (Matthew 5:13-16)… and, we are God’s love letter to our world and are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-41).  Our lives were designed to extend God’s loving reach to a dying world.  Sadly, many have “…exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25) casting God’s love to the ground to be trampled by men…  When was the last time God’s love protected, trusted, hoped, and persevered through you to another who had not yet proven themselves worthy?  In a nutshell dear friend, ”…love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:7-8). 

Proper Dependence

Walking a continent gives me a lot of time to observe, think, and pray.   Like everyone else, my perspective is colored by physical facts, life experience, core beliefs, and personal thought which fuel my efforts to embrace the world around me.   When I filter people and my surroundings through fallen human eyes and intellect, my emerging opinions are often misguided at best.  Yet, if I view my surroundings and those around me through God’s eyes with the mind of Christ…it causes me to reach to others in truth with compassion, mercy, and love in Jesus’ name.  As I have rattled through bible pages for the past forty years in my quest to know Jesus face-to-face, I have realized more than anything…that I am absolutely “dependent” upon Him for love, life, and liberty.  Proper dependence upon God, the Father of Jesus Christ, empowers our weakness and makes us strong (II Corinthians 12:9).  Sadly, our founding fathers wrongfully declared independence, which by its very essence, implies that we are under no governing authority.  It was a poorly defined, yet binding vow...  It was one thing to flee tyranny to find free expression of spiritual conviction.  It was entirely another to allow our expression of that freedom to cut us loose from the Author of eternal truth. 

Our nation's pursuit of God could have been better served had we humbled ourselves to champion "proper dependence" upon God declared openly to be the Father of Jesus Christ, rather than some great...but, generic architect.   As a result, we who call ourselves a godly nation have become the most religiously diverse culture on earth who is plagued by lawsuits, hostile takeovers, divorce, church splits, cults, situational ethics, and conditional commitment.  Why?  Because independence cannot walk agreed...cannot submit (Romans 8:7).  Independence always pits one human will against another until one ultimately dominates, violates, or isolates the other into submission.   What is it in our culture that devides countries, allies, governments, businesses, churches, marriages, and relationship?  The answer is...independence.  What got satan thrown out of heaven?  His independent desire to rise "above" the most high (Isaiah 14:13-14).  If we are honest deep down in our hearts...our desire to rise above others in some fashion wars within us at every turn (Romans 7:21-25).  This tendency reveals man's fallen nature...  It is only through submission one to another out of reverence for Christ and our proper dependence upon the One True God that holds us fast.

texassecedesignsmall07082011Most Americans will only stay in life’s game with a partner God’s way as long as personal benefit outweighs downside cost amid our "me-oriented" culture.  Truth be told, most of us hold onto our right to express personal independence with an iron grip, rather than yielding our lives as living sacrifices to God and others as our act of spiritual worship (Romans 12:1-3).  Why?  Because we have been "educated" for years to celebrate our independence as a great freedom, while being being blind to the spiritual limitations it imposes upon our lives in the unseen realm.   The enemy of our souls comes disguised as an angel of light to convince us that things are okay, when in reality, they are not.  He covers his strongholds in our thinking in order to maintain an open door into our lives through which to deceive, exploit, and destroy us.    Independence from sin brings life...independence from God brings death.  At first glance, some may think my view is unpatriotic.  Yet, true patriotism upholds freedom based on eternal truth...not fallen idealisms.  As believers, we are called to speak the truth in love (Epheisans 4:15-16, 25) to one another, while knowing that "love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres (I Corinthians 13:7).  

God's love in and through us "is" motivated to redeem and bring freedom to those entrusted to our care (John 17).  When we see those we love heading for disaster...we sound the trumpet to save them from harm even when it makes us unpopluar.  Friends, it's time we stop floating free in relativism comparing ourselves to one another on our way down...and instead, return to the Author of eternal truth by comparing ourselves too and embracing His loving example portrayed through Jesus His Son.  My views no more flow from criticism, than a mother who runs into the street to grab Johnny by the scruff of his neck before he gets hit by a racing car...  Simply put...I care  more than people understand.  So, the next time someone tells you something "real" or doesn't play life's game your way…think twice before grabbing your marbles and running home to be king of your own hill.  America means “freedom.”  Sadly, to many lives are caught in the crossfire between self indulgence or putting the welfare of others ahead of themselves (Philippians 2:3-5).  Therefore, we must renounce our independent spirits and whole-heartedly declare our proper dependence upon God through how we live…not what we say in Jesus' name.  Empty words are dead  (James 2:14)...   

God’s Faithfulness

Though my journey has crossed trails with adversity on numerous occasions…God has been and remains faithful at every turn.  In recent days, He sent me a Christian brother who welded my RV frame that had broken…another who R & R’d my tires so repairs could be made…another who took me under his wing to bless me in Jesus’ name…and multiple other people whom He compelled to lighten my financial load some.  Is everything perfect, paid, or pristine in my world without emeging or ongoing challenge?   No!  But, in the day-to-day unfolding of life and circumstance…God’s reaches deep as He personally reveals His love and extends His mercy in ways far beyond imagination.  Why?  So, I can give hope to a lost world every day for the rest of my life as I testify to all Jesus has done! 

Despite those realities addressed in my words above…God’s power reigns with dominion over the defeated enemy of our souls...  God is with a big “G” and satan is a little “s.”   Yes, I grow weary and even discouraged some days after the 29th door of the day slams in my face.  But, as I walk away praying for God to bless the one who slammed it…Jesus floods my soul with peace that surpasses understanding and reminds me of His unconditional love and mercy toward me that ever stands in the heart of my Living Lord...for me.  Our Father God is not a fleeting idea or passing fancy conjured up by intellectual champions, theological giants, or the name it-claim it-frame it prosperity crowd chasing His hand of provision.  Instead, He promises to be our ever present help in times of trouble as we lift our mortal gaze toward His glorious face to lock eyes with Him in humility evidenced by our loving others in Jesus' name.  God is real, faithful, loving, and a Friend Who sticks closer than a brother when it counts…a Heavenly Father Who keeps His promises even when it hurts…and the Lover of our souls amid our wayward humanity when we deserve it least.  And to make God even more amazing…He chose to hand-craft us all into living masterpieces created in His image to do good works that He prepared in advance for us to do for His glory and the good of others.  Only an incomprehensible God could dream up such an out-of-the-box plan…WOW!

Winds Of Change

hurricanesignbeaumontsmall07092011Some call me negative, others critical, and still others think me misguided as I share what I see and experience along my way.  Occasionally, a few see me as enlightened...  No matter what they think...God's love always protects as it compells us all to be honest and help those around us escape what will rob them of life.    Despite people's projections...I do not form people’s ideas, chart their course, forge their character, or form their conclusions…they do.  I merely encounter, observe, and walk through life each day shaken by the declining condition of America and God’s people along this race God set before me to run.   Despite people’s varied opinions, prophetic events unfurl like a once-stilled flag being stretched forth in heaven’s gale to call God’s army to attention NOW in history’s eleventh hour. Heaven’s Bridegroom, Jesus…is coming back for a radiant bride...not a wayward wife, saying "bless me" as she goes her own way…   Battle lines have been drawn…armies of the earth are gathering…and heaven’s wedding invitations have been mailed calling Jesus' bride (Church) to make herself ready (Revelation 19:7).  We must preach the gospel through lifestyle truth, love, Spirit, glory, and worship God’s way...not words...   Otherwise, we will not find our seats at the banquet table now being set for the wedding feast of the Lamb. 

Please listen as heaven’s hurricane begins to blow!   Heaven's mansion hall has been prepared...Rose of Charon collected...Living Bread baked...choicest wine delivered...bridal attendants's lamps trimmed...angelic voices rise...doors swing open...and our white linen dress awaits...   Prepare yourself...heaven's feast is being set before us...Eternity's hour glass grows empty...our Bridegroom waits with anticipation as we make ourselves ready...and His white-gloved hand will soon draw us into heaven's first dance to become one with our King?  Oh dear frriend...keep your eyes eastward on heaven's mailbox... 

Awaiting My King,




All rights reserved worldwide.  Copyright BattleCry Ministries / Greg Benner 07-09-2011.  These materials are not to be used or distributed without written authorization.

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