Area: Broussard-Lafayette to Baton Rouge to New Orleans, LA

Weather: Hot and humid…in mid to high 90’s with heat index up to 114 F.

Meeting People

gregpicneworleanssmall09092011I love meeting and getting to know people…it is one of my favorite adventures! Every person we meet becomes one more colored thread woven into the fabric of our lives that ultimately unrolls the tapestry we portray to others. Do you want your life to reveal a masterpiece? Well then…meet people, get to know them, and share your lives for each other’s good!  

My trail has crossed with many great people like YG a joy-filled quad amputee in Wes Covina…Dallas the wandering young musician in Montclair…Kimberly the Christian taxi driver in Palm Springs…Joseph the displaced pastor and publisher from Mississippi God was talking to about Israel amid the California dry lands…Mike and Linda feeding the homeless for 23 years in Quartzite…Ex-biker Mark and wife Thelma doing street ministry in multiple cities…Pastor Ron planting six new fellowships on his home church turf in Phoenix…Petor from Poland on his 20,000 kilometer walk around the world for peace…Pastor Bob hacking out a new church in Arizona’s darkest region…Juan in Starbucks confessing his bitterness and need for Jesus… Colonel George (87) who braved 3 tours to Korea and Viet Nam on submarines, in fighters, and as a test pilot who saw his plane disappear mid flight at 28,000 feet… Texas Eddie who was beaten for leaving national biker gang leadership in his pursuit of Christ…Don (83) and Beverly traveling from Texas to Argentina to pray for people…Del the Christian country music entertainer of the year award-winner…Tyrone (64) traveling on bicycle throughout CA-AZ-TX on faith…Marlon putting on Last Days For Christ in Texas and Louisiana… Jessica the IHOP waitress chasing God in faith…Prayer warrior Karen blessing others as she fought through cancer at the cost of her life…Blake and Nichi who pour their lives into Louisiana marriages… Pastor Jacob embracing God’s vision to plant 100 churches and raise young leaders in Louisiana…and many others I have mentioned in past posts. 

During my journey…I have sat, talked, and prayed with homeless people, leaders, senators, gang members, rising musicians, single moms, police officers, drug addicts, grieving families, thugs, women of the street, people in the hood, governors, voodoo shop owners, businessmen, exchange students on beaches, cab drivers, convenience store clerks, reporters, and others untold…. My life fabric is taking on new texture each day… Who knows those I am yet to meet…and why? God’s perfect will is indeed an adventure!  Curious?  Read more below..

Fantastic Foods

jimmybuffetsignnorlean2ssmall08092011Food is an adventure! I always love to eat whatever dish an area I’m currently in…is known for. As you can imagine, my path leads me past great foods perfected by local purveyors of palatable pleasure. I ate Bubba Gump shrimp on the Santa Monica Pier last October…great oranges and avocados in Yucaipa, CA…southwestern cuisine in Arizona…Mexican food in New Mexico…BBQ and Boudan in Texas…and Chicory coffee, gumbo, alligator, catfish, crawfish, bingniot, gulf prawns, and soft-shell crab in Louisiana. Great stuff! As I walked down Decatur Street in New Orleans, I was reminded of eating lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville with a dear friend some years ago… No matter how good the flavors may be however, I simply must keep pace with common sense when it comes to so many fantastic foods “if” I’m to keep my body in tune for walking… 

Routes and Logistics

Finding roads to walk can be challenging in some areas as I make my way across our nation. Sometimes route difficulty rises out of there being no other routes available without going “far” off course. At other times, God makes it very clear when I’m not to enter an area only to reveal why later as He did in California (amazing experience). And some roads just aren’t legal to walk. I have found closed desert freeway stretches, construction zones, and long bridges (up to 20 miles) over swamps without shoulders amid the impassible list… I must honor laws and authority if I am to preach with authenticity. So, I do my best to travel the course God sets before wherever allowed… 

Many people ask me how my daily travel logistics work, since I have an RV to live in as shelter from the elements. Here is how it works… I move my RV every 50 to 120 miles from city-to-city based on how they are positioned along my route. Each time I move…I am walking toward, past, and halfway toward the next town before I move again. It remains my goal to park in church parking lots giving me opportunities to connect with local fellowships and pastors on a meaningful level. However, this task has been more difficult during this walk than on my last one back in 2001-02. I also have a tow vehicle that I drive to the point where I left off the day before, park it there, and begin my 14-20 mile walk for the day. When I get done walking…I thumb a ride with a willing stranger, person from a church, or hire a taxi-cab to get back to my vehicle allowing me to meet unplanned people with which I am blessed to spend time. Once I get back to my tow rig each day…I drive the area or town I’m in to meet pastors, people in Starbucks, or others in various places. So…my daily adventure takes on many different looks in its unfolding based upon geographical, cultural, and spiritual dynamics I encounter step-by-step.

More Weather

stormyneworleansskysmall08092011As I began walking into New Orleans…I had another amazing weather encounter similar to the one I wrote about on a prior post when I left Texas and entered Louisiana. Walking down Tulane Blvd, I suddenly got hit in the face by a strong east wind as I passed by Dixie Beer Brewery… Clouds quickly gathered overhead, rain nipped at my heels…and thunder began its roll. As I progressed further…a brief calm rested…and then, a west wind put its thumb in my back pushing me on into inner city French Quarter. Once again, I had crossed a spiritual line of demarcation. 

As I entered inner city and made my way onto Bourbon Street where all the Hustler Clubs, Voodoo shops, bars, and wandering wayward mill…lightening hit the ground within a block causing people to run for cover amid its deafening sound. Making my way down Bourbon street to Esplanade on my way back toward the I-10…rain fell, thunder rolled, and lightning hammered as I walked beneath its onslaught through New Orlean’s hood. Nearing the highway…I spotted a man and woman sitting on their front porch, introduced myself, and asked for directions. We visited a bit before they said, “be careful, there are people here that will hurt you…don’t stop…just keep walking.” I thanked them with a smile, shared my travels through inner cities throughout the US, summarized my trips to Afghanistan, and assured them that God has my back as I do all He calls me to do. They leaned back and relaxed as I gave them a card and trundled on down the street…

Consequences of Truth Tour / Dr. Charles Colson

My path across Louisiana connected me with Pastor Todd in Lake Charles…leader of a 4 1/2 year old church plant filled with young believers who radically love people around them… Later, I connected to more churches within his circle and eventually met founding Pastor Jacob who embraced God’s vision to plant 100 churches in 25 years. As a result, I was invited to attend the upcoming Consequences of Truth Tour conference hosted by Focus on the Family in New Orleans at Celebration Church. Dr. Charles Colson, former advisor to President Nixon, spoke as the keynote speaker.  

This incredible event focused on penetrating America with a biblical world view amid its dwindling condition. Other speakers included Senator Jonathan Perry from Louisiana, Pastor Jacob Aranza founder of the “Our Savior’s Church,” Dr. Robby George Professor of Jurisprudence from Princeton University, Gene Mills Louisiana Family Forum, Dr. Timothy George Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, and retired Congressman Bill Redmond National Representative of CITIZENLink Focus on the Family. 

These gentlemen represent some of the greatest minds in America who invest their combined energies to salvage our country’s declining moral, social and spiritual future. Their comments were packed with amazing truths and weighty challenges to us all. The “Manhattan Declaration” stood at the forefront of their thrust giving voice to God’s heart in this urgent hour. I encourage you to visit the Manhattan Declaration Web-site to read, digest, and sign this historical document as your part in the unified voice of God’s people to our governmental without delay! You can review the document at: 

As a result of the above chain of events…I was privileged to park my RV behind Celebration Church at the invitation of Pastor Dennis and with whom I was privileged to sit one-on-one. Thank you so much Celebration Church for your Christ-centered hospitality! 

Facing Reality

hustlersignneworleanssmall08092011Passing through different geographical-cultural-spiritual arenas…I sense the bombardment of those principalities and powers that reside there. Over the years, I have learned that spiritual oppression lingering over an area acts much like a set of “colored glasses” satan dawns on the unsuspecting to distort people’s view of the reality that surrounds them. For example…if you put on a pair of yellow glasses and try to look at a yellow car in front of you…you will find the car very difficult to see clearly. So it is with our view of spiritual reality around us as we find ourselves immersed in local culture unfolding beneath spiritual powers hanging over our region. Consequently, most do not see or recognize those core strongholds which exist in their home area. As one coming in from the outside…I find things others cannot see obvious simply because I have not been there long enough to dawn a set of yellow glasses… In this light, God uses me to help others discover issues around them that limit their lives and their destinies as God’s agents of change. Sadly; those who are comfortable find my efforts intrusive, miss-guided, or even offensive as I do my best to obey God’s call on my life. If I can stir people to a point they ask deeper questions…God will provide them answers to advance His cause… 

voodoosignneworleanssmall08092011My journey grows troubling at times as the weight of all I see presses in on me day-by-day. I find myself asking how we will ever stop America’s landslide of declining moral, social, and spiritual values. How can we do so unless we identify that which is not working, own it, and change our individual and combined behaviors in real life-altering ways? History’s hour is urgent as God’s culminating plan cries out! As believers…we can no longer ignore what evidence proves to be a powerless religious reach to a faltering nation.   We must confront empty idealisms…break their grip on floundering lives…and empower our populous to live and extend a quality of life to others that evidence real change. How will the wayward bride of Christ be transformed into a radiant church if we do not choose a new course?

It’s time that we stop lying to ourselves about how effective we want to believe we are as our communities, marriages, governments, and nation falls at our feet barely alive! James 2:14 joins my cry as the Apostle Paul asks, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds (evidence)? Can such faith save him (or a nation)? Our inspired predecessor obviously expects our faith to physically change our world…not just give lip service to personal prowess or high ideals.

churchneworleanssmall08092011Many within the church-at-large may find my challenge piercing and stern. Why? Because they do not recognize that my concerns rise from a love that willing to be unpopular with self and others in its quest to save lives. Likewise, they do not realize I ask myself these same piercing questions as I do my best to embrace God’s will and remain blameless each day…  I often find myself wondering how God feels as He looks down on His church that is stifled by structure, raped by religion, distracted by demographics, paralyzed by programs, twisted by technologies, and fragmented by frustration… How does He feel as He watches people get crushed without Christ, trashed by theologians, and devoured without tasing His unconditional love they were to have received from another who had actually been…truly changed? How does He feel as we tally our conversions, sing our successes, and roll in our red carpets before feeding those hungry knocking at our doors? How does He feel as He looks into brothels, peers into prisons, and surges into streets abandoned by His people who lay down their swords in exchange for safe suburban life? How does He feel? I can tell you how...He weeps amid the fallen of our generation including you including me…

If we are honest with ourselves in the middle of America’s current moral, social, and spiritual reality…evidence proves that we have missed the mark in our mission to many. If we are honest with ourselves…we know that our combined efforts have not truly transformed our nation with any lasting degree as people come-and-go through conversion and transformation experiences born of the minds but lost in our hearts. Why? Because true Christ-centered transformation occurs when radically-altered authentic believers in Jesus Christ live to love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, and impart the impossible into others with action…not words. If we want to change our world before it’s too late…we must step back, re-group, and hit the gospel ground running, reaching, and rescuing those entrusted to our care at any cost.  We must look in the mirror and start with ourselves in order to bring the real Jesus to real people in a real way NOW…not tomorrow! Then and only then…will our faith and deeds (evidence) be working together… Are you ready and radical…or, slow and sinful?  Remember, someone’s eternity depends on us today! Until next time…God’s richest upon you!

Chasing Jesus,


BattleCry Ministries


Copyright protected worldwide / BattleCry Ministries-Greg Benner August 2011.  These materials may not be used or distributed without written permission.

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