I Still Believe It’s In His Hands

HandsCharles Spurgeon told a story of how during a sudden storm a woman on a ship became very terrified. She was so distraught that she found her husband, who happened to be the ship’s captain, and said, “I don’t understand how you can be so calm while I am totally terrified.”

Her husband calmly walked across his quarters and picked up his sword. He took it and aimed it at the center of her chest, but she only laughed. Then he asked, “Why aren’t you afraid of this sword? It could slay you in less than a minute.”

His wife replied, “I am not afraid of a sword that is wielded by the hand of my husband.”

“Then neither am I,” said the captain, “afraid of a storm in the hand of my heavenly Father.”

As Christ followers, we look around in today’s culture, and we could easily start to say, “Where is God? Is He even paying attention to our prayers?” God is right where He has always been and always will be – sitting on His throne in heaven. He is still God! The world, that He created, is still in His hands.

Don’t be deceived. Don’t live discouraged. Don’t give up. Don’t allow your love to grow cold. Let your faith arise – things are still in His hands.

The Bible was very clear in telling us that times such as these would come. Much of what we are seeing is proof that God is on His throne and His Word is being fulfilled. He is not shocked by anything going on – we are, but He’s not. As believers, we are to continue to beam with His love and radiate His light. We can stand strong in what we believe, and still be kind and loving. Wherever you are, wherever you go, bring His love.

I am determined to walk in His love and power all the way to the end. I can do that because I firmly believe it’s all in His hands, and I firmly believe I am in His hands.

“And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:11-14

Jumping Into The Deep End

FullSizeRender(12)Gaylon and I just spent time in North Carolina celebrating the birthday of Tucker Bryan Benton. Tucker turned three, and he truly lives his three-year-old life! Energy, laughter and going non-stop all describe this boy.

Gaylon and I took a morning to just have fun with Tucker. One of the things we did was take him to swim in a friend’s pool. Tucker was excited, but a little fearful. The pool had no true kiddie area where he could stand up on his own. He wanted to enjoy the pool, but he wanted the water to be shallow.

Finally after much coaxing, we were able to get Tucker to jump into Papa’s arms. He then realized he could trust his Papa. Tucker floated, he twirled, he laughed and he loved the deep water.  Tucker discovered that the deep water was a great place to be, as long as you are in the arms of the one you can trust.

Too often, people never experience more than shallow Christianity. Shallow water allows one to be in control. If I am in shallow water, I can get out any time I don’t like something or someone.  In shallow water, I can jump up and down and demand my way. In shallow water I can see every place I want to step, and places I refuse to step. In the shallow end, I am in total control.

In the beginning of our walk with God, it’s pretty normal to ask God to do things for us. That’s okay, but at some point we must go deeper. When we go deeper, we move beyond what God can do for us, and move toward what we can do for Him. Going deeper causes me to abandon my life, my actions, my tongue, my posts on social media, my attitudes and my whole being to my “Papa” God.

Experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ requires more than prayer and church attendance; it calls for total abandonment to Him. Abandonment does not happen automatically, but is made through daily decisions and sometimes even hourly decisions – not my will but Yours be done.

God is calling us to go deeper. Like Tucker, we will find that the deep water is so much more refreshing. Will you take the leap?

“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” – Luke 5:4

I Have Watched A Man Walk With God

GaylCan you look back over your life and point to an individual or individuals who profoundly impacted your Christian growth?

As I reflect on my forty-seven year walk with God, I can easily name people who greatly influenced my Christian “growth spurts.” I can name great women of the faith who created a thirst in me to know God, and to become a true woman of God. Those women discipled me, disciplined me, mentored me, taught me and encouraged me. More than anything, their lives influenced me.

In our house there will be a lot of celebrating over the next few days.  It’s Father’s Day, my husband’s birthday and our anniversary. As I approach Father’s Day weekend, I want to thank THE man who influenced my Christian growth. Gaylon Benton, my husband of forty-four years, is one of the greatest Christians on earth. He has actually influenced my life more than all of my female mentors.

Gaylon Benton is a kindhearted, loving man who walks with the utmost integrity. I love to watch him as he rejoices with those who rejoice, and weeps with those who weep. I listen to his voice crack as he talks about his children and grandchildren. I watch tears flow down his face as he talks of missing our son Bryan. I have watched as he is overcome with emotion when praying for those whose hearts and lives are broken. Gaylon loves and loves deeply.

Though Gaylon has never been a famous preacher gracing the covers of magazines, or one who has millions following his every word, he is a man like Enoch. The Bible said that Enoch was a man who walked with God.  I have been blessed to watch a man walk with God.

My life is forever changed because one man dared to walk a life submitted to God. As I have watched him love, care, worship, weep, preach and pray, it has called me to a life of integrity before God.

Thank you, Gaylon Benton!  As the lyrics of a great song say, “Thank you for giving to the Lord.  I was a life that was changed.”

Do you have a male or female of great influence in your life? Now’s a good time to thank God for them, and even to thank them. Are you a person who is an influence for God?  As you faithfully walk with God, you can have an enormous effect for His kingdom.

I want to be an influencer for God. May it be said of me, “Like Enoch, she walked with God.”

“Enoch walked faithfully with God.” – Genesis 5:24

The Choice Is Yours

power-of-choiceWeighing well over eleven pounds at birth, I was a candidate for a control top pamper and a training bra before going home. I am a modest dresser, so I won’t take time to show you my six-pack abs. I really do have them! There’s a pack of donuts, a pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups, a pack of Cheezits, a pack of … well, like I said I definitely have a six-pack, even if it shows up as one big pack!

For my entire life, I have battled the bulge. I was born with a propensity to pack on pounds, and do it very easily. I have dreams of being a size two … who am I kidding, I’d take a size eight! I have dreams of eating anything and everything I want, and staying the same size. The old saying really is true, “A guy thinks every woman’s desire is the perfect man, but our greatest desire is to eat all we want and never gain weight!” Here’s the reality: I can claim a size six, but if I sow to a size sixteen, it’s a size sixteen that I shall be.

This blog has nothing to do with weight, but everything to do with reaping and sowing. My physical body will never be healthy until I sow into it what it takes to maintain a healthy body and a healthy weight. This is so very true for the spiritual man also.

As I talk with and watch so many of God’s people, we are great confessors. “I am the head and not the tail.” “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord … plans for a hope and a future.” There are so many more verses that are “refrigerator verses.” These verses are true and should be part of our confession.

BUT … part of our confession must also be, “…for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” What am I sowing, so that I might reap God’s best for my life? What choices do I make with my time, my mouth, my money, my relationships?

Actions have consequences. Don’t ever be fooled into thinking that your actions don’t have consequences. We all reap what we sow..  That sounds negative, but it’s not! If I sow the Word of God into how I make decisions, then I shall reap the plan of God for my life, and He has a good plan! If I sow giving to the Kingdom and using my money wisely, then I shall reap a good financial reward. If I sow using my tongue in a correct manner, then I shall have less tangled messes and ruined relationships. If I sow spending time daily in God’s presence, then I shall reap power for the day. This is not about rebuke, but about inviting God’s best for my life.

I believe God has a great plan and destiny for me. I was born to be a difference-maker. I want to be all that God said I can be, and do all that He has called me to do.  I want to be the head and not the tail!  Confessions don’t determine destiny. Decisions determine destiny.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

The choice is yours. Decide well.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. – Galatians 6:7; “As I have seen, those who plow inquity and sow trouble reap the same.” – Job 4:8; “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6