Sunday, November 06, 2016

I Know Who is Going to Win… No… Wait… Really!

Kevin Bentch, Sunday 11/06/2016

If you knew for certain who would win on Tuesday, you could place bets and make money. No kidding! The odds are amazing either way. So who will win? A noted comedian, Dave Chapelle, half-way joked of how we have a “Gangsta” candidate. Right. Maybe there are two that fit that description! But who do you favor? Who, really now, who will win?



Here I am at 60 years old and have lived through many presidential elections (you do the math). I know where I was when the news came that JFK had been assassinated. I have never experienced anything like this election – ever. I check the news before I go to sleep and again when I wake up. And maybe times in-between. For a while it got so bad I had to put down my phone for a few days. But I could not stand it for long and went back to it. The phrase “It will all be over soon” has become both a way to say “Hi” and way to say “Goodbye”, as someone brought out in a news conference. 

Today is the Lord’s day, and it is a great day to focus on God, hear a sermon, take communion, give money, and fellowship with the saints, wherever you may find them. God wins this moment then. Zeroing in on how God Wins, is a good proposition for other moments – that God will be victorious on Tuesday!

Wait you might say – this or that  candidate is godless and reprobate. Each has a long list, depending on what news source you devote yourself to. So how could anyone say that God will win on Tuesday?

Here is one way: “… the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses – even the lowliest of people.” (Daniel 4:17b). How can this be? Could it be a mystery of God? Reading the Bible, you will note that God loves mysteries and treats them like gifts, for his children to open, as the can and as they will.

What if you embrace the teaching that God really is in charge, and then to your horror, your candidate loses? Instead of feeling that the Word is Coming to an End, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Ask God how you can serve, how you can devote your life, and what you need to focus on. Will the aftermath of the election cause you to lose your hold on “the meaning of life” or will it cause you to focus on God more?

What if the candidate that is best with respect to bringing Glory to God is the one that you oppose? Can you accept that? Can you say “The Lord’s will be done” even if you would rather perish than live through four years of ‘whatever’ with the vile candidate that you oppose? Do you still have to obey?

Jesus, 2000 years ago, walked the streets of Jerusalem during the reign of an oppressive and callus government, the Roman government. You can read volumes about Roman atrocities and cruelties if you’d like. But Jesus did not get into politics. Oh, they tried to get him into politics. Those striving to trick Jesus asked if it was lawful to pay taxes. Slyly, they figured that whichever way Jesus answered, they could charge him with treason against God or treason against Rome. Either way, it would have made for great accusations in the media of the day.

Jesus, son of almighty God asked for a coin, and beat them at their own childish game. Jesus asked whose picture was on the coin? Why, it was Caesar’s picture, they answered not at all kindly I imagine. And Jesus said “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.” (Matthew 22:21). Oh how awesome! How wonderful that Jesus was able to put them to silence.

Given then that God will win on Tuesday, will you work, strive, and commit to render to “Caesar, Hillary Rodham Clinton or Donald J. Trump” the things that belong to “Caesar”? Will you work, strive, and commit to render to God the things that belong to God? If you do this, you will still be able to be happy, rather than miserable. Trusting God, brings peace. Committing to God keeps you busy and defeats depression. Depending on God, disperses worry and fretting. Loving God, provides guidance in every matter of life. Visiting the sick, fatherless and widows is pure religion in God’s eyes after all (James 1:27, paraphrased). And by the way, visiting is a sometimes a biblical euphemism that means providing financial support...  just saying…

If you depend on Caesar (the government) for your happiness, trust, commitment, and love – this will not bring you peace and freedom from fear, worry, and depression. Yes, render your taxes, as you must. But all of the things that really matter such as loving with all your heart, soul, and mind, give that to God. Then, the vagaries and uncertainties of Tuesday, 11/08/2016, will not bother you as much.

The difference is between the eternal and the temporary. Everything to do with God, is eternal. Everything to do with this world, is fleeting and temporary. Devote your energy, communication, and blessing of life – to the eternal.

All financial problems could be resolved. Peace could reign worldwide. Jobs could be provided for everyone. Sickness could be dealt with quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. But if in this fully resolved existence you do not have Jesus, then it means nothing. What does it profit if a person gain the whole world and lose their eternal soul? (Mark 8:36, paraphrased).

The battle for the White House may be over soon. But the battle for your eternal soul rages still. Yet soon and very soon we are all going to see the real and only king that matters, King Jesus, the Christ, the ever-living only begotten son of Almighty God!

What do you think, can you have peace then? Will I still be consumed with the news, will you? Let me know your thoughts and thanks for reading. Blessing on you and yours for now and in eternity, in Jesus name!



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dream and Do!

Have you ever had a strong desire to write something?  Many have told me that they have had such a desire.  Well, what are you waiting for?  Get something to write with, and begin!

Studies have shown that taking time to write in a journal can lead to reduction in depression, increase personal self-confidence, and overall happiness.  Writing does take some discipline.  As you step out on faith, and begin to write, you will indeed find ways to continue it, if you pursue.  Maybe at first, you only have strength to write once a week for 5 minutes.  A little later, maybe you can increase to twice a week, and so on.  Give it a try!

I have had a secret desire, a burn, to be able to write in ways that bring value to others.  Oh... well... earning a fine income is also mixed in there somewhere.  One of the reasons that I sought out a PhD, was to be able to learn to write well.  If you decide to get your Masters and then your PhD, you will write many thousands of words in the process.  I have been writing a lot since 2008.  Now, I am writing my dissertation.  It is an awesome journey!  Feel the desire to write yet?

My oldest daughter, Jessica Dawn, has been a member of www.Upwork.com for a long time.  She has gone through seasons of earning money by writing for others.  I wanted to do that, but through fear of failure, I held back.  Yes, I know... a poor way to go about life.  Finally, a few weeks ago, my oldest daughter, Jessica, a grown woman in her own right, able to counsel others, urged me to at least get started with my profile on www.Upwork.com, and go from there.  Hmmmm.... reminded me of pastoral counseling I do for others, to get them started on their journaling.  Ouch.

So I did!  My profile is taking shape.  I am getting cool photos from Wikimedia to put in my sample writing.  And oh my do I have plenty of writing samples to prepare, that can be put on there that have come from attending graduate school!

Amazingly enough, and by God's grace, I already have been blessed by landing two writing jobs.  I had learned to go for lower paying jobs right off the bat, to gain experience and ratings.  I took that approach, and have enjoyed the effort.  The clients I have written for have declared I have brought them value.  Well, actually, the first one said that, and the second has said encouraging things, but has not rated me yet... we shall see.

So, please, follow your dreams!  God blesses you in your journey.  But you have to actually be on a journey.  God has things to say about not working or being a lazy person, such as if you do not work, you do not eat.  Taking that first step, can be exceptionally difficult.  But our Father in Heaven, does not despise small beginnings.  Why is that?  He sees the end, from the beginning.  So - begin!

This might be something you can do in addition to your other endeavors.  Promise yourself that you will spend an hour each night, building your profile, and reading through job offers on www.Upwork.com.  I want to hear how it is going for you!

Have a truly blessed day in the Lord.  Thanks for reading!  Please let me know your thoughts.

All the best in Jesus,
Kevin

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jerimiah 29:11

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Changes Galore!

Pivotal moments arise from time to time for everyone. There have been a lot of changes recently. I decided to launch my own computer business "Bentcmark Computer Consulting" (http://www.bentchmark.com). May God bless this leap of faith! As the pastor of Living Waters Fellowship (were my bride Joyce is the co-pastor) I hope to spend at least a percentage of my time with ministry duties - as the Lord leads! However, I expect to handle service calls, sell computer related items, offer consulting services, and do some web design. I am blessed!

Emmanuel seems to be doing well. He has adjusted to his medications and continues to have a positive prognosis. We are so thankful to the medical folks who have been instrumental in helping with his condition such as Dr. Zimmerman and his bride Kelcy (an RN). Emmanuel mostly gives off the aura of the picture of health, except when some of the sickle cell disease pain occurs or he takes a long time to get over an illness such as a virus.

Tonight I have been invited to play drums at the local Celebrate Recovery group that meets at Grace Chapel (http://www.gracechapelcc.com). I am out of practice - so would appreciate lots of prayer! This is an eclectic group of musical artists from many different churches. I have enjoyed the spirituality of the group - and the glorious praise to God the times that I have been there.

Come on down! At 5:00pm there is a complimentary supper served. Sharing and praise and worship begin at 6:00pm I believe.

And, there's always something to do with my pursuit of a Masters in Mental Health Counseling. I just have a couple more classes until I begin my practicum in July 2012. Oh My This Is Another Leap of Faith! During the residency in November 2011, the teacher opined that we were all really counselors already, we just did not know it yet. I hope to feel much more like a counselor after a few weeks of practicum. Then it is off to my internship. I have yet to secure a location for practicum and internship - please keep this in prayer! There is a facility in Thermopolis, one in Worland, and one in Basin. We shall see!

Is everyone as busy as this? I just never imagined that I'd be so busy as a grown up. I thought that 'they' got to do whatever they wanted. And that is sort of the case... it is just that it is easy to decide to do many, many things. One thing that my mentors at Capella University (www.capella.edu) have noted is the importance of self-care. This means that you must take time for yourself - by making this a priority. I hope to take some time for self care now that I have my own business - or am I thinking foolishly? Time will tell!

Blessings to you as you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus and live a life like he did - one of self-sacrifice, love to others, and continual service.

John 13:1-5 "Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded."

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

*** News Flash *** Kevin and Joyce now Pastors at Living Waters Fellowship

A few weeks ago, the Living Waters Fellowship, a ministry of the Church of God of Prophecy, accepted Joyce and I as their new pastors. We are so excited about this appointment of God! Rachel, our middle daughter, has been leading praise and worship each Sunday.

Class for everyone is at 10:00am and then regular church at 11:00am. Praise and Worship is mostly contemporary, with a few more traditional songs. This week, songs include selections from Hillsong and Kari Jobe. May we be ushered into the very presence of God, entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Our hope is to become fully sold out to Jesus during this sweet time of worship, lost in praise.

What would church have to look like, before you would like to be there? Hopefully, at Living Waters, we can scripturally become the kind of church you would feel welcome at. Everyone there is committed to being friendly, supportive, and caring to each other - thinking of the 'new' commandment that Jesus gave, that we are to love one another (John 13:34). Every congregation that seeks to be part of the body of Christ should be strong on this teaching of Jesus. Come Living Waters, and help us make this scripture come alive!

Tomorrow's sermon is on Thankfulness. Unless the Lord directs differently, the songs chosen by Rachel are: "I Am Singing", "Refiner's Fire", "Here in Your Presence", and "None but Jesus". Class, taught by Joyce (and Rachel) is on the subject of the call of Samuel. The adult class will be in Jude (I think :).

We are so humbled that God would think us worthy to serve in this manner. We are also very excited about what the future might hold. We put it in God's hands, and we submit to His plans for our lives. May the Name of God be glorified in us - in Jesus precious holy name!

The church is located at the corner of Sage Crossing and Cardinal, in Worland, Wyoming. If you are looking for a new church home, or just want to visit, do please stop by. Check us out - we might be just what you are looking for! Be blessed in Jesus Name!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Amazing Times in Worland, Wyoming!

What's been happening the last year? Wow - has it been intense! Most important, our little grandson, Emmanuel Bentch is seeing significant health improvements. As of June, he was started on a low dose of Hydroxyurea (Droxia). Each month or so, the dosage was increased pending good bloodwork. His blood has steadily improved!
Before the Droxia, under a microscope, all of his Red Blood cells were malformed. His Hb was around 6, very anemic. Now - his Hb is 12.1 - no longer anemic! Hallelujah! Yeah! Praise God! More than that, under the microscope you are hard pressed to find even one Sickle Cell, unusual for anyone suffering from Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Better than that, it has been months since he has suffered a pain crisis. Our lives have changed, and so has his!
We are his caretakers, under the auspices of the Department of Family Services (DFS). We are now licensed Foster parents. We never expected to be raising up another child - but truly - we make our plans, but God directs our steps!
More later! God's blessings on you!

Monday, March 02, 2009

First March - Not Me Monday Post!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can also head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. But for my week, read on!

It was not me who put off getting kinesio tape on his knee. Now really, would I doubt the reports of my friends who had their knee pain removed with this treatment? If that were the case, I would have suffered unnecessarily for weeks, limping around in a painful knee when relief was just moments away. Humph….

I would never have messed up in my Capella University online classes either. Nope, I would not have thought the required number of response postings was only one, when actually each student is required to post two responses (for this particular class). Then, if I had actually done that, and gotten a 90 instead of a 100, like I would have been shooting for, there’s no way I would have been totally upset about making a 90. That’s a good grade – anyway – right?

And since I am not a medical professional nor do I play one on TV I would never have given cheesy advice to the nurse about where and how to draw blood. Of course, drawing blood from one’s grandchild is a very painful emotional experience. But really, who am I to try to persuade the lab tech (most of whom are young enough to be my kids :) to try for a vein in Emmanuel’s foot rather than in his precious little arm. I mean, just because on his previous visit to ER they had to try 4 times, gold digging each time…. That might have sounded like I was trying to be bossy – oh no, not me!

Just because I used to be a computer guy I wouldn’t go around bragging about it either. Because had I done that, my doctor who is setting up his new office could then have called on me to fix his printer problem. Then, if I had actually fixed it, there’s no way I would have been so proud of myself. Isn’t humility one of the things God blesses you for? Of course it is because God humbles the proud… in fact Jesus said that whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted in Luke 14:11. So it couldn’t have been me.

Those new Roasted Rockstar coffee drinks would have never become my fav drink either. How could I want that type of drink just because they taste great and fully wake you up for a few hours? Not me, uh-uhhh. Had I been in the habit of buying several of these $2 extravagances, there’s just absolutely no way I would have bought some at our local Pamida (a Wal-Mart wanna be) and then lost them. That’s right – lost them only to finally find them in a purse my wife bought as a gift for my mom. The checker might have put the cans in the purse to be more “green” and save a few bags. If that had actually happened, there’s no way I would have danced around the house in glee – and immediately consumed one of these luscious chocolaty coffee creamy things… yum yum – I mean – no way – not me!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just Missed One; Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Just because I live in Wyoming, there is no way I would drive an hour and a half to Walmart. I am not that desperate for Walmart. Everyone knows there is no wildlife in the grand state of Wyoming, so it certainly was not me who had to stop and laugh and wipe my eyes because I saw TWO bald eagles on the way to Walmart. That would be ridiculous.

And had I gone to Riverton on Friday for another Walmart extravaganza, there is no way I would have gone downtown and proceeded to lock my keys in the car. Had I done that, there is no way I would have had to hitch a ride from a local store owner because there are so many taxi cabs in Smalltown, WY. Since that did not happen to me, the store owner did not drive me to Walmart to get my wife's keys. That would be childish. Ridiculous. Ha.

It's not me who is having to retrieve my dog on a daily basis from my neighbor's yard. My dog knows I am the master and my wife the other master. Since my dog knows that there is no way my dog would take up with my neighbor and we'd have to go get him all the time. There is no way he has found a place he is happier at. That would be embarrassing. Stupid dog.

Absolutely not me that spent hours and materials frying up a rabbit and putting it into the oven for the final crispy on the meat. Since it was not me who crisped up the meat, I did not end up forgetting about it for three days. That could not have been me. If that had happened, the housekeeper, upon finding said meat, might have asked if my wife wanted the chicken in the oven. If there had been three day old meat in the oven, my darling Joyce might have had to swallow hard before telling the housekeeper to toss the disgusting, forgotten cooked rabbit. That was not me because I would never put my wife through such a thing. Not me.

And last, but not least, it is definitely not me who sits in a parking lot on another trip to the far away Walmart, dictating my "not me Monday post" to my daughter who lives in Virginia. She did not call to remind me (per her weekly habit) to post my list. I did not then ask her to write them for me while I told them to her via the telephone. My daughter is not long-suffering and wonderful.

Thank you so much for reading; have a wonderful day!!