Introducing Gary Benton
When I grow up I want to be like Gary Benton. I hope this day comes soon, because the world would be a better place with at least one more Gary Benton. Gary is a friend of mine whom I met in seminary. I’m excited that you’ll get to hear from him on this blog shortly. And when I grow up I want to be like him. While he and his wife Amanda are younger than Laura and I by a few years they are old souls that we admire and look up to. They live their lives with a combination of courage, wisdom, whimsy and faith that Laura and I love to be around.
If the lives of Christians can by likened racers running around a track like the Apostle Paul describes, then Gary and
Amanda are folks I want to draft off of. When I first met Gary in my ethics classroom in seminary I thought from day one, “This guy has wisdom and depth!” These are two qualities I value in a friend—so I decided I needed to meet him. I grabbed him after class, we set up a play with our kids, our wives hit it off and the rest is history.
One of the things I appreciate most about Gary and Amanda is the way they are living out their faith in Jesus in simple but amazing ways. They operate with the deep conviction that Jesus is actively guiding their lives. They pray, they listen, and they act on what God is speaking to them. Those are pretty bold behaviors! I remember the first time I heard the amazing “God story” that led them to the town they currently live in. God led, they
followed, and lives are being touched around them through their simple obedience.
For some, faith is something that is turned to as a way of escape when things get hard. Gary and Amanda on the other hand are rare ones whose faith regularly leads them straight into the hard, and they go there with excitement, because they find a friend named Jesus there—right in the middle of the hard. Inspired by stories of missionaries like George Mueller, Gary and Amanda are letting God write new stories of His love and power through their lives.
In this most recent chapter of their journey Gary and Amanda have adopted a son and they are loving him with the love that their heavenly Father has put inside of them. In addition to being wonderful human beings, Gary and Amanda are also deep thinkers, writers, and poets. I’m excited you’ll be getting to hear from them. Your lives will be richer for it.
As I close today let me invite you to take a simple step, that emulates my friends Gary and Amanda. Take a moment and pause, and while you pause, ask God if there is anything big or small that he wants to speak to you today.