God sees things from a different angle: Mirroring Obedience

Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 3:16-18

The next step of forming the heart was one of the hardest parts. After I formed the top of the heart, the next step was to pick it up, turn it around, and make it so that the top of the heart was close to me and the bottom part was away from me. Then I had to keep pushing the sides in a little bit harder and harder. This was the step that kept making me think, “Oh yay! I’m getting what definitely looks like a heart.” I looked closer and realized I was forming all kinds of shapes; but not a heart. I formed so many shapes that I don’t even remember how many times it took before I formed the heart; even as I was trying to mirror Jessica who was right beside me. All I know is that after much practice, I finally did it! In the meantime, Jessica kept saying “breathe.” At one point, Jessica began making her own shapes with play-doh, just to see how much I could do on my own without her instructing me. It was difficult, but finally, my hands and brain communicated the right messages to each other and I did it! Usually, learning to do something like this takes a couple of weeks. Somehow, after many times, I did it that day. It was amazing because that day it was only my second time doing it along with making the other pieces. Here it is:

It reminded me of how easy it is for people, especially in today’s society, to “mirror” Christianity and talk the lingo but not mean it. One time, a pastor by the name of Gordon Kirk (he was filling in for a while after our old pastor retired and our church was in the process of finding a new pastor) referred to it as, “Bumper Sticker Theology.” If you’re one of those people who has a Christian bumper sticker on your car, does your life reflect what it says on that bumper sticker?

It also reminded me of how, when we have a problem, we might ask God, “God what are you doing?” In the case where I was trying to learn to make the heart with play-doh, I could easily cry out the words in Romans chapter 9 and say, “Lord why did you make me like this?” (I can’t tell you how many times I let out a big sigh as I was learning to make a heart with my limited hand dexterity.) The Lord says to me, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5). Over time, as I’ve grown in the Lord, I’ve begun to understand what that means and how God’s plan is perfect, even during the times that I really don’t like my physical challenges. NOTHING in my life is a mistake! Often, God sees our problems from a different angle. In my case, I often say if I didn’t have my cerebral palsy and the challenges that go with it, would I care about spiritual things as much? Could I write these stories and share these messages? I don’t think so. Would I have a deep understanding of Jeremiah 1:5, and be able to talk to my Awana girls about inner beauty the same way I did in 2017? I don’t think so. Without my challenges that God allowed to stay, where would I be spiritually? Only God knows that. By the way, here’s a photo of the Christmas present my Awana girls gave me after I did my lesson titled, “How becoming a Christian is like becoming a vase.” If you’re interested in seeing the devotionals I wrote while I was learning to make a vase in preparation for my Awana lesson, click on the link labeled “Play-Doh,” and scroll through it. It’s the first one on the left under “Rachael Benson Blog.” You can’t miss it. Why am I able to talk to kids and other people about that stuff? Because I need help with things most people take for granted; like getting dressed, combing my hair, and taking a shower. I could go on and this would be a long post, but I won’t.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing bad about Christian phrases on bumper stickers, but it shouldn’t be the only way we know Jesus. It should serve as a trigger to make us think about Him and want to get to know Him. I pray that many of us are using this unusual time to get to know the Lord more. If this virus was going to happen, thank goodness for today’s technology! There are so many ways to stay connected through the Internet. Even if you can’t physically go to church right now, many churches are having their services online. Set up a zoom meeting and do a Bible study that way. Where there’s a will there’s a way. It’s all a question of how badly do we really want to see a change in our lives? How badly do we want to have true peace? God gave us free will. While He desires for us to obey Him, He’s not going to force anything on us. God doesn’t want us to be robots, but instead, He wants our love for Him to be genuine and sincere.

If there is anyone out there reading this who doesn’t know the Lord as their Savior or has questions about anything I wrote, please feel free to post them on my blog. Just make sure you click on “I am not a robot,” or your comment won’t go through. I moderate comments to make sure everything said on my blog is clean. It’s just one more way to make sure I honor God with my writing. I love hearing from my readers!

Dear Lord,

Help me to have a desire to get to know you more so that I can mirror a reflection of your son Jesus, and make people want what I have. Help me to use this time in our nation to be transformed by you day by day, until you bring me home to heaven.


Author’s Note: Here’s a link to my church’s website. They have a kids’ church service at 9:30 am on Sundays, and the main service is at 10 am. The kids’ service has a funny puppet named Stew, and the songs are energetic and lively. They’re perfect for the whole family to dance to. It reminds me of Vacation Bible School. Click on the link  below:

Grace Baptist Church Services

Also,  if you want to go beyond watching the church service, different pastors of the church are putting together devotionals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s neat to hear everyone’s perspective during this time. I especially enjoyed the devotional done on Friday, April 24, by Pastor Peter. I felt like he wasn’t really preaching a sermon, but instead, he was telling a story. It was perfect for a writer. Scroll through the Together page to listen here.

Here’s the other church my mom and I have tuned in to lately. This is my brother-in-law’s church in Atlanta Georgia. Their pastor is big on reaching out to the community. He shares many stories from his own life experiences to illustrate the points he makes in his sermons. He’s quite easy to listen to.

Peachtree Church




““Bearing Fruit in every good work” Honoring God with our Deeds


Colossians 1:9-12 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”

After I formed the ball, the next step was to flatten the ball and begin forming the hardest part of the shape of the heart. Flattening the ball was the easy part. I just pushed down on the play-doh with the palm of my hand and it became a lump. The next step was to pull my finger down to the center and stop about two centimeters. I was beginning to form the top of the heart. Many times I kept going past two centimeters and having to redo the heart. Eventually, after watching Jessica, practicing several times, and Jessica finally saying, “Stop right here,” my brain started to get it. As I’ve said many times before, repetition is the key. I got the hang of it and I finally figured out where to stop.

It reminded me of how even when we come to Jesus, the transformation in our lives doesn’t just happen right away. Depending on what our lives were like before we came to Christ, many times God has some “spring cleaning” to do in our lives before we can be used by Him to minister to others. It takes time before we  are able to  put away our old practices such as foul language and self-centeredness, and really, truly begin to walk in His ways. But again, as I’ve said before, God is always working on us until we get home to heaven. After we’ve spent time getting to know Him, through things like reading the Bible and talking with other Christ-followers, He gives us a longing to do good deeds that would honor Him. We begin to see that everything we do in our day can be used as a ministry to help others. In my case, I volunteer at my local hospital and at the Awana program at my church. At the hospital, when people see my wheelchair, they often have questions and want to know what it’s like because they themselves might have to use a wheelchair. Even if I volunteered and wasn’t in a wheelchair, I don’t think it would have the same kind of impact on people as it does with the wheelchair. Even though it’s hard at times, the wheelchair helps me relate to people. Some Christians have told me that they can see God’s light shining in me. What they mean is that a lot of people wouldn’t expect someone like me to have such a positive outlook on life. I appreciate the compliment, but it didn’t happen overnight. I had a lot of love and support from my family, as well as a God-given, strong desire to get to know Him and share these messages with you. Thank you, Lord, for the desires you’ve put in my heart to get to know you. I can’t wait to see what other lessons you are going to teach me about you so that I can grow in my faith and understand more about who you are.


God the Master Heart Surgeon

Jeremiah 18:3-4

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”


The first step to creating a heart was forming the shape of a ball. For the most part that was pretty simple. I was able to take the play-doh of the container and roll it around using the palms, but it took a few times. As I held the play-doh in my hands I had a hard time not squishing the play-doh and just giving it a light touch. I started forming the ball and then my friend Jessica helped me smooth out the edges and form the shape even more until it was perfect.  One of the challenges with my cerebral palsy because of the spasticity in my body (that’s a fancy word for muscle tightness) is to get the part of my body I want to use (in this case my hands) to relax and touch things lightly so they can do the right motion. My friend Jessica and I had set aside a whole day to work on all the steps that go into making a heart and give the pieces time to harden up before we started the series. We didn’t start the series when we thought we were going to because Jessica had gotten sick. By that time, I had forgotten that a few weeks ago my mom had moved the pieces to another spot. I remembered when I saw some pieces Some papers had to be moved off of a chair looking for something and the ball rolled off the placemat and onto the ground and broke into pieces.  I was not happy! It’s just a little thing, and fortunately of all the steps the ball is the easiest if I had to redo something, but with cerebral palsy simple movements and forming simple shapes take time. I was upset with myself for forgetting to remind my mom to move the steps to a safer spot.  Since I can’t physically move things myself asking someone, “Could you put this here or there?” is my way of stay organized and this time it was really important! Ugh! Here’s the broken ball.

So recently I redid the ball. It was very hard to keep pieces together. The play-doh kept falling apart. My mom finally took the container of play-doh and put some water in it to make it moister so the pieces would stick together, and it worked. While I did most of the ball myself, forming the shape, etc. My mom did help me smooth it out. Here’s the finished ball.

It reminded me of how we often come to God even if we’ve known His son Jesus as our Savior for quite a while. Just like the verse says we’re like spoiled pieces of clay that need to be reworked. How many times have you found yourself thinking, “I can do this.” As you struggle and struggle until you’re so frustrated you want to throw your hands up and scream, “I can’t take it anymore!” When we cry out to God and say, “Lord I need you!” I believe that’s when God says, the master heart surgeon” I’ve been waiting to hear you say that.” He picks up and begins to form that ball our hearts into a vessel that can be used by Him. You know your heart is being transformed when through that hardship, you say, “Lord what are you trying to teach me? What shape do you think is best for me to be used by You?”

Dear Lord.

I admit I can’t live my life without you. I’m a mess. The weight off this world is too much responsibility alone. I need you to come into my life and be my master heart surgeon. Rework my heart and my life into the shape that seems best to You. I can’t wait to see what shape that is.


“Transformed for Special Purposes”

In my new series, “Transformed for special purposes,” we’re going to talk about how I learned how to make a heart with play-doh as I faced challenges with my hands that come with having cerebral palsy, as well as the biblical lessons I learned while I was doing it. Each week, I will share verses about the heart and how God transforms our hearts when we let Him.

For instance, in my case, for me, transformation means acceptance. Acceptance of the challenges that come with my disability, focusing on how I can bring glory to God by helping others, and how I can share the gospel. A verse that has become a favorite of mine over the years which gave me the idea for this series is Romans 9:20-21 where it says, “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” I believe God created us all for a purpose to be used by Him and share His love with others in some way.  As we discover how God transforms our hearts, my hope is to get people thinking about how they can use their gifts and talents to honor Him.

We’ll talk about the gospel in a nutshell. We’ll talk about how God who is the master heart surgeon, comes into our messy lives and performs heart surgery through our longing to do good deeds, obey Him, and follow His ways. We’ll talk about how lasting challenges change our attitudes about certain things, which allows God to purify our hearts even more as He prepares for us a place in heaven where we can one day be with Him if we have a relationship with Him now. Ultimately, God’s idea is for our hearts to be modeled after His heart. As we allow God to transform our hearts, people will begin to take notice, and we begin to discover more about God’s goodness that we wouldn’t discover otherwise. As Jesus tells His disciples when they ask about the man born blind, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3b. Please join me on the journey as we see God transform our hearts and let’s grow in faith together.



Lights, Camera, Action! Or not?; God’s Small lessons shape my character

This is a small glimpse of my writer’s office. I’m in my room.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Have you ever tried to figure out something for a long time, and then later, when you finally figured it out, you said to yourself, “Why didn’t I notice that before? How did I miss it?”

That’s what happened to me the other night. Because of this whole social distancing thing, in order to stay connected to each other, my Awana group decided to do an online video meeting. When it was time, I typed in everything I was supposed to and logged on. Everyone could hear my voice, but no one could see my face; I couldn’t figure out why. I looked all over my computer screen. Finally, when the meeting was almost over, my mom figured it out. My webcam was on top of the computer screen. It had a button right in the center that needed to be pushed to be popped up. My mom pushed the button, and it worked! Everyone could see me!   That’s right!  How many times did Jessica say, “Look up.” Duh!

I felt so silly!How did I not notice that when Jessica and I had done all of those videos for my YouTube channel in the past? After I thought about it, I realized it was because my mind had been so focused on writing and memorizing the scripts, and trying to convey my message, that I didn’t notice everything Jessica did to help me make it happen. Sometimes that’s what happens when I can’t physically do something for myself. If I don’t have to think about something, I don’t. Oh well, now I’ll remember where the button is next time and in the future.

It reminded me of how hard it is for us to see the obvious, small lessons that God is often trying to teach us. Lessons that shape our character to help us become more like Him. Many times, while God is allowing us to go through something, at the time, we may ask, “Lord, what are you doing?” The Lord says, “Trust me.”  After we get through the trial God allows, if we have the right attitude and we turn to God for help, we can look back and say, “Here’s what I learned about God while I was going through this. Here’s the jewel that was added to my heavenly crown.” When you get to the end of your trial, can you honestly say, “God is so good?” What jewels has the Lord added to your heavenly crown so far?

Dear Lord,

Help me to pay attention to the small, obvious lessons you’re trying to teach me that help shape my character. Remind me that while I’m here on earth, I’m in training for heaven. Thank you for the reminder that true strength is only found in you. Help me get through my trials well, so that I may earn many jewels on my crown, and we’ll have a big welcome home party in heaven.


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