"My Daddy Loves Me" Newsletter




Making a Deal with God,
Part One

25 March 2003
Email: David Benrexi

I grew up in a home where the only time you heard Jesus Christ's name it was being used as a curse. My parents didn't believe in God. I was about eight when I found out. I was shocked, because I'd heard about God in Sunday school, how He created the earth, about Adam and Eve, and Moses and Abraham. We were Jewish and living in New Jersey, and every Sunday morning we'd take a little ride to Temple where my brother Gary, who was a year older, and I were dropped off to learn about Judaism. It was pretty interesting actually. Isaac's miraculous birth. Jacob conning Esau out of the birthright and the blessing. Joseph's coat of many colors. Moses parting the Red Sea. The ten commandments. David and Goliath. Good stuff.

But my mother told me she didn't believe in God and neither did my father. I was confused. I knew we weren't Christians, and didn't believe in worshiping a baby, that God was not a human, but hearing he really didn't exist disturbed me. I didn't know what to believe anymore. It was no big deal to my parents. They continued to take me to Sunday School at Temple Sinai where I learned about the bible and the history of the Jews, God's chosen people. I was Bar Mitzvahed, reading Hebrew without the vowels from the Torah and delivering a sermon to the congregation at the tender age of thirteen.

All through high school I continued to participate in Jewish activities and associate with the Jewish kids. Around the age of sixteen I began to think my parents were right. In the mid-60's there was a glamor attached to being an aetheist or an agnostic. I played that game for the next three years, all through high school and my first year of college. Midway through my sophomore year I returned home after final exams and soon realized my parents had some bad news. They told me my best friend Bob had been shot in the head in Viet Nam, that he was in a coma and not expected to live. I was upset and angry when they told me it had happened almost a week earlier. They had refrained from telling me because they didn't want to distract me during final exams.

The last time I had seen Bobby, he had visited me at Penn State after doing a tour of duty in Viet Nam. My brother Gary had recently enlisted and been sent there, so Bobby decided to go back, although he could have elected to finish his tour elsewhere. We had a great time during his visit, and he was definitely my closest friend, which was odd, since for most of my childhood we competed against each other in almost everything and often wound up throwing nasty words at each other, and fists. Bobby was Irish-Italian and Catholic. I was Russian-Austrian and Jewish. But we were very much alike in that whatever the game was, we went all out to win.

I remember the feeling of hopelessness after being told my best friend was going to die. I shut myself up in my room, angry that my parents hadn't told me sooner. I began crying out to a God whose existence I had denied, and whose Son I had made jokes about. I said: "If you really exist, don't let my friend die, and I'll never deny your existence again." 

I honestly figured it wouldn't do any good, because I didn't believe He did exist, but I was desperate, and didn't know what else to do. Bobby was lying unconscious on a ship near Japan, I was told, and a few days later, we found out that he had regained consciousness, but was paralyzed down the left side of his body. I was ecstatic. About a month later he arrived at his home in New Jersey and I ditched school for almost a week to go visit him. He had a huge dent in his skull and almost no motion on the left side of his body which was particularly difficult since he was left-handed. Over the next several months, he had surgery to close the hole in his head and began therapy to regain some motion on his left side. Eventually he was able to care for himself, drive a car, and start college. We became even closer friends, and he was the man that introduced me to my wife, for which I am eternally thankful.

That was the end of denying God's existence, but it also marked a new beginning into deeper levels of sin than I'd ever known. It was through my friend Bobby that I became involved with the pursuit of musical stardom and the lifestyle of "love and peace" which really meant sex and drugs. All this time, I felt I was developing a relationship with God, Who I credited with saving my friend's life. It would be eleven years later that I got off that road that leads to death to fully embrace the loving God Who had spared my friend's life so graciously.

So as a young man, I thought I could reason with God, and make a deal like I did. In other words, for me to get anything from God, I had to be willing to do something or give up something. I believed His gifts had strings attached. In our next My Daddy Loves Me Newsletter, I'll share the other deal I made with God based on ignorance, and how God came through for me again.

Do you ever think God's holding out on you, and you need to do something to get what you want from Him? I wish I had known Him sooner. That I know Him at all is a miracle. I'm so glad He reached out His hand to me:

The first time that I saw You/ I truly was amazed/ You reached out Your hand/ And I beheld Your face/ And ever since that day/ I knew You were my friend/ I knew I had to be with You/ When You reached out Your hand
Draw me into Your presence LORD/ Draw me LORD to Your throne/ Draw me into Your holiness/ To worship You alone
I will be with You forever/ Throughout all eternity/ My love for You will never end/ And neither will Your love for me

This song can be heard at our web-page:
It is track #9 on 'Pink or Blue?'

It is with great pleasure that I announce the winners of our contest to name a manager for God's All-Star Baseball Team.

First Place goes to Jack from Illinois who wrote:
Uh, David, the manager of this team should be Elisha - because he motivated the BAD NEWS BEARS to maul his adversaries and hecklers.

2 Kings 2:23-25 I've already got your CD. ;^)-- Jack

Jack will be receiving a Billy Crockett CD called "In These Days LIVE". 18 great songs.


Second Place goes to Bob from Oregon who wrote:
The manager could be the servant who invested his coins wisely and had many when the master returned to see how the investments had worked out- you know, one guy buried his and had one to return... the other guy had gotten the most out of what he had to work with.

Bob has my CDs also, so I'm sending Him another Billy Crockett CD called "Simple Plans". Billy works with Habitat for Humanity building houses for people to live in. 

Bob from Oregon has built many houses also, which is amazing for someone who has only limited use of the left side of his body. I'm very proud of my friend Bob. He is the very same friend that I made a deal with God about 33 years ago, and he is also my brother in Christ. I love you Bobby!

And everybody who's reading this, believe me when I tell you, DADDY LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVES YOU!
David Benrexi

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