From the White House to the World
By Ginny Dent Brant
Author: Finding True Freedom
Harry Dent helped to build the Republican Party in the South in the 1950’s and 60’s and served Senator Thurmond and three presidents: Nixon, Ford, and Bush. He was an influential aide to President Richard Nixon who narrowly escaped Watergate.
In Finding True Freedom, his daughter Ginny Dent Brant, shows the up close transformation of her father from political strategist to kingdom strategist. This father who was “addicted to politics” and who blocked his own daughter’s spiritual path, ends up doing and becoming everything he forbids her to be. Here’s an excerpt from her book which shows the type of mid-life crisis every man needs to have.
“The Final Surrender”
The change in my father’s heart was something my mother had always longed for. After trying to be the spiritual leader of our family for nearly twenty years and attending churches that didn’t teach the Bible, many times she had been left hopeless and in despair. Now she was overjoyed by dad’s transformation.
You might say my father was having a midlife crisis. Although he had achieved success in law, politics and business, he had always focused on his worldly accomplishments and neglected his spiritual life. At age forty-eight he finally realized he didn’t have unlimited time left on this earth, and it caused him to think about what he had done in his life that really mattered. But instead of buying a sports car or running after younger women, he ran hard and fast after God’s will for his life. I wish more men and women would have a midlife crisis like my father did.
Alton and I enjoyed every minute of it—especially when dad left his law practice to attend Columbia International University, the very school he had once forbidden me to attend. Chuck Colson wisely recommended that he get one year of in-depth training before he set out on his new mission in life. Hard to believe that the man the New York Times hailed as “one who drinks and smokes nothing but politics” was now hungering and thirsting on every word from Genesis to Revelation.
During his Nixon years my father had actually been quoted, on April 22, 1972, as saying, “Like the Bible, we are going from Genesis to Revelation and showing the president as a man of peace.” At that time my father was hailed as the “Nixon Evangelist” who went out to sell what the president was doing and saying. Now, in his new life, he would learn the true meaning of all God’s wisdom from Genesis to Revelation, which was something he had mistakenly thought he already knew. Now he would become an evangelist for the only true God. And instead of my father being the one to manipulate circumstances and minds, he would see that God alone controlled his life and the fate of the entire world.
Do you remember that picture my father gave me when we got married? The painting of that shack in the woods? Of course my husband and I couldn’t resist the urge to make light of the irony of it all. We gave dad all the reasons why he shouldn’t go to CIU—that he would never be a success in this world and that he would be a poor church mouse who nibbled at cheese. And we gave him back the shack picture as a reminder.
After seeing the change in my father’s life, my sister eventually rededicated her life to the Lord and has been serving Him ever since. My younger brother, whom I had helped care for during my high-school years, also gave his life to Christ. This shows what happens when a man becomes the spiritual leader of his family.
Yes, at age forty-eight, my father gave his heart and his life to our Lord Jesus Christ. He had been caught up in the drive for worldly success, which the Bible clearly warns us against. He tried to infect me with it too. He wholeheartedly admits that politics was his first love and the lord of his life. He was driven to success, trying to overcome his younger days of embarrassment over his own father’s alcoholism and failure. He was also trying to make up for the loss of his two beloved brothers, Jack and H.N. Dent, who had been killed in World War II. My dad always checked in with God when he needed Him, but after God had served Harry’s purpose, he would always put Him back on hold until he got in another bind.
Alton and I watched the miracle in my father’s life after he started listening to the beat of a different drummer. Some days we were so touched at what God was doing that we cried, and some days we would roar with laughter, amazed at how our Lord had such a sense of humor. To see dad go back to school as a full-time student in order to learn the Bible from Genesis to Revelation — especially to the forbidden Columbia International University — was more than we had ever dreamed of or prayed for. To see him taught and discipled by the same godly men who made such a difference in our lives—men such as Charlie Wenzel, Robertson McQuilkin and Buck Hatch—was such a
joy to us.
My father had once believed that his greatest day was the day he raised his right hand to recite and commit to the oath of office as special counsel to the president of the United States. He was to find out that his greatest days were yet ahead. A new life was just beginning at age forty-eight. And my father and I were beginning to dance to the same tune again.
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Learn more about Ginny Dent Brant at www.ginnybrant.com
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Ginny Dent Brant is an educator, author, counselor, soloist, speaker and president of Laity Alive and Serving, which her father started in 1985. Today the ministry continues to serve countries like Romania with the physical and spiritual needs and supplies that are needed to minister to individuals who need the “true freedom” found in Christ. Ginny has also served as a trustee of the International Mission Board. Ginny and her husband Alton live in Clemson, South Carolina and have three sons and a daughter-in-law.
Ginny has appeared on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power, Christian Television Network, The Dr. Gina Show, The Bob Dutko Show, American Family Radio and others. She has been featured in Reach Out magazine, The Columbia Star, The News and Courier (Charleston), The Baptist Courier of South Carolina, and other newspapers and television interviews in South Carolina.
Learn more about Ginny Dent Brant at www.ginnybrant.com
Excerpt taken from Finding True Freedom (pp 123-125) by Ginny Brant, © CLC Publications 2010. Used with permission.
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