Sunday, November 28, 2010

Give thanks

So I know it might be a little late for a thanksgiving blog. but I decided that one day shouldnt define when you should write a blog about giving thanks. I mean seriously why are we gonna let society tell us when it is appropriate to give thanks for something. .... actually it is more that i was lazy last week and didnt really feel like writing but the previous at least was a valiant argument. But being over here in Korea celebrating Thanksgiving in a different setting. VERY DIFFERENT. And experiencing new things the last 6 months has really opened my eyes to new and old things to be thankful for. So here is my top 10 things that I am thankful for this year (in no particular order)

1.Family- I am so thankful for my family. One of the most overstated sayings is "you dont know what you got till its gone" Well i can proudly say that is not the case for me. I have always appreciated my family and I know the feeling is mutual. But ever since being over here I have realized that my family is so unique. I have met people from all over the world and some have really good families and some don't but no matter what the family makeup is for people I have realized that My FAMILIA is perfect for me. I am the man that i am today because of my family. I love how goofy we can be and how deep we can be. I love how my mom can get everyone ready for school while still in the bed. I love how my dad always keeps me up to date on the newest shows and how my grandparents always make sure that i have something on my head when its cold. I have come to the realization that my family are some of the funniest people that i know and I miss that and am so thankful to be a part of it.

2.Families- I have been really blessed with a lot of families in my life that treat me like their own and I have become so grateful for that over the years. I am glad to say that I have added a new family over here to that mix. There is something about interaction with kids and being able to talk to adults that really does things for my heart. I love getting wisdom from people that have been through the fire and further along on the journey than me and i love the joy and fun that a kid can bring to my life. It has been hard for me to hang out with so many people in the same place as me. I mean its fun but I dont grow and get challenged nearly as much as I do from my adopted families. The best part about the different families in my life is that they are not fulfilling some void left from my family but just an abundance of love that the lord has graced me with.

3. Toilet paper in bathrooms- i know this one might seem a little weird but most public bathrooms in Korea do not have t.p. in the stalls and it can turn into a very unpleasant surprise. luckily I have either lucked out or taken a peek into the stall before sitting on my throne. There is a hilarious story that goes with this but i will save it for those who want to hear. So if you are one of those people just ask me about my close call with no t.p. and i will give you the deets.

4. Heated floors- Korea has been hard for me, i am not gonna lie but they did knock this one out of the park. the apartments heat comes from the floor which is a good concept since hot air rises, Reist would be so proud of me. But there is no better feeling than waking up either in the middle of the night or in the morning and walking on a nice warm floor instead of the shock of cold wood. since Korea doesnt believe in carpet this is a very viable option.

5. Driers - I will never take for granted again the greatness that is a drier. I remember having a shirt or something that i wanted to wear at night and putting a load of laundry in and playing a game of madden or watching a movie and knowing that I will have the shirt when i am done. I cant even count the times that i was down to my last pair of undies just praying that the laundry would be dry by the morning. I realize that there are a lot of people around the world that dont have driers but I am glad that I have had one for most of my life.

6. Internet T.V.- I know this is going to make me sound shallow but being able to watch t.v. and keep up with shows that i like has made me feel connected almost as much as anything. I never watched t.v. online until i got to korea. But when you have 18 hours of free time at work a week. It's a great way to pass the time. I know all you people will say "pick up a book" or "do something more productive" but i will just stick to my and my and my favorite

7.GOOD BEEERRRRR- yess i emphasize this not because I am some raging alcoholic by any means but because I always thought that coors light, or pbr was the worst beer you could ever get. It wasnt until I met mr. Cass, Hite and Max(uh) that i really appreciated good beer. i mean it makes the before mentioned beer seem like a good micro brew. Just imagine how bad this beer has to be to make you wish you could drink a coors light or a natty light for Gods sake. I am not even gonna mention how much it makes me miss really good beer like Newcastle, Dos Equis, Chimay, my favorite microbrews and best of all a BLVD Wheat.

8. Driving- One of the worst feelings you can have is swiping your T-money card (subway card) and hearing the train leaving or running to the bus stop to see that it is just leaving and your options are wait for 10 minutes or take a cab. Korea has an amazing public transportation system and I am not complaining about that at all. I wish K.C. had that worked out but i digress. But there is nothing like being able to get a call from your friend to hang out or go to dinner and get in the car and leave right then and not have to wait on anything. You are in total control of how fast you get to a place. You all know the feeling if your car is in the shop or you are without a car for whatever reason. There is nothing like the freedom of being able to drive. I am thankful that I have had that and will soon have it again.

9. Coaching Basketball- Around this time of year i get a little pep in my step because i know basketball season is starting and I am going to be coaching some of the coolest kids in my life. This is the first time in 7 years that I wont be coaching basketball and I am seriously going through some withdrawals. I just love being around the kids and seeing the goofiness and the quirkiness of the kids. This time is my favorite because everything is new there is so much excited and pressure to see where we are at the beginning of the season and strive for the growth that needs to be done to have a successful season. Everything from tryouts to practice and especially the rush of coaching a game is so much fun and is so missed right now. I am so grateful that i have been able to have been blessed by so many people doing something that I love to do. But hopefully next year I will be at it again.

10. Tayla Caple- I just want to reiterate again that there is no particular order on this list because if there were Tay would definitely be at the top. But i have been so blessed to have such a great person be in my life. She is the coolest girl I have ever met and has taught me so much about myself and handles herself with so much grace, dignity and class. Tay is easily the best thing that has come out of Korea and I am so thankful that God has blessed me with her. I came here with no intentions of finding someone and honestly if I had to come to Korea just to meet her I would every time. I normally dont do the public stuff (it kind of embarrasses her) but its my blog and i guess I can do what I want. But I am so grateful for the last 6 months and being able to gain another best friend into my life.

So there you have the 10 things I am giving thanks for this year. there have been moments where I am thankful to have them right now and moments where i am thankful that i will soon have them again. Thank you for being on this journey with me.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

empty nets

so its only been about three weeks since my last post. i have to say that's an improvement. I realized why this blogging thing is so hard for me. First of all i am a very verbal processor. All of you that know me know how much i love to talk and I enjoy talking about deep things so I normally get my feelings or thoughts out that way and blogging sometimes feels really redundant. I am also not cool with the vulnerability of blogging. I can express something and anyone can see it. I guess I like to choose who gets to be a part of my world at times. But God is pushing and changing me so we will see.

now since i have the disclaimer out of the way. the last couple of weeks have been really good and interesting I am learning a lot about myself (as usual) and the more i learn the smaller i realize that i am. But I had a visitor come to Korea a couple of weeks ago and she is one of my favorite people in the world. Mama K. Becky Kahler and she is seriously one of the most anointed and truly Spirit led people I have ever known and it was great. We did a lot of things and honestly she gave my spirit a big boost about life in Korea and most importantly in Jesus. One of the things she wanted to do was go the biggest church in the world. It has over 80,000 members (yes that is the right amount of zeros), let me say it again the church has 80 thousand members. there were only 18 thousand at the service we went to though. they must have been skipping. I wasn't too amazed by the whole church honestly I actually fell asleep during the message. it was in Korean and translated by the most monotone voice i have ever heard. Fortunately for me there was an English service as well that we went to and it was great. the message told the story of Jesus and his disciples from Luke 5.

The story goes like this. The disciples had been fishing all night and after not catching anything by the morning and Jesus says to Peter, "4. put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch" Which Peter in his greatness replies how I think a lot of us would with, "Master we toiled all night and took nothing!" That speaks so much to where I am at right now and probably where all of us are at if we could be honest. Just being at that place where we have toiled and worked and tried doing everything we can in a certain situation and seem to get nothing out of it.

I know for me that living in Korea has been like putting the net in the water over and over and continually looking into it and feeling like i am not finding anything. After a while it gets pretty discouraging and you feel like "what's the point?" I keep saying to the Lord I am doing the best I can I just feel like I am not getting it. And after feeling like I can't go to work another day, or handle another person staring at me, or handle another day without being with people who love me and want to live life with me. Everything Stops. My alarm goes off, because 7:20 comes every day, and the Lord says to me "Put out into the deep and let your nets down for a catch" Unfortunately for me I spent a lot of time in the beginning months stopping my conversation with the Lord at Peter's response. "Master we toiled all night and took nothing" except mine sounds more whiny more like "Gosh God I do the same thing everyday and nothing really comes out of it" And so I go with that attitude and I get nothing out of the day.

The great thing about this story is that Peter continued and said "But at your word I will let down the nets". As soon as Peter obeyed and let down the nets it says in verse 6 "they enclosed a large number of fish and their nets were breaking." Not only were there fish, there were so many that two boats were filled and the nets weren't able to hold the abundance of what the Lord had for them. So it got me thinking what if I continue and instead of my previous response go, "alright Lord today I am going to love these kids the best I can, today I am gonna smile at the person that bumps me or wave to person that stares at me, Today I am gonna throw my net in deep and trust you will give me abundance" So I have been and life has had a different feel to it. its not easy by any means but there is peace and grace that has been with me the last couple of weeks that I have never experienced (here or back home).

So whatever the situation is, Family, Finances, School, Job, Friendship, or just Life in general believe in the promises that the lord has for you. When he asks you to put your nets in deep again after you have toiled and seen nothing (not if definitely when) you need to continue the conversation. Its only natural to not want to do it but thats when we need to be supernatural and do it anyways. So let the nets down and may God give you abundance where there has been emptiness....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

So What Now???????

25 years of life has been seen through these eyes and lived through this heart. 25 years of lives have been touched and many lives have blessed mine in 25 years. I've gone through a lot in 25 years and I have overcome a lot in 25 years. At the same time I have been blessed so much in the last 25 years. Its weird to think that I am 25 years old. It honestly feels like just a couple of weeks ago I was 10 or like yesterday that I went to get my drivers license on my 16th birthday. Or hanging out with my friends and family at my 21st birthday. At 25 I can actually say i am proud of the boy that I was. Every year on my birthday my Paw Paw always asks me "do you feel older" and in typical Greg fashion i say "yep a day older" but something changed when I turned 25 I had this almost anxiety about my life and what the Lord has for me. Almost like its time to mature and grow and stop settling for the scraps but ask "What do you have for me" I feel like I can handle myself and quite frankly for the first time in my life I feel like I have say over my life.


that question keeps pulsing through my brain. What do i do now? How do i grow? How do I become the best MAN that I can be? In 1 Corinthians 13:11 Paul sums up how i have been feeling lately when he says

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

I think that I was a reasonably good child. I made mistakes of course but overall I feel like I never ran away from the Lord or had a real rebellious heart. I learned from my mistakes and had a lot of help on the way. There are so many people in my life who are responsible for the man that I am today. I have leaned heavily on them and leaned heavily on what I thought of the world. But now I feel like there is more that the Lord is calling out of me. A whole new level of responsibility for my heart, my life and future. Its weird knowing that the mistakes, the insecurities,the fears and even the triumphs a child has are kind of thrown away when you become a man.


I feel like the lord is calling me in this season to be a man that depends on him for the things that as a child I depended on my mother and family and friends for. For that comfort and safety and guidance and wisdom. I have always been a person that runs to others for advice and help and for security. But i know that the Lord is calling me into being a man that runs to him. It's a very apparent thing in my life right now because the Lord is not really giving me too many options of people to run to in this season. He wakes up with me every morning and calls me to depend on him for strength and joy in a place where i feel I am losing it everyday. But somehow i make it. When all of the things of old cant fulfill or entertain he calls me to be with him. He calls me to go to him for advice with my girlfriend or with my fears and struggles. There are times where he literally gives me no other option but to sit with him.


I dont have any idea what happens now in my life. I am in a place that is honestly the hardest for me to be in. At a job that is the worst for my heart and my sanity. A culture that does nothing but frustrate and annoy me. And at a place where the people i love and care about most are on the other side of the world. And what does the Lord do but challenge me and extend a hand to help me be a MAN. in this season the Lord keeps throwing one scripture at me over and over no matter how hard it is for me to do.

James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your FAITH develops PERSEVERANCE. PERSEVERANCE must finish its work so that you may be MATURE and COMPLETE, not lacking anything."


Like i said I dont know what the Lord has for me but I know who the MAN the Lord is calling me to be. One that has PERSEVERANCE and one that be a complete husband and father someday and one that HE has called to abundance.

There's a big part of me that wishes I could just skip these next few scenes in my life. Because in order to become complete you have to take the broken pieces to the maker in order to be put together. the saying goes hindsight is always 20/20 so I cant wait to look back at this next scene and see how the plot thickened.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I have learned two big life lessons so far in Korea Life is crazy. I mean we all know that and we all believe that. At the same time of life being crazy another certainty is that God is Good. I mean he really is. I have been in Korea for almost 5 months now and these two truths are constantly in the front of my mind. the last few months has brought up a lot of questions. What do I do? Why am i here? Are all Koreans horrible drivers? And the answers are trust the Lord, to grow closer to him and heck yeah they are all terrible. But i have had a lot of changes since my last post. Most importantly I have a girlfriend that is amazing and has really helped me grow as a man and as a Christian. (thats for another blog) I turned 25 which my body is reminding me of right now because for some reason i played football and didnt stretch which at 24 was ok but at 25 not so much. Gosh I am really getting old. Anyways another thing is learning how to survive on my own. how to make decisions that will better myself and the people I love especially when it seems like you are getting hit in every possible way.

Its kind of like being in one of those money grabbers where they put you in this big air tight cage with a bunch of money on the floor and out of nowhere the air comes on and all the money goes flying in the air and you only have 30 seconds to grab as much as you can. the question is do i go for the big bills which are fewer but more rewarding or do i play it safe and go for the one dollar bills grabbing as much of the sure thing but not as rewarding. well that has been what the last couple of months has been like for me. trying to figure out do i risk, do i play it safe. and I have won doing both in certain situations but its hard to articulate a strategy or look back even and say the best way to do it. all i know is that I feel like a whirlwind is upon me every morning when my eyes awake from my sleep. and every day i have to decide the best plan of attack. Craziest thing about a money pit is that there is only enough time for a person to react. Strategy goes out of the window and you just react. You miss things back at home and you can only react to the situation, friends leave and go back home and you can only react no time for strategy just a hug and a goodbye. your girlfriend leaves and as many plans you have you can only react. New people come into your life and you let them in or you dont.

This season is teaching me the importance of the reaction. Who I really am. Because when you only have time to react the real you comes out. You dont have time to butter things up or look smart or good. You do what you do. So as I react I can choose to react out of Life being crazy or God being Good. I hope that God being Good is the reaction more and more because Gods goodness far outweighs the craziness of the place we are in, the season we are in, the crap we go through and the sins in our life.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Cup

I have learned something new about myself this last couple of weeks. I've learned that i love soccer. OK maybe love is a strong word I love the World Cup and like soccer a lot. I mean i still have to get over the flopping and the fact that you can tie. But overall soccer is starting to grow on me. Which is weird because i have always respected soccer players but I really never liked soccer. Not enough action, too much finesse and you can tie. I mean serious its so stupid to have a sport that can go on for 2 hours and then end with no winner. Seems like a waste but I digress.

The best hypothesis for my new love for soccer is that I am watching it with passionate people. I mean over here in Korea every game is like a national holiday. I watched a game with about a million crazy Koreans last week and since then I have been hooked. I have been staying up all night watching games and getting into every game. But that got me thinking how passion is contagious. Its hard to be around somebody that is passionate about anything and not have an opinion or become passionate yourself. I have always thought of myself as a passionate person. I mean i take my opinion very seriously and I dont mind anyone else knowing it. Anyone that knows me know how passionate I am about sports and my friends and my family. And there have been many times in my life that my passions have rubbed off on other people and that is a cool feeling honestly.

Keep that thought..... The other day I was listening to a sermon from Francis Chan and he told this story about a man who said he was hit by a semi truck. Chan was saying "are you sure you got hit by a truck. I dont see any broken bones. you sure dont look like you have been hit by a truck how are you still functioning" The guy said to Chan thats how a lot of Christians live. We say we have been hit by a truck say the Holy Spirit or an encounter with the Lord. But somehow we look exactly the same.

I know for me this has happened many times. I have this crazy experience and instead of living out of passion I live out of political correctness and fear of man and wanting to look cool or normal. But what if just for once in my (our) lives we live out of the passion that we say we have. How contagious would that be. Passion is maybe the most contagious thing that I have encountered from people besides Love. When you are around passion it is hard to not be affected somehow. Later in the sermon Chan said in order to encourage we have to have courage. Courage to live in the Lord and Follow his lead. That really spoke to me because when the Lord puts something in my heart to do for someone or even for myself there is a natural fear that comes up or some kind of embarrassment ( I know that I am the only one) to actually be obedient. But I (we) need courage to encourage and i (we) need to have courage to live our passion daily and to start infecting the ones around us with what everybody needs THE LOVE OF THE LORD

So its kind of weird but everytime I watch soccer I get a little motivated to love and encourage someone. SO FIND YOUR PASSION AND LIVE YOUR PASSION

Saturday, June 12, 2010

grocery shopping

So this last week has been a good week for a few reasons. First reason is that I finally started to settle into my place. I have a little routine and even have a new leather couch that was very pleasant surprise. The next is that I think I have finally gotten over my honeymoon phase with Korea. You know when things stop being so amazing because its new and you start trying to process how it is going to affect your life and where you fit into everything. Its been great. But the biggest thing is that I am learning is to be present here in Korea. I am starting to realize how my life will be here and instead of thinking about how things are back home and what I am missing there. I am starting to invest here in my work, friends and myself.

So was I was grocery shopping the other day and something hit me. I AM GROCERY SHOPPING IN KOREA. That doesnt seem like much but let me continue the story. This became a big deal when after an hour I leave the grocery store and I realized that I only bought four things. Yes I said it I spent an hour in the grocery story buying only four things. But in my defense I had no idea where things were and even when i got to the right aisle where the thing I was looking for was. I had to make sure it was the right kind. (Let me tell you anchovy vinagerrete is really different from italian dressing) After finding one thing I had to do it all over again. Back to being in the present. As I was leaving the store I started to get frustrated and asking these questions "What am I doing here", "Did I really just spend an hour looking for italian dressing and salt" "Where the heck is wal-mart" (yes i even asked for wal mart, that should show the severity of the situation) But it was so funny because the very next thought was "hey this is Korea and that was kind of fun"

All that to say that God loves when we are in the present with him. He loves when we are truly present when we are at one moment doing the best we can with that moment and spending it with him. As I was shopping I was listening to a worship mix on my ipod. I wasnt really in too much of a hurry and I was just walking around the grocery store with the Lord looking for italian dressing, salt, paper towels and orange juice. Yeah it was kind of frustrating not knowing where things were or even what they were but at the same time I was there. Like I am here right now. I know people who are constantly looking for the next thing. The next adventure the next story even the next girlfriend/boyfriend. What are we going to do next weekend? I used to be one of those people and at times I still am. But I am trying to be that person that enjoys the little things because God has slowed me down to see the little things.

In Exodus Moses was talking to a burning bush (if it wasnt for sunday school you would think it was a bad trip) and God told him to go to Egypt and free His people. Then Moses asked the question I think all of us would ask "Who do I say sent me, What is your name??" and the Lord so graciously said with authority "I am who I am , say I AM sent me" That to me is awesome the Lord said he is the I AM which is a present tense being. He didnt say I will or I was he said I AM. Thats the Lord that is inviting us to do something.

I'm sure the other day as I walked around with the Lord in the grocery store some being in heaven asked Him what he was doing and he said "I AM walking around the grocery store with Greg watching him try to act out what salt is to a little Korean lady and laughing at him"

So my challenge to you is to be a PRESENT BEING with your family, friends and God.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's next

So I have been in Korea for a little over a week and things are going great. I am meeting new people, finding quality relationships, living on my own for the first time in my life and its kind of funny I am kind of a freak about certain things.
I never realized that I like having things in order. part of me thinks that I am just coping with leaving home by trying to control everything and keep it orderly. Or maybe I have turned into the little guy that my mom has been begging since I started making messes. I mean I pick up after myself and do my laundry, iron, grocery shop and even have all of my dvd's in alphabetical order.
So life is going pretty good. I mean its almost like things are going too good. It has been a crazy transition and without a few setbacks it has been pretty fluid and seamless. That is what scares me honestly. The fact that things are going so good, I mean maybe I am just weird but I have expected something to go wrong. Something to be wrong with my visa, something to be wrong with my apartment, job,people something. But things have been great. I am really blessed. So I was thinking I know its only been one week and I have a long time here and a long journey ahead of me but when is the floor gonna drop and when am I going to get hit in the face with reality.

This morning I was talking with a dear friend and she said, "maybe things will really just be this good, you just got out of a hard season and maybe its time for an easy season." It was so good to hear that because honestly for me it seems like life is dealing with one bad season after the other and God lets us have glimpses of peace and ease every once in a while. But what if God has something in store for me that will last. I was hanging with a new friend the other day and I was talking to her about life verses and I asked if she had one and she said no. I told her I had like 4 and she was impressed (an added bonus). But I was telling her that I look at life verses like promises that the Lord has specifically spoken to me. The bible is full of promises but my life verses are almost like God wrote them for me specifically. So one of my biggest life verses is NUMBERS 6:24-26 The Priestly blessing is what is called in my Bible. But Lloyd always says it to us at the end of church. "May the Lord bless you and keep you and be gracious to you, May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." That is exactly how I have felt the last few months of this journey. That the Lords hand and blessing is all over it. So what if the floor never drops out, what if I am happy. What if I find love and it actually sticks, what if I actually do a good job at my job, what if i get rewarded for doing a good job. what if people really do love me in spite of my lack and what if my dreams could come true.

So when I think about what's next I think about what is the next problem I am going to have to handle but what if God is having me think of how to handle the next blessing he has for me.