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.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wish I knew more Korean

So I wrote a remix to Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus its super cheesy but my co-workers thought it was funny so here it is. Put on the music and try to sing along

Hop off the plane at ICN with my passport and carry-on
Like where the heck is baggage claim, I need to get some won
Look for someone with my name written on a sign
Really hoping that they're here on time
This is all so crazy, everybody here is so Asian

My tummy's hurting and I'm feeling kind of homesick
Not quite sure if that was chicken

Then the driver took all of my luggage
and I got into the car, I GOT into the Carrrrr, I GOT INTO THE CAR

Then he asked me a question but it wasnt in english
I was nodding my head like yeah
moving my lips like yeah

Then he asked me the question again
and I said "I dont understand"

Yeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh I wish i knew more Korean
YYYYEeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaHHHHHHH I wish i knew more Korean

moving on

So I have had a day here in Korea and I have been able to process some things. First thing is how extremely blessed i am to have the people in my life that I do. The last week although exhausting was so good for my heart. I already knew that I was loved but to be able to tangibly see it did wonders for my heart and made me realize how much God has used all of the people in my life to show me His love and grace.

Second thing that I realized by actually being here is how much peace i have about the decision I have made. Even yesterday when I was just walking around my apartment and I was so lost and it seemed like there were millions of people around me and I had no clue what was going on. All I could think was how cool this is and all the things I am going to learn. Not once did I go "what did I get myself into" or "I have made a huge mistake" So those have been the last couple of thoughts that I had on this journey so far.


time for some of the things I have learned in little more than 24 hours in Korea. I'll give you the top five

1. Do not ever and I mean ever cross the street without the green walk signal. Just when you think it is safe a big green bus will come out of nowhere and make your life flash before your eyes and not even slow down. Also on that note do not think just because the light turned green that you shouldn't wait a second in case a bus decides that they need to get to their destination before you or you might be squished

2. Being Black in Korea means you will get a lot of looks. This I have noticed is not always a bad thing. There have been so many people that will be looking at me and when i catch them they just smile and bow or say hello. Kind of different from what I expected.

3. Koreans are horrible drivers. I kind of eluded to this with number 1 but I have never seen so much chaos on a street. There are people driving scooters and motorcycles on the sidewalk, there are like 7 lanes on the street and there are hundreds of people walking around everywhere and everybody keeps going it doesnt matter if you get bumped or pushed on accident by time you see who did it they are already halfway down the block so you cant take it personal. Drivers cut each other off all of the time and no one honks at each other. I have figured out that Koreans are aggressive drivers just not aggressive people.

4. Everything about Korean culture is different from America. For example if you are shaking someone's hand that is older than you Firm is not good(actually disrespectful Doh) a nice handshake and a bow shows respect not the mano y mano handshake. And if you are going to pour some water make sure to pour for everyone else first and yourself last. Koreans are very big on giving and respecting others but they dont take things serious like holding a door open or letting a lady sit down. Comparing things to America will just drive you nuts so dont do it.

5. Last for now make sure to have a group of people with you when you go out to eat because you are going to get a lot of food and it will be awesome. So make sure you have people to enjoy it with. Luckily I somehow managed to meet people and have enjoyed meals with many different people. (i know thats a real surprise)

Honorable mention- dont have smelly feet because your shoes are coming off everytime you go somewhere, if you are going to buy something do it in the subway its a little cheaper, and the best snack in the world is a waffle folded with honey and whipped cream in the middle.

Thats just a little of what Korea has shown me so far. This is going to be a wild ride

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the other voice

So I was having lunch with one of my dearest friends Annie yesterday and she said something that has been coming up more and more the last couple of weeks in my life. She says to me that we are made to get our identity from an outside voice. Now let me say that I have some really smart friends. I have friends that are book smart but have no common sense, friends that can hustle their way out of anything but couldn't pass a college class to save their soul. I have friends that own businesses, who hear the Lord and who are very discerning.

So when Annie said that to me i really took it to heart as one of the smartest things I have heard for a couple of reasons.
1. Annie is really smart
2. That thought has been going on in my mind for a while
3. I just read something like that in a book that is kicking my butt. (thats for another post)

But I started to process that with her and what that means and why we not only want to hear who we are from the outside but need it. A very fun and deep conversation that I have grown to love and expect from Annie. After I left Annie I thought about this even more and really pieced together what the Lord has been saying to me lately and that is "I want to go on an adventure with you", that voice that has been speaking to me is one of a Father that desires to talk to me all of the time.

I have been reading Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller and it is a really good book. Very fresh and unique in the points and questions Miller raises. One of the biggest points he makes is,

"Man is wired so he gets his glory (his security, his understanding of value, his feeling of purpose, his feeling of rightness with his Maker, his security for eternity) from God. This relationship is so strong and Gods love is so pure, that Adam and Eve felt no insecurity at all, so much so that they walked around naked and didnt even realize they were naked. But when that relationship was broken, they knew it instantly. All of their glory, the glory that came from God, was gone."

This little passage has really been speaking to me so you can see why when Annie said what she said yesterday it was like a kick in the face. I mean I have literally read this same passage everyday for a week straight. But I think Miller brings up a point that I never thought about and that point is it's impossible to give yourself your identity. I mean you can do things and act a certain way but until someone else notices and validates the action it is not an identity. The next thought that came up to me is that it must have really sucked to be Adam and Eve. They were able to be completely in the presence of the Lord with nothing separating them and then in an instant they realized they were naked. Miller goes on to equate it to being in love and the person just not being there. I think it is even crazier than that. I mean we were born knowing we are naked and we need to be covered and we are searching for that voice to tell us who we are and our importance. They had that voice and lost it, gave it away, weren't satisfied with it, wanted more. Only to find nothing can replace it.

So the adventure that I am embarking on is to hear the quiet voice through the noise. The one that can actually suffice. The voice that spoke Greg Buckman into existence and the one that not only wants to but has the authority to tell me who I am.

So the question is.........

What voice are you listening to?????

Saturday, April 24, 2010


you ever have one of those days where you wake up so overwhelmed with emotion? I had that today. I was so excited today for so many reasons. The main one being one of my favorite people in the world was coming into town another being that two of my dearest friends were announcing the sex of their baby and also because no matter how shallow it may seem i was going to get to just sit around and watch basketball.

Today was such a great day of reflection for me though and there are so many things that I am truly grateful for and no matter what I have going on in my life good or bad there are always a lot of constants in my life that remind me of the grace and goodness of God. So here are a few....

Family- I mean i have the funniest and goofiest family in the world we laugh, we talk and we really are genuinely in love with each other. My mother is my rock and my hero I dont even want to imagine where I would be without her. My little sisters are the coolest and they keep me on my toes partly because they laugh at every single thing i do and it kind of makes me self conscious. At the same time they are the most gracious and loving people you will find. They know how to make an old man like me feel important and wanted and I am grateful for the way the Lord has grasped their heart at such an early age.

Second Families- I am also very blessed to have so many people in my life that have adopted me and treat me as one of their own. Its great to be loved by so many people and to be trusted and respected by such a wide group of people.

Friends- I have the best friends whether it be new friends, friends i have had for a while or friends that I will be hanging out with when I am 60. God has put so many people in my life that have challenged me, kicked my but and loved on me that I dont even know what to do. The best thing about my friends is that they not only are ok with who i am they get pissed when I am not ok with who I am. For that I am grateful. My pastor always talks about the mirror that we have showing us ourselves and I cant think of any other people or situations that show me the real Greg more than my friends.

There are so many more things for me to be thankful for. These three things were really heavy on my heart today and I wanted to express that. I love all of you that are in these three categories. You know who you are and how you have fit in my life. Thank you and continue to be glimpes into the heart of God that you already are and have been.

So now I go to bed thankful and challenge you to think about the things you are thankful for and dont forget to express it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seasons pt. 1

I have had a very interesting week. First off I have a job and its really weird to have this job because this will be the biggest change in my life. I am actually going to Korea. That is so weird for me to even say. But back to this week, I have had such a peace for the last week. The weeks leading up to this one I was dealing with so much anxiety and impatience. I wanted to know so desperately the future and what is in store for this next season. This week i decided to throw that all away and just rely on the Lord. Its crazy to me that no matter what season we are in there is always the overlooming thought that it will end soon. That thought has been carrying me in the last month or so during this season of anxiety and unanswered questions, it will soon be over and now the thought is this season of peace will soon be over. I guess that is what makes life so interesting that no matter what season we are in there is always something around the corner.

James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But how is it possible to count ALLLLLL things joy? When we are in the season of loneliness how is that joyful? When we are in a season of grieving a loss how can we be joyful? joy is defined as: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation. How is it possible to find joy in all things by that definition? Not ALL things will be satisfying so are we off of the hook when things are bad? Or did James mess it up? NEITHER I think it is deeper than that. I dont believe joy is an emotion. I believe Joy is a choice. We choose to Find Jesus in every season He is the only one that makes anything joyful. Happiness is an emotion, many things can make us happy. The chiefs picking Eric Berry made me happy, seeing the Jonsi concert last night made me happy, even eating Popeyes tonight for dinner makes me happy. But happiness is so flighty it is so wishy/washy. Happiness is something that we have control over we can control if something makes us happy. But joy...true joy is whether we are in a good season or a bad season, one in which we are anxious or one in which there is peace we find Jesus and grace that comes along with finding Him. So going back to what James says have we been spending our lives and time counting all things happy instead of joy. I know i have. But only by choosing to find joy will we be able to live a life that James calls us too.

So may we find Jesus in everything and in turn find Joy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tiger Woods

So this weekend I was watching some of the masters and i was struck with intrigue and amazement. The intrigue came from the play of golfers such as Mickelson, Westwood, Choi, Woods and even Watson. The amazement came from how much people were talking about the stories off the course on the radio and the sports shows instead of the golf itself. I was honestly shocked that Tiger didnt win the Master's but that's not the point of this story. For weeks leading up to the Master's i am sure every one has heard the stories and know the situation surrounding Tiger and his infidelity and stupid decisions off the golf course. What has struck me most is the infatuation that we have with the disaster which is someone elses life. In our society we embrace, thrive and even live off of what is happening in others lives. We live so vicariously through celebrities and athletes that we trick ourselves into thinking that it is our business and right to not only know what is going on in their lives but judge and determine what's best for their life. It is quite sickening to me the more i am aware of it.

This weekend I was watching my little sisters over at my moms house and i got myself wrapped up in the mess that is American cable television. Now i am no stranger to cable I grew up with it and enjoyed it growing up actually. But for the past five years i have not had cable in my life on a regular basis. The only thing I really miss about cable is the extensive sports coverage and watching different sporting events. As I was watching t.v. this weekend I was really shocked and disgusted by the amount of reality shows on t.v. and I started to get pissed. I kept thinking why are there so many stupid reality shows; real world, the hills, real housewives of orange county, real housewives of atlanta, basketball wives and on and on. So many lives that we are getting exposed to in an unhealthy way. Why are there so many? Because they are constantly being watched. This reality has me thinking, why is our society so wrapped up in other peoples lives? what is so fascinating about a bunch of rich spoiled brats? how is this reality for some people?

The answer is simple because we are so frustrated,disgusted,and dissappointed with our lives that we get satisfaction out of either living through someone elses life or looking at someone elses life and feeling better about ours. That answer is very sad to me. As a whole we would rather live in someone elses reality than live in our own. Like I said earlier there are so many of these shows because there are so many people that watch them.

So I will leave with these thoughts, as we sit, judge and even mock a Ben Roethlisburger or a Tiger Woods just think what would people say about you if every mistake you made was broadcast around the world. These celebrities and athletes are actually no different than any of us. They make mistakes, we make mistakes. They have trials and triumphs and so do we. The only difference is everything they do is done with millions of eyes on them. Sorry this really isn't a post about Tiger Woods or what I think I just wanted to get that off of my chest. So before we throw out how horrible someone else is celebrity or not evaluate yourself and ask God to put the mirror infront of you to see your flaws and instead of judgement lets try to find GRACE for others and ourselves.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

stinking lemons

I have been thinking about two different things lately...

Ever since i was a little kid I have always heard this saying "when life gives you lemons make lemonade". The last few weeks has made me think about this saying in a whole new way. What this means to me is that when things come your way that are hard or not necessarily convenient you make a way for it to be convenient and make the best out of it. In theory this is great. You always make the best out of everything and you make every situation productive for you.

To my second thought... I have really been contemplating the thought of the branch and the vine in the New Testament. That we cannot bear any fruit except for through the vine. The only way to produce fruit is to be completely dependant on the substance that the vine produces. The branch doesnt tell the vine what to do or how to do it the branch just sits there and soaks in what the vine has.

Back to the lemons...when thinking about making lemonade and abiding in the vine is it always best to make lemonade out of lemons. What if we are supposed to hold the lemons for later, what if we are supposed to use the lemon for a blvd. wheat or for a cake or lemon meringue pie. What if in our haste to make lemonade we misuse the lemons that God has given us.

I have learned after many times of making useless lemonade that when you make lemonade when it is not needed it is just a waste. When i am not in the mood for lemonade but still make it because i am "supposed to" it just goes to waste. So the challenge is not necessarily making lemonade out of lemons. It's using the lemons the way God wants us to at the time. Nothing is worse than needing lemons for lemon chicken and not having any because of some lemonade that wasnt even enjoyed. So use your lemons wisely let God take them and make the best use for them because sometimes lemons alone are just what we need.