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.