Meet Greg

Greg

I ran in to a guy named Greg on Saturday (pictured).  He caught my attention right away by the sign that he had in front of him.  The sign had John 3:16 written out as a message to everyone who walked by.  What caught my attention about him was that he wasn’t approaching anyone, but was more than willing to discuss with those who would take the time to stop and talk with him.

I walked over and thanked him for sharing what seems to be a simple message, and that is when I met Greg.  He told me that he had quit his job a few years ago to follow a calling that he felt God had placed in his life.  He has been living day to day for the past few years, trusting God for his daily meals and camping spots to be provided for.  He travels around from location to location and shows the message of love in John 3:16.

The reason I write today is to ask that you pray for Greg’s ministry.  In speaking with him he shared why he feels the need to do what he does.  He told me that God placed a desire in his heart to share the Gospel message by making himself available to share God’s love.  He spoke of how so many today fail to put feet to the Gospel.  He doesn’t ask for any money, just prayers.  It was humbling to speak with him as he shared how he “wants to fulfill the Great Commission.”

For the past four years he has made his way into the mountains of Avery County and camps at local campgrounds.  I met him at the visitors center of Linville Falls as he was sitting there enjoying the day.  He informed me that he will be around the area for a little while, and is planning on moving up toward the Shenandoah National Park, but is taking it all a day at a time.  He mentioned that there have been times where he had nice tents and cots that he feels God led him to give away.

The best lesson I learned from Greg is this, Faith is something we must take seriously, and something that many in the church today lack.  He talked of Faith in such a way that I was humbled by my own actions and thoughts at times.  He talked of how he has to have faith that God will provide for him as he continues to share the Gospel.  He shared with me of times that God has provided meals to him, at times in excess where he was able to take the food to homeless shelters.  He shared of days where he has had folks just feel led to give him small amounts of cash, and they have always been at a time that it was exactly what he needed.

He shared of times when he has taken a step of faith in something that he felt God leading him to do with his funds, and within days he has had that fully replenished.  Greg made sure to remind me however that “God always provides just what I need.”

Today, I use his story to ask a couple things of each of us.  First, keep the faith and remain obedient to the call God places on you.  You may never realize the blessings He intends for you if you are scared to step out on faith.  Two, please pray for Greg in what he is doing, and if you see him take the opportunity to encourage him and if you feel led maybe donate to his cause.  I can promise you this, he won’t ask for a donation.  Step out on faith today…share the Gospel!

A Father’s Love

With Father’s Day passing by us, it gives us time to reflect on the love of a father.  I think specifically about the love my dad showed each day; about the unconditional, deep love that was always in his heart.  How he would give of himself for many, not just family, but for any who might need a touch from the Lord.  Dad always wanted to make sure that people saw Jesus in him.

I know of many father’s in the area who are the same way; men who have stepped up to the call on their lives and accepted their mission to carry the love of God to all.  We are all called to exemplify Christ to those around us.  Others should be able to tell that we are Christians, not just trust that we are because we say we are.  The Biggest lie that we tell ourselves, and that is told to the world, is the amount of people who lie to themselves about being truly sold out for the Gospel of Christ.

There are many who claim Christ, but their life does not reflect his love to others.  Scripture tells us that they will know we are Christians by our love…

They will know us by our love?  What does that mean?  It means that they will know who we are because of the love that we show others.  It means that they will know we are Christians because we look like Him.

The marks of a great dad are this.  A great dad looks like his Heavenly Father.  He wants others to see that he is sold out to his Lord, and wants to make sure his children (whether blood or adopted) are shown the example of love that only the Lord could have provided.  A great dad shares the love of Christ with his family and those he comes in contact with.

Fathers, I encourage you to be the man of God that your children need.  I encourage you to put on the mind of Christ, serve your families, and ensure that “As for you and your house, you will serve the Lord.”

A Page is Turned (Letter to the Graduates)

This time of the year marks a new chapter in the lives of high school seniors as they graduate and as they move forward.  I can remember when I graduated from high school, the feelings that overwhelmed me as that chapter closed and the feeling that life would not be as it was from that point forward.  There was a noticeable difference for me; a feeling that I’m sure each one will feel as they approach the days ahead.

It brings to mind a song by Bebo Norman called “A Page is Turned”.  The lyrics of the chorus ring in my ears as I think of a new chapter being written: “Where the God of second chance will pick them up and he’ll let them dance through a world that is not kind; and all this time, they’re sharing with the one that holds them up when they come undone; Beneath the storm, beneath the sun, and once again, here you stand, your day has come.”

I love this song because it tells us of a God who offers second chances, or as is the case of a graduating senior, a first chance to get life focused and moving forward in the direction of our dreams.  With this in mind I want to speak to the seniors this week…please make your dreams like those of Christ Jesus.  A few words of advice that I feel will help move us forward in His plan and His vision.

Philippians 2:5-11 tells us how we should be, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)”

The dream, or better yet, the mindset of Jesus was to be humble. Jesus’ view was that obedience to the will of God was necessary to make it through life. I encourage each of you to examine your life, seek out His will and trust in His plan.

Jeremiah 29:11-14a states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord. (ESV)”

God promises us a wonderful future.  I am sure that if you talk to anyone who has devoted themselves to the promise that God has made each of us, they will tell you that the walk is not always easy, but the reward is worth each struggle. They will also tell you that there is blessing in allowing God to work and joy and happiness in knowing Him and living for Him.

As you embark on this journey I encourage you to stay strong in your faith.  Grasp your dreams and pursue Christ.  Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require from you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” That is the only thing God asks of us, to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him.  Be kind to others, live according to the scripture and be fair one to another; but, most of all, walk humbly with GOD in your life!

Congratulations Graduates! Go out and make a difference for God in your world.  One of the best things I can tell you is this: Remember that you are not a citizen of this world, but merely are passing through.  You have been commissioned to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those around you, even to the ends of the earth. Listen for the call that God will place in your heart and be strong and courageous as you go forward into this world.