Positive Attitude

Where do you turn?

This week has been really tough for me for a sundry of different reasons.  My personal, professional, spiritual and family life have all been attacked by satan.

My wife knows my struggles and we talk, but sometimes I need to bounce ideas off other people.  As I have went through getting over the trials I have had the thought – where do I turn for help?  Who do I look to?  What helps me feel better and see clearer?IMG_5117

Through this week’s experiences I had a chance to step back and look at my situation and judge how I reacted.

So it all came together last night at church.  Our Wednesday night services are a help to me in a lot of ways, so I know I needed to be there – that was my first right turn.

While I was setting there by myself listening to the sermon I could not help my mind wondering back to my own situation.  What do I need to do to make things right?  Who can I talk to?  Should I get in my vehicle and drive till I have an answer?  What would I listen to – something to excite me or sooth me?

Then a question really stopped me.  When the service is over – do I bolt out the side door or talk with my church family?

To bolt out the side door I would avoid any questions, showing my current emotions or having to act like nothing was wrong.

If I chose to talk to friends I would surely show my emotions and have to answer questions.

Where do I turn?

Well, I chose to turn in and talk to my friends and church family.  And it was a wise decision.

I did put on my “happy” face and talk, but soon I was caught up in hearing about others that I forgot about my problems.  We made plans for the coming week and talked of blessings that God has showered us with.

I wound up practicing with the praise team and was blessed by my time there!

As the night wound down and the next morning came I realized that I was leaning into God’s word and worship music.  And you know what?  I was feeling better!

The problems didn’t go away, but the became less amplified because I chose to turn to God and His blessings instead of giving satan another battle win.

Psalms 121:1 says

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
A good reminder to me – where do I turn – I turn to God!!

Merry Christmas

I wish you a Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas wreathWe hear it this time of year, but what does wishing a merry Christmas mean?  What does it mean to you?

To me there are several things in mind when I wish you a Merry Christmas.

First and foremost I am wishing you well wishes at a time we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus the Christ, who came to earth as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Without His birth in the way and the manner in which it happened, then He would not be qualified as a perfect sacrifice.

John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” No other man do we celebrate this way, and no other man should we celebrate this way.

Secondly wishing your Christmas to be merry means I hope that the way you celebrate His arrival brings joy and peace in a festive way!  I hope you celebrate His gift by giving to those you love!  Sometimes that means we buy things they would like and present them as gifts, but it also means giving of your time and attention.  That is why I am glad we eat and play at Christmas parties and family gatherings – enjoy each other with lighthearted fun!

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Lastly I wish you a merry Christmas season.  Not just a day, but a time to celebrate, give thanks and share love.  To do that right it will take more than just a day – it will take a well orchestrated season.  A day can be built up and fall so anti-climatic, and you will have to stuff so much into one day.  But in a season you will have time to enjoy and share with more people – more time to spread the love as Jesus taught us!

So from me and my family of four – we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Pigeon Forge Fun Day

This past week my work allowed us to take a 1/2 day for team building exercises.  So, we spent the afternoon in Pigeon Forge, TN!

I am thankful to have been able to experience a few new adventures.  Below is a snapshot of our day.

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Our first stop was the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster on the way to Wears Valley.  I had heard of these kinds of coasters before, but never had an opportunity to ride one.  This was like a personal roller coaster – with brakes!  It wound up and through a mountain side.

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The only picture I took was really not what I wanted to show the coasters, but it gives you an idea of what they look like.

 

 

 

 

 

My buddy Greg Norton shot a video during his ride, and I thought I would share it: Greg’s alpine video

Wonders of Flight

The next destination was one that I have been wanting to do since I first saw it!  The Wonders of Flight is a hot air balloon lift that takes you up 400′ above Pigeon Forge!  I had so wanted to ride this, but once I stepped onto the platform I quickly considered whether this was a good idea or not.  My adrenaline kicked in so I decided to stay – plus the others were boarding so I couldn’t back out now!!

When the gate closed our “pilot” said we would be ascending to 400′ above the ground we just stepped off of.  A single cable was what held the balloon to the ground, and slowly released as we smoothly ascended.

From the top we had some awesome views!  The air was cool and the sun was warm.  Just a great day to be enjoying these views of creation!

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One cable holds the balloon to earth
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Getting ready to ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View toward Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains
View toward Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains
View toward Knoxville and House Mountain
View toward Knoxville and House Mountain
Panoramic view !
Panoramic view !
View looking down
View looking down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Carts then Supper

Our last adventure was to ride go carts.  Our team found this to be an opportunity for paybacks through bumping of carts!  Of course we were warned not to bump, but that was merely a good suggestion!

I will share a short video of this adventure: Go Cart Adventure

After all this adventure we settled in to eat at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.  The food was tasty and the atmosphere was really fun!

 

When is a boy a Man: Part 4

In the previous three posts I have covered the first three characteristics of a man. Please refer to them individually:

Accept Responsibility for a Will to Obey

Accept Responsibility for a Work to Do

Accept Responsibility for a Woman to Love

 

The last three characteristics where a man should lead courageously:

Lead Courageously with your Character

A person’s character is who they are when no one is looking – who you are when people cannot see you. Character is the thoughts that control our actions. Character includes but is not limited to:

  • Self-discipline
  • Morals
  • Purity
  • Honesty
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Perseverance

Whether you realize it or not, our character is shaped by:

  • The input we consume (music, TV, movies, books, games)
  • The relationships we pursue (especially our five closest friends)
  • The habits we acquire (talking, thinking, eating, etc.)

 

Lead Courageously with your Conduct

Your conduct is how you handle yourself in front of others. It is the actions that people see when they see or think of you.

Your conduct includes but is not limited to your actions of being:

  • Courteous
  • Considerate
  • Patient
  • Giving
  • Humble

 

Lead Courageously with your Charisma

Your charisma is how you influence others. How you are able to get others to do the things you are leading or asking.

Your charisma comes from your ability to positively influence others by being:

  • Courteous
  • Decisive
  • Charming
  • Loyal
  • Kind

 

I welcome comments on whether you agree or disagree with my conclusions.

When is a boy a man: Part 3

The first two posts on defining the qualities of a man can be found at these links:

1.  Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

2. Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Work to Do

Today’s post covers quality three of six.

Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Woman to Love

MOM

Each of us have one thing in common in this world.  We each had a mom.  A woman who carried us for around nine months before we were born.  Through the process of caring for us when we had no way to do so, our mothers displayed an unconditional love for us.

No matter if we were calm or kicked a lot, she ate and slept for both of us.  Then we were born.

Most of us have a mom that also cared for us and loved us after we were born.  Here again she loved us no matter what we did because we came from her.  We are her flesh and blood!

I think we should always treat our mothers with respect.  I never want to embarrass or bring disgrace to my mom.  I never wanted to disappoint her either.  I know sometimes I did, and I always felt bad about it.

WIFE

Genesis 2:18-25

For unmarried young men I want that you and your potential wife (girlfriend) should not be unequally yoked.  Meaning it is best that a Christian date and marry another Christian.  There is a lot to be said about why, but let’s just leave it at that right now.

Your wife (or wife to be) should be an extension of how you treat your mother.  Treat your wife will only follow the patterns you established with your mother (respect, admiration, care and love).

The good part about what is different with a wife and a mother is the fact that the intimate relationship can now be sexual within the covenant of a marriage.  Yes, once we are married to our wife the pleasures God intended between a man and woman can be fully explored.  And those pleasures are wonderful – within a marriage of a man and a woman.

You should also be ready to change with her during the different seasons of life.  We will all grow older if we do not die first, so if we are still living we will grow old with our wife.  There will be seasons where things are going good and seasons when things are tough – and they may not balance out.  But you both will change as you grow older.  Just be ready for those changes and find new ways to love her.

A man should remember what he promised on his wedding day.

To Have and to Hold

For Better or for Worse

Whether Richer or Poorer

In Sickness and in Health

To Love and to Cherish

from that day forward until death does part you

 

 

 

When am I a man? : Part 1

When does a boy become a man?  When he can shave or grow a beard?  When he can drive?  Graduates high school or college?  When he gets married?  When he becomes a father?  When he gets a job?  All of these are milestones to look forward to in a boy’s life.  But when does he become a man?  When is he told he is a man?

I want to share over the next four posts what I consider the characteristics that make a Godly man.

I first need to give credit to Robert Lewis who wrote Raising a Modern Day Knight.  I suggest you read his book and explore his web site for a different and more exhaustive perspective.  From reading Robert’s book and other sources that have inspired me for help raising my son, I developed the six characteristics that define a Godly man.

I welcome your comments and feedback for this most important topic in our culture today.  I feel there is no greater need in our country than to raise up Godly men who will lead the next generation.

Truett Cathy said it so true in one of his book’s title It’s better to build boys than to mend men.  We have to be intentional about how we raise our boys today.  I am in no way saying I am doing it the right way or the only way, but I am raising my boy the best way that I can while seeking help from God.  I first shared with him and taught him these six characteristics of a man.  After we covered these characteristics I asked him if I could share them on this blog.  He said that I should … and so I do.


 

When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
               1 Corinthians 13:11

Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

The first thing to know is that as a man there are responsibilities we must accept.  The first responsibility is for a will to obey.

Who’s will do we obey?  We certainly will obey somebody’s will with our life.  But a Godly man will obey the will of God.  When we say the will – it simply means doing what someone desires of you.

So – how do you know what your creator has in mind for you?  What does He want you to do with your life?  How do you know when you are obeying Him not yourself or other influences in life?

I believe God wants at least four things from every man:

  1. To have a relationship with Him  [Matthew 6:6]
  2. To love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and strength  [Mark 12:30]
  3. To love others with your deeds  [Mark 12:31]
  4. To resist satan  [James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11]

I believe that through our circumstances in life God has uniquely equipped us for certain tasks in life.  Certain things He wants us to do, that only we will be able to do.  God can accomplish all He wants in this earth, and some of those things He wants to use our mind and body to accomplish!  We just need to ask.

Do you know that the Creator of the universe, the One who made the moon, stars and earth, wants a relationship with you and wants to communicate with you!  How does God do that?  How does he communicate directly with me?

God will communicate the desires of His heart to you if you will:

  • Read and study the Bible regularly
  • Pray to God   (which means talking and listening to Him)
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you

If you do not know exactly how this works I would love to talk with you and explain how our Father in Heaven wants to communicate with you and me here on earth.

Three Considerations of a Worthy 4th of July Celebration

This 4th of July most people will be off work.  Some will take a family vacation.  Some will stay home and grill outside.  Pyrotechnics will shoot off fireworks in awe of the lights, sounds and pageantry.

Unfortunately most will not stop to consider just what this Independence Day means to us Americans.

In the 1600’s people left England for the “New World” in search of religious freedoms.

The Puritans of England did not like the ways Christians were told how to practice their religion.  Kings and Queens demanded that the only way to pray, be married, baptized, be buried and carry out the sacraments of the church to be defined by the often revised Book of Common Prayer.  Government is meant to govern people, not dictate how to worship God.

So some of the more daring Puritans left their home knowing there would be great cost for this journey.  They understood the cost for such a journey, but also understood the cost for not worshiping God as He demands.US Flag

Through the 1600 and 1700’s they fought many foes to keep this land we now call America.  Hardships and battles that we will never understand were fought so we could worship and call this land ours.

On July 4th of 1776 our founding fathers signed a document they created called the Declaration of Independence declaring our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.  The Revolutionary War was fought from 1775 to 1783 to defend the Declaration we had declared and solidify us as a sovereign nation.

So today in 2014 we want to celebrate the 4th of July with lots of celebrations – and they are fine.  But I ask that we stop to consider just what we are Independent from and what those original Puritans envisioned when they left the security of that shore with their family in search of a better way of living the Christian life they dreamed.

Three considerations for a worthy Independence Day celebration.

  1. Reflect on the reasons and people who gave their life in the pursuit of our freedoms.
  2. Exercise your religious freedoms by reflecting with God and the plans He has for your life today.
  3. Share with a family member or friend what this freedom means to you and how we got it.  In today’s world of instant communication we fail to communicate the important things in life sometimes.

 

Freedom wasn’t free, and it was paid at great costs for you and me!

 

God please bless the USA!

Good to Great: look #2 into John Grigsby

Good  ————— > Great

This is look #2 into some of the things that make me who I am.  I want to live a life that is not just good but great.  It is a continuation from Look #1 post.John BlueLighthouse

I list here a few more events and seasons that I feel have shaped me wanting my life to be counted as more than just good:

Church – I have held a few positions in the church since I married and started settling down.  I have been among other things a youth leader, Sunday School teacher and now a Sunday School director.  Here again I found myself seeking out what a great leader in those positions looked like, and try to be even better.

Of course for church (and really everything I do) I have someone I really do want to impress, and that is my Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.  I really do want to do my very best because of what He has done for me and who He is to me.  Jesus set a perfect example of how to be a great leader.  I cannot be perfect like Him, but my goals are to be more like Jesus every day.  And if I can just get closer each and every day then I feel I am trying to be great!

Husband – Knowing what an idea husband looks like seems to be a bit more subjective.  I know what my father looked like as a husband – at least from the eyes of a child.  I had friends who had good dads, but I only saw those men as a friend of their child.  I have seen movies and TV shows that portrayed a husband, but those were only made for viewing entertainment.   So where on earth could I find what a great husband should look like?  I found the answer in my Bible.

The Bible clearly says that a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church and love her as he loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-33)  This is a serving sacrificial kind of love where you put your spouse before yourself.  If you really understand that concept, then you know that I have struggled with meeting that expectation.  In the early part of our marriage I really labored with putting her needs ahead of mine.  As I learn more about Jesus, I am learning better how to love her – but still fall short.  I have made a lot of selfish mistakes, and at times have not treated her like I should have.  I am so thankful for her patience and forgiveness.

As a husband I should strive to be a great helper, encourager, lover (physically and sacrificially), leader, listener, provider, fixer, and faithful visionary.

The first example of a husband I knew in my life was of course my dad.  Dad has shown devotion and love to my mom by giving of himself to her.  He doesn’t want to go to some of the places she wants to go and see sometimes, but he goes because he loves her.  I have seen them argue and disagree before, but dad has set a great example for me by keeping his vows to my humble mom for close to 50 years now.

Archie Johnson taught me through his actions how to be a humble husband and father.  He allowed me to go on vacations with their family growing up, and he always treated me just like I was one of his own.

Dad – I love our children so much and I really wanted to be the best dad to them that walked the earth!  However; I know I have fell short many times.  I have fed my personal wants and desires over theirs at times.  I have let my anger take control of my mouth and actions at times.  But I really do want to be the best dad I can possibly be.

A great dad I think provides guidance, discipline, encouragement, is a helper, a listener, a teacher and an example.  I have wanted them to see me committed to being a great example for them.  They were able to see me graduate from college at the age of 31.  They have seen me win awards from work.  They have seen me have fun on vacations and while coaching ball teams.  They have seen me serve as a leader in our church and at school.   I really have tried to live my life as a great example for them.

A few years ago I expressed my desire for our family be known as giving, loving, passionate Christian family.  We even created a family crest to visualize these characteristics.  If we are known by these qualities, then I feel I have been successful as a dad.

There is none like You, O Lord ;  You are great, and great is Your name in might.  Jeremiah 10:6

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater  works  than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  John 14:12

Good to Great: look #1 into John Grigsby

Good  ————— > Great

Following up from my testimony post, I wanted to share other factors that make me the quirky guy that I am.John BlueLighthouse

As far as I know, I grew up a pretty normal kid.  I don’t remember anything that made my childhood either extraordinary or lacking.  Nor do I remember being driven by any strong goals or passions.  Just a simple country way of life with the same struggles most families had in the late 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.

Let me describe a few events and seasons that I feel have shaped me to wanting my life to be counted as more than just good:

Army – I think my time in the Army did something to me I have never had in my life – it instilled in me a passion to be the best.

I think it started in basic training.  I graduated with a full battalion of Infantry men with the 10th Mountain Division in Ft Benning, Georgia.  Through basic I feel I did by best, and found most of the tests to be well within my physical abilities.  At graduation I realized my scores were at the top of my company, but I was not selected as the top soldier.  My best friend won the top prize and I was glad for him, but just wondered what more I needed to do.  How much of what I thought was great was only really good.  Through much contemplation I realized that although I met the physical requirements, I was not very outgoing and brought no positive attention to myself.  So I set out to slowly correct those.

Other training and trials in the Army drove me to realize that I liked the feeling of being the best. Subconsciously I started striving to be the best in all my endeavours.  I wanted to be the best mortar gunner, on the best squad in the best company of our battalion.  I just felt a drive to be the best.  I don’t recall a specific instance that developed my drive, but I think it was a gradual setting of my expectations by dialing in the passions I had deep down in my heart.

When I think of great soldiers I think of my buddy Wes who was that guy that did win the top soldier award at our basic training ceremony.  Wes’ dad Jim and mom Brenda were Army veterans, and they set an example for Wes to follow when it came to Army life.  Wes just sort of knew what to expect in the Army and it gave him confidence.  He also was a go getter and would do the hard things that others would not – and that separated him in a good way.

I also think of my platoon leader Sergeant Charles Lewis.  When we went active in the 10th Mountain he was one of the seasoned veterans they assigned to us for leadership.  SSG Lewis had combat experience so he would always give us insights to things we had no way of knowing or learning through exercise.  He loved his job and wanted us to have that same passion.

Lastly I think of the guys who went through Airborne School with us.  Going through such an intense elite school as the US Army Airborne school you see men and women who are dedicated physically and mentally to their assigned complex tasks.  It takes courage and determination to be Airborne qualified, and those who successfully complete the course have unparalleled confidence in their ability to overcome any challenge.

After three years of active duty service I left the Army as an E5 Sergeant.  I was proud of the accomplishments I had made and the quick rank I achieved.  I felt when I left there were very few things in life that I could not accomplish if I put my mind to it!

College – In my second attempt at college (after my Army service) I found school work to be much easier.  I worked at the community college in which I attended as a work-study student in the Information Services department, so my instructors knew me as a student but also someone who could help them.  I found myself wanting to have just as good a relationship with my instructors, as I was a good student.  Combining these two disciplines really made my time at college fun, rewarding and educational!

Work – When I started to work I found myself wanting to be the best at any position I held.  Whenever I came into a new job I found out who the go-to guy was, and then I set out to be better than them.  Not in a way of competition, but in a way to find out where to set the bar for my expectations.

Usually my jobs that have required me to be good technically and even better with customer relations.  I have enjoyed the technical aspects of my jobs, but even more so enjoy the ability to help people and solve problems with the skills I have.

I read in the Bible where it calls us to be great at whatever we do.  The Lord is just not pleased with our good works, He wants us to reflect Himself with great works!

There is none like You, O Lord ;  You are great, and great is Your name in might.  Jeremiah 10:6

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater  works  than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  John 14:12