08
Nov
17

His Questions…

I love them. They’re as random as the clouds that pass over my head but they fill my heart with joy every time he asks them.

My son’s questions.

They generally happen when it’s just him and me riding along in the car. He’ll be quiet for the longest time, then, out of no where, he breaks the silence with a very typical “Hey Dad?”

“Yes Sir…”

And then he hits me with what ever he has been mulling over in that complicated mind of his. I truly never know what he’s going to ask. But I can know there will be questions and a plethora of them.

My favorite today question this morning was…

“Hey Dad….”

“Yes Sir…”

“Was the Bible written before the Revolutionary War?”

I don’t care how many he asks, I don’t care what he asks,  I simply pray he will always ask.

14
Dec
09

Emmanuel

Riding along in my car today, worried about this and that.  Asking questions like, “How?” “When?” “Where?” and even “Why?”  When suddenly I became overwhelmed with the sense that God was with me, right here right now in the middle of my life.  It was the strangest sense of peace, calm and assurance that He is in control.  When I stopped to really take notice of the fact that HE was with ME,  I felt like I could take a breath so deep that it went to the very bottom of my feet and filled right up to the top of my head.

As Christmas approaches, some will need Him to be their Prince of Peace, and others their Wonderful Counselor.  Some will focus on the fact that He is Mighty God.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel – Isaiah 7:14

But today, to me, He is Emmanuel, God With Us, right here in the thick of it all.

01
May
09

We’re Moving.

moving_truck2We ARE Moving!!!  And I’ll tell you more about that later.  But first let me tell you that I am moving over to a new blog address:  shannongreer.wordpress.com. I’ve taken enough time off, got a lot to say and thought it would be great to start with a new page.  SO. . . . if you’ve followed me here, or linked to my blog from yours, bounce on over to my new site, and link up there.   I’ll explain more about our move, and all that good stuff at my new blog.  So I’ll see you there.

19
Mar
09

The End.

forrest-gump

The scene is a pretty memorable one, if you’ve seen Forrest Gump, of course.  Its the scene where a long bearded, rather odd man has been runnin, and runnin, and runnin and suddenly he stops . . . and turns around.  His narration says “I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.” He turns around and says, “I’m pretty tired. . . I think I’ll go home now.”  And as unpredictable as his start, Forrests’ 3 year, 2 month, 14 day and 16 hour jog comes to an abrupt halt.

I’ve been writing here on this blog for one year, six months, and 15 days.  With this post I will have made exactly 321 installments into the abyss of the blog realm, and pulled 440 comments from you the readers.  And though its a small number by most “bloggers” standards my blog has been “viewed”  a little over 27,000 times.

I absolutely love writing.  Its cathartic for me.  And this blog has been a small outlet for the swarms of thoughts fluttering around in my head.  I’ve posted everything from family videos, to deep spiritual thoughts, book reviews and gobs of other banter.  Everything I’ve posted, I’ve submitted to you the random reader with the hope that it would someday provoke you to think, brighten your day, or nudge you just a little closer to God.

Over the last few weeks, my posts have been a bit more sparse, and . . . . while it may seem a little abrubt . . . I felt like today was the day in which I would write my final post, on this blog at least.  So thanks for being part of this little journey.  Thanks for your comments and encouraging words to keep writing.  I’ll keep the site open so you can scroll through and see some of the stuff I’ve written.  And when the day rolls back around to open up a new chapter, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for reading.

The End

18
Mar
09

The Shack (2)

Well I got some pretty favorable comments about The Shack yeserday.  No real surprises there.  My opinions are certainly not earth shattering, but for the record here’s my take on this #1 NY Times Best Seller for 36 weeks running:

The Negative

I really only have one negative about this book, and it was actually stated in one of the comments from yesterday.  I think its a very tricky thing, and maybe even a dangerous thing to write or speak on behalf of God.  I would say a fair 75% of this book is written as a conversation between God and a human being.  Now many people who read it will understand that this book is fictional, and Young’s attempt to speak on behalf of God is to further convey His character which is clearly presented in Scripture, but might be missed by the average person.  I respect that.  Still, knowing that this book has made its way into the hands of millions of people who do not have a Scriptural basis, or perspective from which they can read this book, is concerning.  Many people who’ve never opened a Bible, have or will open this book, and may likely walk away from it with a perspective of God that is watered down.  I don’t want to venture into a deep discussion about the character of God as presented by the Shack.  Suffice it to say, I’m a little uneasy with the author’s attempt to speak on behalf of God in this book.

The Positive

I appreciate the picture that Young presents of God’s love for us as humans.  I must admit that the picture of a God who loves me unconditionally, who isn’t angered, frustrated, or put off by my failures but even uses my failures as part of His overall plan for my life, that picture comforts me.  Reading this book has influenced how I talk to God in times of prayer and meditation.  I notice I’m loosing a lot of the prayer phrases.  You probably know the ones I’m talking about, the ones you’ve heard used in prayer all your  life, and you use them, because they are good fillers, and they sound spiritual.  Instead I find myself wanting to simply talk to God like I would talk with you.  Still preserving reverence, but abandoning ritualistic cliches.   Young has artistically painted a picture of a God who truly desires relationship with us, a pure, real, un-fabricated, even raw at times, type of relationship with me.  And to Mr Young I say thank you.

So there you have, lets keep the conversation rolling:

18
Mar
09

Jo

0101Man. . . my little JoJo is turning three years old today. . . and I can’t believe it.  Of all of my three Josie is the one that most people don’t know much about.  She likes to play the shy one, the one whose a little harder to get to know.  She has her favorite people that’s for sure, and if you happen to be one of her favorites, you know it.  And if you’re not, then you know that too.  Josie has always had the strangest mix of people that at the moment she saw them, she would burst into tears.  I thought she was past all of that, maybe that it was just a two year old thing until Sunday when she saw a couple brothers that go to our church, and she cried buckets of tears.  She hates for people at restraunts to come sing “Happy Birthday” at our table, so you can imagine that won’t be happening tonight.  She’s addicted to Orange Juice, drinks it like its water.  When i come home from work, she meets me with wide open arms saying “Daddy I want to hold you.”

For her to be so scared of some people, she loves to be tossed up in the air like a floppy little bean bag.  I can do all kinds of tricks with her (safe one’s of course) and she’ll laugh and beg for me to do it again.  She’s a snuggler.  She can melt my heart with a simple “Daddy I love you.”  The other night our family was praying together, and she whispered loudly, “don’t forget to pray for my birthday.”  Later she crawled up in my lap as I was praying and tried to pry my eyes open.  When I opened them voluntarily, she laughed like a hyena.

I could go on telling you crazy little things about this crazy little kid.  She makes me smile just thinking about her.

Anyhow its the big number 3 for her today. So would you join me in wishing my little JoJo a Happy 3rd Birthday?

17
Mar
09

The Shack

the-shack-pic6Well I know I’m pretty late to the bandwagon of people who have read The Shack, by William Young.  And I have to be honest and tell you that it took me some time to read this “Best Seller.”  I know of people like my mom and several others that have read the book in one day.  Well not me.

Anyhow, I finished it last night and. . . I have good news and I have bad news about what I thought of the book.  So . . . I’ll tell you what I thought tomorrow.

Until then, I’d love to hear what you thought about the book.  I’m sure you’re one of the gazillion people who’ve read it.

SO. . .  tell me.

More to come tomorrow.

13
Mar
09

what if?

Over the last few years I’ve had some amazing conversations with guys like this guy, this guy and this guy about effecting change in their world.  I mention these guys because I know that one day they will truly impact the world for Jesus Christ.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to guys like this pastor, this leader, or this guy all of whom are doing some pretty amazing things for God RIGHT NOW!!!

I’m so honored to have this guy in my family.  And I can tell you that this man has done more for the Kingdom of God from the furthest corners of the earth than anyone will ever know and I know he has a lot more work ahead of him.  I remember sitting with him  a couple of years ago in the food court of a mall in downtown Atlanta.  As we polished off some Chick-fil-A I remember telling him that my greatest fear in life was the fear that I would one day find myself sitting in the grandstands of heaven watching a heroes parade of the people that did something amazing for God in their lifetimes, and I would simply be a spectator.

I gotta tell you that thought still scares the daylights out of me.

The craziest thing though is this.  I believe the one thing that could possibly stand in the way of me truly doing something GREAT for God is the one little question: “what if?”

What if I fail?  What if I’m wrong?  What if I try to lead, but no one follows?  What if? what if? What if?

I love the story of Peter walking on water to Jesus.  I imagine this guy had some BIG TIME what ifs bouncing around in his head before he got his feet wet.  The big one:  What if I drown?  But I’ve often wondered what if Peter DIDN’T step out of the boat.  Would his story be the same?

Would he have continued to be one of Jesus’ closest disciples?

Would he have been restored to relationship with Jesus even after denying him?

Would he have led thousands to Christ in one sermon on the day of Pentecost?

Would his shadow have brought healing to whomever it passed over?

Would he have been arrested for preaching the gospel, then released from prison by an angel?

Would he & John have healed the crippled man at the temple gate?

Man I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I seriously have to doubt any of those things would have happened if he gave in to “what if?” sitting on that boat that night.

I guess the point I’m getting at is this:  What if I don’t do what I know Ive been called to do with my life?  What if I don’t walk the path that has been divinely planned just for me?  What miraculous things will I miss seeing with my own eyes.  It may be that my greatest fear of sitting in the grandstands of heaven watching the heroes parade go by me, might come true.

You know what?  I don’t want to take that risk.   I may not be in a heroes parade in heaven one day, but I refuse to sit in the grandstands and just watch.  I’m stepping out of the boat?

You comin?

12
Mar
09

The Disease to Please

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to listen to Craig Groeschel speak at the C3 Conference in Dallas, about the Disease to Please.  I have to admit to you that its the only note sheet that I apparently kept of all the phenomenal speakers that spoke.  Don’t worry I still have notes saved somewhere on my computer.  But, this talk was particularly impacting for me.  Let me share some of the main points from his talk:

Becoming obsessed with what PEOPLE think about you is the quickest way to forget what GOD thinks about you.

Paul says in Galations 1:10 NLT – “Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser!  No I am trying to please God.  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.”  (Ouch)

People who are people pleasers:

Take most criticism PERSONALLY

Feel an extraordinary fear of REJECTION

Find it hard to express their true FEELINGS

Have a hard time saying “NO”

“The Disease to Please is actually an ADDICTION

People pleasing is a form of IDOLATRY

John 12:42-43 – . . . But because fo the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

People pleasing traps

Proverbs 29:25 – Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trust in the LORD is kept safe.

The word for trap in this verse literally means a noose for catching animals or a hook for the nose.  So the picture of a person who fears man is one who is led around by others with a hook in their nose.

That trap is a:

I will COMPROMISE for you trap
I will over-COMMIT for you trap
I will let you limit my SUCCESS trap.

The fear of GOD is the best antidote for the fear of PEOPLE

Psalm 34:9 NLT – Let the LORD’s people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need.

1 Thessalonians 2:4,6 – We are not trying to please men but God, who test our hearts. . . We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.

Some of the other “extra” points that he made were these:

The higher God takes you the more people will hate you.

The more He does through you the more people will come at you.

If you are concerned about what people think about you, then YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL!

When you have the approval of God you have all you need.

I cannot begin to tell you what an issue The Disease to Please has been for me in my life.  Now after 34 years, I’m finally learning that if God isn’t pleased with me then I’ve got bigger problems to worry about than worrying about what someone else thinks about me.  I’ve spent too many sleepless nights wondering what other people thought about me, wondering why someone said what they said to me, why they acted the way they did.  Sometimes living in absolute paranoia.  Its a debilitating disease.

But I’m letting God heal me.  I want to do what I can to live at peace with all people, as much as it depends upon me.  But at the point that I have to choose between pleasing God or pleasing others, I am compelled, I have to please Him.

I’m not there yet, getting there with His help.

Relate?

11
Mar
09

good church/bad church

I have literally been in church all of my life.  I have vivid memories of cutting my teeth on the hard wood pews where we sat, fifth row back on the left side, close to the center aisle.  I remember people like Brother Mac, Sister Elsie, Brother Dean and Sister Dean, Sister Thelma and Her sister Vernon.  I always thought it was funny that all of their first names were “brother” or “sister.”  I remember my mom & dad’s friends; Jack & Joni, Ruby & Harold, Mike & Sheryl, Linda & Skeeter. Then I had my friends, Renae, Wayne, Denise, Gemmia & Sean.  We really were a close church family, and the members of that family are what make my memories such fond ones.

Still, growing up in our church there was a lot about how we did church that I didn’t really understand.  I did what ever I was told to do, because I was afraid that if I asked a question about Why we did what we did then I would be questioning God, and . . .well. . . .  “we’re not supposed to question God.”  I believed everything I was taught, and for the most part what I was taught was solid teaching.  But looking back at some of our practices, some of our customs, has left me wondering why we did things the way we did them.

churchedI read a book a couple of weeks ago by Matthew Paul Turner called Churched.  Its a relatively lighthearted read.  Turner reflects over his childhood  growing up in Church.  I can identify with so many of his stories and  thankfully I can laugh about our similar experiences.  I’m no worse for wear from my childhood in church.  Like I said I was taught truth, and the teaching was generally sound teaching.

When I finished reading that book, I began to think of all the stories I’ve heard of others, who do not have such fond memories of church.  It always breaks my heart to hear a story of a person who was “hurt” by the church.  Countless stories can be heard today of people who were molested, verbally abused, and financially ripped off by people who called themselves “christians.”  Leaders who called themselves “pastors.”

I don’t know what your experience has been with church.  Maybe you have the good memories like I have, even ones you can look back and laugh about.  But maybe, you’re still dealing today with hurt, pain, disillusionment because of people who claimed to represent “the Church” of Jesus.

I pray today for you.  I pray that you will be healed, restored, and that you will see Jesus not as the icon of a group of abusers, but as a friend who hurts because you were hurt in His name.  May you see that church was meant to be a good thing, not a bad thing.

How would you describe your past “church” experiences?  Maybe this is a good place for us to laugh and cry together.




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