Category Archives: Adventure

House Mountain Hike

This past Sunday I was able to hike a local treasure – House Mountain in east Knox County.  At 2100 ft House Mountain is the highest peak in Knox county, and you can see over 30 miles away on a clear day.

House Mountain is a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County approximately eight miles from Knoxville. It is cooperatively managed by the State by Knox County Parks and Recreation. The park has a small parking lot, but includes a restroom and covered picnic area.

From Knoxville, take I-40 East. Exit on U.S. Highway 11W (Rutledge Pike) and go north and east on Rutledge Pike. After about 10 miles, look for the “House Mountain State Park” sign on the right side of the highway and then turn left on Idumea Road. Turn left on Hogskin Road. The entrance  is less than a mile on the right.  More information on House Mountain can be found here.

IMG_6010IMG_6011We took the East Overlook trail which is a fairly steep trail at the top of the mountain.  The trail is well marked, but is narrow in places.

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The weather was excellent and cool.  The parking lot was full and we passed many folks on the trail.

Once at the top the clear day allowed us to see the Smoky’s to the south and east, and the Cumberland Plateau to the west.

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Eric and I at the top
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Looking toward the Smoky Mountains
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“Top of the World!”
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West view toward the Cumberland Mountains
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Panoramic view facing West
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Local farms in Corryton
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Looking toward the East
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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.

Top Five Takeaways from the 2014 Cross Train Sports Camp

For the past three years, the last week of June has been designated as the week for Cross Train Sports Camp at Gibbs High School in Corryton, TN.2014 Cross Train Sports Camp Group

Each night of the week children ages K – 8 are invited to learn more about their sport and hear about the love of Jesus!

Campers are treated to excellent coaching from the top coach of each sport at the high school level for football, basketball, cheerleading, softball, baseball, soccer and volleyball.  Head coaches, coaches and players from each of these sports are represented to show these younger kids drills and motivation to reach the next level.

The camp starts each night a 6:30 and ends with a huddle time in the gym where the kids hear about the theme and Bible verse for the week.  Each night a speaker will share their experiences with life and Jesus – sometimes they are famous, and sometimes they just want to pour into kids.

I have been a part of the conception and leadership team for the camp each year.  For me this camp is so special because of how it was birthed, who it serves, who serves in it, and because I was saved as an 18 year old boy at FCA camp in Maryville, TN.  Camp is just special to me.

I love serving the kids and our community through the camp, and want to share five positive takeaways from this year’s camp.

  1. 21 Salvations recorded this year.  This is the reason we have sports camp – to see children saved.  Now did each one of these understand what they were doing – probably not.  We are in the process with following up with parents, but even if they did not understand today – they are on the right track in their minds to fully understand what true repentance and salvation looks like.
  2. Praying with warriors.  Man we have some awesome prayer warriors show up for Sports Camp, and I love to see God working in their lives.  They build me up and give me encouragement.
  3. Loving on children.  It is so good just to love on kids who will let you.  All too early kids put up their shields like they don’t need anybody, but it is so good to get those who will let you love on them.  Some of these kids are love starved, so loving on them in the name of Jesus is so impactful.
  4. Serving with friends.  I grew up in this community.  I know a lot of people here, and it just blesses my heart to serve our Jesus with friends outside the walls of our church.
  5. Strengthening our community.  I don’t know of any other event that will strengthen our family like coming together, serving each other and our God.  It builds the community in very deep ways that will pay dividends for years to come in ways we may never even see.

 

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

Who I am – my personal testimony

Recently one Sunday morning at church I was asked by a friend to give my testimony that night during our evening service.  I am always glad to share the assurance I have in Jesus and how God is working in my life, so of course I agreed.  I also had a few other things on my mind that I wanted to share with the church, so I asked our pastor what direction I should go with my talk.  He said to just tell why you are the way you are.  Well I think I know what he meant, but it really got me to thinking how I got to be the way I am.  Those who know me know that I am a bit different.  But then again – so is everybody else I know!

So how did I get to be the way I am?  The accounts that follow will provide some insight…

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I was raised in a Christian home, and my family was in church on a regular basis.  I grew up in a Methodist church, went through the Confirmation class at 12 years old, and at the end of the class we prayed to receive Christ into our hearts.  Was I saved at that time – I am not certain.  But I do know that when I was 18 years old  I went to FCA Camp in Maryville, TN and I knew God was working in my heart that weekend.  I also knew I could not give a certain answer of where I would go if I was to die that day of May 5th of 1984.  Through the message given by Rev. Jerry Upton, the Holy Spirit convicted  me that I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus, and I responded by coming forward during one of the services and knelt down at the altar to asked Jesus into my heart.  I knew then in my heart for certain that I had: repented of my sins, told Jesus I believed He died on a cross and was raised on the third day as a sacrifice to cover my sins, I asked Him to save me, and told Jesus I would follow Him with my life.

I have in no way lived a perfect or sinless life since then, but know in my heart that I can always ask God for forgiveness and it is granted.  And I know that because that night I received salvation, and by the assurance in His Word, that I will be forgiven of things I do (sin) that disappoint Him.

Now it was not long after I accepted Jesus into my heart that I realized satan was really tempting me in a lot of different ways that I had not experienced before.  I went to college and the US Army facing attacks from satan, and I hate to say it but he won a lot of those battles.  I remember carrying my little green Gideon Bible in my cargo pants every day I was in the Army uniform, but I did not make reading it a part of my daily life.  I was a worldly Christian giving way to Jesus and the world at the same time.  So of course I experienced failures and disappointments as I tried to follow Jesus.

My wife was the catalyst to bring me to a closer walk with Jesus.  I knew in my heart that Jesus connected us for her to be my mate and to bring me closer to Him.  I saw in her something I wanted more of in my life – an active growing personal relationship with Jesus.  I am delighted to say that since our wedding I have been on a slow path of growing closer to Him!

As I grow older my faith increases through the trials I continually face and how I am able to handle them.  You have to know that satan will not leave you alone if you are trying to live for Jesus.  I am slowly becoming more obedient to Jesus by daily denying satan and the attacks he sends.  I am not always successful, but slowly getting better as I grow in my faith.  I know I will never live a sinless life until I leave this body in the grave and enter into my eternal home in Heaven!

I am amazed and humbled by the way God has used me over the years.  I have enjoyed serving Him in many leadership roles such as a youth minister and Sunday School director.  He has molded me through the daily trials as a leader, husband and father.  I have been fortunate to lead individuals to receive Jesus as their Savior  in Guatemala, during camps and Bible Schools, even by phone with my cousin in Ohio.

Jesus has led me on so many adventures, and they all started with a single step of obedience of saying yes  –    I will follow You and I will go where You send!

Free Book: 90-Day devotion

I was fortunate to be asked to participate as a contributing author of a new Bible devotional book called All Time Verses: 90-Day Scripture Journey by the student ministers at First Baptist Woodstock.  I submitted two devotions for the project.

All Time Verses book

Since this is the first time I have been included in a book publication I wanted to celebrate by giving a copy away to one my blog readers.  So I thought I would have a little contest.

I will select one person to receive a free book who #1_will read the devotion and #2_tells me the most unique place they will read this devotion.   (yes – points added for creativity)

Simply fill out the information below to be considered.  You do not have to be a follower of my blog, but will be entered by submitting the form from this page.  Only one entry per person.  I will not give or sale your information to anyone – just using it as a reference.

Contest begins  NOW and will end at noon on Sunday, February 16th.  You must be a valid reader of the English language and the declared winner will need to provide a physical mailing address upon request.

Congratulations!

Terri Brooks is the winner of the free book contest!  Terri said she would read the devotion the first thing in the morning in her sun room.

You can find out more about Terri at http://facebook.com/theimprintdoctor

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest.

If you would like to buy your own personal copy of the book it is available on Amazon at All Time Verses: 90-Day Scripture Journey