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

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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

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…

John collage2

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

A Great Defensive Driving Course for Teenagers: B.R.A.K.E.S. (updated)

B.R.A.K.E.S. — Dedicated to Saving Young Lives

This past Saturday I took my 15-year-old son to a BRAKES defensive driving school at Bristol Motor Speedway.  We really were not sure what to expect, but the experience proved to be fun and educational for both of us.

Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway

B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) is a 501(c)3 organization which provides advanced driver’s education in a program entitled the Teen Pro-Active Driving Course.  Over 5,000 teenagers lose their lives each year across the country in traffic accidents.  While conventional driver’s education is important and valuable, the Teen Pro-Active Driving Course goes beyond that level of training by addressing driving situations responsible for many traffic accidents involving teens.  The course is for teenagers 15-19 who have a learner’s permit or driver’s license with at least 30 hours of driving experience.

BRAKESWe arrived a Bristol Motor Speedway with apprehension and anticipation.   Neither of us knew exactly what to expect, but my son is about to get his drivers license and I felt he needed this kind of training.

We started the four hour course with a video and some classroom instruction.  I have to admit that we both learned something from the classroom instruction.

Then they took us out to the parking lot where a driving course had been designed.  Each of the students were assigned to a group with a leader for every three students.  The instructors even let each parent take a turn on the course.

BRAKES course video 1

The course consisted of five different real world situations: accident avoidance, a distraction exercise, drop wheel recovery, car control and recovery, and panic stop (anti lock braking).  At each exercise the students were shown my their instructor how to properly navigate the exercise, then took turns behind the wheel applying and practicing each technique themselves.  The amount of behind the wheel time was so valuable and allowed each student to try these accident avoidance techniques in a controlled environment with professional feedback.

BRAKES course video 2

If you are a parent with a new teenage driver, I highly suggest going with them to this course.  Look online for the next class near you. Continue reading A Great Defensive Driving Course for Teenagers: B.R.A.K.E.S. (updated)

Favorite videos from 2013

Here are a few videos that I have enjoyed in 2013.

My son went with me to Guatemala this past summer.  It was such a treat for me to see him ministering to kids in a foreign country.  This short video shows him playing basketball in the middle of their free-for-all recess time.

Basketball in Guatemala

While in Guatemala I found a unique place to enjoy my quiet time in the morning:

Quiet Time in Guatemala

A review of our 2013 mission trip to Guatemala is set to Audio Adrenaline’s “Kings and Queens”.

2013 Guatemala Mission Trip Review

In our community several churches volunteer together for a sports camp in the summer.  We call it Cross Train Sports Camp, and kids from kindergarten up to 8th grade come to learn more about Jesus and get specialized training on their favorite sport.  This video was my daily favorite from the week:

2013 Cross Train Sports Camp: Tuesday review

At work a friend of mine works in an office that used to have three people, but recently one left the company and one works from home.  So this left Roger in the office by himself.  The problem is that he now calls our office to chit-chat and bounce ideas.  SO, we all chipped in and bought him something to talk to.  We call her Polly:

Polly

Blackberry Wisdom

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