Ten Years Later

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Ephesians 2:1-10, The Message).

Recently, I ran into a former fellow Kairos greeter that I hadn’t seen in a while. It was great seeing a blast from the past. It also got me thinking.

This fall will mark ten years since I started greeting at Kairos. Outside of school, the only other activities that I’ve done consistently for at least ten years are breathing, eating, sleeping . . . you get the idea. Ten years is a long time.

I’m thankful for Kairos. I’m thankful for Mike Glenn who helped get it started way back when and for Chris Brooks who is carrying the torch onward.

I’m thankful that I am not who I was ten years ago due in large part to the ministry and teaching of Kairos.

I’m thankful for the many people who have crossed my path in that time and for the numerous little footprints they’ve left in my heart. I don’t see most of them anymore, but I remain grateful for each one of them. I am a composite of all the best parts of everyone I have ever met.

I’m thankful that God isn’t done with this ministry. I see that what might have looked like an ending was really only the beginning to another chapter with better things still yet to come.

Kairos is proof that all God needs is a place to start– even the most hesitant and reluctant of agreements– and He can transform anything and anyone for His glory. There really is no such thing as a lost cause in the economy of God’s grace and mercy. There is a place for anyone and everyone who wants to turn around and follow Jesus. It’s never too late for anyone to be who God in Jesus created them to be.

That’s still the story of Kairos. That’s still my story. That’s the story that I hope we will be telling for years and years to come.



Saved People Serve People

“Anyone God uses is always deeply wounded.  On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars” (Brennan Manning).

It’s that simple. If you’ve experienced the love of Jesus in a real and tangible way, you can’t help but share that love with those around you. Like Mike Glenn says, you can’t hold the ocean in a thimble, and one person can’t contain all the love Jesus pours out on him or her without some of it spilling out onto those he or she comes in contact with.

Tonight, my friend Michael Boggs spoke about the passage where Jesus took off His outer garments and washed his disciples’ feet. That was His demonstration of what real leadership looks like. He said that the one who wants to be greatest must be servant of all.

Michael said something that convicted me. He said that in the end, Jesus won’t look at you and see titles, treasures, or trophies. He will look to see how dirty your towel is. He will see where you ministered to the least of these got your hands dirty in the process, because real tangible love is often messy.

Jesus kept the wounds in His hands, feet, and side to show us that in the end we won’t be known by our vast wealth or network or influence but by our scars.

You don’t get scars from sitting in a comfortable chair living out your perfect suburban life with a perfect wife and perfect kids in a perfect setting forever. You get scars by stepping away from everything that’s familiar and comfortable and going to meet Jesus in His most distressing disguise as a refugee or a homeless person or any of the least of these that are often ignored and overlooked.

Shameless plug: if you’re looking for a safe place to serve in the Nashville area, consider being a greeter for Kairos at Brentwood Baptist Church. It’s a much-needed ministry and a great way to get your foot in the door, ministerially speaking.

Whatever you do, remember the example Jesus set when He washed His disciples’ feet. That’s what true leadership and service look like.

The end.



Another Night of Worship

I always love when Kairos has their Night of Worship.

There’s more emphasis on music, which is something that Kairos does well on just about any given Tuesdays but especially on nights like these.

The theme was My Brave Is. Basically, it’s facing whatever you’re most afraid of and realizing that God in Jesus has already overcome it. It’s knowing that Perfect Love casts out all fear, including that one that’s been gnawing at you for years.

The weather cooperated magnificently. What started out as a stupid hot and humid day turned into a lovely breezy summer night after some rain swept through the area. It made for a fantastic After Hours gathering where plenty of hot dogs and shaved ice got consumed (and corn hole was played by all).

I need nights like this. I need worship. I need to get my mind off of me for a little while and onto Something Much Bigger and Better.

Worship is like the reset button on my WiFi router. It’s like rebooting my laptop every so often. It basically reorients my life around the True Priorities after I’ve allowed it to get seriously off track.

Worship reminds me that I’m not in control and that it is not up to me. This God who is worthy of all the songs ever sung about Him is more than up to taking care of me and my problems and getting me where I need to be.

After all these years, I still love volunteering as a greeter and welcoming the people as they enter the building. I wonder if sometimes faces like mine might be the first friendly, non-threatening faces some people have seen all day. Who knows what difference even something as simple as a smile might make in someone’s life?

So, it was a good night. Even the little bit of rain at the end couldn’t dampen my spirits.

My brave is that God will not fail to make me who He always meant for me to be (even if I still don’t know what that is) and will finish what He started in me so very long ago.



Tuesdays Are Good Again

As you know, I’m a greeter for Kairos, a contemporary worship event on Tuesdays at 7 pm. I realized tonight that this fall will mark nine years that I have volunteered by offering a smile and a hello as people make their way into Hudson Hall on the Brentwood Baptist Church campus.

I love what I do and I love that people know me as the greeter guy from Kairos. I truly think that my worship experience is all the greater for me having invested, however small, my time and my somewhat limited people skills. I’m not the world’s biggest extrovert who can walk up to any stranger at any time and start a conversation, but I can offer a friendly greeting to the person in front of me.

On some days, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. I mean how hard is it really to wave at someone and say, “Hi”?

But then I think that maybe the person I’m greeting has had a rotten day or even a horrible week. I may be the first face that person has seen that isn’t cursing at them or sneering at them. Maybe that person will look at me and see Jesus smiling at them. Who knows?

I’ve been on the other end, barely making it through the week and badly in need of something– anything– positive. I know the power of a smile and a friendly greeting. I know the power of encouraging words, whether spoken or texted or posted. In fact, when I missed Kairos a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on my wall that she missed seeing me there. That meant the world to me.

You don’t have to have the Bible memorized or have your theology down pat to be able to serve. All you need are open hands and a willing heart. Sometimes, all you need is simply to show up and get out of the way so that Jesus can take over.


Being on the Ground Floor


Today at my church, there were few–if any– empty chairs. That might not sound like much until you consider that this church has only officially been in existence since July of last year (with the official launch in September).

I’ve always said that I wanted to be on the ground floor of a church plant and here I am.

My role may not be a big one, but I am playing a small part. I am a greeter on most Sunday mornings and once every month or so I run the graphics, which includes song lyrics and other slides related to the Sunday morning service.

I enjoy it. I really love the fact that we as the local body of Christ are making an impact on the neighborhood in which God has placed us. People driving by can’t help but notice the sign that reads “The Church at Avenue South– a regional campus of Brentwood Baptist Church.” Jesus has moved into the neighborhood and we are His visible body here on earth.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the year ahead. I pray that we won’t be content to maintain status quo but instead seek ways to think outside that proverbial box and truly become all things to all people, just as Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 9:22.

In fact, my prayer is for all the churches in Nashville to do the same. I really do hope that we can get away from the competitive spirit and learn to work together as the Church. After all, Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and His Father are one.

More than that, I pray the churches in Nashville will stick to the Gospel that Paul preached, no matter what. That’s what saves people and that’s what people are dying to hear, both figuratively and literally.


A Beautiful Day in January


“This itch to have things over again, as if life were a film that could be unrolled twice or even made to work backwards … was it possibly the root of all evil? No: of course the love of money was called that. But money itself—perhaps one valued it chiefly as a defence against chance, a security for being able to have things over again, a means of arresting the unrolling of the film” (C. S. Lewis, Perelandra).

Today was perfect. I served as a greeter at the church’s back door this morning and was pleasantly surprised at how warm and spring-like the weather was. The sun was shining, there was a faint breeze, and I felt really good.

Sometimes, I wish I could bottle weather on days like this. That way I could pull it out on those cold, rainy days where it’s easy to feel discouraged and disheartened and instantly be transported back to this morning. Even if it were only 5 minutes, that would be enough to tide me over until the next sunny day.

Unfortunately, that sort of technology doesn’t yet exist. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe instead of pining for better weather, I could train my eye to see the good, even during those nasty, cold, and rainy days that always seem to come in bunches.

You can’t repeat a memory, no matter how good it was. You can never go back and re-create it. After all, all those variables that worked out just perfectly for you to have that moment have changed, as have you. And besides, all the time spent longing for past glories only takes away from your ability to be fully present where you are right now.

So I’ll be content to think about how I got a sneak preview of spring on January 18, 2015 and just as equally content when the weather goes back to normal cold January weather.



Tuesdays Are Still Good


Tuesdays are awkward. They’re those misfit days between the dreaded Mondays and the (I think) vastly overrated Hump Days known as Wednesday.

But for me, Tuesdays are my favorite. That’s because Kairos is on Tuesday.

I’ve been involved with Kairos for 8 years. I’ve volunteered as a greeter for almost as long. I’ve seen lots of people come and go and been through quite a lot in that timespan.

The attendance numbers have soared way up, plummeted back to earth, then achieved a sort of happy medium. The teaching and music have remained consistently good.

The latest series was Letters to Me. It was based on the idea of what you might tell your younger self if you could somehow get hold of pen, paper, and a time machine. Or a 1985 DeLorean.

Probably, you’d tell yourself to avoid some people. You’d tell yourself not to do some things and not to go certain places.

I love the idea that there’s nothing in your past that is irredeemable. There’s nothing God can’t use and nothing God can’t turn into something good. Just ask Joseph. Or Jacob. Or Abraham.

My favorite line from Kairos is the one that says that God can take that worst moment of your life, the one you swore up and down that you would never tell ANYBODY about, and make it the very first line of your testimony.

If you’re ever in the Nashville area on a Tuesday night, check out Kairos. It’s at 7 pm in Hudson Hall at Brentwood Baptist Church, located off I-65 exit 71. It’s kinda hard to miss.

God willing, I plan to be there for at least the next 8 years.

Why I Still Love Being a Kairos Greeter


I don’t know exactly when I started greeting at Kairos, but I figure that this fall will mark 8 years. It doesn’t seem like it, but the math doesn’t lie. At least if I did my math right.

I still love standing at the door and making people feel welcome as they walk through to Kairos. It may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s an important role.

I may be the only smiling face someone will see all day long. If someone feels unnoticed and unwanted, I could be the one who in essence says, “I see you. I notice you. You matter to me and I want you to feel like you belong here.”

I’ve seen people whose faces absolutely light up because someone (me) saw them and took time and effort to say hi to them. That’s all. Just a smile and a wave and a hello.

I’ve been on the other side of the smile, feeling invisible and wishing someone– anyone would acknowledge my existance. I have known what it feels like to feel alone in a crowd.

Hopefully, you can take this and use it in your own lives. Who knows what person whose day you can completely turn around and revolutionize just by a smile and a kind word of greeting. You don’t have to share your entire life story or become best friends with the person. Sometimes just seeing the people, looking in their faces, and validating their existence is enough.

So I hope to continue being a greeter for as long as God allows. Not so people will recognize me and think how cool and great I am. I want to be that one smiling face that makes someone’s day a little bit better and shows a little bit of God’s love to everyone I meet.

That’s all.

A Multiple Choice Quiz About My Life


Surprise! Professor Greg is giving you a pop quiz about his fascinating life. Hint: all the answers to all the following questions will be d) all of the above. Keep your eyes on your own paper, no talking, and no gum chewing. Here goes:

1) I was recently interested in a fellow Kairos greeter until I found out a) she’s interested in someone else, b) she’s WAY too young for me, c) I’m perfectly content to be her friend for as long as God allows, and d) all of the above.

2) Tonight at Kairos, I learned that a) love is an action, b) Jesus calls me His friend, c) He calls me to love and forgive those who aren’t easy to love or forgive, d) all of the above.

3) My eventual demise will come from a) tripping over my cat, b) choking on a spoonful of Wendy’s Frosty, c) in a very non-heroic and non-graceful manner, d) all of the above.

4) True or False: Greg is one of the most awesome people alive. Hint: the answer is True.

5) Today, I’m glad that a) I woke up, b) I didn’t fall down, c) I am still forgiven and loved and held by my Abba Father, d) all of the above.

6) Jesus’ love for me is a) unconditional and unending, b) amazing, c) not meant for me to hoard but for me to share, d) all of the above.

7) Kairos is a) a worship event at Brentwood Baptist Church, b) at 7 pm every Tuesday night, c) something you need to attend weekly, d) all of the above.

8) Multiple choice tests are a) a pain, b) given by teachers too lazy to create real tests, c) a crapshoot, d) all of the above.

9) I always get ice cream at Chick-fil-A after Kairos because a) it’s ice cream, b) it’s free, c) it’s free ice cream (thanks to the Foursquare app on my iPhone), d) all of the above.

10) You are a) fearfully and wonderfully made, b) amazing and unique and beautiful and special, c) someone I am thankful for (and not just because you’re reading this blog and taking this quiz), d) all of the above and then some.