Archive for May, 2010

Birthday Prayer

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on May 29, 2010 by gregbashore

I think most of all I thank you. I thank you for all the horrible, trying, awful things I’ve gone through this year. I thank you for walking side by side with me every step of the way. For teaching me to become a man, a real man, not what this modern American idea of a man is. I thank you for moving in me. For doing something so drastic to wake me up and grab my attention. I thank you for making me work for this relationship, for making it hard, frustrating, wonderful and real. For giving me my best friends through this and for become a best friend. For not making the Bible some book but making it you that I can carry around with me everywhere I go. FOR WAKING ME UP! Making me live again. Or live for the first time. For starting to open up my eyes, my real eyes, my hearts eyes. For showing me that eternity started all ready. For being a powerful GOOD GOD and for being CHRIST. For dying for me. For showing me what true manhood really is. I have a long way to go. I know there will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys. I’ll be angry with you, I’ll thank you, be confused by you and awakened by you. But we will do it together. Give me my direction this year. Mark my path before me. Make it fun. Let it have adventure, some tough times, and lots of love, friendship and heart moments. A couple soul runs thrown in there too would be nice. Teach me to be a father now. Rise me up to be a king, and stand with me. I have nothing to fear. For what can happen to me with you by my side. And with the strong GOD LOVING brothers and sisters you’ve given me. We will live life for you this year. We will make your glory know. Thank you.

Become Cowboys

Posted in Life on May 27, 2010 by gregbashore

For as long as I can remember ive always believed in GOD. That was never the problem really. I knew he was real. Even when I purposly misbehaved growingup, I always knew I was doing wrong. Church had done a good job of making sure I knew what a christian boy should or shouldn’t do. I mean that’s what it means to be a Christian right. You’re a sinner. Go to church. Dont swear or smoke. I mean how inviting is that to someone. I think that was my problem in high school and college. Why I never had a relationship with GOD. Why I never wanted one. Christianity was boring. The thing That was suppose to save my soul was the thing killing it.

I grew up like most boys grow up I think. Wanting to be He-Man or Duke from GI-joe. Playing cops and robbers. Cowboys and indians. The problem I think began when christianity tells you to be like Jesus and then depicts this skinny wimpy mild mannered so called man. What boy wants to be that? What boy who dreams of slaying dragons., capturing the cobra commander, or riding in on your horse to save the day, wants to grow up to be the Jesus you see painted in paintings or talked about in church. Turn the other cheek? Really / Have we so misused that verse that we tell our young men to turn the other check when they see wrong. We’ve emasculated them. I was emasculated. Did David turn the other cheek when Goliath came?  No, he not only stood up to him but he killed him.

I was very aware at a young age that bad things happen. Theres a quality little boys have that men have lost. You see little boys believe in the end that the Gi-Joes will win. But somewhere we learned to forget that. We lose hope and we realize that we just need to survive. Thats the lesson I learned about GOD, that’s the Jesus I saw. A Jesus who loves everyone, good or bad.  So, then if he loves me no matter what why not be bad and have some fun right? I mean by the time I hit high school, by the time I was starting to become a man I had a very vivid idea of who Jesus was and he was nothing like Duke. So I thought “Greg you 16,17, 18 years old it’s time to stop believing in fairy tales”.  Heros don’t exist. But I couldn’t for the life of me make those feelings go away. So I buried them. Why? Well everything I was doing was wrong according to what I had learned about church. So these thoughts had t o be as well. It wasn’t untill this year that I started to take a look and step back for a minute and say, “Maybe they had it all wrong. Maybe you didn’t always have to turn the other cheek.  Maybe christianity isn’t about being a sinner and just hoping you said enough prayers of forgiveness to make it through until you got to heaven and started living in eternity. Maybe eternity started the day I decided I wanted a relationship with him. Maybe it’s not just about making it through this life until you can stand in front of Jesus and hear how you came up short. Maybe its about living life right now. Maybe Jesus wasn’t as wimpy and timid and as weak as I thought. Maybe he was more like William Wallace. Maybe he didn’t come to earth to forgive us of our sins, but came to earth to fight the evil one who had stolen our lives from us. Maybe he was more marine then prophet. more Superman the Clark Kent. That’s when I started searching the Bible for all the descriptions of jesus I could find and that’s when I noticed that the word “nice” was never used. Maybe we no longer have men who are willing to fight, fight for their country, their marriages, their relationships because we’ve told them for so long that fighting isn’t nice. So they buried those feelings Of being Duke or Captain America. They bury them with drinking, 90 hour work weeks, and spending time online instead of engaging in life. Engaging in peoples lives. Maybe we’ve become everything church has asked us to be.  Nice, polite men who say “yes dear, yes sir” to everything. Maybe men fall apart because they don’t want to be nice, so they become bad because that’s all there is. Nice or bad. They never learned to be GOOD. And that GOOD and nice are not the same.

The church tells Us to bow before GOD but forgot to tell us that there are two ways to bow. On both knees like a slave, someone forced with no free will. Or, on one knee like a knight who has pledged his life to fight for his king.  I want to bow on one knee. I want it to be willingly. A life devoted because I chose too.

They can worship the GOD they see in the paintings. I’ll worship the GOD I believe is in the B ible. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe their right, maybe were both wrong. I don’t know, but I’m alive. And as long as there’s life , there is hope right?

Growing Old

Posted in Endurance, Life on May 20, 2010 by gregbashore

I know it seems weird, but the thought of growing old has been on my mind for the past few weeks. I know it may seem weird for a guy in his 20’s to be thinking about becoming an old man, but never the less I have been. The thing is though, it’s not in the way you would probobly think. It’s not with fearfull eyes and a heart of worry, but with this odd sence of excitment.

When I was young(er). I never thought I would grow old. But now that I’m on the other end of twenty, with my own house, responsiblities and my first child on the way, it became very clear that while I may not have each the full wisdom of my years I am no longer some know nothing kid. When did i start to envy my elders? What exactly is it that I even envy in the first place? I’ve been thinking about my Grandpa Westfall lately. He passed away when I was around nine or ten so i have spend most of my life in a world that hasn’t known him then one that has. But what I do remember is a man who had a very full life. A life not without it’s hardships (2 invasions during WWII. Waking up every morning before dawn to work the fields for a living. And not to mention me as a grandson), but a life I would be very proud to have lived myself. I don’t remember much about him and the memories I do have come from his last few years of life and battling many types of illness. But I never remember him looking defeated, that his life had some huge regret because he never climb Everest or wrote the Great American Noval. He was happy with his life. I think he actually found his joy not by doing something great but by teaching me so I could. You see my grandpa never treated me like a child, that doesn’t mean he didn’t let me be a kid. What I mean is if there was something that needed done on the farm, or built in the workshop, he always brought me along. Teaching me. Letting me help him cut the wood. He never got mad when I screwed up, we just would start again.

As I’ve grown I’ve come to really miss my grandpa. The other night Lauren and I was talking and I was telling her how much I wish I had someone older and wiser that I could sit with and just have them teach me. Someone who had experinced everything life had to offer. Every up and down. Someone whos Bible was as worn as his face.
The first person I thought of was my Grandpa.

I know longer fear growing old, but welcome it because if I can endup like half of what my grandpa was then I know I can look back on my life with a smile and know I lived it for all it was worth.

-Truck

Waking the Dead

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 by gregbashore

“It’s not hust that the Cross did something FOR us. Something deep and profound happened TO us in the death of Christ. Remember-the heart is the problem. GOD understands this better than anyone, and he goes for the root. GOD promised in the new covenant to ‘take away your heart of stone.’ How? By joining us to the death of Christ. Our nature was nailed to the cross with Christ; we died there, with him, in him. Yes, it is a deep mystery-‘deep magic’ as Lewis called it-but that does not make it untrue. ‘The death he died, he died to sin once for all…In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin’ (Rom.6:10-11). Jesus was the Last Adam, the end of that terrible story.

You’ve been far more than forgiven. GOD has removed your heart of stone. You’ve been delived of what held you back from what you were meant to be. You’ve been rescued from the part of you that sabotages even your best intentions. Your heart has been circumcised to God. Your heart has been set free.”

From My Boy Kyle’s Monthly Newsletter

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on May 9, 2010 by gregbashore

Hope you don’t mind Kyle, but you words are so true.

Born in the USA! Born in the USA!” blared from the speakers of the car and the three Italians sang loud in their best pronunciation of Bruce Springsteen’s fam-ous lyrics. Why would Italians know that song or even care to sing the lyrics one might ask? The answer is simple; American culture = cool! As much as the other nations might disagree with our politics or our economics or how we treat the environment, a lot of them, especially the youth, find adopting parts of our culture irresistible. The most blaring adoption of our culture is on the television with shows such as The Family Guy, American Dad, MTV, South Park, reality TV shows, and of course the Simpsons. I know several students here who plan their lunch so that they can eat and watch the Simpsons at the same time. Hollywood has also made a huge impact, and whenever Italians talk about the USA, they always talk about New York and Los Angeles. Without knowing it, we have reshaped the future of cultures around the world.

As I was thinking about that this past month I noticed something else interesting within my own apartment. I think almost all of you know that I like to run and eat healthy as a way of life. They are both things that are a part of me as much as my faith in Jesus as the Son of God. One day I opened my fridge to find that one of my roommates had copied me by buying the same kind of food I have been buying. He and one of my other roommates have been trying to eat heal-thier and exercise more frequently because of the example I live. (I wish they would pick up on my example of cleanliness but that’s another story.) Seeing the food in the fridge made me smile a little at first, but then I began to ask my-self, “Why is it that without me saying anything to them they have chosen to make this life changing decision? I live my faith out with them just as much as my fitness, and yet I don’t see any interest towards Jesus on their part.” It really caught me off guard and made me question the way I live out my faith. I trust and believe that God wants me here because he continues to deepen my rela-tionships with my friends and he gives me many opportunities to speak His truth into their lives, but it still left me wondering if there is anything that I could do differently or better. Have any of you ever noticed friends or family shape their lives after your example, but yet not trust that what you say about Jesus is real-ly the truth? For me, my fitness and my faith are inseparable, but my roommates have chosen one and excluded the other. Why? I have a couple answers, and the first, I think, goes back to the first paragraph. Looking good and being fit = cool! Loving Jesus and really living your life following him = not cool. In a post-Christian society Jesus is old news; now we only live for ourselves. The second answer is that being fit is something tangible. All I have to do are these exercises, lose this much weight, have 6-pack abs and I can consider myself fit. A relationship with Jesus is freely and graciously given to us in spite of the fact that we don’t deserve it. There is nothing that we have done to gain it, and nothing we do will ever make us worthy of it. For most people that’s just too sim-ple; nothing is free. So the world adopts those things that are cool and tangible leaving aside the one thing that is the most important, the one thing that will truly change their life beyond what they could ever imagine.

I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do about this aside from con-tinuing to live out my faith and praying that God would show my roommates that always seeking the cool and tangible will eventual-ly leave them empty and that only He can provide what their searching for, only He can make them whole. Pray with me!

-Kyle

Please keep my brother Kyle in your prayers.  He is doing some great things for GOD’s Kingdom.

Philippians 1-4

Posted in God's Word, Life on May 6, 2010 by gregbashore

Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ.

For the past two weeks our small group has been reading through the book of Philippians. We have been going through a series where we are trying to work through Bible and figure out how to read it for what the author’s intention was. So this morning I was reading through the first chapter and hoping GOD would just open my heart to one small verse or sentence that would poke at my heart and soul and really make me think about me as a person. My character and the way I live a life I claim is for GOD in a fallen world.

He did just that.

Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ.

My purpose for this blog has never been to be a platform for teaching. To be honest I don’t know enough about the Bible to do that and I really don’t enjoy teaching either. The purpose has always been to given an honest look at my life so I can keep moving forward and growing into the man I believe GOD is shaping me to be.

Which, is why I believe GOD made this verse stick out so much more to me today then it did the other days I read through this book, it’s been a long hard week. And for personal reasons it’s going to be a long hard month and I know for me personal I can get side tracked. Lose focus for what my true purpose is. It’s so easy to become selfish in the world we live in today. I often find myself think “what have I done wrong to deserve this string of bad luck”. Or “what do I get out of this situation”. And I know for a fact that at those moments (and there is a lot of them) I am not living a life the represents the gospel. I’m not living a life that makes Christ attractive to the world. I forget that’s my purpose. That there is an eternity after this world ends and I can have influence for that eternity.

How would I live my life differently if I could constantly remember that I can help the outcome of eternity?

The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart

Posted in Endurance, Life on May 4, 2010 by gregbashore

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of his dreams”
-John Barrymore

In my failures, I saw the darkest part of myself, where I was weak, where expectations did not meet reality. Until you face your fears, you don’t move to the other side, where you find the power.”
– Mark Allen

If you can’t win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record
-Unknown

The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do.

“If what you did yesterday still looks big to you today, then you must not have done anything today.”

“You can quit and no one will really care….but you will always know”
– john colins