Greg became a Christian at a young age with the guidance of his mother.
- He later spent a year in jail, where he learned more about God
- He reverted to his old ways, and about 3 years ago he rededicated his life to Christ and got baptized and hasn’t looked back
- He’s been rapping since age 12 and was rapping for the world.
- His grandmother said you better have a backup plan, so he went to the Art Institute of New York and worked at several restaurants in Charlotte as a sous chef
- On September 23, 2016, Keith Lamont Scott was shot by Charlotte police. He had some mental issues and didn’t take his medicine that day.
- Greg saw young men and women standing on top of cop cars and throwing rocks at police. Police were shooting tear gas.
- Greg wanted to show his younger brother how to act with self control
- The next day he went downtown with his friend. People were doing a silent protest, which Greg was against along with riots.
- They led the group to march to the police department and protested for 7 days.
- A police officer extended a hand shake to him and invited him to learn more about police training.
- Greg met Sheriff McFadden who was also an African American. He asked Greg 3 questions 1. Do you know what justice is? 2. Have you ever seen justice? 3. Do you know what justice looks like if you’ve seen it. He answered no and things changed.
- A protestor was shot by another protestor.
- Greg realized he hadn’t sowed any seeds in his community and didn’t deserve to be there protesting
- He and a friend started Heal Charlotte to build bridges in the community
- They went to a transparency workshop, created by the CMPD.
- They created The Constructive Conversational Training to help officers. 75 officers went through the training.
- Police started looking at people as advocates for the community
- They’ve had a Thanksgiving dinner and started an after school program in the neighborhood Greg lived in with the help of his property manager
- “There are heavenly creatures in this city that have been connected to the vine of God”
- They’ve had a 17% crime decrease in his neighborhood
- They have a CMPD Tuesday day where the cops come and talk to the kids
- His community feels safe and they feel served
- Emergency calls have gone from 77 to 7 a week
- Their new mission is a place based organization that focuses on neighborhood revitalization
- They have a heal a home project
- They want to be allies and mentors and servants of the Kingdom
- In Charlotte there’s a church on every corner, but they need more servants in the community
- The church is responsible and has a duty to walk with the imperfect
- The denominations and separations is hurting us
- Greg loves cross worship, the blessing of Abraham is upon us due to the level of our faith not our skin color
- Identity yourself by the impact you make in the world and what you do for the Lord
- African-Americans have a wall that doesn’t allow others to get over it. Everyone should put their wall down. There needs to be a trust so people can work together. We’re trying to save ourselves from something, when we all need each other.
- I had to trust in the Lord that He would not lead me astray, and that helped me trust a lot of people
- We can no longer plan to help somebody from a birds-eye view
- Everybody is impatient and inconsistent from the black-side to the white-side
What You’ll Hear:
What You’ll Hear:
- Raleigh wasn’t growing up in a Christian household. He was invited to a vacation Bible School and they had cookies
- He later prayed to receive Christ at 8 years old, though he doubted it for years
- He is the founder and Exec Director of Let My People Go, a non-profit dedicated to stopping human trafficking which is the exploitation of vulnerability for commercial gain
- He had his dream job as a campus pastor in West Virginia when they phased out his job. At the same time, God was calling him to be involved in the issue of human trafficking
- A great way to find what God is doing is to seek out those most vulnerable
- Our churches often reflect us, our socio-economic background. We like to be comfortable
- It’s easy to love those who are clean and aren’t dealing with trauma.
- God is calling us to love those of His choosing, not those of our choosing
- We can seek out those most vulnerable in the workplace, just like in our high school cafeteria
- If we want to get to know someone, we have to actually sit down, and hear their story on their terms
- If we do this, it will broaden and will deepen our dependence on the Gospel
- Vulnerability is not easy, but it’s worth it
- When we talk to people and are being transparent in a way where we’re actually risking something, people open up
- Men have been taught that emotional constipation is the norm and something to which we should aspire
- If we focus on self protection, we’ll never be free to protect others
- The Pharisees used their religiosity as a mask and hid behind it, as Christians we often hide behind our own masks and we aren’t vulnerable
- If you’re not vulnerable with God, you’re not going to be vulnerable with others
- There’s a big difference between the theology of the glory and the theology of the cross
- Human trafficking can happen anywhere because there are vulnerable people anywhere
- Human trafficking includes sex trafficking, but also labor and domestic servitude
- Debt bondage involves a trafficker making someone owe them something and continues to increase the debt
- Your brokenness could ultimately point someone to wholeness
- Go to www.thevulnerablebook.com or www.lmpgnetwork.org
What You’ll Hear:
Growing up in a traditional church in a small town, Bill just thought about his faith as something you do. When he went to college, through FCA he heard about Jesus as someone to have a relationship with instead of someone who wants to have their thumb on you
- The atmosphere his daughter is now in at college is very different and against Christianity
- Bill took a job with IBM. The more he hung around people who were more concerned with lifestyle and money the more he became like them. He was compromising his beliefs and grew distant from the Lord.
- His wife started praying for him a lot. Things started to not work out for him.
- He and his wife agreed he should leave that job and he became blacklisted, and so he started his own consulting business
- God brought to him men for him to minister to, and it kept growing. Eventually Bill’s pastor asked him to join the staff at their church as Men’s Ministry pastor.
- Stewardship is much more than just money
- In past human history, they had to spend all of their time just getting by. We now have much more free time.
- TV, the internet, entertainment and social media consume our free time
We need to be intentional and plan our time for the things that are high priority
“Everyone will find time to do what they want to do, and if they don’t they’ll find an excuse”
The Momentum is a grander scale of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University where the whole church goes through the concepts
- If you can get the church to talk about money, you can get them to talk about anything
- Time and money affect our relationships more than anything
- Dave Ramsey gets in your face and tells it like it is
- A tithe is an act of worship
- God can’t have your heart if He doesn’t have your money
- Money is where the natural and the supernatural come together
- If you worry more about how you’re going to spend your money than how you’re going to spend time with God, there’s a problem
- God holds our relationships together like a skewer holds an apple together that’s cut into slices
If the husband isn’t leading well, the wife won’t respond well
So many couples put children above their marriage, but children should be third in priority behind God and the spouse
Your children are learning from your example
Every man wants to win, but if you don’t have other men holding you accountable, it’s going to be a whole lot harder
If we could do it by ourselves, we would have done it already
You have to be OK with the fact that there are some people you just don’t need to be friends with
- Be straight with a man and tell someone you like what you see in his character and ask him to start meeting in a group regularly
Don’t ever give up on the calling God has placed on your life, write it down, and start praying
What You’ll Hear:
Dr. Aten grew up in a small farming community. He was baptized at age 8. His faith didn’t become his own until college.
His college professor asked him why he was a Christian and he didn’t have an answer
He was given a bunch of books starting with “Mere Christianity” and he ended up with frequent talks with his professor
As a result, he was mentored in his faith by an agnostic.
He continued that tradition of meeting weekly
He is the founder and Exec Director of Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College
He worked as a minister and got his PhD in Counseling Psychology
He went to the Univ of Southern Mississippi where Brett Favre graduated and Jimmy Buffet dropped out
He helped out with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and came to Wheaton College and in 2 years was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer.
As a child, he went through a tornado and took from that experience that everything went back to normal after a disaster. Through cancer, it’s not just about surviving the disaster, you have to learn how to survive survivorship
SUV is a spontaneous unintended volunteer who can do more harm than good. A tech said to him “God only tests the strong, at least you don’t have it as bad as when I had cancer”.
Show up and be present, your presence will say more than any words you could ever say
Don’t give bumper sticker theology sayings
Be patient and honor the person’s struggle in that moment
“The suffering we’re going through is part of the Fall”
There is a place for justice, but there is great power in forgiveness.
“We can either let our pain divide us or unite us. Often times when we’re struggling we isolate ourselves from others but that’s really when we need to let others into our lives.”
- “By telling our story to others, it helps us gain master over that trauma or event” but make sure it’s with something who will honor you
- We should forgive ourselves for mistakes we’ve made in our own lives
- Sometimes we don’t want to give up our survivor guilt because we’ll have to acknowledge the shame in our lives
- Normal is a setting on a washing machine
- There is virtue in resilience and endurance but fortitude is something else.
- Resilience is trying to get on the other side of adversity to get back to life, while spiritual fortitude allows us to find life even amidst of the suffering.
- Spiritual fortitude is our ability to metabilize suffering and still try to do good even when we are beaten down and the odds are against us. Spiritual fortitude helps us to better live in the present
Embrace humility during times of adversity. This will be a blessing to us and to those who walk beside us.
Links on survivor guilt: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hope-resilience/201901/resilience-and-suffering
Replay of “Real Men Connect” Podcast Interview, used with permission
What You’ll Hear:
Dave grew up in a home with a loving family that faithfully went to church every Sunday, but faith was considered a private matter
- In College Dave continued to go to church but led a sinful lifestyle
- He got a great job as an engineer at General Mills, but wasn’t satisfied with his job or relationships and quit his job to try and get rich quick in real estate flipping homes
- 8 years later Dave hit a low point, divorced and broke, and was invited to a church where he met Kari. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, married Kari, adopted her 2 girls, declared bankruptcy and began a new job as an engineer again
- He struggled with what it meant to live out his faith through his work
- The book “God has a dream for you” by Bill Godwin inspired him to write the book “Jesus is at Work”
- Most people don’t think of their work in spiritual terms but instead just as a way to make money
- Going to college with a habit of not talking about and thinking about God’s will for his life was not good
- Having joy at work starts with being close to God and reminding yourself of your true purpose
- Joy is a consistent attitude of gratitude and is different than happiness which fluctuates daily
- God values work, one of the first things He did with Adam and Eve was to give them work
- It’s not up to us to decide whether or not our work matters, it’s up to God
- Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller says common grace is God blessing everybody, sinner and saint. No matter what work you do you are part of God’s common grace to mankind
- God’s purpose for our life and our work is for us to love Him and love others
- We should bring our faith and our life into every part of our life
- God’s assignment is specific things God wants us to do in our work
- His general assignment for our work is the same for all of us, including excelling, loving others, having integrity, sharing the good news
- God is not going to be mad at us if we don’t do these assignments, but if we do them we will have the abundant life He wants for us
- We should avoid comparing ourselves to others at work because this can lead to both envy and judgment
- If we focus too much on our hobbies or our retirement it can prevent us from being present at our work and miss opportunities God has for us at our job
- We should be positive about our work when we can and when we are feeling negative try to keep our mouth shut
- If you’re stuck between a job and a dream, take steps in that direction but don’t step off the boat until you’re at the dock
- We should let God be our promoter by trusting in Him rather than trying to make something happen, be patient. The test is after the fact whether you can sincerely that what happened was from God
Biggest mistake was going bankrupt
The one attitude I would change in men with their work is apathy
Next big thing if couldn’t fail would be to write a high impact fiction book
Greatest force in the universe is a man’s sex drive, God did that for a reason, if we channel that energy within the boundaries God gave us we will be blessed and not cursed
Still struggle with sadness/discontent/being judgmental
Contact go to http://davehilgendorf.com
What You’ll Hear:
Dr. Vanderpool accepted the Lord at age 12. The Lord was present in his house in a great way and his parents modeled Christ since he was an infant. He was surrounded by believers for generations since he was born
His Dad is a surgeon and there are many doctors in his family. It’s been a goal for him forever and it never wavered.
The Lord annointed him to be a surgeon. He doesn’t feel any negative stress and enjoys his work.
His parents did mission medical vision work throughout the world. He had been given the best of everything, grew up in a Christian, affluent household with the best education.
While doing missions, he met people who were on the opposite spectrum from him in terms of opportunity. That disparity really bothered him.
He and his wife now of 37 years were junior high school sweethearts
They’ve been doing ministry in missions for 25 years. They have 3 kids who also live for their ministry LiveBeyond
They learned from many ministries like ArcoIris in Mozambique
They arrived in Haiti 2 days after the Hurrricane hit in 2010 and set up a clinic for surgical care
They closed down their successful surgical practice, sold everything to become full-time missionaries
They had no security and actually slept on army costs on a concrete slab during Hurricane season for 4 months with no electricity
It’s a mistake to have your family centered on your kids. They want us to lead.
God annoints us for work and our work is important but what defines me is my walk with Jesus Christ. We have to put our work in a subservient place to our walk with Jesus Christ. Get up early and spend time in worship and prayer. The greek word for worship is to “kiss towards”
The Lord gives us the ability to make money and that’s a wonderful thing, but He didn’t give us the money to keep but to give it and to build his Kingdom.
80% of the people in their area live on less than $2 per day, and are with a dime of survival. You don’t see depression. You see joy. 2 hours is the richest country that has ever existed and there’s rampant depression.
They gave up everything in the States and don’t miss it a bit.
Our life is made up of work. The question is the balance of life. A whole lot of our busyness revolves around our desire to be entertained. Our pursuit of entertainment has crippled that question of work life balance.
Quality time is quantity time.
Our scripture for LiveBeyond this year is John 10:10. It has 2 parts. The second part says that Jesus gave life and gave it abundantly. That’s what Christians are called to do, to give life. The abundant life is the Gospel. That should be the mission statement of every Christian. The converse is that the thief has come to steal, kill and destroy.
One great way to bring eternal life to the workplace is to bring joy
We should listen to uplifting things. Jesus is about order. Satan is about chaos.
Families should serve the poor together.
Contact www.livebeyond.org to sign up for a trip