Preview chapter from Ir-rev-rend: Christianity without the pretense, faith without the facade

The following is a preview chapter from my book “Ir-rev-rend: Christianity without the pretense, faith without the facade” (release date September 28, 2011). If you would like to order a copy for your Kindle/iPad you can click HERE. For a hardcover copy you can click HERE.

Giveaway:  I’m giving away a copy of the book to 5 people who leave comments. (Winners will be announced Monday)

Enjoy!

Serendipity

The alarm went off at 4:00am. No one should be up at that hour. Almost no one was. Some people are happy and cheery when they first get up. Not me. Especially not at 4:00am.

I’d made a quick trip to Birmingham to be with my friend Chris Hodges the day after his father died. Now I had to be back in Charleston to celebrate my grandson’s birthday, and the only flight with a seat available was the first one of the day. Lucky me.

I packed quickly, slapped a hat on my head (if you can’t comb it, cap it), and hopped a ride to the airport. It’s not easy to get in and out of Charleston. You don’t go through our fair city to get to somewhere else. We are a destination point. Some Charlestonians would say that we are THE destination point. Many natives still believe that the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers came together to form the Atlantic Ocean. Life begins and ends with Charleston. That’s great for civic pride, but it makes traveling somewhat difficult. There are very few direct flights out of Charleston. When the rapture occurs I’m confident that we will be routed thru Atlanta or Charlotte, depending on the severity of our sin and the sincerity of our repentance. Which one will serve as a sort of travel purgatory, you ask? I’d rather not say, in the fear that my Georgia brethren would be offended. Travel can be complicated, especially when nocturnal creatures (such as myself) have to take the early flight.

The final leg into Charleston is almost always done on an aircraft that looks more like a long silver piece of PVC pipe than an airplane. Even a person of my stature (5’8″ in heals and fully stretched for pictures) has to bend at the waist to keep from bumping your head on the ceiling once you enter the plane. The good news is that there are generally two seats on either side of the aisle, eliminating the dreaded center seat. The not as good of news is that the remaining seats are so tightly packed that you tend to share more intimate space with complete strangers than you really care too.

Travel too and from Charleston does improve the intensity of your prayer life. At least it does mine. I find myself praying more fervently about my potential seat mate than I did when I was single and praying for a spouse. My travel prayers basically go like this:

Prayer #1- “Lord, please let there be no one in the seat next to me.” I know it sounds selfish, but actually it’s not. The purpose is not so much my comfort as it is so that I can give myself more completely to God and his work in my life. With no one next to me there will be less distractions and more time to focus. (Okay, so it is a LITTLE selfish.) I was praying that prayer once when I spotted a young woman walking toward me. Arriving just before the door closed and the start of the fascinating instructional video, she was obviously the last one on the plane. By that time there were just two seats available and I was hoping that she would walk on past my row. As she melted into the seat next to me she exclaimed, “What an answer to prayer, you are my pastor!! I am so glad I’m sitting next to you. I’m afraid of flying so I waited till the last minute to board. I’ve been praying that God would give me a sign that everything would be okay, and here I am sitting by you!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her loving pastor, who was currently being used by God as a sign of his providence, was actually praying for an empty seat. I guess both prayers couldn’t be answered so God went with the less selfish one.

If prayer #1 – “Lord, please let there be no one in the seat next to me” goes unanswered, I move onto Prayer #2 – “If I have to sit by someone, make it someone small.” If you’ve traveled much, then you’ve probably prayed this prayer even though you would never include it in your Small Group Bible Study praise report time. “Praise God, there were no fat people next to me on the plane”. It just doesn’t sound right. But the truth is, no one wants to sit next to someone who flows over into the space you have purchased, especially not on a long trip. Honestly, this prayer reveals a hint of my own hypocrisy, in that I am currently overweight and was born with relatively broad shoulders, so I may very well be the object of other travelers prayers. I still pray it, none the less, because contrary to the opening line of Rick Warren’s best seller, “Purpose Driven Life”, in my own mind, most of the time it really is about me. Just keeping it real.

Prayer # 2 – “If I have to sit by someone, make it someone small” actually has a second part to it that goes something like this, “But don’t make them too small”. As in loud or unattached children. I remember being a reluctant baby sitter to a hyper energized three year old on a flight in the middle of the night, somewhere over the Indian Ocean. Her parents, whom I’d never met, were sleeping soundly in the seats next to me while I was the source of her nocturnal entertainment. My brother, who was seated across the aisle, would occasionally wake up and just laugh. I’ve never liked him much. I actually do like kids, I tell myself, just in small doses of my own choosing.

Prayer #3 – “Lord, please let them not be in need of constant conversation.” No conversation is awkward. Some conversation is good. Constant conversation to a borderline introvert can be draining (at least that’s how I justify this prayer in my mind).

Prayer #4 – “Lord, help me be a blessing to whoever I sit by.” That’s the prayer that I throw in so that I will feel better about myself. I’m not sure how sincere it is, but hey, this is my book and you’re probably secretly relating to what I’m talking about.

Here’s the deal, God usually answers Prayer #4 by bringing me the opposite of what I’m praying for in Prayers #1-3. In fact I’m pretty sure he ignores the first three like we ignore unhealthy requests from our kids as they are growing up. “Daddy, I’d like my ice cream before dinner this time.” He knows what we need, when we need it, and he knows what part we play in the big scheme of things. It’s easy to forget that’s it really isn’t about us, especially when you are tired, or uncomfortable, or just a little unclear about the mission he’s called us too everyday of our life.

I was all of the above on that early morning flight from Birmingham when it became obvious that the really big guy hunched over in the aisle was eying the seat next to mine.
“I’m in seat A”, he said as he rechecked the number on his ticket.

“That figures”, I thought as I struggled out of seat B and into the aisle so he could get past.

Honestly, all kinds of negative thoughts started to vie for a place in my mind. I’m not proud of it, it’s just the truth. I wasn’t thinking about him, what God may have wanted to do in his life through me, or about why our lives were aligned in that moment, or the fact that I am to live “missionally” and “incarnationally” every day of my life because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I wasn’t thinking about the power and responsibility of the good news. I wasn’t thinking like the men in 2 Kings 7 who, because of their leprosy, were forced to beg for their food daily, and then one day found a stash of goods so large that they could never consume it in a lifetime. They were tempted to keep it to themselves until one of them came to his senses:

2 Kings 7:9a (NLT) Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is wonderful news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone!”

I was just thinking about me, and my comfort. I thought I knew what I needed, but the next 38 minutes proved to be highly instructional to this tired, grumpy, and out of alignment pastor. It was a divine appointment. And I almost missed it.

Prayers #1, 2, & 3 died quickly on the tarmac in Atlanta. There was someone sitting next to me. He was big. And he was definitely a talker. As he settled into his seat (and maybe one quarter of mine) he apologized for my discomfort and asked if I lived in Charleston.

“I do”, I replied. “How about you?”

“Oh no,” he responded. “I used to, but that was nearly thirty years ago now. I loved this place. I grew up here. I live in Alaska now, but it’s always good to get back for a visit.”

“Visiting family?”, I asked asked as he shifted around in the narrow seats, trying to get comfortable. When he moved, I moved also. Not because I wanted too, but out of necessity. We were a team now.

“Yeah. Cousins. My parents both died about two years ago, but I’ve got cousins I’ll be seeing”, came the response from my new dance partner. “What do you do and how long have you lived in Charleston?”

I measured my response.

“23 years…and I’m a pastor.”

“Really?” He asked. “What church?”

When I responded with “Seacoast”, he lit up like a thirteen year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert. “Then you know my cousin Sue.”

Seacoast is a fairly large church and I’m honestly not too good with names. Sometimes when people will ask, “Do you know _____, they go to your church?”, I’ll get a glazed look while the search engine in my brain tries to find a match. More often than not, I’ll nod politely and hope that they don’t ask for details, because I’m coming up blank. That wasn’t the case when my seat partner mentioned the name of his cousin. She and her husband had actually been apart of the group that started the church. They had been in a successful student ministry years earlier in our mother church, Northwood Assembly. Many of the leaders in that ministry had been a part of the founding of Seacoast. “John”, who was currently occupying both his seat and an increasing portion of mine, had been one of the leaders of that group.

That really got him going. He became as animated as a large man could in the cramped quarters of a flying toothpick. His voice picked up both volume and pace as he recalled what had obviously been one of the highlight seasons of his life. He teared up as he recalled the night he really dedicated his life to Christ, and the joy of following him with the abandonment that only the idealism of youth can truly appreciate. He asked me about various other people he’d known from those days. With each name came a story, and then a story on top of the story. I knew many of them and it was actually fun to listen to my enthusiastic new best friend recount some things that might be useful to me in the future.

“So, what took you away from Charleston?”, I asked.

“Well, originally it was school”, he replied. “I followed God’s call to a Bible College in Florida. My dad was a pastor of a small church for a while when we were growing up, and I so enjoyed my youth ministry experience, that that just seemed like the natural next step. I stayed there for two years and then transferred to another school in Tennessee for three years and then on to seminary for two more years.”

“So you’re a pastor now?”, I asked.

“Well, not exactly. At least not the way that you see the word ‘pastor’.”

I shifted around in my seat, trying to get comfortable because I sensed a story coming, I was actually somewhat intrigued.

“I’m a Chiropractor now and I see my patients as my congregation. I attend a local church on the weekend, but my work is my ministry. Everyday I go to my pulpit. See, everybody is hurting somewhere. Your job is to bring wholeness through the scriptures. I just get to their hearts through the adjustments I make on their bodies. I feel God’s hand in everything I do. I love my job.”

“So”, I asked, “how do you go from preparing for ministry to being a Chiropractor? I mean seven years is a long time.”

“It is a long time”, he responded. “But if you mean, do I feel like I wasted seven years and lots of money and never became a real pastor? Definitely not. It was preparation for ministry, and I’m in the ministry now. So I can see God’s hand in it all the way.”

“I can see what you mean”, I said somewhat apologetically. “But obviously you went into school thinking that there would be a “traditional” pastorate on the other end. Wasn’t it frustrating at times? Where did you make the switch?”

“It’s all about trusting God,” he said. Now I sensed that he was preaching a sermon to the “real” pastor, and I wasn’t offended. In fact, I was beginning to realize that maybe this was the reason that the two of us were squeezed into this small airplane for the next few minutes. God had something he wanted to say to me, and the only way he could get my attention was to seat belt me into a sardine can next to a rather large authentic “pastor”. “Fire away”, I thought. “I’m all ears.

“Like I said, I felt a call of God on my life so I naturally thought of Bible College. With my dad being a pastor and being around some great role models in ministry it just seemed like the right thing to do. We prayed about it and decided to pursue ministry training.”

“When did you decide that pastoring a church wasn’t in the cards for you?”, I asked, still fascinated that a guy would invest seven years in ministry preparation without any apparent regrets.

“It was while I was in seminary”, he answered. “It just seemed like everything I tried was harder than it needed to be. It just wasn’t clicking for me.”

“Wasn’t that discouraging?”, I asked. “How did you handle it?”

“Discouraging?”, he stopped to think about his answer. “Yeah, I guess so at times. But how can you be that discouraged when you know you are where you’re supposed to be.”

Interesting“, I thought. “Things are not working out, you’ve just invested seven years of your life in a dream that’s not happening, and you’re not discouraged, because you are confident you are where you’re supposed to be?”

“Tell me how you can be in the right place, but it’s not working out, and you’re not worried about it”, I asked.

“God’s in control. It’s his job to figure that stuff out. I guess my job is to keep my attitude right and just follow his lead.”

“Cool idea”, I thought. “Sounds like something Jesus would say (if he were here today, occupying an oversized body in a very small plane, sitting next to a whiny pastor).”

“So how’d you get into being a Chiropractor?”

“Like I said, things weren’t working out. Studies were hard and there were no jobs available when I graduated, so I decided to go into the Army until I figured it out.”

“The Army’s a great place to go while you’re trying to figure things out”, I thought. “You don’t have to worry much about what’s next. They’ve got plenty of people telling you what to do.”

“Shortly after I got in I started having headaches”, he said.

“The military will do that to you”, I added, helpfully.

“No, it’s not like that”, he said. “They were migraines. A friend said I ought to try seeing a Chiropractor and I did. The headaches went away and I found my calling.”

“All in one visit?”, I asked.

“Yeah, I guess you could say that”, he replied.

I’m thinking I should be a Chiropractor.

“After I got out of the Army I enrolled in school to become a Chiropractor”, he said, completing his thought.”

“So, how long did that take?”, I asked. Not that I’m thinking about it. I just wanted to know.

“Eight years,” he answered proudly.

“Eight years,” I repeated in disbelief. “So let me get this straight: In your pursuit of finding God’s calling on your life you went to Bible College, Seminary, three years in the Army, and then back to eight years of college? And you didn’t get discouraged along the way?”

“That’s right,” he said with an oversized grin on his face. “Oh, I had my days, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I met some great people, and the process is what made me what I am. I love my job. And I love my life. I couldn’t be happier. If that’s what it took, don’t you think it was worth it?”

I couldn’t argue with that. I noticed that he didn’t have a ring, so I asked him if he’d ever been married.

He paused and looked down for a few seconds before he answered. “Yes I was, to a wonderful woman. She died in a car wreck three years ago. I guess you could call me a single parent. We’ve got four teenagers living at home.”

Now that totally wrecked me.

I thought back to my selfish prayers just before he entered the plane. I thought about my reaction when it became obvious we were going to share a portion of my seat for 38 minutes. I thought about how I sometimes complain when the smallest things happen or my plans are delayed or I have to stand in one of life’s waiting lines for longer than I think I deserve. I thought about how far I am from where I need to be. I felt as if I’d been touched by an angel, and it made me want to be more like Jesus. In a strange way I felt hope. And I wanted to hear more.

“How have you…how have you managed?”, I asked as we started our descent into Charleston. “Loosing your wife and your parents, and raising four teenagers by yourself. I have so many questions. I can’t imagine.”

“It hasn’t been easy”, he replied. “The kids have missed their mother terribly at times. They are good kids and their faith in God is strong. It’s hard to explain, but we have experienced God’s grace in some really incredible ways.”

“In fact”, he continued, “I can see where those years of being forced to trust God when things didn’t go the way I thought they would was great preparation for what we’ve gone thru in the last three years. God was faithful then and he has been faithful now.”

There was something different about this guy. It wasn’t just the words he spoke. He was pouring out his life and his hopes in those words. They were alive to him, he was living in them. They weren’t a shallow mimicking of something he’d heard or a pollyanna, “everything is good”, type of misplaced naivety. There was a kind of authenticity to his faith that was at the same time simple and profound. Life had dealt him some serious setbacks, stuff that most of us would feel justified in questioning God about. But he didn’t let himself go that path. He simply trusted God, and his life was better for it.

As the wheels of the plane touched the ground he grabbed my hand and asked if I would pray for him. I agreed to, but I felt a little like John the Baptist when Jesus asked him to baptize him:

Matthew 3:14 (NLT) But John didn’t want to baptize him. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said…

I prayed for continued grace, wisdom for his children, that his little congregation of patients would keep growing, and that he would always have a childlike awe when he saw God at work in his world.

When we finished he gave me his card and told me to look him up if I ever get to Alaska. “I’ll take you to some of the most beautiful places God ever created. We’ll go hunting, and fishing, and hiking. You’ll love it”, he said. “It’s beautiful but it can be unforgiving. You need somebody to show you the ropes. I’ll be your guide.”

What he didn’t know was that he already was. My guide, that is. Hopefully I’ll be a better traveler for it.

If you would like to order a copy for your Kindle/iPad you can click HERE. For a hardcover copy you can click HERE.

Giveaway:  I’m giving away a copy of the book to 5 people who leave comments. (Winners will be announced Monday)

Why don’t you leave a comment and tell me what you think?

Greg is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, one of the early adopters of the multi-site model. Located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Seacoast has been recognized by various media as an innovative and influential thought leader in future strategies for church growth and development.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

239 comments
Amy Romfo
Amy Romfo

Thank you for this. I am in my last semester of nursing school (second degree) and still have 3 years of advanced practice schooling to reach where God is leading me. As I opened up my lectures online this morning, I felt discouraged and the need for inspiration. I attend Seacoast and did my search there to find your site. This spoke directly to me and gave me the motivation to stay positive and keep moving forward with my course load. Again, THANK YOU!!!!! From this chapter - “I’m a Chiropractor now and I see my patients as my congregation. I attend a local church on the weekend, but my work is my ministry. Everyday I go to my pulpit. See, everybody is hurting somewhere. Your job is to bring wholeness through the scriptures. I just get to their hearts through the adjustments I make on their bodies. I feel God’s hand in everything I do. I love my job.”

Terry Hundley
Terry Hundley

Great story. I love the way you are not afraid to kick yourself with some of your thoughts. This gentleman really shows us what matters; our relationship with God and our relationship with each other. It is truly incredible when we least expect it, that God can bring us back to Him and have us focus on what God wants for us.

kathy miller
kathy miller

Great Story and what a awesome God giving experience! Thanks for sharing.

Jayme Lauri
Jayme Lauri

Love that this book is finally a reality. Been with Seacoast since 99 and have been waiting for this. We are in Indiana now and searching for a church here but will be back in Charleston in 2 years so can't wait to be back home.

Brenda Branson
Brenda Branson

Can't wait to read the rest of the story. I love how God works with such surprise and grace.

Scott Phillips
Scott Phillips

Dear Pastor Greg Surratt, You are a good story teller. Looking at what you wrote, I felt a little uncomfortable with these two sections: “God’s in control. It’s his job to figure that stuff out. I guess my job is to keep my attitude right and just follow his lead.” “Cool idea”, I thought. “Sounds like something Jesus would say (if he were here today, occupying an oversized body in a very small plane, sitting next to a whiny pastor).” ->The metaphor used here might be confusing to a person who is not familiar with the Bible. For example: 1. By the words "God's in control" the reader might think Jesus is not one with the Father (John 10:30) This could contribute to contribute to ambiguity about the nature of the trinity. 2.By the words "It's his job to figure that stuff out" the reader might think that Jesus didn't know why He went to the cross!!! Sincerely yours, Scott Phillips

Rhonda Dean
Rhonda Dean

....Pastor Greg.....I just finished reading the glimpse into the new book you have written. You managed to do now what you have always done with me----draw me in and let me know that the thoughts and feelings I have are okay. Teaching me to listen and look for opportunities instead of condemning myself for not being a better Christian. I can't tell you how many times I have thought of your stories and life lessons and chose in those very moments to be inspired instead of defeated. You continue to be a blessing in my life. Just wanted you to know. Can't wait to purchase your book and share it with several folks I know who are "sitting on the fence"...

Blanca Irons
Blanca Irons

Atlanta trumps Charlotte for travel purgatory LOL! Signed unoffended GA resident transplanted to TX

Wayne Lake
Wayne Lake

A MUST read for everyone! I picked up your book Sunday following Worship and just finished it. You made me laugh, you made me cry (being a firefighter myself) but most important you really helped me think more in depth about my quest to follow Christ the best I can. It would appear that I have some work to do. Thanks for keeping it real.

Clayton
Clayton

Pastor Greg, You are such a great communicator. I'm so glad to be a part of Seacoast and have the opportunity to hear you preach every Sunday. Congratulations.

Deborah Winters
Deborah Winters

Amazing chapter!! I found the link while on twitter and decided to read during my lunch break. I was dissapointed when I finished because I wanted MORE! Your decision to be "real" to your readers is hugh and refreshing. I am ordering my copy and if I WIN, I can pass along to others. Be blessed!

Caroline S.
Caroline S.

yo yo yo that chapter was really good! didn't realize how funny you are!!!

James Washburn
James Washburn

Greg I was born in Charleston SC at Roper Hospital. I'm in the ministry now and am so excited that there is a pastor and church there that has a heart for the city of Charleston! God bless your ministry and I will try to get your book soon! James

Bill Cole
Bill Cole

Thanks Greg, I've prayed some of those same prayers on flights before. so far I haven't had an experience quite like yours with the chiropractor, but I did get the opportunity to lead a drunk Marine first sergeant to the Lord on a fight. It was amazing to see him sober up almost instantaneously as we talked. I'm encouraged by your story. Bill Cole

Mark Shiver
Mark Shiver

Greg, Outstanding! Awesome! Insert adjective here ____! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book. Very excited about how God has used you, from the time I was at Northwood when you launched Seacoast, to hearing all of the phenomenal things God has accomplished through you and your ministry, to this new venture. Good job! Mark

Amber
Amber

Totally read my mail! I know all the theology, all the language, all the "supposed-tos". As a mother of 4, wife of 1, lover of God... I can say all the lingo and live how I am supposed to live. The reality is, my brain still ruins righteousness for me. Enjoyed this preview & will have this book on my "next to read" list!

Kimberly Rae
Kimberly Rae

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy at church this weekend.... PLS PLS have plenty of copies at the annex in S'ville!

Michele Dotter
Michele Dotter

Thank you for being so real!!! Reading this has reminded me of how important it is to take every thought captive and make it obedient to God's will. I want to be more aware of my inner thoughts, and your openness is refreshingly helpful. What a blessing to be strategically placed where God wants us for such a time as this.... AND I WANT A COPY OF YOUR BOOK ;)) We love you!

Cathy Warren
Cathy Warren

Great read? Enjoyed your honesty? We have all thoght the same on our preflight mental check list. Your best friend's story is very encouraging.

Troy
Troy

Very inspiring. It would be great if I could find my purpose like the gentleman in the story.

Michael
Michael

Thank you for your candid honesty! As a pastor, I immediately related and saw myself all through your thought processes on that plane. Thanks for letting God speak through you to remind me of what its all about... JESUS. I'm going to download the book on my iPad as soon as it's available.

Denise Pisarcik
Denise Pisarcik

Thank you for sharing this except from your life. It really means a lot to me that you are so REAL about who you are and your daily conflicts and struggles. We are all a work in progress in the hands of our Creator.

Holly Annibale
Holly Annibale

I love being your parishoner! So blessed by reading your words. Your teaching always seems to hit me to the core. If I had just one ounce of your deep commitment (traveling prayers aside), and humor, life would surely look different. I love that your on-line version of IR-REV-REND has links to scripture passages you are mentioning. Nice touch! Looking forward to reading the book in entirety, and sharing it!!! Blessed to be witness to your ministry!

Jeni
Jeni

Intrigued....always looking for a new good read....anxious to read the rest! My husband and I have attended Seacoast Longpoint for the last 7 years and have recently left as we felt God leading us to help with a new Arc church plant locally....but nevertheless Seacoast has been such a blessing to us and we have formed lifelong relationships through our time there....other than in passing never really met you (nature of the beast...meaning super large church) but your teachings are so very relevant and at times life changing....we love and respect your vision...we will continue ( via the Internet!) to be a part of this ministry and again are very excited to read your book and see where else God is taking you on this journey!

vickie countryman
vickie countryman

Can't wait to read the whole book. Actually, I was thinking how is this Pastor going to stay humble and real after becoming even more famous now that he is an author. Then I read through the comments and it was so clear... the same folks that are annoyed by typo's(and felt free to comment)will always be there to keep us from thinking to highly of ourselves:):) smiley faces God is in control today and always. Vickie

megg
megg

Great encounter! I'm intrigued and encouraged, I want to read more.

Maria Myers
Maria Myers

Awesome!! I can't wait I beleive your book will change people's life and heart. Everyone of us got something to talk about. I can't wait to read your book and learn from it and use it. God has a purpose for me through your book. I hope someday I can buy it in Spanish so I can share with my family too. God bless you!!

Greg Isley
Greg Isley

In this chapter and your messages on Sunday, you have the ability to say what I believe most of us think in regards to "life situations" in a manner that is true but not offensive and then apply scripture or scriptural based philosophy to the situation to bring about understanding. Thank you.

Peter
Peter

WOW! So long as I can get hold of a copy then I'm the winner..freebie or not. What a lovely, honest, sensitive and faith-building book. Thank you, thank you, thank you Greg

Bill
Bill

Thank you Greg for stepping out of the boat again and taking the time and risk in writing this book. My prayer is that God's will be done with your book and it encourages and challenges the readers to reflect and respond. Your ability to share the gospel through humor and story telling may seem to be Ir-rev-rend to some but it is a gift from God. I can hear his whisper...well done my good and faithful servant!

Lee Skinner
Lee Skinner

Pastor Greg that is an amazing set of stories! I can relate so much and it's so easy to see the correlation between your life and work. Your stories on sunday mornings always amaze me, and today was no exception! Thank you for giving such an intimate and comforting message on this 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Lee Skinner

Valerie Craun
Valerie Craun

Been there, done that but we MUST bloom where we are planted!

Diana Warren
Diana Warren

Ah Greg,the Way is shown to us in many forms. This bite of a larger portion of what you have written, makes me hungry to read the rest of your written thoughts.Thank you for so many wonderful glimpses into your blessed life. Diana Warren, September 8 2011

Kellyffowler
Kellyffowler

Pastor Greg, Loved this....laughed and cried then saw Jesus. I am writing a novel right now and am not sure I could handle those comments about correcting grammar(I had to spell check just to write the word grammar). I was thinking the editor would catch things like that? Anyway, thank you for being an amazing example and so relevant. Thank you for being my pastor. Cannot wait to read the rest of the book. Are you going to put it out there for the Nook?

Helen Kroll
Helen Kroll

Wow.....Love it so far. Can't wait 2 read the rest! Great writing!

Joan Walter
Joan Walter

I believe that God places us where He feels is best and that we will best receive his teachings and blessings. I too love your messages and what you spoke of in regards to your flight home re-enforces what I believe. God placed your "new best friend" beside you so that you would be able to hear God's word through this man.

Noel Spilbor
Noel Spilbor

Thank you for a look into my own heart through yours. You have a way in your messages Each week of reaching us exactly where we are and this preview chapter is no different. I look forward to reading the finished product and seeing how you tie it all together. You always sign you emails and posts to us, "I love being your Pastor." I hope it is no secret to you that we love it too!

Jen Campbell
Jen Campbell

Love your sense of humor! Reminded me of a regular Sunday especially when I found myself laughing then crying back to back...you have a great storytelling gift! I'm looking forward to reading this book just like I look forward to attending Seacoast Long Point every weekend!! (which is a lot of course)

Mark Aldrige
Mark Aldrige

Love this. I will be buying the book when it comes out.

Jane Freeman
Jane Freeman

Pastor Greg, you had me hooked after the first couple sentences. I can't wait to read the rest of the book. You are so gifted, annointed by God to share your thoughts with others. Also your photographs are awesome. May God continue to bless you as you serve others.

Laura
Laura

Can't wait to own it!! So I can share the awesome Pastor we are blessed to have!! I am always boasting about how fun it is to message my Pastor about sports and how we pray for all these players and God answers them for us!! Maybe next time we can have a chapter on how God caused the whole NFL lockout to give Garrett time to heal so he could make our prayers come true!

Nate
Nate

There is definitely a need for Christianity without pretense in this world and this excerpt offers exactly that!

Elijah Isaiah X
Elijah Isaiah X

Pastor, I knew you where funny but this book ice the cake. If the entire book is like the first chapter, you may be heading to a NY Times best seller list. I wish you nothing but the best!

Jennifer Jones-Wood
Jennifer Jones-Wood

Pastor G, I love it! I had to stop, reread and laugh again. I am so excited to read more. I'll take 3 please! Much love to the man, through God, who is changing my life one sermon at a time for the better...

Mel
Mel

Thanks so much for the taster, Pastor Greg! Reading it drew me in (especially since I'm between flights right now) and definitely led me to disappointment when the chapter ended and there was no more to read. I can't wait to read the whole thing!:)

Megan Johnson
Megan Johnson

What a story. People are so interesting! Your respect and understanding of this man is contagious to anyone who reads it

Liz Lasicki
Liz Lasicki

I'm inspired, as I am by all your messages. I'm so excited about the positive impact I know your book will have on the masses. I'm hesitant to add, however, that I did notice a couple of spelling errors. Please know that I offer this feedback out of respect and my desire to help you be as successful as possible!

Mark McFerran
Mark McFerran

Strong stories...the selfish prayers on a flight to somewhere...we can all relate & yet many times we choose to miss more of God's great story for us because I am tired, selfish, lazy...& as you reminded me, in light of what Jesus did for me, really? Do I think my time & energy important to protect?I think not. Thanks for being honest.

Bobbi
Bobbi

I read the pre-release and loved it. My Dad (he is 89)read it; he belly laughed in some places and cried in others. Thanks for sharing your life with us. The best part of the book is we know it is true!