Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anne Lamott on Sandusky

I have to be honest, I did not follow the trial. I was not glued to the tv to hear the verdict. I did hear the verdict and then I saw some discussion via facebook and the folks that I work with. Yesterday, Anne Lamott made some comments on Twitter and then took it to her facebook page.

Within 24 hours, 111 people shared her post, 928 people liked what she said and 322 people have made comments. Folks are interested in the story and the ramifications that it has in our culture.

I first heard Anne speak in 2006 and enjoyed her stories, her journey and the thoughts that she proposed and continues to prose for us to wrestle with.

On Sandusky, she begins with God's love and how he/she loves him. Here is what she wrote:

No matter how much we all hate this, God loves Jerry Sandusky as much as He or She loves our grandchildren. That's the mystery of Grace, that you just can't get God to stop loving you or anyone else. It's crazy love, way way beyond my comfort zone. That was the message of the stunning movie, Gods and Men, which is maybe the most profound movie about Christ's Love I've ever seen.
God just Loves, period. Go figure. 

God's love is mind-blowing.

She then touches on the words of her priest which touches on God's love but also the bravery of the young men in this case who faced the man who did horrendous things to them. This is what the Priest said;

As my Episcopal priest friend said today, "Yes, God loving Sandusky as much as S/He loves a child is what's so boring about the Divine Love. More interesting, dazzling even, is the bravery of the young men." Amen. 
She concludes with the following piece:

It's such a horrible tragic mess that I cannot imagine personal or collective healing without God stepping directly into it. I believe there will be enormous change and healing as a result of the tragedy, and the courage shown and the forgiveness that will surely ensue. I don't put anything past God. When all is said and done, His love and intelligence are sovereign over this earth.
People will cheer when he is killed in prison, which he almost inevitably will be. Forgiveness takes what it takes. The courage to forgive is definitely not my strong suit. 

The comments are all over the board. It is a tough subject. It is a conversation that needs to be out there. Conversations on protecting our children, conversations on safe sanctuary policies to protect children and adults, and then God's grace.

Those who believe in God, may cringe to think about the possibility of him being in the Kingdom if her repents. Many cringe just at the thought of God loving him, how can that be. Then the final blow when we utter words like the following:

Sandusky is a child of God made in His image ....

A subject to wrestle with for sure.


This past week, I went up to Minnesota for an interview. I am still not sharing what churches / exact location. the church was a great church and it is a church that is in "transition" in the fact of defining who it is and the impact that they will have on the community. The ministry position was a "specialized" role in the fact that it would focus on middle school ministry.

I am not sure if we are going to be an exact match but I will definitely be interested in following their journey. If they would call and extend an offer and I would accept, I think that the potential for great things to occur and that the partnership would be a very good one.

During the 5 hours there, I had the opportunity to chat with the Senior Pastor. The conversation was casual yet focused on ministry and change. I then had the opportunity to spend 45 minutes with 10 of their middle school students. It was a blank canvas on what to do. It was an entertaining time. I then had a tour of the church campus and engaged in stories about the church and community. Following the tour, I had an hour interview and part of the interview was me teaching a lesson to middle school students. Following the interview, I had lunch with the "Family Pastor".

Overall, a very good experience. It has been interesting journey the last four months. We are still in time of discernment and it will be interesting to see where our next step will be.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gracious Gifts

This past weekend, we have received two gracious financial gifts.

These two gifts have now given us some more time to breathe and relax as we search for the next steps in our lives. The gifts will enable us to cover two months of rent and utilities which is an immense help.

Thus, I just wanted to thank those individuals (without naming them) for their AMAZING gift and say because of your generosity, we are able to have less stress in our lives for a little longer and we will not have to make a drastic change OR say "yes" to a job / ministry that may not be the best fit; just because we need the money.

Thank-you God for continuing to watch over us in this time of transition.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Equality: Men Take These Steps

My friend Kathy wrote a fantastic piece yesterday. Of course that is a little redundant in the fact that everything she writes is golden. But, she was sharing on equality and gave 5 actions for men to follow and do to help in this area and since I am a man and need to follow her advice, I am sharing the information with you.

5 actions for men:

1. “advocate” – i love the Greek word for this–parakletos–because it is used to describe the holy spirit and means “summoned, called to one’s side or aid”.  advocating for equality means coming alongside and using voices & power & influence on behalf of change, supporting women in all kinds of ways, and calling out injustices instead of remaining silent.

2. “invite” – ask and ask some more. invite your wives & sisters & daughters to show up more fully to dreams, to  friendship, to leadership, to heart-to-heart conversations, to partnerships, to life.

3. “risk” – actively risk your pride, power & control, reputations, comfort on behalf of change. these are all things Jesus tells us are worth losing as we follow him. put them on the line and trust God will show the way.
4. “submit” –  listen deeply to each other and respond humbly. let go of winning or being “right”. defer to wisdom and giftedness tempered by humility. lead and follow.

5. “encourage” – draw out your wives’ & sisters’ & daughters’ gifts and passions and give them love & tangible support to try what needs trying. celebrate what’s good, honor courage, affirm.

If you want to read the whole article, please go visit her article.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Homosexuality: God's Grace

This past week, the topic of homosexuality has been everywhere I have turned on my online sites. From Facebook status in my news feed, to Facebook group conversation,  and my youth ministry forum that I am part of. It continues to be a hot issue and an issue that is divisive.

I am probably too vocal and push it too far and maybe even play the devil's advocate to some extreme cases at times, but I do so and will probably continue to do so, so individuals can think and wrestle with their thoughts.

Part of me is still hurting because of Christ The Savior. I saw how this issue divided the church and how individuals who loved each other and worshiped together and served together decided in the end that we could not do it any longer because some viewed it as a sin and some viewed it as not a sin.

It is definitely not easy. For those who believe it is a sin, they feel that they must be vocal and stand up for it because they must stay true to the Scripture and to the Truth and not back down or be "soft". For those who believe that it is not a sin (and there are individuals who believe that it is not a sin and have come to that conclusion through reading Scripture, looking at word origins and praying), they feel like they are outcast and not 'biblical" enough and their voice will not be heard. The "conservative" then would not allow the "liberal" to speak because it is anti-scripture. It is scary but at times, I wish we had "open-spaces" where we could have Scripture read and we could be open, honest and raw and all voices could be heard on where we stand and how we got there and wrestle with the issue.

I, personally, love the "big umbrella" approach so as many diverse thoughts as possible could still be together and we can continue to love God, love one another and worship and serve together ---- no matter what are views are. Scary though, right ?

So, onto God's grace. God's grace in this story is not about homosexuality. It is about those outside of the walls of the church. It is my fear that there are individuals who will not hear about God's grace because of the fighting inside the walls of the church. Those outside need to hear about his Grace, they need to hear about the story of restoration and redemption and that they are part of HIS bigger story. But, it may not happen because of the in-fighting and the in-fighting extends way beyond homosexuality; that is just the hot-button.

I have friends on all sides. It is a sin. It is a sin that is worst than most. It is not a sin. It is a sin but we all sin.

I just hope that we can make sure that we do not hamper extending God's grace.

Should I hit publish ???

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I Am Done !!

Stick A Fork In Me, I Am Done with this job search.

Over the last 4 months, I have sent out over 225 resumes. These resumes have covered 4 continents and 37 different states. The 225 resumes have been a combination of ministry and secular positions. I have had approximately 20 interviews and with those, I have had face to face interviews in 7 different states.

During that time, I have worked one part time job constantly (32-40 hours a week) and one temp part job for 3 months, the hours there were 15-25 hours a week. So, at times, I have been working 50-60 hours a week while searching and I am spent.

Last month though as I entered into month 4, my energy plummeted because of numerous reasons:

- only working one part-time night job (32 hours a week)
- getting the wonderful: you were second --- five times
- not being able to find a part time morning/afternoon job
- running out of churches who have given positives
- being turned down on some business opportunities
- no's coming from a few places which could have kept us here in Fishers (kids sake)
- summer is here and want to spend time with the kids

The major frustration is that money is running low and with just the one job, it is rough and I would love to work a 2nd job and push it to 60-70 hours a week until I land a full-time position. But, I cannot land it. It is frustrating and sad to be turned down by grocery stores, department stores, restaurants and more.

So, I am done. Stick a Fork in Me. I am going to the couch and watch tv. Please do not bother me.

Now, everything is true with the exception of the last line. I am not done and I am not going to stop and I keep dreaming. There are shimmers of light. one of those come from Minnesota. I have a third interview in two weeks.

However, as I was stocking shelves at 3:30 am and was thinking about life and praying. I came to the image of stick that fork in me. I am no where close and do not believe that I would ever be at a place where I would quit --- not me. BUT, I can see where people would come to that point.

Searching for a job is hard.
Having no extra money to do things is rough.

So, where does this lead me .....

It leads me to think of those who are down and out and who have given up. I understand (in a sense) how you chose to give up. My heart goes out to those who have nothing to look forward to. My heart breaks for individuals who are in jobs that they really do not want to be doing.

It also has once again awaken me to the importance of you finding your passion, your love and serving/working out of. But, then, realizing, how hard it is if you are not doing what your heart desires.

Hopefully, you read through this and did not think that I am giving up. No way. It has been a long journey and I hope that it is coming to a close. If not, I will keep my head up and keep plugging along and keep praying the prayer: "God rain down the no's till the yes comes where we will be met with your will"

Of course, I joked yesterday that I may shift my prayer to God, just give me a yes. Also besides the prayer, I might be dreaming of a way to support those going on a same journey of not working where their passion lies.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Jeffrey Paul Greathouse

      8446 Traders Court – Fishers, In 46038 (330) 234-1317


Personality Strengths

-         Step up and get people, things, and organizations mobilized for action
-         Provide structure, direction and clarity of focus
-         Follow through to see that tasks are done correctly and results are seen
-         Finds flaws and corrects them in advance

Contributions to the Organization

-         Lead by planning, providing direction, and assigning responsibilities
-         Influence by modeling the standards and commitment they expect from others
-         Focus on structuring tasks so goals are met

Core Operating Values

-         Common sense practicality
-         Categorizing aspects of life
-         Scheduling and monitoring
-         Task-focused behavior

Career Objective

My goal is to partner with business that will enable me to use my education, gifts and talents to help them achieve their desired goals. I will cast the vision and ensure that the objectives are carried out and met.

Natural  Gifts

Leadership, Administration and Teaching


BA in Organizational Leadership Development (June 1999)                                                                                                              Wheeling Jesuit University: Wheeling, WV

BA in Christian Education: Emphasis in Church and Family Life (May 1994)                                                           Lincoln Christian College: Lincoln, Illinois

MA in Practical Ministry  Emphasis in Church Growth and Evangelism (May 1996)
            Cincinnati Christian University: Cincinnati, Ohio


Working Three Concurrent Part-Time Positions While Looking For Full-Time Position

Marsh Supermarket, Zionsville, IN
Night stocking: working 4 nights away – stocking shelves at the local grocery store

Metro Plastic, Noblesville, IN
Hurco machine operator – working on a Whirlpool washing machine project

Children International, Kansas City, MO (company headquarters)
Faith Partnership representative- connecting individuals to third world children

Minister to Youth and Families (June 2010 – February 2012)                 
Christ the Savior Lutheran Church: Fishers, Indiana  
Ø      Oversaw 5-12 grade; averaged 100 students and adult leaders on Sundays
Ø      Promoted big group/small group mentality for our confirmation ministry
Ø      Created inter-generational ministry into the midst of our ministry
Ø      Emphasized service focus believing that when students serve that they will connect to God on a deeper level and their faith will grow
Ø      Partnered CTS with Meet Me Under the Bridge to serve the homeless                      

Director of Youth and Family Ministries (June 2007 – June 2010)              
Zion Lutheran Church: Wooster, Ohio  
Ø      Oversaw ministry from preschool – high school
Ø      Promoted community involvement for our downtown church
Ø      Created a family service (Sunday night) for those not connected to the church
Ø      Increased Vacation Bible School participation by 50%

Transportation Coordinator (October 2009 – June 2010)              
Goodwill Industries of Wayne & Holmes County: Wooster, Ohio  
Ø      Oversaw the car sales lot (accepted car donation, set price and sold cars)
Ø      Coordinated Schedule for Work first Training Participants (Pick-Up)
Ø      Oversaw the car fleet used for Goodwill transportation
Ø      Driver for WFT participants (interviews, job training, and work preparation)

Ministers to Students (June 2006 – June 2007)              
Christ United Methodist Church: Lafayette, Indiana  
Ø      Oversaw student ministry from grades 7-12
Ø      Developed a comprehensive Sunday night ministry philosophy
Ø      Led the confirmation ministry program
Ø      Developed outreach nights to attract the local junior high / high school students

Director of Student Ministries (June 2003 – June 2006)                 
Discovery United Methodist Church: Hoover, Alabama  
Ø      Oversaw ministry to students in grades 7-12 (100+ students)
Ø      Created, Designed, Developed, and Administered a Friday Night ministry
Ø      Ministry night: dinner, worship, big group teaching / small group discussion
Ø      Developed ministry/mission opportunities for our students to connect in service
Ø      Created ministry name, mission statement, and philosophy of ministry

Minister to Students (June 2000 – June 2003)                 
Winchester First United Methodist Church: Winchester, Kentucky  
Ø      First UMC was a downtown church with a rich ministry heritage
Ø      Oversaw the student ministry for students in grades 7-12
Ø      Developed two ministries: junior high and high school ministry
Ø      Oversaw the Holy Week activities: including Good Friday Re-enactment
Ø      Developed and Administered a Rotational Ministry format for students

Community Involvement
Ø      Route Driver for Meals For Wheels
Ø      Board of Directors for Move the Mountain (Moving Individuals out of poverty)
Ø      Medical Record Filer for Viola Free Medical Clinic
Ø      Partnered with Meet Me Under the Bridge (Feed the Homeless)
Ø      Relay For Life Participant

Monday, June 04, 2012

Weight Loss: My Journey

In the summer of 2011 when I cam home from the summer trips, I jumped on the scale and saw 212#'s and I gasped. The 212#'s on my 5'9 body was really beginning to show and to take a toll on this almost 40 year old. I decided that I needed to do something but nothing drastic because I was in no mood to really get in shape, so I wanted to squeeze under the 200# mark.

Christmas of 2011, we were at my in-laws and my kids were doing Wii fit and playing games on the balancing board. My daughter asked me if I wanted to play and I said sure. I jumped on and because it was te Wii Fit, it asked if I wanted to create the character/program. My wight, 199#'s. I was happy, I was under 200. My daughter gasped though.

On the gasp and New Years resolution knocking, I decided to do something about my weight. Here is a picture of  me a few days ago with my boys at the pool.

My current weigh is 163#'s. I dropped the 36 pounds in three months and have remained the same weight the last two months. I only got on the scale at the end of the month - yes, just one weigh in a month. I was happy with the 14, 13, and 9 pound weigh loss to get me to 163.

I never had a goal weight. Instead it was more, let my body lose the weight and let my body choose where I am going to be stable and I think it will be around 165. Now, i love math and did some numbers and there is a small (very small) part of me that wants to lose 4 pounds. Not so much to squeeze under 160 and be at 159 but if I did go to 159, that would be a 53# weight loss or from a % standpoint - 25% of my body weight is gone - I would have lost 1/4 of myself.

I am not sure if I had a picture last summer of me with my shirt off, I was too much ashamed. At June, it will be 6 months. Maybe, I can take the approach the first 6 months was lose it and the next 6 months is build it. So, in July, I could start working out and building muscle ?? I will need help with that.

212 Never Again (I pray)

Friday, June 01, 2012

They Said What ?

 Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about my life and the ministry that I have been involved in over the last five years. The last two years have been vastly different than the previous three. There is a newer song out by Sidewalk Prophets called "Live Like That" and it has my mind racing even more with the questions about ministry, life and purpose. Below in the quotes are the words of the song and then below the words are some thoughts that I am wrestling with.
Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

If I died (maybe morbid to think about) a few years ago while in Wooster, I think that I would have been missed there much more than if I would die here today in Fishers (not that I am planning on dying). The reason that I say that is fairly simple; I do believe.

In Wooster, I was involved and connected to the community. In Lawrence/Fishers, I was not really connected. In Wooster, I was involved in numerous aspects of life. Here is a small sampling:

- weekly route with Meals on Wheels
- weekly volunteer at the free medical clinic
- participant in the interfaith partnership
- board of directors with ending poverty in Wayne county
- serving meals at dz
- advocate for health insurance for the uninsured (kinda ironic now)

Those are just a few of the things and that was me personally, not including the aspects that we were involved in with the church or the schools.

In Fishers and Lawrence, the volunteerism has really not occurred. Now, I was active in trying to get us (CTS) into the city and we partnered with Meet Me Under The Bridge (serving the homeless), Men's Shelter (serving the men there) and the Women's & Children Shelter (hosting fellowship nights).

But it has not been the same.

Now, in the song, I believe that I have constantly showed loved and in my work (currently stocking shelves), I try to live this out there and with my co-workers. But, there is always that but in my life ....

I want to make sure that when I am gone and people are talking that they say, he was a man of love and he made a difference in our community.

I have no idea where my job search will land me and what my next step will be, but whether it be here, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota or Hong Kong; I want to show the community love and grace.