Lately I have been pondering so much in my head. Maybe it’s because I like to think and internalize alot as I am by nature someone who doesn’t share with others very easily. You might be thinking, then why in the world does this guy have a blog in the first place. My answer… I dunno…
Maybe it was my way of finding an avenue of social outlet (facebook seems to have taken over that), maybe it was because in a way I thought no one would read this in the first place and so why not share, or maybe it was because I thought it would help me to better communicate my inner dialogue with those that really know me. Either way, I’ve been sucking at it and I know that I need to share what’s on my mind, my heart, and my soul more often. I just wish I was a better communicator, a better writer. I feel a sidetrack coming here…. as a writer I am terrible, I can’t have any official document from our office sent out without it going through tons of proofreading, oh and somehow I think that has something to do with me losing 99% of the games of Words with Friends I ever play. So if you ever wanna beat someone, look up ddgrunau. Sorry back on topic. So with that being said, I am going to say that I am going to make an effort to post here and share what’s inside this twisted messed up, sinful, thankfully covered by Grace mind of mine. Oh, there will be grammar errors, and spelling mistakes (thankful WP catches most of those), but I am not going to apologize. I’m just going to share. Hmmm, seems fitting as the title is Terribly and not Beautiful or Awesome. So enough about that… let’s move on to something more heartwarming.
Along time ago, I did a short lived series (only 2) called Artist Showcase. I really enjoyed doing posts like that as it took the focus off me and onto someone else. So I thought I should do something like that again.
So today we are going to Focus Outward and we are going to do something special, even sentimental. I am going to do short bios and write ups on people who have greatly impacted my life. And we are going to start it off with a great friend and co-worker
Many of you who read this will know Greg Benson. But what many of you don’t know is that Greg and I have worked together forever. In fact, Greg is a huge reason why I am who I am today. It all started in the summer of 1995 or was it 1996, I can’t remember. Anyways, that summer my mom (thanks Mom) forced me convinced me that being a Leader in Training (LIT) at Camp Kadesh would be a great idea. I was raised on a farm, I wasn’t stupid, I knew that being an LIT just meant doing work. ie. Cleaning toliets, dishes and other manual labour. But somehow, my mom got me to signup for a couple weeks. I know now that I’m sure she wanted the best for me, and to get rid of me (I was crazy afterall) for a few weeks during summer. Well, my LIT Director was none other than Greg Benson.
Well, I’d like to say that I was a great LIT and that I always did my best when working. But I can’t. I sucked. So much so that Greg almost sent me home. Not sure how I got to come back the second week. But looking back I know that God had a plan and it included an LIT director was wasn’t going to give up on me. That is the summer my life changed.
From then on I kept returning to camp to work and so did Greg, until one day I was his Junior Cabin Leader as seen in this next picture. We had so great times in that cabin. The 2 tallest cabin leaders together with the smallest junior campers. Fun times.
Those summers at camp impacted my life in a huge way, Greg (and others as well) modeled a faith that was real to me and ultimately what changed who I am from what I was. This caused me to have a hunger for growth in my life and eventually lead me to Briercrest and into fulltime ministry. But this isn’t my life story, this is about Greg.
God has always been so aware of my needs, and as I mentioned above, I am not a super open guy. I don’t connect deeply to others quickly, but when I do it is deep rooted and meaningful. So God made sure to place people in my life along my path, and that the most striking example of that is Greg.
When I went to Bible College, Greg and Jess lived on campus and I spent many many Fridays at there house. Sometimes probably too much time, but again, I was never turned away. I especially remember one difficult month and I bet I was over at their place 2x per week. Did I have super deep conversations each time, no, did we have an official “mentorship”, No. But I always knew that I could count on Greg and Jess. And I do remember enjoying alot of beadwedges and Kool-Aid at there place.
When I got married, Greg was there again to stand up as one of my Groomsmen. I won’t get into stories on this one as somethings are left for another day.
And then when I graduated from college to start my first ministry employment, who does God place me to work alongside? You guessed it Greg. Those first few years working with Greg at Youth For Christ(YFC) I was young and needed a lot of guidance and mentorship and He did SOO much for me those early years of ministry. One thing I appreciate is that I was given a chance and even given a chance to fail. But when I did fail he was beside me guiding me through and helping me pickup the pieces. When Greg left YFC I was scared. Scared to be without him. But during these years working alone I learnt alot and was challenged to step out for myself, which was a great time of growth for me. Now there is a whole story of how Greg challenged me while we worked at separate ministries in the same city, and even how I got to where I am know, but that’s a story that is really long and tough to tell. but what I can say is that God brought us back to working together at Ranger Lake Bible Camp and I must say that working with one of your closest friends is so very rewarding. And working with someone with integrity, courage and strength of character, but most of all, strength of faith that also happens to be a great friend is even better.
But don’t take my word for it. This past week while down at Briercrest for the college’s Camp Day’s, Greg was honoured and selected on the school’s 75th Anniversary as one of the 75 Alumni in the school’s history for being a Faithful God Honouring Servant who stands out. You read that correct, only 75 Alumni are being chosen for this special recognition. 75 of the 1000’s who have graduated from Briercrest. And I think everyone should know that. And know that I agree 100%.
I look forward to serving with you for many more years to come.
Truly, in my absence of communication you are my Aaron
In my encouragement, you are my Timothy
And in my weaknesses, you are my Paul.
I hope this post is the first in a long line of Focus Outward. To honouring and encouraging each other and to challenging each other to strive to honour God. May this be a way to follow Thess 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”