Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Book!!!

I'm happy to report that my book is finished and available to the public! I self-published through a company called Holy Fire Publishing.

My hope is that my book will encourage you in your walk with God and inspire you to "Go Deeper" with Him.

The book is supposed to be available on several book-selling websites. So far, the cheapest place I have found it is on Barnes and Noble, If you'd like, you can purchase it there for $9.84 + $3.99 shipping ($13.81 total). It is also available on for a higher price.

If you'd like to purchase it directly from me I am selling it for $10.00 (please include $2.00 for shipping if I need to mail it to you).  Please allow extra time for delivery.  Send checks to:

Jon Greig
389 West Fork #1731
Irving, TX 75039

If you have any questions please e-mail me: or call (214) 315-7189.

Book Description:
Calling Out to Deep is a book of poetry and essays reflecting on the beauty of God's creation and one man's pursuit of a deeper relationship with God. Through these writings you will see the deep and steady stream of God's redemptive plan at work in the seasons of your life. Most importantly, you will find hope and strength for life's journey in a relationship with Jesus Christ, experiencing the heights and depths of His presence, as deep calls out to deep.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Adventure of Pain

This week I've been listening to a sermon series about adventurous living by Dr. Mark Rutland.  One of the sermons is entitled "Adventure of Pain" (which I have not yet actually listened to).  What is adventurous about pain?  We usually think of something adventurous as something fun, exciting, and exhilarating.  Yet, in many an adventure, there is some pain involved.  Part of the adventurous quest, the epic journey, is the struggle.  And what we learn in the midst of our pain is often more valuable to us than if life were always fun and exciting.  

Joseph, in the Bible, could have lived a life of ease and comfort as his father's son, privileged and exalted in his family.  Life could have been peachy for Joseph.  What if his brothers were not jealous and hateful?  What if they celebrated his gifts and talents, and appreciated his dreams? 

"Hey, Joseph, that's a great dream you had," says Judah, "One day we're going to bow down to you!  Wow, that's awesome.  I can't wait!  Hey, why don't we just bow down to you right now?  Your dream can come true today!"

And, then, one day, years later, a caravan arrives from Egypt during the famine.  Pharaoh has a dream that a man named Joseph, from the house of Israel, will come and save his people.  In a moment Joseph is promoted to second-in-command in Egypt, just like that.  The process involves no pain, no agony, no false accusations, no hateful brothers, no moments in a pit, no sleepless nights in a dungeon, and no forgetful cupbearers.  No fear, no frustration, no loneliness, no sorrow, no disappointment, and no pain.  Just blissful blessings.  

Obviously, that is not how the story goes.  What began with a holy, divine dream, proceeded to be an adventure of pain.  Yes, it was painful.  But it was good.  Yes, it has a hard struggle, but it was fruitful.  Joseph says, "...God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering" (Genesis 41:52)

Joseph's life may have been hard, but it was certainly not boring.  It was an adventure.  Any life lived for God will be so.  Yes, even in pain, if we are following God, we know all things work together for the good.  We know God is using the pain for His good purpose in our lives.  We know He is using it to make us stronger, to make us better, more like Jesus.  He is molding and refining our character.  And, ultimately, He is expanding His kingdom in our lives so we can be a greater blessing to others. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Enemy Cannot Have You

“When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”
Isaiah 59:19 (NKJV)

There are times when our enemy, the devil, pursues us with relentless persistence.  We feel the hot breath of evil on our faces.  We feel like hunted prey.  It seems like he has us in his grip and there is no escape.  Yet, at the moment we feel most overwhelmed, the Lord lifts up a standard against him.  He steps in and says, “You cannot have my child.” 
Though our enemy hounds us ferociously, the Lord promises that he cannot have us.  He cannot completely overtake us because we belong to the Lord! 
You’ve probably seen the movie Jurassic Park.  Towards the end of the movie the two children are being pursued by two raptors.  The raptors are quick, ferocious and apparently pretty smart too.  The children barely escape being killed and eaten. 
Last night, in my dream, I was near a door and one of those raptors was on the other side, trying to get close to me.  The raptor apparently came through the door and overtook me.  It had me in its grip.  Its long claws were literally on my skin.  But then the Raptor stopped.  I think it looked up.  And the Lord said, “My kingdom will be expanded.”  That was my dream as I remember it.
Through this dream Jesus reminded me that the enemy cannot have me.  Even though, at times, I may feel overwhelmed and overtaken by my foe, God has placed a limit on how far the enemy can go.  Though he may be near me, he may seem to have me in his clutches, Satan cannot have me.  The Lord will not allow it because I belong to him. 
The enemy seeks to utterly destroy my life, but, God says that His kingdom will be expanded in my life.  In other words, God has a plan for me.  God has a plan to use me in the expansion of His kingdom on the earth.  Until God’s purpose for my life on this earth is completely I believe the devil cannot destroy my life.
Isaiah 54:16-17 says,

“‘See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; 
no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,’
declares the LORD.
Isaiah 54:16-17 (NIV)

Today you may feel utterly overwhelmed by the enemy.  It may seem like he has the upper hand.  You may feel like you are in his grasp and there is no escape.  But God promises that the enemy cannot have you.  No weapon formed against you will prevail.  Your heritage as a child of God is complete and total victory.  Take heart today, have courage.  God is with you and the enemy cannot have you! 

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.”
Psalm 37:23-24 (NKJV)

Friday, September 23, 2011

You're Going to Make It

Years ago, when I was in a place of great turmoil, I was standing at the altar at church.  A man at the church must have saw the look of anguish on my face.  He came up and put his hand on my shoulder and said, "You're going to make it."  At that point, I had serious doubts as to whether I would make it.  I needed those words... it was a relief to my soul.

That season was one of the most difficult times of my life.  Yet, in the midst of the turmoil God was reaching out to me in love.  In the midst of my trials, God loved me.  I still had to go through some tough things.  Some of those things were not my fault.  Some of them could probably have been avoided had I made some better decisions.  And some of them definitely were my fault.  Yet, despite all of it, God revealed His love to me.  He gave me strength to carry on.  

No matter what you are going through, no matter how hard it is, God loves you and YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT!

When the Saints...


contemplating how the pain runs deep
and the heart wants to explode
in fury, in rage, in expression
and announce to the world that I am here and I am real
and I feel deeper than most
and I dream, bigger than many
and I hope, with holy passion
and I expect, to stand in the cloud of glory
how I lament
that I can never be the man I want to be
so it seems
I can never arrive at that "place"
where everything falls into place
where I raise my hands and stand in glory
and lift my voice and utter authority
where demons flee and darkness trembles
at the mention of His name on my lips
I can never measure up to the standard I have created
so I cower in guilt and shame
I can never pray the hours I think I should
I can only pursue grace
I can never achieve all I want to achieve
I can only bow my knee
I am holding my hands to my face
as I try to hold back tears
that demand release
I hope and I pray, that I can remember this moment of surrender
and the love you are giving me now is a compassion 
I can one day give away
at the altar, I remember
the love you poured out on me
and now I pray, as I contemplate each harsh reality
that grace will come and whisk away
the depth of pain I feel today
and strength will rise and hold me up
with joy for another day

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Longing for God

“As the deer pants for streams of water, 
   so my soul pants for you, O God.” 
Psalm 42:1

There is a hunger of the soul that only God can satisfy.  It is a longing deep.  It is a void that can only be filled in His presence.  We long for Him like the river craves the sea.  We run to Him like the stream races down the mountain.  

If we've been away from Him for a little while, our hearts begin to feel the emptiness of being away from Him.  We must find Him, we must come to Him.  We must draw near.  

As we worship Him His water washes over our souls.  The gush of His presence floods our lives.  In His presence, we cry out, "Lord, fill me up, satisfy my longing deep."  There is an ache in our hearts, a spiritual thirst that can only be quenched in Him.  

Sometimes, in this world, our hearts get crusty.  Foreign objects seem to fill our hearts and need to be washed away by the flood of His presence.  Like a river bank littered with debris, we need a deluge of His presence to come and wash all the filth away.  We need a new start, a fresh beginning.  As we seek Him today, we can have that new beginning we long for in Christ.

Lord, fill is up with the fullness of Your love and glory.  We need You more than life itself.  Take our dry, crusty hearts that have grown callous by the things of the world, and give us a fresh, new heart, filled with the joy of knowing and loving you.  
In Jesus' name.

Simple and Pure Devotion

"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."
II Corinthians 11:3

The world is full of distractions.  Perhaps distraction is not the best word.  How about pressures.  Don't we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things done?  How about pressure to live up to some outside expectation that may not, after all, be the expectation of God for our lives?  

There are so many things I want to do with my life.  So often the things I want to do are not the things that I'm doing right now.  It is such a challenge to live day by day, moment by moment, simply loving God and trusting in Him.  

When it all comes down to it, what does God desire?  How about simple and pure devotion to Him?  No pressure.  No To-Do lists.  No demands.  No stringent, unreasonable requirements.  He's not cracking the whip, wishing we'd straighten up and just get it right.  He desires only our love.  Our simple and pure devotion to Him.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Wake Up Weeping

I reach for you in dreams
and wake up weeping
like a child untouched
heart unbroken
you were an unfettered portrait of innocence
my heart pines for you like the dreamer yearns for night
my soul thirsts for you as the watchman waits for morning
I awaken to tears at 3 a.m.
unsure of my crying
unclear of this longing
yet knowing
how I long to breathe in untainted innocence
it’s the happiness I remember
when we were young and free
and the world did not matter
all that mattered was the forest and trees
the bicycle and the breeze
and I was connected with the God of the universe
hands raised, eyes closed, and sun on my face
now I search for innocence in dreams
and wake up weeping
tears falling down my face
trembling by my pillow
you were a child untouched
heart unbroken
an unsullied portrait of innocence
I reach out to hug you
a smile on my face
delight in my eyes
on this journey together
it would just be you and I

The Power of Words

This weekend I attended a Writer's Conference here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  During the opening session the main speaker showed this video, only a minute and 48 seconds long.  It demonstrates the power of our words to change people's lives.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Building a House

In Matthew 7 Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish builders,

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (vs. 24-27)

Each of us is building a house.  Our house is our very lives.  We each have a choice as to how we build our house.  We can build it according to the things of this world, things that will never last, or we can build it out of the things of God, treasures that are eternal.  The good news is no matter where we are at in life, it is never too late to start over. We can begin building afresh and anew.    

Each of us will give an account to God for how we live our lives.  Times of trial and testing reveal the quality of the house we are building.  In the furnace of affliction, hidden things come to light.  Weaknesses are exposed, and, as we endure testing, our house is made stronger.

In I Corinthians Paul writes, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (3:11-14)

Do you know where you stand today?  Have you built your life on Jesus Christ?  If you have not, it is never too late to begin again.  You can begin today. 

Some years ago I was walking with a friend.  She looked at me, kind of out of the blue, and said, “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”  I knew when the words came out of her mouth that God was speaking to me through her (not to mention that that is a verse in the Bible, Ephesians 6:10).  God was challenging me.  He was challenging me to do my part in growing deep in Him.

Likewise, we each have to do our part in the building of our house.  We spend time in prayer, in the Word, walk in faith, praise Him every day, trust Him the best we can, and then allow the Lord to work in our lives as He wills.  If we do our part, we can trust Him to do what we cannot do.  Together, we build a house in His wisdom, a house with rooms filled “with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4) 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Will Protect You, I Will Deliver You

Several years ago I had another dream.  I dreamed that these great tornados, at least 3 of them side by side, were coming out of the northeast towards Dallas, TX, where I live.  They were much bigger than any other tornado I had ever seen in pictures, big enough to level a city.  But God spoke to me.  He said, “I will protect you.  I will deliver you.”  I think He said more than that, but that is all I can remember.

You may be familiar with the story found in the Bible, in Acts 27.  Paul the Apostle is sailing for Rome as a prisoner.  During the voyage the ship encounters a violent storm, one of hurricane force.  After “neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging,” they gave up hope of being saved (vs. 20). 

The great Apostle stands up to encourage the men.  He says,

“…I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.  Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’  So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”  (Acts 27:22-25)

For the last ten years, since 9/11, our nation has endured many storms.  We’ve encountered real, literal storms - hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires.  We’ve endured the ever-present threat of terrorism and the trials of war that have come with it.  And we’ve faced political and financial turmoil as well.  We do not know exactly what the future holds, but we can be sure of one thing:  There will be more trouble.   

If we’re not careful, our lives can be dominated by a sense of dread regarding the future, world events, personal difficulties, and even our everyday needs.  Thankfully, God has made a way for us to live without fear.  Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

As Christians, this is not a time for us to shrink back in fear.  It is time to move on to victory.  This is our finest hour.  It is our time to stand up and boldly declare, “Do not be afraid.  Take courage!”  For God says, “I will protect you.  I will deliver you.”     

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Perfect Peace

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

Several years ago, in a dream, I was walking around my hometown in Michigan.  Everyone knew that a great earthquake was coming.  People were fearful, running to and fro, battening down the hatches, preparing for the earthquake.  But I had peace.  I had no fear or dread, just perfect peace.  

As I walked into my house people were frantic.  There was a small child in the house.  I looked down at him and began to tell him about Jesus.  As I told him about Jesus he began to cry.  Right there, in the house, and in the midst of impending tragedy, I led him to the Lord.

I believe the dream the Lord gave me is a picture of the body of Christ in the time in which we are living.  While the world is in terror, we will have peace.  And because of that peace people will be drawn to us.  And we will tell them about Jesus, the author of peace.

Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  We will be an anchor of peace for a world that is in turmoil.  Like a fireplace on a dark, cold night, people will be drawn to our light, a safe place in the storm.

I Will Rise

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

He Gives Us Wings to Soar

When you’re down or discouraged, weary from the battle, sometimes you need an extra “pick me up” to get you going.  You need that extra push from God to rise above the battle, to get back to that place of joy and peace in His presence.  You pray and cry out to God, but it seems you just can’t quite get there, though you feel so close.  You want to lift your hands and praise the Lord, but you give into the heaviness.  On this day, you’re just too plain tired to fight a little harder.  You know there is a life full of love and joy in the Lord, if you just had the strength to rise above the constant attack.  You desperately need a touch from God.

There is an often quoted promise found in Isaiah 40: 

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (vs. 30-31, NKJV)  

Even the strongest among us get tired from time to time.  Even the giants in the faith sometimes grow weary.

If you love the Lord and are seeking to follow Him with all your heart then you know you are a target for attack from the enemy.  If you feel constantly assaulted by the devil and his demons, take heart!  You must be doing something right.

In the midst of the battle I know God has a great and awesome plan for me.  Even in the place of my deepest discouragement, there is a hope.  God has placed a vision in my spirit, a picture of what can be.  Though I battle against the heaviness, I press on.  And I press in to the high calling of God.  I cry out to know Him more deeply.  I step out in faith onto the water, to accomplish things for His kingdom.

And then the attack comes.  Sometimes it would be easier to just give up, so it seems.  But I can’t stay down long.  I have to keep getting back up.  Even in light of failures and regrets, there is a promise that burns deep within me.  I have hope.  I know God hasn’t given up on me yet.  I get back up and He gives me the strength to carry on.

Even when we grow tired and weary, even when we stumble and fall – if we wait on the Lord, He will renew our strength.  As we wait on Him our spirits are buoyed up by the power of His presence.  

Perhaps you’ve stumbled and fallen on your face again.  You're trying to get back up.  You're struggling to find the strength to rise up again.  And then, just like the wind that fills a kite, you feel the strength of the Spirit of God rise up inside of you.  His strength pushes you upward, propels you forward.

Soon your eyes are no longer on yourself, focusing on your own failures and weaknesses.  Soon your eyes are lifted up to Him and your hands are raised to the sky, worshipping Him with all your heart.  Strength is rising up.  Joy is being restored.  Soon you begin to run, not in your own strength, but by the power of His might.  

He gives us wings to soar.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To Be Loved By God

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Romans 5:1-2 (NKJV)

The note in my Spirit-Filled Life Bible says, "Grace underscores the generosity of God's love, highlighting the truth that God does not coerce change by threatening us, but instead He conquers by lavishing His love upon us."  I realize how so much of my life has been a struggle to really know God's love.  Knowing His love in my mind, that's easy.  But to really know His love, to believe it, to embrace it and live in glorious freedom of His love?  Wow, what a struggle.  To believe that God loves me joyfully, lavishing, unconditionally - why is that so difficult?

Why is it that those who love God so much sometimes struggle to believe that He really loves them?  Perhaps all you've wanted in your life is to love Him and be loved by Him.  Yet, you find that His love often seems elusive.  You deeply want to know Him and be known by Him.  You sincerely desire to walk closely with the Lord.  Yet, His love seems to escape your grasp.  You are plagued by a sense of failure.    

There is a love greater than knowledge.  There is a love greater than all our failures, all our sins, and all our past mistakes.  It is a love "that surpasses knowledge." (Ephesians 3:19)  It even surpasses the constant reminders of our own sin and reminds us that we've been forgiven.  It is a love experienced through the power of the Holy Spirit.  "...the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."  (Romans 5:5)  

Yet, sometimes when we draw close to Him we feel undone.  We feel like Isaiah, "Woe is me!"  Perhaps, like me, you've often felt like a failure.  You are always trying hard to measure up but it never seems good enough.  Consequently, your walk with God is often a struggle and seldom a joy.  God seems like a cruel taskmaster who stands over your life coercing you to change by threatening.  "If only you would just get it right!"

Rather than seeing Him as a God who punishes, God wants to bring us into a place of freedom in His love.  He wants to bring us into a place where the reality of His love is rooted deep within our hearts. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Seasons of Gray

I cannot officially endorse this movie because I have not seen it yet.  However, it is supposed to be a modern day story based on the life of Joseph in the Bible.  Joseph's story has meant a lot to me personally.  God has used it to minister to me through some of the difficult seasons of my life.  So I'm looking forward to seeing this movie:

Seasons of Gray movie trailer from Chris Mano on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Walking Away from God

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
John 6:67-69

I’ve basically been a Christian all of my life.  I was raised in a Christian home.  I never really went through a time of rebellion against God.  But I have certainly made my mistakes, given in to sin at times, and had my share of struggles.  There have been some times where I’ve gone through some hard stuff.  I’ve struggled to understand why God is allowing me to go through it.

There have been times I’ve questioned God’s love.  I’ve been skeptical of His faithfulness.  I’ve wondered if I can really trust Him.  I haven’t understood why it seems He doesn’t come through sometimes.  I’ve been bewildered by His silence.  I’ve been frustrated when it doesn’t seem He is answering my prayers.  And I’ve gotten downright angry with Him on more than one occasion.

Nevertheless, no matter how frustrated I might get, and even if and when I contemplate the thought of just completely giving up, I find myself at the same place of Simon Peter.  “Lord, to whom shall I go?  You have the words of eternal life.  I believe and know you are the Holy One of God."

I can go 4-5 days without prayer or time in His presence.  And even if I’m angry with Him, my heart begins to ache for Him.  I want to be close to the Lord.  I want to be with Him.  I long to be in His presence.

Several years ago a man in my church looked at me and said, “The things you are doing now will sustain you for the rest of your life.”  I believe, if memory serves me correctly, at that time I was genuinely concerned as to whether I would make it through this life with my faith in the Lord intact.  I want to know that my faith will endure for the long haul.  That word from the man at my church brought comfort to me in the midst of my doubts.  I believe the Lord was showing me that the foundation I was building in my walk with Him would truly sustain me throughout my life.

Since then I have most certainly gone through times of great testing.  My faith has been stretched.  It has been strained.  But I can’t imagine my life without the Lord.  Even when I don’t understand His ways, I just can’t imagine what life would be like without Him.  I can’t imagine walking away from him.

All of this I’ve written in hope that it will encourage you in your walk with God.  We all go through times where our faith and our relationship with God are tested.  We may even get frustrated and angry with God.  That’s okay.  God is big enough to handle our deepest struggles.  But my prayer is that, like Peter, you know Jesus is the “Holy One of God” and that He loves you.  He promises He will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  He will never walk away from you.

Prayer Equals Peace

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow...