Greg King

Five Stones

The Fragrance

iStock_000001362297SmallJust came across a stat that has me dreaming about what needs to change in the local church to help people become the aroma of Christ. The stat is that 84% of outsiders know a Christian, only 15% of them see a marked change in their lifestyle from the rest of the secular world.

I cannot stop thinking about Mary anointing Jesus with expensive fragrances in John 12:3. While we know that this was an act to prepare Jesus for his death and burial, we can easily miss that the act also meant something to the disciple sand the people of that day. Anointing a guest with oil was a common and even expected act of hospitality. But Mary’s use of the expensive perfumed oil made her action point to the anointing of a King.

The Hebrew word for Messiah literally means “The Anointed One.” Instead of being crowned, Hebrew Kings were anointed with sacred perfume. The beautiful scent that it left behind served as an invisible crown. A King was recognized for his royal aroma. Even the people that the King surrounded himself with would be recognized because they carried with them the aroma of the King. During royal processions etc., the fragrance of expensive perfumes would inform the crowds that a King was passing by. Look at just one example in Psalm 45:7-8.

Now picture the scene in John 12 where Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowd was not greeting just another rabbi. They were identifying with the aroma of a King and shouting Blessed is the King of Israel. Everywhere that Jesus went the final week of his life people were met with the fragrance of royalty. Now draw the parallel to 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 that we are the aroma of God to a lost and dying world. As Christ followers we are to spread the fragrance of Christ everywhere we go.

I know I don’t have all the answers but its time for us to start thinking new thoughts.


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May 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Highway to Change

istock_000005461904smallThe fact is I do not know many people that like change. Change takes us out of our comfort zone to the the realm of the unknown. As a leader you are always having to balance when the proper time is to make a change. Make it too soon and no one will follow you, make it too late and it could cost you your organization. I’ve learned over the years that the best time to make a change is at the top of the curve when everything is going at its best. Right now in my church and in my family we are experiencing a lot of change. How does your family respond when change comes knocking on your door?

As Christ Followers we know that one of the Master’s favorite tools for shaping us is by introducing change into our lives. To be quite frank I’m not sure how you can be a growing Christian and not expereicne some sort of change on a regualr basis.  At any moment He may ask me to sacrifice, who I am for who I can become. When those times arrive I so badly want to embrace the change He has placed into motion for my life. One of my favorite qoutes in life is from A.W. Tozer: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So with that thought in mind how do you handle change when it enters into your life? Does your God become small and you find yourself worried and upset thinking everything is out of control or do you recognize that we have a Big Soverign God that is in control of your life? My prayer is that when change comes that I will let go of my plans and trust the plans that my Loving Father has for my life.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Adventurous Life

iStock_000003644147MediumMatthew 25 recounts a story Jesus told of an Oriental master and his three servants. The generous master gives the servants varying levels of finances (five talents to the first servant, two talents to the second, and one talent to the third) and then leaves on an extended trip. Because of the context in which this story is told (a discussion about the return of Christ and how we are to live in light of his return), its clear that the master represents Christ. The three servants represents his disciples.

But its in the details that Jesus really makes his points.

First, the master gives the servants a lot of money. A talent, translated across cultures, with inflation, could represent as much as two hundred thousand dollars today.
Second the master gives the trust without restrictions. He basically says, “Here’s the money; I’ll be back.” He doesn’t put limitations on the funds. He doesn’t even make suggestions for  the money’s use.
But the master does have some assumptions. While he doesn’t tell his servants what to do with the money, he assumes they’ll do something.

The bottom line of the story is that God wants us to be adventurous. He charges us to be entrepreneurs. He challenges us to be creative. He calls us to be aggressive. He invites us to take risks. Jesus’ answer to how we are to live in light of His return is, “Go for it!” We’re not to wait around. We’re to get busy. We’re to take initiative. We’re not to live in fear. We’re to proceed in faith.

So how does this story apply to those of who are going to be a part of Five Stones Church? We are the servants who are blessed by a generous Master. We are the ones in a position to do something. You know what we are going to do? We’re not going to play it safe. We’re going to try to reach as many people as we possibly can. We’re also going to encourage people to be taking their next spritual step. Whatever has been put at our disposal we are going to put in motion for the salvation of others. While the rsik is great and their is no safety net we recognize that if we aren’t taking steps with Christ then we are not growing in our faith. So while the risk is large the return on the investment is incredible.

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kenya Summer Mission Trip

dsc_00991Seems like I have been answering this question so much lately I decided to post the information here. This past year I went on a vision trip for our church with the 410 Bridge. The goal of that trip was to come back with a village that we could partner with for the next three years. God led us to the village of Kandaria, and this summer I will be leading the first trip for our church to Kenya.

Why Kandaria?
The people in the village of Kandaria are focused and desire to reach their goal to become a self-sustaining community. They even have a plan to help villages once they get back up on their feet. The other reason is that most of the kids are orphans in this village and our church can really do a lot to make a difference. I just recently founnd out that out of a population of 6,500 people over 1,200 are orphaned.

What Will I Do?
Our team will assist the people in Kandaria through a water project, community construction, working on and in their schools and making spiritual relationships.

How Much Does it Cost?: The trip costs $3,500.00. To be honest when most people read the price they immediately compare that number to what is in their checking accounts. For most people those two numbers don’t add up. Let me be honest for over 90% of the people those numbers will never add up. The good news is that there are people in your life that would love to be a part of this trip by sponsoring you. When I look at some of the earliest missionary trips in the Bible almost every one was done by the support of others. So while I know that the economy is bad the fact is the need to do mission work does not stop during a bad economy.

A State of Emergency: to say that Kenya is in a state of emeregency would be the understatement of the year. I pray that you would consider joining me on this incredible trip. Let me warn you that once you go your life will never be the same. Let me also share with you another truth that I learned during my brief 10 days journey through Kenya.

“I need Kenya more than Kenya needs me.”

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Show Stopping Move

Isolated mosquito 02It was a show-stopping move by any standards. Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft and a renowned philanthropist, let loose a swarm of mosquitoes at a technology conference in California to highlight the dangers of malaria.

‘Malaria is spread by mosquitoes,’ the Microsoft founder yelled at a well-heeled crowd at a technology conference in California.

’I brought some,’ he added. ‘Here, I’ll let them roam around – there is no reason only poor people should be infected.’

Check out the article here:

Obviously Bill Gates has come under fire for pulling such a show stooping move, but it makes you wonder what is it going to take for most Americans to wake up from our comfortable life. The fact is the world that I live in is not te real world. Did you know that Up to 2.7 million people a year still die of malaria each year and that 75 percent of them are African children. The community that we are partnering with in Kandaria, Kenya is a place in which you have to take several precautions because of the malaria carrying mosquitos. I can’t imagine having to worry about that as a parent. It is time that we set this as a priority to help our brothers and sisters in Africa.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Africa | 2 Comments

Break the Famine

istock_000005343680small1Let me ask you an honest question? Will this be the year you break through your personal spiritual famine and take significant ground with Christ? Have you stalled some this past year in your relationship with Him? The good news is that He is waiting for you to come back to Him.  So what causes people who believe strongly in God and salvation by grace to stall out spiritually?

The Book Follow Me by Willow Creek comments that those who are stalled report much lower levels of personal spiritual practices than those who are not stalled. These same folks that have stalled also report that their spiritual growth is no longer a high priority. The overwhelming majority of these folks also said that they became unstalled by reengaging in personal spiritual practices.  So while their are several spiritual disciplines that you could embrace this year let me strongly urge you to make sure that you are spending time in your Bible. Almost every piece of research data reveals that spending time in the Bible has the highest spiritual impact in ones life. More specifically, reflect on the meaning of scripture in your life.

If you’ve been a believer for awhile then you already know this and most likely agree with everything that I have said. The issue is I know that you believe it but are you actively living it? One of the statements that I challenge my actions with comes from Andy Stanley who says; “It your direction, not your intentions that determine your destination.” So while I may say how much I love God what is the direction of my life saying? Good intentions never get us anywhere especially in the Christian Faith. Look at the following verse:

Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar. (Joel 2:17)

The porch was the area that everyone could see, it represents the public aspect of our Christian life. The alter however represents the private part of our worship life.  In the life of a believer, there should always be more private worship than public worship. When you read about Jesus, you do not see Him praying in public nearly as much as you see Him praying in private. We have forgotten that most of our spiritual victories are not won in public but instead they are won in private.

When was the last time you said a prayer like this: I want more Lord, I’m hungry.” I don’t want my spiritual life to be the exact way it was last year and the year before…I want more. I’m starving to death and I just can’t do my Christian life as usual any longer. Help me  to align my intentions up with my  life.

December 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where is Your Third Place?

istock_000005053795largeThrough the years the church has lost its place as the community gathering place or the so called “Third Place.” The “third place” term was coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg. The concept of a third place involves a gathering place for people separate from the home (the first place) and work (the second place). The third place is an anchor of the community, which facilitates relational interaction between people in the community. The concept of a third place has become very important for the younger generation. This is obviously one of the reasons why you see a Starbucks or a Panera on almost every corner. You are no longer just paying for a cup of coffee or a sandwich instead you are also paying to be apart of community. If the church desires to become the “third place” in the lives of this younger generation then a lot of the sacred cows in the church are going to need to be removed. The fact is students drop out of church because their church is not essential to them. Lord may we as the church become Essential again in the lives of students.

Where is your Third Place?

If this article peaked your interest, pick up the book where I stole most of my thoughts The Essential Church.

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Church Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me

I was asked by Mocha Club to write about the concept of why “I need Africa more than Africa needs me.” Mocha Club [www.mochaclub.org] is a community-based website where members like our family can start a team and invite friends to join them in giving $7 a month – the cost of 2 mochas – to support a project in Africa. Mocha Club’s vision is to provide a way for people who don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in Africa.

After watching this video the faces and images that I saw in Africa just over 10 weeks ago came flooding back to my mind and my heart. The truth is those faces are with me everyday. Almost everyday I try and process something that happens in my life with the new reality that I gained in the villages of Kenya. My new reality is this: Circumstances do not define happiness. For too long I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my joy in this life. This way of thinking was shattered as I watched men and women sing and dance while experiences challenges that I cannot even comprehend.  The fact is I have so much…too much. How can I not give with all that I have and all the things that I feel I have to have in this life. I think Mother Teresa was talking directly to me when she made this statement:

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”  -Mother Teresa

So while I know that I am needed and can make a difference in Africa, the truth is I need Africa more than Africa needs me.

Please Share your thoughts in my comments, and even blog about it yourself. I would love to see the people that read this blog make a real impact in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Africa. Join in this worthwhile cause of recasting the damaging images that force pity over partnership. If you would like to join my Mocha Club team please click on this link: My Mocha Club Team and then invite your friends. The time has come where we can no longer just sit by and do nothing.

December 2, 2008 Posted by | Africa | 2 Comments

Turkey Explosions

istock_000002347932small2So how do you like your bird cooked? For me the only choice is deep fried. There’s just something about deep frying a turkey. Maybe because it’s man cooking. Maybe because it literally scares the crap out of you. Sure anyone can cook a bird in the safety of an oven at 350 degrees for several hours but that’s just a little too boring. Every person should experience the thrill of lowering a turkey into a rocket shaped canister full of 400 degree hot boiling oil and wonder if this is the year that it reaches its flash level and launches off of your deck.

Now that is some man cooking! Check out the Warning

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Family, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daraja Choir

422524200_wehg6-lThis past weekend our church hosted a missions weekend that we called Global Imapct.  We had over 5,000 people come through our services this weekend. People were  exposed to different mission opportunties that they could partner with this coming year. The theme of the weekend was God of the World, God of the City, and God of the Church. My favorite part of the weekend was getting to go on stage with the Daraja Choir from Africa. Every since I returned from Africa some 8 weeks ago, I have been counting the days to have the choir from Kenya lead our church in worship. It was such a blessing for my family and my church family to meet some of the children that I was able to visit with at the orphanage in Kenya. The surprise of the night was when I announced that our church will be partnering with the 410 Bridge to sponsor a community (Kandaria) for the next three years. Once that announcement was made we had over 75 people express interest in going to Kandaria. I recently read a quote in which someone said “I need Africa more than Africa needs me”, I couldn’t agree more. Looks like this lion chase is going to involve a lot more people.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment