I want to give a shout out to the winner of Embraced by the Father & a $10 Starbucks card: Deborah; Timestamp June 16 at 1:19 pm. Send your home address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also….please stop back tomorrow when we’ll feature another Father’s Day guest you WON’T want to miss…
Oh girlfriends….I am so excited about today’s special guest. And just in time for Father’s Day!
I met Pastor Derwin Gray last August when we moved our 18 year-old daughter Kenzie to Charlotte, NC to attend cosmetology school. We stayed with our friends the Swope’s for the weekend and attended worship with them on Sunday morning. It was then that we heard Pastor Derwin preach.
Our boys, who like many pre-teen and teen boys have a hard time paying attention to a Sunday morning sermon, were riveted on Pastor Derwin’s words as he spoke. A gifted communicator, Pastor Derwin is also known as the evangelism linebacker as he is a former NFL player. (Okay…perhaps that had something to do with their paying attention too! :-))
Derwin Gray is a man of great passion. For six seasons in the NFL he played with a contagious passion that led to two Pro Bowl nominations. For the last nine years, he has communicated the Gospel of Grace around America and abroad with an intense passion that is both contagious and inspiring. He is a 2004 graduate of the Billy Graham Institute of Emerging Evangelists and a graduate (with honors) of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is being mentored by world-renowned theologian, philosopher, and apologist Norman L. Geisler. He currently is the pastor of Transformation Church in Charlotte. It’s his life mission to join God in restoring people to their original purpose through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to create a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community…a community of people who live out the Gospel by making their community a better place because of Christ in them.
I’ve asked Pastor Derwin to visit with us a bit today about his recent book entitled Hero. We got our boys signed copies of it last summer and I, as a mom, read it on our way home from dropping Kenz off. I loved it so much, I decided right then to make it part of Father’s Day week on my blog. And Pastor Derwin has offered to send a signed copy to one of you to give to a special man in your life!
Now for the interview:
*Pastor Derwin, tell us a little about what life is like at the Gray house this summer.
Summertime with the Gray’s is always an adventure. This is code for our kids are looking at my precious bride and I singing, “Schoooools out for the summa. . . so entertain us!” We are like most families with a fourteen year-old daughter (Presley) and a nine year-old son (Jeremiah); my wife and I develop a strategy to defeat them! All kidding aside, we will take a trip to Texas to see my family and a trip to Montana to see Vicki’s family. My daughter Presley and I will go to Camp Caswell near Wilmington, where I will be one of the preachers for a week. While at Caswell, Presley and I will stuff our faces silly with shrimp in-between preaching sessions.
*What first prompted you to write your book Hero?
I was compelled to write Hero when I was asked “What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?” I thought to myself, “I want people to say that Derwin was a hero to his wife and kids.” So that’s how Hero was birthed. I thought to myself, “What if God could use me to write a book that would inspire men to live a heroic life?” What’s been cool is that my wife writes her thoughts, prayers, and reflections throughout the book. It was very much like we wrote Hero together. I am finding that women are enjoying reading Hero as well.
*The subtitle of your book reads “Unleashing God’s Power in a Man’s Heart”. What transformation can take place in a man if this truly happens?
God’s passion is for us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. The way I say this in the book is “Upward, Inward, Outward”. This is the end goal of God’s transformative work in humanity. My passion is to see men and women live an Upward, Inward, Outward life. This is heroic. And this is what Jesus wants to empower us to do.
*What do you feel is missing in today’s fathers?
Many fathers have not been fathered. Some of us fathers have surrendered our divine birthright to be heroes at the altar of the American Dream—which has often turned into materialism. Having things is not bad. But it’s very bad when things have us! Many fathers suffer from father-wounds that have emotionally crippled us. And Jesus, the Great One, wants to heal our broken limbs so we can truly run the race of life. Sadly, we and our broken limbs often limp away from the One who can transform us to run the race of life faster than we ever thought possible. My prayer is that the Spirit of God would use Hero to let men know that it’s okay to admit our weaknesses, pain, and insecurities. And to let men know that our Papa in heaven welcomes us with a divine embrace of grace and not a closed fist of judgment. And it is God’s grace that transforms us to be heroes.
*Most people reading this blog are women. If they are married and have children, what advice can you give them to help their husbands be heroes in the eyes of their kids?
The greatest and most effective way to assist your husband or son to live a heroic life, is to allow God to transform you into a hero! Be the transformation you want to see in him!
Thanks, Pastor Derwin, for stopping by today!
Okay gals….now here is the chance for you to have Derwin send a copy of the book to you for a special man in your life. Simply leave a comment on this post (you have until midnight Pacific Time on Father’s Day). Tell us about a man in your life–your father, husband, brother, Uncle, Pastor, or anyone else you consider a hero. Tell us why. What is at least one characteristic you admire about him?
I’ll go first.
Now, you all know I love to gush about my hubby. However, today I want to honor my father.
He is a man who personifies transformation.
Once a person controlled by a bottle which ultimately cost him his family, he has not touched a lick of alcohol in nearly 30 years. And, most importantly, he turned his life back over to the God of his youth.
He is famous now for his grandfatherly life “lectures” as my kids call them, for hooting and hollering at my boys’ ballgames and mentoring younger men struggling with alcohol addiction. All of this from a nearly 80 year-old man with 8 by-passes on his heart (yes 8! Peformed over 13 years ago!), who still mows his own lawn, plays golf several times a week and spends lots of time on his knees for his kids and grandkids.
He is my Hero!!!