Psalm 37:4 says: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. When I first read this verse I had a “Let’s make a Deal” mentality. My motive was to get the desires of my heart, not delighting myself in the Lord. (See Motives blog). I am now seeing how God means for this to work in my own life.
As far back as I can remember, I have loved fishing, the sea, and as I got older, boats. I remember as a small boy fishing with my grandfather, standing in shallow streams in Washington State, catching rainbow trout and putting them in a fish basket. I also remember as a small pirate fishing here on the Gulf Coast with my other grandfather. He would give me his cane pole and put a little piece of bait on the small hook and I would tirelessly catch one pinfish after another, all while drinking coffee with him out of his thermos. I recall the day I caught a 13 inch white trout (a monster at the time) while fishing with my dad. I cannot tell you how many Saturdays, during my teen years, I spent on the Three Mile Bridge with my friends fishing the night away. Then there was the time with my dad fishing in a way too small boat, in way too turbulent water, but we truly caught the monster that day! I have taken my own sons fishing, bringing back memories of good times together. Those were the days!
I spent many hours of my formative years in a pool hall. It was my favorite hangout because everyone knew me and many of us truly cared about one another. There was this unbelievable level of openness and trust. We would shoot pool, play cards, eat together and leaned on each other when necessary. Sticking together through thick and thin, and there was a plenty of both. Those were the days!
In the past I have spent my fair share of time as a volunteer bartender, in my home and others. Alcohol aside, it was always nice to spend time together with friends and share our life experiences. Those were the days!
“Cheers” is one of my all time favorite TV shows. It was often kooky and had a little to much hormonal overload from Sam. However it was a place where “everybody knows your name”. Who doesn’t want to be where everybody knows your name?
What does this have to do with Psalm 34? Please receive this as boasting in the Lord and not myself. I have been seeking God, trying to “delight myself in Him”, not as a means to get the desires of my heart but just to know Him more. Well, well, guess what. That’s right, “desires of my heart”.
He is bringing so many of the streams of my past together. He made me the way that I am. The personality He gave me is being aligned with His will to be used for His glory. It is amazing to me to look back at my life and see what He has been up to all along. The gates of hell cannot prevail against Him. The only thing that can screw this up would be disobedience. (Pray for me to know and do His will at every step).
So what’s up. Tomorrow Greg’s Fishin Hole takes a next step. The opening of a place where we can come together and share life. A place where we can be there with one another and for one another. A place where we can play, pray, laugh and cry. Where everybody knows your name, and I pray it will be a place where everybody knows His name. A place where God will get the glory. These are the days!
Drop me a line,
The Fishin’ Hole
From Bible Study Paths Feb 2010
Dateline: Panama City, FL Greg’s Fishin’ Hole
On an unassuming street, a mile or so as the gull flies from the white sugar sand beaches of Panama City, Florida, is a place where everyone could come to know your name! It is known as The Fishin’ Hole.
Greg May, saved Christian, husband, father, grandfather, postman, and well-loved friend of countless souls has taken his garage and made it into a place that is warm and welcoming for Believers and non-believers alike.
One Saturday night, my husband, Henry and I, visited The Fishin’ Hole. The cold cola and world famous nachos were in front of me almost before I could find my stool. The place quickly filled with old and young, men and women, laughter and hugs. I can’t wait to go again!
BSP: How did Greg’s Fishin Hole come about?
Greg: Jody, the best way I can explain how the Fishin Hole came about is my blog Crewed Awakening. The Fishin Hole is the manifestation of the rivers of my life coming together. What a revelation in my life to see how God has been working all along!
BSP: What is the desire that the Father has planted in your heart about this ministry?
Greg: At first my plan was to create a place of “comfort and safety” for believers (particularly men) to come together and enjoy one another, to fellowship, have bible study, etc. A “Cheers for Believers”, I thought. Although these are good things, God has busted right through this plan and expanded what the Fishin Hole is to become. Luke 15:1-2 comes to mind, Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.” (WEB)
I heard a man from the Middle East explain how seriously they take eating together. That for a Middle Easterner to sit at someones table and eat with them meant that they were considered family! No wonder the Pharisees were offended when Jesus ate with unclean sinners. Aren’t we to do what Jesus did? Aren’t we to be Jesus to the world? Besides, what’s the difference between us (Believers) and them (non Believers) besides the grace of God that we have accepted? So, I pray that the Fishin Hole is becoming a non-threating place where people from both sides of “the family” can come and ”eat” together like we should.
BSP: So what are some of the things that happen at the Fishin Hole?
Greg: We do have a regular (weekly) bible study. There has also been a couple of meetings of church groups at the Fishin Hole. We have had a guest speaker from Israel. But more and more the Fishin Hole is becoming an everyone place. There has been party nights with games and football on the big TV. There will be movie nights and food nights and combinations of both. Some friends of my sons had a Hurricane Party and on New Years Day there was a cookout and college football Bowl Games. People from both of my work places, my church, and other churches, believers and non-believers were in attendance. To me, that’s Kingdom stuff! I know we won’t get all of the believers to go to the non-believers and testify, and I know we won’t get all of the non-believers to come to church and hear the Good News, but I do believe we can get some of the believers to meet some of the non-believers at the Fishin Holes.
BSP: What is the atmosphere?
Greg: The “theme” of the Fishin Hole is a “man cave” with a fish camp “decor” (term used loosely).
Literally, my garage turned into a pub-like gathering place. Still “under construction”, we have a large “U” shaped bar (formerly a table saw table) that seats 10-12 people, a big TV, a piano, dartboard, etc and seating for about thirty people. We’ve had live music and also play some tunes on our fine sound system! (just kidding) Well, you can hear it OK! The nachos and the root beer floats have already become world famous! (not kidding)
BSP: Who is Greg May?
Greg: I’m a stinking sinner saved by the grace of God. A stench only washed off by the blood of Jesus. If that sounds super holy or some kind of attempt at big humility, it’s not, it’s just a rather recent revelation of how big this salvation God has provided for me really is and I’m sure I still don’t know the full scope of it yet.
BSP:Who has influenced your spiritual life?
Greg: Jody for this question please look at the blogs at the Fishin Hole of the Fishin Hole Hall of Famers (Linda and Terri), in particular Linda’s teaching of the Word and living out the love of God and Terri’s living example of discipleship. Also my wife Hannah who lives a Godly life out in front of me. Perry Dalton who always had my back when we were in ministry together or I would have been wounded continually in battle. My current Pastor Alan Ferguson who is a constant encouragement to me. And last but not lesser by any means a group of kids in the 90′s (grown adults now) who lived out faith in front of me and I saw what it was to grow ” in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men”. You know who you are, everyone of you, thank you!
Jody Neufeld is Editor of Bible Study Paths http://biblestudypaths.com/