My name is Greg Lancaster let me tell you my story…
My journey, as all men’s journey begins, began with a Father shaped hole in my heart. I looked to family, parents, and friends to fill this hole, yet this unique Father shaped hole in my heart kept these differently shaped relationships from filling its space.
I then begin to look to work to fill this hole starting at an early age of 13. Working alongside my father though getting spending money was my goal, I found this did not fill it either.
I have had (and still have) loving parents and family, but at the time I was so focused on trying to fill the void I didn’t take the time to acknowledge and enjoy them till later in life. I was then led to begin to look to others and other places to fill this hole in my heart. I began the journey of looking for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong people. I ended up running away from home several times wanting to just get on with “it” even though I didn’t know what “it” was. I had fallen for the lie that says “If I just get to this or that” I will be fulfilled or “If I just get in a relationship with that person,” I will be fulfilled all with each ending empty and meaningless with seemingly a piece of me gone with each encounter.
I had no boundaries in what I would do, where I would go, or who I would do it with; from running deep into the bar scene from the age of 16, to using drugs and alcohol, to running to different cities and numerous sexual relationships; all with no boundaries. To me, it just really didn’t matter. I would do anything that I thought would make me fill the hole in my heart and what I now know as wanting and needing true love. I didn’t realize a person, parents, occupation or a certain city couldn’t give me this. Of course nothing I did from many relationships, to working in a major corporate oil company in a new city I ran away to, to the military service in the United States Navy filled that void. It all left me wanting, lonely and empty. Though I was often in the crowd, even the center of attention, I still felt alone, very alone and isolated.
Leaving the military, I again began working with my father in the construction business and married a very nice lady who I grew up with only for this marriage to end in divorce because both of us were broken people and couldn’t provide the other what was needed. She was and is a lovely person, but it just didn’t work out. It was during this time I started my career in law enforcement.
Then my whole world suddenly changed! In 1986, while on patrol one early morning, a Father, God, called me to Himself. It was amazing. I went from being in total darkness and looking into darkness to fulfill myself to a deep hunger for wanting to know God. Suddenly the Father shaped hole in my heart was filled and all I wanted was to know Him and be with Him. I knew He loved me, forgave me, accepted and wanted me. I instantly became so hungry to know Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ, Who made it all possible. I wanted to listen to Christian radio, but didn’t know where to find it on the radio. I pulled my cruiser over into a church dirt parking lot to call the dispatcher to ask them if they knew where I could find a Christian radio station. While sitting in the church parking lot I looked and saw on their sign, “Dinner Thursday Night”. I thought that would be an easy way to walk into the church. There I was in a fellowship of believers. It was at this moment I turned my life over to my “Father God” asking Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. The Father shaped hole in my soul was filled by the only One Who could fill it, Father God!
All I wanted was Jesus. He was mine and I was His. I had never experienced such joy and fulfillment. I couldn’t get enough of reading the Bible and I was far from a reader at this time in my life. Yet I read straight through the New Testament and was at that church fellowship every time the doors were opened.
It was from that moment my life began to take on meaning. I remember sitting across from one of my sergeants at a local coffee shop late one night while on duty. This was after giving my life to Jesus, and he said, just by watching my life, “You really are different. You really have changed.” There is nothing like the love and power of God, through Jesus Christ that can take what is lost, broken, hopeless and worldly, to begin a process of transformation in your life.
Though I was instantly born again and those around me knew it calling me “preacher” over the police radio, inside I still needed to be transformed in my way of thinking by learning and following the ways of God, needing to start a journey of discipleship. I was determined in my early walk in the Lord that no matter what, no matter the struggle, I would serve the Lord for He loved me, forgave me and wanted me and I wanted Him.
My life took on new meaning in God as I left working in law enforcement to attend a Bible school, only to be turned down, because they said I hadn’t been saved long enough. What!? So, anyway, I went back working part time with law enforcement and going to public college. Every moment I had, I’d read a small Bible I had in my pocket or listen to Christian radio teachers between classes. Before long I had married my wife Donna, who attended this church. After a time, I was asked to minister at the church with the pastor. As I grew in the Lord, God called me further and further into ministering for Him from ministering to children to ministering to married couples in the church to ministering to men until He called me to found and pastor a church, then many years later into founding Vine Fellowship Network.
Just like with my natural father I was able to work in his business, now I am working in my Father God’s business. There is no one like my Father God!
I’ve discovered the purpose of why God created me. I live my life’s purpose every day and every hour of each day which is to Love God, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, love others and to lead others to do the same. What I looked for when I was in darkness was for other people and things to bring me joy and meaning in life, which never worked and was unfair to them. Now I see God brought me this joy and purpose through Jesus Christ and life lived for Him gives every waking and sleeping moment meaning; not even mentioning that now, because of Jesus Christ I will be able to live in this awesome Father loving relationship for eternity; so what started on that early morning shift in law enforcement has never stopped and never will stop…it’s my destiny and God wants this same relationship with you.
Since I made my choice to follow the Lord many years ago, many times I have been reminded of my weaknesses and failures, but also His strength, and my need for the Lord’s mercy, grace and forgiveness in my life. Where some may have fallen publicly and are deeply ridiculed by the world and the religious, I can tell you, though I might not have fallen publicly, I have privately, and I am grateful to my Lord and Savior for His forgiveness and mercy in my life. It is at these moments I’m reminded, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, because He loves us, and that we’re saved by grace and not by works, which greatly encourages me. Romans 7:14-8:5; I John 1:8-10
God loves us and has a plan for our life, but I didn’t know this until He called me to Himself in the early morning hours while I was on patrol. Since then, God took a life of waste, narcissism, doubt, aimlessness and gave me a new life. If you’d like to meet my Father, you can, just like I did, through His Son, Jesus Christ.