Hero with Pastor Derwin Gray & a Giveaway :-)

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 [email protected]

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!!!

Now…your turn!

Hero-honoring Blessings,


  1. My Hero has always been my Daddy. He worked hard to provide for us while we were growing up, but always managed to find time to attend all of our activities. He was a deacon in his church, and led by example. He continues to be a wonderful influence on my life, and the lives of my children. Both my parents are so involved in the lives of our 7- and 8-year-old kids since they are both retired now and all their other grandchildren are grown. My Daddy has been in and out of the hospital with heart problems during the last week, and I am hopeful and prayerful that he will be home for Father’s Day. My parents celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary this past week in the ER and in a hospital room.

  2. My husband is an amazing man of God. He works hard to support the family so that I can be home with the kids. When he gets home, he is quick to help with dishes, clean up, etc. I feel so supported and His love for God radiates to everyone around him – from his leadership and influence at home to his discussions at work. I’m so proud of him and am thankful ot call Charlie my husband!

  3. I would give this book to my husband, Brian. He is my hero. He is a faithful, loving, caring husband and dad and his family loves him bunches. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. I would like this for my stepson. If you don’t know him well, you might not see the way God works in his life, but I have. His older son will be 18 this fall and he would probably get good from it, too. (And hopefully they would let me borrow it!)

  5. my husband’s father was a role model in how NOT to be a father… absent for months at a time for most of his childhood, abusive when he was there… He still struggles with just how to be a real father… I would love to be able to give him this book.

  6. I would give a copy to my husband who on March 17 of this year lost his hero, his father- Arnie. Arnie was also a hero to my son. Both my husband and son have had a very hard time dealing with Arnie’s death because it was so unexpected. I am so thankful to God for my husband because he himself is a hero to both of our children and a great father and husband.

  7. My husband is in many ways my hero – one of the most important ways is that he is father to our daughters. The oldest daughter being from a previous marriage – I get so hurt hearing other dads and moms say something like “my husband’s daughter/my wife’s son”. When you marry you get the family. Our two girls are our two daughters and have been since we were married, though one came along earlier. God blessed me and our girls with a wonderful hero.

  8. My husband is definitely a hero in my book. He did not receive affirmation or affection from his dad, but he’s been a wonderful father and now grandad in our family! And he’s been a faithful pastor for almost 40 years – the best!

  9. My husband is my hero father, and if I won the book I would give it to him (and hope he is not too exhausted to read it!). My husband grew up in an intact home, but one that had its share of problems. He was mentored more by his uncle by marriage. Both his uncle and his father passed away in the last few years, and he misses them a great deal. My husband and I met when I was a divorced mom of a three year old daughter. It took him a year to ask me out, and he asked the girl’s permission to ask me to marry him a year later. :) We have two more daughters together, and even female dogs, so he is completely outnumbered! My husband is a gem because he knew that my past had left me scarred, yet he loved me unconditionally anyway. He is a wonderful husband and father who knows what is important in life. He only came to a saving knowledge of Jesus in 2008, so he is really a baby Christian and could use a book like this. Although my husband is not materialistic in any way, since the economic problems of the last few years, he has no longer been able to financially provide for the family without my help; and that has hurt him to the core. When I am busy working and the family “suffers” as a result, he talks negatively about himself and that hurts me! I know that he is doing all he can – we both are. Thank you for the encouragement of today’s blog post.

  10. I’ll honor my wonderful husband. He lost his father when he was 12 year old. took the responsibilities of the man of the house for his mom and 2 sisters and worked very hard to support them. now he is a father of 3 kids. with no example or no one to look up to. he has been awesome, loving, patient, full of energy and always puts Gods word first. He relies on the bible. I’m so grateful that our kids have a dad that is a man of God and that loves them so much, that sacrifices his time and energy to make them happy. he never sees the bad only the good. I pray to God and he will always bless him and let his heart and love grow

  11. Words cannot express how blessed I am to have a hero husband and my sons to have a hero father. My own father chose the gods of this world and it eventually drove him to take his own life. When God allowed me to meet Matt I didn’t know what a wonderful journey my train wreck of a life would become. Matt has always been willing to do for others in the community and for our church, and I look at him as a leader in both areas. As we faced, twice, learning that our oldest son had cancer Matt was my absolute rock and he always reminded me that God would take care of our family. Whatever comes our way I am confident that my hero husband will help me through it! God’s blessings all!

  12. As the spiritual leader in my family I would love to read this book to guide my son into a more faithfal man of God. My husband is a wonderful man with great character and has had life transformation of his own but still hasn’t chose the Lord yet. I am always looking for insights from other great men of God to help in the continued maturing my son in the kingdom.

  13. I would give it to my husband. He works tirelessly in a job that completely stresses him out to provide for me and our four children in order to make it possible for me to stay home and home school. I know he would love less stress in his life but he is totally committed to our family and raising our children to be godly men and women!

  14. My two sons are heros in my book. They have grown to be fine men, husbands and fathers. I feel the book would be a great encouragement for men. Thanks for the give a way.

  15. I would love to have it for my husband. He is a strong Christian man and I know this book will inspire him. He loves sports like football, racing, baseball, fishing & hunting. But, he also loves his family and he loves his Jesus first~Thank you for sharing, have a blessed day.

  16. I have to say my husband. His father passed away when my husband was 20 and his brother was 5. This “forced” my husband to step in to the “father figure” role for his brother. They have developed a very strong bond and until my brother-in-law entered college they would take a trip together every summer. This experienced helped my husband become the father he is today. He and his brother are still very close and he will be the best man in my brother-in-laws wedding next week.

  17. I would read the book myself, but would give it to my husband. He is my hero, although he doesn’t see his own worth some days, which makes him a hero in hiding most of the time. I can see glimmers of greatness in him and it blows me away. It’s the power of Christ in him and it’s so awesome. He’s not had great examples of how to be a godly man in his own life, so every day can be a struggle, but praise the Lord, His mercies are new every morning and we get to try again. :) Thanks for offering this give-away.

  18. I would give the book to my husband who is now the hero in my life but it used to be my dad who passed away 13 years ago this month. My father taught me to be the best in everything that I do and before pointing out a beam in another’s eye to take a closer look at myself. Those words have stayed with me a lifetime and saved me from myself countless times. So many young men including my husband struggle from lack of direction, focus or commitment to God because they grew up without it. It is a blessing to have this book to help them understand what is missing and how to get it thus propelling them to the place that God has pre-destined for them. Whether I win or not this book will be one that I will pass along to several men in my life that I want to live their lives as heros for their families and for God.

  19. My husband grew up without a dad and never had a fatherly role model. It’s something we’ve struggled with because I didn’t grow up with a spiritual fatherly role model and he didn’t have a father growing up, much less a spiritual role model. We both want him to be the spiritual leader in our house, and he is a good one, but we’ve had to work through some issues. I’m glad to say that we have come a long way, but of course we still have a ways to go. I really admire my husband because even though he never had a spiritual leader in his home (mom wasn’t a spiritual leader), he’s stepping up to the plate to be the leader God wants him to be. I’d love to be able to give him this book as a Father’s Day gift.

  20. Growing up in a divorced home, I didn’t have a “Hero” dad. He wasn’t there because he chose other things and people to fill his life with.
    When I met my husband 20 years ago, we shared the divorced home baggage and as our relationship matured and we decided to marry, we declared that divorce would never be an option in our home. Our daughter is very blessed to have the loving, “Hero-dad” in her life. Nose-to-nose he will “fight” her cause with me when he feels that I should give in. He leads our home with a Godly vision and desire for spiritual maturity. He is an active part of the local church, which inspires us to follow as well; we serve in ministry as a family at our church.
    Often having the wrong example can lead to the right choices for your own family. I would love to give this book to my husband, our Hero! He overcame a negative past with a positive hope for our future!

  21. This sounds like a wonderful book. My husband is my Hero Dad. He loved his father very much but didn’t have the good father roll model to follow. My husband frequently says he wants to be a Dad who’s kids know that he loves them with his whole heart. He wants to be a good Godly Dad who teaches his children about their Heavenly Father’s love. I would love to give my husband this book. Their are also a couple of other Dad’s I would like to share this with. Where can I buy a couple of copies?

  22. What an Awesome Father’s Day Present!
    If I don’t win I sure buy a couple copies anyway….for my Father and my Husband!

    Happy “Father’s Day” to our most ultimate Heavenly Father and to all the Earthly Fathers as well.

  23. I would give it tomy husband. He lost his dad when he was 10 and has had very little male role models in his life.

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