About Greg MatThews
Greg Matthews, has lead an epic life and most of that in defending and safeguarding our nation and the American public; After serving his country in the US Air Force during Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Greg spent the next 27 years mastering skills that would save lives. Driven by a passion to help those who could not help themselves, he applied himself to the rigors of becoming a Fire Fighter, Hazardous Materials Technician, EMT, Special Operations Rescue Technician, Rescue Helicopter Pilot, Fugitive Recovery Agent, Terrorism Response Manager, Homeland Security Manager, Naval Antiterrorism & Physical Security Officer, Emergency Manager, international consultant, and currently serves as the US Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division Antiterrorism Officer protecting the nation’s dams, hydro-power generation plants, and navigation locks.
Though most would look on any one of his accomplishments as a measure of what the world defines as a man, but Greg would tell you something different. “The bravest of men, the ones of true character and purpose, are those who have placed the pursuit of intimate relationship with their family and God as the core of their existence. Achievements are worthless in the absence of relationships”.
Greg was not always aware of this foundational truth. Most of his life was spent proving to the world at any cost that he was a man. Whether it was battling structure fires, cutting people out of twisted vehicles, rappelling over cliffs, pulling people form rivers, working at the world trade center attack, disrupting terrorist attacks, conducting helicopter rescues, or starting a national emergency service system in the jungles of east Africa, if he could picture it in his mind, he was going to find a way to do it. He was driven by all the wrong reasons though.
It took a cold day in Alaska’s back country and a chance encounter with a 650 lbs. grizzly bear to change all that in an instant. After an attack lasting over two minutes, Greg lay lifeless and bleeding heavily, When his brother finally reached him, the only words he could get out were “I think I’m dying”.
In an instant he was changed, as the mirror of empty works was held up to his face. On the verge of death, he finally realized what really mattered in life. It wasn’t the achievements he had been chasing for so long it was the relationships in his life that meant the most. Those relationships, the ones with God, wife and and his kids would give him the will and the determination to make it out alive.
Well, Greg is a completely different man now. God allowed him another chance to get things right. So many things have changed, but none greater than his commitment to invest first in those foundational relationships with family, but most importantly with God. God has shown him what it means to be a real man, and has given him a tremendous burden to share this message with other men. Through the writing of his book Relentless, an outreach ministry to men has been born. When he is not loving on his family, Greg is loving on God through sharing his life changing and life giving message with other men. Greg now has a passion to reach as many men as he can with the powerful message of defining manhood through essential intimate relationships first. Greg believes God wants every man to build and pursue a house of achievements, but it has to start with building and investing in the core foundational relationships first.
Greg is no longer consumed with chasing achievements across the world, he is content now just loving on his family and seeking a deeper walk and relationship with God. Greg lives in Plano, Texas with his wife Rhea, sons Casey and Benjamin, and his daughter Ciara. Rhea and Greg just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. They attend Chase Oaks Church in Plano, and spend most of their time at the baseball and softball fields watching all three of them play. Who would have ever thought that a grizzly attack would turn out to be one of the greatest blessings in his life. When asked what has been the biggest change since the attack he responded “I try and live every day now like I may never see tomorrow. If you live with that perspective there will never be a question as to what’s important”.
There is no greater calling in a man’s life than to serve others, and there is no more important truth in a husband’s or Dad’s life. To put the needs of others before your own is the beginning of purpose in a man’s life. It took me a long time to realize my selfish ambitions had robbed God and my family of love. They didn’t want medals, or material things, or even a pay check. They wanted nothing more than my attention and my heart. It’s painful to think of all the time I have wasted chasing things that really didn’t matter. My wife, my kids, my extended family, and God were all clamoring for the mere scraps of affection I would toss to them. I had traded treasure for trash.
Did I mean to do it? No!! Did I think that working harder towards the next goal, or accomplishment, or pay raise was how you show love to your family? Yes! Almost every man I have spoken to has bought into that same lie. You know the one; “This life is about me and proving to the world I am a man”. Careers, hobbies, and passions is what we pursued, never realizing the broken hearts and lives staring at us from the side-lines. If I had understood a servant heart, I could have pursued what being a man is really all about.
The foundation I speak of is being a servant leadership. Laying down self and pursuing a life of intimate relationship with God and our families is where true purpose in a man is found. It is not easy to serve by exposing our heart and being vulnerable with those we love. But in the end, it was what we were created for. Sacrificing daily to fill the hearts of those we love with true relationship brings fulfillment like you have never experienced. Since applying this principle my life has never been the same, nor have I ever been so content.
God and Family are everything when it comes to defining a real man. Man, at his very core was created for deep relationships. After God created Adam, he created Adam’s his family. The relationships comer first, and then to protect, provide for, and defend comes second. As men, we often reverse this order. It took being brutally mauled by a 600 pound Alaskan Grizzly to understand the importance of my relationships with my family. It’s not that I didn’t love my family or strive to be a good husband and dad. The fact is I never gave them first place in my life. My careers, my successes, and my achievements always came first. To make things worse I had a father wound from childhood that always whispered in my ear “You’re not good enough”.
Rhea, my wife of fifteen years was a miracle bestowed on my life. She gave me three wonderful children and was the mom and home-maker books are written about. On top of that she ran her own business and was smart as a whip. She brought me back into church and helped reestablish my relationship with God. She was my anchor along with my incredible children, but because of brokenness I never let them become my foundation. They deserved so much more investment in relationship and love than the left-overs I gave them.
I am a changed man today with different priorities and values. I now try to live inside out. What I mean by this is I live my life from the heart. Never will a goal or accomplishment ever stand in the way of demonstrating deep intimate love to my family. When that grizzly took my entire face and neck into its jaws, I looked death straight in the face. What I saw scared me more than the grizzly on top of me. It wasn’t what I had accomplished or achieved in my life that mattered in that instant just before death. All that mattered was having one more chance to hold my wife and kids and tell them how deeply I loved them.
I was never the same from that moment on.
Separated from a Father’s love, a man will never fulfill his calling or what he was created for. It’s not that I didn’t love God as my Father before the grizzly attack, like my family he had gotten lip service and left-overs. I felt those relationships would always be there and I would always have time to make things right. I neglected those relationships and tragically misjudged their value. God rescued me twice that day in that bloodied field of Alaska. He rescued me from an enraged grizzly bent on killing me, and he rescued me from myself.
At eight years old when I watched my dad drive away forever, it felt as though I was dying inside. In fact, emotionally I was. Up until the attack I had slowly been dying from a broken heart. When my dad left I became unlovable and drowned in blame. I never wanted to hurt like that again. I told myself I would never let anyone close enough to hurt me.
If Dad left, certainly God would too. I held that belief well into adulthood. That was until I felt him wrap himself around me like a shield from the onslaught of that grizzly. God blinded me, closed my ears, and miraculously defended my life from certain death. He said these words that I still hear today; “You are loved deeply son by both your fathers”. If that was not enough, he then gave me a vision of my family calling to me clear as day. My daughter’s arms extended out to me crying “Fight daddy…You have to fight to come home to us”.
Just before I was certain I was going to die the Lord did this for me. I cried out to God and he came. It was not because I deserved it, it was because he loved me unconditionally just as my dad always had. God released me from that deadly lie and replaced pain with truth.
He saved my life twice that day.
One of the greatest callings as an American citizen is to defend our country and its citizens. An American patriot’s actions and protections come in many forms. Partisan division has hidden the truth that our country, our freedoms, our homes, our families, and our beliefs are under siege by enemies that are both seen and unseen.
A quote from Lt. Col Grossman describes; “In this world there are sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs”. The wolves are obvious as the enemy, the sheep are common American citizens, but what about these sheepdogs? The sheep dogs I believe are today’s American patriots. It is those men and women who sacrifice daily to defend and protect their country and her people. It is those who recognize we live in the greatest country in the world and that our freedom was not free. Sheepdogs are this country’s servant leaders from all walks and fields of life who understand the price that has been paid for what we have.
Since the age of 17 I have given myself to the protection and safety of America and her people. It was something I could not ignore because it gnawed at the very strands of who I was. To deny it would be to live as an empty shell. I was born to protect and help those who could not protect themselves. I align myself with those willing to sacrifice that others may live.
All of you know who you are; You are driven by an undeniable force that will not let you rest. It is a warrior spirit to protect given to you as a gift from God. Our country was founded and secured from this same patriot mindset. I believe the future actions of our citizens and especially the actions of her patriots will dictate what America’s tomorrow will look like.
God bless our nation and those willing to defend it.
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