Series Preview | Eat Your Peas

By Don Gentry


Remember when your parents made you eat your veggies?  Personally, I used to love to eat peas, but I hated spinach.  Punishment awaited me if my spinach was not eaten.  I used to figure out all kinds of ways to be sneaky and throw it away, or make it appear as if it was gone.  Maybe you are a healthy eater and can’t relate. The moral of the story is that many times there is an intrinsic value to things that we may not always see, when we do things that we don’t enjoy. 

For example, I have heard many people tell me how they don’t read the Old Testament. They don’t understand it.  They think it shows a mean, unloving God.  It is not applicable.  I could go on.  The reality is that the Old Testament is full of wisdom, stories of how a loving God guided a disobedient and rebellious nation, it is a story of love, betrayal, war, and so much more.  To hear how some view the OT is so disheartening.

In order to help change people’s perspective we are starting a new series called Eat Your Peas.  We want people to have a better understanding of how to read the OT and why it is important. We want people to have a practical tool (SCMC) to tackle any story in the OT to better understand it.

You might be wondering what SCMC stand for?  I guess you better show up on Sunday at find out!  J  See you all on Sunday!

Series Preview | Healthy Church, Healthy Community

By Chris Denning


Have you ever gone to a sporting event or maybe one of your kids competitions and found yourself high-fiving a total stranger? Or talking for a few hours while you’re there just because you had a common bond?

It’s strange how quickly we can become comfortable with someone like that. How quickly we can feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves.

This can happen at church too. You walk in, drop the kids off, grab some coffee, and the music sweeps you up with the voices all joining together. Hearing teaching from the Word and seeing what the church is doing in the community can really make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.

And you are. But what if there was more? What if there was something BEYOND this casual community?

In our new series, Healthy Church, Healthy Community, we’re going to take the time to learn how we can trade casual community for something we call Intentional Community. Intentional Community is the kind of thing that doesn’t just change your life, but can transform you personally.

Rather than having shallow relationships and connecting with only a few people accidentally, we have the opportunity to create deep, meaningful friendships that challenge us to become a better version of ourselves, to be more like Jesus.

Encouragement when we are at the end of our rope.
Accountability when we need support to take the next step.
A friend we can call when we need help at 2am.

We believe that Intentional Community will not only transform your life, but the life of our church. If we have healthy community at Journey, then Journey will become a healthier church. And if Journey is a healthy church, then our community will be healthy and thrive. They work together, for our good.

I want to invite you to commit to coming the next two weekends. Just two Sundays. Ask yourself what it would be like to be involved in this thing called Intentional Community. How would your life be different?

Come here what we have to say and the stories of lives being changed by Intentional Community, and then take a step. Not just any step. But the next, right step, into Intentional Community.

Our GIFTED Journey

By Matt Dawson


I’m so excited about what God has in store for Journey Church in 2018.

We’re kicking off the month of January with our theme for this year – GIFTED!

Starting this Sunday, we will begin a journey to better understand the spiritual gifts God has given each one of his kids.  When we better understand how we are our gifted, we can begin to understand the greater PURPOSE for our lives, experience the TRANSFORMATION we long to see in our hearts, and have a greater IMPACT in this world.  God has blessed you with incredible POWER through your individual gifts – it’s time to UNLEASH The Power Within!

To go along with our message series, I’ve written a resource book entitled “Gifted:Unleash the Power Within” and it’s now available on Amazon for purchase ($7.99).  It will be available in paperback ($12.99) by mid to late January, we hope. Our prayer is that this book is an incredible resource for you as we go through this message series together.

There are several NEW THINGS happening this month, some of which we plan to share with our Partners on the January 18th Partner Night.

We can’t wait to share with you all that God is already doing in our church to set us up for an AWESOME 2018!

Matt Dawson, Lead Pastor

Series Preview | A Beautiful Mystery

By Matt Dawson


The Trinity.

No other religion in the world claims to worship and believe in a GOD who appears to have 3 different forms (which is a modalism theological view), but is actually 3 individual persons and is yet still ONE God (Trinitarian theological view). There are plenty of ancient polytheistic views on divinity (multiple Greek gods, Roman gods, etc.) but only ONE religion that claims to worship ONE GOD that is Three Persons – The Trinity.

As believers, we move so quickly past the incredible diversity of the Godhead, that we fail to appreciate its complexity and mystery. We also lose our understanding of the purpose that each member of the Trinity holds to each other.

Right out of the gate, Genesis reveals this Trinitarian God.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” Genesis 1:26

Then, to help clarify the “us” characters to this plot, a man named Jesus showed up over 2000 years ago claiming to be God in the flesh, however still referred to the God of the Covenant as “the Father.”

“Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” John 16:28

Jesus tells His disciples that the Spirit (remember from Genesis) will come after he leaves to help us accomplish the mission He is giving us.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Paul would bring it full circle in his letter to the church in Colossae that Jesus was actually present at Creation and was indeed also the Creator.

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see“ Colossians 1:15-16

And if there were still any confusion of this Godhead, we see all three described at the baptism of Jesus.

“After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17

Often, we take our discussion of the Trinity for granted and it’s primarily because we really don’t understand it and have a difficult time explaining this God to others.

During this Christmas season, we’ve decided to engage in “The Beautiful Mystery” that is our God in three persons…the Trinity.  We know that some of you will miss the standard teaching of the Christmas story this season, but we hope that engaging in this discussion about the Trinity will increase your understanding, faith, and appreciation for the Advent of Jesus.

Series Preview | Dealing With Doubt

By Don Gentry


When talking about the Christian faith it is very common to have doubts. Many people think that doubts are bad in their faith. The reality is that our doubts can strengthen our faith or weaken our faith. When dealing with doubt, doubts are not equal.

This coming Sunday we are starting a new series called Dealing With Doubt. We want people to be able to better understand doubt, where it comes from and how to overcome it. We want people to be able to resolve their doubts by the work of the Holy Spirit and by practically working through their doubts. It is our desire that people feel empowered and equipped to identify and process through any doubts that might arise.

Over the next three weeks we will be defining doubt, we will be sharing ways that can help us overcome our doubts, and we will be talking about when all else fails how can we embrace the unknown. The reality is that as followers of Christ we all have beliefs. Our beliefs are only as strong as our faith. Your beliefs will be tested by doubts. Which leaves us with the question, “Are you prepared and will your faith make it through the trial?”

If you have followed Christ for any length of time you will know that it is anything but easy. We hope that this new series will help shed some light on dealing with some real-life difficulties when dealing with questions of faith.

We hope to see you on Sunday!

Series Preview | We Church Not Me Church

By Matt Dawson


What comes to mind when you think of the word CHURCH? Is it a building? Is it a location or place? Or is it people, a group that you belong to?

When the church is a place we go, a thing we attend, or a place we serve at… it’s not a WE church.  It’s a ME and THEM church.  

When the church is THEM, it’s easy to separate myself and not get too connected. It’s easy to not attend when I don’t feel like it. It’s really easy to blame them when things are not going well.

When church is boiled down to ME and THEM (other people, leaders, organization structures) we lose sight of our intended purpose. My reach is limited to me.  My love is only as big as I can make it.  I can only accomplish what I can do in this world. It’s a small and meaningless endeavor when I’m a part of a Me Church.

The Church is the Body of Christ. It’s a We Church. Not a Me Church.

Every person is a part of this body, and only TOGETHER can the local church represent the body of Christ and fulfill its mission. Every part of the body matters, and every body builds the Body! As the body of Christ, WE can do greater things together than we can do on our own.

WE can reach farther!

WE can love bigger!

WE can accomplish more in this world!

That’s the beauty of the We Church.  We are simply better together as God intended us to be.

Join for the next several weeks at Journey as we launch the “We Church Initiative” and discuss how can reach farther, love bigger, and accomplish more, together!

Series Preview – The Why Behind the What

By Matt Dawson


Is abortion murder?  Is being a homosexual a sin? What about a transgender?  Does God love terrorists?  If the Las Vegas shooter was a Christian, is he in heaven?  Did God really destroy the whole world in a flood?  Is Jesus the only way to Heaven? Is the “best” representation of the Holy Spirit the ability to speak in tongues? Is sin a behavior or a motive? What does the Bible say?

Let’s be honest, these are just a few questions that when posted online (Facebook, Twitter, Personal blogs) people would have comment after comment on their opinion of WHAT the answers are.  Everyone would start spouting their opinion, stuff they read online, memes created, and maybe even a new article or two.  All to try to convince us that WHAT they are saying is right.

Many Christians do the same thing. We spout our opinions on issues and try to convince others that WHAT we believe is right in order to convince everyone else that they are wrong!

However, that’s not what the Bible has called us to do.  We’ve been called not only to engage in the WHAT, but help people understand the WHY behind that WHAT. 

1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect

Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV) Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer

We’re called by God to have a biblical defense for what we believe. Not only about salvation, but about every issue that we face in our lives. In the church, a biblical defense is defined as Apologetics.   If we’re called followers of Christ, we are not allowed to be satisfied by simply stating our opinion based on human intellect.  We’ve been given Absolute Truth (His Word) as a way to defend Absolute Hope.

Over this next series, we will be discussing how we engage apologetics towards specific issues (like the sanctity of life), how we use a biblical defense to redefine our personal convictions, andhow we can disgree with others while maintaining our apologetic beliefs.

 

It will be a great series to invite someone from your TOP 5 that you’ve been praying for and looking for ways to invite them to a church service. As always, we will approach these topics with compassion for those who do not believe, but will make a defense for the WHY we believe WHAT we believe.

Message Preview | One is Greater Than Two | Part 3

By Matt Dawson


Nothing is celebrated quite like a wedding. Even today, it’s one of the most expensive, joy filled, dream-fullfiing events that we experience as adults. After you add on the honeymoon, it’s pure bliss. We send out invitations, we post announcements in the paper, we create online webpages that celebrate the big day. The wedding ceremony is something we invite EVERYONE to attend. The celebration (or reception) we host is a huge party! In some cultures, this party goes on for several days.

However, after the public celebration wains and life gets complicated many marriages feel as if they are alone in their struggles. It’s humiliating or shameful for some when they realize 1 year, 5 years, or even 11 years down the road that marriage is harder than expected. That their spouse has changed, or circumstance are causing division, so they isolate themselves. They keep their problems a secret, they hide behind fake smiles and old memories of better days. What was once a celebration for the world to see, their real marriage (the struggle) is hidden and they feel shame and guilt if someone finds out.

Marriage is hard. Sooner or later, the honeymoon ends and the real work begins. However, nothing should be more important than to get the help necessary to breathe life back into your marriage. Jesus brings absolute hope to a marriage that invites him to be the center, but the invitation MUST be made and the hard work MUST be done by you and your spouse.  It’s too important to keep a secret… it’s your marriage – a reflection of God to a watching world!

This weekend, we’re going to discuss the miracle that Jesus performs in a married couple’s life soon after they were married. Jesus is the absolute Hope for any marriage that is willing to invite Him to address the issues they hide from others.  I hope you will join us for the conclusion of our 1>2 Marriage Series.

Message Preview | One is Greater than Two | Part 2

By Zack DeBerry


Marriage is one of God’s greatest designs for Human Beings to enjoy here on earth. The truth, however, is that as beautiful and great as Marriage is, it requires work, respect, and vulnerability. The hardest thing to do in the marriage relationship is to remain vulnerable in the times that we are hurt or disappointed in our spouse.

The truth is that true intimacy in marriage will only come when we are willing to be vulnerable with each other and risk everything for the sake of knowing our spouse completely and being known completely by them. It is scary and hard to be willing to lay everything out there and allow our spouse to see us exposed for who we really are, what we really think, and what we really feel.

In Genesis, something happens in the context of the marriage that changed how vulnerable we are willing to be. At the end of Genesis 2 we see the words, “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.” They were naked, the most vulnerable you can be and they were not ashamed. Then comes Genesis 3, where sin and deception entered in and we see this beautiful picture of vulnerability change. After the deception of the serpent we read these words, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” They no longer felt safe to be completely vulnerable.

We have been fighting this change since then in the marriage context. The truth is that we will only experience intimacy to the degree we walk in the redemption of Christ. Only when we view ourselves and our spouse through the lens of redemption can we be completely vulnerable again. As we allow our spouse to see us as we truly are, then we can begin to experience a deeper intimacy as God designed it to be.

We will continue our 1>2 series this weekend at Journey Church. I hope to see you there or feel free to join us online.