By Matt Dawson
How Do We STAY Free?
Galatians 5:1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
As we continue our “Read Your Bible” Series in the book of Galatians, I hope that you are being encouraged and challenged in your faith.
If you’ve not been able to attend the past few Sundays at Journey, I encourage you to visit our YouTube Channel or www.thejourneyonline.com so that you can catch up.. Obviously, you’re READING along and will hopefully have noticed the same theme coming up over and over again.
That theme is FREEDOM.
The church in Galatia isn’t all that different than modern day western churches. It seems to be a timeless struggle to understand the freedom we have in Christ and our call to live according to His Word. One seems restrictive and obligatory, the other seems to be carefree and unaccountable.
This Sunday, we’re going to narrow in on HOW we stay free. HOW we can live in freedom while holding tightly to the ideals and instructions we’ve been given by God. HOW do we keep ourselves FREE from adding our self-effort to Christ’s work, while still understanding our call to reject a sinful life and see the power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
I hope you will join us this Sunday at 9 & 11am. I look forward to seeing you then.
By Matt Dawson
“Fight for Freedom!”
Matt Dawson and Laurie Rohe discuss the importance of freedom in our Christian lives and how we live in the tension between Grace and the Law.
PODCASTS THIS SUMMER
“Christians & Drinking! What’s the Answer?”
Zack Deberry and Matt Dawson talk about alcohol and the different perspectives on how Christians should interact with it.
“God Doesn’t Have to Repeat Himself!”
Zack Deberry and Matt Dawson discuss the “Read Your Bible” series and the importance of understanding what God has already spoken to us through His Word.
By Don Gentry
You’re doing it wrong!
Do you ever feel like when you pick up the Bible to read it that you are studying it all wrong? You probably are? Do you think you should be getting more out of it than you are? You probably should. Do you ever think you aren’t smart enough to read the Bible? You probably aren’t.
Are you getting the picture? You aren’t good enough to read the Bible. The reality is you should just give up. There isn’t a thing in that book worth you reading. It is only for the highly educated and elite people of this world, or the pathetically weak. I encourage you to give up now!
What a bunch of hogwash! The Bible is the most amazing book ever written! It is a work of literary genius. It is written as a reflection of the God we Christ followers serve. It is the written account of what separates Christ followers from every other religion in the world. It is the number one best-selling book ever!!!!
Don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t understand it. I dare you to come to Journey on Sunday and see if you don’t get something out of Read the Bible. In fact, I am positive that you are going to come away more confident in your personal Bible study just by joining us.
Come to Journey on Sunday as we continue to unveil the ancient secret of the Church of Galatia. If you want to know what life was like serving under the law of the demonic gods then I expect to see you Sunday. Learn how to uncover these secrets and more!
See you this Sunday as we continue our journey through the book of Galatians. I can’t wait to see you there.
By Don Gentry
School is out and now your routine is all jacked up! Your kids are home all day, day care costs have soared, activities to help fight the boredom are needed, let’s schedule ten thousand activities for them to get involved in. Stress of summer is in full swing and we need to check ourselves.
Regardless of your situation, let me challenge you that our children and teens need their summer break. Our children are living in one of the most “stressed” out times of history. We have an ever-increasing number of students on anxiety meds. We need to ask ourselves why? The “fitting in,” “self-esteem” issues have been around for years. But there is a new element that has been added to the modern-day student’s life that I believe has added an incredible amount of undue stress–Technology.
Technology has magnified stress ten-fold. For example, if your child doesn’t have electronic gadgets they are left out. If you don’t let them have the apps they want their life is unfair and you are the worst parent ever. If they do have all the social media apps they lose the art of social interaction and communication and run the risk of being cyber bullied or being abducted by sick predators. Technology now even allows parents the opportunity to lose their minds over their students grades before the poor kid even gets home from school.
Let me just pause here for a moment. I have heard of parents grounding their children for their PowerSchool grades. Let me suggest some parents are on PowerSchool at a very unhealthy rate. It can be a great tool, but let me remind you of the day that we got our report cards quarterly and we got to increase our grades over the course of a quarter or semester. I know we want what is best for our kids, but maybe we should think about what we are doing as we stress our kids out.
The yelling and screaming that happens at homework time, the yelling and screaming that happens because of grades. This is all very unhealthy stress. Don’t get me wrong, homework is necessary, awareness is good, involvement is honorable, but there are excesses. When you combine all of this with the undue stress that teachers are putting on our kids it is no wonder that our kids are stressed out.
As parents, it is our job to help our children learn to manage stress not create it. That is why summer is great. As a parent do some honest self-evaluation. Are you making your child miserable? Too many adults tell me that their kid is making them miserable. We are the adults. It is on us to figure out how to deal with our crap not stress our kids out because we are stressed out.
Use summer as an opportunity to relax as a family. Cut out activities and learn to simplify life. Your kids need a break and they need a stress-free summer. You have half the summer left. What can you do as a family to make it as stress free as possible?
By Chris Denning
This weekend we’re going to continue our look into the book of Galatians, Paul’s letter to a group of really well meaning believers who are holding way too tightly to their easily measured rules. More than that, we’re going to talk a little bit more about how we can make reading our Bible a regular part of our lives. That’s kinda the whole point of the series, right?
It’s not enough to take the time to read our Bible, but how do we build habits and routines to help making Bible reading a REGULAR part of our lives? That’s part of what we’ll look at this weekend, and I’m sure you’re going to walk away with some practical things you can do to start THIS WEEK!
As for Chapter 3 of Galatians, reading it again has reminded me of the importance of having a right VIEW or perspective of the law. A lot of people who grew up in the Church and left often leave because it felt like you were just being held to a list of rules you needed to follow. Honestly, I don’t blame them. When you look at the Old Testament, you see lots of passages where it’s JUST rules.
The role of laws isn’t to create an impossible bar for us to get over. Though Jesus provides us the way to get over that bar through HIS righteousness, the role of the law was to be our guardian, as Paul said. To provide guard rails for our life, especially before the Messiah (Jesus) had done His atoning work on the cross.
Also, rules are easy to measure. For instance:
Rule – Take Out the Trash on Thursdays
Result – Did they take it out or not?
Relationship and faith is much harder to measure, especially from the outside looking in. I believe that’s part of why some people tend to gravitate towards these rules or laws. It’s much more black & white or binary, if you will. There is comfort in rules, because you know the playing field and the rules of the game.
However, Jesus doesn’t call us to follow rules, but to a relationship that leads to transformation of our hearts, minds & lives. When you think about it, “come and follow me” is much harder than “follow these rules.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I hope this weekend we’ll begin to see the law in the right light, as Paul teaches us. Come with an open heart, an open mind, and, for goodness sakes, bring your Bible 🙂
By Don Gentry
If you are a parent then you have heard the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored!” We all respond to that phrase differently, but the reality is whether we are children, teens, or even adults we have all been faced with finding that life can create some doldrums. What we may not all do well is respond to the mundane routine of life in the same fashion.
There are two words that will resolve all boredom! These two words are sure to change your world forever! These two words work no matter your age. Here are the two words free of charge.
It may seem a bit too simplistic so I will try to break it down a little more for you.
Here at Journey we partner with several great organizations. We would encourage you to find one that may work into the rhythm of life in your family. Here is a list of the organizations that we partner with at Journey that would be great to see if you can do something together as a family or as an individual:
Bags of Hope https://www.facebook.com/BagsofHopeLKN/
ADA Jenkins https://www.adajenkins.org/,
Children’s Hope Alliance https://www.childrenshopealliance.org/
Hope House of Huntersville https://www.hopehousefoundation.org
There are so many more local charities that you can find. It may take a little research but find a charity that you resonate with and figure out how to serve. You could simply find an elderly person/couple in your area and just talk with them or find out if they need anything done at their house. The opportunities to volunteer are endless, yet it remains the easiest way to stop boredom – serve others. When we serve, we take our eyes off our current situation and point our attention elsewhere.
You could label this exercise, go hiking, walking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, etc. I love the word explore because it means you get to find something you haven’t ever found. There are unbelievable greenways all through Charlotte. Stacy and I have found several different greenways on our date day. Leave the kids at home and find some fun time with your spouse. We have found some awesome trails in Charlotte. (Yes we have found some we won’t ever return too as well. )
Check out Wing Haven if you like birds or Daniel Stowe Garden, buy a membership, return often, support a good cause. Check out one of the many mountain trails within a short drive from Charlotte: Crowder Mountain, Kings Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock, Stone Mountain, etc. Go explore the area you live in!
You may not have time so create a scavenger hunt for your kids and have them go explore.
If you can’t come up with something on your own check out this site. Lots of great ideas.
They still have this thing called a Library. If you don’t have any books in your house go find one. Reading is a portal to worlds untold. Teach your kids to read!!!!!!! Teach yourself to read!!!!!! Enough said!
Learn Something New
Find a new hobby! Create a science experiment, put a model together, paint a picture, build something, learn to crochet, learn a new game, play a new family game. We just got the game Speak Out. It is hilarious! If you are single then take up a new hobby. When we are bored, we have allowed our minds to become inactive. You need to stimulate a new area of your brain. Learn something!