Series Preview: Growing Pains

SERIES PREVIEW: GROWING PAINS

By Don Gentry

Designed for growth.

Our bodies are designed for growth from the moment we are conceived.  Only at a point of a disease or some cause of stunted growth do our bodies stop growing and replacing dead cells.  Our skin even replaces dead cells daily until we die.  The absence of healthy growth simply suggests that we are closer to death.  As we age, our growth slows and looks different; sometimes it isn’t even noticeable but it is happening. It’s not as exciting as other times when our bodies transform before our very eyes, but it is still occurring.

We understand this as a process of life, but what we often fail to realize is that the same process of growth occurs in our spiritual lives.  The scriptures are full of examples of how God relates our spiritual growth to our natural physical growth.  Unfortunately, we get frustrated by the process in our spiritual growth and especially in other’s spiritual growth. We often judge others and ourselves poorly because we fail to recognize and appreciate the necessary stages of spiritual growth.

Healthy spiritual formation follows a natural process.  We want you to have a better understanding of growth when it comes to your faith.  We also want you to be able to identify what stage you are experiencing in your life, and how you can keep growing and moving towards greater spiritual maturity.

We are looking forward to this new series and how it can serve as a great encouragement and motivational tool in your faith journey.  I hope to see you Sunday!

Series Preview: The Real Jesus

SERIES PREVIEW: INVEST & INVITE

By Chris Denning

Have you ever played a game of Telephone? It’s where someone starts with a phrase, then whispers it to the next person in line, who whispers it to the next person, and so on. Once the phrase travels through the line, the last person says aloud what they believe the phrase is to see how close they got. It’s usually not even close to the original.

Somewhere along the way, someone heard the wrong thing, misunderstood someone or communicated something that simply wasn’t true. There’s not much consequence for botching a game of Telephone, but this can be dangerous within the context of our faith.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all let our biases color and shade our understanding of things, including our understanding of Jesus. Our preconceptions about who we think he is and our connotations that pop up when we hear about who He is will bend and shift our understanding of who He truly is.

In our new series, The Real Jesus, we want to take the time to look in the Bible to better understand who Jesus is, directly from our primary source. Our hope is that by better understanding the truth about Jesus’ life, personality, and values, we won’t just have a better perspective of Him, but we’ll be led to a deeper experience of the power and life Jesus provides.

Our faith is founded on a real person and on a real event that changed everything. This Sunday, we get the opportunity to not only kick off this series, but to CELEBRATE the fact that our God has overcome the grave! Easter is an opportunity to be reminded of the price Jesus paid for us, but also to be reminded of the great power of our risen King!

I believe that the more we dig in to understand the real Jesus, the more we will be captivated by His grace. The more we will be in awe of His sacrifice and love. The more we will be changed to be more like Him.

This weekend, and this whole series, is all about the ABSOLUTE HOPE we find in the very real person of Jesus. I hope you’ll join us and use the shareable we’ve created to invite every single person Jesus puts in your path this week to join you at Journey this Sunday.

Every single person matters to Jesus, so let’s not waste any opportunity to invite others to experience the absolute Hope we have in Jesus! See you Sunday at 9 or 11am to celebrate Easter together!

Series Preview: Invest & Invite

SERIES PREVIEW: INVEST & INVITE

By Matt Dawson

There is a LARGE difference between these 2 pictures. However, there is also something at its core that is the SAME. FIRE!
I love this example because FIRE can be so destructive when forced and wielded like a weapon. But that same fire can be INVITING, welcoming, and draw you close when you want to warm up.
How can one thing be so destructive and also be so inviting simply by the way it is presented and used? 
This is not that different than our Christian Faith. We can wield our faith & beliefs like a weapon or we can offer them up as an invitation for others who are in need.  One causes massive destruction, and one warms the heart of those in need of warmth and rest.
Look at the way Jesus was very intentional of how He INVITED people to follow Him.
Matthew 11:28-30. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Luke 14:16-17 “But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.
Matthew 4:24-25 “News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—he healed them all. Large crowds followed him wherever he went…
Matthew 4:19 “Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
Revelation 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
This doesn’t mean that Jesus did not BOLDLY proclaim when necessary, but the majority of His time with people was not spent FLAME THROWING people into following “The Way.”  He knew how amazing His grace really was, and He offered it to those who would come.
In our next series at Journey, we are going to discuss what it looks for us to INVEST and INVITE people to follow Jesus.  As we approach Easter Sunday, we are hoping you are already praying for your TOP 5 and making plans to invite them to join you on Easter to hear the Good News of Jesus.

It’s My Money – You Can Have Some of It

Matt Dawson


How many of you (that are parents) hesitate to give your kids money because of how you assume they will spend it? How frustrated are you when you give them $20 and expect change, and your children think (for whatever reason) that the money is now their money?

BE HONEST!

I’ve met many parents who share in this frustration of trying to teach their kids the VALUE of money and the WISDOM needed to properly manage it. Whether it’s by an allowance that you give them, or when they start earning money on their own…we struggle sometimes because of the decisions they make.

The reason I believe GOD CARES MORE ABOUT YOUR MONEY THAN YOU DO (our current series) is because as our Heavenly Father, he wants us to understand the VALUE of being good stewards of what He’s provided for us and the WISDOM to leverage it as a tool for the Kingdom of God.

First, we need to learn is that EVERYTHING BELONGS TO HIM!

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Most of the time, we immediately assume that the money we get, we make, we earn – is MY MONEY that I DESERVE. We first and foremost need to understand that we are STEWARDS of everything that God gives us – this includes the jobs and opportunities we have to earn money.

In Matthew 25 “Parable of the Talents” Jesus makes it clear that HE is the Master that entrusts his servants (US) with a certain amount of talents (think skill set, gifts, capacity, talents) which in our world = MONEY. Jesus is going to eventually CALL INTO ACCOUNT what we did with what He’s given us, and we will either be like the 2 servants who understood stewardship and used it to increase their responsibilities, or we will be the steward who buried his talent and had nothing to show for what was given to him. IT WENT TO WASTE in the ground.

Second, we need to learn how to USE MONEY as a TOOL/SERVANT for the Kingdom of God.

One great resource that we offer at Journey is called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. Not only does Dave teach how to view and understand our role as a steward of God’s resources, but he also teaches how to manage that money and use it wisely.

We are starting a new FPU group on April 1st at Journey on Monday nights at 6:30pm. It is a 9 week group that will walk through the FPU curriculum and will cost $109. You can register under the GROUPS section on TheInfo.Bar. We encourage EVERYONE at Journey who has not taken this course to do so…it is the most helpful resource we offer.

I hope you will join us at Journey as we continue our series “God Cares MORE about Your MONEY than YOU DO.”

God Cares More About Your Money Than You Do

SERIES PREVIEW: God Cares More About Your Money Than You Do.

By Matt Dawson

First thought – I doubt it!
Second thought – Why does He care?
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he expresses the heart of why God cares so deeply about how we view and understand money.
“Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (MSG)
God’s ultimate desire for us is “LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE.” True life! Our current western culture makes many promises about life based on how much money we have & spend. However, our obsession with money, resources, wealth, and comfort actually keeps us from experiencing the life that God desires for us.
Did you know Jesus reference money more than He reference Heaven or Hell?
 
Did you know 40% of the Parables Jesus taught referenced how we view, understand, and use money?
 
Did you know in all of recorded scripture, there are over 500 verses that reference PRAYER & FAITH… but there are over 2,000 that reference money?
God DOES care MORE about your MONEY than you do.
Over the next several weeks at Journey, we’re going to discuss WHY He cares more about our money than we do.
  • We’re going to dive into Jesus teaching on why money is the chief competitor for our hearts (not Satan).
  • We’re going to break down the traditional views of tithes and offerings, financial blessing and curses, and if there is any truth to the prosperity teachings found in most American churches.
  • We’re going to discuss why money is a TOOL that brings freedom, or a TRAP that keeps us slave to fear!
There will be no special offerings, financial campaigns, or guilt trips given over money during this series. Our end goal is for you to better understand why “God cares MORE about your money than you do” and fully experience the “LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE” promised in His Word!

Series Preview – Why God Why?

By Matt Dawson


Watch this video as Pastor Matt discusses the new series beginning this Sunday at Journey which deals with the pivotal moment in our lives when are faced to address our theology of suffering.

Series Preview – 21 Days of Prayer

By Matt Dawson


What could happen when you devote 21 days in a row to prayer? I’ll tell you what could happen…MORE than what you could ask or imagine. 

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:30

I believe God has MORE in mind for you this year than a simple New Year’s resolution. 

I believe God has MORE in store for your life than what you experienced in 2018 and before. 

I believe the reason we don’t experience MORE, is because we are not ASKING FOR MORE! 

We all ask God for what we want…so maybe you are asking Him for more, but you can’t experience more until you GROW to receive it. Even if God has MORE for your life, you need to keep stretching your faith, building your character, investing in relationships, and even making some ironclad commitments before HE CAN GIVE YOU MORE! 
It’s called EXPANDING OUR CAPACITY! 

This is what we are dedicating the next 21 days of prayer to. Asking God to expand our capacity to experience and produce MORE than what we could ask or imagine! 

I hope you are excited to kick off the new year at Journey Church. I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday! 

End of Year Blues, New Year Excitement

By Matt Dawson


I saw a few people post last week how eager they are to start the new year…even at the expense of just “getting Christmas over with” so the can press into the new year.

I understand. Sometimes it’s been a bummer year and no matter how enjoyable Christmas is – we just want to get on with a New Year.

I also understand if Christmas is not going to be all that much fun this year. Maybe you’re missing someone, maybe family is not getting together, or maybe you’re alone again and nothing seems to be changing.

For those looking to END this year, and GET ON with the New – let me give you a quick challenge.

Spend Time Remembering (Not Ruminating)

Notice the difference. Don’t ruminate on all the good that hasn’t happened and all the crap that did. REMEMBER what God has done for you in 2018.

Even if you went through one of the hardest things in your life this year…He was with you in the midst of it. God can always be seen when we are intentionally looking for Him. Reflect on this past year and THANK GOD for all that He has done.

Lamentations 3:21-23…Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fails. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Like I said, even if you can’t wait for this year to be over, God will still actively be at work in your life. Take time to remember what He has done!

Dreams for 2019 and Beyond

When we did our “Dream Again” series this year, I still got a lot of push back from folks that really live life day to day, week by week, year by year.

They are so overwhelmed with the NOW that they have no margin for the “What If?…”

Before you start making RESOLUTIONS for January… start by reading this verse.

Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

NOW, start imagining what MORE looks like. There is a reason that we preached the “How to Get MORE from God” series right before we did the “Dream Again” series.

YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THERE IS MORE before you can DREAM ABOUT MORE!

Remember and Dream

These two actions can propel you on a life that you’ve never thought possible with God.

Don’t wish away the end of the year and settle for short-sighted “goals” for the new year.

Remember ALL THAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU and then begin to DREAM AGAIN!

The Most Difficult Season for Some

By Matt Dawson


‘Tis the Season for laughter, joy, family gatherings, close friends, carols, gifts, cheer, and merriment.

However, we also know that this season is the most difficult season for some. For some, the season brings grief, painful memories, past mistakes, loss of relationships, and feelings of loneliness.

So what do you do when the season of joy is not your season?

You look for absolute Hope!

1 Peter 5:10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

Romans 5:3-5 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

We do not disregard the pain of our lives. We do not ignore the grief in our hearts that results from loss and broken relationships. We are not careless in our current struggles.

However, we are the Children of God. He is a good, good father who will never leave us or abandon us in our times of need. We hold firmly to the truth that God will strengthen us. We cling to a peace that surpasses understanding. We know that OUR HOPE WILL NOT FAIL US!

Christmas is the season in which God restored our relationship with Him through the birth of His Son “Immanuel” (GOD WITH US). It is a season of JOY to all but even more so a season of HOPE!

I’m not sure if Christmas is a season of JOY for you or a season of SORROW. I know that God is WITH YOU!

I know that many people around you may seemingly avoid you during this season because they do not know how to be joyful yet be present with you in your grief and loss. The HAPPIER everyone is around you, the more you will be tempted to ISOLATE yourself and your pain as to not “bring others down.” I pray this prayer for you today.

Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

That even in the midst of this difficult season…you will be filled with Hope by the Holy Spirit!

Glocal Economy

By Don Gentry


Racial tension, socio-economic inequality, poverty, first world problems, #blessed. This is a list of buzz-worthy phrases that are typically used to label ways that we experience separation in society. Rather than focusing on how these phrases divide us, let’s look at what they actually have in common?

Regardless of your opinion, regardless of your race, economic status, gender, or academic upbringing, if you claim to be a follower of Christ you are a part of God’s Church. You are capable and responsible to be a part of a Global and Local representation of the church

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:11-13

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17

Then Jesus said to his host . . . When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Luke 14:14

I could list so many other verses in support of this point, but I have personally served in 8 countries and some of the most impoverished cities and towns in America, and I have always been amazed at the generosity and faith of the poor. I have learned far more about trusting and loving God from those who have nothing, than from those who seemingly have everything.

In suburban America, what is our responsibility to God’s church? Is it time? Is it our heart? Is it our resources? How about compassion and generosity? I have very deep personal feelings on this issue, but my feelings and beliefs can never be yours.

I simply ask, “Have you surrendered your worldly possessions to the control of God’s kingdom principles?” If you do not have an answer, then I simply suggest you spend some serious time wrestling with God about what kind of an impact can you be making in this world with what he has entrusted to your stewardship.

I have no intention of quilting you into investing your money or time anywhere. I encourage you to realize that God’s ability to use you far exceeds your home and work environment. Take a moment this week to process if you are experiencing the fullness that God has for you in his global economy. If you need some help and direction in your search, join us Sunday as we talk about the difference you can make globally and locally. We hope to see you then.