Message Follow Up | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 5 – Haggai

By Don Gentry

We are living in an increasingly culturally decadent society. It is difficult as a pastor, a messenger of God’s truth, to point people to God’s declared Holy Word and not receive all kinds of rebuttal as to why the scripture is archaic and out of date within the church circles, let alone the world.

Our culture is not that far removed from the Corinthian church. According to 1 Corinthians 6:12, the church people were saying “they had the right to do anything they wanted,” but Paul had a different message of tolerance for them. Note that Paul was talking to church people not the world.

Paul was a modern day Haggai to his culture. Haggai’s people repented, many of the Corinthians appeared to repent as well. Look at what the Corinthians were struggling with in their culture. Look at how their temple was being violated.

Continue reading

Weekend Preview | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 5 – Haggai

By Chris Denning


Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify

As we close up our series, Don’t Hate the Messenger, this weekend, I’m reminded of a simple truth. It’s so simple that I almost decided not to write about it.

Not because I’m nervous about sounding like a broken record, but rather because I don’t know if we’re willing to really listen to it. Hearing the same thing a lot over time has the tendency to dull our ears to it.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I’ll still let you know what this series has consistently reminded me:

The past is where we learn to not make our future mistakes.

Continue reading

Message Follow Up | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 4 – Habakkuk

By Matt Dawson

“It’s NOT because I have cancer…” – Michelle Fadel.

Yesterday we spent some time focused on the story of Habakkuk and asking the questions:

  1. Do we Understand the Season of Life? (Ecc 3:1-8)
  2. Are we Fully Embracing and Learning in these Seasons? (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

I wanted to share just one story with you of someone that is in the midst of a trying season, but who is also trying to learn in the midst of it.

If you’ve not had the chance to meet Dan and Michelle Fadel at Journey, then you are missing out. We’ve shared some of their story in our last series and Michelle will be interviewed and sharing more of her story at The Gathering (our once per month Ladies gathering) on September 2nd.

When I first had the chance to sit down with Dan and Michelle, she had already been fighting breast cancer for many years and had just been diagnosed with cancer in the brain. This is not a good diagnosis. Her season was already hard and it was getting ready to be much harder. She faced the real possibility that she might die within a matter of weeks.

We sat down for several hours over a meal with her family and laughed . . . yes, we laughed. Michelle has a huge sense of humor and Dan has a dry wit that compliments their marriage so well. She told me when they visited Journey that in my message I said “crap” (something that is not usually in my notes, but comes out extemporaneously quite often) and she looked at Dan and said “We’re home!”

One of the statements she made as she was working through this time was that people that were seeing her Facebook posts and hearing some of her conversation might be led to believe that she’s saying all of this and living this way because she’s got cancer and might not be here much longer.

“It’s NOT because I have cancer . . .” she kept saying in her story, because she had been trying to respond to life like this for years. She didn’t have an easy life, and the seasons that she has had to work through has helped her understand that God is her ONLY source of strength. That her FAITH is in an unshakable God who understands her and loves her.

I think many of us have seen the cycle of bad times coming and people “returning” to faith . . . crying out to God for help . . . making promises that if God would just show up – they would be more faithful, more generous, and more loving to others.

Some deeply mean those words, but many we find in their next season reverting to the old life they’ve always lived (trusting in themselves, thinking that their behavior and works get them right spiritually). So we understand when we might be skeptical of reading Michelle’s tweets or posts and assuming the same.

“It’s NOT because I have cancer . . .” would be her consistent response. She doesn’t always respond correctly, she has plenty of times where questions and fear creep in. However they don’t stay long – WHY? Because she has made it a part of her spiritual journey to Trust GOD – He is always FAITHFUL, No Matter What!

If you were not able to attend yesterday, then I encourage you to watch this past week’s message. Maybe you’re in a hard season right now – and it’s time to #ChangeYourFilter. Maybe you’re in a great season right now – it’s time to create those habits and center your focus on God for whenever the next hard season comes your way.

Message Follow Up | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 3 – Elisha

By David McNeely

Replace or Embrace?

Elisha was selected by God to be the next prophet after Elijah. Elijah then went to Elisha and told him as much. Elisha embraced the calling and spent the next seven or eight years observing, serving, and learning from Elijah. Elisha never received the same level of fame as did his mentor. In fact, when Elisha was on the scene as the main prophet to the Northern Kingdom, Jehosophat (Southern King) didn’t even know Elisha was serving. (2 Kings 3:11)

It’s not the first time the disciple remained in the shadow of the teacher. It won’t be the last. There is nothing wrong with that. But often times when a well-known leader reaches the end of his or her career the public begins to ask, “Who will replace _____?” It’s an understandable question. It’s also a terrible question.

Continue reading

Weekend Preview | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 3 – Elisha

By Chris Denning


Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been really digging this series we’re in, Don’t Hate the Messenger. Each week, we’ve been taking a look at part of the story of a prophet and learning how these men responded to what God was calling them to be. It’s been cool hearing the different perspectives of Matt & Zack, and we’ve got David McNeely & Don Gentry coming up as well in this series.

We’re also introducing a new song this weekend called “Close.” I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to this tune and why songs like this are important for us to sing together as the Church.

We sing a lot about the character and personality of God, about His faithfulness and holiness. This song is similar in that we’re singing about His love and His desire to have a real relationship with us.

Continue reading

Message Follow Up | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 2 – Elijah

By Matt Dawson

Yesterday, I closed with a verse from 1 Corinthians (even though we spent the morning talking about Elijah from the Old Testament) where Paul is talking about visiting the church and confronting some folks who have been leading the church astray, trying to act like leaders, but not following closely to Paul’s instruction. 

But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

1 Corinthians 4:19-20

Tracie brought this verse to my attention a couple weeks ago when in-between our last series on the Holy Spirit and my desire to challenge ourselves to SEEK THE UNDENIABLE in our Message, rather than simply seeking the EXPLAINABLE. 

Continue reading

Weekend Preview | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 2 – Elijah

By Chris Denning


Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify

Last weekend, we took a look at the prophet Samuel & a small piece of his story. I love how Zack summed up his message with 5 things we can learn from Samuel. Check them out:

  1. God desires to speak to us.

  2. We don’t always hear very well.

  3. God speaks to us primarily today through His Word.

  4. God is patient with us.

  5. God has spoken to us through Jesus.

I love these insights, especially how relevant this is to me in my life today. The Old Testament is not dry or old stories that don’t have anything to offer me today as a follower of Jesus, rather they are rich reminders that consistently point us to God.

Continue reading

Weekend Preview | Don’t Hate the Messenger: Part 1 – Samuel

By Chris Denning

Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify

Just a few short months ago, we walked through a series called Context, where we took a look at what the Old Testament is and why it matters in our lives today.  As a part of that series, we talked about the prophets.

The prophets are both a section of the Old Testament as well as actual people who lived and were the mouthpiece of God for many years.  These were men who were appointed by God to guide and lead His people, as well as reveal the coming of the Messiah (i.e. Jesus).

This seems like a simple task, but often these men were met with hostility and resistance, especially when God had called them to speak out against something they were doing.  Honestly, I bet that these people knew what they were doing was wrong, whether it be worshiping other gods or turning away from God entirely, but they didn’t want to be called out for doing it.

Continue reading