Message Preview | How To Be A Man | Part 1

By Matt Dawson

If you do a quick search on Google, you’ll find about 100 different blogs, articles, and funny stories around the topic of “how to be a man” or “how to get your masculinity back” or even “why a real man can cry anytime he wants to.” However, outside of personal opinion pieces (blogs, magazine articles, studies) there really is not CONCRETE plan or resource that I could find on HOW to be a MAN!

I’ve been excited all year for this message series.  We’re intentionally kicking it off this Sunday (Father’s Day) because I believe that Scripture tells us a great deal on how to be a godly man and gives us great examples of flawed, broken, sinful men that were referred to as men who loved God.

The interesting thing about our modern-day searches for “how to be a man” looks at all the wrong things. What a man likes, what a man looks like, what a man enjoys, and what a man should know how to do.  I know some women that might disagree – but men are not so simple! We’ve been created in the image of God with complexity and care and every man is different.

However, even in our complex individuality – there are common principles and ideals that God gives men to “be” a man of God. Not a blueprint for the exterior of a man –  but challenges, questions, and priorities that will show up and direct the course of a man’s life in his priorities, responsibilities, and activities.

I hope you will be with us for EVERY WEEK of this series. It’s going to be fun, challenging, and I pray beneficial for every person at Journey. If you’re married to a man, dating a man, raising a man, raising girls that will one day marry a man, or you are in fact a man… THIS SERIES IS FOR YOU!

Message Follow Up | Why Christmas: Part 2 – Hope for the Hurting

By David McNeely

Last Sunday, we talked about hurting hearts. We said that our hearts (consciences) hurt rightly when we sin against God and people. And our hearts (consciences) hurt wrongly when others sin against God and people.

In other words, we should feel guilty when we sin, but we should not feel guilty for other people’s sin. What we did not talk about is freedom and anger. We are free to be angry with sin and its effects.

Anger strikes up all kind of images in our minds. Some of those images are painful. Maybe because of what someone has done to us in anger, or maybe because of what we have done to others in anger. Likely it’s a little of both.

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Message Follow Up | Making Sense of Sin: Part 1 – What is Sin

By David McNeely

God HATES sin.

Sin WRECKS people, places, and things.

Creation is PAYING THE PRICE for our sin.

Jesus tells us to deal harshly with it. Plucking out eyes and cutting of hands should not be taken literally but rather as a call to grab sin by the throat. The Holy Spirit promises to give us the power to do it. He loves giving that power.

The ultimate reason we are to deal harshly with it is because we want to love what God loves and hate what God hates. That’s the driving force.

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Message Follow Up | Solid Rock / Sinking Sand: Part 1 – Faith

By David McNeely

Periodically I will hear this question, “Do you know how ridiculous it sounds?” They are referring to THE reason behind why Christians believe what we believe. We believe many things. We believe some crazy sounding things.

We believe that God is, that God created, that man fell, that God sent, that Jesus finished, and that we must believe. And we believe all of this because the Bible says it is true. Can I filter that through the lens of someone who does not believe?

(DISCLAIMER – this is not indicative of everyone who is not a follower of Jesus. I do not wish to put words into other’s mouths. Lord knows I hate it when people do that to me, but this is a decent representation of a perspective I often hear.)

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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.

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Message Follow Up | A Dimly Lit Room – Part 1: Who He Is

By David McNeely

God is mysterious. Blog is done.

Ok so a little further explanation is required. Although the entirety of the Godhead is mysterious, the Holy Spirit seems to be the one with whom we have the least understanding. RC Sproul wrote an entire book on it and titled it, The Mystery of the Spirit.

In Forgotten God, Francis Chan writes, “As I thought about writing this chapter, I realized how ludicrous it would be for anyone to say they were going to explain the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we cannot fully understand God, and I am certainly not going to be the exception to that rule.”

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Message Follow Up | Context – Part 2: The Historical Books

By David McNeely

My childhood is filled with memories of Old Testament stories.  I loved it.  I was a rowdy, obnoxious, desperately-in-need-of-the-not-yet-popular-ADHD-medication kid and yet I would sit spellbound for flannel-graph vacation bible school story time.

Story captures our imagination.  Story stirs our souls.  Story has a way of bringing our minds and our hearts to the same location where belief is bred.  The Old Testament historical books (Joshua – 2 Chronicles) are stories.  Among them are some of the most well-known stories in human history: Joshua and the battle of Jericho, Samson and Delilah, David and Goliath, just to name a few.

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Message Follow Up | Who Changed the Rules: Part 1 – Who Changed the Rules of Dating?

James Clear has become one of my favorite bloggers.  I confess I do not consume many blogs and thus you shouldn’t put much stock in my limited exposure.  But the reason I love him so much is that he writes a lot about change.  More importantly he writes about maintaining change.

He approaches this from a scientific point of view.  I have no idea of where he is spiritually but I find his stuff to be incredibly helpful for changing behavior.  It cannot however change the heart.

In his short book entitled Transform Your Habits he writes about getting back on track after slipping up.  He states this, “But small hiccups don’t make you a failure, they make you human.  The most successful people in the world slip up on their habits too.  What separates them isn’t their ability to avoid mistakes, it’s their ability to get back on track quickly.”  There is truth in that.

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