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.

The Last Arrow

By Don Gentry


“The Great tragedy that I have witnessed over and over again is that we keep underestimating how much God wants to do in us and through us.  Too many of us have believed the lies we have been told: that we are not good enough, we are not smart enough, we are not talented enough, we are just not enough.  One of the facets of God that makes Him extraordinary is His ability to do the impossible through ordinary, everyday, common people like you and me.  This book has one intention: that whether you win or lose, succeed or fail, live a life of celebrity or anonymity, that when you take your last breath, you will know without reservation that you have given everything you have, everything you are, to the life you have been entrusted with.”  Erwin McManus.

I could end my blog right there.  As we go through our series, Dream Again, this quote sums up what we are trying to awaken in you.  This quote was taken from Erwin’s book The Last Arrow.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!! If you have not read it yet, you should read it during this current series.  Just as this quote (and the rest of his book) reveals, the manner in which God inspires and uses our dreams/lives can be in power or obscurity, wealth or poverty, success or failure, fame or anonymity.  Our role is to discover what God is doing in us and through us!

Later on in the book, Erwin discusses how many dreams are begun by a key leader, but the “dream” must be carried out by “dreamers that are content to walk in obscurity.”  What matters is not which role we play, but have we discovered how God has uniquely equipped us to fulfill the purpose he has for us!

This book and our current series reminds me of one of my elders in my previous church. He literally grew up on the wrong hill in Kentucky.  He lived a life of extreme bullying. For example, each day he had to cross the river rapids on a homemade raft to get to school.  The kids would often sabotage his raft so that he would have to swim the rapids to safety while he was trying to cross (he had many other stories of how he lived on the hill on the other side of the river).  As an old man, he was one of the most humble and wise men I have ever met. He knew the word of God better than most of my M. Div. colleagues, yet he lived in what most would call abject poverty.  As I was eating dinner with him at his house he said, “Donnie, I wasn’t born to money or intelligence. And this world just needs to learn that sometimes we just need to be content with who are and serve God wholly.”  That man lead more people to Christ than I can ever begin to share.  He found his purpose, and it wasn’t what the world would call success.

If you want to be inspired, then read this book!! I will leave you with one other phenomenal quote from Erwin.  “Before you die, live the life you were born to live!”

Series Preview | As You Go!

By Don Gentry


We have the opportunity to be a part of a cosmic plan! Think about it. God, the one and only God, the creator of the universe, the creator and sustainer of all life, has designed a plan where he uses mortals to accomplish his purposes. It sounds like a superhero movie and we get to be the superhero.

It seems crazy that God would choose a system where he purposely relies upon finite, fallen mortals to display and communicate His love and His plans for others. Most followers of Christ don’t seem to understand that He gives each of us an incredible opportunity to be on a mission with him. Obviously, Jesus is the real hero of the story, but most of us sell ourselves short of all that God invites us to do in the lives of other people.

Over the next few weeks we are going to look at how we at Journey get to join God as we go through our daily lives. One of our core ambitions is Leading. Leading is all about leading people to the absolute hope of Jesus Christ. We hope you join us as we uncover very practical ways to be used by God right where we live, work, and play. God wants to use you, and we want to help you realize just how easy it is to join him.

Journey wants you to know how being on mission with God is a part of transformed living. After all, WE ARE TRANSFORMED PEOPLE CHANGING OUR FRIEND’S LIVES BY ABSOLUTE HOPE! 

Love you all, and hope to see you Sunday!!

Tweenager???

By Don Gentry


Do you have a tweenager? If you have a tween or are about ready to enter the tween years, you get to experience a new phase of parenting. Depending on your personality, you will either love it or hate it. There is very little in between stage. One minute you are going to think you have done a fantastic job of parenting and your child is the most mature child ever, and then the next moment you are going to wonder what alien just inhabited your child and took over their brain! It is going to be an emotional roller coaster, and I am not talking about your child! Lol

All kidding aside, it is an emotional time for all who are involved. While you don’t have to be a child psychologist, I do think it important to educate yourself on some of the developmental stages of child psychology. If you are visually driven I encourage you to watch the movie Inside Out. It is a fantastic movie based upon what our kids experience.

Navigating this time of life can be difficult if you expect your kids to never disrespect you, never get angry, never have emotional outbursts, never play video games for unreasonable amounts of time, never lose track of time, never…. I think you get my point.

Your child is going through a very intense spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, neurological, and social developmental stage. The more you can prepare yourself as a parent the better you are going to weather the stage of tweenhood.

The biggest thing to remember at all stages of parenthood is our kids are blessings from God. It is our privilege to be able to help guide them to a personal relationship with the creator and sustainer of life. You may feel like you want to run from this phase of parenting, but if you can embrace all the changes, you will come out with a much stronger relationship with your child.

If you find yourself struggling, there is help and there is hope! There are those who have gone before you to help you, books, counselors, pastors, youth pastors, children pastors, etc. to help you. And there is hope because it is a short-lived stage of life. I have now had three girls go through this stage of life and while it may have had its moments of exhaustion, it also was a time of incredible spiritual development and relational growth.

We are here to help; remember to love lavishly, guide regularly, listen well, and pray often. You can do it!

Series Preview | Practical Parenting

By Don Gentry


The Struggle is Real

Parenting is tough! We all have different personality types, different backgrounds, childhoods, heritages, abuses and neglects, joys, and even fond memories. We get to deal with divorce and brokenness and blended families and then we bring our own children into our stories and we desperately don’t want to screw them up.

We are often faced with questions and doubts to our abilities. We question how our children will turn out. We wonder what schools and sports programs should we get involved in. We don’t want our kids to ever miss out! We want to look good as parents and have our kids look good and be accepted. We want them to grow up and be able to make something of themselves and experience life and see their dreams come true.

Great news, come on out to Journey and in a two-week message series we can guarantee all your fears are gone and your questions will be answered. Your children will never struggle again, and you can post on all social media sites how amazing of a parent you are, how your kids are different than all the others, and how amazing your life really is!

That’s a bunch of bull…oney! What we are going to do is talk about parenting and try to give you some very practical steps that will hopefully transcend your unique story. Principles that hopefully, if applied in your unique situation, they will make your family a joy filled journey. It won’t always be happy and it certainly won’t be perfect, but it can be joyful!

If you think you can bail on this series because you don’t have kids and you really don’t want to have kids, or that the world is a better place because you don’t have kids this series is still very applicable for you.

As we cover the practical rules for parenting you may just be surprised at how applicable they are to all of life. You may even discover how to have some great tools to help navigate the world of social media. I hope to see you join us over the next couple of weeks. While we can’t guarantee a better life, we can guarantee to give you some useful tools. What you do with them in your life is entirely up to you. Love you all and can’t wait to see you Sunday!

The Problem of Sin

By Don Gentry


One of my favorite passages growing up and continues to be to this day is Jeremiah 17:9.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

It may be a little weird to think of that as a favorite passage, but allow me to explain. I have always used it as a reminder of who I am and my position in relationship to God if I didn’t have Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

You see, what this passage does for us is helps us to understand the power of sin. The original Hebrew means, “The mind, our intellect, tries to trip us up, our minds are polluted, crooked and corrupt. Our minds are literally incurable.” What that tells me is my own mind tries to deceive me into thinking that my ways are actually “ok.” The power of sin can deceive even my very best intention. Many people think that is depressing. To me it is not depressing at all. It simply keeps me in check.

It reveals to me that I must constantly keep my mind in check with the righteousness of God. How many times have you caught yourself saying, “It wasn’t that bad,” or “I’m not that bad compared to…?” The reality is this – our only comparison should be to the holiness of God. In comparison to His Holiness, we are deplorable even on our best day!! The good news is that the Bible gives us the answer to our demise.

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

Only God knows the true intentions of our minds. It reminds me of the passage that Paul gives us in Romans.

For in my inner being (mind) I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? hanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:22-25

The power of sin is to deceive us and hold us captive to a law that we don’t really understand. The beauty is that the power of God offers us victory, deliverance, freedom, and grace. We get to choose which one we want to live by. However, we have to start by understanding just how tricky our minds can be. If you ever find yourself justifying sin, trust me that is not God talking to you. Hope to see you Sunday as we continue to uncover the richness of all that God has come to do in our lives!

What Do You Expect Out of Prayer?

By Don Gentry


When we pray we often ask God for things that we want or make suggestions about how we think it would best for Him to answer our prayers. Let me challenge you to think about your prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit in a little differently.

To get everything that we can out of following God, God must have your complete surrender, your complete obedience.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Hebrews 12:7-13

I love this passage. To get all that we can out of being a Christ follower and be in tune with the Holy Spirit we must embrace this passage. Did you notice this phrase in the passage you read? It said, “How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits.”

Do you get it? The Holy Spirit is trying to get us to come into complete surrender to God. I used to think complete surrender was done through discipline, like hard work and discipline; rather, it is done through trust in God’s discipline. There is no discipline that seems pleasant, but when you can finally start embracing your discipline instead of fighting it, your life is going to radically change. God is going to allow you to face your fears as many times as He needs to until you learn to trust that His promises are true for you. Your fear is different than mine. But His promises are just as true for you as they are for Mother Teresa or me.

Once we learn to identify complete trust, we can identify our fears and apply God’s word more quickly. The Israelites spent years driving out their enemies from their lands. Over and over again, God tested their trust with His promises that He would be their deliverer—not their efforts.

This is the beauty of the Holy Spirit. He knows exactly what your spirit—your sixth sense—needs to go through to come into true surrender. The Holy Spirit has been walking with you and guiding you all the way to this point. He knows you intimately. He has traveled with you through every vile and evil thought you have ever had, and He has seen you in your most humble and righteous moments as well. He has been with you every step of the way, and He knows exactly how deeply rooted your pride, arrogance, lust, bitterness, anger, gluttony, or your ______ really is.

The beauty of prayer allows us to completely surrender to what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to us. I will suggest that if you aren’t getting answers to prayer, then there is a strong chance you are not regularly setting aside time to read the Word of God. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Scriptures! If you are reading the word and not getting answers, then that is another blog. Hope to see you all Sunday as we continue to discover all that the Holy Spirit has in store for our lives!

Series Preview: Understanding Your Sixth Sense

By Don Gentry


A deep, satisfying, intimate walk with the one true God is available to all mankind. Yet the key is understanding your Sixth Sense. Like all our senses we can be deceived. Through this series, we are going to uncover some key thoughts and beliefs that may be keeping you from what you are searching or longing for.

The truth is that we neglect the power of the Holy Spirit. We misunderstand the person of the Holy Spirit. Within the church, denominations fight over who they think the Holy Spirit is and what He does. When we understand the role of our Sixth Sense and the Holy Spirit we will see our relationship with God change as well as our relationship with others.

If you have been a part of the church for very long, you will know that there nothing like a good debate about the Holy Spirit. The reason we argue over the Holy Spirit is because of dogmatic doctrinal beliefs backed by poor theology. What we are going to be discussing is a better theological belief system. If our theology was better, then some of our arguments will be much less divisive.

Because of our misunderstandings, our blatant hypocrisies, our genuine intentions, and our finite minds, we are all on a journey to understand the essence of the supernatural. Our Sixth Sense has been given to us that we may understand the many supernatural influences with which we must interact, and the Holy Spirit has been given to us to guide us to the truth. The outcome of our journey is dictated by how we respond to the supernatural prompting of the Sixth Sense.

We pray that by the end of this series you will be better prepared on how to properly relate, be guided by, and keep your Sixth Sense from being deceived. Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday!

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 | 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!