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 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!
By Don Gentry
Secret Ingredient to True Manhood!
Have you always wanted women to look at you and think, “Wow, there goes a real man!”? Then you don’t want to miss Sunday!
If you want to know how to be a man then join us Sunday at either 9 or 11. We are going to be revealing the “one” ingredient to true manhood. It will only take about a hour and half of your time, but the payoff will be ridiculous! Your life will never be the same!
If you incorporate this one supplement into your life it is going to rock your world. Your wife and all those special people in your life are going to wonder “Who is this man?” I am so excited to share this ancient secret with you! It is such a powerful remedy to all your relationships that it has been banned in the 10/40 window. People literally meet underground to get this information. But it is yours for free!
I don’t know how long I will be able to continue to offer this information free of charge, or worse, how long it will be before I am banned from sharing this life changing, relationship enhancing formula. Please don’t miss this special offer! Hurry out to Journey Church at 15711 Brookway Drive, Sunday morning, July 2nd at either 9 am or 11 am. Get there early seating is limited. We even have child care services in case you need it. Most importantly prepare to have your life changed forever!
Can’t wait to see you Sunday!
By Don Gentry
What do you think about self-driving cars? What about Nano-technology? What about Transhumanism? What about AI? What about IOT? What about bio-ethics? Why do I even ask?
I love science and I believe Christ followers need to be leading the way in all the above listed technological advances. I would bore you to death if I talked about each of them, but let me just talk about IOT. Better known as Internet of Things. If you don’t know what it is then you better start studying it because it is changing the world you live in. You think our world is digitized now, according to a business insider they are predicting that by 2020 there will be 24 billion IOT devices on the face of the earth. 4 devices per human being. 24,000,000,000 devices.
The question is, does it matter to the average follower and or should it matter? Self-driving cars are all driven by IOT. Insurance premiums and risk management are going to be driven by your web bed searches and health habits that you willingly up load on your personal devices that are constantly monitoring your activity levels and even your sexual activity. Let’s not mention the new web based information that is mandatory for the medical community to upload and share with one another. Those key tags you scan to get the sales at the grocery store, yeah, they are tracking your monthly cycles.
Do you care yet? How about AI (Artificial intelligence)? Should we be doing research and creating computer devices that can think and interact with humans at an emotional or even sexual level?
I hope you now have IOT on your radar. If Christ followers don’t start researching and engaging in discussions on what are the practical and ethical implications of these discoveries we are going to have an interesting society.
Here is my formula for engaging in all things science related. My faith informs my science, but for many people, including Christians, their science informs their faith. I obviously think my bias is correct, but it doesn’t really matter what I think. When we engage in discussion we just need to know our own biases. Whether you want a bias or not, you have one.
I believe we can be very relevant and engage in cutting edge technology and discovery, and still have the bias of faith informing science; however, many in the western church would disagree with me. My challenge to you is for you decide what you think. What is your bias?
We live in a world that is changing before our eyes because of computer science. I haven’t heard many, if any, Christians discussing articulately or intelligently how our faith should influence these incredible inventions. Let’s be on the cutting edge of discussion. Inform yourself as to your bias, inform yourself on the different scientific topics, and then engage in discussion.
I hope you find tension as you answer does your faith inform your science or does your science inform your faith. Because, as Matt says, “the power lies in the tension!” Love you all and hope to see you Sunday!
By Don Gentry
Have you ever wondered if you were a Christian? Have you ever wondered if someone else was “really” a Christian? Have you ever wondered if the church has any real Christians in it? Let me suggest if you have ever had one of those questions then you are completely normal. Here is why. You are doubting the human element of following Christ. This human element is really what we have been addressing in this series.
We need to identify that God uses fallen people and that it isn’t about being a perfect Christian but it is about being an authentic follower. This coming Sunday we are talking about how surrender in God’s kingdom doesn’t create captivity it actually creates freedom. We are going to be discussing four primary areas that we struggle to surrender to God.
I know in my own life I have had three very significant experiences of true surrender to God. One was with my goals as a collegiate athlete, another was when I was a Junior in college and had an un-submissive approach to following God, and then the other was when I truly surrendered my desire to get married. What I came to realize in my late teen and early twenties is that surrendering to God doesn’t always yield our desired results, it yields results with God showing up in our lives in amazing ways. There is usually a battle of the wills, but God is always patiently faithful.
One of my many favorite passages is James 4:13-17 (NIV2011).
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
God got a hold of me at a very young age and revealed to me that His will was always the better way and that my life is but a temporary blip on screen of eternity. I learned that I wanted to live in God’s will for my life. But what about you? I hope you come out on Sunday and hear about the struggle that often ensues as we learn what surrender really looks life in the life of a follower of Christ.