My Fracture Story | The Pain of a Secret Sin

By Don Gentry


It Started Small

I was eleven years old, attending my first Boy Scout overnight camp experience.  My friend & I were up in the woods playing during our free time.  We were on top of a hill underneath a pine tree.  It was there I was very innocently exposed to my first “girlie magazine”.

What I didn’t know at the time was the world of shame and guilt that day was going to usher me into.

With what I know now, I thank God I was raised in an era where we didn’t have the Internet.  From the age of 11 to 21, I had to be very sneaky and intentional if I was going to find any explicit material.  It was during this time of growth and spiritual maturing that I would enter into cycles of temptation, permissive behavior, self-loathing and debasement, purity, promises, and the cycle goes on.

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Message Follow Up | Fracture: Part 2 – Personal Choices

Fracture – Finding Hope in the Pain: Part 2 – Personal Choices from Journey Church on Vimeo.


By Don Gentry


As a follower of Christ you may have heard leaders and other Christians use the phrase “God spoke to me.”  If you are like many people that phrase can create questions and doubts.  I know it creates questions because I have used the phrase many times in my preaching.  I inevitably hear the questions and often times see the skepticism on peoples faces.

What does it really mean to hear God speak to us?

I cannot speak for everyone that uses that phrase, but I can explain what I mean.  When I say God spoke to me, I am referring to a time when God clearly downloaded a message in my mind and in my spirit.  It is always in alignment with the scriptures. I never receive a message that is contrary to His nature.

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Weekend Preview | Fracture: Part 2 – Personal Choices

By Chris Denning


 

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Your choices matter.

That truth is taught to us in most of our lives.  Even from a very young age, parents will teach their kids that their choices can dictate the quality and direction of their lives.

  • You touch a hot stove, you’ll get burned.

  • Get good grades, you’ll be rewarded.

  • Be kind to others, you’re often treated kind in return.

Understanding the power of our personal choices isn’t so much about learning how to get what you want as it is about knowing how your actions dictate the quality and direction of your life.  However, we don’t always make the best choices.

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Calculated Risk vs. Fear-Based Decisions – Part 2

By Don Gentry


Getting Back on the Horse

In Part 1, I told you the story about my daughter and I being thrown from a horse, and the decision we had to make in response.  However, this wasn’t the end of the story . . .

After checking the horse, the saddle, and taking a ride myself, I decide to continue the ride.  I then decided to try to convince those around me that it was safe to continue riding. It took some convincing of others present but we continued on with our day.

You might be asking yourself: Why do I tell you this?

Our children are going to have fears.

You are going to have fears.

Government systems throughout history have used scare tactics and fear based rhetoric to sway people groups for years.  Parents often motivate their children through fear. We create rules of safety to help assure ourselves that if our kids follow the rules it will create an environment of safety and control!

We have the opportunity as parents to help our children overcome their fears. We will never do that if we feed and give into our fears, which in turn often project onto our children.

Take the Risk

As a pastor I have had the opportunity to observe many parenting styles. What I have found is that parents who help their children ask questions of legitimacy and reality of their fears, help their children become far more adjusted in life.

I like to call this the “Calculated Risk Parenting Style.”  I am sure some of you would not be comfortable with my personal calculated risks. I’m ok with that; however, I want to challenge you to see that when we live a life of fear based decision-making, we limit what God can do in our lives and especially what God can do in the lives of our children.

The Bible is full of stories of people responding in fear and missing out on the incredible blessings of God.  On many occasions they not only missed his blessings but they also incurred his wrath. Why?

When we respond in fear we eliminate faith.

I’m not trying to tell you that you need to put your kids on horseback.  What I’m trying to ask is, “Do you live a life of fear?”

Take an honest evaluation of yourself:  Have you made decisions based on fear or calculated risks?

If we are truly honest with ourselves, safety and control are simply illusions. Anything can happen in life, but we go to great lengths to make ourselves feel better, thinking that we have covered as many scenarios as possible.

As a parent or guardian, I challenge you to identify your own fears first, then help your child identify their fears.  Create a plan and then create opportunities to establish how you are going to learn to make decisions without being controlled by fear.

Conclusion

Let’s choose to be intentional about helping our child make decisions based on faith, trust, and calculated risks, rather than illusion, safety, fear, and control.  God’s love, God’s word, & God’s fame would never have been and will cease to be proclaimed if people live in fear.

If you take anything away from these posts, it’s this:

Choose to make decisions with faith and boldness!

(2 Timothy 1:7; I John 4:18; Joshua 1:6-9)

Calculated Risk vs. Fear-Based Decisions – Part 1

By Don Gentry


A Man, His Daughter, & A Horse

My daughter was seven years old and we were at a friend’s house on vacation. They had two horses that were great with kids and we were excited about taking our children horseback riding.

Moments into mounting the horse, the horse began to buck violently. I was holding on to my daughter while we were being tossed too and fro while hearing the owner say his horse has never responded this way.

When I heard him say this, I knew that the saddle was not on correctly because I could feel it slipping beneath me. (I have ridden horses for several years, and while I am not a professional I am certainly not a novice.)

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