Weekend Preview | Ideal Family Part 2: The Ideal Dad

By David McNeely

Get ready for the greatest sermon ever preached on being a Dad. It will be your one stop shop where you and your sons will be fully equipped with everything necessary for being a godly father. If you put into practice everything we talk about then you will not sin anymore, your children will be fully equipped for everything, and your family line will win the world for Christ by 2041…

Why are you laughing?

Of course this is a ridiculous statement and is given, by design, to make a point. My guess is, you would do just about anything you could to be a better spouse to your wife/husband. I’d be willing to bet the farm the same is true of being a better parent.

There are two equally dangerous extremes to keep in mind as we head into this “Ideal” series. One extreme is believing that all of it is attainable. We do this when we try to put everything into practice from all of the resources we have at our disposal. Books about family, blogs, videos, conferences, retreats, curriculums, and the like are in abundance these days.

On Thursday, April 07, 2016 (my twins’ 13th birthday) the Christian Book Distributors website listed 59,916 resources on the subject of “Family.” Let that sink in. Granted, some of them are key chains, sweatshirts, travel mugs, and picture frames, but there are over 24,000 books alone targeting family related subject matter!

The danger with access to such an abundance of resources is to try and put it all into practice. I love the fact that we live in a time where so much help is available to us in our parenting and in our spousing (did I just make up a word? Spell check tried to change it to espousing but that doesn’t work). A down side to having all of these resources is that we tend to let the professionals tell us what is supposed to work for us.

The other equally dangerous extreme is believing that none of it is possible. We do this when we become so overwhelmed that we quit. Why begin what could never be finished or perfected?

If you hear nothing else please hear me and bank on this: The Holy Spirit is alive and well. He is not short on resources. The Holy Spirit has not run out of ideas. The Holy Spirit knows how you and your kids are wired. The Father is far more interested in conforming you, your spouse, and your children into the image of the Son; and the Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you in all things. The Holy Spirit will empower you. He will convict you. He will comfort you. You cannot do all these things. But Paul reminds us, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

So listen this Sunday at Journey. But don’t listen to a man. Listen to the Spirit. Hopefully the Spirit has spoken to the man about what to say. Ideally, the Spirit will empower the man to say it. But listen for the voice of the Shepherd.

He has a perfect track record as a dad.

Oh, and go buy a Dad, Be Strong and Courageous Travel Mug for the old man. Then he’ll know you really care.

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.

Continue reading

Weekend Preview | Fracture: Part 2 – Personal Choices

By Chris Denning


 

Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify

 


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.

Continue reading

My Fracture Story | The One Decision That Changed My Life

By Chris Denning


A few weeks ago, Matt, Don, Zack and I were brainstorming about how we could create a few posts for this month centered around our series, Fracture: Finding Hope in the Pain.

We wanted to do something that would be encouraging to read, but also help whoever read them better understand what a fracture is in our stories.  We decided to take a chance and take a moment to share a bit of our own stories.  

Over the next few weeks, you’re going to get to read a story from each of us about how we experienced a fracture in our story, how it impacted us, and how we ended up responding.

These stories are pretty honest and raw, and our hope is that you will see that if you’re going through a fracture right now, you’re not alone.  This isn’t the end.  There is hope.  We’ve found an absolute Hope in our pain, and we know that you can too.


Continue reading

Weekend Preview | Fracture: Part 1 – Fracture Stories

By Chris Denning


 

Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify


Stories are absolutely everywhere.  Any movie you’ve seen, any book you’ve read, any show you’ve watched; they are all filled with stories.

Stories motivate us, they drive us to be more, they help us heal, and even teach us how to live our lives.  Jesus knew all this, which is why he used mini-stories, called Parables, to teach his disciples and those who could hear about His ideals for life.

While stories vary in quality or size, one fact remains true:

Everybody has a story.

Good.  Bad.  Big.  Small.  Funny.  Tragic.

We all have a story.

For some people, our story is one we try to remember often, considering fond memories and days gone by.

For others, their story is one they’d rather forget ever happened, because the damage is deep and wide in their hearts.

Our stories are dictated and molded by the choices we make and the circumstances in which we reside.  Some things we have control over, and others we do not, which is probably what makes it hard to come to grips with our stories sometimes.

In this series, Fracture: Finding Hope in the Pain, we’re going to directly address how to better understand our stories, in light of our choices, circumstances, and in the context of the greater story of God.

If you’re reading this and you know yours is one of those stories riddled with pain, I want to speak just to you for a minute:

I know its hard.  I know it hurts.  I know its dark.  And I know there seems to be no light ahead.

I’ve been there.  And the good news is that this is not your ending.  This is where you are on your way to what’s next.

You are worth the struggle.  You are worth the fight.  You are worth the hope that Jesus died on the cross to bring you.  

Over the next few weeks at Journey, we want to walk beside you as you begin to find that very hope.  We want to help, because we have already seen the absolute Hope you’re desperate for.  And it is good, and it is real.

Take a chance and come to Journey over the next few weeks, or watch these messages online.  Take this one small step.  I believe that God will meet you in your step of faith.

I’m praying for you right now.  I’m praying for your hurt, your pain, your depression, your sting, your guilt, your numbness, all of it.  I’m praying you gather the courage to take this step, and watch what God does with it.

We love you, God loves you, and I promise, you can find hope in your pain. 


Join us this weekend at 9 or 11am

(Click for Directions)

or Online at TheJourneyOnline.tv at 11am