John 4:19-26

"Sir," the woman said, "you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?"

Jesus replied, "Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on the tis mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming-indeed it's here now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming-the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Then Jesus told her, "I AM the Messiah!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are You A Liar?

I get so little free time these days. I have to be very intentional how I spend my time. As someone who is in ministry full time, I've realized how my time can be usurped by people, tasks and meetings with people about tasks! So, lately, I've really tried to trim down what it is that I do for personal time. Like everyone, I have a few shows that I DVR, and God knows that I'm twitching with anticipation for LOST to come back on! (along with half the world!) And, of course, I love spending time with my family, and will do that EVERY chance I get. But there are times when I'm in the car, or by myself with a few minutes to spare, and I have recently decided to be intentional with that time, as well. Not just flailing around, waiting to wonder into something fun or interesting to do.

SO, I've been downloading some podcasts of some of my favorite teachers of the Word. John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Mark Batterson, and probably my favorite.... Matt Chandler. If you are someone like me, who likes to be challenged in your thinking, you should look these guys up. Especially Piper and Chandler. So, this morning, on my way to work, I was listening to a talk by Chandler when I had my face kicked in by the Holy spirit, convicting me of what I was hearing Matt say. Cliff's notes: 1 John 1:6-10 basically says that when the Holy Spirit convicts us of some sin our lives, and we do not repent and ask forgiveness for the wickedness that is in our heart, then we are walking in darkness and we cannot, therefore, claim to be in Him. And if we do not repent, and claim that we ARE in Him, we are calling Him a LIAR!

SMACK! Gitcha some of that! And here's what I've realized. It's not enough to say you grew up in church and that you're a moraly upright, good person. If you don't recognize that you are a human, prone to sin, and will continue to sin until you die, and HAVE to repent continuously and confess that our hearts are wicked by nature and will cause us to stumble, then you are a moraly sound, good, upright LIAR. Don't feel bad.... we've all been there.

The good news: John tells us, just as every follower of Jesus has, that by coming to the realization that we're broken, and in need of a Saviour, we CAN walk in the light. We can know Him and fellowship with Him and be loved and forgiven by Him. But it's not enough to say some prayer and think that everything's good from that point on. Salvation is about a trasformation of the heart. A continuous process. Ezekiel 36 gives us God's promis of that transformation. And we need to know that repentance and confession is not something that we did, rather it's something that we DO.

Are you a Liar?


On a side note, Matt Chandler recently woke up one day, a few weeks ago, and had a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital and found that he had a tumor on his brain. He was scheduled for surgery and has since had that surgery. He is doing well and hopes to make a full recovery, but he may not. And he is a huge voice in the ministry. But if you want to see what true humility and a life that lives for Jesus Christ really looks like, go here and read the blog he posted, just hours before his surgery. Matt's Blog Before Surgery

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What If Facebook was a church?

So, I'm constantly bombarded with technology in my job. As most of you all know, I'm the creative arts director/worship leader for our church, The Journey. And because we are constantly trying to find new and innovative ways to present the Gospel of Jesus, we are always trying to keep what we do culturally relevant. Now don't here me say that we are only about presenting a show. Cause we're not. If we didn't have stage lights, projectors, live bands, creative short films, or any other piece of technology... the Gospel of Jesus would still be preached, and we would still (as one of my best friends and our lead pastor, Erik Reed, says...) still charge the gates of Hell with a water pistol!

But why should we? Why should we be stuck in our ways and not be cognizant of the technology available to us (the church). Jesus said to be in the world... not of it. So what does that mean? Does that mean that since we are the church, we should remove ourselves from society? Absolutely not. Think about this.... if God is good, and He created all things for good, Genesis 1, then it stands to reason that the entire world, and everything in it, was created and meant for good. Or.... God is a big fat LIAR! And I don't think anyone is going to go there.

So, because of our sinful nature, we then corrupt that, which was meant for good, and deem it unusable by the church, because it's "Of this world". That's gotta be the biggest bunch of bull crap I've ever heard! Are you serious? Matthew 15:9 says this: "They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." We make up these rules that say, we cannot use this or that for the church because its "of" the world. That is a rule and a tradition that we should evaluate by a closely. And traditions aren't always a bad thing. Even the apostle Paul points this out in his letter to the church in Thessolonica. But when they become the difference between the lost hearing the Gospel, and not hearing the Gospel, they cannot be allowed.

So, back to the original question and the title of this post. What if Facebook were a church? I would say to some extent, it is a church of sorts. It is a large community of people interacting, sharing life, standing up for causes, and connecting to new and unknown people. Sounds like a church, doesn't it? Except for one thing. There is no actual human interaction. (oh, and the point is not to propagate the message of Jesus) And the problem is... people are more concerned about updating their facebook status, than they are about their neighbor, or their father, or their friends, or their children spending an eternity in Hell, separated from the love and grace of the God of the universe, who loves them and created them. But yet, those of you who call yourselves Christ followers, and have facebook accounts, have one of the greatest social networking tools that the world has ever given us. The question then becomes, what will you do with what you've been given? Will you use it to REALLY connect with people, and find out how you can physically minister to them? Will you invite your network to come to church with you sunday? Will you use that, which is "of " the world, to help spread the only message of TRUE hope that can change a person's eternity? Or will you just see how many people you can be "friends" with, or how many followers you can get on twitter?

Tough questions. I hope they truly weigh on you.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Busy week

Hello everyone. Happy Tuesday.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a great one. My mom came in from Pittsburgh to visit her new granddaughter. Of course, she loved her!! Tiffany and Hadyn are doing great. Thank you all for your gifts, visits, and of course, all the food!! Cason had a big time trick-or-treating this year. He's almost 4, so putting on his costume and running around the neighborhood getting free candy was like the pinnacle of his life so far! And we had an amazing week at The Journey. If you've missed it, you can go watch the video here, as well as any of our other sermon series.

So, in my last post, I told you all some things that I learned during my short sabbatical from leading worship, as some of our other worship leaders had the chance to step up and lead. I'll say it again... I'm very proud of them and I'm looking forward to putting them into a rotation to be able to do that regularly. This week... lot's of meetings. I'll be meeting with a literary agency to discuss them representing me as an author! I'm one step closer to getting the book published. Please keep praying for me. I'm also going to be meeting with several of my leaders on the worship team to just creatively plan out the rest of the year, throughout the week. And then, because God is sovereign and just plain ol' awesome!!!!!, I'm going to be meeting with several new musicians that have been coming to the church for awhile. They are eager to get plugged in, and I'm eager to get them involved.

Which leads me to the meat of this post: If you don't already read his blog, please click here and go visit Pastor Erik's blog from Monday. At the Journey, we have always been of the mindset that we pray to see a Jesus movement in our time. And more specifically, one that starts in our area and permeates the rest of the world. This is not something that is a fly-by-night fantasy. This is something that could be a reality. Are you sick and tired of turning on the news and hearing about how bad the world is? Are you tired of hearing people argue over who should run health care? Are you tired of just going to church and consuming, or not even going to church, but longing to be a part of something that could ACTUALLY change the face of humanity? Do you struggle to find out where you belong and what life is about? Well then you want what we want. We want the God of the universe to be known. We want the name of Jesus to be the name that people run to when they hurt, when they feel alone, when they celebrate, when they search for their meaning. You want to change the world? You want to fix poverty and health care? You want to see people's lives radically changed? You want to find meaning? Then come be a part of something that actually has the power to do these things: The local church. It is the only institution in the whole world that brings the only true message of hope to a hurting and broken world. You don't have to be a member of the Journey, just be a member of a good church. One that preaches the gospel of Jesus. One that speaks of repentance and redemption and grace. One that teaches the word of God, His scriptures. Do that, and give your life to Him.... and watch what happens!

Love you all,


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Back from sabbatical

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven't posted in a few weeks. Been kinda busy!

So, as most of you know... I'm a new father again! Baby Hadyn was born last week. She's healthy, beautiful, and the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I'm already wrapped. And I knew this would happen. It's why I didn't want a little girl! LOL. Now I have two women that I'm hopelessly in love with! Cason is loving being a big brother. He thinks he's really cool now. Tiffany is doing well, except for she's about to go crazy sitting at home.

If you come to the Journey, you know that I have taken the last three weeks off from leading worship. Nothing's wrong! Just took a break. And it was good for me. I have some extremely talented people on my worship team and I've been working with them for awhile now, helping to prepare them for stepping into leadership roles here at church. As we continue to plant campuses and add services, I won't be able to be there at everything. It's going to require that other leaders step up and lead. I want to say a big congrats to Molly MacNiel, Miranda Allen, and Philip Organ. They have been working really hard and preparing themselves to move into worship leader roles here. They are the three that led these past weeks. They did an incredible job, and I heard nothing but great things about all of them. I'm very excited to know that God has blessed us with these people and their talents. I look forward to putting them into a regular rotation of leading worship. And I know they are excited to be stepping up!

Some things that I learned while taking a break:
1. Everyone needs to take a break. No matter how much you love what you do, you need a break.
2. If you prepare well, and trust those you give leadership to, they will excel when they have the opportunity to lead.
3. If you pray for God to bring you leaders, and He does, you better use them.
4. The world won't fall apart if you aren't the one who is leading at that moment, but rather, your leadership is increased by empowering other leaders.
5. Allowing other leaders to lead gives them the opportunity to taste that vision you've been telling them about, rather than just hear about it.
6. Once they've tasted that vision, their resolve is strengthened even more for the mission of the team.
7. And lastly but certainly not least.... When you have a new baby, and your friends bring you food for a week, and your family stays with you to help out with housework and things like that, you really see how blessed you are. Thank you soooo much to everyone who has been there for me and Tiffany. We love you all very much and thank God for all of you.

Finally, I know a lot of you have been praying for my book endeavor. Just a little update.... I have a couple agencies who have contacted me, wanting to represent me as an author. Please keep praying for me as I make this decision as to who to sign with. I'm very excited and know that it's going to take a lot of hard work to get this book out, but with your prayers and a good agency, I know that it is going to be successful. I can't wait until it's on the shelves and you can read it for yourselves.

Love you all,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What would you do?

So... this weekend, we had the Cornhole Tournament at the Journey. It was really cool and we had a bunch of Cumberland University students come by (which was the intention behind the whole event!) and we gave away a $500 first prize for the winning team. All in all, it was a big success.

So, I carry a blackberry. Have to... for work. My wife hates it, but that's another story. But, I love my blackberry. I can get instant emails, text my friends, look up things on the internet.... it's literally like having my laptop in my pocket. And Saturday, during the cornhole tournament, I got the best email I've gotten in quite awhile.

As you all know, I have been trying to get the book that I've written published. Right now, I'm in the "find an agent" stage. So, I've been sending out proposals to agencies and blah blah bah.... you know how it goes. Well, Saturday, I got an email from a really good agency informing me that they were completely hooked on the story and the sample chapters I had sent them. Now, they want the entire manuscript! So, naturally, I fell all over myself trying to get to the computer to send it back to them! LOL.

Anyway, I've always believed that since I started writing this book, that it was going to be successful. But in order to make that happen, I'm going to have to put a lot of energy into it. When you send a book proposal, one of the first things they want to know is.... what are you going to do to ensure the success of the novel? Well, the obvious answer is.... Whatever it takes! Right? Yeah. But what is "whatever it takes". Many publishers are willing to put money behind a good book. But few of them are willing to put money behind anything if the author doesn't have a marketing plan.

So here's the question. You've written a novel that you believe in with all your heart and soul. What are some of the things you would do to promote it? I'd really really love your input. Please leave a comment and a suggestion. Who knows you may be responsible for the greatest marketing idea to come about in 40 years! (and I'll even give you credit for it!)

Have a blessed day.


Monday, September 21, 2009


Well, I'm going to cheat this week. I posted a blog for our praise team about this and liked it so much... that I'm using it here too. So, I hope you enjoy.

Rain... what can you say about it? We've certainly had a lot of it lately. I sit around when it's raining and think.... really? God, couldn't you just give us a nice sunny day? Couldn't we just not have to walk around and get drenched? Would it be too much to ask for a little bit of Sun?

This morning I was sulking, thinking about how much I hate the rain. Then I opened my bible randomly to Dueteronomy. I do this from time to time, when I'm not doing a book study. So, I'm grumbling about how it's pouring outside.... AGAIN! and I'm really starting to question whether or not I need to build another Ark. And then I see this:Dueteronomy 28:12.

So often we take the things of this world for granted. We dismiss the smallest of things and make big deals out of others. But more often than not, we forget that God uses ALL things for His glory. We sit around and ask God to bless us and our efforts, and in the midst of a blessing, we pass right over it. Today I was taught a valuable lesson and I was reminded of another passage of scripture. In Isaiah, God tells us that His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts.

We need to remember this. Cause if we don't, we are going to possibly miss out on something that God is doing, something that directly affects us. We may be missing out on receiving that which we have been praying for. And in the future, maybe I'm not going to be so bummed out when it rains!

Tell me your thoughts.

Here are the songs from the Catalyst service yesterday.

"Open Up the Gates (King Of Heaven)" Planetshakers, "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble" Hillsong, "Glory To God" Fee, "The More I Seek You" Gateway Worship

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Rarely do I ever re-direct someone from this blog to another for the purposes of explaining this blog! Actually, I don't think I've ever done it. I have directed you to other blogs for the purpose of just reading a great insight from someone else, but not the former. Today I'm going to do that.

Yesterday, my wife (who is expecting our second child) got out of bed and made a nasty face and grimaced, while holding her belly. Yeah! My thoughts too!... Uh oh! The next words out of her mouth kinda made me feel a little bit frightened. She said that she felt like she was having contractions and she was nauseous. Not good, cause that would mean baby Haydn would be coming 4 weeks early! Now, you all have to understand, with Cason (my son) she had the picture perfect pregnancy. No sickness, no tiredness, no nausea, etc. My wife is a runner, and she actually continued to run 3 miles a day almost into her eighth month last time! This one, however, has been different. Immediately I found myself talking to God, saying, "Please God, just take care of her and the baby. Whatever happens, just take care of them, please." Long story short, we went to the doctor and they said, nothing to worry about. Just some Braxton/Hicks contractions and that it was normal.

Usually on Mondays, I post this blog and one other, our worship team blog. The worship team blog is a tool that we use, as a team, to stay in the Word and hold each other accountable throughout the week for being in the scriptures. Since I spent the entire morning at the doctor's with my wife, I wasn't able to post that blog. I asked one of my leaders on the worship team to post for me. Philip, the guy I'm talking about here, is an awesome guy. Very selfless, always there with an encouraging word, and is willing to serve whenever/wherever. So, I asked him if he would do the post instead of me. And I told him to post whatever God put on his heart. Given what I just told you... he said, "Yeah! No worries!"

So when I got back to the house, I jumped online to see what he posted about. As you will see, he posted about something that is... well, should be... one of the most practiced things we do, as Christ followers. It really got some good conversations going through the comments. (this is how we communicate with each other about our thoughts on the post throughout the week) And it got me to thinking. We throw around the word "prayer" a lot in this world. But do we know what prayer really is? Do we know how we are to pray? (there actually is a template lain out in the Bible for us, by Jesus) Do we know what to pray for? And what are the possibilities of prayer in our world? This truly is a great conversation that I would invite all of you to join us in. If you would, click on the link HERE, and read Philip's post. Then, check out the comments that have been left by our team. If you would like to post a thought, please do. We would welcome your input. You will need to have a google account in order to post a comment, but that's as easy as going HERE and signing up for one. It's free and completely secure. I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts!


Here are the songs from the last two Catalyst services, since I didn't post last week due to the Holiday.

"Let God Arise" & "Sing Sing Sing" Christ Tomlin, "Come Now Is the Time To Worship" Pick an artist! there's like 100 to choose from!, "Saviour King" Hillsong, "From the Inside Out" Kristian Stanfill, "We Shine" & "All Because of Jesus" Fee, "Agnus Dei" & "Love Song" Third Day, "Let Me Sing" Todd Fields,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The dictionary defines "Movement" as a noun, meaning a series of actions or activities intended or tending toward a particular end.

Now, that's just one of about 14 definitions it gives, but they are all similar in content, basically meaning the same thing. When we talk about "movement", we usually mean one of two things. 1: motion: the act of moving or 2: a cause. An example of number two would be the Civil Rights Movement.

As human beings we are always drawn towards something, some cause, something that stirs within our soul that compels us to take a stand on an issue and, for most of us, to act on that impulse. You see, we were designed to be drawn towards things like this. God has birthed certain wants and desires within our souls. The problem is, often times, those things are the desires of God, but we fail to see His role in them and the significance that they were intended for our lives.

Right now, our country is up in arms about the health care movement. I would think, unless you are just a stubborn, hard-headed mule, that everyone would agree that, though we may have the greatest health care system in the world, it has problems and needs to be fixed. I don't think there is any argument about this. The argument comes when we try to decide how to fix it. But the TRUE problem is, no one is looking at it from how God sees it. Listen, I'm not here to debate the role of health care in our world. This is just one of many examples. The problem lies deeper than health care, or any other issue like this in our world.

At the end of the day it comes down to one thing. The Church has removed itself from many of the roles that God intended us to serve. Do you know that up until just a couple hundred years ago, the Church was the trend-setter in the world? That the Church defined culture? Now, it seems like there is such a disdain for the Church in our world that more and more we are removing God from everything. Why is that? Here's a thought: Over the last two hundred years, the Church has been more about telling people what they can't and shouldn't do, instead of telling people about the love and hope of Jesus. And rather than love people, regardless of their circumstances, we have chosen to put up this imaginary wall around an imaginary city that we call Christianity. It has a big, huge moat around it, and you would think that it has fire-breathing dragons and man-eating crocodiles live in the moat. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in CA. made one of the most brilliant statements I've ever heard about the church. He said this: "The Church has NEVER been persecuted for its righteousness. The problem is, instead of being the hands and feet of the body of Christ, doing the work of the church, we've become one big MOUTH! And people are tired of hearing it!"

What I've noticed though, is there is a group of people who are tired of seeing this world go to hell in a hand basket. They understand that we were created for more. They understand that there is a movement that is taking place around the world, one unlike any movement that has taken place since the time of the disciples. I believe that God is raising up a generation of people who are not concerned with legalistic religion. Rather, they are desperate for a relationship with the Living God, a relationship that we were born to desire. They are concerned about the things that God is concerned with. They are seeing the world through God's eyes and they are about his purposes. This movement is what we at the Journey call, "The Jesus Movement". And we're seeing it take place before our eyes. We are seeing people's lives transformed. And we're seeing these people start to take action and begin to be the hands and feet of the body of Christ. You want to see things like health care, poverty, and brokenness get fixed.... then we must be the Church that Jesus created us to be. The Church that He gave His life for. We gotta stop running our mouths about all the things we're against, and start telling people what we're for! We can't change someone's situation. We can't transform anyone's life. Only He can. And when we fully understand that we, the Church, carry the ONLY message of true hope and change, then and only then can we fuel the movement of Jesus.


Songs from Sunday's Catalyst service:

My Glorious (Delirious), Filled With Your Glory (Starfield), Not To Us (Todd Fields), I Stand Amazed (Kristian Stanfill), Give Us Clean Hands (Chris Tomlin), Salvation Is Here (Hillsong)

Monday, August 24, 2009


Ok, so today, I'm not going to go into something deep. I'm going to talk about something that is very dear to my heart.... FOOTBALL! But first... I want to say thanks to everyone who has helped to get the new "Sex" series ready at The Journey. Yesterday was the first week, and WOW! It was really awesome. We had a lot of new guests there. I hope that they will find a home with us, but more importantly, I hope that they encountered the Living God.

I can't remember when I've been so excited for football season to be here. It's been a long time. After living in nashville since '91, it's been up and down for me during football season. I moved here from just outside of Pittsburgh in a little town in West Virginia, just on the state line. Interestingly enough... I'm not a huge Steeler fan. I know... blasphemy! So, shoot me! But I am a WVU fan. And well, it's just been up and down. Because of that... I was bent on not giving into the pressure and donning the Big Orange. Last year, though, my boy Erik conned me into going to a game. We went to the Florida game. If you follow football, you know how that went. It was one of the most electric environments that I've ever been in. It was really exciting... for about the first three minutes of the game. LOL Anyway, I began to give in and realized that I have become a huge UT fan. With Kiffin taking over, I'm excited to see what happens. So Go UT!

But here's why I'm REALLLY excited. I told y'all that I'm not a huge Steeler fan. Long story that I won't go into, but as a kid, there were two teams to watch... the Niners and the Cowboys. If you know me, you know how badly I HATE the Cowboys! So, I'm a Niner fan. This year, I've TVO'd their pre-season games and I got to tell you.... not since the late 80's early 90's have they looked like this. They have (talking starters here) something like 8 takeaways on defense, they're killing QB's, they got a rookie RB (who I hate to admit is from Alabama), who is running up and down the field like he's playing against high school teams, and Alex Smith actually looks like an NFL quarter back. Shaun Hill is right behind him (looking as good or better) trying to win the starter job. It's the second year as head coach for Mike Singletary and this guy is coaching these guys like they just came off of a Superbowl win and they're trying to repeat. Could this be the year that the greatest team in NFL history begins a new dynasty?

Living in Tennessee, I'm still a big Titans fan too. So don't think I've given up on them. But they're in the AFC, so it's ok. You all know what they did last year. I'm hoping that they won't fall apart either. Who knows? Things could get absolutely retarded in the NFL and NCAA and we could see a Niner/Titans Superbowl, with UT winning the National Championship!........ It could happen!

Here's the songs from yesterday's Catalyst service:

Jesus Is Alive (Fee), Everybody Praise the Lord (Lincoln Brewster), Filled With Your Glory (Starfield), Help Me To Find You (Todd Fields), Word Of God Speak (Mercy Me), Everlasting God (Todd Fields)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Busy Week

Yesterday was an incredible day at The Journey. Once again, we had seven or eight people scheduled to be baptized, and God moved in a mighty way. I think we had something like Fourteen total. It was incredible.

Anyway, I'm constantly blown away by this church and the people that are involved in it. I've never been a part of a church where everyone in the church is crazy for what we're doing. I mean, if I had to guess, I'd say that over 70% of the people who come here, are involved in something. The servant to consumer ratio is astoundingly low! It just goes to show you: you don't have to be in ministry full time to do ministry! If you are someone who calls yourself a Christ follower, you are a minister! The bible says that... not me. Check it out. It's there... I promise!

So, next week starts a new series that Erik, Shawn, Todd and I have been putting together for quite awhile. It will probably be the most controversial series we've ever done at this church. It's called "Sex". And that's exactly what it's going to be about. We're not pulling punches, and we're not softening it to be "Churchy". This is going to be a hard-hitting, straight to the point series about sex in our culture and what the Bible says about it. If you don't have a home church, and you live in the Nashville area, you DO NOT want to miss this. I promise you... you've never heard anything like this in any church you've ever been to. Just FYI, though, this series is rated "MA", for mature audiences. If you have a young child or a young teen, there will be age appropriate teaching in the Navigators area for the next four weeks. (That's our kid's church). Parents, it will be up to you, whether or not you feel your child is old enough, and mature enough, to listen to the content. Don't panic! You won't see or hear anything pornographic. I don't want to scare anyone, but you will hear real life issues and very direct teaching. If you're not ready to have that "Talk" with your child yet, you may want to send them to the Navigators! Otherwise, your Sunday afternoon "Nascar Nap" is going to be replaced with, "Mommy, what did he mean when he said.... (fill in the blank)"!

If you are not someone who lives in the Nashville area, you will be able to watch the teachings online at our website. Or you can go to itunes and subscribe to our podcast. Just search Pastor Erik Reed, or The Journey Church-Lebanon Tn.

Look Forward to seeing you all there!


Here's the songs from yesterday's Catalyst service:

"Happy Day" Tim Hughes, "Reign In Us" Starfield, "With Everything" and "Lead Me To the Cross" Hillsong, "Lift High" Eddie Kirkland, "All Because of Jesus" Fee

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are You A Sheep?

I watched an interesting show this past week, called "The Shark Tank". If you don't know what that is, it is a show where young entrepreneurs, who have great ideas, or even small operational businesses, come into a room with 5 business tycoons worth a combined net worth of over a billion dollars. These young entrepreneurs try to pitch their idea or their business to these moguls in hopes of a partnership or an investment into their small start-up company.

In a nutshell, I loved this show. These poor people were getting sleighed by these business giants. They'd go in and offer them 10% of the company for a $500k investment, and the tycoons would come back with a counter of 51% for an investment of $1 million. Most people would say... wow! That's stupid. Why not just give them the $500 k and take 30 or 40% of the company? The answer is because these people didn't become billionaires by taking the safe route. Nor do they like to be pushed around. If they are going to invest the money into something that they believe in, they are going to make sure they have the controlling interest in the company, and they're going to make sure that the company has more than enough to float it until it can turn a profit.

I say all of that to say this. Leaders often times don't want to believe that they are lead-able, if that's even a real word. (If not it should be) These young entrepreneurs didn't want to hear from someone more powerful than them, that they had a great idea, but in order to make it what they wanted to make it, they would have to give up control over it. WOW! How many times have we had to face that. It hurts sometimes doesn't it?

Peter didn't want to allow Jesus to wash his feet, because he thought that it was beneath Jesus to have to do that. In another instance, Jesus was having dinner at a Pharisee's house, where there was an incident that took place involving some spilled perfume and a woman. The Pharisee quickly rebuked Jesus for his actions, thinking he knew far more, but Jesus quickly put him in his place. All throughout scripture we see that Jesus taught his disciples that in order to truly lead, you must first be a servant, but then, you must also allow yourself to be led or taught, when necessary. These young business minds, most of them, turned down the offer of a 51% controlled interest of their company out of selfishness and not wanting to be led. But they were standing in the presence of greatness, people who have done what it is that they sought to do. People who have made billions of dollars. Did you hear that.....? BILLIONS.

So why then are we selfish? Why do we fight against being led? Why do we think our way is the best way, when there are people who do what we are trying to do at a higher level than us. They've been successful in their area, but yet, we know it all... "Can't tell ME anything!"

This is something that as I grow as a leader, I'm wrestling with daily. I know that I have to surround myself with people who do what I do.... and do it at a higher level than I'm doing it right now. Cause they have knowledge that I probably don't have! I'm a sheep. Whether I want to admit it or not, I'm a sheep. Sometimes I get to be the lead sheep, but nevertheless, I'm still a sheep and I need people to lead me, so I can effectively lead people. What are you doing to allow yourself to be influenced, or led? Me.... I'm reading some good books, trying to build relationships with some guys who are doing what I do, and I'm trying to listen to the people that I do lead (WHOA! That's heresy!) so that I can become a better leader to them.



Monday, August 10, 2009

God Appiontments

Ever have a meeting set up and when you get there, it's like pulling teeth to get through it? I have. Hate them! But what about the meetings that are just kinda organic? They just happen... no one really set a specific time or day, you just run into someone and decide to have lunch? Or something like that? Yeah! Those are the best. Especially when they were directed by God.

I had one of those the other day. I call them God appointments. They are appointments that you may not have been aware you had, but God already put them on your calendar, so you gotta be there, whether you intended to be, or not! LOL.

Anyway, sunday at the Journey, Erik was talking about discipleship. Now, I know that everyone says......UGHHHH! and big flashing signs go off that say, "CHURCH WORD.... CHURCH WORD"! Yeah, discipleship is a church word, but it's not specific to church! As Erik talked about, we have been being discipled since we were born. I won't go into it. You can click here and watch for yourself.

In a nutshell, we cannot become more intimate with God until we decide to try and live our lives in an effort to mirror Christ. You have to continuously be on a journey, moving down the path. What I've come to understand is this: When you decide to move in the direction of being more like Him, He will set appointments for you, in order to grow you. Unfortunately, for some, they will dismiss those God appointments and remain standing still. My prayer for you is that you would move. That you would see your life as the testament of what Christ has done for you, and that you would live a life worthy of the Gospel that saved you in the first place! That you would recognize your God appointments and take advantage of them.

Love you all,


P.S. I know I didn't get to post last week. My family and I were out of town. So here are the songs from this and last week's catalyst service.

"Rain Down" Delirious, "He Reigns" Newsboys, "Reign In Us" Starfield, "Praise" me (sorry y'all. this is another original. I promise I'm trying to get them recorded), "Breathe On Me" Todd Fields, "Let The Praises Ring" Lincoln Brewster, "Behold" me again!, "O Praise Him" Crowder, "Every Body Praise the Lord" Lincoln Brewster.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too Good To Be True

We are a jaded society. If something comes along and it looks to good to be true, we usually dismiss it and move on because.... well, it's too good to be true.

I had an opportunity last week come my way, and it looked too good to be true. As most of you know, I am an aspiring author (along with all the other stuff I already do! LOL). But I have written a novel and am trying to get it published. I enjoyed writing it soooo much, that I've actually started on another one. I've found a passion that I never realized I had. I love to write. Now, I was a professional song writer for many years. I've been blessed and have had a few of my songs cut, and the excitement of that still lingers. But this is different. NO BOUNDARIES! Unlike song writing.

So anyway, a friend of mine tells me about this resource for new writers, where they can find agents, publishers, editors, and just about every thing else an aspiring writer needs to get up and running and be successful. Too good to be true.... right? Wrong!

After arguing with my self for a day about whether or not I'd be spinning my wheels, I put together a little proposal for my book. Not expecting to hear anything, or at least not anything for a few days or weeks, I hit "Send". I mean, I'm a nobody in this world. These guys are professional literary people. They deal with hugely successful authors. They're busy. Probably got a thousand manuscripts on their desks that they'll never even get around to looking at, right?

Fifteen minutes after I sent the email, I got my first response. So I open the email, fully expecting the automated response saying, "Thank you for your submission. Our office is currently not accepting new manuscripts, due to our full client base." Except, it didn't say that at all. Not only wasn't it a "auto-response", but it was a personal email, from the actual agent whose name is on the firm. The first line in the email was "Great Proposal!" They said they were very much intrigued and wanted me to send the entire book proposal as soon as I could. WOW! Needless to say, my head was spinning. So, instead of messing around for the rest of the day (this was my day off), I decided to start working on the full proposal. About ten minutes into it, I get three more emails, from three more agents, all saying the same thing: "We loved it, please send the proposal."

The point is, why do we just assume things are too good to be true? I think a lot of people think that about Jesus: He's too good to be true. If they only took the time to investigate His message, they would see that it IS good. Way better than anything we ever deserved.... but it IS true! How many people do you know that dismiss the hope of having a relationship with their Creator, only because they think it's "Too Good To Be True"? What can you do to convince them to investigate it? Are you condemning? Or do you love them, unconditionally and allow the love of Christ to show through you? Just some thoughts.

Love you all,


Here are the songs from yesterday's Catalyst service @ The Journey

"Salvation Is Here" Hillsong, "Glorious One" Fee, "How Great Thou Art" (public domain), "Saviour King" Hillsong, "Your Grace Is Enough" Chris Tomlin

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Mark of A Great Life

I went to a funeral yesterday for the grandmother of a great friend, Alex Perry. She passed away, after a long bout with cancer. Funerals are always sad, because they signify the end of a relationship, as we know it. And, they remind us of our own mortality. But they can also bring joy. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true. It all depends on the life you led.

First of all, I want to give Alex a huge compliment. They only asked a few members of the family to speak at the ceremony. Alex was one of them. Now, Alex doesn't speak in front of groups of people regularly, as it is. But there were probably close to four hundred people there. He did an awesome job, speaking on behalf of the family. He shared some personal stories of his grandmother, and I know there wasn't a dry eye in the entire building. So, Alex, great job, bud. I was praying for you, as were many others.

What made me smile, though, was the fact that this lady had led an extraordinary life. And you didn't have to hear anyone's stories to confirm that. All you had to do was look at the many people who were gathered there to remember her. There were people of all ages, each having their own story and memories of a woman who touched their lives in some way. Typically, when an elder person passes away, and you attend the funeral, you tend to see a lot of people in that age group, and then a few stragglers of different ages who are there, either as family, or just to support the family members. That wasn't the case here. Outside of myself and a few others who were there to support our friends who'd lost a love one, the majority of the 400 or so people who were there, knew her. And they loved her. And it spoke volumes about the life she had led. And they were of all ages, from teenagers to people older than she was.

The pastor who led the service was also a great friend of hers. And he reminded all of us that one day, we'd be sitting in a box, just like she was, and that there would be some pastor standing up there talking about us. The question that he asked was, "what will that pastor be able to say about you?" Did you live a life worthy of being remembered? Did you impact the lives of those you came in contact with the way she had?

Alex's grandmother was a devout Christ follower. Therefore, she spent her life trying to tell people about the hope that she carried. She never wasted an opportunity to share her faith with anyone. And the fact that she was a truly humble and generous person, allowed her to speak into the lives of those she came in contact with. I know that when she breathed her last, a few days ago, she saw the face of her saviour moments later. And I'm even more sure that she heard the words that we all hope to hear some day.... "Well done, My good and faithful servant. Come, My Father has prepared a place for you at His table."

We often live like we have forever. The reality is, we don't. Furthermore, we don't know how long we have. I know that's a buzz kill for some of you, but it's the reality of where we are. You could live to be 100, or you could die tomorrow. Are you living the life that you were created to live? When you go, will people say you lived a life worthy of being remembered? And will you find yourself living an eternity in the presence of your Creator? Or will you be found wanting, separated from God and eternal life?

Hard questions, for sure. But they are questions that, someday, we will all answer. I pray that your life will reflect the right ones. If you are someone who doesn't know, and I mean truly know, what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and you have questions, please contact me. You can send me a private email through our church website, if you like. Just click here, and you'll be able to contact me, or one of the other pastors, or elders, at the Journey. Any of us would welcome your inquiry. Or, if you are open to a conversation that you don't mind other people reading, just leave a comment. I'd love to have that conversation with you.

Blessings everyone.

Here are the songs from yesterday's catalyst service:

"God Is Alive" Fee, "Let Me Sing" Todd Fields, "Revelation Song" Gateway Worship, "How He Loves Us" Eddie Kirkland, "Salvation Is Here" Hillsong

Monday, July 13, 2009


So, first of all.... (and I know I say this all the time, but God is good and it's always true).... we had an amazing day at the Journey yesterday. We taught a new song (possibly my new favorite song) and Erik's talk on "Joy" was unbelievably eye opening. I'm editing the video as I'm writing and it'll be posted later today on the website. Just click here to go watch it, or you can go to itunes and search "Pastor Erik Reed, The Journey Church, Lebanon Tn." and subscribe to our podcast now.

So... change. Always happening, can't avoid it, and most of the time, it isn't the most convenient timing in our lives. BUT.... more often than not, it's always for the better. Yesterday we dove a little deeper into some change that is taking place within my worship team. For awhile now, I've known that as the Journey grows, more is going to be required of me and my team. Right now, we can manage doing two services in two different locations. But what happens when God decides to blow the doors off the place and, suddenly, we need to expand our service times? Or add locations? That's the big dream that we all have.... to be allowed to minister to more and more people. Well, Erik and I have talked about it at length. The fact of the matter is... we can't be in two places at one time. Duh! So what do you do? The answer: you raise up leaders who can do it for you. You work as hard as you can to try and replace yourself. Notice I didn't say duplicate. I said replace! BIG difference. That's another blog for another time!

So, with that in mind... the Journey Creative Arts dept. is having a BIG meeting tonight to discuss some changes that are going to be implemented in order to allow us to begin to move into a place where, not only are we ready to expand into other places, but where we are growing together as a team spiritually. We've been rather busy lately, planting a new campus, moving one campus into another location, and preparing to possibly launch a third campus. And I'm concerned we may be getting a little bit of center with tracking our spiritual growth. We are going to implement some rather big ideas to help us keep that side of things in order. And so, I would ask all of you to pray for us, as we step into a time of some "Change".

Love you all

P.S. I know it's been awhile since I've given you all the set lists for our worship time. We have been teaching a lot of new songs. So, rather than list everything we've done over the last few weeks, here are the songs that we've been teaching. Most of them aren't "new". But they are new to the Journey. They may be new to you as well. So check them out. Great stuff!

"Rain Down" Delirious, "The Love Of God" Jeff Deyo, "With Everything" Hillsong, "Not To Us" Todd Fields, "Help Me To Find You" Todd Fields, "Revelation Song" Gateway Worship, "Reign In Us" & "Filled With Your Glory" Starfield.

Monday, June 29, 2009

first times

Hey everyone.

This weekend was kinda special for the Cheuvront family. First of all, it was an amazing week at The Journey. God was moving in some incredible ways. I'm still amazed every week when I come in this place and see the people that God has brought into our folds. All Praise be to Him.

So...... Tiffany and I took our son, Cason to do some things, and it was his first time to do them.

As most of you know, I played on the road with "Lonestar" for many years. It was fun, and Richie MacDonald, the lead singer, and I became great friends. He's kind of like the brother I never had. Love him to death! Anyway, Richie now has a solo career. He doesn't do many shows because he likes to spend time with his family, after being gone on the road for 15 years. But when he does, he calls me to see if I want to go out with him and do a quick performance. So, this weekend was faith and family night at the Nashville Sounds game and we did a show there to promote his Christian Album. Because it was faith and family night, we took our families and watched the game. I got some extra tickets, so we took Erik and Katrina, along with their son, Kaleb (Cason's best friend). It was Cason's first B-Ball game and he loved it. They gave him a couple balls and a bat (which he and Kaleb proceeded to try and throw and hit everywhere they could during the game! (that's a whole other blog!!!) We had a great time, but it was pretty much what was expected..... Hot dogs, baseball, friends and lots of fun.

Second, we took Cason to the movies for the first time. We saw Disney's "UP". It was a really good movie, and just like I suspected, it was completely different than what I thought it would be. They are really good at that. Unlike a lot of other movies, where you see a thousand trailers for them and by the time you actually go, you pretty much know the movie before even watching it, Disney movies have a knack for getting you intrigued just enough to go see them, without really even knowing what they're about.

I think that's a really cool thing b/c you don't know what to expect. And then you're typically pleased with the result. Unlike the baseball game, where we knew what was pretty much going to take place, we walked into a dark theater, with a 3 yr. old, hoping that it would be a good experience.

That got me thinking. What do people expect when they go to church? Is there a pre-conceived idea of what they are going to see? I think so. And most of the time, if they're unchurched or haven't been to church in a long time, that pre-conceived notion could be drastically wrong. For so long the church has had this stigma about it, that when you go.... people are going to make you feel uncomfortable, make you do something that embarrasses you, or even the other extreme. They won't even acknowledge you are even there. Why is that? I'm afraid that the church has become that which Jesus spoke against: A religious institution. It was never intended to be that. It was intended to be a gathering of people who love God, worship only Him, and through the grace and mercy that has been shown to them, they in turn share that hope and love... bringing the only message of hope that there is to a hurting and broken world.

Too many people call themselves Christians and don't have any idea what that means. There's a piece of scripture that I think they need to listen to. Jesus said, on that day people would say, "Master, didn't we prophesy in your name....etc. and He will say, "Depart from me, for I never knew you." Maybe we shouldn't call ourselves Christians anymore. Perhaps it's time to redefine ourselves. "Christian" has become a table-top discussion word. If we are going to be the church.... the church that Jesus instructed us to be, loving those around us, worshiping Him, following His teachings, being obedient to His will (not ours), taking the gospel message to the world and making disciples of ALL the nations.... then perhaps "Christian" is the wrong term. Maybe we should call ourselves exactly what that description says we are..... Christ Followers. And if we did that, and stopped acting like the church that the world has defined us to be, and instead acted like the church we are SUPPOSED to be, maybe people wouldn't feel so put off by all of us "Christians".

Love you all,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

cool video to open our church services

Hey everyone. This is a cool video that we use to start our church service with. It's really awesome, cause, it's exactly what we wanted to say, and do for a video.... and someone else did it for us. Thanks to whoever you are!!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Had to try this

Well, Since seeing Erik's video that he created for a Journey Preview... I had to do one for myself. It just looked like too much fun. So, here ya go folks. Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baby Names

Ok, if there was ever a reason to stop at one kid..... this is it:

What in the crap are we gonna name this child? This seems to be the question asked every five minutes in our house, right now! With our son, Cason, we spent almost 6 months looking for his name. Now, I know this is gonna sound cheeky, and perhaps just goofy, but we named him after the street where the first house we lived in was on. Cason Lane. We actually thought about naming him Cason Lane. But after some thought and trial and error of other names, we came up with what is his middle name,.... Makail. We probably went through every name book we could find, every internet sight we could look up, and everything else in between. Finally, someone suggested that we look on a map and find cool city names, or landmarks. Exhausted from looking, we did. And that's where we came up with Cason. 

So now, we're pregnant again (I say that like I have anything to do with carrying our little girl around for nine months!) and we're right back where we started three years ago.... searching for a name. And just like last time, we're tapped out. Nothing seems to fit. So, this time, I'm throwing it out to you guys and girls. Comment to me with your suggestions and maybe Tiffany and I will use one. If we do, we'll post it on our blogs and myspace and facebook and twitter... and you can be known as the person who named our little girl! Sound fun? 

So shoot us your names. Remember, it's got to be something unique, as we have exhausted the normal repertoire. 



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What R We Doing?

Hey all.

I've been struggling with this blog for a couple weeks now. I've been wondering if it's really worth my time to sit and write every day, or every other day, when I could be out actively doing something to be intentional for God. I won't bore you with the details, but I think I found my answer. It actually came to me in the form of a question. During my prayer time, while I was asking God what to do about this blog, I heard the question, "What are you doing?", meaning, if I'm not trying to reach someone through my writing, or make a difference to someone with some thoughts that God has lain on my heart, what am I doing instead? 

It took me awhile to answer that. What I figured out is, I do a lot of stuff. But how much of it is just tasks so that the ministry can happen around me? That's what I'm trying to figure out. I'm learning that sometimes writing a blog may be more effective in reaching someone, or at least make them think about something, than all the tasks in the world. Let's be real. We can all do tasks until Jesus comes back. What did we do with what He gave us? Good question. He asked it Himself. 

We're in the middle of a new series at The Journey called "Sent".  One of the Key passages so far, that has stood out to me, was when Jesus asked Peter, "Simon, do you love me?". They begin to have a conversation that just goes to show the burden that Jesus has for us and the lengths to which He expects us to go to show that love. 

I hope you all will ask yourselves, "What are we doing?" And I hope that when you ask that question of yourself, you will know what the answer is SUPPOSED to be. 

To join in with the conversation further, visit Erik's blog. We are doing a reading challenge of the book of Acts. It's a chance for you to read about the early church, give your opinion and hear what others are saying. I look forward to hearing from you all. Please feel free to leave me a comment as well. I will try to answer everyone.

Love y'all,


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some Things Just Have To Be Said

This weekend at the Journey, Erik gave one of the most profound talks he's ever given. Truly awesome! For those of you who missed it, or maybe just don't go to the Journey, but want to hear one of the best messages about churches you'll ever hear, click here

I don't want to spoil anything for anyone but here's just a little synopsis: One of the best things said in the talk is this: Church is not a buffet of services that you can come and consume. WOW! Now that just flips the paradigm of what people think about church on its ear!  If you want to hear the rest, or just have that explained, then I highly suggest you go listen. I promise, you won't regret it. 

Anyway, this week has been a good week so far. There is a lot about myself and life that I'm really examining hard right now. One, I'm not getting any younger. And the days of eating a large Pizza from Papa Johns and then just waiting for it to melt off my body are gone!!! I'm trying to avoid the Homer Simpson spare tire. (And I'm not gonna lie, there's a little one already there.) It's crazy!  I just woke up one day.... and POOF! It was there. (Not really, but that's what it feels like.) So today, I started working out with Shawn. Whew! I didn't realize how out of shape I really am. I mean, I do physical things, and I'm certainly not just morbidly lazy or obese, but I found myself getting winded after walk/jogging 1 mile. That's ridiculous. Not five years ago, I could run 3 miles like it was nothing! Not anymore! 

But that's all about to change. Shawn is the executive pastor of The Journey, and a tried and true workout nut! (I mean that in a good way). He's a former policeman, played every sport in school, very athletic, and a great motivator. He also has a great blog. Check it out here. He's absolutely one of my best friends in the whole world and I love to hang out with him, regardless of what we're doing. 

But I realized something today. We each have things that we're good at and things that we struggle with. For me... I'm great at artistic things and focusing on other people. I absolutely suck at focusing on myself (when it comes to things like staying physically fit, and eating right, and things like that.) I need motivation. Cause I can tell you right now, I'd rather go play eighteen holes of golf and call that exercise, than spend an hour in the gym and really burn some calories. I've started down a path of asking myself, what do I struggle with? It's a hard question to ask of yourself. Cause you have to just face facts and be brutally honest with yourself. You can't lie to yourself, cause in the end, you already know the truth. You can put up facades and fool yourself, but in the end, it's only that: just a facade. I know that I need help staying motivated to keep in shape. And so, though I feel like I want to throw up right now (cause I just got home from working out!), I also feel good knowing that I'm doing something that is going to benefit me in the long run, even though I can't see the results immediately. By the 4th of July, though,.... the goal is to be rockin a beach body once again! Something I haven't seen since..... well..... awhile! 

What do you struggle with? Who's in your life that can motivate you to do something about it? Are you willing to put in the hard work to see the results of change? Or are you happy just living within your facade? Good, hard questions to ask yourself. You may not like the answers you get, but the bigger question to ask is.... are you willing to do something about it? 

Love y'all,


Here's the songs from this week's Catalyst service:

"King Of Heaven (Open up the gates)" Planet Shakers, "Sing To the King" Cindy Foote, "Saviour King" Hillsong,  "Draw Me Close To You" Marc James, "Lead On" Chris Duran

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finally Friday

Well, Hello all.

Sorry It's taken me all week to post. The Journey's got a lot going on these couple weeks, with the renovation of the new building. We're all excited and can't wait to get in. Please be praying for us that God will continue to provide all the necessary things that we need. I think sometimes we often forget that He is in control and we just need to get out of the way and let Him do what is necessary to guide us where He wants us to be. 

Another reason I've been away is because I've been spending a lot of time on Erik's blog. He has put out a 28 day reading challenge to everyone and is conducting a kind of open discussion about what we're reading. It's very easy stuff to keep up with, and I encourage anyone who is reading this to go visit his site and take part in it. We're reading 1 and 2 Samuel and there has been a lot of good insight from those who are posting comments. It's caused me to read and re-read these books and chapters within the books over and over again. It's helping me to grow tremendously in my scripture knowledge and understanding. I encourage all of you to participate. 

So, tonight, I'm having a cookout for my praise and tech team. (which is kind of good timing, cause this week, Erik's talk is about living in community with each other) We spend so much time getting things ready for Sundays and then executing the plan, that often times, we forget to just get together and hang out. I'm making it a point, this year, to do more of these get togethers. I believe it's crucial to any team, business or otherwise, to spend time together and remove yourselves from the daily "business" that you all participate in together. We have to be about meaningful relationships. The people you spend so much time with in your life shouldn't be just casual acquaintances. These are the people you spend half of your time in life with. Why wouldn't you want to know that you can trust them with your struggles and needs, as well as your celebrations. I can't wait to see these guys tonight and just spend some time asking questions about their lives, how they're doing, and what's going on with them. I want them to know that when I say I care about them... it's not just meaningless words. I really care about them. But I can't make them believe that, if the only conversations that I have with them are about transitions in music and arrangements of songs and telling them "Great job today, guys!". Those platitudes only go so far. And I'm not willing to spend the amount of time that I spend with them, and not know what's going on in their lives outside of church, or have them think that the only thing I care about, when it comes to them, is whether or not they are prepared for Sunday service. 

C- Y'all!


Here are the songs from this past Sunday's Catalyst service:

Jesus Is Alive (Fee), Glorious One (Fee or Northstar Worship... I like both of them!), You Are Our God (Me! & the Journey Praise team.... Still not available for download yet. Working on it. Just takes $$$$ If you have $$$$ and want to donate to the cause, we'd love to record this stuff!!!!!!) The More I Seek You (Gateway Worship), Everlasting God (Todd Fields)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday morning

Hello all! Happy Monday.

Yesterday was a GREAT day at the Journey. We had 7 people get baptized, both campuses under one roof, and God's spirit was everywhere in that place. What more could you ask for! 

Today I would like to stray off course for a moment. Normally I would tell you what's going on in my life, and what God has put on my heart for the moment. But today, I want to talk about someone else. A few people, actually. My  tech team. This post may be a little long, but it's well worth the read. Pleas take the time to get to know these people below.

I've said it before, but not really gone into great detail, about how they are really great guys (and girls!), but I've never really told you about them. So today, I'd like to take a minute to do that. 

Jon Ayers is our tech team leader. This is a guy, who just about a year ago, God grabbed in a mighty way. John is about as country as cornbread! I love him to death! When he calls me on the phone, I say hello, and then I hear a long drawn out..... Hey. I'm certainly not making fun of him. I just want you to know that he is the definition of "Good Ol' Boy". John came up to me back then and started asking questions about how do you know when God is calling you to step up and become more active in His church. We had a long conversation that lead to him opening up what was going on in his life. And he shared with me all the things that he thought God was pressing on his heart. John is a leader, no doubt. And I knew then, that he would be someone invaluable to the Journey. And he has been ever since. He's straight up a volunteer (as are the rest of his team) and he puts as much time in around there as any of us who are full time staff. He has been doing research (on his own and without anyone asking him) on mixing sound, lights, video editing, and computer programing, because he knows that what he's doing right now is going to help shape the vision of the church and help him to influence more people in finding their place in serving. John, I'm excited to have you on my team. I love you, man, and couldn't do my job without you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I told you a lot about John, because the rest of the team are pretty much his friends, that he's either recruited, or just helped out when they need it, giving them direction on the team. The attitude of his team is: Get it done, cause it's not about us! It starts with John and then trickles down into everyone on that team. They are an amazing bunch of people. 

Jessie Dillard is one of our audio engineers and computer guys. He's about to get married, even though the rest of us have told him he's crazy!!!! Just kidding Jess! Andrea is a wonderful, beautiful girl, and I'm excited for you. Can't wait for the big day. Jess has been there since the Journey opened its doors. He's a, "I'll do whatever you need me to do" guy. Absolutely irreplaceable!

Jason Harding is probably the newest member of our team, but has jumped right in, taking the reigns by the horn and blazing the way! Jason started coming to the Journey, having a background in sound. He told his wife that he would start coming to church with her as long as he didn't have to get involved! Yeah right! LOL. Jason is just like me. He can't stand to sit around and do nothing when it comes to music and sound. I think it was about two weeks after he started coming that he approached me and said, "hey, you know I have some experience in sound, and if you need any help, I could probably jump back there and do something!" He's now the head audio engineer of Providence campus! 

Kevin Burton...... well, what can you say about Kevin? LOL. Kevin is probably the craziest dude I know. It's a good thing he gave his life to Christ, cause God only knows what kind of brigade he'd be leading if he hadn't! :)  This guy would literally take the shirt off his back for anyone. And I mean anyone. He says he's only part time with the team, cause he likes to serve in other areas, but there has never been a time when someone got sick and couldn't show, or we just needed another person in the booth that day, where he didn't jump in, at a moment's notice and run with the show! Kevin, you are my hero! 

Austin Burton (Kevin's cousin), same thing. Austin is also one of those guys who's constantly asking questions of, where is God moving me, and, how do I get there? Austin started out just standing back there, taking it all in, and then he began to start working with the computers, then the filming, and then audio mixing. He's a good friend and I'm very proud to have him on the team. I can't wait to see what God does with you man! (Side note: his little girl and my son are boyfriend and girlfriend. Just ask them. They'll tell you. They're three years old, by the way!)

Special mention to a couple guys here. Alex perry, and Billy Reed. They are two of the most awesome guys you are gonna ever come in contact with. They predominantly take care of filming all of our services. I think I showed them how to turn on the camera, focus, and zoom. They pretty much took it from there. And we're not talking about a camcorder here. This is a pretty high-tech, sophisticated, piece of filming machine! And if you watch our sermons online at the website, what you see is their handiwork. Thank you guys for all you do. 

Finally, Kim Raffield. But certainly not least! Kim is the daughter of Cindy and Don (who are on my praise team). Kim runs our computer at the West campus. She is a joy of a person to be around. She sits back there, with all of those other knuckle heads I mentioned above, and keeps them in line! She is a strong, seasoned Christ follower. She brings a lot of maturity to any team that she's on, though she's still a very young girl. She's quick to learn, and when tech stuff starts going awry, she's "on like Donkey Kong!" Not too much gets by her, if anything. And those guys back there need a lady to keep them straight. Thanks Kim for all you do! 

So, there you have it. The Journey's A/V squad. There are a few others that jump back there from time to time and help out. And I love, and thank, you guys too. But I wanted to mention the folks who are there week in and week out. They sit back there, push buttons, ride faders, click mouses, film...... oh, and don't forget, they set up every week on saturdays, just so we can have church. If you are a Journey-ite, please go tell them thank you. You wouldn't be sitting there seeing all the cool stuff and hearing all the good sounding music without them. And they rarely, if ever get credit. So today, I wanted to do that. I am more blessed than anyone I know for having these guys (and girl) in my life. They make my job easy. Please say a prayer for them today. Ask God to bless them. Ask God to continue to give them the drive and the want to see His kingdom furthered. And ask God to reveal to them how much they are needed. Cause I don't ever want them to feel like what they do doesn't matter. It does. And to be honest with you, there's no way to measure how much it does! Cause that measurement..... doesn't exist! 

I love you guys with all my heart. May God bless you and your families.


The Songs from Catalyst Service yesterday:

Salvation Is Here (Hillsong), Lift High (Eddie Kirkland), Glory To God (Fee), Sing Sing Sing (Chris Tomlin), All Because of Jesus (Fee)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

12:18 a.m.

Hey all,

Well, the title is not something enigmatic. It's just that it's 12:18 a.m. and I'm sitting on my couch watching NHL live, trying to figure out what I missed today in the world of Hockey! I should be in bed, but...... ah! Sleep is overrated! 

This week I've been helping West Elementary do their production of Fiddler On the Roof. Those of you who've been following my blog for awhile now probably remember me talking last year about their production of Annie. These kids are so talented it's stupid! No kidding. They are great. I've grown to love them as if they were my own. 

West Elementary is where the Journey has been meeting for the last three years. It's been a cool place to be. They let us permanently install all of our lights and sound, so even though we have been a quote unquote "set up/tear down" church, there have been a lot of perks for us. I'm kind of sad to say that this week has been our final "hoorah" there. As most of you know, we are moving into our permanent facility. We will still have another campus, the Providence - Rutland Elementary campus, but our first campus will be moving into what we are going to consider our central hub. This has been a long time in the making for us. We started in a strip center on the corner of highway 109 and highway 70. We had about 50 people and a lot of dreams. Fast forward to today, we have a bunch of people... two campuses... and still a lot of dreams! 

We have been sooooooo blessed. I'm excited to see what God is going to do with our church over the next couple years. Something that has happened recently is, we're finding out that if you want to experience the growth that you ask God for, you must be willing to expand your circle. This transcends into everyday life, I think. If you own a business and want to grow, you can't just expect the same 9 or 10 people who started it to continue to manage it. Eventually, you're going to have to bring other people into your leadership folds. You are going to have more things that need to be done. You're going to have to delegate tasks more effectively. And you're going to have to have the mentality of.... do only that which you can do. What that means is, if there is something that you don't have to do, and someone else can, and you're not allowing them to, cause you're afraid they're going to take your job, or get credit for something that you could have taken credit for, then you must be willing to let it go and let them do it. If you don't, then you're being selfish and stifling the growth of the organization. What that all boils down to is this:

Are you a selfish person, full of pride? Or are you the person who is more concerned about satisfying your own wants and desires? Here's the interesting thing about those questions. It may take you awhile to learn this, but it is a fact. And you can count on experiencing it. If you are that person, eventually, your growth will stop, you will become irrelevant, and the very thing you tried to protect will either leave you behind and you'll be forgotten, or it will just wither away and not matter anyway. 

This principle holds true in everyday life also, not just in business. Ask yourself how many times you kept things for yourself at the cost of a relationship, or seeing the joy and happiness on someone's face because you made them feel needed, or gave them the opportunity to experience something that potentially could change their lives forever.

I'm happy to say that at the Journey, we are constantly looking out for whoever God brings us, in the way of a leader. We understand that if we are going to be the church that we beg God to be, every day, we can't do it with just the people who are there right now. And God is bringing cool people within our midst. I'm excited to see how they will be raised up and take charge of whatever piece of the mission that God has gifted them for.

Bottom line...... Pride and selfishness will destroy your life. No, that's not cliché. It's fact. No matter how good you think you have it. It will destroy you. You will wake up one day, head in hands, feeling like there's no way out, or no solution. You will wonder if your life really matters, and why did it have to happen to you. Remember this.... two things, and then I'm done. First of all, it had to happen to you, because you caused it with your choices and your own selfish desire. Number two and most importantly... There is a God out there who has been pursuing you since the day you were born into a broken and hurting world. He is a God of Grace and Mercy. And He wants you to know that He loves you, and though you think you're at the end of your rope and have nowhere to go... He's right beside you, hurting with you, crying because you, His child, are hurting. All you have to do is ask Him to make it right. And He will. 

If you're reading this and this is you, and you have questions. Please comment or email me. You can reach me by just clicking here --> The Journey. Just go to the page about who we are and click on my email. I would love to talk to you about this. If you think there's no way this can be you, cause you're not some poor pathetic schmuck! And you have your act together and you don't need the peace and understanding of a Saviour, I guess I'll just be talking to you later, rather than sooner! I don't mean that to sound like a smart aleck, but let's just say.... I warned you. 

Make sure you check out Erik's blog. You can join in on the discussion that we are having this month. It's a conversation going on around 1 and 2 Samuel. Good stuff and a lot of people are weighing in.

Talk to you soon. Love you all


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Monday, Monday

Ok, vacation is over, it's raining out and I'm back at work. It's definitely MONDAY!!!! YUCK!

Anyway, today is my wife's and my anniversary. 13 Years! And contrary to the foreseeable joke... it hasn't felt like 30 years! It has gone by quickly and I have enjoyed every year. I love you, Tiffany!

So yesterday was a great day at the Journey. We had a lot of the people who came for Easter, come back this week. I'm very excited to see people coming back. I know that God has some cool plans for them and can't wait to see how that pans out. I'm gonna try to take it easy today and not do a whole lot, but I do have some stuff to catch up on from being on vacation. And we're trying to get into the new building asap, so I've got some stuff to do for that as well. I hope you all will come visit us once we get into the new building. I'll keep you posted on how that's going... but hopefully, it's only going to be another 3-4 weeks. Yippeee!!!!

So, I've got a few scriptures that I've been really delving into these past weeks. A couple of them are really intriguing. I'll share some thoughts on them throughout the week. I'm also gonna give you guys a peek at some of the songs that we are going to be teaching over the next couple weeks and why we are going to teach them. So, I'll talk to y'all soon. Have a good Monday. I'm gonna try!

Love you all,


Here are the songs from the catalyst service yesterday:

Chains (Molly MacNeil, this is an original. Hopefully we'll get it on the CD when we record it!), Everybody Praise The Lord (Lincoln Brewster), Oh, Praise Him (David Crowder Band), Indescribable (Chris Tomlin), Kindness (Christ Tomlin), You, You Are God (Lincoln Brewster).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

All Good things Must Come To An....

Well, I would say end, but that would go against everything I believe in. Usually, I get depressed and think about the long drive back from the beach. (Which is where we are now) But today, I'm looking at things differently. I have a lot of stuff to do back home, and while I don't necessarily look forward to doing a bunch of tasks all the time, this is going to be good stuff. The Journey is in a season of big-time change right now. Our church body, our locations, our attendees' location (with us moving back into Lebanon, many people are going to change locations of which service they attend too) and even our leadership. This past week, Shawn, one of my best friends and the campus pastor of Providence, decided he didn't need to be a cop any more. God wanted him to be a full-time pastor. So... like any of us would do, he quit his job and totally went into full-time ministry blindly! Awesome, huh? I mean.... that's what I did. No biggie right? LOL. You gotta be kidding me! Of course it's biggie. I mean, yes, I did do that too, but my situation was a little bit different from Shawn's. I won't go into all of the details, but suffice it to say, he and Miranda are taking a big leap of faith. I'm very proud of them for hearing God's call in their lives and answering. I'd love to tell you all that I came running the first time I heard God call me into ministry, but I'd be a big fat LIAR!!!! I acted like I didn't hear it for almost 5 years. But eventually, I came around to seeing things His way! 

- Just a side note here: that is always gonna happen, just to let you know. No matter who you are, where you're at, or what you do, God will get to you and make you see things His way, by one of three ways: 1, through His word... the Bible, the Gospel. Hopefully, you'll hear the truth and allow Him to convict you through the Holy Spirit and become His follower. 2, Through relationship. This is also not bad. Kind of confusing some times, but still very fun and interesting. What happens is, someone you know allows God to affect their life and then they start changing. You don't know what's going on... and it usually freaks you out to the point that you have all these questions (starting with... why can't I be happy like that?) And then it happens. Through the work being done in someone else's life, you see what having a relationship with God means and it intrigues you! Then you start going to church, and bible study (which leads to even more questions.... we'll talk about that later, but still all good stuff!) and then it happens. You have an encounter with God, where you hear His voice and He tells you to come to Him. And you will..... or you won't. Sometimes we choose not to. But be careful! Do that enough times and He'll stop asking you to come. Then you're in big trouble! (we'll get into that later, too!)  Finally number 3. This one isn't fun, usually. It hurts a lot, and usually comes when your life is completely wrecked and you have nowhere to go. This one is called circumstance. Sometimes God will allow you to experience life in its absolute worst form, in order to make you see that there has always been a better way, but you just kept ignoring it. This one is one that I wish on no one. Unfortunately, it's usually the one that's most effective, and the most widely experienced. (we'll talk more about that later)

---I feel like that has become my new saying..... "We'll talk more about that later". Dude, if we actually did talk about everything that I say we'll talk about later, we'd be here for days on end! So.... we'll talk about all of that stuff later too!

So, here's my question. Why do we continuously turn away from God. We acknowledge that He's there, that He created us, that He's obviously smarter and more powerful than we are (I mean... c'mon! He created the universe!) But we won't trust Him that the life He wants us to live, is the best one we could ever experience. Why do we do that?

It would be like a heart surgeon telling you, "you are going to die unless you let me put this brand new heart, never before used, and uniquely created for your body, into your heart cavity." And then you saying, "well.... I know this one is broken and it causes me a lot of problems, and no matter how hard I try I can't control what it does, but I really like this one. I think I'll pass. I'm gonna keep this one."

Are we really that stupid and selfish? The answer, unfortunately.... is yes.

Love you all


Monday, April 13, 2009

is anybody there?

Ok. I'm doing a survey. Does anybody read blogs?

This is kind of a throw away blog. I'm really in search of info here. If you are someone who reads blogs regularly, this one anyway..., please comment. I'd like to know who is reading these. 

I'm in Destin Fl. with my lovely wife this week. The beach is beautiful, peaceful and quiet. That's something that I haven't experienced in awhile...... quiet! It's awesome! Cason is at the Grandparents and she and I are just relaxing. I love it here. Here's what I've observed.....

God is an artist. The scene here is something that, not matter how hard anyone tries, they cannot replicate the beauty that is at the beach.

You realize how much you love your kids when they aren't around.

No matter how many shrimp you eat.... there are always a million more out there! 

And just when you thought the world is chaos... you go to the beach and God shows you how peaceful the world can be.

I've been soooo stressed out and in need of a vacation. For me, the beach is where it's at. Find some time to go where you can recharge your batteries. If you don't, you can burn out. And the ones you love will suffer for it. Tiffany and I have needed to get away for some time now. And as much as I love my son, Cason, she and I have needed to get away to re-connect.

Make sure you make time to get away with your wife or husband and re-kindle that romance. If you don't... you're just spinning your wheels. 

I'll talk to y'all next week. The crashing waves and beautiful scenery are calling. I'm gonna go take it all in.

Love y'all,


Friday, April 3, 2009

Bad blogger... Good Dad?

Well.... I have no excuse! I'll just go ahead and admit that I suck as a regular blogger. I mean, who am I trying to kid? I haven't posted in two weeks, the last time I posted it was after about a week and a half of not posting, and I'll probably not post again for another week! So what's the deal?

Well, many of you may see this as an excuse, but nonetheless, it's my reason. I've really been trying to prioritize my time. The other day Cason was playing on his toy computer. It does some little games and allows him to feel like he's a big deal! In the middle of it, he decided he wanted to play like he was the dad. He said, "Hey daddy, I'll be the daddy. You be the little boy. Now say, 'Hey daddy'." I smiled and said, "Ok. Hey daddy." Without missing a beat, he said, "What! Baby, I'm trying to work. Hang on for a second!" 

Well, right there I felt the proverbial dagger go straight through my gut. Now, he laughed and thought it was funny, but I definitely didn't. I realized that I do this. (obviously!) And I know that we often have to work and can't just drop everything. But we can make better use of our time. I haven't blogged in awhile because, I usually try to blog when I'm watching TV, kind of like I'm doing right now. (But Cason is up stairs playing his drums, so it's ok) But usually, he's right here, sitting beside me and wanting my attention. I've realized that he isn't going to be this little and want my attention forever, and I need to take advantage of it while I can. So, I'm going to try to blog more regularly, but I'm not going to do it, unless I can fit it into my daily schedule and not during my time with him and Tiffany. 

This past week, I feel like God has really been speaking to me. I'm really excited about this cause I feel like it's been awhile since I've been still enough to hear Him. As usual, He found a way to get to me through a song. Hillsong's "With Everything". If you haven't heard this song, go to Itunes and download it right now! It may be the best song I've heard in a year. Thanks Jeff Bode for turning me on to it. 

At the end of the song, it builds into this massive crescendo and then lets loose, full force. The first time I heard it, I got this lump in my throat and almost welled up with tears. I couldn't figure out why. Everyone knows that music can be extremely emotional. But a lot of times, we can't define why it gets to us like that. So I spent some time, looking through scriptures and analyzing the song, and praying about it. This is what I think I've found out. 

In the song, the place that gets me, is when the entire group of singers stop singing words and just cry out with a melody singing, "OH.... OH, OH" (kind of hard to explain, unless you've listened to the song.... so do that!) Anyway, what I've come to realize is, sometimes when we sing, we have unbelievable words that express everything we're feeling at that time. But sometimes, there are no words. And all we have is the ability to cry out. It's at this time that I think, perhaps, we connect with God at the deepest levels. See, we may not have the words, but the Holy Spirit, living within us, has the ability to cry out to God, using our voice, what we cannot say. And when we just let go and sing the melody with an "OH....OH, OH", our hearts sing the unspoken words that the Holy Spirit then carries to our Father. In that moment, if we are focused on Him, it can be one of the most powerful experiences we can have. I truly believe this and plan on explaining this a little bit further when we teach the song at The Journey in the near future. Cause..... we are definitely doing this song! And soon. 

I know that what I've just talked about may be kind of hard to grasp, but I promise you, if you pray about it and think about it, you're gonna come to the same conclusion. 

Well, Cason is back from the world of pretending to be Manú Caché. (For those of you who are saying, 'Who??????', he's one of the baddest drummers God ever struck breath into! So, I'm going to go for now. I'll hopefully talk to y'all soon. Maybe we can get a little more into what I was talking about. I would really like your input. If you're reading this, please leave a comment or just tell me your thoughts.

Love you all,