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!"

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,