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, 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.