Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hope for the Journey

People today are increasingly hopeless. Hopelessness is nothing new however. Jesus’ disciples found themselves in a situation where they felt hopeless. In this mornings message at Journey Church, Dr. Bill Brown of Cedarville University shared from John 14:1-6, a message Hope for the Journey. Below are a couple of questions you and your “House Church” or spiritual friends can use them to discuss this weeks message. You can also hear the message again on the Journey Church “new” website.

1. What is one of your favorite apocalyptic movies?

2. What things “trouble” you when you think about the future?

3. Read John 11:32-35; 12:27-28; 13:21. What things “troubled” Jesus?

4. Read John 14:1-6. What things “troubled” the disciples? What hope did Jesus give His disciples?

5. What did Jesus say to His disciples that encourages you to face tomorrow?

Monday, September 13, 2010

An Open Letter to Journey

Dear Journey Church Family,

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before but I wonder if you will give me permission to speak freely? Not about my dog, which I apologize for doing Sunday but about the deeper things of my heart. Maybe it’s because it’s Monday or maybe it’s because I’m not feeing very well but to be honest I’m a little discouraged. It’s not anything you did, you are amazing. I love you very much and am so grateful for each and everyone of you and for your love of God and each other. I’m just a little discouraged because there is so much I can’t control. I can’t control who comes to journey and who doesn’t. I can’t control whether they “like us” or whether they don’t. I can’t control whether people understand what we are doing or whether they resent us for doing it. But most soberingly I can’t control whether people will respond to the word of God or reject it. Maybe that’s why I found the following pastor’s blog so encouraging. It’s something someone sent me, someone who lives 2000 miles from Columbus but someone who God laid it on their heart to send to me. God then laid it my heart to send it to you and I hope it will encourage you as much as it encouraged me.

Dear Pastor/Church Leader,

you need to understand a few things about your church service yesterday…
What happened in your church services yesterday was AWESOME.
Yes, “that” service…where all of “that” stuff happened.
The one that MAYBE made you want to quit the ministry.
You’ve been doubting yourself, wondering why you do what you do…praying that people might actually come back next week and beating yourself up over things you should have said…or things you did say that you should not have said.
You are discouraged because you go online and look at other churches and see where hundreds of people are giving their lives to Christ…and you are BEGGING God for that, but you are just not seeing it yet…and are beginning to wonder if God has forgotten you.
BUT…just remember that God has you in a humble place so that He can prosper you (see Job 8:7)…and He has you hidden for the purpose of developing you into someone great (Isaiah 49:2).
He has NOT given up on you…He knows exactly where you are and has called you there “for such a time as this!”
Hold your head up and keep your eyes on Him…He who called you IS faithful.
Sometimes He allows us to see what happens…but most of the time the work He is doing is in their hearts…and that takes time for us to see.
There will be “seasons of fruit” and “seasons of root”…and when you’re not seeing the fruit then its a time for us to focus on the ROOT!
Keep preaching God’s Word and HE WILL honor it (Isaiah 55:8-13), no weapon formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17) and He has GREATER plans for you than you could EVER imagine (Isaiah 49:6!)