Thursday, April 27, 2017


We buried a brother today - Joelene's eldest brother.

Here was a man full of goodness and love - a man who only knew how to be grace-filled and gracious.  One of a kind.

I don't know if you can picture this scene with me - but imagine you're in heaven and your name is called.

(Fill in your name here).

You come forward.  Here are the believers of all time -- Enoch, Moses, Deborah, Elijah, Ruth, Paul.  Jesus is seated on a throne.  They're all there in front of you.  And Jesus evaluates your life, not for the purpose of guilting and shaming you, but for the purpose of commending you.

He says:  'Remember that time you served in such a hidden way? ... when you did that wonderful thing no one else saw? ... When you loved Me when everyone else around you was walking a different direction, you stayed true.  You didn't think anyone noticed.  I noticed.  I saw it and I commend you for it.'

It isn't a far stretch to believe our brother entered heaven this week with a roar of applause and a long list of commendation.

What will your entry look and sound like?

You and I were made for eternity.  We need to think about it a lot more.

And be blessed.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


I love that I can get up every day and no matter the problems or challenges that wait for me - no matter how difficult the world will make my life that day - it cannot steal my freedom, it cannot steal my peace, it cannot steal my hope, it cannot steal my future -- because that battle has already been won by Jesus' death on a cross and by His resurrection from the grave.

I'm part of His Kingdom now that can never be shaken.

When you put your faith in Christ you aren't going to be the person you used to be, just trying to do a little better each day.  Coming to Jesus is more than a new year's resolution -- it's more than feeling bad about a habit you can't break.  God reconstructs a new person where the old person used to stand.

If God can deliver a dead man from the grave, then surely He can deliver somebody on drugs or alcohol.

If God can deliver a dead man from the grave, surely He can fix a dead marriage.

If God can deliver a dead man from the grave, surely He can heal a body -- surely He can bring back your estranged child -- surely He can forgive your past.

If God can deliver a dead man from the grave, surely He can change your life.

And be blessed.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


There's something about Jesus that compels us.  That seems nearly universal and historical.

Every time Jesus intersected with another religion or philosophy, they adopted Him.

It was easy for Buddhism to adopt Jesus.  They believe Him to be a great humanitarian.
It was easy for Hinduism to adopt Jesus.  Some believe He was a reincarnation of one of their gods.
It was easy for Islam to adopt Jesus.  They believe He was a prophet.
It's even easy for atheists to adopt Jesus, because you rarely meet an atheist who doesn't at least respect Jesus historically.

So we have a special category for Jesus that we have with no one else in history.  No matter what you believe about Him, you're drawn to Him.  You may not believe everything you read or hear said about Him, but most people think He was a great teacher -
that He said some wise things.

There's something in us that wants to be connected to Him, even if that isn't how we define it.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


God has placed honor on you, so you need to honor whoever He honors.  He honors you - so you need to honor IN.

God has constructed you delicately - uniquely - intentionally.

If I brought a Rembrandt in the room and started kicking it and destroying it, I would be dishonoring not only the painting, but the painter.

When we beat on ourselves - when we don't recognize what God has done in us - we don't just dishonor ourselves, we dishonor the God who made us.

It's even bigger than that.  We aren't just valuable because we have a God who made us but because of the price He paid for us.  In fact, He created us and then He bought us back again.

God made you in His image.  He crowned you with glory and honor.  He sent His Son to die for you on a cross.  He made you - and then He bought you back.

He did that to honor you.  So we learn to honor ourselves because God thinks very highly of you and me.

Ladies -- you're dating some guy and he exerts pressure to go further than you should and you think you have to or he won't want to be with you.  That guy isn't worth two cents!  Because the Bible says you're worth much more than you could imagine.  That guy doesn't understand your worth in Christ.

Guys -- hooked on porn or whatever -- you're dishonoring your own body.  You don't need to hear 'Stop it.'  You need to hear 'You're more valuable than you comprehend.'  You're a man of honor.  Porn isn't your gig.  You're better than that.

If you've been self-harming - cursing yourself - cutting yourself because you think you're nothing, you need to hear that you're more valuable than you can ever know.

The story of the lost son in the Gospel of Luke is that he took his dad's money, went to a distant country, squandered his wealth, came home covered in filth, his father saw him from a distance and ran to meet him, grabbed a robe and put it around him, and covered his son's shame and guilt.

When you came to Jesus, the Father covered your shame and guilt with the blood of His Son.  God honored you by that act at great cost to Himself and His Son, Jesus, and any part of you that's still stained or broken, Christ died for it and He's covered it.

So stop beating yourself - because God honors you.  Honor IN.

And be blessed.

Monday, April 3, 2017


One of the great questions we can ask ourselves is:  'How am I building a home and a family that honors up - that honors God?'

This is what we call 'Faith at Home' at Journey.

We have a goal that 75% of our folks would be involved doing faith at home.

What does that look like?  I'm glad you asked.  I asked our children's pastor, Jonathan Foster, what he thought about it.  Here are some of the things he said.

We honor God at home when we ...

- stop to pray together before a meal ... even at McD's.

- make regular, scheduled time for Him on our calendar to read our Bibles and pray.

- make a decision to serve as a family somewhere - at an off campus church serving day or an in-house church ministry.

- ask God to meet the needs of others while we're driving the kids to school.

- give God the first and best of our incomes - our allowances - our garage sale proceeds.

- play uplifting Jesus music in our minivans that creates an eternal focus.

- refrain from using God's name irreverently, disrespectfully or out of anger.

- love God's creation and make sure we don't trash the neighborhood park or the block we live on.

- hold each other accountable to the Big Idea we utilize at Journey every week so our family can grow together.

All these things make us grow and move forward with Faith at Home.  And these things honor God UP.

And be blessed.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


We in America are unlike many in other countries.  We are low on showing honor.

People bow to one another in Korea to show deference and honor.  In Greece, 'old man' isn't known the way it is here.  There is respect for the aged there.

The translation of the phrase 'without honor' in the Bible means 'to treat as common or ordinary.'

That comes home more clearly when we read the Gospel of Mark -- 'Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor,' said Jesus.

Common.  Ordinary.

You can buy a basketball online signed by greats Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.  It's worth $3,000.  You'd never take that ball out on your driveway and play Horse with it.  You'd put it under glass and set it high on a shelf to admire.

You wouldn't treat that ball as common or ordinary.

Want to hear how to have a mediocre marriage?  Treat your spouse as common and ordinary.

When you were dating and engaged, you opened doors, you brought presents, here's some flowers.  Then you walked down an aisle and over time, instead of showing honor, you began to treat one another as common and ordinary.

And what began as great became dishonorable.

Time to back it up - ramp it up - and get your honor on once again.

And be blessed.