Thursday, February 22, 2018


Recently I was privileged to sit in a room where Matthew Barnett was the speaker.  Matthew pastors Angelus Temple and the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  

Not long ago Matthew ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.  I had trouble just typing that sentence.  It sounds formidable, if not downright insane.  I'm trembling just thinking about it.

In his talk he gave one lesson he had learned from running each of those marathons, something he did to raise funds for the Dream Center.  

The 7 lessons were so good, I had to share them with you.

1 -- It isn't about going fast, it's about gaining ground  (Antarctica)

2 -- You have to seize the moment when it's there  (South America)

3 -- Family and friends help you perform at a higher level than you ever could alone  (North America)

4 -- Sometimes you need a good breakdown to get a good breakthrough  (Europe)

5 -- Don't even think about how far you have to go  (Africa)

6 -- If you keep going, God will send you angels of mercy to help you  (Asia)

7 -- God can resurrect you from the lowest of the lows to the highest of the highs (Australia)

'Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.'  (Hebrews 12:1)

And be blessed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


A story is told about a couple on an African safari.  It was one of the most spectacular moments in either of their lives.  The animals were so close they could practically touch them - smell them.  They'd never seen anything like it.

There came a moment that the couple realized they were so vulnerable to the animals.  There were no windows on their Jeep - no roof - no doors - nothing to keep them from being attacked by the lions.

At one point their guide instructed them not to get out of the vehicle because the lions would most likely attack.

'Stay inside the Jeep,' he said, 'because when the lions look at us they see us as one big creature, not five isolated individuals.'

That's powerful.  When we stand together, we have a strength we wouldn't have if we were standing alone.

Find your people - those committed to a common mission and purpose -- people who are like-minded and like-hearted -- people who move you forward and encourage you -- people who will walk with you through thick and thin.

You'll become who you walk with - that's for sure.

And be blessed.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Dear Church:

Once again we are faced with a tragedy of unspeakable proportions in the school shooting this week in Parkland, Florida.  There aren't enough words to describe it, explain it or condemn it.  What we know for sure is that we are living in a time of great evil where the enemy of our souls, at times, seems to have his way in the world.  While it is true that we as believers know how this whole story ends -- we win at the finish -- it is small comfort in moments such as these when people's lives are ended as well as remaining family members lives turned upside down by violence of this magnitude.

How do we, the people of God, respond to this type of atrocity that deeply impacts all of us?

-- We can PRAY.
This is one of our privileges and responsibilities as followers of Christ.  Now more than ever it is needed.  'This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we ask of Him."  (I John 5:14, 15)  Take some time out of your schedule this week to pray specifically for Parkland.  Pray for those who have lost loved ones to evil brutality this week.  You can find the time if you get in their shoes a little.  Imagine it was your child - your family.  And PRAY.  Additionally, pray for Christian Life School in Kenosha as well as public schools in our sphere of influence - for protection, safety and peace.

-- We can DO SOMETHING.  Volunteer at the school where your children/grandchildren attend.  Ask teachers how you can help.  Support after school activities.  If you know someone intimately affected by this tragedy, reach out to them.  Do what you can.  'As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.'  (I Peter 4:10)

-- We can be sure GOD IS WITH US.  Evil may be near, but Jesus promises He's with us and will never leave us or abandon us.  Of this we are convinced.  'Fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'  (Isaiah 41:10)

Don't lose heart, church.  Pray ... do something ... and know God is with you.

And be blessed.

Monday, February 12, 2018


The pain of fixing a relationship that is splintered is not as acute as the pain of not fixing it.

The last time I had a splinter under my skin that went unattended, it didn't get better.  Instead, it blew my finger up to the size of a watermelon.  I should have just gone in there when it first attacked me and done the dirty work of getting it out right away.  It would have hurt less in the long run.

I know sometimes you can't fix the relationship because the other person just won't play ball - I get that - but where that is two Christ-followers in conflict, that should be very close to zero percent of the time.

Romans says to live peaceably with everybody.

In other words, settle it in your own heart in advance.

No matter what they do, I'm going to forgive.
No matter what they do, I'm going to be redemptive.
No matter what they do, I'm going to believe the best.
No matter what they do, I'm going to show the love of Christ.
No matter what they do ...

It's very interesting that Jesus put the concept of forgiveness in the Lord's Prayer.  There isn't all that much in that prayer, but forgiveness is one of the ideas there.  That's intended to be something of an every day prayer, isn't it?

So think about that.  Forgiveness is supposed to be every day.  We need it often, so we should pray it often.  We're desperate for it often, so we should extend it often.  As Jesus prayed it: 'Forgive me as I forgive others; forgive me to the same degree I'm forgiving other people.'

Someone said:  'Unforgiveness is like setting yourself on fire and hoping the other person dies of smoke inhalation.' 

Work hard to fix and restore relationships in your life that are shattered and broken.

And be blessed.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Welcome back.  It's been a week since I was here because our church was on a social media and entertainment media fast for the past week.

I heard from literally dozens of folks -- via email, text, in person -- about the effects of the media fast on their lives.

Less arguing at home
More 'noise' around the house, because everybody's talking instead of staring at a TV
Playing board games with the fam
Reading a whole book in a day
Not having to charge their phone for three days because they weren't using it for social media
Deleting of the social media apps so they wouldn't be tempted - and to stop notifications
Being more in tune with God
Improvement of personal attitudes
More worship music playing
Time spent journaling

So good, friends.

Maybe it's time for a new normal.

'Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.'  (Colossians 3:2)

And be blessed.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Journey Church is going on a social media fast beginning tomorrow for one week.  

This will be my last blog post until next Sunday.

Craig Groeschel, who is the pastor of probably the largest church in America among all their campuses nationwide, has a declaration he makes every morning.  It's a personal creed.

Below is a variation of it.

You can get this creed as downloadable wallpaper for your iPhone by visiting or by downloading the church app  (search 'JRNYChurch') - or you can TEXT the keyword: @JRNYC to the number 81010.

You can also get our SPOTIFY Playlist for the week during this media fast, with enough songs to last you the week  (search 'JRNYChurch' for our Spotify account).


Jesus is first in my life.

My sins are forgiven by Jesus' death on the cross and by His resurrection from the grave.

I exist to serve Him and glorify Him.

I love my wife and I will lay down my life to serve her.

I love my husband and I will put him first to honor and respect him.

My children will love God and serve Him with their whole hearts.  I will nurture, cherish, equip, train and empower them to make a difference in God's Kingdom.

I am growing closer to Jesus and am being filled with the power and fruit of the Spirit day by day.

I am anointed, empowered and called to reach people far from God.

My words, actions, thoughts and imaginations are under the power of God.

I wake up every day with fresh purpose, direction and meaning.

The world will be different because I am a servant of the Most High God.

I have a place in heaven reserved for me forever.


Remember, don't just STOP doing stuff.  Replace it with something good.

Read the Word.
Put on some good Christ-honoring music.
Do the Philippians 4:8 TEST.  Filter your thoughts through that text.

Enjoy the week fasting social media and other media.

See you next week.

And be blessed.