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Ed's Blog

John Lynch

by Journey Community Church on July 13, 2014 · 2 comments

Quotes and notes from John Lynch’s message on July 11 & 13. Check out his latest book On My Worst Day: Cheesecake, Evil, Sandy Koufax, and Jesus online or in the Twice Treasured Thrift Store.

Listen to the podcast: Message from July 11 & 13

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MARRIED COUPLES RETREAT

by Ed Noble on July 1, 2014 · 0 comments

What an amazing weekend at the Journey Married Couples Retreat. I love the opportunity to spend some extended time with lots of Journey peeps.

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The best thing for me this weekend was how real and authentic people got from the get go!

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Best of all GOD SHOWED UP! It’s so critical for us to cast God’s vision for marriage as the sacrament, the sign, the pointer of the great mystery of Christ and the Church!

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Sometimes you got to have some fun! So this week, God at the Movies landed on the massive Disney picture, FROZEN. There’s something very “Gospel-like” with what they did with the idea that one is saved, hearts are melted, winter is ended, the great thaw and restoration happens through an ACT OF TRUE LOVE.

1John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

We explored how love, real love heals our wounds. How to get the right love script, the right love idea and the right context of love (Faith, Hope and Love).

And of course we had an incredible version of the song, Let It Go…

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And of course we had a Shaved Ice food truck -

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Fun weekend!

 

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IRON MAN 3 and the Weekend that Was

by Ed Noble on June 17, 2014 · 0 comments

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Journey’s signature series God At The Movies featured Iron Man 3 this weekend.

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We also had a little fun for the dad’s:

We raffled off a BBQ in each service and for those who didn’t win, there was an areal assault of t-shirts with Phil’s BBQ gift cards. Nothing says worship like…

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And even before you came in we had breakfast ready for you guys. Apparently it’s about the food.

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BIG BEACH BAPTISM

by Ed Noble on June 11, 2014 · 0 comments

I say it. It’s my favorite day of the year… along with our fall Big Beach Baptism. It’s definitely one of our “THIS is Church” moments. I love the stories represented, the unbridled joy, the presence of the Holy Spirit as words and prayers are spoken over people identifying with Jesus.

Here are some pics!

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My friend April King wrote me a note giving me her thoughts on the film that we looked at for God at the movies last weekend, Philomena. I asked her if we could use it on the blog site because I think it’s excellent and for you Journey people it is a great take and application of Journey DNA.

Here you go and thanks to April.

Ed,

Tic and I were having a discussion about why our programming team picked certain movies for the “God at the Movies” series. I was explaining why I thought Philomena was a perfect pick for our church. Not only was this movie an intriguing true story told well, but it seemed to illustrate concepts from Blue Ocean Faith-ways of trusting and responding to God that you have been teaching our people this past year. I went on to explain the connections I saw to Tic. He asked me to write down my thoughts and send them to you. Here are a few of them:

 

Blue Ocean Faith speaks of “the centered-set movement” where Jesus is at the center; and what is most important is the direction we are heading–toward Jesus or away from him. Even those who appear to be closer to him can actually be moving away from him. (This was especially true of the older nun in the Philomena story, who was full of self-righteousness judgment -unwilling to give mercy-so far from the heart of Jesus.) Concurrently, some that appear far off (like the journalist) can actually be moving in the direction of Jesus, because they are asking and wrestling with the questions of faith. Then there are those like Philomena who keep moving steadfastly toward Jesus. In spite of the hurts and losses in her life, undeterred by the cynicism and callousness of those whose words warred against the concept that God is truly good, she simply and stubbornly believed.

 

The creator of the Blue Ocean Faith movement, Dave Schmelzer, is also the author of Not the Religious Type-Confessions of a Turncoat Atheist. As I read this book, I saw many familiar things in a new way as he gave his interpretation of psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck’s “four stages of spiritual development”. He calls Peck’s first stage the criminal stage-corresponding to the toddler years-where life is all about you. The second stage is called the rules-based stage-corresponding to age six or seven-where a person cares what Mom and Dad want and what the rules are. Though there is nothing wrong with keeping the rules, people tend to make what Dave Schmelzer calls “a closed set”, a corral of rules—where if you obey the rules, you are in, but if you disobey, you are out. (I recognized that some of the nuns in the convent where Philomena had her baby were in this stage. Like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, they seemed to be the ones closest to God, but they were in truth continuously moving away from Him and His heart.) Dave describes Stage 3 as the rebellious stage-corresponding to the teen years, where rules and the reasons behind the rules are questioned. Stage 3 people often feel contempt toward Stage 2 spirituality. (The journalist in the movie Philomena was in this stage. However, as the story progressed, his questioning seemed to lead him closer to the Jesus Philomena believed in.) Finally, Dave describes Stage 4 of spiritual development calling it the mystical stage-where “one suddenly realizes that most of the things we were taught in stage 2 are, in fact, true, but in a much richer and more mysterious sense than we would have, or could have, imagined.” (page 23) He goes on to say, “Stage 4 is all about life transformation, about a God who actually does stuff that we very much want done in our lives, a God who navigates his way through all the evil and pain in the world to somehow triumph in the end, both in our moment-to-moment lives and in the world itself.”

(page 25) I think that Philomena was in this stage of spiritual development. She didn’t profess to have all the answers. She was humble. She was willing to forgive the nuns that lied to and mistreated her. When she found out about her son, she was more interested in finding out who he was as a person than in condemning the lifestyle he had embraced. Finally, as I read about Stage 4 spirituality in Dave’s book, I was struck with his comment on pg. 57, that “if you were to split the atom of stage 4, in the middle of all of its sorrows and challenges, you’d find joy.” Philomena was able to find joy in even the smallest of things (a fiction book with its unexpected ending that she found delightful and in friendly conversations with people who served her at the hotel). In contrast, Dave points out how so few people stuck in stages 1, 2, or 3 spirituality seem to possess joy.

 

Tic thought that maybe some of what struck me about this movie might be helpful to you as you help us explore and savor this rich and meaningful film in search of God’s great story.

 

April King

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Our Band doing One Republic “Marchin’ On”

There’s a bunch of threads and themes in James’ (the half bro of Jesus) book on OVERCOMING the trials of life. I love how he wraps it us telling us to PRAY and more specifically guiding us in praying OVERCOMING PRAYERS!

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So of course we taught it and then practiced it. We had LOTS of people prayed for and several people report being healed.

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We also launched our College Pastor, Sarah Merk-Benitez into the different way of church in her neighborhood that she feels God leading her to. One phrase that we’ve kicked around to describe this is “missional-monastic community”. Risk-taking is how Journey started so it’s no surprise that the Spirit stirs up risk-takers like Sarah in our church.

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Another great weekend at Journey!

* Our Student Ministries Help Us Help You

* Our quarterly Men’s Ministry Breakfast

* Great services in which Brian Berry (Generations Ministries Pastor) taught on “OVERCOMING CONFLICT”

 

Here are a few pics:

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For a variety of life is crazy right now kind of reasons, I haven’t put up a weekend at Journey re-cap for a few weeks. Not because we haven’t had epic weekends (Easter for example). Suffices it to say, my life’s been a little crazy (you can check my Facebook or Twitter feed for a few more details.

 

But this last weekend not only are we in a great series based in the book of James called OVERCOMING, but it was mother’s day and most importantly for blogging purposes, we had child dedication. Which of course means great pics from our awesome photography team of cute kids.

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So here ya go!

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_DAN9141I’ll admit it I am more than a little sad that the LEAP OF FAITH series is coming to an end. Of course it was way more than a series

  • Our Small Groups were all working through the same questions every week
  • Personal Devotions in Mark every day… with an audio version that I LOVED
  • Mostly it was praying together – really pressing past the vague generalized painless, faith-free prayers that we (I) tend to settle into.

There were so many very cool stories of God working that we need to find a way to share with you.

So as we looked at Mark 11 we brought this thing full circle. Marks starts off his book with Jesus saying:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.Mark 1:15

The passion narrative to which the gospel story has been building begins with Jesus essentially saying the same thing without saying! The entrance into Jerusalem, the reference to Psalm 118, the Donkey… all saying, “the Kingdom and the King is at hand.” Our point: as we make our way toward Jesus, as we hear his invitation to LEAP, he confronts us with the reality of this KINGDOM thing. We are invited into a different, more real reality called the Kingdom of God. This is the death of our self-referenced life (a phrase I’m taking from Robert Mulholland’s book The Deeper Journey), our “Kingdom of Dirt” (that one’s from Nine Inch Nails J).

Ultimately to sustain a life of faith in times of quickly answered prayers AND times of painfully long delays we have to decide the PLACE of Jesus in our lives. At the end of the chapter, the religious leaders accidently ask the right question: “By what authority are you doing this?” Does God have the right over us to cleanse our Temple as it were? Mark’s shown us picture after picture of Jesus. Pictures that show us that He is powerful, good, saving, gracious, freeing, generous, quick to forgive… that He is deeply and unmitigatedly GOOD!

We CAN indeed trust him. Let’s LEAP!

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