If you’re going to miss a weekend at Journey, you should have a really good reason. I always hate missing weekends. I love our church and our weekend services.

Having said that, my weekend in I-City was STELLAR!


I was speaking at a retreat for the college ministry of a new church plant, VERITAS church. The church is being led by a couple of guys who were in my youth ministry when I was in Omaha Nebraska – Mark Arant and Jeff Thune. Click here for a look at Mark’s blog post reflecting on the weekend.

Most Californians are a bit geographically challenged about the mid-west (no offense intended – I was where you were once) so I should tell you that Iowa City is where the University of Iowa is located. Veritas (Latin for truth) was launched from another college town church Cornerstone, which is in Ames Iowa where Iowa State U is located. Even though Veritas is new, they had 120+ students at the retreat.

So I roll out of my house Friday morning scheduled to be there by 5:30 p.m. Of course I get to Houston and the flight is cancelled. I can’t get within 4 hours of my destination! I ask the guy behind the counter to say a prayer for me because I’m going to speak at a “church thing” – he replies: “Well, I’m a pastor myself. Hurry to Gate C-20 we’ll get you to Chicago and there’s something you can connect with from there. You got 20 minutes” (keep in mind this other concourse is in a different zip code!). Another guy flags me a cart. I get to the gate – no ticket, boarding pass, itinerary… NADA and 12 other people trying to get on this packed plane. People with tickets are being sent away. For some reason the woman looks at me and says, “Just get on the plane.” Cool. Arrive at the camp at 10:30. No Worries – these are college students remember, I’m entering their prime time, plus my body is saying it’s 8:30. Giddyup!


I loved the responsiveness of the students and the moving of the Holy Spirit on them was awesome. Saturday night I preached on Acts 17 about turning from our Idols and God began to do a wonderful work.


Sunday, I spoke at the retreat and then got in a car and broke lots of traffic laws to get me to the church service in time for the last worship song and up to the stage to preach! So cool!


Here’s the bottom line: This weekend spoke to me about the unbelievable value of investing our lives in people. Seeing these Mark and Jeff lead and serve and give their lives to do what God has called them to do was wonderful, like beyond words cool. I’m so stinkin proud of them.

To have had a small part in their lives… wow! It was kind of like PAY DAY! As we offer our energy and time to Jesus, as we give ourselves to the Kingdom of God, most of the result is hidden; we don’t see it, at least not now. But every now and then we get a taste. Believe me it’s sweet!