March 6, 2018
Grateful for so many things in the last week or so!
Grateful for the Work As Worship simulcast Journey hosted on the third floor of the City Market Building in downtown Roanoke for about 50 leaders in our church and community to enhance servant leader skills.
Grateful for the “God Moment” that led to the sharing of faith after Journey provided muffins and chocolate and trail mix and the promise of prayers to 80 persons at Roanoke County Schools Central Office and 135 persons at Northside High School.
Grateful for the 40 people who came out on Saturday in the cold and wind to cut down trees and do landscaping work and fill up two dumpsters with junk on our newly purchased property.
Grateful to spend time with about 20 middle schoolers and high schoolers from our church and try and answer some of their tough questions for about an hour during which they were amazingly attentive.
Grateful for the 20 people who came to Journey’s Newcomers Lunch and their genuineness and openness.
Grateful for the great work that’s being done on Journey’s 2025 Strategic Plan that will be presented to our church in the spring.
Grateful for the wonderful, wonderful volunteers at Journey who humble me Sunday after Sunday.
What are you grateful for?
March 12, 2018
I worked as a janitor in a dorm when I was in college to help pay my tuition. So, I read with interest when Matt Steen wrote “The Parable of the Janitor.” Matt went to visit a neighbor of his in the hospital. The neighbor wanted to walk in the hallways, so Matt walked with him.
They came up to a janitor who was lugging cleaning supplies, so they stopped to let him pass. Instead of walking past, the janitor stopped and declared to the neighbor: “No, sir, after you! You need to keep walking so that you can get healthy.”
The mission of the hospital is to make people well. Within the hospital, people have many different jobs: doctors, nurses, accountants, chefs, receptionists, janitors, and so on. While each of these jobs is important to the overall operation of the hospital, none of these jobs is more important than the mission: making people well. The janitor understood that it didn’t really matter how well he cleaned the hallway floors if people weren’t getting healthy. He understood his real job was helping people get well.
In the church, our real job is helping people to get well spiritually, emotionally, physically. Whatever our job is in the body of Christ—leading worship, caring for children, guiding youth, teaching classes, greeting people, setting up and taking down equipment, operating technology—we’re to do it to make people well. We do this by making disciples—disciples who make disciples.
No matter how insignificant it may seem to us, every follower of Jesus has a tremendous job to do—to make people well. How are we doing at it?
March 19, 2018
I want to share with you two life change stories from Sunday’s baptism service.
Before I trusted Christ, I did a lot of questioning. I had a lot of disappointment and discouragement. I was angry. I was in a very low place. I had been attending Journey. I was trying to start over. I gave it all to Jesus. I remember walking across the parking lot at work. I said out loud: “God, I don’t know how, but I am going to trust you know best.” It was like a huge weight lifted. I could breathe.
Since I decided to follow Jesus, things are still crazy at times. There are still struggles, but I have a peace that I have never felt before. I feel his presence. I know he is there. I feel like I am calmer. I have more patience, and I try to think about what would God say when I struggle and have a bad day. I know I am not alone. I have peace and contentment.
Before I decided to trust Christ, my heart was filled with fear, anger, pain, shame and guilt. My life was disorganized, and depression had taken over. I felt very lonely. I felt a real emptiness inside. I searched for ways to develop a relationship with Jesus.
The decision to follow Christ is the best decision I ever made, even with my baggage of sin. I was filled with a peace which I had never known was possible, a peace of and from Jesus. I’m so thankful and grateful for this beautiful gift from God. My personality was changed. I now experience every day a feeling of happiness, gratefulness, joy and contentment. I feel stronger as a child of God who loves me unconditionally forever. I’m excited to grow more each day with Jesus. I have many Christian friends to share faith with. I want to serve the Lord.
March 26, 2018
Here’s another life change story from Journey’s baptism service.
My grandmother played a big part in the church she attended. When she passed away, I was angry at Christ. I did not understand how Christ could take someone that I loved and admired away from me. I stopped attending church. I believed that my soul was lost due to me being angry at Christ and taking life for granted. One day I was driving to work on Route 419 and fell asleep behind the wheel of my vehicle. I woke up just in time to swerve and avoid a cement intersection. I walked away from the car accident without injury.
When I was college, I became friends with my roommate who later I would consider my brother. While on spring break, I received a phone call with the news that he had passed away eight days before his 21st birthday. After returning to college, I attended a party where I made a poor choice of consuming an abundance of alcohol by myself. I woke up in my apartment with friends and EMS surrounding me. I passed out due to alcohol poisoning.
Prior to Christ, I lived a life in sin. I took my life for granted and did not appreciate things in life. I began attending church and felt in my heart that I needed Christ. I have realized that Christ placed me on this earth for a purpose. You hear about people being given a second chance. I truly believe that I have been given a third chance. I walked away from a car accident without a scratch, and my roommate was at the right place at the right time when I had alcohol poisoning.
Prior to making my decision to follow Christ, I would only speak to him for things that I desired in life. Since becoming a follower of Christ, I thank him each morning for allowing me to wake up and have another day on this earth. I have now learned that when I speak to Christ that I need to thank him for the hardships in life. Without the hardships in life I would not be able to appreciate the greater times in life. I believe that everything happens for a reason in life, and now that I am a follower of Christ I can fulfill that purpose in life.