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Journey in Bend

Church upside down.

Last Build Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2017 05:40:55 +0000


The True Meaning of Redemption

Tue, 11 Sep 2012 00:14:00 +0000

The Church has a tendency to throw around a lot of churchy phrases that have meaning for those who have spent a number of years in the church, participating in Bible studies and so on. When the words get thrown around, it is easy to lose the meaning, or at least to simplify it. One such word is "redemption." When someone says or sings in a song the word redemption, I tend to translate the word to forgiveness, but forgiveness does not seem to encompass what redemption really means. It's not that I don't appreciate being forgiven, but for those of us who screw things up often, it always seems like forgiveness is just a bandaid for a constantly bleeding wound. I can say I am sorry to someone when I have done something wrong but I know in my gut that I am going to screw up again. So while I have been made right with that person, I am still not right with myself because I still feel the disease of sin in my life. Redemption goes beyond forgiveness and delves into the region of total restoration. A redeemer changes the state of the redeemed from one thing to another. Also synonymous with redemption is the word "avenge." An example would be a child soldier. When children are kidnapped and made into soldiers, they are often times forced to commit horrible atrocities like killing their parents. They live with this guilt every day and ad to it with each life they take. To forgive a child soldier would mean not killing them back when they attack you. This is kind gesture to be sure, but to redeem a child soldier is to change his life and to restore it to what it should have been. If you were to redeem the child soldier, you would take him back, remove the rifle from his hands. Place him in the home of loving parents who would care for him and protect him. The redeemer would find the men responsible for kidnapping him and making him a prisoner and see that they were brought to justice. The redeemer would make him what he should have been, a beloved son, not a killer. This is God's offer to us. Not just the forgiveness of our sins, but total restoration of what we were meant to be. He takes us from slaves and traitors, to beloved sons and daughters of the King of the universe. He changes the way we experience life, he takes the weapons from our hands, cleans us off and stands us on our feet again, there at his right hand. He heals our scars and teaches us all the things that we should have learned and loves us the way we were meant to be loved. This is so much more than the bandaid of forgiveness. This is the offer of life as it was meant to be and honor that we don't deserve. We are redeemed. - Christopher Ingersoll

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 21:59:00 +0000

The Subtlety of the enemy Whenever I have heard someone say that they had some sort of direct confrontation with a demon where it was crawling on their walls or playing tricks on them, I tend to regard the story as hysteria. It's not that I don't believe that demons are real or that they are not capable of manifesting themselves in this way, it just doesn't seem like good tactics on their part. If it were my job to keep people from having a relationship with God, I would not scare them into praying the first chance I got. I would rather lead them in the wrong direction, one step at a time, or convince them not to travel that narrow path at all. For the Enemy, the best kind of human is an apathetic one. I have seen this to be true in my own life. One day you wake up and you find that you haven't spoken to God in weeks or maybe even months. You have run out of time to read your bible; you call yourself a Christian but the title doesn't mean anything to you any more. The question that follows is always how did I get here and then the excuses start. "Well I have been under a lot of stress lately and I haven't had much time." Or you can play the blame game. "I don't want to talk to God because he has brought tragedy in my life and abandoned me." You can always find the truth to counteract the lies. The best way to deal with stress is to go to God, or that you can find time to watch TV but not to pray. You can accept that the tragedy in your life is man-made and that the bible is clear that God will never leave you, but knowing the truth doesn't always make a change in how we do things. That is where you have to acknowledge the enemy. The bible makes no bones about the reality of spiritual oppression. The enemy is real but he is not in your face, he is a whisper in the back of your mind justifying each and every little step away from God. He is the burden that slows you down in your spiritual walk until you are stopped completely. The battle for your mind is not like the overtaking of Normandy, its like terrorists silently infiltrating everything you love and treasure. That is why we have to develop a screening process. The bible calls it "taking every thought captive." Taking every thought captive means that we are purposeful about what we dwell on. We develop a habit of going to the bible for what is true and comparing our thoughts with that truth. Anything that we find that doesn't line up we put aside. As Americans we can get this backward. We operate by what we feel is true and then dismiss God and the bible because it doesn't match up with our reality, but if I were the enemy, I would have a field day manipulating emotions to contradict God. I would push negativity and isolation, anything I could to send a Christian in the wrong direction, or better yet, get them to lay down on the side of the path. God calls us to take a journey with him, and when we do we keep our focus and attention on him and in close relationship to him. In doing this we make no room for the enemy to have a foot hold in our lives and we combat their subversive tactics by the continual renewing of our minds. So if you are waiting for the enemy to attack before you begin to fight back, chances are that you are already a prisoner of war.

Finding joy and hope in Jesus

Fri, 03 Aug 2012 19:56:00 +0000

I've been living in LaPine for the last few weeks. I share that because of the ironies. While living in Bend for over 7 years, I've made more jokes about LaPine than any other place on the planet (now I live there [temporarily!]). Every time I drive into the "city limits" and see the sign that has about as many people that live there as I do friends on facebook, I chuckle on the inside. What I realize is that our joy is not found in where we live or what kind of home we have, rather in the hope we have! At Journey Church, our mission is to transform the world, starting in Bend through faith, HOPE, and love! What do you put your hope in? Do you find an irony in your life that you can see God working through? God wants you to care FAR more about how people view JESUS than view YOU. This will challenge you to the core. Invite a friend to experience Journey Church with you!

Puke at work

Sun, 06 May 2012 22:51:00 +0000

I look forward to Sunday every week. It's the day that hundreds of extended family come together and worship God... the great part about this for me.... it's also my job!! I've said this before, being a pastor is a crazy job. But, having church under a bar/night club is even crazier. Our church is located under one of the greatest places a church can be. The problem is on Sundays I never know what I'm going to find when I arrive early to pray and get ready for church. One thing I expect every Sunday morning: lots of cigarette butts, empty beer cans, and the horrific effect of excessive drinking - PUKE! Those things are not your norm in most church parking lots; but they are at JOURNEY CHURCH. With every cigarette butt and puke that gets cleaned up we know there is a person, a human loved by God. It's not always easy to remember that. But, after preaching about John 3:16 today I am reminded of the depth of God's love. There is only one condition to God's love - belief in the one that loves you - JESUS! I'm proud to have puke at work. Praying I can make a difference in Bend and beyond. - Keith Kirkpatrick

Why I love JOURNEY CHURCH! (From Hymns to Hip Hop)

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 21:57:00 +0000

I have a funny job. I'm the boss at JOURNEY.... I mean... the Head Honcho... uh... I mean Executive Spiritual Leader... what I'm trying to say is Pastor.

Trying to describe my job sometimes is hard, weird, and always great! I get crazy reactions from some people, reverent from others, and still awkward from a few.

I get the privilege to lead one of one of the most unique communities I've ever been a part of. JOURNEY is fully of diverse, broken, and incredibly hopeful people. We have young, old, rich, and poor. There are houseless and house builders. We have jobless and business owners. JOURNEY is amazing.

Let me share one reason I love JOURNEY CHURCH. Once a month we have "Hymn" Sunday. It's a day when older spiritually rich songs are a part of our Sunday morning gatherings. They are not always done in traditional form, however, the lyrics and stories greatly inspire many. It's awesome.

This month, Hymn Sunday is April 29. And get this, the next Sunday, May 6 we have two hip hop artists leading our music. So, we go from Hymns to Hip Hop! I love it. Both musical styles are heavily loved; rarely if ever in the same place by the same people.

JOURNEY CHURCH embraces a Creative God. JOURNEY loves music that points to Jesus. No matter the genre. God's people are diverse, His Church is diverse, and I am honored to be a part of this great place! I love that we sing Hymns and Hip Hop. - Keith Kirkpatrick


Fri, 06 Apr 2012 23:45:00 +0000

Easter weekend is one of the biggest holidays, scratch that, THEE biggest holiday for Christians. Friday is called “Good Friday”. It is the day that Jesus the Christ was horrifically and brutally murdered and shamed in front of thousands of people. His torture was so intense, they had to invent a word for it. Excruciating. The root meaning of this word comes from the word “cross”. So we call it Good Friday? Doesn’t sound very good. Jesus was crucified for committing no crime, or no sin. What he was accused of was outright blasphemy. He claimed to be God. This threw the Jews into a rage, and actually brought the political and religious leaders together for one of the few times in history. They were known as the Pharisees, and the Saducees. They agreed that this man Jesus was a threat to both systems. The jews wanted Him dead because of His claims to be God. This would make Him the most powerful man on the earth. Neither party was willing to let this stand.His death is candy coated in bible stories; simply stating that “Jesus died on the cross for your sins.” That doesn’t even begin to explain the severity and depth of His death. Even if you don’t believe Jesus was who he claimed to be, the way He was tortured should be enough to turn anyone’s stomach. People say that the movie “The Passion of the Christ” was too offensive, and too brutal. I still believe it was tame compared to the actual process of torture he endured. I can not imagine, well, maybe i can only imagine, what He must have gone through or looked like. Blood pouring from His head, and His skin literally ripped off His body. Blind folded, He didn’t see where the punches were coming from. Stripped almost naked, and completely shamed. Beaten beyond recognition to a bloody pulp.His mother got to see Him walk by as spectators jeered at him, and cheered his torture on further. Imagine as a parent or a mother how you would feel watching this carnival like atmosphere of public torture. Imagine. Imagine as He hung on the cross with huge metal spikes driven through His hands and feet finding some of the most sensitive nerve bundles in our bodies, the uncontrollable shaking, and shock his body was enduring. By now His bodily functions were involuntarily taking over. Use your own imagination.A spear was then thrust in His side, and a vinegar dipped sponge jammed in His mouth to shut Him up. A special sponge on a stick that was used to clean people up when they sat down to go to the bathroom. Yes, they used those sponges as a sort of ancient toilet paper. Then they would dip them in a vinegar solution to prevent diseases the next time that sponge was used for its purpose. If you’re not disgusted by now, you probably don’t have a heart. Now. Picture all the sins of the world placed on a perfect sacrificial lamb so to speak.Jesus was now completely repulsive to His own father. Imagine how Jesus felt about now. Dying for the very people who vehemently hated Him. Why? The only, and I mean only reason I can think of is absolute unconditional love. There is no other reason. A love like that is un-comprehendible to me. Yet people ask the question; how in the world could God punish and send people to hell?!!People: If God himself is willing to suffer that we might be forgiven, and we reject that gracious offer of salvation - what else would we expect?! Would we expect the guilty to not suffer though we are glad that jesus did suffer? - thought He was without guilt or sin?!If God is willing to suffer, He is willing to allow you to suffer as well. That is justice.For God so loved the world He gave his only son; that whoever believes in Him will not perish. He died for us while we were sinners. Not because we did anything good, or great, but because we didn’t. God is Love. - Steve CoatsAll this would be for naught if He didn’t fulfill his promise to conquer death an[...]

What is Easter?

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 19:29:00 +0000

Pastor Keith talks about the reality of what the name Easter means and why JOURNEY CHURCH celebrates Easter. It's a long video, so grab a cup of coffee. Watch it here.

Being lost is worth coming Home

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 17:45:00 +0000

For those of you who may not be aware, my mother has pancreatic cancer. She has good days and bad days, and has already outlived the doctors' predictions by a few months.
But last week was pretty rough for her. She was in a lot of pain, and was often very disoriented and delusional. We couldn't be sure, but felt that maybe she was getting close to the end.
And that's how the course of this disease has been for all of us, my mother included; emotionally, it's been like a roller coaster ride. I was listening to Neil Diamond's song "Stones" when I heard these lyrics, that really hit home at the time: "Being lost is worth the coming home." I shared with my family that I felt like that's where mom is at; she's lost right now, but soon she'll be going home. I think in some respects, that is also a metaphor for living as a Christian in this world - it's often difficult, we often feel lost in this world; but we know that one day we will go home to the Lord, and it will all be worth it.

As I was walking back to my room, the Spirit put a scripture on my heart. After a few minutes of searching, I found what I was looking for: Romans 8:18 (New American Standard translation) - "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed to us." I was amazed at how powerfully that scripture spoke to my need and my life at this time. The next day, I read all of Romans 8; and while I had read it many times before, this time I was amazed again at what a beautiful and powerful piece of scripture it is - full of God's promises, especially verses 18, 28, and 38-39. I truly felt the Holy Spirit working in my life, and wanted to share those insights with Journey Church.

By the way, Mom has rebounded, and enjoyed a better few days recently. - Robert Shirley

Jesus Wept

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 17:37:00 +0000

John 11:35 says that “Jesus wept.” I wonder what kind of tears they were. Was it a welling up of fluid in the eyes? Was it a steady and dignified stream or did the weight of living when others have died produce a deep groaning of the soul that can only be expressed through gasps and sobs. What kind of a man was Jesus? Maybe he felt pain just as harshly as the rest of us. - Christopher Ingersoll

An open apology ... maybe more of a confession

Thu, 26 Jan 2012 18:40:00 +0000

Last Sunday I preached a terrible message. It was long, all over the place, and a bit chaotic in content. It actually makes me sick to my stomach. Now, I'm aware that not everyone thinks it was as bad as I do. However, I have a deep conviction in regards to preaching God's Word.... the irony is that the topic was The Bible/ God's Word.

Here's what happened. That morning, I thought, "hmmm today is going to be awesome. The message should rock - it's about the Bible!" Then as groves of people showed up, I was thinking, "hmmm, the message is going to rock... there's a ton of people!" Well, lo and behold, I had technical problems, I got lost a few times in the message and became more nervous than normal because of the problems.

When JOURNEY CHURCH gathers together on Sunday mornings, I dream of the Word of God penetrating the hearts of those who hear. I know, sounds weird. But, I believe it. I actually believe that there is a stirring of God at work in the Church and I want to be a part of it.

So, I apologize for a crappy message Sunday. I know one horrible message is not the end of the world... in fact, I'm over it. But, I do commit to prepare more, rely on the Holy Spirit more, and preach like a preacher.

The truth is, we are all ministers. Our lives should be a living message. My hope is that Sunday is the catalyst for the rest of the week. This week's message should rock... see you Sunday! - Keith Kirkpatrick

Should I hate religion but love Jesus?

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 20:04:00 +0000

Oh yes, my church is a hospital for the broken, and I am certainly a patient if there ever was one. I often rest in God’s grace that He crafted me perfectly and wonderfully, in His image. Since I have a disease I need His healing hand. Yes, his grace is sufficient. Oh and yes, religion is corrupt.

Yet as I humbly accept His healing touch, I am also agreeing to a tremendous responsibility. I now represent. I represent a loving, gracious, powerful, almighty, and just Heavenly Father who lavishes His grace and mercy on me ... and I have a responsibility to obedience to a Creator who knitted me in my mother’s womb, created me with a purpose, and sent me into the world to represent Him. I am no longer my own - bought with the blood of the ultimate sacrifice. I forever owe my life to Him.

As I bathe in the beauty of a Gospel free from the chains of working my way into eternity with my savior, I am simultaneously compelled to practice discipline and restraint, and yes, maybe a little religion, in the purest sense of the word. Just as the Hebrew church was encouraged, I must also discipline myself for the race set out for me.

No, He does not call us to religion for religion’s sake. He calls us to obey, to humble ourselves, submit to His plan and His authority, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Religion via Jesus should not hurt those around us. James says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV) Religion has been corrupted by humanity. Yes, Jesus was the fulfillment of the “Law”, but He did not come to abolish it either.

Oh I often swim in the warm waters of the ocean of God’s grace, constantly begging for His favor on my family, and as I entrench my life in the depths of humanity’s brokenness, I hold myself accountable to live to a standard worthy of desire.

I think I’ll go pick up the cigarettes and empty jello shot cups right outside the doors of my church that dwells underneath a night club with my 2, 5 and 7 year olds. And I think we’ll pray for the person represented by each one as we do it, that they would eventually meet and get to know their Creator, and bask in His deep ocean of mercy and love and grace and freedom. And I may even take a picture, post it on facebook and title it: "Taking back my religion." - Kara Kirkpatrick

What the crap Adam?!?

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 00:15:00 +0000

Winter break is over so it’s back to the salt mines, nose to the grindstone, feet to the fire and all that stuff. The thing is, I don’t like to work. I know that there are some people out there that actually make money doing the things that they love, but I am not one of those people and I don’t know very many of them. Those that I do know don’t make a good living doing what they love, so all in all, working is a lot of work. Why are things this way? It’s Adam’s fault (as in Adam and Eve).

Adam ate the forbidden fruit and God got torqued and said that from then on we have to work “by the sweat of our brow.” So that’s it, Adam screwed up and we have had to work ever since. This may seem like a rather obvious or shallow point to make but the thing is, I don’t always live like that is the truth.

If I am honest with myself, I spend a good deal of time trying to arrange my life so that I don’t have to work as much. I have computers that pay my bills so I don’t have to write checks, I eat fast food so I don’t have to do the work of cooking, I have remotes for just about everything from my lights to the TV. I go through a lot of work try to lessen my work load but at the end of each day, I go to bed just as tired, my shoulders holding just as much stress, my brow just as sweaty (metaphorically speaking.) I am trying to undo, get around, loophole the consequences of sin. It’s like I want to remake my own little Eden right hear in my house but it never seems to work.

A little verse from perhaps the most depressing book in the Bible gives me hope and new perspective though. Solomon, the wise king from the Old Testament wrote a book called Ecclesiastes, where he goes on an extended rant about how he tried everything there is to try and it was all worthless. The guy had more money than Bill Gates, enough wives to play musical spouse for years and it was all worthless. The answer he found at the end of his rant was this “The best thing we can do is to enjoy eating, drinking and working. I believe these are God’s gifts to us, and no one enjoys eating and living more than I do,” Ecc 2:26. There you have it, we are meant to enjoy our work rather than dodge it. Eating and Drinking is good too. - Chris Ingersoll

Meek like Ingelbert

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 19:14:00 +0000

My dog Ingelbert is a monster. He’s a Cane Corso Mastiff, which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the breed, is a large and powerful dog. He weighs about 110 pounds, has a thin coat and skin so that his huge muscles show through even when he is just standing there. At one point we bought him one of those huge cow bones and after watching him crush it in a single bite, I did some googling and found that he can deliver 600 pounds per square inch of bite pressure. Needless to say, one would have to foolish to try and break into my house, but that is not the reason that I love my dog.

Ingelbert is the definition of meek. When he is around other dogs, no matter if they are large or small he lays over for them, careful not to intimidate. When my kids crawl all over him and play with the saggy skin on his face, he doesn’t bark or growl. He simply doesn’t feel the need to show anyone how tough he is. This isn’t to say that he abandons being tough. A short time ago I was tickling my little girl and she was screaming in delight and misinterpreting the event, Ingelbert grabbed my ankle, pulling me off of her. Ingelbert only uses his power for the benefit of others, which I think is a good model for meekness.

I am not typically meek. As the smallest kid in school until my sophomore year, I got in a lot of fights with bullies to show that I was just as tough as them. As an adult, my lack of meekness comes out another way. I am meek enough not to be cross with people or rude, but when someone is that way to me, I don’t want them to interpret my meekness for weakness, so I tend to lambast them to make sure that they know that I am not a man to be trifled with.

Jesus is the most powerful man in history. He can calm a storm, cast out demons with extreme prejudice and concur death itself. But in his life we don’t see him making sure that everyone knows how powerful he is unless it is for the benefit of others like when the temple was being defiled. When he was being beaten and whipped, he didn’t unleash the fury of heaven, he took it on the chin because it was the right thing to do. Jesus is meek and Ingelbert is like him in that way. I think I would do well to be more like Ingelbert. - Chris Ingersoll

Fishing With Who?!

Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:37:00 +0000

I love to fish. I mean I really love to fish. Sometimes I go alone, and sometimes with a buddy of mine. But I would never dream of going fishing with Satan. What the? When I go fishing by myself, I stand in the river looking at all of God's creation and get sucked in to a one on one time with my Creator, Friend, King, Savior etc. It's an awesome time of reflection and bewilderment at the same time. Reflection on how mighty and awesome He really is! Bewilderment in the fact that I can't even come close to understanding Him. Why so much grace for a wretch like me? Hard to fathom and understand, but then again trying to figure out God is like trying to do a Rubik's cube blindfolded with one hand. But fishing with my God is an awesome thing. It's real, it's authentic, and it's meaningful.

TO FISH: When you go fishing you are trying to trick the fish or fool them into something that is not what it seems. You are "deceiving" them.

So fishing with Satan? Satan is a great fisherman. Probably the best. He knows just what bait to use for each and every one of us, and most of us can't refuse it. Once we bite down, it's hard to break free. We nibble at the bait he's tempted us with. Satan is the master deceiver, and gives us counterfeit bait i.e. love, significance, and security to name a few. These tempting baited hooks take the form of money, porn, toys, power etc. We bite down hard, and the hook sinks in deep. Quite often, once the hook is set, he reels us in and lands us.

We can avoid being hooked by knowing what kind of "bait" he is using. We do this by knowing what is real and what is not. We do this by enhancing our relationship with the real fisher of men -Jesus Christ. If we do not invite Jesus to take complete control of our lives, we will be deceived, and we will take the bait. Know the truth. Know Jesus. - Steve Coats

Life by Default

Mon, 02 Jan 2012 19:30:00 +0000

A good friend and mentor once asked me if I live my life on purpose or by default. I didn’t quite get the question then so I promptly answered “on purpose,” but years later I would come to discover what he really meant by that. As people, I think, we are generally motivated by pressure. By this I mean, that I wake up in the morning thinking about the things I have to get done. I go to work because my boss will be angry if I don’t show up and because if I don’t work, I won’t have money. If it weren’t for the pressure of needing to support myself and my family and the pressure to keep my boss pleased with my performance, I would not choose to go to work on my own.

The more I think about it the more I realize that most of my day is motivated by pressure. I feel pressure to not stink so I take a shower; I feel pressure to look presentable so I put on appropriate clothing; I feel pressure to maintain a healthy weight so I eat what I should (usually) rather than what I want, etc. etc. This is not to say that pressure isn’t good, public standards of decency are a huge part of what keeps a society functional. We pressure each other to maintain standards like not stealing or destroying other people’s property. We have the police to put pressure on people to follow the laws. Pressure is good for the most part, but the funny thing is I don’t find that God puts a lot of pressure on me, and as result I don’t pay as much attention to him as I should. God is certainly not the squeaky wheel in my life.

God really seems to value free will. I don’t think that he wants followers who obey him because he nags them or constantly reminds them of what they need to do or say. I have yet to hear God pipe up in my ear and say, “I want at least an hour of prayer by the close of business.” He leaves that choice to us. We have to find, some motivation within ourselves to live our lives the way that we want, not just by what we are pressured to do. This is not to say that we quit our jobs and become dead beats, it means that we can’t wait for the right pressure to become the people that we want to be, people that love God and follow him. We have to live life on purpose, not by default. - Chris Ingersoll

The Quiet Life

Thu, 29 Dec 2011 00:20:00 +0000


I love working in my shop, it’s kind of like my fortress of solitude. I take my oversized cup of hot tea, surround myself with tools and sawdust and listen to the dull hum of the florescent lights. I can get lost out there for hours working on different projects or just cleaning and organizing the tools so that they are ready for the next job. I have had some of my best conversations with God while sanding a dresser or building a chicken coup, yet somehow, I feel guilty for being out there.

The trouble is that I have a hard time with big pictures, by that I mean, I could be using my time to help the homeless or raising funds for starving children but I am wasting my time tinkering in my shop. Helping the orphans and the widows is surely more important that getting a nice finish on an old vanity isn’t it? Couldn’t I talk with God on my own time? These things play through my mind often, but this week, a visit from my brother helped me put some of these feelings in perspective.

My brother Grayson and I used to build things all the time when we were younger. From light sabers to racecar tracks, it seemed like we were always working on a project. Having him around this week to help me with some jobs that needed to be done before Christmas, really brought back those memories and it also gave us a chance to have some personal and meaningful conversations. The shop brought us together again. This brought to mind one of my wife’s favorite scriptures. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,” 1 Thessalonians 4:11. This verse has always confused me, because it did not seem like Jesus led a very quiet life; that is until I consider that the biography of Jesus does not include the years he spent as a carpenter. That’s right, Jesus had shop time. I wonder how many good conversations Jesus had with his father Joseph or his brothers while sanding down a table or polishing a chair. I wonder what sort of peace working with his hands brought him while he had conversations with his Heavenly Father. Could following Jesus really include learning to build things quietly in your shop? If we are to follow after the life of our King, then it might do us all well to remember what sort of man Jesus was through his life and not shy away from the quiet life. - Christopher Ingersoll

We gave it all away!!

Mon, 19 Dec 2011 20:09:00 +0000

This past Sunday was one of the craziest Sunday's in JOURNEY'S history. We have a track record of forging new paths... attempting the unknown. This Christmas we attempted an offering that was an experiment of sorts.

On December 4 we began a campaign called the "orange offering." We asked JOURNEY CHURCH to give towards an offering that they knew nothing about. The idea was to give to God. To be honest, I didn't know how the church would respond. In only two weeks, the church gave over $6,000!!! Wow, that is amazing... shocking... awesome!

This week we get to see the church in action. Many people agree that the church is not a "building" or a name or even an organization. Rather, the Bible describes a church like a body with many members. The church is people.

JOURNEY gave ALL of the money back to the people! We divided it up in cash and gave it back to the people/church. Even the kids received cash. The object is to pray about where the money should go and spend it on someone else!

So, what will happen? Well, we'll see. I'll keep you posted! As for me, I haven't spent my money yet. Our family is talking about it and I think we'll pool our resources and help another family in need. Again, I'll keep you posted.
- Keith Kirkpatrick

Christmas is for-giving

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 22:16:00 +0000

That’s the title to this weeks message. As you can probably tell, we will be covering the topic of forgiveness. Not only will will have a heartfelt message from the Bible, rocking music, and cute kids singing - BUT, we will reveal our Orange Offering*.

Have you ever had to ask for forgiveness? I mean for something that was really bad! There is a feeling you get in your gut that makes you sick. You know it’s the right thing to do, but you don’t know what’s going to happen. There is a risk... will this person reject me, will they be mad at me, will they even forgive me?!

I have that feeling in my stomach! How will the church react to the orange offering? Will they be excited, let down, or...? Anytime you do something great, there is a risk. And I’ve always believed... the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

This Sunday I pray that forgiveness takes place. This Sunday I pray a huge reward is reaped by the people at JOURNEY CHURCH. Want to know what I’m talking about? See you this Sunday!
- Keith Kirkpatrick

*The Orange Offering was a 2 week anonymous offering the church gave. No one knew what it was going to - accept that it was for God. Over $5,000 was given!!!

Life is a gift

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 00:03:00 +0000

Life is crazy - there are no guarantees. Even the Bible says, life is a vapor... it goes fast!

I’m a firm believer that we only get one life to live... and that life determines what we do for eternity. The problem is that life seems to be so inundated with distractions that I rarely focus on eternity.

This week has been a train wreck from the normal routine of my life.

My wife and I have spent the better part of 3 days in the doctors office and hospital trying to help my oldest daughter get well. Her breathing was restricted due to an inflamed throat caused by severe croup.

During those 3 days several things occurred to me. One thing hit me... when tragedies or emergencies occur, they can draw people together. Not only did my wife and I work more as a team the last three days, I watched friends and family unite to pray for my daughter and our family. Also, I discovered that although nothing hurts me more than when my kids suffer; it draws them and me closer to God. You see suffering does several things, it causes prayer and it prioritizes meaning.

Let me explain. No one knows suffering more than Jesus. He experienced every form (emotional, physical, spiritual). Thus, when we go through suffering, we begin to experience what Christ experienced and the goal is to glorify God through it all (to trust and obey even when you don’t know what’s going to happen).

When life is fine, I rarely have a need for God. When life is on the line - I NEED God.

Finally, I also found myself not being so busy - but really focussing on what’s most important. In the church world (my job, my life), the next few weeks are important. We may have new guests attend a church service, we may be able to take offerings we would otherwise would not take - but, in all of these things, I find myself saying, “God’s in charge, not me.”

This week, God wanted me to take some sick days and spend them with family. I’m in awe of the ways God works. To be honest, I don’t always like them and I would not have done it that way. However, I’m content to say, His ways are better than mine.

So, have at it God. Do your thing. Surprise us, even in suffering. I pray - more than anything, we each see life as a gift. If we have breath in our lungs, then God’s not finished with you. He’s given you a gift to be enjoyed, used, and shared with others. Turn to Him and ask Him how to use the gift of your life today! - Keith Kirkpatrick

Waking up Like Peanut

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:07:00 +0000

Most mornings, I awake to the familiar thump, thump, thump of my five-year old daughter’s feet running into my room in her princess underwear, to wish me a good morning. Vera, or Peanut as we like to call her, is definitely a morning person. She wakes up with a smile on her face and it seems she can barely contain the excitement of starting a new day. She delivers a short kiss and then she is on her way out to the living room, not walking, but running.

I, on the other hand, do not wake up excited about my day. Often times, I am too sore to sleep anymore so I just lay awake for about a half an hour thinking about all the stuff I have to get done. When the weight of responsibility finally creates enough pressure I start to chug my way out of bed like an old steam engine. At the end of the day, when I can no longer work, I end up staying up later than I should, so that I can have a few moments of peace because nothing is expected of me.

It’s easy to write off Peanut’s morning joy by saying that she just doesn’t know how hard life is yet or saying that she doesn’t have anything to worry about. But, when I think about the scriptures, Peanut’s example takes on a lot more weight. The Bible seems to say that joy is important for the believer and that joy is linked with trust. "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NLT.) It’s not that Peanut doesn’t have anything to worry about, it’s that she trusts that Mom and Dad will take care of her, so she is free to be excited about her day. Vera has child-like faith in me (a bit humbling to think about.) It stands to reason then, that perhaps the reason I don’t have joy about my day is because I don’t trust God to take care of me. I guess there is something to the part where Jesus tells me to have faith like a child. Perhaps if I had that kind of trust, I could wake up like Peanut as well.
- Chris Ingersoll