17 December, 2005

Simeon & Anna

In the advent spirit I thought I'd point us back over to Scott McKnight's blog where he has reflected on what Christmas meant for Simeon and Anna:

Simeon & Anna 1
Simeon & Anna 2
Simeon & Anna 3
Simeon & Anna 4
Simeon & Anna 5

15 December, 2005

A Night @ Kiltiernan

We went up for some snowboarding lessons with Cormac, Steve, and a bunch of the lads going on the trip in Feb. If I get any pics, I'll put 'em up for ya. It's always fun learning to snowboard on millions of toothbrushes in the hills of Dublin. And we did look like idiots but as Steve said, "I felt really uncool, until I walked passed the skiers." It was great craic. We walked away from it getting to know how to snowboard a bit better and having some quality time with some quality lads.


11 December, 2005

Mary & Elizabeth


Scott McKnight has a great blog I've bee reading quite a bit lately. He is doing a short "series" on it about the meaning of Christmas for Mary & Elizabeth and shows quite some insight in his observations. Link below to read:

Mary & Elizabeth 1
Mary & Elizabeth 2
Mary & Elizabeth 3
Mary & Elizabeth 4
Mary & Elizabeth 5


10 December, 2005

Back to the Hospital

Well, we have decided to take Hailey back into the hospital. She just hasn't been doing well and could benefit from some more time on the drip.

Update: When I left Hailey at the hospital tonight she was in good spirits. She hasn't vomited much today - a HUGE blessing - and she is doing a lot better now with the I.V. Please pray that she would be able to sleep well there tonight. Last time she spent the night at the hospital she found it very hard to sleep due to hearing woman after woman go into labour.

Narnia Tip

Hey, it doesn't look like Hailey and I will be able to join you all for the Narnia adventure but I did want to let you guys know that rumour has it that you'll want to wait around after the credits. Supposedly there is an important scene there. So don't leave early.

Hailey and I are so thankful for your support in both prayer and provision. We are considering taking her back to the hospital today. I'll let you know what we end up doing.


06 December, 2005

Christmas Re-imagined

One of my personal prayers this Christmas has been to hear the story of the birth of Jesus anew. There is a tendency for me to hear the story I grew to know as a child and to close my ears to what really happened. Biblical story slowly turns to fairy tale. Recently, I found the CD "A Christmas Story You've Never Heard," reviewed over at The Ooze. I was thinking it might be fun to listen to this as a group as we try to hear the story with fresh ears.


Seattle Metro Church

Seattle Metro Church seems to be doing community similar to ourselves. Thought I'd put the link up here so we can explore it together and see if we can learn from these guys.


04 December, 2005

Being Available for God

I mentioned to some of us how I had really appreciated the testimony of Nick Vujicic (the guy with no limbs). You can check out his life and testimony on his website, or listen to him here (mp3) or even watch him here (quicktime). This is a guy who in many a person's eye would be simply a pity case but he is not. Nick is a guy who I've only listened to once but who has inspired me to a more missional mindset in life. His message is "be available to be used by God" and that means in the grocery store, or in my car, keeping my radar up and prayerfully asking, "God use me." I was brought back to this message after reading a quote from Bono in an interview with Q Magazine. He was their person of the year. You can read the entire article here (just click on the images). Here's the quote:

"Q: Money. Irishness. God. Which one couldn't you live without?

Bono: Wow. Well it's an easy question to ask but... here's a thing. When I was 16, my head was exploding. I just felt my life was going nowhere. I didn't fit in. I couldn't get a job. I didn't know how I could do my exams and I wasn't even sure I could concentrate at college. In those days, I remember, a prayer came up inside me. I said "I don't know what I'm going to do with my life but if there's a God out there, and I believe there is, and You want me to do something, then I'm ready. I don't have any plans for myself and I'm available for work." Pretty much within a few months of that epiphany I had joined U2 and started going out with Ali. A pretty good two months! Now had my destiny been -- if the God in heaven had said I want you to become a fireman and run up very dangerous buildings and save people's pets, I'd like to hope I'd have gone at it with the same gusto. So -- I couldn't let go of my faith. But what's more interesting is that I don't think God will let go of me. I love it when people on bar stools rub their chins and say do you believe in God? That's so presumptuous. A much more important question is does God believe in us?

Q: That sounds like you believe you were chosen.

Bono: No, no, no, I don't believe that. I do think God gets a laugh out of using some very poor materials. I volunteered is what I'm telling you."
--Bono in Q Magazine
And so as we enter our daily lives lets do it with the attitude of availability, with the desire to be be used by God.


Will Narnia Sneak Past our Dragons?


Read an interesting article in USA Today this morning concerning the religious tension in America over The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. It asked if the film was to be viewed as fantasy adventure or as religious allegory and answered that we should see it as both.
I wonder with what attitudes we are going to see the film in a weeks time (do you think we need to pre-book?).

One of the quotes is from a professor of Hope College (an evangelical college in the USA) states, "Let story be story. Don't go explaining it, don't ask kids, 'Does this remind you of something? Do you find something deeper here?' Let them discover it on their own, if they ever do."

But some of us might be thinking, "why?" Isn't this a great opportunity to discuss the gospel message of Christ with our kids and neighbors, and Aslan is such an obvious Christ figure... But I think we might do well to listen to the words of C.S. Lewis before we go and slip in the gospel through the backdoor with our friends, kids and family. The USA article quotes Lewis at length here:

"Lewis, who died in 1963, gave the clearest explanation of the books and why he wrote them in an essay titled "Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to Be Said."

"I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past certain inhibitions which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ?

"I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices, almost as if it were something medical.

"But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could."

I think Lewis got it right. He always argued that his story was not an allegory but an experiment playing around with the idea of what it might have looked like if Christ had come into a world of furry animals and talking beasts. If we let our kids, family, & neighbors feel the power of the story I think it might just get past their inhibitions, their dragons, and lead to much greater conversations down the road.

Just some thoughts


Link: Is that lion the King of Kings?

03 December, 2005

Satan's Sinners in the Kingdom

Read a great article today at Relevant Magazine entitled Barnyard Births in the City. I love this quote from it:

"At its core, however, Christ’s birth was unseemly (single mothers were capital criminals); unsanitary (born in a barn, surrounded by farm animals, stench and bugs); controversial (astrologers were the first to perceive it, by reading the stars); lowly (shepherds got it, innkeepers did not); dangerous (it provoked the ire of a villainous king); deadly (the king slaughtered innocents in response); not to mention politically radioactive (Jesus was “king” of an occupied people) and religiously scandalous (“Messiah”). "
As we study the incarnation on Thursdays (i.e. the Christmas story) I think it's important to remember that this story is a messy one, it's not the sanitized one our Christmas cards, shopping sprees and family dinners speak of. The Incarnation is the trumpet sound of the beginning of the end. It is this story we celebrate 2000 years down the road.

As we said last Thurs. night, Christ's birth brought peace between humanity and God but Christ's presence in our lives also brings up a lot of junk that we need to deal with.

The article discusses the New York gang Satan's Sinners, and how pastor Rick and his congregation continued the ministry of Christ coming into the messy lives and communities of Bethlehem and the Middle East in their local community.

The birth of Christ is a reminder that what God has called us to is messy business but in being messy we announce “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Lk. 2:14).


02 December, 2005

Taking "church" to our community

Sun 4th Dec.
Meeting at Matt & Hailey's at 11:00am and walking to Knox Hall, Monkstown where Monkstown Educate Together National School (where Lauren & Robert go) are having their School Christmas Fair. The fair runs until 2:30pm but we can leave at any time. Stalls will include home cooking, face painting, cd's, dvd's, books, etc. As usual on these occasions, there will be a Santa knocking about & there will be a raffle - you have been warned!!. Tea and coffee will be served. Come and hang out with, and get to know some people from the area.

Sun 11th Dec.
Going to see 'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe' at the Ormonde Cinema, Stillorgan starting at 10:30am. Tickets for this showing cost €4.50 each for adults and children. This is a movie we can invite friends and neighbours to come see with us and should lead to some interesting conversations. Don't miss this opportunity to see this amazing film just days after it is released (9th Dec). If you wish, you can reserve your tickets in advance using your cedit card, by calling the Ormonde at (01) 278 0000.


01 December, 2005

Ask and Ye Shall Receive...

Found an mp3 of Alan Hirsch to add to your list and another one here (again haven't yet listened to them myself). Again, it was Andrew Jones who pointed this stuff out to me. Hirsch is releasing a new book entitled "Dangerous Stories," a book asking why the House Church Movement has done so well under persecution.


27 November, 2005

How We Journey

One of the great things about The Journey is that it is not a "journey wherever you like journey." The journey we are on, even though it will look radically different for us than from another church, or even between those of us in the community, is specific. It is centered around Christ as our starting point and end point (and he's even there as we journey in between those points). Much of what this blog does is allow us to share our journeys and encourage one another in Christ centerdness.

I emailed around this description of core values from a church called
The Living Room which is in Australia.They list their three core values:


1. inner journey (worship, prayer - spiritual formation),
2. outer journey (mission, justice, service) and
3. together journey (community, fellowship etc).

Cormac used these for his IBI assembly presentation. I think these are some great centre points for our journey (personal and missional and communal) specifically because they are all points close to the heart of Christ.


Defining the Emergent Church

No definitions available. Sorry. But for those wanting to discuss and think through the conversation, you can head over to Andrew's Blog (do I even read any other blog?) as he has just updated his "On Defining Emerging Church" post. I've read a few of them and it's a good place to just dig in (but please don't get lost in - at some point we actually have to be who we are) to the conversation.

Link: On Defining Emerging Church (updated)


Bible School Cliff Notes

I was on Andrew's blog (surprise, I know) today and came across some articles he pointed too. I quickly noticed they were excerpts/thoughts from a book my Dad has been reading:

"Church Without Walls: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries" (Jim Peterson)

The excerpt is HERE and an explanation of how this thinking relates to the emerging conversation is found HERE. I also did a little snooping of my own and I found this review of

"The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church" (Michael Frost, Alan Hirsch)

I also found this synopsis of a Mike Frost lecture, as well as some MP3s by him (haven't listened to them yet). If either Mike Frost or Alan Hirsch have blogs I haven't been able to find them yet (even though I have noticed that Alan does post on a lot of people's blogs, c.f. HERE and HERE).

Well there it is, for those of us horrible at reading/finishing books (I think I'm in the middle of 7 or 8 at the moment), here are some Cliff's notes of the ideas. Enjoy.


25 November, 2005

Housekeeping: Something New

Well, I decided to take a moment and re-do the Journey Blog. The biggest change is the overall look. It was pink, now it's blue. I also amended the description of The Journey based on some email discussions. I've also organized the links, as well as have added some new ones.


24 November, 2005

No More Church for 'Them'

Karl emailed some of us this post by Ryan Bolger and I thought here might be a great place to discuss it. Ryan argues that it is pointless to create "relevant" churches or church services because the reality is that they simply will not be. Church is weird. Lets face it. He goes on to argue (and I totally agree with this) that,

"What Christians need to do is create meaningful worship through bringing their very own lives to God. Worship must reflect the culture of the community that is currently part of the church, not replicate current worship CDs, nor 1980s soft rock, nor 18th century hymns. Instead of mimicking other church cultures, the community collectively brings their own idiosyncratic ways of life to God, whatever they may be."
I have been thinking the same thing recently. Not only should the structure/form of the church emerge out of those in it, but the worship too should come from those involved. Thus we don't rely on the newest worship songs out there (nor the oldest ones) to facilitate our worship but we bring the ways we worship God to the community (which indeed may be those worship songs but I hope there are many more ways also), creating a unique expression of worship. Unique in the sense that it emanates from the gifts God has given specifically to us to return to him.

Bolger continues by pointing out that evangelism is not brining people to church, but is being missional, going to the 'them,' presenting Christ in everyday life and not in our evangelical sub-culture.

Bolger goes on to note that by focusing on the Church services as the core of what church is simply perpetuates the the mythical secular/sacred divide, it perpetuates the laity/clergy split (implying that only those paid for ministry do it), and it perpetuates a producer/consumer faith.

Bolger finishes up by presenting some alternatives.

This post was great, in my mind, at distinguishing the main differences between the seeker sensitive models of church and the emerging/organic model we are finding ourselves in conversation with. In other words, it helps explain why the picture below is a bit confusing.

(I found this pic. over at
Andrew's Blog)


23 November, 2005

Emrg Newsletter

Click here for the latest EMRG Newsletter.


Our journey with Jesus

Thought I'd share this quote from a book I was reading today. It's good to remind ourselves who should be in the driving seat!

Our journey with Jesus begins when we are willing to drop our own agenda and submit to His authority. Our natural tendency is to forge our own way. But because of His compelling power in our lives, there comes a moment when we realise we need to do what He asks ‘because He says so’. We let down our nets, even if we think that it’s the wrong thing to do. Submitting our lives to Christ’s authority, whether or not we understand it, is the key to becoming all He created us to be.

Quote taken from ‘Brave Enough to Follow – What Jesus can do when you keep your eyes on Him’ by Stuart Briscoe (Navpress, CO, USA, 2004)


Thursday group discussion

Here is a study plan for the next four Thursday nights, to improve our intake of the Word as a group. It is a devastatingly simple plan which involves investigating the Christmas story in the scriptures for four weeks, beginning this Thursday night, the 24th of November. Below you'll see the passages we'll be examining, and a few starter questions to get us thinking and question-asking about these passages. The questions are merely a starting point (not an ending point) and aimed at helping us interact meaningfully with what we're reading.

Of course, this simple plan requires that each of us spends some time before the Thursday night meetings (maybe 30 mins) examining these scriptures and thinking about them. I suspect we'll each find that our connection with the scriptures will be proportional to the amount of time we spend actually interacting with the Word.

Let's give it a try, see if it works! See you Thursday.


18 November, 2005

The Journey Emerging...

OK, I admit I'm probably putting up here more than we few can chew to any degree of adequacy but alas, I'm up browsing blogs and my mind is a racing...

I came again across an Andrew Jones post where he notes 3 areas of potential emergence. It has been fun to see these areas in action within The Journey and its larger community:

"1. Submerging - those going deep into culture to listen, think, pray, and share the gospel among the emerging culture." - I think specifically of those of us who did the deconstructing thing. I also think of those we are connected to, seeing them simply existing in the Irish culture, sharing the gospel both directly and indirectly.

"2. Emerging - When the new church structures begin to rise up and take shape organically inside the culture, a process that will often be described as having "emergent characteristics" and displaying "emergent behavior." - OK, I think this is us, not that we have to assume the label "Emergent Church" or agree with everything "emerging," but in that we are growing organically out of a conversation that began over 2 years ago.

"3. Converging - When the new church structures begin to connect to the other existing structures, local and global, and form part of the web that is the body of Christ." - I think we saw this most recently when Andrew Jones was just out, but also in connecting with others in Ireland thinking through similar questions both online, at meetings (planned & accidental), and in networking.


Emergent/Emerging Criticism

I know a few of us asked recently about the criticisms being placed upon the Emerging conversation as well as looking for some responses. I've been doing a bit of reading myself in the area and so I thought I'd post up some of the beneficial conversations here (I find that much of the talk out there is simply time-wasting, i.e. both sides loose sight of Christ's mission for the world in us and begin simply trying to denounce one another). I began by reading "Our Response to Critics of Emergent" (which is also posted here at the Ooze) and found it to be helpful as a place to start looking at the Emerging conversation even though it was very vague(but necessarily so, seeing at there are many a critic out there and a large group of people with varying ideas was being represented). The response is from the core leaders at Emergent, a group of people in the Emerging conversation who are having a huge impact on the movement in the USA and the rest of the World but don't speak for all who consider themselves emerging (i.e. there would be many who would consider themselves a part of the emerging conversation but not agree with all that is Emergent - hope that makes sense). The A-Team Blog posted up a discussion-worthy response here. The comments in response to it are posted by some of the main Emergent leaders and I think help clear up a lot of where they are at. Another post, that I found read-worthy, was by Andrew Jones. I like his careful response to one of his critics in clarifying up some doctrinal issues. In doing so he lays out a lot of his theological biases. Read what he has to say here.

Hope this helps those of us thinking through God's heart for The Journey.


One other thing, here are some MP3s aggregated by Andrew Jones in which McLaren & Dobson debate the Emerging Church. Oddly enough, in my mind, both of these guys are on the extreme ends of either side (need there be "sides"?). The majority of people, I imagine, would fall somewhere in between these two.

17 November, 2005

Erwin McManus Podcast

Not sure if I'm just late to notice this but Mosaic, one of the churches Cormac (and a few others) visited while in LA, have released a podcast of their pastor, Erwin Mcmanus. Just a heads up for anyone who wants to get in on the action.

Link: Erwin Mcmanus Podcast

16 November, 2005

Kids in the Emerging/Organic/Missional/Incarnation...

Kids in the Emerging/Organic/Missional/Incarnational/Emergent/Simple/etc. Church

It has been on my heart recently, the idea of what we should be doing with our kids (and with each other's kids) to see them growing more in love with Christ at The Journey. So I took off for the internet in the hopes that I'd find others struggling through the same questions. I presumed that the question had already been addressed and that there would be a plethora of ideas to work through. Not the case. In searching "children emergent church" in Google I mostly came across blog posts and blog comments. Some suggest that the Emerging Church is not addressing the question as much because in many countries it is very much a youth initiative. But this is not the case across the board and definitely not the case at The Journey.

I love the discussion we had on Sunday about this issue, suggesting Sunday be more activity based and the teaching on the day be organically integrated into that activity (and hence our lives). But I think the discussion still has a ways to go. To help move us along I found an article, again by Neil Cole, letting us know about his experiences in this issue.

Link: What About Kids in Organic Church?


Update: I wonder if this article will help further the discussion at all. It's from Leadership Journal.

14 November, 2005

Neil Cole Interview

Just wanted to put up a Neil Cole interview I found online. I know he has been influential in the thinking of both my Dad and Karl and is slowly being read by others of us in The Journey. If you haven't had a chance to read anything of his yet (that would be me), he gives a great introduction into his thinking here.

Link: Growing God's Kingdom from the Harvest


13 November, 2005

Vox Pop

Just got back from a great night out with Cormac S. The two of us went around asking people on the streets of Blackrock about their faith and capturing the interview on video. As Cormac said on the drive home, it was less about the actual product we were left with at the end and more about connecting with people. Some of them were legitimately interested in what we were doing out there. It was a great evening of listening to the hearts of Dublin. I'm hoping to get it edited for Monday - i.e "Journey Day."


27 October, 2005

Andrew Jones on the Home Church Movement

Some of us at The Journey were blessed by a visit of Andrew & Debbie Jones a while back as they made their way to the States (you can check in with them at Andrew's blog at TallSkinnyKiwi.com). Well, I just finished reading an article of his from about 3 years ago at TheOoze.com entitled "My Gripes About The House Church Movement". Here is a quote to wet your palate:

"I visited a House Church in the early 90's. It was run by skunks. A group of
disgruntleds whose happiness came from the fact they met on Thursday and not
Sunday. In a living room and not a sanctuary. On a sofa and not a pew. They
were like kids staying away from school, hiding out, proud of their
boldness to leave. And yet in all their freedom they managed only to move
the church service from a building to a house. Not much else had changed.
Only the location. They had the smirks of naughty boys on their faces. They
were a church service on the run. An escaped meeting captured by a living
room. One that built its identity from rebellion, defined themselves by what
they were not. This was the Revenge of the Skunks.
I didn't go back to that church. "

I don't think that's us - or at least I hope it's not - but if it's not, who are we actually? Jones, goes on to say a lot of great things a little more relevant to what God is now doing in The Journey. As we prepare ourselves for the next up and coming "Journey Day" (i.e. days when we consider what it is The Journey actually is and compare that to what God would have us be) I read this article with a good deal of excitement and curiosity. Is Andrew's description of "The Butterflies" close to what God is doing in the midst of The Journey? Is this an appropriate vision for what God is doing in Blackrock through us?

Well, no matter how The Journey looks down the road, I just want to say thank you to everyone who is a part of this community. Hailey and I have been honoured recipients of your love and support. Thank you for being part of our home here in Ireland.


25 October, 2005

The Journey Snowboarding Trip - Feb 2006

If you would like to get the low-down on the upcoming snowboarding trip you can download the PDF file by clicking HERE.

17 October, 2005

Coming soon .....

Winter Camp - Snowboarding / Skiing trip
12th - 19th February 2006.
Camp des Piques in French Alps east of Grenoble.
Information meeting at Cormac & Karen's on Fri. 21st October at 5pm

OM Ireland presents "The Challenge of the Arab World"
Thursday, 27 October, 8pm
Trinity Church Central, Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Don’t get your view of the world from the news media alone. Come and learn what God is doing in this area of the world. Presented by an international team with years of ministry experience in this region. Their stories of God’s work will amaze you. OM Ireland website

Discussion Group for Men
Starting on Wed. 26th October in a quiet corner of The Mill House, Stillorgan from 8pm.
Talking about a range of topics relating to Christianity over a 6 week period. Just come along and join in the discussion.

Journey Planning Meeting
Mon. 14th November - 9am to 2pm
Venue: Phil & Cheryl's house

14 October, 2005

Operation Christmas Child

We have decided to get involved in the Operation Christmas Child project in the Blackrock area. This involves asking people in our neighbourhoods to wrap a shoebox with Christmas wrapping paper and fill it with small toys and gifts for a boy or girl of a specific age. The shoeboxes are then collected and delivered to children in orphanages, street-kid shelters, hospitals and in poor families in Eastern European countries and in Mozambique, Africa. We are also giving the kids in one of the local primary schools the opportunity to participate in the project.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritans Purse. You can check out the details at www.samaritanspurse.ie The Journey have also agreed to provide some help to Samaritans Purse in checking the contents of shoeboxes before they are shipped abroad. This will happen in November when the shoboxes have been collected at a central warehouse in Sandyford, Co. Dublin. Volunteers welcome!

Please pray that we will connect with many new people in our area through our participation in this project.


10 October, 2005

What Should We/Shouldn't We Blog About?

Cormac and I (Matt) have been thinking through this issue for a while now. We realize that whatever we blog about becomes public and while we want to share our hearts and thoughts as The Journey, we also want to be respectful of people's private space. Darren Rows from The Living Room, a church in Australia, put up a great article (scroll down to point 16) discussing some of the lessons he has learned through setting up a church. A great read when you have the time. His sixteenth point reads:

"16. Be careful what you blog about - whilst blogging is a wonderful tool for communication, learning and networking it can also be used inappropriately. It might be worth having a brief conversation with your group as to what you can and can't blog about. - I personally have chosen not to identify by names people in our group. - I have posted a few photos from time to time but limit this. I also choose not to blog about decisions we're making in much detail until they have been made. - I do not blog about our disagreements or about what individuals said unless I get permission first.

Whilst I want to be transparent with the world through this blog about who Living Room is - there is nothing to hide - I also want to keep in mind that our community is made up of real people who are entitled to privacy and a safe space to express themselves and their journeys. They are also entitled to not have our dirty laundry (not that there is much) aired publicly. This is just my position - I know other bloggers have taken different approaches - some it has worked out for, others it has caused some massive problems for. Just be careful."

We were thinking of using first names (as long as everyone is OK with that) but again, these guidelines are something we should discuss first as a group. Hopefully this post will just get us thinking.


03 October, 2005

T-Bay Surfing Safari

OK, so it wasn't a surfing safari, but it was quite a drive down there. Tramore is about 2-3 hrs south of Dublin and the waves are never guaranteed. We went down for Saturday and Sunday (1st & 2nd Oct). Just the lads. Who would have thought so much could happen in such a short weekend. I'm still recovering. On the way there we lost a board off of my newly purchased roof rack (apparently ropes aren't the best for strapping things down - who would have figured). I still have dreams of a flying surfboard heading down the middle of a dual-carriage-way, flying upright with cars swerving around it. Despite multiple cars and trucks driving past it, Conor was able to retrieve it out of the middle of the road relatively unharmed. I still can't believe one of my guys ran into the middle of the dual-carriageway! Not the best way to minister to kids or parents! The surf was great on Saturday and barely there on Sunday. Best of all we had a great time getting to know the 15 lads that came along. Here are some pictures of our time there.

T-Bay picture
Surfing Boyaz


26 September, 2005

Notes from Meeting on 25 Sept.

Features of The Journey

· Expose People to the Gospel – intentionality
· Non-traditional approach
· Cultural awareness – relevant
· Community in proximity – attractive to others
· Encouragement / refocus / building each other up
· Public Visibility in our commitment to Jesus / God’s Word
· Starting with existing networks + connecting our networks
· Oriented towards serving others – through these networks
· Prayer focus a priority
· Fun factor important

The Journey
- a local expression of “church”
- where we live out and share the life of Christ in a local context
- where we share the message and invite people into a deeper relationship with Christ

Identifying the communities and networks that we’re already in ... and live out our Christian faith in these …

“An open community of people from various backgrounds and traditions who want to help and encourage each other to know and follow Jesus; loving and serving God together in our day-to-day lives, [locally and beyond] and encouraging everyone we know to share in that life..”

A verse that gave us reassurance was Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

24 September, 2005

Agenda for The Journey planning meeting - Sunday 25 September 2005

• Worship & Singing & Communion ...

• Agenda Harmony Issues - Are we on the same page? Where do our passions and desires overlap? Where is there common visionary ground?

• Mission and Vision [produce a statement for either or both of these on the day?]

• Creating an identity for The Journey. What identity do we want to create/project? Web-based, interpersonal, geographical, other?

• Practical Issues:

- What about Thursday small group and Sunday get-together? Objectives of these? Someplace for newcomers?

- Youth

- A base/office/place for CS

- Finance issues: funding / tithing / bank account

- Serving Blackrock

19 September, 2005

Fasting on Thursday

We have planned a day of prayer and fasting next Thursday, 22 Sept. Participation in the day is completely voluntary: please fast in whatever way is appropriate for you that day. Our small group will meet in the evening, at our place, to break our fast together (Marilyn and Karen have offered to make some soup) and share the evening. After soup, the evening's agenda will be to hear from each person regarding what God has said - or what leading He has given - during the day. It will also be a "heart-check" evening, and Cormac MacF has suggested we use the head/hands/heart pattern to give some direction to our sharing. Please give this some thought before the evening and ask yourself what is going on in your own head (thoughts and ruminations) hands (activities and doing-based) and heart (feelings, passions, desires, disappointments, etc) and how God might be involved in any of these areas.

We brainstormed a list of things last night to aid us as we go through the day of the 22nd. Print out the list, keep it near you on the day and see if any of these ideas will help you as you seek the Lord:


Be sure to spend some time listening to God - don't merely talk at Him all day! Isa 50.4, Hab 2.1

Ask God to use our Journey Day, Sunday 25 September, to direct us as a group and to give clear leading.

Spend some time worshipping the Lord for who He is ... for his character. Here are some verses or passages which may get you started as you reflect on the character of God:

I John 4.8
John 4.24
Psalm 18
Psalm 62.5-8
Psalm 63
Isaiah 45
Isaiah 53

Ask God what His plan is for the Journey, for His kingdom in the south side of Dublin,and ask Him how you can best participate in His plan [as opposed to coming up with a bunch of good ideas and asking God to bless them].

Why not spend some time praying for each individual participating in the fast, and for the children of those involved? How might God want you to bless/affirm/encourage any of these people? Pray also for a couple of people in your sphere of influence who do not yet know Christ. Ask God to work supernaturally in the hearts and lives of these people!

Expect supernatural things from God - He is the creator, the King of all supernatural things and He longs to work in and around us in a way that glorifies Himself / shows His power. Do not limit your own expectations of God! It was Hudson Taylor who said 'Expect great things from God; Attempt great things for God.'

17 September, 2005

The Journey On-Line

Cormac and I (Matt) have been throwing around the idea of having a blog for The Journey and as you can tell from the existence of this post, we decided to go for it. But, "why bother?" you might find yourself asking. After all, it's not as if there are so many people in our community that we need a website type thing to keep in touch, right? True, but this isn't a website, it's a blog. A blog is kind of like an online journal in that it is dynamic; it is constantly updated with new posts. The posts on The Journey blog will be put there by none other than us. But again you ask why bother?

I was visiting one of my favorite blogs the other day (Tall Skinny Kiwi) and came across a post that addresses this very question. Why do we blog? Here are ten reasons to blog/have a blog for the Journey:

1. Praise - Many of us are in daily contact with each other but some of us are not. A blog gives us a place to publicly acknowledge God's grace in our lives.

2. Accountability - By posting our ideas we become accountable to each other and to the public (Eph. 5: 21 "Submit yourselves to one another").

3. Vulnerability - By blogging we are creating a community of openness, sharing what is on our hearts and asking others to engage with those ideas.

4, Giving - What we have is not ours to keep but Gods and this includes our thoughts and words of encouragement. A blog provides a place for us to give.

5. Creativity - There is a creative element in blogging.

6. Repentance - Any time we are convinced something we've posted is/was mistaken there is the ability to acknowledge this, change our mind and do so in a public manner.

7. Fellowship - It facilitates fellowship with each other, and fellowship with other churches growing in similar situations all around the world.

8. Evangelism - "Can I get a witness!?!" By blogging we are putting our stories and the story of The Journey down as a witness to God at work in Dublin, Ireland

9. Integrity - What we blog should actually match the way we live.

10. Posterity - There is a history here. In years down the road when we talk about the good old days, like meeting in Karl & Marilyn’s home, we can have a record of that.

Comment below on what you think.


16 September, 2005

12 September, 2005

The Journey Calendar