stronger than steel

When Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were drafted into the service of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, they must have wondered whether God was still able to be God even at such a great distance from Jerusalem and the temple.
At one point of conflict, Shad, Mesh and Abed have to decide whether to dump their old beliefs and give in to the pervasive pressure to just go along. The choice was, worship the false gods of Babylon or be thrown into a super-heated furnace. Their response says much about what was important to them.
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
They lived and breathed a different way of life.
How can you and I live this way? How can we live according to the truth of God as revealed in the bible? The rhythms of following Jesus are central to the way of life he has for us.
If you don’t have a church home, please find one. You need the Jesus way of life. You are very welcome to come and be with us for our weekly Sunday rhythm of meeting together at 10 am.

On a walk in the park the other day, Barb and I came across this leaf hanging from a thin spider web strand. You likely have heard that spider web strands are stonger than steel. Amazing. Almost invisible. Yet very real and very strong. God will support you if you give him a chance. His way of life is stronger than anything you will ever face.

Advent Worship Sundays at 10 am

Each Sunday in December we will experience the joy of waiting. For centuries the Jewish people waited for their Messiah. They knew he was coming, but many found it hard to accept him when he did come. Now we wait for his return. We are given joy and power through his Spirit while we wait.

Journey3 and Intown together for 5 weeks!

Journey3 is joining Intown Church for worship for 5 Sundays, June 10, 17, 24, July 1 and 8. Intown meets in the Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave, in downtown Portland. Worship is at 10:30 each Sunday morning.
Jay is preaching for these services as pastor Brian is on sabbatical. This is a great opportunity to connect with our sister church!
So, don’t come to Rivergate Church on these Sundays because we won’t be there!

women at the tomb

Two women had a chat with an angel early in the morning around 2,000 years ago. He told them not to be afraid.

What do you fear? There is much in this world to fear and, if I’m being honest, there is much in me to fear. Let’s gather this Sunday at 11 am for Easter worship and talk about fear, peace and courage.

Tomorrow is Good Friday. We are joining Rivergate Church for Good Friday worship at 7:30 pm.

Remember, you are the light of the world!


My grand daughter loves to be measured by her daddy. We all like to grow. My mentor, Clair, in his 80s, still loves to grow in Jesus. Journey3 is all about growth. It doesn’t matter where you are right now. You might be far from God or close to God. We are growing, each of us. Come and find out.
This Sunday, 11 am.28378763_10155442055787634_8490154363115814427_n (2)


Bring your Dreams

How to handle the death of a dream? The followers of Jesus were convinced that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. But then he dies in a horrible execution. What will they do? And what will Jesus do?
This Sunday is Easter Sunday. Journey3 invites you to come for worship and lunch. We meet at 11 am at Rivergate Church in North Portland. Come with your dreams and your desperation and let’s see what Jesus will do.WP_20170401_08_21_12_Pro

Try or Train

basketball practice

Last Sunday we looked at Luke 6:39-49.

Before this section Jesus had been teaching on the opposite nature of the kingdom of God. You are blessed if you are poor, you should love your enemies, you should forgive and not condemn people. This kingdom is the opposite of the world and of our natural inclinations. So, how do we participate in this kingdom?

March Madness just ended. My Iowa State Cyclones were in it, but bowed out by losing their second game. I asked the assembled folks on Sunday, “What do you think Roy Williams or any good basketball coach would say if one of his young players came to him before the next season and said, ‘I’m going to really try and play better this year.'” We thought about it and decided he would say, “Show me everyday in practice. Don’t try, train.”

There is a lot of trying in my following of Jesus. I get an inclination of something he wants me to do or to change in my life and I think, I’m going to try and do that better. I think this is why Jesus overwhelms us with his description of the kingdom. You can’t try to be this radically different. It’s like trying to run a marathon. I can try really hard, but if I am not training, I am in trouble when it comes to race day.

Jesus says, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Come to me, says Jesus, and let me train you. Then he follows this with three quick lessons on training:
– the plank in your eye. practice healthy self inspection and repentance
– the heart’s storehouse. store up good things in your heart and you will have good things to bring into your relationships
– the house built on the rock. listen to me and do what I tell you and you will build a life which will withstand storms

I can do this! Today I can spend time in self inspection. Today I can bring into my heart the truths of scripture. Today I can listen and do my best to follow his leading.

And the amazing thing is that, over time, as the days of training go by, I become more like the teacher.

This Sunday we continue in Luke as we look at the authority of Jesus in Luke 7:1-17.

Then, the next Sunday, April 16, is Easter! Who are you bringing with you for our special Easter worship and lunch?

Crossing Over

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32

Last Sunday at Journey3 we talked about Jesus’ conversation with the Pharisees. He was trying to help his closest theological tribe to cross over and relate to another wealthy, powerful tribe in Israel, the tax collectors.

He was not in this case talking about associating with poor people in order to help them.The Pharisees would be in agreement with him about that. Instead he was attending a “great banquet” with a “large crowd of tax collectors and others”, and this infuriated the Pharisees. Didn’t Jesus see how destructive and self-centered these tax collectors were? Jesus was associating with “those people”, the ones we despise, the ones who are ruining our country, the ones from the Red/Blue states. Jesus crosses over to make contact and to build relationships.

Sunday we watched a few minutes from a TED talk by Megan Phelps-Roper. Fred Phelps, pastor of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, is her grandfather. She grew up on the picket line and was passionately involved in her family’s church. But, gradually, as she debated with people on Twitter, some of them took the time to reach out to her and engage her in a unique way which ultimately built a bridge. She speaks about this sort of engagement in her talk.

I am so prone to getting this wrong. I start thinking I am called by God to get my life and my thinking right. I think I am supposed to shine for Jesus by being correct in my theology, my politics, and my character. What I hear Jesus saying is “Let me be the doctor.” He wants me to be free to be wrong, free to be a sinner. Then I am free to honestly build relationships with those who need someone to cross over.

In her talk, Phelps-Roper says that she realizes that some people don’t have the “time, the energy, and the patience for extensive engagements” which are necessary to crossing over. For those of us who have decided to follow Jesus, this sort of time, energy and patienceĀ are mandatory if we are going to be used by God to make a difference in others’ lives. This is what it means to love. And this is our calling.WP_20130606_010

Good News to the Poor

poor mother (2)

Why was Jesus born in a backwater village to an oppressed people in a damp, musty stable? Jesus announces his purpose by quoting the Jewish scriptures, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.”

This Christmas season at Journey3 we will focus on the coming of Jesus and what this means for the poor and the outcast. We meet Sundays, 11 am, at Rivergate Church, 4737 N Lombard St.