Greener pastures lie ahead

Have you ever failed at a New Year’s Resolution? I have failed so many times that until last year I just quit and laughed heartily at others who made the grandiose attempt!

The truth is the first of each year we are ready to make improvements and we KNOW the areas we need to shore up in our lives, the problem is our myopic approach! I have learned this year after multiple failures to develop a new lifestyle, not attempt new THINGS. Let me explain as best I can.

As a young musician, I was taught saxophone by a great musician named Dr. Sonny Burnett. Doc was incredible, the best sight reader I have ever had the privilege of calling my friend and mentor. After frustrating him one day with the classical piece he tried to teach me, I said “I just can’t get it!” He then gave me a great piece of advice: “Slow it down,” he said, “You can play ANYTHING if you play it slow enough!” So I did, and I mean I really slowed it down…and much to my surprise I could do it in this fashion, and the more I repeated the music I gradually could speed it up to its written tempo.

If you are following me, you will note that this advice is not only for music, but for life. One old illustration asked the reader “How do you eat an elephant?” and the response was, “One bite at a time,” or as my Daddy liked to say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”

My life last year evolved into a practiced set of many different things: gym, study, reading, marriage, family and friends, and a flood that destroyed my family farm. From this I discovered that without a plan to organize these, I would agonize over their importance and repetition. What I really needed was a plan. So I ask you, fellow elephant eater, are you prepared to attack from one corner? Let’s try a plan this year…just a few simple habits practiced on a week to week basis can bring us all great personal growth.

  1. Book Reading: Either electronically or on paper, read books on areas you need strength. Bible, finance, family or a new subject you need to understand. Plan to finish one a month… easy peasy!
  2. Audio Teaching: Need more time learning? Lay down talking and driving and use that time to listen to a group of Bible teachers on audio files! Pick one or two and just start. If you need some pointers ask me; I’ve picked up a great group!
  3. Seminars and conferences: We live in Myrtle Beach, the conference capital of the Carolinas! Check out KLove and HIS radio calendars for local events. Get a group and grow together!
  4. Coaching or Counseling: I am blessed to have a world class counselor on staff and affiliations with great coaches and mentors. I seek their advice constantly, and I surround myself with friends who believe in me, not people I have to prove myself to constantly. People are elevators…seek those who truthfully lift you up, even when it stings!

This is a workable lifestyle for even the simple such as me! Make a plan, sit with one of our care pastors, let them guide you to a greener pasture… that’s what shepherds love to do!

Feed the Families 2015

Feed the familiesWe are serving a Thanksgiving meal with turkey and dressing
and ALL the trimmings!

Journeychurch and St. James PTSO will be at St.
James High School on Saturday, November 21st to serve families!

To volunteer or donate for this event, visit the tent in our foyer this Sunday, or call Pastor Tony at 843.357.2100.

If you and your family would like to attend this event as our guests, please RSVP to 843.357.2100!

Rock the Block 2015

Celebrate 5 years of this Journey with us!

Saturday, October 31, 4-8pm
Free & open to the community –
We will have bounce houses, pony rides, a climbing wall and of course, candy! We will also have live music, fellowship and lots of food, including a roasted pig, hot dogs, hamburgers and more!

This will be a fun celebration for the whole family, you won’t want to miss it!


4th Anniversary & Pastor Appreciation Celebration

Journey celebrates our 4th anniversary and Pastor Appreciation on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2. We will meet on the football field at Market Common after the 2nd service. Church will provide BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, & Pilau. Please bring:
– drinks for you/your family
– chairs
– a side dish to share (last names A-P)
– a dessert to share (last names Q-Z)
– any yard games you’d like to set up & play
We hope EVERYONE in the journey family can come!



Can you smell rain?

Growing up in the rural south on a working farm, prior to Doppler radar and all the speed of technology, we still had to be able to see around the corner to survive: different methods, but no less effective.

My adopted grandpa in Columbia, Papa Barrett, had an ingenious method for weather prediction. Honestly I had never seen anyone do this before, though while writing this I found a lady in the upper 50s whose papa used one as well. She calls it a “bear fat barometer.” This ingenious weather telling apparatus had melted bear fat inside a pickle jar full of moonshine, and no exaggeration, it would form cloud formations, or be completely clear depending on the weather that day! I remember seeing a funnel cloud, and that same day saw my first tornado!

Another thing we depended greatly on was our noses. You see moisture in the air has a distinct odor: rain in particular has a smell like no other. My dad would turn his head upward and say, “I smell rain, son,” to which I would start sniffing like a pup looking for bacon, only to shrug my shoulders and think “Humph, I don’t smell anything…” Then I’d be surprised in a few hours that we were driven out of the fields by rain.

"Asian Woman In Pink Raincoat Enjoying The Rain In The Garden" by FeelartGod has given us senses, to do just that: to “sense” things that are coming, or moving, or changing. We call them “premonitions” or even “gifts,” yet God is no respecter of  persons: He gives gifts to all according to  Ephesians 4:8.

It is this gift I feel awake and alive right now! Can you smell it in the air? It is rain, lots and lots of rain…the Holy Spirit is birthing a new thing in Journey! For us to prepare for this we have to redefine and polish our reason for being here.

We exist for more than a great Sunday worship experience, or a Wednesday night Bible study. We are more than life groups and student ministry. We exist for this and more. Journey does great worship and word, great life group and great community and student ministry… but there is more coming… can you smell it yet?

One of the “more“ that is on the way involves GREENFEET INTERNATIONAL, our non-profit community outreach that will give so many more of us a chance to serve.  Soon we will be introducing it on a large scale to the body as well as the community. It is extremely exciting!

All our ministries in the church are now preparing to open their doors for more to serve. What a privilege, what an honor, to serve others within our fellowship of believers as well as the community outside of our fellowship Everything from lawn maintenance to teachingis going to open up for all those who have a willing heart to serve! Be patient with us during this change! At the end of the day, we will all have made such progress you will be amazed! Smell it?

Another biggie is our attitude about new folks coming to church. Let’s all try to realize WE are ALL the greeting and welcoming arm of Christ? We all need to focus each week not on our current friendships but on new ones we have yet to make. Each person that God sends our way has a need and a gift. If we are to continue growing and reaching, letting God change lives, we must intentionally make new friends and relationships, seeking out ways to involve our new families in ministry and in our lives.

Making new friends, making new opportunities to serve: this has to become part of our DNA. If not the consequences are a drought. The soil hardens and when rain comes it runs of instead of soaking in… can you see that?

As long as our Church remains “tilled” or “open” for others to serve the Lord with their gifts and willingness they can “soak in,” but if we develop a “my four and no more” attitude we harden and no matter how great worship and word are, new people will run off to a place that allows them an opportunity to give back to the great God who saved them!

It’s coming, we are moving, we are becoming… the journey has not ended. It’s turned another corner in the road…

Can you smell what I smell? Rain, my friend… sweet rain!

Blessings from the road!
Pastor Tom

Beginning at the End

"Thank You" by Felixco, Inc. | Free Digital PhotosWhere do I start…where does it end?  It appears to me that if we take our lives in Christ and “reverse engineer” them, sorta like Ben Affleck in a recent movie, we could understand the teachings of the early Apostles better.

Understanding that I am no longer under the dominion of sin and that I have a new “natural” or nature is something I personally need constant reminding of. This morning sitting at a red light (notice I said red not green) is that a negative statement Tom? No, it really was red, that is why I was just sitting!  A County policeman pulled up…the immediate thought was to stomp the gas, squeal the tires and smoke the hemi!  Then I had to ask myself ” where did that come from!”

Isn’t it amazing the affects of law!  Tell someone not to do, or tell them they can’t do and they will devise ways to do, and even get creative about sneakier ways to do it!

This has always been amazing to me, and I never really understood it until I understood what Christ did a Calvary.  To think I have been forgiven and set free is mind blowing good news. I challenge the reader to grab Romans 6-8 out of the “message” translation and feast…

So how do I begin at the end… I have to look at the life after the rapture, or if I don’t live long enough for that, life after the shedding of my earthen vessel.  What is it going to look like?

Mistakes are usually made when we believe that the kingdom of God is a “later” thing, instead of a now thing.  Yes, there are things that are very different on this side of our eternal life with a glorified body and a sanctified earth, however, there are things that are the same.

Main one being: our relationship to Christ.This is what eluded me for years. Relationship.  Hmmm, all I ever knew was to build a team to accomplish a goal, never much on hanging out for the sake of hanging out.  Kinda useless I felt, because I never realized the goal of hanging out was the goal.  To just be with and enjoy the presence of .  I saw this the other day, and wish I had thought of it first…

Genesis 1:22:

 And God blessed them, saying , Be fruitful , and multiply , and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

And God blessed them, saying , Be fruitful , and multiply , and fill the waters in the seas,

And God blessed them, saying , Be fruitful ,

And God blessed them, saying , Be 

Have I learned to Be?  If I think about my prayer life versus Adam and Eves, it will show me my position…

They didn’t pray about lust, there was no one else to look at…

They didn’t pray about money, wasn’t any…

No housing or jealousy issues…

No sickness…

So what did those at the beginning pray about? How about this: they just gave God wows and thank yous!  Didn’t David say it first…”enter in” with thanksgiving. This is the “password” to enter in… it all starts with thanks.  I full believe if we start with our thankful list, we will forget about the gripe list, it will pale in comparison.

Be an example of magnifying God’s goodness, not highlighting the places you are not happy.

Remember ALL things work together… light and dark, good times and bad, and yes…pretty and uh…not so pretty!

love and prayers saints!~

Softball 2014 Schedule

Journey has two softball teams this year – GREEN and RED.
Games are played at Grand Park at The Market Common.
Admission is free. Concessions are available.

Tuesday games are on Field 2.
Thursday games are on Field 7.
Tues  4/22
7:45pm Red
8:45pm Green

Thurs 4/24
6:45pm Green
7:45pm Red

Tues 4/29
8:45pm Red

Thurs 5/1
6:45pm RED VS. GREEN!

Tues 5/6
8:45pm Green

Thurs 5/8
6:45pm Red
8:45pm Green

Tues 5/13
6:45pm Green
7:45pm Red

Thurs 5/15
6:45pm Green
8:45pm Red

Tues 5/20
7:45pm Red
8:45pm Green

Thurs 5/22
6:45pm Red


New Service Times


Beginning Sunday, March 2, 2014, our service times will be 9am & 11am.

We have all seen God move in mighty ways at journey this year. Let’s walk together in trust, faith, and service as the next moves of the Holy Spirit are revealed.

Other information:

  • We will have nursery for both services beginning in April!
  • We will offer children’s church (3 years old – 5th grade) for both services.Areas of need:
    nursery & children’s workers,
    greeters, ushers, parking lot attendants, welcome center & info center workers, & spot cleaners.
    Sign up to serve here!