<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=172114339891054&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Timberlake Blog

More Food Please!

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Jul 31, 2013 @ 03:29 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in faith, Timberlake, fellowship, Friends, kindness, Leadership, Everyone, People, Food, Heart

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

I love to eat.  So does my wife.  Maybe that’s why our favorite type of vacation is a cruise.  All the meals are included!  Our perfect date night would be an extended meal at a restaurant in Seattle.  Our favorite family gatherings also include food.  Come to think of it – pretty much any event with people and food sounds like a good time.

I picked up a book the other day called A Meal With Jesus by Tim Chester.  My love of food attracted me to the title.  Throughout the book Chester explains the role meals played in the ministry of Jesus.  He points out that in the New Testament, the phrase “The Son of Man came…” is completed in three different ways. 

Mark 10:45 says, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Luke 19:10 says, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Both of these verses have to do with WHY Jesus came.  The third way the phrase is completed has to do with HOW Jesus came.  Luke 7:34 says, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”

Apparently, Jesus ate and drank a lot – enough to be called a drunk and a glutton!  The Gospel of Luke is filled with stories of Jesus eating with people.  These stories can be found in chapters 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 19, 22 and 24.  Robert Karris, author of the book Eating Your Way Through Luke’s Gospel, concludes that in the Gospel of Luke, “Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”

Food played a big part in the ministry of Jesus.  He viewed meals as an opportunity to connect with people and to talk about God and life.  There are many ways for Christians today to get involved in ministry and impact people for Jesus.  At times, however, it can be confusing to figure out what it means and looks like to live out our faith in the 21st Century.  But as Jesus shows us, ministry isn’t rocket science.  We don’t have to know all the right answers.  Ministry can be as simple as inviting someone to dinner and sharing a meal with them.  Food and people.  Sounds like a good time to me.

Jordan Lee
Senior Associate Pastor – Redmond Campus

Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

Just Walk Across the Room

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Mar 13, 2013 @ 12:19 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake Church, faith, Great Commission, truth, Easter, Everyone, Church

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Several years ago, when I was in Bible College, we read a book by Bill Hybels called Just Walk Across the Room. You may be familiar with it; it provides some really good, practical strategies for evangelism. Being the overly idealistic, arrogant college sophomore I was, I remember thinking, "Who needs a book to tell people about Jesus? Shouldn't everyone do this naturally on their own; how hard can it be?" Not too long after that, I got a part time job at an upscale restaurant and I discovered something: evangelism is challenging. Plain and simple. 

I remember walking in on my first day thinking, "I'm going to be a spiritual sage to all these poor pagans, and I'm sure after a couple weeks - at most a month, all of them will be passionate Jesus followers, selling possessions to move to Central America." I also remember leaving my first day discouraged, embarrassed and feeling more like a crazy religious nut than I ever had before in my life. Now, through this process, I did discover some really helpful things about evangelism, like: don't be pushy, make sure I know a little more than the basic tenets of faith, and don't make any assumptions about people. I also noticed something I really didn't expect: I'm not that great of a personal evangelist. 

Now, when it comes to telling people about Jesus, maybe you're a natural, and are able to tell anyone at any time, the good news about Jesus Christ. Maybe for you, meeting a stranger at a coffee shop, getting to know them a little bit, and having a chance to share your faith with them is the epitome of a great day. And maybe even for you, it always ends with the person outside the coffee shop, weeping & repenting of their sins and accepting Jesus into their heart. But, my guess is, if you're like me, that doesn't describe evangelism for you at all. See, the Bible describes evangelism (or telling other people about Jesus) as a spiritual gift. 

And He [Christ] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ Eph 4:9-11 NKJV 

In this verse, the work of an evangelist is described as something designated by Christ. Implicitly with that idea, is the notion that not everyone has been given this gift. For me, that was a liberating concept. Through all my failed attempts to convincingly articulate reasons to follow Jesus to my friends, co-workers, and family members, I was starting to feel like a failure. What this verse actually describes, though, is the idea that not everyone will be good at this, that its ok to not be a great or even decent personal evangelist. Now, on the other side of this conversation lies a pretty important question: "What am I supposed to do about sharing my faith then, if I'm not that good at it?"

In what the Bible describes as "The Great Commission," Jesus' parting words to His disciples before ascending into heaven are to "go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt 28:19 NKJV). I think this principle holds true for us today as followers of Jesus as well; that part of being a believer and follower of Jesus, is to share our faith, and here's how I think most of us can practically have a part in this: inviting our friends to church. 

I discovered a few years ago, that there are a lot of places around the city and region where people are really good at telling people about Jesus, often times in a way they can understand. I also discovered that these places had systems and processes in place exactly for people like the friends I was inviting, people who didn't know Jesus. Timberlake Church, I can confidently say, is a great place for people who are undecided about a faith in Jesus Christ. At Timberlake (and at a bunch of churches throughout the area), people who are undecided can ask questions, meet some normal people, and have the Christian faith explained to them in a logical yet non-threatening way, which I think is awesome! 

So, for the next few weeks, as Easter approaches, I've been thinking a lot of who I can invite to church. I still have a lot of friends that I spend time with regularly who don't have a relationship with Christ and I know how much Jesus loves them and how badly He wants their hope to be in Him. At the same time, I know that I'm not the world's best evangelist but I can probably get them to come church long before I can walk them through what believing in Jesus looks like - maybe you're in the same place. 

My hope and prayer is that you'll consider bringing someone with you to church this Easter season, so they can hear the good news about Jesus Christ.  

Nick Wallsteadt
Student Ministries Pastor 

 

Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

New Year, New Goals, New Perspective

[fa icon="calendar'] Sat, Jan 05, 2013 @ 02:48 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in faith, Making Changes, Everyone, God's Will, Church, taking control

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments


This week, I sat down to write out my goals for 2013 (something that I do every year around this time). Over the years, my goals have become a little more specific and less vague, with the hope that I will actually accomplish some of them. Let me give you an example: for fitness, in years prior, I would have written "have beach photos on Facebook that I’m not ashamed of", where this year I wrote "go to the gym 4 times a week and don't eat Jack-In-The-Box after 9pm"... I probably still won't have the desired outcome, but you get the idea.  

Anyway, in this process, I spent some time evaluating how I did with last year's goals and how I hope to realize some of the ones I failed to meet. In this process, though, I took a moment to stop and think about everything God had done in my life in the past year-- and it was awesome! As I thought through my hopes and dreams in 2012, there were so many areas where I didn't hit the mark I'd hoped to, but there were also many areas that I noticed God had worked in my life in the way that only He could. As I was reflecting on this, I thought of a story in the Bible:


Joshua 4:4-7 says: “So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”  

It’s a story where God tells his people to take some rocks from a river and place them on the shore. At face value, it’s interesting at best, really confusing if we're honest but, what's great about this story (especially at times like the turn of the year) is that God not only suggests, He commands us to remember! To remember the good things He's done. Maybe this year that's true for you. Maybe this year it will be important for you to, not only set resolutions, hopes and dreams, but to say, "God, thanks for what you've done this past year." I know they may only be rocks to some people, but to me, they represent a change and a fresh start. Maybe they represent forgiving someone you never thought you could, or taking a spiritual step that seemed really intimidating, or perhaps getting involved in leading in an area that has proved incredibly rewarding.  

So this year, in addition to a list of hopes, goals, and achievements, I encourage you to spend some time remembering the good things the Lord's done this past year. I know it was very beneficial for me, and I hope it will be for you too.  

~ Nick
Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

Building Hope...

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Oct 10, 2012 @ 06:01 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Disciples, faith, Everyone, Church, community, Building Hope, message series, evangelism

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

describe the imageJoin us beginning October 20th/21st for our new message series 'Building Hope." You won't want to miss a weekend...
Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

Glory Days

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Jun 27, 2012 @ 01:51 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake Church, following God, hope, Everyone, community, daily devotional, direction, honoring God

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

This past weekend my wife and I and a bunch of our friends from college went to a wedding. Events like these are often so fun-- old friends, acquaintances you haven't seen in a while, and leaning over and asking your wife the name of a person you can't remember as they walk up to you. This wedding was especially great, since a group of awesome guys I lived with for two years were all coming into town for the wedding. I was reminded seeing them all again how important it is to surround yourself with people who challenge you, encourage, and make you laugh (Prov 13:20). But, that's not what this post is about.  

The wedding was in Spokane, and so on the four hour drive over, we had nothing but time to reminisce as we drove over the pass, through the metropolis of Ellensburg, and through Adams County (in case you didn't know, the nations' leading potato producing county). 

It was amazing how for almost the entire car ride there, our full car was filled with conversations about what life was like when we didn't have much responsibility, and the possibilities were limitless. And as we were laughing til we couldn't breathe and munching gas station snacks, I couldn't help but reflect on how often my spirituality and faith in Jesus Christ leans this way. How so often, I look back on a few years ago, and think, "Those were the days!" 

Something Krissa (my awesome wife) and I have always talked about, is the idea that we never want our best days spiritually to be in the past, how we always want to look toward to future and ask, "What is the Lord challenging us to do?" For those of you reading this post, whatever stage of life you're at, I would encourage you to ask the same question. Maybe you're reading this and you're a young family, and you think there's absolutely no way we have time for God to use us. I'm confident God can. Or maybe you're retired, enjoying life, and figuring out where you're going to have dinner over breakfast-- I'm confident your best days aren't in the past. And maybe you're somewhere in the middle, caught somewhere between "things could not be any better" and "things didn't work out quite like I planned". I hope you'd be open to the idea that God wants to use you, that you can be closer to Jesus than you've ever been, and that God might be challenging you to do something great for His Kingdom in this season. 

Nick

Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

More and Better Disciples...continued

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 04:04 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake Church, Disciples, following God, Timberlake, Everyone, God's Will

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

In my last blog post I talked about how we would be looking at the Book of Revelations, and how instead of being intimidated or even fearful, that there were actually a number of different learning’s that we can glean, especially as it related to the first 3 chapters.  Hopefully you were able to read through it, and see How God was working through the Apostle John, who wrote the book, to encourage and correct the early church. 

The first letter that was written in Revelation was to a church in the city of Ephesus.  Now the Ephesian church was a great church that had some tremendous leadership; stemming from the founding pastor (the Apostle Paul), all the way to other great leaders in the Bible, like Apollos and Paul’s apprentice Timothy.

What we find in the book of Revelation is that every time Jesus had something to say to these churches he always started out with this phrase  “I know your deeds.”   There’s this reality, even for us, that Jesus is actually witnessing what his church is doing - what we’re doing. 

As you read, you’ll see that Jesus often will give them praise, like: 

  • I know there have been false teachers that have tried to sneak into the church and preach false doctrine…but you didn’t let it happen, so “way to go.” 
  • I know that you’ve been facing some persecution…but you’ve still stayed strong
  • I know that you’ve been really active and involved…and so you’re doing some great things… BUT

As you continue to read, you’ll notice that Jesus gives them this really BIG…”BUT”  ;-) where it comes across almost like a job performance review: “You’re doing a great job / a real team player, and we love having you; BUT….You’re still forgetting to put the cover sheet on your TPS reports”.

What Jesus is saying is: “you’re doing great, BUT….you’re really not hitting the mark in this particular area.”  Look at his statement in Revelation 2:4-5 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first”.

What Jesus is trying to convey to us is that, although you’ve done some really great things, you’ve forgotten why you’re doing it, you’ve forsaken your first love, and quite frankly, “your hearts not in it.”

The reality is that Jesus not only wants a life of service, and effectiveness for his kingdom, but more importantly he wants a life that seeks him, that loves him, and that knows him. Where out of that love & knowledge, lives a life of service to him as a way of putting our faith into action.  God cares far more about our character and our relationship with him, than he does our endeavors; where focusing on WHO we are in Christ means much more than WHAT we do for him.

Rusty

Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

The Faith of a Freshman

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 05:28 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake, students, Nick blog, Timberlake Kidz, Everyone, Family

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

BlogGraphic 6.06 resized 600

This past weekend at Timberlake, students and kids all across our family life ministries moved up into the grade they're heading into this coming Fall. For some students, this meant continuing in a program that most of them have come to love. However, for a few grades, this meant moving into an entirely new program and environment. At Timberlake, we call this move up process "Up Week." Now, Up week has always been one of my favorite times of the year, and for the past three years, I simply chalked it up to excitement in the program. New students always bring fresh energy, excitement, and perspective to any of our kids or youth programs, from K12 all the way up through high school. 

 And this past Sunday, as we welcomed students across the spectrum this weekend to new programs, the same excitement was there for our High School ministry, the program I lead hands on. However, after spending a bit of time over the past couple days reflecting on it, I think I've arrived at the core of my excitement surrounding Up Week-- potential. As I was thinking about and praying for the incoming class of HS students, I caught myself praying for and dreaming about the potential inside of each and every student who had just walked into our program. Potential for things like: reaching friends only they can reach, making a difference for Jesus Christ even in this life stage, and setting an example that peers and adult leader alike can follow. Now, I know that perhaps I'm a little (if not disturbingly) biased at how much I truly believe in HS students. I think they're the greatest group of people on earth, and I think if Jesus Christ gets a hold of their heart and mind at this age, there's no limit to what they can do for him. 

See, HS students are at a unique juncture in life: they're old enough to enact change to a particular extent, yet young enough to believe that anything's possible. They're free of the normal skepticism that life throws our way, and their eyes and hearts are wide open to what God can do in and through their lives. And, in this process, I arrived at a really simple question-- "What if I believed like they believed?"

Jesus talks about the best kind of faith to have a follower of him, the "faith like a child" (Luke 18:17 NIV). When Jesus says this, what I really think he means is, "Do you really think I'm capable of doing what I said I would? Do you believe in me like a 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade student does?" It was a pretty challenging question. If I'm honest, some days a do, but they're becoming fewer and far between. I'm getting pretty good and thinking through structure, and strategy, and organization when it comes to following Jesus Christ. But, this past weekend, I tried to be honest enough with myself to ask a simple question, and I'd encourage you to do the same.... 

"What would it look like for me to believe that God was able to do what He says he would. Who could I help reach? What could I do for His Kingdom?"

So, here's to believing like a freshman in HS, and unlocking the potential that God's put inside of us. 

 

Nick

Read More [fa icon=long-arrow-right"]

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts