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Timberlake Blog

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

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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
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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

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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

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