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Timberlake Blog

LET’S STOP PRETENDING

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 04:11 PM / by Timberlake Support posted in Timberlake Church, Timberlake, Jordan, Christianity, Greek, Authentic relationship, Pretending, Let's Stop Pretending, Lee, Jordan Lee, hypocrite, Let's, Stop, Matthew, Matthew 23

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Whether someone reads the teachings of Jesus in the gospels for the very first time, or a person has spent years becoming familiar with what Jesus said and did, it is immediately apparent that Jesus repeatedly extended grace to those who were far from God and he was hardest on the religious leaders of his day.  For this reason, the Pharisees have a terrible reputation as opponents of Jesus who were worse than all types of sinners. 

 

In Matthew 23:1-2 we read:  “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

 

It’s interesting to me that Jesus instructed his followers to obey the teachings of the Pharisees.  Apparently Jesus didn’t have an issue with their beliefs.  He had a major problem with their actions.  Their words and theirs deeds didn’t line up.  On the other hand, Jesus found that the beliefs and actions of sinners were consistent.  Although they were living apart from God, they didn’t pretend to be perfect or have it all together.  They realized their need for grace, and that’s why he offered it.

 

What God desires from us is that we are honest with Him, and with ourselves, about how our beliefs and behavior line up and where we fall short.  Unlike the Pharisees, God doesn’t want us to pretend that life is perfect or that we have it all together.  The goal of Christianity is not our performance and how we measure up.  The goal is to live in authentic relationship with Jesus through all the ups and downs, the peaks and valleys of life.  Did you catch that?  The goal is a dynamic and growing relationship with a person, namely Jesus. 

 

In the Greek language, the word hypocrite was used to describe someone who put on a mask or another persona, like an actor on stage.  Jesus used this word to describe the Pharisees since they pretended they didn’t need God’s grace.  Unfortunately, church can be a place where people pretend they are someone they are not.  Let’s stop pretending.  Let’s be honest with ourselves and with God.  I will start.  I fail often.  I need grace often.  I need Jesus.  How about you?

 

Jordan Lee

Executive Pastor

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Your Kids Lives Are Being Changed

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Sep 19, 2013 @ 02:44 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake, students, camp, Rush, Church, youth, ministry

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MattsBlog

The middle school years are completely unique compared to all others. This is the time where some of the most pivotal decisions are made that truly set up the future of our students. It's also the time when students are influenced more than any other time in their lives, as they search to figure out who they are and who Jesus is to them. That is why, here at Timberlake Student Ministries, we value and are passionate about the mission of discipling young teens in a fun and safe environment.

This past weekend, we held our annual fall kick-off event, Escape, and it was unforgettable. Not only for the students but for our leaders as well.

A total of 169 students, alongside 23 adult leaders, packed into 3 buses and journeyed to Family Fun Center for a few hours of fun. Then we drove to Arena Sports, which was packed with inflatables, photo booths, a mechanical bull, and more! After everyone was hyped up on pizza and soda, we ventured back to Timberlake Church for a service and a relevant, practical message. It’s there where God encountered many students, even some for the very first time!

While scanning the crowd during worship, I could see young people interacting with God and pursuing him like I had never seen them before. It’s true, when you call out for God he answers. And our students get it.

That’s the reason behind what we do here at Timberlake and why we have events like Escape. To usher students into encountering the one and only Jesus Christ. We will work tirelessly and endlessly to help students take action and ignite the next right step in their relationship with Jesus.

I believe we are ministering and discipling a group of "game changers” who will forever change this community, not by their own strength but the strength of the one who empowers them: Jesus Christ.

When Jesus is speaking with his disciples after his resurrection he gives them simple instructions: love God more than anything, love people more than yourself, and serve relentlessly. It’s these principles that we seek to instill in our students at every service, every small group, and every special event.

Jesus is on the move in Timberlake Student Ministries and we invite you to come and take a look at the life change that is happening all around us.

Matt Castro
Middle School Pastor 

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What Matters Most

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Sep 13, 2013 @ 10:55 AM / by Timberlake Church posted in faith, Timberlake, jesus, Loving others, relationships, what matters, trust

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The world we live in values money, power, and success.  Many people spend each day striving to get a better job, a better house, or a better car.  Yet, none of this stuff matters from an eternal perspective.  They are just things we may have for a while but can’t take with us after death.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

What really matters in life?  People matter.  Relationships matter.  From God’s perspective, relationships are what matters most of all.  Why?  People are eternal beings.  Death is not the end.  When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is, he said to love God and love people (Matthew 22:36-40).  That is what we were designed for.  That is the purpose of life – to be in relationship with Jesus and to be in authentic and meaningful relationships with other people.

Of course this is easy to say, but hard to live out.  People can be difficult to deal with.  We all have people in our life that push our buttons and make us crazy.  And we are the person that drives someone else crazy too!  People are imperfect.  Relationships are messy.  Everyone – you and me – could use a little help as we navigate the many relationships in our lives.  Starting this weekend, and in the coming weeks ahead, Timberlake will be doing a message series about relationships and the people that “make us crazy.”  We would love for you to join us.  You will be challenged, encouraged, and there will be a few laughs.  We look forward to seeing you at church!

 

Jordan Lee
Senior Associate Pastor – Redmond Campus  

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Exciting Things are Happening...

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Sep 06, 2013 @ 12:36 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake, Growth Groups, fellowship, Church, community

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We have some exciting things planned at Timberlake this fall.  The church staff and leadership team have been working hard and prayerfully preparing to make the coming weeks and months an incredible experience for our regular attenders and new guests.  

I want to take a moment to highlight some changes and opportunities…

  • On September 7/8 we are having a “Back to School Bash.”  We will have carnival rides for the kids and some good food following our 11:30am service on Sunday. 

  • This fall we have 4 services in Redmond.  Saturday evening at 5:30pm and new service times on Sunday morning – 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30am.  We believe this will allow more people to attend Timberlake this fall than ever before!

  • Growth Groups and Classes – This is a great time of year to get connected.  Whether you have been attending Timberlake a few weeks, or a few years, we believe everyone can benefit from joining a Growth Group.  Group signups begin September 8 and Groups launch three weeks later starting September 29.

  • New message series, “You Make Me Crazy,” starts September 14/15.  Everyone has a “crazymaker” in their life.  Whether it’s your spouse, friend, or boss, join us for our new series where we will learn how to deal with the crazymakers in our life.  

 

We have had an incredible summer as we witnessed so many people take their next right step and experience life change. You won't want to miss what God has in store for you and your family in this next season. Please join us this weekend as we kick-off, what I know will be, an amazing fall!  

Pastor Ben

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No Perfect People Allowed

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:25 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in following God, Timberlake, worship, life, grace, Bible, peopl, Church, Heart

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Here are a couple of facts about me: I am a worship leader and I am on staff at Timberlake Church. Here are a few other facts about me: I’m not a pastor, I didn’t go to Bible college, I’m not the best at memorizing scripture and sometimes I forget to read my Bible, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, and I will continue to. I am NOT perfect; I often fail as a friend, wife, sister, daughter or employee. Thankfully, I am forgiven, I am blessed and I am saved all by the GRACE of Jesus Christ.

My favorite thing about being a part of Timberlake Church is the environment of grace. There are no expectations for me or anyone else to be perfect, just a hope and desire that we will learn about Jesus and long to become more like Him. Jesus sought out the sinners; in Mark 2:15-17 Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” This is not an excuse or reason to sin, but simply a message stating that Jesus loves us just the way we are. He longs to see us apply His word to our lives and model His example of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Everyone has a different expression of worship that brings them joy – mine is through music. For those of you who have seen me lead worship in a service, I get lost in it. Even though I have led worship at Timberlake nearly every weekend for 10 years and I’m standing in front of hundreds of people with a microphone in my hand and cameras and lights in my face, it is still my time of worship and my time to honor and glorify the God that loves me just as I am. The God that longs to see me grow closer to Him. I have stood on that stage on weekends when I’m an emotional wreck, or on days when my husband and I have been “disagreeing”; I have stood there broken and the only thing I know how to do is sing to the God who comforts me. I’ve also stood there in times of joy and celebration and the only thing I know how to do is sing out in thanksgiving to the God who provides. My encouragement to you is to come to Him where you are today, exactly as you are, in your hurt or in your joy. His GRACE is enough and His love is unfailing.

Jillian Allan
Worship & Communications 

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Summer Camp Changes Everything

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 15, 2013 @ 05:00 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake, students, camp, summer, life, jesus, Family, salvation

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When I was 15 years old, a new youth pastor at our church invited me to a week at "summer camp". At the time, I responded as any 15 year old considering giving up a week of summer would-- "No thanks, I'm not interested." Then, a girl I liked from church decided to go to camp. I was interested. 

I walked into a week of summer camp expecting to have some fun, make some memories, and work my best freshman-in-high-school moves on my love interest. But here's what happened: God met me at that summer camp. If we had the time, I could take you to the exact spot where I remember committing my life to Jesus forever, and deciding my life was going to look different from that day forward. I can't really remember what the messages were about, or how fun the games were, but I can remember knowing so clearly in my heart and mind that Jesus Christ is who he said he is, and wanted so badly to have a relationship with me. 

Flash forward a decade, and I can't remember who the love interest was, but I can tell you that the decision to fall in love with Jesus has stuck with me, and its by his grace that I'm walking with Him today.

The past couple weeks, we had a chance to provide this opportunity for a bunch of students at Timberlake, both at the middle school and high school level. During these two weeks, it was truly amazing to see students connect in brand new friendships, play crazy games and make lifelong memories. But more than anything, it was amazing to watch them make decisions of faith; decisions that I know firsthand can last a lifetime.  


So, thank you for being a church committed to creating this environment for students. I know that, for so many students, summer camp changes everything. 

Nick Wallsteadt

High School Pastor
Timberlake Church

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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

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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

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Community and Connection

[fa icon="calendar'] Sat, Jun 15, 2013 @ 12:40 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in faith, Timberlake, summer, Service, Father's Day, community, People

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When I examine Scripture it become apparent that biblical community has a number of characteristics.  Some of them are love for one another (John 13:34-35), peace between each other (Mark 9:50), hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), care (Galatians 6:2), encouragement (1 Thess 4:18), and service (1 Peter 4:10).  
This summer at Timberlake we’re going to focus on connection and community.  We have some great ways for all of us to get better connected and to continue to thrive as a church body.  Here are just a few…  
  • Father's Day "Mansome" weekend - this weekend June 15 & 16
  • Vacation Bible School, Sports and Arts Camps:
     - July 15-19 (Redmond)
     - July 30-August 2 (Issaquah)
  • Summer Growth Groups starting the week of July 21
  • GO Tacoma Mission Project, August 12-15
 I would encourage you to be part of at least a couple of these – make some new friends, connect a little better with Jesus and with other people.  It’s a great season as summer unfolds and we get the chance to be together.

Thank you for being a part of Timberlake Church – may God bless you beyond what you can imagine!  
In Christ,
Pastor Ben 
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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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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

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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

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