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God is always on the move in my life, my family, and the Iowa State ministry that I lead. I will constantly be updating this website so you will know the latest goings on with my family and ministry.

Thank who?

Posted by Tim: 12/01/2010 :: Tim's thoughts :: 0 commentson003962 :: E-mail Entry

I heard a story awhile back about two scientists gazing at the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon. After a prolonged period of awe, one scientist, an evolutionist and materialist, turns to the other and says, “As I look at all of this, everything in me wants to thank someone for it, but I know that there is no one to thank.”

There’s something in us wants that wants to express gratitude and appreciation when we are benefited in some way. A friend buys you a great cup of coffee. A sibling does your chores for you. A stranger picks up a glove you just dropped.

But what do you do when the benefit you receive is larger than any one person? The whole world over and throughout the centuries, people have turned to some understanding of God to give thanks to.

The first mention of thanks in the Bible comes from Leah, the wife a Jacob. A woman living in an abusive situation yet she found room in her heart to give thanks and praise to God for the birth of her son, Judah (Genesis 29:35).
Jacob, a man who also lived a long hard life- deceiving and being deceived; believing his dearly loved son had died early in life- later uses this same Hebrew word (yada) to tell Judah that his brothers will thank and praise him and even bow down to him because:
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Genesis 49:10

And sure enough, from the line of Judah came one who was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3) himself. This man, Jesus Christ, has ascended to the throne and deserves all our thanks and praise, because this man is the Son of God who “he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!” Isaiah 53:5

What needs to evoke thanks and praise in us and from us is not what has been done to us, but has been done for us. Life is hard and very confusing at times, but God is good. He “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, [and] will also along with him graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32).

When I visited the Grand Canyon as a geology student many years ago, I was challenged to “think again” about God and His role in my life. Such a majestic sight evoked in me an overwhelming desire to thank God for it. When I later looked to the cross, the feeling was multiplied a hundred times over.

Don’t let doubts, pain, and confusion rob you of giving thanks this Thanksgiving. Look to the cross and give thanks that God knows what it’s like to suffer, to forgive, and to live again.

Thank who?

Posted by Tim: 12/01/2010 :: Tim's thoughts :: 0 commentson003961 :: E-mail Entry

I heard a story awhile back about two scientists gazing at the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon. After a prolonged period of awe, one scientist, an evolutionist and materialist, turns to the other and says, “As I look at all of this, everything in me wants to thank someone for it, but I know that there is no one to thank.”

There’s something in us wants that wants to express gratitude and appreciation when we are benefited in some way. A friend buys you a great cup of coffee. A sibling does your chores for you. A stranger picks up a glove you just dropped.
But what do you do when the benefit you receive is larger than any one person? The whole world over and throughout the centuries, people have turned to some understanding of God to give thanks to.
The first mention of thanks in the Bible comes from Leah, the wife a Jacob. A woman living in an abusive situation yet she found room in her heart to give thanks and praise to God for the birth of her son, Judah (Genesis 29:35).
Jacob, a man who also lived a long hard life- deceiving and being deceived; believing his dearly loved son had died early in life- later uses this same Hebrew word (yada) to tell Judah that his brothers will thank and praise him and even bow down to him because:
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Genesis 49:10
And sure enough, from the line of Judah came one who was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3) himself. This man, Jesus Christ, has ascended to the throne and deserves all our thanks and praise, because this man is the Son of God who “he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!” Isaiah 53:5
What needs to evoke thanks and praise in us and from us is not what has been done to us, but has been done for us. Life is hard and very confusing at times, but God is good. He “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, [and] will also along with him graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32).
When I visited the Grand Canyon as a geology student many years ago, I was challenged to “think again” about God and His role in my life. Such a majestic sight evoked in me an overwhelming desire to thank God for it. When I later looked to the cross, the feeling was multiplied a hundred times over.
Don’t let doubts, pain, and confusion rob you of giving thanks this Thanksgiving. Look to the cross and give thanks that God knows what it’s like to suffer, to forgive, and to live again.

The New Kid in Town

Posted by Tim: 08/11/2010 :: Ministry News :: 0 commentson003960 :: E-mail Entry

I might as well have said I beat my head against a rock for fun. I think I would get the same reaction... a glazed look over the eyes, a furrowed brow, an awkward pause.

Nonetheless, I’m here to start a new church in Decorah, Iowa.

After waiving some smelling salts under the inquisitor’s nose, I usually get the question, “Why would you want to do that? There are lots of churches in Decorah.”

If by churches you mean brick buildings with a steeple on top, then sure there are a good number of churches in Decorah. But that’s not what I mean by church, and by no means is that what the Bible means by church.
Jesus coined this word in Matthew 16: 18 when he said, “Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

It’s the Greek word ekklēsia and its primary usage is of a gathering of citizens called out for a particular purpose, an assembly. Jesus is building into flesh and blood, not brick and mortar.

Now I’ve discovered some interesting things about the people of Decorah and its surrounding communities while preparing for this new church. After an informal Wal-Mart survey, my friends and I found that 40% of everyone we talked to no longer joined the church on any given Sunday. Now sure, many claimed affiliation with a church denomination, but after confirmation they “graduated” from doing church and stopped going.

Another thing I learned was that at one time some of the local pastors calculated the maximum number of people that their pews and chairs could hold. The result revealed that the church buildings in Decorah couldn’t hold 1/3 the local population if it wanted to.

Sure, there may be a lot of church buildings in Decorah, but there’s not a lot of the church in Decorah. If you are one of those who have given up on church, then we’re here for you. It is our hope and prayer to unite with the other churches in town and make a difference for good. Here’s how:

1. Complete reliance upon Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible. After all, Jesus said He was the one that was going to build His church, so the best thing I can do is cooperate with what Jesus is already doing. Having been fully persuaded by faith and reason, we find that the truth that built people and nations throughout history is doing the same today. If you need something real to believe in, then we’re here for you.

2. Enthusiastically proclaim the gospel. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said “upon this rock I will build my church”. He didn’t mean Peter. He meant what Peter just said in verse 16: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Our familiarity with those words cause many to miss the enormity of them. This proclamation cost Peter his earthly life, but it gained for him eternal life. It is possible to know for certain that you are going to heaven when you die. If you are not certain of that yet, then we’re here for you.

If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find us... maybe you can be a part of... the New Testament church!