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What's up with working at Red Wing Shoe Store?

Posted by Tim: 09/16/2009 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 003946

Some of you might be wondering if I got kicked out of ministry or left the pastorate or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have taken a part-time job at the Red Wing Shoe Store in Des Moines BECAUSE of ministry!

In obedience to the clear leading of God (ask me for the story sometime), I am in the process of moving to Decorah IA to plant a Great Commission Church called LifeHouse Church. As I have followed God in this, several issues have been identified that make this step a very wise (although admittedly risky) move.

Here they are:
1) My presence and the introduction of a new church in a smaller town like Decorah will be more acceptable and welcomed if I am actively contributing to the community like bringing in (or in my case reviving) a business and employing locals.

2) The job market is very tight in Decorah (like the rest of the States) and so a business would be able to employ a few of the church planters who will be/ already are in Decorah that don't have jobs yet.

3) I have 6 kids and they are my primary disciples. As such, a business of this nature would provide a great opportunity for them to learn business principles and practices that could benefit them for the rest of their lives.

So, the manager of Red Wing (Matt N.) has been very understanding and supportive of this mission and has hired me to train me to increase Red Wings presence in Decorah.

I wanted to share all this not just to explain it all, but to make a personal request of you:

Could you help me bless Matt and Red Wing back by bringing some of your business to this business in the coming month or so?

Yes, Red Wing Shoes are pricy, but it's not because of their name or fancy unnecessities. These shoes are of the highest quality you will find in the world (which means they will be more comfortable and longer lasting than any other shoe you've had), and they are backed by warranties and incredible care and repair service for the life of the shoe.

But for those of you on tight budgets, I got a win - win for ya. There is a sizable selection of Red Wing shoes on clearance that the manager would LOVE to get rid of (pics from my cell phone). These shoes (boots, dress shoes, sandles, tennis shoes, women's shoes) are at a very manageable price.


I'd love to see ya and practice selling shoes on you. I will be working there on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 - 5.

Why I'm switching to NLT!

Posted by Tim: 06/09/2009 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 003942

I will probably be persecuted for this post by my Christian friends who have become convinced that godliness is spelled ESV, but I just can't hold my tongue any longer.

My Bible version story starts out with a Catholic version of the Good News Bible that my parents got me for Christmas the year I got saved. The introductory notes on why the Catholic version is superior to all others and why the Apocrypha is inspired was quite interesting.

Soon, though, I got my first NIV which was quickly replacing the NASB as the version of choice. I read the NIV, memorized from the NIV, and spiritually grew up in Christ with the NIV. It's a good version, but not perfect. Learning about the nature of a concept for concept translation and, more so, the theological influences of the translation team shook my confidence in it.

So I moved around to various translations until settling on the ESV by popular demand. It was far more a word for word translation and had minimal a priori theological influences, although not completely absent from them.

I was content with using NASB and ESV for years priding myself in using a more literal translation. Then it happened...

I was counseling a young Christian couple about the dangers of living together before marriage (in fact they weren't even engaged yet). It was sensitive. It was delicate. So I pulled out my Bible and read the pertinent verse:

"But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints" Eph. 5:3 (NASB)

They looked at me with blank stares. What?

How about ESV then:
"But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints." Eph. 5:3 ESV

Same response. Squinting of the eyes as they tried to figure out what I just read.

So seriously, I had to interpret the English so that a biblically unfamiliar person could understand it. I knew right then that if I have to translate the English so a person can understand it, I need a new version. One that translates the original Hebrew and Greek into a language that we think and speak in.

This is how the NLT puts it:
"Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people." Eph. 5:3 NLT

And the NIV uses the powerful phrase of "there must not be even a hint..."

Now that's language a person can easily understand! So, I bought me an NLT and I'm learning to appreciate the uniqueness of this translation.

I still have and use other translations to derive the exact meaning of a text in question, but my sword for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness will be the NLT. So help me God.

DSP has a successful launch

Posted by Tim: 05/28/2009 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003941


As of Saturday, May 23, the Decorah Summer Project got off the ground and has been gaining ground ever since.
The DSP consists of the already famous Decorah 7:

Luke Anderson
Holly Anderson
Joshua Anderson (young but cute)
Jenny Larson
Beth Boal
Vineet Kuruvilla
Dan Hult

We hope to see Alexa Gibbs and Rex Borseth around some too, as well at the Decorah team.

We came together Sunday morning for a "church in the park" service. It was sweet. 15 of us sang the best we could, got a good dose of God's Word about possessing a surprising faith, and ate lots of food. If every Sunday started like this, it would be a good life.

We've also done a lot of praying and playing. One great time playing was exploring Ice Cave and doing some cliff climbing. It was almost like Old Man Mountain at Estes Park, just not quite as challenging.

Some neat God things has been how quickly and easily the soccer program idea has been coming together. The middle school here was very eager to help out. I think the "are you Jack's brother" comment by the administrative assistant may have helped. She took us right to the top and got it all worked out.

Another huge blessing is working with Bethany in creating a soccer program logo. Not only is she good... she's fast. And the kids here with our church are excited about inviting their friends to it.

And a neat last minute service opportunity came up to help Hispanic women in Postville which will give us a great way to get soccer fliers out to their kids. We need Spanish speakers in a bad way to reach out effectively to them. Anyone? Anyone?

You can catch the whole summer calendar here.

Do pray for:
Beth, Dan, and Jenny to get jobs.
Success with the soccer program.
Genuine relationships be built and the gospel would get out.

You will never read this in the papers

Posted by Tim: 05/07/2009 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003940

In honor the the 58th National Day of Prayer, I joined 17 other prayer warriors today in front of city hall to pray for the moral rebirth of our nation.

Our prayers to God were humble, sincere, penitent, and desperate. I was honored to be numbered among them.

The verse to commemorate this day is Psalm 33: 22

"Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you."
The whole Psalm is a powerful one to pray.

It starts with the celebration and praise that only one whose hope is in the Lord can offer. Then moves to acknowledging the righteousness and supremacy of God. Camps on the necessity and responsibility for peoples and nations to honor Him. And concludes with a declaration of dependence on God.

Beautiful.

Joseph leftovers

Posted by Tim: 02/23/2009 :: Ministry News

While working on the message about Joseph's life in Genesis, I came across some pretty intriguing material that I didn't have time to share on Sunday morning.

I did briefly mention what a continuous, unified narrative the telling of Joseph's life is, but here are a couple more comments referring to just how remarkable a story this is:

Bible scholars: Gerhard von Rad - "an organically constructed narrative,"; Sarna - it's an "unparalleled continuity of narrative."

But what adds to the remarkable nature of this narrative is that embedded within it is a reflective chiastic structure. This means that within this story's unified structure, the themes of the first half of the cycle are repeated or echoed in the second half!

The structure of the Joseph story is as follows:

A Joseph and his brothers, Jacob and Joseph part (37:1-36)
B Interlude: Joseph not present (38:1-30)
C Reversal: Joseph guilty, Potiphar's wife innocent (39:1—23)
D Joseph hero of Egypt (40:1-41 : 57)
E Two trips to Egypt (42 :1 -43 : 34)
F Final test (44:1-34)

F' Conclusion of test (45:1-28)
E' Two tellings of migration to Egypt (46:1-47:12)
D' Joseph hero of Egypt (47:13-27)
C' Reversal: Ephraim firstborn, Manasseh secondborn (47:28—48:22)
B' Interlude: Joseph nominally present (49: 1-28)
A' Joseph and his brothers, Jacob and Joseph part (49 : 29-50 : 26)

Now some may question whether the author ever intended this and that people who have too much time on their hands read this chiastic structure into the storyline. And that may be so. But it's there nonetheless. I wonder if it wasn't the author's intention (Moses or the sons of Jacob) to write it this way, but rather it was thee Author's (God) intention to do so.

Why? For ease of memorization for one. To help his people, who had a lot less access to the Scriptures than we do now, remember it and learn from it. Also, to put a fingerprint of His Divine authorship on the document. Even the most classic novels don't have this depth of tapestry embedded into their stories.

Anyone who says that the Bible was written by a bunch of wild-eyed, lonely men, are speaking out of their ignorance. Stuff like this make me sit back in awe of the depth and beauty of the Scriptures and of it's Author.

Thanking God for freedoms past... praying for freedoms future.

Posted by Tim: 11/24/2008 :: Ministry News

A uniquely American and distinctly Christian holiday is upon us... Thanksgiving. Unlike Christmas or Easter which have their geographical roots in Israel, this holiday arises out of the historical roots of America. It reflects the two driving purposes upon which America was built and has thrived: freedom and faith.

The Puritans, looking for a land to live and raise their families in the Christian faith without infringement by government or state religion, came to the new world to start a new life. This is the event that we celebrate on Thanksgiving day. This video does a fair job of covering the facts.

So like my brothers in Christ before me, I want to stop and give thanks to God for my wife and family, my church and country, my health and prosperity. As I do, though, not far from my mind is a prayer that we will be able to continue to thank God for such things.

America is turning incredibly hostile to Christianity. Religulous is nothing short of an intolerant, hostile mockumentary of Christianity and other religions... and it simply takes to an extreme what is happening all across this land. Even the freedom to share faith in Christ is being threatened as it's increasingly being viewed as a criminal act.

These turn of events will be exacerbated by the election of Barack Obama. He is a strong proponent of hate crimes legislation that has been and will be used to censor Christians from living according to the dictates of their faith.

So as you give thanks this Thanksgiving also give a prayer to God for America. Pray that those who come after us will be able to enjoy the same freedoms as those who have gone before us. And pray that the gospel would be preached without hindrance as I Tim. 2: 1-4 commands us to.

Who are you?

Posted by Tim: 09/22/2008 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003917

To augment last Friday's Rock message, I wanted to give everyone a list of identity verses that are virtually identical to the ones that I was reviewing the day God got my attention of who I really am in Christ. Since we were not able to pull that off, here's the list.

May the truth change you!

Who am I?

I am accepted...
John 1: 12 I am God’s child.
John 15: 15 I am Christ’s friend.
Rom. 5: 1 I have been justified.
I Cor. 6: 17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one
spirit with Him.
I Cor. 6: 19,20 I have been bought with a price. I
belong to God.
I Cor. 12: 27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Eph. 1: 1 I am a saint.
Eph. 1: 5 I have been adopted as God’s child.
Eph. 2: 18 I have direct access to God through the
Holy Spirit.
Col. 1: 14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of
all my sins.
Col 2: 10 I am complete in Christ.

I am secure...
Rom. 8: 1,2 I am free forever from condemnation.
Rom. 8: 28 I am assured that all things work
together for good.
Rom. 8: 31f I am free from any condemning charges
against me.
Rom. 8: 35f I cannot be separated from the love of
God.
II Cor. 1: 21,22 I have been established, anointed, and
sealed by God.
Col. 3: 3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Phil. 1: 6 I am confident that the good work that
God has begun in me will be perfected.
Phil. 3: 20 I am a citizen of heaven.
II Tim. 1: 7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but
of power, love, and a sound mind.
Heb. 4: 16 I can find grace and mercy in time of
need.
I John 5: 18 I am born of God, and the evil one
cannot touch me.

I am significant...
Matt. 5: 13,14 I am the salt and light of the earth.
John 15: 1,5 I am a branch of the true vine, a
channel of his life.
John 15: 16 I have been chosen and appointed to
bear fruit.
Acts 1: 8 I am a personal witness of Christ’s.
I Cor. 3: 16 I am God’s temple.
II Cor. 5: 17f I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
II Cor. 6: 1 I am God’s co-worker (I Cor. 3:9).
Eph. 2: 6 I am seated with Christ in the
heavenly realm.
Eph. 2: 10 I am God’s workmanship.
Eph. 3: 12 I may approach God with freedom and
confidence.
Phil. 4: 13 I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me.
(from “Living Free in Christ” by Dr. Neil Anderson)

Do you want to make sugar water for the rest of your life...

Posted by Tim: 08/20/2008 :: Ministry News

or do you want to change the world?

This reputed challenge made by Steve Jobs to Pepsi-Cola executive John Sculley may hold water when it comes to the stuff of earth, but that's where it ends. When it comes to giving your life to what will last forever, only the gospel of Christ comes through.

I am looking to see if there might be a few brave men and women who will do the unthinkable... move to Decorah Iowa because of church. Following is an e-mail I sent to many in my sphere of influence, but if you didn't get it consider yourself challenged.

I would like to invite you to consider being a part of a new lifegroup focused on:

1. Training on what it takes to be a part of starting a new church.

2. Building relationships between those who are considering being a part of a possible Decorah church plant.


Here are some specifics:

The 1st Tuesday of every month will be a prayer time asking God to move in Decorah and to lead us into His perfect will. Anyone can join us for this prayer meeting whether they are a part of the lifegroup or not. First prayer meeting: Sept. 2nd, 7pm, 418 Stanton Ave. (Borseth house).

During all the other Tuesdays of each month, we will follow this basic format:
A time of accountability with our personal walk with God (daily QTs, verse memorization, prayer, and sharing our faith)…
Listen to and discuss a teaching from The Church Planter’s toolkit
Close by praying for each others specific needs and for God to reveal His perfect will to us.

We will start this coming Tuesday (8/26) with a more informal get to know each other time and talk about where we are at with this whole church planting/ Decorah thing. We will meet at 7pm and finish by 8:30pm at 418 Stanton Ave (the Borseth house).

Please pray about this and e-mail me with any questions or to sign up. Currently, the lifegroup consists of the Borseth and the Bannantine families, Jenny Larson, Angie Frerichs (if God relieves her of her work commitment on Tuesdays), and Adam & Sara Bauer.

I'm praying for more.

Check out the video recap of the Decorah mission trip in July.

You will also enjoy the youtube video about Decorah.

Japan mission journal

Posted by Tim: 06/21/2008 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003892

As people ask me, "So how did your trip to Japan go?" And I have honestly said, "It was phenomenal!"

God really did more than I asked or imagined before, during, and even after my trip to Japan. As a way to tell the story of all I saw and did, I tell it by way of answered prayer.

Before we made plans to go to Japan, Kristen and I counted the cost and realized that we couldn't afford it. Yet at the very moment that we reached that conclusion, Savana brought us the mail containing a card from an old friend with "a belated Christmas gift" that she said God laid on her heart to send to us. It was 3 times the amount we needed!!

My primary reason for going was so that Mune, a close Japanese friend of mine, and I could actively engage in sharing the gospel in his home country and to his friends. Mune wasn't planning on going to Japan this summer due to research he was doing for his masters, but after talking to his professor about it he was given the freedom to go.

Since my biggest prayer was for Mune to catch a passion for the gospel to spread in his homeland, I was so encouraged when on three different occasions Mune powerfully shared the gospel:
First it was with Koji. A Tokyo University student who came up to me and said, "I would like to know more about Christianity." Mune and I were with him for over 5 hours as we shared the gospel that gives freedom with him. He is very close to salvation.
The second time was with Tomoko. She spoke little English, but as Mune translated for me he added a lot of his own words and thoughts to clearly explain the gospel message.
The last time was with Take. Mune was watching an intense discussion occur between Take and a Japanese Christian, Hiroto, when Mune jumped in and showed a passion for truth and love that I'd never seen before!
As I watched each of these events unfold, I distinctly remember thanking God for his promises and his presence.

With only 10 days to engage in this mission to help the TX team discover God's specific will for a church plant, God graciously spared me from experiencing ANY jet lag, helped me learn some survival Japanese in only 5 days, and immediately opened doors for the gospel.

We arrived in Tokyo around 4pm on Thursday. By 3pm on Friday, we found ourselves speaking at an English class at the Tokyo Women's Christian University. One lady I met there, Sayuri, later joined us for a "fun day" with 13 other Japanese. Since coming home, we've been e-mailing each other about what it means to be a Christian. Her latest e-mail said,

"He is savior and taught me the importance of my life ... Now that I have something to live for, my heart feel so free. It took me so long to see Him, but I am so glad He found me!!"

That is what GOOD NEWS looks like!

I was able to share the gospel and my testimony multiple times every day I was in Japan. One surprisingly effective way to get the gospel out was through my old testimony tract. I had printed out 30 testimony tracts, but came home with only 5 in my pocket. People were eager to take one. In fact, I even gave one to a Korean kid during my flight back to the states.

Here is a list of the people I met, shared with, and continue to pray for and keep in touch with through e-mail and facebook:

Sayuri, Koji, Tomoko, Mami, Daisuke (2 of them), and Take (sp?).

Please pray for them whenever you can.

Of course, along with the joy of being engaged in the Great Commission with Mune and an old college friend of mine, Paul Scott, I also got to "enjoy" all manner of strange foods (octopus, squid, seaweed, eel, ect...), visit temples and shrines (including the latest Japanese cultural icon... the subway), and sing kareoke (the Japanese people are a very polite people, so no one ran out of the room as I sang, "Mr. Roboto".

I think you'll really enjoy this slide show that Kristen put together.

I miss Japan. I long to return as God wills it. May God be merciful to these people and rescue them through faith in Jesus Christ.

Off to the land of the rising sun

Posted by Tim: 05/27/2008 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 003881

Whoever popularized the idea that following Jesus was dull and boring was not following Jesus. Ever since coming to faith in Christ in 1984, it's been one wild ride. And it's just about to get crazier.

I will be in Tokyo Japan from May 28 - June 6 for no other reason than because I'm following Jesus.

Here's the story:
During The Rock's fall kickoff in 2005, I met a Japanese man by the name of Muneaki Watanabe. He is an ISU student studying biochemistry and molecular biology. I pursued the relationship and over a year span we became friends. Along the way, I took Mune to see "End of the Spear" and shared the gospel with him. He thought on it and we'd talk about it for several months when one night he cried out to "whomever was listening" during a desperate moment and God miraculously met him. That was mid-fall of 2006. I baptized him a few months later.

According to Matthew 28: 19-20, we are to make disciples by "teaching them to observe all that I've commanded you". That includes making "disciples of all nations". So to help Mune develop a burden to reach the people in his homeland, I asked Mune if he'd go home this summer to join me in helping a church planting team from Hope Fellowship Church (Denton, Texas) establish themselves in Tokyo. He agreed and I'm now about to step foot on soil 6000 miles from Ames.

Here are some fun details:

We will be staying at a hostel: Sakura Hotel Jimbocho

Two churches that are helping us there are: Ecclesia Funabashi church and Committed Japan that meets at KickBack Café and is associated with Calvary Chapel.

I will be leading a sub-team of 3 or 4 people and we will focus our outreach at two universities: Tokyo University and Nihon University which is where Mune did his undergraduate studies.

A total of twelve people are involved in this church planting mission trip and my sub-team will consist of Mune, Paul Scott (an old college buddy from Minneapolis), and myself... and possibly my brother Jon who is stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan.

In addition to surveying students and trusting God for divine appointments, we will be featured guests at an English class at Tokyo University that is led by a professor who is helping the church plant. We've been told that we can not talk about the Bible, Christianity, and spiritual things in general. Satan is on the move everywhere. So we got a short talk approved on the philosophical law of "Ex Nihilo, Nihilo Fit". Believe me, it will give Japanese students who are told nothing of God and view everything through a naturalistic lens, plenty to talk about.

You can track our mission teams exploits at: theearthwillbefilled.blogspot.com. The team is already there. We are joining them half way through their stint.

And please, please pray for us. You can be a vital part of this mission trip and reaching the Japanese people through your prayers. Thank you!

Tom Short has landed!

Posted by Tim: 04/09/2008 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003859

Campus evangelist Tom Short is here to preach and teach at ISU and Drake. I've heard Tom speak dozens of times and I've always been challenged, inspired, and encouraged by what he has to say and the way he says it... especially when confronting multiple hecklers at the same time. He is a rare and gifted man. Do all that you can to come out and see him. By the looks of the weather, Wednesday may be his only day on campus.

But you can catch him at these other locations too:
Wednesday (4/9)
9 - Noon Hand out “Why Jesus?” magazines on central campus, south of the Library.
12 – 5 Preach on campus, south of the Library
7 Speaks at youth group at Stonebrook Church

Thursday (4/10)
12 – 5 Preach on campus, if weather permits.
8:30 Speaks at Alive at Drake

Friday (4/11)
12 – 5 Preach on campus, if weather permits.
7:30 Speaks at The Rock on "All Religions are not the Same"

Saturday (4/12)
7pm Speaks at Des Moines Downtown Church

Sunday (4/13)
9am and 10:45am Speaks at Stonebrook Church

Heroes

Posted by Tim: 03/25/2008 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 003853


Though you wouldn't think it based on the media's portrayal of the war, there is more than a body count coming out of Iraq. Army Spc. Monica Brown, is one of many to be honored for great acts of heroism. The story of her courage to administer medical aid to severely wounded soldiers while under heavy fire is riveting.

Accounts like this makes me think of all the unsung heroes in the church. Though I've only heard a few stories from the Rock's mission trips over spring break, there are several people that I would love to give a "medal of valor" to.

John Burdine, Jr. - After being encouraged to swing through NIU to see how we might assist whatever God is doing there in the aftermath of the brutal shootings, John and his team stepped foot onto the campus not sure what to do or even where to go. After several hours of awkwardness, God inspired John to just be honest with people. So he led his crew to tell people, "We are from Iowa State and we just spent our spring break in Chicago, and we wanted to swing through here on our way home because we heard about the shootings last month and wanted to give you our condolences and to see if things are going all right."
Upon hearing this, the students were immediately thankful and appreciative, and spiritual conversation was natural after that. With violence and death being such a hard thing to talk about, John and his team demonstrated what real love looks like.

Jenny Larson - Physically scarred from a bout with cancer, Jenny would have every excuse to be reserved and wounded, but that would be among the last things anyone would say about her. While home over spring break to help her family with the chores, Jenny would milk the cows especially early (like 5 am!) so she could drive to Decorah to help the few of us who were surveying the campus to find out what God is doing there and get the gospel out. She was not only bold in talking to people about the Lord, but she aggressively networked with local Christian leaders to help me get the big picture of the needs in NE Iowa.
On the second day of our labors at Luther College, Jenny was pulled aside by security who were concerned about what we were doing on their campus. Security directed us all to the campus ministries center for approval. As we met with Pastor Amy Larson, Jenny initiated by sharing her testimony in 15 seconds flat and proudly identified herself as "born again". Jenny modeled a confidence in Christ with such grace that it put everyone at ease in a very tense situation.

Rex Borseth - At the risk of showing nepotism, I've got to mention how proud I am of my son, Rex. This was his second spring break mission trip with college students, but this one was much more evangelical in nature sharing the gospel both in a mall in Cedar Falls and on campus at Luther. At 14 years of age, it would be very understandable for Rex to stand in the shadows in the face of 18 - 24 year old college students, but he didn't! He boldly took students through the survey and would offer comments during conversations about God and faith.
While sharing with me, Rex complained that he felt useless because I did all the talking and never gave him a chance. Surprised, I went ahead and gave him the survey and he led me and others in bringing up matters of faith in Christ. Rex reminded us all that the Holy Spirit is not hindered by age, education, or experience and neither should we.

All three of these warriors deserve to be honored among God's people!

Message outtakes

Posted by Tim: 11/19/2007 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 003821

What a different church we would be (both locally and universally) if we would daily walk in the Spirit. If you missed last weekend's message "Gal 5: Dying to Live" about how to live in the Spirit, I encourage you big time to give it a listen.

Here's are some thoughts that didn't make the final cut in my message preparation:

When making a case for the necessity of the Holy Spirit's role in living the Christian life:

The God-head is a tight team. God sent the Son to be our savior; to rescue us from bondage and set us free. And he fulfilled the Father’s plan for Him. Now the Holy Spirit’s role is to keep us free… to keep us from being led into slavery again whether to the law or to the flesh. So it is imperative that we know how to follow the Spirit’s lead… how to walk in the Spirit.

Paul was not the first one to take about the fruit of a person's life:

Jesus spoke of this idea in the gospel of Luke 6:43-45 (ESV) where he says,
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Clarifying the definition of flesh:

The flesh is our fallen condition… what we are by natural birth… what Ishmael is analogous to (4). Whereas the Spirit is what we become by the new birth, by the promise… of which Isaac is analogous to. And just like Ishmael and Isaac, the flesh and the Spirit are in sharp opposition to each other, and one or the other will have a prevailing influence on what you do and say… the fruit of your life.

When explaining Gal. 5:24 that Christians are doing the crucifying in this verse:

Now the verb “crucified” in the Greek is in the aorist tense which indicates that this is something we did decisively at the moment of conversion. We repented. We crucified everything we knew to be wrong. Crucifixion was reserved for the worst of criminals of which your flesh qualifies… "he's too dangerous to be kept alive".
[A Star Wars III reference... did anyone notice the Star Trek line I snuck in there?]

When talking about being led by the Spirit:

Jesus spoke of this attitude in John 10:3-4 (NIV) when he said:
3 … the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

I hope and pray that this Thanksgiving is filled with thanks for the Holy Spirit's power manifested in your life.

Political Intrigue

Posted by Tim: 11/15/2007 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 003820

Biblically, God created 3 institutions: marriage/family, church, and government. All of these institutions reflect various attributes of God and are vitally important for the welfare of mankind.
Over the last 3 years, I've spoken on politics only twice and one of those times was at a Rock leaders meeting. Both times I got a very strong positive response. A far majority were thankful that I went where many fear to tread (due to the fear of offending someone and the threat of losing our tax exemption status).
There was always a vocal minority, though, that complained. From those criticisms, one had reason and value behind it. It was a request for educating the church in advance of an election. To equip the people in our church on how to vote, not just who to vote for. I couldn't have agreed more!
So a year ago, I scheduled the president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, Chuck Hurley, to speak at our church. He wasn't a flashy speaker, but he spoke with such conviction and depth of insight that even those who had to work the next day stayed until after 10pm asking questions and dialoguing over issues. It was powerful. You can listen to the meat of his message on Citizenship at the Stonebrook website.

The only thing that was missing that night was the vocal minority. Since they all spoke with me, I knew who had concerns, but none of them... not even one... came. I found that both sad and suspicious. We announced this speaker well in advance and gave a clear and strong plug for the purpose of the event. Yet they did not show (by the way, almost all of the Rock leaders chose not to participate as well).
The usual suspects for such a response is apathy, ignorance, or stubborn rebellion (and yes, for some, inescapable conflicts).
It is not for me to judge what's in a person's heart and I have no interest in doing so, but it is for me to lead the church into the whole counsel of God. If you missed Mr. Hurley's message last Sunday, I encourage you to schedule time now (maybe even do it right now) and get tutored on the foundations of Citizenship.

What a retreat!

Posted by Tim: 09/24/2007 :: Ministry News :: 4 comments on 003793

I've got to hand it to God for showing up in classic fashion at Encounter 2007! Even though I missed most of Saturday, what I got on Friday, Saturday night, and Sunday morning is enough to keep me full for months... that is, if I choose to chew on it.

Before I reflect on some of the big points that hit me, may I depart for Christian etiquette and thank Paul and Christie Johnson by name for all the work they did to make this retreat happen? Yes, I know and the Johnson's know that God is the real hero in this story. But let's be real and recognize the fact that if the Johnson's didn't suffer and sacrifice to make this retreat happen, it wouldn't have happened… and we would have missed an opportunity to see God. So again, THANK YOU Paul and Christie. May your reward be great in heaven.

Now for a few points of personal reflection:
Friday night: Andy Gray shared his life story. As he shared about the partying, the girls, the life that the world says is "the good life", I thought, "Here's a guy that actually lived the life that sometimes I secretly desire. And he found it to be garbage… hmmm." It really helped me lose my curiosity for "the dark side" and strain ever more passionately for the light. I love the verse he shared from John 8: 12

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Jesus

Saturday night: This was the walk through the book of Ruth teaching. He talked about pain. The pain of death. The pain of life (Naomi changing her name to Mara which means bitter). At one point Andy said, "Pain entices us to start over." What was interesting, though, is that for one sister-in-law, Orpah, that meant leaving Naomi and for the other, Ruth, that mean clinging to her all the more tightly. Nothing more is said of Orpah, but much is said of the character and loyalty of Ruth. In fact, Ruth, a Moabite woman, went on to become the great great grandmother of David and was in the lineage of the Messiah.
That's where Andy's main point was: the blessing of commitment and loyalty to the spiritual family. The exercise of throwing the stick on the fire demonstrated how God receives great glory as we die to our stick (life) when we throw ourselves into the body of Christ (the fire). Proverbs 20:6 really spoke to me,

"Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?"
Pain is the fire that tests every person's faithfulness to loyalty/ commitment to the body of Christ.

Sunday morning: This was a rare teaching on the importance and priority of helping the poor. Andy elaborated on how Justice and Shalom are tied together. He described Shalom as reweaving the fabric of society that has been torn by sin. Helping the poor and needy, of which Andy gave several powerful examples, furthers the gospel by bringing Shalom into the world. Andy's call to

"Do justice rather than make judgment"
was right on the mark. It's so easy to judge the poor as to why they are in the predicament that they are in and not "do justice" by meeting their pain. The parable of the Good Samaritan rang truer that it ever has before for me. Am I one who walks on the other side?
I saw a toothless woman with a "Will work for food sign" outside the expanding east Hy-Vee today. I had compassion on her.

Rock Booth rules at the Club Fest

Posted by Tim: 08/30/2007 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 003780

It was more fun than a human being should be allowed to have.
I was only at the Rock booth for an hour due to other commitments, but I would have loved to have been there all day. It was so fun introducing people to The Rock, giving away free stuff, having folks fill out surveys, and meeting a few old friends. The "old" Rock T-shirts were a hot item. Even after seeing that it was simply the Rock logo, people still wanted it. All of our excess T-shirts were gone in one hour. It was crazy.

On top of the action at the booth, there was very encouraging action with our neighboring booths. I got into a great conversation with the lady running the Russian speaking group. She is a researcher at PolyBio and is a Russian Jew. We had a great time talking about faith, Israel, science, ect... I invited her to The Rock.
Nate and Steve got into great conversations with the Mormon booth on the other side of us. Nate talked a long time with former ISU wrestler Sanderson (not Cael... his older brother). He even gave Nate a tour of the wrestling room and introduced him to a wrestling coach.

I don't how the Welcome Fest booth went, but we simply had a fun time meeting people and introducing them to The Rock. Check out pictures here.

Steps to a changed life

Posted by Tim: 08/27/2007 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 003778

By way of reminder (for those who heard my message last weekend on The Chronicles of God at the sweet inaugural Rock at Zeke's and at Stonebrook Church) and as encouragement for the rest of you, here are three practical steps to what I believe will change your life for the better. Consistently walk in these steps and you will live a life you won't regret... like Paul said near the end of his life, "I have fought the fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith." (II Tim. 4:7)

1) Meet Jesus. He’s alive and He wants to live in you. Ask me about that and I would love to introduce you to Him.

2) Read the Bible daily and every time you do ask God to show you a command to obey, a truth to believe, or a promise to keep.

3) Belong to the church and to a small group. I invite you to join us in participating in this story that God that is still being played out in our day.

You only get one swing at life, and life without God is like a story that ends badly. Enter into the story of what God is doing in our world!

Quick question for those from Ames. Would you like to be involved in a noon study going over the book of Galatians? I think it would really heighten the value of the series we'll be doing at The Rock and Stonebrook.

Amazing God Stories

Posted by Tim: 05/31/2007 :: Ministry News :: 4 comments on 003701

Week 2 of the Lincoln Infusion is over, but what God did here in one short week I will never forget.

I think what I saw was a glimpse of what "co-laboring with Christ" really looks like. Every day something happened that went against common human wisdom and experience, and every day I saw an unusual courage in people that I thought I knew. Here's a few stories:

Day one... Friday: We had been out sharing the gospel at the UNL campus all day. Many good conversations. We're passing out discussion flyers before we take off. Teply runs out of flyers so he decides to ask a passing college guy to do a survey. He agrees. Half way through the survey Teply says, "Would you just like to hear the gospel?" The kid, Justin, says yes. He listens and responds by putting his faith in Christ!

Day two... Saturday: Service project in the morning, out going door to door next to the "Rock House" in the afternoon. Door to door... the worst next to cold turkey. Jason and Eryn pass by a house with a sign that says, "NO PROSELYTIZING". The owner walks out and chases them down asking them what they want. They explain that they're with a church offering to do service projects in the area. The guy welcomes them in explaining that his wife and he have been notified by the city to clean up their place or they'll be fined, but they both have disabilities. We arrange a time on Monday to help them and we invite them to join us for BBQ on Sunday.
The wife (Kimberly) comes with us, the guy stays at home. Within a half hour of getting to the park, Eryn starts to share the gospel with Kim and she prays to receive Christ!

Day four... Monday: Hard work all day at the Rock House and at Kim and Mike's place. I ache afterwards, but they surprise us by taking us out for pizza. :-)

Day five... Tuesday: Back to campus. Back to sharing. Many good conversations. Easier than expected. Kirk and John position themselves outside the library and talk to people passing by. Good for getting lots of surveys, terrible for sharing the gospel. They end up sharing the gospel more than any of the rest of us and Kirk leads a college student (Adam) to Christ before lunch!

Day six... Wednesday: Last day on campus. John and I are sharing in the Union, but during a sparse time we go to the front of the library. Kirk and Ruth are there already engaged in survey taking. John and I approach a Chinese girl as we walk up. She is easy to talk to and understands English well. She's not sure there is a God. John slides right into the gospel as smooth as butter. She tracks well, I pray hard, and she asks Christ into her life! She is all smiles afterward and we do some immediate follow up.

There's more, but that's the 4 highlights of our time. Four salvations in six days... all cold turkey... all through the "Do You Know For Certain" booklet. Our God just can't be put in a box! Praise Him!

Is One Life Worth It?

Posted by Tim: 05/04/2007 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 003674

During the Teen Retreat, I was pulled in to do a seminar on "How To Share the Gospel". I did two seminars with a grand total of 6 teen-types and 6 adults in attendance. I went home with the question buzzing in my head, "Was all the time away from my family, canceling a meeting with a precious friend, preparing this seminar and pulling it off worth it in light of the paltry attendance?" To be honest, I was feeling like it wasn't. Overall, I was a little discouraged by it all.

A few hours after I left, I got a call from Pete Grose who organized the Teen Retreat. He called to tell me that one of the teenagers who was at my seminar immediately went to an unbeliever (who joined them for the retreat because he heard it was "a good time") and shared the gospel with him. He put his faith in Christ right on the spot!
I was shocked... and God whispered to me, "Is one life worth it, Tim? Would you sacrifice all that time and effort again if just one life would cross over from death to life?" Humbled and somewhat ashamed, I said, "Yes, Lord. I would do it again if you called me to."

Just last night, I was told that the story continues...
This teenager that left my seminar and shared the gospel was Jack Redmond's son (pastor of Tri-State Bible Fellowship in Dubuque). Jack told me last night that his son has continued to zealously share the gospel and has led 6 more people to Christ!
Even more than that. Rory Whitney, Pastor of Candlewood church just told me that he went to my seminar and afterwards completely changed his entire church's summer plans to focus on how to share the gospel and be to actively communicate it. He said they are working with Luis Palau's campaign, learning the Outreach Diagram AND the Way of the Master approach, and another thing that I can't remember right now.

I guess all we need to do if offer our few loaves and few fish to God and He will multiply it.

Tragedy on VA Tech campus

Posted by Tim: 04/16/2007 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 003658


Just today on the VA Tech campus 31 people were shot and killed . Great Commission Ministries' largest campus church is located on this campus, NLCF- has over 1000 students and is led by Jim Pace.
Please be praying for him and the students there that have been affected by this tragedy. Also, pray that the Christian students can be a support and give hope to those that need it so much.
I'm reminded of something that Ray Comfort said on The Way of the Master video, "Youth is no gaurantee of old age." People need the gospel. Jesus said:

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

The Drake Invasion

Posted by Tim: 02/23/2007 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003612


Filled with faith and love, the Drake students of Campus Fellowship/ Alive have been spreading the love of Christ to ISU students all day today. 1000 Rock fliers got passed out not to mention an unknown number of gospel booklets and Rock invites.

On top of that, there have been many really good conversations with people about the offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ. One Alive student, known affectionately as Big D (see pic above), shared with about 10 people by the time he had a bite for lunch.

Several Rockers have joined the Alive students and have had their faith energized and their joy renewed. You'll all get to see some of the Alive laborers at The Rock tonight and hopefully some of the people that they have invited to The Rock too! Pray that the seeds that are sown land on good soil that bears fruit 30, 60, 100 times.

PRO-LIFE ADDRESS

Posted by Tim: 01/27/2007 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003571

Chillin_at_Uncle_Andy_s.sized.jpg One score and fourteen years ago, seven Supreme Court Justices brought forth upon this nation an unjust law; conceived without liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are not created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great spiritual war…testing whether our nation or any nation so conceived and so misguided…can long endure. Today we meet on a battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of our day to remember those nearly 50 million innocent, future Americans, who had their lives taken from them to uphold a misguided notion of freedom that says the choice to kill the innocent is more sacred than life itself. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow this day. The innocent children who only desired to live, and were so brutally killed, have consecrated it, far above our power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but they can never forget the holocaust of the unborn.
It is for us living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work of eliminating all laws that legalize the killing of innocent people. It is also for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from this slaughter of the innocents…we take increased devotion to eliminate the cause of their deaths…that we here highly resolve, that the nearly 50 million unborn have not died in vain…that this nation, once under God, shall restore our forefathers original notion of freedom…that values the sacredness of every human life…and that government of the people…by the people…for the people…shall not perish from the earth.

Composed and given by Fr. Michael G. Peters
January 22, 2007 at the Des Moines Capital
34th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade
This material may be reproduced or quoted, with proper credit, to spread the pro-life message.

the future

Posted by Tim: 01/21/2007 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 003563


At the first Friday Night Rock of the year, I shared that I’ve been asking God what I should believe Him for this year. For days nothing was jumping out to me until just before the Rock started when suddenly a verse came to mind that I hadn’t thought about since my college days. It was Habakkuk 1: 5
"Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told." (see also Acts 13:41)

Now originally, this prophecy was foretelling the coming judgment of God on Israel. That's not quite the sentiment I was thinking about... rather it was the thought that God is going to do something so shocking, so surprising that I wouldn’t believe it if I was told.

For sure this year holds a lot of changes for me and The Rock, many of which I am not even aware of at this time, I'm sure. The ones I am aware of are profound:
1) We have 3 people raising support to go on staff with The Rock (Nate, Luke and Holly) and when they are done we will have 5 people on staff (8 when you count spouses). This will really help us love and lead more people to Christ.
2) Our very own facility, Zeke’s, will open up in late spring. We have been praying, preparing, and sacrificing for this for years. When Zeke’s opens, we will have a very high profile, versatile tool to reach out to ISU and the entire city of Ames.
3) On a personal note, I now have a teenager in the house! Rex turned 13 and with that a time of transitioning into adulthood. Rex and I now get up before daybreak 4 days each week for physical and spiritual exercise. And over spring break, I plan on taking him on a “right of passage” journey to the New Orleans area (mission trip) and then into the desert wasteland of the SW United States.

I know that God is preparing many good works for us to walk in this year, and I want to be ready for them. So I am making a concerted effort to get my financial support up to par, a staff team in place, and a people filled with faith ready to do good deeds. This is partly why we are going through the book of Mark this semester, but more on that in a future blog.

My prayer for Encounter

Posted by Tim: 09/29/2006 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 003430

Inthegarden.jpg
Do you ever wonder what a guy thinks about as he's facing down his 20th fall retreat (I've missed 2 in my 22 years as a believer as of Oct. 18)? One might think that after climbing the mountain just so many times you would get bored of the same old scenery.
Well, for me, that's never happened. Why? Because my eyes are not set on the event itself, but on the main attraction of the event... oh, the speaker; they change every year. Um, no. One up from that. It's the confident expectation that God will speak.
At every retreat or conference I've ever been to, I go looking and anticipation that God will speak to me and to those I care about. And I can not recall ever being disappointed.
Encounter isn't happening because "it's scheduled" or "it's what Christian groups do" or "Christians really grow a lot at these things and so it saves the leaders a lot of work". No, it's happening because when we set aside some time, even if it's just for a weekend, to sit at the feet of Jesus He is pleased with our choice and will teach us things that we need to know (Luke 10:38-42).
This morning God gave me a passage to believe Him for regarding this weekend both for myself and for all of you.


Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people,
come to my aid when you save them,
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may share in the joy of your nation
and join your inheritance in giving praise.
Psalm 106: 4,5

This is my prayer. Come and sit at Jesus' feet with me.

More angels are rejoicing!!!!

Posted by Tim: 09/26/2006 :: Ministry News :: 6 comments on 003426

I've got no fancy words to say or cute little intro. All I have to say is that MUNEAKI HAS DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS!!
Here's a portion of an e-mail that I just got from him:


Hi Tim,
By the way, I would like to tell you about my decision.
I decided to follow Jesus last sunday because he solved my mental ploblems. So, I promise that I'm trying to understand him and his role. Then, I became his follower. I guess I need to study more and I hope I figure out as much as I can.
Thanks,

Mune

Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15: 6, 7

Zeke's and Strange T's photos

Posted by Tim: 09/19/2006 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 003419

Have you been to Zeke's lately? You gotta go and check it out. We are at the exciting phase of seeing big stuff get done. If you have a few minutes during the 9 - 5, pop over and check it out... or at least look at my latest pics.

Last Friday at The Rock, I starting noticing the odd T-shirts people are wearing these days. So I took pics and I would like to take an informal vote of the strangest T. My vote goes to Drew. I was seriously frightened by that one. Runner up was Andrew with the home-made add on and the zombie look.

I'm with Tom!

Posted by Tim: 09/14/2006 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003409


Now I know that many people are put off by either Tom Short's message or Tom's approach, but, as a guy that knows him personally, I can not speak highly enough about his integrity and his convictions.

I first met Tom personally in 1992 when I was at a Leadership Training program in San Diego, CA. Tom was pastoring a church there at that time. When he decided to re-enter the campus evangelism ministry (something he had done years back), I was eager to bring him onto campus... and he's been coming here ever since.

Today, I stopped by around 4pm and within 10 minutes I was into a great conversation and handed out 3 Rock invite cards. Here's how it happened: I stood on the fringe and listened to the banter as most people were doing. Said "hi" and gave Nick Bal a hug (Nick leads Alive at Drake in Des Moines... an awesome campus ministry). I noticed a guy just leaning against the pine tree so I thought I'd ask him if he had been there long and if he found the dialog between Tom and critics (as well as supporters) interesting. He said he had been there awhile and was into what was going on. He was a Presbyterian kid and was somewhat interested in connecting with a Christian group.
He asked me what I knew about Tom. So I told him about him and about the sponsoring group, The Rock. It was not long after I uttered those words that two girls interrupted us and asked me for more info about The Rock. I gave them a couple of invite cards and encouraged them to join us this Friday. They said they would.
Then the young man I was talking to asked for one. By the end of Tom's preaching, I had given away my last card to an agnostic guy who was very interested in hearing more of what Tom had to say.

I really encourage everyone to check Tom out during the next few days he's here:
Wed. - Friday: next to the Hub on central ISU campus from noonish to about 5pm.
Thursday night: At Alive in Des Moines (Drake Univ.). They meet at a place called Cool Beans starting at 8:30pm.
Friday night: At The Rock, MU Terrace, starts at 7:30pm.

A night on Welch.

Posted by Tim: 08/21/2006 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 003377


I just have to share about my experience on Welch Ave. last Friday night.

So I show up with the off campus team fully engaged in dishing out ice cream. They seemed a little too reserved for me (a man who loves ice cream and loves the cause for which we're giving it away... love), so I jumped right in there to "show them how it's done".

It was a blast. For as many as walked on by, there were those who were more than happy to take some ice cream off of our hands. Most asked why we were doing this giving us a very natural way to mention The Rock and mention our affiliation with Christ. It was great.

After getting into several short and pleasant conversations, I noticed Dan McGuire talking to a couple of young guys by himself. Knowing that it's usually fun to have another voice in the mix, I put the scooper aside and joined in.

I met Lucas and ??? (I'm bummed, I can't remember his name... note: write down the names of new people you meet). They both were seniors in high school. It wasn't long before we got to talking about church, God and faith. It's the most normal thing in the world when you are there (on Welch giving away ice cream), because of your faith. I found out that ??? was a Baptist kid no longer going to church. He was from the Webster City area (and yes, Matt, you guys probably know each other somehow, someway...). Lucas (he likes to be called Lou) never stepped foot in a church before.

I got to talking about my own faith journey and shared my testimony with them. Then I verbally shared the gospel. ??? knew the message; don't know if he knows the Lord though. Lou never heard this stuff before and as they were taking off I offered him a NT and a Do You Know For Certain track. He seemed genuinely interested in taking them. I pray he reads them and that I get to see them both again.

Chad told me he stayed on Welch that night until midnight +. He said the gospel got shared a lot. To get rid of their 4th 5 quart container of ice cream, they walked up to the bar lines and started to dish it out. One guy was so pumped about it that he started yelling over and over, "The Rock rocks!" ...from the mouths of drunks.

an EPIC reflection

Posted by Tim: 08/07/2006 :: Ministry News :: 4 comments on 003356


"My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge." Psalm 71:15

I was biting my tongue during the EPIC closing ceremonies because I wanted to share so badly, but more so I wanted to see if EPIC had the kind of effect on people's lives that I was praying for. I wanted to see if God used our feeble efforts to equip "the body to grow and build itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Eph. 4:16b)

Well, I can't say that people we're pushing through the door to share what God had done in and through them over the summer (unlike the SALT prayer meeting that Angie talked about). And the lack of affirmation after a person shared seemed a little too... Baptist... for me. But I did find what people shared to be very encouraging and affirming. It would be nice to know if those who didn't share had been touched by God over the summer as well, but just were too shy to say anything. If you didn't mention something at the closing ceremonies, I'd love to hear what you will take with you from the summer.

As for me, God did a number of "righteous acts" in my life:
1) Focusing on Eph. 4:15-16 brought deep conviction on my heart of the necessity to "seek peace and pursue it" within the body of Christ. I realized that what separates the church from the world is not the absence of conflict (as is obvious with even a cursory read of the NT), but that we are committed to resolving our conflicts. It's when we fail to resolve our differences in love that we lose our testimony.
All summer long I have been involved in conflict resolution... and I have seen God bless every time... except one but I trust healing will come there too in time. My relationship with many people is and will be more centered in God's will from now on because of this summer.
2) My time on Welch was equally good for my soul. To take the church to the lost was the desire of my heart for that time. Even though that didn't transpire the way I had envisioned, God did freshly grip my heart for lost people. Getting to know Katherine, the gyro stand lady, Joe the juggler, and just looking into the faces of the "walking dead" put a burden on my heart for them that I hadn't felt that deeply for a long time.
My late Friday or Saturday nights will not be the same because of this summer. You'll find me doing what I can to hold out the Word of life to people who are seeking life in all the wrong places.
3) Hershel Martindale's message was a powerful classic that I strongly recommend everyone have on their computer and on a CD in their car for constant listening. After his challenge/ example of having a friend over for pizza with the expressed intent of sharing your life and your Lord with them, I decided to do it. I invited Muneaki to a movie (Pirates of the Caribbean) and then go out for coffee and talk about the central theme of the Bible which is God's plan of salvation for all mankind.
Mune agreed to both and we had a great time. We were up until midnight talking about Christ as I drew out the outreach diagram. At the end, he said that almost everything I shared with him was new. He had never heard this stuff before. He said that his Buddhist influence makes him feel like he could believe in Christ, but only as one of many spiritual guides. He couldn't quite accept that Jesus was God and that His death was absolutely necessary for his salvation. So after reviewing a few more points of the gospel, I gave him Tom Short's book "5 Crucial Questions About Christianity" and said good night. I'm looking forward to spending more time with him.

My heroes

Posted by Tim: 07/03/2006 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 003306

A hero, by definition, is

"a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life" (dictionary.com).
So of course, my lifelong hero is "Jesus of Nazareth... the Holy One of God". (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34)
And, if you pay much attention to my messages, you will notice a frequent referral to such heroes as: Apostle Paul of Tarsus, Jim Elliot, and really most anyone who lost their lives specifically because they loved Christ and loved people more than their own lives.

But there are those "everyday heroes" that I become endeared to because they

"chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." (Heb. 11:25)
Those that I wish to praise as heroes to me (see Prov. 27:2) are those that are currently sacrificially participating in the foodservice fundraiser not simply to "save face" with the ISU foodservice but to see The Ezekiel Project become a success and bring glory to God!

Can enough be said of Holly Boston, who is working full shifts (6 AM - 2 pm) all week and then closing for Stomping Grounds leaving her precious little time to sleep in between.
Or Nate Swinton who has set aside gainful employment with Carpet Steamer all week so he would be available to serve.
Or Pete and Raylene Grose... "Who?" you might say. Pete is a pastor with NewLife in Cedar Rapids. Raylene's son is Nate Marzen. They heard about the fundraiser effort while visiting our church last Sunday. They cancelled their plans to go golfing, and served food in a hot, sweaty kitchen with us instead.
Or how about those who have persevered in the gospel since the 70's like Ev Cherrington and Gene Lund. Gene called me at 11pm the night before to find out how he could participate in the fundraiser.

The world is not worthy of them. I know I have not named even half of those who are genuinely sacrificing to make not just this fundraiser happen, but the entire Ezekiel Project. Don't be annoyed even for a second if I did not mention your name. "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." (Heb. 6:10)

I look forward to being with my "everyday heroes" tomorrow... bright and early at 6 AM. These are the glory days, my friends. I am honored to spend them with my heroes.

Life at the Pastor's Conf. pt. 2

Posted by Tim: 06/28/2006 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 003297

You just gotta love these conferences. They are like idealistic family reunions. We all love each other, enjoy each other, readily meet those we don't know... it's just amazing.

Here's some interesting tid bits of "family" news:
- Everyone's writing books! Bob Bartlett has written "Solomon's 7 Secrets to Financial Freedom" complete with 20 minute videos for lifegroups and budgets, ect... on CD; Steve Nelson has written "Premeditated Parenting" (it's even on audio!); and GCNW is putting out booklets left and right (I got 4 on hand and some are old Jim McCotter books!).
- Everyone I've talked to (and I'm not kidding) has asked me about our building project. I guess word has gotten out about what we are doing and everyone is wondering what God will do to provide for it and then to use it for His glory. Praise God that many people are praying for us!
- Mark Darling is dreaming big for Faithwalkers. He's believing God for 2000 at Tan-Tar-A this year and going to 2 locations next year.
- GCC has about 25ish campus ministries and, from the sound of things, Drake is about the biggest one we got. How cool it is that God is blessing our next door neighbors!
- The Biang's are encouraged and believing God to use SALT to win many people. All the while they are being tested as Dan Hult has not gotten a job and Peter Lemmers busted his finger real good causing him to loose his job. Their faith in the midst of adversity is an example to us all. Pray hard for them.

So that's a few things. Listen to the teachings. Let me say that again. Listen to the teachings!
Especially John Hever's, the panel on discipleship, and John Meyers on Truth.

Life at the Pastor's Conf.

Posted by Tim: 06/27/2006 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 003296

I'm in the middle of my second day at the Great Commission National Pastor's Conference.
It started with the trip down to Tan-Tar-A Resort with the Bovenmyers. Dave and I talked a lot about things that are too great for us: the house church movement, raising kids, and restoring marriages when trust has been betrayed.

Then the conference "officially" started.

Here are a few thoughts I've been thinking.
- I feel young. Not because I'm around a bunch of grey haireds... the hair on my chin isn't all that black either... but because I still feel like I can take on the world... and I still want to try!
- I feel privileged. During the prayer time, I prayed with men and women who have fought and suffered for the gospel for 20 years or more... the Laugermans, John Meyer, and others from around the country whose names I've already forgotten... but God has not forgotten their prayers for the church.
- Robbie McAlister gave the first message. We're going through Titus. Simple but foundational thought: "There's power in the Scriptures when rightly divided and applied to your life and the lives of others." Does that need to be said to seasoned pastors? You bet it does! We too easily wander to church growth programs and new ministry tools and slip from the power of the Sword.
- John Hever gave the second message. A must listen!!!!! I'll post the link when I get it. He said, "Sacrifice is a glorious thing!" And from his story, it's clear that this statement was pure conviction and not some glamorized spin.

More to come. Both in my blog and in my life.

An Indestructible life and other anomalies

Posted by Tim: 04/17/2006 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 003188

On Easter Sunday, I gave everything I had in me to persuade everyone in attendance at Stonebrook Community Church (which included half of the Texas A & M softball team) that every person can experience the power of an indestructible life by identifying with the life experiences of Mary Magdalene and Thomas (called Didymus), and by imitating their example of personal death and resurrection.

Except for any non-Christians in the crowd, I should have been talking to the choir. Every born-again believer should have felt that their lives in some way resonated with the dramatically altered lifestyle of Mary and Thomas. How can a man or woman, having been confronted with a man who resurrected from the dead (and that man being the Son of God, no less!) ever think they would live any other way than a bold and zealous life concerning the truth that they now know? I simply cannot imagine living �a normal life� after that.

I know I simply could not. Which makes me wonder, �Am I that abnormal?� I have for so long thought that the normal Christian life is one of deep love and radical devotion to Christ and His cause. And so to this day I�m confused by Christians who are more concerned about living like Americans than living like people who have seen the Lord. I just feel like there is a serious disconnect there.

Having gotten that off my chest, there�s something else bothering me. What is up with these testimonies of Christians sensing God�s voice so strongly that they will say something completely unplanned or do something that�s completely irrational in obedience to it?
A couple weeks ago, Wendy Rehm shared a story that while she was in Louisiana for Katrina Relief work, she found herself deeply burdened that she was at the wrong church service. She felt like she had to go to different church service and, on top of that, she had to make her way to sit in a specific chair!
Or another friend of mine who shared that he had to attend a Jim Cymbala speaking event to talk to him about his prodigal son in New York. Well, Jim was swamped by a crowd answering questions and signing autographs when all the sudden he stopped still for a moment, looked straight at my friend, and said something to the extent of �You have a son that was wandered from the faith. I need to talk to you.�
Nate Swinton shares similar stories of getting up in the middle of the night at God�s beckoning and doing something unusual. What�s up with that!!

Now it�s my turn to be missing something, because you know what, I just can�t think of very many stories of my own like that! Don�t get me wrong. I�m not looking for a buzz to override the pure, absolute Word of God to direct my life. If all I have is the Scriptures to guide me for the rest of my days, I will die a happy man. BUT, if God wants to relate to me on a more personal, experiential level and I�m missing it, I�d like to correct that in a big way!

Now, as God would have it, I�m the guest speaker this weekend at a Teen Retreat about �hearing and obeying the voice of God�. And here I am recognizing that there is a level of hearing the voice of God that is rare in my life. Not a comfortable spot to be in.

So if any of you have some experiences or insight on this realm of hearing God�s voice in this way, please post a comment or send me an e-mail. I�ll need to borrow from others experiences until God is able to get through to me and give me some of my own stories to tell.

Cross walk

Posted by Tim: 04/12/2006 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 003184

I carried a cross on campus today. And I'm telling ya... what a mix of emotions.

Emptycross.jpg

First there was paranoia (what are people going to think of me), then there was embarrassment/ shame (I'm lugging a cross through campus like some kind of fool), then there was pain (this thing is getting heavy and it's digging into my shoulder), and lastly there was joy (it's for you, Jesus, because you did it for me... for real).

It was such an encouragement to come alongside my Navigator brothers (Brian, Luke and Andy) and my Rock brothers (Tony and Nate) who "chose to share the oppression of God�s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25).

During Tony Hill�s time carrying the cross, we passed by Evan. A young man I had a long talk with about spiritual things and shared the gospel and my testimony with just last Saturday. He�s dabbling in Buddhism and had a lot of the classic arguments against Christ and Christianity. I prayed for him.
During my time carrying the cross, I passed by a BBQ tent with music playing and people mingling and enjoying life. What a contrast, yet I have a food that they know nothing about. They ate and will get hungry again. (Nothing worth blogging about there.) I carried a cross in honor of my Lord and Savior. An act that was so satisfying to my soul that I had to share it.

So I encourage you guys to pick up your cross and join God's people in identifying with the One "who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame" (Heb. 12:2) You can take your turn today (Wednesday) and Thursday from 9:45 AM - 12:45 PM, and on Good Friday from 7:45 AM - 2:15 PM.
Just show up at the Campanile and they will arrive shortly to transfer the cross to someone else. It only takes 15 minutes to walk the line.
Brian said he will do it the entire time if no one else shows up to share the load. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I appreciate his faith and love for Christ.

If I were a basketball coach...

Posted by Tim: 03/27/2006 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 003161

I suspect I would have been fired by now.

The firing of ISU basketball coach, Wayne Morgan, has got me thinking. Here's a guy that in 3 years took his team to the NIT final four and the NCAA second round, but after one season of struggling and losing he gets flat out fired. Ouch! So much for being able to learn and grow from his mistakes... at least at Iowa State.

So I thought, what if pastors were treated the same way as basketball coaches. Within the last 2 or 3 weeks, it's been brought to my attention that since Pat Sokoll left with the Iowa City church plant in 2003 (in other words, since I've been the lead campus pastor of The Rock), we've seen "no visible numerical growth in the Rock", "I do not feel like I am being fed" by my Sunday morning messages, and I'm failing to provide adequate "training for leaders in discipleship and shepherding".

Sounds like grounds for termination to me.

But how is effectiveness measured in God's Kingdom? Is it by measurable results: salvations, large attendance, producing lots of leaders? To be honest, I would have a hard time saying no to any of these things.

But then I reflect back on a few words Mark Darling had for me during Encounter '04. He shared with me that God measures things on a completely different economy than we Americanized Christians do. We think God's affirmation and pleasure is seen in results, whereas, in reality, it's determined by faith.

Mark pointed out that the man with the smallest discernable faith (in fact he had a bad, unwilling heart), Jonah, was used by God to see the greatest response of repentance recorded in the entire Bible. Compare that with Jeremiah who had a heart for God and did whatever God told him to do yet saw next to no response from the Israelites. So what's the deal? Why did resistant Jonah see so much fruit and responsive Jeremiah see so little?

God's ways are not our ways, are they? It's not for us to know all the reasons why he chooses to use one person over another to accomplish His purposes, but we do know for sure that "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6) and that this faith cannot be measured in ways common to man.

What's fascinating about the people of faith in Heb. 11 is that "They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance" (Heb. 11:13). And to such heroes as that the Bible says, "God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." (Heb. 11:16)and that they "were all commended for their faith" (Heb. 11: 39) even though they never saw great results during their lifetime.

If I would only have enough faith to get me included in this number (even as a alternate :-) ), I could live with that... even if I did get fired.

Carrying the load...

Posted by Tim: 03/20/2006 :: Ministry News

A few weeks back I sent a rather vulnerable e-mail to some of my ministry partners and to my lifegroup about the dual harmonies of joy and pain that seem to compete with each other in the human experience. At that time, the harmony of hardship was far louder than the one of joy.

In response, I've gotten quite a number of words of encouragement and even a few who increased their support to help me on that end of things. To all, thank you. I thought that others might be encouraged by the words sent to me by two of my missionary friends in Thialand.

[We've] have been reading Hudson Taylor's biography this month. He started the China Inland Mission and was a pioneer in cross-cultural missions. ...

"He is most holy who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work. It is defective faith which clogs the feet and causes many a fall." Later it adds, Christ is "the only power for service, the only ground for unchanging joy."

...Hudson Taylor was one who continually tested God's faithfulness in the areas of finances, work, health and safety. And God was faithful. At the same time, there was a price to pay for his trust in God. The disunity [among Taylor and some of his missionaries who questioned his leadership and policies] made its way back to England and people cast dispersions on his name. Misunderstandings and accusations abounded. Some of his children got sick and died. He was often sick. But God's work went on. The foundation was laid for the Chinese church which today numbers in the tens (or hundreds?) of millions.

DENIED!

Posted by Tim: 03/07/2006 :: Ministry News :: 4 comments on 003127

Well, it's come to my attention that since Darcy's quilt raffle fell under Stonebrook's raffle license, I was ineligible to win the quilt. The Borseth curse has struck again!!!

Here I am holding the coveted Rhoda Award that I won by unanimous vote by my fellow pastors and staff for being disqualified from winning a quilt AND for suspicious nepotism (my brother winning the go-cart). Sigh.

Borseth's sweep the raffles!

Posted by Matt: 03/06/2006 :: Ministry News :: 4 comments on 003125

I've always told my kids to never have high expections of winning anything big because of "the Borseth curse". Well, the curse has been lifted!!

Kristen and I won the raffle for the quilt which was organized by Darcy Smalley! Thanks Darcy!

And my brother, Andy, won the raffle for the Star Wars go-cart. See play by play pics of the drawing.

Darcy was praying for a $100 profit from ticket sales and brought in $165. Kristen and I will be selling the quilt on e-bay and donate whatever we make to The Ezekiel Project as well. So this was a very successful fundraiser.

The numbers have not gotten all compiled for the go-cart yet, so we don't know how much we made on that. Andy is still considering donating it back to The Rock, but no word for sure on that either.

Faithwalkers Reflections

Posted by Tim: 01/14/2006 :: Ministry News

Faithwalkers 2005. It may be over now, but the impact of the time is still being felt in my life. I began to suspect that God had something great in mind for this conference when the Rock sign up shot up to 75 just a couple weeks beforehand. So many obstacles like work schedules, financial constraints, holiday plans were miraculously moved aside allowing a lot of people to go. For anyone who is tracking, THAT WAS A SPECIFIC ANSWER TO PRAYER! And along with the turnout was the courageous steps of obedience that 4 Rockers took in getting baptized... especially in the ice cold water of the Lake of the Ozarks.
There was also an strong showing of 25 community folks from Stonebrook Community Church. Overall, I heard that the total turnout to Faithwalkers was nearing the 1500 mark! As several have said to me already, "God is on the move!"

I'd like to pass along a few things that are staying with me from Faithwalkers.

Dennis Clark's message on "Commitment to God and His Word."

Show me something today that I can do so I can show you how much I love you. (see John 14:21)

John Meyer's seminar on "Why the World rejects ID"
We MUST first establish God's relationship to someone's past [God is their creator], then establish God's relationship to their future [God is their judge], before they can understand God's relevance to their present. (see Acts 17:24-31)

Hershal Martindale's message on "A Great God, A Great Commission, A Great Power"
You and your church NEEDS to have a personal strategy to reach the world in this generation. (see John 4:31-38)

Brent Knox's message on "Crucial Principles of Church Leadership"

There's no great accomplishments until there's a great desire. (see I Timothy 3:1)

Mark Darling's message on "God's Revolution on Earth" (and reinforced in Rick Whitney's message on "Preparing for your future family")
Prepare yourself to be a church planter. Raise your family that way. If the Kennedy's can raise their family for politics and the Manning's for football, I [the Borseth's] can raise my family for God. (see 3 John 4)

Tim Borseth's seminar on "Raising up an Army, pt. 2"
Hey, there's my papers. I always have a backup plan. (see II Timothy 4:13)

All these messages and more can be heard HERE!

Thankful for a new start!

Posted by Tim: 11/22/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 002989

In the speech that set aside the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, President Lincoln said, "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God..."
In full agreement, I would like to point out just a few of the "great things" God has done in The Rock so far this semester.

* I got a call from Pat Sokoll, pastor of Mars Hill in Iowa City. A kid that graduated with one of his daughter's was going to Iowa State and had attempted suicide within the last few days. He asked if I could have someone visit him. We both thought that Nate (a Rocker about to go on staff with GCM!) would be the man and it just so happened that the guy lived in RCA where Nate does most of his outreach. Well, Nate just popped over and told him that "God sent me here and so you need to go on a walk with me". This young man did and shared the aches of his life with Nate. Nate was able to speak the truth and love of Christ into his life which were among the last words he heard before he dropped out of school. Pray for Jacob. God wants this young man's heart and soul.

* A Rocker�s ex-boyfriend was doing drugs, disillusioned with life, and was considering suicide. He shared his struggles with his "ex-girlfriend now Rocker on fire for God" and she told him to come to Ames and meet her friends with the Rock. He noticed the difference in the quality and character of the Rockers lives immediately. On a night that the Rock had a late-night prayer meeting, those that knew this guy committed to praying for him. From our best efforts to connect the dots, it was during the exact time that prayers for this man were being offered up, that two Rockers, Julie and Brandon, were able to lead this man, Winthrop, to faith in Christ!!

* During the Rock tour, I met Adam and Dan. Two freshmen in temp housing. They connected with the Rockers and visited the Friday Night Rock. After the Rock on the MU Terrace, Adam told me, "this is exactly what I'm looking for. I want in!" Adam then got housing in a different dorm complex, but the Rockers pursued the relationship. When the Encounter Retreat came, Adam was going to do something else until an auto accident stopped that idea in its tracks. He told me at the retreat, "It seems that God really wants me to be here."
Last Sunday, Adam took a huge step of faith and was baptized in the fridged waters at Brookside Park.

* A young girl went to a Rock hotdog BBQ at Friley for a free bite to eat. Sensing that Christians were running the thing, her roommate told her to act like she was interested. She said, "Whatever! I am interested!" Even though this girl, Alli, had been involved in the party scene and all that goes with it, she was looking for something more. She started doing EVERYTHING with the Rock... the entire Rock tour, every Friday Night Rock, the Encounter Retreat, everything. While listening to Tom Short preach on campus, I got to have a long talk with Ali about Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for ALL of her sins. A lot of things got cleared up for her and she committed herself to Christ. At the Encounter Retreat, she was the first one to be baptized as a believer in Christ!

* Another freshman, Peter, has been getting increasingly involved in the Rock. He recently e-mailed Matt to share the good work that God is doing in his life:

I used to get really uncomfortable around large groups of people. I mean I get physically uncomfortable. I would get itchy or break into a sweat and would have a lot of troubles thinking straight. I would tend to be very compulsive and it got me into a lot of trouble socially and with authorities (administrators). I don't exactly why the things happened, they just did. I'm very sensitive to light and sound. At assemblies in the gym with a thousand eight hundred people around me it was bad. But what I realized today is that it's the context that matters. I don't understand why, but I don't feel threatened at all [at The Rock] in front of the speakers with people all around and lights blaring. I just feel like releasing all the love and joy and... euphoric amazement of the beauty of the hearts of people I've met, the natural world, life, the healing power of God. It is all just welling up like water behind a dam and all I can do is pull up the gates and let the water out. I wept for joy at Alive tonight [the GCM work at Drake]. Not for sorrow. Not for hate. Not for regret or pain or fear. For love of life! For love of this wonderful life that is full of trips and falls and mistakes that can never ever ever hold us down. I still feel a little bit of the old what ever it was when I'm just hanging around after the rock, but at family time, or when ever I'm together with my life group, or just having a conversation with Luke or anyone else about the things that really matter, I'm free!

I know there's more, but this is just a simple reminder that we have SO MUCH to be thankful for... in particular, a whole new life!
THANK YOU GOD!

What I brought home from the retreat (pt. II)

Posted by Tim: 10/05/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 002898

The second message was loaded for bear on the way we live our lives and why:

Quote from Russian astronomer "There are only two possibilities: either God exists or he doesn't... both are terrifying possibilities."
This mind who made us has a preference, and every time we deviate from them we mess things up. Example: It's wrong and illegal for a minor to smoke cigarettes, but you will get handed a condom in school.

This is so true. Our society has demonized smoking, but celebrates casual sex. Yet which one causes more pain and death in our world? I gave a message (Israel's first failure: not taking sin seriously (Josh. 7)) where I focused a lot of the consequences of our behavior, and not just to ourselves but to those around us (What we do in the privacy of our own homes does affect others!) In that message, I quoted CDC statistics saying that

"...more than half a million people have died after developing AIDS since 1981. At the end of 2003, nearly 406,000 people were living with AIDS in the USA. 77% were men of which 77% contracted AIDS through sexual contact.
63% of women with AIDS contracted it through sexual contact.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention spends $320 million annually in HIV prevention. Harvard estimated that AIDS has already cost the world more than $500 billion.

When it comes to STDs, an increase of Chlamydia infections has made it the most widespread STD in the USA. In 1996 there were nearly 493,000 reported diagnoses; by 2003 the annual total had increased by 78% to 877,478.

And we are all upset about smoking?! Hey, I agree that smoking is bad. My dad died, in part, from smoking. But in light of the hell unleashed by sex outside of marriage, it's clear that our priorities are really all screwed up!

John's final point was that

"This world did not make me. It was made for me. And I will outlast it!"

What a refreshing reminder to live for eternity. My life is worth far more than what this world is trying to sell me for.

What I brought home from the retreat (pt. I)

Posted by Tim: 10/03/2005 :: Ministry News :: 6 comments on 002891

Yesterday (Sunday, 10/2) marked the completion of my 20th Fall Retreat. It was fitting that our speaker, John Meyer, was the pastor that I had identified most with when I went to my first retreat (Ankeny, 1984). Pretty cool!
Here are a few of the nuggets that I brought home from his teachings:

The faith of the first century believers was not compartmentalized like so many of us do today. You'll either believe in Christ or reject Him, but if you believe in Him then all that He is and represents must take the center of your life.

Their hope was the return of Christ and it drove their faith across the Roman empire. Their faith was just as much an offense back then as it is now, because it lays claims on other people's lives. They were willing to die (and many of them did) for that faith... am I?

It started with 120 people.


My ponderings: The Rock is 120 strong (in lifegroups). If we to make Christ the center of our lives like the first century believers did and you couple that with modern technology (travel, communication, Bibles in other languages, ect...), would we be able to dublicate what they did in reaching their world with the message of Christ? What would I need to change in my life to live and to lead that way?

And that was just from the first message. More to come.

Photos for your viewing pleasure

Posted by Tim: 09/21/2005 :: Ministry News

My lovely wife has been regularly uploading pictures as this semester progresses.
Check out what The Rock did for the fall kickoff!
And there's a new album tracking the rest of The Rock's activities.
A few new photos of demo and construction on Z37 are there to see.
See what Rex and Dad did during the first Scout campout of the scouting year.
If you missed Isaac's birthday, catch it here.
There's some sweet family vacation pics to take in as well.

So there's something for everyone. Enjoy!

In the news...

Posted by Tim: 09/14/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 002840

Well, it appears I made the paper again. It's amazing what one little letter to the editor about Intelligent Design can do.
Also in the article is Dr. Fernando, The Rock advisor, and Sam Ose, a good friend of Matt and I.

Check it out.

Also, look at the feedback I got on my blog when I posted my letter there. Woo weeee... some people have too much time on their hands.

A brief update on Katrina Relief

Posted by Tim: 09/12/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002831

If you missed The Rock or Stonebrook Community Church this past week, you missed my update as to what our church has been able to do to help those suffering from the Katrina Hurricane disaster. Below are the notes that I loosely worked off of.
All the teams are back safe, and sound and ready to go back.

Katrina update:
1. Supply line- A Rock truck-sized vehicle was taken to Baton Rouge area (specifically Mandeville) filled with supplies (diapers, personal hygiene, bedding). The initiative and concern of three Stonebrook guys (Steve, Don, and Del), the time and labor of the Rockers (organized by Teply) and Stonebrook folks, and the generosity of strangers (one person handed us a crisp $100 right before take-off) made this mission of mercy possible.
They were able to deliver these supplies to areas that The Red Cross hadn't even penetrated yet.

2. Relief team 1: Five Rock guys in the Linden team left to work alongside a crew of ten people from Mars Hill in the devastated area of Mandeville. When they arrived at Mandeville they were the first ones from "the outside" to show up. The devastation is pretty bad. They have been delivering food to a lot of hungry and thirsty people, including infants. Dan said people started crying when they showed up.
They are now working in Slidell and will continue to work their way through small town unloading trucks, delivering food, and clearing the area so people can get through.

3. Relief team 2: Thirteen Rockers are in Shreveport helping with an evacuee center (Hirsh Auditorium). They�ve been doing data support work designed to reunite separated loved ones, running security, delivering supplies, and putting a touch of the love of Christ on everything they do.
This team was hand selected by God:
Matt and Wendy worked hard in their "IT" department. Their database was simply an excel spreadsheet, and so Matt & Wendy organized it and were able to immediately reunite people with their loved ones. Matt created a web-based platform that anyone can access to see who is staying there, what their needs are, ect� www.hirschshelter.com
Dave, Mark H., Chad Z. helped with security. Dave had just finished training for the police force!
Many of the sister met one of the biggest needs to arise out of this whole mess- the need for hope. They spent time with people showing them the love of Christ and giving them a reason to live.

It took forever for them to say good bye. They didn�t want to leave nor did the evacuees want them to leave.
Matt said it seemed like they�ve been there for 3 weeks and yet it just flew by.

A post on Matt's blog said it best:

"I'm not the church going type, but if it weren't for the Christian Churches, we'd all be flat on our butts."
Red Cross Volunteer we are working with, to a reporter.

4. Until were able to arrange more teams to head south, the Red Cross in Ames needs some serious help with data entry. Direct you time there.

In the name of love...

Posted by Tim: 09/07/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002821

I'm sure you've noticed that problems, accidents, and obstacles never happen at convenient times.

Such is the case with the Katrina hurricane disaster. When that tragedy struck, the Rock was going at full tilt reaching out to students at Iowa State. Over the last two weeks, we've passed out thousands of flyers, pulled off 6 Rock concert-events (at Curtis Hall, student residence halls, & the MU Terrace), organized a wide assortment of smaller team events (BBQs, sports activities, ect...) and on and on I could go.

Through it all, we've made a lot of new friends filling our time and attention. We would have every reason to forgo helping the victims of Katrina simply because of the critical juncture of campus ministry. But how could we?

God calls on us as his ambassadors to push back the affects of the curse wherever it may be found. Christ�s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (II Cor. 5:14-15)

So despite the hectic pace of ministry right now, 18 Rockers have taken off to Baton Rouge and Shreveport Louisiana to help those who have lost everything because of this storm. Five Rockers are hooking up with 10 folks from Mars Hill Church in Iowa City to work in a Baptist church run shelter at Baton Rouge (first photo). Thirteen other Rockers (second photo) are serving at a Red Cross shelter in Shreveport that's being run by a First Assembly of God church.

What a glory to God it is for His people to lay down their lives for those who are suffering. Please be praying for the safety and effectiveness of these two teams.


The Rock Tour photolog

Posted by Tim: 09/01/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 002809

The Rock Tour was great!! God really blessed our efforts. I'm personally looking forward to getting to know Muneaki from Japan better over the course of the semester.
Check out the photos from all the Rock gigs! It starts with the lastest photos (RCA gig) and goes back in time.

Now we know why

Posted by Tim: 08/29/2005 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 002795

I and others have scratched our heads over the statistically high percentage of Americans who claim to be Christians (88% nationally) and yet have such a marginal impact on the American society. Especially when you consider that 40% of them claim to be "born-again".

Well, thanks to a poll by beliefnet and Newsweek, we now have a better idea as to why.

According to the poll results of more than 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older, 68 percent of evangelical Christians believe "good" people of other faiths can also go to heaven with 91 percent agreement among Catholics.

Agape Press reported this:

Beliefnet spokesman Steven Waldman calls the results "pretty amazing."

"Evangelicals are among the most churchgoing and religiously attentive people in the United States," Waldman writes, "and one of the ideas they're most likely to hear from the minister at church on a given Sunday is that the path to salvation is through Jesus."

In light of that, how -- he asks -- could so many Americans toss aside such a central element of theology?

Waldman believes the best explanation is found in the Newsweek cover story that grew out of the survey. The conclusion it draws is that Americans have become so focused on a very personal style of worship -- that is, forging a direct relationship with God -- that spiritual experience has begun to supplant dogma, or teaching based on the authority of the Bible.

Ouch!

Weighing in on ID debate

Posted by Tim: 08/24/2005 :: Ministry News :: 11 comments on 002782

Well, my arm was twisted. Rather than working hard on campus ministry stuff, I was coerced into writting a letter to the editor of the D.M. Register regarding the Intelligent Design debate.
It went through a major revision after Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez himself advised me multiple times as to what to say and what not to say. This one got his blessing.


Much has been said in the news as of late over whether or not Intelligent Design ought to be considered a scientific theory or a religious belief, and if scientists who hold to ID should be allowed to hold research positions or teach science. As a graduate in geology from Iowa State (1990) and a pastor in Ames, I feel as if I�m in a unique position to understand both sides of the issue.

The discerning reader needs to catch the underlying question here: can a person believe in a god that is, to varying degrees, actively involved in the natural world still practice viable science? Or, does one have to believe in no god or an impotent god to be considered a reputable scientist?

A brief look at history and an honest assessment of today�s scientists answer the question hands down.

Practically every major scientific discipline was founded by men who believed in a god that was and is actively involved in the universe. A few notable examples would be Robert Boyle (father of modern chemistry); Georges Cuvier (founder of paleontology and comparative anatomy); John Dalton (father of modern atomic theory); James Joule (discoverer of the first law of thermodynamics); Gregor Mendel (father of genetics); Isaac Newton (discoverer of the universal laws of gravitation); Louis Pasteur (father of bacteriology), and the list goes on to the present day.

I have personally interacted with 15 professors at Iowa State who seriously doubt Darwinism and have offered their assistance in helping college students work through the role of faith in science. Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez is by no means alone in his understanding that science points toward an Intelligent Designer. Colleagues that share his conclusions range from Dr. Donald DeYoung who received his Ph. D. in physics from Iowa State to Charles Townes who invented the laser to the catalog of 400 scientists listed at www.discovery.org

Charles Darwin prefaced the 'Origin of Species' with this quote from Francis Bacon, the father of the scientific method: 'Let no man ... think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works.'

What we are seeing in this controversy is the prodigal son of science is returning home. The fathers of science and their like-minded contemporaries are welcoming the return, but the sons of Darwin are lashing out in fear that their exclusive rights to science will be lost.

Fear not, Darwinists, and join the party!

Faith resting on facts

Posted by Tim: 08/21/2005 :: Ministry News :: 6 comments on 002775

Matt Heerema pointed me to an article about a discovery that usually goes without much fanfare. It once again gives the believer in Christ solid reasons to hold on tight to their faith.
Last fall, a team of workers fixing a sewage pipe found the Pool of Siloam. Doesn't sound like that big of deal at first, but listen to these quotes from the article:

"Scholars have said that there wasn't a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit" to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. "Now we have found the Pool of Siloam � exactly where John said it was."

A gospel that was thought to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history," he said.

Charlesworth said. "This may be the most significant and largest miqveh [ritual bath] ever found."

Over the years, I've heard of scores of examples just like this. The city of Jericho is one notable example. Skeptics claimed that the city of Jericho never existed and so Joshua and the Bible in general could not be inerrant thus not the Word of God. Well, at least they used to say that.

Christian, hold on to your faith. God has embedded reasons to believe that are obvious to anyone who is willing to see them whether that's archeological discoveries in Israel, geological and biological discoveries in the natural world, or, most powerful yet, the personal discovery of salvation through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Joshua in series

Posted by Tim: 08/11/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002750

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing and hearing the messages over the book of Joshua this summer. The central theme Victory has become much clearer to me now.
Like usual, I get the most out of the messages that I prepared for. There is no substitute for spending lots of time digging deep into God's Word. The treasures hidden in there are marvelous.
The big ideas related to Victory that I've gotten out of Chapters 1, 7, 9, and 11-19 are: God has the power and offers us the promise of Victory (but do we have the faith and confidence in Him to believe Him for it) [Ch. 1], sin will deprive us of the victory every time and not only us [Ch. 7], but it will hurt those around us too, yet even in our sin and failure God can sovereignly work everything out for the good and give us the victory [Ch. 9], and lastly, the promised victory of God may seem like it can't or won't ever happen but we must persevere because history shows us clearly that God is able to fulfill every one of his great and precious promises.

Such brief summaries don't really do the messages or the chapters justice. Please give them a listen . I hope that you have been or will be able to assimilate the truths of this series into your life as much as I have been!

New and Used photos

Posted by Tim: 07/10/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002660

I know that these photos are a bit dated, but they are so good I just had to post them and invite you all to take a look. Chances are high that you are in one of them. If so, post a comment under it.

John Meyer speaks

Posted by Tim: 07/03/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002642

One of the most passionate, convicting messages spoken at the Pastor/Staff Conf. you will never hear. To say that John Meyer, pastor at Summitview Community Church at Ft. Collins CO, spoke on II Timothy 3:10-17 would be doing it an injustice. The best I can do for those of you who missed it is to offer you my notes.

But there's more. John has a long history of battling evolutionism. While a student in biology at Iowa State, he became convinced that evolution is a bankrupt theory and that the natural evidence better supports creationist theory. Well, he is still doing battle with his old nemesis, Dr. John Patterson. Dr. Patterson started first with a salvo in the Iowa State Daily, and John Meyer responded in kind.

But there's still more. John Meyer will be the guest speaker at this fall's Encounter Retreat. This retreat promises to be one the best ever. Schedule for it now. It will be Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 at Sunstream Retreat Center between Boone and Ogden Iowa.

Our amazing God!

Posted by Tim: 06/15/2005 :: Ministry News :: 7 comments on 002605

Well, The Rock has now has a permanent place! Today at 8am, I had the privilege of seeing our prayers become reality as signatures were signed and money changed hands. What a journey God has taken us on to get where we are now. I have been nothing short of amazed by His wisdom, grace, and power... and I know He is not done yet.
It made me think of what God said to Ezekiel in chapter 37, "Can these bones live?" It seemed obvious to me that the answer was no. But what is impossible for a bunch of college student types, is possible for God. Dead bones... arise!


Allow me to be the first...

Posted by Tim: 05/17/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002530

I wanted to be the first to boast big time in God...
Here I am in Chicago, Ill. for the SALT program and God has done something here that is near miraculous.

Last year, the SALTers struggled along the entire summer to get jobs that gave consistent hours and decent pay. This year, we repeatedly asked God to give everyone a job within the first week of the program.

Well, of the 20 people doing SALT (not counting Chris Biang or myself), 6 didn't have jobs yet. That right there is amazing!
So here we are two days into the program and ...BOOM... people started getting jobs immediately.
Faith got a job on day one.
Alicia and Emily got hired on day two.
Amy and Alisa have second interviews tomorrow and, by all reckonings, have a job ready and waiting for them.

The only person not to have a job yet is Heather who will not be showing up for SALT until mid-June.

God has done MORE than we asked or imagined!

Now for the post you've been waiting for...

Posted by Tim: 04/25/2005 :: Ministry News :: 17 comments on 002451

If you hang out with the Rock whether in the blogosphere or on location, then you are well aware of the Ezekiel Project.
Now that we have a signed purchase agreement, we can begin the competition. It should be obvious to all that we can't keep calling this building that we're buying "the old Audio Plus building" forever. It's time to start "name storming", my friends!

The only ground rule is: no "obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place". Other than that, let the ideas flow.

As I've reflected on this, I've had two guiding thoughts.
One is to have the name serve to promote and identify the driving purpose behind it... a place for The Rock to do it's thing in a way that fits who we are and what we are trying to do. Now, I acknowledge that the vision for this place is far bigger than The Rock, but it was a search for a Rock home that brought us here.
This has made me think we should just call it The Rock House or The Rock Shop or something like that. The cafe thingy we could just call the Rock cafe.

The second thought is that the on-going businesses will carry a lot of weight as to how people identify this place. So, there's the Giant Wash laundromat. I can see it now: "So where's the Rock at?" "The Giant Wash Laundromat, dude. You gotta come... and bring your stinking clothes with you."
If we had a Tarraccino's in the cafe area, people would inevitably start calling it by that name. That's a step up from the laundromat, but could cause some confusion with promotions or when other groups are using the place. Most coffee houses don't have a large open area where you can rock.

So, for now, I like The Rock "X" whether that's house, shop, place, warehouse, or whatever. Sometimes the best name just comes out of nowhere and sticks... but then again, sometimes we find a name we like and then just use it enough that it sticks.

Spread the word about this effort to find a name. Whoever comes up with the winning name gets a free meal at the Borseth's.

Question

Posted by Tim: 04/13/2005 :: Ministry News :: 8 comments on 002400

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves the hard questions.
I recently had a talk with someone who said that they hadn't seen anyone's life changed as a result of being involved in the Rock. Since "The Rock" can't change anyone (only God can), the implication is that God isn't at work in and through the Rock.
Well, is that the case? Since all of us are limited to two eyes and 16-20 waking hours in a day (depending on your major), it's easy to miss what God is doing. I thought I'd take a random blog poll (rbp). It's unscientific, but interesting nonetheless.
Here's the question:
If you are involved in the Rock at Iowa State, would you say that your life has changed for the good in some demonstrable way as a result?

Feel free to make your comment anonymous if you want. And spread the word about this rbp to others so we can have a better sampling of what's really happening (or not happening) out there.

Have a nice day!

New stuff

Posted by Tim: 03/24/2005 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 002322

Hit the photos button and check out all the pics from our El Salvador trip. They are awesome and will tell you a lot about the nature of our trip.

Hit the Ezekiel Project link at the bottom of the right side bar and get a progress report on the building. Please, please keep praying for this.

Back from El Salvador

Posted by Tim: 03/22/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 002314

All 19 of us made it to and fro from El Salvador safe and sound, and with stories to tell.
The key words from the whole mission trip are: ANSWERED PRAYER.

Here's a few of the prayers that God answered during the time:
- Wendy Korthals lost her passport in Houston. It was found at the last possible minute in Pensacola, FL.
- No one got sick!
- Terri Ashley prayed that she would lead 10 people to Christ... she led 11.
- I prayed that I would lead a person to Christ each day I went onto campus. After 4 days of sharing, I either directly or indirectly led 4 people to Christ.
- Wendy Ziebol got her passport stolen at the beach. BUT, she was one of only a couple of us that photocopied her passport and she was able to get home off of that.

There's so much more to tell, but I'll have to do it at a later date.
Bottom line: God did miracles during the trip and we count it as an honor and priviledge to be a part of it.


Letting you know before I go

Posted by Tim: 03/11/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 002285

Well, it's been a bit stressful getting things done around here, but I'm almost ready to head off to El Salvador. I'll be there from March 12 - 20. Please be keeping me in prayer, AND please keep my wife and kids in prayer! They will need every bit as much grace and protection as I will.

For those of you who have been waiting for the next salvo of memory verses, here you go.

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: �It is more blessed to give than to receive.��

With the Ezekiel Project before us, I figured it would be appropriate to memorize the promises of God regarding giving our time, energy, and money. Jesus isn't directly quoted in the gospels as having said this, but Luke (the author of Acts) said He did so that's good enough for me.

Proverbs 11:25 "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Clear and straight to the point. I like that. This is a principle of life to live by.

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

If you say this verse with conviction and emotion, it will grip your soul. This verse is a clear promise of God to each and every one of us.

Malachi 3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,� says the Lord Almighty, �and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

You just can't memorize verses on giving without getting this one in there. It's amazing to me that the only place where God challenges us to test him is in the area of tithing to the work of God. This act of faith is important to Him, because it's the clearest visible display of who really has your heart.

Great pics

Posted by Tim: 03/08/2005 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 002263

Just posted some great pics of the Valentine's event and the last Rock. "Check 'em out."

Also, got some great "family pics" up too. Rex and Nina just made their presence known at the homeschooling Communication Extravaganza. Rex's exhibit was even in the paper.

A Rock to Remember

Posted by Tim: 03/06/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002250

I must admit. I'm not without words very often, but last Friday's Rock was such a huge surprise that I didn't know what to say.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the unexpected interruption by listening to the "Givers Anonymous" message at the Rock site.
What happened was Pat Sokoll, Nathan Meyer, Josh Cramer and Robert Olinger and Jeff Koenig from Mars Hill Church in Iowa City stepped up on stage dressed in black trench coats and, without saying a word, un-cuffed a briefcase from one of the brother�s wrists, cuffed it to mine, and then left as suddenly as they came. It was all a little on the weird side.
At first, I had no idea what was up, but then it came to me that this could be a major donor gift. So, I opened the briefcase (that weighed a "ton") and sure enough, it was packed full of wads of cash. What an amazing gift of generosity from a small, up-start church that itself is looking for a location to meet.
Along with that, The Rock itself spontaneously gave over $675 for a tribe of starving people in Northern Kenya. It will be sweet to see God fulfill His promise in Luke 6:38 that says, �Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, it will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Sneak Peek

Posted by Tim: 03/02/2005 :: Ministry News :: 0 comments on 002227

I will be sharing some thoughts on the bizarre biblical idea that "the generous man will prosper" at the Rock this Friday. I was thinking about that as I compiled an e-mail to Rock leaders asking them to generate $50,000 to help cover a down-payment on a building that could host the Rock for years to come and, I believe, be a blessing to many.
I thought to myself, "Self... if the generous man prospers (emotionally, psychologically, financially, and otherwise), then how upside down is the thought that we could raise money for a building by giving money away." Isn't that the epitome of crazy thinking? Here it is we need to get money to buy a building, so giving money away seems counter productive.
Well, welcome to the Kingdom, boys and girls. Spread the word Rockers. There are greater needs out there than getting a place for the Rock to call home. I discovered that JR Woodward of Kairos church in LA is personally delivering as much money as he can raise to the starving people in Northern Kenya. After talking to a personal friend from there, JR found out that the government is so corrupt that any organized effort to get food to them is seized and used by the government for themselves. So he's taking it there himself!
This Friday, I would like to put our faith into practice and call on all Rockers to put $5 into the basket to help feed the people of Kenya who have needs that make ours insignificant. Spread the word!

More verses... ah ah ah ah ah

Posted by Tim: 02/14/2005 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 002153

[Did you ever notice that evil laughs backwards. It's true. The classic Count Dracula laugh is "ah ah ah" while normal humans utilize the traditional "ha ha ha". Just thought I'd share.]

Now on to the topic of memorizing Scripture:
I was very encouraged to see so many Rock leaders nailing their verses word for word. I hope you all enjoyed your worms... gummy worms that is. :- )

The spirit of the next set of verses captures the necessity to love one another. I was thinking that The Rock has no business dreaming about a permanent location in order to have a greater influence on the campus and city if that influence is a shallow, warped reflection of Jesus Christ. God is love, baby, love. If we are not able to love those in the family of God, what makes us think we can love anyone else?

So memorize (and live) this:
John 13:34-35 �A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.�

This is a classic verse that shows how integral love is to opening the eyes of a blind world to the reality of the presence of God. The world will not see the reality of Christ in the followers of Christ until they see a love in us that is not of this world. It's as "simple" as that, folks.

1 John 3:16-18 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

This one gets me every time. To love like Christ sounds so nice and theoretical that it goes right over my head. In these verses, John lays it out there in such a practical way that I just can't blow it off.

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God�s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

This is the kind of love that makes the world take notice� anything less than that will have an equally degenerative impact on each other and the world around us. Meditate on each description of our clothing. Living like this is the goal of our faith, for the closer we get to this kind of love the closer we get to Christ-likeness.

Since there are so many verses in each chunk of Scripture to memorize, I'll leave it at 3 this time. (I hope you're happy, Paul.)

Sharing Faith

Posted by Tim: 01/31/2005 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 001990

George Barna just came out with new research on how Christians share their faith.
A number of interesting points that relate to us is:
1) 55% of born again adults claimed to share their faith during the last 12 months. I don't know if that encourages or discourages you, but I figured the 45% who kept the Truth to themselves were busy executives or swamped moms... um, guess not.
2) The lowest rate of evangelistic activity occurred among Midwestern born again adults: just 41%. Maybe Halo is a bigger deal than I thought.
3) 74% of born again adults tried "lifestyle evangelism" in the last 12 months. According to Barna, this means that 3 out of 4 Christians tried "living in ways that would impress non-Christians". I guess the other 26% were living in ways to impress their friends who presumably were all Christians. Either that or they weren't impressing anybody.
4) Seven out of ten believers (69%) said they had engaged in "Socratic evangelism" which is having an on-going discussion with someone. If a young adult shares their faith at all, they choose this method. Bravo! This is the most respectful method of intentional evangelism that I know of. It has yielded abundant fruit at ISU over the years and continues to do so.

So, for all you Rockers who are memorizing verses with me this semester, our next salvo of verses are the rare gems in Scripture that capture the beautiful gospel message in just a few sentences.

1) John 3:16 �For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Don't think that everyone knows it. Fewer and fewer do these days.

2) Romans 10:9-11 That if you confess with your mouth, �Jesus is Lord,� and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, �Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.�
One of my favorites. It shows that faith is accompanied by action (confessing with your mouth).

3) 1 John 5:11-13 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
I love John's conviction here. The word "know" in verse 13 means "with absolute certainty".

4) John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, �I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?�
John 11 was shared at my father's funeral and so Jesus' words hold much power and promise to me. Plus I love the challenging question he poses to Martha.

Enjoy!

World's Worst Decisions

Posted by Tim: 01/26/2005 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 001704

At the last Rock (11/21), I shared about how the world system, our uncontrolled desires, and Satan's schemes promise us life but, in the end, deliver death. Regardless of the historical precedence to this effect, humans still buy into the line that good can be found by following worldly wisdom rather than the wisdom of God.

A quick look at some of the world's worst decisions give evidence of what I'm talking about. A couple of examples are:

In 1977 a South African hang-gliding instructor spotted an interesting sight and made an obscene gesture at a woman who was sunbathing on a rooftop below his flight path. The woman's husband appeared with a submachine gun and blasted the birdman out of the sky.

In 1981 Dora Wilson looked out her window and saw some men loading her neighbor's priceless Persian carpets into a van. "What are you doing?" she called. "We're taking them to be cleaned," the men replied. "Will you take mine too?" she asked. They did, and she never saw the men or the carpets again.

But as I searched through websites on the world's worst decisions, I didn't find the absolute worst decision in the history of mankind. That decision was when Adam and Eve chose to disregard God's clear instruction to avoid the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, listened to Satan's lies, and ate the forbidden fruit. It's not only a decision that has cursed the world and all of humanity with it, but set a pattern of making really bad decisions ever since.

I suppose the Lord will have to come back before we'll stop looking for life outside of God. Maybe though, just maybe, there is still faith on the earth that will believe Jesus' incredible words to "lose your life and you will find it."

So now what?

Posted by Tim: 01/18/2005 :: Ministry News :: 7 comments on 001358

So the first round in verse wars has been waged. Two things I noticed: 1) Too many people had to down jalape�os. 2) People enjoyed the jalape�os way too much.

Therefore, we will up the price to be paid for failing to perfectly memorize the Word of God. I'm contacting the Entomology department today. (Note: please remember this is all in good fun)

The topic of the verses for 1/30 deals with our identity in Christ. If we are God's children, then why didn't God just rapture us to heaven immediately upon conversion? He's done that in the past with those he loved (Enoch, Elijah), so why not us? The answer lies more in who God has called us to be than in what God has called us to do (although they are intertwined).

Feast on the verses below or feast on ants and grasshoppers. The choice is yours.

Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.�
We tried to sing this song at a leader�s time. Not many knew it. Now is our chance to correct that. This verse is the actual words of Christ that speaks of our power source and our life(style).

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 "For Christ�s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
This verse carries with it not only the proper motivation for the way we live (love), but how we are to do it (by dieing to our selfish interests and living for God's purposes). It fits our Friday Rock messages for the next two weeks as well.

2 Corinthians 5:20 "We are therefore Christ�s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ�s behalf: Be reconciled to God."
Oh how I love this verse! I can feel the seriousness and emotion behind Paul's words. May we follow him as he followed Christ.

1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
Let this truth sink in and you will live differently. Wow! This is mind-boggling stuff. And notice that all that we are in Christ is not so that we might lay back and keep it to ourselves, but so that we would "declare" (or announce, proclaim, say publicly) "the praises" (or what it is about Christ that makes Him unique and essential) "of him who called you...".

I consider it a double blessing personally. I am a new creation in Christ and I have something to live for that's noble and lasts forever... the eternal salvation of people who are enslaved to sin and lost in a fallen world. As Mark Darling put it, "Making a life for other people."

Verse wars

Posted by Tim: 01/12/2005 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 001339

So... starting this coming Rock All Leaders Meeting (Monday 1/17), we will have our first test on verse memorization. Some may wonder why we're doing this. Well, one reason is because biblical wisdom directs us to (Prov. 6:20-24, 7:1-5), another is because God commanded our spiritual forefathers to do it (Deut. 6:4-9, 11:18-21), and yet another (and the biggest motivation for me) is that it is necessary for victory in the spiritual battles of life (Ps. 119:9-11, Eph. 13-18, II Tim. 3: 16,17). By the way, a short Bible study of these verses would prove to be powerful for anyone willing to do it.

So, here are the verses (in NIV) and a short personal reflection on each. Rock leaders: remember to memorize two of them, but overachievers can do all 4 and more if they wish. This week's theme is "courage" since we are attempting to launch a 3 week blitz-reach on about 40 different floors in the dorms and apartments.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
I think of this verse every time I get nervous around a cop, especially while driving. I think to myself, "I don't have to fear that he's out to get me if I'm not doing anything wrong." I then slow down. I also remember this verse to remind myself who I am and how I can respond to life's challenges.

Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
I think of this verse whenever I go out sharing, defend the faith before a skeptic, or even correct/ reprove an errant believer. Basically, whenever my heart starts pounding at the thought of a confrontation, this verse puts my confidence in a more trustworthy place.

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
I remember memorizing this verse the first time I took the outreach class. Gutenberg printed the first Bible shortly after that, if I remember correctly. It's been my "mantra" ever since.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Though this verse deals specifically about fearing punishment from God, I often think of it when I am responding more to my fears of a situation than out of faith and love. I don't want to love myself and my security more than God and others. If He calls me to step out in faith (and He does), then in love I do it.

Oh what a night... late December 2004.

Posted by Tim: 12/12/2004 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 001271

Everything was going "wrong" from my vantage point. The Rock message wasn't coming together, I missed my theological discussion with Matt and Sam, Mike Biang and I weren't able to connect... the late afternoon was a wreck.
I showed up at Rock set up at about 5:30pm and touched base with Sam briefly. Shortly after he took off, a guy I had never met before approached me.
He said, "Are you going to preach tonight?" I told him I usually don't preach, but I would be sharing some thoughts tonight. He then began to explain how his life was a living hell. I stopped him about mid-stream and asked the obvious, "Would you like to sit down and talk?"
He obviously did and so this guy, Mike, and I sat down in the MU lounge area. Mike continued to share how he had seen and done it all, and now his conscience was plaguing him with shame and emptiness. He said he once believed in God, but had wandered away from Him. He then looked me in the face and said, "Do you think He'll take me back?"
"Oh yeah", I said, "He's been wanting you back for a long time." I shared the gospel with Mike and he prayed to receive Christ.

This event is miraculous in and of itself, but what it makes it even more marvelous is that all semester I've been asking God for the opportunity to lead someone to Christ. And here it is, the last Rock of the semester, and God draws Mike to talk to me. Amazing!

Another cool thing that happened is that God finally answered our prayers to bring people to The Rock. Two weeks ago there were at least 150 and, from our best estimates, the last Rock of semester attracted 175 people... and that was during dead week!

He still amazes me!

Men... how did you do over break?

Posted by Tim: 11/29/2004 :: Ministry News

I've been toying using my blog for many different things lately. Controversial topics, discouraging days in ministry, ect... So how about making things uncomfortable for us men.
Thanksgiving break is a nice reprieve from the hectic pace of life. Time at home with family... there's not much like it.
It also sets us up for a fall. Back among the familiar trappings of home and the sorts of sins that we fell into as a kid, away from the help and support of the church, extra time to watch a ton of movies and surf the internet... well men, how did you do? I encourage you Rock guys to talk about it in your lifegroups this week. Be honest about the temptations and struggles we all face.
As I was sorting out my 166 e-mails that came pouring in when I came home, I looked at a newsletter from XXXChruch. You might find the link below to be interesting and if your not familiar with this website it might be useful to you in the battle.

FAITH UNDER FIRE
In case you missed it, which most of you did, unless you had nothing better to do then watch the PAX network on Saturday night. There is a new show on Television called "Faith Under Fire". Jimmy D and Craig taped a debate segment for the show a few months back and it finally made its way on air this past week. Go to the video page on the XXXchurch site and click on the link that says "Faith Under Fire", or click here.

So what did you bring me?

Posted by Tim: 11/14/2004 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 001196

Whenever I go away on a trip, the kids are always wondering if I brought them something. My latest trip to Orlando was no exception, but it got me wondering about what, other than gifts, did I bring back from my time at the Emerging Leaders Gathering. As I've pondered that question, I came up with this:
1) I didn't bring back sunshine. Sorry, we mostly got rain while there.
2) I didn't bring back a small lizard either. Matt caught one in our hotel room. I really wanted to bring it back, but I feared he wouldn't make it through airport security.
3) I did bring back some rich bonding with Matt and Michael. We talked, we played, we cried... it was beautiful.
4) I also brought back the first message on gluttony I ever heard... followed by a trip to IHOP where I gulfed down 15 buffalo wings.
5) I discovered that any strengths I have in leadership are more than adequately compensated by how much I reek at management.
6) I got to see Michael experience his first flight ever. He did pretty well. Or he faked it real well.
7) I realized how much John Hever and I have in common. What scares me about that is that he has lots of problems. Hmmm...
8) I now know a secret diet which was unveiled at a confidential meeting. I could make millions off of this thing called "the S diet". Send me a dollar and I'll tell you all about it.
9) I can now share the gospel without tools. How? By sharing it in the context of a story. Wait a minute... wouldn't that be considered a tool? Oh forget it.
10) Red vs Blue

Mixing Religion & Politics- the fallout zone

Posted by Tim: 11/01/2004 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 001147

I've never seen anything like it!
Never have I given a message that caused me more anxiety or has received such an overwhelming response (both positive and negative) as the one I gave last Sunday on religion and politics.
This message definitely struck a cord! It seems that for some people you can say whatever you want on a Sunday morning as long as it doesn't make a difference. My inbox has been flooded with e-mail, but to my surprise almost all of it has been extremely favorable and affirming.
If you would like to read a transcript of my message the way I wanted to say it, just read on...

Mixing Religion and Politics

O.S. Every Christian should be a salt and light in the political realm because it�s demonstrates loving your neighbor in these 4 areas: financial freedom (free from the love of money/ selfishness), humanitarian concern, moral excellence and religious freedom.


There has been a lot more talk than usual about faith during this election season. CNN has had full length shows examining the faith of the presidential candidates and about whether God is republican or democrat. I think they are taking this every vote counts thing too far. Now they are trying to get God on their side!

In yesterday�s USA Today a full page advertisement was run that actually has been running for months in more than 50 newspapers. In huge letters at the top it says God is Not a Republican� Or a Democrat. They�re opening statement is �These leaders of the Religious Right [Robertson & Falwell] mistakenly claim that God has taken a side in this election�� and somehow they know that He hasn�t. How they know this, I have no idea, but when I think of comments like this, I think of a Biblical account where this very question was posed and how God himself handled it.

Continue reading "Mixing Religion & Politics- the fallout zone"

What didn't get said

Posted by Tim: 10/26/2004 :: Ministry News

At the Rock last Friday, I talked about "Real Problems with the Bible". Well, at least apparently real. Without question, there are many in the academic institutions of the world that are taking the offensive against the Bible. They see it as restrictive and controlling. In reality, the restrictions of the Bible protect you and prolong your life, and it is they who are controlled.
In II Peter today, I read about false teachers. In chapter 2 verse 19 the Bible says, "They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you." It's amazing to me how appealing the lie is to both believers and unbelievers alike. It sounds so good, but after you bite into it you discover that it's got strings attached.
Anyway, to excuse their rebellious attitudes, false teachers will make themselves sound right by attacking the truth. As I mentioned in the quote by Aldus Huxley ("The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do..."), if the motivation is there the end is inevitable. They don't want there to be a �meaning of life� for all. They don't want there to be any rules to follow. They don't want there to be a God.
They want to do what they want when they want and without any negative consequences. But such an existence denies reality. The world has been clearly designed for a purpose; it's guided by rules; and is governed by a Creator. To rebel against the obvious is to live in denial. A futile attempt to escape the harsh realities of a fallen world. But you only end up running deeper into the dungeon.
As we learned two weeks back at the Rock, freedom and life is found in embracing the pain and finding the amazing love of God in the midst of it. Truth has always been stranger than fiction.

I got pics.

Posted by Tim: 10/11/2004 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 001092

Hey,
I just uploaded every Rock pic I've taken so far this semester. Check it out.
Also, Kristen has been updating the family pics if you care to see them.
Enjoy!

Encounter quotables

Posted by Tim: 10/04/2004 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 001064

Mark Darling said a lot worth remembering. Here are some of the zingers that hit me:
1. "I'm not an actor. I'm a slave of God."
2. "The greater that God is in our eyes the healthier our lives will be."
3. "Idolatry is love of self. Incessant worry is incessant absorption with self. ... Put the things that you are worried and concerned about into the hands of someone you trust... GOD!"
4. "We get consumed with out problems instead of consumed with God."
5. "What I think I need is not what I really need. Often times God withholds what I think I need to give me what I really need."
6. "Three things you can expect everyday: 1) God will be good to me. 2) God will be merciful to me. 3) God will be faithful to me."
7. "God enjoyed making me."
8. "Like John the Baptist, I have a special calling in life. I also have been sent ahead of Christ coming into people's lives."
9. "Hatred of God perverts the thinking process."
10. "The only secret we need to find is God's grace."

There's enough there to chew on for a lifetime. You got any quotes to add? All mine were Darling quotes. Maybe some of you have some good one-liners from Brandon or Nate or Drew to inspire the masses.

The best parties on campus

Posted by Tim: 08/21/2004 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 000241

Wow!! Was I ever surprised and encouraged by Destination ISU's Late Night at the MU. The live band on the Terrace (the Rock's Lone Strangers) and the Rock's sweet display/info table served up a great night of music and conversation.
It was awesome watching the crowd singing to the covers, dancing to the kickin' songs, and generally just hanging out and enjoying the scene.
And then there was the new info table. I heard that a group of freshman were walking through the Terrace, but as soon as the info table was within eyesight all heads turned and they walked over to check it out. Intense! See it all for yourself!
I had a blast talking with all the Rockers and freshman that were there, especially my cousin, Stephanie, and some of her friends (one of which told me that a friend highly recommended The Rock to her).
It was so cool, guys. God definitely answered our prayers that the weather would be great, the display would be effective, the band would play well and have fun, and we'd connect with a lot of people.

But you know something, on the way back home, I stopped by the TSC's Alternative event. They also had a huge crowd jammin' to some great sounds put out by Christian bands. It got me thinking about how the best parties on campus were Christian lead last night! Far better than the drunk girl looking for a place to puke or the guys standing around holding their beers with nothing to talk about that I walked past.
The world wants fun as defined by their flesh. They drink their fill of it and are disappointed but can't let on. That's all there is. Maybe next week, they might think, I'll find what I'm looking for.
Look no farther than the MU Terrace and Beta Sigma Psi last night. They were the best parties on campus!

If you want to reap a harvest

Posted by Tim: 07/27/2004 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 000167

On Monday 7/19, we held an outdoor BBQ for our regular SALT dinner in Chicago. We didn't want to really. A group with a prior commitment was using the Agape House, so we were left trying to find an alternate place to meet and eat. Well, since Autumn was busy on that Monday as well, I just volunteered to have Tom Biang and I do an outdoor BBQ.
So, there we were putting up our grill and chairs and setting out the food, when on a whim I decided to write on a huge white board that I brought for a seminar I was doing later on that night, "Free BBQ! Why? Because we can."
It wasn't but a few minutes afterwards that people started stopping: Tiff who was convinced we did this for her birthday, Zach who missed his bus 8 times in order to hang with us, and several SALTers brought friends to join us as well.
This unplanned BBQ turned out to be the most successfully attended activity did all summer. In fact, I did my seminar right next to the BBQ, which was a complete rendering of the gospel (known by many as the Outreach diagram). While drawing out the diagram, two Muslim men joined us and stayed for almost the entire thing. Afterward, they talked with us about Christ and the gospel for several hours!
It was an amazing night. As I looked back on it all, one thought kept popping into my mind, "If you want to reap a harvest, you've got to go to where the fruit is."

A World of Hurt

Posted by Tim: 07/13/2004 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 000131

While in Chicago this summer, I've been shocked by the needs within the homes next to mine.
I'm in a subdivision in Warrenville, IL. which is comprised of middle-class homes, multiple car families, and free access to a really nice clubhouse with a swimming pool and the works. I didn't think that much about my neighborhood being a mission field. I was focused on UIC and downtown Chicago. But no matter where you go, people desperately need the Lord.
To our right, a family moved in over the summer. The parents of the wife have approached us twice now and urged us to reach out to their daughter. Their exact words where, "She could really use a friend."
Across the street, our kids have become good friends with this family. The first time I met the mom she shared with me how she is getting a divorce and has suffered from verbal abuse most of her married life. Her ex was still living with them until last week. She told me the kids have been asking her where daddy is. She is having a hard time explaining it to them.
Next door to them is a lonely elderly man. Kristen talked to him at length and he told her that his wife just up and left him. He's now waiting for the divorce papers to go through, so he can marry again. He said he can't stand living alone.
Then to the left of us is a family that unexpectedly lost their daughter when she died of a brain aneurism. Their 20 year old son told me, "Any bit of faith I had left was gone after that happened."

By God's grace, I have what these people need:
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:1-3

Love in action and in truth

Posted by Tim: 07/06/2004 :: Ministry News :: 5 comments on 000109

Last weekend, our SALT project day focused on fixing up the Agape House where we meet and eat. The Agape House is an old mainline church building next to UIC that's been used as a hang out for liberal social/ political groups for years.
We really wanted to work hard on this project as if working for the Lord and not for men (Col. 3: 23). We also wanted to bless the Agape House and hopefully paint a better picture of evangelical Christians than what many who use this place are used to.
Well, Dan Jones (our awesome project coordinator) got the following e-mail from the Agape House office manager after the project day was done. It speaks for itself!

Hi Dan!

I am not only PLEASED, I am in AWE!!! Your team accomplished so much
and did it sooo well!!! I know the Board will be especially pleased!
It really looks like a whole different kitchen with the rearrangement
of appliances! That is MUCH better!! The windows are BEAUTIFUL and I
really like what you did in the "campus minister" office!! I'll be
able to finish off the rest so the new person will feel they can come
in and make it their own.

The parking lot looks great - I love seeing the lines and numbers!!
I'm so glad the weeds are gone. I felt bad mentioning that at the
last minute but when the neighbor complained, I realized that should
be moved up on the list of things the building needed.

Thanks so much for your manner and attitude working with me offering
suggestions and finding out what I had in mind. You are a good
leader.

Now - back to work - with a big smile on my face.

THANKS so very much for all you and your team have done and will do!!!

Ragina

Preparing for SALT

Posted by Tim: 05/20/2004 :: Ministry News :: 1 comments on 000044

Autumn, Dan and I have been in the Chicago area for 5 days now. More than enough time to see God move on our behalf. The most exciting thing to happen so far was when our UIC contact, Roz, decided to go the extra mile for us and arrange a means for every SALT participant to get Special User Passes and have free internet access and use of the Univ. bus system. The crazy thing is that we did not ask her to do this, and right now she is extremely busy training her staff for the summer. It was a God thing.

Stuff like this causes me to reflect on what God's blessing really looks like. I so often think it's when things go as I want them too. When my idea of success comes to pass, I say that God has blessed me. But I think there is a distinction between success and blessing that needs to be made. I don't know the extent of the distinction yet, but I do know that God's blessing... when fully revealed... is far greater than any idea of success that I might have.
In this case, success to me was finding some alternate way for students to have access to e-mail for the summer. God decided to bless us, move the heart of the authorities, and give us far more than just internet access. He gave us all the rights and priviledges of being UIC students. This opens the door wider for an effective outreach to this campus this summer.

Celebrity Status?

Posted by Tim: 05/14/2004 :: Ministry News :: 3 comments on 000039

Ever since I appeared on the front cover of GCM's Annual Ministry Report, it's been hard to get a moment of privacy. The phone calls and e-mails have been relentless.
Here's some examples:
"You are GCM's new poster boy!" P.J.
"Sweeeeet!" M.H.
"I can't believe it!" K.H.
Everywhere I go people are talking about it. While visiting family, it was the main topic of conversation. My brother even lifted a copy from my mom to take home as his own. It created quite a domestic conflict.

All this has caused me to wonder if celebrity status is worth it. You lose your privacy, your admirers lose their sanity, you have trouble fitting your head through the door. It gets tough.

I suppose it's all a test. If I can handle the pressure of this kind of exposure, maybe, just maybe, I will appear in a future issue of AARP.

A home in Chicago

Posted by Tim: 05/08/2004 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 000036

By God's amazing grace and in answer to much prayer, God has provided a house for us to stay in during the summer SALT program in Chicago. Get a load as to how He did it!

It was just like God. Time was slipping away to find any decent living arrangements for the summer. Everyone was telling us that you couldn't rent a place for as little as we were able to afford. They scoffed at our wish list for low rent, a safe place for the kids to play, some household conveniences for Kristen, and close to a train station. Even the man doing the looking in Chicago had pretty much given up hope.

I sent off a mass e-mail to my ministry partners for help and help is what I got. Tons of ideas and good leads came pouring in. One of them was a perfect fit.
We will be staying in a 3 bedroom house in the suburb of Warrenville. It's exactly what we are able to afford in rent, it's 3 blocks from a park, it has a washer and a dryer, and it's 4 miles from a train station AND Glen Arbor Community Church. Plus, it is owned by Christians.

Here's the address:
2s630 Hampton Dr.
Warrenville, IL 60555-1413

I think God likes those last minute rescues.

SALT 2004

Posted by Tim: 03/15/2004 :: Ministry News :: 2 comments on 000015

Over spring break Kristen and I went to Chicago looking for a house to live in. No, we�re not moving to Chicago. We�re laying the ground-work to launch a first ever leadership training/ church planting program for college students.

This summer, we will be leading a program called SALT (Spiritual And Life Training) in the hopes that it will equip college students to be leaders of their generation and that several Bible studies will be established at UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) that will grow into an urban church in downtown Chicago!
Please pray that God�s favor would rest on this faithstretching endeavor (Psalm 90:17). Here's some specifics to pray for:

  • At least 30 students would participate.
  • We would plan and prepare well remembering all the details that go into making a conference great.
  • Ideal housing would be found for the Borseth family.
  • Dan Jones and Autumn Hare would raise all the support they need to be SALT interns for the summer.
  • God would transform lives and a UIC campus ministry would be formed.
  • Tremendous relations with the Agape House (where we will meet and eat) and UIC would be established.

Piety or Propaganda?

Posted by Tim: 02/05/2004 :: Ministry News

Professors debate factuality of Christ's resurrection in front of packed house.

A full house at Stephens Auditorium braved heavy snow, but left a debate on the resurrection of Jesus Christ with few clear answers.

By Lana Meyer
Iowa State Daily Staff Writer

Continue reading "Piety or Propaganda?"

Faithwalkers Conference

Posted by Tim: 12/28/2003 :: Ministry News


I had the opportunity to bring in the new year at Tan-Tar-A Resort in the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. I and about 65 other Stonebrook and The Rock members were at a conference called Faithwalkers.

It was a tremendous time of 3 � days of worship, prayer, and sitting at the feet of men who have faithfully followed Christ for over 25 years. It was powerful to spend New Years eve with over 400 faithwalkers pouring out our hearts to God in worship and prayer. It really was like a glimpse of heaven.

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