The Greatest Stories Ever Told

By Tim White

Once upon a time in the far away land of Honduras.  There lived a family of missionaries who lived one mile from the City Dump. There was a daddy missionary, a mommy missionary and a baby missionary.  Everywhere they went in the city of Tegucigalpa there was a traffic jam. The baby missionary did not like this at all and used to cry when he got frustrated waiting in the car which seemed to hardly ever move. Then one day one of their missionary friends suggested that they listen to a Bible Story CD in the car that would entertain and inspire them all.  So, they listened to it the next time they were caught in a traffic jam.  They all just loved the Bible story which was one of the greatest stories they had ever heard.  They were all so happy.  When they met their missionary friends again (who were our own church’s Gibson family) they thanked them for loaning them the CD and said “who was that telling the stories?” The Gibson family laughed and laughed at the Diaz family and said, “that is your own G.P. (Grand Pa).”

That silly story was true, and it illustrates how important the great stories of Scripture are to all of us at every age.  We are starting a new series this summer entitled The Greatest Stories Ever Told. Each week you are going to hear a moving testimony of how Grace has transformed the life of someone in our church family.  I have asked our Music Team to raise the bar on having the wow factor in every worship service because we want to sense the “Presence of God” in each service. Then the Teaching Pastor is going to tell a twenty-minute Bible story, giving it everything they have; always with one powerful point. This week I am starting with the story of Moses and teaching us the profound meaning of “stand still and see the glory of the Lord.” If you want to bring your kids to church they will love it.  But as you know Children’s and Youth Ministry is always great.  Moses has been pointed to as a likely candidate for telling the story of Genesis, so we are starting with the story of Moses; but the point is that the Bible is a collection of funny, exciting stories that have been passed down from generation to generation with insights that our society, our families and our church desperately needs to hear.  And yes, you will be able to download the stories and play them in the car for your kids or yourself to reboot the inspiration in your life.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

PS: Don’t forget this week we are beginning our Summer worship with all services in the Spirit Falls Sanctuary.  The times are Saturday night at 5:30 pm, Sunday morning at 9:00 am, and Sunday morning at 11:00 am.  Join in our “Happy Hour” of fellowship and refreshments on the South Patio of Spirit Falls every Sunday throughout the summer.
 

The Weight of Striving

It was a typical Friday in the office. I sat down to review my to do list, going over curriculum and volunteers to recruit. But as I sat there staring at all the things I needed to accomplish, I realized my heart wasn’t right. I just had this cloud of negativity hanging over me. I share desk space with our Youth Pastor Josh, so I turned to him and said, “I’ll be back to work and brain storm our events more, but I need to go repent first”. I knew my heart wasn’t right.

I closed myself in a room and opened my bible. Strangely, I felt led to read a book other than the one I had been studying at home. I opened to Ecclesiastes. For someone already feeling weighed down, this is a strange place to turn. This book is known for being a bit depressing, cynical at times even. But for the first time in my 30 years of following Christ, I read this book in a different light.

 It was like a bath for my soul. It was cleaning my heart and bringing refreshment. I no longer saw the negativity of the book’s theme, “everything is meaningless”. Rather, I saw the necessary reframing of life. It was like God was reminding me, “you’re not that big of a deal and either are your problems! There is a season for everything and everything comes to pass. Stop getting so caught up in your own worries and just fear the Lord”. This was the perspective I needed.  

There is a weight on us when we forget who really is in charge. We so often want to prepare for every possible tragedy. We want to control every outcome in our lives. We treat life like a competition fueled by jealousy of others’ successes. We forget that in the end, we all die. What really matters is enjoying the gifts of life now, working hard, and respecting God’s authority. After reading this book my heart felt lighter. I was reminded to not take myself so seriously. I hope it does the same for you too. We all need those moments of repentance.

The Summer of Families and Children

By Pastor Tim White

See I am doing a new thing - Isaiah 43:19 KJV

This summer we are doing some exciting new things.  All of it starts Sunday, June 10th. We are going to celebrate the birthdays of each child and have them come to the front to receive a present and a prayer of blessing on their life from the Pastor. 

We are moving both of our English-speaking Sunday Worship Services down to the beautiful Spirit Falls - which we are going to continue to refurbish.  There are so many things that we can’t do in the Recreation Center, such as let the kids play with side-walk chalk. So, even though we still have use of the Recreation Center, we are moving the Services down to the spectacular Spirit Falls Sanctuary. It makes it twice as easy for our set-up and clean-up crews.  And the music package will be the same in both services including Choir and extended Praise Band.  The sermons are going to be 20 minutes (during the summer) as the Pastors tell the greatest stories ever told from the Bible.  And we are going to introduce what Pastor Jackie calls our “Happy Hour”.  That is an hour of fellowship between the two services built around picnic tables with snacks and games (lots of games) and a great happy-hour of friendship available to the people attending each service.  

On Sunday, June 10th, the 9:30am Worship time is being changed to 9:00am. This will give families a chance to worship and have the whole day to enjoy.  And it will solve traffic problems.

The 11:00am service will continue at 11:00am but will move to Spirit Falls Sanctuary.

Pastor Josh and his dedicated team are going to turn the Olympic Room into an Upper Room or Youth Center.

All the other services will continue as before, with a slight change of location. The Vine Brazilian Church will be worshipping on Sunday evening remaining in Spirit Falls building.  Many churches, like this young, exciting congregation, find that Sunday night is a real attraction for young people because Saturday night is the new Friday night so many young people like to sleep in on Sunday mornings if they have been out late Saturday night.

This weekend Pastor Linda is preaching, concluding our series on Encouragement from Wisdom Literature, as she shares from the Book of Proverbs - Chapter 2 on Hidden Treasures.  Come join us at our old times and locations – Saturday night 5:30 pm in Spirit Falls, Sunday morning 9:30 am in Spirit Falls and Sunday morning at 11:00 am in the ReCreation Center.

We have so many plans and if you have any questions please call or email us at 425.869.5433 or info@wacathedral.org.   Washington Cathedral is alive and constantly on the move and I am excited about the new things God is doing in our midst.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

His Plans for My Life

By Pastor Tim White

So many great heroes of the faith have grown up in this church and gone on to do great things. One, who I am very proud of, is Pastor Rey Diaz. Rey is our International Pastor and is Executive Director of Orphan Outreach. He spends his time traveling around the world finding worthy projects that rescue orphans and at-risk kids helping to bring those organizations to a level of accountability that will allow him to find a church to support them. It is difficult, dangerous and demanding work but he believes he was born for this kind of ministry. 

This Sunday, Dr. Rey Diaz will be our Guest Speaker at the 9:30 and 11:00am worship services.  We love Pastor Rey’s preaching and we know that these will be very inspirational moments.  Rey shared with me that he has a special text that has been on his heart for Washington Cathedral throughout this last year. 

This time of the year is a beautiful season to worship at Washington Cathedral. The campus is gorgeous. The music is superb. And it feels like the worship is growing in its sincerity, authenticity and meaningful joy. I so look forward to these life-altering moments for worship.

My devotion for today was from Psalm 139, but I started with the last words from Psalm 138:8

The Lord will work out his plans for my life - for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
 Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

You will have to read Psalm 139 yourself to see just how encouraging God can be!

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

 

Honor your mother (Exodus 20:12b)

By Pastor Tim White

I feel like God has outdone himself by blessing me with a mother that is way more than I deserve.  Elizabeth Jane Saunders is a bright light in the world and in the life of her family.   She was raised on a chicken ranch in Eagle Valley, Oregon.  Eagle Valley was home to the Saunders and Cundiff’s who settled there from the Oregon Trail.  Her father, Winston Saunders, had contagious enthusiasm and as an Engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad he was a larger-than-life character to all his grandchildren.  He spoiled my mom by always buying her an Easter Dress.  He was a political leader in Oregon and received invitations to more than one Presidential Ball.  
 
Her mom, Elizabeth Jane or Betty Saunders, was a hard-working lady who worked as a maid in the La Grande Hotel and could make the best cinnamon rolls in the world.  She added a touch of class to our family and had a girlish giggle.  She was also proud of her Cundiff Heritage as my mom is Cundiff strong also.  My mom met my dad when they were in grade school. And you can ask any of her four boys - this was the luckiest day of my dad’s life. She was very popular in High School and was a Student Body Officer.  We look at the pictures of her and she was just a beauty queen who looked like she could be an actress or something.  Still today I can see that undiminished beauty in her eyes and character.  She married my dad and even lived in the White family log cabin when I was a baby.  I have a picture on my wall of me and my mom and people often ask me if that is a picture of Abraham Lincoln and his mom, but it is me.  She and my dad worked their way through college and seminary and moved to the Tri-Cities to start a church which would become the Cathedral of Joy.  She canned food and picked crops with her children at her side.  She always stood up for us when a bully would threaten us in the tough neighborhood we lived in.  And she expected her boys to do the same for one
another.  She played the piano and organ in church.  And after her dad passed away of a heart attack she
became a nurse because she wanted to care for people in their most difficult trials.  She worked graveyard shift at Kennewick General Hospital with Jeannie Sutten’s mom, and Russ Smith’s mom. When she got the job, it was the first time our family had any money and she bought us our first color T.V.  

Since she had been a cheerleader, when she came to our games we could always hear her above the crowd saying, “come on Timothy!”  When my brother was playing quarterback for Eastern Washington University vs. Boise State in Boise, someone behind us began to criticize my brother’s playing.  He had thrown 3 interceptions, but he always carried the team on his back and eventually threw 3 touchdown passes to win the game.  The man behind us said something about my youngest brother and my mom said, “do you know who I am?”  The man said “no”, she said “I am that boys’ mother.”  The man said he was sorry then my dad whispered to my mom “do you know who that man is?” She said “no.”  He said, “that is the President of Eastern Washington University.”
 
My mom took care of the dying in the Tri-Cities in their homes before there was a hospice.  She cared for her mother-in-law and father-in-law when they were dying.  It got so hard with my grandpa White that I told her “Mom, grandpa doesn’t remember who he is, I think we can put him in a care facility - you can’t burn the
candle at both ends like this.”  She said “Well, I know who he is, and he is not just my father-in-law, this man was my pastor when I was a little girl. “
 
My mom helped us all on our homework, loved her grandchildren at a level that was way beyond the norm.  She has always loved my dad and been his closest friend.  In my life she always knows how to encourage me.  She tells me “you are a Saunders and a Cundiff too, so keep a strong upper lip.”  I am not sure what that means but my lip has always been pretty strong. 

When I place a carnation on the altar this Sunday, my prayer will be thanking my God for blessing me beyond what I deserve with an amazing mom - there will be a little tear in my eye as usual.  Then, when I get home, I will call my mom to see if she got my Mother’s Day present and we will talk and laugh and I will be praying that I am doing a good job of honoring the mother I love.  Won’t you do the same thing this Sunday? It’s not just another Sunday.
 

Shadow of the Most High

By Pastor Tim White

One of the most encouraging passages in all of Scripture is Psalm 91. It tells us that God is our fortress and strength.  It displays a God who comes and rescues us in the midst of the messiness of our broken lives. I’m calling this message – “The Rescuer.”  No, it is not The Rescuers that cute little Disney movie where animals came to the rescue in that animated film. But of the Living God under whose shadow we can choose to live.  Shadow of the Most High loses some of its appeal in the Pacific Northwest. But imagine a desert whose heat saps you of your strength, your courage, your peace and confidence. Maybe it’s 117 degrees like it was when I was in Jericho. A shadow sounds about as encouraging as you can get in that situation. Do you know Psalm 91 expresses God’s wisdom when you are filled with anxiety and depression?

Don’t miss this week’s “song-speech” on one of the most beautiful passages of scripture. Yes – not a sermon but an innovative idea I call a “song-speech.”  Pastor Eliot will share Point #1 – “The God Who Rescues.” He will share a beautiful song from his heart which will minister to your heart like the harp of David. I will share Point #2 –“The Difference Between I Want To and I Am Going To.” And I will bless you by not singing. Then Pastor Rhonda will share Point #3 – “God’s Secret of Satisfaction in Our Lives Right Now.” And she will lift our hearts as she concludes with a beautiful solo.  Please join us.

Your friend for the rest of my life,


Pastor Tim White

Encouragement That Works

By Pastor Tim White

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant a time to uproot...He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 11 (NIV)

This week we are beginning a new series called: “Encouragement That Works” as we study Wisdom Literature from the Bible. I am starting with the Book of Ecclesiastes. In this book I believe you will find a ‘Big Picture’ glimpse of encouragement which could impact your emotional makeup in a God-inspired way.

When I was in college studying research psychology, one of the interesting studies going on at my University and around the world was that of sensory deprivation. Typically, the subject would have their hearing and vision shut down, be floating in salt water at their exact body temperature so that they would be totally deprived of all physical senses. They are still doing experimentation in this area still today. The reason being that in our age of over-stimulation this quietness may have some therapeutic benefits that teach us about the human condition.

In another way, a glimpse of God’s expansive view of our troubles also changes our overloaded senses. When we feel his personal care, it heals us in a way that has not been fully researched. If you wrestle with depression or discouragement I want to say to you that you are a human being who cares. God cares for you and he inspired some books of the Bible targeted to give you wisdom to navigate your way through these troubled personal times. Please join me this weekend…For Encouragement That Works.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

 

Finally, we’ve arrived back at the beginning!

By Pastor Tim White

It is remarkable to me that some of the most complex issues are resolved in simple powerful truths.  After exasperating study, mind boggling contemplation, exhausting debate and intensive research, sometimes it all comes together in a simple profound truth.  

We have been on a series entitled “Give Us Jesus.”  It started in the Easter Story and was joyfully brought together by Pastor Becca in describing the depth of the personal friendship we can have with Jesus Christ himself.  This week I am concluding that series with a message on “How you can have certainty that you have eternal life”.  I don’t know how many times in 33 years of ministry I have had friends from this community meet me for coffee and say they want to have faith when it comes to death.  These are wonderful people whom I have the utmost respect for in their high intelligence and accomplishments in life.  I know that they are beloved by their family.  Sometimes, it is a conversation that lasts for years – though not at the same coffee shop.  But it always ends – yes - always (God is batting a thousand here) with a smile on their face, love and courage in their eye and a statement of deep confidence that God has a better plan than death and they are part of it.  

So, I wanted to end the series on “Give Us Jesus” with Great Questions - Solid Answers on Eternal Life and how each of us can live forever with Jesus.  I have entitled this inspirational message Finally, We’ve Arrived at the Beginning.  I believe this is a message you will want to make sure you don’t miss. So, I will see you there.   The music will be so inspiring!

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White
 

Love Like Jesus

By Pastor Tim White

How would our world change if everyone learned a new reverence for life, even people who don’t believe in Jesus?  What would happen if we did just a little bit better at loving like Jesus.  Here is a surprise - I am happy when I hear the Dalai Lama say something that is loving and full of joy.  As a Christ-follower it doesn’t anger me at all.  I am full of joy when I have lunch with an atheist friend and I am reinvigorated by their down-to-earth lack of pretense and personal politeness.  And I would love it if North Korea, Iran and Syria could become more loving places.  It has to just break every human being’s heart when children are killed by poison gas during a war.  The Love that Jesus is talking about runs deeper than how we identify ourselves religiously; it reaches down to the core of our creation as human beings.  

I used to hear people say that love is a two-sided coin; love on one side and truth or justice on the other.  But I think they are both pretty much the same. You can’t love if you don’t stand up for truth and justice. And if you stand up for truth and justice without love you are just being manipulative. We have so much to learn about loving the Jesus way.

With that said, I owe my capacity to love to Jesus Christ.  I have a lot to learn from him and I will always love him for loving me first.  I want to live to be over 100 just to see how loving I will become after walking with Jesus through all those years.  I like the statement by Job: When he has tried me, I will come forth as gold.  I believe my heart is in the process of being made into gold. And I know that so many of my friends are also on that wonderful adventure.  

I like to hike with my dog every day.  And we are building up to hike the Pacific Coast Trail.  We never know what we are going to find.  A beaver for my dog to play with, ducks for my dog to swim with, a new friend for me to walk with - it is always a surprise.  The weather is a surprise.  The birds are glorious.  Well that is nothing compared to the surprises in store for those of us who enter the adventure of learning to love like Jesus.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White
 

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

By Pastor Tim White

This was, in my view, the greatest Easter we have ever experienced as a church family.  And we have had a lot of great Easter Experiences throughout the years.  But more new families filled out contact cards than ever before – even more than the year we had 6,000 at Easter services.  It was amazing to have such an international group of people.  So many filled out their contact card saying that they wanted to start coming to Washington Cathedral regularly and to get more involved in their faith.  All I can say is “Thank You God!” and “Thank You!” to all the workers and members that made this such a welcoming experience including the Actors, Set Designers, the Choir, the Greeters, the Breakfast Team, the Easter Egg Hunt Teams, the Worship Band, the Sound Techs and the Parking Lot Teams.  It was a challenge with three Worship Services going on at the same time on the same campus with the addition of invited friends and neighbors.  

We knew there were going to be a lot of people gone this weekend with the school breaks hitting on Easter but there were so many brand-new visitors that it filled up the sanctuary and made the service so dynamic.

I am so excited to continue our new series on “Give Us Jesus” especially now that there are so many who are learning about Jesus for the first time.  People forget that all of Scripture was revealed to point to Jesus and it stands on his claims and teachings.  I love to tell stories of Jesus.  This week I am going to share Part Two of the message entitled “We Want ‘The Real Thing’”.  Yes, I am borrowing this line from a soda pop ad from long ago.  But what people are looking for is the historical Jesus, the biblical Jesus, the Real Jesus…pray for me as I share my heart and my love for Jesus Christ.  

I wish you could have seen the faces of the children as I told them the Easter story. I was so captivated by their sincerity and their emotion that I kind of messed up on my part.  But thanks to the quick-thinking technical support of Justin Amoruso and of Raffael Guimaraes who played the role of Jesus it all worked out. I am so excited to tell you the rest of the
Story of Jesus and Easter and Eternal Life that starts right now.  Please join us this next week for a very inspirational worship.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White