Healthy Relationships

Lifetime Friendships


Lifetime friendships form the real church.  Anything else is a crowd or an event.

Greater love has no one than this to lay down one’s life for a friend.  John 15:14

Throughout two thousand years of history there have been many things that have been called ‘the church’.  Buildings, wars, rallies, crusades, organizations, political regimes, clusters of political/social groups which would unite together to protect their cultural identity, liberals and conservatives, armies and social organizations, tax loop hole people, etc. However, none of those are the bride of Christ or the body of Christ.

As my grandpa used to say, “You can’t climb the ladder of success by using the church.”  The church is about humility, service, authenticity, sacrifice, joy, family, and reaching out to others that are not like your group. A huge crowd is not a church, a beautiful building with gold ceilings is not a church, scholastic degrees do not make a church, nor does a wonderful success story make a church.  A church is when Jesus is present and it is apparent by the love.  It’s when we are friends not slaves.

When my wife, Jackie, and I started Washington Cathedral we made a radical commitment that we expect to honor.  We knew it would not be easy. It fact it would require crazy love.  You’re friends for the rest of our lives.  I’ve turned down a lot of great job opportunities to honor those words.

Those roots mean something, especially to the kids and the senior adults in our community, and we couldn’t quit loving the people of Washington Cathedral even if we tried.  Throughout the years it has meant early morning hospital visits, all nights of prayer, late evening counseling appointments, and middle of the night emergencies. And for many more years it will continue to mean meeting people for coffee to encourage them, praying three hours a day for every friend, attending kids’ games, visiting people in jail, and having friends stay at our home with us. Through all these things we reach out with Christ's love.

I was recently talking to one of the sharp young people who grew up in our church and tumbling out of me came, “I so appreciate your ministry.  You are a valued to friend to Jackie and I.  You always seem to have our back.  I know God has great things ahead for you.”  Those words came from a deeper place in my heart than I knew existed.

Last week, I shared the vision of the church and shared a quote from Mother Theresa, “We don’t get clarity as much as we get trust.”  I trust that our church family will continue to focus on healthy life long friendships as we try to live up to being a great caring network or as the Bible calls it the Body of Christ.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

A Taste of Community


Outside of being a little baby, there isn’t a stage in life where having friends isn’t important. As a boy, I can remember “exploring” with my friends in the woods, or riding our bikes all over the neighborhood in search of things to do. FriendshipWhen I was a teenager, my friendships seemed to mean the world to me. I wanted to spend as much time possible hanging out with them, watching movies, playing basketball, or talking girls. Some of those friends are still close to me today!

Now as a married adult with 4 children and a busy work schedule, I find myself with fewer close friends, yet their value has grown exponentially. I couldn’t possibly be the person I am today, without their constant loyalty, love and support.

The Bible is full of stories of friendship. David and Jonathan, Paul and Timothy are a couple that stand out to me as I ponder the importance of not doing life alone. These were friends who helped carry each other through very difficult times, yet celebrated well, too when life seemed victorious. That’s when you know you have “community” in your life. People who genuinely share all the ups and downs of your life with...

In Hebrews chapter 10, we as the Church are encouraged to “spur one another on in love and to good deeds”... Think about that word “spur” for a moment. How might you be able to spur a fellow believer this week in love? A phone call? An encouraging letter? Maybe a hug?

This is an important season for us at Washington Cathedral. We need each other! We need to show our community what genuine faith looks like within a people of genuine friendships! What a great witness we could be!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Rex

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Trusting God can Open Doors in your Relationship


I will say of the Lord, HE is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Psalm 91:2

Last week I gave assignments to every married couple and single person. For married couples, I was wanted each couple to move towards a healthier Godly relationship. Since sin is partially defined as lack of trust, we try to not be manipulative in our relationships. It is a tough stance to take. I trust God so I am going to work toward honest communication, Christ like listening, valuing personalized friendship time.

Many times we like to trust ourselves over God and use manipulation in our relationships. In the T.V. sitcom Modern Family, the character of Phil Dumphey is completely intimidated by his “take charge” wife. In one instance, he tells his son that he is in trouble and his mom wants to talk to him. Thinking he is helping, he tells his son that fake tears can really help if he is in trouble. Offering further assistance he asks his son, “Do you want me to spray water on your eyes?" The son Luke says, “Dad, please I have been able to fake cry since I was five years old – how do you think I have gone my whole life without having to eat salad?” The wife surprises the pair by announcing she wants to talk to the Phil, not her son Luke. Before Phil leaves he asks his son for his secrets to faking tears. His son gravely says, “All the three stooges are dead” and his father starts weeping on the spot.

For all of us manipulation is often just a part of our lives. But how can we move deeper – be more honest and build on solid ground in our relationships? As Jackie and I were driving home together after Saturday night service she said, “So you gave as an assignment to ask your spouse what you do that might be manipulative in your relationship.” I said, “Yes.” Jackie asked, “What do I do to manipulate you in our relationship?” I thought about it a couple of minutes and replied, “I can’t think of anything. I think you are very straight forward, honest in our relationship and that allows us to have more trust.” Jackie said, “Good.” There was a long pause and then I asked hesitantly, “What do I do that is manipulative in our relationship?” Jackie replied with such joy, “I’m glad you asked.”

Later I was telling Pastor Rex about it and he jokingly said he was glad that he and Christalle driven home in separate cars after the sermon. We all have a lot of room to grow in the honesty, trust enabling relationships that God wants us to have in our lives. The kind of trust we strive for and need really comes by trusting God so we can risk opening imperfect relationships to the amazing blessed growth that God has planned for us.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Serendipity or God Occurrences


Written by Fiona Monaghan One of my favorite movies is “Serendipity” starring John Cuzak and Kate Beckinsale.

0e0dca3df9c3ed75470c89c61fbc3f34“Jonathan Trager and Sara Thomas met while shopping for gloves in New York. Though buying for their respective lovers, the magic was right and a night of Christmas shopping turned into romance. Jon wanted to explore things further but Sara wasn't sure their love was meant to be. They decided to test fate by splitting up and seeing if destiny brought them back together... Many years later, having lost each other that night, both are engaged to be married. Still, neither can shake the need to give fate one last chance to reunite them. Jon enlists the help of his best man to track down the girl he can't forget starting at the store where they met... Near-misses and classic Shakespearean confusion bring the two close to meeting a number of times but fate will have the final word on whether it was meant to be.” (From imdb)

We love stories where “against all odds” love wins out, right? What if we have the greatest Script Writer in the universe working in our lives to bring about those changes and life altering meetings?

Providential Relationships have a way of entering our lives and making way for some change in one way or another. People and circumstances being God-led, happen, seemingly random and sometimes not, but a change is set in motion that will change the course of a life.

We see it all the time in the stories of the Bible where people have a life changing encounter. Some are love stories and others are the means to put someone on a completely different life path: Ruth and Boaz, David and Bathsheba, Saul and Stephen just to name a few.

For believers we have the idea that when we allow God to direct our circumstances there is no such thing as coincidence. Oswald Chambers wrote:

“The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes.”

Psalms 40:5 says: Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

So, isn’t it awesome to know that God, your own personal author, takes great care in how your life story will turn out? Give it a try. Turn it over to Him to write your story from this point on, allowing for those providential relationships that can change your life direction.

He has guaranteed that we will be in for a thrill and no matter the hair- raising encounters and jaw-dropping occurrences, we will arrive at the end of our lives with such a story to tell.

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God's M.O.


Written by Pastor Rey At the beginning of any book you read. During the acceptance speech of any award you hear it. Throughout the stories of the Old and New Testament you will see it. You will always find people thanking people. We are all aware that without the help, support, and influence of others, we probably couldn’t accomplish what we have done or become what we are today.

We don’t necessarily call them providential relationships, but that is what they are. I’m pretty confident that if we sat down over lunch, you could look back at the course of your life and identify some individuals who, in retrospect, you believe God put in your life. It wasn’t an accidental meeting it was scheduled. It wasn’t a coincidence you moved next door. It wasn’t a happenstance you sat next to each other. Something else was at work. And if you are a follower of Jesus, you know it was God’s hand.


God is very much interested in growing our faith. He uses all sorts of different ways to do just that, but for some reason God especially enjoys using people. It’s God modus operandii, his method of operation. God loves to use flawed, broken, and imperfect people. Check out the list in Hebrew 11 many call the “Hall of Faith”. It includes a murderer, adulterer, prostitute, liar, and a really bad dad. But these people have been used, in a very real way, to grow our faith and countless others.

I promise you that at this very moment, your heavenly Father is sending people into your life in an attempt to grow your faith. How open are you to God’s plan?

I also know that God has sent some of you to help grow the faith of others. How open are you to investing in these relationships?

One way of another God uses relationships to impact and grow our faith. I believe we can take advantage of this principle to work with God. By allowing God to use people in our lives, we can grow our faith. Bigger faith leads to more confidence in God. Bigger faith leads you to a place where you can’t trust God no matter what is happening around you. Bigger faith leads to deep intimacy with your Heavenly Father.

So how will you leverage this principle to grow your faith?

God uses relationships to grow our faith in him

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From This Day Forward I will Fight Fair


Pastor Tim continues the series "From This Day Forward". He delved into Proverbs and challenged us to fight fair in all parts of our lives by avoiding the seven things that God hates.


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