What You Talkin' About _____?


One of my favorite childhood shows was Different Strokes. In each episode there was sure to be the line from Arnold that helped make the show so famous. That’s right, I know you remember it.... “What you talkin’ about Willis?”

If I’m honest, sometimes I hear people say certain statements about God that cause me to say to myself...”What you talkin’ about Christian?” 

My favorite phrase is, “God only helps those who help themselves”.  Really?!?  Do we really believe this? Yet, I’m sure that if you’re reading this, you have heard someone say this at some point in your life.

The above statement is a myth. A lie. And it’s hurting people’s ability to believe in an all-powerful God.

Why? Because it’s simply not true. Look at John 5:1-6, for example. Is the lame man helpless? Yes. Does Jesus heal him despite his helplessness? Yes.

Join me this Sunday as I explore this fascinating story of Jesus’s encounter with a helpless man. Maybe you’ve heard me say this before, that when we read the stories in the gospels, we have to ask ourselves...”Who am I in this story?”.  Well, this is surely one of those stories.

You see...we all find ourselves stuck in life at some point, or another. Physically, spiritually, financially and relationally. ALL of us.  The question Jesus asks the lame man in John 5 is a very important question for us to answer as well.

Grace and Peace

Pastor Rex

A Response To A Tragic Week


Lord, you have poured out amazing blessings on your land! You have restored the fortunes of Israel.  Psalm 85:1

Last week was a great weekend at Washington Cathedral.  It was the kickoff of our Summer of Family Fun.  I shared something very near to my heart:  the importance of Godly patriotism to heal our nation.  I know that times have changed and that other generations have high percentages that question patriotism of any kind.  One note sent to me told me that it is impossible to be a Christian and also be patriotic.  I accept the challenge to communicate this core value for many reasons but, most of all, I believe that Christ is the answer to the problems of our world.  That is why I have taken the time to write an historical romance novel about patriotism called “Ulysses Dream” to come out in the first part of September this year.  The publisher might change the title and if you are interested you can follow its development at the site  

The following is a response to recent violence in Dallas that I wrote on another blog and it is followed by a response from my Assistant, retired police Detective Karen Haverkate, after someone referred to her as a hero for having been a law enforcement officer.  It should give us something to think about….

I am praying for the families of the police officers shot in Dallas and for those whose loved ones died in other shootings in America. I don't pretend to understand everything that is going on but I do know that as a nation we are so divided and racial tension is real. Public servants often take the brunt of this division. Each situation breaks my heart and the only answer is that we work diligently to come together as a community. More simplistic pronouncements just cause further division although I know they are easy, knee jerk reactions by people who care but don't know what to do. We need to make friends with people in our nation who are not like us. We are all human beings. One tragedy is a travesty against all humanity. We who live by love have our work to do. We must be more loving, better bridge builders, standing with victims, their families and police families. We must practice everything we have been taught by Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Mother Theresa. We have terrorists that are determined to destroy our freedoms.  We don't need to be terrorists ourselves. We need to be ‘reverse terrorists’ or People of Love.

In response to being referred to as a ‘hero’ by one of our church family in a discussion about the events in Dallas, Karen replied:

“Thank you, but I am not a hero. I got into law enforcement because I really wanted to help people. ALL people. I worked patrol for seven years, event planning for three, background investigations for almost two, and fraud investigations for 14. I believe I treated all the people I encountered equally, no matter their age, race, gender, economic status, religion or life style preference. Even so, I can't count the number of times I heard, "You're only stopping/arresting me because I am _________". I got into more than a few fights, and used force on more than one occasion, but only in response to an act of aggression/violence against me or others. Never did I go to work with the desire to get into a fight, assault or kill someone. And I truly believe none of the officers I worked with did either. None of us took the job with the desire to kill people. I had to draw my weapon several times but I only came really close to shooting someone once, and I cried afterward; partly out of anger at the guy for putting me in that position, and partly from relief that I didn't have to shoot him. But, I was prepared to. I had no idea that the gun he was holding as he walked toward me, ignoring repeated orders to stop and drop the gun, was empty. That the shots I heard prior to encountering him had been the last of his ammunition. Fighting with and using force on another person is not "fun". Hurting or killing someone is not "fun". The paperwork involved in either is not "fun". The media and social scrutiny afterwards is not "fun".  Do bad things happen? Yes. Are there some bad officers? Sadly, yes. Are they the majority? Absolutely not. Did they start out that way or did something happen in their career to make them that way? I personally feel it would be the latter. When I was in background investigations, we took measures to weed out any applicant that showed a propensity for bias or violence. We DON’T WANT that type of officer working for/with us. So, thank you for your compliment, but I am not a hero. I was just a cop that tried to do her job fairly and justly for everyone, no matter what they looked like. And I believe that the majority of officers out there are trying to do just that.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

What are you wearing?


What do Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus all have in common?  I learned after attending a seminar that just mentioning one of their names in a blog will increase the attention you get on the web.  I didn’t, however, learn who they are because I belong to the secret society of the ‘uncool’, which prevents all members from knowing anything about what is cool.  It is kind of a “bizzaro world” to find I am the opposite of today’s cool young pastors.   But happily I am part of the church, which is the family of God where we are all loved and accepted.

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free.  Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Colossians 3:10-11

Have you intentionally put on your new nature today?  I remember when I was a football player we had a cowboy on our team who used to put his pants on two legs at a time. I asked him once why he did such an odd thing and he responded, “Well, right now the other teams coach is telling his players not to worry about us, we put our pants on one leg at a time. I am proving to them that they need to worry about me.”

Putting clothes on is an intentional act.  Have you ever tried to dress a two year old? They squirm – they run away. In fact, I think they would rather be naked like some vestige left from the Adam and Eve linage from the Garden of Eden.

Putting on our “new Christ like nature” clothing is also purposeful.  We clothe ourselves with tenderheartedness, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  We make allowance for each other’s faults.  And above all else we clothe ourselves with Christ’s love.  Just like we decide what we are going to wear for the day every morning, we need to make the choice to put on a Christ like nature.

For some of us it is slipping on a cross necklace everyday.  For others it is kneeling at the foot of our bed to dedicate the day to Jesus before we tackle the challenges ahead of us. There are so many ways to make that choice ranging from daily devotions to verse memorization to quiet time in prayer to many other practices. What purposeful steps are you taking to dedicate each and everyday to filling your life with Christ?

There are so many different ways, find the one that centers your heart on Christ. Be willing to change up your routine if your heart isn’t following your actions. And remember you are not alone in pursuing a deeper relationship with Christ, your church family (the same one that accepts my uncoolness) is there to encourage and support you.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

What Les Miserables Taught Me about Mercy...


One of my favorite stories is of Victor Hugo’s, “Les Miserables”. I never really knew much of the book, or the story for that matter, until I watched the movie with some friends in 1998. I was instantly captivated by the themes of grace, forgiveness and mercy from the life of the main character, Jean Valjean. If you’ve never seen the movie, or read the book, you really should. I guarantee you will not regret it!

In one particular scene, Jean Valjean finds himself caught in the middle of someone else’s problems. Her name is Fantine, she is an employee of his company but also a prostitute. When Fantine is found out, she is severely beaten and left for dead. That is, until Valjean takes it upon himself to nurse her to health and to care for her fatherless child.


The scene of him caring for a helpless, beaten prostitute is one of divine mercy. A display of someone who clearly remembers his own past and the mercy which was given to him, as well as Valjean’s willingness to abandon his self-comfort and enter into Fantine’s woundedness.

This mercy that Valjean shows Fantine is exactly the kind of mercy Jesus refers to in Matthew 5:7, where he says, “blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”. It’s a mercy that goes beyond simply feeling sorry for someone and willingly get’s inside the other person to the point where we can see through their eyes and feel what they are experiencing. This kind of mercy that can transform a person’s life!

The question is...are we willing to say ‘yes’ to the ways of Jesus today and leave our self-comfort? It won’t be easy, I can promise you. But I believe it will usher us into the kind of full life Jesus promised when we follow him...

Grace and Peace. Pastor Rex

Photo Credit

Like A Bull In A China Shop


I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “like a bull in a china shop”. It essentially means being clumsily destructive. Or, causing damage without the intention of doing so... This past week, we took time to look at Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:5 where he says that God blesses those who are meek. Meek. What an interesting word! What could it possibly mean and why was it so important that Jesus talks about it in his Sermon on the Mount?

The best way I can summarize the word “meek” is to say its the culmination of having humility, gentleness and self-control WHILE knowing that I also have my sinful nature which can be very destructive to both myself and others. In other words...we are very much like the bull living in a world full of value, beauty and fragility (the china shop).

179171741_295x166This life of meekness that Jesus teaches is not easily attained, nor are we born with it. It comes from our willingness to humbly submit ourselves to God’s authority and say yes to the ways of Jesus. Easier said, than done, right? I’m with you! But thankfully, we have something called grace on our side. When the bull in us decides to romp around the china shop leaving a wake of bad choices, hurtful actions and one big mess; we have God’s grace to lean on. Where would we be without the God’s grace and mercy?

This week, let’s seek to allow the Holy Spirit to produce within us humility, gentleness and self-control as we learn to live for Jesus, knowing the bull within us is always there. May our prayer today be: “Jesus, I humbly surrender my entire self to you and your authority. Help me to live a meek life today and to experience a greater blessing from the father”.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Rex