The Biggest "But" In The Bible


A single mom who put herself through college in hopes of providing a better life for her family gets the call from HR after interviewing for her dream job. She hears, “You have amazing strengths and qualifications, BUT we just don’t feel like you’re the right fit for us at this time.” Her disappointment seems crushing!

A 15 year old boy spends all summer training and practicing for for high school football tryouts. He gives 110% and feels confident he’s made the team. Until the coach calls him into his office to say...”You gave a great effort kid, BUT we feel you aren’t quite ready. Keep practicing and try again next year...” It's a massive setback for his hopes of being a high school athlete!

A man who God called to do some seemingly impossible things answers, “you’ve got the wrong guy”, but eventually obeys and becomes the leader of an entire nation. Despite his insecurities and fears, he continues to trust God and faithfully leads His people through all the ups and downs with the hope that they would arrive in the land promised to them. Near the end of his days, God leads him to a mountain and shows him the promised land. The long, difficult journey is over and the hard-earned reward is there for him to enjoy!

Until God says this in Deuteronomy 34: “I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes, BUT you will not enter the land.” (There’s that “but” word again bringing with it disappointments and setbacks!)

It’s the biggest “but” in the Bible and I can’t help but be gripped with disappointment for Moses every time I read the story. Can you imagine how he may have felt standing on that mountain? Yet the story ends by saying Moses was the greatest of all the prophets. Moses’s life is a model to us for giving our all to God even when we’re going through all of it.

I hope you’ll join me this weekend as we talk more about living lives of authentic worship to God, even when we’re in the mess of disappointments, setback and failures. I’m praying now that people will find hope and strength as they desire to trust God, while navigating their own life’s troubles. It’s never easy, but it is possible!

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

One Ditch At A Time


When I was in high school, I went to work part time for a contractor who built luxury homes in the Tacoma area. I was excited to learn the trade of building and even bought a really nice tool belt, framing hammer and square. I showed up to the job site on my first day- ready and eager!  As I approached the contractor, he did something that completely caught me off guard. He handed me a shovel and said, “You’ll need your gloves...”  Suddenly, my first day went from genuine eagerness, to a bit of fear as I knew a shovel and gloves meant I wasn’t going to be building much of anything that day.

He instructed me to dig a ditch. A large one. He said it was for drainage and it needed to be 8ft long, by 3ft wide, by 3ft deep. At this point, I had to look around and make sure I wasn’t working at a cemetery! Was I digging my own grave out here?!?

Upon giving me the instructions, he left to another job site. Suddenly, I was all alone. Just me and my shovel. I began the long and painful task of digging the ditch. It was hard work!  A few hours later the contractor returned to look at my progress. He offered some “atta-boy” sentiments, which was nice, but I was really wanting to be done with this job!

Later, I finished the huge ditch, got into my car and drove home dirty, exhausted and hoping I didn’t make a huge mistake taking this job. wasn’t a mistake at all.

The next day, he had me come back to the same site, except there were no shovels. It was a day spent learning the basics of home construction! The contractor told me that while the ditch was indeed for drainage and very important to the house, he had me do that job just to see how well I would follow his instructions. Those listening skills my parents had taught me as a boy had paid off!!

In the book of 2 Kings, there is a story of people who were instructed to dig ditches. A lot of them! The reason for the ditches was quite simple: Listen to what God was telling them to do, then do it in a trusting way and see what happens. The Bible actually has quite a lot to say about faith and action. Psalm 37 tells us to “trust in the Lord and DO good...”

I hope you’ll join me this Sunday, as we explore this story of ditches and trusting God in 2 Kings 3. This will be a conclusion of our series on Trust and I hope that if you’ve heard any of these messages, you’ve grown in your understanding of trust and faith. It’s never something we will perfect. No one does. This is a long journey of progression toward growth and maturity. The key is in not giving up. God is with us and He’s always good and faithful to prove Himself trustworthy!

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

Becoming Trustworthy One Bike Ride At A Time


I love the hit show, “Stranger Things”. Have you seen it? Great acting, storyline, suspense, mystery and most of all- the setting. Stranger Things takes place in a very familiar time for me. The 80’s!

The story is about a group of boys on a desperate search for their lost friend and if you’re familiar with the characters, you know they spend a lot of time riding their bikes through their neighborhood.

When I think of growing up in the 80’s, I think of riding my BMX bike all over town. It’s how I spent my Saturdays and summers. I also have vivid memories of being out too late, or not coming home on time and being in trouble with my parents. They would talk to me about how freedom and responsibility came with being trustworthy. I learned some hard lessons back then about becoming a trustworthy kid, by simply listening to what instructions my parents gave me and following through on them.

When it comes to trust, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out if God is trustworthy, but have we ever thought...”Does God trust me?”  “Is he looking to find me trustworthy?” These are important questions.

In the book of Numbers, God says this about Moses: “of all my house, he is the one I trust.”. It would appear that God is looking to trust us...

When we see our faith in God through the lens of relationship, I think we understand that trust is a two-way road. Just as it is in all of our human relationships. God tells us in scripture that He can be trusted, but in order for our relationship with God to be fully alive, we need to show ourselves trustworthy to Him. And by striving to be trustworthy, I don’t mean perfect. Grace is central to a healthy relationship with God. Always has been...always will be.

You see, I believe with every ounce of my being that God has great plans for your life. A calling, if you will, to do great things with Him in this world- because you were created with immense purpose!  The question is...are we living in a way to that honors God and shows that we can handle his blessing and favor, even when life gets difficult? Are we listening to His instructions and following through on them? When we do, I know that God sees us has his beloved children who can be trusted.

This Sunday, we’ll be exploring this question of trustworthiness more and I if you’re seeking a deeper, more adventurous relationship with Jesus, I’d love for you to join me on Sunday!

Grace and Peace.


Trust: Discovering Healthy Faith and Relationships


I am very excited about the new series we begin this weekend.  I can’t think of another topic more important for our church family than developing Trust.  It is essential in building a healthy congregation and healthy families.  Real communication and collaboration is impossible without the two-way conversation that comes with Godly trust.

Last week, it was Fernando Fox’s birthday. He is one of many amazing kids growing up in our church.  He is “one-in-a-million,” so much so, that his Sunday school teachers turn into his biggest fans.  He has a great sense of humor and an amazing imagination. His parents, David and Rosanna Fox, are doing a wonderful job of raising this masterpiece of a boy.  I think you could credit his sensational big brother, Andres, with helping in this project also.  As I was praying for him and the other kids growing up in our church, I was moved to tears asking God to help us learn more about trusting in a Biblical way. 

As you know, we live in a society which tends toward being cynical and pessimistic – learning to be suspicious and to rush-to-judgement of situations and people. We learn this through a survival response to the deep hurts in our lives.  If someone goes through a divorce, they often become really good at breaking off relationships and refusing to allow them back in their life.

A more difficult way of living is the Christ-like way. That is holding no grudges, lovingly asserting our understanding of what is true, and simply loving the whole world like Christ would. Admittedly, this is the much harder way. It means leaves ourselves open to criticism, judge-mentalism, gossip and to enemies who have no interest in our welfare.

I choose to trust God.  I choose not to wallow in self-pity or exaggeration. I choose to communicate as best I can.  I also choose not to be a door mat, but to speak the truth in love and humility.

This week I am going to start our series, “Trust – Discovering Healthy Faith and Relationships” by showing us the New Testament concept of Trust as the fulfillment of the profound concept of Trust found in the Old Testament.  One of my Rabbi friends once had a long discussion with me about the differences and I learned so much.  I believe that we cannot understand the New Testament Christ-like Trust without understanding the rich meaning of our Old Testament heritage. If God can allow me to communicate how to trust the Father and the Son, then I believe each of us will be better for the time we have spent exploring this critical concept of Trust.  It is going to heal a lot of our wounds and make us a healthier church family.  Please join me as we kick off this new series.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Who's Got Your Back?


My child, never forget the things I have taught you.  Store my commands in your heart.  If you do this, you will live many years.  And our life will be satisfying.  Never let go of loyalty and kindness!  Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.  Then you will find favor with both God and people.  Proverbs 3:1-4

Have you noticed how music sticks with you in an unexplainable way?  Great music sets the mood for everyone who is listening while giving them unique thoughts, emotions and memories.  I was praying for healing this morning for a person that I dearly love.  I dared in the name of Jesus to ask that his digestive system would begin to work again after surgery.  The Christian nurse listening in commented that my prayer reminded her of a song by Danny Goekey Tell your heart to start.  It came from a true story of a lady named Mrs. Johnson who had open-heart surgery and when they took her heart off the heart and lung machine her heart would not start.  The surgeon, who was a Christian, kneeled down at the bed-side of the lady.  He prayed, “Mrs.  Johnson we have repaired your heart. There is nothing wrong with it so please tell your heart to beat again”.  Her heart began to beat. 

This drama became a great song because it resonates with so many of us.  We have suffered injury but now that chapter is over and we need to have faith in Jesus Christ that He is greater than our fears and we need to tell our hearts to beat again. 

This is just a sample of the wisdom that God provides for us.  It doesn’t mean much unless we remember it and lean not on our own understanding trusting Jesus to lead and guide us to choose the right paths.  If you would like to listen to the You tube you can find it at

I hope you find encouragement in this wisdom

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim

Can God Be Depended On?

When one has been seeking God’s will and direction in their life and over time He has shown Himself to be lovingly gentle and compassionate, then one finds that all plans and decisions involve Him on the basic levels. We are in His will and we can trust that if an adjustment to a plan needs to be made, He will show us how and where.

It is the same as in our human relationships, when communication and trust is built up over time. We know without checking with a friend or spouse, what their thoughts on a particular subject would be, because we are thinking like them more and more and we “know where they are coming from”.

God reveals Himself in much the same way when we seek Him daily.

By spending time in quietness, following a devotional that challenges one to ‘get real’ and think deeper, it is amazing to find that the God of the Universe would meet with us to teach, guide and encourage. It is His desire!  When our desire is to primarily get to know God better, He reveals Himself to us by providing what we desire, and we get to know Him better. He then provides what we desire and we get to know Him better, and on it goes…

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desire of your heart

Somewhere in my growing up I had retained the image of God as one who would take something from me if, I wanted it badly. It had crept into my spiritual life also. Over the years I’ve re-evaluated and learned through difficulty, that true trust would have allowed me to see God as one who might benevolently withhold or take something out of my life for my own good. Looking back, I see how many detours might have been avoided. Today, I know beyond shadow of doubt that He cares about every detail of my life, my plans, my health and especially my family.  He can be trusted with it all. He loves them more than I do and will move heaven and earth to give them the opportunity to trust Him too.

Thank you Father for all this peace and calm you bring to me, in knowing you have all my cares and concerns under control.

Fiona Monaghan

Stone or Jewel

By Fiona Monaghan If I were an oyster what I was growing would have been quite valuable, but since humans aren’t supposed to grow stones it was just a problem.

It started with pain under my right rib which I knew wasn’t a good thing and some accompanying discomfort, cold sweats and nausea. I took myself to the ER Sunday morning and it was there that I experienced the reality of the verse: Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight. Proverbs 3:6 (Common English Bible)

Ultrasound and CT scan then discovered a 10mm stone just outside of my right kidney (too big to be allowed to pass through on its own) at about 10am. After speaking to the on call doctor for Urology, it was decided that the procedure room was available right then to laser blast the stone his team was assembled, having just done a similar procedure, so I was transported quickly to Evergreen and in surgery by 2pm. Not long after that I was back in my room. Overall, it was a very smooth path.

tumblr_mgr5eeyRFs1r1o6z3o1_500On the way to Evergreen the ambulance attendant asked me if I was nervous or anxious and I could tell her honestly that I wasn’t worried. It was a great feeling to know that I have entrusted my life to the one who goes before me and promises to make my path straight. In this situation, I found that even when unexpected things happen in life, the reality is that I can trust my Father to have gone before me and prepared the way because He said He would. What an exciting truth to experience firsthand!

So even though there was no ‘precious pearl’ in this adventure, I did come away with a jewel in the form of a better understanding of the peace that passes understanding when going through a difficulty; and another layer of trust-building that what God says in His Word can be relied upon.

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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

I trust you


Written by Pastor Rey Diaz If you’re anything like me, your faith journey is a roller coaster ride. Some days are better than others. Some days I feel like I have absolute confidence God is with me, for me, and working through me. Other days, I feel that God is absent, He’s forgotten me, and I’m all alone.

1378381411-trustimagesmallI just returned from a family trip to Honduras. Day 3 of the trip, my wife had to visit the hospital because of salmonella. “It’s okay. God’s in control. Everything will be okay.”

Day 4, my son was at the hospital because of E.Coli. “Okay God, I thought you were in control. What’s going on?”

On day 5, my daughter was at the hospital in the middle of the night with a stomach bug. “Its official. God has lost control. Help!”

Then on day 6, I, the last man standing, crashed with the same stomach bug my daughter so generously shared with me. “Well, at least I will die among family and can complain to God face to face.”

I wish, pray, and honestly yearn for a deep, unwavering, steadfast faith in God no matter the circumstances. But so often the circumstances creep in and skew my view of God. I feel more that anything else God wants me to trust him. God wants to take us to a place of overwhelming faith where no matter what we face, we can say with absolute confidence “I trust you.”

  • You don’t always answer my prayers, but I trust you.
  • You don’t always make sense, but I trust you.
  • I don’t always understand you, but I trust you.
  • Life doesn’t always go my way, but I trust you.
  • Wife and kids are sick and I’m dying, but I trust you.

Sermons come in all shapes and sizes. But if you listen closely, you’ll hear God saying the same thing in most sermons—“trust me.”

In all the ways that you could respond to God, the most important thing is that God is asking you to trust him. When things are going well, it doesn’t require a lot of faith to trust God. But when life turns messy, is your faith leading you to depend on God, or do you put your trust in something else?

Over the next month our church is going on a journey to grow BIG faith. We believe there are five primary things God uses to grow our faith. We discovered them by observing how God works in the lives of believers - and even unbelievers.

Why do we want to grow our faith? Because your faith in God matters to God. In fact, God is most honored through your living, active, death-defying, out-of-the-box faith. That being the case, he's committed to growing it — BIG.

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If Only


Written by Pastor Tim White Live-Boldly Statisticians say that the average 80 year has said “if only” an average of 24.7 times a day their lifetime. That’s a lot of wasted time.   A famous statistician once said, that it is proven that 87.8% of all statistics quoted are made up on the spot.

Ba dum dum tisk!

That would be my way of telling a joke. The point is that when we study Samson’s life in Judges 13-16, you can’t help but think ‘wow he had so much potential but he kept making the same stupid mistakes over and over again.’ His whole life was an “if only.”

But there was another judge in Scripture that pastor Ben McCary is preaching on this week. His name is Samuel and he lived his entire life with integrity. At the end of his life he stood before the nation and asked, “Does anyone have anything they can say negatively about me?” The people, many of whom Samuel had rebuked for their actions, had to admit that there was nothing in his life where he had stepped out of integrity.

But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit.    Jude 1:20 (NLT)

Just by looking at these two Judges of Israel for many centuries ago we see the importance of moving from think “If only” to challenging ourselves with “Next Time, Boldly”. Instead of dwelling on the mistakes and being caught in the quick sand of the poison of our sinfulness, let God lift us to next time boldly.

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