Jesus, Social Media and The New Marketplace


This weekend at Washington Cathedral, we begin a new teaching series called “Trending”, where over the next few weeks, we will discuss trending cultural topics, explore how they influence our faith and what the Bible teaches us about them.

I’m really excited to jump into the series this weekend with a message called "Digital Divide: When Our Faith Collides with Social Media"!

When preparing for this message, I couldn’t help but first wonder...would Jesus have used Facebook, or Twitter? Assuming these online platforms would have been available to him, I think the answer would be yes.

Why do I believe this?

Of Jesus’s 132 public appearances, 122 had a marketplace context. The four gospels record Jesus telling 52 parables, with 45 of them having a marketplace context.

Jesus valued spaces where people of all backgrounds gathered. For Jesus, that space was the marketplace. Today...social media is the modern-day marketplace. In fact, on Facebook alone, there are currently 1 billion active accounts being used every day.

Just as in the marketplace spaces in the days of Jesus, people from all backgrounds are on social media. Lives are shared. Important theological and social issues are discussed. Culture is shaped. News is broken.

But as we know...not everything about the internet or social media is beneficial. The number of friends, followers and likes you have don’t always equate to real life friends and relationships. It can be deceiving and sometimes be very hard to represent Jesus when those political and theological discussions are taking place. [preaching to myself here]

Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to teach us about authentic relationships, being a witness, guarding our hearts and wise living. All of these can guide us into using social media in healthy, Christ honoring ways.

I hope you’ll join us this weekend and hear more about the trending topic of social media use and how our faith can influence it in positive ways!

Speaking of social media...are you following Washington Cathedral on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  We’d love to connect with you there!

Grace and Peace.


The High Value of Wisdom


For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it. Proverbs 8:11

Think about those words written by Solomon thousands of years ago. Really let yourself sit with this proverb.

“Nothing you desire can compare with it...”

What are some things we desire that some how end up having higher value, than wisdom? Money? Job title? Success of our kids? Educational degrees?

It’s easy to go through our week and not intentionally think about our need for wisdom. Maybe the reasons why is we tend to lean on our experience or smarts. Both play a role yet, neither are enough by themselves. Wisdom is the meshing of our intelligence, experience and connection with God all wrapped in one.

The two most common questions I’ve heard regarding wisdom are:

1. Isn’t wisdom just doing what the Bible says?

2. How does one attain wisdom?

The first answer is no. No, because not all circumstances we face in life are specifically dealt with in the Bible. Wisdom must go beyond knowing and doing the Word of God (although this is always the starting point). God’s wisdom also includes a sensitive and mature judgement where and how a situation needs to be worked out when the Bible isn’t clear on what we are to do.

The second is simple. ASK!  Scripture tells us that if anyone lacks wisdom, they should ask God and he will give it generously (James 1:5). This is a promise, friends!

Placing a high value on wisdom isn’t easy, but how much richer, happier and healthier our lives are when we seek wisdom and apply it. Let’s all give it a try this week. I doubt any of us will regret it!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Rex

The Open and Closed Door Myth


“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For I know that when our faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow….”  James 1:2-4 NLT

For many years I operated under that assumption that when I was “walking in God’s will,” and things would go smoothly that “doors would open”.  I discovered that God can use “closed doors” to also get me to the right place.  As a matter of fact, those “closed doors” shouted much louder to me than “open doors.”

As I shared this past weekend, I felt my business career seemed to be a big open door. I was proceeding under the assumption that God was going to use me in the business world to honor Him.  I had great success in that area.  I was advancing and, at a time, when very few women achieved the level of Vice President, I was being groomed for that position.  We had moved to Seattle for a job opportunity for my husband, Rich and I was able to transfer to the Bellevue Office. 

About 2 years after working in the Seattle office and getting rave reviews, my boss, the Vice President of the NW Region, decided to move back to his home state of Alabama.  I felt I was ready and he felt the same.  As a matter of fact, he recommended me for the position.  In my mind, it was a “done deal” and I was preparing myself for the new task at hand.

Shortly, I received a call from the Western Regional VP informing me that the decision had been made and they decided to hire a new young guy who lived in Texas.  He had no experience with our products and services (or with marketing for that matter) and he hoped I would be available to help train the guy.  As a mature business woman, I thanked him for the call, told him I was disappointed and would have to think about the training thing.  I hung up the phone; went into the bathroom and bawled my eyes out--and then I called my “mommy.”

After much prayer and talking to people of wisdom in my life (Pastor Tim for one), I decided not to stick around to train the new guy.  I gave up my career with that company and quit my job (Something I most often advise people not to do, by the way).  That was an event that was a changing point in my life, and through a series of events it brought me to my new career as God’s sales and marketing person at Washington Cathedral.  Which is where, I know now, God was getting me ready for and pointing me to become.

I only know this as I look back at the series of events in my life.  I had no idea at the time, instead I had to claim in faith the words God gives us in James “when trouble comes your way, consider an opportunity for great joy.”  I have come to believe with all my heart in soul the words of Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understand, acknowledge Him in all you do, and he will guide your path.”  It doesn’t really matter whether the door is open or closed, when you are walking with your Lord he will guide you through, around or turn you the other way.

May you find His joy even in the face of troubles.

Pastor Linda Skinner

Revival in Colossians


"Knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom." -  Aristotle Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  Colossians 3:15

Throughout the post Easter series, “Raised to Life,” we have been focusing and studying Colossians 3:1-17.  Many people have memorized or re-memorized this passage, including my daughter Becca.  Listening to my daughter recite the passage that she learned as a child was inspiring. She told me later that memorizing Colossians 3:1-17 was the breakthrough for her in her education, which allowed her to graduate with such high honors at Seattle Pacific University and get a scholarship from Princeton, Duke and other fine schools.  She had previous to memorizing the passage had to work extra hard to get her grades, but through the process of memorizing she discovered she was an auditory learner.  What an extraordinary opportunity that she not only was able to learn and hold God’s word close to her heart but to also learn about herself.

The Colossians passage is challenging us to know ourselves.  “You died,” it says – so frankly and shockingly.  “You were raised to life with Christ.”   It then goes onto say so “live like a miracle has taken place in your life.”  The dichotomy drawn in this passage is that you can forget that the peace of Christ is going to rule no matter what we do it is your choice if you are going to let it completely into your heart.  The rich, the evil, the liar, the con artist are all going to die and learn that they were only manipulating themselves. Honestly, bearing with one another faults and kindness is going to win in the end.

Currently, the church staff and about 25 leaders of the church are studying the DNA of the church.  We are discussing and praying about how we can remain true to our identity and yet become a better church.  Even if you are not part of these two groups the re-engineering project will continue through the summer as we have discussion groups, prayer vigils, and retreats aimed at taking that yearly stride, described in my book Astoundingly Joyful – Amazingly Simple, when we embrace change as long as it is led by Jesus Christ.  Reformation will continue in the life of the church.

It is going to be a great summer because we expect the same renewal to take place in our marriages, our Tiny Little Churches (small groups), our non-profit foundations, our all nations congregations, our worship celebrations, and our families.  When revival strikes nothing is left untouched, we are all changed.  So whatever we do, in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White