Spring Into Life! By Pastor Tim White

Memorial Day was a great day.  We were having a salmon barbecue with our family where many of us were sitting around the table talking, when I spied, coming around the corner, my 3-year old grandson, Oscar.  He has such enthusiasm at family get-togethers.  He burst into the dining room and with a big smile and his mountain-man voice asking – “What are you doing guys?”

That is what so many people want to know of Christ-followers.  They are not so concerned with what we choose not to do, but they want to know what it is we are doing.  Is it life or routine?  Is it a pain or a joy?  This weekend I have the privilege to share about the life we choose.  This is how St. John writes it in his 1st epistle about how we can know that we know that we have eternal life.  And this knowledge can help us to be better at taking people from the point of faith that God has already brought them to, to where God is leading them.

This is such a practical lesson from 1 John. It is the over-riding theme of the book.  Please join me - I know you will be glad that you did.

 Your friend for the rest of my life,

 Pastor Tim White

God Wins!

By Pastor Tim White

I really love both my sons-in law.  Spending time with Pastor Rey this last weekend was every father-in-law’s dream.  I feel this way when I get together with either of my sons-in-law. But last weekend, we laughed, and it was just a celebration of life. We were having lunch with Rey’s sister, Sarai and his mom, Isabel, and started talking about the idea of using the “Game of Thrones” as the sermon title this week.  You should know that Rey’s mom has been such an anchor to so many, she is a very Christ-like person.  And Rey is always teasing his mom.  So, Rey announced loudly enough for his mom to hear saying, “my mom doesn’t like Game of Thrones because it doesn’t have enough nudity in it for her.” And we all started laughing knowing he was just teasing her.   Both of my sons-in-law bring so much joy to my life because they are both fully alive.  

This week I will be preaching on 1 John 2:15-17 and it will be a very motivating message.  With the help of the staff I entitled this message Game of Thrones - God Wins.  Everyone is talking about this series of shows with Dragons, Knights and seven Monarchs trying to win the Iron Throne.  But in real life, God wins the Throne.  There are no if’s, maybe’s, and’s or but’s.  God is going to win the throne and there is nothing anyone can do about it.  That is a powerful reminder of how we should be making our life choices today.  1 John teaches us that there is a force pushing us to go one way and we need to stand against that push and take the narrow road that God has planned for us. That we must put God on the “Throne of our lives.”

It is going to be fun to learn the different Greek words translated into ‘World’ in the New Testament.  There seems to be an apparent contradiction because in John’s gospel it tells us “that God so loved the world...”  And yet in this passage in John’s epistle it is telling us that “we can’t love the world and serve God.”  There is a distinction with a difference that can open doors for you to better understand the life that God has for you.  Good old St. Irenaeus said, “the glory of God is man fully alive.” Father John Powell, a Jesuit priest, penned the words “I do not believe that following God is to be at the head of a funeral procession. It is to be fully alive, loving and being loved, savoring every moment of life because Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness.” Please join us this weekend for worship that inspires.

 Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim

 

Loving One Another

by Pastor Tim White

Last week my daughter Becca called me to tell me another cute story about my grandchildren. When she called me, she had 3-year-old Oscar on her lap. She told me that Oscar was having her show him his baby book. When it came to a favorite person when he was a baby, she told him it was G.P. He smiled and laid his head on her shoulder and said, “Still is.” It makes me want to drive over there and give him a big hug!” Love lifts us. Love shapes us. Love motivates us. Love humbles us. And love inspires us.

Love is not a gift that just some Christians have. Love is not an option that we can choose to take or leave in calling ourselves Christians. If you say you are a Christian but not a loving Christian, you are basically saying that you are not a Christian. Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment, for this is an old one you have always had, right from the beginning. This commandment - to love one another - is the same message you have heard before. 1 John 2:7

The Beatles put it this way. “All we need is love.” Or, Burt Bacharach said, “What the world needs now is love sweet love - it’s the only thing there is just too little of.” I like Carrie Underwood’s song, “I believe that in the end love wins.” William Shakespeare said in his play, Twelfth Night, “If music be the food of love, play on.” 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us what love is and what it is not.

Therefore, since we know that love is essential to be a Christian, then we all have a lot to learn about how to love in a more Christ-like way. Dr. Rey Diaz CEO of Orphan Outreach is going to be preaching this Sunday on Love from 1 John; and if you have ever read that book before, you know it is all about living out God’s love... Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8.

If you want to be a more loving Christian, then don’t miss the message this weekend about God’s love.

Your friend for the rest of my life

Pastor Tim White

Life is a Family Thing

by Pastor Tim White

Regardless if you adopt a mom or have a biological mom, life is a family thing. This Mother’s Day weekend we are studying 1 John 1:8 to 1 John 2:2:4. Pastor Michael will be preaching to our beloved Saturday Night Congregation and Youth Pastor Josh, will be preaching at the 9:30am and 11:00am services. I expect both to pay some tribute to their amazing moms and allow you to honor your moms. Because for Christ Followers, honoring our moms is one of the Ten Commandments. Rhonda and Eliot have some really moving music prepared for us and since our church is a larger family, we want to celebrate Mother’s Day 2019 together.

The message series on Christian Basics will tug at our hearts to become a more forgiving people and more forgiving Christ Followers. Love is learning to say “I’m sorry” regularly and getting rid of the toxic poison that can come out in any family. Love is admitting that none of us are perfect. PBPWMIAAFH. That is the popular Christian code for a phrase: Please Be Patient With Me I Am A Fallible Human Being. When you have your conscience cleansed on a regular basis, then you want to stay that way. So, if you think that you’ve hurt someone, rush to apologize and talk it out so there is nothing preventing you from having an honest and close relationship. If this is not happening regularly in your life, then you need to start. I guarantee that we all make mistakes and have plenty of room for growth.

This weekend will be a blast with Mother of the Year and Big Sister of the Year awards. Free Italian sodas for the ladies. Guys, we get to pay for ours so we can empower the youth group to go on all the adventures they can this summer. They are a powerful witness to the world. 24 out of 25 Christians have become Christians before the age of 21.

I love Pastor Michael’s preaching. He is the Dick Sanders of Washington Cathedral overseeing pastoral care, the building and the grounds. And Josh is such an integral part of our church family as we have loved him since he was a baby. His energy and heart are going to change the world. So please don’t miss their message. And moms, don’t forget how open your children and grandchildren are to your influence and invite them to come to church with you. Your influence is important in their lives.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Living in the Light

by Pastor Tim White

I love the sunshine. And I love it even more when people let the Son shine through their lives. I was listening to a weatherman on television and he was forecasting sunshine for all this week. Then he commented that he could not remember the last time it rained in Seattle. He thought it might be some time back in the 70’s. Of course, he was using hyperbole but sometimes it takes poetic hyperbole to make a point. When the sun shines for just one week it dries us out to the point that we forget all about our inner whining about the rain. Sunshine is so restorative. And so, the Apostle John makes the point later in his life, as the last living apostle who is directing Christ followers, to choose to live in the light. If we choose the darkness, then evil gets a stronghold in our life and we have problems that we cannot overcome. If we choose to walk in the light, then we become fortified in our faith and we begin to grow towards becoming the person that God meant for us to become - that best version of our self.

Dr. Vath sent me an email which speaks so much to our society today. It was about a man who posted that he attended church for 30 years and could not remember one sermon that stood out. So, he did not believe that Christians should go to church, and that preaching is a repetitive boredom that Christians should not submit themselves to. There were a lot of comments to his post almost all of them disagreeing with his point and showing Biblically that we needed the fellowship of a loving church. But one comment stood out above all others. One gentleman said that he had been married to his wife 40 years and she had been cooking dinner every day of those 40 years. He said he could not name the complete menu of any of those meals. None of them stood out as memorable. But he remarked that he was nourished at every meal and the dinner-time experience was what held their family close for 40 years. He had the strength from that nourishment to face every challenge in 40 years and to come out on top. He went on to say that while we may not remember the sermons, the Word of God becomes a part of our thinking and personality, and we are blessed by that. If we did not attend church, we would be undernourished and would live a lesser life. That goes well with John’s precept that as Christians we must choose to live in the light and if we choose to live in the darkness then we will not grow or receive the strength we need to grow. As your Pastor who loves you and prays for you with all of my heart and life, I tell you with all gentleness - you need to hear this sermon this week.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Thank-you God for Easter 2019!

by Pastor Tim White

What a Great Easter! I was deeply moved at every Easter service. I thought Pastor Linda had one of her best sermons at the beautiful Good Friday Service. What a great time for those committed to grow deeper in their love and appreciation of Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. The Holy Saturday service with Dr. Marty Folsom, the Chancellor of Washington Seminary, was really a blessing. I just had to give him a hug after the service after he shared from the reality of his personal grief the profound meaning of a Silent Saturday. Millie Porter did a great job with the dinner following the Saturday night service. The song that Dr. Marty and Eliot wrote together was just beautiful. I did not get to attend Pastor Josh’s Sunrise Service, but I heard great things about this early morning experience and I just love Josh.

And then all the work that everyone put into our Easter Pageant was just blessed by God. The little girl that came up at 9:30am service with her parents on the front row touched my heart to see their emotions as she watched the Easter story with such wonder. And then all the kids at the 11am service; my grand-daughter Eva, my grandson Oscar and all the children that we all love so much were just being themselves. The little boy who decided to go back to mom because there might be a monster in the cave to the little girl who came up by herself in her beautiful dress for the final song - Oh Happy Day! Her mother was crying just watching the wonder on her little face and she shared with me how much it meant to her. Then I will never forget the little boy who laughed so hard at my joke that his mom had to come and get him to take him to the back. I love that boy and I hope he and his family come back. People really enjoyed Pastor David’s Easter Breakfast and polished it off by the time the 11am service started. Afterwards, Grace Graham brought in a gourmet Philippine buffet - and a lot of it. So, many new families stayed for lunch after the 11am service enjoying Grace’s gift of hospitality.

The Easter Egg Hunts were terrific! Pastor Josh did a great job sharing the Easter story with hundreds of children. The hunt in the pool was just packed and such a great experience. The hunt on the top of the hill was as good as we have ever experienced. Special thanks to Pastor Jackie for being the Lead Pastor on our Easter project. For Rhonda and her team, along with Eliot and his team, who put on a great musical extravaganza. For Pastor Linda for directing the Easter Pageant through all the challenges such as losing our projector right before it started. David Fox playing Jesus and leading an enthusiastic cast in the play. The shuttle drivers, greeters, hosts, food preparation team, and a huge children’s ministry team with Rosanna Fox and Krista Bleile leading the way. Pastor Michael worked so hard in setting up the Tomb with a great team helping him. Over a thousand people at Easter services is a great win for us at this time in the life of our church. And there were so many amazing new families with touching stories of faith who came for the first time to Washington Cathedral.

And then to top it all off - we did it! We raised the money and reached our pledge goal to allow us to continue to lease the amazing facilities that God has blessed us with and to be able to use it for the next year. This is the fastest we have ever completed a fund-raising campaign in the history of our church. I can’t tell you the burden that takes off my soul as I recognize the God of Miracles once again at work in the life of this dream to Build a Great Caring Network. I can’t think of a moment in the history of our church that we have been more blessed by the incredible, gracious, love of God. And I pray that you were blessed this Easter as well. 2019 is going to be an amazing year in all our lives!

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

We All Need Easter

by Pastor Tim White

Imagine you and your family worshiping in the beautiful Spirit Falls Sanctuary as you watch Jesus come out of the tomb. A tomb which is in front of a beautiful waterfall. Soul stirring music, great acting and special effects and a story told by an old pastor for children, encouraging them to ask world-shaking questions that will affect the rest of their lives. I am sharing this vision with you on Holy Week, 2019 - not as a Lead-Pastor but as a fellow-follower of Jesus Christ. This group of Christ followers includes a wide mosaic of people. Our brothers and sisters are Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox not to mention those who follow Christ but are included in the none (the non-affiliated with any religion).

Easter is everything to the Christ Follower

1 Corinthians 15 points out that this statement is at the heart of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are all fully human with broken hearts because of people we love who have passed on. We have our questions that need to be touched by a moment of faith. This is your moment – at the 9:30 am and 11:00 am Easter Services - and it is too important not to bring friends. What if Jesus were going to make an appearance, wouldn’t you feel like you needed to bring all your friends? Well this is the time to bring your friends because of the life-changing/world-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.

David Fox is playing Jesus this year. I am so happy about what God is doing in and through David, Rosanna, Andres and Fernando Fox. They are all becoming more and more Christ-like every year. And know that you and your family will be touched by the re-enactment of the first Easter. The Choir and Praise Band will be at an all-time high. There will be Holy Communion served by Father Michael Fernandez at the close of each service. I call Pastor Michael Father not because he is one year older than I am but because he is proud of his Catholic roots and the fact that he was Altar Boy of the Year in the Archdiocese of Seattle. The drama team is full of young, exciting members of our church who have been working to improve our drama every year.

As always, there will be a delicious Easter Breakfast starting right after the 7:00 am Sunrise Service that our youth pastor Josh Zappone will be preaching at. The breakfast will last until the 11:00 am service starts. And afterwards, on top of the beautiful, grassy hill, there will be a giant Easter Egg Hunt with a Bounce House, a brief presentation of the Easter story and a large Easter Chicken posing for pictures with the kids.

Every church is born again at Easter and this has never been more true for Washington Cathedral. So, we need your help and prayers. And you need, like we all do, to have a great Easter experience.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Celebrate Jesus

by Pastor Tim White

We have been building up to Easter by studying the Book of Mark. Half of this Gospel is about the Passion of Christ. St. Mark was a teenage boy who followed Jesus, so he was not alive during the first Christmas. But he is mentioned repeatedly in the Book of Acts. First, as an assistant to Paul and then after he fell, he was picked up by Peter who knew something about grace, and the need to restore the fallen. He writes this earliest Gospel with the passion of a teenager. And we are investigating how learning the Passion of Jesus can impact the passion in our lives.

Do you have all the passion you want for life? How about for your family, your job, your contagious enjoyment of life--do you have all the passion you want? Well this Easter in our Church we are going to learn about becoming passionate followers of Jesus Christ. This week, I am looking at the believer’s authority because of the passion of Jesus. I call the message “Celebrate Jesus” and we are kicking off Holy Week with a great Palm Sunday service.

During this lead up to Easter we will be reaching out to the world with the Good News of Easter! We are going to be celebrating Jesus by observing with an incredible, Good Friday Service at 7:00 pm as Pastor Linda teaches us the meaning of the cross of Christ. Do you live under the authority of Jesus when you receive forgiveness or miraculously given forgiveness? It is so important to learn about the cross in becoming fully alive.

And then on Saturday Dr. Marty Folsom is leading a very creative service at 5:30 on Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday was observed by the early church and focused on the ‘in-between’ times. In between the cross and the resurrection. It is so important because grief is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, witnesses of God and eternity. All of us will spend some time when we are in that difficult moment where faith is required; when we don’t have the answers and we are in-between the cross and the resurrection. Special Guests: Scott and Hillary Burnett are going to be there to share musically and to help Marty deliver this message. There will be a dramatic example of the message with body painting by a young artist.

For the kids, at 4:00pm on Saturday, we are celebrating with an Easter Egg Hunt in the indoor pool. Pastor Josh is going to share the Easter story with this large community of children. And there will be Bounce House and happy fellowship as a community.

Early Easter morning we will celebrate Sunrise in the sanctuary in front of the waterfall and empty tomb. Our Youth Pastor Josh Zappone will be setting the table with a powerful message for those who want to fully celebrate the entire Easter Sunday. What a way to start Easter with the enthusiasm of a youthful service at 7:00 AM.

And finally, the Easter Pageant at 9:30 am. I am going to be telling the Easter Story to kids on stage, so they get a front row seat. And we have a Christ-inspired actor playing Jesus. When he speaks the words of Jesus it will be impossible to not be caught up in this grand story. For the rest of their lives these kids will be asking questions about Easter that will “rock the world.” The music will be awesome! I believe it will be the best Easter worship we have ever presented as a church!

Pastor David has prepared a delicious Easter Breakfast served from 8:00 to 11:00 am.

At 11:00am the second Pageant starts which will be packed with young families ready to not only enjoy the dramatic retelling of the story, but a fun Easter Egg Hunt and Carnival on top of our beautiful grassy hill at 12:30pm.

Can you tell I am excited for this Passion Week starting with Palm Sunday? Come and check us out - bring a friend. You will catch the passion for life.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

The Passion of Jesus

by Pastor Tim White

There are many people who I admire and respect for so many different reasons. One of those people is Ben Llanes. I love to follow him online. He loves his kids, he loves his wife, he loves his extended family and he loves nature which all flow from his love of God. Add to that the fact that he is a great photographer, his posts are so inspiring to me! The other day, after a very poetic post about nature, I had to tell him that he reminded me of John Muir. Not that I ever knew John Muir but this great naturalist and leader in our National Park movement was a person who was passionate about God’s Creation. John Muir would climb a tall tree just to ride out a windstorm so that he could fully enjoy the power of the storm. Ben is fully alive like John Muir. I hope every little girl in our church gets to grow up and marry someone so fully alive as Ben. I told Ben in his post, “I want to grow up and be just like you someday.”

In his passion for life, Ben is like Jesus. Jesus was full of passion for life. In fact, he said, I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10. This week we are starting a new series about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark. I am calling it “The Passion of Jesus.” A healthy relationship with Jesus is where we get our passion to be alive - for the next day, the next friendship, the next adventure.

We love to watch solar events at night. Our neighbors built a patio and have had us over to watch such events. Of course, we get to enjoy it through the eyes of their two boys Benjamin and J.J. Such passion for life is contagious. The Book of Mark was written by a teenage disciple of Jesus called John Mark. It is full of action. He doesn’t even tell the Christmas story. Half of the Book is about the last week in the life of Jesus called The Passion.

Yes, we are passionate about this Easter! Who wouldn’t be? On Saturday, the 20th, an Easter Egg Hunt in the pool begins at 4:00pm for the kids from our church and surrounding neighborhood with Pastor Josh sharing the Easter story. Then maybe the most dramatic Easter Pageant and Worship Service that we have ever experienced will be held in Spirit Falls on Sunday at 9:30am and 11:00am. This year it will include an actor playing Jesus who helps me tell the story to the kids by sharing the actual words of Jesus in very dramatic fashion - the touching love of the crucifixion and what that has meant in changing people’s lives for over 2000 years. Then the breathtaking resurrection scene right there in front of our waterfall!

Other Holy Week Services will include Good Friday Service on April 19 at 7:00pm. We have a special guest speaker to lead us, not only in celebrating the cross, but in a very inspiring healing service. Pastor Linda Skinner is working with Rhonda on a service we will never forget. Saturday night at the 5:30pm Worship Service where our own, theologian in residence, Dr. Marty Folsom will share on Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday start the day with the Sunrise Service at 7:00am with Pastor Josh. And of course, Pastor David will be providing an incredible Easter Sunday Brunch at 8:00am. Finally, another Easter Egg Hunt for the kids on Sunday at 12:30pm on the beautiful grassy top of the hill. What a great time to share the passion of Jesus with the whole world!

Let’s start by catching the Passion of Jesus as we begin to study the Gospel of Mark this weekend. You are ALL invited.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Prayers that Rock the World

by Tim White

This weekend I will be concluding the series on the Book of James with the message on James Chapter 5 Prayers that Rock the World.

There was a blog on You tube which showed a debate between Biologist and Oxford Professor: Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury who is the head of the Church of England. I like to read Richard Dawkins even though he believes that he is an atheist and has a lot of bitterness for those who believe in God. I have read Dawkins’ text book on Biology and it is quite good and of course I enjoyed learning his point of view from his book on the God Delusion and several other provocative books. To be fair I should point out that Dawkins recently suffered a stroke and by his own admission is not as fervent in belittling Christians since this event.

I did find it interesting that in a recent debate Dawkins begins by telling the Archbishop how it is his belief that in general Christians are just unintelligent people. He quotes a survey that the majority of Christians in England cannot even name the four gospels of the New Testament. After this tirade the Archbishop says, “that this is regrettable, but he believes that Christianity does have a lot of very intelligent people.” They are friends and have debated several times. So, the Archbishop asks Dawkins a question in response. He points out that Dawkins is an expert on Charles Darwin. The Archbishop goes on to return the question to his friend Dr. Dawkins by saying “could you tell me the complete title and subtitle of Darwin’s book on the Origin of the Species.” Dr. Dawkins says, “of course I could, I teach this in my college courses.” So, he begins … “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection…,” then he begins to stumble when trying to remember the subtitle which is “The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” Dawkins tries a couple of times and draws a blank turning red with embarrassment and he mutters, “God help me.” Which of course drew a big laugh because the atheist found himself praying in his debate about atheism.

I think almost everyone prays sometime, even if it is a slip and they find themselves saying “thank you God” and at the same time they are wondering if they believe in God. But there have been prayers that have rocked my life. One such prayer was when I prayed that God would forgive me of my sins and come into my life allowing me to be his follower the rest of my life. That prayer was life changing. When my Grandpa White used to pray, people in the congregation would say – “it is as if this old country pastor prayed heaven down to earth.” And many of you have witnessed or experienced prayers that been almost indescribable. Have you watched a father kneeling and praying with his kids as he tucks them into bed? Or have you seen a mother put her arms around one of her children and pray right from the heart that God would help this child? And many of us have watched Christians anoint someone with olive oil, laying hands on their shoulder, and being filled with Godly love as they ask for the Spirit of God to work in the life of this person who is in a desperate situation.

I think all of us have lots of questions about these prayers that ‘Rock the World’ and James Chapter 5 addresses that subject in such a way that we will all learn something and grow closer to the God who answers prayers. Please join me this weekend.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White