5.20.2015

What Church Planters Can Learn From Taylor Swift


Dear Church Planter,

You will face opposition. The enemy will try to stop you. People are going to oppose you. Sometimes those people will even be church people, or at least religious folks. That shouldn't shock you. Because the same thing happened to church planters in the early church. 

Go read Acts 13. Paul and Barnabas are in the midst of planting the church and they begin to face opposition. Who starts it? The religious leaders of the day. Read it for yourself:

But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. - Acts 13:50-52.

But notice how Paul and Barnabas react to the opposition the religious leaders incited against them? 

They went all Taylor Swift on the naysayers. Verse 51 says "So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them" and then they moved on.

God's given you a vision for your city. He's calling you to make an impact for His Kingdom in your community and beyond. He's placed in your heart big dreams of changed lives, healed homes, and better cities. 

Don't be shocked when the opposition comes. Just be prepared. Go all Taylor Swift on the naysayers. Shake it off.

5.15.2015

Math In God's Kingdom

Here's a thought: Too many times when it comes to our lives, our callings, and our legacies, we use the wrong math.

We look at our life and see the obstacles and the realities and the road blocks and begin to think of all the different reasons why God couldn't use us and why we don't measure up to make an impact for His Kingdom.

But we're doing the math wrong.

Here's the Math of God's Kingdom:

God > My Reality

God > The Obstacles I Face

God> My Limits

God's Grace > My Past

God's Vision > My Vision

God's Plan > My Plan

So go live your life with the confidence of God's Math and make an impact for His Kingdom.

5.13.2015

How To Be Part Of The Solution

Dear American Christian,

If you have strong opinions on race relations, Baltimore, Ferguson, and the like but haven't shared a meal or deep conversation with a friend of another ethnicity this week, you're part of the problem...not the solution.

If you've used social media to share with others all the reasons why another faith group is wrong and evil, but you don't actually have relationships with people from that faith group, you're part of the problem...not the solution.

If you can lament endlessly about why a Christian baker shouldn't have to bake a cake for a gay wedding, but don't have one openly gay friend, you're part of the problem...not the solution.

If you pick your political candidate simply on his or her position on welfare reform, yet you don't give of your personal resources to care for the poor, you're part of the problem...not the solution.

If you've hopped from church to church to church, attending a new church every year because it better fits "your needs" you're part of the problem...not the solution.

Jesus said this in Luke 6: 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

What if we just started acting like Jesus and doing what He said? Let's be honest. It's hard and uncomfortable at times to be part of the solution. But Jesus calls us to it...so it's worth it.

3.02.2015

Meet The Team Monday

I've started a new blog post series that runs every Monday and introduces a new team member that serves at Timber Ridge in a leadership role. 

This week's Meet The Team Monday participant is Paige Johnson. Paige works as a school counselor for Dublin ISD and at Timber Ridge, she and her husband Matt serve as our Director of Student Ministries. Paige has been with us almost since the beginning and has been serving in this role at Timber Ridge since August of 2013. Here's some interesting facts about Paige.

(Paige is the one without the beard!)

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Some form of potatoes: Mashed, baked, hash browns, french fries, etc.

Describe what you do at Timber Ridge in your own words:
Connect people with Jesus. I serve alongside my husband as the directors for Timber Ridge Students.

What do you like best about your role at Timber Ridge?
I love getting to pour into the lives of the young people. We have so many great students in this area and most of them don't realize how much God can use them.

What's your favorite hobby?
I really enjoy watching movies with my husband, shopping, and crafting

What songs would be included on the soundtrack of your life?
Like Nobody Will by Kyle Park (1st Dance At Our Wedding)
My Girl (My mom used to sing it to me.)
Wild Things by Andy Mineo (Because I want to live like the lyrics in the song.)

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
Tom and Jerry

Tell us about when you committed your life to Jesus?
I was really young maybe 6 or 7. My mom tells me that I have always have a strong faith in God. I was baptized at 11 with my mom.  I remember thinking I wanted to live a different life than many of the people around me. I wanted God to use me.

What's something you learned in the past year?
That God is never going to leave you no matter what you go through. When you are faithful he really will give you the desires of your heart.

If you could have one talent or ability that you don't possess what would it be and why?
Definitely singing. I love to sing anyway but I am terrible at it. I always love hearing good people sing and think it would be fun.

You can get to know Paige better by connecting via social media by clicking here.

2.23.2015

Meet The Team Monday

I've started a new blog post series that runs every Monday and introduces a new team member that serves at Timber Ridge in a leadership role. 


This week's Meet The Team Monday participant is Sara Sanderson. Sara is a Tarleton Student and currently serves in our intern program. While she serves in various areas, her focus in on our college ministry. Sara has been on the Timber Ridge team since August of 2014. Here's a part of Sara's story.


If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
French fries...or ice cream...definitely ice cream!

Describe what you do at Timber Ridge in your own words:
At Timber Ridge I am a College Ministry Intern. I get to work with awesome people on a daily basis and learn the ins and outs of how a church is run. For the college ministry side of things, I help to organize, plan and coordinate events to reach out to the students at TSU and Ranger College. I also serve on the worship team and lead a college LifeGroup.

What do you like best about your role at Timber Ridge?
I love that I get to work with such an amazing group of people and have an opportunity to have a big reach on campus.

What do you do for fun?
I love spending time hanging out with my friends, going to rodeos and taking pictures.

What's something you learned in the past year?
In the past year I have learned the value of good friends and the importance of asking for help when you need it.

What has God been teaching you recently?
God has been teaching me to love and look at everyone as He does. He has taught me the importance of the relationships He brings into our lives and to know that each relationship has a reason, a season and a purpose.

Tell us about when you committed your life to Jesus?
I grew up going to church but did not know what it meant to have a relationship with God until my junior year in high school. My friend, now my soon-to-be sister-in-law, took me to a church that is nontraditional and opened my eyes to a whole new world of “church.” At Christ Community Church I learned what it meant to have a relationship with God and how to begin that relationship. After attending the church sporadically for a few months I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I was baptized last April at Timber Ridge and my life has been radically changed! God has definitely moved mountains in my life.

If you were stranded on a deserted island & could only have 3 things, what 3 things would you want?
Three things… Toothpaste/toothbrush (who wants nasty teeth!), iPod (I can’t go long without my music!), food (I wouldn’t last long without it!).

If you could have one talent or ability that you don't possess what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to draw. I love art and painting and all that creative stuff but I am just not the best with it.

Nothing would make me happier than spending a day......
Hiking with no one other than God.

You can find out more about Sara & connect via social media by clicking here.

2.16.2015

Meet The Team Monday

I've started a new blog post series that runs every Monday and introduces a new team member that serves at Timber Ridge in a leadership role. 

This week's Meet The Team Monday participant is Tyler Gilbert. Tyler is a Senior at Tarleton State University and currently serves in our intern program, specifically with our kids and students ministries. Tyler has been serving and volunteering at Timber Ridge since just a few months after the church launched in the fall of 2011. Here are some interesting facts about Tyler.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
The one meal in Texas that would be worth fighting over… beef fajitas. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Stephenville?
My favorite restaurant in Stephenville would have to be Don Nico’s. 

What is your favorite Bible Verse? My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, “Declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse is my favorite, because it reminds me that God always has a plan for me no matter the circumstance I am going through in my life.

Describe what you do at Timber Ridge in your own words: I am a ministry intern.  That means you can find me doing all kinds of jobs. Although my area of emphasis where God has blessed me with a gift to serve is in Timber Ridge Kids. On a Sunday morning typically during the 10 o clock service you will find me in Kids Ridge, then during the 1130 service you will see me greeting and ushering. Then on a Sunday night you will find me with the youth leading a small group.

What's your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is watching football. I love to watch any level of football and any team. I love the game and what it teaches young men about life. In case you didn’t know my favorite college football team is none other than the Oklahoma Sooners! My favorite pro team is the Dallas Cowboys!

What's something you learned in the past year?
Something I have learned in the past year, that it is ok to fail as long as you learn from that failure and don’t let it happen again. Basically it is being teachable being able to learn from those who have been in a similar circumstance before you. 

What has God been teaching you recently?
How to have better self control. Over the past few months, God has helped me kick some terrible habits that I have had since I was in high school.

If you were stranded on a deserted island & could only have 3 things, what 3 things would you want?
An airplane, fuel and a GPS system. If I have these things then I won’t be stranded anymore. 

Nothing would make me happier than spending a day...... 
Hanging out with my family. I know I am only 22, but my family has lots of lost time due to my dad’s deployments that I wish we could make up. I do not blame him however, because he joined the military to ensure his family was provided for. It was a hard time, but I think it has made my family stronger through it. 

Want to connect with Tyler on social media? Click here to see his Facebook page.

2.09.2015

Meet The Team Monday

I'm kicking off a new blog series that will introduce a new team member from Timber Ridge every Monday here on the blog. This will give those who call Timber Ridge Church their church home a chance to get to know the different people that serve on our staff and leadership team here at TRC. These blog posts will cover full-time staff, part-time staff and volunteer staff that serve in different aspects of our church. Check it out!

Our first "Meet The Team Monday" participant is Jordan Speegle. Jordan & his wife Kaylen have been on our team from day one and we're blessed to have them and their 2 year old son Hudson on the Timber Ridge Team. Jordan serves as our Director of Life Groups.


If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be 
Mexican food... I actually would do this willingly even with other options available 

What is your favorite movie or movie quote?
Hoosiers   Coach Dale: "Five players on the floor, functioning as one single unit...team, team, team...no one more important than the other"

What is your favorite Bible Verse? 
Psalms 27:1-3

Describe what you do at Timber Ridge in your own words:
A TON of behind the scenes stuff, helping connect people with our LifeGroups

What do you like best about your role at Timber Ridge?
Getting to be on the front lines of seeing God change lives!

What songs would be included on the soundtrack of your life?
I really love old school country music... give me a little Willie, Waylon, and Merle and I'll be good.

What's something you learned in the past year?
I'm a first time parent, so I feel like I learn something new everyday. It's amazing how a little person can change the way you look at things.

If you were stranded on a deserted island & could only have 3 things, what 3 things would you want?
An endless supply of Beans and Franks Southern Pecan coffee, a cup to drink it in, and fishing pole.

Nothing would make me happier than spending a day......
Either fishing with my dad or at DKR with 100,000 burnt orange clad Longhorn fans.

You can connect with Jordan on Facebook by clicking here.