Merry Christmas from The Burleson's

The message of Christmas is this: When we couldn't get to God, He stepped out of heaven and came to us. Here's wishing you a Christmas season filled with the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus, the Immanuel, God with us.

Merry Christmas From The Burleson's

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
 and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government

and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, 
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness 
from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 9:6-7

Daily Christmas Funny


Daily Christmas Funny

Here's the Daily Christmas Funny. Couldn't do a Christmas humor series without at least one clip from Elf....


Daily Christmas Funny

Maybe this one should be entitled Holiday funny, instead of a Christmas funny!


Some Christmas Stats

You may already be aware of these Christmas statistics, but I thought they were interesting enough to share. Did you know:
  • Last year, between November 1 and Christmas, Americans spent more than $35 billion just online buying Christmas presents.
  • 18% of Christmas purchases were gift cards. Basically, that's our way of saying, "I have no idea what to get you. You figure it out."
  • 10% of Christmas presents were returned. Basically, that's our way of saying, "You should have bought me a gift card."
The bottom line is this: As Americans, we spend A LOT of money on Christmas presents. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Giving gifts is a good thing. Receiving gifts is a good thing. But most of the gifts we buy are short term. Stuff gets dirty. Stuff gets broken. We outgrow stuff.

But Jesus made this crazy statement in Matthew 6:19-21: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Basically, Jesus was saying that there IS something we can do with our money that has eternal value and makes a lasting difference.

That's why, at Timber Ridge Church, we do the My Best Gift Christmas Offering. This Sunday, December 15th, we'll receive a special offering. We're trying to raise $15,000 to start new churches in 2014 around Texas and to build a kitchen for the rural elementary school we've adopted in Sapa, Vietnam.

If you attend Timber Ridge, let's be honest. You're probably going to buy a gift card for someone you don't even like. Or you've already bought a sweater that someone will never wear. Why not participate in an offering that can have an eternal and lasting impact?

If you are a Timber Ridger, I encourage you to PRAY, PLAN, and PARTICIPATE in the My Best Gift offering this Sunday at Timber Ridge. Let's make our money matter this Christmas. Together, we can literally change the world.

(If you won't be in attendance on Sunday, but would like to contribute, you can click here to do so safely and securely online.)

This is the current "kitchen" at our elementary school in Sapa.

Daily Christmas Funny


Daily Christmas Funny

My Best Gift - Prayer Guide

This Sunday, Dec. 15th, at Timber Ridge Church we will be receiving our My Best Gift Christmas Offering. Basically, we believe that if Christmas really is all about Jesus, then our best and most generous gift ought to be given to Him. Because of that, we receive a Christmas Offering every year where 100% of the contributions go to serving the world globally and planting churches that will reach others for Jesus. You can read all about this year's projects and the My Best Gift offering by clicking here.

I'd love for you to join me this week in praying for God to work in big ways and that our church would accomplish our goal of $15,000 for the My Best Gift offering.

Here are some specific ways you can pray each day:

My Best Gift Week of Prayer

Monday: Pray for movement. Ask God to have his Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of our people this week. Ask that God would begin moving in people's hearts and lives to lead them to be generous givers.

Tuesday: Pray for church planting. Pray for the church plants that will be supported through the My Best Gift offering. Pray that these new churches would reach thousands of people for the Kingdom.

Wednesday: Pray for blessings. Ask God to bless our people and give them the eyes and hearts to see that they are blessed to be a blessing to others.

Thursday: Pray for the school we've adopted overseas. At Timber Ridge, we've adopted a poor, rural school in Vietnam and we will be using the My Best Gift offering for construction projects there over Spring Break.

Friday: Pray for our goal. Pray today and ask God to let us not only meet our goal of $15,000 but to exceed the goal so that more people can be reached and more lives can be changed.

Saturday: Pray for risk. Ask God to lead people to take a big risk of faith in their giving toward the My Best Gift offering.

Sunday: Pray for obedience and action. Pray that our people would respond generously as God leads them.

Thank you for praying for our My Best Gift Christmas Offering. And if you'd like to participate in the offering, you can do so safely and securely online by clicking here.


3 Reasons Dad Should Plan A Family Christmas Calendar

Dads, can I let you in on something that I've done for the past few years for our family that has been incredibly beneficial during the holiday season? Here it is: Planning a Christmas calendar.

Planning a Christmas calendar can be super beneficial for your family and your loved ones. Here are 3 reason why I believe every dad should plan a Christmas calendar:

#1: Leading is your job. Can I be blunt with you men? You are called to lead your family. It's your responsibility. It's your privilege. It's your job. That includes taking the lead during family times like Christmas.

#2: Your Family Will Create Memories. Your spouse and kids won't push back on this. Why? Because for the most part, they crave having fun, memorable holiday moments that turn into lasting, life-long memories that will be shared for generations to come.

#3: It will actually lessen the stress of the season. Let's be honest: Christmas can be a time full of S-T-R-E-S-S.  Having a calendar where you've planned out the events, activities, and gatherings that are most important to your family will actually help your family keep the most significant things as a priority.

Dads - You can do this! Take some time, put some thought into it, and plan a calendar to help your family make great memories and eliminate stress this season.

(Dads, if you'd like a few generic ideas about how to plan a calendar for your family during the holiday season, check out the post called Christmas Tips for Dads by clicking here. Part of that post deals with planning a holiday calendar.)

Daily Christmas Funny

Duck The Halls: Week 1 - Choose JOY

Hey Timber Ridgers! We are totally bummed about having to cancel services today! We had planned and worked and prepped for an awesome day, but the weather just didn't cooperate. Our parking lot would have been a mess trying to get people in and out since it's one giant, slick sheet of ice.

And I had planned on preaching about choosing joy. It's a great lesson for the Christmas season. Happiness is good. But JOY is better. You see, happiness is dependent on our circumstances. Joy isn't. Happiness changes with our situations. Joy doesn't. 

For many of us, the holiday season means joy, fun, laughter and peace. But for many others it can mean hopelessness, stress, and despair. Maybe it's because of a recent loss of a loved one or the financial stress of the season or difficult family relationships. 

Whatever the reason, sometimes it feels like our happiness can be drained for the season.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Because we can choose joy. Happiness is the generic. Joy is the authentic, real deal. Think of it this way: Happiness is Dr. Thunder, but Joy is Dr. Pepper.

And the birth of Jesus into our world brought Joy. In Luke 2, (click here to read it), the shepherds were given a message from an angel of the Lord that said the birth of Jesus is good news that brings great joy for ALL people. Not just people who have it together. Not just people who have the right position or the right possessions. Not just for those who seem to have it easy. Joy is for us all.

In fact, in James 1 (click here to read), in the Bible, James says that we can have joy even in difficult times. You see, joy is a deep contentment that comes from knowing Jesus. And that isn't based on our circumstances or situations.

Paul, a follower of Jesus, said in the Bible (read it here) that he had learned to be content, to have this deep contentment in life, regardless of how much he had or didn't have in life. And here's what Paul said was the secret to joy and being content. He had strength through his relationship with Jesus.

Here's the truth that the Bible is clear on: An authentic, real relationship with Jesus brings an authentic, real joy into our lives.

In the Bible, Paul says this in Romans 15:13: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. 

Paul nails it! We are filled with joy, not because of the right circumstances or the perfect life, but because we place our trust in Jesus. 

Our joy is not in possessions or position, but in a person: Jesus.

And the message of Christmas is a message of Joy To The ENTIRE World: When we couldn't get to God, God came to us through the gift of His Son, Jesus. 

And that's something to be more than happy about. That's something that can bring us JOY.


Daily Christmas Funny

What does a fox have to do with Christmas? Check out this video to find out!

What Does The Fox Say Christmas Light Show


Daily Christmas Funny

I'm starting a new series here on the blog, where each day I'll share a daily Christmas "funny" - a video, cartoon, picture, or story that I find funny. Hopefully, these "funnies" bring some Christmas cheer to your holiday season.

Be sure to check back on the blog each day between now & Christmas day for the Daily Christmas funny.

Timber Ridge V.O.W.

This week's Timber Ridge Volunteer of the Week is Jennifer Cozart. If you're looking for Jennifer on Sunday mornings, you can always find her in our nursery, loving on our babies. Jennifer faithfully serves our little ones each week, making sure they are loved and taken care of during the worship experiences.  Thanks for all you do Jennifer! We appreciate you. You ROCK!

Jennifer and Chris Gilley, our Guest Services Director

If you attend Timber Ridge and would like to get connected to serving on a ministry team, click here for more details.


Why Do We Do My Best Gift?

From time to time when we do something like the My Best Gift offering at Timber Ridge, people will ask me a question that goes like this: "Why is it that we do this?"

When it comes to the My Best Gift Christmas Offering, we have several reasons for doing this at Timber Ridge. Here are a few of them:

#1: It helps us remember the reason for the season. If Christmas really is about Jesus and our focus really is supposed to be on God's gift to us through sending the world His only Son, then giving our best, most generous Christmas gift to God's Kingdom just makes sense. If we believe that Jesus is the real reason for the season then that ought to be reflected in how we spend our time, our talent, and our finances during the holiday season.

#2: It helps us to think beyond ourselves. Christmas has become synonymous with consumerism in our current culture. One of the best ways to battle consumerism and selfishness is to think of others and use our resources to benefit causes outside of ourselves. Our My Best Gift offering allows us to put others first and think beyond selfishness during Christmas.

#3: It makes a global impact for God's Kingdom. 100% of our Christmas Offering at Timber Ridge Church goes to support global engagement and church planting. This year, our offering will go toward construction projects at the impoverished elementary school that we have adopted in the rural area of Sapa, Vietnam and toward planting more churches in rural areas of Texas, in Toronto, Canada, and around the world. Each of these places are difficult places for God's work in our world & our My Best Gift offering allows us to spread the light of Jesus in some very dark places in our world.

At Timber Ridge, we believe in giving generously to God because He has given generously to us, through the life of His son Jesus. There's no better time to put this belief into action than during the Christmas season.

If you'd like to be a part of our My Best Gift offering, you can find out more info and even contribute online, safely and securely, by clicking here.