Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tuesday Tunings 2.0

Dear Tunites,

Goodbye blogspot.  I am sad to say this is my last blog at this location.  You have served me and my readers well for years, and I hope will continue to do so.  Thank you.

Though this chapter is coming to an end, I am thrilled to announce a rebirth of this blog in a new version, Tuesday Tunings 2.0 if you will, LAUNCHED FEBRUARY 2017!  Feel free to peruse this archive for all the content that formed the foundation of this service, but I hope you will also join us over at our other location, where I, with a team of others, am working on an entire family of products to aid you in your spiritual journey.

See you over there soon!

Tuesday Tunings 2.0/Resonant7

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hope from Haiti – The Joyous Power of the Passion

Sunday morning retuning:  Jesus is in control.  It is a life-changing truth we celebrate on Easter and everyday.  The fact that He is in control can change my perspective on everything, if I will let it.  If you missed Pastor Myron walking us through Luke 22:47-53, you can find his message and some other helpful resources here.
Enjoy the following contribution from guest columnist, Dr. Sherri Harper Woods
The residence of Madam Jacq was a 10’ x 25’ concrete female only cell holding at least eight women at the Port de Paix prison in Haiti. It was as luxurious as an Embassy Suite Presidential room compared to the seven other 10’ x 30’ cells which each held 30-40 men with only 12 mattresses per cell. These inhumane conditions would not be permitted in the United States.  
The prison system in Haiti is known for its acts of injustice. The accused are considered guilty until proven innocent and little is done to prove their innocence. In fact, if the accused is unable to be found, a member of his/her family is arrested and must serve the time. Madam Jacq is serving a life sentence for a crime she did not commit, suffers from heart trouble, and does not have the use of her legs. With contentment she sat on the bottom bunk and listened to the word of God being read in English. She smiled and then read Philippians 4: 4-20 in Haitian Creole. As the prison evangelist read the Word, I could hear the personal proclamation of truth within her voice declaring she would think on true, pure and lovely things, be content even in the confinement of prison, rejoicing always and that she could do all things (even a life sentence) through Christ who gives her strength.
Even in her dire state she evangelized to the visiting to our missionary group through her animated smile. As she crawled to the cell door to receive prayer from her American mission sisters for heart troubles that were “interfering with her spreading the Word of God”, she smiled.
As I reflect on the suffering Christ chose to experience out of His love for me, I understand why Madam Jacq smiled the whole time she explained her circumstances. Her smile represents her confession of faith, it represents that she believes that there is healing power in the prayers of the righteous. Her smile is a portrayal of her belief in the power of the passion. It is her acknowledgement to Jesus that she receives the gift of God’s promises and power given to her through the anguish of His death, burial, and resurrection.
During Holy Week, Madam Jacq offers us hope from Haiti. The thought of Madam Jacq in the face of doom—a life sentence for someone else’s crime, paralyzed, malnourished, and enduring inhumane conditions—in  the midst of the darkest type of night, a lifetime of nights—is  horrific! Yet, in contrast, the thought of Jesus surrendering his life, enduring physical torture and suffering for us—for me, is terrific! The thought of the passion of Christ commands my spirit to bellow Hallelujah! If Madam Jacq, involuntarily imprisoned for a lifetime in an inhumane cell can still find joy and contentment from the gifts of the cross, certainly I can experience joy because Jesus voluntarily gave up his life and died in complete innocence for me!
The celebration of Easter is a chance to remember the greatest love story ever made. It is a fragrant bouquet scented of faith, trust, with the vibrant promise that Jesus loved us enough to endure suffering. The question is do you passionately love Him enough to trust Him with your suffering? The passion Christ displays at the cross is a present, continuing passion. It is never ending.
Take a moment and picture what it must have been like for Christ to experience your suffering. See the blood running down from his brow and the nails in his hand. Feel the humility of the most painful method of public death, placement on a wooden cross. Picture the nails driven through the hands and feet of Jesus, an innocent victim. See the cross being lifted and jarred into the ground, tearing His flesh, racking his body with excruciating pain. Now, SMILE!
Jesus, I smile and appreciate the gifts and the joyous power given by your shed blood. I have joy that it wasn’t the nails that held you to the Cross but it was your love. I breathe in the air representing your power, authority and your love for my life. I will keep fresh in my mind the reminder that because of the passion of Christ, I can look in the face of ANY adversity and sing the Anthem – Hallelujah, We have won the victory. Hallelujah, Jesus has won it all for me. Death could not hold you down. You are the risen King. Seated in majesty. Jesus, you are the risen King!
If you need a reminder, listen here:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Filming God at Work

Sunday morning retuning:  We face overwhelming circumstances at times, but we can do so with the confidence that Jesus understands because He did too.  He also gave us a model for what to do when we face those circumstances, “Cry out to the Father!” as He did in the garden of Gethsemane. If you missed Pastor Myron walking us through Luke 22:21-38, you can find his message and some other helpful resources here
There was a great excitement at church on Saturday.  Yeah, that’s right I said Saturday.  The time would come for a film shoot, and everything seem to be in place, everything except for the cigarettes.
I will admit it felt a little strange handing Todd money to go buy cigarettes for this film we were shooting...
After my gaffe of forgetting one of  Our props, the morning went really smoothly.  There were some great moments being captured, but the best was yet to come.
The moment in the story was when Shayla, played by Michaela, would surrender to Christ.  This is a difficult thing to act out and capture in the believable way. I was really curious how it would go considering Mikaela had told me she simply couldn't cry.  Later I learned of a God moment that really needed to happen.  When they shot this scene, Mikaela cried...The transformation was so significant that her mom told me later that she barely recognized her own daughter.
God has been at work, is at work, and is not finished yet…
I want to give you the thumbnail sketch of how I have seen God’s hand on this.  As I was selecting songs for our upcoming recording project, a song called "The Gospel Changes Everything" looked like it would make the cut. I started working on that with Mikaela in voice lessons thinking maybe we could share it on Easter Sunday morning.
I asked her if she could develop a story out of which the song could naturally emerge, not yet telling her I was thinking about Easter. She came back a week later and share the story with me that I felt had great potential. I told her I wanted to use it at Easter would like for her to convey the idea to Sherry Woods who agreed to serve as our playwright.
Sherry wrote a drama to be acted out on Easter Sunday morning, but had a much broader scope than my original concept. It seemed immediately obvious to me it needed to be a video. I approach Todd with that idea and he was skeptical, and some part because of the compressed timeline, but after some discussion he felt inclined to give It a shot.
The excitement that I have sensed with each participant, at every point on the way, which climaxed in a sense on Saturday, causes me to have a great sense of anticipation for how God is going to use this on Easter and beyond.  God is at work!
Jesus, we want to see more of Your activity.  We want to be a part of it more often.  We want more of You working more in more of us.  Do it for Your glory and the good of those who will see You in us and through us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.
In Christ,

Pastor Timothy

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

...they will come!

Sunday morning retuning:  The New Covenant the Jesus established gives us hope.  Though He established it in the midst of betrayal and denial, still He did it.  It shows us He can still come through today.  If you missed Pastor Myron walking us through Luke 22:21-38, you can find his message and some other helpful resources here
There was a movie back in 1989 starting a young Kevin Costner called "Field of dreams" about a farmer who kept hearing a voice telling him to build a baseball stadium.  The voice kept saying to him, "If you build it, he will come".  The reference is to a famous baseball player who does eventually show up to play on the field.  It is an inspiring story from what I remember.
Image result for field of dreams
Here is the scene with that line.  
This line really made an impression on my as a young man of about 17 years.  The idealist in me, pre-Jesus mind you, thrilled at the idea of throwing some hard work, perseverance and inspiration into a dream and watching become reality, almost out of thin air.  The more mature, occasionally cynical not so young man I am today finds it a little harder to believe such things.   
That is part of what makes the effort of finding 1872 Hershey kisses seem like a bit of a waste of time.  But then there's still that little part of me, that part of me that is filled with faith, but believes that hard work is actually well worth the effort because of the dreams that could become reality if some folks will simply respond, and come.
So it is with that audacity that we will ask people to take plastic Easter eggs filled with a simple invitation and a Hershey kiss and hand them to someone in the next couple of weeks. If we invite them, they will come.  Oh sure, not all of them, but we could say that even if one comes and decides to follow Jesus that all of the work is absolutely worthwhile.
Image result for easter basket plastic eggs
I was encouraged that 13 people, actually a few more, quickly responded that they would help us put all of these eggs/invitations together. I believe God is in this simple thing and I'm asking you to do your part. Begin to pray about who you can invite. Maybe it will be some random person that the Lord puts on your heart in the checkout line at Giant Eagle.  Maybe it's a relative, or neighbor. But let's be sure to invite them, because if we do, they will come.
Not everyone will hear the Voice and invite someone. Not everyone will hear the Voice and come. But if we, like Kevin Costner listening to that unassigned voice, would listen to God's Voice, and obey, I believe they will come.
Jesus, let us hear Your voice as we consider who we will invite, then help us believe they will come.  You said if we will lift You up, You would draw men and women to Yourself.  John 12:32  We are trusting You to help us do your part, and for You to do the rest.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

In Christ,

Pastor Timothy

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Gospel Changes Everything

Sunday morning retuning:  Jesus established a New Covenant at the Last supper.  it is internal, not external, based on relationship  and personal knowledge not effort and vague awareness and demonstrates forgiveness nor forbearance.   If you missed Pastor Myron walking us through Luke 22:7-20, you can find his message and some other helpful resources here
I mentioned last week that we are currently in preproduction for a short film that we will use on Easter Sunday morning.  We are so fortunate to have Todd Maki who is directing this. Some of you may not know this about Todd but he has some extensive experience in film.
I write this to you today to communicate to you how excited I am about what I see God doing as this project continues to take shape. But I am also writing because I need your help. We need about 25 people to be present for part of our shoot plan for next Saturday, March 21, from 9 AM to 5 PM. Only a couple of people who are part of the named cast will need to be there that entire time, but we need smaller groups of people to be there at different points in the day.
I have created a document available to anyone with the following link. You can go there to sign up for any/all timeslots. Please feel free to pass this link along to others at church. No acting experience is required, simply the willingness to follow directions. Basically our extras will just be people who will form a couple of small crowds for two of the scenes, with a few exceptions
Words cannot express to you how excited IM about this. It was an idea that began to germinate for me months ago. I shared it with Mikaela Kuneli and began to take shape. We shared those thoughts with Sherry Woods and it continued to take shape,Including what seemed like a clear indication that rather than being done live it should be a film. I got off the phone earlier today with Todd who described to me how productive the pre-production plans were yesterday and how excited he and Jim Hall are about this project. I see God's fingerprints all over it.
But again, following up on my thoughts from last week, we have some work to do. With your help we will get that work done. I believe on our work is done, God is going to cover it in his glory and use this labor to help many see the power of the resurrection In an ordinary life.
Who would not want to be a part of that?
The initial inspiration for this came from a great simple song called the Gospel changes everything. If you're considering being a part of this, but are not quite sure, listen to it here.
Though there have been some minor tweaks to the script, I have included a link to it here as well. Again, only individuals with this link can see the script.
Jesus, there is no doubt that Your gospel changes everything.  We have seen Your power at work changing us and we are crying out that we will see it again as you work through us to declare this life-altering truth with others this Easter.   In Jesus name.  Amen.

In Christ,

Pastor Timothy

Tuesday, March 03, 2015


Sunday morning retuning:  We still sin, but we do not live in sin.  What a powerful reminder as we looked into Judas’ betrayal in Luke 22 on Sunday.  Are you willing to examine yourself so you do not give the Devil a foothold in your life?  If you missed Pastor AJ guiding us through this experience, you can find his message and some other helpful resources here.
Not too long ago I was reading in Exodus.  What an incredible story of God delivering the people of Israel from slavery and bringing them to the edge of the Promised Land!  One of the things that is always captivated me with regard to this history lesson, is the great detailed instructions God gave to Moses with regard to constructing the Tabernacle, the meeting place of God.  

As a worship leader, you can understand my fascination with God's interest in the design, construction, and implementation of the place and furnishings were his people would meet with Him.  But I saw something interesting this time, which I simply had not seen before. It jumped out at me, as is often the case when the Holy Spirit gives illumination.  I pray you will see it as clearly as I did.

After chapters of executing God's instructions regarding the building of the tabernacle, the Scripture records and interesting sequence of events.  The end of Exodus 40:33 says, "Thus Moses finished the work."  That's all fine, but it's really the next word and the next phrase that I want you to see.  "Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle."  

Image result for tabernacle with cloud

I knew this. I had read it several times before. It was that first word really caught my attention.  Then...Do you see it yet?  Moses completed his work then the glory of God came. Moses worked then glory came.

A lot of work going on right now as we prepare for Easter. The choir has been preparing. The orchestra begins preparing this weekend.  We are working on a production schedule as I write for a short film that will be shown that morning to evidence the reality that the Gospel changes everything.  We are working.  We are trusting God to help us finish the work.  We are also trusting God to show up when we're finished.

How about you? In response to the message Pastor AJ preached on Sunday are you doing your work?  Wing the work of continually examining your life to make sure that though you may send, you are not living in sin.  I believe the principle applies here as well. Finish your work, and believe that God's glory will come.  I understand that it is an ongoing process, so let's keep it going on.

Jesus, search me and reveal any wedge in my life between me and You.  Help me do the hard work to let you remove it, then...wait for Your glory to come in my life in greater measure.   In Jesus name.  Amen.

In Christ,

Pastor Timothy

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lord, Give Us More

Sunday morning retuning:  What a great celebration Sunday was of many things God did through North-Mar Church in 2014! If you were not able to be with us you missed some great video highlights, but you can see them on our YouTube channel here. If you missed Pastor Myron's remarks, you can find it and some other helpful resources here.
Like most of you I am really looking forward to warmer temperatures which will melt this snow.  I was thinking about that the other day walking across a parking lot and a thought occurred to me as I looked down a saw a really large footprint.  Whose footprints are these I am following?  Always hoping to see God at work around me, this time I quickly transitioned to the spiritual aspect of that question.
So whose footprints are you following?  It starts with a decision to follow a set of prints that you believe will lead you to a better place.  How are you leading yourself to follow such a set of prints?  One way to do that is to develop your conscious thought processes to embrace the work of God in your midst.
Pastor Myron shared a tool to help with this pursuit Sunday.  It was a prayer that voices his desire for God to do more through him and us here at North-Mar.  Maybe you missed the wider purpose it could have in your spiritual life.  Maybe you have wanted to join us on Wednesdays to pray for the church, but were not sure what to pray.  Here is a great tool to help you with that.
Lord, Give Us More

Lord, You trusted us with little, and by your grace, we were faithful. You are now trusting us, as a Church Family, with much, a debt free campus with a broadening scope of ministry and big dreams to serve our world – Lord give us even more!

More opportunity, more impact, more glory for You, Lord, through us. More people coming from spiritual death to spiritual life through faith in Jesus.

More lives dramatically changed. More sicknesses healed. More marriages transformed. More addictions conquered. More sexual purity. More repentance. More devotion and commitment.

More praying. More humility before our Father. More dependence on Your Holy Spirit. More faith in You, Jesus. More trust in Your provision. More obedience on our part. More slow pitches to tell others of You. More courage to be a bright light at school and work and our neighborhood. More passion in worship. More conviction through the preaching of Your Word. More people growing together in groups. More resources to steward. More of us serving our world. More evidence of You at work in us.

I want more!
We are making this prayer available through various outlets, including a print version at the Welcome Center this weekend.  But what really matters is what you do with it, or even more importantly, this idea.  How will you lead your heart to a better place?  Who are you following on the way?
Jesus, help me lead my heart to follow You.  It is so easy to go my own way, and unfortunately I do not realize I am own my own path until I have drifted far from You.  Teach me to follow Your footprints, and use my life of prayer to help me listen better.  In Jesus name.  Amen.
In Christ,

Pastor Timothy