Timberwood Church in Nisswa, Minnesota

is a Bible-based church designed to help people experience God’s goodness in their lives. Through teaching and contemporary musical worship, we seek to make the timeless truth of the Bible relevant for everyday life. The purpose of Timberwood Church is to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.


We invite you to worship, serve, and celebrate with us!
Sunday services are at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.


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Letter for October 21, 2021

  • ...possessions

    Acts 2:42-47: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”  

     

    Verse 45 brings to my mind the story of Jesus and a young man who had a lot of stuff.  The encounter is brief.  The young man wants to know the pathway to eternal life.  Jesus responds, “keep the commandments.”  The young man replies, “check, done that, what am I still missing?”  Jesus says, “if you wanna be perfect, sell everything and give it all to the poor.”  The young man sighs, checkmate, cause he has a lot of stuff.  (Matthew 19:16-22)

     

    Before I can understand verse 45, I must understand my heart.  What is most important?  This becomes especially hard because I have a lot of stuff, possessions, health, relative sense of freedom, family, career, friends, access to the stuff my friends have, (thank you to my friends who let me use their stuff).  

     

    Verse 45 paraphrased: “and they were selling their stuff and giving it away to people who had needs.”  This first century expression of the people of God, displaying a culture of generosity, can be admired by anyone.  What would I be willing to give away?  What would I be willing to sell and make sure that the proceeds end up in the hands of “as any had need.”    

     

    I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, but I’ve been helped by a chapter in “Spirit of the Disciplines,” by Dallas Willard, it's entitled: “Is Poverty Spiritual?”  It has formed my mindset to not trust in riches, and if I have something I should own it and use it, and if I can’t own it, I probably shouldn’t have it and if I don’t use it, I should give it away.  That the more stuff I have the more stuff I want, and the more headaches I have.  This mindset took a while to develop, but a result was giving away (not selling) a ski boat to a friend because I didn’t use it enough and didn’t want the headache of having one more thing.  It was and continues to be so freeing, to give of my financial resources and my material things.  I am less likely to have a garage sale and more likely to make a trip to Common Goods.  I’m not hurting, I still have more than I deserve, but even that is a change in my spiritual mindset, because many people think they have less than they deserve.   

     

    Verse 45 strikes at the core of what I think I have a right to possess and how those possessions should be used.  It gets at a consistent biblical theme of generosity and where my heart is.  Do I serve God or money? (Matthew 6:24)

     

    Join us this Sunday!  We continue to offer nursery care (birth - 18 months) at our 9 and 10:30 service times.  ASL at 10:30. Two helpful electives are coming up:  GriefShare-Surviving the Holidays on Thursday November 4,  and Divorce Care-Surviving the Holidays on Thursday November 11, both start at 6:30pm, sign up at www.griefshare.org/holidays/events/37946 or www.divorcecare.org/holidays/events/37069.

     

    Peace to you,

    John

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