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Little Hills "Launches"

By Tim Butler | Posted at 5:54 PM

It was not anything like the circumstance I had imagined for so long, but Little Hills Church had its very first message last night. Not in the midst of a celebratory launch service with joyful music and a packed crowd, but with me sitting in front of my desk facing a camera.

Live streaming is a very different thing from public worship, but I find myself grateful as I watch churches and individuals all across the nation using the technology we have at our disposal today to encourage a hurting world with hope from God’s Word. Like the roads of the an oppressive empire two thousand years ago that, in spite of that empire, served to convey the Gospel, I believe we are watching the Gospel go unhindered in new ways in the midst of of the oppression of an invisible little virus.

Tip for Getting Live Streaming Up Quickly

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:10 PM

A know a lot of churches all over are scrambling to implement live streaming thanks to the coronavirus situation. I thought I would share a suggestion that may not help for tomorrow’s services, but will help for the weeks ahead when live streaming remains an unusually important part of worship. In a word: Mevo.

We have been using a Mevo live streaming camera at FaithTree for several years now for our worship nights and will also be using one at Little Hills (including for a live stream event this Monday). You can see FaithTree’s Mevo in the photo above — it’s the tiny white and red camera on the tripod. I had been intrigued by the concept and nabbed one for a great price on Prime Day 2017. The great thing about it is that all it requires of you is that you put it on a tripod (or something else of appropriate height) and connect to it via an app on a phone (your phone or an old phone you don’t use any more but that can connect to Wi-Fi) or iPad.

An End and a Beginning

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:08 PM

Yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of my ordination as a pastor (and, likewise, my eighth anniversary serving at Grace PCA in St. Charles). I am grateful for what has transpired since then both in the amazing ways God let me watch Him work at Grace and the other ministry opportunities that He opened up along the way that fit next to my work at Grace, most recently through FaithTree, since I have always been part-time at the church.

I nearly overlooked my ordination anniversary in the midst of ongoing transitions, some details of which I want to share below. There is a meeting on Sunday at the very same church to accept my resignation. Unfortunately, when the meeting was moved to 5:00 p.m. a couple of days ago, it ended up in conflict with a longstanding ministry commitment I had made and so I will not be able to be there to share this in person; I’m sharing it now so that my Grace family could hear it from me.

Jesus Came for Us

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:10 AM

I haven't been able to share this on my blog until now because I had started some “renovations” that took the blog down over Christmas, but I put together a new 12 Days of Christmas devotional this year and would love to invite you to join me in journeying through Romans as we enjoy the afterglow of Christmas. It isn't too late to start! Check it out here.

Lux Æterna

By Tim Butler | Posted at 4:37 PM

I found out today that my undergraduate advisor, Dr. George Hickenlooper died last week. Dr. Hickenlooper's English Comp I class was my first class on my first day as a college student. I still remember the assessment test he gave that first day and how the very professorial professor described in the reading comprehension portion of that test reminded me a bit of my new professor. He just was a professor. A good professor.

Turn Which Way

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:13 PM

One of the things they made a big deal out of in seminary was not to preach “be like” sermons. The Bible (intentionally, I believe) is full of stories that show the flaws in the individuals whom God uses, not cleaned up “heroes” we should model ourselves after — that role is left for Jesus alone. That said, the church at Berea is an interesting anomaly of sorts: all we know about them is that they were “noble” for their eagerness to examine the Scriptures and that they responded in belief. To be called to “be like the Bereans” is to be called to be eager to dig into God's Word. That's a great thing and that's what we explore in Acts 17:10-15.

Breaking the Broken Mold

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:00 AM

Palm Sunday is an interesting day — joyful and yet incomplete feeling since we know what comes afterward during Holy Week. For this year's message, we turned to Zechariah 9:9-17 to explore the partial and complete fulfillment of the Messianic promises we find in Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. By doing so, we learn more about the mission Jesus calls us into as citizens of His Kingdom.

French Fry Rankings

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:00 PM

Lucas Kwan Peterson ranks fast food french fries, a deliciously good idea. He gets some of the essentials right, though I have to disagree on a few points. What he got very right, though, is his take on McDonald's fries:

McDonald's fries, for approximately 4½ minutes, while they're absolutely searing hot, are the greatest food on Earth. But their half-life is astoundingly fast, and by the time these babies are cold, they taste like mealy little icicles. The batch I sampled was warm, not piping, so their greatness was compromised. But I love a thin fry and, perhaps more, I love the memory of great McDonald's fries I've had in the past.

On the flip side, I don't know where he found a good Steak 'n Shake fry (they are capable of greatness, but that greatness is hard to find any longer) and Chick-Fil-A waffle fries should be way towards the top with a satisfying texture and strong potato-y flavor. My rankings are below the fold.

One Better As Our Perfecter

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:56 PM

As FaithTree begins its Winter/Spring season, Brad Harris (Associate Pastor at Bible Baptist) and I began a message series delving deeper into the One who is Better, following up from my sermon from a few weeks ago. You can see our shared message on Heb. 12:1-2, as well as the rest of the service from Thursday, January 10, below. (Don't miss the great worship music before and after the message!)

One Better

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:00 AM

For the last six years, I have had the joy to share God's Word the Sunday after Christmas (seven years ago, my first Christmas as a pastor, I shared a message the Sunday before Christmas). For this year's message, I felt led to turn to Hebrews 1:1-4, a beautiful, powerful description of the one born in Bethlehem. Now that the Christmas rush has died down and we find ourselves on the sixth day of Christmas, let's dig into more about the one who came to save us on that first Christmas morn.

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