Articles by Tim Butler

Lux Æterna

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:37 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 2:13 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 9:00 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.

Twelve Days, Twelve Responses

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:35 PM

Have you ever noticed the silence that happens on Christmas Eve? One of my favorite memories growing up was leaving church after Christmas Eve service and seeing the normally busy stores all over the city shutdown in observance of Christmas. Of course, even if the stores are closed, we usually have so much going on between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that the lessening of one sort of busyness is only replaced with another sort. In the midst of this, we can often struggle to find time to truly reflect on what we're celebrating: God With Us.

That's why I love celebrating the 12 days after December 25 that lead to Epiphany, traditionally known as the Twelve Days of Christmas. It provides time to reflect. A time to take in the mystery of the Incarnation. A time to reflect on how every single celebration of Christmas is a call to us to respond to God's grace and experience his presence in our lives.

Radioactive

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:46 PM

I preached on Romans 8:28-39 at Grace PCA this weekend. These are some of the most beautiful words ever written and ones that I've found myself interacting with a lot these past few weeks. In this message, we look at how they are meant to assure us of God's already finished work that we cannot yet fully see.

Blunders and Wonders

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:00 AM

What do we do when Christ calls? Do we react by seeking to hide from his call or to wonder at it? In this message from Matthew 2:1-12, 16-19, we examine the responses Herod and the Wisemen made to God's calling.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:52 AM

I've often wondered something: many of our “Christmas decorations” these days are snowmen and snowflakes, so why do we take those down now — just days after the start of winter — and leave the nights so dark? For that matter, this is only the fourth day of Christmas. If you've been already contemplating taking down your decorations in general, why not pause for a few days and actually enjoy them as we bask in the glow of what we have just been celebrating?

A few years ago, I wrote a post questioning why people take down their Christmas decorations so quickly and as I already see the holiday festivities winding down, I again find myself wondering why more people don't observe the Twelve Days of Christmas. I'm not sure about you, but usually the lead up to Christmas is so hectic I find its hard to really stop, reflect and enjoy. Instead of going and grabbing the boxes to put decorations away this weekend, why not sit by the tree, with the lights glowing beautifully, and spend some time in awe at the Light that came into the world the first Christmas morning?