What started out as a one week challenge to my church, has turned into 9 weeks of daily reading and living through the lens of Jesus’ words in John 15. I don’t know how many messages I’ve heard on this passage, but Jesus has captured my attention enough to the point of me working and living it out.
“I am the Vine (Jesus), and my Father is the Gardener…” Stop right there. Why have I lived my life thinking that I was the gardener. It was my job to plant seeds, water, grow fruit, prune myself and others. I thought my job was to protect the plant, provide all it’s nutrients, etc.
What would it look like for God the Father to be the Gardener in our lives? What if we are simply to be branches attached to Jesus the vine in the greater Garden of the Father. I think the “Kingdom of God” could be synonymous with the “Garden of God”.
“…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…with fruit that lasts.” You ever see a rose bush that has been properly pruned? It looks bare, naked, beat up, and humbled. Yet without this pruning the plant will not bear much fruit, it will eventually cease to be effective, hence cut off from the vine. What if the Gardeners pruning is motivated out of a love for His Vine and it’s branches? Have you been pruned lately? What if pruning were a gift, not necessarily comfortable, but a gift?
I double dog dare you to try this: read the first half of JOHN 15 everyday this week. Start by asking questions and poking holes everywhere you can and don't rush to the answers.
Such as: what is fruit? What does remaining look like? What’s my role?
Share your questions/thoughts with some other followers of Jesus and then with us!
SIMPLY BE A BRANCH Timmons.
15 years of marriage, 4 kids (5 and under), 4 days away (sans 4 kids)…
Reason for trip: My new label (still so weird to say) was presenting me and my new record to the whole company. It was basically a building party in my honor wherein I was able to share these songs and the stories that framed them. So cool! Even cooler, they flew Hilary out to be apart of it!
“What are you most looking forward to about this trip Tim?” asked my awesome mom.
My quick response was: “I think having Hilary meet a ton of my Nashville friends and now coworkers/partners, and then for them to meet her and fall in love with how great she is.”
The more I thought about my answer, I realized how secondary that answer was. Sure it was fun introducing her to people and them to her, but it wasn’t the highlight. Honestly the greatest part of this trip was just simply being with Hilary. 4 days to just be together. It kinda didn’t matter what we did, we just enjoyed being in each others presence. Dangit I am in love with that girl!
On this trip I was reminded how similarly I treat Jesus. I always love introducing people to Him and partnering with Him in His daily missions. These are noble aims and aspirations yes, but so secondary next to simply being with Him. Can I be Jesus’ greatest fan and coworker and not know Him intimately? Can I perform miracles in His name and still not know Him?
Prayer: Jesus thank you for your reminder this week to not forsake the enjoyment of my first loves. Remind my soul of my priorities in all of my relationships.
Let me get the crazy news out of the way right at the top.
Drum roll please……..:
As of last week, I officially signed a record deal with SONY/PROVIDENT. Yup, me the 36 year-old dork with 4 kids and a babe wife. Me.
This past year and a half, since I began the "second book in the trilogy of my life", it has been nothing but crazytown. I left the church community I had served for 15 years, had surprise twins (the Twimmons), was loved and believed in enough to fully over-fund my kickstarter campaign for a record that I knew that I was supposed to do, found new tumors, started a church gathering with some friends and heroes called THE FOLLOWING, finished a record, signed that record to partner with an amazingly gifted and passionate crew at Provident Music Group, had a five year prayer answered as I began working with a management team that I love and trust, started writing a book, have had the best year of marriage yet at year 15 (did I mention that my wife is a babe), and through it all I know Jesus like I have never known or walked with Him.
The projected release date has now been pushed back to May 2013. Sony/Provident will be pushing a single (song) to Christian radio in January-April and then we’ll release the whole record after that. On top of that I will be going on tour with Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Family Force Five, and a few more starting in February on the Rockin Worship Roadshow Tour.
All of this is out of my control and just down right stupid cool! But I must say, to be honest, I don’t care about it all like I would have in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love love this record and these songs but they are simply not the point. I do not need to be the next big Christian Music Rock Star. I’m simply not cool enough for that! Here is why I am doing this. It has been made very clear to me what my purpose is in this next season: Influence the Church, inviting believers about Jesus to become followers of Jesus through my story. We don’t need more believers about Jesus in this world. Even Satan and the demons believe, but a follower of Jesus is a whole different ball game. More on that to come…
So here’s to inviting people to follow the movement and revolution of Jesus!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to perform 5 new songs from my upcoming record at the FishFest2012. This was actually my first time performing them in front of people and with a full band so I really wanted it to be great. My band killed it (new school slang for did great) but I sulked away disappointed with myself and my performance. I couldn’t hear my voice in the monitors and felt like I was flat for half of the show.
Later that night, as I was being driven back to my car, I sat in the open air on the back of a flatbed truck looking up at the stars and moon. For a moment, all was put back into perspective. “Is this really all about me? Am I in this to build up my personal kingdom or to lift up the Movement and Kingdom of God? ” My job is to do the best that I can and simply remain connected to Jesus (John 15) while letting Him do what He does best.
Two years ago my friend Alli Rogers and I wrote a song called “Only One Standing” that has literally become my daily prayer. I’ll share the rest of the song later, but once I got to my car the lyrics of the bridge came streaming into my heart:
"Would you take back what is Yours
I cannot hold this, my feeble fortress
When there’s resistance from my soul
Show me the night sky
Remind my pride how powerful You are"
Consider my prayer answered! Grateful.