Archive for the ‘Timothy J. Brassell’ Tag

One Surprising Hope In Our Post U.S. Presidential Election 2016 Troubles!


8 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. God’s Decree. 9 “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” – Isaiah 55:8,9 (The Msg)

No matter what outcome you expected in this year’s 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and the troubles going along with it, you have a reason for surprising hope! However, in the grace of God (and by God, I mean the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!), you are going to have to bear with a little counterintuitive thinking and acting to see and experience it.

I cited the bible verse above as a reminder of this counterintuitive difference between God’s thinking and ours. It might also be helpful to remember that one definition for “counterintuitive” is “something that doesn’t seem likely to be true when assessed using intuition, common sense, or gut feelings.” – Wikipedia

Another word for counterintuitive is “unreasonable”. I like that word because it really hits at the heart of our wrestling with God in troubling times. His talk and approaches just don’t seem reasonable from our (often painful and woefully blind!) vantage points! Understatement! Hmpf!

However, let me try to point you to a counterintuitive but surprisingly hopeful way of receiving this relational God – Father, Son and Spirit, revealed in Jesus:

God is pleased to be hidden and found in our human troubles!!!

THIS IS a central point in understanding God’s Good News as Good News! Right in the middle of mankind’s troubles, and when it seems all is lost, God so loves the world and sends his only Son into it (John 3:16-17), to save and not condemn it. He sends himself, personally, into our troubles! The Father then sends the Spirit through the Son, into our troubles, that we might participate in his kind of self-giving love along with him (Acts 2:33)!

You see, God IS love (and unconditional love at that!), so the God-logic is simple really! God loves us, humanity, despite our sinful condition, and therefore, in order to love us where we’re at, he comes to us where we’re at – in our troubles!

That is why there is no need to fear troubles, ULTIMATELY; rather we should seek and expect to find God in even the thorniest situations! In Jesus, God Reveals that he comes to fallen humanity exactly where it is: in our places of brokenness, poverty, homelessness, racism, misogyny, criminality (he died as a criminal even though he wasn’t one!), weakness, bondage, demon-possession, over-taxation, foreign occupation, sickness, failed political systems, and even death! REALLY! God, in Jesus DIED with, like, and for us, remember? John 19:30.

From Genesis to Revelation, in the bible, the great Revelation is this Relational God Who is with us in every kind of trouble, meeting us there to redeem and restore us from it in the most counterintuitive way possible – being with us in and through the mess! Ha! This is one reason why my bible reading is so awesome! God encounters me there as THIS God in OUR TROUBLES! Our fallen intuition, common sense and guts simply can’t get us where God actually is – with and for us unconditionally, even in our troubles! Yes, God is good and not intimidated by our troubles in any way! He goes where Unconditional Love goes when it Loves Unconditionally! 🙂

We tend to run from this “holy” God, or picture him running from us, neither of which is true holiness as it pertains to God. THIS is holiness: God, the Holy One, doing what he ACTUALLY DOES, coming to us where we’re at to love us, and taking our troubles up into himself in Christ, healing us of them! For clarity, this love isn’t a warm and fuzzy substance apart from God, like warm jelly in a bowl, where everything “feels good”! No! God is himself this love! This means that love is the up-close and personal being of God, Father, Son and Spirit! It is the whole God Revealed in the person of Jesus, determined to judge and discern our troubles AS trouble, and getting rid of them (ouch and “suffering succotash” as Sylvester the cartoon cat would say! haha)

God judges and discerns us in this way for the sake of saving US, and growing us up to be and become all he has made of us in the humanity of Christ, eventually, without any troubles at all! Rev 21:4

Yes, If you want to find God these days, you’re going to have to be open to finding him right in the middle of the troubles in this world, even troubling elections and other insufferable ills! Not because God is evil or because he initiates our troubles, or because he’s naturally there and likes trouble – No! – BUT because we are his children in trouble and in need of him, and he is pleased to show up and be for us where we are at, by grace!

(Haven’t you noticed more people alert, and in prayer, and awakened to God at this election time when, to many, he also appears to be hiding? Ha! See! He’s both hidden AND found in troubles! Heehee)

Please remember that God is not ultimately found in things that are “going right” (even though He is found there too, being good and righteous), or “going wrong”. He is found in himself! He is found wherever he wants to be found and not where you want to find him! He is found by grace, and as grace, and not by works, morality, or the Republic, or the democracy, or wherever else you want to box him in (Except evil! God can’t be found as evil, or creator of evil, but only as the one who opposes it, makes it work on our behalf, and gets rid of it from the INSIDE out as he did in Jesus!)

“15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself, the God and Savior of Israel.” – Isaiah 45:15

 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

– tjbrassell

*photo courtesy of

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!, pt.3

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus”

In this last and year-end message in a series about discerning God’s vision for His congregation at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD., we continue asking “How is Jesus speaking to us RIGHT NOW through these scriptures and directing us in His mission locally?”

This message of God’s Good News continues to get very specific about what participation with Christ looks like for us in this world! It asks and discerns: Where and with whom do we begin? How do we address healing in our day as we proclaim Jesus? How should we steward Jesus’ money, and how will we live in Jesus’ peace – on mission with him – as sinners in THIS broken world?

The message can be summarized in this quote:

“There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture, and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security… To look for guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying down the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1934 [Renate Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Brief Life]

Come check it out and walk with us!

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!, pt.2

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus”

In this vision message of God’s Good News at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD., we continue asking “How is Jesus speaking to us through these scriptures and directing us in His mission for our congregation, locally, today?”

This message gets way more specific about HOW we will participate with Christ in light of these insights:

1.) Sin is primarily personal and relational and, therefore, so is its repair!

2.) Isaac WAS Abraham’s special child but he did not drop down from heaven! He came through the cooperation and participation of both Abraham and Sarah. God will do the work,  BUT with New Life’s cooperation and participation!

3.) We haven’t witnessed to those we don’t know until we have witnessed to those we don’t know!

You’re invited, and encouraged, to listen in! Maybe Jesus is talking to you and your congregation in similar ways too!


Christmas: God’s Plan and Response For Man!

God With Us”

In this Message on the 4th week of Advent, and heading toward Christmas, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to those gathered in worship at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. The special emphasis of this message is that just as the Head, Jesus, was born into this world 2000 years ago as God’s Plan and Response for humanity, His Body, the Church, follows Him today, participating with Him in his ongoing work of redemption in this present world!

Check it out and be assured and unafraid as you GO with Jesus into our world, proclaiming Him in word and deed!


picture courtesy of

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus”

In this message of God’s Good News New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD. is being moved in the Spirit to hear from Jesus as He sends forth His disciples to live and share the Good News with as many people as possible. Specifically we are reading Matthew 10, Mark 6, and Luke 9-10, and asking “How is Jesus speaking to us through these scriptures and directing us in His mission for our congregation, today?”

You’re invited, and encouraged, to listen in! Maybe He’s talking to you and your congregation in this way too!

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