Jesus

End Of Summer Schedule

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The final full month of summer is almost here and with that, we wanted to let you know what’s going on. Below is a quick look at what’s happening over the next six weeks.  

August 2nd - Pray First. 6:00-7:30 at the Taproot offices. Our offices are located at 140 Hansen Ave. E. Suite 2. 

August 6th - Sunday Gathering - We’ll gather as usual. 10:00 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club. Quin Marlow will be preaching through Acts 9:32-43. 

August 13th - Sunday Gathering - Baptism Sunday! Outside on the front lawn of the Boys and Girls Club. If you would like to be baptized, please contact Pastor Mike or Pastor John. 

August 18th - 20th - Family Camp! Join us at Cathedral Pines. 

August 20th - NO SUNDAY GATHERING - There will be no Sunday Gathering at the Boys and Girls Club, but we’d love to have you join us at Cathedral Pines. 

August 27th - Sunday Gathering - Sunday Gatherings will return back to our regular rhythm. Boys and Girls Club at 10:00 a.m. 

September 3rd - Labor Day Weekend

September 10th - Taproot’s 3rd birthday! God has done much over that last three years, and we're excited to celebrate it. There will be more information about this celebration soon. 

If you have any more questions, please head on over to our contact page and we'll get back to ASAP. 

Baptism...should you, and why?

 

This Sunday is Easter. There is no bigger celebration for the Christian family. It is on this day of course that we pay special attention to the fact that Jesus resurrected from the grave thus defeating Satan, sin, death, and Hell. The good news of the gospel is that those who believe in this finished work are participants in this victory with Christ and his people. One specific way we get to celebrate this is by baptizing new believers.

This post is for those of you wondering if you too should be baptized.

What is baptism?

The simplest way to define baptism is this: Baptism is a public way for a new Christian to say, “I’m with Jesus.” 

Here’s a little lengthier and robust definition: "Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Christ by immersing him or her in water, and a believer’s act of publicly committing him or herself to Christ and his people, thereby uniting a believer to the church and marking off him or her from the world.”* 

Why get baptized?

With a definition of what baptism is, the next question is, “why to get baptized?” This is a good question and an important one. There are some religions that teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. I'll address this more specifically in a bit, but for now, I’ll just say that we wholeheartedly disagree with this. The only necessary work for salvation is the work of Christ. It is our response to his finished work by faith and repentance that saves us. 

However, though we believe baptism isn’t necessary for your salvation, we believe it is essential to your faith. 

So why get baptized?

First, Jesus said to. This is the clearest reason for getting baptized. If Jesus says to do something, his followers should do it. This is seen most clearly in what we know as the Great Commission. Jesus said, "“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20; emphasis mine). Simply put, baptism is an essential part of what it means to be a disciple and a disciple-maker.

Second, we see the disciples of Jesus obeying Jesus’ command through the book of Acts. After Peter preaches his Pentecost sermon, the crowd responds. The gospel message cut deep into their hearts, and they wanted to know what to do. Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every single one of you for the forgiveness of your sins.” A few chapters later, a disciple named Philip is given the opportunity to share the gospel with an Ethiopian man. After hearing and believing the gospel the man replies, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-39)

We see in these texts that baptism wasn’t an option for disciples of Jesus. In fact, there is no such thing as an unbaptized disciple of Jesus in Scripture. 

What does baptism do?**

Baptism is often looked at as some sort of “super-spiritual” or “magical” act. But it isn’t. The physical act of baptism is simply being dunked under water, but this act has great significance. 

First, baptism is a public confession, and public confessions strengthen your faith. Baptism can be a little intimidating. You’re standing before a crowd of people, professing before them that you believe in Jesus’ finished work and that your life is wholeheartedly his for the rest of your days. That’s a big deal and a big commitment. But this is one of the most faith strengthening and affirming things a Christian can do. 

Second, baptism is an opportunity for evangelism. When you get baptized, it’s possible that people who don’t know Jesus are watching. In this case, baptism acts as a visual portrayal of what has taken place in a new believer. When you go under the water and are brought back up, you are visually displaying for people what Christ has done on the cross, and also what Christ has done in you. Specifically, you’re publicly displaying that your sins are washed away because of your faith in Christ.

Third, baptism confirms your new identity and commitment as a follower of Christ. By getting baptized you’re saying that you belong to Jesus, and by belonging to Jesus, you belong to his people too. Baptism is a public way of proclaiming that your life has been made new, and you’re going to live it in connection with your new family, the church. 

Does baptism save me?

This question was addressed briefly above, but I want to be clear in saying that baptism is not a work that saves you. It is not baptism that guarantees your place in God’s kingdom. Only the finished work of Jesus does that.  

How do we baptize?  

In Taproot, we practice baptism by immersion. This means we set up a portable tank of water and fully immerse the person being baptized under that water. 

Who should get baptized?

If you’re a Christian and you haven’t been baptized, then you should get baptized. You may only be a few minutes, days, or weeks old in your faith, but you should get baptized. You may also be someone who's been a Christian for 20 years who, for whatever reason, has never been baptized. You too should get baptized.

Baptism is for all people who believe that God has saved them by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, and have never been baptized. 

It is a joy and privilege to celebrate new life in God’s family. We hope you’ll join us in the celebration this Sunday. 

If you have any question at all, please click on the link to email us and we’ll get back to you ASAP. 

Christ is all!

Pastor Mike

 

*This quote is taken from the booklet Understanding Baptism, by Bobby Jamieson. 

**These points are my own paraphrase of sections taken from Understanding Baptism.  

Clean The Club Night

Taproot Church is privileged to partner with the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley. Every Sunday, we get to use their space for our church gatherings. But we don’t simply want to use the space. We want to steward it well for the glory of God. 

The Boys and Girls Club is a well used building. Every week, it’s filled with hundreds of kids from around our city and valley. One of the ways we can serve this great organization, is by helping maintain and clean the facility. 

Next Wednesday, January 25th, Taproot Church is hosting a Clean The Club Night. We’re going to work hard to clean the floors, scrub the bathrooms, wipe down walls, wash windows, and anything else we can do to help create a space where the people who use this facility every day can flourish. 

We’ll have cleaning supplies on hand, but you can bring your own too. The work will start at 6:30 p.m., and we’ll work for a couple of hours. If you can only make it for 30 minutes, that's great too. Anyone is welcome who wants to help. 
Childcare will not be provided, but your kiddos are more than welcome to join us. 
For more information, please email: info@taprootchurch.org. 
 

Back At The Club

The past four Sundays, we've had the joy of gathering with "the church" at the Twin Falls city park. It was a wonderful opportunity to see two local churches in one city gather as one under the Good Shepherd, Jesus. We anticipate seeing what God will continue to do in and through this. 

This Sunday, September 18th, we'll be back to our regular gathering time and place: 10:00 a.m. at The Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley. If you've never gathered with Taproot before, and you've been wondering what we're all about, the next two weeks will be a great opportunity for you to join us. We'll be looking at why we exist as a church, what our vision for the city of Twin Falls is, and how this practically works out in day to day life and in the context of Gospel Communities. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us. 

Christ is all! 

Pastor Mike

Join Us For Church In The Park


For the past two years now, we’ve taken the final month of the summer to shift our Sunday gatherings from the morning to evening, and from the Boys and Girls Club to a park. This is year number three of church in the park, but things will be a little bit different.

Ever since we started church in the park, we've wanted to do this with another local church. This year, we’re excited to say that, by God's grace, it's going to happen. For the next four weeks, Taproot Church is gathering together with the Church for our month long church in the park gatherings!

Our prayer and hope is that these gatherings will lay a tangible foundation for unity among the churches in Twin Falls for years to come.

If you’re interested in gathering with us, take a look at the information below.

Time: We’ll start serving food at 5:00 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and water will be provided. You can bring a potluck style dish to share. Worship begins at 6:00 p.m.

Place: All four church in the park gatherings will be at the Twin Falls City Park.

Dates: Church in the park gatherings are: August 21st, August 28th, September 4th, and September 11th.

For more information, check out our Facebook page.

Finally, Taproot Church will not be gathering on Sunday mornings during church in the park, but the Church will be. Their gatherings start at 10:00 a.m. For more information about the Church, check out their Facebook page or their website.  

We hope to see you there! 

Christ is all!

Pastor Mike

Why Is Your Face Sad?

There is, within the world of Christianity, an unwritten rule that says we're always to be happy. "Life is good," we're expected to say–even when it's anything but good. The realities of sadness, anger, depression, and uncertainty are not allowed for the Christ follower, and if you feel them creeping in, well then you must not have enough faith.

But what do you do when sadness is the only reality you can muster? 

When depression makes sense

In Nehemiah's story, the nation of Israel is a wreck. Their sin has led to trouble, shame, and exile. Nehemiah himself is a wreck. When he learns of the deplorable reality of his people, he can't help but mourn and weep for days (Nehemiah 1:4).

The story continues, and after months of patiently praying, Nehemiah's moment finally comes for his prayers to be answered, but this doesn't change the fact that he's still deeply depressed over the exiled condition of his people. Nehemiah is in fact so overwhelmed with sadness that his face can't help but show anything else. King Artaxerxes asks, "Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick?" (Nehemiah 2:2) 

Nehemiah responds, "Why should not my face be sad..."

The reality of life is that sometimes deep sadness, depression, and anger is all you have to give–and it's okay. Sometimes sin (your own or someone else's) has wrecked your world so bad that depression is the only response which makes sense. This was certainly the case for Nehemiah.

Hear me on this: your sadness, depression, anger, and uncertainty with life doesn't make you a mediocre Christian, and it doesn't make you any less a child of God.

Hope For Joy

Jesus was a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). When he witnessed the death (the ultimate sting of sin) of his friend Lazarus, he wept (John 11:35). Before his crucifixion he was so overcome with agony that he was sweating drops of blood from his forehead (Luke 22:44).

"It is good" was not Jesus's cry from the cross. 

His cry from the cross was, "it is finished." The work Christ came to fulfill is done, and by faith in this work, everlasting joy is yours.

In his finished work, your joy is solidified. It's no longer dictated by the circumstances you face, but by the circumstances he faced. This doesn't mean you won't ever again face difficult circumstances. It also doesn't mean that all the rest of your days will be lived with a smile on your face and a skip in your step. It does mean, however, that you have hope for a future joy.

The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus means you have a future day of unimaginable eternal joy awaiting you. That eternal joy, though still marred by sin, begins now, and it will be fulfilled when you finally stand before King Jesus face to face. Standing before him, you will not be asked questions about a sad face. Instead, your King will look at you and say, "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into my rest."  

Because of his work, tears, sorrow, and ultimate victory, it will be good once again!    

Christmas Eve

This is an exciting week for Taproot! Not only do we get to celebrate the birth of our King Jesus, but we're also having our first ever Christmas Eve Gathering! Below are some details about this special evening. 

Time and Location

We will be meeting at Twin Beans Coffee Co. located at 144 Main Ave S. The gathering begins at 5:30 p.m. and will end around 6:15.

Parking

We ask that you park around back and enter through the back door of the coffee shop. The staging area will be located at the front end of the shop, therefore, the front doors will be closed.

What To Expect

This special gathering will be family style. We love your kiddos, and we thoroughly enjoy their laughter and noises. We also believe there's no better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus than with our little kiddos joining us.

You can expect a lot of good Christmas music, and you can also expect to hear the Christmas story read from various passages of Scripture. 

Finally, there will be coffee, Hot Cocoa, and Hot Apple Cider provided. If you'd like to bring cookies to share, feel free. 

We're looking forward to this fun evening and hope you can join us. 

Merry Christmas! 

 

What Has Jesus Done For You?

Yesterday, we concluded chapter seven of Mark's gospel, and have now made our way into chapter eight. As I've reflected a bit more on the passage, one of the questions that continues to glare brightly in my face is, what has Jesus done for you?

In our text, we saw Jesus heal a deaf man who had a speech impediment. After spitting and giving the guy a holy wet-willy, Jesus spoke "be opened." Immediately, the man's ears were opened, and the man was able to speak clearly (Mark 7:31-37). What's curious is what Jesus does next. He tells this man to not tell anyone, but not surprisingly, this man who hasn't been able to hear or speak for probably most of his life, cannot help but tell everyone!

But why did Jesus say, "Don't tell?"

This all of course begs the question of why Jesus told the man not to say anything? The command to silence is one of the key motifs found throughout the Gospel of Mark. Jesus repeatedly tells people not to tell the world about how he healed them. But then, when you get to the end of the gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to go tell everyone. So why the change? 

The reason is this: to speak of Jesus apart from his death and resurrection, is an incomplete telling of who Jesus is and why he came. The cross is offensive, but the cross is necessary. We're often convinced that the best way to get people to follow Jesus is to tell them about how he makes our life better, and gives us more joy. These things aren't bad, and I don't believe they are untrue about what Jesus does, they are just lacking the best part of the story. Apart from the cross, we would not be able to be set free from that which truly renders us broken––our sin, and the death it has brought us.

Can you be silent?

We now live in a time where the work of Jesus has been fully revealed. His life was lived perfectly, he died a brutal death on the cross, but he rose victoriously from the grave. His work is complete!

So...What has Jesus done for you?

Jesus has done what you and I never could. He has, through his life, death, burial, and resurrection, reconciled us back to God. If we are his followers today, this means that he has opened our eyes to see that he is the living God, opened our ears to hear that he is the truth, and opened our mouths to proclaim his name in all the earth.

It is in light of this that we cannot be silent.

May we continue to know Jesus and make him known!   

    

Advent

Today is December 1st, which means the season of Advent is here! So I thought I would take a few minutes to give a brief background on what Advent is, and share some ideas of things you can do with your family this season in anticipation for Christmas day.

What Is Advent?

The word advent comes from the latin word adventus. It simply means coming. The season of Advent for the Christian is a season in which we look back on the anticipation that God's people had for the coming Messiah, Jesus, and which we anticipate the future coming of Jesus for his church. 1 Peter 1:10-12 is a description of what we look back on in this season.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or tie the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the suffering of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving no themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Christ has come. He has suffered. He has risen! 

The season of Advent occurs over the four Sundays prior to Christmas. This year, this landed on November 30th. The final Sunday will be December 21st. 

Typical during the Advent season is to focus on the themes of love, joy, peace, and hope. All things which are ultimately given to us in Christ. 

What do we do during Advent?

Though we have chosen not to rearrange our Sunday gatherings around Advent this year, it doesn't mean we aren't being reminded of the first coming of Jesus and anticipating his second coming. There are many things we can do in our homes to celebrate this season of Advent with our families.

So here are some ideas. 

Have Fun

It's all too easy to get the Scrooge bug into our blood. Advent evenings with the kiddos are generally chaotic and stressful, but though you may remember the chaos well, your kids probably won't. They'll remember the fun they had in those days leading up to Christmas.

Light Candles and Sing Songs

We've found this to be fun with little ones. For one, fire is always fascinating, and music is always appealing. In years past we've lit one candle every night leading up to Christmas, sang a Christmas song, and then let one of the kids snuff out the flames with the candle snuffer. It's simple, but they love it.

Read

There are so many well written Christmas stories out there. Spend time reading them with your kiddos. Also, read the bible. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain the most in-depth accounts of the coming of Jesus. Take some time to read through them with your family. 

There's a ton of other resources too. This year we're taking our kiddos through the book Unwrapping The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. Her writing is beautifully poetic and does well at pointing you to Jesus. The book also has what's called a Jesse Tree project with it. 

John Piper has written a great Advent devotional. The content is a little more advanced and is well-suited for a family with kids who are a little older. 

Surprise Them

Who doesn't love surprises? Okay, maybe some of you don't, but your kids probably do. Don't be afraid to surprise them with something fun and totally out of the ordinary. Last year we got our kids in their pjs and all ready for bed only to load them up in the car with some warm hot chocolate to go drive around and see the Christmas lights around the neighborhood. It was work, but it was worth it to see their beaming smiles.

Anticipate Jesus

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what you do so long as your anticipation is for Jesus. It seems every year becomes filled with more distractions, more deals, and more black Thursday's, Friday's, and Cyber Monday's. In light of this, it's important that we direct our attention all the more on the reality that God came down and was born as a baby in a manger. He lived a perfect life in our place, died a brutal death for the sins of humanity, and rose victoriously from the grave. Jesus is our gift. He has come and he will one day come again. This is worth anticipating!  

  

 

 

Sunday Preview: How Jesus Did Ministry

We're going to try something new this week. We're calling it the Sunday Preview.

My intent with the Sunday Preview is to help you in preparation before our Sunday Gathering. The Sunday Preview will be a short blog post that introduces the text of scripture that will be preached and some of the main points that will be addressed in the sermon. It is my prayer that this serves you well.

How Jesus Did Ministry: Mark 1:35-45

What is ministry? 

The word "ministry" conjures up many ideas in the church today. For many, ministry is what happens inside the four walls of a church building. For others, ministry is what the "paid professionals" do. And for others, ministry is a unique spiritual experience where Jesus is talked about, sins are confessed, and people are "ministered" to. But is this all there is to ministry? 

Over the past several years, the idea of ministry, as it is most commonly known within the church, has been challenged. There were many in the church who recognized that ministry is not a specific, planned for event that one attends in a church building, but rather, that ministry encompasses the entirety of the Christian life. This means that ministry is not something you go to do, but an identity that you live out of. In other words, all followers of Jesus are ministers, and the whole of Christian life is ministry.

The way Jesus did ministry.

In our text this weekend, we're taking a look at how Jesus did ministry. Thus far, we've seen that Jesus was set apart for a very specific type of ministry, and we've even seen a little bit of what that looks like. Jesus is a preacher unlike any other. He speaks and acts with an authority completely foreign to the audience around him. Furthermore, we've seen the message he proclaims and the kingdom he ushers in is so compelling that it will completely change the way your life is lived.

This week, we get to look at a few more of the details of the ministry of Jesus. Our main points will be that:

  1. Jesus Prayed.
  2. Jesus Preached.
  3. Jesus went among the people.

Preparing For Sunday

Over the next few days, spend some time reading Mark chapter one focusing on verses 34-45. Do your reading with the above points in mind, and think through why Jesus prayed, think through his preaching, and think through what his life among humanity looked like. During your reading, pray that God would show you more of Jesus, and ask him to show you what doing ministry like Jesus would look like for Taproot Church as a whole, and for you personally. As followers of Jesus, we want to know Jesus and how he lived, and how we can live like him.

See you Sunday! 

Pastor Mike