Hi -it is an honor to be here and talk with all of you who also love Tim, a man we all admired, a man who, even as we speak, is dancing with Jesus.
How do you pay tribute to a man that has touched so many of our lives so profoundly? I don’t think one five minute speech or one celebration of life can tell that story.
No, it will take each of us a lifetime of living the way he encouraged us and inspired us to live to truly honor his memory, so that is my challenge to all of us today even as I try to give you just a glimpse of this man who we all loved and admired.
I love how on his Facebook page Tim declares “I’m a Writer”, of course, we all know he was so much more, but to honor him the best way I know how, the glimpse I am going to give you of Tim is through the lens of Tim the writer.
For 9 +years – probably closer to ten, if my math is right, and well over 500 times Tim wrote his blog Tuesday’s Torch.
That is over 500 times Tim chose to devote time to tell us how Jesus impacted him and his life in hopes of impacting some of ours. Think about that – Over 500 times Tim ‘died to himself’ so others around the world could hear about how God was working in his life.
From a young age, Tim knew he only had a limited amount of time. But he spent a good chunk of that precious time trying to tell God’s story to us through his story.
Just sit with that for a second – think about all he had to overcome just to physically crank one of these posts out… yet he did it, dutifully and beautifully, for 1/2 his adult life.
His blog started out as a love letter to all of us. I haven’t been able to read all of the earlier ones he wrote. I went out to his old MySpace site and I got hit with a mess of spam and ads and couldn’t get to the content – that is how long he’s been doing it – My Space was a thing when he started!
Dawn and Dave (his parents) told me the other night about how Tim felt when he had to write one on the day his brother died, they say he said that was the hardest one he ever wrote, but my friends, he did it- anyway…
If you do get to read some of his earlier posts you’ll learn about Tims life story, you’ll encounter how he literally saw Jesus as a child, just after his family got the news that he and his brother had muscular dystrophy. You’ll hear about how that spurned him to give his life to Christ and how he felt his life was blessed thereafter with minor miracles time and time again. You’ll hear about his attempt at ministry with kids and trying to build a skatepark. You’ll read about his trip to Australia with Make a Wish. You’ll hear about the friends who’s lives he touched and those who touched his. You’ll read about his dreams for different ministries, some of which played out how he expected and some of which didn’t and how he found in each a lesson and a blessing anyway.
If you can’t bring yourself to read the blog right away just go scroll through his Facebook page today- you’ll get a glimpse of what’s in the blog – a glimpse of all the lives he touched and the way he loved people.
If you know him, a lot or a little, you know all this already, but if you read his story you’ll truly get to see how he turned every moment of his life into a lesson – a torch lighting the way to Jesus. You’ll read a love story – a story of one man’s love for God and how he saw every moment of his life through the lens of being loved by God and our opportunity to love each other.
You’ll read about this man, who instead of living his life feeling sorry for himself or asking for pity, instead of letting setbacks keep him down, loved humanity relentlessly and how he hurt for people who might never find the love and sheer joy he found in his lord and Saviour.
If you read some of his more recent posts they are a different kind of love story. A love story of how he and Sammy found each other and how each moment of their lives together was a testimony to: “What really matters in this world”: which he said was: “loving family and being a blessing in return for the fountain of blessing we have received”
When I was asked to pray at Tims bedside with his family on the day of his passing – I asked God to welcome into his arms a mighty warrior
Those words came to me because that is what Tim was while on this earth :
A mighty warrior who made a choice to live his life encouraging others
A mighty warrior who set himself aside and made a choice to love – his family, his wife and all of us
Tim made these choices, as he said it, to
“encourage others with a message of hope”
Folks, I offer you today that Tims life and the choices he made to live it the way he did was a message to all of us
Just like the Saviour he knew and followed so well, he was both a messenger and a living, loving message – the best disciples are always both
He believed that his mission was to quote Tim again:
“shine the light into peoples darkness so the Lord could illuminate them.”
In His blogs about page Tim “claimed no affiliation with any certain denomination or man-made tradition because ( he believed ) our views get in Gods way and Jesus is THE WAY (John 14:6).
Tim wanted to…
“challenge people to get things right with the creator by living a life of Love”
He believed the words of Jesus that Matthew shared with us
that we all should, Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-39).
So back to my challenge to us: Love like Jesus did folks, love like Tim the mighty warrior did folks, and be a Torch like He was,
Tim was salt and light, a good and faithful servant who had a romance with Sammy as well as a bromance with humanity, who did exactly as he set out to do, all the days of his life, he truly did and forever will, with his legacy…
…encourage others with a message of hope