Nov 03

Christmas is Coming!

Only 52 days until Christmas! Are you ready for the “Advent” season?

Advent literally means the “coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.” Advent on the Christian calendar is a four-week season of preparation and anticipation leading up to Christmas, on December 25. The focus of Advent is two-fold. On the one hand, we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God who came into the world as a human child to give us forgiveness for our sins. On the other hand, we anticipate the day when Jesus will return to Earth and bring an end to this present world. We can look forward to the end of the present world with hope because through faith in Jesus, the end of this present world will mean the beginning of a new life with Jesus for eternity and eventually a new heaven and a new earth.
Advent then is a time for us to repent and believe. Knowing that Jesus was born to forgive our sins, we repent (admit our failures to God) and believe that we are forgiven because of Jesus. Also, knowing that Jesus is coming back to Earth to take us to a new heaven and earth, we repent and believe that when Jesus returns, He will give us eternal life.

Advent is designed to begin on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas and extend to Christmas Eve. Sometimes the first Sunday of Advent is in November. Advent is 4 weeks or 28 days long. The Advent Season in 2017 begins on Sunday, December 3rd

I have written a devotional for Advent that includes devotions here for Day 1 through day 28 (so this year you could start on November 26th!) and then I included 7 more (one more week) for those who wish to continue. You can utilize them at any time and in any order you wish.
You can order a print copy or the kindle version online here.

Jan 23

Bivocational Ministry

I recently read about the growing trend of

“A rapid increase in bi-vocational church staff. We have noted the growing trend of bi-vocational pastors. We will see in 2015 an accelerated trend of other church staff becoming bi-vocational.” (


There is also an apparent increase in bi-vocational pastors as well. Since I am bi-vocatonal, I thought I would evaluate it from my perspective. Now, I might have a different perspective, since I am not bi-vocational by choice but by necessity. Well, I guess it’s a little of both. I chose to be bi-vocational in order to be where I wanted to be and to do the ministry I wanted to do. Anyway, that is a story for another blog.

However you get to bi-vocational ministry, there are positives and negatives.

There are some really good things that have come from my working in both ministry and another job.


Choose your path

First of all, I was able to choose to serve in a ministry for which I was really passionate even though there was not a salary attached to it. You have the flexibility to choose your own path more readily.

Marketplace ministry

Secondly, because I am working at another job, I have developed a “marketplace ministry” by praying for and having conversations and relationships with those in the marketplace.

Evangelism practitioner

This leads to another positive. As a marketplace missionary, I have also become an evangelism practitioner. I have had the chance to invite people to church and share the gospel with them in ways that would not have happened if I were not there.

There are no strings on me

Without the “strings of a “salary” ministry can be done without restraint. This does not mean do whatever you want, but it often means taking chances that one would hesitate to do if they felt someone would not like.


I have also noticed some negative results of being employed in ministry and in another job.


Inability to do enough ministry.
When working 30 to 40 hours at another job, it is often hard to find time to do the ministry you want to do, or even the job you are supposed to do. It can be stressful.


Working all these hours and making time for the family leads to exhaustion. Sometimes I feel like I am tired all the time.


I have always felt called to full time ministry. Although I am doing part time ministry now, I do not think it is something I want to do forever. When your calling does not match your work it can be frustrating.


Strings can mean accountability – everyone needs strings
Not having strings can seem great, but everyone needs some kind of accountability. In my case, I am accountable to a Pastor, and a mission board, even though neither one of them pays me a salary. I am also self funded, and as a result I am accountable to many partners in ministry. But not having the pressure to do full time ministry, can lead to laziness if not careful.

Well, those are my thoughts. What do you think about bi-vocational ministry for staff members?

Dec 27

Eight Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions

As 2014 comes to a close, I wanted to let folks know that Shamburgers on Mission is a qualified organization for IRS charitible contributions. Contibutions are made through the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to Tim Shamburger (Acct # 9682). All contributions go directly to the ministry. You can find out more on this page or click here to give now!

Here are Eight Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions

Charitable contributions made to qualified organizations may help lower your tax bill. The IRS has put together the following eight tips to help ensure your contributions pay off on your tax return.
1. If your goal is a legitimate tax deduction, then you must be giving to a qualified organization. Also, you cannot deduct contributions made to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates. See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for rules on what constitutes a qualified organization.

2. To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A.

3. If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, tickets to a ball game or other goods and services, then you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit received.

4. Donations of stock or other non-cash property are usually valued at the fair market value of the property. Clothing and household items must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.

5. Fair market value is generally the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.

6. Regardless of the amount, to deduct a contribution of cash, check, or other monetary gift, you must maintain a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written communication from the organization containing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and amount of the contribution. For text message donations, a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount given.

7. To claim a deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250 or more you must have a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization showing the amount of the cash and a description of any property contributed, and whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. One document may satisfy both the written communication requirement for monetary gifts and the written acknowledgement requirement for all contributions of $250 or more. If your total deduction for all noncash contributions for the year is over $500, you must complete and attach IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to your return.

8. Taxpayers donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more than $5,000 must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which generally requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.
For more information on charitable contributions, refer to Form 8283 and its instructions, as well as Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. For information on determining value, refer to Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. These forms and publications are available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).


A bonus #9. Donations must be made by the end of the tax year for which you want to claim the deduction. If you put a check dated Dec. 31 in the mail by that day, you’re OK. So are donations charged by year’s end to your credit card, even if you don’t pay the card’s bill until the next year.


Shamburgers on Mission is a qualified organization for charitible contributions. Contibutions are made through the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to Tim Shamburger (Acct # 9682). All contributions go directly to the ministry. You can find out more on this page or click here to give now!

Nov 30

The Coming – Day 1 of Advent

Day 1

The Coming


Luke 2:8-14



Advent literally means “coming.” We celebrate Christmas because it was the (first) coming of Jesus. We celebrate advent in the anticipation of the second coming as well. Why celebrate Christmas?  We celebrate because:

  • Jesus came to bring Joy!
  • Jesus came to bring Salvation!
  • And Jesus came to bring Peace!

And Jesus is coming again in order to:

  • Complete our Joy!
  • Culminate our Salvation!
  • And Confirm our  Peace!



  • How can you celebrate with joy this Christmas?


  • How can you celebrate your salvation this Christmas?


  • How can you generate peace this Christmas?



Dear Jesus, Help me celebrate Christmas with everything I have and find joy, salvation and peace in You! Amen.



“Joy to the World”


advent bookYou can purchase my book at


if you live near Cleveland, contact Tim directly to save on shipping!


Sep 30

Order in time for Advent!

Advent Devotions for FamiliesI have just published a book of devotions and activities for Advent!You can order the book online through, or you can give any donation to Shamburgers on Mission and I will send you a copy of the book for FREE!. Hurry and order to be ready for Advent!.

Click here for more information.

Aug 07

More Missionary Pictures

Pictures of our summer missionaries at work this summer.IMG_0024 IMG_0146 IMG_0004
Snapshot 4 (7-28-2014 4-30 PM) IMG_0536 IMG_0166 IMG_0080

Aug 04

Seven Summer Missionaries!

As we began planning our annual summer “Fundamentals Camps” at Abundant Life Community Church (ALCC) early in 2014, we hoped we would be able to have some of the college and high school teens from our church to serve as summer missionaries. It is hard work to accomplish all we do without help. ALCC is a small congregation of averaging about 60 people each week. Most of our congregation serves in the summer and throughout the year. In the summer, we minister to close to 300 kids in over 150 families in 5 weeks of camps. In the past we have had mission teams come and help with some of the camps, but this year we knew that was not going to happen. We were overjoyed to have seven young people become Namb student missionaries and serve through our camps.
Serving our camps this summer were: TJ Shamburger, Josh Shamburger, and Josh Taylor, all Cedarville University students; Jessi Grasso, an incoming freshman at Baldwin Wallace College; as well as Sarah Shamburger, Caleb Taylor, and Matt Limberg, all High School seniors this fall.
The summer had hardly began and we put them to work right away preparing for Theatre Camp. In every week of camp our missionaries took on a lead role in various areas. There were six camps this summer, including two new camps, an art camp and a teen Ultimate frisbee camp conceived and ran by Cedarville Ultimate player Josh Shamburger. The other camps for children are: theatre, soccer, basketball, and our vacation bible school camp, Agency D3. Missionaries lead through the Bible station, leading children in groups, and at other stations. They also assist as role models for the many teenagers that volunteer at the camps. Josh Shamburger, a graphic design major, also co led the drawing station at our art camp.
TJ Shamburger, a youth ministry major, and Josh Taylor, a bible major, have also been involved in outreach through the Sunday night student ministry. Many teens, church members and friends, volunteer at the camps. These teens are invited to the Sunday night meetings and the summer outreach developed by TJ and Josh, called “game show mania.”
Our final camp of the season, Agency D3 (VBS), drew more kids than ever before and the Sunday celebration and picnic saw several prospect families attending. Each of the missionaries has taught at the bible station and has been able to share the gospel. As a result 54 children have prayed to receive Christ.
In total, Abundant Life Community Church, a small congregation in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio, has reached over 250 children in 170 families. Thirty-five teens have volunteered to serve. This was made possible by the ministry provided by student missionaries working hard serving Christ in their summer break.


May 07

One thing at a time

Things are crazy the world is crashing around you. Take it slow. One step at a time. What do I do next. Not what am I going to do next week or next month. What’s next?
You may not know why. You may never know that. You may not feel like moving forward. But move. Don’t stand still. Do the next thing. You may do it like a zombie. Move. What does God want me to do next. It may not seem there is a long term plan but keep moving. Don’t stop.
So what’s next? Get up? Get dressed? Go to work? Look for a job? Brush your teeth? What is he next step?
Take it slow.
Isaiah 40:31
but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.

Apr 17

Trusting In Him

I have been praying about something for a while now. A decision I would have to make. I asked God to make it clear when it came time for me to make the decision. He did. It was clear. But I was scared to pull the trigger. I was nervous. Is this really what I want? Is it what God wants? I made the decision. I am confident that it is what God wants. I am amazed at God and suprised at myself. He did what I asked. Why did I think it would be any less.

Apr 08

Be Kind

And be kind and compassionate to one another… Ephesians 4:32

It’s a preschool verse. We hear it all our lives. The problem is we do not live it.
I have been thinking of times in my life when I talk about people behind their backs. I excuse myself with the thought that it doesn’t matter because they don’t know. But it is not kind.
How can I treat people with kindness in front of them and then spew forth venom behind their back. How can I try to live kindness and call them names or ridicule them?
That’s just not kind.
As I think more about it I also realize that I am often unkind in person as well. Maybe the words are not unkind but the attitude or tone is. It’s hurtful, wrong behavior and sinful. Being unkind is sin. It is not just poor manners. It is sin. And I am guilty. I confess and will seek to be kind. Will you join me on this kindness conspiracy?