Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

Raise a Banner!

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” Song of Solomon 2:4

What banner are you carrying in your marriage?

When the Israelites were camping in the wilderness in their wanderings, they camped according to their tribe. They had banners that represented their tribe. Their banner told people who they were. Their banner was the rallying point for the tribe.

At home, in our stairway, we have a decorative board that has our family mission statement painted on it. This is our family banner. This banner tells us who we are. This banner is our rallying point for our Dewater tribe.

Every marriage needs a banner. Not necessarily an actual banner that hangs from your wall. A banner is your rally point. A banner is who you are. Is your marriage characterized by love? Is your marriage characterized by grace?

I have a word for husbands… we need to set the example of love in our marriage. Our love for our wife needs to be characterized by being a protector, provider, and friend. 

Let’s work towards have a banner of love in our marriage!

Have a great week!



Share Him

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

I was having a conversation with a guy at the park last week. As we spoke, it became very clear that he enjoyed many different philosophies…I could not keep up with him.

Ever feel like you don’t know enough to talk to others about Jesus?

There are many different philosophies, many different belief systems, along with many different arguments to help others align with your way of thinking.

There is only One that is True…only One who is God…He was and is revealed in the man Christ Jesus.

In Jesus “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Therefore, when we are speaking to others about Him, don’t feel like you must have a clever argument and know everything.

Jesus is the One people need to know. Jesus is the One people need to hear about. Jesus is the One who has all the answers.

Tell People About Him!

Next time you have an opportunity, try asking this question, “Who do you believe Jesus is?” Then, be ready to listen. And, be ready to share what the Bible says about Jesus!

Helpful Tip: Studying up on the book of John is a great way to be ready to share with people Who Jesus Is!

Have a Great Week!



I’m Alive!

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved –” Ephesians 2:4-5

The day after Easter…

Celebrating Jesus’ resurrection with friends and family is exciting times! People getting baptized, others giving witness of being alive in Christ, hearing the word of God, singing praises to Jesus, eating good food…celebrating Easter is Awesome!

The big idea from yesterday’s message was, Be Alive in Christ!

It’s easy to have a spiritual lull after having a mountain top experience.

Rest is good…breaks are needed…although, we who are Alive in Christ should not allow ourselves to let down our spiritual defenses.

Being Alive in Christ is…

…to be set free from sin

…to be set free to love and live for Jesus

…to be set free to love others

…to tell others about Him

Let’s allow our actions and our words to reflect being Alive in Christ!

Suggestions on how to not let down your spiritual defenses:

  • Think on God’s Word
  • Pray
  • Love Others

Have a Great Week!



The Cross

 “And it was the third hour when they crucified him.” Mark 15:25

I woke up a little dreary…I woke up a little down cast…I woke up a little tired…

How can I be dreary? How can I be down cast? How can I be tired?

Jesus died for me! Jesus went to the cross for me! As of right now, 2,000 years ago, Jesus had been hanging on the cross for me for an hour and a half.

Death could not hold Him! Death could not keep Him! Jesus died on Friday, but Sunday is coming!

This evening, we have some friends come over to have a potluck and watch the Passion of the Christ together. This is a way that my family remembers and celebrates Jesus’ sacrifice.

How do you remember and celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice?
 
Have you invited anybody to church on Sunday? This Easter will be a great opportunity for people to see Jesus followers being baptized and giving witness of Being Alive in Christ! 


If your Gonna Fight, You Might as well win!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3

Do you ever fight in your marriage?

I once heard an older couple who had been married for many years say that they had never fought in their marriage. I didn’t laugh out loud at the time, but I questioned the truth of the statement. After being married for more than 18 years, I have concluded that fighting in marriage is a normal thing. Although, it needs to shift from fighting each other to fighting together.

If you’re gonna fight, you might as well win…We need to fight to have a blessed marriage!

The marriage relationship is the most important relationship next to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I was reading a book recently that described how our marriages are in a war. Given the statistics on marriage, divorce, and single parent homes; the reality is, we must fight if we are going to have a marriage that is blessed. Just make sure your right hook is not going towards your spouse but the enemy of your marriage.

A blessed marriage brings joy and happiness to the husband and wife.

A blessed marriage brings stability to a child’s life.

A blessed marriage brings security to a community.

A blessed marriage is what God intended in the first place.

5 Things to Fight For:

  • Fight for time to enjoy your spouse (meal together, good movie, walk in the park, cuddle on the couch, etc.)
  • Fight for times of prayer together with your spouse.
  • Fight for times of praying alone to ask God to bless your spouse.
  • Fight for Good Thoughts about your spouse.
  • Fight FOR your spouse NOT against your spouse.

The verse above is not speaking of marriage but it provides a truth that I am applying to marriage. The marriage that is IN Christ, has every spiritual blessing available to it. Go ahead, ask God to help your marriage realize every spiritual blessing that is yours IN Christ!



Don’t Forget About Peter!

“But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” Mark 16:7

Who do you know that once followed Jesus, but now is not?

As I go into the community and speak with people about Jesus; I find there are many people who grew up going to church, but now for many different reasons they don’t. Please don’t mis-understand. Going to church and following Jesus are not synonymous statements. They simply go hand in hand. Those who follow Jesus want to gather together with His followers to praise God, learn about God, and encourage each other.

For some, life is too busy.

For others, they had a bad experience.

For many, they have simply stopped believing.

We, Jesus Followers (Christians), have a responsibility to not forget the Peter’s in our life…we need to let them know that Jesus still cares about them. Jesus died on the cross for them. Jesus wants them.

Who in your life is like Peter? No, I’m not asking who has walked on water towards Jesus…but who do you know once followed Jesus, but at some point in their life they denied Him and they need to know that Jesus has not given up on them. Don’t forget about Peter! Tell them this week that Jesus is alive! Tell them this week that Jesus still wants them! Tell them this week that God’s love is so strong, so far reaching…it can even reach them!

Have a Great Week Remembering What Jesus Did for You on the Cross!



Planting Seeds for Spring

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

You wouldn’t realize tomorrow was the first day of Spring by the temperature and fog this morning. But, the calendar says it is.

Spring brings new life.

Spring brings new growth.

Spring brings fresh opportunities.

This picture of seeds represents “Gospel Conversations”. Each seed represents a conversation that a person from East Vancouver Community Church has had in our community. The thing about seeds is they don’t always appear to produce anything at first. Sometimes a seed will not show any growth for weeks or months. But, eventually, when the rain comes and the sun shines, the seed starts growing.

Spring is a great time to plant seeds and see them grow! The more seeds we plant the more growth we get to see!

Let’s plant more seeds by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 



Hi, My Name is Randy and I am a Comfy Christian

“And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria…therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” Acts 8:1&4

Discomfort can lead to a greater scatter…

I don’t believe Christians should look for persecution. I don’t believe Christians should try to be quarrelsome. I don’t believe Christians are victims.

I DO believe Christians should look for opportunities to show Christ to the lost! I DO believe that Christians should look for ways to communicate the Gospel to the lost! I DO believe that Christians are overwhelmingly victorious through Jesus! (Romans 8:37)

The fact is, in life we go through seasons that are uncomfortable. Financial, health, relationships; we all have seasons of discomfort. That being said, those of us that live in the U.S. don’t know discomfort in regard to our faith.

I am a Comfy Christian. I show up to a church service when I want, I go to a home Bible study when I want, I talk or don’t talk to a person in the community about Jesus when I want.

I don’t believe Christians should try to be uncomfortable simply to be uncomfortable.

I DO believe Christians should push past their comfort zone to show the lost who Jesus is!

Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that I could be a Comfy Christian

Jesus died on the cross to set me free! The only Right Response is to give Him my life and tell others about Him!



High School Orientation Already!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18

Last evening my wife and I took our oldest son to his high school orientation evening (I’m that old!). After the initial talk, we went to the student center where all the clubs were represented. I walked by the “leadership” club with my son and asked what it was all about. The first thing the student said was, “we just wanna spread the love”.

Earlier that morning, I didn’t do a very good job of “spreading the love”. I had one of those interactions with my wife that afterward, I wish I could have pushed the rewind button and started over. I will not go into all the details because I don’t care to share with you how lame I really am. But, when my wife asked me a question of how she could support me, I gave her a response that put her on the defense.

After analyzing my response, I came to understand how that response could have made her feel that way. I came to realize that my response was rooted in fear. The Bible tells us that “perfect love casts out fear”. Fear causes us to respond in ways that are not loving. Fear causes us to say things that are the opposite of love because to love is the opposite of fear.

What areas are you responding out of fear rather than love?

Husbands, Wives…Dads, Moms…we need to grow in our love so that our interactions can be loved based rather than fear based. To grow in Love is to grow in Christ, to grow in Christ is to grow in Love!

Fear causes separation, Love brings together

Have a Great Week!



I Forgive My Sister!

“And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” And having said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60

Growing up I played basketball in my driveway. I had a basketball hoop that was cemented into the ground next to the driveway; I would play for hours. One day, my sister backed her car into the basketball pole and bent it over. You may laugh, but to a young boy this is devastating! I forgive my sister.

Yesterday our youth put on a skit to introduce the passage of scripture for the message. The skit depicted Stephen being killed for his faith in Jesus Christ along with his amazing final words, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”

One of the hardest things in life to do is forgive. I recently had a conversation with someone who said they can’t forgive others. This person asked how it is possible to forgive.

Forgiveness is not easy. The truth is, people don’t deserve to be forgiven. Regardless, the fact is, I have been forgiven by Jesus Christ for my sin and He says that if I don’t forgive others from a pure heart than I will not be forgiven from the Father in Heaven.

How to forgive others:

  1. Focus on the Cross Daily: Focus on what Jesus did for you by dying on the cross so that you could be forgiven on the sin that would cause you to spend an eternity in Hell.
  2. Make a Decision in Prayer Daily: Thank God everyday for the forgiveness you have received through the cross, then tell Him that you will forgive anybody and everybody that hurts you. Making a decision with God ahead of time helps you follow through when you are faced with the opportunity.

Make a choice to forgive and then go tell others how Jesus Christ has paid the price for their sin by dying on the cross!