Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

I Love You

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Agape love is a choice. This is the love that God showed to humankind by sending Jesus to pay the penalty for us. Jesus gave His life for us. This kind of love commits to the hardest of decisions.

Phileo love is a feeling. It is a warm affection one has toward another. The actions that one takes toward another based on these feelings is also a choice. When we have warm feelings toward another, it is easy to treat them right. When we don’t have these warm feelings, it is so easy to treat them poorly.

Your family needs your agape love and your phileo love. When you choose to consistently agape your spouse, and your kids, your phileo will grow for them over time.

How are you loving your family?

My encouragement for us this week: Love your family through your actions and your words.

Have a Great Week!

Ps. I would encourage you to pray the prayer below as a commitment of love.

Dear Jesus, please help me to love my spouse and my kids through my actions and my words. Also, please help me to love You! I know that I will not be able to fully love my family unless I am loving You with my full heart. I will follow You and love You today. Thank You for Your help. Amen.  

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Keep Your Boiler Full

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Jesus Talk

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“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Have you ever been on a steam engine locomotive? I have! It was fun standing in the room with the main controls and walking the narrow catwalk down the side of it, hoping to not fall to my death. As you may have guessed, the locomotive wasn’t going anywhere. In fact, this locomotive is a fixture at Stewart Park in Roseburg, OR.

In order for a working locomotive to have enough steam to run, there needed to be enough fuel (coal, wood, etc.) burning to produce the steam. The guy in charge of the fire had to make sure there was enough fuel on the fire. Just as an old time locomotive needed steam to keep going, we need ‘steam’ to keep going in the work of the Lord. The analogy is simple. We need to continue to put enough fuel on the fire to either start, or keep going in the work of the Lord.

Stoke your fire today by spending time with Jesus! The Christian’s responsibility is to get the fire as hot as possible. When the fire is hot, the steam builds, and propels the Christian in the work of the Lord.

Don’t let your boiler run out of steam, keep stoking the fire!

My encouragement for us this week: Throw some more wood on the fire and go tell people about Jesus!

Have a Great Week!

 

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“So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” Acts 17:17

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Media, Movies, and God

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“And know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God—His greatness, His mighty hand, and His outstretched arm…You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul…” Deuteronomy 11:2 & 18a

I have spent time with hundreds of youth in the last few years. It has been fun, exciting, and challenging! There has been lots of laughter, plenty of serious moments, and a few tears. When you surround yourself with youth, you never know what you are going to hear.

Several years ago, I was having a conversation with a high school guy about movies. He was telling me about a movie he wanted to see and wanted to know if I had seen it. I told him that I hadn’t seen it, nor had I checked the two places online about the content in the movie. I told him that I don’t watch movies that have sex or nudity in them…to which he replied, “I’ll check it out (watch it), Randy, and let you know if you can watch it.”

He was totally serious. He obviously heard me that I don’t watch movies with that content in it. He didn’t understand that one of the reasons that I don’t watch those movies is because I want to be an example for my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

When did it become okay to watch or do things that are displeasing to God?

I share the passage of scripture above because I love the fact that God plainly told the parents that He was speaking to them. The parents were being held accountable to knowing God, obeying Him, and teaching their children about Him. A parent that does things that are displeasing to God teaches their children that it’s okay to displease God.

My encouragement for us this week: Take the self-assessment below and recommit yourself and family to the Lord.

Media & Movies Self-Assessment

  • Do I consider the content in a movie, TV show, YouTube, etc., before I watch it?
    • If no, why not?
  • Do I realize that what goes into my eyes and ears makes a difference to God?
  • What example am I setting for my children in media and movies?
  • Would God want me to make any adjustments in this area?

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President’s Day

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Jesus Talk

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Happy President’s Day!

Go tell someone about Jesus!

 

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“So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” Acts 17:17

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Seasons of Struggle

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Do you ever struggle in your marriage?…

Now that I’m done rolling on the floor laughing, maybe I’ll just sit at my desk crying. The fact is, every marriage goes through struggles. Based on statistics and the community I live in, I would say that not very many people know how to struggle in their marriage. And, for those that are trying to read in-between the lines, Rebecca and I are good. Do we have seasons of struggle? Absolutely!

It is very important to know how to struggle in your marriage. In case you are reading this and are hoping I am going to give you a 1,2,3…point list in ‘how to’, I’m not. All I have right now are some encouraging words and mostly the scripture above to point you to the One Person that can help you the most.

I recently listened to an online broadcast from Focus on the Family with Dr. Greg Smalley entitled “Exploring the Depth of Intimacy in Marriage”.[1] One thing he said on the broadcast that really stuck out in my mind was when he said that the worst question you can ask yourself in marriage is, “How can I have a better marriage?” At first, I didn’t quite understand because I always want to try and have a better marriage! But as he explained that when we ask the question, it often gets our focus on our spouse and how they could be better. That is not good. The better question is, “What can I do to be a better husband or wife?” This is the real heart of the issue.

The passage above never gets old when our relationship needs a boost. Taking a personal inventory of how I can love better is always the right thing to do!

Seasons of struggle in marriage are normal, continuing to suffer is not. Get help from your pastor or professional Christian counselor if you are suffering in your marriage.

My encouragement for us today: Take a personal inventory of how you can love your spouse better; then, act on it!

Your Thoughts? What has helped your marriage when you go through seasons of struggle?

Have a Great Week!

[1] If you would like to listen to the broadcast, click the Marriage Tools link below and look for the Broadcast.

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REAL NEED

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Jesus Talk

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“Incline Thine ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be Thou to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me.” Psalm 31:2

I was recently approached to see if the church could help a family that has a need financially. After getting all the specifics and the request for the immediate need; I let them know that we would help as much as we could. Then, I set that aside and told them who could meet their REAL NEED. Don’t get me wrong, I validated this financial need. But, I didn’t skirt around the fact that the financial need is temporary and but their spiritual need is eternal.

What need are you pursuing today? The verse above is a great reminder that God is able to save and has the strength to rescue us in our time of need.

Let’s not forget that the things “which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18).

We all have various needs that need to be met throughout the day. There is only One who can meet the REAL NEED which lasts for eternity along with every other need we have; His name is Jesus!

My encouragement for us this week: Find two people to tell this week about the One who can give us strength for this life and keep us safe for the next!

Prayer for Strength:

Lord, thank you for being my Rock! Please give me strength to live for You today. You are my place of safety; please help me stay in You. Please help me be a light for You by telling others about the Hope that is found in You. Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross for my sins. I love you!

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“So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” Acts 17:17

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Strong Tower, Strong Family

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

To put it plainly, I don’t have the strength that it takes to keep my family strong. And, neither do you. But, that is no excuse for me or you to give up. We know someone who does, the LORD. Since He has the strength and He invites us to run to Him; let’s run to Him on behalf of our family.

“Lord, Your name is Jehovah Ra’ah, the LORD is my Shepherd. Please shepherd Rebecca, Ryan, and Riley today. Please stand in the doorway of the sheep pen so that when the enemy tries to get my family, he has to go through You. Thank you for being my families’ shepherd.”

“Lord, Your name is Jehovah Jireh, the LORD is my Provider. Please provide everything that Rebecca, Ryan, and Riley need today. You know exactly where they are at and what they need…please provide for them. Thank you for being my families’ provider.”

“Lord, Your name is Jehovah Nissi, the LORD is my Banner. Please go before Rebecca, Ryan, and Riley today. Everyone chooses a banner to live under; please help my family to live under Your banner. This world can be tough to live in at times, thank you that you are the banner that goes before us into victory. Thank you that we can run to You knowing that You already have the victory.”

Jehovah Rophi, the LORD is my Healer.

Jehovah Shaamah, the LORD is There.

Jehovah Elroi, the LORD Sees.

Jehovah Makeddesh, the LORD is my Sanctifier.

Jehovah T’sidkenu, the LORD is my Righteousness.

What does your family need today and this week? Run to the Strong Tower!

                                        Running to the Strong Tower gives your family the strength of the LORD!

My encouragement for us this week: Help your family run to the Strong Tower by praying the names of the LORD over them every day.

Have a Great Week!

 

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I’m going to Run

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Jesus Talk

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“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

I want to say…. “Help!”

I feel like I need to say… “I trust You”

I want to say… “I’m going to run”

I feel like I need to say… “I’m going to persevere”

I want to say… “I’m done”

I feel like I need to say… “Lord, I know You will give me what I need”

Ever been there?

It can be very intimidating talking to someone about Jesus. There are times of wanting to run. There are times of wanting to just be done with it and never go back. And then there are times of great rejoicing when someone says, “Yes!”

The Bible encourages us to not give up. If we give up, then what? If we give up, no more will hear. If we give up, no more will believe. If we give up, no more will be saved.

My encouragement for us this week: Don’t give up in talking to people about Jesus! Keep going!

Try praying this prayer:

Dear Jesus, please help me talk to people about You today and for the rest of this week. I love you and I want others to love you too. Sometimes I want to give up. But I know that you will work through me as long as I keep going. Please give me what I need to persevere. Thank you for your help. Amen.

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“So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” Acts 17:17

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb title=”Jesus Talk Over Coffee” url_new_window=”on” use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%154%%” icon_color=”#4c9cc4″ use_circle=”off” circle_color=”#4c9cc4″ use_circle_border=”off” circle_border_color=”#4c9cc4″ icon_placement=”top” animation=”top” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”center” use_icon_font_size=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” url=”http://eastvancouvercommunitychurch.com/pastor-randy-dewater/” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”]

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How to End in Divorce

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:30

My heart sank this last week as I saw on social media, yet another marriage that has ended in divorce. As I hear about marriages like this one, where all outside appearances look like a happy and healthy marriage; I start reflecting on my own marriage and wonder how people get there. But you know, it doesn’t take long to come up with a list of things.

‘How to’ end up in divorce:

  1. Stop doing the things that got your spouse to love you in the first place
  2. Start doing things that get others to like you
  3. Stop looking at your spouse and fantasizing about him/her
  4. Start looking at other people along with fantasizing about them
  5. Stop complimenting your spouse
  6. Start complimenting another
  7. Stop putting your spouse first
  8. Start putting another first
  9. Stop taking refuge in God
  10. Start taking refuge in another

Wow! I don’t even like reading this list. Let’s make a better list.

How to Have a Happy and Healthy Marriage:

  1. Keep doing the things that got your spouse to love you in the first place.
  2. Keep your eyes and heart only for your spouse
  3. Keep complimenting your spouse only
  4. Keep putting your spouse first
  5. Keep taking refuge in God!

My encouragement for us this week: Follow the List of 5 Things for a Happy and Healthy Marriage.

What would you add to the list of “How to Have a Happy and Healthy Marriage”?

Have a Great Week!

**If you need help in your marriage, don’t wait. Seek help from the resources below or contact me and I will help you find an avenue for help.

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Could We Talk?

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Jesus Talk

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“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” Psalm 14:1

Saturday I received a phone call… “This is Randy”, I answered. “Randy, this is John. You met me down at the park that one day…could we talk?”

This is may have been the most exciting phone call that I have received in the last year. I had met this young man and his friend as I was doing The Gospel Guy at Esther Short Park in Vancouver a couple months ago. After some conversation, I gave them both my phone number and told them that if they ever needed help or just someone to care, they could give me a call. I never figured they would simply because most people don’t.

Longer story short, we had lunch, he gave his life back to Jesus!

There is something very important to remember when talking to people about Jesus. Those who say that there is no God, the Bible refers to these people as fools. God is not making fun of these people. He is simply stating the truth about who they are. Romans 1 says, every person intrinsically knows that there is a God. Therefore, when a person says there is no God, that person is denying not only his/her Creator, but they are denying what has been plainly revealed to them. Thus, they are fools.

Even the business woman who seems to have life all figured out? Even the young college grad who knows all? Even the world-renowned scientist that says that all of life has evolved from millions and billions of years past? Yep. Anyone and everyone who denies God, God refers to that person as a fool.

When talking to people about Jesus, it’s good and right to hold a proverbial mirror in front of them to show them what they look like when they say, “there is no God.” Of course, we should always do this with the utmost concern in our heart for that person along with gentleness and respect. After all, Jesus died on the cross for them.

How have you helped people see who they are when they deny God?

My encouragement for us this week: Help people see who they really are when they deny God.

Have a Great Week!

**I changed the name of the young man to John Doe to protect his identity.

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“So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” Acts 17:17

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