Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

Praying for My TV

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

Take up…..my responsibility

Full armor of God…not some, but all the armor. God’s armor protects me from spiritual attacks

Evil Day…any day that we experience serious temptation

Having done everything…wow! Sometimes there is much I can do, sometimes there is little, but there is always something I can do!

Stand firm…unmovable. Solid. Strong. I will only be, when I have God as my armor.

As I start this blog, I am getting ready to go to bed for the night in a hotel room at a retreat in Newport, Or. Once was a day that I would not have been able to stay in a hotel room without turning on the TV and watching something that I should not have watched. I’m often reminded about the man that I once was. I am no longer that man! Jesus has made me new!

The first thing I did when I got into the hotel room was to pray for the TV. I kneeled beside the bed and told God that I would not turn on the TV while I was there. Could I have watched a show? You bet! Could I have been innocent in that? Of course! I’ve learned over the last eleven years that I grow not from doing everything I want and can do, but from choosing what is best for my relationships.

I am reminded that I cannot be too careful when it comes to safe guarding my relationships. My relationship with God, my relationship with my wife, and my relationship with my boys. As I make a choice to put on the full armor of God, I not only protect my relationship with Jesus but I also protect my family. Putting on the full armor of God is a safe guard for your marriage and your family! 

My encouragement for us this week: Put the full armor of God on every day for the sake of your marriage and family!

3 Simple (not easy!) Steps to Putting on the Full Armor of God

  1. Read and apply God’s Word, everyday
  2. Pray honestly and intimately, everyday
  3. Choose to do what’s right, everyday

Have a Great Week!

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Using Technology Wisely

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Jesus Talk

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“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts.”      Proverbs 8:34

Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones…Email, Texting, Tweets…Facebook, Twitter, Blogs…

So many avenues, so many opportunities, so many thoughts to share…

I personally have been trying to grow in my ability to use different platforms for communicating. Right now, I am using Facebook by posting my blogs, I send out a daily scripture using a text app (text @evcds to 81010), along with giving a thought for the day on Twitter.

Technology is an incredible thing! Technology is a fun thing! Technology is a powerful thing! Technology can be used for good, it can be used for evil, it can be used for me, or it can be used for God.

The scripture above says that those who daily watch, wait, and listen to wisdom will be blessed. Since wisdom comes from God; since everyone needs more of His wisdom; since so many people have access to technology (like you and me); and, since technology is a great way to communicate; it seems that we should be using technology to help people watch, wait, and listen to wisdom. Not my wisdom, not your wisdom, but God’s wisdom.

Evil is decreased and knowledge of God is increased as people listen to wisdom.

The more people listen to wisdom, the more people will follow Jesus! The apostle Paul said that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are in Jesus!  (Colossians 2:3)

My encouragement for us this week: Let’s help people follow Jesus by using technology wisely!

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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Intimacy and Trust

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always feel like being kind to my wife. (Sorry Honey!) Don’t get me wrong. I love my wife. I am thankful for her. I know this will be a shock to you, but… I don’t have it all together! In fact, just last evening I said something in a way to my wife that was not kind. I was frustrated and I allowed my feelings to override how I knew I should respond. And yes, I have asked her forgiveness and I have also asked for God’s forgiveness.

Kindness and Truth, as the verse above points out, are incredibly important to have a great relationship with your spouse.

How about you? Do you have it all together? I might be able to guess what the answer is…

You may not have it all together, but if you are willing to work on the two things above in the way you relate with your spouse, you can have a good marriage.

Practicing kindness goes a long way toward building intimacy with your spouse.

Practicing truthfulness goes a long way toward building trust with your spouse.

Intimacy and Trust are found in a marriage that is built on kindness and truth.

My encouragement for us this week: Practice kindness and truthfulness with your spouse this week!

Have a Great Week!

**If you are experiencing struggle in your relationship to the point that you can’t even think about practicing kindness and truthfulness, feel free to contact me and I will help you find an avenue for healing.

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A Lasting Witness

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Jesus Talk

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“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;” Proverbs 1:7a

I often feel like I don’t have enough knowledge to talk to people about Jesus. Then, I receive reminders like the one above.

Yes, there are different approaches you can learn to talk to people about Jesus.

Yes, there are different questions you can start with to lead into a conversation about Jesus.

Yes, there are different places to meet people in order to proclaim Jesus.

But, there is no substitute for the fear of the Lord.

Talking to people about Jesus must start with the fear of the Lord. Without it, our hearts will be in the wrong place. We may be able to quote a Bible verse or two. We may be able to articulate a correct description of the gospel. But, if we don’t have a healthy fear of the Lord, then our witness is not going to last.

A lasting witness for Jesus begins with a healthy fear of Him!

My encouragement for us today: Build a healthy fear of Jesus into your Heart!

5 Steps for Building a Healthy Fear of Jesus into Your Heart:

  1. Read Your Bible Everyday
  2. Write Down One Way to Live Out Your Bible Reading Everyday
  3. Pray and Ask God to Help You Live for Him Everyday
  4. Try to Live Out That Day What Jesus Told You (Reference #2 & #3)
  5. Talk to People (Christian and Non-Christians) about Jesus Everyday

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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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Snowpocalypse 2.1!!

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“the good hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” Ezra 7:9b-10

Well, if you are in the Vancouver / Portland area, you probably have 5-10 inches of snow on the ground. I can’t take credit for the title of my blog today. I must give credit to Zach Marquez. Zach, thank you for your inspiration!

I love the snow! I love playing in the snow at night with my family! And, I love hitting my sons with snowballs as they run away from me; it’s always harder to hit a moving target! As I ready my Bible and drank my coffee this morning while watching the snow outside, I learned about Ezra aiming at his target.

How often do you think about the adjustments that you need to make to be a better son, daughter, husband, or wife? The scripture above really hit me this morning.

Ezra, “set his heart” to know God, to do what He said, and then to teach others the same. To “set your heart” can give a word picture of “adjusting weapons to hit a target”.

We don’t normally think of weapons when we think of relating with our family, or at least I hope you don’t! But, this gives us a picture of making adjustments to be able to hit the target we are wanting to hit.

Lately, I have noticed that my fuse has been a little short with my wife and boys. I do not want to hurt my family; therefore, I need to make some adjustments in my thinking and attitude so that I hit the target of loving them.

What is your target in your relationships? Is your target to have fun together? Is your target to grow in relationship together? Is your target to be the best son, daughter, husband, wife, or parent, you can be?  Is your target for your family to grow in Jesus together?

Whatever your target is, are you hitting it? If not, what adjustments do you need to make?

My encouragement for us this week: Consider the adjustments that you may need to make in order to hit your target. Ask God to help you make those adjustments.

Have a great week!

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Choose

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Jesus Talk

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“O my strength, I will sing praises to Thee; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.” Psalm 59:17

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough strength to tell people about Jesus? I struggle with that more than I care to admit. Almost daily is the answer. And yet, that is the one thing that Jesus was concerned about before He left this earth.

I’m so proud of my boys! After we came back from our family retreat, they both have taken opportunities to start talking to their friends about their faith. No, my boys are not perfect, far from it. But, they are beginning to understand the importance of sharing their faith with others. It has been so exciting to see.

How can we use the verse above to help us in witnessing? First of all, we need to constantly draw strength from the right source. Without His strength, our witness will be weak and flabby (kinda like me after the holidays). There’s a good parallel between staying in the exercise gym for physical strength and staying in the word and prayer for spiritual strength. I have also found that those two can be intertwined. When we are choosing Him by staying in His word and in daily fellowship with Him, we get to experience Him being our stronghold, our safe place.

Second, God shows His lovingkindness to those who choose him! This needs to be a major part of the message we share. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son…” (John 3:16). Obviously, the other side of the story is that those who don’t choose Jesus should be afraid because they have rejected Him and therefore, will not receive God’s lovingkindness.

My encouragement for us this week: Let’s make sure we are living in the stronghold while telling others that they can experience God’s lovingkindness if only they will choose Jesus!

5 Steps to Make Sure You are living in God’s Stronghold:

  1. Choose to Meditate on God’s Word Everyday
  2. Choose to Have an In-Depth Conversation with God Everyday
  3. Choose to Do the Right Thing Everyday
  4. Choose a Good Attitude Everyday
  5. Choose to Talk to Someone About Jesus Everyday

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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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Be Right This Year!

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Marriage and Family

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Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1 ESV

This generation is worse than any other!

Have you ever felt that way? Is it true? I think there is a lot that would need to be considered if one were going to really make that judgment. Although, one generation comes to mind when evaluating which one is better than the other. Noah’s generation.

Noah’s generation was so wicked that God wiped them off the face of the earth with a global flood. And yet, God said that Noah was righteous in his generation.

I don’t really want to compare this generation to Noah’s generation, although, by the standard that I read in the Bible, there is much evil and wickedness in this generation. In fact, I believe there is so much evil and wickedness, it is dulling our moral senses. How are you protecting your family from this?

It seems evident from scripture that God’s will for me and my family is to be righteous. Righteousness and dull moral senses don’t go together. The passage above says that Noah was righteous before God. I wonder what that looked like…

If Noah lived today, I wonder what areas his righteousness would have influenced; would it have influenced his:

  • Movie selection?
  • Music playlists?
  • Tweets?
  • His Facebook browsing?
  • Pursuit for Purity?
  • Bible reading?
  • Prayer life?
  • Work ethic?
  • Attitude toward every person?

I think Noah’s righteousness probably touched every area of his life. There are a few items I personally need to work on. How about you?

Pursuing righteousness through an intimate relationship with Jesus increases our families’ ability to be right before God in this generation.  

My encouragement for us in 2017: Be right before God this year by pursuing righteousness through an intimate relationship with Jesus!

5 Steps to Pursue Righteousness through Jesus:

  1. Read the Bible every day.
  2. Pray every day.
  3. Make right choices every day.
  4. Seek counsel from a godly person weekly.
  5. Practice Jesus being your Lord every day.

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Play, Pray, Partake!

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord” Luke 2:22

Drive here, drive there. Visit this side, visit that side. The holidays are great and the holidays can be tiring. Family is amazing and family can be stressful. It would be wise of parents to practice slowing their families down to present themselves and their children to the Lord.

Tomorrow, our family is going to do just that. We are headed to our 4th annual Dewater God Retreat. This is a time for us to slow down. This is a time for us to build relationship with each other. This is a time for us to build relationship with God. Play, Pray, and Partake is the name of the game. We are going to play as a family. We are going to pray as a family. And, we are going to partake as a family.

Play. We will play in the pool together. We will play board games together. Playing together as a family leads to stronger relationships with each other and also can help lower the barriers that have been built up because of life. Play can lead to Pray.

Pray. We will pray together. We will pray when we start our drive to the location. We will pray before meals. We will pray before our Bible studies. We will pray to bring in the New Year. We will pray before bed. We will pray before we watch a movie. Praying together as a family leads to stronger relationships with each other and God. Some families might find it hard to pray together, especially if you have not practiced it. It’s important to have times of play to build relationship to pray. Pray can lead to Partake.

Partake. We will partake of God’s Word together. We will partake of some teaching videos together. We will partake of some good food together! Strong relationships are built on a steady diet of partaking together. Many families partake of entertainment together. Many less partake of God together. If you want to grow in partaking in God together, consider getting more intentional about your play and pray which will help you partake of God together.

How does your family practice play, pray, and partake?

My encouragement for us this week: Figure out ways for your family to play, pray, and partake together!

Have a Great Week with your family!

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Life as Normal

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

“And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.” Luke 2:39

It’s the day after Christmas. I’m at my in-law’s house. I love my father-in-law and mother-in-law. They have been such a strong support to my family! Presents have been opened. Much food has been consumed.

Tomorrow, we go home to Vancouver. Tomorrow, we go back to life as “normal”.  I wonder what it was like for Mary and Joseph to go back to their “normal” life of raising the Savior of humankind.

They just celebrated Jesus’ birth. They just dedicated Him to the Lord. They just experienced many people give glory to God over their new born baby.

What now? How do we go back to life as normal after celebrating the birth of the King of kings and Lord or lords?

Let me suggest that we take the example of the shepherds. After they had gone and seen the baby Jesus, it says that they “went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them” (Luke 2:20). No, we didn’t see the baby Jesus. Nor did we receive the message from the angel. But, those who know Jesus should be glorifying God by telling others about Him!

As we go back to life as “normal”: Let’s tell others about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Have a Great Week telling others 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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A Season of Joy: Joy of Forgiveness

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Christmas Eve Communion Service – No Audio Posted

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Past Recordings

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