Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

The Witness From Above

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Psalm 68:32-35

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, Selah to him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!

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Other Recent Recordings

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Teaching Your Family to Follow Jesus_Part 1

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This week I have been at the annual conference meetings for our churches. Some of it has been interesting, some of it has been inspiring, some of it has been boring. But, Monday night, our general superintendent gave a message from Mark 10:17-21, on following Jesus. I must admit when he said that he was going to speak on Radically Following Jesus I thought to myself, “I’ve heard this before”. But, the more I listened, the more I found myself thinking the message was for me. “I’ve been following Jesus”, I thought to myself. And, I have. But, as he described how Jesus asks us to leave everything behind to follow Him, I found that God was putting His finger on something in my heart. I responded to God by telling Him that He could have that area and that I was going to continue to follow Him.

I was wishing that my family was with me so that they could have heard the message and have the experienced what I had. The reality is, even if they were there, they might or might not have experienced what I did. But, when I got home, I shared with my family what God spoke to me. I sat on the couch and wept as I recalled what God had touched in my heart and what He was asking of me. I didn’t expect them to feel the same way, to think the same way, nor to respond the same way that I did. I simply shared with them what God was doing with me.

I realized that I was teaching my family. As I wept in front of them and genuinely shared with them what God was doing in me, I was teaching my family that everyone, even their husband and daddy, needs to listen and allow God to work in them.

What are you teaching your family? I want to encourage you to allow God to speak to you through His word, act on it, and then share with your family what He is doing in you.

Have a great week as you teach your family to follow Jesus!

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Hell Bound!

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

Did you know that every single person that walks on the planet is automatically headed for an eternity in a place of torment and suffering? Did you know that every person that does not receive the free gift of salvation through the forgiveness of sin that Jesus offers will spend an eternity in Hell?

Last week, I took 3 of our youth to downtown Vancouver to do some Jesus Talk. We setup a sandwich board that reads “The Gospel Guy” and we had a whiteboard that had the “Question of the Day” on it. That day was, “What do you think will happen to you when you die?” MANY people would not give us the time of day. Walking and talking, walking and playing Pokemon, walking and listening to music, walking to work, walking on break, walking to lunch, you name it; they just wanted to walk and NOT talk with us….BUT, there were others who did stop and allow us to ask them the question and have conversation.

There is one guy particular that I want to tell you about because something stood out about him above all the rest. He was interested, he was full of questions, and he was atheist. When I asked him what He would say to God if/when he stands before Him someday and God asks him, “why should I allow you into My Heaven?” This guy said, “you shouldn’t”.

This guy had it right. Now, I don’t think he knew this verse, but he knew that there was no good reason for God to allow him into Heaven if he never believed in God in the first place. Something else stood out about this guy; he said, “I’m so thankful to be able to talk to you guys about this because my friends are atheist and won’t talk to me about this stuff.” An atheist thanked me for talking to him about Jesus!

My encouragement today is this: Be intentional about getting into conversations about the important topics of life. There are people starving out there to be able to talk about God and why they should believe in Him. People need to hear that they don’t meet God’s standard on their own and the only way to Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ!

Have a great week talking to people 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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Happy Anniversary TOGETHER!

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

Since we have been in Vancouver, I have had a harder time nourishing and cherishing my wife. Not that I haven’t wanted to, but because of the business of life and not having a routine of life that I am used to. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the hardest thing to do is make time for those who are the most important to you? Well, this week, I realized that I needed to make time for my wife. Yes, having an anniversary is one way to realize this, but if we wait until an anniversary to realize that we need to make time for our spouse, then chances are, it’s not going to be a happy anniversary TOGETHER.

This week, my wife and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. We celebrated it by being TOGETHER. We didn’t actually do the celebrating on the day of our anniversary, due to other commitments. But, we made sure that we took time for just the two of us to be TOGETHER. Our time consisted of exercise TOGETHER, walking downtown TOGETHER (Yes, Vancouver, that is where I live), drinking coffee TOGETHER, going out to dinner TOGETHER (ask me and I’ll tell you about this great restaurant), walking through the fish hatchery TOGETHER, and eating a frozen custard sundae TOGETHER.

I think there is something about being TOGETHER that Paul meant in Ephesians:

“for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church” Ephesians 5:29

In context, Paul is speaking of how husbands are to love their wives, they are supposed to nourish and cherish them just as their own body. But, how can a husband nourish and cherish his wife if they are not TOGETHER? It’s kinda hard and nearly impossible. I am not picking on, nor trying to make any body feel bad for their extenuating circumstances. I know there are situations due to work, military, and other life circumstances that a husband and wife are not able to be TOGETHER. I am not necessarily addressing those situations, but God’s word still stands.

Make sure that you spend much time TOGETHER with your spouse! Take a walk TOGETHER, pray TOGETHER, drink coffee TOGETHER, drive TOGETHER, work in the yard TOGETHER, play TOGETHER…. Then, you too can look forward to another Happy Anniversary TOGETHER!

Have a GREAT week as you and your spouse are TOGETHER!

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Ephesians 5:22-33

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Jesus Talk???

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

What is Jesus Talk? I have found that many Christians don’t talk to others about Jesus. This is not a condemning judgment on my part, but rather just my evaluation. I mean really, can you imagine why any Christian would not want to talk to someone about Jesus? Don’t get me wrong, I have not always been so hot on the idea myself. On the other hand, I have not always loved Jesus either. But you know, I love talking to people about the most important people in my life. I love talking to people about my wife, because she is awesome! I love talking to people about my boys, because they are awesome! AND, I love talking to people about Jesus, because He is AWESOME! He is “the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through [Him]” (John 14:6). Let’s not be people who allow the enemy to keep us silent! He kept me silent for way to long, but I cannot be silent anymore! Jesus transformed my life and I want everyone to know that He will do for the same for them!

So, what is this blog all about? This blog is going to be centered around just what the title says, “Jesus Talk”. Each post will: (1) be a discussion of an aspect of talking to people about Jesus, (2) have a scripture and how it relates to talking to people about Jesus, and (3) have an encouragement for you to go talk to people about Jesus.

Go share with someone this week that needs to hear that Jesus is the only way to the Father! And remember to do this with “gentleness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Have a Great Week talking 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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The Issue of Authority!

Marriage and Family

The issue of Authority….

I’ve not met very many people who would say, “I love authority!” I have met more people that say (directly or indirectly), “I don’t want anyone to be my authority, I don’t want anyone to control me.”

Jesus said to his disciples before He ascended into Heaven, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

Has Jesus really been given ALL authority? Does Jesus have ALL authority in people’s lives? This certainly doesn’t match up with my experience. In fact, my experience says, Jesus doesn’t have much authority in people’s lives. We can look at many different areas in people’s lives today to see that He doesn’t have much authority. This morning, let’s consider just one area: Marriage.

Does Jesus have authority in my marriage? Does Jesus have authority in your marriage? What would our marriages look like if He did have ALL authority in our marriage? Would we FIGHT LESS? Would we LOVE MORE? Would we give our spouse the BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT? Would we TRUST MORE? Would we SPEAK KINDLY? Would we FORGIVE SOONER? Would we PRAY MORE for our spouse?

I think if Jesus had authority in our marriages, we would spend less time worrying about who was right and who was wrong. Furthermore, if Jesus had authority in our marriages, we would spend more time trying to see how we can make God and our spouse happy with our marriage!

The Word for marriages today: Jesus DOES have all authority, now let’s allow Him to have ALL authority in our Marriages!

Have a great day!



Got Milk?

Marriage and Family

Let me set the scene for you….We were getting ready for dinner…wait, let me rephrase that. Rebecca was preparing dinner, the boys were getting drinks, and I was working on the budget at the table. Ryan says, “are we out of milk?” To which I respond in a somewhat disgusted tone, “we are out of milk?” As if someone (my wife) in the household is to never allow our house to ever run out of the bare necessities like milk. To which my wife responded, “yep”. Thankfully, my wife chose to not respond to my tone.

Sometimes, I have too high of expectations or simply, silly expectations. The Bible says for husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 6:25). This is a powerful verse when we think about what Christ did for the church. He died on the cross to save the church from sin. What a different world we would live in if husbands were to love their wives in this way.

This morning, I was reading my bible at the table and my wife came out to give me a kiss like usual. Then, she proceeded to the kitchen. She got cereal out of the cupboard, opened the fridge to get the milk only to remember, we are out of milk. At that moment, an idea popped into my mind, ‘you could go get milk’. ‘I don’t want to’, I said to myself. But then, I thought that would be a good thing to do for my wife and for my boys. So, I put on my walking shoes and told my wife that I was going for a prayer walk. So I prayed on the way to the store and on the way, I found Larson’s Bakery that makes cinnamon rolls. I didn’t buy one this morning, but I plan on it soon!

Do you ever have too high of expectations for your someone in your household? A wise man once said, “rule yourself with your mind, rule others with your heart”. Show people how valuable they are by giving them grace. I’m not saying don’t have good expectations. I am saying,
 

Value people more than your expectations!

Have a great day placing value in your marriage and family!

 


The Day After…

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is keeping to a commitment or a decision that we have made the day after you made it. Going on a diet….walking/jogging regularly….journal entries….praying….reading your Bible. What is it that keeps us from keeping our commitments?

I did not regularly watch Transformers growing up, but the tag line…Transformers, more than meets the eye…has always stayed with me. When it comes to keeping our commitments that to God and to His people there is more than meets the eye when it comes to things getting in the way.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Yesterday, I spoke on “Those who wait for the Lord will get new strength and be given the ability to fly high” from Isaiah 40:27-31. I challenged you to make a commitment and declare to God that you will bind yourself together with Him. Most of the church came forward in response and twisted their yarn together with the big rope that represented God’s strength. I told you four things that involve binding yourself together with God, which are: meditating on God’s word, talking with Him, getting together with other Christians to talk about God, and obey Him.

Today, is the day after. Will you keep your commitment? Or, will something get in your way from binding yourself to Him today? My encouragement is for you to identify what might get in your way from binding together with the Lord and then make a plan to not allow it to get in the way. 

Don’t allow anything to get in your way from binding yourself together with the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth today! 

It’s Time to Fly!



Glory?

Glory….

What is it? Can you define it? Is it something you can smell? Is it something you can taste? Christians use this word like they use the word waffles. Everyone knows waffles. After this post this morning, I am going to make my family waffles. As soon as I say that, for many of you, your saliva glands start working and you wonder if you could invite yourself over to my place. Did you know that glory is one of those words that should get your system going just as much as the word waffle? I want to encourage you to do a word study in the Bible on glory and figure out how it relates to God and your relationship with God.
 

The Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of the letter to the Galatians said, “And they were glorifying God because of me” (Galatians 1:24). Paul was a fierce persecutor of the church. He hated Christians! He was going around and killing Christians until Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. After Jesus got a hold of his life, Paul became a fierce proponent of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine the thoughts and feelings that Christians were having about this man who once was trying to kill people like them, but now is going around preaching about the Savior they have trusted in for salvation. Ever tried to forgive someone before? Talk about hard!

Apparently many did forgive, because they were “glorifying God because of” the new man, the transformed after meeting Jesus, Paul. When we live our life for Jesus and are really sold out to Him, people around us are going to give glory to God. Question, are the people around you giving glory to God because of your relationship with Him?

Let’s be a church (body of Christ) that helps those around us give glory to God! This will happen as our words and actions are transformed because of the work that Jesus does in our hearts!

Have a great day and go eat a Waffle!