Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

Claim God’s Promises for Your Marriage!

“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3

The promises above are incredible!

The promises above are out of this world!

The promises above can be yours if you want them!

Are you prospering in your marriage? Is your marriage growing? Is your marriage fulfilling?

I want to encourage you to open your Bible to Psalm 1 and read verses 1-3.

Go Ahead, Read Psalm 1:1-3 before you continue.

Everyone can grow in their marriage. Everyone can do better as a spouse. You know the answer to the common question, “Good.” That’s how many people answer: “How is your marriage?”

Rebecca and I have a great marriage! This is not without MUCH effort. This is not without struggle. The fact is, relationships are work. The amazing thing is that God promises that the person who is willing to meditate on His Word regularly and consistently will prosper in ‘whatever’ he/she does.

Want a stronger marriage? Meditate on God’s word regularly and consistently.

“How can you say that, Randy? How does that work?”

God’s Word teaches us to Forgive. God’s Word teaches us to Love. God’s Word teaches us to look out for others more than ourselves; this is called being Unselfish. God’s Word teaches us to Think Right.

Go ahead, claim the promises of God for your marriage!

Have a Great Week!



Show Me the Money!

“Then Moses said, ‘I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!’” Exodus 33:18

As I sit in my warm living room this morning by the fire and look out the window at the white covered ground…I’m reminded of the condition of my heart without God’s grace and Spirit working in me.

Without God…my heart is cold

Without God…my heart is icy

Without God…my heart is hard

But God comes in and makes my heart warm…He makes my heart tender…He sets my heart a flame!

Moses asked God to show him His glory. The word glory in the Hebrew means wealth. Moses wanted to see all that God was worth. Moses did not ask God to “Show me the money!”…Moses was asking God to show him all that He was. Moses wanted to know His God more intimately. Although Moses (nor any human) couldn’t handle the FULLNESS of God, God showed him his backside…

My prayer this morning is that God will show me His glory!

To see Jesus is to see the glory of God. (John 1:14) When we see Jesus…When we know Jesus…We will speak of Him!  

O Christian, let us seek to see Jesus more fully that we may be on fire to speak of Him!



Regaining the Joy of the Dance

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm…” Song of Solomon 8:6

This morning Rebecca and I woke up to this view. We are staying on the Oregon Coast while attending a marriage conference. In this blog, I am going to give you some of the teaching that we received last evening at our last teaching session led by long time pastors in our conference.

Regaining the Joy of the Dance by Tom and Roberta Hurt (Retired Pastors from OCEC)

  • Betrayal – The Loss of the Dance!

“Stay Alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Betraying your spouse doesn’t happen in a moment but over a slow fade (ref. Casting Crows “Slow Fade”)…we need to have boundaries in our lives!

  • The Road Back – Practice Your Individual Dance Steps!

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive…” 1 John 1:9

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other…” Ephesians 4:32

“confess your sins to each other and pray for each other…” John 5:16
 

The Road Back involves: Pursuing God, Repentance, Humility, Boundaries and Accountability

               Bonus thought from Pastor Tom: Satan lives in lies and secrets

  • Restoration 101 – Learning to Dance Again!

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

Find new activities that you are your spouse can do together

  • Restored – The Joy of the Dance!

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm…” Song of Solomon 8:6

“Two are better than one…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12

The way you think about your spouse is the way you live towards your spouse. Make sure your thinking is right towards your spouse.

If you have betrayed your spouse or have been betrayed, please consider these steps. Having a strong marriage takes work but it is totally worth it.

Heavenly Father, please bring restoration to marriages in our churches. May our marriages become a blessing to You, Lord, and an example to the communities that we live in. Amen.  



A Love Song

“But as for me, I shall sing of Thy strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Thy lovingkindness in the morning…” Psalm 59:16a

Nearly everyday I start off my prayer walk by singing “I love you Lord, and I lift my voice…”

So, when I say this verse this morning, I thought it was very fitting!

I think there is a connection with singing to the Lord in private and talking about Him in public. If I am willing to intimately sing to my Lord in private, I will want to talk about Him in public.

Jesus is worthy of me having such an intimate relationship with Him that I sing to Him in private. He is also worthy of me speaking about Him in public. The two feed off of each other! The more I speak about Him in public, the more I want to sing to Him in private. The more I sing to Him in private, the more I want to speak about Him in public.

You might be saying “But Randy I am not musically inclined…” Neither am I!  

I have found that as I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I want to sing to Him in private and speak about Him in public!

Go ahead, give Jesus a Valentine this Week by singing to Him in private and speak about Him in public!

Have a Great Week!



A Piece of Camelot

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

This morning, on my prayer walk, I was asking God to continue to change me into the man that He wants me to be. I asked God to help me be a husband and a father that brings love, joy, and peace to my household. I said, “God, please help me bring a piece of Camelot to my home.” I borrowed this idea from a book I recently read by Stu Webber.

The home is supposed to be a place of safety.

The home is supposed to be a place of rest.

The home is supposed to be a place full of joy and peace.

The home is supposed to be our little piece of Camelot.

I love the verse above because it shows us where are True Home is…with God!

Husbands…Wives…Dads…Moms…you have the privilege of working towards having your own piece of Camelot at home.

How do we get there? How do we achieve this?

  1. Smile…work at keeping your expressions full of joy.
  2. Use Kind words…work at speaking to your family in a way that lifts them up and not tear them down.
  3. Think…think on God’s Word, you’ll be amazed at how it lifts your spirit.
  4. Pray…Ask God to help make you into a person of love, joy, and peace.

Having a piece of Camelot doesn’t take money…it doesn’t take perfection…it doesn’t take a round table…

Having a piece of Camelot takes intentional effort to be the people that God designed us to be in the first place!

Have a Great Week!



Jump in the lake!

“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” Romans 1:16

In the message yesterday, I mentioned A.W. Tozer’s comment on “Civilized Christianity”. Civilized Christianity could almost be compared to going to the lake with a group of friends but not jumping in. Here are a few thoughts:

Civilized Christianity is…

               …blending in…

               …careful to not step on toes by not sharing God’s Word…

               …politically correct…

               …weak…

True Christianity is…

               …having confidence in Christ…(Acts 4:13)

               …teaching and proclaiming Jesus…(Acts 4:2)

               …filled with the Holy Spirit…(Acts 1:8)

               …pursuing one heart with fellow believers…(Acts 4:32)

Civilized Christianity doesn’t…

               …pray on the spot for people…

               …get uncomfortable to help those in need…

               …talk in public about Jesus being the Only Way…

               …deal with sin…

True Christianity does…

               …speak the word of God with boldness…(Acts 4:31)

               …get uncomfortable to care for other’s needs…(Acts 4:34)

               …result in being together to lift our voices to God…(Acts 4:24)

               …proclaim Jesus as the Only Way for salvation! (Acts 4:12)

Have you jumped in? 

Have a Great Week!



Responding to the Fire

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” Psalm 103:8

As I type this, I hear the low roar of our woodstove. There is something comforting to me about a contained roaring fire that brings heat to my home. As hot and strong as the fire is right now, it didn’t get there on its own. I got up out of my chair seven or eight times to interrupt my reading to tend to the fire. Add a piece of wood, rearrange the wood, add a piece of wood, open the door, add a piece of wood, close the door…responding to the fire in the right way this morning led it to burn hot.

As a parent and a spouse, the way I respond to my family can either weaken or strengthen my relationship with my family member. Just as my responses to the fire in the woodstove this morning led to a strong fire. My responses can lead to a stronger family. My responses are highly important to building a strong bond between us.

God is compassionate and gracious. God is slow to anger. God is full of lovingkindness. God expects me to live by His example. God gives us the example of how we should respond to our family.

Is there an area that you need to improve your responses to your family? I certainly need to continue to grow in this area.

One way to grow in this area is to spend extra time thinking on the parts of scripture that reveal the character of God. As we think about God’s word and His character while trying to practice it; God starts adding His character to our lives.

Want to start today? Try spending some time in Psalm 103:8-10.

Have a Great Week!



Basketball Player, Astronaut, Wife

“for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20

There is a phenomenon happening in the world today…have you noticed? This phenomenon doesn’t apply to everyone…only to Christians. Tell me if this seems to ring true with your observations…there seems to be many Christians that don’t think they have what it takes to speak to others about Jesus.

Have you observed this?

Does this seem rather odd?

A Christian…that can’t talk to others about Jesus…?

Wouldn’t it be odd if a basketball player couldn’t tell you the basic rules of basketball?

Wouldn’t it be odd if an astronaut couldn’t tell you the first thing about space?

Wouldn’t it be odd if a wife couldn’t give a basic description of her beloved husband?

Don’t get me wrong…I used to be one myself…that is…a Christian that didn’t think I could talk to others about Jesus…I never want to go back there because that was not a good place to be.

Christians are…well, Christians…They follow Jesus. Christians get to know Jesus. Christians grow in their relationship with Jesus…Christians talk to others about Jesus.

My encouragement for us is to be Christians…speak about what you have seen and heard about Jesus!

Have a Great Week!



Help Me!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Help!…

A pastor once said, “the simplest prayer of all is… ‘Help!’”

I am so thankful that I serve a God that is willing and able to help me in time of need. This is a truth that I will cling to.

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a lady about her thoughts about God. She shared with me how she believed in Him and how He has helped her along with some of her family members. As she spoke about her belief about God, I wondered if she had faith in Jesus or if it was simply a belief that there was a God who could help.

Believing there is a God and having a saving faith in Jesus Christ are not the same. One recognizes there is a higher power and a reason for existence, the other is surrendering a life because of the recognition that salvation comes through no other name.

God wants to help! Ultimately, He wants to help people come to know His son Jesus Christ. Why? Because faith in Jesus will not only help in this life, but for eternity!

God will also help you tell others. Are you willing?

Have a Great Week!



Family Rest

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,” Psalm 37:7

My wife and I love to sit and watch the ocean! We love to watch the waves crash on the shore and the mist dissipate into the air! There is something soothing and restful about watching the ocean.

Waves by nature are not peaceful. Waves by nature are not restful. Waves are destructive. Waves are forceful. Waves are full of terror.

There is One is who stronger than any wave…there is One who can provide safety when the waves are crashing…there is One who says, “do not fret…rest in Me…wait for Me”

One of the best things you can do for your family is to practice resting in the Lord. Have times of resting in the Lord individually. Have times of resting in the Lord as a family.

At the beginning of each year, my family takes a retreat. At this retreat, we practice resting in the Lord. I don’t have room in this blog to share the details. But, it starts with a choice. We choose to take a retreat centered on God and spending time with Him.

Do you have a time that you and your family rest in the Lord?

Choose today to plan a time for your family to rest in the Lord.

Have a Great Week!