Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

Finding THE Safe Place

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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

I’ve learned that the basic physical needs for humans to live are: food, water, shelter, and relationship.

As I reflect on my life, I am so thankful for the abundance I have of each of these. Me and my family have never gone hungry. We have never gone without water. We have never been homeless. And, we have very strong relationships. Sadly, most of the world cannot say the same.

I’ve also learned that every human being has a basic spiritual need that can only be met through a relationship with the Creator God of the universe, Jesus Christ.

Our lease on our apartment comes up in June. We have been looking at houses to buy, since that would be less expensive per month than renting our apartment. We put an offer on a house last week, $5,000 more than what the sellers were asking; we didn’t get it. When it comes to the housing market, it is not a safe place for buyers. I rest in the fact that My Lord is a safe place and I will continue to go to Him for safety for me and my family.

Last evening, we had a discussion around the dinner table about how we enter into Him, our safe place. We came up with these answers: prayer, reading and thinking about what God says in the Bible, and singing to Him.

What are some ways that you and your family enter THE safe place?

Have a Great Week!

#JesusLover        #CoffeewithRandy

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Did You Tell Me Everything?

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Jesus Talk

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“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” Acts 20:27

Did you tell me everything?

When it comes to people, it can be really hard to trust enough to tell them everything. Sometimes, it’s wisdom to not tell them everything.

When it comes to the gospel, we must tell everything!

God loves you! Therefore, He gave a gift to you; His name is Jesus. The problem is, we can’t receive the gift until we admit that we have sin in our hearts, turn from our sin and admit our need for Him.

One way that I try to declare the whole purpose of God is by going downtown Vancouver every week to talk to people about Jesus. There is a network of churches reaching people for Christ in the market square called The Gospel Guy. There are many ways of reaching people for Jesus. Although, at some point, the gospel of Jesus needs to be spoken so that people can hear and believe!

What is one way you communicate God’s purpose to the community around you?

If you are interested in finding out more about The Gospel Guy Salem or Vancouver, feel free to email me at pstrrandy@comcast.net

#JesusLover     #CoffeewithRandy

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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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I Don’t Have TIME

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

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

“Let’s talk later….”     “I’ll see you after work…”     “I’ll get to that right after…”     “I don’t have TIME…”

Do any of these sound familiar? Well, whether or not they come out of my mouth, these sentiments are certainly true of my relationship with my wife.

TIME is one thing we all have. TIME is one thing that we all have a choice of how to spend. We all have 24 hours in a day. We all have 7 days in a week. We all make a choice how or who we will spend our TIME with.

My wife and I have been trying to make a major decision in our life. It’s funny how when we don’t sit down to spend intentional TIME together, we don’t communicate as well.  Yesterday, I intentionally went home to get a quick bite to eat for lunch so that I could spend that TIME with my wife discussing important things about our decision.

This morning, my wife texted me a special note. It made me feel good! She thought of me and took TIME to text me. This may seem little, but a bunch of good little things can add up to a happy and healthy marriage!

We all go through different seasons of life, but a couple that is determined to have a healthy marriage will make TIME for each other in the midst of a busy life. Every marriage needs TIME together to BE and STAY healthy.

TIME is simply one thing that is needed to “nourish and cherish” your spouse and leads to other ways that you can love him/her.

What are some things that you do to “nourish and cherish” your spouse?

Have a Great Week!

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Just Got Out of Prison

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Jesus Talk

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“And they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.” Acts 16:40

Yawn, stretch, sniff, wipe nose, drink coffee…. Monday morning. Sound familiar?

The verse above probably gets this type of reaction when it is read. I don’t know that it has stuck out to me before. But then, I think that is because I haven’t really spent time thinking about what Paul and Silas went through leading up to this verse. Look at the beginning of the verse again, “they went out of the prison”. Paul and Silas were beaten with rods and then put in prison all because they were proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ which was causing disturbance in the city. After they witnessed to the jailer and he and his household got saved; they went to Lydia’s house and encouraged them.

Wow! What incredible faith in Jesus Christ to endure such circumstances and still be thinking of caring for others. The message from our service yesterday was all about being filled with Holy Spirit. When believers are filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit, even in the midst of persecution and trouble, they are concerned about the people around them.

I don’t know about you, but I need to grow in this area.

Christians have the responsibility to encourage fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord!

Some Ways to Encourage Your Brother and Sister in the Lord:

  1. Pray and Text: Stop what you are doing, Pray for that person and then text them to tell them you are praying for them. This is not to pat yourself on the back; rather, to let someone know you are truly praying for them.
  2. Invite to Coffee: Invite a brother or sister in Christ to coffee that you don’t normally go with. When you get there, share with them what Jesus is doing in your heart.
  3. Attend Church: The Christian life is not about attending a service; it is about loving and serving Jesus Christ. One of the reasons Jesus wants His people to gather together is to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:23-25).
  4. Ask: Ask someone within your congregation how you can help them.

Please reply some other ways to encourage our brothers and sisters in the Lord?

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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Don’t Laugh At Me

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Draw me after you and let us run together!” Song of Solomon 1:4a

Fun, Laughter, and Lightheartedness can go a long way in your marriage!

I started reading a book in the last week in effort to grow a weakness of mine. If you know me very well, you would know that I tend to be pretty serious. Seriousness can be a really good thing. Raising a family and following Jesus are such serious matters that the results will last for eternity.

I tend to be serious about everything; even myself. Don’t laugh at me, but thanks to some mentors in my life, I have come to realize that I need to be willing to laugh at myself along with work at being lighthearted. (Ok, you can laugh at me, just don’t point and laugh) This doesn’t mean that I can’t or shouldn’t be serious. Life is serious. God is serious. Marriage is serious. Life, God, and Marriage are also, fun!

Our spouse (and our kids) need us to be so serious about him/her that we are willing to work at being lighthearted and have fun with them. Adrian Gostick said, “It turns out that fun is serious business.”

Husbands and wives, working at being lighthearted and fun with each other will lead to a relationship as described in the verse above! People enjoy being around others who are so serious about life that they work at being lighthearted and fun!

My encouragement for us this week: Laugh at yourself and plan a fun outing that both you and your spouse will enjoy together!

Have a great week!

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Spam and Eggs

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Jesus Talk

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“And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly…” Acts 6:7

What do these three things have in common? The gender of your first born, a death in the family, and the latest juicy gossip on the president…. News that travels faster than you can make a fried egg! (Ok, definitely faster than that, I just had fried eggs on my mind)

Today, as soon as we know a bit of news, we are able to text it, tweet it, snap it, or facebook it faster than you can eat Spam and a fried egg. (Ok, I’m done with fried eggs. I had one for breakfast with a piece of Spam…So Good!)

How about the Good News? I love what it says in the verse above regarding the early church spreading the Word of God. The results were that people got saved and became followers of Jesus Christ.

How can we spread the Word of God more? Can you imagine the impact we could have for God if every Christian were to come up with one more way to spread the Word of God more than they do right now?

If you have ideas on how to spread the Word of God more, please share.

My encouragement for us this week: Come up with a way to spread the Word of God and then do it!

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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Local Church Helping Your Family?

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

Last evening consisted of a baseball game, a meeting at church, dinner, and medicine routine. To some this sounds like nothing compared to your schedule; to others it may sound hectic.

As I read the early account of the church, I get a sense of what was important to Christian families in their day. The verse above lays it out plainly; Bible teaching, fellowship, eating, and prayer. I have read this verse many times. I don’t know that I have read it thinking about how that impacted families lives in their day.

Were they less busy? Did they not play sports or have other extracurricular activities? Obviously, this was from a different time and a different culture. But one thing is true, they set their priorities for what was most important. Sometimes, it can be REALLY TOUGH to set these priorities.

What does this look like in your family? How do you set priorities for your family to be part of your local church? A better question may be, how does your local church help you live this out in your family?

My encouragement for us this week: Consider God’s priorities for your family and then start making any needed adjustments.

Have a Great Week Loving Your Family!

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One Night in Jail

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Jesus Talk

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“if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Romans 10:9

I’m so glad for EASTER! I’m so glad my SAVIOR died for me! I’m so glad Jesus is ALIVE!

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with a young man in his early twenties at the park. He had just got out of jail after spending one night for a DUI. I asked him the question of the day and then went on to ask him about his thoughts about God. He shared that when he was growing up, Christianity was shoved down his throat; therefore, he didn’t want anything to do with it. I shared with Him that God came out of Heaven to die on a cross to pay for his sin so that he wouldn’t have to spend eternity in jail.

Christianity is not a religion to shove down people’s throats. The Christian life is all about growing in a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Creator and Savior of the world! Jesus came to conquer death so that you might have life forever more!

My encouragement for us this week: Confess Jesus as Lord and help people believe in their hearts that He is alive!

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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Your Biggest Fear

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.” Mark 15:47

Yesterday I went to the park to talk to people about Jesus. The question of the day was, “What is your biggest fear?” One lady said, “Not going to Heaven”; another person said, “death”; yet another said, “losing those I love”. One person asked me what mine was…that’s what I get for asking others… My biggest fear is failing at being a husband and a father.

This week represents the week that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a Sunday nearly 2,000 years ago as He was preparing to give Himself as the perfect sacrifice to pay for my sins and yours. This coming Friday, Good Friday, represents the day that He was crucified. Jesus loves me so much that He gave His life for me! Jesus loves you so much that He gave His life for you!

This morning, I had an interaction with my wife that I’m not proud of. I have apologized and she has forgiven me, but as I reflect on what Jesus did for me; I’m reminded of what Paul told the Ephesians about how husbands are supposed to love their wives. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). I messed that one up this morning!!

Sometimes, it’s so hard to do the right thing; especially when your feelings don’t match up. I’m so thankful that Jesus did not act according to His feelings, but He resolved Himself to go to the cross for you and for me! I’m also thankful for a wife that has resolved to forgive me because of what Jesus has done for her! And there is the key! When we keep the cross before us, we are able to live beyond our mess-ups along with forgive those who hurt us. Thank You Jesus!

Let’s be people that resolve to think on Jesus so that we can live like Him!

My encouragement for us this week: Think on the Cross; Think on the Empty Tomb. And, go love your spouse the way God told you to!

Have a Great Easter Celebrating JESUS IS RISEN!

#CoffeewithRandy    #JesusLover   #JesusIsRisen

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A Big Deal

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Jesus Talk

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“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:9b-10

Yesterday, I shared a message about preparing the way for our King. Those who lined the path placing palm branches and clothing in the road before Jesus on His way into Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago, whether they knew it or not, were preparing the way for the king. As Jesus was passing by, they were yelling out the words above.

Hosanna has a twofold meaning. One is, “Lord, save we pray”. The other is a praise of adoration, recognizing that He is the One Who saves.

To prepare the way for our King also has a two-fold meaning. First, we need to prepare the way for our King in our own hearts; second, in the hearts and lives of those around us. Both have to do with relationship. The first is our personal relationship with God. To prepare the way for Jesus in our own hearts is to daily recognize our need for Him. The second has to do with relationship with others. Jesus is a BIG DEAL and therefore, Christians have the responsibility to make a BIG DEAL about Jesus!

My encouragement for us this week: Reflect on the BIG DEAL about Jesus, then go share it with at least 5 people.

Have a Great Week making a BIG DEAL about Jesus!

Ways to Recognize Your Need for Jesus Everyday:

  • Think About a Passage of Scripture Everyday
  • Thank Him for Your Life Everyday
  • Sing a Praise to Him Everyday
    • Example of a Praise Psalm to sing based on Psalm 51:10:

                              “Create in me a clean heart, O God

                               And renew a right spirit within me

                              Create in me a clean heart, O God

                              And renew a right spirit within me

 

                              Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord

                             Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me

                             Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation

                            And renew a right spirit within me”

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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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