Thoughts from Pastor Randy…

A Season of Joy: Joy of the Promised Messiah

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Lighting of Advent Candle – Jeremiah 33:14-16

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

“‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.

In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it[a] will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’

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Other Recent Recordings

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Being Thankful!

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” Philippians 1:3

Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Rolls, Dessert….. Happy Thanksgiving!

Maybe your heart is full this Thanksgiving and you feel as though you have much to be thankful for. But, what if it’s not?

As good as life can be, life can be really hard! When life is hard, it’s hard to be thankful! And yet, it is in the midst of some very hard circumstances that the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians. He was in prison and he starts off his letter with telling the Philippians how thankful he is for them.

Let’s be people that choose to be thankful no matter what life feels like today. Let’s start with the family that lives in our house, then the family that lives nearby, then the family that is farther off.

All too often, we can spend time being thankful for others to the neglect of our family.

My encouragement for us this week: Make sure your family knows how thankful you are for them!

What if we struggle being thankful for the people in our life? Practice the steps below.

5 Steps to Help You be Thankful for People

  1. Remember the good about the person
  2. If you can’t think of the good about the person, think of what Jesus did for you on the cross and then remember that He died for that person too. (John 3:16)
  3. Make your mind dwell on the good, REFUSE to dwell on the negative (Philippians 4:8)
  4. Pray for the person along with asking God to grow your heart for the person
  5. Say ‘Thank You’
    1. Use your words face to face
    2. Send them a Card
    3. Text them Thank You
    4. Email them Thank You

Helpful Tip: Don’t use social media for thanking a person until you have done it personally first. Broadcasting to the world does more for you than it does for the person you are thanking.

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Just the Facts

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

“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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

“Just the facts, ma’am” – Stan Freberg’s Parodying Dragnet

God still loves the world!

God is still saving sinners!

Only those who believe in Jesus will be saved!

Only those who hear about Jesus will be able to believe in Him!

Why is this important?

The world is still full of sinners who need to hear about and be encouraged to believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ!

My encouragement for us this week: Talk to people about Jesus!

Those who know the Bible and follow it are the ones who possess the message of eternal life!

Will you take up the mantle of sharing the message of 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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Best Marriage in the World

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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;” Philippians 2:3

I love the outdoors! I love lakes! I love rivers! I love trails! I love God’s Creation! Last summer, we went for a hike at Multnomah falls. The switch-back trail to the top is a killer! It’s steep, it’s tiring, it’s downright tough! I think some of us were ready to turn around and give up! But, we were glad that we didn’t. The reward of the view from the platform above was worth it!

Do you ever have trouble in your marriage? Do you ever feel like your marriage is steep, tiring, and downright tough? As sure as the waterfall that flows over the cliff will fall to the ground; trouble and conflict will arise in marriage. Does that mean you should run? Does that mean you should give up?

The best marriages in the world go through hard times. The best marriages in the world know what pain is. The best marriages in the world know what struggle is. The best marriages in the world practice the scripture above.

I personally struggle with the first four words of that verse… I like me. I like comfort. I like pleasure. I like, I like, I like…

If I want to have the best marriage in the world (And I do!), I need to practice not focusing on me, me, me, but on her, her, her…

When both, husband and wife, take on the attitude of “regard one another as more important than him/herself”, you are on the trail to the best marriage in the world. Remember, that trail can be steep, that trail can be tiring, that trail can be downright tough. Don’t give up! There is great reward at the top! (much more than at Multnomah Falls!)

My encouragement for us this week: Practice treating your spouse as the most important person in the world! It will be worth it!

Have a Great Week!

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Amazing and Merciful!

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

“And when [Manasseh] was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13

Most of us realize that there is such thing as right and wrong. Protecting a baby is the right thing to do. Needlessly hurting someone is the wrong thing to do. Unfortunately, knowing right and wrong doesn’t necessarily mean that people know what sin is. Biblical literacy is not what it once was in the United States of America. Because of this, people are sinning against God and are not aware of what is in store for them.

Manasseh was King of Judah. He was the most evil king that ever ruled in the land of Canaan. Not only did he sin, but he led his people to do more sin than other pagan nations. Because of this, God allowed a pagan nation to conquer him.

One might expect the story to end there. But, it doesn’t! When Manasseh was conquered by a foreign nation, he cried out to God and God responded favorably to Manasseh.

God forgave Manasseh and restored Him to his kingdom! The God of the Bible is a God of Mercy and Grace!  

  1. Is there anyone you need to forgive? Remember, God won’t forgive you if you don’t forgive people from your heart.
  2. Do you need forgiveness from God? God will forgive you if you turn to Him!

My encouragement for us this week: Choose to restore a relationship that has been broken because of sin and then go tell someone how amazing the God of the Bible is!

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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Truly Great Once Again!

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

Last evening my family and I were glued to the TV to find out what was going to happen with the presidential election. It wasn’t just my wife and I, my boys were just as excited and anxious to follow the news channel to find out who won. We prayed several times through the evening, each taking a turn, asking God to intervene. I was proud to have my boys be invested and interested in the election of the highest order in our country. Kids caring about the important things in life doesn’t just happen on its own…

Rewind two weeks ago. My boys and I were having our weekly Father/Son time at the fine dining establishment of our choice, the place that we can eat for under $12 that includes a tasty chicken sandwich…. Anyway, I brought along a magazine I had received from the Billy Graham Administration, called Decision America 2016. In this magazine, there was an excellent article on the two major political platforms. It brought up the fact that behind every leader there is a platform and then it went on to share the stance these platforms take on important issues. I read these to my boys, helping them understand the big words and think through how these issues align with the Bible.

You see, our kids will find important that which we find important if we take time to lovingly and thoughtfully communicate it to them.

Whether the person you voted for won the election or not. The scripture above still applies. Let’s teach our families to follow God’s word in every area of life. If every leader of their family would be willing to start taking steps to help their family follow God’s Word, our country will become, truly, a great nation once again.

My encouragement for us this week: Lovingly and thoughtfully, help your family follow God’s Word, the Bible!

Have a great week!

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Ephesians 5:22-33

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The Only Hope For Tomorrow

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

“God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 3:27

In yesterday’s message, I said, “The Only hope for tomorrow is Jesus Christ.”

I believe that with all my heart. But what does that mean? What does that look like?

We live in a hurting world. Hunger, Disease, Sex-trafficking, Murder, and morals are becoming non-existent. How can a person have any hope for the future? The answer is, hope is found in no one else other than Jesus Christ, Savior of the world! There will be a day that He comes back to setup His kingdom here on earth. When He is King on earth, there will be no more hunger, disease, sex-trafficking, murder, and immorality. We don’t know when that day is going to happen, but we are told to be ready.

The verse above reveals that Godly Leaders are also the only hope for tomorrow. If you are a Christian, then you are to be a godly leader. The Bible says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” If you have Christ in you, if you are a Christian, then you have the hope living within you. Are you sharing your hope? Are you giving your hope away for others to have? Don’t worry, if you give your hope to others, yours will never go away. Only those who don’t share their hope, in the end find that theirs is gone. A Christian’s hope was never designed to be kept a secret!

3 Ways to Share Your Hope This Week:

  1. Tell someone what the Bible says about Jesus
  2. Tell someone what Jesus did for you
  3. Tell someone how they can start a relationship with Jesus (Rom 3:23; 6:23; John 3:3; 14:6; Rom 10:9-11; 2 Cor 5:15; Rev 3:20)

Have a great week talking to 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

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Jesus Talk Tools” url_new_window=”on” use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%173%%” 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://www.navigators.org/Tools”] [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Jesus Talk Experiences” url_new_window=”on” use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%154%%” icon_color=”#c94e7f” 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=”https://www.facebook.com/groups/1779147522311161/”] [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]



Are you Covered?

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Jesus Talk

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Praying on Street Corner

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

He loved us! How did He love us? By sending His son “to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t use, nor do I hear people use the word ‘propitiation’ on a regular basis. Most people probably don’t even know what this words means. Propitiation has a two-fold meaning, (1) that of covering over something or someone, and (2) deflecting or turning away the wrath that is about to consume something or someone.

Did you know that God’s wrath is going to come upon the person that is not covered by His Son, Jesus Christ? God is a just God and therefore must punish sin. But, He loved us so much that He sent His one and only son to be our covering.

I have two boys. If one of them was about to get hurt, and I had the ability to put myself in their place to take the hurt, I would. But, how many of us would be willing to give up our own child to save someone else? That is what God did for you and for me. He loves us that much!

The people who live in your neighborhood, the people you work with, the people who shop at your grocery store, the people who exercise at your gym; they need to know that God loves them and that He sent “His Son to be the propitiation for” their sins.

My encouragement for us this week: Find a way to use the word ‘Propitiation’ in a conversation this week and then share with that person how that reveals how much God loves them!

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

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Jesus Talk Tools” url_new_window=”on” use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%173%%” 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://www.navigators.org/Tools”] [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Jesus Talk Experiences” url_new_window=”on” use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%154%%” icon_color=”#c94e7f” 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=”https://www.facebook.com/groups/1779147522311161/”] [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]



Eyes Wide Open for Halloween!

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

I love sweets! I love games! I love watching movies! I love having fun! That’s why when it comes to Halloween, I need to keep my eyes wide open! There are many sweets, games, movies, and fun activities available during Halloween time. It is a fun time of year!  We can get so lost in the fun that we forget the commands of God’s word.

A full moon, a black cat, bats, pumpkins…what is wrong with these things? Nothing! God made them all. There are many things like these that have been associated with Halloween. There is nothing wrong with them. On the other hand, there are many things associated with Halloween that are bad things. God’s word says to “Examine everything carefully”! Let’s make sure we follow God’s word even when we want to do something fun! This morning, I watched a video teaching on the origin of Halloween that I bought from Answers in Genesis. If you are interested, feel free to contact me.

My encouragement for Christians is to follow the scripture above when it comes to taking part in different aspects of Halloween.

Examine the candy received from random houses. I know someone who has received pins inside of theirs.

Examine the games having to do with Halloween. They may involve evil spiritual aspects.

Examine the movies you watch or allow your children to watch. Most Halloween Movies contain evil.

Examine the “Fun Activities” associated with Halloween. Make sure they are not illegal or immoral.

Examine, keep the good, throw away the bad!

Halloween is simply a fun time of year for many. But, it is also a very serious time of year for many who are making sacrifices for the dead and for their sins. Don’t allow the enemy, the devil, to get a foothold in your life by lowering your standard because of the time of year. Evil is always evil even when it is associated with a “Holiday”.

Have a great week “abstaining from every form of evil” so that you can stay close to Jesus!

 

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MEN

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Marriage and Family

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Dewater 4

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

Calling all Husbands and Fathers!!

“Be on the alert”

There is a real enemy that wants you to be ineffective in your relationship with God, your wife, and your children. He is laying out traps for you and for me. We need to be on the alert! We need to keep watch so that we don’t fall into his trap.

“Stand firm in the faith”

Why? Many reasons, but I will give you just two. (1) Because salvation comes through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and (2) Because your family is watching. How do you stand firm in the faith? Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

“Act like men”

I love this statement! I love it because our culture fights against men. Our culture has this idea that men and women are the same. Value doesn’t come from sameness; value comes from the author of the product. Men and women are equally valuable because God made them both. But men and women are different in body, heart, and mind. Men, what are you acting like? If you are acting like anything other than what God created you to be, then you are outside of God’s will for your life. Acting like men is not passive as our culture is trying to get us to be. Acting like men is acting with strength, love, and courage!

“Be strong”

What does acting like men look like? Strength! What areas in your life are you showing strength? What areas in your life are you weak? Each one of us has weak areas. We should not allow our weak areas to consume us, but we should give ourselves to God each day and allow Him to strengthen us. When it comes down to it, when Paul says, “be strong”, I believe he is referring to us doing what is right. From the beginning of time, to do what is right takes much strength. God has not made men to be passive, God has made men to be strong.

Husbands and Fathers, our families need strong leaders. Our communities need leaders who will do what is right. Our churches need leaders who will stand on the Word of God. Passive men lead to despair and apathy, Godly Men bring light and life!

My encouragement for us this week: Be God’s Man!

If you are a woman, my encouragement for you this week: share this with a man in your life.

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