If your Gonna Fight, You Might as well win!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3

Do you ever fight in your marriage?

I once heard an older couple who had been married for many years say that they had never fought in their marriage. I didn’t laugh out loud at the time, but I questioned the truth of the statement. After being married for more than 18 years, I have concluded that fighting in marriage is a normal thing. Although, it needs to shift from fighting each other to fighting together.

If you’re gonna fight, you might as well win…We need to fight to have a blessed marriage!

The marriage relationship is the most important relationship next to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I was reading a book recently that described how our marriages are in a war. Given the statistics on marriage, divorce, and single parent homes; the reality is, we must fight if we are going to have a marriage that is blessed. Just make sure your right hook is not going towards your spouse but the enemy of your marriage.

A blessed marriage brings joy and happiness to the husband and wife.

A blessed marriage brings stability to a child’s life.

A blessed marriage brings security to a community.

A blessed marriage is what God intended in the first place.

5 Things to Fight For:

  • Fight for time to enjoy your spouse (meal together, good movie, walk in the park, cuddle on the couch, etc.)
  • Fight for times of prayer together with your spouse.
  • Fight for times of praying alone to ask God to bless your spouse.
  • Fight for Good Thoughts about your spouse.
  • Fight FOR your spouse NOT against your spouse.

The verse above is not speaking of marriage but it provides a truth that I am applying to marriage. The marriage that is IN Christ, has every spiritual blessing available to it. Go ahead, ask God to help your marriage realize every spiritual blessing that is yours IN Christ!

Don’t Forget About Peter!

“But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” Mark 16:7

Who do you know that once followed Jesus, but now is not?

As I go into the community and speak with people about Jesus; I find there are many people who grew up going to church, but now for many different reasons they don’t. Please don’t mis-understand. Going to church and following Jesus are not synonymous statements. They simply go hand in hand. Those who follow Jesus want to gather together with His followers to praise God, learn about God, and encourage each other.

For some, life is too busy.

For others, they had a bad experience.

For many, they have simply stopped believing.

We, Jesus Followers (Christians), have a responsibility to not forget the Peter’s in our life…we need to let them know that Jesus still cares about them. Jesus died on the cross for them. Jesus wants them.

Who in your life is like Peter? No, I’m not asking who has walked on water towards Jesus…but who do you know once followed Jesus, but at some point in their life they denied Him and they need to know that Jesus has not given up on them. Don’t forget about Peter! Tell them this week that Jesus is alive! Tell them this week that Jesus still wants them! Tell them this week that God’s love is so strong, so far reaching…it can even reach them!

Have a Great Week Remembering What Jesus Did for You on the Cross!

Planting Seeds for Spring

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

You wouldn’t realize tomorrow was the first day of Spring by the temperature and fog this morning. But, the calendar says it is.

Spring brings new life.

Spring brings new growth.

Spring brings fresh opportunities.

This picture of seeds represents “Gospel Conversations”. Each seed represents a conversation that a person from East Vancouver Community Church has had in our community. The thing about seeds is they don’t always appear to produce anything at first. Sometimes a seed will not show any growth for weeks or months. But, eventually, when the rain comes and the sun shines, the seed starts growing.

Spring is a great time to plant seeds and see them grow! The more seeds we plant the more growth we get to see!

Let’s plant more seeds by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16


Hi, My Name is Randy and I am a Comfy Christian

“And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria…therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” Acts 8:1&4

Discomfort can lead to a greater scatter…

I don’t believe Christians should look for persecution. I don’t believe Christians should try to be quarrelsome. I don’t believe Christians are victims.

I DO believe Christians should look for opportunities to show Christ to the lost! I DO believe that Christians should look for ways to communicate the Gospel to the lost! I DO believe that Christians are overwhelmingly victorious through Jesus! (Romans 8:37)

The fact is, in life we go through seasons that are uncomfortable. Financial, health, relationships; we all have seasons of discomfort. That being said, those of us that live in the U.S. don’t know discomfort in regard to our faith.

I am a Comfy Christian. I show up to a church service when I want, I go to a home Bible study when I want, I talk or don’t talk to a person in the community about Jesus when I want.

I don’t believe Christians should try to be uncomfortable simply to be uncomfortable.

I DO believe Christians should push past their comfort zone to show the lost who Jesus is!

Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that I could be a Comfy Christian

Jesus died on the cross to set me free! The only Right Response is to give Him my life and tell others about Him!

High School Orientation Already!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18

Last evening my wife and I took our oldest son to his high school orientation evening (I’m that old!). After the initial talk, we went to the student center where all the clubs were represented. I walked by the “leadership” club with my son and asked what it was all about. The first thing the student said was, “we just wanna spread the love”.

Earlier that morning, I didn’t do a very good job of “spreading the love”. I had one of those interactions with my wife that afterward, I wish I could have pushed the rewind button and started over. I will not go into all the details because I don’t care to share with you how lame I really am. But, when my wife asked me a question of how she could support me, I gave her a response that put her on the defense.

After analyzing my response, I came to understand how that response could have made her feel that way. I came to realize that my response was rooted in fear. The Bible tells us that “perfect love casts out fear”. Fear causes us to respond in ways that are not loving. Fear causes us to say things that are the opposite of love because to love is the opposite of fear.

What areas are you responding out of fear rather than love?

Husbands, Wives…Dads, Moms…we need to grow in our love so that our interactions can be loved based rather than fear based. To grow in Love is to grow in Christ, to grow in Christ is to grow in Love!

Fear causes separation, Love brings together

Have a Great Week!

I Forgive My Sister!

“And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” And having said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60

Growing up I played basketball in my driveway. I had a basketball hoop that was cemented into the ground next to the driveway; I would play for hours. One day, my sister backed her car into the basketball pole and bent it over. You may laugh, but to a young boy this is devastating! I forgive my sister.

Yesterday our youth put on a skit to introduce the passage of scripture for the message. The skit depicted Stephen being killed for his faith in Jesus Christ along with his amazing final words, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”

One of the hardest things in life to do is forgive. I recently had a conversation with someone who said they can’t forgive others. This person asked how it is possible to forgive.

Forgiveness is not easy. The truth is, people don’t deserve to be forgiven. Regardless, the fact is, I have been forgiven by Jesus Christ for my sin and He says that if I don’t forgive others from a pure heart than I will not be forgiven from the Father in Heaven.

How to forgive others:

  1. Focus on the Cross Daily: Focus on what Jesus did for you by dying on the cross so that you could be forgiven on the sin that would cause you to spend an eternity in Hell.
  2. Make a Decision in Prayer Daily: Thank God everyday for the forgiveness you have received through the cross, then tell Him that you will forgive anybody and everybody that hurts you. Making a decision with God ahead of time helps you follow through when you are faced with the opportunity.

Make a choice to forgive and then go tell others how Jesus Christ has paid the price for their sin by dying on the cross!

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!

(Recording will be added here after the service)

What If My Brother Abandoned Me?