Randy's Reflections
May 2, 2017, 4:09 PM

May Reflections

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

I Peter 3:15a

It has been a wonderful spring. The water that has come pouring down from on high has brought flowers and new growth that have been

missing from our yard for the last several drought-filled years. I am always amazed when I see what a little sunshine and water does to the earth on which we live.

So it is with the nourishment we receive from God’s word and the community of faith in which we live. Lent was a rich time for me this year as we “Walked the Way” with Jesus together throughout Israel looking at the geography, as well as his actions. It was also a rich time for me to be able to share a word with you every day, except Sunday, through email during Lent.

A lot of you said you really appreciated receiving that daily word, so I thought maybe this summer I could do the same thing - but I need your help. The last couple of years I have used words from special books I have been reading, but I thought if I could get words which are meaningful for you or that stimulate your thoughts, we could ponder them together.

So I am asking you to send me, by either email or by text, a word you would like to ponder more deeply. Perhaps it is something that has been a special word for you which brings singing to your heart or stimulates your mind, or maybe even energizes you into action. I will try to use all the words, but I will only have 79 spots available. I will not include Sundays for the daily word.

I would love to share with you my thoughts about the words and you can use this as a catalyst for your own thinking. Anything I say will be just a primer for your pump as you acknowledge the word and ask God to speak to you about how that word connects you to your faith in your life.

Just as an example the word which has the most effect on me currently is the word, “hope.” I have shared before, but want to do so again, about how one of my parishioners from the church I served in Reinbeck, Iowa, counseled me that this is what most people come to church to hear, hope. People come desiring to be encouraged and maybe even challenged with a sign or a story or maybe even just the word itself, hope.

Hope brings to us a sense that all is not lost, that the darkness will not prevail, that the clouds will dissipate when the Son shines through the fog, the drizzle or the downpour. This is also what keeps me keeping on. The very fact that the tomb did not hold Jesus gives me hope, but I, as well as most of us, need to hear stories, see transformation, and embrace words of hope. Partly because we have short memories, and partly because we face new challenges every day.

This week I am at a Pastor’s Conference and one of the speakers reminded us that, “Our hope is not a hope in something, but a hope in someone.” The speaker said this is a quote from John Ortberg, I don’t know from what book yet, but it rings true. We can strive to gather things, cars, toys, vacations, material goods, but none of them will last. It is hope that will motivate us to continue the upward calling.

Let’s join together as we hope for what God has for us. The best is yet to come as we explore the spiritual journey God has for us.

Waiting with great anticipation for your word of the day, Pastor Randy 

April 14, 2017, 12:00 PM

Lenten Word of the Day for April 14: Justification


When I get upset because I have been treated unfairly I need not to just shrug it off, nor to demand that I get even. I need to use that concern to stimulate my action to help others when they are treated unfairly. We are called not just to love others but to stand up for what is right and help balance the scales of injustice. We are called to care for our brothers and sisters as we partner with Jesus to redeem this world from injustice as well as from its sin.

The injustices of the world can be overwhelming, so we turn away, we walk away, we give in. We think of Good Friday and know that Jesus wasn't put on the cross just by the Jews, or just be the Romans, Jesus was put on the cross because of each of us. Help us to take responsibility not only for our actions but for the injustices which you give us the resources to confront. Help us to help others so we can help you bring justice to this world. Amen.

April 13, 2017, 3:36 PM

Lenten Word of the Day for April 13:Passover


Today we remember the last commandment you gave your disciples, to love one another. You lived that love as you sacrificed yourself for us. Just as the Passover recounts what happened at the time the Israelites left Egypt, so it also signifys the sacrifice you would make from betrayal to abandonment to torture to death to sealed up in a tomb. Let us remember what you did for this world.

Lord, as the week comes to close we remember that which took our breathe away. You lived the Passover. You not only bore the scrouging, the piercing, and the life deflating taunts, just like the Matzah, without yeast, which we eat. You also were willing to be our sacrificial lamb, as the angel of death passed over all of Egypt. You were the one who was put in the tomb hidden away, like the Afikomen. So we wait with bated breath hoping that this isn't your end, our end, the end. All the world stands waiting for its redemption. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.