Randy's Reflections
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September 22, 2017, 3:28 PM

Pastor Randy's September Reflection

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.

 

For the past year I have read a lot about the Jewish background of the New Testament. It has been an eye opening endeavor. Most of my information has come via an internet class out of Norway taught by a doctoral student who is studying this area. I took this class for 30 weeks and have been reading some of the extra biblical resources suggested by my professor. Ask me about the book of James sometime.

 

I am fascinated by this information, and it has enriched my understanding of the context in which the Bible was written, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Lately, however, I have become weary of learning all this information, not because it is redundant. I believe it is pertinent to a greater understanding of the Bible. Yet, this information is more about the Bible, about God, and about his people, but it is not about the relationship we have with Jesus.

I did not “sign up” to be a Christian because of the way the Bible was written and put together. I signed up because of an encounter with the risen Savior. It is my relationship with Jesus that keeps me believing and growing in my faith.

So, even though I really like studying the context of the written word, it is more important that I spend more time with the redeemer of my life. I also want to share with you what I am discovering in that relationship as well as to encourage you to start or grow in your relationship with the living God we worship through Jesus.

I have decided that this fall is an opportune time to walk through the gospel of John and review the seven “I am” statements. I believe this will help us understand more about who Jesus is and how these metaphors speak to us of our relationship to him.

Have you started a relationship with Jesus, and if you have what is that like? Is it like filling a hunger that is deep within (Jesus says, I am the Bread of Life)? Or maybe it is like walking through a gate which opens out to a whole new world (Jesus says, I am the gate)? Come explore with me what it means to have a growing and active relationship with the risen Savior.

We will take this walk in chronological order as found in the gospel of John. You can prepare with me for the first “I am” statement by reading John 6. It is a long chapter, but since I will not begin this sermon series until September 10, you have lots of time to read the first 59 verses of chapter 6.

I look forward to sharing with you, and having you share with me, our walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Blessings,

Pastor Randy

 




August 30, 2017, 11:53 AM

Summer Words

Willingness

Perhaps this is the heart of our faith. Are we willing to accept that which seems fantastic, from a world’s view, that a being, other than a fellow human, created us? Are we willing to step out in faith to believe that this being provided us a way to have a relationship with him? Are we willing to believe that this being has inspired others to write about their relationship and this writing has traversed the ages intact and continues to be a guide for all who desire a relationship with this being? Are we willing to believe that through this relationship we have help to live life fully both now and forever? When it comes down to it we need to decide if we are willing to take that leap of faith that all the above is true. If we are willing then we will experience something truly glorious.

Lord, help us to be willing to receive your word to us, not only your written word, but your living word Jesus Christ. Help us to embrace the Spirit which hovers over us seeking to inspire, guide and bring us gifts of love, peace and joy. Lord, help us to be willing to recognize we are not the center of the Universe, but that he who is beckons us to enter into his presence and be filled with your grace. Lord, help us to be willing to receive all that you have for us and be willing to share whatever blessings we have with those around us. Lord, help us to be willing. Amen.




August 29, 2017, 11:54 AM

Summer Words

Walk/Hike

When these words were suggested I felt that both were important. So often we talk about walking with the Lord or our journey of faith, yet sometimes it seems to be more of a hike. I mean my path is not always smooth, nor is it always straight. We are close to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Many of us have walked or hiked through Yosemite. There have been times on those hikes when they have been a bit precarious or interminably long. To me this is more true of my hike of faith. There are times when it seems like it will never end, but then there is the exhilaration of overcoming the difficulties along the trail or even the joy of reaching our destination. This is the true walk of faith, a hike where we have vistas that are unparalleled and a sense of accomplishment when we make it around each new corner or over each new hill.

Lord, help me to take your hand when the tough times come. Help me to offer my hand to those around me when the hike seems like it will never end. Lord, help me to receive the strength I need to continue on, the hopefulness to make it around one more bend, and the joy of looking back on a journey well traveled. Amen.


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