Randy's Reflections
November 11, 2015, 1:52 PM

Randy's Reflections "Ranger Randy"

    So, on Thursday I got at text from my daughter who lives in LA. She was wondering if I would just happen to be in LA on Monday. It is only 343 miles to her house from ours. Not a real long road trip, but then not just a skip in the park either. It seems there was an audition for a father/daughter pair, that get along well and enjoy spending time together.  The synopsis was “Family deals with their phone addictions in a light-hearted comedy.”

    Joan and I had planned a trip to Carmel, but the person we were going to see had a change of plans. So Joan headed off to Bass Lake with a friend, I think she was going stir-crazy being at home alone so much, and I planned on going to coach the sixth-grade girls Basketball team on Monday.

    The girls basketball team has another coach, I was just the assistant, and since I hadn’t let her know that I would be available after the Carmel cancellation, I decided I would miss the game. I could spend a day with my daughter, while being a participant in what she loves to do, modeling and acting.

    It would be a six hour drive one way. I would have to leave early Monday, since our church was having a clean up day on Sunday. I would also have to be back for a seminar starting at 4 pm on Tuesday, but if I left early Tuesday morning, about 7 am, I could probably miss most of the traffic coming back to Dublin.

    So Saturday I called Alyssa to verify everything I needed to bring on the trip. I talked with Joan about my wardrobe and started to get excited. I was going to not only spend time with my daughter, but would be doing something she loves to do.

    I have realized, as I get older, how precious our kids are. I have had a chance to spend some special time with each one this last year and I wanted to continue to make this a priority.

    Monday morning I packed my bag, got the things Joan wanted me to take to Alyssa, it seems moms always have something to give their kids, and I hopped in the truck to take off. On the way out of town I got gas at Costco, wow $2.50 a gallon, and headed out to the far southern reaches of our state.

    The drive was uneventful. One fun thing that happened on the way down is when I stopped at a Starbucks for some liquid refreshment I told them my name for pick up. After they made my Pumpkin Spice Latte, they called for “Ranger.” Yes, that is right, the girl had miss heard my name and typed in Ranger. So I decided that would be my stage name, “Ranger.” Not sure if it should be “Ranger McBeach” or “Ranger Beach” or “Ranger McGrady,” still working on that one. 

    I was at Alyssa’s apartment in six hours. Plenty of time to relax a bit, and get nervous before the audition. I hadn’t acted since I was with Ian, our son, in the “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” back in 1992. I had no idea want would be asked of me, to read some lines, to do some improv, to tell jokes or what. 

    Alyssa and I headed off to the site of the audition. Wow, I tell you I am so glad she was driving. We made so many turns on side streets I had no idea where we were, but I did see the Hollywood sign up on the hill at one point. After we found a parking place we walked back and forth along the street trying to find the audition site. Finally we noticed on a warehouse glass double door a handwritten sign saying, “Yes, this is the place for auditions. Knock and a security guard will let you in.”

    After knocking a man came to the door in a white shirt and a tie slightly askew with an open collar. He asked if we were for the audition and after an affirmative answer he let us in. He pointed to three rows of five chairs each with a table in front of it. On the table was a sheet of paper to sign in. Names, appointment time and time arrived. No one was there to inform us what we needed to do, but since I had a seasoned model and actor with me Alyssa took care of those necessary sign-in requirements.

    There were four other couples there. Evidently there was an audition for friends as well as father/daughter pairs. It was about ten minutes for each audition, though I think ours took about fifteen. As others went before us we struck up a conversation with those waiting. It was interesting talking to other wannabes. Also more people came so it looked like they were going to get a good group to choose from.

    When the came for us the young woman lead us up two flights of stairs to a stark white room with two chairs against one wall facing a table with three people, all having Apple computers in front of them. The woman sat down in a lone chair next to the table and put her Apple computer on her lap as well.

    They turned on a video camera and asked us to introduce ourselves. And so it began. The questions were mostly about what we liked doing together. How we would describe each other. What are the most fun things we have done. What was the strangest place we have been or what was the strangest thing we have eaten, since we shared we liked eating different exotic foods together.

    It was fun. We joked with each other and everyone was laughing at some point. Whether we get the job or not it was a fun experience. I think when we left we had at least given them a glimpse of a father and daughter who respected each other and enjoyed each other’s company, almost all of the time.

    Alyssa took me to a Thai restaurant for dinner and then we watched movies at her apartment. She took the couch and let me sleep in her bedroom, that was really nice of her. I got up about 6:00 the next day, did a little reading, got ready to go and was in my truck by 7 am. There was hardly any traffic and I was back in Dublin by 1pm.

    Sunday I had talked about the importance of relationships in God’s economy and was glad Tuesday that I had chosen to spend time with my daughter, since I just happened to be in LA.


    Enjoying friends and family,

    Pastor Randy

October 2, 2015, 9:21 PM

Pastor Randy's October Reflection

          Recently we heard there is a new driver on the road. Our 20-month-old granddaughter got her first helmet and pushbike from a recent garage sale. I think she gets keys to the car sometime next week. Kids grow up, we get older, but the benefit for us is that sometimes we become wiser.

          I find it interesting that Paul calls those to whom he writes “saints.” This word, which comes from the Greek άγιος, actually means “those who are separate from others”. It is a term which is given to those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior not as a reward for what they have done, but because of the one in whom they have believed. It is considered, in part, parallel in meaning to the words “called” (Romans 1:7), “elect” (Romans 8:33; Col. 3:12), and “faithful” (Col. 1:2).

         Yet, the above is only part of the meaning of the word “saint”. It also infers that since we are God’s creation and his chosen, we are becoming “Imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1). If we are the “holy ones” infused with God’s Holy Spirit, then we need to strive to be like God in our love for the world and each other and our conduct. This is why the second half of Ephesians is so important, for it speaks to how we can conduct ourselves in a “holy” way.

      As we grow in our faith we move from our old self to our new self. At the end of the article will be the list I made of changes (mentioned in Ephesians) that we hope to see as we mature in our faith.

     Ephesians and Romans (chapter 12, specifically) are not the only Pauline books that address this “holy” conduct. This theme is also found in Colossians and Philippians, which are the next two books we will be studying this fall. Starting in October, I will preach through Colossians and then, as we move into the “Thanksgiving” month, I will preach from Philippians.

      The Anchor Bible Dictionary states that “God is considered the ideal manifestation, indeed the source, of holiness.” It is this holiness which God places on us because of our belief in Jesus, but it is also a conduct to which we are called. We are urged to reflect in our lives those actions which shout about our love for God and for others.

       As listed below there are ways which speak louder than others of God’s holiness in us and which we should strive to manifest in our daily conduct. So come with me and live out the holiness to which you have been called as we explore how we might live “holiness” together.

       Those who are not growing are dying, and God has resurrected us to live life as new selves, with grace and mercy, as we present ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12: 1). And don’t forget, it is not only for our benefit as wiser and more mature Christians. We also have little ones who look to us as models of God’s grace and holiness in this world, and they will have the keys to our cars sooner than we think.

Striving to be more holy with you, Pastor Randy


Old Self

New Self

Goal is fulfill deceitful desires

Goal is true righteousness and holiness


Speak Truth

Act sinfully with anger

Don’t harbor anger



Unwholesome talk

Build up others with talk







Brawling Brawling

Walk in way of love





August 28, 2015, 2:20 PM

Pastor Randy's September Reflection

           Recently Joan was teaching our granddaughter Lincoln about the different parts of her body using the song, “Head, shoulders, knees and toes.” Kids love moving up and down. It is so fun to see them move their hands from their head to their shoulders to their knees and then to their toes. As this song moves faster and faster, usually before the song is over they are giggling uncontrollably. An important part of this song is the movement involved. It helps the children to better remember the names and the parts of the body. Many of us learn better when we are mimicking certain movements. This movement helps us develop muscle memory which helps us remember how to walk or jump or run or duck. Being a bit taller than average can be hazardous to my head if I don’t duck sometimes.

          Action is also an important part of living. This summer I have talked about head knowledge, that which we most often gain when reading the Bible. I also talked about heart knowledge, those practices which help us move that information into our hearts. We call this spiritual formation.

          Resurrected living, the third part of our Christian faith, occurs when head knowledge and heart knowledge begin to transform our actions. It is transformative in the sense that people see us begin to follow the model of Jesus; others see that being a disciple is not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk. The community in which we live recognizes that we are different because we exhibit the hope, joy and peace of God regardless of the circumstances. In resurrected living we begin to become the people God created us to be.

          Hope, joy, and peace are positive aspects of our faith, but we need to not only say we experience these; we need to also show that we experience them.   If we say we have hope then we need to live hopefully. If we say being a follower of God bring us joy then we need to live joyfully. If we say we have peace then we need to live with each other, and ourselves, peacefully.

          When difficult times occur do we rely only on our own resources or do we spend time in prayer, as Nancy suggested in her sermon? Do we rely on God and maintain the expectation that God will surprise us with a totally unexpected solution? When Joan and I were having to move out of Pleasanton because our landlord wanted to sell his house, we had no idea where we would go. We just happened to have a conversation with our Chiropractor who, we found out, was looking for a new renter. This place was in Dublin. They were willing to wait an extra month before we started paying rent. They supported our painting the inside the colors we wanted and we could upgrade the yard however we wanted. A dead end turned into a highway of hope.

          At times we face circumstances that bring darkness and despair. We struggle to find the good in the midst of turmoil. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we looking for ways in which we can experience the wonder and joy of God in the midst of this?” It is not easy having all three of our children living so far from our home. One is in Washington, another in Texas, and the third in L.A. Yet we get to talk with them, we get to Skype with them, and we Facebook each other. We enjoy them during our annual summer vacation and we get to see them at Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the midst of being so far from them, we still experience joy. Because of technology we are connected in many different ways. In the midst of our separation we can experience joy. 

          There are times when all of us are concerned about how we will survive financially, emotionally, or even physically. Yet if we can remind ourselves that God is for us and not against us we can experience peace. We can live with a sense that what is just over the horizon is something tremendously good. God does not just want us to survive, God wants us to thrive. We need to remind ourselves that God has our best interests at heart. We can be at peace knowing that God is in control. Just leave it in God’s hands and God will take care of you.

          Remember that the God of all creation is the God who made your head, shoulders, knees and toes. 

          Seeking to live this fall in a resurrected way with hope, joy and peace with you,

                                            Pastor Randy