Randy's Reflections
June 25, 2015, 12:00 AM

Randy's Reflections: Stewardship Alive



    As we head into the summer I thought it would be good for our congregation to hear some good news about our finances as well as be reminded of the challenge we have to be good stewards throughout the summer.

 

    As of the end of June we have paid off the mortgage we had from the Synod of the Pacific. This mortgage was taken out to repair the damage to our Christian Education wing about ten years ago. The pay off was to occur in October of this year, yet with timely payments and a reserve account set aside we were able to pay off what we owed June 25th.

 

    The early payoff date was not expected, but we had planned our 2015 budget with the pay off in mind, so the only savings will be a couple months of interest, but hey, a month or two of interest is better than none.

 

    Speaking of our budget as of last month, we are about $500 in the black. Why is this good news? Well based on our stewardship history we would normally be about $20,000 in arrears. In the fourth quarter of the year is when we receive the highest percentage of our capital. It should be noted that a couple of annual pledges, usually received in December, have already been received so those pledges have come early and have moved us ahead of what we anticipated.

 

    But still we are heading into the summer with a positive balance and if people continue to meet their pledge, and perhaps give a bit more, we can start thinking about raising our budget for 2016. That would mean we might be able to increase some hours with our staff and recover those hours we lost this last year.

 

    The staff continues to put in the necessary work time to get things done and I would say sometimes that is more than the time they have been scheduled for. Please be advised we will be asking for some volunteers to help with the administrative staff since Nancy Stokely retired this month, without a replacement.

 

    So we have good news and challenging news. We can continue to live out the ministry God has called JKPC to with everyone pitching in, both financially and service wise. Let us keep stewardship alive throughout the summer and look forward to great things this fall.

 

    Thank you, 

    and keep your eyes on the prize 

    to which we have been called (Philippians 3:14),

 

    Pastor Randy




June 1, 2015, 5:01 PM

Pastor Randy's June Reflection


Is it really the beginning of summer already? It seems like the school year just began, yet this month we will be celebrating graduating high school seniors, Father’s Day, and filling in the details for Vacation Bible School.

This is also a great time to assess how we are growing in our faith. It is great time to start something new, perhaps begin a new habit which will help us live into the Kingdom of God, which is here and now.

Over the next three newsletters, I want to look at three facets of spiritual growth. We will start with Biblical Knowledge, then move on to Spiritual Formation, and finally to Resurrection Living. We could also call this moving from our head, to our heart, and finally to our hands. God has given us all three, and we need to learn to live out our faith using all three.

As we all know, words are merely the vehicle which we use to try to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Words are limited to our vocabulary and to our understanding, but I will do the best I can with the words I know and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide your understanding.

Coming from a tradition that emerged from the Reformation, we believe Scripture is our primary resource for understanding who God is. This is why we emphasize reading the Bible. In fact , we believe so strongly in this that we encourage people to not only read, but to also study the Bible. As a part of that study, we need to learn about the culture in which the Bible was written. In our study we try to discover the intent or reason God chose this particular author for the book we are examining. It is also helpful to understand what genre of writing we are reading, be it history, poetry, instruction, or a prophecy, to name a few.

Whenever we read about the history of the Jews or the Christians, we know that the author is going to focus on a sequence of events and wants to let us know how the author believes those events impacted the world around them. When we read the Psalms we know the author is trying to convey something that is in his heart and what it is he is hoping for. When we read letters from Paul we know that he is trying to address certain issues pertaining to the various churches which he established.

All these things have some application to our lives today;  the beauty of Bible Study, especially in a group, is that each of us understands each story, each poem, and each issue differently. In a group Bible Study we can learn from each other, always remembering to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for our understanding.

Biblical knowledge is an important facet of our spiritual life. It is foundational to our understanding of God. It also helps us learn about the spiritual mysteries in our world. The last several years we have read through the entire Bible using The Story. We walked through the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John during Lent. We have perused various books of the Bible from the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures as they are often called, and have looked at particular passages found in the New Testament. We have even read through the Psalms over an extended time.

I encourage you to continue or start reading the scripture passages on which I will be preaching each week. I also would encourage you to become involved in one of our Bible studies ~ the women’s Bible study on Tuesday or Friday morning, or the men’s Bible study that meets on Friday mornings, or gather a few friends to read together every two weeks. Increasing Bible knowledge is not all we do for our spiritual growth, but it is certainly foundational to our spiritual growth.

In the July newsletter I will discuss Spiritual Formation and how you can move that head knowledge into your heart, so your faith becomes more alive. By the way, we will be studying Ephesians during the coming months. It is a letter written by Paul which gives a great foundation for understanding our faith. I encourage you to read it through several times as we learn more about our faith through the writings of Paul.

Blessings to you as we walk the path of faith together, moving from our head to our heart to our hands, so we can become the transformed people God desires us to become.

Pastor Randy

 




June 1, 2015, 4:57 PM

Pastor Randy's March Reflection


Is it really the beginning of summer already? It seems like the school year just began, yet this month we will be celebrating graduating high school seniors, Father’s Day, and filling in the details for Vacation Bible School.

           This is also a great time to assess how we are growing in our faith. It is great time to start something new, perhaps begin a new habit which will help us live into the Kingdom of God, which is here and now.

Over the next three newsletters, I want to look at three facets of

spiritual growth. We will start with Biblical Knowledge, then move on to Spiritual Formation, and

finally to Resurrection Living. We could also call this moving from our head, to our heart, and finally to our hands. God has given us all three, and we need to learn to live out our faith using all three.

As we all know, words are merely the vehicle which we use to try to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Words are limited to our vocabulary and to our understanding, but I will do the best I can with the words I know and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide your understanding.

Coming from a tradition that emerged from the Reformation, we believe Scripture is our

primary resource for understanding who God is. This is why we emphasize reading the Bible. In fact ,we believe so strongly in this that we encourage people to not only read, but to also study the Bible. As a part of that study, we need to learn about the culture in which the Bible was written. In our study we try to discover the intent or reason God chose this particular author for the book we are examining. It is also helpful to understand what genre of writing we are reading, be it history, poetry, instruction, or a prophecy, to name a few.

Whenever we read about the history of the Jews or the Christians, we know that the author is going to focus on a sequence of events and wants to let us know how the author believes those events impacted the world around them. When we read the Psalms we know the author is trying to convey something that is in his heart and what it is he is hoping for. When we read letters from Paul we know that he is trying to address certain issues pertaining to the various churches which he

established.

All these things have some application to our lives today;  the beauty of Bible Study, especially in a group, is that each of us understands each story, each poem, and each issue differently. In a group Bible Study we can learn from each other, always remembering to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for our understanding.

Biblical knowledge is an important facet of our spiritual life. It is foundational to our

understanding of God. It also helps us learn about the spiritual mysteries in our world.

The last several years we have read through the entire Bible using The Story. We walked through the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John during Lent. We have perused various books of the Bible from the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures as they are often called, and have looked at

particular passages found in the New Testament. We have even read through the Psalms over an

extended time.

I encourage you to continue or start reading the scripture passages on which I will be preaching each week. I also would encourage you to become involved in one of our Bible studies ~ the women’s Bible study on Tuesday or Friday morning, or the men’s Bible study that meets on Friday mornings, or gather a few friends to read together every two weeks. Increasing Bible knowledge is not all we do for our spiritual growth, but it is certainly foundational to our spiritual growth.

In the July newsletter I will discuss Spiritual Formation and how you can move that head knowledge into your heart, so your faith becomes more alive. By the way, we will be studying

Ephesians during the coming months. It is a letter written by Paul which gives a great foundation for understanding our faith. I encourage you to read it through several times as we learn more about our faith through the writings of Paul.

Blessings to you as we walk the path of faith together, moving from our head to our heart to our hands, so we can become the transformed people God desires us to become.

 

Pastor Randy