Randy's Reflections
March 24, 2015, 5:00 PM

Randy's Reflections "Taking Care of Business"

I really enjoy planting flowers or vegetables. Recently I planted some green beans from seeds, with the warm weather and the rain they are starting to sprout, yipee. No snail or slugs yet, thank you Jesus. One job I don’t like doing is cleaning out the weeds between the bricks of our backyard patio.

    I have tired to pull them up by hand, and often only get the foliage and not the roots. I know soon they will be rising from the bricks again. I tried the weed whacker, which took off not only the foliage, but some of the stems and a bit of the roots, but not all. This last week I used the hand held weed puller. I pried the bricks apart then pulled the stems close to the root and was able to get all of the weed. Sometimes the bricks were so close together I needed to use the hand held wood puller to leverage the weed out of the tiny bit of soil in which it was embedded.

    This is not a job I enjoy, but when it is done it is very satisfying. One thing I appreciate about the weeds is they are very visible against the red brick patio. Not so some of the weeds in our life. I don’t know about you, but it seems there are times when not so good behaviors start to sneak into my life. I mean like talking to those other drivers on the road who are in the way of my car. They just don’t seem to really know how to drive right.

    Then there are those times when you keep going to bed too late, because you were futzing around the house. This usually means it is harder to get up in the morning so you are rushing to get the kids to school or to work or to some appointment for which you can’t be late and words are said or actions done which are not helpful.

    Or maybe you keep making promises to others, because you want to be helpful, which you don't really have the resources or time to accomplish. These are all things which tend to clutter our lives and put us on edge because we keep failing to fulfill our obligations or be the person we want to be.

    Sometimes we just need to take stock of our calendar and stop adding things to it that aren’t necessary that week or that day or that minute. It can be painful to say “No,” especially to those people we care about.

    Yet, periodically, I think we need to assess our life and get rid of those things which cause us more frustration than it is worth. We need to not make another promise we can’t keep. We need to get the rest we need, instead of watching that show or read that book or do that last minute project on the house. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath when we are driving and remember some drivers are not on our schedule.

    Those weeds, the things that creep in on us, are not always visible until they are huge, but they need to be dealt with at some point. So take a moment this week and consider is there anything you would like to change in your life? Is there a habit that is not helpful that you need to change? Is there a weed that has taken root and you need to get rid of before it becomes to big to handle?

    Trying to weed the patio with you,


    Pastor Randy

March 24, 2015, 3:00 PM

Rainbow's end



  What's at the end of the rainbow??

     Something more valuable than gold...... !

March 8, 2015, 8:00 AM

Pastor Randy's March Update

Even though Lent just started, already I am looking forward to Easter. The celebration at Easter time is so fantastic. I can’t wait for the jubilant singing, the joyous prayers, and the recounting of the most amazing event in history, the rising of our Lord from the dead.

Yet the Lenten season is really important for it gives us a time to reflect on our journey, from baptism
to glory. It gives us time to remember that the jubilant celebration is a capstone of our, at times
arduous, difficult, and sometimes precarious, journey. I love stories of perseverance, especially those
stories that celebrate renewed relationships.


“Field of Dreams” is one of my favorite movies. It just celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary this last
summer. I love the line from Shoeless Joe Jackson when he asks, “Hey, is this heaven?” Ray Kinsella,
played by Kevin Costner, resplies, “No, its Iowa.” Many of you know I lived for seventeen years in
Iowa. Three of those years we lived about thirty minutes from Dyersville, the home of “Then Field of
Dreams.” The story really begins when Ray hears a voice say, “if you build it, he will come.” He is not
sure what it means but he decides to plow under a portion of his corn field and build a baseball field.
The story doesn't end there. He then searches to find out who the “he” is, for which he built the baseball
field. After many different twists and turns in the story, he ends up finding out that the person he
built the field for was his father, a man with whom he needed to reconnect because of an earlier
estrangement in their relationship.

Ray’s path seems convoluted, but I really like the tenacity Ray shows as he seeks to follow the vision
he has been given. This is like the path of faith many of us experience, except the big difference is we
know where we are headed, we know the person whom we seek. But still the question we must live
out is “How tenacious are we in following our Lord?”

Recently the shocking video of 21 Coptic Christians being executed makes me reconsider how
committed I am to my faith. Would I be willing to proclaim my faith with such a threat to myself, or
my family, or even my friends? Fortunately most of us will never have to encounter such a choice, but
certainly this news should cause us to pause. We should think about what we are willing to sacrifice to
stand up for our faith.

Stephen, the disciple of Jesus in the first century, who was the first Martyr, the Greek word for
Witness, not only stood up for what he believed he also called the Jewish leaders to account. This is
what precipitated his death.

Again let me say I don’t think many of us will be called to sacrifice our lives for our faith, but certainly
we need to remember the road from baptism to glory can be arduous and painful. But we need to
remember there is a reward in the end. So as we consider how we can be faithful in our commitment
to Jesus, let us be ready to encounter some bumps and potholes along the way. We know that in the
end it is all worth it. So let us be sure to celebrate fully those times when we are with other
Christians, and let us share those special moments of joy we are given; moments like seeing our kids
accomplish something difficult, or receiving praise for a job we did well. Perhaps someone gives us an
unexpected gift, or this time the plumbing fix doesn’t turn into a disaster.

It is not easy building a baseball field when everyone else thinks you should just be tending your crop
like normal, but then who would have thought people would be celebrating a baseball field after
twenty-five years?

Let us continue the journey knowing that joy is a guarantee when we have Jesus.

Looking forward to Easter with you,
Pastor Randy