Randy's Reflections
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June 8, 2013, 10:36 AM

Randy's Reflections "Hot Topics"

So, most people I have talked to this week are not looking forward to the weather Saturday. Triple digits seem not to be among the favorite numbers for people. But if we didn’t have that weather would our trees and plants be able to flourish. Well, maybe not so hot they would still do okay, but then again the hot weather helps us appreciate the tepid climate we mostly encounter on a daily basis.

I also have heard from folks that all the traffic, the demands of a faster pace here, and the volatility of the job market are not their favorite things in this valley, but they continue by saying, ”You can’t beat the weather.”

So I guess we just need to be grateful for what we have, most of the time, and take what is not our favorite, weather, traffic, or job market with a bit of endurance. In the meantime here is a link to help you cool off and tap your toe.


(You may have to scroll the sound way up at first to hear everything) Enjoy!!

Pastor Randy

The picture is of the grapevine at our house planted one year ago!!

May 7, 2013, 2:26 PM

Randy's Reflections "More Than Expected"

I love to work in the back yard. Partly it is because a lot of work has already been done. When we moved in there was already a sprinkler system, it is even automated, cool. Sod had been laid down so there is great grass and very few weeds to control. There is a border around the grass with a few trees on the edges and plenty of room for additional plants, plus two amazing rose bushes.

Joan is never too excited when I prune those rose bushes for she thinks I slash and burn too much, but they always seem to grow back and the number of blossoms seems to grow every year. I have to admit that sometimes what I plant doesn’t always grow, we planted a Meyer Lemon tree about two months after we moved it and it bit the dust about a month ago. We had it for two years and it never seem to take to the place where it was planted, whether it was the soil or the lack of nutrients I am not sure. I did feed it and try different ways of encouraging its growth, but it never seemed to make the transition from pot in the store to plant in the ground.

As I was dead-heading, cutting off the blossoms which had died back so new ones can grow, the roses this last week I noticed something very interesting. The rose bush we had in the middle of the backyard by the fence no longer had only one colored rose. Not only were there more roses than ever before there were also now two varieties of blooms. There has always been a coral colored rose, but now there was also burgundy colored rose. Neither Joan nor I have ever seen this color of rose on this bush before.

I first looked to see if there was a rose bush growing from the neighbor’s yard into ours with this type of rose on it. There was none. This rose was part of the rose bush we have in our backyard. I also looked to see if perhaps there was a graft on the bush I hadn’t seen before, but I could find any grafts.

Whether this is a throw back from a former bush that made this one a hybrid or this is just a different strain of the same rose bush I don’t know, but what I do know is this rose is beautiful. Sometimes as we nurture our relationships with others we find a serendipitous benefit. Sometimes out of nowhere we receive and unexpected gift. God can and does surprise us.

This special gift does not replace what we are nurturing in the first place, but it is something we can enjoy and for which we can give thanks. You never know what your day holds, but I do know this I am thankful for the roses I have been nurturing and for those roses which unexpectedly pop up. I just need to be ready to experience the beauty and the joy which God gives me. Are you ready to receive the wonder God has in store for you?

Looking, with you, through eyes of wonder all around us,

Pastor Randy

P.S. Can you tell which is the new rose?

May 7, 2013, 2:00 PM

Randy's Reflections "The Missing Piece"

I was getting a lot done on Saturday morning. I was up early so I checked on the garden, did my devotional reading, and then decided it was time to wash the cars. Joan was on a 64 mile bike ride in Napa and since the soccer game I was referring was not till 9 am I would have some time to wash both cars. I always have a good feeling after I wash the cars because I feel like I am being a good steward with what I have been given by taking care of them and doing it in the most economical way. I use only on bucket of soap and water and since it is early in the morning the finish on the car doesn't get damaged from the soap and sun, plus I use a towel to dry them off before I take them out on the road again, thus the dirt doesn’t get stuck on them right away.

The Kia had taken a recent trip and gathered a few bugs on the front so I was glad to get those off the license plate and front grill. Once the Kia was done I parked it in front of the house and pulled the truck up into the driveway. The truck doesn't usually look dirty but once I get up close I can see the grime and spots from scattering rain and the accumulated dirt from the roadway. I like to park the truck in the driveway since the driveway has a bit of an incline. That way when I wash out the bed the water flows downhill and out the back. I thought I would go ahead and wash the tail gate before I did the bed that way that end of the truck would be all done once the bed was washed down.

As I sprayed water on the tailgate I noticed that the new tail gate was missing something. I have had the truck for almost five and a half years now and just a couple of months ago I had a new tailgate put on because of a recent rear end accident. I was disappointed that the name plate from the car dealer I bought it from was no longer on the truck for when they replaced the tailgate they don’t transfer those type of plates to the new tailgate. The car dealer was in Iowa so it had been one more thing that reminded me of our delightful years in that state.

Now I noticed that the Ford emblem was missing from the center of the tailgate. Evidently someone had come by our house between 11:30 pm, when I went to bed, and 6:30 am, when I got up, and had pried the Ford emblem off of the tailgate of the truck. Why? I have no idea, unless they were making a collection of car emblems. I looked over the truck and found nothing else missing and there was no additional damage to the truck. They also didn’t take the emblem from the Kia, for which I am thankful.

It is ironic that I had that truck for five years already with no changes to the tailgate and two months after I had a new tailgate someone altered that tailgate. I like to keep things in as good a condition as I can. But I also realize that nothing lasts forever, especially things we accumulate here on earth. I am reminded again of Matthew 5: 19-21, “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth . . . Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven . . . Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I am thankful I have a truck and I haven’t decided if I should get a new emblem or not, maybe I should put a Jesus fish on it. Oh, well I a good reminder that what is here on earth is not going to last forever and we also need to be thankful for what we do have. At least with this missing piece I wasn’t missing peace.

May we continue to seek the treasures in heaven over those on earth and may we continue to be good stewards of what we have been given.


Pastor Randy

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