Randy's Reflections
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November 29, 2013, 7:14 PM

Randy's Reflections "Almost the Happiest Place on Earth"

                I got to go again! It was awesome! Two years ago it had been a little over twenty-five years since I have been to Disneyland. Last year I went so I could join the Youth Group for their annual trip. This year they had so many who wanted to go I had to drive, poor pastor, someone had to drive.

                I have never been a big roller coaster rider until a couple of years ago when I went with the Youth Group to the Boardwalk, and then I almost, kind of, enjoyed it. So last year when I went I was ready, or at least more ready, for most of the rides. In fact I think my favorite ride was Space Mountain.

                This year I realized that with so many people going I really needed to keep my phone charged so we could keep the communication going. It was about half way through the day that I realized how quickly it was running out of charge. Oh, oh, the Happiest Place on Earth was about to become less happy. So at the Starbuck’s, I asked for if there was an outlet where I could charge my phone. I was told sure there is one, only one, over by the corner next to the window. I was surprised no one else was using it, but then it was still early in the day. And the day just got happier.

                I heard other people later on voicing some concern that there was no place to charge their phone. Finally when I was a long way from Starbucks I asked one of the “cast members” if there was a charging station anywhere. No, I was told, they didn’t have any because they didn’t want to be liable if something happened while the phone was being charged, ooh unhappiness was sneaking in again.

                “The Happiest Place on Earth” was losing its luster because of this inconvenience. But then why should I be worried about my cell phone I was at Disneyland! Yeaha, Disneyland, you know the place with all the lights and stuff. I realized there must be electricity somewhere. This place was well wired, I mean all the lights and amazing rides and a plethora of stores. I started to look around by the inside entrances of stores. I began to see outlets periodically. Not everywhere, but strategically placed around most stores. Most of the receptacles were about six inches off the ground and were somewhat hidden from view. Some of the receptacles had horizontal covers and others had vertical covers that could be easily opened to expose the outlets.

                I would put my cell phone plug into the outlet, place the other end into my cell phone, then place the phone in my back pocket while standing up against the wall. If someone asked what I was doing I was very upfront and told them I was charging my phone. None of the “cast members” had a problem with it and some of the visitors were really glad to know there was a place where they could charge up as well. One lady was glad to find out because she had one of those electric carts to ride on.

                I was even able to find a place to charge my phone by the entrance to the castle so I could watch people cross over the bridge and welcome them to “The Happiest Place” on earth. It was interesting that no longer was I concerned about keeping in touch and realized that even the Happiest Place can have its challenges.

                I did notice that the place in Starbucks was constantly in use from late afternoon on, but if anyone wanted to know of another place I could certainly show them. So next time when there is an obstacle in my way of being happy I will just have to pray and keep my eyes open for there seems to always be a way to finding what you truly need. Then again it is Joy we are promised, which is longer lasting, but it doesn’t hurt to be happy also.

                Next time in your Disneyland be sure to say “hi” to my friends and know that you are never far from a place to get recharged.


                Pastor Randy

November 14, 2013, 1:06 PM

Randy's Reflections "Spontaneous Living"

I consider myself an expressive person. I love to make people smile and find that often times I can say something unexpected and bring a smile to someone’s normal humdrum day. Those funny quips are part of my nature, a nature that loves spontaneity, but a nature that sometimes causes concern. I have found that sometimes I need to think before I speak or before I act.

                Monday I was loading the truck with some wood to dump and decided instead of walking over to the truck I would just throw the wood into the bed from where I was at. The problem was I didn’t gage the distance very well so the first piece I threw in hit the tailgate and now I have a bit of dent in the tailgate. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the outcome wasn’t what I wanted.

                So I also have to be careful with the words that come out of mouth also. Last night I was in the hospital with someone waiting on the ER doctors to determine the treatment for a minor malady. One of the doctors was leaving, having finished his shift. As he left I said, “Thanks for coming in.” He just looked at me, or I should say stared at me since he didn’t know me, and wasn’t sure if I was being sarcastic or not. I followed with, “I am serious, I appreciate you being here.” I don’t know what he thought because he never said anything but just left.

                Yet the lab person who came in was very willing to engage in conversation, especially about her cats, she has nine, down from sixteen. I was also later able to engage the entire staff in some thoughts about how the night was going and wished them well as the night progressed.

                Last Monday, in another fit of spontaneity, Joan and I drove up to Silver Spur, near Sonora, to see the camp where most of our Youth attend. Mona, my sister-in-law, was so excited that we were there and though Joan had been there, I never have. Mona took us on a tour and said more than once she was so glad I was there and could see the camp. I was glad to see her, the camp, and one of my favorite things, deer.

                So spontaneity can be helpful sometimes and sometimes not so helpful. All I can do is ask God to help direct me when I wish to express the joy and wonder I experience in His creation. So I am going to try to pray more before my day begins and try to be attune to the Spirit so I can share that joy and wonder with others and God can redeem those times when people misunderstand my enthusiasm.

                So I pray that you may experience the joy and wonder of living and you may be willing to be spontaneous, to be led by the Spirit, for in the end God is not only the creator, but also the recreator or redeemer and will make all things good. Romans 8: 28. At least the dent in the tailgate reminds me there are bumps along the way, but the truck is still running great and is the work horse I wanted in the first place, six years ago. I continue the race allowing the Spirit to fill my sails and direct me to parts unknown.

                Peace and joy to you,

                Pastor Randy

October 24, 2013, 12:51 PM

Randy's Reflections "Good-bye"

                Fiona had been around a long time. She greeted me every day I arrived at the office. She wasn’t all that pretty, but she was consistently there and always wore the special gifts she had been given over the years. Finally the day came, when she just wasn’t doing well. I decided it was time to let her go.

                Fiona was the ficus I had in my office. I first received Fiona, the ficus, as a gift over thirty years ago. A co-worker in the Millbrae branch of Great Western Savings and Loan gave her to me. She no longer could keep her in her apartment and asked me if I wanted it. I am not one to throw live plants away, if offered. At the time she was about six feet tall and she fit very nicely in our home in Sunnyvale.

                She moved with us from Sunnyvale to San Jose and then from San Jose to Dubuque, Iowa. She traveled with us to Reinbeck, Iowa and then we brought her back west when we came to California. I decided she fit better in my office than at home so she took up residence between the two handcrafted blue chairs I have in my office.

                In the last five years she has been adorned with red and green Christmas beads, little, I mean two inch long, knit stockings, and a variety of other small hanging ornaments including Christmas candy canes. She brought a sense of life to my office which has only evening sun that can worm its way through the leaves of the trees outside my window.

                She was a good companion, giving me new oxygen every day, providing color and a sense of life in my office which has probably too many pages of dead trees, paper bound books. Yet there comes a time when being root bound and still trying to recover from being a scratching post for our two cats just is too much.

                So last week I sent Fiona back to the earth from which she came. She was placed, with words of farewell, in the green waste bin. Hopefully she will provide elements from her dried leaves, scarred trunk, and surrounding dirt for other plants.

                She will be missed, but I was thankful for her companionship along a road over 3500 miles and varying temperatures from -20 to 110 degrees during those 30 years. It is good to have a long lasting companion, but it is a good reminder that we won’t last forever on this earth, so we must do what we can with what have for those who cross our paths.

                “Lord, help us to flourish where we are planted and give thanks for those opportunities where we can breathe life into our surroundings.”

                Farewell sweet Fiona,

Pastor Randy

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