Randy's Reflections
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October 15, 2013, 3:27 PM

Randy's Reflections "Patience"


This last season of Softball has been a topsy turvey one. Our first game out we won, a great start to the season. The next two we lost. Then later in the season we won one in just five innings, there is a fifteen run rule, that is if we beat the opponent by fifteen runs in the first five innings the game is over. The games we lost were by one or two runs. We were really looking so much better than the first three seasons.

I decided it was time for me to practice hitting so I bought a t-stand and some wiffle balls and started practicing. My hitting was improving and even when we lost my batting average was rising. I was getting pretty confident so this last Sunday I practiced again in the afternoon before the game.

The first time up to bat I hit the ball to the short stop and was out real quick. The second time I was up to bat I hit to the short stop and the throw to first put me out. The third time I was up I hit it to the short stop and he flipped it to second base and the runner was out making it the third out of the inning and the last out of the game, so much for improving my hitting.

As I reflected on my hitting and lack of getting to first base each time I realized that even though I was making contact with the ball I wasn’t waiting for the ball to cross the plate. I was stepping forward out of the strike zone to hit the ball. Since I was not really in a good position to hit the ball very hard my contact lacked the power and placement needed to get a hit.

My skill at hitting the ball was getting better, but I also need to make sure it was in a place where I could get the most out of my swing. I still can use some hitting practice, but what I needed to have last game was patience. I needed to wait until the ball was in the right position, just coming across the plate, before I swung at it.

We can practice all kinds of things as we prepare for life. We can work on our writing skills, we can work on our speaking skills, we can even work on our helping skills, but unless it is the right time to use them they won’t make the impact they need to make. Sometimes we need to be silent or we need to let someone do something for themselves or we need to wait on that email that would just be a knee jerk reaction to what someone says.

Patience is something we all need to learn. It is something that is helpful in all of life. If we wait to see how things unfold in our conversations or in our times of difficulty or even in just our daily schedule it is amazing how saying the right thing at the right time makes an impact. This is the best reason to be praying and asking God when is it time for me to speak up. We want to speak life and sometimes we need to wait to say those words.

Let’s try to listen more and be patient more and the impact we make might allow us to get to first base.

Swinging with you, patiently that is,

Pastor Randy




October 1, 2013, 6:28 PM

Randy's Reflections "Joys and Disappointments"


This weekend I experienced great joy and I experienced great disappointment. On Sunday afternoon I was privileged to attend a Court of Honor for Boy Scout troop 905 in Dublin. At that ceremony I heard again the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, creeds that speak of high ideals and noble character. I watched numerous boys advance in their scouting journey and was able to participate in the presentation of the religious award called “God and Life."

                In the "God and Life" program I help the young men explore scripture, reflect on their relationship with God, and collaborate with them on service projects, which focus on helping others. It was wonderful to work with four young men this summer on this program and then celebrate their accomplishment with their parents and a community which encourages them to seek higher ideals.

                To witness the growth in these young men and see the support this community has for them was gratifying and heart-warming. I saw them not only be awarded for accomplishments, but I saw standards of conduct held in high honor. This brought me much joy.

                I wish that I could say I always live up to these ideals myself, but I can't. I fail at being gracious, compassionate, and self-giving on a daily basis. I get impatient with people who don't use their turn signal and drive five miles or more under the speed limit when I am in a hurry. I have a hard time holding my tonuge when I am criticized on the soccer field, be it by the players, the coaches, or even the parents, I am learning to stare and not speak. I know we all have challenges to be more like Jesus and if we really looked at our life we would find more lumber in our eye than saw dust in another's (see Matthew 7:1-5).

                I found myself later that afternoon coming up short in holding my ideals and was disappointed in my behavior. Sometimes when faced with criticism I bristle and respond with words that are less than gracious. I can easily retort with a biting comment or ignore a person in pain. But I know that we have a God of love and grace and that if we confess our sins before God he will forgive us those sins. We can try next time to be more like the person God wishes us to be. Let us not allow temptation to derail our work toward becoming transformed into who God wants us to be.

                I pray that as all of us go through life we will truly seek the prompting of the Holy Spirit when we repeat that section of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Let us not only seek to never yield to the temptation to degrade another, but let us strive to live up to our ideals. Let us not only treat others as we would have them treat us, but let us be a model of God’s transformation in our lives. Lives that we live to show the world what it means to “Honor God and follow the Son, while loving and serving others.” (This is our church mission statement).

                I am far from perfect in this endeavor, but I hope together we can help each other never to give up on seeking to have a noble character. I hope we can all strive to do that which is right and good, even when our emotions want to take us elsewhere.

 

                Remembering my need to seek help from the Holy Spirit with you,

 

                Pastor Randy




September 19, 2013, 6:23 PM

Randy's Reflections "Well Done!!"


Recently at a sporting event I overheard a father say to his son, “Good game son!” I am not sure why, but I was touched. I almost felt as though it was my father saying that to me. I probably referee fifty recreational soccer games a year. I hear a lot of words from parents to their children before the game, during the game, and after the game. I would say the words I heard that day are the best words that could be said to a child. Perhaps it wasn’t the best game they played. Perhaps it was a game where they made many obvious mistakes. Perhaps it was game where they lost in the final minute. Yet they need to know that you were there not to see them win, but you were there for them; to be by their side no matter what.

We all long to hear affirmation from someone we love and respect, especially a parent. It lets us know that they watched the game. It lets us know that they were interested in what we were doing.  And most of all it lets us know that they are a glad to be part of our lives.

One advantage as a soccer referee I have over parents is that every child, from 5-19, that passes me at the final handshake gives me an opportunity to say “thank you (for being here).” I get to acknowledge the participation of everyone on the team, whether they played five minutes or fifty minutes, whether they even played or not. I get to tell kids that I am glad they were on the field today.

But parents have an advantage over me. They get to tell their son or daughter “good game.” They get to show their love for that child and acknowledge their efforts. Usually I let parents know before the games, when I am the center referee, that I value their words of encouragement for their sons or daughters and I tell them please support them all you can, because they need it.

So next time you are watching kids play a game, give them words of encouragement. If one of them is a child of yours then I urge you to say those words that each one longs to hear at the end of the game. “Good game!”

Celebrating our efforts with you,

Pastor Randy


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