Randy's Reflections
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95   Entries 250-252 of 285
September 20, 2012, 7:55 PM

Randy's Reflections "Hurrah!"

I got a new job last week. Yep, it is true. Starting last week every Wednesday between 8:00 am and 8:30 am I am standing outside Wells Middle School monitoring the “kids drop off” spot. I don’t know why I enjoy this kind of stuff, maybe because it is not too demanding and there a lot of perks. All I have to do is be there with my orange vest on and make sure the doors are shut before the vehicle takes off, except for the motorcycle guy. He just drops off his daughter, switches out his helmet and bops out of there.

I get a lot of smiles and waves from the drivers, that is a great perk. Everyone once a while I see a kid from JKPC and sometimes I get a hug (only from the girls though) that is another great perk. I am amazed what a simple gesture like offering to help out is met with such enthusiastic gratefulness from the Wells staff.

I really enjoy helping others out, but I have to be careful that I maintain some limits. We can get so caught up in helping others we never take the time for our own family or even for ourselves. That is the problem with us extrovert helpful types. Sometimes I commit to refereeing more soccer games than is physically good for my body, but I only do this when the referee organization is crying for extra help.  That is another thing I enjoy, refereeing, but I have to watch my limits there too.

What are you doing that is enjoyable and helpful to others? It is good to do something you enjoy and even more so when it helps others, but we all need to remember we can’t get caught up in taking care of others at the expense of ourselves.

Maybe that is not your problem, maybe you don’t enjoy the meet and greet part of life. Maybe you aren’t meeting and greeting others because you prefer to be alone. Well being alone is not so bad, but that too has limits. We need to be aware of our limits and our challenges. We need to do things we enjoy, but also make sure we aren’t compromising our other obligations, be they obligations to our family or to our selves.

Remember when Jesus said to love others as yourself you have to love yourself first. An empty cup cannot offer a parched person water. There is a tension between doing what is good for ourselves and doing what is good for others. Take a moment and ask yourself if you are out of balance. Are you enjoying what you are doing? Are you spending some time with others? Are you spending some time alone?  If you aren’t doing all three then you should look at where you do spend your time.

How much time alone and how much time with others are two components the Christian needs to determine for themselves. But just be sure you are getting some of both. And be sure you are doing something you enjoy, even if you don’t get paid for it. By the way it is true my Wednesday mornings now have an added responsibility, but at least I didn’t agree to coach the sixth grade boy’s basket ball team, that was one request I was able to turn down.

Seeking to keep within my limits with you,

Pastor Randy

September 18, 2012, 1:11 PM

Randy's Reflections "Yes"

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we cruse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”                                                                                James 3: 9 & 10

                “Think before you speak.” “Use your head.” “Don’t just babble, say something important.” These are phrases that suggest sometimes we talk without thinking. They remind us that sometimes just saying something off the top of your head is detrimental to a relationship. This is a good reminder. The tongue can be used to set a forest a fire, which is not normally a good thing, unless it is a way to counterattack a fire already out of control.

                I have been thinking about the two different ways I communicate with others. Sometimes I measure my words carefully, trying to convey what I think in a calm and thoughtful manner. Yet sometimes I want to communicate enthusiasm and excitement which means I don’t always think before I speak. I think God can use both ways to help us communicate with each other and to grow as his disciples.

                The thoughtful time is good when we are trying to solve a problem that takes an organized step by step process. The spontaneous expression is one in which we, like the all of creation, is enthusiastic about life. As I have pondered the second way recently I believe that if we are have been working on developing our character like Jesus we should be able to express our selves spontaneously and still say the right things.

                I think too often we believe our words should be measured and we need to consider all the ramifications of what we are saying and how it will affect others. At times that paralyzes us and we fall back on the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” So we walk around keeping our thoughts to ourselves and we fail to grow in our relationship with others and God. Sometimes we need to be ready to react quickly with a word of comfort or correction or celebration. I know I always get a smile when I am making a purchase and I say enthusiastically “Yes” when a machine says my debit card has been approved. Sometimes we need to make those mundane transactions in our life seem more special.

                This does mean that I need to seek to develop a habit of good character which will allow me to express myself spontaneously. That is one reason why we talk periodically at John Knox about developing character traits which make us an example of what Jesus is like. Those character traits are not always easy to model, forgiveness, humility, and compassion, are a few which come to mind. But as we grow, mature, to be more like Jesus we will be able to speak thoughtfully or spontaneously as one who is more like Jesus.

                So know this, it is important to think about how you will communicate to others, but remember thoughtful speaking or spontaneous speaking both can glorify God and build up his people. Let us seek to first be more like Jesus and then the words we say will reflect his redemptive speech in our life.

                Speaking with you,

                Pastor Randy

August 28, 2012, 12:21 PM

Randy's Reflections "Looking to see"

        Vacations are a great time to relax. It gives us a time to reflect on how our life is going as well as think about what changes we may want to make for the coming season. This summer I not only got a new fly fishing pole, but I also got some wading boots. They are neoprene so my feet stay warm and the soles have grips on the bottom to help me keep from falling, as much, while walking on the riverbed rocks. I really got to take advantage of them recently when I went walking the river and it allowed me to fish in different venues along the same waterway.

        Some of those venues included fishing from the bank at a site with some logs in the middle of the river. Another was in a waterhole created by a couple of huge logs damming up part of the river. I could see the fish in the waterhole just waiting for whatever the river brought them. I also was able to walk up the middle of the river and fished near the tree covered bank. In each of these areas I was able to catch, and release, fish. On the way back I saw some fish jumping by some rippling water. I had to climb over some rocks along the bank and as I stepped over one rock I slipped and my pole fall from my hand, which I grabbed and caught while at the same time my glasses fell off my face. I grabbed for them also with my other hand, but missed.

       Great, I thought, no glasses to drive down the hill if I can’t find them among the rocks in this river. I put everything down and then crawled back over the rocks sticking my hand among the rocks and praying those glasses would be found. Yeah! I found them and now I figured it was the time to head back home.

       When I got back to our cabin Alyssa and Joan were already heading down to the beach so I gathered my things and said I would catch up. As I got down to the beach I saw Joan and Alyssa wading in the water and thought wouldn’t it be fun to surprise them. I snuck down to some rocks near their chairs. Quietly took off my shoes and hurriedly moved to the water to surprise them. As I got closer they started to turn around and so I ran into to the water splashing them as I dove under the water so they couldn’t splash me back.

      When I got back to the shore and we started to leave I couldn’t find my glasses. Yep, they weren’t in my shoes, they weren’t on the rock next to my shoes, and they weren’t in the sand around my things. I was able to recover my glasses from the river among the rocks, but now on a beach with no nooks or crannies they were nowhere to be found. I asked people in the area, who immediately began to help us, Joan and Alyssa were now looking as well, look for them.

       After 30 minutes of a fruitless search we decided I could check with the local lost and found at the store and then maybe the next day I could search so more. None were turned in at the store and I decided I would look the next day.

       The next morning Joan and I went down to the beach in our swimsuits. You see I think when I went to surprise them I was so intent on the surprise I failed to take my glasses off, so I dove into the water with those glasses on. We waded in the water, couldn’t find them so we swam our usual half mile, then kept looking for them as we came to shore. I then noticed the water level was down so I decided to look one last time closer to shore. And, believe or not, they were there laying on the bottom of the lake about six feet out from shore.

      Those glasses were nowhere near the place where I thought I took them off. Those glasses could have been easily stepped on with kids running through the shallow water. I almost gave up looking, but for that one moment of looking at the water level and the idea popping into my head (or being popped into my head) that perhaps they were in a different area then I had been looking.

      It is times like this that I remember how much God looks after us. We do things not so smart, like diving in the water with my glasses on (not the first time mind you, but that is another story), but still God is there for us. Once I accepted that I might not be able to find them then I relied more on God to help me find them. I knew if I found them it would be a gift (almost a $500 gift) if we found them.

       Think about the times God has helped you find something, perhaps a new appreciation for your family, perhaps a new revelation at work, or maybe a new way to be more healthy in your life style. God is there for us, we just need to learn to rely on God more often and give thanks for those times when recognize his grace in our lives.

                Blessings and grace to you,

                Pastor Randy

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95   Entries 250-252 of 285