Posts Tagged ‘children’

Does your Church worship the Church or Christ?

November 7, 2015

Thanks to Billy Watson for posting this article from Outreach Magazine. The link to the article is below this excerpt.

All churches love certain things. Some love fellowship, some worship, some prayer. Those are good loves. Some are neutral loves. Some are not. Other churches love their building, their history or their strategy.

Those can be good or bad, depending on what we mean by love and how we value those things. But, some things that churches love hurt their mission and hinder their call. Here are three I’ve observed from my work with thousands of churches.

1. Too many churches love past culture more than their current context.

http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/5329-3-things-churches-love-that-kill-outreach.html

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

October 27, 2014

We will be voting soon, so:

Matthew 22:34-46:
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. ’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

We Are Citizens of This World

In an invocation prayer at the United States Senate, Peter Marshall said, “Lord Jesus, Thou who art the way, the truth, and the life, hear us as we pray for the truth that shall make men free. Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved but also to be lived. Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books. It costs too much to be hoarded. Make us to see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to please, to do what is right.”

It is unthinkable that a Christian would not vote! It is unthinkable that Christians would not run for public office! It is unthinkable that Christians would withdraw from the responsibility of taking part in public life. The Christian has a responsibility to Caesar for all the privileges which the rule of Caesar brings. We are citizens of this world and must be good ones, if we are Christ’s disciples.

While we may not all be suited to public office, we must all vote. It is not only our right to go to the polls and vote but it is our responsibility as Christians to go vote our Christian values. I will not tell you who to vote for but I will tell you that if we love God with all our heart, soul and mind then we must reflect that love in the life we lead and the things we do to make life better for all of God’s children. For us as Christians we must not vote by party lines but for individuals who best reflect God’s will in this world. It is your choice, it is your conscience, it is your relationship with your God that will lead you to vote for who best reflects your relationship with God.

Have a blessed month in Jesus Christ,

Pastor Randy

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wanderings, Wonderings

August 30, 2014

Posting three things I am thankful for, for five days. This is day two:
Yesterday I posted that I was thankful to God first and foremost, thankful for my beautiful wife and thankful for my grandchildren.

1. I am also very thankful for our two beautiful daughters, Misty and Tracie. They are the ones who made our life complete and were the driving force for us to join St. John’s UMC in West Orange almost 40 years ago. We knew raising them in church would make them better people. Thank you girls for the five beautiful grandchildren.
2. I am thankful for family. Thankful for Jane’s side of the family, the Johnsons. They accepted me into the family and are my brothers and sisters. My Mom and Dad, Mom especially, for dragging me to church. Not that we went every day but often enough to give me some basic knowledge. Dad for his strong moral direction.
3. I am thankful for our daughters husbands. Having two son in laws who are good to our daughters and who are hard workers and very good dads is such a blessing.
I know that is really more than three things to be thankful for but each blessing is surrounded by blessings flowing out from them. That is just the way God works in this world. “Give thanks to the Holy One”.

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

August 29, 2014

My good friend Jeannie Perkins challenged me on Facebook to list three things daily that I am thankful for. This will be my first day and I will try to post each day on Facebook and here too. Hope everyone has a blessed day and that through your faith in Jesus Christ you will be able to love more deeply.

Posting three things I am thankful for, for five days. This is day one:
1. Of course, first and foremost, I am thankful for God who sent His Holy Spirit to lead and guide me with gentleness and patience. Lots and lots of patience.
2. I give glory and honor to God because it is through Him that I met my beautiful wife, 43 years of marriage, it seems like just yesterday.
3. I am so very thankful for grandchildren, (5). Lots of joy and blessings come through those little ones as we watch them grow.
And a reminder to all, that truly all things good come from our God. Give Him glory and honor at all times. Claim Jesus Christ as your savior. Put Him first in your life and things of this world can be seen in a different “light”.

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

October 3, 2013

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Jane and I are proud grandparents. I guess you can see that by the smiles on our faces. I do want to call attention to the smile, perhaps smirk, on the face of Lila Jane, our newest grandchild. It is as if the look says “Well I have really got it made, these two will be suckers for anything I want”. Shes pretty much right on.

Jane and I love our grandchildren and we will do whatever we can to help them make a good life out of the life that God has given her.

Isn’t that what God wants us to do with all of His children, help them make a good life out of the life that God has given them. Through prayer, meditation and the change of heart that only God can bring about in us, will we be able to help those less fortunate than us. While being a witness to our grandchildren is really important to us, it is just as important to be a good witness to the love God has for all of us to each and every person we encounter every day.

Love your neighbor means what it says. While loving grandchildren might be a lot easier than loving some we meet in our lives, it is still important to show God’s love for us all to the world.

Have a blessed day,

Pastor Randy

Pastors Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

July 24, 2013

The first two paragraphs are from a sermon by Leonard Sweet and the rest is mine.

What you do is your history. What you set in motion is your legacy.” Are you just pouring concrete or building a skyscraper?
Every one of us wants to leave a “legacy.“ Something that outlasts our biological lives and can somehow continue to declare “I was here.” For a very few this is achieved through intellect or infamy, greatness or great sacrifice. But for those of us who know we are not Augustine or Martin Luther, or Christopher Columbus or George Washington or Albert Einstein or Martin Luther King, Jr. — we still have a gateway to a large-than-life memory. What is it?

Our story.

Our family. Our siblings. Our spouses. Our children. Our great-grandchildren. Our “story,” our life goes on, because we are remembered and recounted in the memories, in the roots, branches and leaves, of our family tree.

Our family tree (our grandchild Lila Jane) has just grown by one. The births of our children and grandchildren are times for us to stop and reflect on the legacy we leave behind. How will we be remembered? How will you be remembered?

I hope to be remembered as someone who loved family very much because I loved God and the savior, His Son. I hope that family will recognize that love for God in me, my love for them and be able to pass those two traits on to those who come after them. That is what I want my legacy to be.

As Christians, we are called to show God’s love for all peoples to each and everyone we meet. Go out and leave a legacy of love for family, friends, neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Have a blessed day in Jesus Christ,

Pastor Randy

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One Year Old Today

December 12, 2012

One Year Old

My granddaughter is one pretty girl says a proud Pawpaw. One of the ways I see God’s blessings in this world is through grandchildren. We have a total of four with one on the way. Georgia Ann is the youngest but also the one that lives 4.5 hours away from us. We get to see the others in person a lot and we get to facetime with Georgia a good bit too. Grandchildren really do find a special place in our hearts and we always want them to be safe, healthy and well cared for as they grow up. Ours are going to have that opportunity because their parents as well as Jane and I will make sure that they are well cared for. That is a parents/grandparents job. Evidently it was God’s job as a parent to make sure that His Son was well cared for too. He provided good parents who loved and nurtured the Christ Child Jesus. He provided wealth and safety for His Child also. A good example for us to follow when it is our own children/grandchildren but also a reminder for us to put the welfare of all children as a priority throughout our lives. There are many opportunities to help those who are less fortunate than us. Many children throughout the world who will not get a gift much less have enough to eat.

God gave us the gift of a Savior and He gave us the example of how big a blessing children can be if they are raised in a good and wholesome environment. It is our job as parents, grandparents and most of all as Christians to provide for all of God’s children a safe, happy, wholesome place to grow up and be able to carry on the message of God’s love for this world.

If you are not providing a positive example for a child today, perhaps today is the day you look deep into your heart to help make a change in some childs life. Whether it is a gift or just some time. Let a child know that they are cared for and loved because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.

Pastor Randy

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

July 11, 2012

Friday, July 6th, I celebrated my 62nd birthday.  I was asked what I wanted to do on my birthday so I told Jane that I wanted the grandkids and her to take me to see Spiderman and go out to eat.  We enjoyed the show and the meal was good too, but the best part was spending the evening with family.  The only way it could have been better is if the Parzens, Tracie and Jeremy, could have been here with our newest granddaughter Georgia.

I hope it is obvious to the world that family is very important to me. Having loving relationships with children and grandchildren are important and must be one of our most important life priorities. Just as we show our love for our children and grandchildren, as Mother’s and Father’s, we must allow our Savior to work within our lives to provide that witness of love for them through Him.  They will see in us His love and look for that “Spirit of Love” for themselves.

We must be strong and faithful in our love for our God.  Remember the words of Joshua, “but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Have a blessed day! Tell those in your family that you love them and show them your love is from God through you.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love “is.”

Pastor Randy

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

January 7, 2012

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Great Granddaughter meets Great Grandparents.  Georgia Ann got to meet her great grandparents Friday the 6th.  Her great-grandfather will turn 92 on January 8th and Georgia will turn one month on the 12th.  This age difference got me to thinking about all that my dad has seen and all that Georgia has an opportunity to see.  The changes that have happened during my father’s 92 years have been amazing for his life and for the way he lived it.  Georgia’s life will be filled with changes that will be even more amazing and will affect the way she will live her life in astounding ways.

I hope to baptize Georgia in the next few months.  Georgia’s parents will accept responsibility for her spiritual growth and someday she will go through confirmation classes and confirm her belief in God and Jesus Christ.  As I think about all that Georgia has to experience as she grows I am excited as the promise of scientific knowledge grows exponentially.  The wonderful things that she will see and the changes that will affect her life will be many and many will be brand new discoveries.  While there will be many changes it is our hope that her belief in God and her parents efforts at sharing their beliefs with her will be a solid foundation that gives her the one constant that will help her center her life.  Her belief will help to center her life around consistent moral values that will lead her through all the changes that will take place in the world around her.

It is a new year with lots of new experiences for us all.  Allow your beliefs to center your heart and mind around all the changes that take place in your life.  Those who do have a much better chance at enjoying life as it comes to them.

Our baptism is the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ.  We are called to grow in our knowledge of His way and in His Spirit. Remember your Baptism and remember your covenant relation with your God.

Randy