Monday, November 26, 2012


Our December Sermon Series will be called Journey, focusing on the journey of all the "Christmas" players to the manger of baby Jesus.  In a sense their journey is an allegory of our journey to Jesus' side.  All of the players in the drama have brokenness.  Mary is, to all outward appearances, an unwed mother.  She both carries the scorn of the people and the uncertainty of a teenage girl processing her part in the play.  Joseph is called to be a faithful husband (though the marriage hasn't happened) and a surrogate father who loves this child as his own.  This would have been a difficult thing in 1st century Judaism.  Elizabeth (Mary's cousin and mother of John the Baptist) was part of the announcement of Jesus' birth and part of the introduction of Jesus to the world through the ministry and life of John the Baptist.  Both Mary and Elizabeth had reason for joy and probably a sense that both children, being totally devoted to God, would come to a difficult end ... when you are totally for God people will and do reject you.  Other characters, like Herod, the magi (who came on the scene three years after Jesus' birth), the shepherds, the angels and the animals in the grotto, played their parts in the most amazing story of a great gift from God. 

We can see ourselves in this story.  We are troubled, uncertain, misunderstood, put down by family and friends, taken advantage of and many other negatives.  But I want us to focus on the positives.  We are all used by God ... all usable for God's glory ... all special creations by a God who loves us ... all gifted for god's special purpose ... all able to bear fruit for God's kingdom ... all seen by God in a vastly different light than the darkness of the world.  In fact, I pray that you and I will be able to see and understand that amazing purpose God has for all of our lives ... a purpose lived above the fray going on around us and toward a God who has a higher purpose for each of us.  In the words of C. S. Lewis, may we be willing to go "higher up and further in" as we journey to the manger.  Thanks for listening ... Pastor Randy

Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting to the Source

Over the next 4 days I and 3 other Good News leaders will be attending a conference in which we will obtain tools to help our people with the issue of dealing with finances and our strange economy.  While we can't impact the part of our local/national/individual economy that depends on other people, we do have control over our own decisions.  In fact, this is the main toolbox we will be assembling ... what each person can do in making their financial life better.  And the best part is all the advice comes from Scripture and from God's plan to make our lives better by following Him rather than being led by our culture.

Pray for the team.  We will be listening to how we can lead our adults, young people and children to make Biblical choices in their lives as they relate to money, possessions, priorities, time, energy and doing life in a Biblical context. I hope we are able to bring back some usable and useful ways for each of us to do life in a way that gives God power over our everyday choices.  He told us if we follow then we will be in a place where He can bless us and give us an abundant life, full of God's good things.  If we follow the culture I believe we will not see this blessing and will not understand God's peace, God's provision and God's purpose.

The conference is called Momentum and in 2013 we will all be asked to be a team that pulls together to place all we learn into action.  It will take each of us ... every member, attender and every heart given to a willingness to become part of something larger than themselves.  Sunday School classes and small groups will be asked to be part of the effort ... children and teens will be called to be part of this push toward a better place.  I hope you will pray for your participation and your willingness to help us all make changes that will benefit and grow us.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and your preparation for this major undertaking.  Pastor Randy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making a Difference

This Sunday I will begin a two part series on post-election advice that I hope will help us get past the election and onto God's good things.  I hope it will help us debrief the past few weeks of calls, ads, promises, accusations and just plain meanness.  I wonder about our political system at times but have no better plan.  But I do think God has a better plan for His people so i will put forward two things about how we can, as God's people, make a difference.

One way every person at Good News can make a difference is to pitch in and help in areas where we have needs.  I want to offer a few ideas and see if anyone will take up the struggle and the blessing of serving.  Here are a few needs that are both pressing and could nbe just the place God needs you.

1. We need a person who will spend a couple of hours every week on social media for the church.  We are in dire need of shoring up our social media presence and I know there is someone who can give a few hours to get our likes, our presence and our connections to the highest possible level.

2. Our praise team has need for someone to play drums.  Practice is on Sunday from 10-11am and on the 2nd Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm.  This is a small investment of time for what can give lots of people a great blessing (including the person who can help with this need). 

3. Our praise team needs both male and female singers who love God and can come and lead worship with us.  Practice is on Sunday from 10-11am and on the 2nd Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm.  These positions are auditioned (by Mike Kitchens).  A heart for the Lord, a voice that can carry a tune is pretty much the need.  I hope some of you will say yes.

4. Our praise team needs an electric guitarist who can do some lead and fill.  Again, practice is on Sunday from 10-11am and on the 2nd Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm.

5. Ongoing volunteers for cleaning up after communion (after 2nd service) are needed.  this takes about 20min after the service once per month.  It doesn't require much time but it is surely helpful.

You can call Leah at the church office and she will fill you in on any and all of these.  Her number (M-Th,8:30am till 2:30pm) is 850-622-9191.  And remember, many of you will be inclined to let someone else do these things ... that is how we end up with unmet needs and how many of you fail to get the full blessing of being part of something that makes a difference in the world. That's my take!  Pastor Randy