Tuesday, April 28, 2015


As we were looking at the very solid foundation of the Shalom Mission Center in Belize I noted that the foundation and basic structure of the building is concrete reinforced by steel ... the foundation of this building will withstand a lot of stress and the wind of a major hurricane.  But how strong is our foundation regarding our beliefs?

In 2 Peter, our writer reminds his people that a foundation is important if they seek to follow God and keep from drifting away.  Peter says that we should seek, learn and pursue God's Word if we are to avoid being led away by clever stories.  In our world we are inundated with those clever stories.  There is Facebook, the Internet, YouTube and a barrage of junk emails that would tell us what to fear, what to embrace and what to believe.  All of these are Peter's "clever stories" that must be vetted by each believer.  So ... what do we do?

1) We learn, pursue and meditate on God's Word, because it is truth and God's message to us;
2) We sift the things that come our way, being unwilling to be led away by clever stories, manipulated statistics and just plain lies;
3) We compare what we read to what we know about God as presented in His Word, knowing that only God will give us the truth that sets us free from lies and misinformation.

Maybe if we spent as much time in God's Word as we spent on Facebook, YouTube or the Internet, we might have a better foundation.  Randy

Monday, April 20, 2015

Christian Character

In 2 Peter we find the Apostle Peter very interested in conveying the nature of Christian Character.  When I think about that term I am reminded of the churches I have served and the people who have been leaders, servants and participants in the life of those churches.  2 Peter urges me to think about these people and how they reflected that Christian Character.

Here is where those thoughts have led me.  When I think of the people from all of those churches my first thoughts go to the people who engaged and loved others.  These people seemed to always be serving, working and loving, usually behind the scenes.  They desired no credit, no special recognition (though a thank you is always welcome) and mostly no remuneration.  All of this makes me wonder if C.S. Lewis was right.  When he pictured heaven he envisioned gentle, happy people who spent their time with those they had helped in life.  Both the faithful servants and those they served were living in a perpetual state of blessing.  Grace and goodness flowed so strong that the light from it shone with beauty and heavenly perfection.

I like that thought.  And I thank all of you who serve your church, your community and other people.  I will perpetually look forward to the time when I can tell you, in the perfection of heaven, that you have made a difference in my life and the world in general.  Thank you for being conduits of God's grace!  Randy

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hard Work

During my time at Asbury Theological Seminary I was in awe at the depth and breadth of proper Bible study.  My professors taught with passion and fervor because they believed in the truth they were teaching and they knew that hard work would yield better understanding.  So ... they worked us, and one long strand of that hard work was 2 Peter.  Many hours, hundreds of hand-written pages, word studies and other contextual work.  But, here's the kicker ... that hard work was a blast!

When you spend time in God's Word and are willing to let all of your senses interact with the life that bubbles up between the lines, it is wonderful, exciting and beautiful, all at once.  This is why I get excited when I can share this excitement with you.  Because God's Word is alive, open to everyone who seeks, it is a very level place.  By that I mean all people can meet at God's Word and all people can be led by God's Spirit to understand it.  Like the ground at the foot of the cross, God's Word levels life.

Try out some of that work.  Over the next few weeks read and re-read 2 Peter.  If you have questions feel free to ask me via email ( abbevilledude@gmail.com ).  I will be revisiting this old friend and I will learn lots of new things ... because God's Word is alive!  Randy

Sunday, April 5, 2015


When Pastors finish the Lenten season, which comes to a climax in the Easter Morning service, it is easy to sit back and say ... "Whew. I am glad that work is complete!"  But in reality the Easter message is all about how the work is just starting. 

Part of that work is knowing what to do.  This knowledge starts with knowing the truth and falseness in each day and in the words of advice we get from friends, family and even church.  To examine this I am asking you to join me on a journey (in messages, blogs and in your own study) which will explore the little book of 2 Peter.  This book has three basic themes ... the truth about Christian character ... the condemnation of false teachers ... the assurance of Jesus' return.

Each week we say The Apostles Creed which was created to clarify the foundational beliefs every Christian should have.  The Creeds were to make sure that we did not stray from those foundations in what we believe, what we teach and what we consider important.  It will be fun to look at God's truth from the perspective of study ... I hope you will be here every week!

Pastor Randy