Is it Really Possible?

After listening to the podcast, I would like to ask you what you think. Is it really and truly possible for us to ‘count it all joy’ like the Bible says to do. It is easy to be joyful when everything in our lives is running smoothly and things in life are going well. But it is what we do and how we respond when we are under pressure that uncovers what we really and truly believe. The trials of life come to all of us, and we eventually discover just what we believe and what we do not believe.

So when you are under pressure, what do you do? Some people worry. Others become very angry. Still others withdraw and become depressed. Does the Bible teach us to do any of these things when we are facing and going through a trial? When I read my Bible, it does not teach us to respond negatively or whine and cry about our problems. Actually it is quite the opposite. The Bible explicitly teaches us to ‘Count It All Joy’ when we enter into trials.

This principle is sitting there in the Word of God ready to be activated in our next trial that we experience. If everything is going smoothly, hold on for a moment because the next trial is around the corner. You see, God new that there would be trials and tribulations in life; and He has given us a playbook that we can run in order to address the challenges that we face each days.

When the Bible says “Count It All Joy,” what this means is that when we go through trials and tribulations, there should be a smile on our face that communicates a joy. This joy in our hearts demonstrates the trust that we have in the Lord to work things out for our good. God has never intended for us to live our lives in fear. God desires that we learn and grow and that we trust in Him. So let’s remember to pass the test and exemplify a high level of learning in counting it all joy in our lives.

Joyful!

Pastor Randy

More thoughts on partnership

If it were not for our partners, we would not have a ministry. Our partners – the people that God has ordained to lock arms with us, play an integral part in accomplishing the vision and goals of this ministry. We pray for our partners and we believe for the very best in their lives because they are sowing into a ‘missions minded’ ministry that is next to God’s heart.  Partnership continually builds, strengthens and supports the ministry of the Gospel, and this makes a world of difference! My responsibility where my Partners are concerned is to be excellent in every aspect of the ministry. This is a powerful relationship that brings us together for a common goal to share the goodness of God with others.

When you become a Partner, you will be encouraged every step of the way in your Christian life. And you will enjoy a positive message from a positive ministry in a negative world.

Giving and receiving

At Energize International, we believe in sharing with you the opportunity to give, because the Bible says to give and it will be given unto you good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will men give unto your bosom. (Luke 6:38) We endeavor to be excellent in every aspect of our ministry. As we sow excellence to the Lord, we will receive his best in return. We believe that as we are excellent ground for you to sow into, you will receive that excellence back into your life in other areas. We are a soul winning and disciple making ministry that strives to walk in love and do our very best. Be blessed as you sow seed into this ministry.

The amount you choose to give is up to you. The Bible says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2Cor. 9:7

The Bible also says something about giving in Phil. 4:17 that truly expresses our heart on the matter: “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.”

We exhort you to find a missionary that you can support faithfully. If you do, the final result will be fruit that will abound to your account!

Effectual door of ministry opens

When an effectual door of ministry opens, it is with joy and smiles that we walk through this door and continue to do what is in our hearts to do overseas. I was recently invited to the city of Khabarovsk located in the Far East in Russia. It is just a three hour airplane ride from Beijing, and I was invited to teach in the ‘Vision’ Bible Seminary. The ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ hosts and administers the Bible school there and I was excited to teach ‘New Testament Survey’ to first year students and ‘Christian Apologetics’ to the fourth year students over the course of a week. But what is interesting is how it all started and then what will continue in the future.

The Beginning

When I first moved to Beijing, I was invited to team teach a course entitled ‘Evangelism and discipleship’ with the Bible Seminary here in Beijing. It was in this class that I learned about several unreached people groups and my heart was drawn toward a certain group of people. I was specifically drawn to the Nanai tribe, located and living between the border of China and Russia. In my heart, I wanted to do something to help reach this group of people which numbers between 5,000 to 10,000 people. They are fishermen and hunters and live a more primitive life. Then I found out about a lady who has worked among her tribe as a pastor, and it was at this point that I just wanted to meet her and somehow help her in some way to reach her people. Here name is pastor Elena and she currently pastors three churches. She pastors a church in the city of Khabarovsk, and she also travels to the villages of Verchnii Nergen and Vosnesenskoe.

One of the highlights of my m trip to Khabarovsk was tht I was able to meet and drink tea with pastor Elena and hear her heart for our people. I was moved with compassion and she brought a gift of smoked salmon and cavier the next day to the church where I was ministering. I asked her what she was believing God for. She said that she needs money for heating her house in Khabarovck…around 400usd a month in the winter time, and she needs gas money to travel to the villages to minister to the people that she has won to the Lord. This lady is one of my heroes in the faith, and now we are figuring out how to get money sent to her bank account their in Khabarovsk. I am highly motivated to sow into her ministry, and she needs help. Help me help her reach her people, and we can then remove the nanai trobe from the unreached people groups list.

6 PM

On the final leg of my journey, the leadership discovered that I had served as a youth pastor for twelve years before moving overseas. So the youth pastor asked me a for a favor. I was leaving on Sunday afternoon having preached two services when he asked me if I would come as a guest and share with a group of young people for about an hour. He said that he knew that I was tired, but he asked me if I would consider it. Now how am I going to say no to a fellow comrade in arms who is pastoring youth. So I traveled back to my hotel, took a nap, and then it was off to ‘6 PM’, a weekly evangelical meeting where young people aged 16 to 25 meet and and discuss different topics. I shared on the topic of what I would do all over again if I could live my life again. At 55 years of age, thinking back to when I was 16 seems like a light years ago, but I was able to share some stories about decisions that I made that have made a huge difference in my life. It was an awesome time and wonderful experience to speak with this group.
Later that evening I left at 11:55 pm for the airport arriving in Beijing at 1:15 in the morning…a three hour flight with a two hour time difference. It was a wonderful and fulfilling time of m work in an brand new place. I shared with my wife Lori that a new opportunity and place has opened for us. We will travel there again, and I look forward to more effectual doors opening in this region of the world.
Finally, thanks for your prayers and for your financial support. It is greatly appreciated.

Love and Miss You,
Pastor Randy and Lori

Challenges Challenges Challenges

Hebrews 12:1-3

Great faith chapter …chapter 11

Chapter divisions added later but the author did not break his thought…

Things that challenge us as we follow Christ

1… we are called to remember those who have come before us

Bible uses a field of play

You and I are in the playing field, and those before us are in the stands watching us.

And it helps us to remember who is there…

Centuries of great people in the Church who in their time advanced the faith.

Some of us have personal heroes…

Those people look on and ask ‘what are you doing with the gift that you have been given ?’

It is a gift bought from generations of those who have gone before us.

They are gone now… and we are here now.

It is up to us NOW!

Why? Because we are here and there is no one else!

The next generation will get what we gave them.

2… Throw off everything that keeps us from running our race…

Example: taking off the sweats to get ready to run… some things are fine, but they slow us down.

Some things that we think are important just do not matter very much… stuff, positions… esteeming earthly thugs lightly.

If they help us do things for the gospel they are good… if they distract us they are bad

He also talks about the sin category:::

We are all sinners… John says…

So we should remove things that make us ineffective for god

3… Let us run

Runners are sweating and breathing heavy … it does not look fun.

The point is that he are all called to do something with our lives, and this is our race.

God gives us different gifts… different cultures, but He has given us our race to run.

Make a sign that says: do your job!

The gospel goes forth by ordinary people that do what God says to do.

I cor 12 romans 12 … concept of the body of Christ

Remember that you have something to do.

We are here because god has called you to something great to do.

Run with persistence..

People are successful because they just keep going… not necessarily because of skill or talent.

Many people start well but do not finish…

Remember that the Christian life is not a sprint… it’s a marathon.

Remove from life what is holding you back

4… remember to focus

Fix your eyes on Jesus… the author and finisher of our faith…

Focus on the finish line… remember that you have to see it.

Let that become your focus.

People who get distracted from their focus dial to achieve their goal.

When you do not focus, your life begins to drift. So we cannot let it drift Randy!!

The good news is that we can always focus on the great goal of serving Christ.

It is a matter of adjustment!!

So in your walk with Jesus, do you know where you are going?

When we loose focus we loose the opportunity to achieve what god has for us.

5… Consider him who considered such oppression but did not grow weary.

We should reflect on what he was willing to do for us.

He for the joy that it brought him him to the cross. Hard to understand maybe?

It teaches us that while our life in Christ might be hard, there is always joy in the end.

Consider what we are doing with the life that we have.

Every family has challenges… let joy be the most outstanding characteristic…

We must be able to reflect on what god is telling us to do.

Some will do this… some will not… some will buckle under the pressure…

so it’s not certain… what will happen in the future generations.

We create the world that our kids will have later on… our ancestors created and gave this to us.

So Alaska survived the Russians and the Japanese and earthquakes…

I want my grandkids to inherit a world where they understand faith… their legacy I create!

The man in the arena speech… Teddy Roosevelt…

We should Dare Greatly and take Great risks in the cause that we are called to.

This is the call that every Christian has.

Dare greatly and let God do miracles with what we give to him.

Let’s experience the joy of knowing that we have run our race well.

The great Heros of the people are watching and asking… how will you play and how will you run?

And then there is the owners box… Jesus is looking and watching… what at you doing with the gift I gave you?

Are you running well? not an easy question… makes me uncomfortable… it bothers me because I want to do better…