Oct 31, 2019

You Don't Scare Me

Do you like things that bring fear? Are you easily frightened? Does the thought of things that go bump in the night cause you to hide under your covers? Are you scared by the unknown?

Are you afraid of being afraid?

Isn’t this what Halloween is all about; doing things that elevate our fears?

Simply put, I don’t like to put myself into situations that produce fear and that includes fear-filled movies, roller coasters or barrel rolls in airplanes.

And, as a dad, I made it a point to not intentionally put fear in my children. I wanted them to not be afraid of what may or may not be ‘out there’.

It’s probably why I don’t celebrate Halloween. For me, there is enough ‘horror’ in this life that I don’t need or want to celebrate it.

Just watching the average newscast, you will find way too much that is overwhelming and painful or frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting and full of fear.

No thanks, I’ve had enough and I don’t want to celebrate being afraid.

As a Christian, I’ve come to trust that either the Lord is in control or else He is not; period.

So, I don’t allow fear to fill me with what might happen; especially for things that I can’t control like falling down or that an airplane could crash or that I might eat meat that is too rare or having a lightning bolt give me a lethal shock or dying…they don’t scare me!

I also would say that I don’t tend to back down from things that go bump in the night.

Yes, I have a ‘healthy fear’ that prevents me from doing stupid things; but I don’t run away.

This goes back to the days of my youth when I was told by an older neighbor kid to ‘hit the biggest kid on the other side and take his legs out’.

The bigger they were the more I pressed in to taking them out! This was true for football as well as hockey.

My friends, we don’t need to be scared!

We can believe the Word of God which tells us over and over again; “Don’t be afraid” and “Do not be terrified or dismayed”

Why? Because “the Lord your God is with you…”

The Apostle John wrote it in the Bible;

 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

I love how the Apostle Paul wrote it in the Bible;

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians15:54-58 NKJV)

Today, this day, step out of the dredges of fear and what may happen.

Celebrate life, not death.

Stop letting things scare you and start enjoying what IS.

Learn to trust in the Lord who is able to keep you from falling and deliver you from death.

 “For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God In the light of the living? (Psalm 56:13 NKJV)

The Seventy Sevens - You Don't Scare Me - 9 - All Fall Down (1984)

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

Oct 24, 2019

What Are You Afraid Of?

I was asked a question in a men’s group: “What do I fear?”

My Answer: I have a fear that the Lord could take His Holy Spirit from me.

I’m not afraid like I would be if a lion came upon me. My fear is out of reverence and awe for who the Lord is. King David said in Psalm 51:11 “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

In Exodus 33:15 Moses said to God; “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” He wouldn’t have said ‘don’t grieve’ unless it were possible to grieve the Spirit. Paul also said on numerous times: “Do not be deceived”. He wouldn’t have said ‘don’t be deceived’ unless it were possible to be deceived

My fear is that He could take His Spirit from me and I wouldn’t even know it.

(1 Samuel 16:14) “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from (king) Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.”

(Judges 16:20) “And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

No matter what God has called you to do, it is still going to be done ONLY through His power. He is the source of ALL of our power so we must be connected to Him as the source of our anointing.

Jesus said; “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

God wants to give us His power, His anointing. But we need to be good stewards of the anointing because it is borrowed power. It’s God’s power and anointing.

But too often people are busy for God, and not necessarily effective for God.

When we find ourselves in this position, we need TO RESPOND TO THE Grace and admit that something is missing in our ministry, admit that we are NOT as effective as we used to be, admit we don’t have His power working in and through us.

1 Peter 5:5 says that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

We need to HUMBLE OURSELVES- “I have no confidence in my flesh or in my ability! BUT I do have: Confidence in Jesus, and in His Blood, and in His Word, and in the Name of Jesus!”

Each of us will give an account for what we did with what we were given.

I Thank God for the Body of Christ - Thank God for the five-fold gifts: People who are willing to help us get the power and anointing back.

Where was the last place that you were effective?
Where was the last place that you were strong?

Remember your first love
Go back to the first time you heard the Name of Jesus and it thrilled you!
Go back to when you couldn’t get enough of the Bible.
Go back to where you read the Bible and consumed it.
Go back to that place of prayer;
“I need you….I want you….I thirst for you!”

You’ll never grow beyond your last act of disobedience. You need to GO BACK and admit where you blew it. It’s God’s power entrusted to us and He can bring it once again!

Even though you may not feel like you can be used again, God is able to help you recover it. Remember, it is borrowed power, NOT YOUR POWER!

God is NOT done with you! The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). We are created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10)

God entrusts us with His power to do His works: To heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons… (Matthew 10:8)


To preach the gospel to the poor; … to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; (Luke 4:18)

But we need to commit to take better care of the gifts He has given to us BEFORE we are used by Him. We do this by spending time with God in: Bible study, fasting, praying in the Spirit.

Hebrews 2:1 tells us: “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”

We don’t lose the anointing overnight. Each of us have times when we have felt it slipping and we responded by saying; “I’ll get by; it’s OK, I’ll get through this!”

Men and women of old were more consecrated than we are. They understood holiness. They had the power and anointing because they had been good stewards.

We need to be more consecrated –more reverent to God, to give ourselves to God in EVERYTHING, which includes in the little things: the leaven, little foxes, little compromises things that cause us to waver in our consecration.

And suddenly you find yourself wondering why you are not seeing any power behind what you are doing. Wondering why people are not getting saved. Wondering why people are not being healed…

You can try to try to “fake it until you make it”; but I don’t advise it! You will be: worn out, burned out, used up – As some of you are today- trying on your own with no effective results and no longer wanting to dream dreams for your life.

We MUST reverence His presence
We must be surrendered to Him!
We must be yielded to Him

I want to get my power from God! I want to be trust worthy! I want to be a good steward of the power and anointing!

How do you get the power? When the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1:8).

God WILL bring the power back to you- but you still have a part to play
We have to take hold of what God brings back to us.
We have to take and use the gifts and anointing that God brings to us.
We have to let God work through us.

And then the consecration really begins to inspect us every day.
To not assume that we are connected to the vine (John 15:5)

Not: manufacture power or make power!
We receive power - It is a gift from God-But we also need to check our motives.

Why do you want the power and anointing from God? Are you sure that your motives are right?


(Acts 8:18-19) “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

The more God releases His power to us, the more that we must change to become like Jesus. If you really want the power gifts, you will want to become more like Jesus.

Let’s pray:

Father, if you’ll give me the anointing, and give me the power I promise I’ll do a better job of being a good steward of the power you give.

Father I want to do the work you’ve called me to do.

Father, I want to see Jesus lifted up in my life and honored and glorified

I want to see lives changed for Your glory!

Can you say; “amen”?

Oct 17, 2019

I’m Getting Married In The Morning

I LOVE officiating weddings! I personally feel honored to be a part of their special day!

Recently, my 2019 Wedding Season came to an end.

And can I just state for the record how privileged I am to work with such great people and to be invited to join them as they tell the world of their love for each other and state their vows.

Yes, there is a lot of time that goes into getting a couple ready, preparing messages, rehearsal dinners, and trips to mail the paperwork to make things official… But still; what a privilege. I love my job!

Almost all of the weddings that I officiated this year went off without a hitch.

I say that because in May of 2019, I officiated a wedding that I hadn’t planned on officiating. In fact, it wasn’t on my calendar; nor was it even in my schedule for that Saturday in May.

I had two appointments scheduled with couples for whom I was going to officiate later in the summer of 2019. But in between my two appointments, I received a frantic call from a friend who, although he is licensed to marry, had neglected to register his credentials with the State of Minnesota.

He discovered this about two hours before the wedding!

So, he called me to see if I could come down to the wedding and tag team with him and say the pronouncement and then sign and file the legal documents.

I asked him how well he knew the couple since I don’t do weddings by the seat of my pants as he was suggesting.
He told me that had worked for at least six months with the couple (planning and premarital counselling) and that he was related to the groom.

I told him that although I would like to help out, I was busy; but I was willing to call the couple who would be coming over in an hour to see if they would be willing to reschedule. I told him that I would have to get back to him.

This did little to calm him down.

I made a quick phone call and the couple that I was scheduled to meet with was very willing to reschedule and meet with me the next day.

I called my friend back and discovered that the wedding was only eight miles from my house. I decided to bail him out so as to not cause any (more) anxiety for the awaiting couple to whom he had told of his dilemma. I told him that I would need to put on a suit and would be at the venue in about thirty minutes.

I called Cathy to let her know of my change of plans since I wouldn’t be home when she came back for her errands. I changed my clothing and headed out to join my friend at the wedding.

When I arrived, the bride came over to me and sternly asked who I was and what was I doing at her wedding…I said to her that I was the pastor who was going to make this day official. She changed her demeanor and welcomed me with open arms.

We preceded to start the wedding.

I stood next to my friend as he gave a message and walked the couple through the vows, rings, etc. The two candles kept blowing out before the couple could light the unity candle.

The best man used a lighter to keep relighting the two candles. When the groom asked me if this was a bad sign, his bride let him know that this was not the time or the place to ask such questions.

After my friend’s portion was completed, I did the pronouncement and signed the paperwork. The couple thanked me for helping them out. Prior to leaving, my friend also gave me a hug for coming through. And even though it wasn’t on my schedule, it was a nice way to spend a sunny afternoon.

That was the start of wedding season. I’m glad that was not a sign of things to come…

And now that my 2019 wedding season is over, and as I slowly start the process of meeting with the couples for 2020, I pause to tell you a joke.

``A man walking on the beach found a bottle, uncorked it and a genie appeared. The genie declared: `I will grant you one wish. What do you desire?'

``The man thought for a while and answered: `I have always had a fear of boats and planes, and so my travels have been limited. One place I would really like to see before I die is Hawaii. Please build me a bridge from this beach to Hawaii.'

`The genie considered the man's request, but then shook his head and replied: `Do you know what you're asking? Do you know how many hundreds of miles it is from here to Hawaii?

Think of the thousands of men that would be needed.

Think of the number of pilings it would require.

Think of the constant adjustments that would have to be made for the staggered depth of the ocean.

No, no, I'm sorry, but that is a wish that I simply cannot grant.'

``The man sighed with disappointment, thought for another moment, and said: `OK. Well then, just explain women to me.'

``The genie pulled out pencil and paper and asked: `Will that be two lanes or four?' ''

Happy trails my friend – Pastor Tommy O

“There are three things that amaze me—
No, four things that I don’t understand:How an eagle glides through the sky,How a snake slithers on a rock,How a ship navigates the ocean,How a man loves a woman.” (Proverbs 30:18-19)

Oct 10, 2019

Which Way The Wind Blows (Live)

Feel a Feeling
Say a Saying
But you'll still be lonely
If you think life is only for this moment
Do a Doing
Mourn a mourning
Still won't get you off your sorrow
So go ahead and cry, but you can't pry a look at tomorrow

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow

Run a Running
Hide a Hiding
Whenever you hear the truth
And when you ask for the proof, you won't listen. Listen
Praise a praising
Build a building
Trying to get peace into your life
And you don't even know wrong from right
Oh, Where is your wisdom

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow

Die a dying
By believing and receiving
Forgiveness from Jesus who took the sin from sinning
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow
Jesus knows which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow

Believe Him and receive

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow

by Nellie Ward. Recorded by Second Chapter of Acts

Oct 3, 2019

First and Foremost I Am A Preacher

I was drinking a cup of coffee alongside Cathy at a wedding reception where I had officiated the ceremony.

A man came up to me with his hand extended to tell me just how much he appreciated what I had said at the ceremony.

He had been one of so many who came up to me at the reception that night to talk to me and tell me their thoughts on what I had said. The Lord used him and many others to remind me of what I was called to do.

“Keep preaching” he said to me, “Don’t ever stop”.

I flashed back to when I first heard the call. The year was 1986; the place was St. Paul, Minnesota. I was getting ready to leave the Sunday morning church service and I heard it: THE CALL TO PREACH.

No, not audibly, but deep in my spirit.

That was over thirty three years ago. I hadn’t yet been ordained or attended Bible school or seminary. I had no idea how to get there or what to do.

But there it was; for me to respond to. And I said; “YES”

And the Lord was faithful to get me “there” and has continued, on my best and worst days, to keep me “there”…the calling to preach.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
A friend of mine wrote the following. He continues to also be reminded what both of are called to do; PREACH!

No matter what else I do...I'm a preacher.

Preaching is my joy, my agony, my passion, and my pleasure.

To preach is to be a messenger of goodness especially in the angry face of evil.

To be an angelic voice of possibilities, even in the noise demonic cynicism.

The best preaching puts a warrant in the air of possibilities yet unrealized.

So, I'm a lifer; until no air is left in my lungs and no vocal chords to resonate, I will remain... a preacher.

Written by and used with permission from Pastor Randy Dean