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Sincere Faith and Spiritual Influence

May 13th, 2018

Faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared.

“Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother and mother.”  2 Timothy 1:5 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, Sincere Faith and Spiritual Influence.”

Everyone has influence, positively or negatively. The impact of some is beneficial; the effect of others is less so. Nowhere is there a greater necessity of sincere faith, and the opportunity for spiritual influence, than in the home. Since this weekend is Mother’s Day, let me share some thoughts about moms, especially my Mom. Certainly, in the home and family they are not the only influence; but for this occasion, Moms deserve the spotlight. Knowing me, God knew I would need a Mom that was especially patient, generous to a fault, immeasurably kind, and extravagantly loving. My Mom – Mildred Florence (McGinness) Randolph – was exactly that kind of Mom, and more.

She was the eldest of thirteen children, the daughter of a pastor, an exceptional pianist, and the wife of a pastor, and best of all, my Mom. She was raised in a very modest home. My grandad always worked to support his family in addition to what the small churches of southern Illinois could provide in the 1930s and 40s. They were poor in comparison with others but rich in the things that truly matter – family, love, character, loyalty, and faith in God. They never thought of themselves as poor; they considered themselves fortunate.

My Mom was raised in a Christian home. My Dad had not even been inside a church until he was seventeen. When he was a teen, his personal conversion resulted from my grandmother’s miraculous healing. A few years later, my Dad, a young Bible School graduate from Buffalo, New York, held a revival in a small church in southern Illinois and discovered the pastor’s beautiful and talented daughter playing the piano. Soon she was his wife . . and then she was my Mom. For that, I am graced and blessed. My Dad died in 1963, a young man, just 44 years old. My Mom died about 18 years ago at the age of 80. Even long after their deaths, my parents and grandparents still influence my personal faith. My parents were both significant, spiritual influences in my life, shaping who I am as a man, husband, father, and minister.

Church and home were one and the same in our family. My Dad from his pulpit, and my Mom from her piano, taught me the inestimable worth of a personal knowledge of God and a life of faith and service. Every day of my life has been blessed by their words and personal example. Our marriage, ministry, and family of four generations now have a Godly heritage that could not have been earned or learned in a lifetime without them.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 NAS.

My Dad taught me the rare value of faith and friendship, and the loyalty and integrity required in those. My Mom taught me a generosity and care for others that I am far from having mastered yet. My parents left me an inheritance counted in the very real currency of the lives and faith of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. “A good man [or woman] leaves an inheritance to their children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22 NAS.

You will afford your family a Godly example or allow them a perilous exemption. Sincere faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared with the next generations. Make your practice and profession of faith honest, and especially consistent. A Godly, family heritage that touches future generations can either continue or begin with you today.

Today, I pray for you to value highly the faith entrusted to you and pass it on.

Christian Communications 2018

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com

facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Love Spoken Out Loud

May 26th, 2015

“God will not forget the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people.” Hebrews 6:10 NKJV.

Love is best seen in everyday kindnesses more than grand gestures.

My thoughts and comments today are about “love spoken out loud.”

There is much in our world that poses as love. Everything that claims to be love or looks like love isn’t necessarily love. Sometimes, it is just a temporary emotion, as evidenced by the accelerating frequency of infidelity or divorce. Emotions neither prove love, nor produce love; instead, emotions are merely a by-product of love.

Love is both a choice and a learned response. You choose to love others because you have been selflessly loved. That could explain why a loving family begins with the sure and sincere love of parents for each other. Children learn to be loving by experiencing secure love surrounding them. As beloved children and later as adults, we learn to be loving husbands or wives, loving parents, and loving friends.

Love can be hard to define but easy to recognize. More than once, God is described in the simplest of terms, “God is love.” Read 1 John 4:7-12/15 NIV. That being true, where else but the Bible could you find the accurate description of love? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV. Love never fails; people fail to love.

For me, a few simple words define love. “Love, to be authentic, must be practical and observable.” Our friend, Betty, is a remarkable, loving lady who has a unique ministry. She gives cakes for people’s special occasions. She probably could make any kind but her specialties are German Chocolate or Coconut cakes, and she bakes those exquisitely. Recently, when she found it was my stepfather’s 94th birthday, she baked a Coconut cake, his favorite. My wife eloquently described Betty’s kindness as, “Love spoken out loud.” Maybe love looks like baking a cake, even when he is not your grandpa.

Love is best seen in everyday kindnesses more than grand gestures. Maybe love is doing more than could be expected or required, or offering help without needing to be asked, or sacrificing for someone without need for notice or regard for reward. This rings true. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I have been considering a simple question; what does love for God really look like? The answer was simpler than I assumed. “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10 NIV. Your unforgettable “work and the love you have shown Him,” is witnessed in a lifestyle of helping others in ways, small and large; that is, “love spoken out loud.”

Today, I pray for you that your life will accurately express your love for God.

EDL pix love expressed

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A Godly Legacy

March 6th, 2015

“I urge you to contend for the faith that was once entrusted to the saints.” Jude 1:3 NIV.

Christianity is one generation from extinction.

Family wedding portrait cropped

My thoughts and comments today are about “a Godly legacy.”

Some people incorrectly think faith should be a private matter, not something to be discussed with others. Parents have explained to me that they were, “uncomfortable to impose any particular expression of faith on their children,” leaving spiritual life for them to decide when older. When you understand the eternal consequence of personal faith or the lack thereof, that seems neither wise nor loving.

A parent would not leave children to decide for themselves the value of good health, or personal hygiene, or nutrition, or the necessity of education, or matters of character such as honesty, modesty, and respect for authority. There are things left as personal to each individual, but everything that is personal is not required to be private. Faith is certainly one of those. Faith is personal but not an altogether private matter.

You are surrounded by an increasingly secular culture. Any public expression of faith seems to be assumed an intolerance of others and considered intrusive if not kept private. Yet there seems to be no alarm at such faulty reasoning, even an apparent resignation to such practice. Jude, an apostle, admonished believers, “About the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once entrusted to the saints.” Jude 1:3 NIV. You have an invaluable trust to keep.

Christianity is one generation from extinction. “As long as Joshua lived, the people of Israel served the Lord, and even after his death they continued to do so as long as the leaders were alive who had seen for themselves all the great things that the Lord had done for Israel . . That whole generation also died, and the next generation forgot the Lord and what he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:7/10 TEV. The greatest sadness a Godly parent could ever feel is for their children to discount or later discard their parents’ Christian convictions and values. You afford your family a Godly example or provide them a perilous exemption.

Even after their deaths, my parents and grandparents still shape my personal faith. Church and home were one and the same in our family. My faith was taught and nurtured in my Dad’s sermons at church and by my Mom’s hymns at home and, just as importantly, by their personal examples. I remember my Dad describing my grandmother’s miraculous healing from a terminal illness that resulted in his conversion as a teenager, and his dramatic healing from rheumatic fever when I was just a toddler, and of the Lord’s faithful provision at times when there was no food for our table. He refused to let my sister and I forget our spiritual heritage, a history concerning the Lord’s grace and presence in our family.

Your faith is not yours alone; faith is a Godly legacy you are responsible to establish in your family, and share within your circle of influence. Your faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared with the next generations. Make your practice and profession of faith honest, and especially consistent. Faith is no private matter; share it with others sensitively and confidently.

You may not have received a Godly heritage. A Godly legacy can begin today with you.We will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord. We will tell of His power and the mighty miracles He did . . He commanded our fathers to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them – so each generation can set its hope anew on God, remembering his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.” Psalm 78:4-7 NLT. That is the mandate of personal faith; each generation will set their hope on God and nurture that hope in the next. Make faith, and your living and sharing it faithfully, a priority in your home and everyday life.

Today, my prayer for you is to value your Godly heritage and the spiritual legacy you must leave others.

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Christmas Eve 2014

December 24th, 2014

Christmas is for the child in all of us – the eternal, ageless spirit within that never grows old nor grows bored.

“When the shepherds had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Luke 2:17-20 NKJV.

Christmas is for the child-like heart in every one of us who hears or reads the story of the Nativity with wide-eyed and open-mouthed wonder that God Himself – Almighty and Eternal – would come into our world in a way unimagined, to a place unspectacular, and at a time unexpected in the likeness of His frail creation, in the form of a dependent, helpless child. Christmas is not for the pseudo-sophisticated who think they have all the answers.

Christmas is for child-like hearts who embrace the wonder of His coming as a child who would become Savior and Redeemer of all. Jesus Himself said, “Except you change and become as little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4 NIV. There is much of spiritual reality that is reserved for  child-like hearts.

I love this picture of Kaylee, our almost three year old great grandchild with whom we will spend Christmas Day. I want to never lose the wonder I see in her eyes as she explores and learns. Gayle and I are so grateful for your partnership and support of EveryDay Life across this year, all too quickly passed. May you never lose the wonder of endless discovery of this One who came to be your Savior.

A blessed and joyous Christmas,
Allen and Gayle Randolph

Christian Communications, Inc.

Kaylee and Christmas Tree 2014

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The Minimum Is Never Enough

March 21st, 2014

“You should abound more and more . . to walk and to please God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1 NKJV.

Minimum effort will never bring maximum benefit.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “the minimum is never enough.”

Aren’t we strange creatures? People want to receive the maximum benefit from a minimum effort. Life just doesn’t work that way. There is an equity to life. Extra effort is rewarded. Your dividend is directly proportional to your investment, whether made in the coin of time, energy, abilities, or finances. A marriage does not endure with minimum investment. Children do not thrive with minimum love and care. A family does not grow close with minimum time together. A friendship does not deepen with minimum communication. Your spiritual life will not mature with minimum time and attention. The minimum is never enough.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:38 NIV. When you examine the context of this familiar verse, you discover Jesus’ instruction regards giving mercy and forgiveness, but provides a Godly principle that applies broadly to all areas of life. Give minimally and you will receive minimally; give your maximum to God and others and you will receive maximum blessings from God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NIV.

A favorite verse of mine has been and remains, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. To Him be glory . .” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV. God lavishes the sufficiency of blessing and provision – “immeasurably more than all [you] ask or imagine.” God neither gives nor does the minimum. 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV. You abound as a recipient of the blessings of God because God abounds in the grace of giving abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV.

There is a lovely story in the Old Testament. Nearing the end of his life, Abraham entrusted his oldest servant to bring a wife from Abraham’s homeland for his son, Isaac. (Read Genesis 24) He took ten camels and gifts of Abraham’s wealth for her and her family. Arriving at his destination and stopping at the well outside Nahor, he prayed that God’s choice for Isaac would be known to him by her generous response when he asked for her help, “. . And she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.Let her be the one You have appointed for Isaac.” Genesis 24:10-15 NKJV.

Rebekah could have done nothing; she could have shown minimal courtesy to a weary traveler. But Rebekah quenched his thirst and then as only God could script, she volunteered the extra effort to water all of his camels, as well as offering feed for the camels and a place where the servant could rest. Minimum effort will never bring maximum benefit. Little did she know she would soon ride on those same camels to meet and marry Isaac. See Genesis 24:61-66. As with Rebekah, your extra effort may be the instrument God uses to bless you and exceed your expectations.

The Bible says it best, “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God . . Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1 NKJV/1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that extra effort and doing your best is your lifestyle.

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