Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love's Got everything to do with It!

Tina Turner is famous for singing "What's Love Got to Do With It"? This song is about romantic love, about boy-girl attraction. In the song she calls this "love", a "sweet old-fahioned notion", a "second hand emotion" that can break a heart. Where do I sign up?

Well the truth is, "Love has got everything to do with everything!" We just have to make sure the right love( 1 John 4:7-9), God's love saturates our lives so love's behaviors are obvious.(1 Cor. 13:4-7, Love your neighbor as yourself). "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

I hope to see you this weekend. If the Bible is true about what it says about God's Love: 1. It is the most excellent way. 2. It is the greatest. 3. It never fails. It might mean we ought to pay attention to Love's way and actions. I think you will be encouraged by considering how love can be more evident in your life.

I encourage you to invite a friend. I truly believe people want to be in a place and around people where they are Loved, Accepted and Forgiven.

A mailer inviting our friends and neighbors to the ministries of Constance will be arriving in many neighborhoods beginning today. I encourage you to use these as reminders to chat with your friends and neighbors about Jesus and your experience of knowing Jesus in this local body.

It's been great to see so many of our ministries kick off this week. I encourage you to participate either as one being served or as a servant. Either way it will create an environment necessary for spiritual growth in your life. I hope that each one of us will see Christ being formed in our lives this year. It's interesting but as we grow to be more Christ-like we become a gift to God (Paul says a fragrant offering) we become a gift to others(loving and serving others) and a gift to ourselves(there is no better way to live life than being a servant of Christ). I encourage you to pursue practical growth in your Christian walk this year.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love may have power to grasp ....the love of Christ, and to know his love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 4:16-19

God Bless

Pastor Randy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keep The Doors Open

There is an old saying in the church-"Keep the lights burning". Historically the church was one of the places in town that had electricity. The thought was that especially on the weekend if you kept the lights burning and especially on a Sunday night the community would join in. And for a time that worked. Most people in the Andover area have electricity in their homes and so now the church is expected to have electricity. Apparently electricity is no longer novel.(And neither are Sunday night services) Bizarre how things change.

So how do we as a people of God, communicate the timeless message of Jesus our generation? How do we Keep the Doors open so people can see the grace and goodness of Jesus and experience his life in their own lives. Honestly it's a big question, one every generation has had to answer. The first time we see the Church wrestle with his question is in Acts 15. It is a fascinating passage that moves from principle to people. Take some time to read Acts 15 before the weekend. Ask these two questions. 1. What doors is God opening for me(or the church) in sharing his love to those around me? 2. What attitudes or actions do I have that work to close doors for me(or the church) in sharing his love to those around me?

"...they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." Acts 14:27

It's God's way of grace to use us to "open doors of faith" to many who have yet responded to the Gospel Message. I want to encourage you to continue to Pray and Watch. Expecting God to "open the door of faith" so those you know and love will experience an "open door of faith" in their lives. As you Pray and Watch ask God to openly reveal all the doors of opportunity and faith he is asking you to walk through. I am convinced I miss doors of opportunity everyday because I am not "watching" as I should.

Pray and Watch Prayer: Father, please send your Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of these people.(name them) Draw them to Jesus and make them kingdom workers.

What a great time of the year. Many around you are asking "fall questions". Should I go to church somewhere?? Should I get my kids involved in Sunday School, Youth group?? Should I join a group?? Let people know you are diving in. Ask them to dive in with you. I believe God blesses each one of us with many opportunities to "open a door of faith" for those we associate with daily. KEEP THE DOORS OPEN!

I Look forward to seeing you this weekend.

God Bless

Pastor Randy

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Church-A Team endeavor!

I hope you are enjoying the last weeks of Minnesota summer! Just like MN-we go from 90's to 70's and all of the sudden I need a blanket. So enjoy. BUT--don't forget to pursue our Lord in the different paces of summer. Paul writes "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord....I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.....Phil. 3:8-10. I don't think there is ever a time we should feel comfortable putting Jesus and our walk of faith "on the shelf for a while".

I had opportunity to contemplate this scripture a bit last week. Several things challenged me concerning living this out on a daily basis. One thought challenged me concerning both now and eternity. What if this is the whole standard of expectation and evaluation. Will I be eternally evaluated on my passion for knowing Christ and letting that saturate my whole being.

I want to encourage you to consider how that will be worked in your life this year. How will you grow toward knowing Christ fully???? "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. Col 1:20

This weekend: We will continue our study in Acts by looking at chapter's 13-14. This is Paul's First Missionary Journey and marks the beginning of the Gospel message saturating all nations. As we consider the Gospel message saturating our city we see the importance of the Body and the power of a team. Most of us recognize that few accomplisments in life are done alone. This is true of the church as well. The Gospel will never saturate the ends of the earth or every city in our county and world until the church works in unity. It's exciting to see how our gifts can be used in a team to see the Gospel spread to every area of our county and world.

See You this weekend!

God Bless

Pastor Randy

Friday, August 6, 2010


Last week I told you about a recommended new technique for CPR. Here is a place to watch. It's about five minutes and will probably come in handy some day. And yes you will have to download the Bee Gees song on your own--

I find it interesting that we can learn a simple technique that can save a physical life-but don't often think about the fact that we can carry the message of Christ wherever we go and can have an eternal impact. What a blessing we can be to those we are in contact with during the daily routines of life. This truly does take life from ordinary to extra-ordinary.

This week we will see an incident in Peter's life where he is called by God to be involved with something and someone he is not sure about. His heart is definitely not into the call he receives but responds anyhow. I think eventually he is glad he said YES. Read all about this incident in Acts 10-11:18.

Whatever you do today--Spend some time reading God's Word. You will never be sorry.

Look forward to seeing you all this weekend.

God BLess

Pastor Randy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open Doors

We don't often give doors much thought. Unless of course they don't work or won't open. Then we know something needs to change. It's interesting to think about the message of Jesus as it pertains to doors. Not only it's reception in an individual heart but also breaking open the doors in area after area, culture after culture, nation after nation.(Acts 1:8-witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth. )

This week we continue our study in the book of Acts. We will begin by seeing how one life can make a difference in generations to come. There is no question that life could be yours. I invite you to read Acts 9 -It is the story of Saul's encounter with the risen Lord. That encounter not only changed a life but is still testifying to the power of that risen Lord today. Our lives can have that same kind of impact in the lives placed in our paths.

We had a wonderful Annual Business meeting last Sunday. We heard some testimonies, recounted with joy how God has led and directed our church this past year. We also passed next years budget. It can sound kinda drab until you realize that a budget becomes a full ledger of God 's leading, guiding and directing a congregation to consequential ministry in their lives and community. What a joy to see how God is growing us on so many levels. It was Paul's desire " to present every person mature and equipped forChrist filled ministry." This is our church desire also. If you want to see a copy of the budget please feel free to contact our church office.

I hope to see you at this weekend. I know you will be blessed as you worship with the community of those who believe in Jesus.

God BLess

Pastor Randy

Thursday, July 15, 2010

30 Years

This week Deb and I celebrated 30 years of Marriage. One the one hand we both can't believe it. TIme went by so fast. On the other hand we expected it. I don't think either of us thinks marriage is all that easy. I think you have to work at some stuff-well more stuff than just some. On the other hand there are things only the Spirit can do-If we will let him! When I think about being patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not rude, not proud, not self seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, never delights in evil, rejoices in truth, always protects, always trust, hopes and perseveres I am so glad the Spirit is working and transforming my life. If I submit to that work--I might make another 30 years of marriage. If I don't that's a list that will kill me if done only on my own effort and strength. Well first you have to have the want to- and thats in short supply in most of our lives. I am so thankful the Spirit gives the ability to do in the believers life.

I wouldn't mind another 30 years. I don't really want to hang on forever but if I can spend those years with Deb, who more than anyone I know exemplifies the above qualities-well I might just look forward to that and hang on as long as I can.(Better exercise today) Anyhow I want to encourage all of you married folks to expect to be together until death separates you. And keep allowing the Spirit to work deep in your life so that your spouse will have the best,growing godly spouse possible. That will take you to the finish line-together.

Thanks Deb for the best 30 years of my life. I definitely got the better end of the lifetime deal we made 30 years ago. I Love You!

Well moving from one extra-ordinary miracle to another I invite you to explore the extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church this weekend. I will be dealing with the topic "Are Miraculous Gifts For Today?". The miracle of the church and how God can take people who have been dead in sin and bring them back to a life lived in the presence of God and using that life for his purposes and glory is really worth taking a look at.

See You This Weekend

God BLess

Pastor Randy

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No Accidents

Lots of stuff happens. As I was praying, I recognized my tendency for wanting circumstances changed. My tendency is to believe I know how things should be changed rather than wondering what God wants to do in the midst of those circumstances. If this sounds like a tendency you have, I invite you to think along with me this weekend as we look at the life of Philip (Acts 8). This guy was a real normal guy living the normal Christian life and God used him in (what we would say) small but extraordinary ways. I want that to be true in my life!

I hope you were able to be with us last weekend. What a wonderful challenge by both the Livesay's (Haiti) and Pastor David Kiamu (Liberia). You can listen his message online at I encourage you to do it.

Deb and I watched the movie "The Princess Bride" recently. I have seen the movie probably 100 times. It's the only movie I believe is an all time classic. I am sure you disagree and all I can say is ... well ... nothing. You either get it or you don't. Anyhow, during the Miracle Max scene (my favorite scene) he ask's our "mostly dead" hero, "What do you got to live for?" What comes out of our mostly dead hero sounds like "true love." A noble cause of course but not enough to motivate Max. He eventually responds to an opportunity for revenge. It's a great reminder to live for something that truly exceeds the norm.

Helen Keller once said, "Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self gratification but through fidelity to a worth purpose."

So "what do you got to live for?" Perhaps a better question: what are you living and giving your life for right now that will last forever? I believe a follower of Jesus has the greatest opportunity in the world to live for the cause of Christ, a worthy purpose that will exceed all time and history.

What a privilege to do that together as the body of Christ. "He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose! - Jim Elliot

It's my hope and prayer that your desires continually grow for the worthy purpose of the name and cause of Christ.

"I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. Philippians 3:7-9

See you this weekend!

God Bless,

Pastor Randy

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Special Week!

This week at Constance we will get to experience the book of Acts present tense. Speaking this week will be David Kiamu. David is a leader in our Liberian Free Church and a point person for our partnership in Liberia as well as Reach Africa.( consortium of African countries working together to reach Africa with the Gospel). David has been to Constance before to meet with our Global team and it's a joy to welcome him to our pulpit this weekend. I heard him preach at our Congo Conference last July(in English) and was inspired by the Word he preached and His heart and passion for our Lord.

We also welcome for a Grace Story this weekend Troy and Tara Livesay. Troy and Tara have been ministering in Haiti for several years, have adopted three Haitian children and recently went through the earthquake in Haiti. You will be inspired by their first hand reports of what God is doing in Haiti. Tara's parent's Randy and Carolyn Porter and sister Tina and husband(Matt and Tina CLeary) all are regular attenders at Constance. Recently Matt and Tina adopted Annie from Haiti. You can find out more at

I am always amazed at how God uses ordinary, avaliable, powered by His spirit people. It's the normal Christian life as we learned last week by examining Stephens Life. It's my prayer that our time together this weekend will inspire you by means of God's Spirit to give yourself totally to God.

My wife recently alerted me to this quote, "There is a cost to following Jesus, but there is a greater cost in not following Him. Whatever you give up to follow Christ will be more than made up to you in this life and certainly in the life to come." As a Pastor almost daily I get to see first hand the high cost of not following Jesus in real life circumstances. It saddens me because I know Jesus died to bring us life. Sin always has as a purpose separation and death.

I encourage you with the words of the Apostle Paul, " to live a life worthy of the calling you have recieved.... and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus....

I close with some of my favorite AW Tozer words, " Everyman is as close to God as he wants to be, he is as holy and full of the Spirit, as he wills to be...

Hope To See You This Weekend!

God BLess

Pastor Randy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Official-Kinda

Recently Deb and I became empty nesters. It's been a process. So now we begin to ponder what is next? It's a big question. I think many times Christian parents become "empty nester's" without contemplating how God can now use them in different or more intense ways. I intend to pursue God and his intentions for my life more intensly and deliberately with these new circumstances. If this is your situation I hope you will do the same. I have seen many do the opposite and truthfully it relegates kingdom work and God's call to an after thought rather than the first and best thought.

This weekend we will investigate the life of Stephen. Stephen is the first martyr in Church History. Take some time to read his story in Acts 6-8. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to live and serve with the same joy and grace as did Stephen. As believers though few of us are asked to give as Stephen the ultimate witness(a martyr) all of us are asked to lay down our lives for the sake of the name of Jesus.

Stephen teaches each of us to "lead a life worthy of your calling" in a gentle, humble and patient way. The writer of Hebrews speaks of those who willingly lay down their life for Jesus as those "of whom the world was not worthy". It is my prayer that the life of Stephen will ignite in each of us a desire for God to be glorified in our lives. What a privilege.

"To this end I always pray for you, that our God will make you worthy of the life to which he called you and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power. Then everyone will give honor to the name of our Lord Jesus becasue of you, and you will be honored in him, becasue of the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:11-12)

Hope to See You this Weekend!

God Bless

Pastor Randy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Official

According to most Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Whether it is true or not most of us recognize a mental and physical shift this time of year. That of course can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. One thing I know-Regardless of your shifts one thing should not change-Your walk and pursuit of God.

Whether you are reading in the Old or New Testamnet of the bible one thing is always clear-God never takes second place. So I want to encourage each of you not to allow the "summer slump" to get to your walk with God! Use the summer to allow the Holy Spirit access to speak to your life. Continually ask God what He is trying to teach you through his Word. In what ways does He desire to deepen and change you. I encourage you to use some of your down time to read larger portions of the Bible just to allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your life.

This week, walking alongside Peter as a leader of the early church we will ask the question "What would be different if Jesus was really First? in my life? church? community?"
What do you think? We will be taking stories from Acts 3-4, I encourage you to read these passages and see what difference Christ wants for you.

June will be a great month at Constance. We have some special guests coming to share I think you will enjoy. This week Larry Backlund representing Dr. Pat and Newsservice 2000 will share in our services. This is a ministry we support as a Body that is focused on encouraging the Persecuted Church.

I also want to encourage you if you have not done so yet to make a commitment to our Church of Influence Fund. Your gifts not only encourage our ministry here but throughout the world. I know as well from my own life the great joy in being able to give to our local body and see the impact we bring to our communities as we unite together. I am continually thankful for the generous heart of our Body.

"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ...that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." Philippians 1:27.

See You this Weekend

God BLess

Pastor Randy