Refill with Randy #58 “Pastor Appreciation” Revisited” by Pastor Randy

Happy Wednesday!!! Since I still didn’t have my full voice to record a new Refill with Randy this week I thought I would share a previous one that is still very pertinent since October is Pastor Appreciation month.

So… grab your favorite cup, fill it up, and join me as I share about a significant Pastor Appreciation gift I had been given and share ways that you might want to encourage your pastor this week.

“The Power of Planting a Seed” by Pastor Randy

Earlier today I got a reminder that you never know how or when you might have an impact on someone’s life. As I shared in my “Refill with Randy” video yesterday (check it out on FB or YouTube if you haven’t watched yet) I am currently in a season of ministry where I enter into a person’s, a family’s, or a church’s life for a set period of time with a specific purpose.

The reality is that there have been opportunities to do this throughout my ministry. One way this would happen is when I would be asked to officiate a funeral for a family that isn’t connected to a church or pastor. That happens much more frequently now that I am working at Hospice, I’ve officiated 4 funerals over the past 8 days, but it would happen every now and again when I was pastoring full-time as well.

I always found that those were unique opportunities to show the love of Christ to those who are hurting and in need of hope. Unfortunately, sometimes you only get to interact with them for that that short period of time and so hope you make an impact but often never know.

Well this morning, as I was standing at the front of the funeral home watching the family come in, a young man walked over to me and said, “I don’t know if you remember me but you did my mother’s funeral in 2011.” I asked what his mother’s name was and he shared. I apologetically said that it was a long time ago, that I remember that I did her funeral but that he must have been much smaller then. He then went on to tell me that he just had to stop me to thank me for all of the beautiful things I shared at his mother’s service and how it had impacted him. I thanked him for taking the time to let me know and offered to reconnect with him in the near future.

Ironically, as much as I hadn’t known how much my words back then had impacted him he probably didn’t realize how much his words this morning impacted me. We all have those days when we wonder if what we do matters, especially if we don’t always see fruit immediately, and so his comments gave me a timely reminder to continue scattering gospel seeds whenever and wherever regardless of whether or not I can see the impact. In Mark 4 Jesus says that…

“The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.” Mark 4:26-29 NLT

And Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians…

“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6-9‬ ‭NLT‬

The point is that whether you are doing the planting, the watering, or the harvesting, all are equally important and we simply need to trust God to make the seed grow.

So friends, I just want to encourage you to ask God daily for opportunities to partner with Him for the purpose of growing His Kingdom and, whether you ever see the fruit or not, trust that with God’s help there is always hope when you take the time to plant a seed.

“Anonymous & Generous + Summer Update” by Pastor Randy

Good morning friends and Happy Friday!!! Before I share today’s blog post with you I wanted to give you an update on both this “Refill with Randy” blog as well as the Video Blog. For these summer months, which will be filled with work, travel, speaking engagements, family events, camps, etc., there will still be both written and video blog posts but not every weekday or every week respectively. So please continue to follow, read, and comment on GSM’s content when it comes out knowing that we will be back to our regular posting by Fall. Thanks! PR

And now, for today’s post, I simply wanted to share about an encouraging piece of mail that I received this past week. It came in an envelope that stood out because my name and address was written for both the sender and the recipient. It reminded me of some of the spam calls I have received from my own #. I joked to Sheryl that I must have been in a fog and sent myself mail again and she joked back that if there was any white dust in it to keep it away from her.

After opening it I found two things inside: the unsigned card show above, which simply read “God Bless you as you continue to serve him.”, and a large bill.

Now please do not think that I am any less grateful for the many other cards and gifts I have received over the past 3 yrs. that I may or may not have known where they were coming from but this just happened to come when I was in the middle of a difficult week filled with sadness from patients who had passed at Hospice, church politics, and number of other things related to ministry. And what this anonymous and generous gift said to me in that moment was… “I see you”, “I appreciate you.”, and “Your gifts, calling, and ministry matter.”

Not that ministry is done for recognition but pastors, just like every other person I know, do want to feel like they are making a difference or fulfilling a purpose and affirmation and encouragement can certainly play a part in that.

So… if the anonymous donor is reading this “THANK YOU!!!” And if anyone else who has shown me love, support, and encouragement whether I knew it came from you or not “THANK YOU!!!”

And please don’t read this and walk away thinking that Pastor Randy needs his ego boosted and is fishing for praise. I can tell you in all honesty that that is not at all my desire. What I would like your takeaway to be however is that sometimes something as simple as a note (there doesn’t have to be money in it), a call, a text, or a visit that reminds someone that you are thankful for them and/or how they are using their gifts for God can make their day in many more ways than you can imagine.

And for anyone reading this I just want to remind you that The Creator of The Universe cares about you and that you are Valuable to Him so, if you don’t hear it anywhere else today… YOUR LIFE MATTERS!!! YOU ARE LOVED!!! AND… as my friend Pastor Trellis Pore would say, THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!!! 😇