Monday, July 02, 2012

God IS Present!

Do you ever feel alone? Do you ever feel that no one is ever there for you when you need someone? 

Maybe you're going through health, financial, or some other trial today? Let me encourage you that you are NOT alone because God your Father is always with you! He has placed His Spirit in you to help guide and direct you, to help guide and direct you, to help empower you to be His witness to the ends of the earth!

He stays closer to you than anyone and He promises to never leave or forsake you! 

So, if you're feeling any negativity today, any aloneness, any self doubt: know that you are loved and never alone! 

Abide in Him today and know that He is there for you!

Below is a link to a great devotion that is a great reminder of God's presence in your life. 

God is present in your life and wants you to stay in His presence!

Be blessed today! May you be encouraged by these truths and may you be challenged to change your thinking if it doesn't line up with His Word.

Please check out this devotion from Boyd Bailey:

In His Strong Love,
Your Brother and Servant,


Monday, June 25, 2012

Thank You Sonrise Church!

Last week brought my pastoral internship to a close and I'm sending out a big THANK YOU to the pastors, the other leaders and people of Sonrise Church for the opportunity to learn, serve, grow and contribute over this last almost year!!

It's been a privilege to rotate through almost every area of ministry which has allowed me to learn more about the DNA of Sonrise while also getting to meet, know
and serve the leaders and many of the people of Sonrise Church!

Thank you for your investment of time in me showing me how things work as well as for sharing your passion for your areas of ministry and most of all for sharing your passion for The Lord, His people and the community we live in!

This has been a fantastic part of my journey and I will look back on this time with deep fondness.

Thanks and many blessings!!



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Homeschool Planning Resource

If you follow this blog you know I like to pass on information about resources I've created or information about resources others have created as well.

Someone from the home school group we're involved with designed this great homeschool planner. You can check out the link below to see what it's like - It's jam packed with helpful household stuff including your school schedule.
Check it out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

5GB of Free Storage

I utilize a variety of online file storage and collaboration services and I wanted to pass on the following information.

Lately I've started using SugarSync to backup specific directories/folders as well as to share and or collaborate on files or documents with others. You can also utilize this on Blackberry as well as other devices besides PC's.

Basically you can backup and access your files, photos, and music when you need it with SugarSync... and you get 5GB free!

Click on this link to sign-up:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How Do You Want To Live?

A song has been running around in my head for days now with the spiritual and practical implications of it in my own life and the lives of others. The song is "Live Like That" by Sidewalk Prophets.

So, for myself I'm just posting / sharing my thoughts "as is" as I process what's going on in this head of mine and maybe, just maybe it will help others to ponder these implications in their own lives. :-)

So I started pondering again... I wonder sometimes if I am making a difference in this life and in the lives of others as I seek to pour out my life to help encourage, build up and challenge others to be better than they used to live up to their full know that they are valued and worth something? 

I'm striving to make a difference in the lives of my family, friends and community in general. I ask myself often, am I doing enough as a husband, dad, friend, employee, etc? Am I making any difference in every relationship and area of my life?

I want my life to matter for something because I believe I'm here to live my life for more than just myself and I hope that I'll live and leave a legacy that is one of honor. I hope at the end of my journey here that I can look back and say that I did make some difference whether in big or small ways!
How about you? Do you you want your life to matter for something more than just the daily grind? Do you realize your life matters?! I sure hope so because you do matter and believe it or not you can and do make an impact in the lives of others!

Furthermore, do you and I see the sacrifice others have made or are making today? Do we see someone living their lives well (not perfect) regardless of economic stature and think to ourselves..."I want to live like that!" Give life everything you have - don't settle for mediocrity! Live life like it matters because it does! Life is too short to not at least try to give it everything you've got!

Check out this song and then evaluate your life and how you want to strive to live!



Thursday, June 07, 2012

The State of Preaching

Today, Tim Challies posted a summary of an article that Al Mohler wrote in 2006 regard The State of Preaching. He touched on the trends and the things that are lacking and amazingly or not so amazingly these things are still very relevant 6 years later in 2012!

Please take time to read it and then share your thoughts here. 

I'm reminded that one of the first things pastors are charged with is is to preach The Word!

Take a look at 2 Timothy 4:1-5 for the charge and calling!

This is something I actually put on my "ministry resume" as part of my "philosophy of ministry" and here are 9 things in this passage that we are called to do:

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB or ESV):
1: Preach the Word
2: Be ready in season and out of season
3: Reprove
4: Rebuke
5: Exhort
6: Be sober Minded
7: Endure suffering
8: Evangelism
9: Fulfill the ministry

I share this in conjunction with the article for two reasons:

#1: Pastor please remember your calling!
#2: Church, pray for each other and your pastors and other leaders. Uphold them in prayer and be an encouragement to them as they seek to fulfill their calling in shepherding God's Flock! Pray that they'd exalt God and His Word!

If we're not preaching The Word as pastors and lay people, then what are we doing? 

According to The Word, Pastors are called to do many things to shepherd The Flock and correctly handling God's Word is Job One as everything else we do flows from The Word. 

So, if we're not handling it correctly by glossing over things or taking things out of context in order to "fit them" into "our" message then we are guilty of not fulfilling our call and we will lead people astray!  We need to repent of this and ask The Lord to help us do things His Way and not our own because it's ultimately Him that we're representing! We also need to affirm this with the congregation.

Furthermore,  if we aren't handling The Word properly then our doctrine, which flows from The Word, will be skewed as well in theory and in practice!

With this in mind, here are 5 key doctrinal commitments that I've become convinced that pastors should adopt and commit to:

Foundational Doctrine Commitment:
-A High View of God
-The Absolute Authority of Scripture
-Sound Doctrine
-Personal Holiness
-Spiritual Authority

These are one's I've grown committed to even more so over the last several years - especially when it seems that within the church these are starting to become less-and-less valued at times or in some circles of The Church.

I will share another post in the near future that will briefly expand on why these 5 are essential/vital to the The Church universal and individually as pastors and believers in general.

Have a great day and Live for Him!

In Christ,


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Walk Your Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7, Philippians 2:12 and Matthew 17:20

Walk Your Faith
By Randolph Koch

Is your faith real?

I often wonder if in the midst of all the conveniences we have that our "faith" walk has just become something for when it's "convenient".

Think about it, when was the last time you did something that was a sacrifice of your time in service to the Lord and others?
When was the last time you sat in service, which is the typical and only once a week activity many Christians "engage" in, and you didn't check your watch/phone to see when it would be done so you could go on to what you really wanted to do that day?
When was the last time you didn't just attend church once a week and decided to actually serve as well and plug into a ministry you believe you're called to serve in? I know life is busy but you do need to serve!
When was the last time you served someone with no strings attached, meaning with no expectations of receiving anything in return?
When was the last time you invested in others period, through building relationships and ministering in a small group or other ministry?
When was the last time you gave sacrificially of your finances each payday or toward a specific mission or ministry need? 

I could make a huge list here but I think this list provides plenty for all of us to chew on for a while. :-)

As those who are a part of the Lord's family we need to make sure that our faith is real and we need to walk it out each day! 

It’s about sacrifice. It’s about service. It’s about putting The Lord first and helping others do the same.
Note, it’s a walk, not a run. It’s a daily picking yourself up and walking with The Lord.

May you be encouraged and challenged today to step up your faith walk and ask the Holy Spirit to help you not just live a "convenient faith" but a real faith!

If you've been "walking" in convenience let me encourage you to seek The Lord, repent of complacency and start walking your faith out today!

Have a great day!

In His Strong Love,

Your Brother and Servant,


Monday, April 16, 2012

You Are Not an Afterthought - You Are Significant!

Read: Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 12:7, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 2:8-10

The older I get the more I am convinced that I do not want my life to be the consequence of afterthought nor do I want people to think of me or treat me like I'm an afterthought as God does not think of me that way. 

I want to live with a purpose and be purposeful with pretty much everything I can be...and I do not want to come to the end of this journey and be filled with regret.

There are so many passages that teach that you are not a mistake and you are not insignificant!

Here are a few thoughts and passages to build you up in His name:

-He knew you by name before you were born! (Jeremiah 1:5)

-He knows and cares about even the littlest things about you! (Luke 12:7)

-Even when you were in sin, He still chose to die for you! (Romans 5:8)

-He called you according to a specific purpose - His purpose and He Justified you! (Romans 8:28-30) 

-You have been saved by Him and you are His workmanship and He's prepared something specific for you to do! (Ephesians 2:8-10)

None of these passages say anything about God operating without a specific purpose and He specifically has you in mind. :-)
As I mentioned before, I want to be living "on purpose" and with a purpose! Why? Because, for example, even though my earthly father has forsaken me in life I have come to know that I am a son of my Father in Heaven! I am the King's kid! There is nothing random with God and I'm no longer to think of myself as a mistake or worthless!...and that applies to you as well if you're thinking these thoughts!

It ends today in Jesus' name!

How about you? Are you living on purpose and with a purpose?!

Have you assessed your life lately? If not, take time to do so today as it's very important.  

There is so much more I could share on this as the Bible is full of these truths but let me leave you with the following thoughts to chew on:

If you hear anything through this post today, please remember that you are not an afterthought as a child of God!  Live your life with a purpose and be complete in Him!

As you awake each morning plant your feet firmly on His foundation and walk in true confidence because you belong to Him and He has and is equipping you each day according to His purpose, will and plan. 



Friday, April 13, 2012

Rise Up!

Here's a little Bible and Praise Pick-Me-Up for your Friday!

The Word:

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NASB)

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Lincoln Brewster - "Strength Will Rise" -

Chris Tomlin - "I Will Rise" -

Matt Maher - "Rise Up" -
Have a great weekend!

In Christ Alone,


Monday, April 02, 2012

The Holy Spirit

As a believer you need to be in The Word and you also need to grow in your knowledge of God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit as you continue your walk with The Lord.

For instance, let's consider the Holy Spirit. The Bible has answers regarding Who The Holy Spirit it? What His role is in our lives? When do we receive The Holy Spirit?...and more.

I heard a Pastor say recently that you don't receive the Holy Spirit until after you are baptized but I have to ask, is that what God's word says? Let me clearly say, no, that's not what the Bible teaches. Baptism is an important step of obedience however, physical Baptism has nothing to do with receiving The Holy Spirit.

We need to be Like "The Bereans" (See Acts 17) and take in what we hear and then pick up The Bible and then compare it to what God's Word says.

For further studies about The Holy Spirit here's some resources you might check out in addition to your Bible. :-)

Here's a useful article about receiving The Holy Spirit: 

Then head here:
And Read and listen to Study #7 regarding The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit. I actually highly recommend the entire study (Foundations of the Faith) as important topics of your faith in Christ are covered in this study.
Be strong, Study God's Word and continually take everything you hear and read back to God's Word.
In Christ,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Idolatry of Modesty


Read this article on modesty and then let me know your thoughts.

The Idolatry of Modesty | JEFFBETHKE.COM

I think modesty is important and he makes some good points about this and realize that anything about our faith can become an Idol if we let it.

Actually anything that takes our heart or focus away from Christ our Lord can become and Idol so we need to approach everything prayerfully with wisdom and through the lens of scripture.

More to share later but for now, read this blog post from Jeff Bethke and come back and leave a comment here.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Who You Are In Christ

Who are you in Christ?

If you are a Christian, then the statements below are true of you and understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success in living the victorious Christian life! 

Years ago someone shared this information with me and it completely changed what I see in the mirror and believe about myself. I also changed what I think about myself and others because of what He thinks and says about us!

I pray that you are encouraged and challenged and allow His Spirit to reshape your thinking about yourself and others!

You are Secure, 
Accepted, and Significant and much more in Christ and you need to understand that who you are, your identity, etc. is formed or should be formed in Christ and how He sees you and through what The Word of God says about you!

What God and His Word says about who you are is essential to truly living a full and effective life for Him!

You see, what you think about yourself as well as what others say or think about you does not define you! It doesn't mean that what others say about us doesn't temporarily emotionally impact us in some way, because it does, rather what they say doesn't change who we really are! 

May you walk in newness each day, walk and operate in His resurrection power secure in your salvation and who you are in Him!

Do you really want to see part of who you are via what God's Word says about you? If so, I want to encourage you to continue below and really read through the brief post as it shares much about the reality of Who you are in Christ! 

I wanted to share with you from my heart to yours as again, it's truly life changing to see who you really Christ! You are highly valued and of great worth! Believe and receive these truths about you! 

Hover over the verse and a window will appear with the verse or you can of course open your own Bible and read it alongside this post. A statement about each verse is listed to the right of the reference. 

I am secure...
Romans 8:1-2 - I am free from condemnation and have been set free from sin and death through Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:28 - I am assured that God is at work for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 - I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 - I have been established, anointed, and sealed in Christ by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 - I have been raised up with Christ and I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 - I am confident that God is not finished with me yet and He will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 - I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 - I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control.
1 John 5:18 - I am born of God, I am under His protection and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am accepted...

John 1:12  - I am God's child.
John 15:15 - I am a friend of Jesus Christ
Romans 5:1 - I have been justified and have peace with God thanks to Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:17 - I am united and one with Jesus in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - I have been bought with a price through the sacrifice of Jesus and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 - I am a member of Christ's body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 - I have been chosen by God before the foundation of the world and I’ve been adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 - I have been rescued from, redeemed, and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 - I am and have been made complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 - I can approach God with confidence as I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ and know He understands everything I face.

I am significant...

John 15:5 - I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and created to bear fruit.
John 15:16 - I have been chosen by God and He has appointed me to bear good fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 - I am God's temple and His Holy Spirit dwells within me.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 - I am a new creation and a minister and ambassador of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 - I have been raised up and I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 2:10 - I am God's workmanship and I’ve been created in Jesus Christ to do Good works.
Ephesians 3:12 - I may freely and confidently approach God.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

You can also download a PDF version of the above here for your future review.

Let's help others discover who they are in Christ! Consider sharing this post with others, today!

I pray that we all learn and live who we are in Christ! 

Pass this encouragement along to someone else.

Blessings in Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Christ is the Head of His Church

This video may be an introduction for a conference but what he shares in this brief video is something that the Church needs to hear again in my opinion:

R:2012 - The Church from Resolved on Vimeo.

You may want to pause the music that plays on this site by navigating down the right side where it says Tunes and press pause so you can properly hear this video.

We need to Uphold and Preach the Word and the Gospel and keep Christ as the head and the center of the church in doctrine and practice.

Lets make sure our churches, our pastors, teachers, elders are doing this!

Not focusing on the next big program or campaign but focus on The Word of God and keeping Christ as the head in everything we do as we need to grow not through temporary plans but by the everlasting Word of God and through Him, Jesus Christ who was crucified!  

Something to think about and pray about!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Open Thoughts on Worship

What does authentic congregational worship in song look like?

We see in the scriptures that in Biblical times it was most often people joining together to worship God and encourage each other with songs, hymns and spiritual songs. We are meant to focus our hearts on God and to be an encouragement to those who join together.

What if we did just what the above brief paragraph says? What would worship in song look like in today's "modern" church? 

Over the last several years I’ve observed a lot of different trends happening in worship at churches and I’m sure you have as well - Some are good and some are bad. Some are authentic and some are not. Some are genuine and some are gimmicks. 

I've been a part of church and around enough churches to see a whole range of things!...and I draw some of these from my own experiences in leading worship in Small Groups, Sunday School Classes, Retreats, Men's ministry as well as Sunday morning corporate worship.

So, I started to put together a list or “open thoughts on worship” sort of a do’s and don't's list not that it's really meant to be that rather, just a list of contrasting thoughts. Not a definitive list but as start and not in any particular order. Or, Maybe it's a list of "does" or "does not" look like list...

Some are meant to be funny although they resemble reality while others are meant to be a bit sobering.

I also want you to encourage you to join the conversation by adding to this list by leaving a comment here. 

I will continue to add to this list in the months to come and hope you will too as we seek to understand and dialogue about “what does it look like to truly worship the Lord in song and lead the congregation in worship?” (from the Worship leader as well as the worshiper standpoint.)


  • Begin with prayer as a team and as you begin to lead the congregation in worship. (as much as possible)
  • Select Christ centered songs
  • Select songs that are Biblical
  • Select a balanced mix of the old and the new songs and hymns as there's depth in both (like adding some hymns into the mix from time to time and doing them in an updated fashion is fine as long as you don't change the words/truths of the original hymn)
  • See your role as shepherding role and then shepherd the congregation in worship in song
  • Avoid songs that focus on man’s feelings or man in general
  • Select songs that focus on God
  • See worship as an opportunity to help focus and prepare the congregations hearts to receive the Word of God.
  • Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit! 
  • Sing in a Key that is comfortable to not only you but more importantly the congregation
  • Sing the melody when you lead (only do harmony on occasion) because the congregation needs to hear their part and follow you!
  • When praying if you want to some light transition or musical accompaniment - allow someone else to play like the keyboard as it sounds better and it’s not distracting
  • Be Authentic/Transparent
  • Be Humble
  • Encourage
  • Be respectful to the worship team - respectful of their time/investment and respectful of who they are as individuals
  • Be professional in conduct
  • Connect with the congregation
  • Assess if you're truly called to lead worship
  • Enjoy what you’re doing
  • Express joy during worship
  • Practice!
  • Remember that you're also a worshiper! 
  • Strive to be an effective leader.
  • Give thought to coordinating the songs you select with the message that will be given - there might be a way to tie it together or complement the message rather than detract from it
  • Seek out a mentor - Someone who can help you grow spiritually (Disciple you) and as a worship leader or team member
  • Shepherd your team
  • Build a strong and like-minded worship team or teams
  • Remember who you’re worshiping and leading others in worship unto
  • Allow others to lead – you don’t always have to be in the center of leading worship
  • Allow the congregation to respond to the Lord in prayer, etc. and build that into the "worship set" from time to time.
  • Pray
  • Be in the Word
  • Be an enabler
  • Set an atmosphere of worship (this can mean a combination of things)
  • Make sure you're not running the sound system too hot (loud)
  • Allow others to use their gifts and talents
  • Select people who have proven character and a heart to serve
  • Open your eyes as you lead people
  • Avoid gimmicks
  • Encourage the congregation to leave the troubles of the week at the feet of Jesus

  • Select man-centered songs
  • Select songs just because they’re popular
  • Act like you’re a soloist or singing a solo when you “lead”
  • Sing the harmony if you’re leading – the congregation needs to focus on singing praises not trying to find their part!
  • Forget to teach new songs –actually try to teach it /run through it with the congregations.  Just because you know it and your team knows it doesn’t mean they do!
  • Show boat
  • Be a fake
  • Randomly yell /shout - it's OK to be excited but there should be a purpose, order, reason for everything we do!
  • Add in random or pointless vocal runs
  • Sing in a key that only dogs can hear and birds can sing in. :-)
  • Although emotions are part of a natural response to worshiping the Lord, don’t make worship out to be some emotional thing or an emotional device. There's a HUGE difference between being Spirit-Led and and emotion-led.
  • Think worship in song is a your ticket to church growth
  • Try to professionalize worship as you miss authenticity by doing so – this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t do our very best for the Lord just don’t discount non-professionals or complicate  things by making worship something it’s not
  • Be in the spotlight or seek to be in the spotlight
  • Make a big production out of worship
  • Forget that you're NOT giving a performance
  • Run the sounds system too hot (loud) as it's not a "rock concert" and you can seriously impede peoples worship and potentially damage peoples hearing. (No Joke)
  • Have a huge ego
  • Come across as impersonal
  • Stop having a choir just because you think "modern churches" don't have them anymore. There still may be room for choir as part of the "modern" worship.
  • Randomly strum your guitar while you pray…it’s distracting
  • Discount non-professionals
  • Confuse being spirit-led and your emotions. Grow to discern the difference.
  • Select the worship team based on looks alone
  • Select a worship leader just because you think they’ll drive up numbers of visitors and congregation
  • Select a worship leader just because they are young and hip
  • Select worship team members who seek to be up front
  • Select a worship team just because they are “professional”
  • Use fog machines and fancy lighting – leave that stuff for concerts at your local performing arts center as they don't really add to the worship
  • Keep your eyes closed the entire time you sing – you can be heartfelt while you worship and lead but you can’t shepherd the congregation with your eyes closed the entire time

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Here's some great perspective on Focus:

   "Imagine you suddenly found yourself adrift in the ocean with a life preserver but no idea where the shoreline was.  As far as the eye can see, there's only the same wide blue vastness.  What would you do?  Probably tread water, battling waves and struggling against the current.  But without a clear direction you'd soon grow discouraged."
    "That's what life is like when we have no focus.  We drift about-going to work, paying our bills, reacting to whatever comes our way, but feeling rudderless.  We may even be happy for the most part.  But eventually days turn into years and we find ourselves so far off course that we've lost track of the dreams we once had."
    "Having focus provides a reference point, a lighthouse on the horizon to swim toward with enthusiasm and hope.  It prevents us from floating, adrift in our own personal sea.  to make any lasting change or achieve any meaningful goal, you need to know where you want to go and how you're going to get there."

"Without a goal line, the game of football makes no sense, and neither does the game of life."

Taken from The Spark by Chris Downie