Coffee with Randy

I haven’t always liked coffee. As a young kid, I thought it was an old person’s drink. Now I am old and I love coffee (at least when I’m feeling well – hate it when I’m sick). If you go anywhere in the Northwest, you’ll find a coffee shop. And more often than not, you’ll find locals with fierce loyalty to their neighborhood barista or roaster. Whether it’s Stumptown or Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Pete’s or Extracto, their fans can tell you why their favorite is the best (or why it’s worth waiting seven minutes for coffee at Coava.)  Regardless of the location, our favorite coffee spot is frequently the place we meet friends for good conversation and a chance to talk about what we’re learning and the goals we’ve set.

I’m starting a blog. It’s “coffee time” we can spend together. Yes, I know a blog is mostly one way communication (I just found out that the word blog is a truncation of the expression web log) but I think we can still use this tool to “talk”. Every Wednesday, starting this first week in January, I plan to blog about ideas, share about ministry and what I’m learning, even get advice and input from you, I hope. (By the way, what are some topics you would like to dialogue about? I’d love to hear from you.)


Hi! I’m Randy. So much of ministry for me has been focused on the local church. I’ll miss it! For 31 years I’ve had the privilege of being a pastor at one church, New Hope Church in Bend. In fact, what I have to offer you as a superintendent is what I have learned and experienced in the local church.

In ministry there are exciting times and there are extreme disappointments. I know. During those celebratory times or times of discouragement, too often I was driven by numbers and outward success. I now know that the only success God wants is changed lives through Christ. One message that God has brought to my mind over and over again is Christ’s words,

“I am the vine, you are the branches.
Apart from me you can’t do anything.” (John 15)

It is only God that can change hearts. It is His church and not ours. As a Conference we need to depend on Christ alone and what he can do in and through us. I’m praying for you and that you will have the best year ever.


This past Sunday Steve Strutz let me know that he will not be able to speak at our Midwinter Retreat because of his dad’s health. Please pray for Bob and the family. He is very close to going to heaven. Also, I’ve asked Derry Long to share in Steve’s stead. Derry comes will a wealth of ministry background as a pastor, superintendent and staff person.

Now it’s your turn.

Be the first to comment on Randy’s blog.

29 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Randy,
    It feels funny calling you that 🙂
    I have great memories of you and at New Hope church. But I always knew I could find you at Starbucks in the morning. Sometimes I would just go to grab a coffee but it was to see you and just say hi.
    So, Hi Randy! I think reading this blog from you will help me feel close to home since we’ve moved away.
    Prayers and love, Kristin LaValley


  2. Mark Purkey says:

    Great to connect! I love coffee and fellowship… Egg Nog is my new favorite and I love Sisters coffee shop in Sisters Oregon!
    Me: I was a pastor for 34 years and then worked with World Gospel Mission for seven years before being called to plant a new church in Redmond, Oregon
    We have a deep burden for our community; for Gods word and for families to find Christ as the center of all they say and do!
    The challenges in this culture are very different then when we plant a church 18 years ago.
    I’m looking forward to learning and growing together with this group!
    Personal: I’ve been married 42 years; we have six children and 10 grandchildren to date
    I love music and I wrestled for the Ducks back in the early 70’s
    My greatest joy is to see people come to a vital relationship with God!


  3. Mark Blackshear says:

    i know I will enjoy reading your blog. God keeps edging me into Recovery Ministry. It also has ups and downs. I enjoy seeing lives change through Jesus Christ. Please continue to share. God Bless


  4. loralea2014 says:

    I remember young adult coffee in Yakima at six in the morning (when we were actually young) and I think you drank milk or juice. That’s when I started drinking coffee just to survive the early mornings, and never quit. I guess you’re to blame. Good luck on the new blog. Loralea


  5. Jon Strutz says:

    Looking forward to your thoughts and focus on God’s direction. Thanks for the insights but I don’t like coffee:)


  6. Bob Bletscher says:

    …that sounds great about Derry coming to speak to us at Mid-winter…I served with him for a number of years on the board of ministry and really appreciated his sincerity and wisdom…will be looking forward to what God has to say to us through him…hey…I love coffee too…never started drinking it until the older people in my first church kept serving it to me when I would visit them in their homes…Bob


  7. Love the idea and the good word you’ve shared this morning. I was reminded in a prayer time even this morning of the need for me, again, to be crucified in terms of my own striving and efforts at earning God’s favor or garnering some “success” in ministry. Having died to myself and my efforts, I know I am raised with Christ in me (and as you’ve alluded to, we are in the Vine), the one who loves me and gave Himself for me, the hope of glory, and who empowers me/us to let Him bear fruit (of changed/transformed lives) through us!

    I am not a coffee drinker at all, but appreciate those times when I can go to “coffee” with others and talk, and I am sitting here in my office with my cup of tea. I look forward to hear what’s on your heart, through God’s promptings, to share with us, and how that works in conjunction with what God is impressing upon us together.


  8. Steve Olson says:

    Have a lot of great memories with Bob when I was pastoring in the western conference. Last time I saw him was at Broadview Montana’s 125 church anniversary. Over the years I have shared some of his hunting stories simple because they were. So funny. Will keep them in our prayers.


  9. Millie Cummins says:

    Randy, I’m most interested in what you have going on. Keep me posted.


  10. Daniel Russell says:

    This looks like a great connecting point – thanks for investing in this way!

    I’m out at Pedee. Heidi and I have six littles (10, 9, 6, 4, 2, & 4 months). Our area’s first coffee shop opened up only a few weeks back…. it’s a high school business class… run by students… and only open (so far) each Saturday. “Kings Crossing” in Kings Valley for those who drive down 223 on your way to Newport.

    I look forward to getting to know Derry Long in a couple of weeks!


  11. Joanie Valley says:

    Good Afternoon Randy, our family sure miss you as a minister and neighbor. We hope this finds you and Linda happy and healthy. My dad sure misses you two and seems to be struggling a bit right now with the holidays and the anniversary of her going to heaven. We know how busy you are but if you have a chance to give him a call we would all greatly appreciate your effort. He had his special peanut brittle ready for you. Please know you and Linda or always in our prayers and heart…I love this blog!


  12. mikehelps says:

    When you’ve traveled all the way to Spokane, Indaba Coffee on Broadway will help energize your capacity to love and keep God’s commandments, to bear fruit for eternity.

    Wishing you blessings and joy as you provide leadership during these days. Thank you for serving. [Mike Farmer, special assignment as Lead Chaplain with Horizon Hospice].


  13. Ron Harlin says:

    Hi Supt. Randy!
    This is a great idea and really do look forward to your thoughts and also your vision for the Pacific Conference!
    Leona and I are enjoying retirement but truly miss serving as pastor in the local church. However, we know that
    God does have new chapters for us to explore! God is so good!
    For you that don’t know us…Leona and I served at Albany First Evangelical for 10 years. Before that I taught school for 30 years and Leona worked for the Health Department for Oregon. We both served as in the Local church and Gideon’s before entering the pastorate.
    Randy, look forward to your weekly thoughts! God bless you and our prayers are with you.


  14. Ervin Ortmann says:

    Elder -Erv-Ortmann -Have been Praying for You and Family-God Bless . New Saying at Life Fellowship, Church-

    “God Loves You, & Their Is Nothing, You Can Do About It”


  15. Beka says:

    Hi my favorite Randy! Thanks for blogging! More to come I hope and we miss you which includes my boys who still look around for you!


  16. Dave Kenagy says:

    Thanks for this push in the hard work of communications. And thanks, also, for the courage to set this blog up so that comments are seen and shared. That’s a big deal, well received.


  17. One of my most vivid memories of you is when we were on a short term mission trip in Oaxaca. I think it was Doyle that took some coffee before it was through being brewed and you chastised him for taking the “best” of the coffee! I still smile when I think of that and wonder if I’m taking the “best” if I can’t wait until the whole pot is brewed!
    Also…is that a typo? Did you really preach at New Hope for 31 years?!


  18. Arthur says:

    Great idea, Randy. Will be exciting to follow. By the way, for me, it is Coffee People at PDX. Started as a Mom-and-Pop coffee shop on MLK while it was still Union Ave. I found it while driving Tri-Met in the day.


  19. Rob in Florence says:

    Coffee, Christ, and being connected. Nice. Looking forward to more. Thanks for including me.


  20. This invitation ‘to share a few moments with you’ and the warmth a hot drink brings. My best friendships developed while serving side by side in ministry. Thanks for including me.


  21. So when are you going to come and call on me? We do have coffee shops here, even though I don’t drink coffee (as a missionary friend of mine once said, “Coffee?! I don’t even drink beer!”) They have good doughnuts and other stuff. We are settling in and looking forward to the new year. Advanced planning does not seem to be a Liberian priority so can’t for sure say what is scheduled but it will eventually happen.

    We just had a new granddaughter born to our oldest daughter, Heather and her husband Jeremy. Niki is there now making sure she is spoiled from the beginning. Our son Daniel and family leave for Bolivia on Monday (the 11th). Really excited for them. I will look forward to the weekly blogs.


  22. kitty says:

    So happy that your tastes changed from years ago, and you like coffee! Look forward to reading your blog and staying connected with you! Hoping that Linda will be included in your ministry thoughts also. So…have you found your favorite coffee place yet?


  23. Lyra & Doug Drysdale says:

    Great idea, worthwhile content; what more could we ask? You and Linda are in our daily prayers. What’s Derry Long been up to? Lyra & Doug


  24. Folmer Strunk says:

    Hi Randy…Thanks for including me here. My grandmother and mother said about coffee: “You can learn to like it” and tried some on me with a lot of cream and sugar. Didn’t like it though – too bitter. I made it through college and seminary without having to lean on coffee to get me through boring classes and late nights – even all nights!
    When I was about seventy years old, serving in various countries in Asia, they kept offering me tea or coffee.
    Since I had developed a strong allergy to tea, I decided – to be polite – to try the coffee (with a lot of cream and sugar).
    Now I have learned to enjoy a cup or two or three each day – with a lot of cream and sugar.
    I don’t often take time for blogs, but I look forward to yours. Serving as pastor is truly the front line of the church.
    After 35 years serving mostly as pastor in Pacific Conference, the Lord has placed me in a position in a way that is similar to yours…
    not serving as pastor but serving the pastors (currently in six Asian countries), to challenge, encourage, counsel,
    and equip for a greater harvest. Yours is a strategic position in His Kingdom and for that I wish and pray for you
    and for those whom you serve great success!


  25. Bob Warren says:

    Hi, Randy. Thanks for this new venture in communication. After 30+ years in the pastoral ministry plus 6 years recently in missions, I believe that the local church is really where the action is. That doesn’t mean there aren’t significant things happening “over there”, but “there” or “here”, it all starts in a local church.


  26. Bob Bletscher says:

    …that looks great Randy…looking forward to hearing Derry Long…got to serve with him on the Board of Ministry for a few years and appreciated his sincerity and passion…


  27. Bill Vermillion says:

    Thanks Randy. Great idea. Looking forward to your sharing ideas and challenges.. Still not a coffee guy but maybe there’s hope as i get older. 🙂 For me the focus has become clearer on the importance of discipleship or what others now call mentoring/coaching..


  28. Bob Mimiaga says:

    Hi Randy. Looking forward to reading your ‘pearls of wisdom’ from time to time. I miss our conversations back at New Hope Church!


  29. Mark in Mapleton says:

    Hi Randy,
    After 62 years I still don’t like coffee – I’ve tried to like it – even sold whole bean coffee for a while and would come home smelling like a coffee bean. So hope you won’t mind me having something else during our time.
    Thank you for your words of wisdom. Being a small church I would judge “success” or a great service by the number of people there. I agree changed hearts and lives for Jesus is my desire. I look forward to next Wednesday. Blessings to you and all you are doing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s