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The Main Thing

Steve Ranney, Pastor

 

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

 

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  That’s worth memorizing.  That’s worth calling back to memory at least three times a day.  The chief purpose for which we are living is what?  To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

 

Those of you who have dropped by my office lately may have noticed the above listed quotes hanging on my door.  The first is by that great theologian, Yogi Berra, a man who had a knack for stating the obvious in ways you cannot forget.  When I ran across that quote, it struck me that as we move into the new year, it is important to get our priorities in the right order, making sure “the main thing” is “the main thing.”

 

That leads me to quote number two.  This comes from a person that was one of my mentors and a man I greatly respect, The Reverend Doctor Vernon Grounds.  In this statement, he quotes the answer to the opening question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (from the Book of Confessions of the PCUSA) and tells us, with great emphasis, that “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” is the “main thing.”  Think about that.  What would our lives be like if we sought to glorify God in everything we do during this coming year?  If we evaluated our choices, words and actions by the yardstick “Will this bring Joy to God?”

 

If we do, I can see two incredible results.  The first result is that it will make all of our relationships better.  At work, we will see our coworkers/employees/clients differently, as people that God loves.  It will help us put up with irritating traits and allow us to see the good in them.  At church, it will add meaning to our worship and our care for each other.  It will help us to see the good in us and the gifts God has given that God wants us to share with our family here.  With our families, we will be able to see our spouse/children/siblings/in-laws/etc. as people that God has entrusted to our care and that as we live together, we strive to bring out the best in them.

 

The second result is that our relationship with God will be transformed.  If we enjoy God, then we will stop looking at God as someone to fear, but someone who is cheering us on to be the best person we can be.  We can revel in God’s love for us.  We can live in the assurance that no matter where we go or what we do, God’s love will be there for us.  Sure God is disappointed when we fail to live as God intends us to live, but rather than living in fear of disappointing God, we can live knowing that God is there to help us up, forgive us and cheer for us to keep moving forward in becoming the people that God desires for us to be.

 

So, as we move into this new year, let us heed Yogi’s words and “keep the main thing the main thing."

 


 

Meet Steve Ranney

 

As we welcome our new Pastor, Steve Ranney, here is a little information to help us get to know him better:

 

  • Married to Kim Skilling who is a graduate of Princeton Seminary, is celebrating over 30 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is now the Designated Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Anaheim

  • Two sons and a daughter and two grandchildren.

  • B.A. in Ministry from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota.

  • Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary.

  • Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary.

  • Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1991.

  • Associate Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church of Centennial, Colorado, 1991–2006.

  • Pastor/Head of Staff of St. Mark Presbyterian Church of Ballwin, Missouri, 2006–2015.

  • Steve seeks to lead both by example and by challenging people to use the gifts that God has given them for the building up of the body of Christ.  Thus, Steve's main focus is helping each person grow up in their relationship with God so that God will be able to bless others through them.

 

 

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