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WE ARE FAMILY!

WE ARE FAMILY…

Did you just start singing the Sister Sledge song, “We are Family…  I  got all my sisters with me. We are family, Get up everybody and sing!” I did!

God created us to live in “family” and I love my family. It’s not always been perfect but I’ve been nourished, encouraged and blessed by my family over the years.

Sharon and I recently returned from a wonderful couple of weeks in beautiful Alaska! We didn’t go there just to get colder or to see the beautiful mountains, whales and eagles… thought we saw plenty of them…. We went to see our family! Particularly the birth of our new grandson, Kellen.

Our daughter, Mandy, and her husband, Brian, live in Ketchikan with our granddaughter, Afton and now with Kellen as well. It’s a quaint island town with small shops and local restaurants and few amenities but the kids love it there. We flew into the small Ketchikan airport in the early evening and took the ferry over to our B & B where we were staying for a few days before Kellen was born and to “quarantine” before he arrived. While waiting for Kellen, we strolled the port area around the docks of this “cruise line” and fishing village and we found a new friend who visited us almost daily. The locals call him, “Phoenix.” He’s a huge humpback whale! It was exciting as he popped up only a few feet from the dock right in front of us on several occasions. We saw several bald eagles as well.

                Kellen Arthur Morman & Papi

The big birth day came on Monday, November 23rd, three days before Thanksgiving! What a great Thanksgiving gift from our great God! (Mandy was born on Dec. 23rd so she was our Christmas gift/baby!!)  – Kellen Arthur Morman… 7 lbs. 11 oz and 21” long (approx..) His big sister was all excited and we all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day feast on the following Thursday.

For Thanksgiving, I cooked the entire dinner as I have for 35 plus years, except for the Apple pie that Sharon made. Afton gave Sharon “1 million points” as a rating on her pie!  After cooking a delicious turkey, dressing, broccoli casserole, potatoes (sweet and regular) and a pumpkin pie… Afton gave my pie a 2 point rating!! With whipped cream, 4 points. Wow! She has a very similar sense of humor as I do and she knows how to hurt a guy too!! Her new catch phrase is, “Burned you!” It didn’t, however, stop her from eating my pumpkin pie. Her favorite part of the meal was actually the canned cranberry sauce!

Justin & Greeshma

We had a wonderful time with the kids and grand kids in Alaska and just recently, Justin and his wife Greeshma visited us here in Northern California at my mother in laws beach house. We made some great homemade meals, including some pretty spicy stuff that Greesh made with a touch of her Indian heritage. It was all good!

What a joy it is to be with family. I’ve always enjoyed my family, even as a little boy in a small pastor’s home with my brother and three sisters and one bathroom for all seven of us, we had fun. My dad would play “Peter and the Wolf” on the piano and all five of us kids would dance and jump around like monkeys while both he and Mom laughed. Simple times with a happy, loving family.

                     The Mayfield/Morman Family

I know that things aren’t like this for everyone. Many families are so dysfunctional and love wasn’t always or even often felt in their home. Trust me, I do know what a treasure that I’ve been given and I don’t take it for granted. For those who did not have such a loving family growing up or even now, I can’t even begin to know the pain you’ve felt and I hope that sharing my joy  has not offended or depressed you. I pray that there’s still a chance for healing and reconciliation in your family, but even if that’s not the case, I pray that God will bring healing to your heart and bring those around you who can serve as close friends and family in your life. Our family is with the family of God as we love and serve Him together.

  • The photo up top is of my great-grandparents in Kansas in the late 1800’s!

 

                            “Burned you!”

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What’s Up With Christians?

WHAT’S UP WITH CHRISTIANS??

I read some pretty interesting stuff recently. I’d love to know what you think… without trying to be exactly what the article is talking about. Here are some excerpts…

Spend two minutes talking to almost anyone outside the Christian faith and you’re almost certain to hear a list of complaints they have about Christians. The problem with many non-Christians isn’t that they don’t know any Christians. The challenge is they do! So what gives?

Many Christians would tell you we have an image problem: we’re treated unfairly, we’re being persecuted, or we’re just badly misunderstood. I’m not so sure.

It’s not so much that Christians have an image problem. It’s far more likely that we have an integrity problem. Do we get misunderstood on some issues? Of course. But that’s outside our control. There are more than a few issues entirely within our control that give us a bad name with people outside Christianity.

Too many Christians come across online as either

  • Toxic (Hello angry ranters, trolls and haters);
  • Cynical (Yes, we know you’re disappointed with everyone all the time and no one gets it as right as you); or
  • Syrupy (So sweet we can’t stand the taste and are not really sure you live in the real world)

Why do so many Christians think their social media feed is a place to show the world their weirdness? It gives the impression that if you’re going to follow Jesus you also need to become socially awkward.

I know people might say “no, I’m just being authentic”. But being authentic does not mean being weird. (I shared my personal criteria for what I share online in the name of authenticity in this post). I think a general rule is if you can’t imagine saying it in real life to a person, you shouldn’t say it online.

If you go to post something and you think, well, that would be braggy if I said that to someone, that’s a healthy check. It means you’d be bragging. So don’t post it.  Similarly, if you think “Well, people would just walk out of the room if I said that in real life,” then maybe don’t say it.

If you’re always angry or cynical or all you do is complain online and you think “well, I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone like that in real life,” then that’s a clue that maybe you shouldn’t say it, or be like that.

And if you think “well, then I’ll have nothing to post,” then you’ve likely put your finger on a deeper issue.

Christians, let’s just stop being so weird online, okay?

There’s much more on this subject. If interested, go here for the full article.

 

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And the Wall Came Tumbling Down!

Here we are at the base in Frankfurt

It was November of 1989 and Sharon and I were in Frankfurt, Germany. I was singing for a renewal event in a church that was made up of mostly American military from the Rhein-Main Air Base, a United States Air Force air base near the city of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I also had the privilege of singing on the base.

That was on November 8th and the next day, on Nov. 9th, the Berlin wall came down! So, off Sharon and I were to Berlin the next day to join in the celebration! I bought a couple of smaller chunks of the wall that the newly free German entrepreneurs had cut out and were selling on the street. One guy even tried to sell me about a 20 lb. chunk of the wall and I told him no thanks! I had no idea how I would get it into my luggage back to St. Louis! When I got back to the states and very saw small fragments of the wall being sold for $10 each, I realized that I could have made a mint off that chunk of the Berlin Wall!  Several small “Wall” chunks are still being sold in the US for anywhere from $40 to $400 and much more for larger segments.  I think that if they connected all the pieces of the “Berlin Wall” that have been sold to date, you could build the great wall of China. Not sure how one could tell that their piece of concrete is real!  I know mine are, I was there and saw them chopped off!  (Yes, I’ll sell you a genuine piece for $1000!)

Segments of wall in Fulton, Missouri

I’ve also seen several full segments of the wall all over the world (even in the Men’s room at a Vegas hotel!!)  But there are several segments very near us in Fulton, Missouri on the campus of Westminster College where Sir Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain” speech in March of 1946.

And who can forget US President Ronald Reagan’s famous, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” in 1987.

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Mission to Iraq — December, 2019

On December 5th, 2019, Randy Mayfield and a mission team of six members of Central Presbyterian Church left St. Louis on a twelve day mission trip that included visits to Erbil, Kurdistan in northern Iraq and Amman, Jordan. This was Randy’s 12th annual trip to Iraq. With the recent influx of many new refugees from Syria, it was a critical time to help those with many needs. By God’s grace, the team returned home two weeks before the recent hostile incidents with Iran.

The team taught art classes, shared in music, crafts, and games with children in the refugee camps. They participated in training classes where youth and adults learn a trade such as sewing, electrical, hair dressing, art, music, and computer skills. Graduates of the classes received certificates and the tools need to practice their new trade, i.e., sewing machines, barber tools, computer, etc. Our team also met with a group of widows, some of whom shared very heart-wrenching stories of losing their husbands and children to ISIS and in the ongoing wars.

The team also delivered aid to many refugee families including food, clothing, and household goods. Randy also worked alongside the NGO, “Hand of Help” run by our missionary, Jamal. In the Mosul area, Hand of Help is currently rebuilding homes that had been destroyed you ISIS. The families are retiring to Mosel after living in refugee camps in Erbil served by Jamal’s ministry.

Randy visited the Waleeds, one of his favorite families in Mosul. He brought them musical instruments, chocolates and other gifts to remind them that the people of Central love and care for them.

As with many of the previous trips to Erbil, the team met with members of the Kurdish Parliament. This time, however, they were presented with a plaque giving thanks and recognition from the Vice President. The team also visited and took supplies to the Peshmerga Army who are guarding the borders between Iraq and Turkey, Syria and Iran.

If you would like more information on Central Missions or would like to be a part of our Mission team, please call or email Pastor Randy or his assistant, Carol Mulick at Central Presbyterian Church at (314) 727-2777 ext. 133. You can email Randy at rbmayf@aol.com

Thank you & God bless!

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Ukraine

Above: Randy Mayfield sings for the Thanksgiving Day Festival in Kiev, Ukraine

Central Presbyterian Church has been ministering in the country of Ukraine since 1991. We have helped the local church with children and youth camps, trained pastors, planted new churches, provided encouragement and aid to those in need.

The September 2019 trip was focused on evangelism and outreach as pastor Randy joined with local Ukrainian musicians in outreach events in areas where people are really hurting due to the ongoing border war with Russia. Hundreds came to listen to the music and message, and many gave their lives to Christ. We did similar events in churches, town squares, and parks, and at every occasion, there were many who came forward to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Randy also had the opportunity to perform in the annual Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving in downtown Kiev where over 100,000 people packed the main street, Khreshchatyk, to hear music, sermons and experience a time of worship.

Click here to view video of Randy performing with the Ukraine Gospel Orchestra.

Shots around Kiev, Ukraine — Thanksgiving Day Festival on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019

The Orchestra was excellent and Randy enjoyed rehearsing and performing with them! A crowd of over 100,000 people gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving Day and pray for Ukraine. Leaders from many Protestant Churches shared in music and the Word.

Ukraine Gospel Orchestra

 

Thanksgiving Day Festival

 

 

 

Beautiful Kiev… or KYIV as they now call it!

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Mission to Kenya — June, 2019

Randy Mayfield and the All Star Band performing in KenyaRandy and his band, “The All Star Band,” traveled with a team to Kenya, Africa in June of 2019. Their primary goal was to use music to reach and encourage the young people of Kapenguria, West Pokot, Kenya.

RM kids in KenyaDuring their 10 day tour, they performed in a number of local high schools to more than 2,000 students and they were well received. Randy sang in English, Kiswahili and their native tribal language of Kalengin. They especially enjoyed the Kalengin as they rarely hear a visitor speak or sing in their tribal tongue! (Kinda an Acts. Chapter 2 in the Bible!)

Kenya Team & Lion shotThis was Randy’s 18th trip to Kenya to visit his friends in Kapenguria where they have established several churches, schools, a Bible College and many other outreach ministries in this area of Kenya.