Happy 70th Birthday, Randy! Here’s How You’ve Pointed Us to Jesus

Note from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff: An advantage of my job regularly scheduling Randy’s blog posts is that I could post this one, without his knowledge or permission! On June 23, Randy is turning 70. In light of this significant birthday, some of the Eternal Perspective Ministries staff and board wanted to honor him by sharing how he’s pointed us to Jesus.

One of the things that we appreciate most about Randy is that he doesn’t seek attention, so no doubt he’s cringing reading this! But we hope that by sharing how his life has helped us grow in our walk with God, it will be clear that the Lord has used Randy as a conduit of His grace. There’s no higher honor for any of us than to be a tool in our Savior’s hands. It’s all to His praise and glory!

Robin Green, EPM board:

I first knew Randy while we were both working at Good Shepherd Community Church. He started a staff prayer meeting every week and that really impacted my life. I began to see the work of prayer as the joy of conversation in the throne room of King Jesus. Rather than prayer lists and telling God opinions of what He should do, Randy spoke with the Lord. He didn’t know he was teaching the rest of us how to pray; he just invited us to join him. The kindness and compassion of Jesus shaped those precious hours and reaped results for His glory. 

Randy’s writings have greatly influenced how I think and understand the big picture of what God is doing. From his fiction works to his carefully researched non-fiction, my family and I have been enriched by reading his books. 

Something I have enjoyed so much about Randy is his sense of humor and spirit of fun. His writings are deep and thorough, but he’s no stick-in-the-mud. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, even as he takes the things of the Lord seriously. He demonstrates that knowing God leads to fullness of joy.

Amy Schafer, EPM staff:

I first met Randy as a young mom. I wasn’t sure what he would be like since he was a famous author! But it was wonderful to discover he was a perfectly normal man, who sincerely cared about encouraging and discussing hard topics with a group of young Christian moms at his church.

I love how he pours the gospel into his books; even in his novels, God’s truth is always present. I’ve been challenged to grow in my faith and to not be afraid to face any of life’s challenges… because we live for eternity!

Kathy Norquist, EPM board:

No other living Christian leader has had more eternal impact on my life than Randy. Though I met Randy when he was a teenager, it wasn’t until I was a church secretary while he was a pastor that I came to really know him. And then I had the privilege of working side by side with him at EPM for over 17 years and he became not just my employer but a dear friend and brother. Being challenged with the theme of living in light of eternity all the years I worked for Randy has been an incredible blessing.

And of all the topics he’s written about, experiencing the joy of giving has been one of the most impactful in my life. I’ve watched how Randy and Nanci lived out what Randy has written about money and giving. Randy has always said, “If you are going to err (related to giving), err on the side of generosity” and that has been the operating mode of the ministry. One of the joys of my job as Randy’s assistant was communicating with those whom EPM was supporting from the royalties of Randy’s books. He could have kept millions of book royalties for himself, but instead chose to give them away to other worthwhile organizations reaching the needy at home and around the world. What fun and happiness this has brought him!

Randy’s generosity with others of not just his treasures but also his time, and often with me personally, have shown me the heart of Jesus and has spurred my husband and me to grow in these same areas. Thank you, dear brother, for your eternal impact on my life and my family. And happy 70th birthday!

Christy Amadio, EPM staff:

It has been a blessing to me to work on staff at EPM and to work alongside Randy. My perspective on Heaven has grown as I’ve listened to Randy and read his thoughts on what the Bible tells us about it. I’ve always loved 1 Corinthians 4:16-18, and Randy’s teaching on living in light of eternity has really contributed to my increased joy in the Lord and His great love and friendship to me (and all of us as His children).

Kress Drew, EPM board:

In Hebrews 13:7, God instructs us to remember those who led us and spoke the Word of God to us, to consider the result of their conduct, and to imitate their faith. And so, I do.

Books and blogs, sermons and sentences, conversations and community: these are all vessels God has used through Randy to draw my heart closer to Jesus. Back in 1997, Deadline awakened my heart to his Bible-based descriptions of Heaven. Later, I wrestled with the words of Money, Possessions, and Eternity while watching how Randy and Nanci chose to live their lives together to the glory of God—longing for a similar experience in my own life and praying for the courage to act upon the longing. I’ve watched Randy across the years open up his well-worn Bible, chock-full of post-it notes and highlighted verses from years and years of study and deepening relationship with our Lord, to make application to life in the moment and into eternity. 

Our lives are marked by those we allow to influence our hearts, the center of our ourselves, and by God’s grace, Randy is certainly one who has impacted me. And in the doing—always driving me back to Scripture. Yes, always to Scripture, to make application to this life I have been given, for time and for eternity.

Thank you, Randy, for consistently honoring Christ, and for pointing my heart and those of so many others to Him. All glory to Jesus, and happy birthday to you!

Doreen Button, EPM staff:

Randy is possibly the humblest human I know. Because of that, he will no doubt cringe when he reads this, but when people ask what I “do,” I also tell them that Randy is for real. To use old, but still useful cliches, he practices what he preaches, and he walks the walk. I can’t think of another human I trust as much as I do Randy.

Working with millions of his words for over 15 years has changed me. It's been one of several experiences in my life that God has used to draw my focus away from myself and onto Jesus. His (and Nanci's) faithful witness to the faithfulness of their Savior has brought me to a point where I can honestly repeat Paul's words in Philippians 3:

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

Amy Woodard, EPM staff:

The Lord used Randy’s books Deadline and Dominion when I was in my early 20s, encouraging me as I was coming back to the Lord. As I grew in the Lord, Safely Home, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and The Treasure Principle were all instrumental in various ways to point me in the right direction with my giving, in serving the Lord, and having a heart for the lost around me. Eight years ago, Heaven was especially meaningful as my mom transitioned to her new home with Jesus. Thank you, Randy, for pursuing the Lord through His Word, being shaped by it, and sharing your gift of writing.

Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

Years ago, Randy and his then assistant Kathy took a chance on hiring a young college student, giving me the opportunity to work for EPM. And my life has never been the same since! Few people have shaped me like Randy has, through his words and consistent example of following Jesus and loving Scripture. He writes, “I’m not pretending Jesus is with me at lunch or when I pray; I simply believe His promise that He really is with me, and I act in keeping with it.” Randy says Jesus is his best friend, and he 100% lives like it.

Randy has been a spiritual father to me, teaching me so much about what God is like. I see in him God’s generosity, happiness, kindness, humor, and love for fun. Randy’s writings on suffering shaped how I faced my cancer at 24 years old; and his writings on Heaven have bought great comfort through seasons of grief and loss. He has helped me to see and trust God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Our sovereign God appoints the times and places where we live (Acts 17:26). It brings tears to my eyes to think about how He, in His great kindness, has intersected my life with Randy’s ministry. My family and I are forever changed because of it.

Happy birthday, Randy. We love you and thank God for you. "Hallelujah! Happy is the man who fears Yahweh, taking great delight in His commands" (Psalm 112:1). 

Photo: Unsplash