Follow by Email

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Looking back over 2006



It's been a remarkable year at Shepherd of the Hills Church.

Where do I begin?

First and foremost our theme for the year...HOUSE OF PRAYER.

I look back over all the sermons, the Pillars of Prayer, the Church having daily devotions going through the book... "Romancing Royalty", and who could NOT put at the top of their list the "Day of Prayer" where over 1000 people gathered at the church and spent the entire day in worship and prayer. Truly an amazing day that I will never forget and in my opinion the greatest day of my Christian Life.

And a close second would be the Beach Baptisms where over 200 people were baptized into Christ. There is a video we showed regarding the beach baptisms on October 30th, 2006. (Just go to that date on our blog and you can view the video.)

Next would be our two new Church plants, Chris Stevens at "Come as you are Church" and our grand opening of our Westside Campus. http://www.mywestsidechurch.com/

And I was told tonight that during 2006, we've had 654 Baptisms, which is another banner year for us. Looking back we have had a remarkable year and I just want to thank the LORD GOD for His blessing and I want to thank EACH of YOU for your willingness to be used of God.

One of the pictures above are of the four pillars that are standing tall in the foyer of our church and the other picture was a creation and gift of my dear friend Bob Hastings. Bob works for Salem Communications, does some sales work for KKLA and his wife is the Administrative Assistant for Lloyd Ogilvie. Bob took this picture at our "Beach Baptism" day and then super imposed the "Declaration of Satan" that we used in a sermon recently. Mr. Hastings is always trying to encourage me in one way or another and this picture actually sent chills up my spine.

Bob, Thank You for your gift that will always help remind me of what an incredible year we've had here at Shepherd. Every year I say the same thing that I'm about to say right now. "I can't imagine how next year can be as good as this past year has been." And yet EVERY YEAR Gods blessings go BEYOND my imaginations.

Looking forward to sharing with you the Plans for 2007 on the weekend of the 7th.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Letter of the Month

Two sisters from the Westside campus have recently emailed me and I wanted to post one of the letters because it was not only an encouragement to me, it spoke of what God is doing over on the Westside. It also speaks that YOU NEVER KNOW what your presence means to those around you. The truth is you influence others just by your attendance and participation.

Here is the Letter of the Month:

"Dear Pastor,

...I know my sister, Hazel, has already shared with you the details of God's prompting that led us to call Shepherd of the Hills (and now Westside SOTH) as home, but I also wanted to personally express my gratitude for the key role you have played to help make us feel at home at SOTH.

What really drew me to SOTH that Sunday when Hazel and I both felt unexpectedly led to the church was the real sense of family there. I distinctly remember a family sitting in front of us--a husband with his arm around his wife, and she alternately patting the heads or caressing the necks of their children beside them, as they all received your message together that morning. Coming from a family in which my father does not attend church, my brothers no longer attend church, and my mother has not attended the same church with us for almost two years, I was overwhelmed by the love that overflowed in that family as well as their communal reception of God's word. I was so affected by them that I stopped the couple after the service to let them and their family know how moved I was by their simple yet open expression of love for each other. I felt like they also personified the family community at SOTH. Since then I've seen SOTH as a church in which individuals as well as families can grow closer to God and each other.

After several months of attending SOTH and Westside SOTH, I've come to see that no one models love more openly at church than you, Pastor Dudley--from your proud commentary of your children, your introduction of your family at Westside SOTH, and the efforts you make to get to know members of the congregation personally (even though we number thousands upon thousands), to finding a balance between the demands of being a pastor to two campuses and being a husband and father to your family..."

Thank you Hazel and Rhona for your VERY KIND words....

I pray that your journey with Christ will always encourage those around you as you have encouraged me this day.

In love,

Pastor Dudley

sorry

I have not had access to my computer for a few days....
Please check back later today.... and I will be posting.......

Monday, December 25, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Nadia was Baptized by Pastor Shawn on December 25th, 2006
I want to wish each of you a very merry CHRISTmas. We had blessed Christmas Eve services and the highlight was at the end of the last service (we had a total of six services) we had a young lady named Nadia come forward and was baptized into Christ.

And the wonder of this decision was that she was converting from Islam. She was a muslim and today she is a CHRISTIAN. WOW!!! We are seeing more and more muslims converting to Christianity at our church.

This is the ONLY hope for peace in the world and it is the ONLY hope for peace in your HEART.

I want to thank each of you for your cards, gifts and notes that I received over the past few weeks. I am one of the most blessed Pastors in AMERICA. Thank you for your love and kindness.

Again. Be blessed today and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Nativity Story

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas in Iraq

A Birthday Celebration

You are cordially invited to

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!!

Guest of Honor: Jesus Christ

Date: Every day. Traditionally, December 25
but He's always around, so the date is flexible...

Time: Whenever you're ready.
(Please don't be late, though, or you'll miss out on all the fun!)

Place: In your heart.... He'll meet you there.
(You'll hear Him knock.)

Attire: Come as you are... grubbies are okay.
He'll be washing our clothes anyway. He said something about
new white robes and crowns for everyone who stays till the last.

Tickets: Admission is free. He's
already paid for everyone...
(He says you wouldn't have been
able to afford it anyway...
it cost Him everything He had. But
you do need to accept the ticket!!

Refreshments: New wine, bread, and a
far-out drink He calls "Living Water,"
followed by a supper that promises to be out of this world!

Gift Suggestions: ; Your life. He's one of those
people who already has everything else.
(He's very generous in return though.
Just wait until you see what He has for you!)

Entertainment: Joy, Peace, Truth,
Light, Life, Love, Real Happiness,
Communion with God, Forgiveness, Miracles, Healing, Power,
Eternity in Paradise, Contentment, and much more!
(All "G" rated, so bring your family and friends.)

R.S.V.P. Very Important!
He must know ahead so He can
reserve a spot for you at the table.
Also, He's keeping a list of His friends for future
reference. He calls it the "Lamb's Book of Life."

Party being given by His Kids (that's us!!)!
Hope to see you there! For those of you whom I will
see at the party, share this with someone today!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Case, the Jury, and the Verdict

This is the first chance I've had to finish telling you about my jury duty experience.

The CASE: The plaintiff was a developer/builder who was going to build some high-end apartment buildings here in the valley and then convert them to condominiums in 10 years. He had contracted a civil engineer firm to provide his civil engineer plans, and there was a dispute over the contract, the work, and the reasonable care that was due to him. We (the jury) looked at emails for about two solid weeks while lawyers on both sides of the case presented their arguments.

The case was finally turned over to the jury and yours truly was elected Jury Foreman. I did not think or feel that the job of being Jury Foreman was a difficult assignment. I tried my best to let everyone have ample time to let their opinions be heard and to allow those who needed extra time to look back over the evidence to reach their own conclusion. All you need in a civil trial is a 9-3 vote based on the "preponderance of the evidence." We were pretty much an 8-2 split on most things. Two of the jurors were for the defense on just about every issue. And eight of us were pretty much on the builder's side. So we usually had two jurists who just needed to be clear on all the issues. Ultimately we sided with the builder and awarded him a little under 4 million dollars. We could have awarded him 20 million dollars PLUS many more millions in punitive damages.

The JURY: What a joy to get to meet and interact with 11 other folks like myself who all live busy lives and yet desire to serve to the best of their ability. The gentleman next to me, "King Arthur," serves as an Elder at Hollywood Presbyterian Church where Lloyd Ogilvie used to serve. He was a funny guy who helped get me through the 15-day trial with his wit and humor. He had some classic one-liners that only under Oath would I ever repeat.

Next to Art was Cecelia, a math teacher who is somewhere on vacation right now--hopefully someplace warm. She had a great personality and was fun to be around. Cecelia I'm praying for you girl. Be careful with those shoes and it was a joy to get to know you.

Then we had Rea, who was for the plaintiff 100 percent. I believe she is a nurse and she did NOT mess around. She could have voted in 10 seconds for the Plaintiff. A very smart woman, I might add. Rea, Thank you for all that you added to our group.

Roberta. Oh my Roberta. A very very very smart juror who at a critical time in the deliberations found an email in evidence that was KEY. Roberta has a son who serves in the military and did NOT look old to enough to have a 30-year-old son who is flying around in a B-2 bomber.

Then there was Renee. I liked Renee for many reasons. We were both born in the same hospital (St. Johns) in the same city (Tulsa) just a year apart. Renee is also the name of my wife. :) And...She was for the Defense 100 percent. She was absolutely AGAINST giving the Plaintiff a dime. I liked her because she stood her position even though it was different than the opinion of the majority. That is never an easy thing to do.

My man Jay is next, who is a lighting guy in Hollywood and one day he came to help look at our lights in our church. But he left towards the end with a bad back, and one of our alternates, Theresa, took his place. I missed Jay and would have LOVED to have known his opinion, but he left, and with that void, the door opened for Theresa to serve.

I called her Mother Theresa. I liked EVERYTHING about her but her Raiders jacket. Theresa was usually against the Plaintiff, and she hopes to be a lawyer herself one day. I believe she's attended our church from time to time, and I pray that one day she comes to her senses and starts to root for the Cowboys.

Then there was Mark. Mark is also a church-going man who is a very sharp and bright individual. He has such a calm disposition and for some reason, every time he spoke in the deliberations, I agreed with everything he said. Mark... I usually don't agree with anyone. He would have made a great Jury Foreman and hopefully he will stay in touch.

Next we have a gentleman by the name of Tolie. Tolie is one of the smartest people I've ever met. He is a safety expert for companies who are involved with Nuclear power. He too is involved in his church and the thing I remember about Tolie is that he had a great mind for seeing the timeline. Tolie travels two hours (one-way) by train to work every day... it's the only thing I question about his smarts :). Tolie, please be careful in your job.

Millie was a very elegant woman who sided with the Plaintiff on almost every issue. She too goes to church and is a scientist. That's right, a scientist. I'm not sure I've ever met a Scientist before. But Millie was a great juror. I think I heard her snoring one day.. (just kidding) Millie, didn't need to take a lot of notes. I think she memorized every email--something that only scientist can do.

And then we have Jason. Jason was the one guy who I wondered if he was going to be able to make a wise decision, and then we got to the deliberations and was I ever wrong to question him! Jason was a walking encyclopedia, a brilliant mind. Helped keep us on track, and had a gift for clarifying all the issues. Jason, you were HUGE in the deliberations. I would say Jason was the most influential in the jury room.

Then Debra. Debbie sat just a few chairs from me and what I enjoyed MOST about her was the conversation afterwards concerning her faith. Debbie was an awesome jurist who truly studied the details of this case. She was very fair and is just a great person. Deb...I hope you're reading that book I gave you, and I hope you stay in touch.

Sandra was our last remaining alternate. She is a new mother and I'm sure it was difficult for her to be away from her child. She relayed to me that she would have been for the Plaintiff. This collective group was extremely diligent and careful in their deliberating. They were thorough, careful, considerate and wise. I am going to miss seeing them and hopefully they will come visit us sometime at Shepherd.

The VERDICT: As I mentioned earlier, the jury sided with the plaintiff. On most issues we were 10-2. We felt that that civil engineer firm had mislead the developer with promises that they ultimately did not keep. We ALL had wished that this had never come to trial. That both parties would have had such a good working relationship that the trial could have been adverted. I am NOT comfortable going into all the details of this case, and perhaps some of the other jurist will want to post, but I can assure you that we did our best with the evidence that was presented to make the right decision.

I wish I had more time to tell you about our Judge. Perhaps next week if some of you are interested I will tell you of my conversations with him afterwards and what I learned from him. Check back in a week or two and see if I have a follow up.

It was an enjoyable process. I learned a lot. Our judicial system is NOT perfect but it's worked for over 200 years. If you ever get a chance to serve, you need to, and I want to thank my fellow jurists for a time that I will never ever forget. You are a remarkable group and I will keep you in my prayers. I truly miss each and every one of you.

Dudley C. Rutherford
Juror #1 (Only in my mothers eyes)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Family Christmas Photo

Dad (??) Kerri 10) Kayla(20) Renee(??) Dallas (17)
Just want to wish YOU and YOUR family a blessed Christmas. Our family takes a Christmas picture each year and we try to mail it out to our entire Church family. If you didn't get one it's probably because you are not on our mailing list at the church or perhaps it got lost in the mail. :(

But just to be sure I decided to post this years picture on my Blog.
We hope that you know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season and we are still preparing for our Christmas Eve services.

If you do not have any plans we would LOVE to have you come visit us for our Christmas services.

Saturday 5:00 pm Porter Ranch Campus

Sunday 10:00 am Porter Ranch Campus
Sunday 11:00 am on the Westside www.mywestsidechurch.com
Sunday 11:30 am Porter Ranch Campus
Sunday 6:00 pm Porter Ranch Campus
Sunday 11:00 pm Porter Ranch Campus

Again, we need as many of you as possible to attend Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

Looking forward to see you this weekend....

In love

Pastor Dudley

I got ELFED

http://www.elfyourself.com/?userid=9f1fc56d57e53b172c82e86G06121920

Click on the link above and you'll see what Pastor Tim did to me...

I have to admit...I thought about firing Tim, and then the more I looked at it... the more I laughed... Now I'm thinking about giving him a bonus...... but only if YOU LAUGH....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

CHRISTmas



Merry CHRISTmas !!! Notice I did not say "Season's Greetings."

It is the CHRISTmas season. It is NOT the "Happy Holiday" season.

Can You Say it ????? CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas, CHRISTmas !!!

Yes. CHRISTmas. Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ!!!

Be sure to join us this coming weekend for our Christmas services and bring a friend:

Saturday 5:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 am
Sunday 11:00 am at the WESTSIDE campus
Sunday 11:30 am

Sunday 6:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 pm

All of these services will be identical in nature and we NEED AS MANY OF YOU AS POSSIBLE TO ATTEND Saturday evening and Sunday Morning....... Pretty Please :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Here in America by Diamond Rio

In March, 2005, this song was performed at a Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it! Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it was considered politically incorrect. Consequently, the song was never released to the public.

If this song speaks to your heart, share it with friends and loved ones. Then let us cease being the silent majority and join together--not as a particular political party, but as Americans! Click here -----------> Diamond Rio Song

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Memphis on the Westside


The Choir was amazing this weekend at the Porter Ranch Campus and we had a blessed weekend at both campuses. I am holding a little baby named MEMPHIS. She first came to church when she was 6 weeks old. Her first time EVER at church was on our Westside Campus on our opening weekend on October 8th.


Memphis was born at UCLA Santa Monica (already a Bruin:) on August 29th 2006 and weighed in at 7.2oz. She is a blessing to her parents Eddie and Margo.

I wanted to put her picture on my blog and let you know that GOD is working on the WESTSIDE.


With 13 baptisms last weekend and God using parents like Eddie and Margo to raise up the next generation of Godly children, things are looking up for West L.A.


Looking forward to seeing all of you this weekend at our Christmas services.


In love,
Pastor Dudley

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Oaks Christian STATE CHAMPIONS


Oaks Christian won the first State Championship in almost 80 years today with a 27-20 win over Cardinal Newman High School. I'm not sure but I think Oaks Christian has won like 46 games in a row which is the 4th longest streak in the history of California High School football.

They have 11 players who will be playing Division I college football next year.
Their quarterback, Jimmy Clausen, is the number one rated quarterback in the United States and will be attending the University of Notre Dame next year. (Jimmy, you should have gone to UCLA... They have now beaten USC one year in a row :))

One of Oaks Christians BEST players is a young man named Chris Potter who happens to be a member of our church and one of my sons best friends. Chris is a phenomenal athlete and next year he is penciled in to be the starting quarterback for Oaks Christian.

Now Chris Potter's father, Dana Potter, an Elder in our church, was considered one of the best High School players of all time, here in the San Fernando Valley and he went on to play for the University of Nebraska. Dana has also been a part of my Life Group for many years and I consider him a true pillar in our church. Dana is also one of the principle owners of Pinnacle Estate Properties.

This past year during the Oaks Christian season, Dana has been going over twice a week to lead the team in an extended time of prayer. He has been used by God to help lead these young men to a closer walk with God. Thanks Dana for mentoring these young men. The rewards of learning how to pray will have eternal value for each of these football players.

Chris, congratulations on a fine season and we'll be anxious to see you play next year, and don't forget to remind your dad that Oklahoma beat Nebraska this year...again!

We have a Verdict !!!

I just want you to know the Jury has reached a verdict.

Check in later this week to get the final update.
In the next few days I'll let you know what happened....

Check back in a few days....

Friday, December 15, 2006

TWO from GALILEE

I just saw the Christmas musical at Shepherd called "Two From Galilee." It was fabulous. There still one show on Saturday and two on Sunday. If you can find the time it will be worth the effort. The music, the dancing, the story, the acting was superb. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh and I almost forgot about the camels... They were quite entertaining..

We have sooooooooooooooooooooooo much talent in this church, and it honors God when people use their gifts to honor Him. Thank you to all who worked so deligently to bless our church in such a powerful manner.

A quick thought or two


Went to sleep last night around midnight and woke up this morning at 5:30 am and got to the church around 6:30 this morning. Going to work on my sermon for this weekend.
Have to be back in the jury box around 9:15 this morning. Still trying to figure out why we have to go back when we already reached a verdict yesterday afternoon.

I guess I'll know in a couple of hours.

I read this morning what Job told the Lord in Job 42:1. It reads..."Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted."

Think about that for a moment. I KNOW THAT YOU (LORD) can do ALL THINGS. NO PLAN OF THE LORDS CAN BE THWARTED. I think if we truly believed that then we wouldn't worry about anything. Knowing that God is in control and that he can do ALL THINGS, then all I really need to do is to trust in Him.

I think I'm going to rest in that truth alllllllllllllllllll day today.

It's always a blessed feeling to know that the Lord is all powerful and that in Him we have nothing to fear.

Praying that each of you has a wonderful day and Lord Willing I will see you this weekend in church. Saturday at 6:30 p.m. wwjd

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Church this Weekend

Church is going to be exciting this weekend.

Can you bring a friend with you????

Can you bring your Bible????

Can you pray before you enter that God would speak to your heart???

Can you bring your BEST offering???

Can you attend the Saturday evening 6:30 service????

Can you commit to be on time and stay for the duration of the service???

I promise I'll do my best....
I KNOW THAT JESUS DID HIS BEST....

Will YOU do YOUR BEST???

Wondering??????

We had reached a verdict today in our trial... I can't explain HOW HARD we worked to make the right decision... And after we turned in the verdict and the Judge confirmed the vote... One of the Lawyers asked for a side bar and following that we were informed we would need to come back on Friday for further testimony...

We have no idea why... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Now this orginal 2 week trial could go into a fourth week.....

You ARE praying for me.... correct?????

HANUKKAH

I received a newsletter from an organization called "Jews for Jesus" and in this newsletter they gave a wonderful explaination and definition of the celebration of Hanukkah. I thought you would enjoy reading this article and so I am posting this on my blog. The article states the following......


• Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of the Syrio-Greek tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes IV, around 165 B.C. At that time, the armies of Judah Maccabee recaptured Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple, and reinstated the sacrifices that had ceased. And that’s why this holiday is called “Hag Hanukkah” – the Feast of the Dedication.

• According to tradition, when the menorah – the seven-armed candelabrum in the Temple – was rekindled, there was only enough consecrated oil to keep the light burning for one day. But by a miracle, the light burned for eight days, providing enough time to bring fresh oil for the lamp. And that’s why Hanukkah lasts for eight days.

• Unlike the seven-branched menorah that stood in the Temple, the Hanukkah menorah (or hanukkiah) that we light during this holiday has nine arms. The center arm is called the shammas, and it’s used to light all the other lights on the menorah, one for each night. By the eighth night, our homes are aglow with the brightness of the fully-lit menorahs. And that’s why Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights.

• There is only one place in the entire Bible where we find a reference to Hanukkah: “Now it was the Feast of Dedication [Hanukkah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch” (John 10:22-23).

• It was at Hanukkah that Y’shua, the Light of the World, stood in the Temple area and declared, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jury Foreman


Well, somehow I was elected Jury Foreman today and we are now in deliberations.

The Jury is made up of very capable people and my job is just to keep them on task, and to let each of them reach their own conclusion and then make sure we follow the intructions given to us by the Judge.

It is such an interesting and fair process I want to encourage any of you who've never served to give it a try. I have learned so much and I cannot wait to talk to the Judge when the trial is over. He has taught me alot and I actually have been writing down some questions for him. He knows the Law and he IS the JUDGE, yet he is full of grace and mercy. Now WHO does THAT remind you of???????

And yes... I have a NEW appreciation for lawyers.... these are HARD WORKING individuals who are gifted at their trade.

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend in church as we will be concluding last weeks sermon on "preparing our hearts to hear from the Lord".

Monday, December 11, 2006

Still doing Jury Duty

Week number 3 is underway. We are getting closer to being in deliberations. I actually tore a hamstring tonight and I might have to stand for the entire day tomorrow....

Pray for your Pastor...

I'm no longer a spring chicken...

Dudley

13 Baptisms on the Westside Campus





My joy is overflowing at our services this past weekend. There was such a great spirit on both campuses and we held a baptism service in Westwood where 13 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ and were baptized into Jesus' name. So many of you have sacrificed in order for this to take place.

Pictured above is David Chan and Diane Hsu. David grew up in our church but recently started dating Diane and she's been attending the Shepherd Westside in Brentwood. We purchased Diane a Bible and she began reading God's Word and she eventually stepped forward to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour and she was one of the 13 that was baptized this past weekend.

I pray that each of you understands why we have the video service at 11:30 and why we started this campus on the Westside. It's because of people like Diane who otherwise would NOT have had the opportunity to be saved. I want to thank each of you again for being people who truly care about reaching lost people. And more importantly David and Diane thank you. :)

Just think how thankful Jesus must be!

Shepherd continues to set the mark for committed people being obedient to the great commission. Matthew 28:18-20.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor - 65 years ago



Sixty-five years ago today, in 1941, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked. The bombing killed 2,388 Americans, put much of the Pacific fleet out of commission, and came while the Japanese ambassador in Washington was preparing for a diplomatic appointment at the State Department. Among the losses was the battleship Arizona, which went down with nearly all hands on board. It is still there as a national shrine.

In President Roosevelt's speech to Congress the next day asking for a declaration of war, he called Dec. 7 "a date which will live in infamy." Congress responded promptly with a declaration of war against Japan. It followed up on Dec. 11 with retaliatory declarations of war against Germany and Italy. World War II was the last time the United States has declared war, though it has fought three major wars (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan-Iraq) and numerous minor ones. Not many Americans are old enough to remember the events of 65 years ago.

One of the best books ever written that explains the details of that day is a book entitled "At Dawn We Slept". I purchased my copy when I visited Hawaii many years ago. The name of that book explains it all. We were sleeping when Japan initiated a surprise attack on that December day.

I've always felt that title "At Dawn We Slept" would be a good moniker for the Church. So many people lost and dying without Jesus and the Church just sleeps, not realizing that Satan is trying to destroy as many as possible. We need to wake up and rally the troops. All hands on deck. This is not a time to be asleep at the wheel. God has called the Church to sound the trumpet to reach a dying world with the saving message of Jesus Christ.

My question to you are as follows.

Have you ever led someone into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ?
When was the last time you shared your faith?
When was the last time you brought a visitor to church?
When was the last time you bought a Bible for an unsaved acquaintance?
When was the last time you parked in the off site area and rode the shuttle?
When was the last time you fasted for a lost friend?
When was the last time you gave a sermon CD to a fellow employee?
When was the last time you thought about moving to Saturday night to free up more room for visitors who usually attend on Sunday morning.
When was the last time you cried over someone being lost?
When was the last time you wept over a soul?
When was the last time you invited your neighbor to church?

If Jesus came today...
If Jesus came tonight...
If Jesus came in the morning...

Could they say of the church?
Could they say of you?
Could they say of me?

At Dawn We Slept.

Staff Christmas Party

WOW.... Yesterday the Judge gave us 15 extra minutes for lunch so I was able to run over to our staff Christmas Party. The last several years we have taken the staff to Outback Steak House for lunch. We are always delighted because usually this particular restaurant is closed during the lunch hour.

We currently have more than 100 people on our church staff, so we feed them lunch and get them a small gift as a token of our appreciation. This year we gave them sweatshirts with "PROPERTY of SHEPHERD" written across the front. Looking back we should have written "PROPERTY of THE SHEPHERD" across the front.

If you had been at our staff luncheon yesterday you would have realized, like me, that these are some of the hardest working people on the face of the planet. They work and serve behind the scenes, many of them you wouldn't even know. Yet, they serve so faithfully and diligently. They don't get a lot of applause, and most of them could make a lot more money if they were out in the business world, but they would rather work for the KING and store up heavenly rewards for a future payout.

Would you take a moment to pray and thank God for the many men and women who loyally serve here at Shepherd? I hope you'll take a moment and just thank the Lord for the team he has gathered to lead us here at church.

STAFF, I LOVE YOU AND AM SO THANKFUL FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.

In love,

Pastor Dudley

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Baptism at Westside

We have about a dozen people from our Westside campus lined up to be baptized at the Westside campus this Sunday, December 10, at the Westwood Hills Christian Church (10808 Leconte). I'm so excited because this would NOT have happened if we had not started this new campus! I hope you will join us from from 1 to 3 p.m. if you'd like to be baptized or come support someone who will be! For more information, please contact the Westside church office at 310.551.0100 or info@mywestsidechurch.com.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the following video with you, which kind of conveys the joy of getting baptized...but don't get any ideas ;o)

Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

I love this passage of scripture on becoming "Oaks of Righteousness".

This entire chapter is so powerful, especially this morning before I start my day, by thinking of being all that God would have me to be...to be so rooted in Jesus and to understand that I need to be that "Oil of Gladness" and that I too need to preach the "Good News to the Poor".

May the "Spirit of the Sovereign Lord" rest upon you and me this glorious day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Week Two of Jury Duty

I actually had a weekend off from preaching and it's been quite a while since I had a weekend where I wasn't preaching somewhere. I know that Todd Clark preached a powerful sermon on our Porter Ranch campus and that George Taggart hit a home run at our Westside campus. It is a joy to have these men in our preaching rotation. The Word of God never comes back void and I know that the WORD was mightily preached at Shepherd this weekend.

Tomorrow I start my second week of Jury Duty. It has been very enlightening seeing how our judicial system works. The strangest thing is NOT being able to talk about the evidence of the case with any of the other jurist. I keep wondering if they are thinking the same thing that I'm thinking. But we are not allowed to discuss ANY of the details until the lawyers are through presenting their case.

I've enjoyed getting to know the other jurist and even though they come from all different walks of life they are all united in doing their very best with this case.
They are such good, honest people that I'm convinced that collectively we will come to the correct decision at the conclusion of the trial.

Praying that each of YOU have a blessed week and thank you for your continued prayers. Lord willing, I will be preaching this coming weekend and I hope to see you there. We need people to switch to the Saturday 6:30 pm service. :) Just thought I would put that little bug in your ear again....

In love,

Dudley

Saturday, December 02, 2006

UCLA STUNS USC




What can I say??????????????????


HOW ABOUT THOSE BRUINS............


13-9



I know alot of you may not believe this... but I was going to post a picture of the Trojans if they had won the National Championship. But.. oh well.....


But the BRUINS RULE USC

Happy days are here again...

GOOOOOOOOOOO BRUINS...
Congratulations Coach Dorrell..
I saw you pointing heavenward!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Challenge for Dallas



My son, "Sir Dallas James Rutherford," had a tough day today. He is a junior at Campbell Hall High School in Studio City, and he's been having some problems with his left knee. After getting some x-rays and an MRI, the doctor informed us that he has a fractured patella. He will be out of basketball for six to eight weeks.

Now for a young man who loves to play basketball, this was NOT good news. He will basically be missing most of his junior year, but hopefully he'll be able to make it back towards the end of the season. I checked my phone during a break in the middle of my jury trial and it was heart wrenching listening to my son give me this news. Dallas is a fish out of water if he's not on the court playing a little basketball.

We are doing our best to let him know that God has a plan and that there are a lot of good things that could come of this.

Please keep Dallas in your prayers. He is struggling to discern what God wants for his life. He has been trying his best to honor the Lord recently. God often shapes us through some difficult times and I'm praying that God would do just that. I've watched Dallas play basketball many, many times and you can see the joy in him as he runs and competes. I sometimes think of the OLD movie, Chariots of Fire, where God used Eric Liddell to compete in the 1924 Olympic games to honor God. There is such a memorable quote in that movie from Eric. He said, "I believe that God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." I'm not sure Dallas has ever totally figured this out, but I do believe he's at least thinking about it. So hopefully, this will be a time where he can reflect on how to honor God with his life.
I want to thank, in advance, those of you who will keep him in your prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Rat, The Race, and the Cage


I am going to TRY to review and promote one great book a month. I receive sooooooo many books and I try to read as many as possible, and although I don't get to read all of them I want to try to pass on to you some of the good ones that don't normally get a lot of press.
My first choice to share with you was a book I just recently received and YES I've been reading this on breaks while I've been doing jury duty. :)

A good friend of mine named Thomas Ellsworth who has been very successful at getting start up companies off the ground and was one of the key principles in helping a company named JAMDAT. Any games that are put on your cell phone probably was designed by Jamdat. If you ever drive down the 405 freeway you'll see a big office building that has the name JAMDAT on top. That's the company Tom helped make a success.
Although Tom has moved on to help another company he continues to be the best at what he does and is often sought after for advice and wisdom within the business community.


Tom recently wrote a book titled The Rat, The Race, and the Cage. Written to help anyone who is contemplating a career move. So often, people struggle with being fulfilled in their current position or company and spend many sleepless nights trying to discern if they should move on to another company or remain in the same job they have now.
From the insight and experience that Tom has gleaned over the years he came up with a very simple yet profound illustration of the rat, the race and his cage.
He uses this analogy to help one in making wise career changes. His underlying purpose as stated is to provide "A SIMPLE WAY TO GUARANTEE JOB SATISFACTION AND SUCCESS".


I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is wondering if they are in the right career or not. I would recommend this book to anyone who is contemplating making a serious career path change. Included in this 79 page book are some questions and charts that will help you decipher your "own career compass".


For anyone interested in ordering this book you can do so at http://www.winepressbooks.com/
Thanks Tom for this very unique and helpful book.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CallonJesus.com goes GLOBAL

Someone sent me this note and I thought that you might be blessed by it. Obviously it was a blessing to me. We are actually in the process of updating and creating a new look for our www.callonjesus.com website. It will have many of the same functions but I just wanted to remind you that anyone in the world with internet access can view our sermons on line.

Here is the letter I recieved.

Dear Pastor Dudley,

I wanted to tell you about somthing my wife and I started only by accident. We have some close friends that Live in Stockport, England. We visited them for the first time last year. During our visit we had showed them the church site and www.callonjesus.com....

To make a long story short , by us showing them the site, they are now faithful viewers of our church services @ www.callonjesus.com, and it doesn't stop there.

Their home has now become somewhat of a gathering place on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 (8:30am PST) and the number of people has grown just through word of mouth sometimes and many at 10 or 12.

I am writing you to let you know how important the Streaming Video of our services has become to Gaynor Mayers, her family Tanya, Tasha and Dakota and friends that consider Shepherd their church family.

Thank you and God bless,


Isn't that a great note? It thrills me to see how God works and moves all around the world. How about YOU???? Is there anything YOU can do to help lead others to a closer walk with Jesus? Why not start TODAY!

Merry Kerri

Somebody noticed my daughter Kerri just because she was on my blog. That made me smile. It made me want to put another picture of her on this blog. Kerri, who is a whopping 10 years old, has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. God has a plan for this girl. I'm thinking she's going to run the church one day... I just wish my children wouldn't grow up so fast. I just want to PRAISE GOD that she loves the Lord and that it's IN HER HEART to please the LORD. She serves as an example for all of us.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Pastor is in Trouble.....

I don't know how this happened but I was selected to the jury today on a case that could last two to three weeks. Now don't get me wrong... I am excited about serving and feel like it's a privilege. Our judicial system has worked for several hundred years and it's part of what makes our country great. It is my civic duty and it is an honor to serve in this manner.

HOWEVER... my schedule, especially during the Holiday season is so hectic that I'm sitting here this evening wondering how I can do this. With 10 to 12,000 members and with all the church responsibilities and commitments that I have each day.... I AM STRESSED. I do NOT normally feel stress about anything but at this moment.... I am feeling it BIG TIME. It's almost a sick feeling. Some of you may not understand this but I can NOT JUST TURN OFF my church responsibilities. They exist 24/7.

Now don't get me wrong... I know that the Lord will see me through this and I know that the Lord has me there for a purpose. I have NO DOUBTS about that. My concern is for YOU... that you understand what I am doing and why I am doing this. And I want you to pray with me that God would allow me to somehow fulfill my duties as a jurist and yet still find the time to prepare sermons and fulfill my duties as a Pastor .

I honestly do NOT know HOW I'm going to be able to do this... Please keep me in your prayers....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kids of the Kingdom ROCK


Today on the Westside Campus the Kids of the Kingdom helped lead worship and then they sang a special number for us. I want to thank all the children for using their gifts to serve and honor the Lord. They were such a blessing!

For anyone interested in attending, their performances are on December 7th, 8th and 9th. Please look at http://www.theshepherd.org/ for more information.

I want to thank Christine Miller for leading worship at the Porter Ranch Campus and I was so blessed by the attendance on both campuses. The Spirit was evident and hopefully all of us will "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving" present our request to God.

ONE LAST NOTE... Yours truly has JURY DUTY. I have no idea what is going to happen this week. Keep me in your prayers and I'll let you know if I get to serve as a jurist. Can YOU IMAGINE?????

Saturday, November 25, 2006

OKLAHOMA ROLLS




Today was a good day of football because the University of Oklahoma beat in state rival Oklahoma State and set up a chance to be the BIG 12 conference champions if they can beat long time rival Nebraska on December 2nd. Yes... I know what some of you are thinking... You thought I was a Bruin. Well, truth be told, I root for both the Bruins and the Sooners. That is NOT a sin. I cannot find a verse in the Bible where is says you can NOT root for two teams. So chill.

Back to the Sooners. Earlier in the year Oklahoma got ripped off from having a win over Oregon. You can watch the video for yourself. It was one of the worse calls ever in sports history. And had that call been made correctly there is a chance that Oklahoma NOT usc (notice the small case letters of usc :) would be playing the Ohio State Buckeyes for a National Championship. Oh well, I guess there is always next year.

The reason I am mentioning this is because after this disastrous call in the Oregon game Oklahoma could have folded. They could have called it a season and just been content with having a lackluster year. But NO! They have battled back and have this chance to become CHAMPIONS. It should encourage all of us to never give up. Even when it looks like things are stacked against us. I'm hoping the Sooners can get to the BIG GAME and show the character it takes to overcome the odds. You certainly don't have to, but if you have NO ONE else to root for during this Holiday Bowl Season...pull for Oklahoma. Go Sooners!

Friday, November 24, 2006

A 64 year old suicide bomber. Grandma??? Is that You???

As I sit here in my office the Friday after Thanksgiving with a "I can't eat another thing" type feeling. I am mindful of how GREAT God has been to us. We have this remarkable Church and there are a host of people here today decorating the Church for our Christmas season. It's always one of the best times of the entire year. For me personally, I can't help but think of how many truly committed people we have here at the Shepherd.

Yet, in today's paper I read a story of a 64 year old Grandmother who became the first suicide bomber in 2 years by Hamas, over in Israel. Here is this woman who straps a bomb to her body and blows herself up near the town of Beit Lahiya. She had nine children and 40 grandchildren. She is so devoted to her cause that she thinks nothing of laying down her life for something that she believes in.

And then when I reflect back over my life, I have to ask myself if I am this committed to Jesus Christ. So often I complain and yet Jesus made it pretty clear that to follow Him that we would need to give up everything.

It is my prayer that this Thanksgiving as we reflect and remember the goodness of God, that our gratitude will lead us to a deeper level of commitment. Will you not take advantage of all that God has done for you, all that God has provided for you, for the many times He has protected you to recommit your life to HIM.

You see we should be so thankful for His grace and forgiveness that we ought to willingly lay down our lives for Him. But he does not want you to lay down your life by becoming a suicide bomber... He wants you to lay down your life in serving others, in loving others, in pouring out his mercy upon others. That we would die to self and live for others.

Can you take a moment and ask God to help you finish this year strong. Ask God to help you die to self. Ask God to help you LIVE for others. I think it was Dwight L. Moody who said "The world has yet to see a man who has fully dedicated himself to God... Lord, Willing I will be that man".

My question to you is quite simple. Can YOU be that man? Can YOU be that woman?
Or better yet, WILL you be that man? Will you be that woman?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



I want to wish each of you a "Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Day"
We have so much to be thankful for and I hope that you will take time today
to verbally express to God and to one another the blessings you have received.

My friend, Bob Hastings, sent me this video. I wanted to share it with you today because I know it will bless you and it will cause you to reflect and rememember the men and women who serve our great Nation around the world.

Ask God to watch over our men and women in service.

I love you.

Dudley

I'm planning on seeing each of you in church this weekend.

A LITTLE ABOUT A LOT

Did you know that there are only 33 days until Christmas? I want to encourage you in the midst of the holiday rush that you plan on making Christmas a HOLY day to celebrate the birth of King Jesus.

Last Weekend we had over 7,000 people in church. We are still in desperate need for people to start attending the Saturday 6:30 pm service....especially those of you who attend the Sunday morning 1o:00 and 11:30 service on the Porter Ranch Campus. We need you to make the switch. :)

Did you know that we are on target to give over $800,000.00 to missions for 2007 and I'm praying that 2008 we will reach our goal of giving over $1,000,000.00 to missions. Can anyone say Amen????

Did you know your Pastor takes vitamins EVERY DAY? Yes, I'm trying to take care of my temple. But the Lord knows I need a tad bit more exercise.

Did you know that there are 750,000 children in the LAUSD? Don't you think it would make a BIG difference if everyday they saw a copy of the Lord's Ten Commandments posted in the hallways of their schools?

Did you know that we recently just completed the filming for the Life Group DVD lessons for the spring of '08?? You didn't think those DVD lessons grew on a tree did you?

Did you know that so far this year we have had more than 600 baptisms? That is quite remarkable. I want to thank Pastor Shawn and all of our decision counselors who help facilitate these decisions. Which leads me to this question: Have YOU ever been baptized? (Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 2:38) If not, WHY WOULDN'T YOU?? Your answer to that question tells me a lot about your faith. More importantly, it tells God a lot about your faith.

Did you know that we now have more than 100 people on our church staff??? They are without question the hardest working staff in America. They serve every day as though they were serving the Lord Jesus Christ, which they are. I am so grateful for each and every one of them. You should see the prayer requests from just the staff. It is a lengthy list. Please keep them at the top of your prayer lists.

Did you know that some people who say "Our Father" on Sunday go around the rest of the week acting like orphans?

Last but not least.. I want to wish EACH of you a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope and pray that you get to spend it with your loved ones. Please take a moment over the next couple of days to truly thank God for His blessing upon your life.

I know that I am extremely grateful for each and every one of you. I believe that God has great plans for our church and it's been a joy to ride the wave of what God is doing. We have had some great days...but the best is yet to come.

I love you,

Pastor Dudley

Monday, November 20, 2006

A DEMON NAMED JERRY

I don't know how to fully explain this to you but this past weekend while I was preaching about Warfare Praying we had a woman in her 40's come to the Westside Campus and she had a demon in her by the name of Jerry. She was shaking violently and you could hear the demon actually speak. The demon said that he had been controlling this woman for 10 years. That he loved her and that he would not let her go. The voice sounded like a demon and she had this evil look in her eyes when she spoke. The woman had come to church because she wanted to be saved. She stepped forward during the invitation and began to convulse and our counselors took her outside and began to pray over her in the name of Jesus. Danny Furukawa and a host of people gathered around her. Danny asked the demon what his name was and the demon said "Jerry". Danny prayed in the name of Jesus and kept saying "the blood of Jesus" over and over again. Danny told the demon that this woman belonged to the Lord and told the demon that he would not have any power over her if she invited Jesus into her heart. The demon finally said, "Ok, I will leave. But I will come back". The lady then fell to the ground and when she got up she seemed extremely normal. But when everyone was hugging this woman the demon whispered in Danny's ear, "I'm back".

Now some of you might think this is a bunch of hogwash but I saw this woman and I know this is real. Do you think this is a bit ironic that this happened on the weekend that I preached on Warfare Praying? I don't think it's an accident that this happened on this particular weekend. It is a vivid reminder that Ephesians 6:10-12 is a reality. We MUST be careful. We must be people of prayer. Satan is pulling out all the stops trying to disrupt and destroy.

I looked it up in the Bible this morning and there are OVER 70 different times in the New Testament where you find the word or words "demons" or "demon-possession".

The Gospels are filled with stories of demonic warfare. Read Mark 1:32-34, Mark 5:1-20, and Luke 8:26-39. I am NOT trying to alarm anyone but I am trying to get you to arm yourself with the full armor of God. These are all signs that we are making a difference in Los Angeles and the devil would prefer for us to fail. Will you not read again the declaration to Satan from yesterday's post. Our enemy is alive and real according to I Peter 5:8. Let's continue to be faithful to the things of God. Understand who our enemy is and read again the notes from our sermon this past weekend.

In love,

Dudley

If you missed the sermon from this past weekend you can watch it at www.callonjesus.com

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Declaration to Satan

Satan, take note and listen well!
We are the Church of the Living God.
We are bought with blood, charged with power, married to Jesus,
indwelt with His Spirit, destined for victory, immune from destruction.

We’re part of the company of the committed,
the crowd of the covenant,
the congregation of the courageous.
We’re a fellowship of the faithful, a battalion of believers,
a regiment of the redeemed,
a division of the devoted, an army of the approved,
a team of the triumphant, and a platoon of the powerful.

Satan, you will not conquer me.
For I am blood-washed, daily-delivered, strongly-sanctified,
Spirit-soaked, in-Word, and indwelt.
You are wasting your energy on me.
My fate is set. My victory is assured.
I am linked with a sovereign and eternal power.

You are a deceiver, but you will not deceive me.
You are a roaring lion, but I am not devourable.
You are extremely subtle, but I am on to your ways.
You parade as an angel of light, but I walk in a stronger light.
Your days of deception are over with me.
I won’t be detoured, derailed, distracted, distorted, discouraged, or disillusioned by your schemes.

I am off limits to you now. My doors are closed and locked and I've thrown away the keys.

You won’t walk in, crawl in, slither in, sneak in, pry in, or barge into my life.
I have permanent and precious friend who lives inside of me, and He will not share this temple with anyone, especially you.

His name is Jesus.

He and I know that you know your time's almost up.

You may lie, lure, linger, lurch, and laugh, but you won’t get in.
Your days are numbered; your designs are dwindling; your evil is eroding; your devilishness is dissolving; your progress is poisoned; your success has been subverted.
So get off my property; get off my porch.
Get out of my sight.
For He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
Leave my family alone; leave my children alone; leave my church alone; and leave my friends alone.

God is on my side. Rather, I’m on God’s side.
I have the same power that delivered Jesus from temptation and sin.
I have the same power that raised Him from the grave.
I have been promised the victory, and I have claimed that victory.
You can summon all your hosts, but you will lose the battle!

We are the Church of the Living God! Blood-washed, Spirit-filled, battle-scarred, unrelenting and indestructible. And in the blessed words of Jesus Christ, the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

In Jesus’ name.
In Jesus' name.
In Jesus' name.

Are you listening?
In Jesus' name.

Amen and Amen!

Friday, November 17, 2006

READY AND PREPARED FOR BATTLE

This weekend at the Shepherd/Westside Campuses we will be discussing WARFARE PRAYING.

I don't know about you but there have many times where I know I am fighting the Devil himself. Jesus told us in John 8:44 that when Satan speaks that "there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of all lies."

I want to help prepare you for the battle. If you are living for Jesus you are going to have to face him. He will NOT leave you alone. He is not going to just let you follow Jesus. He is going to try to derail you from serving Christ.

This weekend, Lord willing, we are going to study different ways to defeat the devil. It's time we walk and excel in VICTORY.

Please Join us this weekend.

Porter Ranch Campus
Sat 5:00 6:30
Sun 8:30 10:00 11:30
www.theshepherd.org

Westside Campus
Sun 11:00
www.mywestsidechurch.com

Or watch it live at www.callinjesus.com

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bible Experience LIVE

Blair Underwood (The voice of Jesus)
West Angeles Church of God in Christ Cathedral
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Ulmer
Last night was a memorable evening at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ Church where there was a LIVE performance of God's Word being read. The "Bible Experience" is a collection of audio CDs in which 250 plus people read in dramatic fashion the Word of God. As I have shared earlier, my involvement in this project was to just help it get started. I was told at the outset that they couldn't find anyone to help them get it off the ground. But when I was pitched the idea I KNEW I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE INVOLVED and I KNEW THAT GOD WOULD MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN. Sure enough the Dream became a REALITY. Here's a list of some of the participants. Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr, Samuel L. Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Blair Underwood, Denzel Washington, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Levar Burton, James Brown, Star Jones, Shirley Caesar, Tatyana Ali, Bill Bellamy, Tyrese Gibson, Donnie McClurkin, John Salley, Marvin Winans and my dear friend Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer.

The people who did MOST of the work on this project are Ron Belk, Kyle Bowser, Lou "Buster" Brown, Robi Reed, Nancy Sprow and sweet Chip Hurd.

When you listen to each text, it's as if YOU ARE THERE when it's happening. I love listening through the book of Acts and I love the sections at the end of the Gospels where the readers portray the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. IT IS POWERFUL.

You can order yours right now at http://www.callonjesus.com/ It will be a gift of a lifetime to give this Christmas. Remember that God's Word does NOT return void.

I only wish they would have let ONE skinny 6'5" white Pastor read one little chapter. But Ron kept telling me no. I guess I'll have to sit this one out... But you know what??? I'm just thankful to be a small part of this project and I know that when I am dead and gone from this old earth that this project will still be changing people's hearts and lives. And that's ALL that MATTERS. And all God's people said????? Amen and Amen!

The Bible Experience in 60 Seconds



Visit:
  • CallOnJesus.com
  • to order a copy of The Bible Experience today!

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Jrue and Justin Holiday


    No I didn't grow two extra heads. :) This a silly picture of Jrue and Justin Holiday. These two young men attend Campbell Hall High School and happen to be two of the best basketball players in the country. To your right is Justin Holiday,a Senior, who just signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Washington. To your left is Jrue Holiday which is the number 2 rated player in the country in the 08 class. If you look for them you'll see them here at Shepherd on Sunday at one of our morning worship services. Both of these young men are quality guys. They compete at the highest level yet they love the Lord. They traveled with us to Japan on a missionary trip. I was blessed to be able to coach them this summer on a travel team. My son Dallas has transferred to Campbell Hall for his Jr year and the 3 of these young men make quite a team. Please keep these 3 young men in your prayers. They have an opportunity to really be a witness for Christ on and off the Court.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    A VERY STRANGE INTERRUPTION

    I loved church this past weekend. I love preaching through God's word. A very strange thing happened Saturday night. Someone stood up and interrupted my sermon and started asking questions... It was bazaar.. I asked the gentleman to sit down and made it very clear that I could not answer his question at that time and HE KEPT ASKING QUESTIONS... I don't know if that has ever happened to me before. I've seen a lot of people get up and walk out but I've never seen anyone stand up and interrupt the service like that. It was rather rude. I spend a lot of time working on my sermons. Then they are recorded where anyone in the world can watch them at http://www.callonjesus.com/ And when this man stood up he forced us to re-record the entire sermon... A lot of people spent a lot of hours in preparation for this one service and this one guy put all that work down the drain. Can you imagine what would happen if anyone who wanted to ask a question would stand up and just start yelling out their question? It would be total chaos. I am still in a state of shock over the whole thing but the thing that bothers me the most is that it was distracting for people who were there to listen and learn. There could have been an unsaved person right there who was on the verge of giving their life to Jesus and after this they might think this is the strangest church in America. Well, we pray that you'll keep coming to church in spite of a few distractions.

    We had a wonderful morning at the Westside Campus. It is so exciting to see God building up this new church. There is such a need. People are so anxious to hear the word. Try to come visit us sometime and you can check out this new campus at http://www.mywestsidechurch.com/

    I'm a tad tired.. so I'm going to hit the hay!

    Dud Man

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    The Bible Experience LIVE

    Over a year ago Ron Belk approached me about a project to put the Bible, read by famous African Americans, on audio CDs. He needed to help to get the project off the ground and I agreed to help him. We recently completed the New Testament, which is available now at www.callonjesus.com/ and the Old Testament will be finished around Easter '07.

    The New Testament is 19 CDs and one DVD. Blair Underwood reads as the voice of Jesus. Denzel Washington reads the Song of Solomon. Samuel Jackson is the voice of God. Cuba Gooding Jr. is Judas and T.D. Jakes is the Holy Spirit. Deniece Williams and Cindy Herron-Braggs as well as a few others from our own congregation are involved, too.

    As you can tell by the above artwork, we are having a LIVE reading with musical performances this Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at Bishop Blake's church from 7 to 9 pm. I am planning on attending and want to invite you for this LIVE experience. As I've thought about this project, it's NOT the fame of the individual people that make this a STAR ATTRACTION. The Bible itself is the WORD OF GOD..... enough said. This Book, no matter who the reader, no matter who the listener, will change the HEART of anyone who'll simply apply the truths found in its pages. The question is: Will you read it? Will you listen to it? Will you apply it? No life is ever the same after coming face to face with the truth of God's Word.

    Will you join me this Wednesday for a LIVE experience of a lifetime at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ?

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    One Year Ago... Pastor Tim's Dad





    One year ago today, Pastor Tim's Dad went on to Glory. The picture up above is a picture of Tim and I and his mother Judy the day of his daddy's funeral. I remember flying back to a little town back in Illinois for his funeral and I watched as Tim spoke to a room full of people that had known his dad. In front of family, friends, Christians and non-Christians I watched as God gave Pastor Tim the strength and words to address that audience. Every one of you would have been proud of Tim as he fought back tears and stood as a messenger of hope and preached a message of salvation to those who had come to pay their respects to his father. It is a moment I will never forget.

    Yes.. the picture of the old house that I posted on my blog a few days ago was the house that Pastor Tim grew up in. Tim gave me a tour of the home and the area that he had grown up in. It was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the country.

    But we were there for Bill Winters funeral. Tim's dad was a great man. A gentle man with a gentle spirit, a farmer, a teacher, a father, a friend. I rarely ever look at Pastor Tim, that I can't help but think of his father Bill. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. For Pastor Tim is also a very caring, loving, gentle man. A father, teacher and friend.


    Will you do me a favor today? Will you pray for Pastor Tim today? And just ask God to strengthen and comfort him. It's never an easy thing to come to a day like today and not struggle to some degree. Timbo... I love you and I thank God that you are the friend of all friends. May you continue to bless us the way your father blessed others.

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT

    I will be preaching a message this weekend on the topic of Praying in the Spirit.
    It will be a very important sermon for every Christian, and I want to encourage you to FORWARD this blog to someone you know that needs to be in church this weekend.

    In love,
    Pastor Dudley
    www.theshepherd.org
    www.mywestsidechurch.com

    P.S. Underneath each blog is a little icon that looks like an envelope, which will help you forward this to a friend.

    Found this on the NET

    At a Theater Near You…Church?
    Posted by Lisa Regardie on Nov 5, 2006, 22:00
    LOS ANGELES—Attending church has never been more entertaining than the present time. At first glance of the chapel's exterior, one may get the impression he or she is about to go inside and witness some great performance—although not a play, but rather a sermon. On Sunday, Oct. 8, more than 1,000 people attended Westside Shepherd of the Hills, a new church to the West Los Angeles community, to not only propel the house of worship to a great new start, but also to be a part of the kick-off celebration at the Wadsworth Theater.
    In 1995, Dudley Rutherford became pastor of Shepherd of the Hills, Porter Ranch, when, as the church stated, "God united it with Hillcrest Christian Church." Over the years, more than 6,500 people have attended services each week. His dynamic speaking ability has made him a highly sought after respected convention speaker, a frequent speaker to several professional sports teams, and a featured chapel speaker for the World Series. Pastor Rutherford also has had the distinction of serving as the vice president of the North American Christian Convention.
    In opening this additional campus, Shepherd of the Hills greatly increases their ability to touch hearts and meet the needs of the greater Los Angeles community. Westside Shepherd of the Hills offers an inspiring message by Pastor Rutherford or a stellar guest speaker each week, quality programs for the children—infants through fifth graders, ample parking, and a welcoming atmosphere. Refreshments are served after the services.
    "There are so many wonderful people here," stated Rutherford, senior pastor, in a news release. "We are so excited to be here and are interested in blessing and serving this community in any way we can."
    Westside Shepherd of the Hills Church, located at 11301 Wilshire Blvd., is an independent, non-denominational church meeting at The Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles on the grounds of the Veteran's Administration Campus at the corner of San Vicente and Wilshire Boulevards.
    Centered on a 27-acre parcel of land, and operated by RICHMARK Entertainment, the 1939-era theater is a historic landmark that was built in the Spanish Colonial/Mission Revival architectural style with a stucco finish and red clay tile roofing. A renovation of the building completed in 2002, includes restoration of its original Art Deco interior, a new fly loft, additional power, equipment and more. The Wadsworth has played host to numerous Broadway shows, concerts, movie premieres, screenings, dance, symposia and more, according to Calenderlive.com.
    More information about the church and its services can be found by calling the church office at 310-551-0100, or by visiting http://www.mywestsidechurch.com/.
    Photo Courtesy of Westside Shepherd of the Hills

    Honoring Our Veterans

    Thank God for our troops! In honor of Veteran’s Day, I would like to recognize and thank the men and women who have served or currently serve in the United States military. We owe our freedom to these brave soldiers who have sacrificed so much to defend this great nation. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends,” and that’s what I believe our troops do every day—risk their lives for you and for me.

    Please take a moment to read the powerful poem above (click to enlarge), and let us and commit to keeping the men and women in the service, as well as our veterans, in our prayers daily. May God’s mighty hand protect and bless them and their families .

    Did I mention that the Cardinals won the World Series???

    Jeff Suppan This is Jeff Suppan who played high school baseball here in the Valley. He was KEY for the Redbirds winning the World Series. I'm told his brother Mark goes to our church. (Mark, I would like to meet you sometime.) Jeff is a free agent but I hope he decides to stay with Cardinal Nation. I'm also told that Jeff has a restaurant here in L.A. called "Soup's Kitchen."
    I've never been there, but if it's as good as Jeff can throw... then it's as good as it gets !!!

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Happy Birthday KAYLA RAE


    I am in a state of SHOCK... My firstborn child turned 20 years old yesterday... Am I getting old or what??? The good side of all this is that Renee and I are blessed with three awesome children.
    Kayla happens to be the oldest. She attends Hope International University, which is across the street from Cal State Fullerton. Her love is for the Lord and I know that one day she will be in the ministry serving the Lord... perhaps even here at the Shepherd :)

    I've told Kayla from day one, "Be Humble not Hyper." The reason I tell her this is because she is the most energetic person I know (besides the person I look at in the mirror each day). She loves life and she loves the Lord. Her spirit is contagious and she leads her school, her team, her friends and her peers to a closer walk with Jesus. If you ever get the chance to spend some time with her, you would know what I was talking about.

    Ohhhhhhhh yes, you didn't think I would forget to tell you, did you? She also is the starting point guard for the basketball team. Now, this blog is complete...hehahahehahahahe !

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    GUESS WHO LIVED IN THIS HOUSE?????



    One of our pastors grew up in this house...Any guesses? I'll send a copy of my new book Keeping a Smile on Your Faith to first person who can guess correctly. Answer provided on FRIDAY....

    I NEED YOUR HELP !

    I'm just asking. I've asked before. I will ask again. :) We need folks on Sunday mornings to make the switch to Saturday evening 5 or 6:30.... And we need folks on the main campus to come over and help us at the Westside campus. Until we get a new building built we need to provide more room on Sunday morning as well as free up some parking spaces.

    Why do we need you to do that?

    Because most visitors show up on Sunday morning, and we want to help them get in and find a place to sit. I know that most of you are VERY comfortable attending the service you attend, but I would like to ask you to make the switch to help those who are unchurched and unsaved. I want to express to EVERYONE my APPRECIATION for watching the sermon on video each week. Did you know that we have 16 venues each weekend? Eight of the 16 venues are on video and close to 2000 people are attending a video venue. Most of you still realize that the main thing is that we come to church to worship God and it really doesn't matter if the message is on video or live because the word of God does NOT come back void. Shepherd is KNOWN for it's flexibility and willingness to sacrifice in order for the lost to be saved. Thank you and please know it's an honor to be your Pastor.

    Ted Haggard

    It's really early in the morning and I woke up and I've been trying to find the right words to express the emotions of my heart. As you can probably tell, I never wanted to put things in my blog that make people's hearts sad. In fact, I wanted to use this blog to bring joy and laughter into people's hearts I figure there is a lot of pain in the world and because of that I wanted this to be a place of encouragement. Having absolutely NO IDEA who would be reading through this blog, and being that the particular subject of this title had so many sordid details, I just wasn't sure I wanted to discuss any of it in my blog spot. However, I wanted to share several things that have been running through my mind.

    First, I have never met Ted Haggard and I've never heard him preach and I've never been to his church. So everything I know about him I learned through the media. My initial thoughts are that I do NOT know what's true and what's not true concerning his life. I did log on to his church website and I read his letter of resignation: http://www.newlifechurch.org/TedHaggardStatement.pdf

    Having read his letter I know several things--first and foremost that God's heart breaks when ANY of us commit ANY sin. You see, my heart is crushed over this situation. It is sooooooooo sad to hear of a Leader falling like this, yet it is why God sent his only son JESUS to die on the cross. It was for OUR sin that he died. Surely the heart of God is as devastated as ours when we hear of stories like the story of Ted Haggard or any other church leader (or church member) who falls. Secondly, I have absolutely NO IDEA how Ted Haggard got involved in these kinds of sins. I don't know how he was raised. I don't know who his parents were. I don't know who influenced him as a child. I know NONE of these things. What I do know is that Satan has about a million ways to deceive us and to lure us. Somehow and in some way all of us have given into his lies. The Bible makes it very clear in Romans 3:10-23 that ALL OF US have sinned. All of us have battled with right and wrong and we know of this war within our own members. As I read through his resignation letter, Ted mentions that he has been at war with these particular issues for most of his adult life. I believe him when he states that. I believe that he knew it was wrong and wrestled with these sins for most of his life. James 1 and Romans 3 talks about how sin takes a hold in our lives and how it leads to death.

    The more I think through this story it's difficult for me to even understand how he could get involved in such terrible things, especially because he is a fellow pastor and church leader. How do any of us get involved in the sins of the flesh? (Galatians 5:16-26) It happens when we allow the things of the world to creep into our lives and all it takes is taking our eyes off of Jesus. And when we do that, we are in the cross hairs of the devil himself. He is waiting for all of us to fail and Jesus is LONGING for us to follow in His footsteps, so to speak, and resist the enemy and his temptings.

    We all must guard our steps and our hearts lest we too be swept away and lose our witness and our testimony to the world.

    I may come back and write some more later, but as I close this lengthy entry, I want to encourage you to pray for Ted Haggard and his family. That might be difficult for some of you, but they need us to lift them up before the Father. The damage done in unimaginable. The hurt and pain in unbearable. We all feel a sense of betrayal. We wish that this had never happened. But we still need to pray for them. We are devastated by this story but think about how devastated the family must feel. Only God can sustain them through this difficult time. You see, I'm not giving up yet. God has rebuilt and restored MILLIONS who have fallen. It is His specialty. Ted Haggard has preached against sin and he has preached about the Love of God and the forgiveness of God most of his life. Although he was swept away by his own choices and his own weaknesses the Love of God is greater than ANY sin and greater than ANY failure. Ted will probably never lead a church again, but I believe that God can restore his life and give him victory over his failures. (Romans 5:8 and 1 John 1:9) You know what it says...and that's how God restored YOU and that's how God restored ME.

    Lastly, (do we need any other reminders?) as Christians, we are to put our faith and trust in GOD. Never in man. Never in the minister. Only ONE is PERFECT. Only ONE is absolutely PURE. Only ONE can redeem mankind.

    Look! THERE is the LAMB of GOD that taketh away the SINS of the WORLD. (John 1:29)