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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!