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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Caught on Tape - My Heart Regarding Easter Sunday

I want to invite you to watch the following video and encourage you to continue PRAYING for this event and inviting neighbors, coworkers, friends, and loved ones to what's sure to be an incredible, amazing, life-changing day for MANY:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pastors Life Group

The picture above is of one of my two life groups. These men are the Pastors of the church although several of them were absent when this picture was taken. I want to tell you and the entire church that I could NOT do my job without these Godly men. Together they set the foundation for a wonderful church staff.

These men are extremely supportive and loyal and I am blessed to serve and lead such a tight knit group of men. I want to express to each of them my love and appreciation and I will never adequately be able to fully explain how much they mean to me.

Being a Pastor of a large church it is critical that I have a team of committed Christlike men gathered around me. And God has certainly brought such a group to help serve Shepherd of the Hills Church. Please take a moment to thank the Lord for these godly men.

I recently received the following email concerning these men:

Hi Pastor Dudley!
I've been involved here at SOTH for about five years... and I just want to tell you how much I love the Shepherd Pastors (yourself included). Let me tell you why:
1. They love, love, love.
2. I've never heard a cross word from their lips.
3. They laugh at themselves.
4. They work together in unity even when there are glitches in the plans.
5. They show respect to everybody without exception or favorites.
6. They are full of humble grace and truth.
7. They stop to talk to us, even if they are in a hurry and going somewhere.
8. They make us grow.
9. They encourage without pushing.
10. They keep the Big Picture as the Big Picture.
11. They love, love, love.
12. They let us fail sometimes and don't beat us up, but give us a hand back up.
13. They see the beauty in us when on a bad day or when no one else does.
14. They let us ask questions.
15. They listen before they give answers.
16. They bring life and joy to our lives.
17. They don't act like they are working hard or stressed out, even when they are.
18. They don't ask for attention or kudos.
19. They honor the Lord first.
20. They stand together and honor each other.
21. They smile a lot :-).
22. They are intense & caring in their love for the lost.
23. They encourage us step-by-step without rigid performance expectations.
24. They teach from the Word, not from their opinions.
25. They are openly human and solicit feedback/improvement.
26. They may sometimes be forgetful like all of us, but they don't forget the important things like love, love, love!
27. They don't give up when it's tough.
28. They absolutely shine with hope and faith & redemption.


I could go on and on, Pastor. The relationships I have with the pastors at SOTH are changing my life. I've been a Christian since 1975 and have never been so blessed with such wonderful models to follow.

Thank you, Pastor Dudley, and please pass the word to the other SOTH staff that you guys really are Jesus incarnate and encouraging us to be the same!

Love,
Lisa

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Westside Shepherd - KKLA Church of the Week!

This past weekend, our Westside Shepherd of the Hills church campus was named "Church of the Week" by KKLA Radio! We were presented with a beautiful plaque during our Sunday worship service and I had the opportunity to share a little about our church yesterday at 6 p.m. on the Frank Pastore radio program. What an honor to get to share about Jesus and what our church is all about, on the airwaves of Los Angeles!

Please continue to pray for our Westside campus and our 12 other services, that as we seek to lift up the name of Jesus in this Valley, we would help bring people into a saving relationship with Christ!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ephesians 4:11-16


This weekend I will be preaching from Ephesians 4:11-16. We are moving from the TREASURE section to the TALENT section of the year. I want to encourage you to read through Ephesians 4 and plan on joining us this weekend.

There is soooooooooooooooooooooo much going on with the Passion Play upon us, and all of the work that is needed for Easter at Pauley, that I just want to ask you again to be in prayer concerning the next several weeks. I am very excited about what God is doing in our midst. I have seen people truly give the reins of their lives over to Jesus Christ. Visible transformation is a sign that God is at work.

Will you please pause .................. this very moment ............... and ask God to work mightily these next couple of weeks as we prepare to tell the world about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Looking forward to seeing each of you this coming weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Dog and the Dud


We are the only Church in America that has hired a full time staff person to come and get you... if you skip church... We have too many people who are making too many excuses when it comes to church attendance.

We've hired Dog the Bounty Hunter who is a professional bounty hunter to lead this ministry. So the next time Sunday rolls around and for some weak reason you choose to skip church... expect a knock on your door.

I know some of you actually doubt that this story is true, but I guarantee you that no matter how important that I personally feel about people skipping church, I know that GOD is FAR MORE CONCERNED WITH OUR CHURCH ATTENDENCE THAN I WILL EVER BE.

Jesus actually gave his life for the Church. Let's make sure that we never give Dog the Bounty hunter a chance to come visit us....

*Parts of this story were written with a "grain of salt."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Easter at Pauley Pavilion


In just a few short weeks we will be hosting our Easter Services at Pauley Pavillion on the campus of U.C.L.A. It is actually the closest venue where we could gather our church family into ONE SERVICE to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe it will go down as one of our greatest services ever, and I want to encourage you to make plans to join us on April 8th, 2007.

Can you begin to pray and ask God to anoint this special day? Will you begin to pray that we would see many people come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ? Will you begin to pray about your involvement and your participation? Will you ask God to point to whom you should invite as your guest? Will you bathe this entire day in prayer?

There are very few things will we be able to share in that will remind us of Heaven, and I believe this is the day that God will give us a glimpse of what Heaven is going to be like.

Before I close this post, I want to thank Josh McDowell for preaching for us this past weekend. I know that he was not feeling well, yet he went the extra mile in hanging in there with us, and I'm sure there were many folks who were encouraged to be better parents.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My good friend Joshua Kendrick


I was able to squeeze in a lunch with my good friend Joshua Kendrick. We had been trying to get together for about 3 months and this week worked out for both of us.

Joshua is the Head Coach of the Varsity Boys basketball team at Hillcrest Christian School. For the last 7 years the Boys Varsity team has won their league and Josh is probably the main reason for this statistic. This year again Joshua probably did his best coaching job of his career winning the Heritage League title with a 13-12 record.

I have had the privelidge of helping Josh from time to time and he does an outstanding job bringing out the best in his players. I count him as one of my closest friends.

The thing about Joshua is that Coaching is his first love but currently his 2nd job, because you may or may not know Joshua is a police officer for the Burbank Police Departement. As we fellowshipped over lunch he told me about how difficult the job can be and how there have been several times were he has felt his life was in danger.

I just wanted to write and ask you to pray for all of our men and women who serve in the law enforcement agencies. We owe those who put their lives on the line each day a great deal of appreciation and respect. Thank you Joshua and thank all those who daily serve our city and our nation.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Moon Girls and Kerri



The Moon girls are baby sitting Kerri this week, or shall I say Kerri is baby sitting the Moon girls? Tom and Lisa Moon have 3 daughters and they are helping watch Kerri as Renee is back in Kansas City attending a funeral for a close friend of hers.

Yesterday, I took the girls to Maggie Moo's after school. Needless to say, it was FUN. Kerri is 11. Taylor is 10. Haylee is 8. Elsie is 4. One of thee MOST important factors in raising children is to make sure your children's peers are believers. It is always a joy to allow my children to be with other children who have personal relationships with Jesus Christ.

I want to thank Tom and Lisa for raising their children in the ways of the Lord.
And, by the way, these girls sure do like ice cream!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Josh McDowell is coming to Shepherd !!!

We are blessed to have Josh McDowell with us this weekend!

He will be leading us in a Parenting Seminar on Friday evening, March 16, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. If you are a parent, you do not want to miss this event.

Then Mr. McDowell will be preaching at ALL of our services this weekend, including our Westside Campus in Brentwood at 11:00 am on Sunday morning. I want to thank Danny Furukawa for lining up Josh McDowell to be with us this weekend.

Josh called me several days ago to expressed how excited he was to be here this weekend, and I just wanted to encourage you to be here and to invite your friends, because this is a wonderful opportunity to have folks to come visit our church and have their lives CHANGED for Jesus!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Pastor Dudley

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Preaching in Indy

I just got back from the National Preaching Summit in Indianapolis, where I was for the past couple of days to speak to a group of pastors and take part in a series of seminars. It was cloudy and overcast there, so I was happy to come home to all of this beautiful weather we're having.

Here is an interesting overview of the National Preaching Summit and what it's all about:

13th Annual National Preaching Summit March 12-13, 2007 * Indianapolis, IN. * Marriott East Hotel.

The National Preaching Summit is designed for those who have the privilege of proclaiming the Gospel. The Summit is not a "church growth conference," nor a "practical ministries" seminar. Our objective is to offer a first-class conference for church leaders dealing with the preaching event in a positive way, at an affordable cost. We seek to celebrate the joy of preaching, while enabling those who are called to preach to hone their skills. If you love preaching, enjoy fellowship with other ministers, and desire to become the most effective messenger possible, plan to join us in Indianapolis!

This Year's Faculty: NEW! Click on the speaker's name below to hear an audio sample!(Note: when you click the link, please select the option to open the file and it should play in your default media player.)
Dudley Rutherford * Jerry TaylorRandy Gariss * Tim Spivey * Jeff Vines

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dallas is back on the Court


After breaking his knee cap and missing most of the season, Dallas is finally getting a chance to get back on the floor during the Playoff run for his High School. Below is the article for the game tonight. They are now in the final four in the State of California playoffs... They will play next Saturday night and if they win they play the following Saturday for the Championship game in Arco Arena up in Sacremento...

Here is the article for tonights game.

Campbell Hall faces a battle but survives

It was a lot closer than the score indicated. Parker of San Diego gave Campbell Hall of North Hollywood all it could handle in Saturday's Southern California Div. IV boys' basketball regional semifinal, but the Vikings proved to be too tough down the stretch in a 78-64 victory at Crespi High in Encino.

"They weren't going to go away quietly," Vikings coach Terry Kelly said.

The Vikings (31-1) trailed 37-36 at halftime but opened the second half with a sense of urgency and took a 47-41 lead as Jrue Holiday connected on a pair of 3-pointers. Teammate Dallas Rutherford scored eight of his 17 points over the final 2:53 of the third quarter to extend the advantage to 59-49 heading into the final period.

"Dallas was huge for us," Kelly said. "He showed what he's capable of tonight."

Parker (28-4) cut the deficit to five points with 2:42 remaining after a pair of free throws by . But the Lancers scored just three points the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, Campbell Hall made several big shots. Joseph Finnerty hit a 3-pointer with 1:39 left to give the Vikings a 71-63 lead, Keegan Hornbuckle added a layup and Robert Ford sank two free throws to put the game out of reach.

"What a team effort," Kelly said. "Everyone contributed."

Bernardini played well in the first half, scoring 14 points in the first quarter, highlighted by four 3-pointers, and the 6-foot-7 senior, bound for the University of Pennsylvania, added another 12 in the second quarter.

Justin Holiday shut him down in the second half. Bernardini scored four points in the third quarter, and Holiday harassed him into an 0-for-5 effort from the field in the fourth quarter.
Bernardini managed just twofree throws in the final eight minutes and ended up with 33points.

"I gave him space in the first half but decided to get up on him when we came out of the half," said Holiday, who finished with 18 points, 11rebounds, four assists, foursteals and two blocks.
Jrue Holiday had 21 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 2:12 remaining. Finnerty added 10 points, fourrebounds and four assists and Ford had seven points and seven assists.
Tyler Bernardini sean.ceglinsky@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Kisa Renee Hughes




Kisa Renee Hughes was born on September 23, 1973, in Harbor City, California to her loving parents, Ronald and Barbara Hughes. She was the first born of five children, Kilee, Ronald Jr., Solomon and Gabriel. She accepted Christ into her heart at an early age and her devotion continued throughout her life.



Kisa spent the first part of her life in Orange County, California where she attended various Christian schools. As an adolescent she moved with her parents to Riverside, California where she first atttended University Heights Middle School and later John Wesley North High. During her freshman year Kisa was introduced to basketball and volleyball. She received top honors in both sports.


In 1991, in fact, she was selected to represent the USA in the Junior Olympics for basketball. She continued her basketball career in college. She received a full-scholarship at Cal State Fullerton where, in her freshman year, she was selected as Big-West "Player of the Year." In her sophomore year Kisa was once more drafted with a full-scholarship - this time she was to play basketball at University of California Los Angeles. Once transferred at UCLA, she continued her record setting career by leading the PAC-10 in field percentage with .577 mark. Among the many honors that Kisa received throughout her career, she is remembered for being nominated for All-Pac-10 Conference selection in 1995 and for being ranked second in Pac-10 rebounding and field goal percentages, also in 1995. Finally, in that same year, she received honorable mention All-American by Basketball Times. Perhaps Kisa's greatest achievement is that she was only one of four players at UCLA to have scored 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single game during her career. In 1996, Kisa completed her college career securing a place among those players who had been ranked on the all-time school rebounding list.
Upon graduation, Kisa was recruited to play professional basketball internationally. She did so in China, Germany and Austria.



Later she was employed by the City of Los Angeles where she served as a Youth Development Specialist for the Rewarding Youth Achievement Program. Kisa was instrumental in assisting youth in the urban community with reaching their educational and employment goals.
Kisa also participated in the American Heritage Tour Program, where she visited college campuses and historical sites throughout the country. Her main goal was to expand the minds of youths by showing them something outside of their own neighborhoods. Kisa assisted over 200 youths in getting accepted into colleges and universities all over the country. Two years into her city service, she earned the position of Interim Educational Director for the Youth Opportunity Program where she had oversight of many educational projects. She was an inspiration to students and staff and a true champion for education in the Watts community.


With her 6'4" height, magnetic personality and compassion for others, Kisa was the very image of a reserved "gentle giant." She was a long-time member of Athletes in Action, a worldwide Christian fellowship for athletes. In addition she was an active member of the The Shepherd of the Hills church in Porter Ranch, California. She will forever be remembered for her loving spirit, her strength, dedication and passion for what she believed.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sand & Stone



Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point in the journey, they had an argument, and one friend unjustly criticized the other.

The one who was criticized was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:

“Today, my best friend unjustly criticized me.”

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to go for a swim.

The one who had been unjustly criticized got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

“Today, my best friend saved my life.”

The friend who had criticized and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?

The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. However, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and carve your benefits in stone.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pastor Dudley's Blog in Spanish


I was looking around on Google one night and stumbled across a way to read my blog in Spanish. I thought that was really cool. If you click on the link below, you can read the blog in Spanish. You can also access the blog in Spanish by clicking on the link to the right, titled Pastor Dudley's Blog in Spanish. Soon, I will be adding links to read the blog in other languages as well. Stay tuned...

Pastor Dudley's Blog in Spanish

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tithing Thoughts from a Church Member



Dear Pastor Dudley:

Your sermon last week on tithing hit home. My own personal experience is a life testimony that goes beyond finances.

My parents were Christians and Dad was dedicated to tithing and giving additional offerings according to church needs. Our family didn’t have a lot but got along just fine.

Despite Christian teachings at home, I turned from God at 14. My brother and I criticized my Dad for “putting God ahead of the family and giving away so much money.” Dad was quite hurt but unbowed in his obedience to the Lord.

Twelve years later in 1988 I was saved. As a baby Christian, I heard a sermon on tithing and something inside me clicked. I was making $21,100 per year and had credit card debt from college and purchasing suits needed for my job in sales. I was driving a 73 Chevy Impala that was on its last legs. Nonetheless, I took a step of faith and began tithing.

God’s blessings began to flow on me. I got a new job that paid a little more. People around me got fired or laid off but I kept my head down, worked hard and kept my job. I also kept tithing despite my debt.

A year later, two things happened. First, the 73 Impala broke down one day in the middle of the 5 Freeway during rush hour on the way to work. Simultaneously the company gave me a raise that after taxes was EXACTLY the monthly payment on a new Ford Escort - a small car that was good on gas. I praised the Lord and bought the car.

I didn’t know it at the time but this was a blessing that probably spared me from major injuries or saved my life. Just months later, I had a terrible accident that totaled the new car. If I had the crash in the Impala, which was not designed for safety and did not have up-to-standard seatbelts, I would have certainly been thrown against or through the windshield. Instead, I walked away from the accident and insurance replaced the car.

At that time, the Lord put on my heart that tithing was not enough. I started joyously giving to World Vision, Focus on the Family and Insight for Living. I didn’t have a lot and was still in debt, but there was an ache in my heart to give.

I could go on and on about blessings in my work and life that I believe are the result of being obedient to the Lord in tithing. However, one really stands out.

In 1996, my Dad got terminal cancer at the age of 61. He was told he had only 3 months left and it would be an agonizing process. Just 3 days later, however, he died peacefully at home in his sleep. In Malachi, God promises to open the floodgates of heaven. I am fully convicted that the Lord honored Dad’s obedience and tithing in opening the floodgates of mercy so he would not have to endure a slow death.

At Dad’s funeral an elder disclosed something I never knew. When the pastor’s father died unexpectedly, the pastor was going to the funeral alone because he could not afford the plane tickets for his wife and 3 children. The elder said Dad very quietly bought the family plane tickets to avoid any embarrassment for the pastor. The elder said Dad did as the Bible instructs, “…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

I could have never imagined Dad’s heart for tithing and giving would have passed to me but it has. I am fully dedicated to being God’s resource in this area and am consistently amazed how much I have been able to give God in abundance and sacrificially!

In your sermon, you mentioned things that I have personally experienced including adversity and prosperity. I went from finally having no debt in 1997 to being divorced in 1999 and back in debt in 2001. It’s been a bumpy trip and some things were due to my own bad decisions but I have always turned to the Lord and never stopped tithing.

In return, He kept blessing me in many ways. Today I have no debt, a good career and best of all I have been married nearly 5 years to a wife who LOVES the Lord and we have a beautiful daughter when it once appeared we might not have children.

Pastor, I have written this to encourage you to keep preaching about tithing as part of Christian obedience. When you do this, you are not talking about money, you are simply following Jesus Christ’s final instruction in The Great Commission in Matthew 28:20 “… and teach them to OBEY everything I have commanded you…”

In Him,

Tom

Friday, March 02, 2007

Pain of Job


Job said these words in chapter 16, verse 6, "If I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away either." These are the words of a man who was truly hurting. Have you ever hurt so bad that you didn't know what to do and didn't know where to turn? Job had so much pain in him that he couldn't find a solution to relieve him of his heartache. Life had been difficult for him, with his family and possessions all ripped away from him.

There is no greater pain than the pain of being separated from someone you love. There is something about love that bonds hearts and relationships together in such a way that whenever loss occurs, it is devastating.

I think that's what Job was going through, and the pain was overwhelming for him. He tried to talk his way through this pain, thinking that if he talked about the issues, the pain would subside. Then he tried to not talk about the issues, thinking that if, perhaps, he ignored them, they would mysteriously disappear. Well, no such luck! When pain sets its terrible hooks inside of you, it's nearly impossible to detach oneself from the pangs of tribulation that result.

When this type of suffering occurs, we can only RUN TO the AUTHOR of LIFE, the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone can lift this burden. No other agent or entity has the means to ease one's pain. Jesus suffered in all ways that He might relate to us and minister to us. I have been there when the only way for comfort was to lean on His majesty and His sovereignty.

I always take comfort in knowing that Jesus watches over the little birds of the air (Matthew 6:26), and if He's watching and providing for them, then I can be assured that He is watching and providing for me as well. The only question that remains is whether or not God is able to truly care for me when I'm going through the valleys of this life.

One only needs to read Job chapters 38-41 with an open heart to reach the conclusion that God is the only One who is able to meet our deepest needs. Even Job reaches this conclusion in Job 42:5 when he acknowledges that "my ears HAD heard of you but NOW my eyes have seen you."

This leads to this obvious conclusion: when we are hurting, truly hurting... we need to look no further than Jesus. When we understand His greatness and His authority, our problems will begin to diminish. He alone will walk us through the storm. He has... "been there, done that" when He died on the cross. He will see us through when we think we can't go on.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Birthday Girl




Kerri turned 11 today. For 11 years, this child has been a total blessing to me and Renee. She invited some of her girlfriends to get manicures and then have some pizza together. I took a couple of pictures and came out of the salon, wondering how anyone can handle that strong smell of acrylic. Honestly, I was glad to get out of there alive. lol

My prayer for Kerri and all her friends is that they will always be friends with one another, but primarily be friends of God. And speaking of God.... I want to thank you, Lord, for blessing my life with one of the sweetest girls in all the world!


Happy birthday, Kerri.... and after this birthday... I want you to stop growing up so fast... You are the apple of my eye.
In love,
Dad