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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kerri and her Dad


It's been a while since I've posted. I have been soooooooooooo busy, and things are getting even more hectic... Just wanted to mention that I've enjoyed preaching through the ten commandments and have heard so many good comments about the series so far. There is a biblical truth that the word of God never returns void, and that is certainly the case during this series.


This next week, my family will be attending the North American Christian Convention in Kansas City, where I am involved in many different things. I'm hoping to write several posts this week from Kansas City. In the past two years, I have served in the capacity of planning this year's convention. The focus of the '07 convention is church planting, and we are hoping that thousands catch the vision of planting and birthing new churches.


Please pray for my family as we travel, that God would be with us and that the Convention would be blessed.


Check back for more updates.


Looking forward to preaching this weekend and the next service here at Shepherd. I hope to see you here...


In love


Dudley

Saturday, June 23, 2007

YO! Watts




Many of you remember Kisa Hughes, who I wrote about in an earlier post (see March 8th). She was 33 years of age, 6'5'' tall, played basketball for UCLA, and was a member of our church. She passed away on March 1st.

Kisa had worked for an organization called "YO! Watts," which stands for Youth Opportunity in the Watts community. It is located in the heart of Watts, and it's an organization that helps high school students graduate from high school, and then helps them get into college.

So this past Friday I attended and prayed for a classroom that was dedicated to her honor. There were three deserving students that each received a $1000.00 scholarship. I believe that in some way, our church needs to partner with YO! Watts.

The photograph above was taken during Kisa's last days on earth at a blessings ranch in Palm Springs. Someone took the picture as Kisa was driving down the lane, and Kisa said that she saw an angel.

If you turn the picture sideways, you can make out an an in the clouds an Angel.

I'm not sure what to think of that, but I do know that Kisa was an angel to many here on this Earth and she spent her few years trying to lead others to Jesus. I pray for her family, but I also pray for YOU, that we will join together in making a difference for the Lord each and every day. And the next time you're looking for something to do that's worthwhile... why not try YO! Watts?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Japan and the Tall Man


Recently, I took my wife, Renee, to Monterrey for a couple of days, and for some reason :) I took my golf clubs, so WHILE she was shopping, I could hit the links. I ended up at Spyglass and was paired with three men from Japan.


These men did NOT speak English at all, and it was very interesting to spend 5 hours with three men who were probably spiritually lost, and yet I could NOT communicate with them in their language.


They had a guide that was able to teach me their names before we tee'd off on the first hole, and I was able to learn a few details about my three golfing partners.


The gentleman to my right was named "Oya" and all day I shouted his name whenever he hit a good shot.... "Ohhhh Yeahhhhh Oyaaaaaaa" He laughed every time I said that, and I could tell he wasn't used to this type of excitement from a golfing partner.


Then to my immediate left was a man named..... are you ready for this.... his name was Sunami... yes..... Sunami..... and the entire round, I would call his name out.... Both Oya and Sunami were 71 years of age.... yet hit the ball a long long long way..... (not as far as me, of course, but a long long way nonetheless) (I just thought I'd throw that last bit of info in there... hahaha).


Then the gentleman to my far left was named Shirai. He pronounced his name She-rahh-eee.

He was 65 and I rode in the cart with him.


I spent five hours wishing I could speak Japanese so that I might share the gospel with them. I was able to share a little through the interpreter, and I told them about my blog. I told them that I would be posting their picture and telling the world about our day at Spyglass.


When the day was over... it just reminded me of our need to reach Japan with the Gospel. We have Mike Ackerman serving at our church right now, and he and four other couples are committed to going to Japan for the next seven years to start a church.


I have mentioned to you my desire to do the same. Japan is populated by 130 million people, and 99% of them are NOT believers in Jesus Christ. How long can we sit on the sidelines and just act like that doesn't really matter to us? It should matter a LOT to us...


Please begin to ask God what you can do to make a difference in the world...


I hope and pray that my example, in spite of the language barrier, would begin to lay the foundation so that my three friends from Japan would one day find Jesus.


Perhaps my encouragement, clapping, and shaking their hands with a genuine deep love and respect would one day allow them to listen to a gospel presentation.... One never knows what God can do....


In love,


Dudley

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Graduates and Justin Holiday


Justin Holiday and I went out for dinner together this past week. Justin just graduated from Campbell Hall High School and is headed to University of Washington on a full ride basketball scholarship. I was privileged last summer to coach his summer travel basketball team, and during that time, I was able to get to know him quite well. I wanted to let him know that I'd be praying for him as he goes off to college.

We have sooooooooooooooooooo many High School students headed off to college that I want to encourage everyone who reads my blog to say a prayer for all of our High School seniors. I know that it is such a big step going to college, and it's my prayer that all of our students will continue growing in their faith, even though they are in college.

Justin is just an example of the high quality of young people that we have going out from this church to make a difference for the Lord. I am so thankful for all of our student ministry team leaders and sponsors. Our youth program is becoming one of the better youth ministries around. We even have a special Sunday morning worship service for Jr High and High School students starting next weekend, I believe.
Also, I want to say that we have many college students graduating as well. I am so thankful for the way the Lord has blessed us with so many people that are going through all the graduating ceremonies. I didn't know we had so many SMART people in our church.... but I'm so impressed with the number of people who've put in so much time getting their college degrees, too.

I just want ALL of our graduates to KNOW that we are PRAYING for YOU.

Let your light shine.... and come back to see us every chance you get....

In love

Dudley

Monday, June 18, 2007

20 YEARS and COUNTING

Wow... This past Sunday marked the 20th year of my ministry here at the Church. I moved out here from Des Moines, Iowa on Father's Day, 1987. Can you believe that??? That was a long long long time ago, but I am just as excited about the next 20 years as I was about the past 20 years.

I know that I really don't know HOW many years the Lord will tarry....but every year he gives me, I want to use it to the fullest.... I want to thank EACH of you who have been here along the journey..... It's kinda amazing to be listening to the same preacher for 20 years.... I really think you deserve some type of an award or a reward for listening to the same guy, week in and week out.

Please accept my gratitude in stating what an incredible privilege it has been working side by side in ministry with each of you...

In love..
Dudley

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Trumpet? A Choir? A Choir of Trumpets


Max Lucado wrote these thoughts....

You are in your car driving home. Thoughts wander to the game you want to see or meal you want to eat, when suddenly a sound unlike any you've ever heard fills the air. The sound is high above you. A trumpet? A choir? A choir of trumpets?

You don't know, but you want to know. So you pull over, get out of your car, and look up. As You do, you see you aren't the only curious one. The roadside has become a parking lot. Car doors are open, and people are staring at the sky. Shoppers are racing out of the grocery store.The Little League baseball game across the street has come to a halt. Players and parents are searching the clouds.

And, what they see, and what you see, has never before been seen.As if the sky were a curtain, the drapes of the atmosphere part. A brilliant light spills onto the earth. There are no shadows. None.

From whence came the light begins to tumble a river of color spiking crystals of every hue ever seen and a million more never seen. Riding on the flow is an endless fleet of angels. They pass through the curtains one myriad at a time, until they occupy every square inch of the sky.

North. South. East. West.

Thousands of silvery wings rise and fall in unison, and over the sound of the trumpets, you can hear the cherubim and seraphim chanting, Holy, holy, holy. The final flank of angels is followed by twenty-four silver-bearded elders and a multitude of souls who join the angels in worship.

Presently the movement stops and the trumpets are silent, leaving only the triumphant triplet: Holy, Holy, Holy. Between each word is a pause. With each word, a profound reverence. You hear your voice joinin the chorus. You don't know why you say the words, but you know you must.

Suddenly, the heavens are quiet. All is quiet.The angels turn, you turn, the entire world turns and there He is.*JESUS*

Through waves of light you see the silhouetted figure of Christ the King.He is atop a great stallion, and the stallion is atop a billowing cloud.He opens his mouth, and you are surrounded by His declaration:I am the Alpha and the Omega.

The angels bow their heads.

The elders remove their crowns.

And before you is a figure so consuming that you know, instantly you know:

Nothing else matters.Forget stock markets and school reports, sales meetings and football games. Nothing is newsworthy... for all that mattered, matters no more ... For Christ has come .

I hope you will indeed remember MARANATHA!!!!

The Lord is returning soon......


Dudley

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Letter of the Month: Revival in a Circle



Greetings, Pastor Dudley!

You and your family have been on my heart this week and I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you…and will continue to do so. Don’t we always need prayer? Raising kids in this world, a world that offers everything ungodly, is quite the challenge. But God is always faithful! We can never stop praying, loving, teaching, expecting, hoping, and KNOWING that they are in the care of the God of the Universe, the Creator who loves them more than we do! He will never let them go; He will never let us go!

On a little different note….

One of my favorite Pastor’s to listen to, (along with our Pastor at SOTH), is Pastor Jon Courson. I read your blog this morning and the story shared by your friend, Dean Bradshaw. It just stirred my heart, as did the story I heard today from Jon’s teaching. I wanted to share it with you because it came out of a study of II Kings 22-23 and the revival that came through King Josiah’s actions.

From: Jon Courson - #S291 – The Road to Revival – II Kings 22-23

“In the late 1800’s there was a great evangelist named Gipsy Smith. He had traveled the world twice, preaching in every Continent, in many countries. Wherever he preached, revival broke out. One day a delegation of people from a certain community came to Gipsy and said, “We so desperately want to see revival in our area. It’s so dry and dead. What can we do to see revival?” Gipsy said, “I’ll tell you exactly how it will come about. You go home. Lock yourself in your bedroom. Take a piece of chalk. Put a circle on the floor of your bedroom. Kneel in that circle and pray fervently and brokenly that God will start revival in that circle.”

That’s where it starts. Not so much praying for others; it is getting on your face and praying, “Let it start with me!” How quick we are to say, “If he would just change, or if she would just change.” Draw a circle and pray – “Lord, change me!”


May we turn to the Lord, as young King Josiah did, “with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength, according to the Word of God.”

May you sense the Presence of the Lord today in a mighty way! May His peace and strength reign in your home.

God bless!

Jody Kern

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bridge

Would you be afraid to drive across this bridge?

The Millau viaduct is part of the new E11 expressway connecting Paris and Barcelona and features the highest bridge piers ever constructed.

The tallest is 240 meters (787 feet) high and the overall height will be an impressive 336 meters (1102 feet). This will be the highest bridge in the world.

I would have a hard time with this bridge, and I don't know if I could actually get up the nerve to drive across it. Could YOU? Would YOU?

I think of people who are afraid to share their faith. For many, this is an easy task, but for others, it is an EXTREMELY fearful situation to walk up to someone and begin a conversation concerning salvation.

This is exactly why God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us overcome such fears. There are MANY things to take into account when sharing one's faith, but the main issue is an issue of eternity. If we DON'T share our faith, eternity hangs in the balance for those who have yet to receive Christ. I like to think that God crosses my path with another individual and that it's a sense of destiny.

When I begin to share my faith, God will do the rest. He will soften the person's heart that I'm talking to. He will give me wisdom. He will guide my thoughts. He will give me boldness. He will use me to simply plant seeds in that person's life

It's strange, but driving across that bridge in the picture above requires FAITH... and sharing Jesus with those who are lost ALSO requires FAITH... It might not be easy... It might cause you to be nervous... but put your faith completely in the Lord, and He will be the one that will enable you to share your faith

Who do you know that the Lord is prompting you to go and talk to? Why not take that BIG step of faith and share Jesus today!!!