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Monday, July 30, 2007

Dallas and his Travel Basketball Team



For the past two summers, I've had the joy of coaching my son's travel basketball team. This week is the FINAL weekend of this journey. We are currently playing in the "Best of the Summer Tourney" at Loyola Marymount University. There are 160 teams in the tourney from all over the nation, and we are in the sweet 16 and play tonight at 8:15 pm at LMU. If we win, we will be in the elite 8.
The picture directly above is during the pre-game layup drill, and you can see the gym is lined with Division I coaches trying to determine which of the boys they want to offer a college scholarship to.
The picture at the top is a team picture, and I wanted to say that this is one of the finest teams I've ever been associated with. These men are gentlemen. They love the game of basketball, and we have continued to improve each and every week of this summer....
From Left to Right....
Wendell Wright. He plays the 2, 3 and 4. Very Athletic and is one of my favorite players...has improved the most from last year... can play at both ends of the court...
Lorne Jackson... Plays at Simi Valley and will be a Senior. Quick.. strong.. athletic... plays with heart, and I've seen him mature and become a much better player.... If you get a chance, go see him play this next year.
Then... Me..... Coach...... I'm not really a coach... but I enjoy pouring my life into these young men.... and setting a good example for them... and keeping them playing together as a unit...
Then Klay Thompson... His father, Michael Thompson, played for the Lakers, and Klay is one of our better players... he shot through the roof this summer with Notre Dame, Michigan, and Nevada all having a chance to land this high profile player... Klay has a gentle heart with a warrior spirit....
James Rehon hails from down in San Diego... James is one of our better shooters and he, too, has had a very good summer. When he gets hot, watch out because he can carry a team when that happens....
Corbin Moore is our TALLEST player... Corbin has been with me for two years... He's from Long Beach, is a great student, and I LOVE his parents... Corbin runs the floor well, has a nice shot, and can rebound with the best of them..... I'm going to miss this young man...
Then in the back is Stephon... Stephon is from Slovakia... smarter than any three people I know, and he is getting a lot of looks from colleges... wouldn't be surprised if he ends up at Yale or Princeton.. Stephon has the BEST attitude and just works hard...
Then... is my son Dallas... who has gotten better throughout the summer. One of the thrills of my life will just be spending time with Dallas and having our long talks about family, basketball, the Lord, the Church, and his future.... Dallas, YOUR FATHER LOVES YOU....
Then Paul George... a 6'7" wing man from Lancaster... I've tried to adopt him, but his mother won't give him up...... I offered her an even trade for Dallas, but she wasn't interested...
Paul has such a great future ahead of him, and I know that God has a plan for his life...
I just want to thank EVERYONE for understanding my schedule the last two years, and thank you for allowing me the time to spend with these guys the last two years... The parents were GREAT and the competition was strong... We endured... we were blessed... the Lord was watching over us.... and when this concludes... tonight or tomorrow... I will look back and consider this one of the greatest joys of my life....
I love this team, and I hope I was able to share the love of God with each of them through my life, words, and actions.....
In love..
Dudley

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Story of the Barong Tagalog

About a year ago, someone in the church made me a shirt that is worn over in the Philippines, called a “barong tagalog.” I decided to wear it for the first time to preach in our worship services a few weeks ago, and many of our Filipino families recognized the shirt as one customarily worn in their culture.

After preaching at all our services in Porter Ranch, I made the journey to our Westside Shepherd of the Hills campus to preach. At the end, I was outside shaking hands and greeting people, when a Filipino woman came up to me and asked if I would be willing to take a photo with her and her family. I said, “Sure. Why not?” I assumed it would be just a few people. Little did I know that we have such a large Filipino community on the Westside. On person after the other joined the group to take the photo and what resulted was the picture above of this beautiful family.

This is another example of the diversity of our church and God enabling us to reach people of all backgrounds in this city of Los Angeles. The greatest honor is that they included me and Pastor Danny Furukawa in their family photo. It is indeed a very humble thing to serve as the pastor of so many wonderful people!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy 75th Birthday DAD

Mom, Pops and Merri Kerri at CPK.....
3 generations of extremely beautiful women!
In just a few days... on August the 3rd, my father will turn 75 years of age. As someone who has idolized my father from day one, it's difficult to imagine that Pops can be 3/4 of a century young. Yes, I said young! For you see... in earthly terms, we see things from an earthly perspective. Yet from an ETERNAL viewpoint, 75 years is shorter than a blink of an eye. My dad is YOUNG in comparison to how long we will live in Heaven.

Recently, my mom and dad came down to L.A. from Fresno to perform a wedding and stopped by for a brief visit. We went to CPK... and I took a couple of pictures of Mom and Dad... Renee and Kerri... (Renee does NOT like to have her picture taken... so PLEASE don't tell her that I posted her picture on the blog)

I'm going to do something I probably shouldn't do... but I would like to invite you to send my dad a birthday card... I mean after all, how often do you get a chance to tell my dad "Happy 75th?"

Dad... Happy Birthday... I'm planning on coming to visit you on YOUR day... I have a special gift.... you're going to like it... Can't wait to see you... hug you... love you... and hand you your special gift... (remind me, and I might post what the gift is.... and yes it looks quite simple... but it's a unique gift...hahahahahaha)

Dad... We love YOU... and Happy 75th!!!

Address:

H. Dean Rutherford
Northside Christian Church
2709 E. Nees Ave.
Clovis, CA 93611

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More Baptism Pictures...

Opening Worship and Message
Me and the "Rocket"... Jerry and Amy Miner's girl
Another person being buried with Christ in baptism by Team Orange
6'9" Josh and 6'5" Dudley... making sure the big waves don't hit this little guy
Not so lucky with this girl.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

FCA Basketball Camp at Shepherd of the Hills Church

Kayla and the younger children
Debbie Haliday teaching the Word of God
Debbie Haliday with Fellowship of Christian Athletes runs a basketball camp each year at our church. They use different sports throughout the year to reach children and then teach them the things of God. My daughter, Kayla, is helping lead the camp for the smaller division, and Coach Debbie is seen in the picture above teaching the Bible to the campers in a morning session. Please keep all these young people in your prayers, and pray for all the huddle leaders and helpers as they teach the game of basketball, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, as they teach about the way of God.


You might notice ONE camper with a strange green top on... that just might be Kerri... :)


in love


Dudley

Monday, July 16, 2007

Baptism Video - Short

Baptism at the Beach 07

Joe the Pizza Man being baptized
Dudley and Joshua Merrill baptizing in the big Waves...
Worship by the Shepherd Team
Yesterday was a day of all days. We had close to 250 people baptized into the name of Jesus. The waves were big.... the crowds were big.... and the Lord showed up in a BIG way.


Words are difficult to come by as I think about the first day of the Church in Acts 2 where some 3,000 people were baptized at one time... I actually felt like it was the day of Pentecost yesterday as I saw so many tears and so many decisions for Jesus Christ. People were stepping out to proclaim their faith and to walk in obedience. We were there to testify that we believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


We had people from both the Porter Ranch Campus as well as the West L.A. campus be baptized. We even had someone who walked up and started asking questions and one of our staff members led this individual into making a decision for Jesus Christ and was baptized that very moment.


I shared the story of a woman who had been a Jehovah's Witness for 35 years and was there to be baptized, knowing that her family was going to disown her for becoming a Christian, and yet she was soooooooooooo blessed to see so many other people giving their lives to Jesus, too.


You see, God is at work in our lives and in our church. Check back to the blog soon, and we hope to post a video from this day. For now I will post a few pictures.....


Thank you JESUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

for loving us

for saving us

for forgiving us

for redeeming us

for freeing us

for blessing us......


we love you...!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shepherd Union City



For over five years, there has been a group of people watching our services on DVD each week. Several weeks ago, I traveled to Northern California, just outside of Oakland, to fellowship over lunch with these gracious and kind people. Can you imagine??? They have been watching and listening to our sermons for five years, and we finally got to meet. It was such a joy... sheer joy to get to meet them....

The couple to my left is Myrtle and Wong and their little girl Katrina. The gentleman in the plaid shirt is named David. The couple to my immediate right is Richard and Yvonne, and the couple to the far right is Manny and Wendel. Manny got saved in Saudi Arabia and started coming to Shepherd. He fell in love with our church and then moved to Union City. He just could not find a church that was like Shepherd, so he started this group, and now Richard helps spearhead this group.

I want to encourage you to look them up if you are ever in the bay area. You can locate them off our church website, http://www.theshepherd.org/, and hopefully you can stop by and encourage them.

I have to mention the unbelievable LUNCH that Wendel fixed. It was Filipino food, and it was sooooooooooooooooo good..... I'm thinking about becoming Filipino...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Final Stretch

Todd Clark after he just finished preaching at the NACC
Pastor Tim, myself, and Sir Dallas (my son)
Today is the last day of the North American Christian Convention in Kansas City. We have 20 staff people here, and we all missed the fireworks display back home. But today, Lord willing, we will all be returning to L.A. Last night, Todd Clark preached and did a marvelous job. As a church planter, he challenged the convention attendees to be even more aggressive in planting churches...


I also spent some time with Pastor Tim, who is going to be taking a few weeks off in the near future... He has been such a loyal, faithful friend. He is such a blessing to our church, and he often carries a lot of the pressure of our church on his shoulders. I have always stated that if Tim ever left, I'd have to hire three people to take his place. Tim, I will be praying for you as you get away for a while and recharge your batteries.


There are many more things to share, but I need to get BUSY...... the main session begins in a few minutes....


In love,


Dudley

Thursday, July 05, 2007

NACC

Allan Dunbar to my right
Larry Jones of Feed the Children
This morning is a KEY morning..... I am meeting with the Executive Director of the North American Christian Convention in a few minutes. Alan Dunbar, a Canadian, has been given the unbelievable task of organizing the convention year in and year out. Alan has such a quick wit and is just a fun guy to be around. That is him to my right, as I was speaking earlier in the week.

Then from 8:30 to 10:30 this morning, I am hosting a meeting where we are going to work together to mentor African American ministers in the Christian church. I am VERY excited about WHO is going to show up this morning and help us... Please be in prayer....

Tonight, Todd Clark from our church plant in Simi Valley will be preaching at the Main Session.
I know he would appreciate your prayers as well. Todd is such a gifted communicator, but I'm sure he has to be a little nervous.

Yesterday, I was able to host Larry Jones from Feed the Children, which provides half a million meals EVERY DAY around the world. Larry is a Godly man, and I hope to get him to come speak at our church one day soon. He is a true gentleman, and God is doing great things through his life.

Well, that's it for now... I'm running late.... but at least I'm running....

Love YOU....

Dudley

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

We Have a Dream... A Dream of Destiny

Do you recognize these two staff members from Shepherd???
I am currently in Kansas City at the North American Christian Convention, and tonight, I introduced a new ministry that is geared toward helping our churches be more active in training and equipping African American pastors. You would NOT know by looking at Shepherd because we are so diverse, but the Bible Belt has thousands of churches where very little is being done to reach those of different ethnic backgrounds.

Tonight, I met with Bible College Presidents, Mega Church Pastors and the '07 and '08 executive committee members and issued a challenge to begin meeting for the purpose of coming up with a game plan to help raise up leaders of tomorrow.
I am calling this ministry "We Have a Dream... a Dream of Destiny." That idea came about as I was reading the famous speech of Dr. Martin L. King. In this famous talk at the mall in Washington D.C., he talks about people who were there that day who were NOT African American, and he states that the reason others are here is because "they know that their destiny is linked to our destiny."

It was a great success, and I'm thankful that our church, Shepherd of the Hills Church, is taking the lead on this particular issue. I want to thank each of you for doing your part.

Also... Our own Michael North and about 20 of our staff made the journey here to Kansas City and are involved in one way or another. You can Google North American Christian Convention to learn more about this event...

Thanks for your prayers.... and hope to send another report soon.....

And by the way..... I love you.....

In love,

Dudley