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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two New Satellite Plants

Woodland Hills Campus


I'm am soooooooooooooooooo jazzed about our two latest satellite plants. We launched one in Old Town Pasadena and another one at the Woodland Hills Middle School Academy.

Pasadena had 131 people and Woodland Hills at 564 people in attendance this past weekend.

Both campuses have dynamic worship teams and are very well organized. We have so many reasons to be thankful to the Lord for all that He is doing in our midst. Please check our church website, http://www.theshepherd.org/, for more information, and if you know of anyone in these two areas looking for a good church, do NOT hesitate to lead them to one of the two campuses.

The Woodland Hills campus is located at 20800 Burbank Blvd. in Woodland Hills. The Pasadena campus meets at the Laemmle One Colorado Cinema located at 42 Miller Alley in Old Town Pasadena. You may park at the One Colorado Parking Garage on Union St. and Fair Oaks Ave. Parking is free for three hours with validation at this lot.

Please keep Pastor William and Pastor Caleb in your prayers, as they continue to lead these two new satellite campuses. It is going to be exciting to see what God has planned for all these churches in the future.

Isn't it a blessing to see God move in and through our lives????

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ability or Availability???


This came from this week's sermon.
People think that they don't have enough talent for God to use them.

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Jacob was a liar.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was single and poor.
Abraham was too old.
Titus was too young.
Peter had a big mouth.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out, depressed, and suicidal.
John the Baptist did not know how to dress.
Martha was a worrywart.
Mary was lazy.
Sampson had long hair.
Noah had a drinking problem.

You see, I believe, that in our weakness... God is able to do the impossible. Allow God to work through you in his strength. There are sooooooooooooo many lost people, and we need to reach them before Jesus Christ returns.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Great Story


A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over & whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't come over here." But sure enough, the man did come over to their table. "Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice. "Oklahoma," they answered. "Great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?" "I teach at a seminary," he replied. "Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair & sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned & thought to himself, "Great, just what I need, another preacher story!" The man started, "See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy, Who's your daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drugstore, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?' He would hide at recess & lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so bad. "When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late & slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?' But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught & had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, Son, who's your daddy? The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy?' "This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him & using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy. "Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God."

With that he patted the boy on his shoulder & said, "Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go & claim it." "With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time & walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, 'I'm a Child of God.'" The distinguished gentleman got up from the table & said, "Isn't that a great story? "The professor responded that it really was a great story! As the man turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!" And he walked away. The seminary professor & his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over & asked her, "Do you know who that man was -- the one who just left that was sitting at our table?" The waitress grinned & said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee!"

Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they're one of God's children!

"The grass withers & the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever." Isaiah

YOU'RE ONE OF GOD'S CHILDREN!!! HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Church Basketball

Norm (Josh's Dad), Todd, Dudley, Tan, Rick, Big Josh, Calvin
Just wanted to throw in a picture of the recent CHAMPIONS for the Shepherd of the Hills Basketball Summer League 2007. If you don't recognize me, I am the old guy in the middle.... hahahahaha

Big Joshua (the TALLEST guy) is the Sports Director here at our church. He is doing an incredible job here at church by using the venue of sports to reach people for Christ. In a way, this team has become my small group.

The gentleman on the far right recently lost his 38-year-old sister to a tragic homicide just a few days ago... We gathered around Calvin and prayed for him and his family, as they struggle through these difficult days. It was, for me, the REASON why we have a sports ministry - because not everyone in the picture above is saved. But that night, after the game, everyone was standing in a circle around Calvin, as we lifted him before the Lord. There wasn't a dry eye in the group. As I left the church that night, I prayed that those who did not yet know God would feel the burden and sorrow Calvin felt. Even more so, I prayed they would truly know, through the prayers offered up by the team, that ONLY the LORD GOD can bring comfort and strength, and that TODAY is the day of Salvation!!! Maranatha!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In GOD We Still Trust


1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1848, 1849, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007!! In GOD We Still Trust (yes, I typed all these numbers myself)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Most Powerful Video Clip I've Ever Seen



As you can well imagine, I get a lot of things sent to me from the internet. Tonight, a staff member sent me the video clip above, and I want you to know that this video, without question, is the most powerful video clip I've ever seen. When you watch it, you need to know that it is real. The battle is real. The forces of evil are real.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Ephesians 6:12-17

This is such a fitting video message. I'm thankful that we are able to visually see and understand this struggle in such a dramatic way. This video illustrates why it is imperative that we put on the full armor of God. If you notice, the very first piece of the armor is the belt of truth buckled around your waist, and also, towards the end of the excerpt above is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This coincides with our current series of messages on being good stewards of the Word of God, which is the Truth. Do not take this video lightly. Do not take this struggle lightly. Do not take the Word of God lightly.

I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you this weekend in church, as we continue our series on the Truth.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Michael North


Back to back weddings... :)

Last night was a very special night for Michael North, as he wed Emily Petterson. There were many church members in attendance, and afterwards, a reception was held at Larry and Jody Kern's house. It was a beautiful wedding, and the highlight of the evening was when Emily surprised Mike by singing a song to him right before the exchanging of the rings. Everyone was crying, for it was a very moving song.

The wedding song of all wedding songs was when the ceremony concluded, and they played "Can you say Amen to That," as the wedding party exited. There was shouting and clapping like I've never heard at a wedding.

I wonder what it was like when Jesus attended weddings... Well... He was at THIS wedding, and all who were there were blessed by the events of the evening.

If you get a chance, make sure you congratulate Michael and Emily, but I kinda think he'll be on his honeymoon this weekend...

But I will look forward to seeing each of you in church this weekend...
I can't wait to preach...
C. U. this weekend :)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. David Chan



Wow... I am getting old... I remember baptizing David down at Hillcrest Christian Church when he was knee high to a grasshopper, and then last week, I was able to officiate his wedding at the Monarch Beach St. Regis Resort in Dana Point. His wife, Diane, was one of the very first to be saved from the West. L.A. campus in Brentwood, California.

I have known David's parents for a long, long time, and just recently, I was able to meet Diane's mother. David and Diane are two of the nicest people you'll ever meet, and I'm so thankful that they are both plugged in to our West L.A. Church Campus.

Please keep them in your prayers, and I wish you all could have been at the wedding. It was beautiful!!!

Tonight at the Church, we will be marrying Michael North to his fiance, Emily. It, too, promises to be a beautiful evening in the Lord.

Looking forward to seeing each of you in church this weekend....
Bring a bible and a friend.... :)

in love,

Dudley

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fearless and Female

Cindy Cushing and Julie Ladd dressed up on "Grandparents Day"
This will be quite the story for those of you patient enough to read it. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and as usual, a group of us all went to the same elementary school, junior high school and then on to the same high school (Wichita Southeast High School).

The picture above is of two of my friends taken back in elementary school. The girl on the left is Cindy Cushing and the girl on the right is Julie Ladd. They were both very good friends of mine throughout my adolescent years. When college came around, we all went our different ways and it became very difficult to keep tabs on everyone.

Julie, the girl on the right, who happened to be one of the nicest and brightest girls in the entire school, was brutally murdered her freshman year at Wichita State University in her dorm room. She was 19 years old. They believe that she was in her dorm room preparing a Sunday School lesson for church, where she taught on weekends. She had gone to get something to eat out of the vending machines on the bottom floor of the dorm, when her attacker took her life and murdered her in cold blood.

Cindy, the girl on the left, now spends her time traveling the country training and teaching women how to protect themselves. She has a website called http://www.fearlessandfemale.com/ and a blog called http://www.fearlessandfemale.blogspot.com/ that is filled with information and pictures.

Words cannot express how saddened we all continue to be at the loss of Julie's life all these years later, and words cannot express how thankful we are for the work and dedication of Cindy all these years to help prepare and equip women to protect themselves.

I want to encourage you to go to Cindy's website and read the dedication page written on behalf of her dear friend, Julie.

I, personally, am blessed by Cindy's desire to turn a tragedy into a triumph. She took a horrible event in the life of her dear friend, and she has used it as a catalyst to make a difference in our world.

We continue to pray for women who have suffered as a result of the violence in our world.

Thank you, Cindy, for helping all of us...

Dudley