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Monday, October 27, 2008

Day of Prayer and Fasting 2008





Words canNOT explain how powerful the Day of Prayer and Fasting was this past Monday. Literally hundreds of people showed up to sing, pray, fast and call upon the name of the Lord. We started out with a power outage and ended with the POWER of GOD moving in our midst. I wish that EVERY member of our church had been present, and who knows, one day my wish may come true.

These pictures do NOT capture the emotional or spiritual impact that resulted from this day, but for those who participated, they will never be the same. I pray that we will continue to be people of prayer and that God would HEAL our land as we cry out to him.

The election is just a few days away... Please... stay on your knees in prayer!!!

"I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
1 Timothy 2:8

Friday, October 24, 2008

My dear friend Dr. Scott Bauer

Today marks the five year anniversary since my dear friend Dr. Scott Bauer went to be with the Lord Jesus. He was the Sr. Pastor of Church on the Way, husband to his sweet wife Rebecca, and father to three wonderful children...Brian, Kyle and Lindsey. Scott impacted my life in so many ways and it's still difficult for me to believe that he is no longer with us. I know that as a Christian Pastor I'm supposed to have all of this figured out. But here I am five years later and still missing this godly man. Yes, he makes heaven all more real to me but I don't ever want to forget this mighty warrior for Jesus and the influence he had on this valley. It is very important that we remember Scott by doing the things he taught us and by living out the Christlikeness he exemplified.

I know that if Scott were here today he would be leading the charge to protect marriage as a union between a man and a woman. He would be involved in intense prayer and intercession for our city.

Scott the Great... I love you my brother. The time will soon come to pass when we shall see you face to face. We'll look for Jesus and then we'll look at the person closest to Him, and I'm sure that will be you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa





We had a wonderful service this past Sunday as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stopped by to thank our church for caring for the 1100 evacuees from the Porter Ranch Fires. The Mayor was a very gracious man and he then proceeded to present to us a "certificate of recognition" and then I, in turn, gave our Mayor a Bible and prayed for him.

I then preached a message on Loving our Neighbor as Ourselves and talked about when living in L.A. that there are many people with many different convictions and that it was critical to stand on the word of God and yet be loving in the process.

I want to thank Paula Cracium for leading our staff and all the volunteers while serving our community this past week. It really was a tribute to the servant heart our church has to reach out into our community and simply meet people's needs. Please continue to pray for all the people who are still in need of assistance.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Revival in Woodland Hills

I am proud to announce that our Woodland Hills campus was named the KKLA Church of the Week! Only a few churches have recieved this honor this year, and I am thrilled that our Woodland Hills campus was one of those honored churches. David McBride from KKLA was there for both of their services and gave the campus a plaque. Way to go Woodland Hills!

ALSO--- this next week (Oct. 19-23), the Woodland Hills campus will be having their very own revival!!! Pastor Caleb has some excellent speakers lined up. On Sunday morning, my old preaching professor will be preaching, and the evening revival starts Sunday night at 7:00 pm! REMEMBER, Sunday night from 5:00-6:30 pm, we are having the Prop 8 rally at the Porter Ranch campus, BUT after the rally, there is plenty of time for you to attend the opening night of the revival in Woodland Hills at 7:00 pm. Our very own Risen Choir will be singing that night.

On Monday night, Todd Clark from Discovery will be preaching... On Tuesday night, my friend, Kenneth Greene, will be preaching... On Wednesday night, Bob Russell will be preaching--- one of the BEST pastors I know... and then on Thursday night, yours truly will be preaching.

I want to encourage you to attend at least one of these nights and show your support for this Revival.

You can get more info at this webpage: www.shepherdwoodlandhills.com/events/woodland-hills-revival

See you there!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Fires Continue to Rage

As you may know, we are blessed at Shepherd of the Hills to serve as an American Red Cross evacuation center for the residents and victims in the surrounding area of the San Fernando Valley. Thanks to the donation of numerous local businesses, several thousand meals were served at our church to more than 1,000 individuals who checked in to our facilities throughout the varying stages of evacuation. We want to thank all of the local businesses who donated food: Wal-Mart, Del Taco, Bakers Square, El Torito, Panda Express, Outback Steakhouse, Abe's Deli, Jerry's Deli, and Brent's Deli, Subway, Chipotle, Rubio’s and Pepsi, to name just a few. Donations and efforts continue even as this post is written, so we thank those in advance who continue to give.

In addition, hundreds of men, women, and children are volunteering their time to serve at the evacuation center. Literally within moments of this disaster, the church mobilized along with the American Red Cross in setting up the shelter. More than 500 volunteers from the Shepherd of the Hills Church are serving alongside the American Red Cross to provide whatever comforts of home they can to the evacuees. In addition to basic needs, such as food and shelter, other amenities were provided including video games and Disney movies for children, WiFi and computer access, accommodations for pets, and cell phone charging stations provided by Sprint.

My daughter, Kayla's, basketball team volunteered to help serve the hundreds staying at the church


Many city officials have stopped by to see how the relief efforts are progressing here at Shepherd. Mayor Antonio Villariagosa visited with volunteers and evacuees for about two hours today, and returned for a press conference at 5:15 PM. Many local news reporters have also covered evacuation efforts at the church. A common observation made by these reporters and visitors was the organization of the evacuation center at the church. One American Red Cross employee, who has worked with disaster relief efforts for five years, commented that he had never seen any organization as organized as Shepherd of the Hills Church with regards to emergency relief efforts. Certain individuals have asked me if the church had been prepared for such an event. My honest response is, no, we weren’t prepared, but it only took a few minutes for people to come out of the woodwork and get organized.

Mayor Villaraigosa and I


The Herculean relief effort at the church reminds me that, if you put your trust in God, and you have the collective effort of a church, coupled with the community and the American Red Cross, we can get through anything. When the faith community and local businesses work together, we can accomplish anything. Together, we have proved this potential in the last two days.

Let's continue to keep our brave firefighters in our prayers, as they battle the flames for two straight days, and pray that the winds would subside, allowing the firefighters to gain an upper hand in containing the fires.

Shepherd Church Steps Up

View from my backyard Auditorium turned into a shelter for those in need
Television reporters were kind to report on our Church
Wal-Mart and other local companies donated in a big way

Yesterday and today, the staff at Shepherd of the Hills Church stepped up in a MAJOR way as our church was set up as a Red Cross Evacuation Centers for the Porter Ranch fires. We have had hundreds of volunteers that have worked around the clock to help people who have been evacuated from their homes. The FIREFIGHTERS were AMAZING and have saved so many homes, and the community in Porter Ranch has risen to the occasion. I am so proud of our Church, our staff, our volunteers, and our city. Thank you to ALL who are serving Jesus by serving others.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am NOT MAKING THIS UP

First Graders Taken to San Francisco City Hall For Gay Wedding

SAN FRANCISCO, October 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- In the same week that the No on 8 campaign launched an ad that labeled as "lies" claims that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools to young children, a first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding. Eighteen first graders traveled to San Francisco City Hall Friday for the wedding of their teacher and her lesbian partner, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The school sponsored the trip for the students, ages 5 and 6, taking them away from their studies for the same-sex wedding. According to the Yes on 8 campaign, the public school field trip demonstrates that the California Supreme Court's decision to legal same-sex marriage has real consequences.

"Taking children out of school for a same-sex wedding is not customary education. This is promoting same-sex marriage and indoctrinating young kids," said Yes on 8—ProtectMarriage.com Campaign Co-Manager Frank Schubert. "I doubt the school has ever taken kids on a field trip to a traditional wedding," Schubert said.

When asked by the Yes on 8 campaign, The San Francisco Chronicle reporter said she did not know if the school had ever sponsored a field trip for students to a traditional wedding. Telling the Chronicle that the field trip was "a teachable moment," the school's principal believes it is perfectly appropriate for first graders to attend a same-sex wedding. Officials in other school districts disagree.

"Prop. 8 protects our children from being taught in public schools that 'same-sex marriage' is the same as traditional marriage," said Santa Ana Unified School District board member Rosemarie "Rosie" Avila. "We should not accept a court decision that results in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn't be forced on us against our will," Avila added.

The lesbian teacher's wedding was officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Newsom is featured in a Yes on 8 television ad, released last week, in which he arrogantly declares of same-sex marriage: "The door's wide open now. It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not."

The Yes on 8 campaign's ads explain that if the voters do not overturn the California Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling, teachers will be required to teach young children that there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.

"It's totally unreasonable that a first grade field trip would be to a same-sex wedding," said Chip White, Press Secretary for Yes on 8. "This is overt indoctrination of children who are too young to understand it."

The trip underscores the Yes on 8 campaign's message that unless Prop. 8 passes, children will be taught about same-sex marriage in public schools. "Not only can it happen, it has already happened," White said.

*****

Media contacts:
Northern and Central California (Sacramento Press Office):
Chip White, 916-215-4392
Los Angeles or Southern California:
Sonja Eddings Brown, 818-993-4508

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Letter on Prop 8

I want to share a letter with you that I received this week concerning Prop 8 and my full support of marriage as defined by God..... I have OMITTED THE AUTHOR'S NAME... but I wanted you to know it's hard for my brain to figure out how someone can listen to my heart during a sermon and then accuse me of "gay bashing." I wonder if we are so programmed by the world that we simply deny the truth of the Word of God.

The Letter I Received:

Dear Pastor,
This is Sunday morning when myself and my husband normally attend your 10 a.m. sermons and always walk out refreshed and with a purpose for that coming week. But over the last few sermons I am have been extremely bothered by the fact that you have so verbally taken a position on prop 8 and insist that we, your audience, do the same. Politics, along with individual personal beliefs should not be dealt with in a church setting. I would really like to start attending your sermons again, but do not want to sit through any gay bashing or any bashing for that matter. Though I may or may not feel the same way you do in regards to Proposition 8, I feel these are very personal decisions we should be made to make on our own.

Sincerely,
Someone who I will not name....


My Response:

Dear __________,

Your letter surprises me...
We are a Bible Believing church..
and every week we preach from God's word..
The Bible is VERY clear about the SIN of homosexuality...
Read Romans 1. Read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
And then read the passages dealing with MARRIAGE...being between a MAN and a WOMAN..

Voting yes on Prop 8 is not "Gay Bashing"... Why do you put that label on me???

Is it because I am standing on Genesis 2:24... wanting gays NOT to redefine marriage so they can teach their perversion to children in our public schools?

I have a few nore questions for you..

Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin??
Do you believe that it's ok to redefine marriage???
Do you believe that it's ok to teach homosexuality to first graders??
Have you ever, in your life time, written a letter to a homosexual man or woman who "Christian Bashes"???
Do you believe that God places a HIGH VALUE on children and condemns anyone who leads them down the wrong path?
Do you think that the Bible is OUT DATED??
Did you not hear me say that I LOVE ALL PEOPLE... including every gay and lesbian person...
But I have a greater love for marriage as God defines it.

I have preached against MANY SINS...
Greed, Adultery, Stealing, Slander, Gossip, Idolatry, etc....
Why is it OK to preach against other sins and NOT ok to preach against the sin of Homosexuality??

Why???

Are not all sins the same?
And isn't the reason why God gave us the Bible to free of us those sins?

Please know that I will continue to preach TO sinners LIKE MYSELF.... and continue to LIFT UP THE BIBLE as the STANDARD.... and continue to LOVE all people regardless if they obey it or not....

Please know that I will continue to push YES on PROP 8 and wish you would join me...
and please start writing letters to all the people who openly "Christian Bash" every single day.

And YES..... this weekend in church I will continue to inform OUR church so that they will join the battle to protect our children and protect the definition of marriage. Your letter PROVES to me that I need to preach even harder on this subject and clear up the confusion of people who don't understand the fight that we are in.

And TRUST ME, GOD is going to JUDGE our nation for not making a stand. Please join us in making a stand FOR marriage...