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Friday, December 18, 2009

Next year.. OU will make another run

My DAD sent this to me... and you KNOW he loves the SOONERS...
I of course root for the BRUINS and the SOONERS...
Trying to make sure OU stays ahead of USC

Just the facts....................
Victories, 1946-2009
1. Oklahoma 549
2. Penn State 518
3. Texas 517
4. Alabama 516
5. Ohio State 509
6. Nebraska 509
7. Michigan 497
8. Southern Cal 496
9. Tennessee 492
10. Notre Dame 481

Winning Percentage, 1946-2009
1. Oklahoma .7620 (549-167-13)
2. Ohio State .7467 (509-166-20)
3. Penn State .7359 (518-183-9)
4. Michigan .7207 (497-188-15)
5. Texas .7206 (517-197-11)
6. Alabama .7079 (516-207-20)
7. Nebraska .7031 (509-212-10)
8. Southern Cal .7019 (496-204-23)
9. Notre Dame .6941 (481-208-14)
10. Tennessee .6887 (492-216-23)

Weeks Ranked No. 1 in AP Poll
1. Oklahoma 97
2. Notre Dame 95
3. Ohio State 93
4. USC 905. Nebraska 70
6. Miami (Fla.) 68
7. Florida State 59
8. Texas 45
9. Alabama 35
10. Michigan 34

Weeks Ranked Top 5 in AP Poll
1. Oklahoma 368
2. Ohio State 301
3. Nebraska 294
4. Notre Dame 276
5. Michigan 272
6. USC 270
7. Alabama 257
8. Texas 253
9. Florida State 204
10. Miami (Fla.) 201

Weeks Ranked No. 1 in BCS
1. Oklahoma 19
2. Ohio State 15
3. USC 15
4. Florida State 7
5. Miami (Fla.) 7
6. Nebraska 5
7. Tennessee 5
8. Alabama 4
9. LSU 2
10. Texas 2

Weeks Ranked Top 5 in BCS
1. Oklahoma 45
2. USC 36
3. Ohio State 33
4. Miami (Fla.) 30
5. Texas 28
6. Florida 26
7. Florida State 25
8. Virginia Tech 20
9. LSU 17
10. Tennessee 16

AP National Titles (Last)
1. Notre Dame 8 (1988)
2. Oklahoma 7 (2000)
3. Alabama 6 (1992)
4. Miami 5 (2001)
5. Southern Cal 5(2004)
6. Minnesota 4 (1960)
7. Nebraska 4 (1995)
8. Ohio State 4 (2002)
9. FloridaTexas 3 (2008)3 (2005)
10. Six Schools 2 (2007)

NCAA-Recognized Titles (since 1946)
*1. Oklahoma 16
2. Ohio State 13
Nebraska 13
3. Alabama 11

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

In the midst of this beautiful season that we as believers hold so near and dear to our hearts, I came across this email by an unknown author that I want to share with all of you. It's worth a read...

Letter from Jesus about Christmas:

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate my birth, just get along and love one another.

Now, having said that, let me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting my birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all my followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8.

If you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

• Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell me all the time.

• Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

• Instead of writing the president complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year.

• Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of my birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms, and remind them that I love them.

• Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

• Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

• Instead of nit-picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

• If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary — especially one who takes my love and good news to those who have never heard my name.

• There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or some other charity which believes in me and they will make the delivery for you.

• Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in my presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget; I am God and can take care of myself. Just love me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember:

I love you,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From Lou Engle

I have reattached the the document with the email blast. I apologize for sending the document showing the edits. Blessings!
Dear Leaders of America,
Please see below an urgent call to prayer. Please also prayerfully consider calling your networks to join in prayer and also watch the national webcast.
Recently, I sent an E-Blast with Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, calling the nation to join an urgent national webcast prayer convocation (that is taking place Thursday, December 16th at 8:30PM EST) to ask God to restrain federally funded abortion in the healthcare system. We will be joined by key leaders, including U.S. Senators Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jim Demint of South Carolina, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Randy Forbes of Virginia, Bishop Harry Jackson, Dr. Jim Garlow, and many others.
On that E-Blast I wrote:
On Friday, December 4th, I was awakened early in the morning with a burden to pray, as I considered the consequences of abortion being mainstreamed into the national healthcare system if the senate healthcare bill is passed as it is right now.
I turned to 1 Chronicles 21 where the destroying angel had come to the threshing floor of Ornan. God, in his heart of mercy, restrained the angel of death, saying, “Enough! Restrain your hand.” The angel of death still hovered between heaven and earth with its sword drawn. Even with God’s restraint, the verdict was still in the balance as to whether or not the death march would continue. An earth being, namely David, had to agree with God’s restraint through repentance, paying the full price, and offering up the atoning blood. When David went up to the threshing floor in repentance and erected the altar and offered the sacrifice, God heeded the prayers and the angel of death sheathed its sword.
I believe we have come to the high water mark of the pro-abortion movement in America. At the same time, the nation is shifting dramatically pro-life. The angel of abortion and this plague of death has come to the Senate threshing floor and I believe that God is seeking to restrain it now, but intercessors on the earth must agree with him. But, at this critical moment, a last ditch plot has been hatched to forever seal abortion into the life and soul of our nation.
Possibly in the next week the Senate will “choose life or death” as Senator Sam Brownback proclaimed on the Senate floor during the abortion debate. If this Bill is passed as is, abortion will proliferate in America because of its availability and low costs. Much of the pro-life efforts since 1973 and many of the legal victories restraining abortion will basically be annulled or turned back. There will be no recovery from this defeat until a major Senate shift takes place and 60 votes are garnered to reverse this legislation. This could take decades or may never take place in our lifetime. In the mean time, bloodguilt is heaped up and the lives of babies and mothers are killed and shattered.
Brothers and sisters, I don’t know if we can comprehend the urgency and the implications of this moment. Many of our lives may not be immediately affected and therefore we can carry on as usual and be lulled into a false peace. It is only the oppressed and those about to die that demand a miracle. Maybe it is time we think generationally and not selfishly, and take responsibility for the life and times we have been thrust into.
When the angel of death was at the doorstep of the Jews in Persia, Esther was brought to a defining moment in her life. She could choose silence and self-preservation or risk everything to be the hinge of history. The moment was so desperate that she called the whole Jewish nation to a no food and no water three day fast. Only imminent death creates such desperation. I actually feel we are at such a moment now.
The last thing that I want to do is to call people to fast again. We get weary of these things. But, as I talked to my wife today I said, “I would hate to have been given a position of influence to call for desperate prayer, and not do it, because its Christmas time and its not expedient.” The spirit of Herod is lurking again at the time of the birth of Jesus.
Therefore, we are calling for a three-day fast in whatever small sphere we have. These three days will be prior to the national webcast prayer convocation with FRCAction. To whoever's hearts are stirred, fast these three days Lord leads and dare to believe the God of Esther can give some Senators sleepless nights and shift this public policy of death in such a time as this.
Pray that Senator Ben Nelson will stand like a stonewall for life. Pray for a “Democratic coalition for life” to stand firm. Pray for the influence of the Kingdom over Blanche Lincoln, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snow. Lift up the victory of the cross over this whole Senate decision. Let us believe that the angel of death will sheath its sword in this moment in American history.
Register for Webcast now at
Lou Engle

Monday, December 07, 2009

Talking to Tiger

I wanted to wait a few days before I commented on Tiger Woods' dilemma. I have to tell you that I am totally shocked by all the revelations that are coming forward. I, for one, KNOW that you canNOT always believe what is in the news, but there is some level of truth, and there are some things that we do know. In his own words, he admitted to "some transgressions" and asked for time to work things out in the privacy of his own home.

I have been thinking WHAT IF I had a chance to talk to him, what would I say? What would I share with him? Obviously, all the money in the world and all the fame in the world has not brought him fulfillment, and at the pinnacle of his career, everything seems to be crashing down around him. Before I get started here, I think it's only right to share with you that I have never been a fan of Tiger's. Yes, I think he and Jack Nicklaus are the two greatest golfers of all time, but I have never rooted for Tiger. This is primarily because if you ever watch him play, whenever he hits a bad shot (which is part of golf), he let's loose with a boatload of swear words, and I'm not talking about the second tier level of swear words. I have seen and heard him use the Lord's name in vain and many other words that should NEVER EVER be uttered. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but the game of golf itself is to be a gentleman's game, and even in the midst of competition on the highest level, I believe it's NEVER right to curse like a sailor when things are bad.

On to what I would share if given the opportunity... I am not interested in anything but actually helping him and getting him back on the right path. I want him to know that as important as golf has been to him, it has now becomes unimportant as he looks into the eyes of his children and his wife. I am not sure if he will ever ever regain the trust of his wife, but now is the time to begin placing things in their proper priority.

Number 1: Getting things right with God. A man can try in vain to reconstruct his home or his marriage, but it will all be in vain if God does not somehow come into the forethought of your every intention. God is the Author of life, and He is a God who loves. To the degree that He allowed His own son to die on a cross 2,000 years ago, God longs to love and forgive you for every sin and every transgression. The world, the media, your fellow golfers, your mother or your wife may NEVER ever fully understand or totally forgive you, but God LONGS to forgive you and the peace that you have not been able to find through sports, through fame, through riches or relationships can be YOURS if only you will open up your heart to Jesus. God can and will grant you peace, but only through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Read John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9,10 as well as Acts 2:38, and ask God to forgive you. Ask Jesus to come into your life and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. You will never regret this decision and it's the most important decision you will ever make in your life.

Number 2: I would ask God, my family, my friends and the world to forgive me. Restoration begins with humbling ourselves and seeking forgiveness from those that we have offended. It begins with true repentance, which is a decision to turn away from sin and to make changes in one's life. Being sorry is not enough. Being repentant is. It's changing the stripes of a tiger, which some will say is IMPOSSIBLE, but with God's help, it IS POSSIBLE. I would know going in that there will be those who will not forgive and who will never forget, but I would lose the PR people, the agents, and the Nike logos, and humbly ask for those whom I have offended to forgive me.

Number 3: I would humbly commit this day and the rest of my days on earth to serving and following God, that my time, energy, and resources would be used to bring honor and glory to God. Whatever that means, wherever God leads, and whenever he needs it, I would simply allow God to use YOU to accomplish HIS will in your life.

Number 4: I would CLING to the Scriptures. I would start in the book of Psalms. I might not ever leave the book of Psalms. Read it and re-read it and get it in your heart. You will find peace, strength, hope and victory within its pages. Gods word is the ONLY thing that can erase all those images from one's mind.

And Number 5: I would seek the advice from Godly counselors and men of God to work through all the issues with your family. I do NOT know enough to tell you anymore than what I've already written above, but I would never swing another golf club, I would never make another dollar, I would never give another interview until I had worked through these five things.

I want you to know that I believe that one day things will be better. It wont be easy and it will NOT happen without God. He alone can save, He alone can redeem, He alone can restore, He alone can offer complete forgiveness. He alone has an ETERNAL love for you. I am praying for you. I really am. Praying for all of us, to do the right thing and keep clinging to Jesus and His grace.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Domincan Republic

Kevin Malone, former General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, invited me to come to the Dominican Republic to be the morning platform speaker for about 200 baseball players. Kevin is involved with a ministry called SCORE, that travels to third world countries sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ before, during, and after conducting baseball clinics for those less fortunate. There are coaches and players involved in this ministry who come from high school teams, college teams, and professional Major League teams.

I have to tell you that my heart has been so moved and touched by the ministry of all these baseball players who have taken a week out of their life to come to the Dominican to invest in the children of this island.

Today I served on just ONE of five teams and we travel to a different village everyday.

Today we had over 300 children show up for a clinic. We literally got off the bus on a little street and walked down this narrow alley, which opened up to this large baseball field. By the way, one out of six players in professional Major League baseball come from the Dominican Republic, and now I know why. These young people have a HUNGER and a PASSION to play the game of baseball and they play it all the time.

When we arrived at our particular village today, a former coach from the University of Kentucky shared Christ, and MOST of the people there wanted Jesus to be their Savior. I handed out a baseball card that had a Christian testimony on it from Albert Pujols and then we divided up the children into stations, and I helped with the outfielders.

I have to tell you my MIND raced as I thought about the NUMBERS of people that I know that would be so blessed by doing this short term missions project. My heart broke for the poverty that I saw in the Domincan. I LONG for Jesus to bless this nation with godly leaders, and we discussed that ONE DAY, perhaps one of those children who committed their life to Jesus may lead a revival among the Dominican people.

May God burden each of out hearts to do whatever we can do to make a difference in the world.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Championship Year

As many of you know, I have been coaching the Hillcrest Middle School girls' basketball team that my daughter plays on. Recently, the VARISITY Coach, Debbie Haliday, who played at UCLA and is also the school's athletic director and has a daughter on the team, wrote this article and thought I'd share it...

"There's just something really pure about their faces. I love watching them play...practice or game, it's really the same. They play with desire, but desire isn't even quite the right word. I heard today that when they come out of the locker room they always all touch the poster that is entitled, "Effort." How great is that? Maybe it is about effort. They really do work very hard, all the time. But even that description falls short. It is effort maximized, from the heart. Actually, I think the word is earnest...they play with earnest desire.

I don't know if you can teach earnest. I've watched their coach for years and he is certainly demanding of full effort. They drill, and drill, and drill. It is basketball at its most fundamental best. These are 12 and 13 year old girls who don't shy away from any hard thing their coach asks them to do...and he asks, every day. If anyone could teach earnest, I'd say he could. Even so, it's more along the lines of him drawing it out than teaching it... which of course is an art in and of itself.

Effort, desire, earnest hard work... some might think these qualities are in short supply in "kids these days." But I get to see it every day. I walked through the gym today and they were playing a game, the score was 19-2 when I arrived. Every one of the girls on the court was hustling hard, hands and feet and legs flying everywhere. The other team tried to drive into the key and landed in a trap. The ball got tipped away, a quick pass to the point guard followed by three long legged dribbles and a hard pass to a girl sprinting from the left side led to a layup in about four seconds. The whole bench exploded in applause. It was awesome!
Similar scenarios happened over and over again, no matter who was in the game. And the same look was on all of their faces. That pure, earnest, desire, love of the game, and effort on the poster expression that is so captivating to me. It is sport at its best in my opinion, and I'm very thankful I get to watch. "

If you would like to read more articles regarding faith and sports, check out this website:

It's a great encouragement to both parents and children involved with sports!

It has been a phenomonal year with these girls, and they just won the League Championships! They've worked really hard, and it's been FUN!!! A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE GIRLS!!!

Also, a BIG THANK YOU to Stewart Uy, who came out to take pictures at three of the girls' games! To view more of his great photogrpahy skills, you can visit his website here:

Monday, October 26, 2009

News!! News!! News!!

There is soooooooooooo much going on that I thought I'd just write and share a little about a lot. First, the REVIVAL... It was and continues to be a SPIRITUAL HIGH. I have never been in a week-long meeting where you could sense and feel the POWER of God moving in such a mighty way. From the worship to the messages to the people walking down the aisles during the invitation time, it was a HEAVENLY ATMOSPHERE with lives being transformed by the power of God.

Then last weekend, my father, H. Dean Rutherford hit it out of the ballpark. At 77, he is still one of the best communicators in the country. He is funny, Biblical, relational and always "brings it" when he preaches the Word. We are so blessed to have been able to hear him preach from time to time. Please continue to keep him in your prayers, asking God to give him many more years of good health and blessing.

Next, I am pleased to announce that we now have an iPhone app for Today, it has 4 major elements that are all a way to boost your knowledge and growth in the Lord:
1) You get a video of the weekend's sermon uploaded to your phone EACH and EVERY weekend. 2) You get the complete devotional book, Romancing Royalty.
3) You get the ENTIRE Bible added to your phone, and
4) You get a Bible reading guide that is the BEST in the country, plus 52 videos that help explain what you're reading.

You can go to the iTunes app store and just search for "Call On Jesus" to find it, and DRUMROLLLLLLL... it's also available on all the Google ANDROID phones as well. You also have the ability to forward the videos to your friends and family. This is really a GREAT resource for you to have 24/7 through your iPhones and android phones. All you Blackberry users out there, we are working on having this available for you in the near future.

Next, as you know, my 13 year old daughter is in 8th grade, and I am coaching her and the middle school girls at Hillcrest Christian School, and I would LOVE to have you come watch one of our games. We only have a few left. Here's the remaining schedule:
- Tuesday October 27th at 3:30 PM, we play against Villiage Christian School at Hillcrest School
- Thursday, October 29th at 5:15 PM, we play at Faith Baptist High School
- Monday, November 2nd at 6:00 PM, we play against Los Angeles Baptist at Hillcrest School
- Thursday, November 5th at 3:30 PM, we play Milken at Hillcrest School
These girls are good, and I hope you'll join us.

Lastly, I have never been MORE encouraged about all that God is doing in our midst. Let's continue to serve and love the Lord with all of our hearts. May we all be involved in a Life! Group, and may we share our faith with those who do NOT know Jesus. Find a place to serve at Shepherd and remember that Jesus is coming back soon.

In love,
Pastor Dudley

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shepherd featured in LA Times article

California Christians worship in a big way

The state has more megachurches than anywhere else in the country, with the majority in the suburbs between Los Angeles and San Diego. Their upbeat approach is luring thousands each weekend.
By Duke Helfand/Photos by Irfan Khan
October 11, 2009

Once again, the Sunday faithful have packed the cavernous sanctuary at Shepherd of the Hills Church in the San Fernando Valley, clapping and swaying for Jesus as a band rocks the hall.

"Come bless the Lord," the worshipers sing. "Praise his name to the ends of the Earth."

Most churches would be thrilled to fill their sanctuaries any day of the year.

Shepherd of the Hills, a nondenominational church in Porter Ranch, does it six times a weekend, attracting 8,000 people to its energetic services and offering a lesson about the growth of evangelical Christianity in California.

Thanks to good weather, sprawling suburbs and a number of charismatic pastors, the Golden State has more of these megachurches -- defined as those with at least 2,000 congregants -- than any other state. California is home to 193, slightly more than Texas with 191, according to the most recent survey by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, one of the nation's leading authorities on megachurches.

The majority of these congregations are in the suburbs between Los Angeles and San Diego, an area that some who study the phenomenon call the Southern California Bible Belt.

A handful have risen to national prominence -- notably Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and its celebrity pastor, the Rev. Rick Warren.

But dozens of other large, if lesser-known, churches also are growing, even as many traditional houses of worship struggle to fill their pews.

The megachurches are expanding by adapting to changing times and tastes, scholars say. Many have jettisoned formal rituals such as organs and hymns in favor of Christian rock music and overhead projection screens that display lyrics and prayers.

They deliver upbeat biblical messages about applying faith in everyday life and building a personal relationship with God. They organize parishioners into small "life" groups that study Scripture. And they encourage their followers to recruit new members.

Although some critics refer to the megachurch phenomenon as "church lite," evangelical Christian scholars say the congregations are reaching the unaffiliated or disaffected by turning church attendance into a more comfortable, positive experience, bound by fewer rules or obligations than traditional churches.

"They want to reach people . . . with the life-changing good news about Jesus Christ," said Warren Bird, research director of the Dallas-based Leadership Network, a nonprofit that disseminates information about innovative church practices.

Southern California's sprawling suburban housing tracts have provided ready supplies of potential new members -- including Geraldine Victoria, who was raised Catholic but decided to visit Shepherd of the Hills on a recent Sunday at a friend's invitation.

The 32-year-old Glendale nurse said she was attracted to the spontaneity of the worship service, a departure from what she called the formality of Catholicism. "I think I want more," Victoria said as she emerged from the sanctuary.

Shepherd of the Hills is rapidly outgrowing its home at the foot of the Santa Susana Mountains, in the northwestern San Fernando Valley. Its gym doubles as a second sanctuary, and church leaders have plans for a 3,500-seat auditorium. It also has opened satellite church campuses in Agua Dulce, Lancaster, Woodland Hills, the Westside and Fremont, near San Jose.

"We're bursting at the seams," said senior pastor Dudley C. Rutherford, one of 29 ministers on staff. "We're not big on ritual and form. We're big on touching your heart and letting the word of God speak to you."

The number of megachurches has grown steadily for the last four decades. Researchers say there are now at least 1,350 such churches nationwide, more than double the number a decade ago.

They draw an average of 4,100 weekend parishioners. By contrast, most U.S. churches attract 500 people or fewer on Sundays.

"They are essentially re- creating a small-town milieu and giving folks . . . a place to plug in and share experiences with like-minded people," said sociologist Scott Thumma of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research in Connecticut, who studies the megachurch movement.

But the growth also has sparked criticism that large churches are siphoning people away from smaller congregations.

Megan Rief, for one, left her Lutheran church in La Verne for Christ's Church of the Valley in San Dimas, which attracts about 4,500 people to its large worship center each weekend.

The 25-year-old bank teller said the formalities of her former church -- including the robed clergy, hymnals, organ and repetitive liturgy -- left her uninspired.

At the San Dimas church, she found what she called a fresh approach to her Christian faith that emphasizes a joyful, free-flowing worship and the importance of maintaining a relationship with Jesus seven days a week rather than only on Sundays.

At church, she also met fellow Lutherans, along with Presbyterians and Methodists, all searching for new ways to express their spirituality.

"I've become a lot more comfortable in my faith and willing to share that with people," said Rief, who now volunteers at the church Thursday nights, greeting college students who are treated to dinner and lively worship services.

One recent night, she welcomed visitors for a chicken dinner and then joined them for the service that looked and sounded like a rock concert -- with a band, dimmed lights and lyrics about Jesus projected on overhead screens.

Southern California has long been a laboratory of church innovation.

The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, one of the most influential American pastors of the last half-century, preached from the roof of an Orange County drive-in theater snack bar in 1955, and later launched his "Hour of Power" television ministry and built the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.

In 1965, Pastor Chuck Smith opened Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, a tiny nondenominational congregation that welcomed hippies and changed the way many American Christians worship by combining literalist Bible teaching with contemporary rock music and casual dress (Smith is fond of Hawaiian shirts).

The worship style helped Smith expand his single church into an empire of 1,500 independent congregations nationwide.

He said several thousand people attend services each weekend at his sprawling Orange County home church, which has 25 pastors, a school and a radio ministry.

"I believe there is a great spiritual hunger," said Smith, 82, who still preaches weekly. "Jesus said, 'If any man thirsts, then come to me and drink.' "

About 85 miles to the south, a newer congregation has demonstrated a deft marketing hand of its own, drawing large numbers through its doors by appealing to niche interests.

San Diego's Rock Church offers a multitude of ministries, including those for dog lovers, rock climbers, skateboarders, four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, people with eating disorders, even strippers and mimes.

Since it opened in 2000, the church has more than tripled in size. Each weekend, 12,500 adults and children pray in its sanctuary.

Members also are encouraged to put their faith to use in the world outside of the church, which has set a goal this year for its members to perform 600,000 "Do Something" hours of service in San Diego County and beyond -- mentoring children, picking up trash, planting trees.

"In the end, God calls us to grow," said Pastor Miles McPherson, a former San Diego Chargers football player who heads the church.

"It's not a gimmick. It's not a technique of a man. It's got to be the Lord doing it."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Please Help us Promote Revival

This years Revival at Shepherd of the Hills Church, Oct. 17 - 21, 2009 promises to be a time where God ignites our church. I pray that you will make every effort to join us and to pass the word along as to what God is doing in our midst.

Please take a moment and watch this video and then copy the link and send it to all your email addresses and post it on your facebook. Posting it on facebook is quite easy. After watching it on there will be a FACEBOOK link that is very user friendly. Just click the Facebook link and follow the instructions.

Early revivals were spread by word of mouth and modern technology makes this process even greater. Thank you for doing your part and KEEP PRAYING for GOD TO MOVE IN A MIGHTY, MIGHTY way.

I will see you October 17 to 21st.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Worship Team in Fremont

I asked Jason Liu who led worship in Fremont yesterday to tell me how he got the band together and this is the note that he sent me. Please read.

Hi Pastor Dudley,
It was an honor to meet you in person today, I have always wanted to see you and have been anxious for today to come –I have admired your preaching skills ever since I first came to Shepherd and saw you up there on the screen, you were amazing. We had a great service. I’m thankful that you could come all the way up here in the mists of your busy schedule.

Anyways, here’s a brief (hopefully brief) summary of how the band was formed at the Shepherd of the Hills Church in Fremont:It was nearly 2 years ago in the fall of 2007, when Kevin Kelly (the harmonica player) asked me to provide some music at this church when people are dining. I accepted his request and came to Shepherd for the first time. Soon enough, the worship leader at my own church (Centerville Presb. Church) left the job, so our church had to worship leaders in and out being interviewed. Manny saw this opportunity to ask one of the interviewees (Mike Spain) to play at Shepherd during worship time. When Mike came on board with this job; I played with him during worship to learn more about this position. So that was the Fremont Shepherd of the Hills band for nearly 7 months until Mike left toward the end of summer in 2008. That was when Manny saw that I had enough experience to take over Mike’s job –for I have been singing for quite awhile during my summer youth concert - as a worship leader at Shepherd. I played every Sunday with Kevin Kelly leading the church into worship.

During this transition, I have tried many guitar/bass players to accompany me to lead worship. However, none of these players worked out. Toward the end of 2008, Manny had been constantly asking me to recruit the whole band, but it wasn’t an easy task; no one had the mind to commit to a job like this. Finally I remembered the musically talented youth I’ve met during the summer youth band concert in 2008- Connor Fisher (guitarist) , Logan Fisher (bassist) and Mike Ryu (drummer). I asked them to be on board with me in the beginning of 2009 and they happily accepted my request.

In the beginning when the full band was formed, Manny didn’t think we were ready to take on 4 times a month to lead worship, so we had the opportunity to lead worship about 2 times a month. And every Sunday morning after Sunday school the band would practice at our church’s high school youth room – we had all the equipments for the whole band. And Sunday evenings we would be at the church an hour early to set up and prepare to worship the Lord.

A few months had passed when Manny recommended me Jessica Diesta for playing the sax phone with us. We gladly accepted her as a member of this worship team around March of 2009. We have been a band ever since – we would always practice on Sunday mornings and we would go to Shepherd whenever we had the opportunity. The band has been improving ever since the first time we played. We were nowhere near where we are right now at worshiping the Lord.

Shepherd of the Hills has been giving us a wonderful opportunity to use our talents to worship the Lord and help to bring the church into worshipping too. Furthermore, I believe that God has been leading this band into the right path; I believe that God has been planning this before I even knew how to play guitar; and I believe that God still has the plan for us to help to lead people into the worship of the Almighty God. And this band will do whatever God has in His way to glorify Him through our talents.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Come Double Day is upon Us

This weekend we are asking EVERYONE to bring a twin or a double. If you are a lawyer, bring another lawyer. If you are a U.C.L.A fan bring another Bruin. If you like to work out, bring another gym rat. If you are funny, bring another comedian. You catch my request. Try to bring a friend or an acquaintance that can pass as your double.

I will be preaching 6 times this weekend. Saturday night at 5 and 6:30 on the Porter Ranch campus as well as Sunday morning at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. Afterwards, I will rush to the West L.A. campus (we are meeting in the Brentwood Theatre on the V.A. Administration campus at the Northwest corner of the 405 and Wilshire Blvd.) and preach at 11:00 a.m and THEN I will speed to LAX and catch a flight and preach in Fremont California at 40204 Paseo Padre Pkwy. (94538-2999)

You say preacher "Are you crazy"? And I would answer "YES, FOR JESUS" I am crazy.
Just trying to spend my life reaching people with the gospel. Hope I will see you at 1 of these 6 services with a visitor by your side.

A couple of quick things to note:
This morning at 7:00 a.m I attended my life group and it was SUCH a blessing to be into the word studying further the book of Galatians. Please find a way to get plugged into a life group. It will be life changing for you. If you can't find one then START one. It's NOT THAT DIFFICULT.

Lastly, Our campus in Lancaster recently got into a new building. If you know of anyone living in the Antelope Valley, please get them this information.

The following note was from David Macer, he is the campus Pastor for Lancaster.

Shepherd of the Hills - Antelope Valley opens it's new building this past Sunday! (The building looks incredible after all the work that our team of dedicated volunteers has done! Pictures will be posted next week at or at

Services are at 8:30 am and 10:00 am at 43437 Gadsden, Lancaster, CA 93534

Directions: 14 Freeway exit Ave K, head east for 0.7 miles turn right (just past Lowe's). The church will be on the right hand side. We look forward to worshipping with you!

Be blessed and I hope to see you this weekend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shepherd Staff 2009

This morning, I met with the staff here at Shepherd and shared with them the plans for 2010. They need to know before January 2010 because they need several months to prepare their individual ministries for the direction that we are headed.

We had a GREAT MORNING of sharing, and they are currently meeting with their team leaders to come up with some ideas that they can implement that coincide with their particular ministry. It's always a rich time, and I enjoy sharing with them the thoughts and ideas that I have for the next year.

Whenever we have this yearly planning meeting I am always humbled by how wonderful our staff is and the sacrifices and commitments they make here at Shepherd. We are a BLESSED church and one of the KEY reasons for our church being so blessed is the quality of the staff that the Lord has gathered here.

These folks do NOT work for the applause of man and they do NOT work for financial gain. They work because they feel CALLED OF GOD and together they are making a difference in the LIVES of many people here in the valley and around the world.

There has never been a greater or sweeter group of staff people in any other church. I TRULY believe that. I want to thank EACH of them for their time, effort, sacrifices and their commitment to you and to the Lord.

If you get a chance, make sure you THANK THEM. They will be humbled by your gratitude.

In love
Pastor Dudley

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th and September 12th.

Most people remember 9-11 and they have vivid recollections whenever they just hear the date, September 11th. And for good reason. That was the day that some 3000 lives were lost in a day of TERROR here in the United States of America. As you watch the news today, you will note that there are MANY reports here in L.A and around the world to help us remember those who lost their lives on that tragic morning, and it is my prayer that we will never forget that moment when our COUNTRY was attacked. I always pray that we will seek God the way we sought Him on 9-11.

September 12th. Does that date ring a bell? It should. September 12th, exactly ONE YEAR AGO, was the day we had a tragedy in our own backyard. That was the horrific day where 25 people lost their lives when a collision took place between Metrolink and a Union Pacific train. Tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. on September 12th, 2009 there is going to be a memorial service at Stoney Point Park in Chatsworth.

There will be several speakers and they have asked me to do the invocation, which I will be honored to do, of course, and they will be dedicating some type of plaque to memorialize those who died.

I wish to list their names so that we will never forget.
Christopher Aiken
Dennis Arnold
Dean Lafoy Brower
Alan Lloyd Buckley
Yi Chao
Spree Desha, LAPD Officer
Walter Arney Fuller
Ronald Grace
Michael Hammersley
Jacob Hefter
Chen-Yuan Kari Hsieh
Ernest Stephen Kish II
Gregory Lintner
Paul Long
Manuel Macias
Aida Magdaleno
Beverley Rivers Mosley
Charles Peck
Howard Barry Pompel
Donna Lynn Remata
Robert Martin Sanchez
Doyle Jay Souser
Roger Spacey
Maria Elena Villalobos
Atul Vyas

It is difficult for me to even type out those names. Although we are grateful to have a memorial to honor them, those who lost their loved ones on that day that will grieve again, and hurt again, and cry again, and we will mourn again with them. And more than anything else we will wish they were with us once again.
I pray that tomorrow will surely honor those who have died.
May we remind ourselves of how brief life is. The Bible says that our lives are like a vapor or a mist, because we are here but for a few minutes and after that we will all face eternity. Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE and it's through Jesus that we can have the assurance of everlasting life.
May not just ONE day be seared into our consciousness, but may BOTH dates be in our hearts and minds. September 11, 2001 for the 3000 who died and September 12th for the 25 who were simply living their lives when a tragedy took their lives and devastated their families. It's times like this that I pray that we will RUN to GOD and not away from Him.
He is truly the ONLY ONE who can TRULY HELP US.
If you can NOT attend the service in the Morning then at least take a few moment of silence in their honor and remember them, and then LOVE on your own family friends because we never know when it could happen to you or to me. The picture above came from Stewart Uy who started this photography site which stands for Savoring Christ "2" gether.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fires of Revival

After taking the month of August off to prepare for 2010, it is time to refocus and jump back into 2009, the year of being "Connected to the Vine." It is always foolish NOT to have dreams and goals, and it's even more foolish to plan and dream without submitting and acknowledging that GOD IS SOVEREIGN and LORD OF ALL OUR PLANS.

The past several weeks have been rather hectic with school starting, finishing up next year's plans and returning to the pulpit and leading the church into our Fall Revival, which begins on October 17 and runs through October 21. With those dates just 6 weeks away, we are asking our church to immerse ourselves into asking God to move mightily in our lives and in our city. Revival is of God, yet it is crucial that God's people place themselves into full submission to his will and allow God to work freely among his children.

The stark reminder of the fires, that have been in the news for the past 2 weeks, lead me to remember that TRUE revival can sweep across a land like fires running wildly from mountain to mountain, according to the winds that push them. The literal fires that we have witnessed continue to rage. And while I PRAY DILIGENTLY for these fires to be extinguished, I PRAY CONSTANTLY for the FIRES OF REVIVAL to SWEEP across our CHURCH and our CITY. LORD, send a REVIVAL and LET IT BEGIN IN ME.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Last Journey

As you know, we have a gentleman in our church who lost his son in the Iraq war.
Recently, the father, Darrel Griffin, Sr., wrote a book called the "Last Journey."

I just finished reading this book and afterwards, I sat down and wrote his father the following letter.


As you know, I gave the first copy of your book to a man I met on an airplane who helped build safety equipement for the vehicles that the army uses. So this week, as I traveled to Hawaii, I picked up my other copy and finished the book last night.

I really do not know what to say....

A few of my thoughts.... the FIRST is that I wish I had known your son. I wish that I could have spent some time with him. He seemed super human. Like he was beyond a normal person. His insight, his writing, his wisdom, his bravery, his heroics, his honor, his fight, his story, his love for his country and his love for his family were WAY above and beyond the normal. It was on a level that most people NEVER EVER see or experience.

Once I got into the battles of war I could NOT put the book down. It was a gut wrenching experience to read it, let alone to have lived it like Griff.

If I were in charge of our country, this book would be required reading for anyone desiring to be President of the USA. I think it would cause a man to think long and hard before sending our troops to war.

The back and forth of the emails and journals were so gripping. And of course the HARDEST part was reading all of this, knowing that the man that I was reading about (YOUR SON) dies at the end of the book.

It was almost too much for me to handle.

I again was drawn to the fact that I wish I could have been a better Pastor to you, and the book itself caused me to think more about my life and my commitment levels to my family, my country and to my Lord.

When I got to the chapter where your son dies.... I cried, closed the book and could not think about anything else for a while. I then drove to one of my favorite places in Oahu, a place called the Aloha Towers.

At the back of this little pier that is full of shops and stores are two restaurants that overlook a military harbor. It looks JUST LIKE PEARL HARBOR.

Whenever I come to Hawaii, I always eat here at least a couple of times because it just looks like a replica of Pearl Harbor and after I ordered my food I REREAD the entire chapter. I did NOT want to read the final chapters until I had reread the chapter where Skip dies. I did NOT want to move on without rereading that chapter. Reading it once seemed unfair to all you went through and alI the emotion that you must have felt writing about his death.

I wanted to understand, I wanted to see, feel and experience what he saw, felt and experienced.

I am NOT making this up... but when I got to to the EXACT point in the story where Griff was shot, while the sun was setting over the harbor, I heard gun fire ring out, just like what Griff would have heard. I turned and looked at the harbor and there were 4 gunboats doing a military/navy excercise and for about 15 minutes these boats were racing around the harbor firing blanks at one another.

This was not an act, this was real, live training, and it just brought the reality home even more that your son's story is being played out all over the world, and I will never hear of another soldier's death without being drawn back to your story and your son's death.

I wanted to write and simply say thank you.

I wish I would have known your son.

He was truly a ONE OF A KIND guy.

His story does need to be turned into a movie.

The script will be powerful.

Your son is my hero. He is a hero to our country.

You did a great job telling his story.

You, too, should be proud of your work, but a million times more proud of having a son who lived out "strength and honor."

I am a better man because you gave me a glimpse into his life.

In love,
Pastor Dudley C. Rutherford

"Last Journey" is written by Darrell Griffin, Sr. and SSG Darrell Griffin, Jr. (KIA March 21, 2007) will be in bookstores June 29, 2009.

A few words from Darrell Griffin, Sr. regarding why "Last Journey" was written:
Most of you soldiers, friends and family know about my son, SSG Darrell Griffin, Jr. He was killed in combat on March 21, 2007. At the time of his death, he and I were working on a book that would reconcile our readings in philosophy with the combat experiences he was having as a member of a Combat Stryker Brigade n Iraq. We were not able to finish the book because of his death. A few months after his death I was allowed to embed for a number of days with his combat unit in Baghdad to complete the necessary research to finish our book. The book is entitled "Last Journey." It is available from It will be in bookstores (e.g. Barnes and Nobel and Borders) June 29,2009. The publishers website for the book is or email to

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Pastor Scott... Missing My Dear Friend Today

Dear Scott,

I miss you, my dear friend. Life is still NOT the same without you. The valley needs your touch, your joy, your prayers, your smile and your charisma. I wish I could be like you in this life and with you in the next life. Today, I visited your burial site. It is sooooooooo beautiful. It is up on this hill, in the midst of trees down below. Every so often, I have stopped to see you, to reflect on who you were and what you meant to me and what you meant to this city. So much has happened in such a short period of time. You would be pleased with the outreach the Church on the Way has with the Latino community. Over HALF of all the babies born in our city are now of Latino decent. It has been miraculous to see the outreach COTW is having in this area. It is the future of our city, and they are poised to be THE church who reaches this group of people.

Your family and heritage continue to grow, and your children would CAUSE you to have a constant smile upon your face. They are difference makers just like their father, and the last time I talked with your sweet wife, she had such confidence in the purposes and plan of God.

Today as I visited your burial site, I noticed that you are buried between two ladies. Florence Jorgenson to your left lived to be 85 years of age, and Mary Wilkens to your right lived to be 84. I was contemplating how your 49 years seem so brief and so unfair to me, but I must remind myself of how God's plans are much more noble and much higher than mine. In HIM DO I TRUST -- completely, fully, without hesitation.

One other thing I thought about is the fact that since your passing, there have been many more advances in the world of technology. We now have social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter and various blogs, and I was thinking this morning how I know you would be using these tools to advance the Kingdom of God, like the Apostle Paul, "becoming all things to all people, so that by all possible means I might win some." And I hope you don't mind me taking a moment and using all these tools to remind people of how GREAT A MAN YOU WERE.

You loved God, you loved your family, you loved being a vessel, and you loved the lost. You were full of life, full of the Spirit of God, full of energy and full of love for the Bride of Christ, the Church. I pray that we will never forget your name, your presence, your spirit, your uplifted hands, your ability to lead people to a deeper state of spirituality. You caused us to WANT the deeper things of God.

Scott, I love and miss you. Please know that we will do our best to carry on the work of the Lord. You are in that GREAT CROWD OF WITNESSES, and one day we will be united, and what a reunion that will be! On that day, we will see Jesus face to face... TOGETHER!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wedding Video

I have to tell you at first I did not know what to think and then as I watched the video it started to grow on me and by the end, after I had smiled and laughed, I started to cry. Because Love rocks!!! And I thought of church in the same light. We always try to make it formal and somewhat dry, yet the fact that God LOVES us so much to send his ONLY son for US and after Jesus died he actually RESURRECTED.... Church should be a JOYOUS occasion. Love, True Love should be the same. I think we are all guilty of taking each other for granted, we fall short in expressing our love, we under estimate the POWER of LOVE. May you REJOICE in the LOVE of GOD and may you REJOICE in the LOVE of FAMILY and FRIENDS.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A few More PIctures

A Call from the Mayor's Office

Maxi Anderson our wonderful leader
A Kaleidoscope of Cultures

The Mayor introducing our "RISEN"

Recently the Mayor's office called and asked if our choir would be willing to sing at the closing ceremony for the Heritage Month Celebration 2009.
This is yearly event that celebrates the history of Los Angeles with Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, and African Americans.

Obviously I was thrilled that we were asked to participate and our choir "Risen" under the direction of Maxi Anderson made their way to 350 S. Spring St. in downtown Los Angeles this past Thursday evening. It was a fun evening where people came from all walks of life to celebrate the unique contributions of the different people groups that form the core of our city.

I have to tell you their were two highlights for me personally as I was there to witness first hand the events of the evening.

First, the Mayor, when he introduced our choir, he announced that "this choir was from Shepherd of the Hills Church which is the most racially diverse church in all of Los Angeles". I was so thankful that the reputation of church has even reached the attention of our city officials.

The Second thing that made me smile was the fact that our choir sang about JESUS CHRIST and presented the Gospel through song. I was jumping of joy and proud as could be by the witness and example of our church and choir.

Please know that most churches are not diverse but it is OUR prayer to help lead the way to this change happening across America. Why not visit and see where and how YOU can get involved.