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Thursday, December 23, 2010

What a year! Looking back, God has been so good to carry us through another 12 months.

We have been on an adventure of faith, stepping out in obedience to God the Father. We started out looking at the life and example of Abraham, the founder of our faith. We studied through the book of Romans, which is the book of faith. We spent four weeks looking at different faiths and understanding why Christianity is the one true faith. Then we looked at the five greatest stories of faith in the Bible. Peter: Rahab, Job, Noah, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Then this past fall, we as a church stepped OUT in faith in our own Miracle in the Making campaign, where we are attempting to build a new worship facility.

Having looked back at our Passion Play and Easter service, our 4th of July celebration and our Beach Baptism day, our life groups and youth ministries, our monies and missionaries that went around the globe, we truly have so much to be thankful for.

For those of you that were with us for the entire year, you know that it was a year where God stretched us. He stretched us spiritually, emotionally and financially.

Whenever you walk in faith, it's always a journey, it's a life long commitment that requires diligence and perseverance, but for the person who walks down that road, God has His hand of blessing upon that individual that is beyond explanation. God truly blesses and honors those who honor him.

As I write this post, I am so ANXIOUS to share with you the theme and plans for 2011. I promise that it is the NEXT step. After one walks in faith, where you live and act in obedience not knowing what is around the corner, but if truly walking in faith, there is something that ALWAYS happens... something that God has in store for you.

I pray that you will join us the weekend of January 8th and 9th, as I will be laying out these plans.

I am looking forward to sharing with you the theme and direction for the next year that weekend. May God bless each and every one of you, and I wish each of you a MERRY and SACRED CHRISTMAS and a BLESSED NEW YEAR.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Remembering Thanksgiving:

Beginning in 1621 both Pilgrims and Indians began celebrating Thanksgiving together giving thanks to God Almighty for his miraculous provisions.

In 1789, a congressional resolution was delivered to President George Washington, who heartily concurred with the request and issued the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation, declaring in part: Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to
obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . .

Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.

In 1863 the Thanksgiving proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln was remarkable not only for its strong religious content but also for its timing, for it was delivered in the midst of the darkest days of the Civil War, with the Union having lost battle after battle throughout the first three years of that conflict.

Yet, despite those dark circumstances, Lincoln nevertheless called Americans to prayer with an air of positive optimism and
genuine thankfulness, noting that: The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful
fields and healthful skies.

To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever- watchful providence of Almighty God. . . .

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, Who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

That remarkable Thanksgiving Proclamation came at a pivotal point in Lincoln’s spiritual life. Three months earlier, the Battle of Gettysburg had occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives.

It had been while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he first committed his life to Jesus Christ.

As he later explained to a clergyman: When I left Springfield [Illinois, to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers,
I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember to retain the original gratefulness to God that has always been the spirit of this – the oldest of all American holidays.

Let me share with you additional examples of Thanksgiving proclamations penned by various Founding Fathers.)

[Congress] recommended [a day of] . . . thanksgiving and praise [so] that “the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join . . . their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive [our sins] and . . . to enlarge [His] kingdom which consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

[I] appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God . . . to [ask] Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remote corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.

[I] appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . [by giving to] us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to]present our supplications...that He would forgive our manifold sins and . . . cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth. GOVERNOR JOHN HANCOCK, 1790

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Brewline Bible Study

I was blown away today as I attended and spoke at the Brewline Bible study men's fellowship in San Fernando. About three years ago, some guys from our church started a little Bible study group at Starbucks in San Fernando. Week after week, these men have been faithful to meet at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday mornings. They sing, read some scripture, worship and then have a guest speaker, followed by a time of prayer.

It's lively, funny, serious, engaging and worshipful.

Today, this Bible study group had to meet in a larger room because they had about 250 in attendence. It was such a joy to preach for them and to experience first hand and see what God has done through a group of guys who SIMPLY have a desire to make a difference in San Fernando.

These guys LOVE the LORD. They are hardcore followers of Jesus. It's amazing what God can do when you submit to Him and state, without hesitation, to USE ME LORD. And that is exactly what God is doing. He is using this men's Bible study group to reach the East Valley. They all had their Bible's and they were all hungry for God's word.

I will be faithful to pray for them and if you get a chance, stop by some Saturday morning at 100 San Fernando Rd in San Fernando, CA and be prepared to have God change your heart and direction of your life.

Thank you Brewline for STANDING for Jesus. You blessed me, you humbled me, you taught me and you fed me. Can't wait to do it again.

Be blessed....

Pastor Dudley C. Rutherford

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day of Prayer and Fasting - Recap Video

DOPF: Recap from Call On Jesus on Vimeo.

Chip's Story

Many of you were as moved by the video of Chip's story we showed in church and have asked to see it again. God still performs miracles! Do you believe?

Chip's Story (Re-edit) from Call On Jesus on Vimeo.

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Pictures from Day of Prayer and Fasting

My Thoughts on Day of Prayer and Fasting

My heart and soul are still overwhelmed by the spirit and presence of God that I experienced this past Monday. Even bad weather and poor parking could not dampen what God had in store for those who gathered for an entire day of prayer. Despite obstacles, GOD WON THE DAY!!

We started and ended the day with worship, and without question, worship sets the tone and prepares our hearts for God's powerful anointing. Our worship team, led by Michael North, is a team of talented, yet humble, servants that simply allow God to work through them in music and song. Seeing 1000+ people all worshipping and singing at the top of their lungs and with the fullness of their hearts is an experience unlike no other.

Then we prayed. The people prayed. We prayed in small clusters. We prayed at the open mic. We prayed at the wall. We prayed in the parking lot, the offices, the stage, the hall walls and in the FLC.

We prayed standing. We prayed on our knees. We prayed on our face. We prayed with heads bowed and with hands raised.

We prayed for our nation, our city, our state, our governing officials. We prayed for our President, our congress, our Mayor and our Governor.

We prayed for our families, our marriages, our children and our employees.

We prayed for our health, our jobs, our finances and our ministries.

We prayed for our missions, our fellow workers around the world. We prayed for Asia and Africa. We prayed for India and Europe. We prayed for Europe and America. We prayed for the world. Did you see the FLC? The missions department did an incredible job preparing a place where we could see the world.

We prayed that God would provide miracles upon miracles so that we might build a new 3500 seat worship facility.

And then, the church prayed for their Pastor. I wept like a baby. It was unplanned, and I was unprepared for the emotion of an entire church praying for me. I want to say thank you for all who participated, who fasted, who took time to come to the house of God to seek God's face.

I think of the one verse in I Kings 18:36 where Solomon was praying, and he said these words, "Give attention to your servant's prayer and his pleas for mercy, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'my Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place."

Those who gathered felt and experienced the presence of God. It is my prayer that we at Shepherd would truly become a PRAYING CHURCH. May we continue in His presence by staying on our knees, humbly asking for His love and mercy. May HIS name be made known in this city and may His eyes be upon us "Day and Night."

Friday, October 08, 2010

70,000 Churches and 3.5 million people!

This post is from Dave Ferguson who is doing more for church planting than anyone I know. I only wish he lived in California. This was HIS post on his blog. I wouldn't read his blog on a regular basis unless you want to be challenged to make a difference in the world.
That was a teaser....

Here's what he posted today...

When I looked at my calendar on my iPhone on Wednesday morning it said that I had a 1:30 pm appointment with "Sam from India." I had to ask my assistant Pat, "Who is this and what does he want?" She explained as best she could, but I had no idea that who I was about to meet would be one of the most memorable appointments in a long time. When Samuel Stephens and his son Danny showed up you would never have guessed how God has used them. Both were very unassuming and I felt like I had to pull out of them the amazing things that they have seen God do through their ministry, the India Gospel League.

It was Sam's father that founded the India Gospel League and when Sam took it over in 1992 it had grown to 200 churches. Now, 18 years later under Sam's leadership there are 70,000 churches and more than 3.5 million people that are being reached. Wow!

Here are a few take-aways I had from our conversation together:

Every church has a goal to reproduce at least one new church per year.
Every church planter was in a network that meets monthly.
Every network provides training and accountability for meeting their goal of reproducing.
This was an appointment that I will not soon forget!

Friday, September 17, 2010


This stuff drives me crazy....

We have to get this system fixed. Don't we have ANYBODY who can run for office and stop the wasteful spending and get rid of all the red tape. I believe that God has called us to be STEWARDS of all of our resources.

I saw this article today and wanted to share it with you. I know Wendy Greuel is doing a great job. Pray for her for she knows we need to fix all these problems, but she can't do it on her own. According to this report, it's taking 2 million dollars to create ONE job.

Here's the article. It's INSANE!!!

The Los Angeles City Controller said on Thursday the city's use of its share of the $800 billion federal stimulus fund has been disappointing.

The city received $111 million in stimulus under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) approved by the Congress more than year ago.

"I'm disappointed that we've only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," says Wendy Greuel, the city's controller, while releasing an audit report.
"With our local unemployment rate over 12% we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work,” she added.

According to the report, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works generated only 45.46 jobs (the fraction of a job created or retained correlates to the number of actual hours works) after receiving $70.65 million, while the target was 238 jobs.

The audit says the numbers were disappointing due to bureaucratic red tape, absence of competitive bidding for projects in private sectors, inappropriate tracking of stimulus money and a laxity in bringing out timely job reports.

“While it doesn’t appear that any of the ARRA funds were misspent, the City needs to do a better job expediting the process and creating jobs,” she said

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Burning the Quran?

Although I firmly do NOT believe in the Quran, and even though I firmly believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation for all mankind, I believe it's wrong to have a National Quran Burning Day.

A Pastor named Terry Jones from a small church in Florida is planning such an event. And although there are MANY things that are WRONG about the Quran, burning them is not the answer.

Let me give you several reasons WHY we should NOT be burning the Quran. (I found some of this in an Article written by William Harvey.)

1. It really goes AGAINST being a Christian. I am all for standing up for things that are of God. I preached this past weekend on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to bow down to a golden image, and we need to have the same courage as them. Honor was given to their God (the one true God) because of their devotion. They were standing for truth; they were not trying to burn down Babylon.

In Acts 19:18-20 there were some folks who burned some books, but they were actually scrolls that they themselves had owned. The passage refers to "those who had practiced curious, magical arts" gathering to burn scrolls in which they no longer believed. This is quite a different act from choosing to burn a book in which you have never believed or burning a book that is going to cause pain world wide.

Jesus made it VERY clear in his Sermon on the Mount that we are to LOVE our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. We are to TURN the other cheek and try to befriend those that think differently than we do. How are we ever going to reach the Muslim people if our first act is to offend them by burning the most important thing in their religion?

Once you burn the Quran, you lose all hope of ever reaching them. They will HATE you and HATE your faith. You will drive them FURTHER AWAY from where you want them to be. It's possible to reach the Muslims around the world and introduce them to the Savior, but NOT if you start out by burning their sacred book.

Just last week I had a conversation with a Muslim man about the Lord. Just like Jesus with the woman at the well in John 4, I started out by engaging him in a dialogue about current events and then I moved the conversation along until we were able to talk about Jesus being the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

I believe God would have us be merciful to all and to build bridges that enable salvation, rather than burning bridges that divide and hinder the Gospel.

2. It disrespects the memory of those who died on 9/11.

In the words of Mr. Harvey in an open letter to Mr. Terry Jones, "The vicious thugs who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon almost nine years ago did so in order to widen the cultural divisions between Muslims and non-Muslims. Your planned protest would also accomplish this, allowing the message of violent extremists acting in the name of Islam to resonate more widely. The innocent victims of 9/11 deserve better than for you to use the anniversary of their death to commit an act of which their murderers would have approved."

3. It is un-American.

The First Amendment protects Americans from any government effort to abridge our freedom of speech. We are free to say and do what we please, however not all things are benifical and in fact, some things cause great harm. If our government said that you had no right to express yourself, this would be un-American, but irresponsibly exercising that right stains our hard-earned heritage of liberty and our tradition of tolerance. In the same way that many people feel it's within a legal right to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero, just not prudent. The same applies to the burning of the Quran: It might be legal to burn the book, but the wise thing would be NOT to burn it.

I wish everyone felt the same way about our flag. For me the American flag represents the freedom we share. It causes personal pain whenever I see or hear of someone burning a flag. They might have the freedom to do so, but if they were in their right mind they would never do it for the pain it causes in so many people who fought and died for the freedoms we have here in the United States of America.

4. It is endangering American lives.

Your actions endanger not only our military around the world, you are endangering my life and my family. The vast majority of Muslims who learn about the planned protest will peaceably counter-protest, but there will be many, operating under their own perverted interpretation of the religion, who will want to protest by killing Americans wherever they may find them. Thousands of Americans in the military, in the foreign service, and doing humanitarian work in countries from Mauritania to Indonesia (where thousands of Muslims have already marched in protest of your plan) are in danger.

Please join me in praying that this event does NOT unfold and if it does, I pray that we will not be judged by the actions of a few foolish people. But I'm certain we will be, and therein lies the problem beyond our ability to fix.

May God forgive us of ALL of our sins and may we be mericful as God has been merciful to us.

Pastor Dudley

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Check out The Vine

Did you know that we have a group of college-aged adults who meet every Sunday in the sanctuary at 6:30 pm? The Vine is our Sunday night service led by Pastor Phil Allen, and its mission to promote transforming growth among a generation of young believers through biblical teaching, missions and discipleship.

If you are a young adult, I hope you will get involve in The Vine very soon. Check out this video, which will give you a little taste of what this gathering of dynamic young people is all about:

The Vine Promo from Shepherd Youth on Vimeo.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Standing up for the Church

I know that there are many reasons and excuses why people do not attend church faithfully. I know that as long as man is involved, that the church will always have her flaws. I totally get that on any given Sunday, there are 1000 other things to do, than to take the time to gather the family and attend a local Church. I also understand that it’s possible, if not likely, for you to actually attend a church, to show up and feel as though you didn’t get anything out of it. (Just so you know, going to Church has more to do with the worship you have to offer than anything you expect to receive. It’s not about you. It’s about God and you giving him your worship and praise).

But for what its worth (which in my opinion, this list is priceless) let me share with you just a few of the many reasons why I believe you should be in Church EACH and EVERY weekend. These are what I call “the benefits of belonging and attending a local congregation”. This is a partial list of why Church should be a priority. While this is a small list, it is a powerful list, because each one is reason enough to attend. Add them or multiply their collective value and you quickly discover it’s the ONLY place to be on Sunday.

1 God will be there…. Enough said.
2 It’s where you learn God’s word…. What is that worth?
3 You are commanded to be there… Sorry, it’s true.
4 Salvation is available and recommended… Why wouldn’t you want that?
5 You’ll discover God’s perfect and pleasing will for your life. Priceless
6 A place of prayer. You actually get to talk to God… wow
7 Communion is served each week, in obedience to Jesus request.
8 People are baptized there, each week, into Christ.
9 It’s literally belonging to the family of God.
10 You’ll find help in resisting all kinds of temptation.
11 A place to use your gifts to serve the Body of Christ.
12 It is an investment in things that are eternal.
13 The best place to reinforce Godly principles to your children.
14 Worship that prepares you for worship in heaven.
15 When Jesus comes back, he’s coming for His Church, the bride.
16 You’ll find accountability in your walk with the Lord.
17 It represents what heaven will look like.
18 It’s a place to find food for your spiritual soul.
19 God’s Spirit moves powerfully through the believer
20 Strengthens one’s walk with the Lord.

What else could I say that would cause you to want to join? I honestly think there is something wrong if you wouldn’t want to join. Seriously, look at the list and think about why you wouldn’t want to attend each week.

Why not make Church a priority and instead of always seeing what’s wrong with the church, find a way to focus on what’s good about the Church. Instead of criticizing the church, why not defend the church and embrace the church.

Don’t forget, she is the Bride of Christ and one day soon, Jesus is going to return for his Bride. Will he find you in the church or will he find you outside the church? I’m praying and trusting that Church will become a priority for each and every person.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday night with Glenn Beck and David Barton

Tonight was a night I will never forget as I attended an event at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. It was billed as “an evening of prayer and spiritual renewal, hosted by Glenn Beck and David Barton”. I wish everyone in America could have been in that Performing Arts center to hear what I heard and to experience what I experienced.

I sat on the next to last row of the third level and I watched in amazement and thanksgiving for the events that unfolded. It started at 7:30 with music and worship, every song that was sung were songs that we know and sing at Shepherd. The first 45 minutes, everyone on that stage was African-American. The audience was electric in their praise and worship to Almighty God.

The first man to speak, I don’t know his name, was a congressman who led our hearts in prayer. He told us that there are a number of congressman who pray every day and that there have been MANY times where they have stood for the things of God when congress often tried to remove God from the Washington Monument, from our currency, from the flag certificates and other such things. His prayer was stirring… and from that moment on I cried most of the night.

Next a Rabbi spoke from the book of Genesis, explaining that we are all on this planet because of a creator God and that he put us here for a reason. He explained that there are those who believe our only right is choice. That we can choose whatever we want to do and he explained that was not why we were placed here. He said our only task is to do what GOD commands us to do. Therefore marriage is a union between a man and a woman. You can’t say, “I have the right to marry 4 people, or people of the same sex, or to abort a child because it’s convenient for you.” It was a very moving message.

Then Miles McPherson spoke and he stirred the audience with a message that the Church needs to wake up and begin to engage with the world in making a difference for God. Taking Jesus to our cities is imperative. That our cities are in trouble and that Jesus is the answer.

Then…. Drum roll…… Chuck and Gina Norris, who attended our church when they were living in L.A. came out and Chuck read several quotes from our founding fathers about how they trusted and depended upon God for their provision and their protection.

Then, different bible teachers and evangelist spoke along with David Barton who constantly spoke about how preachers helped shape our constitution and that many of our founding fathers listened to the preachers of the land. He talked about how 91 percent of the first 250 colleges in this country were led by ordained ministers.

Glenn Beck got up at the end and simply said that we as a nation need to turn back to God, that our problems will never be solved by any one man. He mentioned that it involves each of us “asking God what God wants us to do and then doing it”.

Not once, did I hear the word “Democrat or Republican”
Not once, did I hear the name of our current or former President.
It was simply a call to our Nation to turn back to God.

As I conclude this brief synopsis, let me explain some things about Glenn Beck. I am trying to figure him out and unlike some of you that have already made up your mind and have no room that you might be wrong about him, whether in a positive manner or negative manner. I am watching a man that God is using to bring together people from all walks of life for a common purpose of bringing our nation back to God.

I listened intently to every word he spoke and here is what I believe is happening. I believe that God is USING him for a purpose not known to us. Glenn loves David Barton and David is a Christian to the core and God is using David to speak to Glenn’s heart and soul. Glenn can NOT figure out exactly what is going on… he keeps saying he’s feeling something that he has never felt before and I feel as though God is surrounding him with Christian preachers and that Glenn is hearing things articulated that you and I have heard many times but he is just now hearing it and God is opening up his heart to the truth found in the word of God. He says things from time to time that you would expect from someone who really does NOT know the Bible, but I believe that God is teaching him the bible from all these Christian preachers that he has gathered around himself. It’s fascinating to watch.

I’m telling you tonight was like the beginning of a Revival for our country with Asians, Latinos, African-Americans and people from all walks of life singing praise songs and calling upon God to restore our Nation and we pray and call out to him.

If you have ever attended our Day of Prayer and Fasting, that was what this event was like and they said tomorrow (Saturday) will be more of the same. I hope you will tune in yourself and watch on TV and make your own judgment on what you see and hear, and I believe, like me, you will cry as you see God using a man that no one would have ever thought to use, to help bring America back to God.

I am hoping and praying that tomorrow will be like tonight. I don’t know, maybe it will get all political and stuff, but tonight I didn’t hear ONE word that came anywhere near being labeled political. Tomorrow, I pray will begin the next great awakening in America.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have You Had Enough? By Coach Dale Brown

Recently, I had the privilege of becoming friends with the former men's basketball coach of LSU. While I don't like to speak in generalities, I do agree with much of what he recently posted. Wanted to share his words in his post with you:

Have You Had Enough?
By: Dale Brown

Never have I seen the American public so disgusted with our Congress, Wall Street and the large corporations. Partisan politics, negative campaigning and seemingly no control over big business is literally sickening everyone. I plead with you to lead the way in cleansing a system that is totally out of control.

Americans are not only fed up with the greed, the lies and the cheating but they are angry. Please serve as a beacon light to change a system that so begrudgingly accepts change.

150 years ago, British historian Thomas Macaulay made this dire prediction for America, “Your civilization will be destroyed in the 20th century, as Rome was in the 5th century. But the huns and vandals which will destroy you will come from within, from your own institutions.” Yes, I know this is the 21st century but we had better wake up and demand that our Congress start putting the country first or his prediction could come true.

J. Paul Getty many years ago said, “I fear that unless there are many drastic changes in both basic philosophies and actual practices in every sector of human existence, our society will deteriorate and decline. It may well be wracked with upheavals far greater than any in previous history. It could, and I do not take the possibility lightly, be totally destroyed.”

I now ask you, will you just read this and delete it or will you try to do something about it? It has been said that nobody makes a greater mistake than someone who did nothing because he could do only a little. Please contact your congressman and demand change or vote them out of office.

I have traveled in 90 countries throughout the world and fully realize there is no better place to live but if we truly want to make this a better place to live we should follow Gandhi’s advice, “We must be the change we wish to see.”

When I was visiting Auschwitz I was appalled by seeing what one human being could do to another and thought how could this be possible. As I was leaving I saw a small plaque which gave me the answers, it said, “The road to Auschwitz was built by hate but paved with indifference.” We no longer can be indifferent to the ills of our society. Always remember when truth is in danger, silence equals guilt.

Great social transformation such as the end of slavery, the women’s and Civil Rights movements and the end of colonial rule all began with public awareness and engagement. Political leaders followed rather than led. A few courageous and committed people fed up with the system brought about the change. I sincerely hope that you will be stimulated to do something constructive and demand that we return to the principles that made this country the best in the world.

The system in Washington, D.C. and the large corporations in this country are corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interest groups to benefit the very few at the expense of the many. William Bennett in his book, “Death of Outrage” said, “The leader must be whole, he cannot have his public character be honest and his private character be dishonest.” We are to blame for many of our current problems because we have not demanded enough from those in powerful positions.

All of us Americans have a duty to end the corruption, greed, ineptness, and cronyism that have dominated the political and corporate world for far too many years.

What we desperately need today on all fronts are men and women willing to stand up for decency, truth, integrity, morality, law and order and who will respond to their conscience even when it is unpopular to do so – especially when it is unpopular to do so.

So now the question is, can we change a sick system and the answer is emphatically YES but only if we are vigilant, committed, disciplined, determined, and courageous enough to demand good ethics and honorable leadership.

The idea of saviors has been built into our entire culture. We have learned to look to stars, leaders, and experts in every field, thus surrendering our own strength, demeaning our own ability and causing us not to act when we see incompetence, dishonesty, and injustices.

Abraham Lincoln warned us when he said, “At what point is the approach of danger to be expected, if it is to reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot – we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time or die by suicide.”

Friday, July 30, 2010

Beach Baptisms 2010

It was another amazing and emotional day at the beach, as close to 200 men, women, and children, young and old, were baptized intot he name of the Lord Jesus. Check out this video:

Beach Baptism Revised from Call On Jesus on Vimeo.

Mike and Lucille Williams

Just a quick word on the BEST children's pastor in AMERICA. Mike and Lucille (aka Sarah Palin) Williams have been serving here at Shepherd for more than 8 years. Mike oversees birth through 5th grade and has a team of dedicated staff and volunteers that enable him to lead close to 1200 children each weekend throughout all 5 of our worship services.

One of the PILLARS of our church is the quality and care that is given to our children and their parents each week. Mike and his staff are dedicated to making sure each child is cared for and properly taught the Word of God.

Just recently, we had a Baby Dedication Service in which approximately 100 children dedicated to the Lord. Each parent went through a class and the value of raising children in a Godly home was explained. Then, during the service, Mike preached a powerful message from God's Word, furthering the importance of Godly parenting.

Whenever you find a great church, you know there must be a top-of-the-line children's ministry, and we are so blessed here at Shepherd to have such a Godly man like Mike and his entire family working on the Lord's behalf.

A GIANT word of thanks to Mike and Lucille and the time and energies invested in the children of Shepherd.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Valley Forge

Winter of 1777 George Washington got down on his knees and prayed asking for God's blessing. It was the turning point of the Revolutionary War.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This is an amazing picture

A bolt of lightning illuminates the sky around the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple, high on the Acropolis during a heavy rainfall in Athens early this morning.Read more:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thoughts on Coach Wooden

On Saturday, June 26th, UCLA honored the greatest Coach in all of sport, Coach John Wooden. He died at age 99 and many people were hoping that he could have celebrated his 100th birthday before he graduated into glory. But an honest and quick question to ask oneself is, "Would you rather celebrate your 100th birthday here on earth? Or would you prefer to celebrate your 100th birthday in heaven with your beloved wife and your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Up to the very last moment, Coach was aware of everything that was going on -- his health, his family, his condition, his place in history and of course his faith. We talked and prayed many times during the last 10 days of his life, and he simply had reached a decision that he wanted to go to heaven.

He would smile and jest with you. He was polite. He was considerate. He said, "I love you," to everyone who uttered those words to him. And, by the way, everyone who came to see him, his players, his friends and his family, said those beautiful words, and every time, Coach returned those same words of affection with such compassion. More than food or water, his only petition was that he wanted to go home. He wanted to be with Nell. On several occasions, a tear would come to the corner of his eye as his mind would flash to that moment that he would graduate into the arms of God.

His family was torn between him staying here in the present, with his 99 year old feeble frame, or allowing him to journey to his next place of residence...Heaven, with its golden streets and pearly gates, and of course, it's eternal clock. As only a true family can do, they came together, strengthened by each other, reaching the only conclusion they could, that they wanted what was best for "Papa".

So when it came time for the public service, they instructed the University that it was imperative that someone should speak and highlight the faith of Coach Wooden. It was one of the pillars of his life as evidenced in his poems, his words and his life. Credit goes to Jim and Nan Wooden, along with the grandchildren, for making sure this was a part of the service.

Thus, I was asked, by the family to make a presentation about Coach's faith. And for those who knew Coach, he never pushed his faith onto anyone else, but he did make it clear where he stood regarding his beliefs. And as I shared in the memorial service, he is in heaven today because of his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

He personally declared his intention for the scripture in Matthew 22 about "loving God and loving others" to be used, and thus I used that text. He felt, that the greatest word in the English language was the word love. He was a giant of a man, the likes of which we will never see again in our lifetime.

I want to leave you with the poem that the family placed in the program. It was entitled, "Don't Look Back," and it speaks not only of Coach's faith, but it also speaks of the family's wishes for the funeral to truly represent his life and thoughts.

The years have left their imprint
On my hands and on my face.
Erect no longer is my walk
And slower is my pace.

But there is no fear within my heart
Because I'm growing old
I only wish I had more time
To better serve my Lord.

When I've gone to Him in prayer
He has brought me inner peace
And soon my cares and worries
And other problems cease.

He has helped in so many ways,
He has never let me down,
Why should I fear the future
When soon I could be near His crown.

Though I know down here my time is short
There is endless time up there
And He will forgive and keep me
Forever in His loving care.

May I not waste an hour
That's left to glorify the Name
Of the One Who died, that we might live
And for our sins, took all the blame.

Thank you, Coach, for showing us how to live, and thank you for showing us how to live again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carlos Whittaker "Ragamuffin Soul"

Standing at baggage claim Sunday night at LAX, waiting for my 14-year-old daughter's luggage, I overheard a man ask his wife, "Did you and the kids make it to church today?" And then I heard him say "Well, we will have to have church in the car then." I thought, MY KIND OF DAD.

A man who had traveled across the country and his priority was making sure his family had a time with the Lord. We engaged in conversation while waiting for the luggage, and lo and behold I know this man's father--a godly man named Fermin Whittaker was faithful to teach the ways of the Lord to his son, Carlos Whittaker, who I was now witnessing faithfully teaching his children the importance of worship and honor to the Lord Jesus.

I gave Carlos my card and he gave me the recently completed CD of his music called "Ragamuffin Soul." (I came out ahead on that deal.) Well, come to find out, Carlos Whittaker is a man who travels the country leading worship and teaching people how to lead worship. I have listened to his music now several times through and this brother can lead you to God's throne.

If you're looking for some music that will move your soul, written and sung by a man who honestly leads his family in the ways of God, then you will be making a wise investment.

Carlos, it was a joy to meet you. Praying for your life and ministry to influence millions... And if that prayer and dream is never realized, please know that you influenced me to be a better man. And give your papa a "shout out" from Pastor Dudley and Shepherd of the Hills Church.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pastor David Martinez of Victory Outreach

A dear brother in the Lord and fellow Pastor, 67 year old David Martinez, pastor of Victory Outreach Church of the San Fernando Valley, whose ministry has affected the lives of thousands of former gang members, drug addicts and others over the last 35 years, has gone on to be with the Lord. This was a Godly warrior who served the Lord faithfully here in our city.

He had suffered a heart attack in December and then passed away of of a heart attack on Sunday while vacationing with his family in Yosemite. His son, Miguel, has been attending our church for the past six years.

Dennis McLellan of the L.A. Times reported this week that "The Pacoima-born Martinez, a former gang member, founded Victory Outreach Church of the San Fernando Valley in 1975, after reaching out to the area's gang members and drug addicts."

I will miss this Brother in the Lord. He served and reached people that were truly hurting and often times overlooked. He reached those who many deemed unreachable, ministering to those caught up in drugs and gangs. He put his own life on the line to help win people to Jesus. Often times when someone passes there is someone who comes along to pick up the slack. But in my opinion, Pastor Martinez will never be replaced. His love and compassion will be an example for all of us. Our valley was impacted by his life and service. He was a dynamic preacher, a man of prayer and he loved our work here at Shepherd. Every time I ever talked to him he was always so encouraging.

His service is today, (saturday June 19th, 10:30 a.m.) at Shepherd of the Hills Church

David I will miss your smile, your spirit and your ability to reach all men. Praying for your family and your church. May you finally enjoy the Jesus that you so greatly preached about.

In love,

Pastor Dudley C. Rutherford

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Coach John Wooden

I was blessed with a chance to visit with Coach Wooden over breakfast a few days ago. I have never known a man as wonderful and kind and wise as Coach. He is now 97 years of age and still going strong. I know that he understands that God has blessed him in so many ways. He loves his family and would do anything in the world for them. He is involved in their lives is so many ways. He loves all of the players who played for him and still is close to so many of his ex-players and coaches. He is respected around the world for his teachings and his wisdom. He has so many books that describe him and I would suggest that if you've never read any of them that you google for his books and you will find a wealth of wisdom. Most importantly he loves the Lord. He has lived his life simply setting an example. He still serves as a teacher, mentor and friend to so many people around the country.

Coach... I love you. It is a joy to know that you have always let your light shine for Jesus.

The Lord has indeed blessed you in so many ways and I thank you for always pointing others to Him... Thank you for always using your life to make a difference in so many other's lives. You have selflessly served those who are in your inner circle as well as those who watch from afar. I pray that God would continue to give you good health, a quick mind and a heart that longs for heaven...

Be blessed in all you do....


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

God's Hall of Fame

This was one of Coach Wooden's favorite Poems. I heard him quote it once at a banquet for the final four teams in the NACC tournament. He also quoted this poem when he was inducted into the Collegiate Hall of Fame. Truly words of wisdom.

God's Hall of Fame

Your name may not appear down here,
In this world’s hall of fame,
In fact you may be so unknown,
That no one knows your name!

The Oscars here may pass you by
And neon lights of blue,
But if you love and serve the Lord,
Then I have news for you.

This hall of fame is only good
As long as time shall be,
But keep in mind, God’s Hall of fame,
Is for eternity!

To have your name inscribed up there
Is greater yet by far,
Than all the Halls of Fame down here
And every man-made star.

This crowd on earth may soon forget
The heroes of the past,
They cheer like mad until you fall,
And that's how long you last.

But God, He never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame
By just believing in his Son,
Inscribed you'll find your name.

I tell you, friend, I wouldn't trade
My name however small,
That written there beyond the stars
In that celestial hall,

For any famous name on earth
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be unknown here,
And have my name up there.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Coach John Wooden 1910 - 2010

Back in 1994, Coach Wooden was attending the First Christian Church in Santa Monica, CA. After the Northridge earthquake, that church building was red-tagged so Coach had to find another church. I will never forget the morning that he was walking up the sidewalk leading into the sanctuary at Shepherd of the Hills Church, the church where I serve. I said "Coach, what are you doing here?" and he said, "I'm looking for a new church," and from that moment on, he and I became friends, where on many occasions we would get together to talk about spiritual things.

He loved to have me read the Bible to him, and oftentimes he would request a time of prayer. It was obvious that this incredible man was in love with the Lord, and it was quite obvious that he had walked with the Lord his entire life. I do not feel right about sharing the things that he and I talked about in private, but I will tell you that anyone who ever met Coach would recognize immediately that he was a man of love, patience, kindness and gentleness. Galatians 5:22,23, a very familiar Bible passage that tells of the "Fruit of the Spirit," contains a list of things that are the by-product of having the Spirit of God inside of you. The Bible lists the following as "Fruits of the Spirit": love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I ask you, which of these characteristics did Coach Wooden possess? I would argue with you that he had all nine. ALL NINE of them. Find ONE on the list that he did NOT possess or show evidence of in his life.

It is quite obvious that Coach was a man who loved the Lord and who deeply loved his family. Please keep his family in your prayers during these difficult days and know that one day we will see him again in heaven, where we be together forever.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Shepherd Antelope Valley

This past weekend I decided to visit our Antelope Valley campus and invited the Pastor's Posse to join me. The Pastor's Posse is the name of my EMAIL list of folks who love and ride motorcycles. We met at 8:30 in the morning and rode up highway 14 into Lancaster, exited K street and rode east and turned down the first street past Lowes to find our Shepherd AV campus. We had about 30 folks who made the journey and when we arrived we were welcomed with open arms. First thing we noticed was a large truck that had been painted welcoming us, which had to take quite a bit of time.

For the first couple of years this campus met in a School and just recently was able to move into a more permanent location where they have use of the building through out the week.

We were blessed with a beautiful time of worship led by Charlotte Causley. She led us into a season of praise and then I was able to do a greeting before Pastor David Macer preached a powerful sermon on Romans 7 and 8. We found the church FULL of so many people that loved the Lord and I was encouraged to see first hand the extension of our ministry and after listening to the announcements by Robert Norris who grew up in our Porter Ranch campus you then realized why this church is doing so well. God has brought about a group of Godly leaders who are burdened to see the Antelope Valley come to know Jesus.

If you are looking for a campus in the Antelope Valley, Woodland Hills, Agua Dulce or in West L.A. just visit our main website at and look at the bottom of our website for any of our Satellite Campuses.

I just wanted to thank the Pastor's Posse for going with me to encourage the Antelope Valley campus and I want to thank ALL of our Campuses for holding up the banner of Jesus Christ.

Good things are ahead for all of our campuses. Keep praying for God to bless them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Call on Jesus and the Conductor

Jeff Marsh is a famous international conductor, who I met while serving jury duty in Chatsworth, and he is a member of our church. He helps conduct our orchestra, and recently, he sent me these pictures and a very kind note. I thought I'd show these pictures to you... Notice he is wearing a Call on Jesus shirt and using it as a witnessing tool. I love stories like this and wanted to share it with you. Can you please pray for Jeff, as God has put him into some very high circles that he would continue to let his light shine and use his gifts to point people to Jesus?

Below, you will find a couple pictures of Jeff conducting members of the Seattle Symphony last March. There were 80 musicians in the orchestra and about 35 in the choir.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Click link to view - Hillcrest Christian School Washington DC Trip Re-Edit

Took a trip with the 8th grade class from Hillcrest Christian School and visited New York, Philly, D.C., and visited many of the sites from the Early American Revolution and then spoke at for chapel service afterwards and showed this video to the young people. Hillcrest is where all 3 of my children attended and I am so thankful for the Christian Education that they received. Click on link (ABOVE) to view video.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jesus Take the Wheel.. Now

Ever felt like things are OUT of control in your life? I love this song about letting Jesus take the wheel. A good word of wisdom is to NOT WAIT until things are spinning out of control, but let Jesus take the wheel TODAY. No need to worry if HE is driving your life. It's actually the safest way to live. It will require a step of faith, letting go and letting GOD take over, but it will be the wisest thing you ever did, surrendering control to the Lord.

I wonder if you can find rest in knowing that HE truly knows what's in YOUR BEST INTEREST.
You would think that WE know what's best for us, but in reality we are blinded by our good intentions. The Lord, who knows and sees all, is the only one that can see the big picture.
Walk in faith, truly trusting in His plan and His will for your life.

The video is my daughter singing this past weekend before I preached. It's a good song with some really good thoughts.

Be blessed,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Christian Parent Pledge

1. Each day I will spend as least as much time
with my child as I do with my TV.

2. Each day I will share at least one fun-filled
learning experience with my child.

3. Each day I will affirm my child as a person.

4. Each day I will affirm my Lord (praise Him,
thank Him, honor Him) in the presence of my child.

5. Each day I will affirm my mate in the presence of my child.

6. Each day I will say, “I love you” to my child.

7. Each day I will make one truth from God’s Word the delight of my child’s life.

8. Each day I will pray for my child, by name.

9. Each day I will read something to my child that will build his/her love for the Lord and the joy of reading.

10.Each day I will help my child feel the warmth of my personal presence by an embrace, a hug or a kiss.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

My time on Praise the Lord

In case you weren't able to catch my visit with the folks at Praise the Lord, here is the clip of my time on the show:

Dudley on TBN from Call On Jesus on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

NCAA..... wow... THEY ARE WEAK

NCAA Pulls the Plug on Focus Ad After Protest
by Nima Reza, managing editor
Organization caters to homosexual activists over benign ad.

The NCAA took a Focus on the Family ad off of its Web site after homosexual activists complained.

The print ad shows a father holding his young son. It's titled:

Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.

And the picture is captioned:

All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing.

The activists claimed Focus was too controversial for being pro-life, and in favor of one-man, one-woman marriage. They said that runs counter to the NCAA's policies.

Gary Schneeberger, vice president of ministry communications at Focus on the Family, said he was "befuddled" by the NCAA's decision.

"Have we really become a society where it's considered distasteful and controversial for a dad to hope the best for his son?" he said. "If so, we have a lot of soul-searching to do as a nation."

Steve Maegdlin, CEO of the CSK Strategic Marketing Group which produced the print ad, said there's no reason for it to be pulled.

"There's no hidden message or hidden agenda in here," he said.

Calls to the NCAA were not returned.

The ad was part of a CBS Super Bowl package. The network ran the much-talked about TV commercial by Focus on the Family featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother.

"We said during the weeks of controversy before our Super Bowl commercial with the Tebows aired that – despite the charges of critics who hadn't even seen it – the spot was not political or divisive or hateful," Schneeberger added. "And, it wasn't. The print ad now being protested is even more non-threatening – if that's possible. It simply says, 'Focus on the Family is here to help you raise your kids, thrive in your marriages and tackle the challenge life throws your way.'"

Call the NCAA to express your disappointment over the ad's removal.

NCAA Comment Line 317-917-6762.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Out of Shepherd and Into Japan!

Japan is such a beautiful country with so much culture and technology, many neat trends, and a wonderful people. But it is a country that needs Jesus. Did you know that only one percent of the nation is Christian? Mike Ackerman is a man from our church who embarked on an adventure of faith--moving to Japan a couple of years ago with his wife and two small children to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this unreached nation. Check out what he's doing:

MUSTARD SEED クリスチャン教会で何をするの? from Mustard Seed on Vimeo.

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Baptism in Japan!!!!

A friend named Mike Ackerman and his wife our doing missionary work in Japan and he recently sent out an update explaining that they had their FIRST BAPTISM. My heart rejoices with Mike and his desire to serve in Japan. He is such a talented young man and could easily work any where in the world, but God has burdened his heart for the people of Japan. Please read his post and pray for him and his work and consider sending him prayer and financial support if God so leads you.

Keep up the Great work Mike. Praying for you today.

His letter....

Dear Friends,It has been an exciting and busy start to 2010. We have begun holding our weekly church services. There is more I wish I could tell you than I have room here to do, but it has been a great start! We have had a number of people consistently coming, and I think there have been new people every week.

The most exciting part of this past month came just this past Sunday. A woman named Kyoko made a decision to follow Christ and was baptized. She has come to every service except our first event in December. Part of what is neat about her story is that none of us knew her a month ago. She was invited to church by an acquaintance I invited a couple months ago.

It is clear that she had been searching for something, and the neutral ground of our sports bar church provided the context for her to learn about the love and grace of God.

There are literally millions of people in our city who haven’t been to a church and heard the Gospel. We thank God that Kyoko was able to make her way to our church and hear!My friend Reo who plays drums in our worship band sounds like he is really considering taking the step to put his faith in Jesus. He has been at every service, and him and I continue to meet up every once and a while one-on-one.

A couple weeks ago he told me that coming to church, along with having relationships with our team, has really impacted him. He said he is trying to find his way in life and wants to learn more about God. Him and I will begin going through a short book together that introduces Christianity.

Please be praying that those times serve to help him find a relationship with Jesus Christ.I wish I could share more of what is happening, but I hope you are encouraged that the prayers and financial support are helping the Kingdom advance here in Japan.

This coming year looks to be a challenging year for us financially, so please pray for God’s provision. Lord willing, there will be many more people like Kyoko who are able to hear the Gospel at Mustard Seed Christian Church and respond in faith!

Mike, Erin, Brayden, and Cooper