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Friday, September 17, 2010

THIS IS INSANE


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.