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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Number 53


Today must begin by thanking the ALMIGHTY God for creating each and everyone of us. Before the foundation of the world was made he knew that each of us would be here. God's love in providing salvation through His one and only son leads us to honor him in all that we do.

I thank God for his mercy, for my parents, for my wife and children, for my friends and for our Church.

As I turn another year older, I want to go on record and say if I never live to see another birthday I've had the greatest life ever. I live every day knowing it could be my last and with that conviction I attempt to serve God with all of my heart EVERY day.

But if God is gracious and allows me to live a long and fruitful life I am planning on doing the following if HE so wills.

1) I want to spend the next 20 years doing everything possible to reach the city of Los Angeles and the United States of America and the unreached world for Jesus Christ.

2) My immediate focus is to raise the funds for our new worship facility to provide more room for those who do NOT know Jesus Christ. In achieving this goal I believe that we will provide for generations to come a light house that will SHINE brightly here in the city of Los Angeles.

3) The next 20 years I want to try to train up more leaders. Men and Women who desire to shake and change the world for Jesus Christ. II Timothy 2:2 Who is on board?

4) I am greatly burdened to help shift our country back to God. We must reach the younger generation. I do NOT want to grow old and have a church that is NOT filled with YOUNG PEOPLE who in turn will reach their generation. That might mean having even more of a contemporary sound to our music. It might mean mixing up some things. It might mean spending more time and money on the younger generation. But I am burdened to stand for Biblical principles and to teach them to the youth in our culture.

5) Not interested in slowing down. Smile! I think the older we become the MORE we have to offer. I want to figure out how to be a better steward of my time and talent and resources. I want to give more. I want to serve more. I want to be used more. I want to be ready for whatever God has in store.

6) In my immediate plans... I want to use these next 4 months to complete the task assigned to me of being the President of the North American Christian Convention. July 5-8 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit www.gotonacc.org and look at the program. I hope as many of you as possible will find a way to join me this summer for a life changing experience as we see God UNLEASH his spirit upon the churches in America.

7) Want to finish up a book that I'm putting together called "God has an app for that". It's designed to help people who have tried everything to fulfill their needs to know that God has a solution to all of our problems. It will not be released until Jan/Feb 2012 but the manuscript needs to be completed in just a few months. Please pray that this book is blessed by God and reaches those who have little understanding of how much WISDOM is found in the Bible.

8.) This might upset some of you, but I have a growing burden that we might need to change the name of our church. Please here me out on this. Although I LOVE the name of our church it is DIFFICULT on so many levels. First, most people can NOT even spell the name. You should try and have 10 people spell Shepherd and see how many people can NOT do it. Second, it is a tad dated. It used to fit our area when there were nothing but hills around us, but today the hills are replaced by Walmart and homes. Third, it's DIFFICULT to find a logo for Shepherd that looks modern and contemporary. Again, I want to reach the next generation and I have been trying for OVER 10 years to even find a logo for a Shepherd that doesn't look 100 years old. Lastly, the name doesn't work with all of our campuses. And we need a name that will fit with all 5 of our church satellites. Again, don't be upset, just be in prayer.

9) I want to go to Israel again soon. Perhaps the spring of 2012. I feel like the Lord is coming sooner than we think and I would love to visit the city of all cities, the city of Jerusalem. Please contact the church office and leave your contact number if you are interested in joining me on my 8th trip to the Holy Land.

10) My final thought, on this my birthday, is to THANK each and every one of you for the past 24 years of working together, side by side, reaching out and building God's church here in the valley. I trust that God will continue to bless us the next 20! SMILE Will you make these next 20 years the most fruitful years ever. Let's work and pray and give and serve and love and witness TOGETHER. Let's try to do something that ONLY God can get the credit for. Let's believe God for the impossible. Let's use the Internet, the net of compassion, the net of our influence to reach our world for Jesus. Let's HONOR God with our life and our words. Let's give 100 percent of our heart and all of our time, talent and treasure to lead others into a saving relationship with God's son. Let's don't slow up or down in our attempts to build a great church.
May God strengthen us to carry on and to finish strong. Thank you and please know that I love you!!!!!! twitter.com/pastordudley

7 comments:

Jeff Perrin said...

We should all sing Happy Birthday to you tonight i wonder what that would be like, turning red, you know....anyone ??

Jeff Perrin said...

Not to be a pest but how many days of the year can i bug you.... ON YOUR BIRTHDAY !!
Stephanie says you will need to get a bigger cake and start practicing the blowing out of the candles.
Have a great day

CAPTAIN FREEDOM said...

Dudley, I have a thought for the renaming of our church. In Acts 8:25 it tells that Peter and John stopped in many villages along the way to preach the Good News. Maybe we can come up with something about getting the good news out to people and/or unleashing the Holy Spirit?

Another that I was reading is Acts 2:1-4 which talks about that a mighty windstorm which filled everyone present with the Holy Spirit. This gave the people the ability to share the word of God in a way that they could understand, in a language that they could understand.

Acts 2:17-21 tells about pouring the Holy Spirit upon all the servants and they will prophesy.

One that really hit me is Acts 2:37-42 which tells us about the gift of the Holy Spirit and the promise to all who have been called by the Lord our God.

I will continue to pray for this.
Bill

barbwyr said...

Pastor, first let me say Happy Birthday and may God Bless you with many more. You have been a blessing to our church and my family and I thank God every day for putting me in a church where I can learn from Godly teachers like yourself.

All of the things you have said make sense. It doesn't make sense to teach only those who already know God or are complacent with their place in His house. We need to reach those who are lost or who are struggling with their place in life and we can't do that without making room for them or making it so they can find us. If we are not out looking for them as well as drawing them in with music like the worship team led this past weekend then we face losing them to the "World".

As for changing the name, I struggled for months with remembering that there is no "A" and it's "PH" like "F" to spell it so I can understand the dilemma and while I would hate to see the name change, I would hate more to have to answer to God as to WHY we didn't use every opportunity to save every lost person. So if we pray and God puts it on our hearts I believe a majority will come up with the same name or at least the same conclusion. Perhaps that conclusion will be to stay the same, but as one who once struggled I do indeed understand. My first inclination would be why not go back to where it all began with the merge and change it to Hillcrest Christian Church, if that decision were indeed made but again as you pointed out pray indeed will lead us to God's will.

Again, Happy Birthday Pastor Dudley
With Love and Great Respect

David

steven said...

happy bday to the original P-diddy..or is it P-Dudley?

Allane's said...

Loved reading your blog--Yes, you are going to have your hands full the next twenty years!New church name-great idea-would all the satellites and Shepherd,honestly,I just spelled Shepherd wrong:) have the same name? I'd have two huge contests, one "Name the Church" and the other "Design a Logo" To raise funds each person would make a donation to have their choices submitted into the contest. The contest would last 3-6 months so thousands of recommendations would come in--Everyone would get involved-Fun! Love you too,Dudley
Be well and the happiest of birthdays to you! Allane (your favorite waitress)

Dave Page Live said...

Regarding changing the name of the church ... I see the reasoning in wanting to do this and the need to maybe rebrand The Shepherd.

You're right about some people not knowing how to spell shepherd. I got an email today from someone who sings at the church and she spelled shepherd "sheperd."

Another possibility would be to rename the church with a nickname. Like when Ed Young came to 2nd Baptist Church of Houston and nicknamed it "The Fellowship of Excitement" or when Hayford named The First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys "The Church on the Way." You could keep the name SOTH as the DBA but name it something completely different and rebrand it that way with a new logo, etc. I like one word names - ie. Harvest, Radiant, Resonate, Journey, Mosaic, etc. The diversity is such a huge value at SOTH maybe you want to have a name that highlights that? Just my 2 cents ... Dave