Monday, February 24, 2020

Keep Pressing On!

As someone who has battled depression off and on for most of my life, I've always appreciated this statement:

"If you rearrange the letters in the word..."Depression" you'll get..."I Pressed On".

As a follower of Christ, I've learned that it's not just me "Pressing On" but It's The Lord through His Holy Spirit that strengthens and enables me to press on as I cannot do it alone.

It's The Lord Who has brought me through every battle with depression or any other battle. He's The One Who fights for me and has already won the battles. He's The One that has given me the strength and reason to get out of bed or to not stay in isolation during the seasons of battling depression. He's The One Who has kept me alive and not allowed me to make selfish decisions in my youth and early adulthood when I wanted life to end. He is my hope and strength.

He's The One Who has continually encouraged, strengthened, and spurred me on to keep on pressing on! I would not be here without Him and I would not make it through any storm or battle without Him.

I pray that no matter what you are facing, whether you battle depression or not, no matter what you face may you and I stand with Christ and truly know and say...."I Pressed On" because that's exactly what God wants us to do for His Kingdom, Glory, and our good.

May we always remember to thank Him for helping us overcome the battles because we'd be nowhere and defeated without Him.

Keep pressing on my friend!

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,


PS. Keep living life on purpose for Him!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Give Your Anxiety To The Lord.

We all may have experienced times where our circumstances, worries, or troubles, including the things that are often out of our control, weigh us down.

Instead of dwelling and abiding in The Lord and His Word, we allow ourselves to dwell in all of the before mentioned. 

We dwell on the could of, should of, would of scenarios as if we can fix or take back whatever it was or is all by ourselves.

We allow ourselves to go down the path of anxiety, depression, and more which may include or or result in stress, sleepless nights, weak strength, our joy is often diminished or gone at that moment, and we can also experience other physical side effects and more.

Now, don't get me wrong as there are real medical issues at times but often we hurl ourselves down a path we shouldn't go down or need to quickly back out of. However, it's often a path of our own making if we're honest.

Let's stop the sleepless nights and ulcer inducing behavior and instead, try our very best to give it to The Lord in prayer, seek the counsel and encouragement of His Word, as well as the counsel and encouragement of the godly people God has placed in our lives. 

God is our strength, so, to be blunt, we need to start living like He really is!

Read Matthew 6:34 and 1 Peter 5:7 for starters for encouragement from God's Word.

I'm praying for you and please pray for me as well that we might grow more in giving our anxiety to Him more automatically as we should not be carrying it first place. 

Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

So, What Is 'Rooted' All About?

Hello Friends, 

I wanted to share a glimpse from each of the 7 days of my latest YouVersion Devotional, 'Rooted'. Just want to give you flavor for what it's about.

The following images contain a quote or thought from each day of the 7-Day devotional starting with a description / overview of what 'Rooted' is all about. 
 
If you'd like to check out the devotional for yourself via the YouVersion Bible App, Here's the link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/17786-rooted


Please check it out and share it with your family and friends. I pray it's a blessing in your and their walks with The Lord. 


Many blessings!


Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

P.S.  Please note: For those unfamiliar with the YouVersion Bible App, if you open this link via your smartphone or tablet, you’ll want to open it via the YouVersion Application otherwise it will open via a browser on your phone and you won't have access to all the features in the app. If you are opening this via a PC it will likely open via your web browser only.








Monday, January 20, 2020

Choosing To Live Significantly

Dear Friend,

I continue to meet people even within the church who struggle with identity, significance, and purpose. So, I wanted to republish this article from several years ago with hopes it will bring encouragement to whomever reads it. I've also included a link to another post at the end which is a reminder of who you are Christ. 

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch
"Choosing To Live Significantly" By Randolph Koch

Read: John 15:5, John 15:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 3:12, Philippians 4:13

On some level, we all want to be significant. We want to feel valued which in and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as we don't pursue it or live it out in an unhealthy way.

With this, we can often struggle with feeling insignificant or unworthy, and more. You may struggle with feeling insignificant at times as well. You are not alone...the world is full of people searching for significance and struggling with the very same things.

Unfortunately, some confuse significance with fame or popularity which it is not. They identify their worth by what they do or accomplish. In addition, some want to seek fame …the next viral video or YouTube. Some feed on how many “likes” or followers they receive on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

Some will also try to bring you down and make you feel that you aren’t important, worthy or worth something…but as for you...hold onto God's truth and don't believe the lies spoken to you or that you speak to yourself!

You have to shift your focus off these temporal things to God's eternal Word and specifically what He says about you and how He defines you!

You are significant… No matter what, I want you to know here and now that in Christ, The One Who gave you life in the first place and defines you…He says you are significant!

So much so that He took up the cross for you so that you might be forgiven and have salvation in Him. He loved you that much!

Again, here are some scripture encouragements (of the many and same as above) about who you are in Christ: John 15:5, John 15:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 3:12, Philippians 4:13

Please note that NONE of these passages say anything about God operating without a specific purpose in regard to you nor do we see here that you have no worth or significance! ...Quite to the contrary…Again…You became worthy and significant through Christ!

You may feel insignificant at times but you can choose to live significantly by living the way God has commanded you to live!

God the Father sees you and says…There’s my child whom I love with a sacrificial, perfect and eternal love whom I sacrificed my Son Jesus for!

Choose to live significantly for Him my friend because you are secure, accepted and significant in Christ! Don't ever forget your worth! God gives you significance...so live it out!

In Christ Alone,

Randolph Koch

P.S. Please share this post with others to encourage them and please see the following link for further study about who you really are in Christ.  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/2012/03/who-you-are-in-christ.html

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Clean Slate


Read and Study Psalm 103:11-12

If you are in Christ, you need to remember that your Heavenly Father has given you a clean slate.
 As a part of this clean slate, He does not hold your sins against you.

I have to ask though, since He doesn't hold your sins and past against you, why do you hold on to them or hold on to your past sometimes?


Friend, It's times to really walk in the new life He's given you.


As part of this, if you're holding on to things, remember that you've experienced His forgiveness and you need to lay it all down at His feet. 


You also need to forgive yourself as He's already forgiven you!

You are completely forgiven!

I have to ask though, since He doesn't hold your sins and past against you, why do you hold on to them or hold on to your past sometimes?

Friend, It's times to really walk in the new life He's given you.

As part of this, if you're holding on to things, remember that you've experienced His forgiveness and you need to lay it all down at His feet. You also need to forgive yourself as He's already forgiven you!

I pray that you take these truths to heart in Jesus name. 


Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch 

Monday, January 06, 2020

My YouVersion Devotional Plan "Rooted" is now Live!

Hello!

Thank you for visiting the A Shepherd's Heart website!

I'm excited to share that my YouVersion Devotional Plan, "Rooted" is now Live in the YouVersion Bible App and website!

Here's the link: http://bible.us/r/4cs














Thanks for your prayers, for prayerfully subscribing and completing the plan, and helping spread the word by sharing with your family and friends!

Excited to see what God does through this in the lives of those who go through the plan. Praying this plan is a blessing to the body of Christ,

Humbly In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant, 

Randolph Koch

P.S. Please note: If you're unfamiliar with the YouVersion Bible App, if you open this link via your smartphone or tablet, you’ll want to open it via the free YouVersion Bible Application or it will open via a browser. If you are opening this via a PC it will likely open via your web browser only.

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Special Announcement from A Shepherd's Heart! 01/06/2020!

Hello!

Thank you for visiting the A Shepherd's Heart Website!

Please check out this special announcement regarding my latest YouVersion project which is launching 1 week from today!

https://youtu.be/HXBMKKJtAFw
Humbled and thankful for this opportunity to serve the body of Christ!

Please stay tuned for more information to come later this week!

In advance of the New Year, Happy New Year!

Thanks for your prayers!

Your Brother, Friend, and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Friday, December 20, 2019

He Is Emmanuel - God Is With You!

Hello Friend,

This time of year can solicit a multitude of thoughts, emotions, and the feeling of being alone. While this may be true, we need to remember that no matter what you and I are facing each day, remember that Jesus is Emmanuel. God is with you/us!

He is Emmanuel my friend and will never leave or forsake you!He will always be with you!


Let me ask you: Are you feeling feeling alone or low? If so, don't be afraid to reach out to Him in prayer and through His Word if you're feeling alone or low and He will lift you up.

And, don't be afraid to reach out to other's after you've met with Him because we're supposed to be in this life together as the body of Christ. 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23

May this truth that He is always with you be an encouragement to you and allow you to celebrate Christmas in an even more special and meaningful way.

Merry Christmas!

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

P.S. You're in my prayers! Please reach out if you'd like me to pray for something specific! 

Friday, November 29, 2019

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Hello!

Let me be one of the first people to wish you Merry Christmas!

To kick off this incredible season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I wanted to share three Christmas resources with you. 

1. Celebrating Advent guide:

While this is currently the free gift for subscribing to my free A Shepherd's Heart Communications, I want to simply offer it this year to anyone whether they subscribe or not. 

Please click on the following link to download the guide:  Celebrating Advent

This a guide that I created to help provide you with the basic information to incorporate Advent into your Christmas celebration as you focus on The Reason for the season....Jesus! 

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent so there's still time to check out this guide, pray, and decide if you want to incorporate Advent into your Christmas celebration! 

2. Christmas: The Promise Fulfilled YouVersion Devotional:





















This is the first of two Christmas devotionals that are currently published in the YouVersion Bible App and Website. 

Please click on the following link to check out the devotional: Christmas: The Promise Fulfilled 


3. The Wonder of Christmas YouVersion Devotional:





















This is the second of two Christmas devotionals that are currently published in the YouVersion Bible App and Website. 

Please click on the following link to check out the devotional: The Wonder of Christmas

A note about these devotionals: You can either open these in the App or a web browser via your mobile phone or if you're opening them in a personal computer, it will prompt you to open them in a web browser. If you'd like both the audio and written versions of the devotionals then I recommend accessing them via the mobile app. 

From there it will give you the option of reading a sample and then give you the option of subscribing to the free devotional plans. 

I hope you check out, take advantage of, and enjoy these Christmas Resources as they were created to encourage you in your faith as you seek to celebrate the birth of Christ!

Again, Merry Christmas! It's an honor to serve you and The Lord!

Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thankfulness...it's really a "thing".

What are you thankful for? Do you make thanksgiving part of your day-to-day or like many, do you relegate this to holidays or special occasions?

It may sound ridiculous to hear that but sadly it's true because some today don't have an attitude of gratitude...they have the opposite of that.

Thankfulness can be found despite the circumstances of a given day or moment. 

Thankfulness can be found with each new day because each day provides a fresh new start.

Thankfulness can be found in the beating of your heart and with every breath.

Thankfulness can be found in the rising and setting of the sun each day is a gift to live out.

Thankfulness can be found in salvation, love and a new life found in the Savior. 

Thankfulness is a decision... a mindset... an attitude...a choice. 

You can find so many things to be thankful for if you just pause for a moment and look around you...what do you see? You should see a multitude of things to be thankful about. 

Maybe you need to periodically take time to pause for a few minutes and write down what you're thankful fore instead of what you're ungrateful for?

Don't compartmentalize your thanksgiving. Be thankful daily. Thank others daily. Thank God for the life you've been given and for the people He's blessed and surrounded you with. 

Be thankful for the "big" and "small" things in your life because at the end of the day they are all truly big things. Your life, your attitude and your outlook will be far better if you are thankful and appreciate how blessed you truly are!

Here are 8 passages (of the many in God's Word) to help you meditate on regarding thankfulness.

Take time to read, study and pray about these and then go find more in The Word for yourself.

Psalm 95:2-3
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

1 Corinthians 1:4-5
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—

2 Corinthians 9:11-12
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 7:17
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

1 Thessalonians 5:18
18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 


Be thankful because God is good and He loves you beyond measure.

Thankfulness is really a thing...just make it your thing! 

Thankfully,

Randolph Koch

Friday, October 18, 2019

You Were Created And Set Free To Serve!

I recall hearing Pastor Greg Laurie say the following:
"God looks at us and says, “I know what you can be. You don’t know it yet, but I know. I know what I can make you into. You’ll be a mighty man of God. You’ll be a mighty woman of God.” -Greg Laurie

Friend, You are His workmanship and He has uniquely created you with a specific purpose, will, and plan for you in mind. Through His free gift of salvation you've been set free from the bondage of sin and have been given a new life in Christ.

He did this because He loves you with a perfect and eternal love!

Pause for a moment and let these truths sink in.

This speaks volumes to me because He not only saved us but thought exactly what He created us to do according to His purpose, will, and plan! We're unique in Him and made by and for Him! We are set apart by and for Him!

With this in mind, have you considered that you can and should freely serve Him and that you've been called to do so?


We don't serve to somehow "continue to earn our salvation" rather, we serve out of love for Him and thanksgiving for all He's done for us.

Please note that serving isn't just for "The professionals" as in the paid and volunteer pastors and staff...no..serving is for ALL of us!

So, what's holding you back from serving the Lord?

Let's pray for one another that we get off of our seats and really live to be His Hands and Feet for His kingdom and glory!

Please read and study Ephesians 2:10 (ESV),James 2:14-18 (ESV), and 1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV) for encouragement from God's Word and then walk in the work He's call you to do.


Your Brother and Servant In Christ, 

Randolph Koch

Monday, October 07, 2019

There's Nowhere You Can Hide!

Read:  Psalms 139:7, Romans 8:37‭-‬39, and Luke 19:10  

You may try to convince yourself that you've done too much wrong or your past or present is far too messy for God to love you.

You may even try to run and hide from Him.

Let me tell you that no matter if you know Him already or not, there is nowhere that you can run or hide from the presence and love of God!

So, quit trying to run and hide from The Lord your God and instead run to Him!


Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch