Friday, July 20, 2018

Worship...It's not just for the holidays!

Read: Hebrews 10:24‭-‬25, John 4:24, John 15:19, John 17:14-16, 1 John 2:15, Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, Psalm 100:4, Psalm 96:8; Psalm 84 (Emphasis on verses 4 and 10)

The culture we live is vying for us to follow them and in many ways, it wants us to worship it. However, we are called to worship an audience of ONE...The Lord our God! 

We're to love God and not this world or the things of this world. We need to remember that the trappings of this world or temporal and everything will pass away but God and things of The Lord are eternal.

We're to be in and not of it as we're not to conform to this world. We're to be different and shine His light into the darkness. This is counter culture but we're either going to be In Christ or we are not. 

Worship and being an active part of The Body of Christ is a vital part of our faith and walk in Christ. This is also counter culture. 

We are called to worship with our lives and God's Word also places special emphasis on gathering together weekly to be instructed in The Word, Worship in Song, Fellowship, Give God the first fruits of your labor through your tithes and offerings, Caring for one another and more.

We shouldn't make gathering weekly a "sometimes" thing like only during special holidays. We also shouldn't make attending and being committed to the local church something that we do only when we "feel" like it because feelings come and go. No, we should be committed to the local church because God instructs us to do so and He knows what's best for us! 

You and I shouldn't attend out of legalistic reasons or just out of "obligation", rather, we should want to to be committed to attending because you know God wants us to do so.

Worship is a gift from God that in turn we give back to Him through our lives and weekly in a corporate setting or whenever or wherever you gather together with other believers. 

So, worship with your life and worship in connection to your attendance and heartfelt commitment to the local church because of God's great love for you and because The Body of Christ needs you as The Body isn't a complete body without you. 

In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

P.S. Please share this encouragement with others. 
P.S.S. Please pray for me as with any self funded ministry, (I work full time to provide for my family and to do His kingdom work) resources for projects are limited. Please pray with me as I'm currenlty working to acquire a specific type of DSLR camera to be able to do enhances biblical encouragement videos as well as still photography for projects as well. Thanks for your prayers! 

Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Also, here are a few ideas of how I can serve you: 
https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/ministry-service-offerings.html

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Excerpts From The "9 Keys To Walking In Christ" Devotional and a gift for completing the plan!

Hello!

It was an exciting launch week and so far, 2,100 people have subscribed to the plan in the first week! This is incredible as I was honestly hopeful that prayerfully over the life of the devotional plan that 1,000 might subscribe to an complete the plan in the app and web site!

It's not about the numbers but it is about reaching as many people as possible with encouragement in their faith and walk with Christ from God's Word! 

Today, I wanted to share an excerpt from each day of the "9 Keys To Walking In Christ" devotional via the following images so you get an idea of what it's like:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

What is the "9 Keys To Walking In Christ" devotional about?


Hello! 
How do you walk in Christ? Like eating right and regular exercise, you have to be disciplined in exercising your faith, to grow in your walk with Him. God's Word outlines many practical principles that will help you successfully walk in Christ.
The aim of this devotional is to guide you through nine of the keys to help strengthen your walk.
Whether you just started walking in Christ, or have walked with Him for years, I pray this will be a spark in your faith that will help motivate you, driving you to walk closer with Him!
I pray that this devotional will encourage and challenge you in your walk with Christ!
It's an honor to serve you and I'm humbled and exited as God has blessed me with this opportunity to encourage the body of Christ from His Word.
I pray that you will sign up for the plan and help get the word out about the plan to your family, friends and church family too! 
Also, your continued prayers for a successful launch is greatly appreciated! 
On another note, I know the A Shepherd's Heart social media sites and website has been dominated by the devotional launch this week, however, it's been important in support of getting the word out about God has done. Rest assured I'll be sifting back into the usual biblical and practical encouragement posts and content in the weeks ahead. 

My current plan via the website is to finish The Fruit of The Spirit Series that I'd started a while back and put that on pause as well as other topics to encourage you in your faith and walk with Christ. 

Also, via social media, the usual A Shepherd's Heart biblical and practical encouragement posts will be back in action. 

If you're subscribed to the free A Shepherd's Heart Communications, you will receive additional content and news before anyone else receives it and you can expect some more encouragement resources will be coming your way if your'e signed up! 

If you aren't signed up, please sign up with your name and e-Mail address via the form on the right of the www.ashepherdsheart.org landing page. 

I'm always working to provide content that is encouraging to you in your faith and walk with Jesus. With this, what topics or content will be useful to you or would you like to potentially see? Please leave a comment here or send an e-Mail to rlk@ashepherdsheart.org. I'm also working to assess where to focus efforts and time and would like to share was it most meaningful as much as possible so your input would be very helpful! 

Thank you for your time and please pass this communication on to someone!

In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Also, here are a few ideas of how I can serve you: 
https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/ministry-service-offerings.html


Monday, July 09, 2018

My Devotional Plan "9 Keys To Walking In Christ" is now Live!

Hello! 

I'm excited to share that my devotional plan is now Live in the YouVersion Bible App and site!

Plan description:
"How do you walk in Christ? Like eating right and regular exercise, you have to be disciplined in exercising your faith to grow in your walk with Him. God's Word outlines many practical principles that will help you successfully walk in Christ. The aim of this devotional is to guide you through nine of the keys to help strengthen your walk."
If you use the app or the website version, I'd be honored if you sign-up for the plan and complete it with me!

I'd also love it if you could share the plan with others!

I picked the launch date for fun on purpose to coincide with my Birthday. (Which is July 9th) lol. 

Kind of my "birthday present" to you and whomever decides to study the plan! :-)

In Christ Alone,
Your Brother and Servant, 

Randolph Koch


Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Also, here are a few ideas of how I can serve you: 
https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/ministry-service-offerings.html

Monday, July 02, 2018

My First YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan is Going Live July 9, 2018!

Dear Friends,

I'm excited to share with you that in one week from today my first devotional plan for the YouVersion Bible App will be going live in the app and on the website! 

The title and topic is "9 Keys To Walking In Christ". 
















Here's a short video announcement I posted this morning which you can view in your browser. (less than 60 seconds) 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkvRMMAh61x
Or 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeartofAShepherd/videos/2108490595891470/

​​I'm very excited for this opportunity to serve the body of Christ and pray the devotional will be a spark in their faith and walk with The Lord as it's geared to help strengthen their walks with the Lord. Please join me in thanking and praising God for this incredible opportunity! 

I'd appreciate your prayers that God would be glorified,  for a successful launch,  the body (including you) will be encouraged and challenged in their faith, and I'd appreciate your involvement too! 

I'll share a link to the plan once it's live and I'd appreciate your involvement as part of my "launch team" as follows if possible:
  1. Prayers: Again, I'd appreciate your prayers that God would be glorified,  for a successful launch, and the body (including you) will be encouraged and challenged in their faith through this devotional offering! 
  2. Participation: If you use the app or the website version, I'd be honored if you sign-up for the plan and complete it with me!
  3. Communication: Once it's live on July 9th, share the plan with your family and friends via word of mouth and social media. 
    • I've inserted two different graphics below that you can use to share it if you're able to along with the link I'll share on Monday.
    • Just share it how you'd share anything else from the heart as that will be perfect! 
Thanks for your time and prayers!  Excited to prayerfully see what God does through this in the lives of those who go through the plan. 

In Christ Alone,
Your Brother and Servant, 

Randolph Koch 




Friday, June 29, 2018

Parenting: The Art Of The Release and Other Practical Advice.

Read Proverbs 22:6, 2 Peter 1:3-12, Colossians 1:28-29, John 4:7-14 for an encouragement and challenge from God’s Word.
As a dad who has helped raise 5 kids, (All but one are young adults now but I give most of the credit to my wife that they made it into adulthood alive) :-), it’s not uncommon to reflect on things you could have or wished you’d done better as well as the things you did do well too. As I reflected recently, there were many things that came to mind and wanted to share a few reflections / learnings with you. There more to share another time but here's a mini-share for now. :-)
As a parent you learn quickly that there’s no manual for parenting other than of course as followers of Christ, the pages of wisdom found in God’s word.  We are also influenced in one way or another by how we were raised. So, each parent does (or should do) their very best to raise their children with the goal of launching them into adulthood, because launching them is the goal.
As followers of Christ we strive to model an abiding faith in Christ for our children.  However, as they launch into adulthood we have to remember that they have to choose to own their faith and even prior to this they have to own their faith if they are a follower of Christ.
Years ago I read a book by Stu Weber titled, “Tender Warrior” and in that book he describes a quiver of arrows.  What I learned is that there are different arrows for different weather conditions and as I recall, Stu used this as a picture of how each child is different and we pour into them differently and it's not easy sometimes to remember and do, but from the time they are born until they launch into adulthood we are practicing the art of the release. If you've done any amount of archery you quickly get the mental picture of that release.
"If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time." -Zig Ziglar
You have to have a direct aim with parenting and while it’s true that we do need to keep the day-by-day in mind, we also have to keep the future release in mind as we have a responsibility to help launch them successfully.  Ultimately we are not responsible for their actions, for the actions they choose, but, we are responsible for pouring as much into them as possible. 

This doesn’t mean we’re so wrapped up in their lives that we neglect our marriages and don’t continue to build a relationship with their spouses, (keep in mind, once they are launched it’s just you and your spouse if our married and you need to build into your relationship all along and if you haven't...that can make things difficult for your relationship) but it does mean we are responsible to do our very best in God’s strength in order to help our kids become adults.
The scripture reminds us that we’re to train up a child in the way they are to go and the hope is that they would turn to the truths that have been instilled in them from God’s word as well as the wisdom and life skills we tried to instill in them as parents. 
Remember this, as parents, none of us are perfect and we need to learn from our mistakes and grow in grace even for ourselves. We also need to draw from God’s Wisdom and Strength often as parents and consult Him through His Word and prayer. Please drink deeply from God’s Well! As we do, we can build into our children and practice the “release” and speaking from experience, as the day comes more quickly than we imagine. So, you and I better be ready and stay ready building into them as we practice releasing them into adulthood and we can’t do this in our own strength and wisdom alone.
Another thing to consider is that you don't have to go it alone with parenting nor should you. You should seek out and learn from the wisdom and experience of other parents who are at different stages in parenting or stages ahead of you as you progress forward as well. You can and will be used in the lives of other parents too!
Let's pray for one another as parents and let's encourage each other to keep pressing forward. Also, guess what…as your kids launch into adulthood, they will still need you and your counsel so get ready for spontaneous late night conversations on their terms (even in high school) because even though they want to be independent, they still want your counsel too. Doesn’t mean they will follow that advice but it does mean they still want your input so be ready for that! :-)
Keep pressing forward and practice the good form of release just like and archer does. 
In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Also, here are a few ideas of how I can serve you: 
https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/ministry-service-offerings.html

Friday, June 22, 2018

He Can Rebuild You!

I remember when I was a very young child there was a show called "The Six Million Dollar Man" which was about an astronaut that was hurt very badly in a crash landing. 

One of the famous lines from the show, which many say in humor today when going into surgery and other times, was "we can rebuild him." Which in the show they did as they rebuilt him with "cutting edge technology" of the 1970's. :-)

He could run fast, (even though it was always filmed slow mo) :) and he could do a bunch of other super human things as he performed missions like any former astronaut and basically newly turned into a cyborg would do. lol. 

This childhood memory reminded me of the reality that there is One who can and will rebuild our lives if we allow Him to do so. 

This rebuilding starts with receiving God's free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ and is followed by walking with Him day-by-day as He renews and transforms you.

You may feel like your life has crashed and you've hit rock bottom or you may never have experienced the "rock bottom". No matter who you are, what you've been through, or where you are today, Jesus is ready and willing to save and rebuild you! Like the show but in truth, it's as if Jesus looks at you, holds out His arms wide to receive you and says, "I will rebuild you."

The question for all of us is, will we let Him rebuild our lives or not? Will we let Him make something beautiful from the ashes and wreckage of our life as even if things seem great for you, you are still spiritually bankrupt and you need Him to save, rebuild and renew you!

My prayer is that you and I will let Him rebuild us because ultimately He is the only One Who Can.

Blessing In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

For an audio version of this message, please visit: https://soundcloud.com/user-335546274/he-will-rebuild-you 

PS. Please share this encouragement with others! 

Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  ttps://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Thursday, June 14, 2018

You Need To Leave Your Past Behind!

Read: John 8:36, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17 

Note From A Friend (Me): You Need To Leave Your Past Behind! (see above image too)

Friend...there's nothing there for you anymore! 

God has given you a new life and He always has something better in store for you to replace the old stuff that you no longer need...including the old you! 

You are no longer who you once were because you are in Christ! You have been redeemed and you are a new creation! You've been "upgraded" thanks to Christ.

So, stop trying to be like the Israelites of old who wanted to go back to Egypt where they were enslaved! Your past can enslave you if you dwell or seek to return there!

As I've shared before...your history is now completely HIStory! So, walk with Him, trust Him, listen to Him, be obedient to Him, and live in the new life He's given you!

Your old life can no longer enslave you! He has set you free so live in His Freedom! 


In Christ Alone,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch


P.S. Please share this encouragement with others! 

Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  ttps://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

He Left The 99 for You.


Read: Luke 15:1-7 and Romans 10:8-10

The love and sacrifice of Jesus may seem irrational and senseless to some but it doesn't really matter what anyone thinks because He came to seek and save the lost. 
 
His love and sacrifice for you is perfect, overwhelming, and complete...He left heaven and came to find and save you!
 
If you've received His search and rescue mission, (His free gift of salvation) then rejoice in your loving Good Shepherd Who has brought you into His flock! 


Keep listening to and for the Good Shepherd's voice!

If you haven't received His search and rescue mission, (His free gift of salvation) then listen and respond to The Good Shepherd's voice as He is calling for you drawing you to Himself. He gave His life for you! 


All you have to do is receive His free gift of salvation! 

If you're not sure how, please check out the following: 


For additional encouragement, please listen to my reading of Luke 15:1-7 via one of the following links:


No matter what, during the good and the bad seasons of life, never doubt or question His great love and sacrifice for you. Always remember God's great love for you as He sent is His so that you may have forgiveness and new life in Him!

Praise God with me for The Shepherd Who would leave the 99 for you and I!

In Christ Alone,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch


Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  ttps://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Holding Your Thoughts Captive


Read: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, 1 Peter 5:8, Colossians 3:1-4

It's true that our own thoughts as well as the words of other people can deceive us and can hold us captive when we dwell on them. It's also true that the evil one's accusations are a pack of lies and while we know this...we often let negative thoughts replay over and over in our heads.


This is where the old saying, "Sticks and stones may breaks my bones, but words may never hurt me" falls apart because while we can get the sentiment it's clearly not true! Why? Because while bones heal up...words often stick with us and take longer to heal from especially when we allow them to replay in our thoughts!


Let me ask you...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quit Over-Complicating Prayer

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 6:5-13, Luke 5:16, Matthew 21:13, Hebrews 4:16

Sometimes as we walk with Christ we can over-complicate things...and prayer shouldn't be one of those things. :-)
 
Prayer is a gift from God and just like having a conversation with a friend, you can humbly and reverently approach the King of Kings.
 
Jesus perfectly modeled prayer for His disciples as they asked Him to teach them how to pray. He also modeled it as He often escaped to a secluded place to have His time of prayer with God The Father as well. Jesus is the best example for you to follow as He truly made prayer a priority and in turn, He instructs you to be committed to it as well. 


There are many elements of prayer God’s Word models for you including: confession, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, praise, and more. 

Confession is your opportunity to tell God about how you sinned and to agree with Him about your sin.  Petition is your opportunity to ask God to provide for your needs while Intercession is your opportunity to ask God to provide for the needs of others. Thanksgiving is your opportunity to thank God for everything He has already done and continues to do in, through, and for you and Praise is a sweet time for you to speak words of complete adoration to Him. When you pray, you may consider incorporating these elements as time allows as you approach Him in prayer.
Through prayer you can praise His mighty name and bring thanksgiving. You can share your heart including your hopes and fears. You can seek wisdom and direction. You can intercede for others and confess your sin when you stumble. You can simply speak to Him anytime about anything.


In the good times and the difficult times, prayer should be your first response and not an afterthought. Furthermore, Jesus said that His house will be a house of prayer, and guess what? You're His house, the house that The Holy Spirit resides in! 
So, be a walking house of prayer!

Just like breathing, may you speak a prayer to the most high King remembering that He wants to hear from you often. 

So, don't over-complicate prayer and simply approach Him often and with confidence.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


Your brother and servant,

Randolph Koch

Please consider helping this ministry through prayer and other ways! Find out more here:  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Having a Kingdom Perspective

Read: Matthew 13:24-52, Matthew 20:1-16; Matthew 22:1-14, Matthew 25:1-13, Hebrews 12:28, Matthew 7:21,  Matthew 6:10, Luke 11:2-4, Luke 12:29-32,  Colossians 3:1-4  

Of all the topics in the Word of God that Jesus taught about, He had more to say about the topic of The Kingdom than pretty much any other topic. If it was as important to Him to teach so often about it then it ought to be important to us as well! 

The Kingdom is mentioned and taught about many times throughout the Gospels as well as other parts of the New Testament. 

The kingdom of God is synonymous with the kingdom of heaven and Jesus taught that we should have a Kingdom perspective and keep The Kingdom in mind in all we do.

There is so much one could teach about The Kingdom that one post can only scratch the surface on such a big topic

So what is The Kingdom and What is a kingdom perspective and How do you and I keep a kingdom perspective? 

The aim of this communication is to briefly touch on these topics in order to wet your appetite for your further study about this.