Thursday, November 19, 2015

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,

rlk





Thursday, November 12, 2015

Transparency


Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a personal struggle, season of trial or time where you're really going through something and could really use some help? There may be that hesitation to share it...especially with certain people because by all means you "have be careful" with whom you share with. You have to have the trust factor with them.

It's sad because so many suffer through things without telling anyone for fear of being judged because it seems some just don't care or are simply rude!  Ever shared with obviously the wrong person (as you find out later)? Then you know what I mean!

No one should  have to go through these seasons alone and you and I should be able to find support, encouragement and comfort by being surrounded by those who care and will walk through those seasons with us...because they actually care!

Then there are those who don't share because they've bought into the lie that they don't need anyone!? Or, those who don't ever want to give the perception that "they've got it all together!"

There are also people who just don't care about anyone else in general that's a bleak existence to say the least but on the flip side...there are those who do genuinely care.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Advent is coming! Check out my Celebrating Advent Guide!


Hello,

It may seem early to share but Advent is coming! In fact, the last Sunday of November is officially the First Sunday of Advent which for many helps kick-off the Christmas Season of Celebration!

If you happen to be someone who enjoys incorporating Advent into your Christmas Celebration or maybe you never have, I want to share the following link to the "Celebrating Advent Guide" I created and is now available as my first official resource via my online store!

Click on this link http://ashepherdsheart.blogspot.com/p/online-store.html to find and purchase your own copy for only $0.99!

This simple guide will help provide the basics to help you Celebrate Advent as a church, as an individual or if you have a family - celebrate it as a family!

If your church doesn't incorporate anything directly related to the message of CHRISTmas let me encourage you to consider incorporating Advent into your own home as you count down the days to CHRISTmas!

Even if you don't incorporate Advent into your Christmas Celebration this year - may this simple guide encourage you by pointing you all the more to Christ and help you prepare your heart to celebrate Him - His Coming (Advent) Birthday that we celebrate on December 25th!

No matter what, may you help fight to Keep Christ in your CHRISTmas celebration!
Have a wonderful Christmas! Feel free to share this post about the guide with others! 

May this resource bless you!

Because He is the reason for the season,

rlk

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gender Equality and Fifty Shades of...Oh My!


Gender equality, a topic and cause that is widely thought about, discussed and debated.

There is a big push for this and in an age where gender equality is fought for in the USA for many various reason and hoped end results as well as globally there seems to be conflicting thoughts and actions on this.

Equality should be fought for and especially in countries where women and children are treated like they are property... which is disgusting that anyone is treated like this!
Through what I share here, I’m not not jumping on any band wagon, rather, I've been processing thoughts about this for a while and I’m attempting to articulate them here...

Friday, October 16, 2015

You Inspire Others!

You Inspire Others!
http://asheperdsheart.blogspot.com

Hello Friend,

I wanted to simply take a moment and remind you that you should never underestimate the impact you have on and in the lives of others whether in "big" or "small" ways. 

You probably already are or have helped people not give up but you don't know it because they haven't told you yet! 

Keep pressing forward! You are an inspiration! You are making a difference in this world!

Let's help each other not give up! Let's be an inspiration to those around us as we just may be the one on a given day that helps them...not give up! 

THANK YOU...to those who have helped me...Not Give Up!

Blessing In Him,
You're Brother and Servant,

R. Koch

Monday, October 12, 2015

Updated Distribution List and Free 5 Day e-Devotional!


Hello!

Just a message to help you our loyal and amazing subscribers with some house keeping regarding your subscription and to provide a quick update. 

Whether you're reading this online or received this delivered to you via e-Mail, we wanted to make you aware of a current update we're making to our distribution list.

1. We're getting ready to do a re-launch of the blog with more regular / weekly posts!

2. If you're receiving this via e-Mail then you are either on the original list or have recently signed up via the new form (WELCOME!) which is located toward the top right of this page which is the new distribution list.

The new list (via MailChimp) allows us to send you content when you sign up as a thank you and also from an administrative standpoint, it allows us better list management options. It also allows you the ability to manage your subscription.
  • For instance, if you signed up within the last week, you would have received a confirmation e-Mail with a link to a free 5 Day e-Devotional as a thank you! 
  • If you signed up before this past week, you didn't have this option but now you do!
  • So, if you'd also like the free e-devotional (or you're simply visiting this site and would like it as well!) please feel free to sign up via the new form and you'll receive the link to the free download as well. 
  • Please note: Full site view required to see the form as for some reason mobile view doesn't allow you to see the form to sign up.
If you do nothing, no worries, you'll still receive the posts that come through but if you'd like the e-devotional, again, feel free to sign-up via the new list and encourage your friends to do so as well! :-)
  • One note, if you are on the original list (prior to the last week or so via feedburner) then if you sign up on the new list you may receive duplicate e-Mails for a period of time unless you #1 unsubscribe from the feedburner list or #2 send a mail to ashepherdsheart.blog@gmail.com and let us know that you were previously signed up on the feedburner list and we can then go manually remove you from that list.  

You're prayers are appreciated for God's leading regarding the future content that will be shared here to encourage and challenge you in your walk with the Lord!

Thanks for your time! Feel free to drop us a line at the above e-Mail address if you have any question, prayer needs, topic ideas, etc. 

Many Blessings In Christ,
Your brother and servant,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Audio / Video Venture...following God's calling!



Do you have a dream of doing things in your life that you believe are your calling? Yep, me too! 

I’ve been sensing a nudge and calling this direction for quite some time and had a dream of using my communication and broadcasting skills in different ways reaching out to our community and beyond. 

Whether in ministry, the workplace or elsewhere, I’m called to be a communicator and as part of this calling I’m looking to start an audio / video venture of sorts. I don’t have a regular communication outlet or opportunities in the traditional settings so this is part of the plan to use what God has given me to reach beyond and follow His leading! 

The Venture: I’m going to start working on a podcast and other recordings and later possibly do some video work to encourage others. It may turn out to be several different types of podcasts but will focus on few ideas first. 

So, in order to help this dream become a reality, I need to acquire some specific basic equipment to get started. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll do voice work for documentaries or ministry related projects too! 

I’m not a 501 (C) (3) so this would be friends helping friends like one of those “gofundme” or “kickstarter” campaigns.

If you're interested in helping please go to my secure online store here:

https://store7359482.ecwid.com/ (or if you’re reading this on my blog, click on the resources tab above)

Click on audio/video venture and proceed from there however you're led to help.

On a side note: I will also be adding actual products to my store in the near future such as Devotional eBooks that I'm working on and other resources that I've authored and I'm in the process of updating and making available. Stay tuned!

Whether you're led to help or not your prayers are the best help ever and they are free! Your prayers are really appreciated beyond anything else!

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration!  

Are You Listening?


A Father's Voice has Power and the voice of your Heavenly Father has ultimate Power in your life if you're willing to listen! Just open your eyes and ears to see and hear Him! Check out this brief video. Watch until the end! It's worth it!



I also wanted to share in relation to this great word from Michael Jr., that when our oldest was born he was a month early and was in the NICU for two weeks. (He's 19 years old now at the time of this writing)

I remember going there and spending lots of time of course there. He's heart would be racing and sometimes would be upset but once we sat next to him and talked to you...his heart beat calmed down to normal and he was at peace and he recognized my voice! He'd turn his head my direction and the the staff noticed too. 

So, I can relate to Michael Jr's sharing very much. Amazing! I guess it's because we talked to him before he was born and he also heard us talk before he was born in general. Wow!

I pray that we'll learning daily to listen to the Father's Voice and open our eyes to see where He's leading! 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Prayer for when you think you're too far from God.

There is no such thing as "too far away from God."

Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Ephesians 2:13 "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

Psalm 139:7 "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?"

Heavenly Father,
Please help us to remember that there is never a place too far from You. There is never a place we can hide from Your presence. You love us unconditionally and You are omnipresent and omniscient! You know our thoughts and You are everywhere! Help us to draw near to You each day! Help us to repent when we sin, turn from the sin...growing and changing and still come to You as our loving and righteous Father! Block Satan's lies that anyone has strayed to far from You as You tell us to simply come...come to You and although sometimes I'm sure we don't please You... YOU are ready and waiting with outstretched arms to receive us. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 #truth

Monday, August 03, 2015

A Prayer for Comfort...

Memory:
I remember as a small child the times when I'd be sad, afraid or I'd gotten hurt playing outside. I remember running to my mom in tears and she'd often put me on her lap, lay my head against her, speak words of comfort, and I also remember even the sound of her heart beating soothed my sadness. As a child it was comforting to be held by my mom as I knew she loved me and would bring me comfort and would know how to fix what was wrong. :)

Prayer:
Today, I feel they same way and all the more so as the Lord is my comfort, shield and deliver! My prayer today in sharing the above is that you'd experience the Lord's comfort each day during the times of trials and tribulations as well as in the times of peace and rest too! God is more than able to comfort you, lift you up and fix and bring you through whatever you are facing today and tomorrow and beyond! May you cling to Him always and may He also bring close family and friends into your life to help lift you up, encourage you and help you weather the storms along with Him as your chief refuge! In Jesus name I pray, Amen!

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Prayer for Friendships.


Heavenly Father, Please help us by Your Spirit be true, faithful, loyal, trustworthy, kind, loving and real friends to those whom You bring into our lives to be our friends in Christ! It may be a small few but no matter the quantity may we be loving examples of what true friends / friendships look like! Let us be a blessing and not a curse! Let us speak words of life and wisdom! Let us build up and not tear down! Let us operate in Your Grace, love and truth! Let us avoid meaningless drama and quarrels! Let us be a lighthouse... A Beacon of hope to our friends and... to the world! Teach us to communicate clearly!  Help us to be true! In Jesus name I pray, Amen!#truefriends #loyal #reliable #trustworthy

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Love Wins" Whose love wins?


"Love wins" is an interesting thought. Whose love wins? Mankind or God's Love? Which matters most? 

I'm reminder that we are to love one another because in the church we don't do a great job doing that and it's more PC to love those outside of the church as it would seem.

I've tried to stay out of the ugliness that has been brought to the surface regarding the recent decision on marriage in the US. I am breaking my silence in order to share this brief article that speaks to the church very directly and in a balanced way: "5 Things Jesus Would Say to the Gay Community" http://www.faithit.com/5-things-jesus-would-say-to-the-gay-community/ 

Please read & pray over what is shared. 

We're called to love our neighbors as ourselves. This doesn't mean we have to agree with everything / everyone as some would espouse including this specific decision. It does mean that we aren't to hate but again are to love our neighbors. That's part of the love, the Love of God that "Wins" as He is the author of love so we ought to seek His Word & Counsel on all these things instead of being PC because we don't want to speak the truth in Love!?

The article is worth a quick read no matter what "side" of the issue you land on. 

Also, Read John 3:16 & Romans 6:23.

Let's all pray for the true love, the love of The Lord to wins...nothing more or less as again, He is the Author of true love & He laid His life down so that we might believe in faith, repent & receive His salvation! Romans 10:9-10. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Praying for Charleston

Those who know me, know I'm a person of faith and today in response to the shooting in Charleston I'm praying for those impacted by the heinous and evil act in Charleston. 9 people murdered because of an evil persons actions! Makes me sick! 

Also, this isn't a time politicize rather how about you and I take the time to reach out your neighbors and simply care for a change?!

Political pundits and the media are already trying to politisize that tragedy already and honesly this senseless act doesn't just boil down to guns for crying out loud but it is about about a broken world full of broken people who need each other and obviously need help! 


There's no easy answer to the solution for these things nor am I trying to give one and you can't legislate what I'm sharing here but you and I can be that change, be that difference and maybe if we all do our part... maybe, just maybe we can can turn the tide and we'll see less mass killing here and abroad?! 

You and I don't know who's at the breaking point...you and I don't know the hearts and minds of the people around us but maybe again, if we took the time to get to really know our fellow man and walk "across the street" the "isle", etc maybe we can help that one person who is about to snap and show them there's a better way?! 


No matter what you believe I ask that you join me in keeping the people of Charleston in your thoughts and if you pray, in your prayers.

Then, go and be the change in the lives of others that they need! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Prayer for Wisdom for being slow to speak and quick to listen...



Heavenly Father, help us to have wisdom to know when to speak and when to wait to speak and simply listen. Help us also in times of debate or arguments to be careful to not respond with words of anger as words are really hard to take back. I also think of the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me."  although I understand the sentiment...this statement is really a lie because words spoken in anger, etc stick with us and it takes a long time to heal! You teach us that our words can be a blessing or a curse... They can bring life or death to the hearer so help us speak words of blessing and life or not at all. This isn't to pray or say we will never have to work things out but it is to circle back around to the need for us to be slow to speak and quick to listen.... So we can speak words of wisdom, life and blessing when it's time to speak...until then, let us learn to be good listeners. These things are not easy so we really need Your help! 

 In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

#truth #wisdom #life #listen #blessing

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A Prayer for Faith each day....

Don't ask for faith that will move mountains, ask for faith that will move you. 

Heavenly Father, so often I get caught up in the need for "big faith" when really what I need and pray for is faith enough for each day, each battle, each circumstance. Whether "big faith" or "small faith" I simply pray that You will help me have a strong and consistent faith - period! Continue to move me each day and help me to boldly and consistently live out this life and walk with You with and in faith. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
‪#‎faith‬

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Barnabas vs. Barabbas!



In life I want be known as someone more like Barnabas rather than Barabbas! ...and I hope people know the distinction between the two.

My prayer today is that people would really get to know me (we'd all get to know each other), know my heart and see who I really am before they misjudge, cut off, reject me and I pray I'll always do the same for others.


How about you? 

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Prayer for troubled waters...



Friend, 

If God takes you into troubled waters, it's not to drown you, it's to teach you to swim.

Heavenly Father, I praise You that through the good and the bad times You are carrying us each step of the way as our strength, refuge and shield! Keep teaching us to swim as we hold on to and look to You our true life guard Who is always on duty! Help us to by faith jump into the waters no matter how rough they may look!

In Jesus name I pray, Amen!


In a humorous way, I might add that it's kind of like the movie "Finding Nemo"....Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Heartbeat


Lord, Amidst the often crazy days, The Song "Heartbeat" by Lincoln Brewster keeps running through my head, especially the pre chorus and chorus: 

(Pre Chorus) "You bring order where there's chaos, Nothing separates us
Your love , Your love is stirring in our souls"
(Chorus) "Unite our hearts, To beat for You alone
Fortify our hope, In the faithfulness You've shown
We give our all, To be Your hands and feet
Make our heartbeat Your heartbeat"

Today, and each day, I make this a prayer...Lord, unite our hearts that we may beat for you alone. Fortify our hope in You as you are faithful. Help us to give our all each day striving earnestly to be your hands and feet. Make your heartbeat our heartbeat!

In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen!
Song Link: http://youtu.be/UBoLwQTHYoQ


 
#HisHearbeat #OurHearBeat #HandsandFeet

Friday, February 27, 2015

In Memory of Dale McConachie



Praying for comfort and healing for the family and many friends of Dale McConachie who tragically lost his life due to a drunk driver this week.

We hadn't connected in recent years due to attending different churches but I remember him from the early days of my faith and walk with God as someone I admired for his personal faith, integrity and he always seemed to have a gentle spirit / nature about him. 


I know he'll be resting in peace with his savior in heaven.

Besides a heart of gold, he also had a voice of gold which I admired as well especially when he recorded the entire Bible which is a huge accomplishment! Thought I'd share one of the links here in tribute to part of his life's work. 

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mcconachie/nasb/Gen.1

Thank you Dale for your example of a life lived very well! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Life Experience Reflection: He Is Greater!


I've come to personally learn over the last 25 years that The Creator of the universe has proven time & time again that He is greater than & more capable than I am of handling & seeing me through any disappointment & discouragement.

He's greater than what any dishonest or unloving person says or thinks about me.

He's greater during the times that for whatever reason that I'm overlooked for things I could be a real asset or have skills, gifting & calling to do.

He's greater than my own self doubt, self image & times of depression.

He's greater than my many flaws & sins & so much more.

He's greater than anything that I experience in life.

He caries me through the good as well as the bad times as my strength, shield & refuge.

He is simply greater!

#‎lifeexperiencereflection‬ ‪#‎heisgreater
 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life Experience Reflection: How People Treat You!

Life Experience Reflection: "You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce." -Tony Gaskins

I have often learned the truths contained in the quote the hard way. Whether your young or old, we tend to condition ourselves and others regarding how they can treat us. You have to set clear boundaries and you are not here on earth to be a doormat for those who have wrong intentions, big egos, are only looking out for their own gain, are trying to compensate for their own inadequacies, are trying to appear more important than they really are those who constantly mistreat you or tear you down or simply are uncaring and unloving to you!

You don't have to take it and you don't have to be a jerk in response but you can with respect (something some people just don't have) and even love you can let others know what you will allow going forward, what you are putting a stop to now and then constantly reinforcing that. Sometimes you have to be out of your comfort zone and step it up a notch and clearly and sometimes strongly communicate these things to those who continually cross boundaries.

At this point in my life, I'm not an expert at this but I purpose to learn from my past lessons/mistakes and have a deeper resolve to clearly communicate how I should be treated by what I allow, stop and reinforce. I hope you do the same too.

Now, for those who may get their feathers ruffled and may try to jump all over me and say but "wait a minute... "Jesus was a peace  loving pacifist, a compassionate and peace loving person, etc etc." "He would just simply pray things got better and be a peace loving doormat for people". Um, Well, Yes He was and is the Prince of peace, and He does love us even when we screw up royally, but if you read your Bible - you'll also see that in Love He also put some in their place too. He wasn't some pacifist or peace loving hippie that some may try to paint a picture of Him. Don't get me wrong, you have to insert wisdom here and sometimes you have to choose to not speak or address it at that moment but I guarantee you, if you continue to just be quiet all the time, it will never get better for you or the other party! 


Just remember, we're all in this together and YOU are an important part of that "together" too!  
#lifeexperiencereflection

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Majesty and Power of God!


Having a crazy day? 

Need a reminder of God's power and majesty? 

Pause for a moment and take a look at this amazing glimpse of God's creation from my home state then sing and pray lifting praises to your King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

The Oregon Coast: A Winter Odyssey: Video Link: https://vimeo.com/117670644


#godisgood