Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year: Entering The New Year With Hope In and Waiting On The Lord!

Read: Romans 5:2-5, Romans 15:13, Psalm 42:11, Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 10:23, Psalm 130:5, Isaiah 43:19.

Let me be one of the first people to wish you a Happy New Year!!! 2018!

I wanted to thank you for the privilege of serving you in 2017! 

As we close out 2017 and look forward to all that God has in store in 2018, I wanted to share a brief encouragement with you. 

Throughout 2017 God has repeatedly reinforced the importance of Hope grounded in Him as well as the importance of waiting on Him! 

He is our strength and hope and His hope doesn't disappoint! 
"Hope that is grounded in Christ is like a candle burning brightly as it brings light to the darkest of places and the darkest of circumstances." -Randolph Koch
Never lose hope as He is on your side!

Furthermore, in regard to waiting on Him...In the New Year may you make it not just another a goal but may you make it a priority to wait on The Lord!

Include Him in all your goals, plans, dreams and priorities! Don't try to "get ahead" of The Lord! Wait on Him to move forward seeking Him with all that is within you! 

No matter what circumstances you face, may you be filled with great hope in Him and may you look forward in optimism because you know The One Who is your strength and holds your future in the palm of His hands!


As you enter the New Year, may you hold onto hope and may you experience joy, happiness, success, confidence, good health, prosperity and great faith! May you seek Him daily with everything that is within you! 

Let's also purpose to pray for one another in these areas and more and may we pray that God will continue to work in and through us for His Kingdom and Glory!

Please know that I'm here for your encouragement, prayer and more! 

Don't hesitate to let me know how I can be of encouragement to you in the New year and if you have resource or other ideas, please let me know as I aim to create new and meaningful content to serve and build up the Body of Christ. 

Please also remember me in prayer as God guides this ministry regarding what He wants to do through A Shepherd's Heart. Please pray for His wisdom, provision and direction. 

Have a wonderful 2018! Have a hope filled New Year! 

Warmest regards in Christ,

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch
 Founder and Servant-Shepherd of A Shepherd's Heart

Share this image/encouragement with someone today! Encourage them to Hold onto hope!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas From A Shepherd's Heart!

Hello and Merry Christmas!

I pray that your Christmas celebration is filled with the joy and hope found in Christ!

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and most of all for allowing me the privilege of serving you this year!

This Christmas I'm looking forward to the blessing of spending time with family and friends celebrating the Birth of Jesus!

As we all celebrate, I'm reminded of this great truth from Roy Lessin: 
God Sent Us A Saviour
If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Saviour.
-Roy Lessin
It's so encouraging to be reminded that God, in His wisdom and divine plan, knew exactly what we needed and loved us so much that He sent Jesus because we needed Him, The Savior! 

Jesus came from heaven to earth, lived a sinless life, was crucified on the cruel cross for mankind, rose from the dead winning victory over death and now is seated in heaven!

May we never forget the deep truths of Christmas as well as the truths beyond the manger!

As you celebrate, here's a little Christmas gift from me to you, I wanted to share again a recording of the Luke account of The Birth of Jesus again from Luke 2:1-35: https://soundcloud.com/user-335546274/the-birth-of-jesus-luke-21-35

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Please share this imaged with the above encouragement with others! 
Our Greatest Need

Monday, December 18, 2017

Recapturing The Awe and Wonder of Christmas!


Read: Luke 2:1-38, Matthew 18:2-4

Christmas...

It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year or so the songs say and for some it truly is while for others...it's a very hard time of year for various reasons.

Christmas for children can often be sort of a "magical" time filled with fun, awe, wonder and excitement. If you're an adult reading this right now, you may remember those times of life and maybe you've lost that sense of childlike faith, awe and wonder?

The truth is that kids don't tend to over-complicate things like adults do sometimes. 
They don't run everything through "adult filters" whereas we've let many things cloud our vision when it comes to celebrating things such as celebrating the birth of our Savior. Even knowing the truth regarding the true meaning of Christmas from God's Word, we can allow the things of life and even some of the trappings of the season to distract us and steal some of the joy we used to have. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Gift 2017 - Pass it on!



Merry Christmas! 

Wanted to let you know about an early Christmas present from A Shepherd's Heart which is a Christmas Resource Bundle! 

Some of you may be wondering why I'm sharing this because you've already received the gift and here's why....

I wanted to share this post:

1. If you've signed up recently to receive the A Shepherd's Heart Communications and haven't received your gift yet.
2. For those who have subscribed in the past via feedburner, etc and haven't signed up via the current subscription method which replaces the old methods. 
3. Those who are visiting A Shepherd's Heart and haven't received your gift either. 

No matter who you are or which of the above categories you fit into...I want you to have the opportunity to receive your gift as a thank you during the month of December 2017!

Here's what you'll find inside of your early Christmas Gift:

1. A 7 Day Christmas Devotional.
2. Celebrating Advent Guide in two formats (Trifold Brochure and the New Booklet format created this year!)
3. The Christmas Story from Luke 2 with links to audio versions read by me.  

If you want to take advantage of this Christmas Gift Resource...
Head over to http://www.ashepherdsheart.org (Unless you're already on the site of course) :-) to sign up for the free periodic communications via the form on the right hand side of the screen. 

You'll then receive a confirmation e-Mail with the link to download your free Christmas Resource Bundle!

Please let me know should you have any issues receiving your gift and as always...feel free to share this with your family and friends whom you believe would enjoy receiving this gift too!

Lastly, as you begin your Christmas preparations as well as prepare your heart to celebrate His Birth, I truly hope that you'll have a wonderful Christmas and that you'll enjoy these resources in addition to what you're already doing to help focus your heart, mind and celebration on Jesus all the more.

Because He Is The Reason For The Season,

rlk




#christmas #advent #hope #faith #joy #peace #Christian #Christianity #ChristFollower #Jesus #HolySpirit #ashepherdsheart

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Christmas Gift Suggestions from The Giver of Good Gifts!

Read:  Galatians 5:22-26

It's the season that is often called, "The Most Wonderful Time of Year" when we celebrate Christmas and hopefully a little peace on earth and good will toward all mankind!

I really enjoy Christmas time! I enjoy going to Christmas concerts...watching Christmas movies...enjoying Christmas music...enjoying Christmas goodies...enjoying Christmas decorations and giving gifts (not that I'm always organized in advance and kind of a last minute shopper...yes I am one of "Those". Lol) and there's much more that I love about Christmas!

The problem though is that I find that we can get so caught up in the trappings of the season to the point that sometimes we focus on the gifts we can give or receive or maybe even the activities of the season and we forget The One Who is The True Gift Giver. 

As a follower of Christ we exchange gifts with one another because God first gave to us in the first place through Jesus' arrival that we celebrate during Christmas...The most important birthday ever!!

May we remember that God is The giver of good gifts! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hold Onto Hope!

Hello! 

Wanted to to share a 60 second video encouragement with you about hope...God's hope! 
Please play the above video or check it out here: https://youtu.be/kNb9S4K1BC4

Hold on to Hope!

Blessings in Christ,
Your brother and servant,

rlk

P.S. If this video was encouraging, please pass it along and if you'd enjoy more video encouragements, please let me know!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cultivating An Attitude of Gratitude

Hello,

For those in the USA, I wanted to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter where you call home, I'm thankful for the Lord and you! 

For all of us - no matter where we live, I pray that we truly cultivate an attitude of gratitude all year through and below are two brief encouragements related to having a mindset of thankfulness, gratitude and praise!

Also, check out this brief video prayer of thanksgiving unto the Lord via Instagram or Facebook:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbz4v5Dj3v
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeartofAShepherd/videos/1781204878620045/

In Christ Alone,
Your Brother and Servant,

rlk
____________________________________________________
Gratitude Part 1: 

God is worthy of your praise, thanksgiving and devotion!...and His love endures for you endures forever! 

He is worthy of devoting your life to Him serving Him with a whole heart, mind, soul and spirit!

When you pray...praise and thank Him for all that He's done and all He continues to do in and through you! 

Praise Him through every season! Through the seasons of peace and the seasons of storms.

Don't wait for holidays or some other special occasion to praise and thank Him! Make it a habit and again as I've shared before...have an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude! 

When you take your first breath in the morning and open your eyes...breathe out thanksgiving to Him for life and a new day to serve Him! 

Never stop singing and speaking His praises! 
____________________________________________________

Gratitude Part 2:

God is worthy of your praise, thanksgiving and devotion!...and His love endures for you endures forever! 
 
He is worthy of devoting your life to Him serving Him with a whole heart, mind, soul and spirit!
 
When you pray...praise and thank Him for all that He's done and all He continues to do in and through you! 
 
Praise Him through every season! Through the seasons of peace and the seasons of storms.
 
Don't wait for holidays or some other special occasion to praise and thank Him! Make it a habit and again as I've shared before...have an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude! 
 
When you take your first breath in the morning and open your eyes...breathe out thanksgiving to Him for life and a new day to serve Him! 
 
Never stop singing and speaking His praises! 
____________________________________________________

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Choosing To Live Significantly

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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Reformation Day

Happy Reformation Day! 

During the 16th century a period in Church History known as The Protestant Reformation took place which we remember and celebrate today as Reformation Day. 

Martin Luther and other reformers, were convicted that the church had departed from many of the core teachings of Christianity which should be grounded in the Word of God and this was the catalyst for their actions to work to try and correct this. 

They came to this reality because sadly, they saw that the core teachings of God's Word was at times in stark contrast to what they saw the church teaching in that period of time. 

Because of this, The Reformers worked to realign Christianity to The Word of God.

Through this period of time five key phrases which helped summarize their convictions about the core teachings of Christianity surfaced. These are also known as the Five Solas as they were latin phrases. 

The Five Solas are:
Sola Scriptura: “Scripture alone” - God's Word alone is our highest authority.
Sola Fide: “faith alone” - Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Sola Gratia: “grace alone” - We are saved by the grace of God alone.
Solus Christus: “Christ alone” - Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.  
Soli Deo Gloria: “to the glory of God alone” - We are to live for the glory of God alone.

It was with great cost, (some of The Reformers gave their lives during this time due the great opposition they faced) that we as follower's of Christ can enjoy studying God's Word and being instructed from God's Word in our Church meeting place as part of the body of Christ. 

I encourage you to study this important time within Church History and do your part to re-calibrate your faith daily to the core teachings of God's Word and live them out!

Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria!

May God do a reformation in us through His continued transforming work renewing us heart, mind and soul!

In Christ Alone,

rlk




 
#faith #hope #truth #wisdom #life #bible #scripture #Godsword #ReformationDay reform #reformation #Jesus #HolySpirit #Christian #Christianity #heart #mind #soul #strength 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Experiencing Joy Through The Gift of Friendship


This may surprise some who read this but, God's purpose isn't to make us happy as some try to say...in other words the idea that "God just wants you to be happy" isn't true plus...happiness is subjective. What makes one person happy isn't the same for the next person.

Now joy on the other hand isn't subjective as joy is a gift from God and a fruit of The Spirit. 

God does want us to experience joy and The Word of God reminds us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (See Nehemiah 8:10)

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Finding His Peace In Every Moment

Read: Philippians 4:7

Sometimes we buy into the idea that peace is only found in the absence of conflict but that isn't necessarily the case!

It may not make sense to us sometimes but if you're in Christ...As you abide in Christ you will be able to experience His peace all the more...even in the midst of troubling or tumultuous times!


His peace is supernatural and can be found and experienced in any moment including the storms of life.


You and I need to seek Him in those good or hard moments because no doubt...He will give you His steadfast peace, love and strength that will help sustain you through that time. 


The peace of God is truly beyond understanding...but it is available to us through His Holy Spirit.


May we seek and find His peace in every moment! 

I pray that we experience His peace through every season in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

In Christ Alone,


rlk





#peace #rest #faith #hope #truth #wisdom #life #encourage #encouragement #inspire #inspiration  #Jesus #HolySpirit #Christian #Christianity #ChristFollower #bible #scripture #Godsword #heart #mind  #soul #strength #ashepherdsheart

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Don't Just Say That You'll Pray...Actually Do It!


Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Colossians 4:2-6

When you say you will pray for someone, do you say it as just a passing phrase or do you actually intend to pray for them?

I think we're all guilty sometimes of saying we'll "pray", (kind of like "how are you doing" but not really wanting the answer sometimes...just a passing phrase) and not following through with prayer and...we need to change this! 

The fact is that prayer is a fundamental tool God has gifted us with.
"When you say you will pray for someone, actually pray for them!"
We're to be people of prayer and commit to praying for one another.

So, let me encourage and challenge you to be a man or woman of your word and The Word...and make every effort to follow through and pray when you say you will do so.

I pray that God will help us take prayer all the more seriously.

Prayerfully,

rlk






#pray #prayer #faith #hope #truth #wisdom #life #encourage #integrity #encouragement #inspire #inspiration #inspirational #Jesus #HolySpirit #bible #scripture #Godsword #heart #mind #soul #strength #christian #Christianity #christfollower #ashepherdsheart

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Worthy Walk


Read: Proverbs 10:9 and Ephesians 4:1

As a follower of Christ...one who has been redeemed at a great and ultimate price, (thanks to the saving work of Jesus) you are called to live your life in a worthy manner. 
 
A life marked by traits such as integrity, honesty, love, grace, hospitality, unity, honor, forgiveness and much more.
 
Your life should also bear the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control with the help of The Holy Spirit. 

Your life should not be driven by hate, anger, racism, greed, holding grudges, self-centeredness, lying, stealing, character maligning and more.

In a world that is full of negativity as well as negative and destructive behavior...you and I need to shine His light all the more in the darkness!

Let's pray for each other that we will walk a worthy walk for His kingdom, glory as we are His ambassadors and need to point others to Christ Who is our only true hope!

Watch the brief video above (or via the links below) and then #1 walk a worthy walk and #2 pass this message on! 

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Fine Art of Allowing God To Be Your Defender.


Read: Exodus 14:14, Romans 8:31, Romans 12:19, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 3:22, Mark 14:61, James 1:19 

It's not our natural inclination to be silent sometimes. 

This is especially true when someone is being rude, abusive in speech, wrongly accusing us, trying to malign our character, misrepresent the truth or a multitude of other things.

We're all growing in grace and in those moments, we are most likely quick to try to defend ourselves, however, we have to be careful to no not rely on our emotions in those moments as often times we can make things worse by our response. 

We need to immediately seek the Lord and ask for His wisdom and help to know how to respond which in the moment may be difficult...however, all it takes is a real "in the moment" silent or spoken prayer that will truly help you and I!  

We also should remember that there were times when Jesus, even though He had all the authority and facts to do so, He didn't defend Himself when accused.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

God is still writing your story!

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 139:16, Proverbs 3:1-8, Romans 5:1-5

I'm reminded of many conversations and experiences I've had over the years with people. 

I've experienced, observed or heard a retelling of a series of events or a single event that took place that didn't go as planned and then feelings of "defeat", "failure", "life is over" and etc begin to crept in. 

In our weakness as human beings, its pretty normal to feel that way but if you are in Christ then you are a new creation and those feelings should not last as you turn from your feelings and what you see to faith instead. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Importance of Making His Name Great


Read: John 21:15-25, John 3:30

God calls Pastors/Elders/Shepherds to seek to be faithful shepherds of The Flock...He does not call the same to seek after fame and celebrity status. Popularity may happen but staying grounded and faithful in the calling God has placed on your life as a Pastor/Elder/Shepherd and grounded in His Word is vital.

My observation of many of today's "Modern" church "leaders" is that they often get this wrong and it flows down to everything they do from communicating and teaching God's Word on down to the flock that they are to shepherd...wrong attitudes and motives. They simply seem to have this backwards! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Source of Your Identity


Dear Friend, 

I wanted to take a moment to simply remind you that if you are in Christ, you are a new creation and your identity in Him is what matters plain and simple!

No one's opinions defines you nor does your past!

"When we finally understand and are confident and secure in our identity in Christ, our past as well as the opinions of others regarding us will not shake or define us!" -Randolph Koch

To learn more about your identity in Christ, Dive into God's Word and abide in Christ and you will discover your true identity!

True security and identity will only be found in Him! He is truly the source of who you are!

For further encouragement from God's Word, Please check out this post and pass along the Truth of God's Word about who you are in Christ: http://www.ashepherdsheart.org/2012/03/who-you-are-in-christ.html

In Christ Alone,
Your brother and servant,

rlk

PS: Check out this new page on A Shepherd's Heart: 
http://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/ministry-service-offerings.html which is a growing basic list of areas where I may be able to serve you!


#faith #hope #truth #wisdom #life #Jesus #identity #whoyouareinChrist#believe #christfollower #christian #Christianity #bible #scripture #Godsword#heart #mind #soul #strength #ashepherdsheart 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Endor and The God of Impossibilities!


Read: Isaiah 55:8-11, Matthew 19:26

As part of a family road trip vacation we had the opportunity to drive to northern California to see some of the giant Redwood Trees in part of the Jedediah Smith Redwoods which spans many miles. It was truly incredible!


We spent several hours enjoying hiking through a very small section of the forest. Everywhere stepped we were surrounded by massive trees. When I say massive, it's very true because some have grown to 37 feet wide and hundreds of feet tall and  have been there for hundreds of years too!

Humorously and maybe a bit nerdy-like, it almost reminded me or made me "feel" like I'd traveled to the "Planet Endor" in one of the Star Wars movies of my childhood...but, of course to my disappointment I had not. LOL...Ok, just kidding I'm not out of touch with reality but maybe just a little bit of my inner kid wished it was really Endor!...But I digress...


Monday, June 26, 2017

Rightly Approach God and His Word


Read: 2 Timothy 2:15

Praying and believing Biblically in faith is very important, however, many today, whether unknowingly or knowingly, teach or believe false doctrines about God's Word. 

To some, this may sound harsh but it's unfortunately very true and we see evidence of this from others decisions and we may also recall times we fell into this wrong thinking ourselves. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Father's Day Reflection: Praising God for Being The Perfect and Loving Father


Read: 1 John 1:9, Colossians 1:13-14, Psalm 103:12, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Psalm 86:15, John 13:34-35, 1 John 4:18-19, 1 Chronicles 16:34, Ephesians 1:4-6, Galatians 4:4-5, Romans 8:15, John 15:15, Romans 5:1, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 8:1-2, Romans 8:31-39, 2 Timothy 1:7,  John 15:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16,Ephesians 2:10, 1 John 3:1

BOOM....there it is again. The feeling of pain, grief, loss, brokenness and potentially a multitude of other feelings that may flood one's heart, mind and emotions. 
All is well for a period of time and then something such as a holiday or other memory sparks the before mentioned emotions.

No matter how it came about, this is often what it is like for those who largely grew up without a father and or mother. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Putting Your Faith In God's Timing.

Read: Proverbs 3

Do you find yourself putting your faith in your own timing and plans or other shifting or temporal things? 

So, let me ask you, how's that working out for you? ;-)

Or, do you strive to put your faith, trust and hope in God's perfect timing, purpose, will and plans?

No matter what, as you daily abide in and walk with Him, let me encourage and challenge you to seek Him first...seek His wisdom and direction.

Seek His perfect timing, purpose, will and plan rather than your own as with His wisdom, direction, power and strength...you will find a clearer pathway as you trust in His timing.

Let's pray for each other that we will do this each day no matter what we face!