Thursday, July 09, 2020

Thank You God For Another Year!

Today on my 50th birthday I simply want to give thanks to God!

I'm Thankful to God for the gift of life and another year to serve Him and His people!

I'm thankful for God's Word, my Savior Jesus, and the work of His Holy Spirit in my life!

I'm thankful for my family!
I'm thankful for friends.
I'm thankful for employment.
I'm thankful for my church family.
I'm thankful to be alive, period.

There are many things I'm thankful for and I pray this next year will be a blessing and filled with opportunities to serve and bring Him glory. Opportunities for Him to expand His territory through me somehow. Opportunities to serve His people helping meet spiritual and physical needs as much as possible. Opportunities to live life on purpose together as we strive to seek, serve, and love Him with all that is within us! 

I pray this year will be a year of further growth for me and becoming more deeply rooted in Him. 

I pray that God would use me somehow to help others grow in their relationship with Him and that they'd become more deeply rooted in Christ as well!

Many Blessings friends! Thank you for the honor of serving you!

Your brother and servant in Christ, 

Randolph Koch


P. S. You're prayers appreciated:

https://www.fundly.com/a-shepherd-s-heart-2020-fundraiser

Thursday, July 02, 2020

A Shepherd's Heart - First Ever Fundraiser!

 
Dear Friends of A Shepherd's Heart, 

This July, (My birthday month) I'm turning 50 and I'm launching my very first small fundraiser. 

In all the years of being a "tent maker" ministry, I've never done a formal fundraiser and through the counsel of those I trust, I'm going to work to raise, (Like a gofundme) a small amount of support. This support would be to cover small operational costs including needed resources to serve with which includes projects & resources & to have a small amount of funds allocated to help others in need through my ministry.

I'm not a non-profit so this is a friends helping a friend endeavor much like when a missionary raises funds. Rest assured every penny will go to do His Kingdom work.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated as God provides this support through people like you so we can move forward with some wonderful projects to serve you more!
Please pray and then click on this link to support my ministry endeavors through A Shepherd's Heart! 
You're continued prayers and sharing this fundraiser with friends and family would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Thursday, May 28, 2020

We're All A Work In Progress.

My Friend, We're all a work in progress.
 
If anything has reminded me of this, it's been taking the accident recovery day by day.
 
Besides the shut down for the Corona Virus, these last two weeks has caused me to slow down.
 
It's caused me to do things differently, (like getting dressed 😂) or caused me to not do certain everyday things, like mowing the lawn, because right now...I can't.
 
It's frustrating at times and riddled with pain, but, at the same time it's making me more and more less self-reliant and more reliant on God and others.
 
This period of time reminds me of life in general as we're all a work in progress... and progress, healing, goals, and progressive sanctification takes time.
 
Life is all a process and really a product of God's grace and provision.
 
Let's be thankful that God isn't finished with us yet. He's still on the throne, He's our provider, The Great Physician and will see us through.
 
Let's pray for one another that we we don't fight being a work in progress.
 
Thank you for your prayers and know that you are in my prayers too!
 
As I continue to recover from the accident, I'll assess when to begin posting again somewhat regularly in the future via social medial and here on my A Shepherd's Heart website. 
 
Your Brother and Servant in Christ, Randolph Koch

#ashepherdsheart #ReShare #livelifeonpurpose #faith #hope #truth #wisdom #life #Jesus #Christian #Christianity #Christfollower

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

A Prayer for New Mercies and New Beginnings.

Hello Friend,

Thank you for connecting with me via ashepherdsheart.org.

In 2016 I was moved to prayer regarding New Mercies and New Beginnings and then I shared it with you as more of a devotional encouragement. 

As we flash forward to today, I was compelled to share it with you again 4 years later as I was reminded of it in my time with The Lord. My hope is that it will encourage you in your faith and in your current circumstances.

Please see the below prayer and scripture for your encouragement. 

I'm praying for you! Be lifted up and reach out if you need anything.

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch
_______________________________________________

Read: Lamentations 3:22-23 and 2 Corinthians 5:17

Heavenly Father,

Your Word reminds us that Your Love Never Ceases, Your Mercies never come to an end, Your mercies are new every morning and your faithfulness is great. 

It's hard to remember this when we feel like we're struggling or are hurting. 

It's hard to experience this when we are in the midst of a tough season, feel unloved, forsaken and completely hopeless which is the unfortunate truth sometimes due to the circumstances of life.

Life is hard sometimes and You are always right there with us!

May You daily help us see, experience, and know your mercies are truly new every morning as you give us life each day to live for you!

When we're struggling, maybe hurting because someone who loved us left or a friend or loved one was unloving or unkind - please help us to see that Your love is still evident and it never ends no matter how we may feel.

When we're feeling hopeless, please be our hope...help us break the thought patterns we're stuck in because of the circumstances we're facing so our vision can clearly see You are our only true hope!

Your Word also reminds us that in Christ, We are new creations and the old has past away and new things have come!

Because of this we can rise and experience a new beginning each day. A fresh start...with the past behind us. Not that we won't face consequences of our sin and or mistakes but none-the-less You give us each day to dust ourselves off and begin anew! 

May You help us see and live out the truth that in You, we are new creations and You've given us a new beginning...a new lease on life. 

As we rise and take in the air You've given us to breathe, may we see that moment, that day, as gift from You. May we see that You love us and have a purpose for us here on earth to live out for you.

No matter what we're going through, may You stir our hearts so we might begin again. 

Help us to actually live our lives in such a way that people see the new life You've given us!

Helps to live as if we're truly alive seeking to make every moment count!

Please help us to wrap our minds around the truth of your Word as we awake and strive to live out each day for your Kingdom and Glory. 

Please show the evil one and his demons the door because our lives are Your dwelling place and there's no room for him in Your house! May his influence diminish daily as we abide in You and Your Word as darkness and light cannot coexist.

I praise You and thank You.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Your Brother and Servant in Christ, 


Randolph Koch 

P.S. Share this with someone today: 

"The past is the past. Your history is now and always will be HIStory as He's always known the beginning and end of your story!" -Randolph Koch

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Take Everything Back To God's Word!

Dear Friend,

There is a lot of "noise" that we experience in this life. This includes a lot of information that is rapidly hurled at us each day, including lies from the evil one. 

So, it's vital that we sort the truth from the lies. 

Even in The Body of Christ, those who may be well intended believer's will proclaim something that ends up not coming to true because it wasn't Biblically true. It clearly wasn't from The Lord! 

Let me ask you...

Are you confused or unclear about something? Consult God's Word! 

Did you attend a Christian Conference and something doesn't quite sit right with you regarding something someone taught? Consult God's Word!  

Did you attend your regular home church or have you visited a church and something doesn't quite sit right with you regarding something that was taught? Consult God's Word! 


Heard something preached on one of the "Christian" networks that doesn't quite sound right? Consult God's Word! 

No matter what, make sure you take everything back to God's Word! 

If you've been on this journey with me for a while, you've heard me say more than once, that God's Word is the lens by which we see and know the truth. 

May we be like The Berean's (See Acts 17:10-12) and take everything back to the lens of God's Word as it's through God's Word that The Holy Spirit will shed light on the truth which will sort out that which is not. 

As we abide in and live out His Word, we'll have clearer vision because He will help transform and renew our minds so we can view everything from His lens with His help. 

Take everything back to God's Word and as you do so, the Holly Spirit will give you you wisdom, knowledge and discernment that will, again, help separate the truth from the lies.
 
Don't be a blind sheep! Take everything back to God's Word!

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday Reflection 2020.

Dear Friend,

It's Good Friday and I pray that today will provide you with a time of meaningful reflection as you remember Jesus' sacrifice. 

To help you reflect, here are the following graphics that capture the seven statements Jesus said while on The Cross as recorded in The Gospel accounts. 








I pray you set aside time to seek The Lord in His Word and through prayer. May you take time to worship, adore, and thank Him for His perfect and complete sacrifice for you so that you might have life and salvation in Him. 

He died for our good and may we never forget it or take it for granted. 

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

P.S. Here are two resources that will help you as you contemplate all Jesus did for you.

A Devotional - 'The 7 Sayings of Jesus on The Cross': 
https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/18966-the-7-sayings-of-jesus-on-the-cross

A Good Friday Article / Devotional: 
https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/2016/03/we-call-it-good-fridaybecause-it-was.html

Monday, April 06, 2020

'The 7 Sayings of Jesus on The Cross' Easter Devotional Is Now Live!

Hello and thanks for stopping by my site!

I wanted to share the news that just in time for Easter, my new Easter Devotional 'The 7 Sayings of Jesus on The Cross' is now live in the YouVersion Bible App and Website!

Here's the link the plan:  https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/18966-the-7-sayings-of-jesus-on-the-cross

Here's a brief intro video: https://youtu.be/naTbjR6wOs0


Please check it out and please subscribe to the plan via the app and I'd greatly appreciate it if you could please share it with your family and friends.

Here are the title and daily graphics for the devotional that you'll see in the app:
Title Image:


 Daily Image: 










Have a blessed Easter as you fix your eyes on Jesus and all He's done for you!

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Read John 3:16-21, Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:19-21, 2 Corinthians 12:9
I remember as a young child there was a TV show called, "Kojak" which was about a NYC Police Detective and his famous line was, "Who Loves Ya, Baby?". It's kind of comical to look back on but honestly, it's a valid question that from our heart of hearts, we may ask. "Who Loves Me?"

I'm here to tell you that God loves you!

Despite your sin and many imperfections, God sent Jesus to die on your behalf because of His great love for you.
Even on your worst day, He still loves you! 

There's never a day where God ceases to love you. His love is for you will never change or end!
You and I need to remember and never take His great, perfect, sacrificial, and eternal love for us for granted.

Let me encourage you that no matter what you think, feel, or have been told, or what kind of crummy day you might have, you are loved with an everlasting love by God as expressed through the indescribable gift of His son Jesus.

Last but not least, God's Word clearly shows you His love from cover to cover so next time you need a reminder, open the Word of God and be reminded of "Who Truly Loves Ya, Baby"! :-)

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,
Randolph Koch

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Jesus Will Calm Your Storms.

Read: Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 24

I received this beautiful reminder recently from my pastor: "The same waves that are over your head, are the same waves that are under Jesus' feet." -Pastor Brett Meador

You'll recall the story when Jesus walked on the water toward the disciples and Peter asked to join Him. Jesus told him to come and Peter with faith got out of the boat. He got part way to Jesus and then took his eyes off of Jesus and started to sink in the water. He cried out to Jesus, and Jesus saved him and the made it to the boat. (See Matthew 14:22-33)


Then there was another time that Jesus calmed the storm. (See Mark 4:35-41)


I'm also reminder of how He was victorious over death as He died as payment for our sin and rose on the third day in victory over death. (See Luke 24)


Jesus is your all in all my friend and whenever you feel afraid or overwhelmed, remember that the same Jesus that overcame death and paid the penalty for our sin, the same Jesus that calmed the storm, the same Jesus that walked on water over the crashing waves, is more than able to help you overcome what you face. He will calm, quiet, and overcome the storms and navigate and overcome the crashing waves of your life.


Put your trust in Him and as you feel like the waves are crashing over you or the storms of life are overwhelming you, remember that the waves are under Jesus' feet and so are the storms as they are subject to Him.


Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

He Holds All Things Together

It's with humor and truth that I share this post using tacos as a means to remind you, that you are loved by The One who never falls apart! And, because of His great love and His sufficiency, You don't have to try and hold everything together!

He holds all things together...and you don't!

And I don't care if it's on a weekly "Taco Tuesday" but you're more important than tacos. 

There may be times or seasons where you feel like everything is falling apart or you're falling apart. Let me reminder you that you don't have to keep it all together all the time or feel that you have to because the reality is that you know, are loved by, and have a personal relationship with The One Who does hold all things together.

He keeps everything together. He is your strength. He is your hope. He's The One Who will put all the pieces together if your life is in pieces or your heart, mind, and emotions feel like they are in pieces.

Even on your worst day, He still loves you. Even while you were His enemy, He loved you and Jesus died for you. (See Romans 5:8)

God will always love you, even through the roughest of seasons, that won't ever change so lean into Him instead of yourself and He will see you through!

Read Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 1:3a for encouragement from God's Word.

P.S. Don't forget that you're loved by the body of Christ too and we're supposed to bear one another's burdens. See Galatians 6:2.

Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Monday, March 02, 2020

Live By God's Truth.

Read John 8:31‭-‬32 ESV

We live in a day and age where people try to proclaim that they live by "their truth" or that you should live by "your truth". 

To be clear, there is no your truth, my truth, or their truth no matter what anyone today tries to say. 

May we remember that as follower's of Christ, we are to live by God's Truth which is The Truth. 

May we make it our prayer that we would be led by and live by God's Truth always in Jesus name.

Your Brother and Servant in Christ, 

Randolph Koch

P.S. I'm here to serve you. Please reach out if you need prayer or encouragement. 

(Footbridge @ McDowell Creek Falls photo by Randolph Koch) 

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.