Showing posts with label Balancing the Christian Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Balancing the Christian Life. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2024

What do you need to seek the Lord in faith for today?

My Friend,

What do you need to seek the Lord in faith for today? 

Please listen to and share this brief message today regarding a courageous portrait of faith. 

Please take time to read, study, and take to heart Luke 8:43-48 and  1 John‬ ‭5:14‭-‬15‬ ‭for starters. 

Seek The Lord through His Word, prayer, and The Holy Spirit. 

Reach out in faith and touch the hem of His garment. 

You're in my prayers! 

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Created For His Glory

My Friend,

Did you know that you were created for God's glory and you can bring Him glory?
Everything that God created is from Him and for Him, His glory, purpose, will, and plan.
The whole earth is full of His Glory! (See Isaiah 6:3)
I've heard it well said that, “God’s glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes.”-John Piper

So, His glory is a reflection of His attributes which we cannot fully comprehend in your finite minds. 

As we live this life that He's given us, may we always remember that we should strive to live for His glory in what we do and seek to bring Him glory with the help of The Holy Spirit.
Let me encourage you to do a word study through The Scriptures on Glory / His Glory to see what He says about this.
Your Brother and Servant in Christ,
Randolph Koch

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Monday, March 29, 2021

This vs That? or This and That?: Finding A Better Way To Represent Christ.

Read: 2 Timothy 2:22-26, , Proverbs 17:28, Proverbs 20:3, Ephesians 4:1-16, Colossians 4:2-6, Colossians 3:13-15, Ephesians 4:29, James 3:8-10, Matthew 15:18, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, John 15:12.

My Friend,

It's a trying season for sure whether it's due to health related issues, politics, or other issues. 

Any season like this can bring out the absolute best in people and the absolute worst...and for some time now there has been a lot of the latter for sure. 

Even without these things, we live in a time where many supposed "Keyboard Warriors" sling their opinions, (as if they are experts on every issue that comes and goes) and if you don't agree with them, you better get ready for an assault of hatred, shaming, finger pointing, character attacking, and name calling to be launched. 

Division Ensues: 
This is happening for things such as...

-Mask wearing Vs. No mask wearing.
-Shelter at home vs some shelter at home vs absolutely not. 
-All vaccines vs some vaccines vs absolutely no vaccines. 
-Gun control vs no gun control vs somewhere in between. 
-One political party vs another. 
-Universal health care vs private Healthcare 
... And the list of this vs that goes on and on...

It seems at times people have traded what should be adult maturity for adolescent behavior... all while they often hide behind their keyboards. 

Harsh Words Are Communicated: 
People type away and spout things from their high castles...things that many of us would never say to someone's face...or I hope not!?

People trash talk, name call, label, and launch evil words just because they think their opinion or viewpoint is somehow superior. 

It must make the evil one happy to see so much division horrible behavior in word and action...even within the church on these and many more issues. 

Let me ask, even if we think our opinion is better, how does it make us better to inflict others with such negative things?

What happened to being OK with respectfully disagreeing with one another without slinging hate toward one another? 

People Should Be Valued: 
It's sad because I see that supposed friendships end over things like this and you have to ask if they were remotely true friendships in the first place?

Aren't people more valuable than all of this?! 

Aren't people who were supposedly our friend(s) more important than this? Or were they only our supposed friend(s) when they didn't have a different viewpoint? 

Don't they still have value with or without your and my acceptance and despite our differences?... But instead, you or I may have thrown them away, and for what? 

Does It Have To Be This Vs. That?: 
In the current state of things and in general, why does it have to be "This vs That" instead of "This and That" about many of these issues or topics? 

Let me say here and now that it doesn't have to be this way!

The fact is that we will never be the same or completely agree on every issue and that's completely OK...or it should be. 

We need to be wise in what we engage on or as the old saying goes, "pick your battles wisely".  

There are many things that can be seen as "This and That" or we can stay neutral on. 

Kindness Please?! (We Represent Jesus!) : 
What we need is more people being good and kind toward one another...even those with whom we disagree. This doesn't mean you can't have and voice your views, and it doesn't mean you will necessarily or ever be best friends with each other, but, it does mean you should respect and value one another despite your differences. 

We need less hatred, shaming, harsh words spoken, and division. In its place we need more kindness and acceptance. We need more kind words spoken, (or how about not saying anything at times if you have nothing nice to say?), and we need more love and unity! Or if not unity, at least civility. 

We are welcome to have and respectfully express our opinions and viewpoints but, I believe that we show our strength more as we come together as unique people as we listen and lift others up instead of tear them down. 

Anyone can tear others down but it takes truly mature and special people to instead build one another up. 

To be clear, there are also times where we need to be bold and share the truth but we better have clear direction from The Lord regarding when we are to do that and we again, need to speak the truth in love. 

Even if we disagree with one another, we need to be good human beings, listen to those we don't agree with and show a little kindness and respect. Or, if we can't handle it then we should be mature enough to not engage with others in the specific conversations.

Even more important is that we as followers of Christ seek to live in a way that represents Jesus well, in an honoring way because we are His ambassadors and we're to speak the truth but in love. 

Sometime Silence Is The Best: 
I'd suggest there are times when we might choose to be silent on some non-essential issues so we don't add to further division and strife.

We Need To Do Better: 
We as followers of Christ need to do better. We need to behave better. We need to represent Jesus better in all these things. 

May we pause to consider how we're representing Him, especially in these crazy times we're living in, in Jesus name. May we ask for The Lord's helping in how we can do better and when we should speak up or remain silent. 

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

Please Note: This article was geared toward general issues and behaviors I've observed many times. This also isn't speaking to condoning sinful behavior or anything like that but on general issues, non-essential issues, non-salvation issues, things that are possibly neutral in alignment to God's Word, that we find a better more biblical way to communicate.

Here's one place that lists where you can connect with A Shepherd's Heart:

Please help A Shepherd's Heart if you are able. Any amount $1 on up is a big help!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Be In The Word And Stay In The Word.

My Friend,
God has shown us and told us how we should live throughout His Word.
None of us walk perfectly and it's not about perfection, but it is about putting in the effort to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him.
May we reflect what He's shown us and not reflect the behavior of the world or others who call themselves believers but who choose not to live according to God's Word. Basically they live as if they weren't saved from the chains and wages of sin.
Let me encourage you to strive to:
-Be in The Word.
-Stay In The Word.
-Actively Live out The Word.
-Reflect God's Word in your actions, conduct, and what you say.
Let me also encourage you to do justice as He lays it out in His Word not how the world defines it. Let me encourage you to also strive to love kindness and to walk humbly, before God.
Don't live like the nonsense we see time and time again on display all around the world through people's behavior. You either strive to live for Him or you don't, there's no in between.
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8 ESV
Let's pray for one another.
Your Brother and Servant in Christ,
Randolph Koch

P.S. Please pass on this encouragement to others who may be encouraged that God hears their prayers.

Here's one place that lists where you can connect with A Shepherd's Heart:

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

God's Love For You Will Never Change!

Read, Study, and Memorize: Romans 8:38-39.

Dear Friend,

I simply want to share this reminder with you: Nothing will ever change God's great love for you!
May you rest in this truth.
I think we all need this reminder from time to time.
Your Brother and Servant in Christ, 

Randolph Koch
P.S. Please prayerfully help me with my first ever fundraiser for my little ministry. Please share this small fundraiser with your church family and friends. 

Here's the link to the main fundraiser site:

Or here are 3 other options to help in this friends helping a friend fundraiser:

  1. You can use Cash App and send your gift to user name $ashepherdsheart or if you haven't used Cash App before, if you use this link we'll both receive $5! 

  2. Use PayPal sending to

  3. Use PayPal's Venmo app by sending to @ashepherdsheart

You're continued prayers and sharing this fundraiser with friends and family would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, June 03, 2019

So, You Think Church Is Optional?

Read:  Hebrews 10:19-25, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Colossians 3:16,   Colossians 4:15,  1 Corinthians 16:19,  Romans 16:5; Acts 20:20; James 2:2, Acts 2:42,  1 Cor. 12:12–27,  Matthew 18:20. 

For those who might not know and for those who do, as followers of Christ, when we talk about "Going to Church", we're talking about the times on the weekends or any time when we gather together for instruction in The Word, Worship in Song, Prayer, Communion Fellowship and more. It's what God wants us to do. 

To be clear, we are The Church and not the building we gather in and God does want us to regularly gather together as The Church which typically happens at a specific place that we refer to as the Church Building. 

Sadly, there is a certain mindset were some state that "Church is optional" and they try to justify it from their own human based opinion and perspective. Now, when I hear people who are supposed to be follower's of Christ claim that "Church is optional", I have to question when was the last time they actually read God's Word? Passages like Hebrews 10:19-25 and others are very clear on God's instruction that we need to come together regularly as it's not really optional if you're a born again follower of Christ. 

Friends, we need to be regularly reminded that coming together via our local church meeting places is NOT optional.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year 2019: Entering the New Year With Hope and Prayer!

Read: Jeremiah 29:11-13, Mark 11:17, James 4:2, Matthew 7:7, Hebrews 4:16, Romans 5:1-5, 1 Corinthians 3:16, and Numbers 6:24-26

Happy New Year 2019!

Can you believe it’s a new year already!? As we look forward to any new year, we often look forward with the hope of better things to come and if you’re in Christ, you have much to remain hopeful about!

If we’re honest, sometimes we can lose sight of the hope we have because of the circumstances we face, but, we need to be sure that our hope is grounded completely in The Lord or it’s not true hope at all! Why? Because if our hope is in Christ, this is not a temporal hope as hope in Him is an unshakable hope! This is the true hope that is built on the unshakable foundation of Jesus!

Let me encourage you to remember during every season of life, including all that’s ahead in this New Year, that nothing you face can shake the hope you have in Him!

Hold on to hope in Christ! Don’t allow anything to steal your hope and may you realize that your faith and hope should grow even stronger through the help of The Holy Spirit.
It’s been an especially challenging year for many of us for sure and for some it’s been a year of blessings upon blessing.

Regardless of what you’ve experienced, it’s still a perfect time to reflect on all the Lord has done in your life and to take a perspective, or “pulse” check to see where you are in your walk and life with the Lord.

He calls each of us to seek Him with all of our heart and promises that we will find Him and He will listen. Enter the New Year focusing on building and enhancing your prayer life. Based on His Holy Word we know that He wants our churches, the Body of Christ as whole, and ourselves to be “Houses of Prayer” or in sum, focus ourselves on prayer as He emphasizes that prayer should be a priority.

If the Lord wants us to pray, and it’s a true priority to Him, then why don’t we in turn really pray!? In fact, the Lord is the best role model of this for us as He constantly went to pray to the Father and He called His Disciples to pray many times. Each of us should be a house of prayer as we are His temples. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16) Not only this, but, He just plainly deserves our prayers and everything we are. Not to sound somewhat cliche but we should really become true “Prayer Warriors”, as this life is a real battlefield, spiritually and physically.

In Jim Cymbala’s book "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire", he has this to say about the apostles’ priority of prayer,
“The apostles had this instinct: When in trouble, pray. When intimidated, pray. When challenged, pray. When persecuted, pray.”

What a great observation! What a truly awesome challenge for us- Can we like the apostles, make prayer our priority in every circumstance, even when we’re not facing troubling times? Just making prayer so much a part of us that we pray throughout the day or set a special portion of the day a side to, intercede, cry out, praise, thank, communicate, etc., with Him through prayer! He wants to hear from us. It pleases Him so much when we focus our attention on Him through prayer.

Why not forget the New Year resolutions this year and consider instead, seeking God’s will for your life and telling Him the desires of your heart? Why not pour yourself out to Him through your fervent prayers and serving Him and others?

May you renew your commitment or begin making prayer a vital part of your life- every day! This can begin with you and I then maybe, just maybe, our example of a prayerful and a “prayer full” life will spread to the Body of Christ as a whole, then on into every Christian Church locally where ever we live around the world?! We can then be the houses of prayer, as the Lord would desire us to be.

Why not make this year an even more special New Year, by entering it in prayer! Seek Him today with all of your heart and be encouraged that He desires this and is ready and waiting to hear from you.

Ring in the New Year filled with hope and prayer!

Questions To Get Started With:
-What or Who is the foundation of your hope?
-What are the barriers in your life to holding on to true hope in Christ?
-Do you remain hopeful no matter the circumstances you face?
-Will you help build others up with the hope you have in Christ?
-Will you make prayer a priority in your life this New Year?
-Will you “pray in” the New Year this New Year’s Eve?
-What kind of changes do you need to make in order for prayer to be a priority?
-If prayer is already a priority for you, what can you do to encourage others to pray?
-Do you know someone that can help you be accountable to your commitment to the Lord in your walk with Him?
-Consider keeping a prayer journal chronicling / highlighting your prayer times with Him, answers to prayer, the revealing of His will for you over time, etc. This is a great exercise for us to make a habit to see Him at work in our lives.

Again, Happy New Year! Keep Seeking, Serving, and Loving Him with all that is within you! 

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,
Randolph Koch
-Founder and Servant-Shepherd of A Shepherd’s Heart

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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


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:

Friday, March 23, 2018

It's "Time To Make The Donuts."

Read: Genesis 2:15, James 2:14-18, Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 1:9-10, Matthew 5:16, 1 Timothy 6:17-18, Titus 2:6-8, Titus 3:14, and Galatians 6:9 

From the very beginning, God created mankind with a specific purpose and work to do just like we see in Genesis 2:15.

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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Keeping & Evaluating Hope!

HOPE...its another vital part of our existence. 

God brings hope to us every day in ordinary ways (general hope) and extraordinary hope too! (through Jesus) 

We're to be agents of hope, peace and more... 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Do you want lasting change? Then check out the Put Off and Put On Principle!

So often in life we need to make changes or adjust the way we are doing things. 

Some things are serious and or drastic changes while others are smaller changes that need to be made.

Maybe you have a bad habit you need to quit? Maybe you are trying to reach a goal and in order to reach that goal you have to stop doing something in order to do something better?

So, how does someone do this?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Be Still...and Know!

(Sunset over Tillamook Bay (Photo By Randolph Koch 2014)

 ...“Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.
                             -Psalm 46:10 (NIV)


I’ve been thinking a lot about this passage and I’ve come to realize these are two simple but very profound words that communicate volumes!

With the activities of life and hurried fast paced lives we often live, we don’t do the “Be Still” principle very well.

Think about it, when was the last time you and I just allowed ourselves to even physically…BE STILL?

I bet if you’re ever able to get yourself to a place in your schedule where you could be still, it felt very foreign to you for a bit or you felt like you should be doing something because by all means it’s all about “our strength” or “pulling ourselves up by the boot straps”?! We we’re supposed to be self-reliant and not need anyone’s help, right? 

Well, that may be what the world around us tells us but that way of operating doesn’t hold water to what God tells us we need to do. 

Being still requires faith. Being still requires trust. Being still requires hope. 

…A Faith that… God has you covered no matter what. 

…A Trust that… He is God and He already has a plan in the works to meet you where you are according to His perfect will. 

…A Hope that… His plan will be fulfilled in His perfect timing. 

Ultimately being still is more than just being physically still as it involved our mind, soul, spirit and body. 

When we take time to be still, we allow ourselves a few moment of time to collect ourselves and realign our focus back on God who will be exalted – especially when we operate how He instructs us to because His ways are higher than our ways and life typically works out better for us (not necessarily easier) in the long run if we do things His way. 

Other translations use the words “Cease Striving” and it is the same idea that we need to stop and be still. Cease trying to work to make things happen on our own strength. Cease trying to figure everything out on our own. Cease trying to be master and commander or our lives when we can’t do it all alone. No, we need to Be Still and know that He is God and…well…we are not!

The “Knowing” is the second and more important part because, if we can first off get ourselves to regularly “Be Still”, then we can rest in the “and know” part knowing wholeheartedly that He is God…He has everything under control. We need to again, know He is God and we are not.

It’s not that we are to shirk our responsibilities and be completely idle siting somewhere singing the proverbial “Kumbaya”  or think we should “let go and let God" (because this statement tends to not take into account some of our personal responsibility but we are to cast/give all of our anxieties to Him and leave them there. See 1 Peter 5:7)  because there are real things we need to do and own but it’s the reality that we need to completely rest in, be still in... Him. At the same time, we think sometimes that we’ve got it together and in the waiting we try to force God’s hand with pushing our agenda with the absence of His blessing…and in the process we will not get anywhere.

Being still is also a time seeking Him so in this sense, that is an action we can and should take in the process as we can pray, study and seek Him with everything that is within us.

We cannot clearly hear from Him amidst the chaos that sometimes surrounds us (or that we allow to surround us)…we need to sometimes physically escape just to be still before Him.

Once you and I get into the regular habit of being still, it will become more like breathing…it will become more natural and a part of our day-to-day walk and journey. 

Are you going through a hard time… Be Still…and know…

Are you facing a financial crisis… Be Still…and know…

Are you going through a health crisis…Be Still…and know…

Are you having an identity or self-worth crisis… Be Still…and know…

Are you unclear on what direction you’re to head… Be Still…and know…

No matter what you’re facing today, be still, cease striving to do it on your own and seek Him because you know He is God. He will be exalted through your life as you are a part of the nations and He will be exalted throughout the earth.  

A prayer for you and I:

Heavenly Father, Help us to be still…and know. Help us to hold every anxious thought captive. Help us to be better at building “be still” time with you so that we may hear your voice through our times with you through prayer and your Word and through the proclamation of the Word through our local church gatherings. Help us to fight back the chaos in our life that comes our way or that we allow to be a part of it. Help us to live wholeheartedly for you walking in the truth that You alone are our strength and have it all together! Let us be your ambassadors and may we help exalt and make your name great among the nations. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.  

Be blessed friends…by being still...and knowing He is God...

In His Love and for His Glory,