Friday, March 25, 2016

We Call It Good Friday...Because it was for Our Good!

Read: Matthew 26:36-28:15, Mark 14:32-16:14, Luke 22:39-24:53, and John 18-21:14.

It was the darkest day of all time. The day Jesus Christ the Savior was crucified. Humanly speaking, there was nothing good about that day. Everything went south in a hurry! The Gospels recount for us the physical and verbal abuse that was inflicted on Jesus and that He bore on our behalf. The shouts of, “crucify Him, crucify Him,” The blows to His body by the whips and rods, The suffering of carrying the cross on the road to Golgotha. The nails driven into his wrists and feet, the anguish as He hung on the cross with a sign above Him mockingly stating who He was, yet with no crime committed, He was crucified.

The vinegar given to Him to drink instead of water when He was thirsty, Then His last words and last breathe- it was finished. Simply unfathomable what He endured! Yet, because of the Father's divine plan of redemption, Jesus, long before He would come to earth in the humble form of man, God chose to send Him as the payment for our sins and the way of salvation. The scriptures also state in the prophetic books of the Old Testament that the Father was pleased to crush Him. This was because He loves us so much He wanted to do everything possible for us to see the folly of our ways and that Jesus is, and came as - the Savior. Jesus is the only plan of Salvation for us from the heart of God. There is no other way we can earn or work our way to heaven. Because of sin we aren’t worthy of God’s forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ we are worthy- only because of His death on the cross.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our Patient Savior - A Reflection On The Saving Work of Christ

The Word:

Read: 2 Peter 3:9, John 19, Galatians 5:22-23

There have been many occasions in my life and most likely yours, when I needed to refer to a dictionary. I remember when I was a kid I always asked my mom what a word meant or how it was spelled. As I recall, most of the time she would say to me, "Use the dictionary." She wanted me know what the words meant for myself and to rely on the dictionary as a constant resource for my spelling needs. As an adult you'd think I'd stop asking what something means or how it was spelled, but I've found as I search the scriptures that there is always a use for a regular or a Biblical dictionary. It is amazing what you'll find as you refresh your memory of a spelling or a definition. 

On one occasion I looked up the word "patient". I found the word in the dictionary and read the definitions that accompanied it. I was in for a surprise on this occasion because we all use the word patient but do we know what it totally means? In the particular compact Webster's Dictionary I was using it laid out the following as the first definition:
        "Patient - Enduring affliction or pain without anger or complaint."

Pause for a moment and let that definition soak in...

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Prayer For More Passion for Christ as we remember the Passion of Christ - Monday, March 21, 2016

Read: Luke 22:39-46, John 19, Luke 23:34 and Luke 9:23

Heavenly Father, 

As we enter "Passion Week", please help us to have more passion for Christ and live more passionately as we follow Christ. 

Father, we so often reserve our awe, wonder and reverence for all You've done for us through Jesus, for different times of year, but, I ask that You help us to live in the awe, wonder and reverence day-to-day as we seek to make Your name great. 

May we live for Your Kingdom and glory all the more as we recall His ultimate sacrifice. 

Help us to remember the events leading up to Him taking the cross on our behalf. May this keep us sober at all times and never take Your love, grace, truth and sacrifice for granted. 

As we remember how He was betrayed, please help us to never betray You or the people You bring into our paths. 

As we remember His prayer in the garden in anticipation of what He was soon to take on for us, even to the point where He sweat blood, helps us to pray fervently at all times for Your Will, Your Heart, Your Kingdom, Your People, Your Glory and Your plan. 

Help us to toil, sweat, and sacrifice it all if You ask it of us. 

As Jesus asked while nailed to the cross, "Father Forgive them as they no not what they do", help us to readily forgive others for even the most trivial things they do to us. 

Help us to willingly take up our cross daily and follow Jesus as He willingly took the cross for mankind. 

Help us to live fully for You!

Again, Father, I ask that You help us by Your Spirit to have more Passion for Christ as we reflect on The Passion of Christ this week and beyond. 

In Jesus Name I praise You and Thank You, Amen. 


Share this with someone this week: "It's important that we live passionately for Christ beyond Passion Week!" 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Will the Real St. Patrick Please stand up?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even if you’re not a wee bit Irish, there is a lot we can learn from the life of St. Patrick. There are a lot of legends/myths about Him but it’s good to separate fact from fiction and today I’m posting a few links to articles about his life which you’ll find below. Also, if you ever have an opportunity to watch an hour long docudrama about his life that was narrated by Liam Neeson, I’d highly recommend it. I believe it was simply called, "Patrick". I'm sure you'll be able to locate it via your favorite search engine.

While I agree that St. Patrick's life is one to celebrate and it's OK to have some fun in celebrating, St. Patrick's Day is not about hitting the pubs, shamrocks and the "Luck of the Irish" like many make it. His life was far more significant to the faith community and in the history of Ireland in comparison to these temporal things. 

After a brief glimpse into the life of St. Patrick you'll see some great reminders and examples regarding God's grace. 

One of those lessons I see is that we need to allow God to use and direct our path no matter what the circumstances and no matter if what we're going through makes sense or not. God is more than able to take someone out of slavery, (like Patrick) or any dire situation and use them for His glory in proclaiming His message. 

St. Patrick wasn't even from Ireland but God used him there to bring His message to the Emerald Island and because of this - many came to a saving grace thanks to God!

Here’s a selection of articles for your edification:

Lastly, I wanted to leave you with an Old Irish Blessing:

"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back."

"May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields."

"And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

                                ~An Old Irish Blessing

Have an excellent day!

Many Blessing in Christ,


#stpatricksday #stpatrick #faith #hope #wisdom #life #liveforGod #freedom #Christian #ChristIsAll #ashepherdsheart

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Prayer for When We Battle Anxiety - Monday, March 14, 2016

Read: Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are battling or suffering from anxiety...or may in the future.

When we face these times, please help us to...

 ...abide in Your Word so we know and are growing in Your truth. 

...insert Your truth where any anxious thought comes to mind. 

...not worry about the basic provision, food, clothing, shelter, etc as You have all these things covered. 

...remember that You even provide for the birds so again, You will provide for us.

...remember that You even clothe flowers in the field....You will provide all the more for us because You love us!

...remember that we can't add even a day to our lives...only You can!

...not worry about anything and instead put our hope, trust, confidence and faith you.

...not worry about anything but instead, pray.

...remember our battle is also often a spiritual one.

…remember that our battle is not ours alone because you battle with us and go before us!

...armor up...pray on Your full armor to fight the spiritual battle. grateful for what we have so we don't feed ungratefulness for what we don't which in turn can cause anxiety. thankful in all things. have joy even amidst sadness. You immediately when people hurt us and cause us to become anxious. 

...not dwell on things that we know will cause us to withdraw, become anxious, sad, lonely or experience further pain. thankful for Your grace and love. there for others who are having anxiety issues....helping encourage them and also point them to You!

In the midst of fear, please give us Your peace. 

When we feel alone, please surround us with your presence helping us to remember we're never alone because You're with us always. 

Please give us an extra portion of Your strength during these times.

Please help us make it through each day with Your Holy Spirit's help. 

Thank You for the gift of prayer. 

In Jesus name I praise you and thank you, Amen! 


P.S. Share this with someone today:

"Being anxious doesn't do anything for you but having faith in God, abiding in His Word and constant prayer does!" 

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, March 07, 2016

A Prayer for New Mercies and New Beginnings - Monday, March 7, 2016

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 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

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

New Creative Bible Study Through The Gospel of John - from my friend at the Stone Soup For Five Blog!

A long time friend, Kari Denker of the Stone Soup For Five Blog has just written and launched a creative and in-depth 21 week study through The Gospel of John!

This Study is for Adults and youth alike and this week only - it also comes with a companion lap book for kids to do right along with you!

There is nothing out there like it (other than her previous study series of course :-) ) that mixes in-depth Journal Study of God's Word with doodling. Very cool way to remember God's Word!

Item Description From The Author:

"Dig deep into God's word and remember it better than ever. The special package for the launch of the newest Journal and Doodle study through John ends this Saturday! Don't miss out on the study and a lapbook to help your children to join along!
For more information and to purchase your own copy go to:

Also, if you act now and use this special code she created for my followers, SHEPHERD20, you'll get 20% off! The code is good for this week only! Plus, don't forget the special lap book that will come with it if you purchase it this week! Nice bonus beside the 20% off!

Kari has once again poured her heart into creating an incredible resource to help people grow in their knowledge of God's Word and their walk with God!

This would also make a wonderful gift so...Check it Out!

In Christ,


Monday, February 29, 2016

A Prayer For When We Feel Or Are Hated by Others - Monday, February 29, 2016

Heavenly Father,
When the world hates us for Your name sake, help us to not grow weary as You experienced all this and much worse than this and more.

Help us to to seek to be peacemakers and trust in You as much as possible in such times as... 

When lies and accusations fly... 
When people in and out of the body of Christ misjudge or make false assumptions of us... When people block us on social media etc with no explanation... 
When people ignore us...
When people mistreat us... 

When people reject us... 
When people don't love us... 
When people don't recognize our abilities, skills and talents...
When people are harsh with us... 

When people propagate false information or reports about us... 
When people don't seek first understand us... 

Help us to remember that You've experienced much worse and You are righteous, loving, kind and just.

Help us guard our hearts and minds.

Help us to understand that You know our hearts and minds and You know the truth about each situation and circumstance.

You will set the record and path straight in Your time as You are a righteous King.

Help us to to proclaim Your good news no matter what we face.

Help us to be ready to give the reason for our faith and joy in Christ at all times.

Help us cling to and trust in You always.

Help us to help others do the same.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


#Prayer #nohate #love #justice #ashepherdsheart #hate
#bible #righteous #heart #mind #soul #strength #earth #peace #love #joy #patience #kindess #goodness #selfcontrol #righteousness #purpose #peacemaker #prayerwarrior

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Jumping Through Hoops

Sometimes in life you come across "Hoops to Jump Through" and you have to decide whether or not to jump through said hoops. 

For whatever reason some in leadership including those who should be encouraging you and believe in you (Leaders and even "friends") have expectations of others that they themselves couldn't even meet if they faced the same expectations. 

None-the-less sometimes they will expect you to jump through hoop after hoop until they'll recognize your abilities, skills and efforts. 

Yes, it would be much simpler if they'd see and pay attention to your efforts first so the hoops can be avoided but it comes to a point again, where you have to decide if you're willing to continue to jump through the hoops, which hoops to jump through and when enough is enough.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Prayer for the Brokenhearted - Monday, February 22, 2016

Read Psalm 34:18 ESV, Psalm 147:3-6 ESV and Romans 8:27-28.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for those who are, have been or will be brokenhearted. Unfortunately and sadly it's inevitable because this life is hard many times and we live in a broken world but we still know You'll work things together for good! 

Whatever causes the times of being brokenhearted in each case, may You:

-Minister to us and lift us up that we may shift our focus on You.

-Help us understand how close You are to the brokenhearted.

-Help us to never forget that You've never promised that life will be easy but You we do know that you are faithful, Holy and know what's best for us through what you allow to impact us including the choices we make sometimes. 

-Help us to learn and grow through these times and may we experience Your peace even amidst these hard times of brokenness.

-Help us cling to You and cry out to you all the more as You're faithful and true.

-Help us to experience Your Joy amidst the pain and heartache. 

-Turn our brokenness into another step toward being complete in You!

-Help us understand that being brokenhearted is temporary...and You can turn what seems like ashes into something beautiful in the process.

-Help us on the really tough days...simply get out of bed and see that day, no matter how tough it is, no matter the devastation we feel, as a gift from you, a new start, a chance to do things better, differently...including striving to do our part in whatever the circumstances to not make the same mistakes or choices again if we indeed contributed to that circumstance leading to our hearts breaking. 

-Help others make good choices too.

-Help us to avoid being brokenhearted in the first place if possible. 

-Help us to see our complete need for You and that You know us by name (and have known us by name even before we were born) and have been drawing us to Yourself since the day we were born! 

-Help us to turn toward You and receive Your free gift of salvation (if we haven't already) and walk with You all the days of our lives. In this sense our hearts are born broken because of sin and You're the great physician and healer of our hearts. 

-Help us to remember that You're the great physician and healer of our hearts.

-Help us especially during these hard times to pray as we should and read, study and abide in Your Word as we should.

I praise You and thank You and ask all these things in the name above all other names, Jesus, Amen.


How to be saved:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Suicide Is Not The Answer

PLEASE take a few moments to watch and share this vital message from Pastor Rick Warren either for yourself or with a friend, family member or colleague who is struggling with depression or worse...thinking about ending their/your life. He shares helpful information and a phone number that can be the lifeline someone may need today. He helps give tools to also equip others to help others!

Many of you may not know this but I've walked this road friends and in high school and in my early twenties my depression got so bad I went down the road wanting to end it. Depression, Anxiety, etc is no joke and there are many reasons for it and we need to take it seriously. We need to help others or if it's us...we need to reach out for help ourselves no matter how awkward or hard it is!

Your life matters, all lives matter and don't make the mistakes that myself and many others have made by keeping it to yourself. Get help! 

You're not worthless but you are worthy and take it from me...your life impacts countless other people whether you know it or not and the loss of you, or your friend or colleague will make a huge impact on everyone...suicide is not a solves absolutely NOTHING. Don't walk this road alone...reach out...I pray you do! Please watch this and pass it on!

Praying for you!


P.S. I've been wanted to make a video of my own about this important topic and someday I the mean this video. PLEASE PASS THIS Important Message on please!

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Prayer for Remembering God in the Mundane - Monday, February 15, 2016

Dear Heavenly Father, You know my/our heart(s) well, I come before you now asking that You help me/us to daily see you in the mundane things of life. 

I pray I/we never take You for granted as it's in even the mundane things that we can see You and experience Your grace and love and yet we often take these moments for granted when in actuality we can devote ourselves to You all the more in prayer and throw practical day-to-day worship through the gift called life you've given us. 

I/We can see You and worship You while...

...we rise in the morning and get ready for the day ahead
...we see the sunrise and sunset You've created
...we hear the birds sing
...we work
...while we play or vacation
...we take the trash out
...we do the dishes
...we maintain the home You've given us.
...we seek to be stewards with the resources you've given us.
...we're stuck in traffic on the way to work or appointments.
...we exercise
...we meet with friends for coffee
...we pay our bills
...we have to make difficult decisions
...we deal with difficult people
...we work through family issues
...we grieve the loss of someone we love
...we battle through health or financial crisis

...we go to the dentist
...we go to the doctor
....and many many other things

You instruct us in Your word to do everything unto You for Your glory! (Colossians 3:23)
Please help us do just this Lord...bring You glory and may we do so operating in and by Your strength and for Your glory as it's in the mundane things of life or even the less mundane things that I/we can encounter You and seek to glorify You as You seek to shape and mold us for Your kingdom, glory and our good!

Help us Father to remember You no matter the circumstance. Help us Father remember you in the mundane things of life.

I praise You Father for Who You are and all that You have done and continue to do in and through Your people and Your creation. 

I praise You, thank You and wait expectantly for answers to prayer, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Read: Hebrews 5:11-14, James 1:22, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 4:2 and Romans 10:17

Quite a few years ago when my kids were little, I remember when they transitioned from formula or milk to baby food and then eventually more solid or normal foods like you and I eat. If they stayed with just formula or milk alone their growth wouldn't be sufficient as it wasn't enough as they grew and became more active. They would be hungry non-stop like they were when they were babies and they'd never be satisfied.

I can't imagine at the age they are now if they only drank milk and ate baby food! Wouldn't be a good picture of health as their growth would have been or would be stunted...and if you have teenagers or early twenty somethings you know they are ALWAYS hungry!

How about you and I!? Life would definitely be completely different on a liquid or soft food / baby food diet. You might lose some needed weight but you wouldn't be satisfied.

The other thing I remember about the baby food that it was quite messy at times and there were also times where if we purchased store bought baby food that every so often for one reason or another there was a recall on baby foods. It's a good thing those companies were paying attention as sometimes it led to serious health related issues and other times it was just precautionary but either way it was necessary.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

He is Near...

I pray that this brief video is an encouragement to you during the season of life that you're in.

Especially if you're going through a season where your heart is broken, you're experiencing heartache, or if you're mourning the loss of a loved one or broken relationship...whatever you're facing or going through may you be encouraged that... He is near!
Many Blessings,


Monday, February 01, 2016

The Potter and The Clay

Please take a few minutes and read this great post I ran across recently regarding the Potter and the Clay:

I've always loved the potter and clay imagery in the scriptures as it's so vivid and meaningful. 

God wonderfully depicts how He continues to progressively sanctify us as He smooths out the rough parts (which are many for most, lol) and shapes us into something amazing and useful for Him, His kingdom, glory and our good! 



Disclaimer: Please note, although this post is wonderful and very appreciated, A Shepherd's Heart or Randolph Koch are not responsible for the views or conduct of the author as I do not personally know the author and therefore don't have firsthand knowledge of their conduct. This by no means is meant to imply they are not a fine follower of Christ but since they are not connected with this site or it's curators, it's important to state the before mentioned

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Audio / Video Venture


Would appreciate prayers for God's provision of the funds for the basic audio and eventually video recording equipment (Like the Zoom H5 or maybe their flagship H6 plus memory card, case, etc. 

H5 is cheaper/more affordable) I'm working to acquire for audio/video ministry project including but not limited to Audio Podcasts and Videos for teaching and encouragement. 

If God leads, please prayerfully consider helping with this audio/video adventure via the following link: Select Audio / Video Venture from the catalog. (I.E. A quantity of 1 = $1.00)

Thanks for your prayers! 


Friday, November 13, 2015


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.

Wednesday, October 28, 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...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Updated Distribution List and Free 5 Day e-Devotional!


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 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