Category Archives: Blog

Hope Arises

“Hope Arises” was the name and topic of this past Sunday’s sermon at Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch, as we celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, who sacrificed his life so that are sins could be forgiven.

Many things seem impossible in the midst of chaos and in many respects, they really are.  Whether one is dealing with a broken marriage, infidelity, financial or legal troubles, disease or sickness, there is one thing that has withstood the test of time — and that is hope.  While every man dies because of father time, those who believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead will live eternal life.  How do we know this?  Because, the resurrection proves this, and it says so in the bible.

This tells us that with God, “all things are possible”.  Pastor Dudley tells us that God specializes in the impossible.  All he asks us is to Confess and Repent, Believe in Him and through baptism, we may live a new life.   Our past will be forgiven and our future will be secured.  Isn’t that something — that is hope and salvation in its purest form.

Happy Easter to all…

Hope Arises

 

 

 

Man of Value

Most individuals at some point in their life have had the desire to become successful.  Whether that is due to their financial worth, their position at a company, or their overall status, in terms of how others may perceive them.  It isn’t until you’ve experienced things like failure, setback or hardship, that one fully begins to understand and embrace life, especially after having achieved success in the past.  When you’ve had it, you’re on top of the world and nothing can take you down.  But when you’re not careful, things can come crashing down in an instant.  Importantly, perhaps the way to become successful is not for the extra zero, or for the promotion, or for the press — but rather seeking to merely be valuable with no expectation in return.  Valuable to others, including your family, in the workplace, amongst your friends, or at church.  Inherently, you will be a man of success.

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

-Albert Einstein

einstein

A Dedication to My Money Tree

On my first day of work at a recent job, my Wife had an indoor money tree delivered to my office.  To me, it was a symbol of a new beginning — a new chapter in life.  The tree itself is a Malabar chestnut (Pachira acquatica), and many people believe that it will bring good luck, fortune and prosperity.  Typically, the tree has five trunks that are braided together, and the size of the tree will generally depend on its age and the size of its pot.  If taken care of properly, the tree will often sprout new stems of leaves that unfold into five leave stems.

Below is my tree — received in 2012 (on left) and now 2017 (on right), you can see how much it has grown.

IMG_4349

This tree is important to me and He is very temperamental.  I once put Him outside in the sun for an hour, thinking He would enjoy some sunlight.  When I revisited the tree, I realized each of His leaves that were directly exposed to the sun were burnt to the crisp.  He didn’t like the sun.  I felt so guilty – I know exactly how He felt — the same way I feel after laying out for an hour without sunblock.  It took a week for all of His leaves to fall off, only to sprout new ones over the next month.

We fumigated our house for termites one weekend and left all of our indoor plants with a neighbor.  When we picked Him up a week later, he had clearly been over-watered and was unhappy, by the look of His droopy leaves.

We’ve grown older together.  I now know He only likes indirect light and prefers to drink once a week.  Other than that, we pretty much leave Him alone.  I don’t bother Him and He doesn’t bother me.  But I am thankful for His presence.

 

 

 

For Argument’s Sake

Ever been on the wrong side of an argument?  Well if you’re like most people, the answer is yes.  Don’t get upset or emotional as it will only make matters worse. Identify the weakness or gap in your argument and figure out how to make it better so you’ll end up on the right side next time!  Losing is tough and is never fun, but when you do lose, try to spin a positive out of it.  If you do that, then you haven’t really lost because you’ve just learned from your mistake.

“Don’t raise your voice.  Improve your argument.”

-Harvey Specter, Suits

 

don't raise your voice

Gold Rush Update

The San Francisco 49ers have had a busy offseason.  After finishing 2-14 (with their only 2 wins coming against the LA Rams), the 49ers fired head coach Chip Kelly after only one season.  They also fired General Manager Trent Baalke.  A tumultuous season indeed, especially after watching then-backup QB Colin Kaepernick sit during the national anthem, motivated by alleged oppression against black people and other non-white races.  Because of their terrible record, the 49ers secured themselves the #2 pick in the draft.  It remains to be seen if they will select a QB or not (i.e. Mitch Trubisky*, QB, North Carolina; or Deshaun Watson*, QB, Clemson).  The 49ers also poached the offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, from the Atlanta Falcons and made him the 4th new head coach for the Niners in the last 4 years!  At the same time, they also hired new General Manager, John Lynch.  

Following are some of the key pickups so far this free agent offseason:

Veteran additions
–QB Brian Hoyer (UFA, Chicago) 2 years/$12M, $4M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $5.5M
–QB Matt Barkley (UFA, Chicago) 2 years, $4M, $500,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.95M
–FB Kyle Juszczyk (UFA, Baltimore) 4 years, $21M, $5M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $3.4M
–WR Pierre Garçon (UFA, Washington) 5 years/$47.5M, $12M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $6.425M
–WR Marquise Goodwin (UFA, Buffalo) 2 years/$6M, $2.5M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $3.25M
–WR Aldrick Robinson (UFA, Atlanta) 2 years/$4M, $300,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.7M
–TE Logan Paulsen (UFA, Chicago) 1 year, $1M, $125,000 signing bonus: 2017 cap: $1M
–K Robbie Gould (UFA, N.Y. Giants) 2 years/$4M, $500,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.75M
–LB Malcolm Smith (UFA, Oakland) 5 years/$26.5M, $11.5M fully guaranteed. 2017 cap: $3.684M
–LB Brock Coyle (non-tendered RFA, Seattle) 2 years
–DB Don Jones (UFA, Houston) 2 years
–DT Earl Mitchell (UFA, cut by Miami): 4 years/$16 million, $5.5 million in first year. 2017 cap: $2.9M
–CB K’Waun Williams (UFA, cut by Cleveland): 1 year/$690,000, $75,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $690,000

49ers

Grand Opening at Shepherd Church

This weekend was the grand opening of Shepherd’s new sanctuary in Porter Ranch and I have to admit that the facility is awesome! Only He could have provided this and it is through Him and his presence that the House of the Lord shines.  Truly we are blessed for his sacrifice and his provision, as well as for the wonderful and beautiful building that He has built.  Today we “lift up Jesus” and pray for not only our friends and family, but for those less fortunate throughout the world.  May those that are sad and depressed, unhappy and lonely, hungry or sad share a feeling of hope today and in 2017 and onward, and that they may have an opportunity to meet and know You.  Only through You can our sins be forgiven and that we may live an eternal life.  Seek and attain the peace you’ve always dreamed of because it is real, and it will never be real unless you give up control.

Shepherd Church Grand Opening
Shepherd Church Grand Opening

Looking Back at 2016

As calendar year 2016 comes to an end, I’d like to look back at what happened during the year.  In the following points, I’ll select one important event from each month of the year.  So many things happened, but I’ll only choose one from each month.  What event(s) was the most interesting or significant of the year?

January 28 – The World Health Organization announces an outbreak of the Zika virus.

February 7 – North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space, violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.

March 22 – Three coordinated bombings in BrusselsBelgium kill at least 32 and injure at least 250. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility for the attacks.

April 2 – Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani military in Nagorno-Karabakh kill at least 193 people, which becomes the heaviest breach of the 1994 ceasefire.

May 19 – EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes with 66 people on board over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo.

June 23 – The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union.

July 4 – NASA‘s Juno spacecraft enters orbit around Jupiter and begins a 20-month survey of the planet.

August 521 – The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de JaneiroBrazil.

September 28 – International investigators conclude that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a Buk missile that came from an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

October 13 – The Maldives announces its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Nations.

November 9 – Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment

December 19 – Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, is assassinated in Ankara.

Well, the choice was easy for me.  What is your choice?