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Bay Area Pastor Paul Sheppard Resigns Amid Moral Crisis
The Church Report ^ | 12-22-09

Posted on 12/31/2009 10:16:01 AM PST by truthandlife

Pastor Paul Sheppard, senior pastor of the large Bay Area Church, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, abruptly resigned this past weekend. Sheppard who is widely credited for growing the church from 300 members to well over 6,000 resigned due to a "moral crisis" in statement read to the congregation on Sunday.

According to sources who were in attendance at the church on Sunday, an associate pastor stood up for the morning announcments and read a letter from Pastor Paul Sheppard to the church. In the letter, Sheppard admitted having an extra marital affair. In addition, he asked forgiveness from his wife, Meredith, and from the members of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. According to church members that The Church Report spoke with, all were shocked and saddened by the news.

Paul Sheppard had been the senior pastor of Abundant Life Christian church since 1989.Sheppard is also a board member of the National Religious Broadcasters and has served as a speaker at many large Christian conferences across the country including Promise Keepers, Family Life and others, according to his website.

Interim pastor, Wayne Jackson, released a statement, saying, "It is with great sadness that we announced this past weekend (December 19-20) the resignation of Pastor Paul Sheppard from our church. Pastor Paul had been the Senior Pastor of Abundant Life for the past 20 years, and his ministry touched countless lives. We honor God for Pastor Paul’s service and the good fruit borne of his ministry, even as we regret the circumstances of his resignation. Please join us in keeping Pastor Paul, Sister Meredith, and their family in prayer."

Calls to the church for comment were not returned.


TOPICS: Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: adultery; ministry
I pray for Paul and his congregation. I used to listen to him when I was on business travel in Dallas. I listened to him on the radio. There are consequences to sin but there also is redemption, grace and forgiveness.
1 posted on 12/31/2009 10:16:02 AM PST by truthandlife
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To: truthandlife

It happens to the best of people. He’s being forthright and contrite, so he’s on the right road.


2 posted on 12/31/2009 10:18:02 AM PST by Melas
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To: Melas; truthandlife

I agree with both of your statements.

The only complete and perfect Christian is sitting at the right hand of the Father right now.


3 posted on 12/31/2009 10:21:21 AM PST by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: truthandlife

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. I hope & pray he really genuinely is seeking repentance.


4 posted on 12/31/2009 10:23:11 AM PST by vpintheak (How can love of God, Family and Country make me an extremist?)
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To: Melas
He’s being forthright and contrite, so he’s on the right road.

Did he get all forthright and contrite only after being caught cheating, or did he just have an epiphany?
5 posted on 12/31/2009 10:30:56 AM PST by drjimmy
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To: All

It would be interesting to see the statistics on

% of infidelity among the public at large vs % infidelity among pastors of mega churches. I think the % would be disappointing.

I think one can be a committed, Bible believing, God fearing, evangelical Christian and question the feel good doctrine coming out of the mega churches and which dominates televangelism; about how simply turning all your problems over to God will result in financial and marital success.


6 posted on 12/31/2009 10:34:16 AM PST by Jonah Johansen ("Coming soon to a neighborhood near you")
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To: Melas
It happens to the best of people.

It happens? As if the Devil made him do it? As if he had no choice? Is that how you explain your transgressions? They just "happen?"

7 posted on 12/31/2009 10:35:33 AM PST by Misterioso (Common sense is a simple and non-self-conscious use of logic. -- Ayn Rand)
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To: truthandlife

This is so sad! I enjoyed his ministry. He no doubt, fell into the trap set by the enemy, satan. May God restore healing to him and his family as he did to King David in the Old Testament.


8 posted on 12/31/2009 10:38:55 AM PST by pollywog ("If it doesn't count for eternity ~ don't mess with it" .........)
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To: Misterioso

” happens” as in the story of David and Bethsheba!! We succumb to satan’s pull when we fail to resist the enemy.
Yes it happens to us all....”All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”....

some not in the area of sexual sin, but all have sinned!!


9 posted on 12/31/2009 10:42:08 AM PST by pollywog ("If it doesn't count for eternity ~ don't mess with it" .........)
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To: truthandlife

How about praying for the man’s wife that her heart not be crushed to dust, as it surely must be. The pastor can get run over by a truck as far as I’m concerned... think of the betrayal of trust this man has thrust upon his family and perishers. Burns me up, these mega church gurus, pocketing profits and living big in the dark. Ya God’ll forgive him ok, if he’s truly repentant but God won’t cancel the repercussions of the man’s actions... just sorry so many others will suffer because of him, the blanking blankety blank.


10 posted on 12/31/2009 11:12:02 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: truthandlife

7 X 70


11 posted on 12/31/2009 11:44:00 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Melas

This information is inaccurate.


12 posted on 12/31/2009 2:36:43 PM PST by Anau Hafoka
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To: Anau Hafoka

You created an account today just for this? A four word declaration with absolutely no corroboration? Why waste not only my time, but your own?


13 posted on 12/31/2009 4:35:33 PM PST by Melas
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To: Misterioso
It happens? As if the Devil made him do it? As if he had no choice? Is that how you explain your transgressions? They just "happen?"

My pastor says everyone brings something to the table, so I told him that I have an in depth knowledge of sin. He couldn't help but laugh, even though it's true. I make no claims of piety because I know that if anyone needs salvation, it's me.

14 posted on 12/31/2009 4:41:39 PM PST by Melas
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To: Melas

While everyone is indeed a sinner, not everyone is equipped to lead a congregation. The Scripture is clear that teachers and pastors actually must have conquered certain areas. In the case of this pastor, he had not. I bet his access to all the females in the congregation was like shooting fish in a barrel. I’ve seen this same scenario happen over and over. The poor wronged wife is played the fool by the weeping, “contrite” fool and his equally trashy mistress.


15 posted on 12/31/2009 5:51:59 PM PST by 1951Boomer
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To: truthandlife
Okay stop and look inside. The Bible says all are sinners, and God expects us to sin because we are human. His command is to confess our sins and He will be faithful and just and forgive us. Pastor Paul has confessed and God has forgiven him, so why don't we do the same unless we think we are greater than God. Despite his sin, which may have been egregious, no one out there is any better, and when your finger is pointing at Pastor Paul, remember 3 more are pointing back at you. He who is without sin, cast the first stone. Remember, there but for the Grace of God goes ALL OF US! Let us all who judge PraY, Confess, and ask for Forgiveness instead of kicking at a Brother when he is down.
16 posted on 12/31/2009 11:21:37 PM PST by Sandide
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To: Sandide

AMEN!


17 posted on 01/01/2010 12:02:22 AM PST by presently no screen name ( Elected officials are WELFARE RECIPIENTS.)
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To: truthandlife


I used to listen to him when I was on business travel in Dallas.
I listened to him on the radio.

Took me a bit of time to realize Sheppard is the one with the
“Enduring Truth” radio show.
I checked for some articles on him...and give him credit for coming
clean before he was to appear at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters)
meeting in late Feb.

He’s maybe a bit high on the volume level for me...but he sure did
seem to give sermons that were direct and straightforward.

I hope he finds his way back to the moral heading he did such an able
job of expounding in the pulpit. And that his wounded spouse, family,
friends and church staff are given the strength to “hang in there” for
the long haul.

Recent articles/links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=%22Paul+Sheppard%22+%22Abundant+Life%22+%22radio%22&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=


18 posted on 01/01/2010 12:48:09 AM PST by VOA
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To: dps.inspect

Clearly you’ve never met Pastor Paul or sat in one of his services! His kindness, understanding, wisdom, tireless effort, and wonderful humor were the key reasons that the ALCF church grew from nothing to 6,000 members under his stewardship.

In fact if anything I view this entire affair, however shocking and unexpected, as a clear reminder from God that NONE of us - not even a great pastor like Pastor Paul, who is easily the best man that I’ve ever encountered in 48 years of life - may live on earth without sin.

ALL of us have sinned, ALL of us will sin, ALL of our sins are equally egregious in the eyes of the Lord, and we must all pray for forgiveness and learn to forgive others when our sins happen.


19 posted on 01/01/2010 6:21:55 AM PST by PastorPaulSupporter
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To: PastorPaulSupporter

what... you’ve committed adultery too? Sounds like your laying the groundwork for exposing your own moral delinquency in the hopes that it will pad your landing on impact. I have no idea who this “wonderful, tender, wise, empathetic” man is, all I know is that nothing you have said shows any since of proportion for what this man has done to his wife and family... I’m sick and tired of the “important” figures of our society living big till they get caught, then they send their sycophants out to plead forgiveness on their behalf. Like I said, I could care less if he got run over by a truck, that would likely be less painful for those around him than the pain he’s inflicted. I’ll bet his mistress felt the same as you.


20 posted on 01/01/2010 8:02:20 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect
It is dissapointing to hear that such a leader has resorted to hiding in such a time as this. keeping things private and hidden only leaves unanswered questions which, if not answered by him will be answered by satan. Is this how we as husbands and fathers are to act if we are caught up in sin? where is the example of how we are to handle hidden sin? was there an appology to his followers for his lying and proclaiming the truth while hiding in sin. A real man of God would face his Enduring Truth head on! He is still trying to handle this in his own strength......how has that done for him so far. A humble man is open and broken before God and his family.....where is he?
21 posted on 01/01/2010 10:54:06 AM PST by Saddened-but-not-surprised
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To: Saddened-but-not-surprised

A good example of why we don’t follow men, but God... A man that puts himself in the middle of such great responsibility and betrays his trust is no man of God, but an evil doer... from the moment he began entertaining his lusts, his works, however righteous became tainted and began crumbling. May God preserve us from choosing such a course, and place the love of spouse and family so firmly in our hearts, that we could not bear the pain of doing such a thing. Amen.


22 posted on 01/01/2010 3:26:35 PM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect

The bible says: But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 So yes EVERYONE has commited adultery, if you feel you haven’t then: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8. We all need to pray for Jesus to come again or take us, but until them for Hime to make us more like Him everyday.


23 posted on 01/02/2010 6:46:34 AM PST by fishingredcat
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To: fishingredcat

My argument isn’t with the meaning of sin and the nature of our fallen condition. It is with the man that holds himself out as a righteous man while acting on his lusts in the dark, a hypocrite. And yes, we are all hypocrites, but there are varying degrees and varying consequences. The difference between an evil doer and the nature of evil in every man’s heart is potential. The evil doer, as the phrase suggests, is a doer of evil, not just a thinker. You can think evil thoughts all day long but not act on them, and I agree, that if you don’t surrender those thoughts to the Holy Spirit you will surely act on those evil thoughts in some degree at some point. All believers do think evil thoughts, ha, even me. The difference here is, my friend, is that thousands of souls were under the care of that shepherd and that shepherd was secretly devouring his flock in the dark. As a result he has wrecked havoc in the flock and by extension, the kingdom. My main point in the beginning of my comments was, while everyone was saying that we must lift this man up in prayer, I saw no comment of concern for the ramifications of this man’s actions, i.e., the wife, mother and children of the man and the tender hearts of many in the flock who will no doubt leave and may even give up. Burns me up... As far as the pastor is concerned, I have not pity, but for the sake of others, I will pray today.


24 posted on 01/02/2010 8:58:44 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect
I don't think he holds himself out to be righteous. That would be our perception of him. If thats the case then we should be encouraged to be like him until, of course, he falls. The next step would be to surround him with prayer until the Lords mercy comes upon him. Yes, we are all sinful and battle with spiritual warfare everyday and when we fall into temptation accountability partners help to turn us back to face the Lord. The results of our sin stay, with collateral damage to the innocent being a tragedy. Thank you Jesus for your grace and mercy to us all. We cry out to you for this pastor who has fallen to temptation. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us.
25 posted on 01/02/2010 4:59:48 PM PST by fishingredcat
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To: fishingredcat

go minister to those who’ve been devastated by this man’s dark acts, starting with his wife and kids, then to those in the congregation who looked up to him and are now blasted... better that a mill stone be tied around the man’s neck and be cast into the deepest see, than that he hurt the faith of the little ones...


26 posted on 01/03/2010 10:00:06 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect

if you or i or anyone for that matter were looking up to pastor paul, he would be the first to tell you or me that we weren’t looking high enough. pray for him and his family and everyone around the world who has found our Lord and Savior through his message!


27 posted on 01/03/2010 4:54:21 PM PST by MDCrebel
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To: Jonah Johansen
% of infidelity among the public at large vs % infidelity among pastors of mega churches. I think the % would be disappointing.

I expect that it's very much higher.... Certainly the temptation and opportunities are greater than most folks will experience.

It's why St. James cautioned us, Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. (James 3:1-2)

I think mega-church founders tend to have a sort of narcissism about them -- it's not necessarily all bad, but it perhaps makes them more prone than most to be tempted.

28 posted on 01/03/2010 5:01:38 PM PST by r9etb
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To: fishingredcat
I don't think he holds himself out to be righteous. That would be our perception of him.

I think that's probably not correct.

29 posted on 01/03/2010 5:03:23 PM PST by r9etb
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To: dps.inspect

John 8:7 (New International Version)

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”


30 posted on 01/03/2010 6:08:02 PM PST by BornTwice62 (Solo Scriptura)
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To: Sandide

Kick him to the curb. He traded his ministry for sin.


31 posted on 01/03/2010 6:18:39 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Melas

Agree, he did what scripture tells him to do...confess to others, attempt to make amends and ask forgiveness from those he injured......


32 posted on 01/03/2010 6:54:04 PM PST by goat granny
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To: truthandlife
Why pray for him? His moral crisis is probably the same a lot of ministers seem to have, sleeping with the faithful of the church while giving them spiritual guidance.
Ministers that put themselves on a pedestal usually have a hard fall.
33 posted on 01/03/2010 6:58:04 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: BornTwice62

I’ve made my case, and this the last I’ll comment on it... if anything, the pastor is among the stone casters, for they were of the Pharisees and priests, the ones with the power... funny isn’t it, that’s what the clinton sycophants ran around saying, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, and besides, that scenario was a setup to try to catch Jesus in a slip up regarding the law. No, I’d give the first stone to his wife. I’ll be right behind her with the second.


34 posted on 01/03/2010 7:22:58 PM PST by dps.inspect
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To: Sandide

AMEN!!! I am so glad that I know and serve a loving and forgiving Savior and don’t have to depend on humans to forgive me! We are all subject to fail. None of us is perfect. Paul Sheppard is not God; he is no different than anyone else. The enemy of our souls is constantly,as indicated in 1 Peter 5:8, walking about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Satan’s desire is to devour Christians to include Christian marriages. The only thing he can really do is to ruin our testimony, he can’t take our salvation...glory to God! This is why Peter, in the same verse mentioned earlier, encourages believers to be sober and vilgilant so that we don’t fall into the snares of the enemy. Beloved, we need to lift Pastor Paul and his family up in prayer. He, as well as his wife and family members need our prayers, not our condemnations. Posted with love.

Matt 7:1-5
1)Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
2)For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3)Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5) You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.


35 posted on 01/06/2010 6:58:12 AM PST by Jamilaeyes
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To: Melas
Indeed tears when I heard.

I have been a preacher and minister for the past fifteen years in the Pasadena Ca. area. I can say with all certainty that Church leaders and particularly preachers are laser-targeted by satan in areas of personal struggle or weakness.

the opposite sex/morality, pride and money are key areas satan traffics in and where all church leaders and Christians (particulary pastors and ministers)should exercise extraordinary caution...this is where the fiery darts will come fast and furious.

satan's time is short...and he knows it. We are in the latter part of the last days.

Walking a true Christian walk, as it's been said, "Is not for the faint of heart." In these last days those who commit fully to preaching the full counsel of the Word must be prepared to face the full onslaught of satan's barrage of fiery darts, tricks, temptations and assaults on every level.

It's not an easy walk...but oh the benefits. After hearing Paul on local radio for a few months I had decided to go see him at Lake Ave. church just down the street for a preachers conference, but I had a check in my spirit. Then in talking to my fiancee, who is highly anointed, she suddenly just said, "No, don't go." All of us are just seconds away from sinning at any moment as we still must live in these fallen bodies.

Staying in the WORD OF GOD is the biggest single key in my opinion to staving off the attacks of the enemy and walking holy before the LORD.

"He sent His word and healed them." My heart breaks for Paul and I love him with the love of Christ. I pray for his full restoration to the ministry.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God...it's true. But...thank God for his unspeakable mercy.

To whom much is given...much is required. If we fall, we have an advocate with the father...Jesus.

RSB-Altadena Ca.

36 posted on 01/06/2010 1:36:43 PM PST by AwesomeGod
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To: AwesomeGod

I agree with you Pastor. We need to remember that Christ said whoever looks at a woman with lust in his eyes is guilty in his heart of adultery, something most of us men have done at least once in our lives and more than once for me. We need to pray for Sheppards restoration as this could one day be any one of us. I have less trouble with this if he is truly repentant,not condoning this neither, than a charlatan who preaches a false gospel or deceptive theology and doctrine, as so many do now. My thoughts and prayers are with the Sheppard family.


37 posted on 01/07/2010 9:00:17 AM PST by RobertWood
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Another one bites the dust...


38 posted on 01/07/2010 6:40:13 PM PST by Whine Lover
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To: AwesomeGod

Laser-targeted by Satan???
You are a fruitcake!


39 posted on 01/07/2010 6:40:15 PM PST by Whine Lover
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To: Anau Hafoka

Another one bites the dust...


40 posted on 01/07/2010 6:40:23 PM PST by Whine Lover
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To: truthandlife
Sheppard who is widely credited for growing the church from 300 members to well over 6,000 resigned due to a "moral crisis" in statement read to the congregation on Sunday.

There's part of the problem. God grows churches, not pastors.

Prayers for the work of the Kingdom to continue to be done among that body of believers and for God's grace to again shine through.

41 posted on 01/07/2010 6:42:55 PM PST by Colonel_Flagg (No apologies.)
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To: Whine Lover

To all perfection I see a limit;but your commands are boundless. Psalms 119:96
I call upon the Lord and he answers me. Psalm 120:1

This is not the time to step on Paul Sheppard the man. This is the time to lift up Pastor Paul Sheppard our brother. People tend to remember how a person gets up rather than how they fall. Before you continue to throw more rocks, don’t forget that you live in a glass house.


42 posted on 01/07/2010 8:46:08 PM PST by ramonpensado
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To: everyone

i miss him. i would be on my break at work and he would come on bott radio network at 10am. god will forgive him. and we all know the devil sits right there in church. we are not perfect. please come back.


43 posted on 01/08/2010 6:47:19 AM PST by billieblubird
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To: circlecity

thank u!


44 posted on 01/08/2010 6:47:24 AM PST by billieblubird
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To: dps.inspect

Having gone through the whole adultery situation myself, I can certainly understand the pain his family is feeling to depths of my bones. But Christ has shown me a different perspective, and one that only those who have gone through it can ever imagine. Jesus will show him and his family how to handle it and it will take time, if indeed that is even the situation. When he comes out of it, I for one would be interested how God guided him and what He has taught him on the matter. All I know is that Pastor Paul was a great tool in Jesus’ hand when I was going through the worst time of my life up to this point. I will pray mightily for him and his family!


45 posted on 01/10/2010 10:46:00 AM PST by kamcando
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To: kamcando

I suppose you’re looking for a response... read my other posts... nuff said.


46 posted on 01/10/2010 4:49:41 PM PST by dps.inspect
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