Take Your Sunglasses

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Bryan Hudson 1 Comments

Lamentations 3:22 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” 
      
When I looked outdoors yesterday morning, I could see that it was cloudy. The weather forecast called for rain and storms. Some drops of rain were beginning to fall when by the time I gathered up my computer, wallet, and car keys.

On the way out of my house, I looked at my sunglasses laying on a table near the breakfast table and thought, "I won't need my sunglasses since it's going to be rainy and stormy all day."  

By mid-morning, storming warning horns were blowing and fierce storms where passing through the city. While in a meeting, I could hear the rain pelting the building and see the sheets of rain outside the window. I thought, "This will be a day to stay indoors and work." I drove in rain and wind to get back to my office for another meeting.

By mid-afternoon, the storm had passed and the sky cleared. When I stepped outside following another meeting with a friend, the glare of the bright sun and brilliant blue sky filled my eyes. Among other things, we had been talking about the faithfulness of God during times when it seems like breakthrough is slow to come. Our conclusion to the matter was this: God always comes through for us. He always has and He always will. God has shown His faithfulness over and over again.

Regardless of how any day begins, I will always take my sunglasses.

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Job One: Perfecting Our Relationship With the Lord

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Jeremiah 9:23 This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the LORD.

These words from Jeremiah to Israel were like an oasis in a desert of harsh words of judgment. Even when God sends a hard word, He always embeds hope.

With all the blessings and opportunities that are available to us today, we must not make the mistake of boasting of things human and natural. More than our wisdom (or education), strength and riches is the importance of understanding and knowing the Lord while embracing His heart of kindness, justice and righteousness. This comes only from having a growing, deepening relationship with Christ.

Are you more mindful of your attributes, or of your relationship with God?

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"In God's Light We See Light": My Thoughts Following a Prayer Meeting at My Old High School

Saturday, October 16, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 36:5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Today, I had an experience that reminded me of the power of God's light. 1 John 1:5 states that "God is Light," and in Him "there is no darkness at all."

That experience was a prayer meeting held at the high school I attended way back on the 1970's. The prayer meeting was sponsored by a parent liaison, a believer in Christ, who has been working for 10 years to make a positive difference. Today, my old school, like many inner city schools, is laboring under the weight of ungodly behaviors on the part of many students and their parents. So grievous is the bad behavior that the motivated children go almost unnoticed.

When you hear discussions about urban public schools, we usually only hear about the bad things. To be sure, there are many hard breaking conditions in these schools. I was informed of the fighting that takes place at the school almost daily. I remember the fighting that occurred during my school days due to pressures surrounding desegregation and one-way busing of students. No generation has a premium on sin and fighting. Despite the conflicts, I received an excellent education at my public high school because my parents expected nothing less. Also, teachers teach well when they are able to focus on teaching.

As believers in Christ and people of faith, we must also recognize that God's light is also present in these schools. God is present because His people are present. On one level, this is a struggle of light vs. darkness, in which darkness seeks to dispel the light and move our entire focus to "what's wrong" rather than focusing on God's power to change hearts and lives. On another level there are matters that involve policy, academic objectives, administrative responsibilities, and more.

No amount of idealism or attempting to "spiritualize" the situation will make a real difference. God's solutions are both practical and powerful! While we cannot promise the success of the school system through our efforts, we can certainly offer the promise of success for individuals who are willing to know Christ and serve God.  Students, faculty and staff, as persons for whom Christ died and rose, can find success at every level, spiritually and academically. When people do better, the system will be better.

Despite the conditions, I see light in God's light. If we can persuade enough people of faith to have faith, against all odds, we will see the lives and behaviors of many young people change for the better.

These are the kinds of challenges that Jesus' Church and Kingdom of God are tailor-made to address.

Light will always be greater than darkness!



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Weekend for Winners 2010: A Very Special Encounter with Our Mighty God!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

We had glorious and insight-filled meetings last Saturday/Sunday during Weekend for Winners! Dr. Earl D. Johnson ministered from his 49 years of experience of preaching the Gospel and serving God's kingdom. He ministered along the lines of our theme, "Run to Win" in both power and in a manner that kept us joyful and focused.

We had a good turnout of guests and pastors from several churches, including Pastor Julius Stephens, Pastor Johnson Beaven, Pastor Rodney Williams, Pastor Clary Butler, and Bishop Kenneth Sullivan, Sr. All sessions were well attended.

I commend Jordan and Tiara for their excellent ministry in dance, including a powerful interpretation of a song I requested, "You Hold My World," by Israel Houghton. Rob White blessed on the sax, and we heard many testimonies of God's grace, mercy and the transforming power of His Word! I even showed a Marines recruiting video to illustrate the mindset of an overcomer and winner.

Thanks to our Hospitality Team for serving up great refreshments on Saturday morning, including Lady Patricia's "World Famous" chicken salad! Thanks to Jonathan for doing audio, video and playing some guitar for the praise team! And thanks to our anointed praise team under the direction of Shawn Carter and Aaron Chandler! Aaron  ministered on Saturday/Sunday even while dealing with a very grievous situation in his life. God used Min. Paula in a great way as well.

It seems like much more happened in two days and three meetings than one might expect who did not understand what Jesus would do among us.

Whether you were unable to attend Weekend for Winners, or decided not to come, I recommend that you receive the Word that went forth! Use the link below to visit the media resource page to order the messages.

http://www.newcovenant.org/NCC/WFW_Store.html

Messages by Earl D. Johnson:
Saturday AM, October 9, 2010  | "Winners' Workshop"
(Includes illustration of Biblical Headship)

Saturday PM, October 9, 2010 | "What  Does It Take to Win?"

Sunday AM, October 10, 2010 | "We Win With Vision"

Now, let's look forward to "running to win" towards the great things that God has in store for us! Stir yourself and see yourself running with our Lord Jesus Christ, reaching souls, reclaiming lost sheep, and edifying one another!

God is Good...All the Time!

Pastor Bryan Hudson

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"You Hold My World" Dance by Jordan & Tiara

Monday, October 11, 2010 Bryan Hudson 1 Comments



From "Weekend for Winners" 2010

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Vitality, Victory and Vision

Saturday, October 09, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Paul exhorted Timothy, and us, to fight the good fight of faith. He gave the reason when he stated, “Lay hold on eternal life.” This is not a call to salvation. It is a call to vitality, victory and vision.

            Vitality because the life of God is the true power behind everything we do. 
            Victory because are calling will be witnessed by many people
            Vision because we walk by faith, not by sight.

When I read the words “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,” a single word comes to my mind: PURSUE

There must come a time when we cease to struggle in pursuit of the things of this world and began to pursue the life and purpose of the Lord.
Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

When people live in the kingdom of this world, their pursuits are driven by worldly needs and appetites. When people live in the kingdom of God their pursuits are driven by the purposes of God and the character of Christ.

Romans 14 offers a very different perspective from Old Testament days. Rather than pursuing enemies in order to destroy them, the text states that we should pursue things that make for peace. We also should be focused on  building up one eanother.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

In first Thessalonians we begin to see the contrast between the old order and the new order. In the old order people rendered evil for evil, and sought to bring retribution. In the new order we pursue peace and a good outcome for ourselves and for others. In other words, we are seeking a win-win proposition, not win-lose, lose-win, or lose-lose.

1 Peter 3:11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Today we win-win! Have a blessed and fruitful day!

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Join us today and Sunday in Indianapolis for "Weekend for Winners!"

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The Blessings of Thinking Well

Friday, October 08, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Philippians 4:8, (NLT)  8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

How we think affects how we feel and how we live. One of the few things that we can control is our thoughts, if we choose to think in line with God's word. It is not only that we should read and think about the Scriptures, but that we also keep our thoughts in a healthy place by focusing on the right things in life.

Paul encouraged us to think on healthy "things" that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable and things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 

Add to this, being doers of the Word, and the result is "The peace of God will be with you!"

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Run to Win! Train to Win!

Thursday, October 07, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

(Notes from message delivered on October 3, 2010. Click here to hear/download message in iTunes)
1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV), 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
(New Living Translation) 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 
I like to think that Christianity is like a contact sport.
You might say, “Aw come on man! Sports are games that people play. In sports, people compete. In Christ, there is no competition. In the Christian faith, there is no contact, no being pushed, attacked, hit or anything like that! In the Christian faith, everybody loves others and because we are so nice, the devil leaves us alone!”
Well, as they say, “Wake up and smell the coffee!”
One of the definitions of sport is: “An activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess”.
I am not suggesting that living for Jesus is a game or that we compete against each other. I am suggesting that sports can be a parable of the type of mindset that God wants us to have. Paul understood this, which is why he used sport as a basis for motivating believers.
In His parables, Jesus used a lot of examples from everyday life. He talked about fishing, farming, family, and foundations. And those are just a few of the activities using the letter “F” from the alphabet.  
In our text, The Apostle Paul used the sport of running. Paul was fascinated by the picture of the athlete. An athlete must train with intensity if he is to win his contest. Corinth knew how thrilling athletic competition could be because at Corinth, they they held the Isthmian games, second only to the Olympic games. Also, in 1 Corinthians 9:26, Paul referred to boxing. 
So don’t get “uptight” when I say that Christianity is like a contact sport.
If you have been a Christian for more than a year, you KNOW that challenges come your way. These challenges and circumstances don’t just stop by to say “Hello.” These things come to make contact with you in some negative fashion. In the words of Jesus, these things come to “Steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) Now, THAT’S no simple game! This is serious business.
This is not about only dealing with contact, but first and foremost, it is about recognizing that we are called to do a work for God in the name of Jesus.
Since it is football season, let me offer an example from that arena: 
Question: Which part of the football team is specifically designed to score points? 
Answer: All the planning in relation to scoring, and the primary strategy happens with the Offense part of the team. 
The Offense has the quarterback, who is like the battlefield general. They have the fastest runners and most of the smartest players. 
In defense of the Defense: They are not dumb people, but their only job is to guess what the offense is going to do, find the guy with the ball, and stop him.  Defense has a lesser role than developing a winning plan and a run a scoring drive.
Too many Christians are playing defense! We're in huddles talking about what the devil might be up to next. We're standing at the line looking all around, having no clue what "play" the devil will run next, but bracing for some kind of impact.
Jesus only plays offense! Therefore, we should focus on playing offense, not being defensive!
The only defense we need to be concerned about is being clothed in the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:13-16 (NKJV), 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Every coach and football fan knows this: “The best defense is a strong offense”
When you are on defense, it is because you don’t have the ball. You are not being proactive, but reactive. You are not taking action, but waiting to be acted upon. You are never leading, only following.
In our text, note that the words of Paul highlight offense, not defense. He said, “Run to Win!” (v. 24 NLT) He also said, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” (v. 25 NIV)
Behind every great offensive team is strict or highly focused training. An athlete like Peyton Manning is obviously very talented, but he’s also one of the smartest, most highly trained person on the field, who never stops working on his offensive plan.
Training is what you do when you are not doing your sport, job, ministry, or whatever you say that you do. When you are not competing, working, or ministering, what does your training look like? 
What activities are you doing to prepare to be proactive in your purpose and go on the offense? What are your patterns of prayer, Bible reading, studying, doing research, understanding the scriptures, releasing your faith and hope for future endeavors? Or, do you just show up? What if Peyton Manning or any great football player just “showed up” without training?
What comprises your training as a Christian? Make your own checklist:
  1. Prayer
  2. Bible Reading
  3. Bible Study
  4. Participation the teaching and preaching sessions, conferences 
  5. Reading good books
  6. Sharing the Gospel with people
  7. Other_______________________
God has sent leaders to equip and coach you. Be sure that you are receiving this equipping from those God appointed to provide it to you.
Eph. 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
“Run to Win!” starts with “Train to Win!”
Jesus is your trainer! The Holy Spirit and ministeres appointed by God are your coaches! And God your Father gave you all the talent you need to do run for Him!

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Our Song, Our City, Our Perfect Peace

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Isaiah 26:1 (NLT) In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: "Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. 2 Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. 3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"

“That day” or any day in God has to do with redemption and salvation purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. While Isaiah prophesied concerning the people of Judah, in Christ, we find application of this text for today.

This is a song that we should sing today and everyday. This song does not require a praise team or even instruments. This song only requires a willing heart and confidence in Almighty God.

"Our city" is the place in which we dwell. That would be the Kingdom of God, the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the community of believers, and our families. Our city is strong because we worship God and welcome his presence in our dwelling places.

The walls that surround us represent the saving and keeping power of God. The doors or gates are open to all those of like mind. We are a gated community with an open gate! The door is open to anyone willing to receive the righteousness of God and be faithful unto the Lord.

In this strong city the citizens have PERFECT PEACE! We are at peace because we trust in the One who founded our city, Who built up the walls, and Who supplies the POWER that keeps everything working. We trust in the Lord and because we do, our thoughts are fixed on him.

Go sing your song today!

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Take a Praise Break

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name,  for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.


There are many reasons to praise and exalt God. Isaiah took a "praise break" to give his God glory. He described the Lord's faithfulness as "perfect." He reminded himself that God had done "marvelous things."

Isaiah then reflected on the absolute sovereignty of God when he stated that His perfect faithfulness and marvelous works where "things" planned long ao.

You should remember those things, especially when you feel challenged or defeated. Remember that God's blessing and favor on your life were "planned" a long time ago. Before you knew you would face the obstacle, God knew it. He already planned and scheduled your solution and victory!

Isaiah knew this, which is why he took a praise break. Now its your turn! 

Have a Blessed and Fruitful Day!
Pastor Bryan

Join us for "Weekend for Winners" with Dr. Earl D. Johnson,  October 9-10
RSVP for the "Winners Workshop" today!



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Run to Win!

Sunday, October 03, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

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Jesus' Glorious Place

Friday, October 01, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Isaiah 11:10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

In a world with so much turmoil, and in today's church where too many scandals arise, it is refreshing to remember that Jesus will come and gather all people, all nations and all remnants of His true church to Himself.

The place where Jesus rests will be glorious. And I want to be with him in that place!


Have a Blessed and Fruitful Day!
Pastor Bryan

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Join us for "Weekend for Winners" with Dr. Earl D. Johnson, October 9-10
RSVP for the "Winners Workshop" today!

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