New Video from Mission to Kenya Africa in November

Saturday, December 28, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Enjoy these video clips from my mission trip to Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. Many people were born again, healed, and greatly encouraged in the Lord. We ministered at three churches and in outdoor meetings. Also visited an orphanage and day school for impoverished children.

Everyday, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people and leaders we served in the great country of Kenya.

Dr. Jerry Williams, Ismael Ba, and Tommy Horne, and myself were team members on this journey. Our host pastor was Allan Mugoha.

To read the full report and see photos visit this link: http://www.newcovenant.org/NCC/Kenya.html


2013 Mission to Kenya Africa from Vision Communications on Vimeo.

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Law or Grace? Our House or God's House? Koinonia or Koinonitis?

Friday, December 27, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Haggai 1:3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

God sent a message to His people through the Prophet Haggai that basically said, “You place more priority on your house (your things), than on My house (God’s things)." Their misplaced priority and focus created a deficit of spiritual depth, fulfillment, fruitfulness, as well as hindering national progress.

Haggai’s message from the Lord rings true today as well. For the purposes of this article, I will express “religious church culture” and “Christ’s church” as separate realities. Much of what is done in religious church culture can find no reality in Christ’s church, in the Kingdom of God, or in the Scriptures. As the saying goes, many people just want to “have church.” This does not reflect God’s purpose as demonstrated by Jesus, early church fathers, and contemporary Kingdom ministry.

While Christ’s church reflects the language, customs, and ethnicity of every nation in which the people live, the objective is to never lose touch with those foundations and biblical principles that empower our service and lifestyles. In Christ’s church, we are “in the world” but not “of the world” in our beliefs and practices. Methods may change, but principles remain the same.

People that Jesus does not know

Attending church or doing church related activities does not necessarily affirm that preachers and parishioners are holding to God’s purpose and plan. These words from Jesus are very sobering:
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22-23)

How can it be that Jesus would not “know” people who prophesied in His name, cast out demons, and performed wonders? Are not these activities the basis of “anointed ministry?” Having church is ultimately meaningless when people operate on religious tradition and popular culture rather than through direct relationship with God’s Kingdom.

God must sometimes work regardless of people and preachers, not through them. Genuine blessings and miracles are all about Him. This is the “secret” to how selfishly motivated and morally bankrupt preachers have functioned for seasons of time. People in their meetings were blessed through trusting in God and His Word, but some of these preachers have taken credit for the work, and then advertised it for personal fame and fortune.

We preachers are certainly called and have a gift to “preach the word.” We also have a responsibility to order our lives according to God’s Kingdom and always direct people to give glory to God. I tell preachers: “You have a gift to preach, but you do not have a gift to live properly.” We must lean strongly into the grace of God (his House). Otherwise, we can only become legalistic, self-motivated and conceited (our house). Without Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5), even when busying ourselves with activities related to church culture.

Redefinition of "Law"

In Matthew 7:23, the word “lawlessness” means “contempt and violation of law,” and “unrighteousness.” In this context, Jesus is not talking about the law of Moses, which He came to fulfill. Jesus defined lawlessness in relation to people's need for a relationship with the true and living God. Rules of conduct have their place, but it only serves to reveal the weakness of people and their need for a Savior. When people do religious work apart from relationship with God and away from the direction of the Holy Spirit, Jesus' response is, "I don't know you."

Matthew 5:17 reads, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Jesus redefined the law of Moses by making it clear that mankind is incapable of successfully fulfilling its requirements. Unless one can fulfill the law 100%, he is a transgressor. A person could go 364 days fulfilling the law, and on the 365th day break a commandment and become guilty of transgressing the whole law.

James 2:11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 

Only Jesus fulfilled the law 100% and thus qualified Himself as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

What Jesus did was to institute something called the “Law of Liberty.” He did this by bringing grace and truth through the redemptive and forgiving love of God (John 1:14). The Law of Liberty does not focus on “not sinning.” The Law of Liberty is focused on loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength––as well as loving our neighbor as ourselves.

James 2:12 reads, So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 

Ultimately, when people, great or small, place more focus on “their” house, than God’s house, they are operating outside of the intended relationship with God, and undermine the collective work of God’s Kingdom. A lot of what we see today are little kingdoms of local churches and their pastors. These “houses” too often neglect to consider the larger purposes of God’s House (Kingdom). We lack the sense of “one church" in the city and nation in favor of “my” church. We let people float from church to church without accountability. Too many pastors and ministers are not vitally submitted to spiritual authority, for reasons of personal ambition. Much of what is called "accountability" or "spiritual covering" is only symbolic.

The Emptiness of Religious Church Culture

To be sure, within today’s religious church culture, it is more advantageous to promote one’s own house and “brand” than focus on the larger Kingdom of God and the outward-looking dimensions/mission of Christ’s church. I once saw an advertisement in which the church stated they were a “Five Star” ministry. Some have said, “We have the best choir, church and pastor in town!” That focus/mindset has nothing to do with the intended purpose of Christ’s church. It is only a reflection of popular culture, of which the world holds the standard and provides the best examples, not God's Kingdom. This is how we have caused “…this temple to lie in ruins.” (Haggai 1:4)

In Chapter Two of Haggai, God sent another message to His people, in which he provided His answer to the problem.

Haggai 2:6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

People interpret “shake” heaven, earth, and nations in various ways. The bottom-line is this: When God works in people, and people respond properly, their motivations will change. They will gladly come to “the Desire of All Nations,” not for self-angradisement, but to capture God’s heart of larger, collective, Kingdom purposes.

What the "Latter House" is and is not

The “temple” or “latter house” that God promised to fill with glory and increase in “greatness” is not a person, preacher, or a local church. It is certainly not the edifice where believers gather. The latter house is not a person or a place. The latter house is the family of God as expressed through the body of Christ. The latter house is not one church, but all churches (the Body of Christ) that recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the mystery of godliness more than religious tradition and popular culture.

Paul wrote: 1 Timothy 3:14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

The “house of God” is not one assembly, but the collective community of all believers. Together with Christ, God designed us to form “the pillar and ground of truth.” Our lack of impact in society and our abdication of moral and spiritual authority have resulted from our retreat into our places of worship.

We rightfully assemble ourselves together as believers to worship, learn, grow, celebrate Jesus, sow, and fellowship. In the Greek, this is called Koinonia. But when the sole focus of the church becomes what believers do together in their own house, an unhealthy condition develops that we can call Koinonitis.

"Having church" has actually ruined the concept of unity in the Body and collective Kingdom action. "Having church" moves our entire focus to blessing one another, and feeling sanctified and satisfied. The only real objective becomes "get some" and come back for more.

We need to abandon religion, religious church culture, and the notion of "having church." Preachers and believers need to take a fresh look at the Word of God and challenge ourselves and the people we serve to go God’s way. Through grace, we simply need to walk in the reality of being the church that God designed and commissioned.

The Great Commission is still our Mission:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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Merry Christmas! | Avoid The Innkeeper's Mistake!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Avoid The Innkeeper's Mistake

Luke 2:6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room for Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, at the inn. A manger was a stone or wooden container for feeding animals. Travelers know that if the innkeeper wanted to accommodate a VIP, he would have found room in his inn. As it was, he was too crowded for Christ and too busy for a blessing.

The innkeeper symbolizes the condition of the hearts of people. Too often, we fail to recognize the importance of God's purposes. When Christ should be treated as a VIP and welcomed at the inn of our hearts, He is relegated to the "manger" of our lesser priorities.

The innkeeper was a busy man, probably enjoying the best business he had seen in years because of the census ordered by Caesar Augustus. People had to return to their home towns to be counted. It was like getting a hotel room during the NCAA Final Four or the Indy 500 when rates are higher and VIPs get preferential treatment.

If being too busy dulls our sensitivity to God, we might miss the significance of God's purposes and make the same mistake as the innkeeper. For this Christmas season and at all times, make room at the inn of your heart for Christ!

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Are You in a Comfort Zone?

Friday, December 13, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 John 3:18 "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 

Remember the term "Comfort Zone?" We used to talk about staying out of Comfort Zones, because it was a place of operating below God's best and outside our highest purpose. The best way I know to get out of a Comfort Zone, and into the middle of God's will, is to pray then go serve and help people through love.

In the Bible, we see Jesus operating outside of Comfort Zones, praying and ministering to people in all kinds of places.  As a matter of fact, if Jesus had stayed in His Comfort Zone, we could never have been saved! If someone did not leave their Comfort Zone to talk to me about Christ, I would not be saved and serving God in ministry for 30+ years!

We can easily think of many examples of how moving out of a Comfort Zone positively impacted our lives, or the lives of others.

This weekend and early next week, New Covenant Church members will be delivering food boxes and Christian literature to families and people in our community. Many of the people we help may be unchurched and unsaved. Everyone will need encouragement. All of us who participate will be out of Comfort Zones doing the work of ministry and serving…and that’s a very healthy spiritual activity!

Remember: Love is the “Great Motivator!” Love keeps us out of Comfort Zones! Let’s go and show the great things Christ has done! Let’s win souls and pray for needs, expecting God to answer prayers and confirm His Word with special blessings!

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Go Join Yourself to This Chariot

Wednesday, December 04, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Acts 8:26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go join yourself to this chariot” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.

God was speaking to all believers when he said to Philip: “Go join yourself to this chariot”

We should never under estimate the importance of personally sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people! God does not save people without His people bringing words of life. Without a doubt, it is the power of God that saves. However, we are the ones who have the mandate to “go join ourselves” to people, wherever they are.

The Ethiopian was a great and influential man. He was serving under the great queen Candase. He was wealthy and educated, but he could not accurately understand what the Bible was saying without a servant of God to help him. After he heard from Philip, he understood, and knew that he needed to be baptized. This tells us that Philip did a good job of explaining the Gospel because the Ethiopian knew that believing on Jesus for salvation was followed by baptism and water.

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 

We need to be willing to sit down with people to clearly explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We presume that since people have heard about Jesus, they also know how to be saved. This is not true! A lack of understanding has resulted in a lot of church-going people who have never been born again.....I was one of them!

We need to learn how to present the Gospel message of salvation, lead people to saving knowledge of Jesus, and help them become disciples (students) of Christ.

But first, we must be willing to go to them!

__________

Come join us for a training session on how to win souls to Christ:

Wednesday at 7:00pm
New Covenant Church
4625 North Keystone Ave.
www.NewCovenant.org

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Five Life-Altering Benefits of Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Giving thanks to God is one of the best things we do because it is inclusive of worship, prayer, faith, holiness, giving, and sacrifice.

Giving thanks to God is one of the best things we do because it is inclusive of worship, prayer, faith, holiness, giving, and sacrifice.

#1 “Giving Thanks to God is fundamental.” It’s one of those things we do that makes other things possible.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

God trained his people Israel very early about the importance of giving thanks by instituting the Law of peace offerings, also called thanksgiving offerings.

Leviticus 7:11-11 (NKJV)  ‘This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which he shall offer to the LORD: 12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil. 13 Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering.

Lev. 22:29 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will. 

#2 Giving thanks helps keep our lives clear of anxiety, sin, darkness, deception. 

Romans 1:21Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 

Philippians 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

#3  Giving Thanks is the container that allows us to hold blessings, benefits and responsibilities 

Eph. 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [Giving Thanks] 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

#4 Giving thanks puts us in a position to allow God to transform every weakness into a strength

2 Cor. 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Timothy 4:4: For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

Heb. 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

#5 Thanksgiving draws us closer to God and to others. 

Psalm 35:18, I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people. e.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

God trained his people Israel very early about the importance of giving thanks by instituting the Law of peace offerings, also called thanksgiving offerings.

Leviticus 7:11-11 (NKJV)  ‘This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which he shall offer to the LORD: 12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil. 13 Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering.

Lev. 22:29 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will. 

#2 Giving thanks helps keep our lives clear of anxiety, sin, darkness, deception. 

Romans 1:21Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 

Philippians 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

#3  Giving Thanks is the container that allows us to hold blessings, benefits and responsibilities 

Eph. 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [Giving Thanks] 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

#4 Giving thanks puts us in a position to allow God to transform every weakness into a strength

2 Cor. 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Timothy 4:4: For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

Heb. 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

#5 Thanksgiving draws us closer to God and to others. 

Psalm 35:18, I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people. 

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First Reflections on 11 Days in Eldoret, Kenya

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Heading home from Kenya in a few hours. Trying to get my head around this experience for the past 11 days. My heart will forever be knitted to the great people of Kenya. I will never forget the reality of what people are dealing with beyond my "bubble" of blessing. This was my fourth missionary journey to Africa. On this journey, I connected more deeply with the joys and sorrows of the everyday life of many Kenyan/African believers and children living without a social "safety net." I also better understand how poverty destroys people from without--and from within.

We should not underestimate or under-appreciate the benefits of what "We the People" have in America. It's not that believers and the church cannot be more impactful in meeting needs. It's that we are so focused on trying to get more blessing and be happier, that we can neither see nor commit ourselves to helping others. In Kenya the "haves" and "have nots" are almost completely separated, except for what believers in Christ are doing to make a difference. We must not allow that to happen in America or in our Christian lifestyles.

Let's stay connected to our neighbors and fellow citizens. Let's not forget those who are out of sight. Let's reduce our appetite and demand for personal blessing and look for ways to share our blessings with others. Let's find motivation and purpose beyond the things that make us feel happier. We preachers need to stop entertaining and "spoiling" folk and help them understand and embrace the "whole counsel of God." Remember this truth: "You are [already] complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:10) 

~ "Bwana Asifiwe!" (Swahili for "Praise the Lord!)

_______

Link to photos from our mission to Kenya, Africa: http://inspirationimages.zenfolio.com/f660557373

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Greetings and Blessings from Eldoret, Kenya!

Thursday, November 07, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

I am writing today from Eldoret, Kenya, which is about 200 miles northwest of Nairobi. We have travelled to Kenya to hold a leadership conference and Gospel Crusades.

I taught two opening leaders/pastors sessions on Wednesday morning, after 33 hours of travel and arriving Tuesday evening. Felt totally refreshed after a full night of sleep and had no "jet lag!" I taught using an interpreter who translated into Swahili. The pastors from Eldoret and Kisii (Kenya) said they were blessed and greatly encouraged!  ForWednesday late afternoon, our outdoor crusade was cut short due to rain and wind.
Teaching with an Interpreter

This morning, November 7 begins day two of our mission.

We are the guests of Pastor Allan Mugoha and the Restoration Vision Centre, which serves people in an impoverished part of the city. Eldoret is the second largest city in Kenya. It has thriving small businesses and a number of colleges and training centers. Eldoret is also home to a training center for Kenya's world class distance runners. Most people are self-employed as vendors of various goods and services, from fruits/vegetables, to fabrics, to handmade furniture such as bed frames and wicker chairs.
Furniture makers
Kenya is reported to have an 80% Christian population. As in the USA, this certainly does not indicate that 80% of the population are born again Christians. However, indicators of identification with Christ are impressive. Many shops and minivans used as taxis carry Christian graphics and names such as "Glory" or "Blessed by God." Unlike other African cities like Lagos, Nigeria, where Islamic prayers can be heard blaring over loudspeakers every morning, Eldoret is more influence by Christianity and less by Islam.

That said, it seems clear that many people, and especially children, need to know Christ as Savior and Lord. The poverty we've seen outside the central city is overwhelming. While hunger does not appear to be a major crisis because of the richness of agriculture and livestock, many people are living well below poverty, and some live in squalor.

Eldoret Downtown traffic
Our team is staying in at a Christian owned Hotel and Conference facility on the outskirts of the city called the Noble Center. It is a beautiful facility with manicured landscaping, flowers and excellent accommodations. Everyday, I've seen prosperous Kenyans enjoying breakfast and gathering for business meetings at this conference center. I certainly have more in common with these folks, in terms of lifestyle, than our host Pastor and the people we are ministering to everyday. However, my heart is joined to those in need.

As in the USA, I am concerned that the prosperous Christian community here in Eldoret may be isolated from their impoverished fellow citizens and believers in Christ. I certainly cannot conclude anything from a few days in country, but the disparity between "haves" and "have nots" seems to be much greater than in the USA.

Giving prophetic word to pastor
Though some American Christians want to criticize "big" government and pretend that people in poverty should simply "pull themselves up by the bootstraps," our practice of public/private partnerships in helping one another and sharing our blessings with people who are less fortunate is a reflection of our Christian love and generosity.

Every bad road we have travelled for our brief time here, every open sewer running past the homes of people, and every uneducated child, reminds me that our Christianity cannot be confined to our churches and privileged lifestyles.

We are looking forward to continuing in ministry to pastors and Christian leaders in the mornings and holding Gospel crusades in the afternoon through Saturday. Thank you for your prayers!

Pastor Bryan Hudson

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What Grace Teaches Us

Friday, November 01, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

God's grace (underserved favor and operational power) saved us and teaches us how to live soberly (a sound mind), righteously (doing what is right, the right way), and godly (reflecting Christlikeness). And we can do all that TODAY and everyday, even though we live in the midst of people and influences that run opposite to God's way.

We face a lot of pressures to compromise, not be accountable to others, and put personal gain over the greater good. Being Christians, ministers, or church members does not grant automatic understanding of the lessons of grace. Believers, more than all others, have the privilege to be taught and benefit from God’s grace, which is His underserved favor and operational power!

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What is the Condition of Your Heart (Soil)? Three Conditions to Avoid. One to Cultivate

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Luke 8:11(NLT) This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

You are responsible for the condition of the “soil”  of your heart and attitude. Good seed is wasted on bad soil with weeds. Good seed (the Word) thrives in good soil.

Three bad conditions to avoid:

“Wayside” is the walking path around the garden. Nothing is planted and seed is wasted. The devil “takes away”  unplanted seed.

“Shallow” is a lack of depth. It's like saying “Amen!”  to the Word, but doing nothing else. What was sown on Sunday is gone by Tuesday.

“Distractions” choke progress that has been made, like aggressive weeds in a garden that harm the plants. Jesus said that “cares, riches, and pleasures of life”  can crowd out or choke good things.

One good condition to cultivate:

“Receptivity” to God's Word: Be eager to hear and act on what God said, after you say, “Amen!”



Excerpt from Day 30 of "Morning Light" by Bryan Hudson


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Let Down Your Nets…Change Your Life

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Luke 5:1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

There is a greater purpose for us in the plan of God than we have realized. The unfolding of this purpose awaits a Challenge of Faith to awaken it. We need a rhema word from God to issue that challenge. In the midst of the challenge, we need to look for the larger purpose of God. Once it is found, we must give ourselves completely to it since it will become our destiny.

Washing nets…
We find the fishermen, Peter, James and John, on the shore washing their nets. Washing nets signaled the fruitless end of an effort. The disgusted fishermen removed seaweed, debris and other remnants of failure. They would much rather had been removing fish from those nets.

Are you washing your nets today? Are you dwelling on what appears to be failure? Have you ‘toiled all night long’ in sincerity and diligence doing all you know to do? In times like these, it is important to always remember these words from the Lord, ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (55:8-9).

There is no failure in God! It may be that you have not yet done all to stand. It may be that your blessing is right around the corner and you need to exercise patience.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-11,What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes says, "I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time." In this we find the answer to the question: The profit of laboring is found in that you will eventually enter into your God-given tasks! Or to put it in New Testament terms, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).

For every seed there is a season of harvest.  This is what is meant by the statement, "He makes everything beautiful in its time." Time should not be a concern for us because God has placed eternity in our hearts. We are more mindful of things above than of things on the earth. We certainly need, and God supplies, blessings in this life, but we should not become anxious about things, like people who have no eternal hope.

Let down your nets…
Returning to the story in Luke, after Jesus borrowed their boat to teach from, He returned it and spoke these words, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."

Jesus gave Peter a direct command. a rhema word. Remember that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the [rhema] of God" (Romans 10:17). Here also we find Peter’s Challenge of Faith.

A Challenge of Faith is an extraordinary request by God that defies our logic and habits.

Peter could have refused to comply with Jesus’ command, as many people do, but he never would have been released into the larger purpose of God for his life. Peter was not sent out jus to catch a lot of fish. He was being sent out to “catch” is greater purpose in life. This is more than a lesson on faith to receive things, but faith to receive purpose for one’s life.

The net was breaking...
The number of fish that came into the net was so great, that the nets began to break and the little boat began to sink. Peter called his partners over and their boats were also filled with fish. Obedience to the words of Jesus produced a supernatural result which exceeded Peter’s expectations. They were all astonished at what happened…not only about the number of fish, but how listening to Jesus brought about this result. These results shattered Peter’s sense of pride, failure and futility – symbolized by the breaking net.

Peter fell at Jesus’ knees because he realized why Jesus said "Launch out into the deep!" He realized how wrong he was to second-guess Jesus in the first place. He realized the power and blessing of obedience. At that precise moment in time, Peter entered into his transition and expansion in the purpose of God.

God also has a larger purpose for you, and there is a day in which He will reveal that greater purpose to you! However, you will not enter that purpose by sitting around, acting "spiritual" and doing nothing. God calls people who are diligent in their current responsibilities and "God-given tasks."

When they reached the shore, they “brought their boats to land” and “forsook all and followed Him.” To one degree or another, you must forsake something you've been doing in order to move forward into something new and better.

Be faithful in your responsibilities. Be obedient to the Lord, steadfast in faith, and you will be in position for transition, and furn emptiness into fullness!

___________

Listen to my message: "From Emptiness to Fullness: Let Down Your Nets"" 

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Meet Your Opportunities With Faith, Not Fear

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 8:26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Jesus woke up to do something that His disciples should have done. Jesus was resting in the boat after a long day of ministry. A sudden storm made the disciples afraid. They allowed their fear to interfere with their faith. Because of this, Jesus called His own disciples' faith “ little.”  He expected much more from men who had been trained “on the job.”

When storms come, or big opportunities are presented, let your faith rise, not your fears.

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Why the Seasons Sing. Let Your Season Sing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV) For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

In the fall I usually take time out to do something I thoroughly enjoy, taking photographs. A photograph captures a narrow slice of time and preserves it for later reflection and sharing with others. All the beautiful trees in their fall colors will be bare in a few weeks. The same trees will glisten with snow and icicles during winter time.

Many of us dread the onset of winter because the weather deprives us of many outside activities. I remember carrying that bad attitude until I decided to take photographs after a snowfall some years ago. I realized that the snow made drab landscapes beautiful and reflected light in unusual ways.

Every season has its “song.” The text states that God's creation “shall break forth into singing” right in front of us. Usually, we don't stop to notice this “singing” because the challenges of life tend to dominate all of our senses. I am not suggesting that we ignore the business or challenges at hand. I am suggesting that we make room in our hearts for the words of God through Isaiah to his generation and to ours.

If we daily “go out with joy” and “be led out with peace,”  we will see everything differently. Even the trees, hills and snow will seem to clap their hands in praise to God. No, this won't pay the bills, but it will be a source of encouragement and will help keep us in faith to receive God's best.

Let your season sing!

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Begin to Sing Your "Song of Ascent!"

Thursday, October 17, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 126:1 (NLT) A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. When the LORD restored his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! 2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” 3 Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy! 4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert. 5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

With all the challenges the people of Israel faced, there were times when they could rejoice in God's deliverance. This Psalm is called “A song for the ascent to Jerusalem.” Note the word “ascent.” To ascend is to go up. Returning from exile to Jerusalem felt like going UP after having experienced a season of going DOWN.

Because of Jesus, we can rejoice that we have ascended to a new life that is being renewed day by day. Today and everyday, we can rejoice, singing songs of joy, and enjoy laughter, all the while letting our light shine so others can see that we have been blessed by a mighty and loving God.

We may experience difficult seasons even while we are trusting in God. These seasons may produce tears, but our tears show our trust and devotion in God as we continue to plant seeds of faith.

Such faith and faithfulness never goes unrewarded. Harvest always follows seedtime. Our God is faithful and he keeps all his promises!

God's streams bring renewal to your desert-like places!

____________________________________________________


Excerpt from "Morning Light" by Bryan Hudson


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Grace For Grace

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth...16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

We have received Jesus' “fullness.” Fullness is: “the quality or condition of being full or complete.”

Is there anything in your life that is not full or is incomplete? Jesus wants you full and complete! But not only that, He wants you to get into fullness so that you can go fill up other people. That is what it means to have “grace for grace.” You’ve got enough grace in your space to give grace to others.

Did you go to school to only get a degree? I hope not. You went to school to get enough knowledge and skill to enable you to positively impact others.

Did you accept a call to leadership or ministry just to stand in front of people? No. You received that grace to empower you to impart the life of God to others through the Holy Spirit.

God gave you grace for grace! That’s exactly what Jesus did both for sinful humanity and for His church.


Excerpt from "Morning Light" 
Available from Amazon.com and VisionBooksMedia.com


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You are God's Masterpiece!

Saturday, October 12, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Did you know that you are a masterpiece? One definition  of “masterpiece” is: “The most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman.” What is God's  greatest creation? Is  it the atom,  the flowers, the oceans,  planet Earth, the sun, or the galaxies? None of these amazing items were made in His image and likeness.

You are God's greatest creative work,  because He chose to craft people in a manner that would allow us to identify with God and have relationship with Him. The text states, “He has created us  anew in Christ Jesus...”  While every person is a masterpiece creation of God,  those who have not received Jesus as Savior and Lord are locked out of their full potential because of an unregenerate spirit. They look like a masterpiece painting hidden in a basement, discolored and barely recognizable.

Those who have received Jesus  as  Lord and Savior can fully realize the benefits of redemption and new life. You  look like a masterpiece painting only hours after its completion with all its vibrant color and on full display. The best part is this: You are “unlocked” and now qualify to do all the “good things” that God destined for you before time began.

Live like God's masterpiece, do good work,  and give Him all the glory!

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Yokes, Partnership, and Rest

Friday, October 11, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Yokes are used to link oxen together so that they, with less individual effort, can do the work of plowing fields. Jesus' yoke is like a partnership with someone stronger. Every burden becomes lighter for you because He is carrying the greater weight and pulling more of the load. To "rest" means to "use the power of another."

When you take His yoke upon you and begin the work of plowing your fields of life, you will notice that this yoke, unlike any other kind of yoke, is easy. You will also notice that this burden, unlike any other burden, is light. When you ask yourself, “Why is this yoke easy and this burden light?” Look over to your side, and you will see Jesus in the same yoke with you and bearing the same burden with you!

Only when yoked with Jesus will you find rest for your soul – which is your mind, will and emotions. Nothing short of receiving  Jesus as Savior and Lord, and learning of Him, will make a difference.

What is REST?

R~Repentance from sin, labors and heavy burdens. “Change Your Mind”

E~Expectation of a new life through faith in God and obedience to the Gospel

S~Salvation by grace through faith and not of yourselves. Receive the gift of God.

T~Testify of the goodness of God. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

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Set Your Mind and Keep It Set!

Friday, October 04, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man ....25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Ephesians 4:23, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind...” 

The excerpts of scripture shown above highlight the power of our thinking. While the new birth occurred in our hearts, renewal happens in our minds. The mind is often the battleground, the place where progress is either won or lost.

Below are some scriptures and suggested affirmations to help build your faith and develop/maintain a victorious mindset:

1. Mortify my mind: Romans 8:5-8,12-14
“Carnality does not control my lifestyle. My mind is the property of Jesus. Satan, keep your hands off! I am dead to sin and alive to God. I am dead to things carnal and alive to things spiritual. I am a debtor to the Holy Spirit who gave me life.

2. Clear my mind: 1 John 3:11-12
“I clear my mind of anger, envy and disappointment at others. I give place for the peace of God to flood my mind. Jesus, you are my peace. I dig up seeds of bitterness and cast them away. I have the mind of Christ.” (Hebrews 12:14-15; 1 Corinthians 2:16)

3.  Renew my mind: Ephesians 4:23
“I have the power through my Lord Jesus Christ to replace wrong thought patterns with thoughts that please God. I can root out, pluck down, throw down and destroy anything in me that is not of God. I can build and plant anything that is of God.” (Jeremiah 1:10)

4. Set my mind: Colossians 3:1-4
“I am a decisive person by the grace of God. My mind taps into the riches of God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding. My mind is innovative, creative and productive in every purpose of God. I am disciplined in my thought life and repel every fiery dart from Satan.”

5. Focus my mind: Romans 6:16-18
“I see clearly what I must do. There is no cloud of confusion in me. My mind will grasp everything I need to know. I cast down imaginations and opinions born of pride. My mind is the tool and servant of my Lord Jesus Christ!”

6. Guard my mind: Proverbs 4:10-26
“I guard my mind from the seeds of Satan. My mind is the gateway to my heart and I will protect the treasure of God’s Word in me. The cares of this world; the deceitfulness of riches; and the lusts of other things will not choke the Word in me. God’s healing power dominates my body and mind. The forces of the life of God flow out of me to bless others.” (Mark 4:19)

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Video Introduction to "Morning Light" 30-Day Devotional Book and eBook by Bryan Hudson

Monday, September 30, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

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Join Us for a 30-Day Turnaround Devotional Journey, October 1-30!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



To learn more and to sign up, visit www.NewCovenant.org

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You Have Inheritance Now!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 4:6, And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

In Christ, you are a son or daughter of God! You are part of the largest, most loving, most stable family that has ever existed! God wants to relate to you as a life-giving,  loving  Father.

In our broken world, families can become broken. People who love you can't always do for you what they want. God's family cannot be broken. In God's family, you are an heir and you gain an inheritance that includes blessings today and eternal life forever.


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Nine Blessings from Jesus, Your "Turnaround Specialist"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 Bryan Hudson 2 Comments

Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

At his "home church" in Nazareth, Jesus did something that he and other young men had done countless numbers of times: He stood to read from the Holy Scriptures. They gave him the scroll (or book) of Isaiah the prophet. On that day, knowing his purpose and under the inspiration of God, "He found the place," Isaiah 61, and read the words shown above.

In your life, there comes a time when routine is replaced by clear purpose. There comes a time when all the training and good habits turn your life around and point you towards your destiny.

Jesus fulfilled destiny and became the "Turnaround Specialist" on that day when he said, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Isaiah's prophecy and the fulfilling of that prophecy by Jesus' life, death, and resurrection activated major blessings:

"Good news to the poor" - You don't have to stay poor.
"Heal the brokenhearted" - Replace disappointment with hope and full joy
"Liberty to the captives" - No more being "stuck" in negative conditions.
"Recovery of sight to the blind" - Clear vision so you can move forward
"Set at liberty those who are oppressed" - Lift and break all cruel forces
 "Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" - Bring the "Jubilee" everyday, which was an unconditional release from all debts and restoration of things lost.

Isaiah 61:2-3 adds the following blessings:
"Beauty for ashes" - Make something good come out of the worse situations.
"Oil of joy for mourning" - Replace your sorrow over loss with joy that flows.
"Garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" -  Clothe you with the power of praise.

Look at all your Turnaround Specialist has provided! Receive it, turnaround, and share it!

__________

Listen to message: "Jesus the Turnaround Specialist"

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Your Constant Companion

Saturday, September 14, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am at your command. Half of the tasks that you do you may just as well turnover to me and I will do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed, you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done. After a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. And those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine but I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin, it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will lay the work at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I? I am called habit. Habit is my name.
(Author unknown)

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Are We Helping others or Helping Ourselves?

Saturday, September 07, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Philippians 2:2, Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Are we helping others and edifying Christ's church or only "helping ourselves" at the expense of others and Christ's church?

Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18-19, "And I also say to you that you are Peter [whose name meant "small pebble"], and on this rock [large stone] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

True authority comes from building on rock of Christ, and operating under spiritual authority. Jesus is building His church, not your individual ministry. Everything else is just "selfish ambition or conceit," regardless of the good intentions.

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Grace In, Grace Out

Thursday, September 05, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Corinthians 15:10, But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

There is a saying among computer programmers that describes the quality of a program: "Garbage in, garbage out." The computer program, or the output it produces, is only as good as the code and input provided.

The little experience I've had doing computer programming surely confirmed that reality! My experience also makes me appreciate the seemingly superhuman effort that goes into writing extraordinarily complex and useful programs like Adobe Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.

Most of all, I appreciate the supernatural and empowering qualities of the grace of God! Grace is more than favor and lovingkindness. God's grace is "operational power." Grace is everything God has and He makes available to you, from salvation to your special gifts and talents.

The only question is this: What are doing with the grace of God on your life? Paul clearly stated that God did not wastes any grace on him. He credited the grace of God for empowering him effectively serve Christ.

Do this today and everyday: Receive 100% of God's grace and give 100% of your grace-empowered life back to Him. 

#morninglight

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Compassion Seeks the Road Less Traveled

Monday, August 26, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 15:32, Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”  

2 Corinthians 1:3, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Love and compassion are the highest and best motivating factors in our lives. Compassion also provides a foundation for developing courage. Many of the most courageous people in history and in our time were and are people of great compassion. Jesus Christ is our best example of compassion and courage.

People in history like Harriett Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa possessed great courage through compassion. Everyday people and believers in Christ like Antoinette Tuff had compassion and courage to save lives by helping troubled people from doing horrible things.

People in my life, such as my late mother Gaynell Hudson, became courageous through compassion. As a minister, she went to places and served people who were difficult to help. A lot of ministry today is occupied with blessed people, ministering to blessed people. It does not require much courage to "have church." Much of the compassion we need to impact the most pressing needs in our nation and world for Christ goes unrealized. It seems that we have become more engaged with "fluff" than holy fire.

Jesus Inside Prison Ministry founded by my friend and colleague, Pastor William Bumphus, has been turning men from crime to Christ for more than 30 years. While the national rate of recidivism (men returning to crime after incarceration) is over 40%, Pastor Bumphus' Jesus House program as achieved a recidivism rate of only 5%. Compassion and courage empower Pastor Bumphus to help transform some of the most dangerous men in our nation, week after week, year after year.

Compassion seeks the "roads less traveled." Self-interest has created a traffic jam on the well traveled roads we see today.

It took courage for Jesus to "stand still" and listen to the pleas of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). Back in those days people who were physically disabled were considered "cursed" and not worthy of recognition and dignity. Jesus showed courage through compassion by breaking with the status quo and social norm of his day to love an "untouchable" like Bartimaeus and many others.

Compassion brings the comfort and help of God on the scene. This is what causes us to have courage in difficult situations, even when the emotion of fear is present.  Our "Comforter," the Holy Spirit, works with us providing help (courage & power) to face all needs and challenges.

Along with the lifestyle of compassion comes great joy and fulfillment in life!
___________

Listen to my message: "How Compassion Develops Courage" from Firm Foundation Podcast


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Narcissism: Something to Avoid!

Friday, August 23, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

(Content summarized from Wikipedia entry)



Philippians 2:1-30, So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, .


Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. He was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of a woman named Echo. These advances eventually led Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus "lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour," and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.

The concept of excessive selfishness has been recognized throughout history. In ancient Greece the concept was understood as hubris. It is only in recent times that it has been defined in psychological terms.

A 2012 popular book on power-hungry narcissists suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:
  1. An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
  2. Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
  3. Difficulty with empathy
  4. Problems distinguishing the self from others
  5. Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults 
  6. Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
  7. Haughty body language
  8. Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them
  9. Detesting those who do not admire them
  10. Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
  11. Pretending to be more important than they really are
  12. Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
  13. Claiming to be an "expert" at many things
  14. Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
  15. Denial of remorse and gratitude
Hotchkiss' seven deadly sins of narcissism
Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:
  • Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
  • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
  • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
  • Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
  • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

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