Into 2017 with Peace, Purpose, and Provision!

Saturday, December 31, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments





The final scripture in my daily reading for 2016 is timely, victorious, and forward looking: 

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV

On one level December 31 and January 1 is only going from one day to the next day. On another level, we mark the New Year as something special because we value time and purpose. Because we reference our past life in terms of years, we think about our future life in the same way. We are creatures of time with eternal purpose. Every year is full of blessings and challenges, joys and sorrows, with people added and people who depart. Sometimes a year includes extraordinary gains and losses.

Through Isaiah, the Lord offers profound counsel for 2017:
1. “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old." Let the past stay in the past. Do not live in the past or look back as if you had no bright future. 

2. "Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?" No matter how much you have done or how old you are, God is still doing new things. It will "spring forth" meaning that the "new thing" will come quickly. You need to "know it" in faith, not just wish for it.

3. "I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert." God can do the impossible for you. He will pave a road through your wilderness.  He will provide a river through your desert....provision in a dry place.

Expect a prosperous and fruitful new year!

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‪Exhortation Concerning 2017: "Be Empowered. Empower."‬ (Video)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments






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Merry Christmas! 26th Community Jesus Christmas Outreach Highlights (Video)

Sunday, December 25, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Merry Christmas! December is a month of love, because we celebrate the greatest gift of God’s love this month, Jesus Christ! We also share love by exchanging gifts and celebrating family.

For the past 26 years at New Covenant Church, we have shared the love of Jesus with our community through our Community Christmas Jesus Celebration. This outreach was founded by my late mother, Gaynell Hudson. It is a multi-day outreach of love, encouragement, and providing food, gifts, and gospel literature. We donated 300 of my Romans Road devotional books to Indiana Women’s Prison. I want to share that three people gave their lives to Christ at our Saturday luncheon and program!  The freezing rain early in the day prevented some people from attending, but we delivered food and gifts to those who could not attend. Jonathan Hudson brought a wonderful exhortation on “Christmas is Christmas.” We were blessed to have men from Jesus House join us and two of the brothers joined in with our praise team along with guest musician Walter Smith!

We thank Lilly Endowment for their support. Special thanks to Chaplain Delores Epps of Friends Fellowship for leading our outreach to Indiana Women’s Prison and Craine House. Thanks to Candase Cornett for leading our Share Team in coordinating our activities. Thanks to Dr. Gwen Kelley for teaching, discipling and preparing young people to minister on Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to our New Covenant Church family for your labors of love, diligence, and taking time away from your families to serve other families and individuals.

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Morning Light: God's "Mountain" Established Over All (Video)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Micah 4:1, Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it. 2 Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.”

Below is video exhortation I recorded following my morning devotional reading of this text. Be encouraged and be ready to serve people God is sending your way!

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A Lamp to Guide Your Feet. A Light for Your Path.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Bryan Hudson 1 Comments



Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

This morning, my devotional reading landed in Revelation Chapter Six talking about the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals. The opening of each seal predicts trouble and calamity. I don’t know the timing of these prophecies, but it is interesting that parts of events revealed at the opening of seals 1-5 have already happened or presently happening in some limited measure.

The takeaway from the reading and my encouragement for you are the words from the other part of my devotional reading in Psalm 119:105.

This is a day to be very clear about the Word of God. Read your Bibles and gain understanding. Just as an accurate map is essential to navigate through unfamiliar territory, God's word is like a lamp to guide you and a light revealing your path. Every other "guide" is either secondary, useless, or deceptive. 

It is impossible to be misled when you have a relationship with Jesus, know God's Word, and daily follow his light on your path.

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"A New Heart and A New Start," Walter Smith Testimony

Friday, December 09, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Very pleased to announce our latest Firm Foundation conversation with Mr. Walter Smith. Our topic is "A New Heart and A New Start." Walter is a producer, song writer and musician. 

In 2016, he had a heart transplant procedure in which God worked both blessings and miracles. Check out this inspiring conversation at the FirmFoundationTV website: http://www.firmfoundationtv.net


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"Bwana Asifiwe" (Swahili for "Praise the Lord") Kenya Mission Highlights

Thursday, December 08, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

We were deeply honored in November to travel to Kenya Africa to hold meetings in Eldoret (200 miles northwest of Nairobi) and Busia (on the border of western Kenya and Uganda). Read mission reports at our Mission Blog. We held pastors' and leaders' conferences in the morning and open air crusades in the evening. Below is a video showing some highlights of our fruitful time in Kenya.

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

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Why Thanksgiving is Not Optional

Thursday, November 24, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Thanksgiving is one of our greatest national holidays! To set aside a day for giving thanks to the Lord is one of the best things we can do as a nation, family and people.

More than the Thanksgiving holiday on the Third Thursday in November is the reality of the power of praying according to the Word of God:

1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Notice the type of prayers that Paul exhorts us to offer for "all men," for "kings," and all people who are "in authority"...

Supplications - These are specific requests
Prayers - This is worship of God and speaking to Him through Christ Jesus
Intercessions - This is "standing in the gap" for others, bringing persons to God and bring God to persons.
Giving of thanks - This is exactly what it looks like. We should literally say, "Thank you Lord for ________________________" (add the names).

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Let me also encourage you to pray for all civil authorities and public servants from the president to police officers on the street.  The promise is the

t prayer can help set conditions so that we can live a "peaceable and quiet life." Also remember persecuted believers in all parts of the world. Remember your families and loved ones who have supported you. 

One of the most important reasons for giving thanks is to keep your heart clear of darkness. People who do not give thanks refuse God's light, and open themselves to darkness.

Romans 1:21, "Because, 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."

So give thanks to God today and everyday!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS!

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Reflections on the Election of Donald J. Trump - The Ends Justify Any Means

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Bryan Hudson 1 Comments



I understand and respect our American democracy and the sovereignty of God. However, our American electoral process is not only subject to the will of God, but much more to the will of the people. Also, the will of people is not entirely influenced by God. People are influenced more by truth or untruth. People are also influenced by their fears, their perceptions, their prejudices, by a wish to preserve their "way of life" as they perceive it, as well as many other influences. There are also darker forces at work. For example, a KKK rally was held in North Carolina on November 9 to celebrate the election of Donald Trump. 

A majority of the majority population (63% of white male vote and 53% of white female vote), along with many others, wanted to assert themselves in this election especially after having an African-American president for eight years who, among the many very good things President Obama has done and in providing a great example of personal integrity and marital-family fidelity, promoted a dramatic shift towards making acceptable what many people find objectionable. In my opinion, this was a big mistake by President Barack Obama that many people feared would continue under Hillary Clinton.  

(Other Trump vote total demographics: 8 percent of the African American vote, 28 percent of the Hispanic vote and 27 percent of the Asian-American vote)

While most voters recognized that president-elect Trump was not qualified to be president, he was the only candidate in this binary election who represented how they felt, harnessed their anger/fear, and would represent their interests.

This election also revealed a profound double standard and reinforced the power of cultural privilege. Barack Obama, or almost every other person, would never be allowed to "get away" with saying and doing the things said and done by Donald Trump, past and recent. We learned that, for some, the ends justify any means. This is not a new phenomenon and history is replete with examples. Nonetheless, this is something I thought we had moved past in our nation. I had confidence that the electorate would not vote en masse for Donald Trump in light of his public and private behavior. I've rarely been so disappointed to be proven wrong.



It is now our patriotic duty as American citizens to always be respectful, prayerful and supportive of our presidents, even from a position of loyal opposition if necessary. 

It is most unfortunate that this patriotic duty and respect was not afforded to President Obama by many citizens and political leaders who politically and personally undermined him, including the president-elect.

These realities govern my thinking and behavior:

The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will. (Frederick Douglass)

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Here Am I Lord, Send Me....

Sunday, November 20, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



38 years ago, when Jesus called me to "go into all the world and make disciples," I never imagined ministering in a rural African village, at a church hand built of wood and mud with wasps in the rafters (not bothering us!), on the border of Uganda and Kenya in the great continent of Africa. 

It's been my honor to go anywhere I've been sent by the Lord, use whatever I have, and do anything, big or small, in the service of His purpose, and to positively impact people in Christ's name!


Isaiah 6:8, Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

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God's Presence at a Rural African Village Church Made of Mud

Sunday, November 20, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments







Tuesday, November 15 was the final day of our 2016 Kenya mission. We arrived to Busia Kenya on Monday, but arrived too late to hold an evening meeting.

We traveled to a village 30 miles outside Busia to hold meetings at a church constructed of wood, clay with a dirt floor (be sure the see the photos). Twenty miles of that journey included driving on a bumpy dirt road eroded at some places so badly that we had to get out of the van to allow our driver to navigate trenches with a lighter load.

Kenneth Sullivan and I taught two sessions to pastor's and Christian workers. They responded very positively to our messages.  For the late afternoon Crusade, Dr. Jerry Williams preached at the gospel crusade.  Many people came forward to receive Christ as Savior and Lord!  It was a humbling experience to hear people confess Jesus in their Swahili language. 

I was impressed by the reality that God's presence in that church building made of mud was exactly the same as within our buildings made of concrete, steel and glass! What stands out more than anything else is the dedication of the pastors and believers to empowering their people and reaching the lost. The Kenyans are hard working, joyful and resourceful people. What we sometimes view from a distance as pitiful and destitute  is in reality dignity and determination when you see it up close day after day. The photo below illustrates this determination:




As I have shared in every update, thank you for your prayers and support. Keep the people, pastors and churches of Kenya in your prayers!

Click here to review other Kenya mission posts.

~ Pastor Bryan Hudson

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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 30 - The Purpose of Personal Blessings

Sunday, October 30, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




THIS IS THE FINAL STOP ON THE ROMAN'S ROAD 30-DAY DEVOTIONAL! 

Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to reflect on your experience, share an insight, or provide a testimony.
Thank you and may continue to bless and encourage you! 

Pastor Bryan Hudson

Day 30

Romans 15:1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 
One of the responsibilities of having success in life is to focus on helping others. A great lesson I learned early in my Christian life and as a socially responsible person is that “service is the rent you pay for citizenship.” 
The word “scruple” is defined as “a feeling of doubt or hesitation with regard to the morality or propriety of a course of action.” People who are not spiritually strong often struggle to have resolve and be decisive. Encouraging and teaching people about Jesus Christ and God’s word will help them become stronger.
There is an interesting dynamic in our culture called “hedonism.” It is defined as, “A school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or most important intrinsic good. A hedonist strives to maximize pleasure.” 
In our culture, through its various forms of media and entertainment we clearly see hedonism. As Christians, we not only live for pleasure, we live for purpose. We do not discount the blessings of God or the pleasures that follow, but it is to easy to settle into a lifestyle of seeking only recreation, rewards, and pleasures at every turn. Believers in Christ seek better priorities and a healthy focus on helping others along the way. 
Serving and building up others is the example that we see in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Reflection Question: What does it mean to edify others?
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:


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From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com


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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 29 - What is the Kingdom of God?

Saturday, October 29, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Day 29

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  
A “kingdom” is a domain ruled by kings and leaders. For example the United States is a kingdom. Nigeria is a kingdom. England is a kingdom. Nations have presidents, kings and queens. These same nations have laws and customs that define their culture. All of us live within an earthly kingdom (nation) and live the experience and culture of our nations.
We can think of God’s kingdom in a similar way but on another level. Paul contrasted God’s kingdom to a worldly kingdom, that involves eating, drinking, and many other physical and social activities. 
Paul used that example to highlight the unique qualities of our “citizenship” in God’s kingdom that include: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. He goes on to say that when believers live according to God’s kingdom, they experience benefits in the present world, which include favor and blessing from God. 
In this manner of thinking, “dual citizenship” has many benefits!

Reflection Question: What makes you acceptable to God and approved by people?
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:


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From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com


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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 28 - Can’t Judge Another’s Servant

Friday, October 28, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Day 28

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 
We don’t want to make the mistake of judging people whom we really do not know. Even with people we know, we cannot fully grasp their responsibilities or mandate from God. 
When the waiter comes to your table, takes your order, brings your water, or does other things you request, you might start to think that he is working for you. No, he works for the restaurant, but he is serving you. 
This example describes the work of your pastor and other ministers of the Lord. They serve us, but they work for Jesus. We are never in a position to judge people over whom we carry no authority.
We are living in a very cynical time, but don’t let cynicism take you outside of the will of God. Do not make the mistake of judging people who do not work for you. When people make that mistake, God continues to empower His servants and make them stand.

Reflection Question: What is the problem with judging another’s servant? 
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

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From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com

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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 27 - Cancelling Complacency

Thursday, October 27, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Day 27

Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  
One of the great dangers for Christians is complacency. Complacency is defined as: “A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of a need.” 
Paul offers a powerful parallel using the word “sleep.” When we sleep we are unaware of our surroundings, oblivious to others, and unable to respond. 
Christians do not want to be “asleep in the light,” but alert and ready to serve God. While Christians do not have darkness inside of them, we do not want to operate in darkness by failing to work with Christ or letting God have His way. Sometimes the works of darkness we need to cast off are simple distractions to living in God’s light. Simple things like watching a lot of television, engaging in a lot of leisure, or even constantly interacting on Facebook can put us to sleep spiritually. None of these activities are wrong, but anything can become darkness when we fail to see the light of what God wants us to do.
The “armor of light” is a beautiful phrase putting us in the mind of being clothed with the power and grace of God. We are all wearing armor that both protects and empowers us.


Reflection Question: What are 1-3 ways that you need to “wake up?”
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

_______________


From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com


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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 26 - The Role of Governing Authorities

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Day 26

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves...4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil 
As citizens we recognize both God’s government and our civil government. He established both. We obey laws related to driving, taxation, business transactions, and much more. 
We have both elected and appointed officials who are recognized as having civil authority. This would include our presidents, governors, mayors, police officers and others. 
Some have suggested the text in Romans is referring to police officers, in that they are, “...an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” This is not the role of police officers. Police officers, who deserve our utmost respect and support, serve the purposes of law-enforcement. They are not empowered or authorized to make law or execute judgment on lawbreakers. They are authorized to protect, serve, issue citations for violations, and make arrests. If citizens are under threat or if police lives are being threatened, they can use force, including deadly force. 
In our legal system, we have something called Due Process. Citizens have the right to be arraigned, considered innocent until proven guilty, and have a trial/hearing in a court of law. In the legal system, the law, judges, and courts are the “avenger” that “execute wrath on him who practices evil.”  
Matters of submission to authority should extend from parents up to the President of the United States.


Reflection Question: Why are police not authorized to execute judgment? 
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

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From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com

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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 25 - How to Overcome Evil

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




DAY 25


Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 
One of the dangers of becoming consumed with our modern 24/7 news cycles is that we can become overly stimulated, distracted, or fearful based on a constant barrage of negative information. In a sense, we can become overcome with “evil.” We’re not overcome in the sense that we start doing evil things, but we may become too disturbed by it to maintain proper focus. Jesus said, “Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt. 24:12)
This can result in constantly talking and complaining about bad conditions in our community and society. We should certainly be socially conscious, active, and aware of what is happening in the world around us. However, the purpose of our awareness and engagement is that we can function as “salt and light” in our generation. Jesus called us “the light of the world” and “a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.” 
In other words, we are called to overcome evil with good. We do this, not just by talking about conditions. We have positive impact by taking God’s word to people and helping them in various and creative ways. We don’t only preach, but we also “do good.” 
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38)

Reflection Question: How does consuming too much negativity hinder you?
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

_______________


From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com

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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 24 - Basic Instructions

Monday, October 24, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



DAY 24

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
When the Spirit of Christ abides in you, God’s grace shapes your lifestyle. When the Bible provides direct instructions on how to live, understand that everything God requires, He has already provided. We are recognized by our faith and lifestyle. As Jesus said, “A tree is known by its fruit” (Luke 6:44) and we are the “planting of the Lord.” (Isaiah 61:3)
God does not ask you to do anything that is not already part of your character in Christ. If this were not true, you would not be able to do what He asks. For example, in our own strength, it is not possible to be “kindly affectionate with brotherly love.” This is a virtue, like all the others, that comes from the grace of God within us.
You can always do what God says you can do! 

Reflection Question: How is God helping you to help others?
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

_______________


From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com

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Healthy Mind Health City

Monday, October 24, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Health Mind Healthy City is a grass roots movement in Indianapolis focused on bringing awareness to mental heath, ending the stigma, educating, and encouraging everyone to encourage one another on the topic of mental health.

Mental health is as important as physical health. Visit our webpage to view and download the three part mental health awareness video series.  The series was produced by my company, Vision Communications, on behalf of Concerned Clergy, Baptist Minister's Alliance, and Far Eastside Action Coalition. We worked with the support of Marion County Health Department and Dr. Virginia Caine.





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ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 23 - How to Think About Yourself

Sunday, October 23, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




DAY 23

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function.  
We are never in a position where we need to be conceited, brag, or try to “show off” to impress others. You are already exactly the person that God had in mind!
In a world where people are confused about their identity and sometimes seek to assume the identity of others such as celebrities, we have the opportunity to discover our unique “measure of faith.” Your measure of faith are the abilities, assignments, and opportunities God has made available to you. God has given everything you need to serve Him.
One of the great blessings of serving God is summed up in the phrase, “where God guides He provides.” It is truly amazing how God can provide faith and provision for everything He wants you to do. It is also amazing that our individual gifting results in stronger coordination and collaboration as the body of Christ. We are a team and a family, each having individual responsibility resulting in the fulfillment of greater collective purpose.

Reflection Question: What is your measure of faith?
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

_______________


From book & KIndle eBook, "Romans Road" www.VisionBooksMedia.com

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The Republican Party Needs a System Upgrade

Sunday, October 23, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/republican-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-speaks-news-photo/484801206

[Note: This article is a repost from October, 2015]

I write as a former admirer of the Republican Party, also known as the Grand Old Party (GOP) and the “Party of Lincoln.” In particular, I have admired GOP figures in my adult lifetime such as Jack Kemp, Colin Powell, both presidents named George Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and a number of local GOP public servants over the years, including former Indianapolis mayors Bill Hudnut and Stephen Goldsmith. I regard myself as politically independent in order to maintain objectivity and a clearer focus on greater priorities.

There is a lot of cynicism about American politics nowadays. The approval rating of the US Congress has been in single digits for some time. I routinely hear disparaging and disrespectful remarks about President Obama that I never heard about previous presidents.


Structurally, the Republican Party began to change in 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. This action to support the rights of African Americans angered racists in the Democratic Party such as the KKK, Strom Thurman, and many others. In those days, the Democratic Party was the preferred “home” of racists and white supremacists, especially in the deep South. The actions of President Johnson, prompted a great number of Black people to switch loyalties from the GOP to the Democratic Party. Because of Abraham Lincoln, African Americans were largely loyal to the Republican Party. This migration of black people to the Democratic party resulted in political and racial “white flight.”  Today, the GOP is the preferred “home” of racists and white supremacists, though certainly not welcomed among the ranks by the majority of Republicans, but nor are they called out or expelled.


President Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” was another factor leading to the present lack of racial diversity in the Republican Party (Read more about the Southern Strategy)


Civil rights era historical context notwithstanding, I often found reasons to support Republican candidates, based mainly on leaders I came to respect and trust because of their consistency, compassion and competency. Unfortunately, that as changed. 
In recent years, entertainers such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter have dominated the narratives and brand image of Republicans. Publications such as the American Renaissance and groups like The League of the South, identify as conservatives and align with the GOP. 

The promotion of “conservatism” as something akin to “righteousness,” especially by Christians, moved the GOP towards a perception, and seeming mindset of being “God’s Own Party.” This perception was helped by Democrats embracing policies such as ending wars, increasing the minimum wage, making voting more accessible, allowing gays to openly serve in the military, universal healthcare, defending legalized abortion, promoting gay marriage, and more. As result, among an increasingly simplistic and low-information GOP electorate, “liberal” policies are always deemed as "bad/sinful" while “conservative" policies are always deemed as "good/righteous." In reality, neither major political party are promoters of biblical righteousness.

As religious conviction began to merge with politically conservative ideals, some Republicans became increasingly inflexible and conspiratorial. Since Christians don’t believe in compromising their faith, when “conservative” Christians (politically conservative, but not necessarily biblically conservative) united with the GOP, they brought their sense of uncompromising religious conviction into the political domain. This explains, for example, why some elected politicians feel they cannot vote for any piece of legislation that contains any shred of perceived “immorality," such as an entire federal budget that contains any amount of funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood. Leading from this ideology is the religious conviction that a true Christian cannot vote for a Democrat and should only “vote the Bible” or “vote biblical values." (Read my article on Voting Biblical Values).


Irrational and false beliefs, especially about Barack Obama, are another cause for disappointment with the GOP. High percentages of Republicans agree with the following about President Obama: 

1) He is a muslim and an enemy of Israel. 
2) He is a socialist—a view that reflects a lack of understanding about the definition of socialism. 
3) Does not love America and is not a real American. 
4) He has ruined “our country” and brought judgment on America.
5) Blacks voted for him only because he is black, (of course, whites could not have voted against him because he is black).  

Even when confronting issues and people with whom we strongly disagree, showing respect, and being truthful and factual are essential.


Racially motivated actions (such as voter suppression) negative statements by GOP leaders regarding black people and latino people (who are assumed to be illegal) only add to the perception that Republicans are sympathetic to the concept of white supremacy. No sooner than the GOP officially distances itself from these actions and attitudes, their voters or rank-and-file GOP politicians do something that alienates minorities.


This year’s election cycle features a leading candidate on the Republican side, Donald Trump, who has no experience as an elected official—is the preference of GOP voters. There is an “anti-establishment” sentiment going around, like a virus. This has resulted in infecting people with an erroneous perception of politics and politicians.  I liken the phenomenon to becoming disenchanted with “establishment” airline pilots and seeking to replace them with persons who have no experience piloting.


What is truly ironic is that the conservative base of the GOP and its factions such as the Tea Party and Freedom Coalition, along with media surrogates such as Fox News, have created this current climate of anti establishment-ism. Fueling this climate and general sense of frustration/anger is intense opposition to President Barack Obama personally and politically. The nation has observed relentless, howbeit symbolic, efforts to stop or repeal President Obama's policies such as the Affordable Care Act law (i.e. Obamacare) with more than 50 GOP House of Representative votes to repeal ACA. There was the government shutdown of 2011 which was designed to curtail government spending, but only resulted in causing the USA to default on obligations and incur an embarrassing reduction in the nation’s credit rating.


Of course, the “loyal opposition” has every right to protest when not in power, but Republicans have gone overboard, have undermined their own credibility, and created this present anti-establishment climate. Worst of all, is that voters of their own party (as of this writing) are looking to the likes of anti-establishment personalities Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Forina to lead them.


Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, in particular, is a catastrophic embodiment of the disillusioned and desperate GOP voter base. His public statements, positions, and narcissistic disposition cannot help the GOP connect with minorities ("Mexicans bring crime and are rapists")
, substantively address issues such as immigration (“Build a wall”), foreign policy (“Serve McDonalds to the Chinese President”), or terrorism (“Shut down all mosques"). He is running a campaign based on self-aggrandizement, insults, irrational statements, and real-world policy indifference. Trump, along with the nice, but equally unqualified, Dr. Ben Carson, are the leading GOP presidential candidates, as of this writing.

As much as conservatives loathe President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, their irrational, anti-establishment behavior can only help to elect another Democratic President in 2016. Too many GOP politicians, especially US Representatives that serve two-year terms from homogeneous, gerrymandered districts, are beholden to very narrow interests. Some seem to be committed to undermining fellow government officials, weakening federal government, and seeking to eliminate laws and/or governmental policies without consideration of political compromise. 


Again, I believe this is the result of merging religious conviction with political activism. The objective seems to be about taking over and transforming government into a tool for God’s use, which is not a biblical concept, in my view. This is called "Dominionism."


I think the current presidential election cycle will result in a major “correction” within the leaderless Republican Party, not unlike economic corrections that disrupt markets before settling into a new reality. Using another analogy: When a computer operating system gets hacked and is full of malware, it must be upgraded...or discarded.


The most ironic idea of all is that the party whose members are the first to pronounce “judgment” on America may itself presently be on the receiving end of said judgment.

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