Report and Media from 21st Community Christmas Jesus Celebration

Friday, December 30, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


A New Attitude for a New Year

Thursday, December 29, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 4:22 Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness – righteous, holy, and true.

As believers in Christ, we need to continue to "throw off" bad attitudes and behaviors whenever necessary. We don't want to let "stuff" from our "former way of life" creep back in.

A lot of what we see wrong in others is only the "rot" of our own poor attitude. Paul said, "There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes." We need a revival for our thoughts and attitudes!

When your thoughts and attitudes change, you change. This change is powered by the new nature that Christ provided for us, and this "real you" is your best person. The old saying is true, "Your attitude determines your altitude."

Let the new year signal the emergence of a new attitude.


We are looking forward to a wonderful time at our 21st Community Christmas Jesus Celebration!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Dear New Covenant Family and Friends,

We are looking forward to a wonderful time this weekend! On Saturday, December 17 from 12noon to 4:00pm, we will serve close to 200 guests at our 21st Community Christmas Jesus Celebration! On Sunday, December 18, we will enjoy a special time of worship and ministry. 

Special thanks to Candase Cornett and our Share Team for their planning and hard work in bringing our Christmas outreach to fruition! Thanks to everyone for making preparations to bless the Lord and serve our guests!

Touching people for Christ, and serving people in innovative ways, is my greatest passion!  We remember the legacy of my mother Gaynell Hudson, whose example of loving people deeply shaped my life growing up, and along with dad, has shaped our culture of caring at New Covenant Church. We do this work in Jesus' Name, but we remember her as well. 

This year, we are doing something different with our program. Because it is different, I need you to be supportive and flexible. Having the program over the course of the afternoon from 12 noon to 4 PM allows us to serve a greater number of people in our building. Our anticipated numbers are as follows: 

12:00 pm   46 people including seniors from Forest Manor
  1:00 pm   36 Including men from Jesus House
  2:00 pm   64 people
  3:00 pm   45 people

Of course, we cannot predict exactly how people will come and go, but we will be blessed to see and serve every adult and child. We will flow with the people and with the Holy Spirit. Myself and designated leaders will be responsible for keeping the service, and people, moving with joy and love. 

Around the top of every hour we will begin with dinner in the multipurpose room, followed by performances, ministry, and gift-giving in the auditorium. We will end each hour with prayer and an invitation for people to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

Finally, we will take group and family pictures and give prints as people are exiting. We'll also capture some testimonies on video.

While offering our program in the auditorium, people arriving for the next hour will go directly to the multi-purpose room for check-in and dinner. 

On Wednesday evening at 6:30pm, we will gather to wrap gifts and make preparation for the event. This is also a good time for rehearsals and team meetings. I will be meeting with the ministers and other leaders/workers as needed. 

Most importantly, keep the entire weekend in prayer! Come with joy and great expectation in our Lord Jesus Christ! 

God in Good...All the Time! Love You All!
 Pastor Bryan & Patricia Hudson


God's Unfailing Love and Faithfulness

Thursday, December 08, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalms 117:1 (NLT) Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. 2 For he loves us with unfailing love; the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!

This verse from Psalms 117 reminds me of how little God asks of us in contrast to how much more He gives us. It is not that praising God is little in terms of significance or that is the only thing required of believers. The whole Bible is full of admonitions and instructions.

It is amazing that we are the recipients of God's "unfailing love" and a divine faithfulness that endures forever. If you have ever been on the receiving end of "failing love," you know what I mean. If you have ever witnessed people make lame excuses, break their promises, or walk out of your life, you have experienced failed love and unfaithfulness. Of course, if someone's love has failed, faithfulness doesn't have a chance. Selfishness weakens human love, causing it to fail. At the same time, we must examine ourselves in this regard.

You are also blessed to know people who love you with God's unfailing love.

These circumstances serve to remind us in Whom to place our ultimate confidence. It's okay to trust people, but that trust should never exceed our confidence in the One whose love absolutely never fails, who never offers excuses, and who will never walk away from you.

If you are thankful to the Lord for His unfailing love and enduring faithfulness, take a little time right now and do what David said, "Praise the Lord!"


Great Quotes by Charles Kingsley

Saturday, December 03, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

While researching insights on the life of David, I discovered a series of written sermons by Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875). Kingsley was an English priest of the Church of England and university professor.

After reading his Five Sermons on David I continued an online search for the words and works of Kingsley. I discovered the quotes shown below on the website. Enjoy!

A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults. 

All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. 

Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know. 

Do noble things, not dream them all day long. 

Feelings are like chemicals, the more you analyze them the worse they smell. 

Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work. 

He was one of those men who possess almost every gift, except the gift of the power to use them. 

It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly, Can never know what true friendship means. 

Pain is no evil, unless it conquers us. 

Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left un-redressed on earth. 

There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought. 

There's no use doing a kindness if you do it a day too late. 

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. 

We have used the Bible as if it were a mere special constable's handbook, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they are overloaded. 

(Retrieved 12/3/11 from


How to Get Clean and Stay Clean

Friday, December 02, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

Walking in the light with Jesus and staying in fellowship with God's people is the best way to get clean and stay clean!


What to Do After Acting Insanely: A Lesson From David

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Samuel 21:12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 

Psalm 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,And let us exalt His name together.  4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

David served as a prophet, priest, king, warrior, a musical genius, and more. Despite all of his gifts and his unfailing heart for God, David did not achieve perfection. None of us can. Only Jesus is perfect.

This message has an over-the-top title, but communicates a very real problem. We all handle pressure and challenging situations differently. Our focus and faith level determines how we handle pressure. David lived under threats against his life by King Saul, whose behavior, fueled by jealousy and the loss of God's favor, had become unstable.

David made a mistake. He took his eye "off the ball." The weight of this lesson is found not only in how David went wrong, but in how God helped him to recover. Psalm 34 became the song of David's recovery and restoration.

~ Bryan Hudson

Links to audio and video media of the message by

Listen  |  Watch   Get the Podcast


Your Identity GPS: "God’s Priorities System"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Romans 12:4, For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5]  so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

1 Corinthians 12:12  For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

There was a time when we unfolded maps to chart our destination. Today we use devices that receive signals from Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) to find our way. All mapping systems rely on fixed coordinates. We require unchanging priorities as reference markers to navigate through an ever-changing world.

Your identity is a fixed point, a reference, and a priority.

We have many titles, attributes, and characteristics. From childhood, we bond with our mothers and fathers. Throughout life, people and things make impressions upon us. We develop a worldview based on those experiences and interactions.

When people do not have Christ and the Word of God within their interaction matrix, one's identity and worldview is shaped by priorities and reference points which are not entirely accurate. A lot of the misery and aimlessness that mark people's lives have resulted from a lack of GPS, "God’s Priorities System".

The most effective interaction available to humanity is to know Jesus Christ. Our best experience of accurate identity is found within the Body of Christ, or His church. Our highest priority is loving God, and loving one another.

Fix on this identity GPS coordinate: "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another."

Link to document, "My Identity in Christ."
Link to message, "I Am the Body of Christ."


Breach of Truth: The Error of Apostolic and Prophetic Political Activism

Friday, November 11, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

NOTE from November 2023: This is a perspective originally posted November 11, 2011. In hindsight, the error of Christian Nationalism was evident at that time, if not named.

As of this writing (2011), there is a renewed emphasis on social and political activism among some apostolic and prophetic personalities and movements. Not unlike traditional denominationalism, many of these movements are unrelated to one another in practice and doctrine. Of particular concern, are politically charged positions and statements that are too often at variance with truth, biblically and factually. What we don’t need are more practices that ultimately end in discrediting genuine apostolic and prophetic ministry or introducing more controversy and disunity into the body of Christ.


Deuteronomy 32:3
For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. 4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (NKJV)

Psalm 15:1 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart;

Psalm 33:4, For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth.

Proverbs 8:7, For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Isaiah 59:14, Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.

Isaiah 61:8, For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth...

2 Corinthians 4:2, But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Eph. 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, “ Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

1 Timothy 3:15, 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.

1 Timothy 6:4 ...He is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

2 Timothy 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

There is the emerging problem of some prophetic movements practically endorsing political candidates, mostly on the basis of the candidates’ claims of Christianity. This “prophetic political activism” (as I call it) is not unlike the Moral Majority movement of the 1980’s or the Christian Coalition of the 1990’s. For example, The “Oak Initiative” is one of the many new movements that is less evangelical and more apostolic/prophetic in its leadership. (

In the church today, there is no broad consensus on the definition and function of apostolic/prophetic ministries. The various camps define themselves according to their leaders and scriptural interpretations. Many in the evangelical, or so-called “mainstream,” church reject claims of modern apostolic/prophetic authority (in the Pauline sense) as misguided at best, or heretical at worst. Many in charismatic/pentecostal/non-demoninational churches view these movements with varying degrees of uncertainty and concern. Yet, there are many churches that embrace episcopal/apostolic/prophetic authority and ecclesiastical government with great conviction.

Ephesians 2:19-20 states that the foundation of the New Testament church was laid by apostles and prophets. In the book of Acts, we can review the history of the formation of this foundation through the ministry of church fathers, including apostles, prophets, elders and the body of believers. The book of Acts and the Epistles clearly show apostolic missionary efforts, miraculous signs, the development of church government, and the distribution of epistles that we now regard as Holy Scripture.  “Pre-ascension” apostles—those Jesus chose before his death and resurrection—and “post-ascension” apostles such as Paul, Barnabas, Andronicus, and others, were instrumental in the formation of foundation and doctrine in the early church.

Paul makes it clear that the doctrinal and operational foundation of the church would not be re-laid.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11)

This raises questions regarding of the nature and scope of apostolic and prophetic authority today. What is the difference between “foundational” and “post-foundational” apostles? This becomes especially significant in view of the Scriptures penned by foundational apostles under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Today, we carry Bibles that embody the information and revelation of apostolic and prophetic founders. The instructions of the Epistles have been a reliable and authoritative guide to believers and Christian leaders for many centuries.

It is not my objective to explore those questions here. My interest in this article concerns the current dynamic regarding social and political activism as it relates to apostolic and prophetic personalities and their followers. By what authority do they engage politically? I have been specifically concerned about a number of “prophetic” or God-attributed statements made by such persons in relation to society, governments, conditions of people groups, and national political leadership. Why are statements by today’s “prophets” not judged by the biblical standard?  (1 Corinthians 14:29) Are not some of today’s pronouncements unbiblical and therefore lacking in divine authority?

To be sure, Christians in the USA, as members of the citizenry, have every right to engage in civil and political discourse.  The question we should address is: What is our appropriate level of engagement, activism, or alignment with socio-political activities? We can all express our viewpoints. However, when we invoke the name of God or Jesus, or attach His name to our statements, we must be held to a stricter standard.

I suggest that we consider our level of engagement and alignment in two specific areas:

1.  As American citizens in light of the predominant Christian culture of the United States. At this citizenship level, we have to consider how we interact with non-Christians, people of other religions, and towards those who hold lifestyles and perspectives that are antithetical to our understanding.

2.   As Christians who are committed to God, His kingdom, as members of the Body of Christ both local and universal, who regard the Bible as God’s inspired Word and final authority in life.

I suggest there are two polar opposite worldviews among some Christians that I will characterize, for the purposes of contrast, as Demonstrate and Dominate.

1.   Priority of Demonstrate: Christians should be concerned with preaching the gospel, improving the lives of people as a witness of God's love, winning souls, and doing good works. This priority could be highlighted by Luke 10:27, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

2.   Priority of Dominate: Christians are called to bring God’s dominion to the earth, and all that dwells in it, including socio-economic systems, laws, governments, and displacing evil. This priority could be highlighted by Revelation 11:15, Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

At the extreme “Demonstrate” end of this hypothetical spectrum are believers who stay close to their church buildings and networks, who focus on successful living and being charitable to others as a means to win them to Christ.

At the extreme “Dominate” end of this hypothetical spectrum, we find believers carrying out the mandates of their apostles/prophets with conviction and activism. These mandates can include activity such as holding meetings convened to change society, praying and prophesying over political leaders, and making declarative statements over groups of people such as Latinos, African Americans, USA, Muslims, etc. These apostles/prophets may also proclaim God’s judgment or blessing on nations, people groups, and denounce “national sins” such as abortion and racism. Some decree God’s hand in disasters such as 911 or the Haiti earthquake. Some others prophesy of impending doom, economic collapse, or see God’s judgment in political outcomes, such as the election of Barack Obama.

Many within the dominate/dominion movement have embraced variations of the so-called “Seven Mountains Mandate” which proposes that God wants His church to either influence or control (depending upon one’s mandate) seven areas of society and culture: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. I see no problem with believers being influential in these arenas as “salt and light,” but some have taken to the notion of “conquering” the Seven Mountains for God. Incompetent and unskilled people inserting themselves into systems, including (and especially) Christians, can lead to nothing good.
 (,,,  et. al.)

Within the dominate movement, spiritual authority is too often assumed in the name of God and “Truth,” but it is too often at the expense of “truthfulness" and actual competence. The trail of failed prophecies, inaccurate proclamations, and questionable alliances is long and easy to document. Added to this trail of failure is the embrace of political candidates with questionable character and who lack governmental/operational competence. Following is a link to one prophet’s assessment of the 2011 list of Republican candidates. (

I suggest that it is supremely important that anything attributed to God be both true and truthful.

Attributions to God should be true because they are consistent with the word of God. Attributions to God should be truthful by reflecting factual information. Politicians who distort facts, display bad character, demonstrate incompetence, should not be given a pass, even after being endorsed by apostolic/prophetic personalities or movements. Aligning with such persons is problematic at best.

John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

God and His Word are Truth and truthful. Truth is reality as God defines it. Without God and His word, the “way, truth, and life” becomes subject to the interpretation of people––and preachers.

Rather than herald the urgent need for apostles and prophets to act, as is often cited within some of these movements, it is infinitely more needful to herald the Lord Jesus Christ and our collective responsibility, as the body of Christ, to take his Gospel truth “into all the world” (which includes earthly institutions) with the mandate to “make disciples.”

In 2 Cor. 4:5 (NLT), Paul wrote, “You see, we don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake.”

Those internal and governmental systems that are necessary to the effective and healthy functioning of Christ’s church should not fail to place Christ at the forefront of all activities. The authority of ecclesiastical leaders is significant, but cannot supersede the authority of the Scriptures, nor disregard factual information. I once heard the true statement, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

We should not presume that the leadership and governmental systems of the church are applicable to, and enforceable upon, all of society and civil governments.  We may be witnessing massive overreach, and a breach of truth, by some spiritual leaders in the area of partisan political activism.

We need to recover wisdom and humility in this season.

~ Bryan Hudson


Thanking God for a Wonderful Church Family!

Friday, November 04, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 116:12, What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

On Sunday October 23, we had a glorious celebration of God's faithfulness and the fruitful labors of the New Covenant Church family in serving our community and world.

Patricia and I are honored serve such a wonderful congregation! We thank God for leaders and workers who lead and work. We appreciate the gifts and words of encouragement shared with us. We are blessed to partner with ministries such as Jesus Inside Prison Ministry.

Looking at the photographs and video clips reminds me that, despite the challenges we face, God is blessing our work and helping us to make a difference!


Seek Peace and Prosperity in Your City

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 Bryan Hudson 2 Comments

Jeremiah 29:7 "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 

Jesus said that we were the light of the world. Everywhere we go, He expects us to bring light, pray for people, and make a difference. 

Jeremiah had the unenviable responsibility to speak judgment to the people of God, and yet the heart of God continued to be seen. 

I find it interesting that sometimes believers want to condemn and curse their cities. Some even proclaim there are evil spirits ruling over their cities. This text makes it clear that God expects us to do our best to help people and raise the standard of living.
In our context, that would also mean proclaiming the Gospel of Christ and going out into the community to serve people. Helping others helps ourselves.


Seven Instructions for Rich People Like Us

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life

In this text, Apostle Paul provides simple instructions to people of means. In fact, I think that most of us who live in America should consider ourselves rich, especially in comparison to most other people in this world. Whether you consider yourself rich or poor, the admonition provided by Paul is useful to all of us.

The problem with being rich is the tendency to place too much confidence in material possessions and to build one's life around getting more stuff. This is a form of idolatry, which is having devotion for things (and people!) more than for the living God.

Paul gave these seven instructions to rich folks like us:
1. Don't be arrogant
2. Don't put hope in wealth
3. Know that it is God who richly provides all things
4. Do good
5. Be rich in good works
6. Be generous
7. Be willing to share

BTW: Idolatry is not only the temptation of rich people, it can also be the temptation of poor people.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim. 6:10 )

Paul's seven simple admonitions will help us stay in pursuit of Jesus and serving others, more than chasing things.


God's "Perfect Faithfulness"

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

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

The prophet Isaiah wrote these words just after an extended discourse reflecting God's displeasure with His people and the sad condition of people in the earth.

It's as if Isaiah had to take a "praise break." In the midst of difficulty and chaos all around us, God is still God. And God is always good…all the time!

We should praise God for His "perfect faithfulness" in an imperfect world and life. We should exalt Him because he has done wonderful things! We should thank Him for working out His plan through our lives, plans laid out for us a long time ago. What we need to do is discover his plan and choose to follow him.

Make that choice every day.


The Cross of Christ Cancels Boasting

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 6:4, May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 

We're living in the day when people like to boast about what they have done. I remember the days when Muhammad Ali boasted, "I am the greatest!" In actual fact, he WAS the greatest boxer of all time! However, his boast of greatness at boxing could not prevent him from acquiring Parkinson's disease. His boast of greatness did not give him a relationship with Jesus Christ.

People today, including Christians, boast of many deeds and attributes. But all of this utterly pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ accomplished.

The apostle Paul was a man of extraordinary intellect and accomplishment in his sphere as a Jewish leader. After encountering Jesus, Paul had the good sense to boldly declare that he would boast in nothing except the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul was not speaking of the physical object on which Jesus was crucified.

The cross is the place where sinful self died. The cross of Christ is no longer the instrument of Christ's death, but the spiritual reality of our changed (or crucified) lives because if His death, burial and resurrection.

The cross is like a filter that helps us daily sort out all of the things that defeat us.

The cross is like a memorial that stands to reminds us of the One who fought and won THE strategic battle that saved our lives forever!

The cross is not something that we wear around our necks, but the truth of a redeemed life on display for the world to see.


Getting Your Sharp Edge Back On

Saturday, September 24, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Getting Your Sharp Edge Back On
by Bryan Hudson, Th.B., B.S., M.S.

“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom produces success.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade. That's the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NLT)

If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV)

We are living in a season where Christian ministry is going fourth at every turn. In the midst of all of our activity and abundance, we still see a wilderness full of lost souls, broken lives and misplaced sheep. We see believers who feel tired, but they don’t know why. Many people are living out of balance, they experience…

•            Goals without grace
•            Stress without relief
•            Zeal without balance
•            Work without play
•            Producing without partaking
•            Relationship without reciprocity
•            Battles without hope
•            Forces without faces
•            Need without supply
•            Introspection without direction
(List from message by Charles Simpson)

Like an ax that has lost its sharp edge requires many strikes to cut what a sharpened ax can cut in a few strikes, dullness requires more energy, more strength. It is not that you may lack strength. It is this: The strength you have is limited in duration. 

The solution to the problem with the dull ax is not only found in sharpening it. The solution is also found in exercising wisdom in how we use our “edge.”

For an ax, it’s all about the cutting edge. The handle and shape of the whole ax is designed to make the best use of the edge. Solomon lived long enough, had experience enough success and enough failures to be able to distill life down to simple statements of reality. How many of you know that Solomon was not talking about axes and lumberjacks? How many know that he was talking about his life and life in general.

“Wisdom brings success.” Sharp edges become dull through use. We need wisdom to understand what it means to “sharpen the edge.” The NIV suggests that “skill” is needed for sharpening or knowing how to use the edge.

From a knife sharpening guide: “Maintaining Your Edge”
A properly maintained knife is sharp. A dull knife can be dangerous because you will apply much more pressure than you would with a sharp knife and your hand will be much more likely to slip.

 A honing tool will realign the edge and also bring to the surface the carbon molecules that provide most of the cutting action. Frequent honing is essential and will keep your knife cutting like new for months.
 Use your honing stool virtually every time you use your knives. 

A.   We need insight on spiritual diligence and preparedness. We need to be sharpened and honed through wisdom.

1.    Without that insight, we find ourselves living with a sense of drudgery rather than with sense of adventure and purpose.

a.   One cannot imagine that a chef would enjoy his work as much if he used dull knives everyday.
b.   The best athletes don’t try to get ready to compete just before the event. Boxes train intensely for weeks to be ready for a single fight.

2.    The apostle Paul likened us to soldiers in 2 Tim. 2:3-5.
      You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.  And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

3.      We should think about how key words inspire our attention and action.

a.    Ax – The instrument of service; our lifestyle
b.    Edge – The cutting edge— the action edge; What we actually do in the Kingdom of God; our gifts and unique contribution to  God’s purpose
c.    Wisdom - Ability to make proper choices and reach proper conclusions and decisions; Shrewdly aware and subtly resourceful; Using the proper means and procedures in attaining an end; Knowing how to restore and maintain your edge.
d.   Sharpen: Raise the level of your skill and effectiveness

B.   Wisdom provides skill and sharpness in many ways. Paul imparted these principles to Timothy:
      1 Tim. 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach,[a] because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit,[b] in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Sharpening Stones:
1.     Be a doer of the Word because slothfulness produces decay (Eccl. 10:18)
2.     Prayer: Individual, corporate
3.     Worship; John 4:23
4.     Fellowship: Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 John 2:7
5.     Preparation: 2 Tim. 2:15, 1 Cor. 14:12
6.     Accountability: Heb. 13:7, 17
7.     Faith: 2 Cor. 5:7 (“He who observes the wind shall not sow...” Pr. 11:4)
8.     Teaching & Training: Sunday School, Bible Study, Firm Foundation Institute, etc.


Is it Time for an "Edge Check?"

Thursday, September 22, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.

The next time you find yourself whacking away at a tree or some other endeavor, and it does not yield, change or "fall," it may be time for an Edge Check.

An unsharpened life, like an unsharp ax, will not "cut" or bring the desired results. In this condition, more effort does not produce more results. It only makes one more tired.

Worship, reading/doing the word, fervent prayer, and walking in love will put a sharp edge back on our lives. This is part of the "wisdom that brings success"---and you won't feel so TIRED all the time!


Furniture in a Field?

Thursday, September 15, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Prov. 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

It has often been said that "Knowledge is Power." According to Proverbs, knowledge can fill "rooms" with many wonderful things, which may be desirable.

But knowledge alone is not enough.

Can you imagine a room full of things without a house? How useful would it be to arrange furniture on an empty lot? Knowledge without wisdom and understanding looks like furniture in a field, without structure and purpose.

Wisdom is the ability to know what to do and where to do it. Understanding is about knowing the meaning of things.  Knowing the "what, where and why" of life MUST come before simply having stuff.

So, it looks like the POWER is really found in possessing wisdom and understanding!

As always, the Word of God teaches us the best way to live!


Love and Faithfulness

Thursday, September 08, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Prov. 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Love and faithfulness are two great virtues in life.

Love is the quality of giving yourself to bless others without selfish motivation. God is love. And love never fails.

Faithfulness is the quality of being steadfast and reliable. Faithful people never fail to show up with love, ready to act.

Love and faithfulness should be demonstrated outwardly because we cultivate it from the heart.

This, more than ambition, brings favor with God and man.


Keep in Step With the Spirit

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 5:16, I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 
One important key to living a victorious and godly life is not focusing on “not doing” wrong things, but focusing on “Walking in the Spirit.” William Barclay's translation reads, “Keep in step with the Spirit.”
We should not willingly permit conflicts between the desires of the "flesh" and the desire of Spirit of God. This creates a condition of spiritual stagnation and distraction, resulting in not being able to "do the things that you wish." The "flesh" can be defined as, "the entire human nature without God." 
We are born of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells us. Many of us have been filled with the Spirit. However, if we are not Spirit controlled, then we are flesh controlled, or carnal.
Everyday, remember to "keep in step with the Spirit" and everything else will work out fine!