Audio & Video for Message: "Mercy: Your Partner in Opportunity"

Monday, January 30, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Built to Win!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 

There are two types of rocks: 1. There are small man-made rocks, like Peter (whose name meant "small rock").  2. And there are big God-made rocks like Jesus and the firm foundation He laid.

We all need people in our lives who love us and are reliable. However, we cannot build on people alone. Jesus loved Peter, warts and all, but he was too small of a rock to build upon. Jesus spoke of another rock on which He would build. He called it "This rock."

"This rock"is the "big rock" of knowledge and relationship with God through Christ. when you build your life, your ministry, and your career on Christ and Kingdom principles, your success will never be overcome by the forces of evil or darkness.

You are built to win!


Be Still. Stop all the Noise. Give God Praise Now!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 

David understood God in many profound ways. He wrote Psalms, or songs, that expressed God's nature, works, and power.

When God stops war, especially wars in your life, as He did for David, God breaks the ability of your enemy. Notice the wording, "He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two." We know from Jesus' and Paul's teachings that our enemies are not people, but unseen forces from the natural to the demonic. God gives us victory and assurance of peace!

Then He says, "Be still, and know that I am God." One interpretation of this phrase states, "I am your leader. Stop all this noise."

After God has shown Himself faithful in your life; after He has broken the forces that tried to break you; it's time to "stop the noise" of complaining, making excuses and allowing other voices to influence you more than God!

Be still. Stop all the noise. Give God praise now!


Willowbrook Christian Academy | 15 Years of Laying A Christ-Centered Foundation

Friday, January 20, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Dear New Covenant Family & Friends,

Today Willowbrook Christian Academy concludes a fruitful journey begun 15 years ago. Willowbrook served the Indianapolis Community as the preschool and daycare ministry of New Covenant Church.

We thank God and celebrate the hundreds of the children who were educated and received a Christ-centered foundation through our excellent program. We appreciate the many staff members who were employed by us and contributed to the blessing and success of our young students. Our original group of students are now nearing adulthood.

Mrs. Hudson and I would like to express our appreciation to our dedicated staff and dear friends: Ms. April Hewlett (13 years), Mrs. Alberta Westbrook (10 years), Mrs. Andranda Cooper. (7 years), and Ms. Theresa Mitchell (1 year).  No one knows more than Patricia and I how we feel about our staff members as well as value the time and passion each has invested in children served by Willowbrook Academy! We labored in love to provide a loving, Christ-centered learning experience to children and their families.

Keep our staff-family, children and parents in your prayers as they move forward in their lives, education, and careers. When it is all said and done, we know that God is faithful and He cares for all of us!

Pastor Bryan & Patricia Hudson


Dr. King: A Legacy of Courage and Conviction

Monday, January 16, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on the national holiday established in his honor.

Too often, I find that when some people discuss the legacy of Dr. King, they are quick to point out his flaws and failings. Others seem to embrace his teachings and sayings, but only in a highly selective fashion. Yet others try to ignore his work and legacy altogether.

It is obvious to many of us today that Dr. King was a social prophet and a man of great courage and conviction. As a Christian minister, it is appropriate that such a man would have been responsible for leading one of the greatest movements in the 20th Century. It takes a Christian to have the type of compassion and sense of mission that Dr. King possessed. Christ's mission was glorified though his work.

Below are a series of quotes from Dr. King that I trust will inspire you as they have inspired me:

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


What is Your Name? (Talk to the Guy With the Limp)

Friday, January 13, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Genesis 32:26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Jacob had a very unusual encounter with God through His angel. This encounter was a turning point in his life spiritually and physically.

Jacob had been known as a surplanter and a deceiver. This encounter would bring out the true nature of Jacob. His name literally meant, "One who takes the heel." This is in reference to his birth in which his twin brother Esau came out of his mother's womb first, followed by Jacob who had hold of Esau's heel.

It was in Jacob's nature to contend and strive for that which he wanted. This is why God said, "Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated." (Genesis 25:21-34). Esau did not care about his birthright. Jacob cared deeply about reaching for the best. This always pleases God. Reaching for, and wrestling with, God left Jacob with his hip out of socket, and a limp.

When the angel (or God) asked him, "What is your name?" Jacob said, "My name is, 'Reach for the best and don't let go!'" God then changed his name to "Israel" meaning, "Prince."

This encounter became a model for all of God's people, when Nahum prophesied, "For the LORD will restore the excellence of Jacob…" (Nah 2:2)

What is your name? I'm not talking about the name your mother and father gave you. I'm not talking about the name your bad habits or "lesser self" have given you.

What is the name of your redeemed, blood-washed, "best self" after encountering God?


Flexible Purpose and Inflexible Wineskins

Thursday, January 12, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 9:16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

New cloth (not yet shrunken by washing) and old cloth should not be sewn together. New wine (unfermented grape juice) should not be put into old, inflexible containers.

Understanding conditions is important. Being flexible and willing to change and adapt throughout life is also important.  The cloths represented conditions and the new wine/wineskins represented change and flexibility/inflexibility.

The science and logic behind what Jesus said is easy to understand. What is more difficult is to pay attention to the changing conditions and dynamics of our lives and activities. In context, Jesus talked about conditions in His day in which religious leaders, like the Pharisees, who resisted Christ and the then-emerging Kingdom of God. Like old stiff wineskin containers, their inflexibility to the expanding "new wine" of God's purpose was unacceptable.

Today, we must evaluate our conditions, and our hearts, to determine what things, if any, may prevent us from being containers of "new wine" –– in whatever ways this may be applicable to our lives.


Meet Opportunities With Faith, Not Fear

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 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 fear.


The Greatest Faith Jesus Encountered

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matt 8:5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.... 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Jesus marveled at the faith of an unnamed Roman military officer. Why? What was so special about this man and his faith in Christ?

This man understood something that not even Jesus' disciples or the Jewish leaders comprehended. The centurion, who was concerned about his sick servant, realized that Jesus had the authority to act without being personally present. He understood the power of delegated authority.

He said to Jesus: "Don't bother coming all the way over to my house, just say the word, and my servant will be healed." This was the greatest faith that Jesus had seen at that time.

We have to learn to separate our circumstances, time and distance from what God can do. Things don't have to "line up" for God to work. Jesus' authority is supernatural and not bound by the natural order. He does work in the midst of our circumstances, but don't let circumstance cloud your faith.

Like that centurion, let Jesus to "say the word" in your heart and through the Scriptures and the other part of what He said also becomes a reality: "Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.”


The Lord Will Provide

Monday, January 09, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

NOTE: Today’s scripture reading and blog post is much longer than usual. I pray that you take the time to read the Scripture text as well as my thoughts and insights that follow.
Genesis 22:1-14:
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” 
I never cease to be blessed and amazed at how the Scriptures, the Word of God, brings comfort and hope!
Thankfully, severe challenges in life are not an everyday occurrence. Abraham faced an almost unimaginable challenge. He was asked to offer up his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.
Most everything we have is not beyond our ability to give up. But there are some things, and especially some people, that we could hardly imagine letting go. This is especially true for people and purposes we have poured our lives and our faith into. Value can be measured by our investment of time and energy. We can make no greater investment than into the lives of people. For Abraham, there could be nothing of greater value than his own son, “whom you love,” God said. He asked Abraham to make a monumental choice!
Abraham knew that it was not possible for God to take away, forever, that which he both promised and provided in Isaac. Hebrews 11:19 says that Abraham, by faith, had already received his son back from the dead, if he were sacrificed. Nevertheless, this was still a great trial for Abraham. 
A question asked by Isaac went to the heart of Abraham's challenge: Abraham's answer to his son's question revealed the depth of his faith and confidence in God. 
Isaac saw the fire, the altar, and the knife in his father's hand. He knew from experience that all the elements were present for a sacrifice to be made, so Isaac asked the question, “Daddy, Where is the sacrifice?” 
Abraham's answer to this question is always your answer––and my answer. 
Abraham's answer was both a prophecy of our Savior Jesus Christ and a reminder to us of God's provision at every turn in life. This is especially true when things seem to turn for the worse and it looks like you're losing something that you labored in love to birth.
Abraham said, “The Lord will provide for himself a lamb as an offering.” Abraham did not tell Isaac what he would do. He told his son what the Lord would do. 
Being in a place where we can only trust God is not a comfortable place. It is an uncomfortable place because we usually rely on ourselves, even when we say that we are “trusting in the Lord.” Abraham was in a place in which he absolutely had to trust God! He trusted God even to the moment when he raised the knife in preparation to lower it in sacrificing his only son. It took an angel of the Lord to call to him and prevent him from doing so. God provided the sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the thick brush by its horns.  It is not known if the ram had always been there and Abraham did not notice it, or if it supernaturally appeared on cue.
In this test, Abraham proved that his loyalty to God was greater than his sense of ownership. He also proved to himself that he could trust God as his Owner and Provider. God acknowledged as much by saying to him, "Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
Our lesson from this ancient story is this: Every time and place where you gave up, or were willing to give up, something or someone most precious to you, becomes a new place of "The-LORD-Will-Provide" (Jehovah-Jireh) in your life. In God's plan, you never give up something for nothing. His provision is your supply. Your confidence in His provision is your peace and joy. Your value and provision increases every time you trust God!
Abraham’s place of impending loss became his greatest gain. He was the one who named that place, “Jehovah-Jireh,” "The Lord will Provide."

Name your place.

~ Bryan Hudson


Share Mercy. Receive Mercy.

Friday, January 06, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 5:7, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 

Mercy is one of the greatest blessings in life! When you realize that you have come short or failed to deliver, it is mercy that you need.

On those occasions when we have sinned or made mistakes, we don't demand justice. We ask for mercy.

More importantly, when we have the opportunity to come down hard on someone else, we have only to consider these words from Jesus and remember that mercy is a gift that is both shared and received.

Be sure that you are making mercy "deposits," so that you will be able to "withdraw" mercy when you need it.

And you and I will most certainly need mercy, sooner or later (Probably sooner!)


Pure Heart. See God.

Thursday, January 05, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

A pure heart is the path to clarity. Of all the things in life that we want to see and experience, it is most important to see God.

When you see God, you see the true nature of everything and everyone around you.

Keep your heart clear.


2012: A Year of Opportunity & Poured Out Blessings!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2012 is underway! From one perspective, January 1 was just another day. From another perspective, the beginning of a new year provides an opportunity to re-focus on current and new priorities. On Sunday, January 1, I stood before our congregation for the 30th year to share from my heart and the heart of God for the new year.

Below is a slide show of the main points and priorities from the "Vision for 2012" message. Audio of the message is also available using the links below:

Listen   Get the Podcast