Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finally ... an updated blog posting

I can't believe it has been over 20 days since I have updated my blog. To say life has been hectic is an understatement. Here are a few thoughts about the past three weeks and the final blog of 2009:

Sharron and I took a quick trip to Charlotte to visit family and received BIG news from Danielle. She has verified that she was 20 weeks pregnant and the ultrasound indicated that she is having a BOY! We are so excited about our first grandson! The projected due date is May 6, 2010

Sharron has wanted to visit the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC for the Christmas Candlelight Tour. I surprised her with a trip on Dec. 17-18 to Biltmore. Here is a little info. about the house:

Be inspired by the relaxed elegance of George and Edith Vanderbilt's 250-room family home and country retreat in Asheville, NC. Discover original art from masters such as Renoir, magnificent 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon's chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, and priceless antiques. Opened to friends on Christmas Eve 1895, this French Renaissance chateáu remains America's largest privately owned home.

It was a wonderful evening! We enjoyed the trip with our friends Phil and Joanie Richards.
The rooms were filled with the lights and sounds of Christmas. We enjoyed a meal at a restaurant on the property then a two hour tour of the house. As we departed Asheville on Friday morning the snow was falling. Sharron was able to see snow for Christmas - more that I could have imagined!

At the church we had a great time at the student led Jingle Jam. The meal was fantastic! The students did a great job in the program for the day. I really liked Pastor Jordan and the students leading us in a time of worship.

Our Christmas Eve Service was well attended. I was surprised that the ushers added chairs to accommodate those coming late to the service. The attendance cards indicated several new families visiting and four people making the decision to accept the personal gift of salvation offered through Jesus Christ!

Christmas Day well celebrated as we travelled to Charlotte and spent time with family.

Danielle and Jessie were surprised by their family gift:

Josh seemed very happy with the family gift we gave to them:

Sharron and I returned to Raleigh the day after Christmas to be at church. I concluded the teaching series on Simply Christmas. The worship was led by Melissa Cordovia and the worship team using the i worship series. The worship was so authentic. It was evident of God moving in our midst.

I caught this picture of Alyse as she enjoyed a snack at the Connection Cafe. She was very thankful as she prayed.

Stephanie shared her BIG news with us on Christmas day. She is about 20 weeks pregnant and her ultrasound has verified that she is having a GIRL! Do you think Sharron and I are excited?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Church board and staff Christmas Party 2009

Tonight Sharron and I prepared for the Christmas party to express our appreciation to the members of the church board and the staff of NRN. Actually - I just stayed out of the way for Sharron to prepare all the "goodies" and took care of a few "honey do" chores at her request.

We placed a few lights around the outside of the house:
The kitchen table was prepared to receive guest for good conversation and laughs....
The Christmas tree in the living room was trimmed. The Nativity set below the tree was hand painted and prepared by Sharron as her project during her pregnancy with our daughters in 1980.
The tree in the Family Room is decorated with the ornaments collected across the years as a family. The star on top is made from the original cardboard staff I cut from a box and covered with aluminum foil and placed on top of the first Christmas tree Sharron and I had after we were married. The staff is a reminder of simpler days. And also reminds us of how blessed we truly are.

This year Sharron had plenty of chips and salsa with 7 layer bean dip; vegetables with ranch dip; fruit salad; and cranberry frozen salad. Then came the chicken salad sandwiches; party ham rolls; pigs in a blanket; Angus beef meatballs and little smokies in a crock pot. But everyone seemed to especially enjoy the section for desserts:

The iced water and ice tea were complemented with the variety of teas and coffees as well as hot apple cider on the stove.

Then the time came to eat and enjoy a great evening of fellowship:

Several people took a "goodies bag" home with them. The first guest arrived about 6:30 and the final guest left shortly after 10:00. It was an enjoyable evening with great conversations - plenty of laughter - and a great spirit among us.

Sharron is awesome as she worked so hard to prepare for the evening.
I am so blessed to have her in my life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Preparing to celebrate Christmas

How are you preparing to celebrate Christmas?

Need an idea for hanging lights of your house?

See if this makes your head and shoulders rock:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Simply Christmas part 1

The last few days have been quite hectic in the Hudgens' household. I am really enjoying preaching this Christmas season. On November 29th we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent and I began a new teaching series called Simply Christmas.

Here is what I said on the first Sunday of Advent: Let’s pull back the layers of Christmas in today’s culture and focus on the core of the holiday. Join with us as we see what Simply Christmas is all about ~ a real authentic Christmas this year.

Every Sunday of this time of advent we will feature a presentation from the Seasonal Choir; a live drama vignette and the lighting of the candles on the advent wreath.

We began this series by viewing Christmas through the perspective of Mary ~ to trust God for the impossible. Last Sunday we viewed Christmas through the eyes of Joseph ~ to never under estimate your influence.

On December 13, we will feature our children’s ministry as we view Christmas through the “stinky, smelly shepherds” – to seize the moment.

December 20th we will view Christmas with a simple perspective through Jesus–the name says it all!

We will bring our celebration of advent to a crescendo on Thursday evening, December 24, at 5:00 p.m. as we will gather for our annual Christmas Eve Service–featuring a moving time of worship, the Christmas message through a simple format, the candle lighting and communion. Christmas is wonderful time of the year to invite friends, family and neighbors to join you to experience Simply Christmas.
This past Sunday we enjoyed the presentation of the Seasonal Choir under the direction of Rose Thomas.
The drama vignette consisted of a reader's theater and the drama ministry portraying the scene in silhouette. It was very moving to see this live portrayal.

We are really excited about this coming Sunday with the Children's Ministry presenting a mini-musical about the shepherds of the Christmas Story.

By the way - What do you think of my first attempt for a new background?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chasen - in concert at NRN

Today was a wonderful day at NRN! The worship center is decorated for Christmas and with the music filled the air. At the close of the message many hands were raised as people took their request to God to clear the clutter of the busy season and help us focus on the simple message of Christmas this year.

I am really excited about the event at North Raleigh on Wednesday December 2nd.

Christian Artists "Chasen" as heard on K-Love and HIS radio, will be performing for the first time in Raleigh, NC. Their new hit "On and On" is on the top 25 played songs on K-Love Radio.

The doors will open at 6:30 with the concert beginning at 7:00pm. Advance ticket pricing is $7.00 each, $8.00 each at the door, and groups of 10 or more are $6.00 each. Contact the church at 870-1141 Monday-Thursday from 9:00am-4:00pm for information or tickets

If you are not familiar with this new group - here is a taste:

This song is about Chase's personal relationship with God about six years ago. He was at the beach where he had a decision to make,

to either follow Christ or "Drown" in his sin.

Thank God he decided to follow Christ!!

Here are the lyrics to Drown:

Walking the beach 4. A.M.
Listening to the waves as
they crash upon the sand.
Its just a Black Sea.
The moonlight and me.

Its sink or swim.
I'm drowning within you.
Somebody rescue me.
Cause I'm go'in against the stream.
I fell in love with somebody like you.
And I know yeah that you wanted me to.
You told me who I was.
But I don't want to.
No, I don't want to.
I don't wan to.
I don't wanna drown.

Thinking about these words
How do they fit and
how do they come together?
What do they mean?
Once again, I'm alone,
And its just me.


Oh, I don't wanna drown.

Yeah, its sink or swim
I'm drowning within you
Somebody Rescue me.
Cause I'm go'in against the stream
I fell in love with somebody like you.
And I know that, yeah, you wanted me to.
You told me who I was.
But I don't want to.

I fell in love with somebody like you.
And I know that, yeah, you wanted me to.
You told me who I was.
But I don't want to.
No I don't want to.
I don't want to.
I don't wanna drown.
No. I don't wanna drown.
Oh, I don't wanna drown
No. no. no.
No, I don't wanna drown.
No. no. no. no. no.
I don't wanna drown.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Preparing for the first Sunday of Advent 2009

Still giving thanks to God for my family, friends, health and the privilege to serve the Lord!

Sunday November 29th promises to be a great day at NRN for the first Sunday of Advent 2oo9. We will honor Christ during our worship experience by lighting the Advent Candles on the Advent Wreath. The Seasonal Choir will lead us in celebrative worship as we sing favorite and familiar Christmas carols. The drama team will present a short vignette and I will being a new teaching series.

I penned these words for the worship folder to introduce this series:

Let’s pull back the layers of Christmas in today’s culture and focus on the core of the holiday. Join with us as we see what Simply Christmas is all about ~ a real authentic Christmas this year.

Every Sunday of this time of advent we will feature a presentation from the Seasonal Choir; a live drama vignette; the lighting of the candles on the advent wreath; and a teaching message from Pastor Rick. Today we view Christmas through the perspective of Mary – to trust God for the impossible. Next Sunday we plan to view Christmas through the eyes of Joseph – to never under estimate your influence. On December 13th we will feature our children’s ministry as we view Christmas through the “stinky, smelly shepherds” – to seize the moment. December 20th we will view Christmas with a simple perspective through Jesus – the name says it all!

We will bring our celebration of advent to a crescendo on Thursday evening December 24th at 5:00pm as we will gather for our annual Christmas Eve Service – featuring a moving time of worship, the Christmas message through a simple format, the candle lighting and communion.

Christmas is wonderful time of the year to invite friends, family and neighbors to join you to experience Simply Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Preparing for a day of Thanksgiving

BIG DAY - Preparing for a day of Thanksgiving with family and friends. Praying for safety for those who are travelling. Remembering prayer request for many hurting people. Pausing to say thanks to God for His many blessings.

Here is a thought: Stop to count your blessings:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Alyse visits for the weekend

Today was another great day at NRN as we sensed the presence of the Lord. This was a fantastic weekend with many activities. I express my appreciation to Amy Manshack and Sandy Floyd - and to all who joined them on Saturday for the painting party in the children's wing of our facility. Soon the new children's ministry logo will adorn the wall and the new Children's Church area is updated.

I had "papa duty" this weekend as Sharron attended a baby shower and ladies meeting on Saturday - I took care of Alyse on Saturday morning and we enjoyed some time at our friends (Phil and Joanie Richards) in the afternoon. Joanie speaks often that the Durham LIFE group is "dog friendly" - and here is evidence with Alyse:
Alyse loves Tova - the newest family member at the Richards
Alyse enjoyed time with Tova, Mada and Indy
Sometime she like to play "dog" with them.
She seemed to especially
enjoy a few moments in one of the kennels.
She had fun in the tub when we arrived home. Her Saturday bath time is filled
with laughter and then she begins the process to prepare for Sunday.
There was even time for a little play time at Papa's house before heading to bed.
Alyse really had fun at church today. We gathered with friends at Red, Hot and Blue for lunch following the service. She like spending a few moments with the pig.

It is always a joy to have Alyse visit for the weekend. I am a little sad that it's time for her to go home. As I prepare this posting - she is asleep for her nap. soon we will leave to drive to the pre-arranged meeting place for a late dinner with Stephanie. We will see Alyse later in the week as we gather for Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An encouraging message

Tomorrow at NRN I will bring this teaching series to an end. We have been looking at the lies about our Identity. Tomorrow we explorer what God says about our true identity. An encouraging message for every believer and a time for giving thanks to the Lord.

I am very excited about this song presented live by Melissa and Victoria.

Here are the words:

Got my thoughts, Ive got my words.
Got this head full of answers.
Got You wrapped up,Got You under control.
See my future like the past behind me.
I think I know where You re leading.
Don't need no questions, Don't need no rocking the boat.
But I just forget all the mystery...I just forget who You are ---

When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that Ive figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I cant know it all,
Cause You're so unpredictable.
Cause You're so unpredictable!

You said the foolish would shame the wise.
To put my faith In whats beyond my eyes,
And to believe You, I have to come as a child.
So help me to rest in the mystery
Of what I cant understand...

When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that I've figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I cant know it all,

Cause You're so unpredictable.
Can't wrap my mind around You...
Can't put You in a box;
Can't keep you safely contained...

No.You're gonna move the way.
You wanna move today.
Just let me follow along ---

When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that I've figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I cant know it all!When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that I've figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I can't know it all,

Cause You're so unpredictable.
Cause You're so unpredictable!
You're unpredictable!

© Produced by Ian Eskelin; Written by Francesca Battistelli, Ian Eskelin, and Tony Wood.© Word Music, LLC (ASCAP); Designer Music, INC; Honest and Popular Songs (SESAC) (Administered by Multisongs INC); New Spring, Row 9 Seat J songs (ASCAP) (Administered by New Spring)OWNED BY WMG MUSIC.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I just want to thank you Lord

As I think of the events of this day - I think of these trustworthy sayings:

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good:

for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 107:1

Break out in song:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A personal worship experience

As I prepare for the worship experience at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene tomorrow I always take time to sing each song prepared for the service. I read over my notes many times. Then I go over the PowerPoint presentations I prepared for Sunday. I even view the clips several times. Then I take a concentrated time of prayer and personal preparation before I stand before those God will bring to our church tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow we continue in the series:

Two weeks ago we looked at the lie “I have to be strong.” We learned the truth which is that we have to be broken, vulnerable and weak because God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Last week we looked at the lie: “This is just the way I am. I can’t change.” We learned the truth which is: God’s power can change anything in us that holds us bondage. This Sunday we are going to be looking at the lie that plagues so many of us, and this one has haunted me for years. It is the lie: “I’m not good enough.” We are going to learn that we get our worth and value from what God says about us!

Here are some of the songs we will sing together. Prepare to worship!

How Can I Keep From Singing:

The words in this song are so trustworthy - God will never let go...

A new song for us at NRN - Hillsong in their 2009 release : Yahweh

We will close the service with one of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns. This song really summaries my thoughts today:

I hope you have enjoyed this worship experience on my blog. Now I encourage you, if possible, to join us at 10:30am at NRN to gather with Christ followers in worship to our God.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - Are you superstitious?

Today is FRIDAY the 13th - are you superstitious?
Here are some interesting facts about the 13th:

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia,[1][2] a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term triskaidekaphobia derives from the Greek words "tris", meaning 'three', "kai", meaning 'and', and "deka", meaning 'ten'. the whole word means three and ten. The word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.[3]

A theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. According to one expert: The Knights Templar were a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118 C.E., whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the next two centuries, the Knights Templar became extraordinarily powerful and wealthy. Threatened by that power and eager to acquire their wealth, King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 - Friday the 13th.[4]

Here are five Friday-the-13th facts from msnbc: :

1. Fear of Friday the 13th — one of the most popular myths in science — is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

2. Many hospitals have no room 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13th floor and some airline terminals omit Gate 13.

3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover were also triskaidekaphobic, with an abnormal fear of the number 13.

4. Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. "It was bad luck," Twain later told the friend. "They only had food for 12." Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.

5. The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number — 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.

Just for your information - Here are the dates ahead with a Friday the 13th:

2009 February, March, November

2010 August

2011 May

2012 January, April, July

2013 September, December

2014 June

2015 February, March, November

Now the question: Are you superstitious?
What are your thoughts about today - Friday the 13th?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Tribute

Today we pause to honor all our veterans.

The first Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, marked the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I, what many proclaimed, with an optimism that turned out to be wildly misplaced, ``the war to end all wars." The day was set because of the 11th day of the 11th month and at 11:00am the Armistice was signed.

It became a U.S. national holiday in 1938 and in 1954 was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans. With the end of the draft and the passing of the World War II generation, military service is not the common denominator in American life it once was.There are currently 23.2 million veterans, down from a peak of 28.6 million in 1980.

I think today of Joe Solomon from our church who returned from his tour just a few months ago. I think of Jared Phillips - a friend from Sturgis Michigan who served a tour several years ago and continues to serve today. I also pause to think of my dad - who served in World War II. (I hope to post more about this soon.)

Here is a short tribute to our Veterans today!

If you have the opportunity today - be sure and thank a veteran!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

May the words I speak be trustworthy and anointed .

It's Saturday night and I sit at my desk preparing for Sunday. The manuscript for my message is printed, marked with my highlighters, folded and placed in my Bible. I pray and seek God's face for tomorrow. I read several emails this evening from first time guest to the church who stated how much they liked the worship experience and plan to return.

When we enter into our worship by music we will stand and shout together

The sermon is ready - now I seek God to make ME ready for the delivery of His Word that the words I speak with be trustworthy and anointed by the Holy Spirit. To God be the glory!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Satan lost another one

On Sunday November 1 I began a new teaching series at NRN. I began my message last week with these words:

Today we begin a teaching series entitled Identity Theft. Every 79 seconds in America there is an identity theft victim the stealing of someone’s identity. Identity theft is a serious issue.

Random check of credit reports in 2003 50% credit reports checked were victims and they didn’t even know. It is serious 1 of 50 people will fall a major victim to it in 2010. It will take every victim close to $1500 dollars to repair the damage and get things put back together not counting lawyers fees. Here is the tragedy of identity theft- You can spend your whole life building your credit, building your identity credit and in one moment somebody steals your identity and your future is destroyed.

The same thing happens in the spiritual realm. You can spend your entire life building your spiritual identity but all it takes is one moment to forget who you are and make a stupid decision and it will take you and I years to fix what one decision did, because we forgot who we are. I have a confession: This series of messages is more for me than you. Over the past several months I have been fighting some of the biggest spiritual battles of my life. My love and concern for my family and for YOU – the church has been almost overwhelming. This series comes out of very personal experience.

I have listened to many sermons and worked hard on this series. It is influenced by a book by a teaching pastor at Willow Creek, and another book called Identity Theft by Jay Strack of Student Leadership Ministries.

We began by examining the lie that the world and the devil likes to whisper into the ear of our heart and mind. The lie is: "I have to be strong".

The truth is taken from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (The Message): My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

We will continue in this series on November 8th with a message addressing the lie: "This is just the way I am." I believe some people are held prisoners in their own minds that they cannot change. When a person opens their heart to Jesus Christ - everything changes!

Here is a clip I recently viewed about how Satan wants to whisper his lies into our heart and mind. Hold on - this is powerful:

If you were blessed by this - but it went a little "fast" for you - you can simply post a comment - or email me - and I will be glad to send you the words of this poem by Blair Wingo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 1 - Happy birthday to my daughters

Sunday - November 1st was a fantastic day at NRN! It was very evident that God invaded our presence. Before I began my message I was privilege to preform the baptism and dedication service for Rachel Cook. I stated that Rachel and I will have a special connection because of her date of birth - February 13th - which is also my anniversary of birth. You can tell - I love the privilege to present children unto the Lord! She is a beautiful little girl.

It was a joy to share these special moments with her family...

Later in the afternoon Sharron and I traveled to Greensboro to meet our family to celebrate the birthdays of Danielle and Stephanie. We connected at TGI Fridays for a fun meal. Here are my daughters on their birthday this past Sunday.

But often - this is the picture in my mind of my daughters as they would laugh and play in the multi-purpose room of Christian Fellowship Church in Vienna, Va. This picture was taken in late 1982 with our friend Beth who worked in the daycare center at the church.

Here is Josh, Stephanie and Alyse as they smile on Stephanie's birthday...

Here is Jessie, Danielle and Jayden as the celebrate Danielle's birthday...

Sharron and I feel blessed with two beautiful daughters and their families.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Contest

Tonight was a great evening at NRN as we celebrated TRUNK N TREAT in our church parking lot. Here is a short pictorial from the evening:

Special appreciation to all those who decorated their vehicles and welcomed the kids with a lot of candy and games.

Chef Rodney stepped away from the Connection Cafe' for a short time to hold the little bumble bee (Cole). Several new families came by to enjoy the free coffee and cupcakes at the newly established Connection Cafe.

A beautiful bee also came to visit Papa and enjoyed one of the games. Yes - she can play with her eyes closed...

She especially seemed to enjoy the game beside the vehicle of a favorite host of the evening. His accent and costume was a hit and I heard a lot of laughter coming from this station. Do you know who this person is? This is my contest question - If you were NOT at Trunk N Treat - give a guess - Who is this man?

I did appreciate my grand daughter Alyse taking a moment for a poised picture before heading upstairs for the evening.

It was a fun night for all who attended! Thanks to all those who provided their vehicles. Thanks to the family of NRN for all the candy donated. We appreciate the hard work for the staging and sound as the puppet team brought a lot of joy to the crowd. Special appreciation to Pastor Jordan and the students of Element for making this night possible.

Set your clocks back tonight and enjoy the extra hour of sleep as we say goodbye to daylight savings time and return to standard time. Prepare for a great worship experience at NRN. I look forward to beginning my new teaching series on Identity Theft.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Preparing for this weekend at NRN

As I prepared for this weekend at NRN God has spoken to my heart. I am excited about this coming Sunday. Here are some of the steps preparing for Sunday.

1. This evening at 8:00pm there are a group of people gathering at the church for prayer. The purpose of the time together is for a prayer walk throughout the church. I believe that a prayer walk is deliberate intercession for others. It is an involvement in spiritual warfare. A prayer walk is offensive praying to attack the strongholds of the devil I think tonight is a big first step in making the devil mad. It is not an end in itself. I do believe it is preparation for an evangelistic witness. Here are some trustworthy sayings to assist those gathering tonight for prayer:

"Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what we pray for as we ought, but the spirit Himself makes intercession for us ..." Romans 8:26

"For there two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

2. On Saturday at 2:30pm I plan to meet with the members of the Children's Ministry Team. We are so excited about a recent decision of the church board to appoint Amy Manshack as the Volunteer Director of Children's Ministry. She is very excited about this opportunity and the ministry team is gathering around her with great ideas and support. This is another big step in making the devil mad. I am really excited about the plans and the new direction of our children's ministry at NRN. I am hearing excellent reports about the number of volunteers, the new director Tot Town and the upcoming revision of Children's Church.

3. On Saturday beginning at 4:00pm the parking lot at NRN will be transformed. There will be many cars lined up with the trunks opened revealing lots and lots of candy. Thanks to all those who donated candy over the past several weeks. We launch a special event called Trunk 'N Treat -

This is an alternative family event for Halloween. People from North Raleigh Nazarene will make available the trunks of their cars for wrapped candy. From 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., the kids will go from trunk to trunk gathering treats. The Connection Cafe is scheduled to be open making coffee and hot chocolate available. There are games and some surprise activities planned. Pastor Jordan and ELEMENT - our student ministry of NRN - are sponsoring this event. Tell you family and friends and plan to join us on Saturday beginning at 4:00pm

4. Daylight savings time Don’t forget to “fall back” next Sunday morning by turning your clocks back one hour! The Connection Cafe opens by 9:15am. We invite you to bring a friend to church with you and stop by the Connection Cafe for free cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or bottle of cold water. Then check out one of our Adult Connection classes which begin at 9:30am.

5. On Sunday I begin a new teaching series:

In this series, we are going to study several different lies that our spiritually enemy wants to use to rob us of our spiritual identity. How can we feel so close to God one moment and totally turn our backs on Him the next? How can we have days of incredible spiritual victories followed by periods of intense defeat? What is the devil’s greatest weapon in spiritual identity thief?

In John 8:44 Jesus said, “When he [the devil] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” On Sunday, we are going to look at one of the most common lies that our spiritual enemy wants us to believe - the lie that we have to be strong.

I am preparing my heart for a great worship experience and expecting that God will invade our presence in a mighty way on Sunday. I invite you - take time Saturday evening to prepare your heart for worship and come expecting....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Danielle and Jessie on thier wedding day

The past several days have been filled with family moments. On Sunday October 25th I took this picture of Danielle just before she entered into the room for her wedding. I think the big smile on her face says it all. She was filled with joy as she prepared for her life changing decision:

After walking down the isle to the music of "Cinderella's theme" Our close friend Rev. Forbis Kivett said these words:
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses, to join this man, Jessie L. Bolder Jr. and this woman Danielle Marie Hudgens, in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, and signifying to us the mystical union which exists between Christ and His Church. It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.

Jessie and Danielle, this is a high and holy day in your lives. You have chosen October 25th, 2009 as a day long to be remembered and cherished. Your life together will be truly blest if you allow God’s love to guide you.”

Scripture Reading - (1Cor. 13) “This love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or boastful; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails … so faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Danielle and Jessie have pledged their love to one another and Danielle has pledged to accept and love Jessie's five year old daughter Jayden as her own. Here is one of the first pictures taken of this new family:
The wedding was a small family event and all who were in attendance wish the very best for Danielle and Jessie.

I did catch a picture of Stephanie and Alyse sharing a moment as Alyse takes a moment to smell the flowers.
Josh, Stephanie and Alyse took time for a quick family picture. Stephanie stood with her sister during the wedding. Stephanie also prepared the cake for this special event.
And you can tell - Danielle and Jessie enjoyed the first two pieces cut from the cake - I think Danielle more than Jessie-
So Danielle and Jessie Bolder begin their life together. Our best wishes and prayers are with them. We are so happy for them and wish them the very best.

These are just a few pictures from my camera. We hope to have the "official" pictures later this week. I wanted you to see first hand the joy we shared with Danielle and Jesse on their wedding day!