Friday, September 25, 2009

Think on these things

As I prepare for the teaching this coming Sunday at NRN I have be captivated by the passage from Philippians 4: 8:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things."

I remember when I thought of these words from one of my favorite musical groups from my past. Here are the words to the song:

In solitary time the thoughts run through my mind
Some from the very throne some origins unknown
I know there's a danger waiting
Thoughts held in captivity
The vain imaginations that long to be set free
I hold the key
With thoughts of purity

Whatever things are pure and true,
(I want to)
Think on these things
Whatever things are filled with virtue
Think on these things
When my mind begins to stray
I want to think the other way
Think on these things
Think on these things

Into the conscious flow the tributaries go
The source from which they start
Abundance of the heart
My mind has a mind of its own
choosing negativity
Only the thoughts of virtue
Withhold the raging sea
I turn the tide
By choosing to abide

Whatever things are honest
Whatever things are just
Whatever things are lovely
I will put my trust
In the things that never cease
To keep my heart in perfect peace

Here is the performance:

Think On These Things
Album: No Doubt (1995)

The group: Petra

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A soothing effect

Over the last two days there has been quite a bit of rain falling in the Raleigh area. It was sorta weird that I have heard a number of people comment how the rain settles their spirit; how rain brings about a sense of meditation and reflection; how rain has such a soothing effect.

I don't know what the weather is like where you are right now. I thought you would enjoy a pause and listen to this unique and fun presentation by a choir. I find it amazing when people submit to the leadership of a quality leader and everyone does their part. Be still - and listen - and see if you agree:

This fun YouTube video features a 1980s pop classic. The rock band Toto scored their biggest hit with Africa in 1982. The song is instantly recognizable. But it has been reinvented.
Perpetuum Jazzile is an a cappella jazz choir from Slovenia. It’s hard to think of something further from an ‘80s rock band. But their version of Africa may best the original. The group has amazing voices.

But the beginning of this video is really striking. Group members simulate an African thunderstorm with their hands. It’s really something to see and hear.

Hope you enjoyed this simple clip.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Everyone needs a Coach

I am a BIG advocate of coaching. I have said to many pastors that if Tiger Woods - the number one golfer in the world needs a coach - what make us as humble pastors think we do not need a coach?

I am excited about beginning my coaching with a great group of pastors and a fantastic coach. I have come to the point in my life that if I am going to be a life-long learner, I will need to do more than read books and go to conferences.

Several months ago I had the opportunity to personally meet and connect with Nelson Searcy. Recently I was accepted into a tele-coaching network and now I have monthly access to the wisdom of Nelson; pastors in my network group, and special guest who join us on the network. Here is a little information about this unique opportunity I have.

The Nelson Searcy Tele-Coaching Network is a group of pastors that meet together monthly via telephone for training, coaching, and networking. The Coaching Network follows the outline of the nine Growth Barriers and eight Growth Systems as taught in Nelson Searcy workshops, and is customized according to the specific needs of those accepted.

Nothing can accelerate your growth or the growth of your church like being in a coaching network! Think of the impact of facing your specific growth challenges along with a group of like-minded leaders. This network coached once a month by someone who has already overcome those obstacles.

I was really attracted to this group when I read these words:

When You're Not Growing,
Your Church Is Not Growing!

Nelson Searcy is the founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in New York City. The Journey is a multi-site, multicultural church with locations across metro New York City, including Manhattan, Jersey City, Brooklyn and Queens. With the majority of its growth coming from new believers, The Journey has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing and most innovative churches in America by Outreach Magazine. Nelson is the author of numerous books and church-growth resources, as well as a coach, consultant and strategist for some of the fastest-growing churches in America.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Winner of the caption contest

Did you happen to catch the article in a local newspaper this past week (9.15.09):

RUFF TIME Dr. Page Wages with CareFirst Animal Hospital in Raleigh holds onto Abbey, a Schitzu, while giving her a rabies vaccination shot. The Franklin County Humane Society hosted the free clinic in Youngsville on Saturday. One hundred and twenty shots were administered. The Franklin

Dr. Wages is a faithful and active member at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene (NRN). She serves on the church board and is a member of the worship band.

As I prepare for Sunday at NRN I am psyched about church tomorrow. We will be going through Philippians chapter 3.. It begins with these great words: "Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same thing to you again, and it is a safeguard for you." We will look at what we should watch out for and then how to maintain your joy.

We will sing a new song to us by the David Crowder Band. Here is a preview - enjoy:

And now - as promised - the winner of the caption contest:

Gary Schnepp said... I am to pooped to participate ...

Pastor Gary Schnepp has been a good friend for over 20 years.
He serves as the senior pastor of Faith Wesleyan Church Of Cheektowaga, NY

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


As we continue in the teaching series through the book of Philippians many people have accepted the PHILIPPIANS CHALLENGE. This challenge is to read through the book of Philippians every day during the month of September. To read this on line - here is the reference: PHILIPPIANS

Here are some other references you may wish to "bookmark" for the days ahead.

Emergency References

These are more effective than 911

When - You are sad, click John 14

You have sinned, click Psalm 51

You are facing danger, click Psalm 91

People have failed you, click Psalm 27

It feels as though God is far from you, click Psalm 139

Your faith needs stimulation, click Hebrews 11

You are alone and scared, click Psalm 23

You are worried, click Matthew 8:19-34

You are hurt and critical, click 1 Corinthians 13

You wonder about Christianity, click 2 Corinthians 5:15-18

You feel like an outcast, click Romans 8:31-39

You are seeking peace, click Matthew 11:25-30

It feels as if the world is bigger than God, click Psalm 90

You need Christ like insurance, click Romans 8:1-30

You are leaving home for a trip , click Psalm 121

You are praying for yourself, click Psalm 87

You require courage for a task, click Joshua 1

Inflation's and investments are hogging your thoughts, click Mark 10:17-31

You are depressive, click Psalm 27

Your bank account is empty, click Psalm 37

You lose faith in mankind, click 1 Corinthians 13

It looks like people are unfriendly, click John 15

You are losing hope, click Psalm 126

You feel the world is small and cramped read to you, click Psalm 19

You want to carry fruit, click John 15

Paul's secret for happiness, click Colossians 3:12-17

With big opportunity/ discovery, click Isaiah 55

To get along with other people, click Romans 12


For dealing with click, call Psalm 47

For security, click Psalm 121:3

For assurance, click Mark 8:35

For reassurance, click Psalm 145:18



You will find each reference you click to be a trustworthy statement.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A picture tells a thousand words - Caption contest

As I plan to blog each week there are times that I go to the site to post and then stare at the screen wondering if I have any thing worth saying. Today I feel a little "brain dead" after a full Sunday and several meetings today in the office. With that - a picture tells a thousand words - so - here are some pictures from my fun animal collection. Enjoy and hope it brings a smile.

It is always good to scratch that itch:

I love the comfort of an ole hound dog:

Sometimes I can't win for losing:

What shade did she recommend?:

There's more than one way to catch a mouse:

Did I make you smile?

Now it's time for the caption contest: Please post your coment with the caption you recommend for the following picture. The winner's comment will be posted later this week. And now the picture:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Make my joy complete

As I enter the worship center at NRN I experience the presence of Almighty God. We will lift our voices in unity and God will inhabit the praises of His people. For those who call NRN home - and for all those invited guest who will join us - and for all my friends and those who follow this blog - here are the worship songs we offer to the Lord:

A great Irish hymn of our faith

A new song to NRN by Chris Tomlin:

We continue in our teaching series from the book of Philippians - Chapter 2

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2

These are trustworthy sayings....

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th - A day of rememberance

I awoke this morning and saw the sunshine streaming into my room. I paused to give thanks for another day. I arose and went to my desk for my daily time alone with God and was struck by God's Word today - "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation..." (Philippians 4:12b) Oh, how I need to be reminded of the promise that I can be content in ANY and EVERY situation.

Today I also pause to remember the day our modern world changed:

Today - I thank God for all those who serve and have served to protect our freedom and keep us safe from those who would try to destroy our freedom.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back to Church Sunday at NRN

This Sunday at NRN we are celebrating National Back to Church Sunday. According to LifeWay Research, 38 percent of people are receptive or highly receptive to attending church. 82 percent say they would be open to attending church if a friend invited them.

Last evening at dinner at a local restaurant our server came to the table to comment how he appreciated the fact that we openly prayed for our meal. When we asked if we attend church in the area - we promptly said yes - and inquired if he attended church. He said "yes, however I am looking for a church closer to my house." with that - we invited him to church on Sunday. He gave us a sheet of paper to ask for directions and I included our website and the time of worship on Sunday. We are now praying and hope he will join us this Sunday.

That's how easy it is. To this point this week I have invited 6 people to church. You have a friend waiting to be asked by you to church this Sunday. Why not make that phone call or send that email right now. A simply invitation could change a persons life forever.

What gives you joy today?

On August 26 at 10:00am - I sat at my desk preparing the teaching series from the book of Philippians I posted this simple comment on my Facebook page:

Rick Hudgens This is the day the Lord has made - Let us rejoice and be glad in it! -- What gives you joy today?

Here are some of the responses from that day:

Dana Ford

Dana Ford
Being on the road to recovery from being sick for a week!

August 26 at 10:29am ·

Laura Rupert Buchanan

Laura Rupert Buchanan
A beautiful, overcast day with a gentle rain!

August 26 at 10:38am ·

Diane Immer
A quiet day at home with my daughter.

August 26 at 11:15am ·

Mike Young

Mike Young
I frequently close my office door and listen to Spanish christian music while I work. "Dios Manda LLuvia" is my favorite Spanish song. It translate to "God send the rain, rain down your spirit, heal my wounds and restore me today. I am listening to it while I write this.

August 26 at 12:15pm ·

Jill Pagels
A playdate with an old friend and her children. So many things give me joy and I have so much to be thankful for.

August 26 at 1:31pm ·

Debbie Belshe Rutler
My children being excited to learn more.

August 26 at 2:59pm ·

Susan Baker

Susan Baker
Being blessed by what I have been given, who He has made me to be, and the ability to share that with others around me.

August 26 at 3:06pm ·

Danelle Headley Betancourt
listening to Cole's little laugh!

August 26 at 6:24pm ·
To listen to the presentation of part 1 of 4 simply click HERE - Then pick the message you wish to hear. (It takes a few moments to download - but I hope you find it worth the wait.)
Now - I ask you the question: WHAT GIVES YOU JOY TODAY?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today marked a special day of ministry. My day was filled with several meetings throughout the day. One of the first task I accomplished this morning was to go to the web site for Leadership Network of "The Nines". My computer ran on this website all day - and every moment I could steal away from meetings I listened to the great and tremendous truths shared from some of America's great church leaders.

There were no breaks during the day. It was like a marathon, of sorts. Actually, it was like drinking from a firehose... lots of great information from over 70 speakers throughout the day. When I was able to sit and listen I noticed the live announcements and cut-ins at the top and bottom of each hour.

Here are some highlights of the schedule. This is not a complete list of every speakers but here is a sampling of what I heard. As I prepare this posting I am listening to the last two hours of insights. Today was a great day of encouragement. All times were CENTRAL:

9AM -- Troy Gramling, Mark Beeson, Anne Jackson, Dave Ferguson, Scott Hodge

10AM -- Perry Noble, Stacy Spencer

11AM -- Dino Rizzo, Nancy Beach, Steven Furtick, Reggie McNeal

12PM -- Craig Groeschel, Leonard Sweet, Greg Surratt, Jon Tyson

1PM -- Margaret Feinberg, Larry Osborne, Matt Carter, Pete Wilson

2PM -- Neil Cole, Reggie Joiner, JD Greear

3PM -- Mark Batterson, Dan Kimball, Mark DeYmaz

4PM -- Jud Wilhite, Brian McLaren, Bob Roberts, Rick McKinley, John Ortberg

5PM -- Alan Hirsch, John Bishop, Toby Slough, Ed Stetzer

6PM -- Mark Driscoll, Darrin Patrick, Brad Powell

7PM -- Darrin Whitehead, Brian Bloye

8PM -- Eric Bryant, Nancy Ortberg, Rick Warren

Great truth this evening:

Most churches don’t have systematic, sequential and intentional plan for moving people from come and see to come and die.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reflection of vacation - preparing Sunday

Now I am back home from the annual Hudgens' Family Vacation
to North Topsail Beach, NC.

Here are some of my reflections in pictures:

Our third year at Dolphin's View - Just a few paces from the beach.

Thanks to our friend Pam for her hospitality.

It is always so special to be with our daughters - Danielle and Stephanie. Sharron and I prayed for them even before they were born and have prayed for them each and every day of their lives.
Stephanie is married to Joshua - our son-in-law. We have many memories since the time they started dating in high school until now. We are excited about the future plans for their life.

And of course - Josh and Stephanie are parents of Alyse - our first grand child. A great part coming home from vacation is that Alyse came to Raleigh with us. As I type this post I can hear the giggles coming from the other room as Alyse is playing before getting ready for bed time. It is always special to have her visit and stay over for Sunday to come to church with us.

You can check out other pictures of our vacation on Stephanie's blog. It is well worth the visit.

As I prepare for Sunday at NRN I look forward to beginning a new series of messages from the book of Philippians We are inviting people to join us for the Philippians Challenge - which is to read the book of Philippians every day during the month of Septemebr 2009. This Sunday we begin in the first chapter.

Here are some of the songs we will share together in worship:

There is JOY in the Lord:

Our God Saves

You Are My King

A 2008 song by Chris Tomlin - Jesus Messiah

Before the message - I will extend the invitation to come forward to receive the elements of Communion:

Jesus said that every time we break bread, every time we drink from the cup, we are remembering his broken body and shed blood. We give thanks for the forgiveness of sins and for God’s amazing grace upon us. We come to the Table of the Lord once again to embrace God’s redeeming love expressed through Jesus Christ.

Will you be in church this Sunday?

Don't miss it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bubble Creek Canyon - by special request

Two weeks ago I shared a clip during my message about how Christians sometimes find themselves living in a "bubble". Many have asked about the clip I shared. Well, good news - Here it is:

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 2 of Vacation: Sun and Fun

Day 2 at North Topsail Beach. We began our family day enjoyed a great breakfast together then a lazy morning. Then the sun broke through for a beautiful day. That means - Sun and Fun to begin!

After a short walk on the beach Alyse turned to me and with hand reaching high simply said Papa and I lifted her into my arms for the walk back to our chairs.

Each time I pointed my camera to other members of my family I heard the word NO - then I agreed - we are on vacation - which means no watch on my wrist and simple dress for the beach.

Later in the afternoon we headed to a favorite spot - Andy's - for dinner. Hamburgers and hot dogs - and of course - ice cream!

This picture reminded me of a fond memory from last year.
Today was another day to re-charge my physical and emotional "batteries".