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!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Did you hear about what happened last Sunday at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene?

We had promoted this Sunday to prepare people for the WOW!

Here's what happened:

We launched our newly developed Guest Services Ministries at NRN.

It began with a ribbon cutting of the new Connection Cafe. The first cup of coffee was served to Harold Wetzel, Sr. - a founding member of our church.

Special appreciation goes to Rodney Rhoads and his leadership as the Director of Guest Services. Thanks to Dawn and Mike Stroupe for their work on the Connection Cafe; to Kathy Muller for coordinating the baked goods; to Dave Joslin for the purchase and mounting of the flat screen TV; to Sandy Floyd and the team that painted the foyer in preparation for last Sunday. The list could go on and on - for all those who gave of their time, and generosity in financial gifts to enhance our foyer to welcome all who enter the doors at NRN!

I always want to express my appreciation to Bob Floyd and Bob Shouse for serving on our parking team. They stood outside in the NC chill to smile and wave to those entering our campus for the first time. When you come to church this Sunday - and you see the guys in the orange vest - be sure and wave and say THANK YOU!

Coffee, select teas, hot chocolate and bottled water will be available to those who come to Sunday School a little early. The Connection Cafe will open it's doors before 9:15am. The Cafe will resume service by 10:15am for those who come early for church. Bring a friend and enjoy the free baked goods and a refreshing drink of choice on Sunday morning. The TV will roll our announcements and worship videos this Sunday. Enjoy the countdown to enter the worship center for a great worship experience. Don't miss this Sunday at NRN!

If you missed Big Top Sunday - or last Sunday at NRN - you may want to listen to the podcast of services. Click HERE to listen.

Mighty to Save

At North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene we recently celebrated
a BIG DAY event called

Here is a special presentation from that day that has

been featured on You Tube:

I've been signing this song in my mind every day since that time.
Hope you enjoyed this clip.... thanks to David.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Join me for a special training event in Raleigh

You may have read my posting about why everyone needs a coach. The post was about my coaching relationship with Nelson Searcy. I recently read this material from his blog:

Why Should I Do A Big Day?

First of all, let me define what exactly a big day is. A big day is an all-out push toward a single Sunday for the purpose of breaking the next growth barrier and setting an attendance record, in order to reach as many people as possible for Jesus.

Why should you worry about pushing past your next growth barrier? Why do a big day? Here are four reasons to consider:

1. Do a big day to reach new people – The biggest reason to do a big day is to cooperate with God in reaching the most people possible for the kingdom while we still can. We have a responsibility to do as much as we can to bring people to Christ and grow them up into spiritual maturity. Isn’t that why we do what we do?

Reaching our communities is not going to happen without intentional effort on our part. We can’t just stick to the status quo and assume that the people in our churches are going to be filled with a passion to reach others for Jesus. We have to make a concerted decision to put time and energy into connecting with the world beyond our doors. That’s where the vision for a big day begins – with a heart for the community and a heart to reach new people before God’s final big day.

2. Do a big day to make the devil mad – Okay, this shouldn’t be your primary reason for doing a big day, but every once in a while it’s good to do something that will irk Satan. If he’s not bothered by what you are doing, you must not be doing much against his cause. Or as a pastor/mentor of mine once advised me, ‘If you haven’t met the devil head on lately, maybe its because you are moving in the same direction!’

3. Do a big day to grow the Christians in your church – There’s nothing like doing a big day to ignite some passion in your people and mobilize them for service. When you share your vision for reaching a new level through a big day, you will find people more than willing to give extra time and energy to the cause. They will be eager to reach out to their friends, family and co-workers. You will spur them on to greater spiritual growth by giving them the opportunity to take part in something bigger than themselves.

4. Do a big day to build momentum in your church – I run into a lot of churches who say, “We feel like our momentum is beginning to wane.” If you can relate, that’s all the more reason to do a big day. Big days build momentum by uniting your people in a common goal, attracting buzz from the community, and propelling you to the next level of growth.

For more information on planning and executing a big day, make sure to pick up your copy of Ignite: How To Spark Immediate Growth In Your Church.

Plan to join me for a special event.

I am so excited to be in a tele-coaching group with Nelson Searcy. He is coming to North Carolina for a unique half day training event. Read about it below and come join me.

Ignite is the ultimate how-to training for church leaders who want to reach more people for Jesus Christ. In this half-day training event, Nelson Searcy will provide practical, inventive guidelines for bringing first-time guests through the doors.

Nelson sets forth a step-by-step, biblically grounded, proven plan for creating immediate church growth by utilizing a "Big Day" to mobilize the church for evangelism. This event will show you what you need to do to reach the unchurched in your community and break through the debilitating growth barriers that are holding you back.

In this seminar, Nelson will teach you:

How to DOUBLE your church in a day (it can be done)
How to immediately raise the evangelism effectiveness of your church
How to mobilize your congregation to reach their friends
How to spark growth in a stalled church
How to keep momentum year after year in a growing church
How to excite your people, even if they've not been motivated in the past
How to influence your leaders to reach out to the community
How to plan and implement a proven BIG DAY process
And much more . . .

Wednesday, October 28, 20099:00am - 12:00noon
This seminar is taking place at:
Forest Pointe Church6700 Wilkinson Blvd.Belmont, NC 28012


Thursday, October 29, 20099:00am - 12:00noon
This seminar is taking place at:
New Horizons Fellowship820 E. Williams St.Apex, NC 27502

Questions? Contact Church Leaders Insight @ 800.264.5129
or by email

About Nelson Searcy: Nelson Searcy is the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in New York City. Since 2002, The Journey Church has grown from one family to over 1,200 in weekend attendance, over 700 baptisms and 1,400 in small groups! This groundbreaking church sees the majority of its growth coming from new believers and currently meets in multiple services in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Nelson is the author of the books Launch: Starting a New Church From Scratch, Fusion: Integrating Newcomers into the Life of Your Church, Activate: A Completely New Approach to Small Groups and Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church. Nelson is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist. Before moving to New York, he served as the Director of the Purpose Driven Community at Saddleback Church. He is also the founder of, the Church Leadership Training ministry of Nelson Searcy and The Journey Church.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Guess who's headed down the aisle?

Several people have contacted me via email and Facebook about our daughter Danielle's recent announcement regarding her wedding on Sunday October 25. Below is the text of an email I received today from her. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Hello, Jessie and I have completed our registry at Target, however it is currently set to private. Please find the link to our registry below. Thank you so much for being part of our special day.

Danielle Hudgens

Couple: Danielle M. Hudgens & Jessie L. Bolder

Event Date: October 25, 2009

Event Location: Charlotte, NC

Registry ID: 013108100000174

Browse and shop this couple's registry online at:

You can also view this registry at a registry kiosk in any Target store.
Either way, you're sure to find the perfect present for the perfect couple.

© 2009

Next weekend- I will have my camera close by and plan to post pictures and an account of the big day as soon as possible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Footprints in the sand

As I prepare for Sunday at NRN the Lord has brought to mind a poem I have often used in the past. You probably know it. The traditional footprints in the sand:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed

that during the low periods of my life,

when I was suffering from

anguish, sorrow or defeat,

I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,

"You promised me Lord,

that if I followed you,

you would walk with me always.

But I have noticed that during

the most trying periods of my life

there have only been one

set of footprints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most,

you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,

"The times when you have

seen only one set of footprints in the sand,

is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson

Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

Recently I heard a version of footprints that really made me think.

It is by Leona Lewis in her debut album Spirit. Enjoy!

I hope you are blessed by this beautiful song.
It ministered to my soul.

I find the words are truly trustworthy sayings....

Monday, October 12, 2009

We are blessed - A second Hudgens Announcement!

On July 30th I posted about our daughter Stephanie, who suffered a miscarriage of her pregnancy. I penned these words:

As Stephanie is recovering from a recent miscarriage my heart is broken for her and Josh. This time brings clear memories from 30 years ago. Sharron and I had been married for almost two years and felt it time to begin a family. When Sharron told me that she was pregnant we cried together with tears of joy. I knew this meant our lives were about to undergo a major change. When Sharron went through the miscarriage she and I were devastated. Our church family came around us to pray and encourage us. I clearly remember Sharron going for a follow up visit and returning home handed me a note from the doctor. It read “When at first we don’t succeed – try, try, again!” Ten months later God blessed us with beautiful twin daughters.

Recently I read this message from her blog:

It was a surprise for us too.
I am 8 weeks along.

Due May 14, 2010


Congratulations to Josh and Stephanie!

God never changes! He is always so faithful to His people!

Sharron and I are extremely happy about our growing family.

The blessings of God continue to fall upon us.

We are blessed!

The Stool

Yesterday was an awesome day at NRN as we gathered for this year's BIG TOP event!

A special note of appreciation goes to Rodney and Pam Rhoads for all the hard work to prepare the side items for the meal. They had a lot of help – everything from peeling potatoes to preparing the visitor packets for first time guest.

It was exciting to welcome 10 families who were first time or return guest from the past two weeks. It was also a highlight yesterday as we welcomed 12 people into membership
A special appreciation goes to Elvin Barwick who made all the arrangements for the pig roast. Elvin with his crew of Phil Richards, Lance Irwin and Jay Baker began their task before 3:00am and provided a delicious barbecue meal for us.

I also want to mention the hard work of Lance Irwin, Michael Henk, Jay Baker and Pastor Jordan for setting up the tables and chairs in the worship center. They worked along with Sandy Floyd on the table cloths and center pieces. It was a great addition to make BIG TOP such a special day for us all. Thanks also to Karen DeSollar and the Christian Ministry Team of Rodney Rhodes, Tom Alsbury and James Cook for their leadership and hard work on this event. Thanks to Pastor Ryan and the worship team and to Brad Pope and the puppet team.

As people entered the Worship Center the Praise Band was playing and the presence of the Lord fell upon us.

It was my privilege to bring a message about our mission statement at NRN: We are calling people to a wholehearted relationship with Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be wholehearted?

God longs for a personal relationship with you. He has made it clear throughout His word:

If you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29, NIV.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13, NIV.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 3:5

I showed the following clip yesterday to summarize my message.
I stated that Jesus is Lord of ALL - or- He is not Lord AT ALL.
Here is an example: THE STOOL

Since the fall of man, we have been in a power struggle with God over control. We surrender to God's will, but when His reality interferes with our daily lives, we jump right back in the driver’s seat....

What decision have you made regarding
your relationship with Jesus Christ?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Getting ready for BIG TOP 2009 edition

Sunday, October 11, 2009 • 10:30 a.m.

Update: Due to a forecast of rain on Sunday, the Big Top
service has been moved inside.
We will still have lunch after the service in the Worship Center.

See you then!

The puppet team has prepared and are ready

to share with the all the kids...

The worship team is ready.... The worship band will begin
playing at 10:30 and we will feature a time of
preparation for worship.
Come early to get a good seat
and get ready for
an awesome worship experience!

Who have you invited to join you this Sunday at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene?

Please be sure and make that last minute call to invite the person on your mind -

God has something special planned for them

- and you - don't miss this special event at NRN!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Announcement - Danielle is getting married!

On our recent family vacation Danielle asked to meet with Sharron and me for a private meeting. She shared with us the news that her boyfriend of over two years has proposed and she has said YES ! The plans have now been made and the date set.

The Announcement:
Danielle is getting married!

Danielle Hudgens and Jessie Bolder
to be married on Sunday
October 25, 2009
The private family wedding will take place in Charlotte, NC