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Pastor Rick Recycles a Great Sermon

August 2, 2009

Confession time. I am a frustrated preacher. As long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with seeking answers to ultimate questions. How did we get here? Why are we here? What’s right? What’s wrong? What’s to become of us?

Such sweeping queries typically take one down a spiritual path. In my case, the road was littered with potholes, roundabouts, dead ends and harrowing hairpin turns. But let’s save that for another post, shall we?

A bit more back story, then I’ll summarize a great sermon I heard today.

After eight years in journalism and more than 15 as high-tech public relations counsel, I was suddenly struck by the fact that I had never written a single piece about faith or anything else personal. I’ve written thousands of news articles and hundreds of news releases, fact sheets, pitches, speeches, and talking points. All of it as a hired gun.

So I started this blog. I felt it was time to find my own “voice.” Where this leads is anybody’s guess. But it’s been fun so far.

Now, on to the goodies.

I met Pastor Rick Hudgens in April at THR3E, a one-day event put on by Charlotte, N.C.’s Elevation Church.

Elevation is the nation’s second-fastest growing Christian church, according to Outreach magazine. They’ve exploded from a handful of families to weekly attendance exceeding 5,000 in three years. THR3E was their way of helping other churches benefit from the lessons they learned during that time.

Pastor Rick and I are in 3rd row from back, on left

Pastor Rick and I are in 3rd row from back, on left.

In what I believe was a Divine fluke, Rick and I were “hosted” by the same Elevation volunteer. It didn’t take long to discover that his church is a mile from my home in Raleigh. Visiting North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene was definitely in my future.

Pastor Rick Hudgens

Pastor Rick Hudgens

I’ve since attended NRN a couple of times and found the people terrific and Rick’s messages spot on. For his Aug. 2 message, on the occasion of his second anniversary as NRN lead pastor, he reprised his first sermon there, titled: “How Much You Matter to God.”

The heart of the message, based on Luke 19:1-10, was that there are three fundamental truths on which we should base our worth:

  1. No matter how insignificant we may feel, God notices us.
  2. No matter what others say about us, God affirms us.
  3. No matter what we’ve done, God loves us.

Or, as Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

I don’t usually feel much like a masterpiece. I certainly don’t always behave like one. The big takeaway for me is to strive to see myself and others more from God’s perspective. We live in a world where people seem hellbent on tearing one another down. Christians, sadly, are often in the thick of it. What if we actually lived as we say we believe?

Today’s message was an excellent reminder of where we really fit in the scheme of things.

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