Message: “The Gift of Bearing Burdens” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “The Blessing of Church.” Whenever there is some type of national or global tragedy, where there is shock and grief, we want to point fingers, assign blame, and offer solutions. And some of this is, of course, appropriate. However, Scripture reveals that one of our first responsibilities to each other is to carry each other’s burdens. Carrying one another’s burdens is one of the greatest privileges we have as Jesus-followers. But it’s also one of the biggest challenges as well. Find out why and what we can do about it in this week’s message.

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Message: “The Gift of Singing” from Nate Schofield

A message from the series “The Blessing of Church.” When you think about a weekly gathering of the church, your image of a service will no doubt include music, most of which involves congregational singing. But why do we sing in church? Is it simply a long-standing tradition, or does Scripture give us direction on what our gathering time should look like (or better yet, sound like)? This week we will take a look at why singing together as a church is a gift and a blessing to all who participate.

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Message: “The Blessing of Elders” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The Blessing of Church.” Often, to get where we are going in life, we need some help. We need some counsel. And we definitely need correction. As it turns out, our spiritual development isn’t that much different from any other type of progress. We need some help. We need some counsel. And we definitely need correction. One of the blessings of church is that God has built into the very structure of the organization the means for us to develop as Christians. This week, we’ll study the blessing of elders, why they are necessary, and how they help us move forward in our relationship with God.

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Message: “Spiritual Gifts for the Common Good” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “The Blessing of Church.” Have you ever noticed how uniquely adapted each animal seems to be to its particular environment and way of life? On land, a duck waddles along ungainly on its webbed feet, while in the water, it glides along smooth as glass. Or a rabbit can run with ease, using great bursts of speed, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one swimming laps.

What’s true of animals is also true of Christians. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. He deliberately planned that there would be differences, variations, and even supernatural capabilities (referred to in the Bible as spiritual gifts) distributed throughout the Body of Christ. So join us for this week’s message as we consider how these unique and divinely-given gifts, when properly discovered and developed, honor God while also bringing everlasting good to the Church and to the entire world.

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Message: “Face to Face” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The Blessing of Church.” There are certain advantages of in-person relationships that just cannot be attained any other way. While many of us only became acutely aware of the advantages we were missing during the pandemic, humans have been built to be physically present with one another from the beginning. This week we will study the need we have to be together and the blessing that comes when we are.

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Message: “A Fresh Start” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “A Fresh Start.” It’s common at this time of year to think about a fresh start – a new beginning or a restart in the new year. Yet because of past unkept resolutions, some might think, “Why bother?” This Sunday’s New Year’s Day message will focus on a fresh start that seemed unlikely, but played out 2,500 years ago, and the learning is still relevant today.

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Message: “God With Us” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Christmas 2022.” Christmas is when we celebrate the miracle of God coming to be with us–of God coming to be with humanity who has run away from Him and broken His world. But Christmas tells us more than God wants to be with us, it tells us that God wants to restore and redeem. This week, we will see God’s desire to save even the most unlikely of places and amongst the most unlikely of people.

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Message: “Jesus In: Expectation” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” Many of us know how it feels not only to wait on God, but to wait on God for a long time to move in our lives. Believe it or not, this type of expectant waiting is a common experience among God’s people throughout the Scriptures. In fact, it is so common that the ancient scribes who arranged the order of the Old Testament books did so in a way that heightened the reader’s expectation and longing for God to move. As we conclude our series of Jesus in Every Genre, we will see that He is the final and complete fulfillment of the bursting expectation of the Old Testament.

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Message: “Jesus In: The Return” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” Throughout Scripture, we see God’s heart to provide a wonderful home for humanity, and even though we often break the goodness that He creates, God is not deterred in His mission. He will provide a wonderful home for His children. This week, we will see how Jesus brings that home to us, and what it means for our future.

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Message: “The Way of the Exile” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” We don’t often think about it, but the theme of “exile” is one of the biggest themes in all of the Bible. And the reason why it is so helpful to consider the various Old Testament stories of Israel when they were in exile, taken from their homes and immersed into a new culture that was hostile to God and to their faith, is because it helps us to think about the question: How do I live out my Christian faith today, while residing in a fragmented culture that is frequently indifferent or even hostile to my faith, and that does not sustain and support the deepest needs of my heart?
Join us for this week’s message, as we explore practical principles for living a believing life in a largely unbelieving world.

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Message: “Jesus In: The Kings” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” When the Israelites asked for a king, they were asking for more than a political leader. They were asking for peace and security from some source other than God. This week, we’ll look at the disappointments we will always encounter when searching for peace and security outside of God, and God’s surprising response to our rejection of Him.

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Message: “Thankful” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Thankful.” This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in America. And while Thanksgiving is a day specifically dedicated to gratitude, the fact is that giving thanks each and every day ought to be a way of life for the people of God, not just a once-a-year occurrence. So, whether you’re in a season where giving thanks to God has been easy and consistent, or whether you’ve been finding that your “gratitude tank” has been running pretty low lately, this week’s Scripture message will remind us how giving thanks to God daily — even in the most challenging of circumstances — can transform our lives and draw us closer to Him.

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Message: “Jesus In: The Prophets” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” For many of us, reading about God’s wrath in the Old Testament is more than a little unsettling. It seems strange to us that a God of love could cause so much destruction, and we certainly don’t turn to those passages when we need to be comforted. But what if God intended those passages for our comfort? What if we have missed something important? What if those passages are meant to tell us about Jesus? This week, we’ll see how even the wrath in the Old Testament can fill us with hope and captivate us with Jesus.

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Message: “Why the Church Must Lead” from Eddie Byan

A message from the series “Freedom Sunday.” The word justice is often heard in the wider culture today, but what does justice actually mean? The Bible consistently shows us that our God is a God of justice. And moreover, Scripture tells us that, at its core, justice means caring for and meeting the deepest needs of the vulnerable in our communities — the poor, the widow, the fatherless, and the foreigner. And sadly, there may be no more vulnerable group in our world right now than the millions of people, including many children, who live unprotected today from modern slavery, sex trafficking, and abuse.

This Sunday, we are honored to have Dr. Eddie Byun as our guest preacher. Dr. Byun is the head of Talbot Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program, the author of a number of books, and the producer of an award-winning documentary about sex trafficking in Korea. Dr. Byun will help us to deepen our understanding of God’s heart for justice, to discover the hard realities of modern slavery (locally and globally), and to discern where we as followers of Jesus can best join God to, Lord willing, see a decrease and maybe even an end to trafficking in our lifetimes.

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Message: “Walking with Wisdom” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” If you are going to be able to avoid making an absolute mess of your life, the Bible repeatedly tells us that there is something absolutely essential you must have: Wisdom.
Why does Scripture insist that possessing wisdom is more valuable than having intelligence, charisma, relationships, wealth, credentials, favorable life circumstances, or anything else we could desire (Prov. 3:13-15)? Where does wisdom come from, and how do we find it? And why do some people have wisdom, while others don’t? We’ll address these questions and more in this week’s sermon.

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Message: “Jesus in: The Temple” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” Many of us seek to connect with God, and some of us have even gone to great lengths to search for Him. Perhaps a pilgrimage. Perhaps a retreat or conference. Perhaps simply going to church. Counter to what we may believe, however, God is not elusive. He has, in fact, come to us. And in time, we will fully be with Him once again.

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Message: “Jesus in: The Law” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” Many of us could remember (or guess) at least a few of the 10 Commandments. And many of us are often surprised by some of the other laws that God gave to Israel when we read the Old Testament. But as followers of Christ, how many of these laws apply to us? And why do we follow some and not others? This week, we study the reasons God gave the law to Israel, how they find their fulfillment in Christ, and what they mean for our lives today.

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Message: “Jesus in: The Exodus” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” The Passover. The Exodus. One of the most famous stories in the history of the world. God liberates His people from slavery and 400 years of oppression through a series of miraculous events. For some, it’s a story of God’s faithfulness. For others, it can be offensive or even egregious. But perhaps, more than anything else, it’s supposed to teach about the heart of God displayed through Jesus Christ.

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Message: “Jesus in Creation” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus in Every Genre.” You’re definitely not alone if you have ever read or heard an Old Testament passage taught, and then wondered something like, “Why is this crazy story even in the Bible?” or, “Why should we even bother with the Old Testament? What does it have to do with our lives today?”

This week, we will begin a new sermon series entitled “Jesus in Every Genre,” and the point of the series is to search the Scriptures in order to find answers to these types of common questions so that we can then begin to make more sense of the Bible and ultimately see how Jesus is on every page, in every character and story, and in every type of writing found in Scripture — even in the Old Testament. It all points to him.

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Message: “People. Truth. Gospel. Part 3” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “People. Truth. Gospel..” In this three part series, we define the mission and vision of Bridges Community Church. With everything we do, we strive to show: people matter, truth matters, and the Gospel is our only hope. Each of the three weeks will unpack more of how we will fulfill this vision, and Lord willing, change the world.

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Message: “People. Truth. Gospel. Part 2.” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “People. Truth. Gospel..” In this three part series, we define the mission and vision of Bridges Community Church. With everything we do, we strive to show: people matter, truth matters, and the Gospel is our only hope. Each of the three weeks will unpack more of how we will fulfill this vision, and Lord willing, change the world.

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Message: “People. Truth. Gospel. Part 1” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “People. Truth. Gospel..” In this three-part series, we define the mission and vision of Bridges Community Church. In everything we do, we strive to show: people matter, truth matters, and the Gospel is our only hope. Each of the three weeks will unpack more of how we will fulfill this vision and, Lord willing, change the world.

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Message: “Kept From Losing Heart” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Kept From Losing Heart.” In a day when people are losing heart, a message of hope could be a timely and welcome relief. Especially if you’re on the verge of giving up, falling apart, or burning out — or you know someone who is. It may seem like our circumstances are unprecedented, but history says not. Case in point: the Apostle Paul. He could have lost heart in his crazy world but he didn’t. And his story still speaks into our story today.

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Message: “Alignment” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” Everything created by someone was made for a purpose. Kids’ toys, computer programs, cars, air purifiers…all have a specific reason they exist. But what about us? Were we also made with a purpose in mind? God says that we were. This week, we’ll examine what that purpose is, what’s at stake if we are out of alignment, and the One who can set us right again.

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Message: “Don’t Forget to Remember” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” Throughout the Bible we see that God is uniquely concerned about His people’s memory. Indeed, because we are so prone in the busyness of our lives to forget God — to forget His unchanging character, His faithfulness and provision in the past, His work in our lives today, His plans for our future, and our utter need for Him every moment of every day — Scripture repeatedly calls us to be intentional about stopping to remember.

The Bible’s exhortation for us to remember, however, is calling for something far deeper than mere mental recall. It is dealing with something far more transforming than just counting your blessings. In this week’s message, we’ll specifically discover why we need to remember, what we need to remember, and how we need to remember.
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Message: “Dealing with Our Doubts” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” In moments or seasons of suffering or discouragement, it’s tempting to allow yourself to doubt the existence, goodness, or wisdom of God. We reason with ourselves that somehow, some way, these moments of suffering or pain or injustice are evidence that God is less than who He has depicted Himself to be.

What are we to do with our doubts? Ignore them? Give into them? Punish ourselves for having them? The psalmist in today’s Scripture — Psalm 73 — dealt with these very questions himself and gives us valuable guidance that can help us whenever we’re faced with doubt.

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Message: “The Good King” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” We’ve all seen the benefit a good leader can bring to an organization and the harm a bad leader can cause–particularly if the leader is self-serving. The ancient Israelites made the same observation, except they also knew the ultimate leader they were waiting for wasn’t currently in their midst. The leader they hoped for was one who really would set all the wrongs right and heal every wounded heart in the world. This week, we’ll look at the identity of that leader and how we can enjoy His good reign.

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Message: “It’s All About Relationships” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” The cliche reminds us that none of us will say at the end of their our lives, “I wish I had spent more time at work.” We instinctively know that life is mostly about relationships. This week, we’ll discover that God intended it that way from the beginning. He ordered the world such that we are at our best when we are in relationship with Him and others, and when something is wrong in one of those relationships, we lose life itself.

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Message: “Wrestling with the Imprecatory Psalms” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” Many people turn to the Psalms for joy and encouragement, to sing praises to God, and to be reminded of His character and unfailing love. But every once in a while, we come across in the psalter what are known as the “imprecatory psalms,” which some people have not-so-affectionately come to call the “cursing psalms” or the “hate psalms.” That’s because the imprecatory psalms are those in which the author graphically calls down calamity, destruction, and God’s anger and judgment on his or her enemies.

What are we supposed to do with these types of psalms, particularly since they sound so unchristian and foreign to the spirit of Jesus on the surface? How can they help us to minister and to pray, and how do we apply them? We’ll explore these issues in this week’s message.

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Message: “Untouchable” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” Some video game characters have the ability to become invincible. If this “god-mode” is activated, nothing can harm them. They can walk straight through all kinds of dangers without getting a scratch. The Psalmist seems to claim that God has given him a similar ability. Snares, terrors, destructions, and enemies will have no hold on him because he takes refuge in the Lord. But is this true? And if so, how can we activate it? This week, we’ll look at the tremendous promises in this Psalm and how they are even better than they might appear at first glance.

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Message: “Path of Delight” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” Not all paths lead to the same place. Some lead to sorrow, while others lead to delight. In the end, therefore, what we pursue with our lives matters, and it matters a lot. This week, we will look at various paths we might be pursuing, where they lead, and what ultimately is the only path to delight.

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Message: “One Word That Heals or Erodes Relationships” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.”
All of us have a myriad of relationships. Whether it be with parents, children, friends, romantic interests, or co-workers, we are all connected to others in some way. Most of us understand that relationships, regardless of the type, take some work. This week, we’ll look at the one word that can make or break any relationship–including our relationship with God. With it, we will find intimacy. Without it, we will lose the relationship altogether.

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Message: “The Search for Happiness” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.” Everyone wants to experience happiness, true joy, and satisfaction in life, and most of us likely already have a picture in our minds of a certain set of circumstances that would help us to get there. But what if we arrive at what we think will make us happy, but then discover that we’re really not any happier or any more content?

The category of psalms in the Bible that are sometimes referred to as “wisdom psalms” have something important, profound, and practical to say to each of us about how the world works and about our pursuit of happiness. So, join us this week as we’ll take a closer look at one of these particular psalms in this week’s message.

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Message: “Praise, Glory, Majesty” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Summer in the Psalms.”
As we begin our summer series in the Psalms, we start with the goodness and greatness of God: His power, salvation, and rule. The Psalmist even seems to lack the words to describe the extent of God’s glory. As we study this Psalm, pray that God would similarly open all of our hearts to be properly awed by Him.

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Message: “God Sovereign in Relief” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.” Relief. When suffering has ended and the weight is lifted. When times of sorrow are over. When the hope of a better tomorrow becomes today. At the conclusion of the book of Job, Job enters such a period of relief, but what can modern Christians learn from this part of the story? Will our troubles eventually fade away? Will we enter relief as well? Who decides? Do we play a role? This week, we’ll look at God’s sovereignty in relief and see that we have more in our future than even Job could imagine.

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Message: “Finding God During Pain and Suffering” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.” We’ve probably all wanted God to show up and speak with us during a season of suffering. We’ve wanted answers or just a sense of His presence. This week, we’ll look at when God showed up and spoke with Job. While none of Job’s questions were answered, he did find all that he ever needed—and it changed everything.

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Message: “How NOT to be a Miserable Comforter” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.” One of the reasons that the book of Job is in the Bible (not the primary reason, but an important reason nonetheless) is to explore the question of how to best relate to friends and loved ones who are hurting. So, how should we respond — and how should we not respond — when a Job inevitably comes across our path? That’s the focus of this week’s message.

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Message: “Responding to Suffering with Lament” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.” All of us have known or will know great suffering. We come to learn through experience that sad situations don’t always get better, and life’s problems don’t always get solved. And when those moments inevitably arrive on our doorstep, and when explanations or quick solutions don’t seem to appear on the horizon, few things can be more freeing than to know that God understands, that our frustrations and questions and struggles and doubts do not fluster Him, and that He even invites us to come and to air our grievances before Him in trust.

Join us for this week’s message as we continue our sermon series from the life of Job, and discover the important role that biblical lament can play in helping us to process pain and walk through seasons of grief and sorrow.

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Message: “Responding to Suffering with Questions” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.”
When life presses us, we’ve all asked the question, “Why?” We wonder: why me, why now, what did I do to deserve this, what purpose could this possibly serve, and how long will it last? Job had those exact same questions, and he posed them to God. As we study Job’s questions this week, we’ll see more of ourselves than we might expect, and we may learn a clue to the “why” behind our own suffering.

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Message: “Responding to Suffering with Worship” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.”
We’ve all seen people handle difficulty and tragedy in ways that amazed and inspired us. We’ve also seen people respond in ways that made everything worse for everyone. What makes the difference? Why are some people refined by the fire and others spiral into chaos? This week, we’ll look at Job’s reaction to his suffering and learn how we can be among those who grow during our own seasons of despair.

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Message: “God Sovereign in Suffering” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Job: Uncertainty, Suffering, and a Sovereign God.” Few people seem to question or object whenever people suffer due to their own evil or foolish choices and decisions. If we do wrong, the reasoning goes, then we must pay the consequences. That’s just how it works. At the same time, though, we must admit that there are also times when there is often no correlation between the amount of wrong we commit and the amount of pain we suffer. In fact, often it is just the opposite. So, what do you do when you are doing everything (or most everything) right, and suddenly everything goes wrong? And why would a wise, good, and loving God allow such suffering to take place?

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Message: “God’s Life-Giving Story” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “God’s Life-Giving Story.” The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is a book of stories that together tell one incredible story, that God wants everyone to know and be changed by. This life-giving story is our focus this Sunday. If you like pictures and stories that are grounded in God’s Word, this will be a Sunday to remember.

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Message: “Jesus is Greater” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Easter Sunday 2022.” The resurrection. Perhaps the most well known single event to ever take place in history. It meant death’s reign of terror was over. It meant God was intervening to restore a broken world. It meant we could live with hope instead of despair. This Easter, we’ll study how the wildest dreams of the ancient world became tangible reality – but in a way no one expected.

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Message: “Self Worth” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “A Better Story.” We all look to something to make us feel complete. Wealth, acceptance, recognition, achievement…something. But for some of us, we’ve also noticed a problem. The thing we hope will make us feel complete never quite does–at least not for long. This week, we’ll study the reason completeness often eludes us, how to find wholeness, and how to share it with others.

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Message: “Friendship” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “A Better Story.” Friendship is certainly not unique to Christianity. Every nation, tribe, and tongue enjoys the common grace of being close to others. However, Christianity does offer unique resources that enable us to develop deep relationships–even with people who we haven’t known that long. This week, we’ll see what Jesus says about friendship, how it improves our relationships, and how it shows Him as the better story.

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Message: “Justice” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “A Better Story.” We all want to spend our lives doing something that matters. None of us wants to feel like our efforts are pointless. Yet, when we think it through, we sense the futility of trying to create something that lasts beyond a brief moment. What are we to do with this disconnect? On the one hand, we want to matter. On the other, we know that we are but dust and to dust we will return. This week, we will see the eternal, significant purpose for which we were made, how it fills a true need in our souls, and how to share it with others.

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Message: “Purpose” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “A Better Story.” We all want to spend our lives doing something that matters. None of us wants to feel like our efforts are pointless. Yet, when we think it through, we sense the futility of trying to create something that lasts beyond a brief moment. What are we to do with this disconnect? On the one hand, we want to matter. On the other, we know that we are but dust and to dust we will return. This week, we will see the eternal, significant purpose for which we were made, how it fills a true need in our souls, and how to share it with others.

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Message: “The Vulnerable” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “A Better Story.” As big as God is, we might think He wouldn’t be concerned about people as small as us. Surely, He has more important matters to which He should give His attention. But time and time again in Scripture, we see God intimately involving Himself with the least and the lowly. Even the smallest or most insignificant of us get special attention from Him. This week, we’ll look at those without a voice in our world, God’s care for them, and the role we must play.

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Message: “Power” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “A Better Story.” Jesus possessed unlimited power and could order the world around Him however He wished. But what He did with that power was utterly new and unheard of in human history. This week, we’ll examine the godly use of power, how it meets our needs, and how we can speak about it in a way that can bring people to Christ.

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Message: “Kingdom Choices Part 2” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” Most of us don’t enjoy being told what to do. We’d rather keep our options open, make our own decisions, and shape our own future through our own choices. If you can relate at all to that feeling, then the Bible has some very good news for you: God does give us the ability to make our own choices and to decide certain things for ourselves. However, with that freedom also comes the timeless truth that our choices always have consequences – sometimes even long-term consequences – that must be taken into account. So, as we conclude our series on the Sermon on the Mount, we’ll finish looking at the inescapable choices that God puts before every person who has ever lived, all of which have life-altering ramifications. How will you choose?

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Message: “Kingdom Choices Part 1” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” Most of us don’t enjoy being told what to do. We’d rather keep our options open, make our own decisions, and shape our own future through our own choices. If you can relate at all to that feeling, then the Bible has some very good news for you: God does give us the ability to make our own choices and to decide certain things for ourselves. However, with that freedom also comes the timeless truth that our choices always have consequences – sometimes even long-term consequences – that must be taken into account. So, as we draw near to the conclusion of our series on the Sermon on the Mount, we’ll consider 4 unescapable choices that God puts before every person who has ever lived, all of which have life-altering ramifications. How will you choose?

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Message: “Ask, Seek, Find” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” We’re accustomed to asking God for all kinds of things. From health to prosperity to comfort, we have no problem with asking. Our question comes more so with “finding.” Our difficulty increases when Jesus claims that if we ask, we will receive, because that’s not always our experience. We don’t always receive. Are we missing something? If so, how can we cash in on Jesus’ guarantee that we will find? This week, we’ll look at Jesus’ promise, what we should ask for, and where we will find it.

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Message: “Making Sense of Judgment” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” One thing is for sure, we live in a culture of judgment. News headlines brag that one controversial figure was “destroyed” by another one, and people are canceled, roasted, or shamed in seemingly every arena of life. But Jesus calls His followers to something different. A place where people are lifted and nurtured rather than condemned. This week we’ll look at the “safe zone” Jesus builds. It’s a place where we will still be challenged, but in a way utterly unlike anything seen in the world.

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Message: “Not to Worry” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus\’ Most Famous Sermon.” Most of us probably realize anxiety doesn’t help us. If we could shut it off, we would. The problem, of course, is we don’t know how to shut it off. We want to, but it seems to have more power over us than we have over it. In this passage, Jesus shows us both the cause of and solution to anxiety. It will cost us all we have, but it will free us more than we can imagine.

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Message: “Lasting Treasure” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” When you make an investment, you’re typically doing so for the long term. The daily ups and downs of the market may cause you lots of anxiety, but financial planners will almost always advise you to focus on what the investment will look like well into the future, not today or tomorrow. And when it comes to making spiritual investments, the goal should really be no different. Like any earthly situation, you’ll almost certainly want to invest in such a way that yields the greatest return on investment and sets you up well for your ultimate retirement in heaven. Join us for this week’s message from our continuing series in the Sermon on the Mount, as Jesus – who understands the temporary, earthly market and the eternal, heavenly market better than anyone – provides us with the greatest investment tip of all time.

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Message: “He Knows What You Need” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” The Lord’s Prayer. Many of us could recite it by heart, but how many of us actually pray the way that Jesus instructed? This week, rather than looking at the Lord’s Prayer as a rigid rubric that we recite in a specific order, we’ll look at the heart of the prayer, which may or may not be the defining mark of our petitions. But, as we will see, that heart can make all the difference in our lives.

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Message: “Why Do We Help? ” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” Jesus assumes everyone will help those in need. Good people. Bad people. Everyone. So the question isn’t if we will help, but why will we help. And the answer to that “why” question reveals more about us than we might like to know. However, as we will see this week, uncovering our motivations to help those in need can lead us to freedom that we never before imagined.

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Message: “3 Invitations for the New Year ” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “3 Invitations for the New Year.” A new year on the calendar is often accompanied by optimism, but it’s also often accompanied by a certain degree of uncertainty and fear. We want to know where the provision is going to come from. We want to know if things are going to turn out the way we hope or expect. We want the security of being able to control or to alter our circumstances if our best-made plans go awry.
The fact is that there will be times in 2022 when we won’t know how God will provide. Plans will fall through. People will disappoint us. Things will go wrong. There will be moments or even seasons of uncertainty. What then?
Join us for this week’s message as we look for practical encouragement and guidance from God’s Word to begin the new year.

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Message: “Eyes to See” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Eyes to See.” It’s common for two or more people to see the same thing, but not see the same thing. That could be due to our varying likes, dislikes, opinions, preferences, or feelings. Or it could be that we are fixated on lesser things that block our view of greater things. That occurred in the days after Jesus’ birth. And the same could happen in our day. But then again maybe not, if we take our cue from the Magi who saw Jesus for everything He was, and still is.

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Message: “Love of Enemies” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” Turn the other cheek. Go the extra mile. These phrases are so commonplace in our culture, we might forget their significance or who first spoke them. However, in Jesus’ day, these weren’t just trite cliches. These instructions were utterly shocking, and the people who heard Jesus say them were likely wondering how He could be so radical. This week, we’ll look at the wonder of this love and how it could change both the world and our lives.

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Message: “Rethinking Righteousness, Pt. 2” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” **This week’s message will be addressing some sensitive topics (particularly from Matthew 5:27-30). Parents of younger kids and teens should consider these topics before encouraging your child to listen.**

There is a lot more information (and misinformation) available today than ever before. And in this crush of information, the words of Jesus frequently get pushed aside, as he is no longer viewed by the larger culture as one with reliable or relevant or reasonable information and wisdom for our lives.

Jesus calls his followers, however, to not only hear what he has to say, but to base our entire view of the world and to build our very lives upon his words. In this week’s message, we’ll continue our sermon series from Jesus’ most famous sermon and consider what he has to say about sexual desire, marriage, divorce, and personal integrity, and ultimately, why we do what we do. And as we hear Jesus’ words, we will be reminded that he has the absolute-best information on some of the most important and challenging subjects of life.

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Message: “Rethinking Righteousness” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” Throughout Jesus’ ministry, there was never any shortage of controversies, accusations, and objections. This was due, in large part, to the radical and revolutionary nature of Jesus’ teachings, particularly those found in the Sermon on the Mount, because they introduce us to a totally new paradigm, upending all of our expectations and calling for a complete reversal of our old habits of living and thinking. In that same vein, this week’s Scripture text will highlight the surprising message of what Jesus has to say about who is and who is not righteous before God, about the relationship between the Old Testament law and Jesus’ own teaching in the New Testament, and why these things matter for us today.

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Message: “Salt & Light” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” In a dark world that lacks goodness, Jesus says “you” are the answer. He commissions us to be salt and light, desiring for us to contribute to our communities in specific ways. This week, we’ll study our place in the world, the risks of that mission, and how we will accomplish it.

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Message: “Thanksgiving Every Day” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Thanksgiving Every Day.” This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in America. And while Thanksgiving is a day specifically dedicated to gratitude, the fact is that giving thanks each and every day ought to be a way of life for the people of God, not just a once-a-year occurrence.

Whether you’re in a season where giving thanks to God has been easy and consistent, or whether you’ve been finding that your “gratitude tank” has been running pretty low lately, this week’s Scripture reading and message will remind us how giving thanks to God daily — even in the most challenging of circumstances — can transform our lives and draw us closer to Him.

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Message: “Them, Us, and Jesus ” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” If you hadn’t noticed, our world is pretty divided. Tensions. Clashing between ideologies, families, and friends. Jesus came into a similar world–a world divided into “us and them.” But the message that Jesus spoke began to change that world, and something entirely new was formed. This week, as we study more of Jesus’ most famous sermon, we’ll see how His words might help us make a similar change today.

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Message: “Life in the Kingdom of God” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Jesus’ Most Famous Sermon.” Just about everyone has some type of personal agenda. People have plans, programs, things they want to accomplish, and specific ways they want to accomplish them. So they make lists, set goals, and try to reach them.
God is no stranger to agendas. In fact, He has a personal agenda, too; something He wants to accomplish in His way, in His world, and in His people. Scripture calls this agenda “the kingdom of God.” And the advancement of God’s kingdom is, in fact, the central unifying theme of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
So what is the kingdom of God? Why did Jesus spend so much time talking about it? What does it mean to be a citizen of God’s kingdom? And what is the kingdom of God’s relevance to our everyday lives?

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Message: “Devoted to Fellowship” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Show Others How Much They Matter.” Devoted. The word brings to mind serious effort over the long haul. We can be devoted to a diet, a career, a sports team, or our family, among other possibilities. But what about fellowship? What would it look like to be devoted to fellowship? And can we truthfully claim that fellowship is among our various devotions? This week, we’ll see how the early church devoted themselves to fellowship and the difference it made in the world.

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Message: “The Toughest One-Another” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Show Others How Much They Matter.” Acceptance. If we’re honest, we all need it. We need to be seen, wanted, and included as part of the group. To our astonishment, God Himself, through Christ, has fully accepted us. Even when we deserved rejection, Christ paid for our sin, bore our exile, and brought us home. And now, He instructs us to accept one another as we have been accepted by Him. While that sounds marvelous, there is a catch. Acceptance requires something of us, and many of us are too nervous to step out into it. This week, we’ll look at both the gift and the cost of acceptance, and find without the cost, we can never have the gift.

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Message: “Forgiveness or Accountability?” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Show Others How Much They Matter.” Everyone would love to be part of a forgiving community. But no one would want to be part of a community where members acted in whatever way they wished with no accountability. So which should we choose? Forgiveness or accountability? This week, we see that both forgiveness and accountability must be part of any Christian community, and how Scripture bridges the two seemingly incompatible requirements.

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Message: “Love One Another” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Show Others How Much They Matter.” Acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval, attention, comfort, encouragement, amity, respect, and support. How often do we receive these gifts from others out in the world? What if there were a place we could experience all of these in abundance? It almost sounds too good to be true, and yet, it is exactly what we should experience in the church. This week, we look at various one-another commands in Scripture, which if we actually followed them, would create a little paradise on earth.

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Message: “The Crisis” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Show Others How Much They Matter.” We need each other. Not in some squishy romantic sense or in unhealthy codependency, but humans were not meant to live in isolation. Modern medical research has determined how detrimental loneliness is to our wellbeing, and after the last 18 months, many of us are feeling the effects of being disconnected from others. So perhaps now, more than ever, is the perfect time to study and apply God’s solution to loneliness. For the next 5 weeks, we will dive into God’s Word and find that the answer to our relational woes has been in front of us the whole time.

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Message: “The Main Thing” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” As we begin another year of ministry at Bridges Community Church, now is a perfect time to remind ourselves of our mission as a church. What are we about? What is most important? As we ask those questions this week, we’ll see that our mission isn’t any different from the mission of the earliest church. Their priorities are our priorities. This week, we will study how we are simply the next generation of a grand tradition that dates all the way back to the first century.

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Message: “3 Unexpected Encounters, 3 Transformed Lives” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Many contemporary observers and social commentators are of the opinion that, because we live in a postmodern era when Christianity is no longer the baseline around the world for cultural identity and discourse, the Christian faith and message are personally and culturally irrelevant and out-of-touch with modern sensibilities and needs.
Is that true? Is the gospel message still personally and culturally relevant in the 21st century? If so, what bearing does it have on people’s lives today?

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Message: “Holy Spirit” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Many Christ-followers could probably come up with a quick and fairly accurate description of God the Father and of Jesus. But what about the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit your conscience? Is it karma? Is it like the force in the Star Wars movies? Is it those goosebumps you get while hearing a good song or hearing a stirring message? Why do some churches seem to be obsessed with the Holy Spirit while other churches virtually ignore the subject? And why was the Holy Spirit so important to the earliest Christians in the book of Acts? Just who is the Holy Spirit anyway, and what role does he play in the world today?

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Message: “When You’re in a Shipwreck” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Sometimes life can make it difficult or even painful for us to get where we need to go. Sometimes it’s because people are conspiring against us, and other times it just seems like unfortunate circumstances keep piling up. But what if all of those difficulties weren’t preventing the plan at all? What if each one was another step toward the destination God has prepared for us? This week, we’ll see the security and rest we can find in God’s guiding hand and the critical role we need to play.

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Message: “Every Need Met” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Many of us have heard how the earliest church in Acts financially supported those within its community to such an extent that “no one had need.” We probably also remember Ananias and Sapphira, who both dropped dead when they acted deceitfully regarding their own generosity. But wouldn’t some people take advantage of such a system? Should we live like this today? And doesn’t it sound a little communist? This week, we’ll see the radical support the earliest church offered its members and what we can learn from them.

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Message: “Government, Gatherings, and Women” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Government, gatherings, and women. All three can be points of contention among Christians today. How should Christians interact with the government? What should our corporate gatherings look like? What role do women play in the church? As controversial as these questions might be in some churches today, they didn’t appear to cause much concern in the earliest church. This week, we’ll explore each of these topics and what the earliest church can teach us about our setting today.

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Message: “Salvation” from Nate Schofield

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” We’ve heard the story of Saul’s conversion. It is possibly the most famous salvation in the history of the Christian church. While most of us won’t experience a blinding light on the road to Damascus, this week we’ll look at Acts 9 and see what we can expect from our own conversion experiences.

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Message: “Prayer” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Prayer. For some of us, it comes as naturally as breathing. For some of us, it seems intimidating and daunting. We wonder if we are doing it right or if anyone is actually listening. But how did Jesus’ earliest followers pray? What did they pray for? What was the result? This week, we examine one of the few recorded prayers of Jesus’ earliest followers and how we can apply their example to our lives.

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Message: “The Happiest Place on Earth” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “In the Earliest Church.” Everyone is looking for happiness and joy, in increasing measure. That quest could lead to a better future. But then again, maybe not. That will depend on the source one looks to for happiness, which may be a lot closer than Anaheim, CA.

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Message: “The Source of Satisfaction” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The Source of Satisfaction.” Looking back over our lives, we probably all have some decisions we’d change if we could. At the same time, we all have ideas about how to get the most satisfaction right now. The question is: when we went wrong before, could it have been avoided? And what makes us so sure we’re on the right path now? This week, we’ll look at the source of satisfaction and how to live with no regrets ever again.

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Message: “A New Beginning” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” Every four years American voters have to weigh and evaluate a new array of grandiose promises made by candidates aspiring to the office of President. Those with a sense of history will be familiar with some of the broken promises made in these campaigns, but the larger question is: Why do we continue to believe these promises in the first place?

Throughout history people have sought the perfect society and the perfect government to rule it. The yearning for this explains why people so consistently believe new promises of a grand vision for the government or for society. But the amazing promises found in the book of Isaiah about the future for God’s people are far more amazing, and certainly more eternal, than all of the governmental promises in history.

Join us this week as we conclude our message series in Isaiah and examine some of these promises for our future more closely, as well as the difference they make for our present lives.

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Message: “Calling for Justice in an Unjust World” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” The subject of justice has been hotly debated over the past few years, especially in the face of such great suffering and outcry around the world. It is a word that many use, but few define. In terms of the Christian Church, some see a renewed emphasis on justice for the poor and vulnerable as nothing less than a rediscovery of the whole gospel, while others view the subject of justice with a measure of skepticism or concern that it’s a loaded term and that it distracts Christians from other equally important matters in our world.

Nevertheless, the concept of justice is one that is frequently addressed in Scripture, and it is a particularly prominent theme in the book of Isaiah. So, join us for this week’s message as we seek to gain greater clarity around the biblical notion of justice, as well as its social manifestation and implications for our lives as Christ-followers.

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Message: “God Includes” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” We all tend to draw circles which include some and exclude others. Even if we say we include everyone, we tend to exclude those who we perceive aren’t as inclusive as us. But is God like us? Does God draw circles and say some are in while others are out? This week we’ll see how uniquely inclusive God is, but also, how He offers it on His own terms.

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Message: “God Arrives” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” Occasionally, we will elevate a superstar to divine status. We talk about sports gods, music gods, and even tech gods. But when we bestow that grand superlative, we never mean someone is truly God. However, Jesus’ earliest followers understood Him to be nothing short of the fully divine God who created heaven and earth. This week, we’ll see several ways they voiced that shocking belief, how they were convinced, and what it means for us today.

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Message: “The Chains Are Off” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” To the weary, to the broken, to the bound, to the poor, to the captive, to the faint–Jesus is coming. God has not forgotten you. God sees our distress and sends rescue. When we needed salvation, that’s exactly what God provided. If the Christian faith has ever felt like a burden instead of a relief, this week, we see how the chains can fall off.

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Message: “Savior Needed” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” Geppetto wished upon a star. Gotham needed Batman. Fictional stories often look to an outside power to provide salvation. But are these just stories? Or do they reflect a real need shared by all of humanity? This week, we’ll discover why we write so many hero stories, and just how deep our need runs.

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Message: “Why We Need a God of Judgment” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” There are few theological concepts as challenging and troubling to modern minds as the subject of God’s divine judgment. It raises so many questions for us: Why does God always appear to be so angry with people in the Old Testament? How can a supposedly loving God judge others? Is this the same God who loves the world so much that He sent His one and only Son? And why would anybody want to worship a God who seems so ready and eager to punish people?

Join us for this week’s message as we take a fresh look at questions like these and seek to better understand who, why, and how God judges, and why we actually need God to judge.

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Message: “A Complex, Awe-Inspiring Paradox” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” There are times when we long for the compassion and tenderness of God. Then there are other times we hope that God will rise up and fight, particularly if we have been wronged in some way. The God we find in Scripture both forgives the worst offenders and treats even minor discretions with severity. He’s complex to say the least. But what we will see this week is that the God who refuses to be put into any box is exactly the God we need.

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Message: “Godless Religion” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.”
It’s pretty obvious that many people are into religion — all around the world. There seems to be something within human beings that causes them to create religious systems that define what they need to do to please God. Of course, not all religions are created equal, especially when it comes to connecting with the One true God. Many religions are actually Godless. Yet even within Christianity, a person can go to church every Sunday, offer frequent prayers, give abundant offerings, and practice a myriad of other religious rites, thinking that they are pleasing God, when they are not. Isaiah tells us that there are times when all those religious activities mean nothing to God. This week we’ll be looking at how that can happen.

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Message: “Unrivaled Peace, Joy, and Comfort” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Seeing His Glory.” Dealing with uncertainty or challenging circumstances that are beyond our ability to control can be so difficult. We want to know where the provision is going to come from. We want to know if things are going to turn out the way we hope or expect. We want to know if God is going to come through.

The fact is that there will be times when we don’t know how God will provide. Plans will fall through. People will disappoint us. Things will go wrong. There will be seasons of uncertainty. What then?

Fortunately, the uncertainty we face is only apparent uncertainty. Even if things seem uncertain to us, our future and the reason for our hope are absolutely certain to God. You can experience an unrivaled sense of peace, joy, and comfort, even in the darkest of times.

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Message: “The Dawn of Isaiah” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The Dawn of Isaiah.” Isaiah’s ministry spanned 60 years. He saw the fall of the northern kingdom and survived the siege of the southern kingdom. He spoke about creation, judgment, grace, justice, and the renewal of the world. Even though he lived 700 years before Jesus, Isaiah gives such a clear picture of Christ and His work, that some have referred to the book of Isaiah as the 5th Gospel. What could we, as modern people, learn from this ancient text? Maybe just everything.

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Message: “Reset” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Reset.” In some ways, it’s currently a bit difficult to define where we are as a culture, society, or world. We don’t really know when “normal” will return. Some of us feel pretty beaten up after the last year, while others of us feel pretty rested. Many of us now wrestle with questions regarding if we should keep doing what we’ve always done or if we should make major changes. In these days of upheaval, perhaps this is the perfect time to be reminded of God’s glorious vision for the church. This week, we’ll see how being part of the church gives us all the purpose, hope, and security we could ever need.

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Message: “Inching Away from Spiritual Revival” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Let\’s Build It Again.” Spiritual decline is often like a flat tire. Most flat tires occur because air leaks out over time. Gradually. Imperceptibly. We’re usually not even aware that there is a problem until the car becomes too difficult to steer or a worse problem arises.

The decline of one’s spiritual life, the loss of one’s vitality and first love for the things of God, can be quite similar. It happens gradually and imperceptibly — and it’s what we see taking place in the nation of Israel in the final chapter of the book of Nehemiah. After having experienced such great spiritual renewal earlier in the book, what went so wrong for Israel in Nehemiah 13? And what can we learn from their story that can help us to maintain our spiritual fervor for God and prevent us from making the same mistakes?

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Message: “Finding and Keeping Joy” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” Joy: the kind of joy that seems to overwhelm you, that almost lifts you off the ground, that makes you feel whole. We could all use that kind of joy. But how do we get it? Where does it come from? Is there a way we can make it appear in our lives or is it mostly out of our control? This week, as we study one of the most joyous celebrations in all of Scripture, we will see four ingredients for the type of joy we all want and all need.

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Message: “Nothing Overlooked” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” At times, all of us can feel unimportant, unnoticed, or unappreciated. We wonder if we matter or if our work makes any difference in the world. Sometimes our questions lead to a downward spiral of doubt and darkness. But the truth is, God cherishes each individual on the planet, uses all of our efforts, and has a marvelous plan for our future. No one is unimportant, unnoticed, or unappreciated. Instead, all of us, each one of us, plays a critical role in the world. This week, we will see how we matter to God, how we matter to the world, and what God still has in store us.

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Message: “Death is Defeated” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Easter 2021.” Easter is the event that changed everything. Disciples went from doubters to believers. Death suffered its first defeat. Jesus was vindicated as God who came to save us, and we are given a confidence that can overcome any trouble. This year, as we look at the familiar Easter story, we’ll see the surprise of Easter, the uniqueness of Easter, and the hope of Easter.

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Message: “A Covenant Commitment” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” Each of us has experienced times when we realize we need to make some serious changes in our lives. So we vow to do things differently. We resolve to improve. We make promises and set new priorities.

The Israelites, whom we find gathered in Jerusalem in the book of Nehemiah, could certainly relate. They and their ancestors had broken their promises to God countless times before. But now, after having spent 70 years in exile, God was stirring up spiritual revival in their hearts, and they were bound and determined for things to be different this time around.

Join us for this week’s message as we take a closer look at the specific steps they took to renew their commitment to God, and seek to understand not only why they took them, but why it matters to us today.

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Message: “Good News, Bad News, Now What?” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” What do you do when you know you’ve messed up? In Israel’s case, what do you do when you know you’ve messed up for about 1000 years? At least equally important, what does God do? Will He be gracious? Or will He levy justice? This week in Nehemiah, we’ll see how Israel’s leaders talked about their past, what they hoped for their future, and how God’s response informs our lives today.

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Message: “Sanctity of Life Sunday” from Valerie Hill

A message from the series “Sanctity of Life Sunday.” Guest Speaker: Valerie Hill, CEO of RealOptions Pregnancy Center/
Every life is precious to God, and each one of us was knit together by Him while we were still in the womb. This Sunday, we draw attention to the importance of valuing lives in the womb, and use our voices to speak for those who don’t yet have one.

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Message: “The Key to Spiritual Renewal” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” Why do some people seem to get so much enjoyment and encouragement out of reading a passage of Scripture or hearing God’s Word taught, while others who read the exact same passage or hear the exact same sermon as the other group are minimally affected by it? Why do some people seem to leave church or a worship service each week uplifted and comforted, while others are largely unmoved? Why is it that some people can sit through a 2-hour movie with rapt attention and yet fidget after only a few minutes of reading the Bible? What is the secret? Join us for this week’s message as we discover the answer.

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Message: “Mission Accomplished?” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” After we complete a big project, it’s easy to slide into coast mode, and our alertness can drop from high to relaxed. But this would be a mistake. Completing a project doesn’t mean the mission is over, it only means our effort must be redeployed in a different direction. This week we’ll see Nehemiah maintain diligence after a huge success, who he wanted close to him, and what they were ultimately building toward.

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Message: “Turning Fear on Its Head” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” We may as well admit it: We all have fears from time to time. In most cases, our fears are only a minor nuisance, but occasionally they can be crippling. Either way, we’d rather live with steady confidence than be hindered by our fears. This week, as we continue our study of the ancient book of Nehemiah, we’ll look at 3 significant fears that he faced, and what enabled him to navigate them without stumbling.

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Message: “Dealing with an Internal Threat” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” Fires generally start from a small spark, and when sparks of conflict between people are ignored or left to smolder over a period of time, they quite often erupt into a firestorm that seemingly consumes everything in its path. And when infighting and deep rifts among Christ-followers are permitted to fester, it too can turn into a wildfire, destroying the unity of the church, slowing ministry momentum by taking focus away from more important matters, and even worse, causing people outside the church to want nothing to do with Christianity.

Here’s what we can bank on: Whenever God wants to do a special work in and through the church, our Enemy will be ready to pounce in an effort to stop God from accomplishing what He wants to do. We’ll see that firsthand this week as we take a closer look at the fifth chapter of Nehemiah, but we’ll also find that there are steps we can take to prevent conflict in the church and in our relationships to keep it from spiraling out of control.

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Message: “Wrestling with Opposition” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” We’ve probably all experienced it. Just when we get a good thing going, something comes along and tries to derail us. Sometimes it’s people, sometimes it’s circumstances, and sometimes it’s a little bit of both, but many times we feel like we’re up against a powerful force doing its best to defeat us. This week in Nehemiah, we’ll see someone who dealt with such opposition, what we can learn from his example, and even what to do with our thirst for vengeance.

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Message: “The Power of Team” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” We’ve all been part of collaborative efforts. Sometimes we experience the joy of working with others who faithfully contribute to the mission, and other times we feel the frustration of compensating for those who aren’t pulling their weight. You might have noticed the church isn’t much different. There are workers and there are bystanders. But what if all of us were all in? What could we accomplish then? This week, we’ll look at the amazing results that we can experience when our corporate body works as one.

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Message: “3 Guarantees” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” When we saw Nehemiah last week, he was ready to begin again. He had a God-sized dream, plenty of passion, and a willing spirit. But like all of us, he had a number of constraints in his life restricting what he could do. In order to fulfill his dream, doors that only God could open would need to open. And right on cue, they do. This week, we’ll see that God has each of us ideally placed to fulfill the mission He has set for us, and as we follow His leading, everything we need will fall into place.

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Message: “Restarting Right” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Let’s Build It Again.” All of us are facing some type of restart in 2021. As a church, we’re launching in a new direction after our Lead Pastor transition. As individuals, we see the horizon of returning to in-person life, whether it be work or simply relationships. We are beginning again, and for that, we praise God. But at the same time, we want to restart right. Now is not the time for a misstep. Fortunately for us, God has tucked away timeless wisdom regarding new beginnings in the ancient book of Nehemiah. Numerous modern authors have mined Nehemiah in order to learn how to lead well, particularly through change, and this week, we’ll look at where to begin when we’re beginning again.

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Message: “Installation Sunday” from Dr. Robert Smith, Jr.

A message from the series “Installation Sunday.” Robert Smith, Jr. holds the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School where he teaches Christian Preaching. Previously he served as the Carl E. Bates Associate Professor of Christian Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. A popular teacher and preacher, he received Southern’s 1996 Findley B. Edge Award for Teaching Excellence. An ordained Baptist minister, he served as pastor of the New Mission Missionary Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH for twenty years. He earned his Ph.D. while serving as pastor. He is a contributing editor for a study of Christian ministry in the African American church, Preparing for Christian Ministry, and co-editor of A Mighty Long Journey. In addition, he has served as an editor of Our Sufficiency Is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor (Mercer University Press, Macon Georgia: 2010). He has written the book, Doctrine That Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life (B&H Publishing Group, Nashville: 2008), which was selected as the winner of the 2008 Preaching Book of the Year Award by Preaching magazine and 2009 Preaching Book of the Year Award by Christianity Today’s preaching.com. In 2010, Preaching magazine named Doctrine That Dances one of the 25 most influential books in preaching for the last 25 years. His book, The Oasis of God: From Mourning to Morning—Biblical Insights from Psalms 42 and 43 was published in the spring of 2015. He has spoken at more than 100 universities, colleges, and seminaries in the United States, Great Britain, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. His research interests include the place of passion in preaching, the literary history of African American preaching, Christological preaching, and theologies of preaching. At Beeson, Smith teaches Christian Preaching and other electives in homiletics. He received Beeson Divinity School’s “Teacher of the Year Award” in 2005. He and his wife, Dr. Wanda Taylor-Smith, Ph.D., are the parents of four adult children (one in heaven).

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Message: “Be a Barnabas” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Be a Barnabas.” Everyone needs encouragement. Especially now in the midst of these difficult times. We need the courage and hope that a Barnabas-like person can bring. What that means in us and through us is our message focus this week. What we learn could make a big difference in how we live in 2021.

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Message: “The End of 2020” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The End of 2020.” Not many of us will be sad to flip the calendar past 2020. It’s been a bit of a challenging year to say the least. While this kind of season may be new for us, it is nothing new for the people of God we read about in Scripture. They were accustomed to the ebbs and flows of joys and sorrows, gains and losses. This week, we look at how God coached them as they were beginning a long stretch of sorrow, and we’ll find He could be coaching us in the exact same way.

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Message: “A Name for Every Need” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Un-Ruining Christmas.” Names matter. When you say the name of a person, you are speaking of their identity. That’s why expectant parents today usually invest a good deal of time thinking through what to name their children. That was certainly also the case in biblical times, when names were frequently given at the earliest possible moment in an effort by the parents to define the hopes and dreams they had for their child. Their goal was to select a name to reflect what the child was destined to become.

In the same way, the various names and titles for Jesus found throughout Scripture are significant, because they enable us to know Him and to understand why He came to the earth. They also help us to understand the numerous ways that He is able to work both in and through our lives. So today, as we reflect upon the message and meaning of Christmas, we will consider four descriptive names of Jesus that were specifically given to communicate how He is precisely the Deliverer and Redeemer that we all need – now more than ever.

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Message: “Thank God” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Thank God.” Paul was thankful for the Philippian church in much the same way that we are thankful for Pastor Dave Gudgel. Every time Paul thought of the Philippians, he prayed with thanksgiving and joy. As we celebrate Dave’s service to Bridges Community Church, let’s join together in one voice to express our gratefulness to God for Dave’s long tenure of excellent leadership.

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Message: “To God be the Glory” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “To God be the Glory.” Everyone has a story. Everyone is unique, unlike anyone else. That is certainly the case for Dave Gudgel, who refers to his Lead Pastor ministry as a forty-year surprise party. If you like stories, you’re sure to like this one. And better yet, perhaps you’ll learn from a few of the things that have come Dave’s way over his past forty 40 years of ministry.

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Message: “Always Thankful” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Thanksgiving 2020.” There are a lot of things that we always do: sleep, eat, brush our teeth, take showers or baths, check email and voicemail and social media, buy things (still happening, even though most of it is online now!), fill up the car with gas (that’s got to be on the always list or else AAA will need to be on your favorites). How about giving thanks? Is that on your always list? And not just giving thanks when things are good, but always? This Sunday we’ll discover how it’s even possible to do that.

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Message: “For Such a Time as This” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “For Such a Time as This.” 2020 has been a year unlike any other in our lives. And it’s not an accident that you are living at this moment in time, in this particular place in the world. God has placed you here for such a time as this. Like Esther in her day, God wants to use you right here, right now. Our message this Sunday will help you understand what it will take for you to fulfill your part in His plan.

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Message: “More of Him, Less of Us” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “More of Him, Less of Us.” No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, no matter how gifted you are, and no matter how much biblical knowledge or theological training you may have attained, there’s one thing you can be sure of: God will frequently confuse you. There will be countless moments in your life that will make no sense, when things won’t turn out the way you expected or hoped, when you will question God’s timing, or when you simply won’t understand what is going on around you.

Maybe you’re in the midst of one of those moments right now. (It certainly seems like many in our country are feeling that way, on the heels of a divisive election and as we near the end of a tumultuous year.) When those moments come, our natural tendency would be to focus on ourselves, our pain, and our disappointment. But God calls us as Christ-followers to take a different approach and to adopt a different perspective in those moments, as we’ll learn in this week’s message.

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Message: “More Faith” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Facing Uncertainty.” We are currently living in a world that is filled with troubles and uncertainty. So many things are out of our control. But in the midst of all that, God tells us to not be afraid. This week we will see that the key to living without fear is found in the depth of our faith.

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Message: “Fear Not” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Facing Uncertainty.” In our world that is filled with pain and problems and uncertainty, fear can get the best of us. Panic can replace peace. Chaos can push away calm. But in the midst of all that, God tells us: FEAR NOT. This week’s message will teach us how that is possible.

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Message: “Word & Deed, Part 2” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Word & Deed.” Some churches emphasize truth and doctrine. Other churches emphasize service to the community, the marginalized, and the world. The fully biblical church will be passionately committed to both. Neither can be minimized for the sake of the other. And while BCC certainly has room to grow, perhaps we will discover the most significant growth must first happen in our own hearts. Join us this Sunday for the conclusion of this 2-part series.

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Message: “Word & Deed, Part 1” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Word & Deed.” Some churches emphasize truth and doctrine. Other churches emphasize service to the community, the marginalized, and the world. The fully biblical church will be passionately committed to both. Neither can be minimized for the sake of the other. And while BCC certainly has room to grow, perhaps we will discover the most significant growth must first happen in our own hearts.

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Message: “Your Will, Not Mine” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Your Will, Not Mine.” “Have it your way” is more than just a nice jingle when you want Burger King to hold the pickles and the lettuce. They know that if you don’t get it your way, you could end up taking your business elsewhere.

Could the same be said about your relationship with God? Are you committed to seeing His will, or your will, be done? “I guess that all depends,” you say. And you’d be right! This Sunday we’ll see why, as we look at three factors that are necessary if you want to have it God’s way – which is better every time.

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Message: “The Perfect Advocate” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “The Perfect Advocate.” Have you ever gone through some type of trial or period of suffering and been greeted by well-intentioned people who want to help but seem unable to relate to what you’re going through or don’t really know how to provide what you need? If so, the specific words of Hebrews 4:14-16 offer great reassurance and comfort. They remind us that, even when others are unable to relate or to understand your circumstance, Jesus understands exactly what you are going through. He knows it, because he went through it as well. And because he went through it, he also knows what you need most, at the precise time that you need it.

So join us for this week’s message, as we seek to better understand how and why Jesus is the perfect Advocate, and the difference that makes for your life.

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Message: “This is the Church” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “God\’s Family.” What does the term “the church” mean to you? A place? A service on Sunday mornings? Your answer to that question can have a profound impact on your life, and also on your walk with God and with other believers. If you see the church as just another thing on your “to do” list, you are missing out on one of the most important things that can bring your life ultimate meaning and joy. This Sunday we’ll be looking at some of the powerful things the Bible says the church really is.

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Message: “The End of Hostility” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “God\’s Family.” The Christian community should not feel divided. While disagreements among Christians can (and will!) occur, and no Christian is immune to the need for correction, these ought to happen within the context of an unbreakable allegiance of spirit.

In the first century, such unity developed between the most unlikely groups: Israelites and Gentiles. Neither of these had a natural affinity toward the other, and in some ways, each were taught to despise the other. Yet, they became family. This week, we’ll look at what brought them together, and how it can unite us as well.

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Message: “Brought Near” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “God’s Family.” “Why do I need to be part of a church? I don’t need to be with other people in order to worship God. A person’s relationship with God should be a personal and private matter.”

Maybe you’ve heard statements like these before. And maybe you’ve thought or said the same things yourself. The fact is that many people today view the Christian faith primarily in terms of individual or small-group activities, and think of being part of a church as an optional extra. The New Testament, though, gives us a radically different picture of church.

What is God’s vision for the church, and why does it matter – not only to us, but to the world? Join us as we seek to answer these questions and more in a new sermon series that begins this week.

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Message: “Responding to Your Questions” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Everyone has questions, and this Sunday Pastors Dave, Steve, and Dan will be responding to ours. Sometimes the best learnings come from biblical answers to relevant questions. Much of Jesus’ teaching was in response to people’s questions. Questions like: What must I do to inherit eternal life? Who is my neighbor? Are you the King of the Jews? What will be the sign of your coming? After our summer-long Future Hope message series, you may already have a good answer to that last question. But if not, hopefully you will after this Sunday’s special Q & A message.

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Message: “The Best is Yet to Come” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Knowing the best is yet to come can make a significant difference in what we think, feel, and do when life in this world is hard. Like it is right now. Thankfully the Bible tells us that what’s on the other side of the worst this fallen world can throw at us, will be better than we can even imagine. And not just for a day or two, but forever.

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Message: “The Lake of Fire” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Nearly all of us have heard of hell. We’ve seen depictions of it in movies or works of art, and we’ve heard other people reference it either casually or zealously in conversation. For many of us, we’d like to abandon the idea of hell altogether. We can’t see how it fits with an all-loving God, so we doubt or reject its existence. But Scripture won’t let us do that. The Bible, and Jesus Himself, teach about the reality of hell. This week, we’ll talk about it. What is hell, how long does it last, and maybe even how can it display God’s love for us?

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Message: “Thy Kingdom Come” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” It’s the time of year when teachers, parents, and students are thinking about the coming school year. And with the start of school just hours away, last minute preparations are a must. But with uncertainty in the air, knowing what preparations to make are somewhat of a guess – at best.

Blame it on COVID. No one – not Dr. Fauci, Governor Newsom, teachers, or anyone – can tell you for sure what’s ahead. So everyone is doing their best to prepare for “who knows what.” It’s a strange way to live.

Fortunately, we don’t have to live with uncertainty about God’s coming Kingdom. And the certainties of what’s ahead can lift our spirits and energize our efforts in today’s difficult times.

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Message: “The Final Showdown” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Have you ever watched a TV show where almost every single episode ended in a cliffhanger, and left you wondering if the main character would be able to get out of a particularly tight spot or would survive another week? The tension can be enormous. That is, unless, you already know how the whole TV series ends. You would then be able to rest more easily, knowing that each episode is not the end of the story.

One of the most helpful aspects of the Bible is that it enables us to fast-forward to the future, leaving no doubt as to how the cosmic battle between God and the forces of evil – that has been playing out since eternity past – will ultimately conclude. And because we already know the end of the story – namely, that God has already won the battle – those who put their trust in Jesus can rest more easily and live with hope.

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Message: “One Big Happy Wedding” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Every wedding is usually a happy occasion. At least it should be. If it’s not, something’s messed up. And in those cases, it would probably be really good if someone hit the brakes and asked, “What’s up?”

If you’re into happy weddings, like God is, you could be in for the wedding of a lifetime. One that is guaranteed to bring an unstoppable smile to your face and to everyone else who attends – and for more reasons than just the wine (which by the way will be really good!). We’ll find out more about this upcoming wedding, and who will be attending, in this Sunday’s message.

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Message: “The Wrath We Love” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Future Hope.”

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Message: “More Than Just ‘Well Done'” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Ignorance isn’t bliss when it’s concerning Jesus’ upcoming return to earth. Not knowing the calorie count or the ingredients in your next Baskin-Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge double scoop of ice cream could be bliss. But when it comes to Jesus’ coming, you want to be “in the know.”

Did you know that when Jesus comes, He will be bringing rewards? Do you know why? And do you know who those rewards will be for? That’s our focus in this week’s message. Trust me… this is something you will want to know about! Because in knowing, your life will be better for it, both now and forever.

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Message: “Eternal Victory” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Future Hope.” For the most part, the past decade has been quite good for followers of Bay Area professional sports teams. But as powerful and intoxicating as the joy of winning can be for many, it is a short-lived joy. We all quit celebrating at some point and go back to our lives, the victory parades come to an end, and the championship T-shirt eventually finds its way to the bottom of the drawer.

For joy to last, it must be rooted in something lasting. Something sturdy. Something that doesn’t evaporate in the face of defeat or hardship. Something eternal. For the Christ-follower, eternity not only reminds us that this world is not all there is, but it also assures and comforts us as we celebrate and place our hope in the truth that God will win – which means that, because of His grace, we will ultimately win – and that every dark thing will be defeated. Because of Him, eternal victory is certain.

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Message: “The Meetup of Meetups” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” Life before Covid was filled with opportunities to meet up with others – for work, school, church, friends, neighborhoods, family events… Now, getting together in person with others is rare, if it’s happening at all. And in our strange new world of face masks and social distancing, it’s definitely not the same as it used to be.

In what seemed like an instant, our world filled with meetings changed as Covid and sheltering-in-place became a thing. And now we are only slowly beginning to move back to some kind of normal as we come out of this time. And eventual our meet ups will begin again.

But one day in the future, in an instant, things will change again. And this time for good. At the perfect time, in the perfect location, with perfect conditions, with the perfect people, for a perfect reason. It’s going to be the meetup of all meetups. We’ll learn what Jesus has to say about it this week.

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Message: “A Promise, A Warning, and An Invitation” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Future Hope.” With all of the unexpected trouble of 2020, some people have stopped to ask: Could these events signal the end of the world might be near? While no one could know the answer to that question, we do know that Jesus promised He would return. But what type of return should we expect? Will He usher in a new reign of peace, joy, and harmony, or will He come to the earth with the fire of judgment? The answer, it turns out, is both.

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Message: “The Hope of His Appearing” from David Brickner

A message from the series “Future Hope.” We are happy to announce that David Brickner will be teaching this coming Sunday’s message in our Future Hope series. David oversees the worldwide Jews for Jesus ministry from its headquarters in San Francisco. Although this time David will be speaking to us online by way of video, we anticipate that the Lord will use him to encourage and challenge us like he has in the past when he has preached at BCC. Now that you know David will be joining us to speak about Jesus’ coming, please spread the word!

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Message: “Hope for Troubled Hearts” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Future Hope.” If you were afraid of the dark when you were little, you likely wanted someone older to be with you in those moments in order to reassure you that everything would be okay. And like little children, we too need the reassuring words of our heavenly Father to give us proper perspective and to help us in times of trouble.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). He didn’t say that to depress his followers, but to prepare them. Because no matter where you live, how much money you have in the bank, or how much you plan, you’ll never be able to create a trouble-free life. However, while there are reasons to be troubled, we’re going to see in this week’s message that there is a greater reason not to be.

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Message: “I Can Hardly Wait” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Future Hope.” The words “I can hardly wait” convey our anticipation and excitement for something that we look forward to. Like unsheltering-in-place for those living in Santa Clara County. We hope that one day soon we’ll get the okay to re-assemble for worship, and school, and sporting events, and country western concerts at Shoreline, and coffee shop appointments, and play dates at the park. “I can hardly wait” feelings bring hope, joy, incentive, wisdom, and much more.

Of the myriad of things that we could be “hardly waiting for,” our focus this Sunday is something that seems to have lost the priority place that God wants it to have in our lives. It’s something that could give us a whole new outlook on life now and forever.

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Message: “A Tale of Four People – Proverbs 18:21; 1 Samuel 25” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” Our words toward others can be life-giving or life-taking. We know that by experience. Who hasn’t been comforted and encouraged by the words of another? We treasure the memory of their words. And who hasn’t been wounded by something someone said? That hurt can go deep and the pain can linger a life-time.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

This week, through the lives of three people, we will be digging into a Bible passage that speaks about speaking. It’s something we do all the time – for better or worse.

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Message: “How to Uplift Your Soul” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” Frustration, mental fatigue, and weariness are all part of life, especially now. While we may not be able to change our circumstances just yet, many of us would like to change the way we feel during these circumstances, if that could be possible. The ancient people who lived during biblical times were no different. They experienced all the same ups and downs that we do, but they learned how to coach themselves through those emotions. The wisdom they learned might just help us today to uplift our souls.

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Message: “Loving Well in a Broken World – Romans 12:15” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” Loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40) would be easy if your neighbors” were all people you already understood. People you already agreed with. People like you.

But what about your highly opinionated relative who votes differently than you and rubs it in your face every time you’re together? The annoying person who keeps posting about how bad they have it during this pandemic? The colleague who continually blames and curses God for
the mess the world is in right now? Are those the “neighbors” that Jesus expects us to love as well?

Yep. Every one of them. But how?

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Message: “A Sorrowful Yet Joyful Life – 2 Corinthians 6:10” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” Sometimes life hurts. We wish it didn’t. We’d like it to always be the best of times, and never the worst of times. We’d like life to be happy and pleasant and peaceful and fulfilling, all of the time. But it’s not.

The Bible tells us that while we are living in this fallen world, sometimes life will hurt. And all of us together are in one of those times right now, as we wait for the world to be done with the coronavirus and for life to get back to some kind of normal.

But thankfully, the Bible also tells us that when we are living in a time of sorrow, and waiting for that time to end, it’s possible to live with joy – deep, abiding, seemingly inconceivable joy. For everyone who could use a good dose of that joy right now, our message from God’s Word this Sunday will remind us where it’s found.

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Message: “Sadness, Sovereignty, and Salvation – John 11:1-44 ” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” In times of crises, we often wonder, where is God? Is He coming to our rescue? Does our pain matter to Him at all? Is there some kind of plan or is God waiting to find out what’s next just like the rest of us? This week, as we look at the famous account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, we’ll see how deeply our plight moves the heart of God, His sovereign response, and the bright future we share with Lazarus.

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Message: “– Things Happen for a Reason – Lamentations 3” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” The Bible makes it clear that God is sovereign over everything that happens in this world and in our lives. He is in control. Though we may plan our steps, God directs our path. His plans will be accomplished. And everything – even things that aren’t so good – will somehow work out for good.

If we really do believe the Bible, we know that those things are true. Which means that there is a reason for everything that God allows to touch our lives. Including what’s going on in our world right now.

This Sunday we will be looking at one of the things that God is wanting to accomplish in our lives during this time as we have pushed pause on life as we’ve known it.

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Message: “The Best Way to Face an Uncertain Future – Matthew 6:25-34” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “When Life Hurts.” It doesn’t take living in this world very long to feel the weight of its brokenness. We know the world is not as it should be, and so we groan (Romans 8:18-23). We grieve. We grumble. And, if we were to be completely honest, we may even be tempted to wonder, “Where is God in all of this?”, “Is He in control right now?” and, “Can I actually trust Him?”

Fortunately, God is not dismissive of or intimidated by such questions. We can come boldly and honestly to Him with our pain and our worry, knowing and trusting that, rather than turning us away or offering us simple platitudes, our heavenly Father will amply supply the grace, the perspective, and the compassionate comfort we so desperately need when life hurts.

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Message: “Some Really Good News – 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Easter Sunday.” All around the world, people are looking for good news. Especially now. We all want to hear that the curve is flattening and that it won’t be long before COVID-19 is history.

We hope. We pray.

And we come to Easter. The celebration that offers the greatest hope of all. The best news ever, which all of us could use right now.

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Message: “Coronation of the King” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Coronation of the King.” When a new king is crowned, we expect a certain amount of ceremony and celebration. There are festivities of all sorts as the people anticipate a bright new future. But when Jesus approaches Jerusalem for the final time, we see His coronation is far from normal. Once again, Jesus turns all of our expectations upside down…and then surpasses them.

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Message: ““I’d love to, but . . . – Luke 9:23, 57-62” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Biblical Hospitality.” The Bible is clear from beginning to end. God wants Christ-followers to consistently and sacrificially love, serve, welcome, and demonstrate compassion – not only to fellow believers, but particularly to strangers and outsiders – through generous acts of warm hospitality in Jesus’ name. However, the journey to becoming a more hospitable and loving person is not as simple as one might hope.

The greatest barrier to biblical hospitality? Quite frankly, it’s ourselves. We frequently seem to have a litany of excuses at the ready as to why we intentionally avoid or ignore altogether the opportunities we have each day to step out in faith and to live out our God-ordained calling to welcome the strangers around us.

What about you? What’s holding you back?

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Message: “Attitude Check – Genesis 18:1-8” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Biblical Hospitality.” A couple times a year our Los Altos Christian Schools kids and families have the opportunity to spend a few hours personally with a teacher, coach, or staff member. Our kids respond to this opportunity with eager excitement. The thought of spending time with someone they respect and enjoy is viewed as a privilege. An honor.

Just imagine if the opportunity came your way to spend time with an angel. Believe it or not, it could happen. That’s what the writer of Hebrews said. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Unlikely to happen, you say? That’s true. Especially if you don’t show hospitality to strangers. And you’d miss out on the joy that could have been yours if you eagerly practiced hospitality. How Abraham and Sarah discovered that joy will be the focus of today’s message.

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Message: “A Seat at the Table- 2 Samuel 9:1-13” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Biblical Hospitality.”

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Being on the receiving end of an unexpected act of kindness or hospitality can be jarring, particularly when you consider that we live in a world that is all too frequently marked by unkindness and inhospitality.

But living in that world also means that we have unlimited opportunities to practice unexpected kindness and hospitality towards others — the type of kindness and hospitality we see depicted in today’s Scripture reading. And more importantly, the type of kindness and hospitality that God lavishes upon us every moment of every day.

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Message: “The Hospitable God” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Biblical Hospitality.” Last week during the first session of this series, we saw that we all have a need to be accepted, included, and invited.
We need to feel welcomed, received, and remembered. In short, we need someone to be hospitable to us—someone
to celebrate us as a friend even when we are a stranger. Today we’ll see that God provides exactly that. When we are strangers, He welcomes us. When we are foreigners, He gives us citizenship. When we are unworthy, He brings us home.

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Message: “From Stranger to Friend” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Biblical Hospitality.” Hospitality might seem intimidating or unnecessary to some of us. We might not feel like we have the needed resources or skills to serve strangers in the same way that we serve friends. However, as we will see this week, we all know how isolating it feels when people are inhospitable to us, and, at the same time, we know how wonderful it is when we are included as friends. Hospitality, it turns out, might just revolutionize our world.

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Message: “Need to Know – 1 John 5:13-21” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” Some people seem to know everything. Or at least a lot more than the average person knows. It’s baffling! Does the name Ken Jennings ring a bell? Does just asking that question cause you to think, “Should I have known that?” Just so you’re not left wondering who Ken Jennings is, he recently won the three-day GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Tournament on Jeopardy. The stuff Ken knows is beyond most of us. And maybe for good reason.

Not everything that comes our way is something we need to know. Some things are simply “could knows” or “don’t need to knows.” And there are even some things we know that we wish we didn’t know! But some things that come our way are things we really need to know. They’re that important! They might even have life-changing ramifications. Today our final message in the book of 1 John focuses on five certainties that everyone needs to know. For sure.

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Message: “Better Than Yelp – 1 John 5:6-12” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” Yelp is just one of the many online review sites that make a nice chunk of change from telling people what other people think. It seems that everyone has an opinion and given the opportunity to share it, they will. And people like us will read and even take to heart what others say about a restaurant, theater, hotel, stylist, mechanic, or even a church.

Reviews, evaluations, opinions, references, testimonies… they all shape what we say, do, and believe. And if you’re a business owner, what others say could impact your livelihood in significant ways. But of all the testimonies we will ever read and act on, the one in focus today could have the greatest impact on one’s life ever.

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Message: “Vital Signs – 1 John 5:1-5 ” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Sure.” If you’ve ever found yourself in the ER or Urgent Care at a hospital, you know that the doctor or medical professional attending to you will likely start by assessing four primary vital signs: your heart rate, your respiratory rate, your blood pressure, and your body temperature. Why? So that they can compare your vital signs with the standard and know what next-steps they will need to take in order to best address your needs.

As important as it is to have a good understanding of your physical wellbeing, it is infinitely more important to know where you stand from a spiritual perspective. What would God’s assessment be of your current spiritual condition? What are the key vital signs that indicate whether or not you are, in fact, spiritually alive?

There are eternal ramifications to such questions, but as we move towards the conclusion of our study in the book of 1 John, the apostle John is going to help us by summarizing the specific vital signs that God is looking for in your life.

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Message: “Love Conquers All – 1 John 4:13-21 ” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Sure.” Fear. Hate. Doubt. We usually don’t want to admit that we experience any of these, let alone all three. And yet, at least occasionally, they can slip into our lives. Today we’ll see there is a revelation bright enough to drive away even the darkest fear, the strongest hate, and the deepest doubt.

It’s God love.

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Message: “Loved to Love – 1 John 4:7-12” from Dave Gudgel

The “One Anothers” in the New Testament (PDF)

The church is the one place a person should be able to count on for experiencing love. In large measure. In ways that make others stand up and take notice, and long to experience the same love in their own lives.

Sadly, this is not always the case. Too often the church is more about rules and judgement, or social causes, or
having our own needs met, than it is about simply living a life of love together. What’s up with that? It’s certainly not reflective of God’s plan or desire for the church.

If only the church loved like God intends. In ways that show the world the glory and heart of our Maker and Creator. In ways that make others long for what the church has. Our study in I John today will help us see what it means to live out that kind of love, and how we can make it a greater reality here at Bridges Community Church.

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Message: “You Want to Be an Overcomer – 1 John 4:1-6 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” If you believe everything you hear, you’re headed for big problems. Especially when it comes to your spiritual beliefs. Be warned – lies and errors can and will show up, even within the church. It’s no wonder it’s important to God that His children be wise and discerning, not gullible.

God wants us to be overcomers. Like victorious athletes or warriors, an overcomer pleases God now, and one day will be generously rewarded by the Lord in Heaven. While we are not guaranteed victory over the enemy in every situation as long as we are in this world, the probability of victory will increase if we take to heart today’s “overcomer challenge” based on the biblical teaching found in 1 John 4.

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Message: “Rest for the Restless Heart – 1 John 3:19-24” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” This is the time of year when most of us could really use a break. Some much-needed extra rest after the busyness of the holidays, and before the new year kicks in and life gets busy again.

We know what to do when our bodies need rest: a nap, a good night of sleep, a healthier diet, maybe getting lost in a good book or binge watching a movie series or television show. All of those could do wonders for our physical needs. But what do we do when our souls are weary?

Jesus had a thing or two to say about that. Like the time He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus offers rest for your heart and soul—something we all need. Today we will see what God’s Word has to teach us about finding the rest that God offers for our souls.

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Message: “Not This Year, Satan! – Luke 22 ” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Not This Year, Satan!.” Peter says that our adversary roams around like a lion looking for someone to devour.

Judas got more than he bargained for when he conspired with evil.

But is this someone we really need to pay attention to today? What would he want to attack in our lives? And how does Jesus tell us to stop him?

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Message: “Behold – Luke 22” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Behold.” Christmas tends to be a time that we’re either filled with more hope or more despair. Either way, the birth of the Savior promises a future in which all of our hopes will be fulfilled and all of our despairs will be healed. Behold, the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world.

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Message: “In the Christmas Spirit – Luke 2:19” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “In the Christmas Spirit.” The story of Jesus’ birth, pondered and treasured, can fill our hearts with love, joy, peace, thankfulness, and so
much more. We’d be so much better off if these warm, wonderful feelings that make up the Christmas spirit were ours in abundance throughout the Christmas season and the year that follows.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The craziness of this time of year can put us in a Christmas funk, and we can find ourselves stressed out and exhausted. Which is the opposite of what Mary and the others who were there to experience that first Christmas felt. We’ll see today that their Christmas spirit can be ours, too.

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Message: “Love That Passes the Test – 1 John 3:10-18 ” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Sure.” Love is harder than we think. Of course we love our kids and grandkids and close friends and those who treat us well. We love nice people. But Jesus says everybody naturally does that anyway (Matthew 5:47). That’s not hard. People love people who love them.

The real question is, will we also love those who harm us? Will we keep on loving even when it means bearing burdens we would rather not be bothered with? Will we love when the people we love do not love us in return? Will we love those who are unlovely, undeserving, or ungrateful?

Loving others is challenging. God does not make it easy, but He does make it possible. And He shows us how it’s done.

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Message: “Why He Came – 1 John 3:4-10 ” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Sure.” Christmas is a wonderful reminder that God came and lived among us (John 1:14). It’s a reminder of how God came: born of a virgin in Bethlehem, as prophesied hundreds of years beforehand. It’s a reminder of when God came to the earth: Jesus appeared at just the right moment in human history “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4). But as important as these truths are, if we don’t also understand why God sent His Son—in other words, what Jesus’ purpose and mission was—then we risk missing the entire point of the Christmas story.

The apostle John, though, knew why Jesus came. He knew because Jesus had explained it to him when they spent three years of ministry together. And thankfully we have John’s words to help us remember why Jesus came and why it matters to us today.

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Message: “With Much Thanks” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Thanksgiving.” We know Thanksgiving is good for the body. At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a meal that we’ve looked forward to since last Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like digging into roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. With a menu like that, it’s not surprising that in the United States we eat more on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year! And we love it.

If Thanksgiving is good for the body, it’s even better for the soul—that part of us that needs healthy doses of gratitude for our attitude. Especially when the world around us is filled with so much negativity and complaining, and we can easily find ourselves infected with unhappiness and discontentment. Thanksgiving can make a world of difference! We’ll experience that today as we gather for worship and see why it’s good to give thanks to the Lord.

Food for the body; food for the soul. We definitely need both.

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Message: “Now and Then – 1 John 2:28-3:3 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” Now and Then is more than a new television show, a movie, or a media presentation at a high school reunion that compares how we look now to how we used to look way back then.

John tells us that we need to be people of now and people of then. But he’s not talking about the past and present. He’s talking about the present and the future. Now, and then. He tells us that we are at our best when we act and think in light of both the here & now and the not yet & then.

Our world is big on the hedonistic “You only live once, so get everything you can now, while you can.” Yes, one could do that, but it would be sad. There is so much more to live for when we live in light of now…and then. We’ll see how to do that in today’s message in 1 John.

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Message: “Ex-Christian? – 1 John 2:18-27” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Sure.” Most of us have changed our beliefs about something at some point in our lives. Which economic system is best? How closely do we need to watch our diet? Should we buy a foreign or domestic car? Or no car at all? Maybe we were passionate about something in college that just doesn’t seem like that big of deal anymore.

But can that happen with our faith as well? Today we’ll examine how to understand people who were once
dedicated to Christ but aren’t any longer.

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Message: “Who You Gonna Love? – 1 John 2:15-17 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” You have to admit, living on planet earth is pretty incredible. It sure beats life on the Moon or Mars. There is so much to love about the world, in comparison. Food, water, air, shelter. Autumn leaves, wildflowers, mountains, waterfalls. Yes, we are very thankful God created earth and made it habitable. And lovable, too. Who doesn’t love a beautiful sunset or a stroll along the beach?

That’s all well and good, until you get to a Bible passage like the one before us this Sunday. The one that says,
“Do not love the world!” Huh? Did I hear that right? Do not love the world that God lovingly created for people like us to enjoy? That sounds at odds with God’s original design intent. What John means by “the world” in this passage is our focus today.

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Message: “Measuring Spiritual Growth – 1 John 2:12-14 ” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Sure.” All living things grow. It might seem slow and incremental at times, but growth is a normal expression of life. Whether we think of people, animals, or plants, we expect them to grow until they reach maturity. So when something or someone doesn’t grow, we begin to wonder what’s wrong.

Growth should also be a normal expression of the life of a Christ-follower, but it too can seem slow and incremental. Nevertheless, the New Testament writers assumed spiritual growth and constantly urged us to pursue it. And moreover, contrary to how growth works in the physical realm, Christ-followers should never stop growing.

But what, exactly, does spiritual growth look like? And how do you know if you are actually growing spiritually?

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Message: “What the World Needs Now – 1 John 2:7-11” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” When you look around, what do you see? It depends on what you’re looking for, right? If you’re looking for it, you’ll see that there’s a lot of good in the midst of this fallen world. Thank God for every glimpse of heaven that we see and experience here on earth. Not only does that bring
happiness to our hearts, it brings glory to God. It’s what God wants for His world – light in the midst of darkness.

God is at work every day in a multitude of ways, bringing light into this dark world. And He wants to use His followers to help do it. How that happens is our focus today in our continuing series in the book of 1 John.

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Message: “So You Say You’re a Christian – 1 John 2:3-6” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” In America, many people call themselves Christians. Some are churchgoers, other aren’t. Some read their Bibles, others don’t. Some make prayer a regular habit in their life, others hardly ever give it a thought. Regardless of their practices or lifestyle, about three out of four people in America claim to be Christians.

That might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Especially when you consider Jesus’ clear warning to a “religious” crowd, who thought for sure that heaven was in their future. Jesus gave them pause to think again. That could be us. But hopefully not. Especially if we take to heart the focus of today’s message in our continuing series in the book of 1 John.

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Message: “Saved From Sin – 1 John 2:1-2” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” We have God’s Word on it: the day is coming when there will be no more sin. Now that’s something to look forward to and to live in light of. When that days comes, suffering, tears, tragedy, grief, and death—all the things that sin brings into this world—will be a thing of the past.

If only that was our experience right now. But it’s not. We battle with sin every day. We continue to suffer from its deadly consequences. But even in this fallen world, God’s will for us is to have victory over sin. Before God creates the new heavens and the new earth, He wants us to experience more and more of His Kingdom on earth now. Today we’ll see how.

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Message: “Confess Your Mess – 1 John 1:8-10” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “Sure.” There might not be anything more frightening in Christian practice. On the other hand, there might not be anything more helpful. Confession. Opening up to another person about our real struggles. Our real secrets. Our real sins.

Today we will look at how God wants us to step into one of our biggest fears, and the freedom we’ll find on the other side.

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Message: “The Benefits of Walking in the Light – 1 John 1:5-7” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Sure.” A little bit of light can make a huge difference. Especially when you’d like to keep from tripping and falling while
walking up or down steps that are in dark, unfamiliar places. When all is dark, a tiny candle changes everything.

Jesus said He is the light of the world, and He calls us to walk in the light with Him. As we walk through this fallen world, every day we make choices to either walk in the darkness or the light. Today’s message, based on the book of I John, will help us see how important that choice is.

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Message: “This is Life – 1 John 1:1-4” from Steve Durand

A message from the series “Sure.” There are a lot of areas in life where it’s ok to lack certainty. However, when it comes to our relationship with God and our eternal destiny, we should want to know for certain where we stand.

Thankfully, the book of 1 John is all about certainty, and the basis of that certainty. It also addresses and answers other important assurance-related questions, such as: How can I know that what I believe is true? How can I be assured of God’s love and control in my life? And how can I maintain certainty in the midst of disappointment and opposition?

If you’ve ever asked any of these questions, you’re not alone. Our hope and prayer is that God will use the new message series that we’re starting today to help you to become more certain than ever of your eternal future.

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Message: “Bloom Where You’re Planted – Jeremiah 29:5-11” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” Life is filled with endings and beginnings; times of celebration and times of anticipation. Today is focused on both, from our Annual Ministry Meeting at 9:00 through our potluck at 12:00 noon. It’s time to give thanks and to party.

Sandwiched between these two special events is what you’re here for now: our Combined Annual Celebration Worship Service. We’re so thankful you’re here to join us in praising God for the abundant blessings He poured out on His Bridges Community Church family this past year, and also as we look to the Scriptures that speak to the matter of beginnings—how to make the most of them and what that looks like in our lives in the places God has us
strategically located.

We have much to give thanks for and to look forward to. We praise God for the good things He has done and is yet to do.

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Message: “Do You See What I See? – 2 Kings 6:8-23” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” When you look at your circumstances today, what do you see? You may be overwhelmed by debt, discouraged by demands you can’t seem to fulfill, or facing an impossible situation.

Whatever your circumstances may be, the prophet, Elisha, had a servant who could relate to what you’re feeling. The servant woke up early one morning and, when he went outside, he looked up and saw an enemy army with horses and chariots surrounding him, and he cried out to Elisha in response, “Oh no! What shall we do?” But while the servant was panicking, Elisha remained completely calm, despite facing the exact same imminent threat.

How can two people experience the same set of circumstances, but one person looks at it with dread while the other faces it with confident peace? The story behind the miracle we’ll look at today gives us the answer.

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Message: “It’s So Like God – Judges 6-8” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” Story after story in the Bible tells of God’s awesome work in the lives of people who found themselves facing a seemingly impossible task. Take Gideon for example: God tapped him on the shoulder for a job that was above his pay grade. From a human perspective, Gideon had no chance of succeeding.

But isn’t that just like God? Isn’t that often His way of creating in us more awe, love, dependence, and more in the relationship God wants to share with us? For His glory and the greater good. That certainly happened in and through Gideon’s life, like it could in ours.

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Message: “Why Wait? – Genesis 17, 18, 21” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” We’ve all waited on something big. Something important. Something we were pretty sure we couldn’t live without. Maybe even something we believed we deserved. But for whatever reason, it didn’t come. It didn’t happen. We wonder if God forgot about us. If He’s still there. If He cares.

Today we’ll study the life of a woman who likely wrestled with all of those questions, and how God responded.

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Message: “Kept Alive – Jonah 1:17-2:10” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” In over our heads. Overwhelmed. Buried. This isn’t the usual description of a miracle, but in the story of Jonah, it’s exactly what we see. So perhaps in our lives, when we’re surrounded by darkness and despair clouds out all light, God might still be present. Perhaps, like Jonah, we’re living in the epicenter of the miraculous.

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Message: “A Divine Interruption – Numbers 22:21-35” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” This blurb may have interrupted something you’re trying to do. But now you’re reading about the very thing that you’d like to minimize. Interruptions. We live in a world where we are constantly being interrupted. A world where both the urgent and the trivial often interfere with the important. An incoming phone call intrudes on the in-person conversation that was scheduled weeks ago, but now, in this moment, that conversation will have to wait.

Of course, not all interruptions are created equal. Some can wait, while others need our immediate attention. Especially when the one seeking our attention is our Heavenly Father. It makes sense that when He “interrupts” our plans, whenever and wherever, we should drop whatever we’re doing and give Him our undivided
attention. That’s what we will be looking at in our message today. A miraculous, divine interruption.

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Message: “From Disappointment to Divine Appointment – 2 Kings 5:1-19” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” Life often looks very different than we hope or expect. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, while others shatter us completely and shake our faith. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness or the wisdom of His plan for our lives.

Today’s message will take a look at the biblical account of Naaman, a wealthy and highly decorated warrior who was used to receiving accolades and deference from others around him. But Naaman, as with so many of us, found himself in the midst of a God-sized problem that he could neither understand nor do anything to resolve on his own. And that’s when Naaman began to discover that our life disappointments can often be the divine appointments our souls desperately need in order to radically encounter God.

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Message: “Duel on the Mountain – I Kings 18” from Phil Tuttle

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” Put yourself in Elijah’s sandals. It’s you against 450 prophets who have something to prove. Each one is ready to put an end to you and your faith, once and for all. Obviously, 450 to 1 are terrible odds. If you’re the one against the 450, you might want to be thinking about hightailing it out of town…pronto!

Unless you’ve taken a lesson or two from Elijah the Tishbite of Gilead. A worshipper of Almighty God. The one true God. The One who is ready to show the world what He can do through a person who is fully sold out to Him. And today we’ll see that what God did for Elijah, can translate into our world in miraculous ways even now.

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Message: “Wake Up to God’s Presence – Exodus 13:21-22” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Miracles.” Today we begin a new message series focused on Old Testament miracles. Call them God stories or divine intervention—all of them teach us something about God’s unlimited power, unimaginable creativity, and unparalleled work in the world and in the lives of imperfect people who desperately need His help.

For example, the pillars of cloud by day and fire by night that led the Children of Israel for forty years! You’d think that amazing, long-term miracle would have been more than enough to convince them that their first choice should always be to trust God! To make their relationship with Him their top priority. Well…it did, and it didn’t. Which is why this “that’s incredible” part of God’s story is as relevant today as it was in Moses’ day. We’ll see why today.

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Message: “Baptism – Romans 6:3-4” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Baptism.” Followers of Jesus have been baptized since the beginning of Christianity. But why? What does this ancient practice accomplish? Is it still relevant for us today? Perhaps for some of us, this is the next step God would like for us to take in our journey toward Him. There is much water. Is anything preventing you from being baptized?

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Message: “Still Running Strong – 2 Timothy 4:9-22” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Finishing what we start isn’t easy in a world that is filled with conflict, push back, boredom, and hardship in
abundant measure. Comparatively speaking, starting a new project, book, job, or relationship is easy. But
keeping a commitment, a promise, a contract, a vow—for the duration of the pledge—is when things get tough.

Somewhere along the way we hit a wall, and the thought of abandoning the race begins a battle in our minds. The proof of how often we lose that battle can be seen in divorces, abandoned diets, job changes, and even half-read books.

Don’t you love the feeling when you finish something you started? And we love to see others finish what they start. Running strong to the very end. If ever someone displayed that kind of fortitude, especially when it came to matters of faith, it was the Apostle Paul. He finished strong. Today we’ll see why, and hopefully gain insight into how we can do the same.

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Message: “Always in Season – 2 Timothy 4:1-8” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Let’s admit it. Most of us are fair-weather people. We prefer moderate weather—not too hot and not too cold. Sunshine and blue skies, maybe a few fluffy white clouds, 72 degrees, with a cool breeze describes another perfect Bay Area day. And we love it.

We’d also like life in general to follow that same fair-weather pattern. A job with just enough challenge to keep us from getting bored, but not so much that we are frustrated or miserable. Relationships that are calm and energizing and fun, not stressful or strained.

As Christians, that same desire for fair-weather conditions can impact the proclamation of the Gospel. In our increasingly post-Christian culture, we face a Timothy-like dilemma. Will we go underground with our faith? Will we stay true to God’s Word?

It’s a danger that 1st century churches faced, and it’s a danger that 21st century churches face, too. Which is why Paul’s words to Timothy, that we will be looking at today, are important for us to hear and apply.

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Message: “The Word Works – 2 Timothy 3:14-17” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Bookstores carry an ample supply of books with advice that promise to make you happier, smarter, thinner, stronger, richer, more proficient at something, or better overall than you currently are. Skeptics inevitably ask two primary questions when we come across such a book:

1) Is the advice in this book reliable? In other words, can I trust what the author is saying?
2) Is the advice in this book useful? In other words, will it actually help me?

Amazingly, God has given us a book—the Bible—not only filled with divine wisdom, but completely reliable and useful for every person, in every country, no matter his or her situation or stage in life. Yet even if we’re convinced of its potency, many of us neglect it or only turn to it when we’re at church or in desperate circumstances.

The real question we should be asking, however, is how can we afford not to be in it more often?

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Message: “A Charge to Dads – 2 Timothy 3:10-15” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” As we celebrate Father’s Day’s this weekend, we recognize that many Christ-following dads embrace the fact that their greatest calling in life is to pass along a legacy of faith to their children. For many of us, though, we’re just not sure how to go about it. Consequently, we tend to parent by circumstance and by chance. We experiment. We react and overreact. And at times we inevitably grow weary and lose heart.

The good news is that, although it was not written specifically as a parenting manual, the Bible is filled with truth and wisdom that any dad (or mom!) can take advantage of in order to develop a practical plan that will give them the best shot at building a legacy of faith with their children. Today’s passage of Scripture will help us to do just that.

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Message: “Why We’re Messed Up – 2 Timothy 3:1-9” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” We’d rather not admit that we’re messed up, but we need to. In fact, we need to do more than just admit we have issues. We need to take corrective action.

That was Paul’s take on the charge he gave Timothy. The first church in Ephesus needed to deal with some of their own who were messed up. And if things had continued on the same path, the whole church could have become infected. So Paul spoke up.

Today we will look at what Paul had to say to them… and to us. Because we also have issues—in our own lives and in the church—that we need to deal with.

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Message: “When Opposition Comes – 2 Timothy 2:23-26” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” When someone is in the wrong—when someone’s thinking and actions related to God’s Word are messed up—you could be the person that leads them out of the mess they’re in and toward a preferred future. But the possibility of you helping them escape what has them deceived and trapped will depend on a couple of significant things related to how you approach them in your attempt to bring them back in line with God’s truth. That’s what we’ll be looking at today as we continue our study in 2 Timothy.

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Message: “Forever Significance – 2 Timothy 2:20-22” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Some of us want nothing more than to be used by God for some great purpose. And some of us don’t want
anything to do with God—that is, if He even exists.

Today we will see that whatever camp we are in, God has plans for our lives. The only question that remains is: how will He use our lives? As it turns out, that answer is partly up to us.

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Message: “Handling Heresy – 2 Timothy 2:14-19” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Let’s face it. There are many conflicting ideas about God circling around the world and even inside the church. Believe it or not, this is not a new phenomenon. The early church faced perhaps an even wider assortment of beliefs that needed to be evaluated and corrected.

This morning, we’ll see how they maintained orthodoxy during conflict and how it can help us today.

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Message: “Living on the Sunny Side – 2 Timothy 2:8-13 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Here in Silicon Valley, more often than not, our weather is wonderful. Clear blue skies, in the 70’s, a gentle breeze, not a hint of rain (at least in the last seven days or so). We love it that way. And it’s easy to echo King David’s familiar words, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

If only the rest of life was always sunny and “perfect.” We will all face days, or weeks, or even years that are far from the perfect, peaceful life we long for. Even spiritual giants like David and Paul had their share of dark days. That was even true when David wrote the above words. Yet even in those dark days, he was choosing to live on the sunny side. Paul did the same, even while chained and imprisoned in Rome. How that sunny disposition is possible, even on dark days, will be our focus today as we dive again into the book of 2 Timothy.

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Message: “The Unspoken Fine Print – 2 Timothy 2:1-7 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Most of us don’t read the fine print. For various reasons. Some of us can’t see it. Or we don’t want to be bothered so we just scroll through it all and click on “I agree.” Or, could it be that we’d rather not know what we’d rather not know? Especially if it touches on the unwanted?

The Apostle Paul could have done what many do. He could have painted the Christian life as an unbroken string of happiness and success. “Everyone hop aboard for the ride of a lifetime! Let the fun and games begin!” Many people—especially in America—assume that’s what God promises us. A happy, easy, carefree life.

We’ll see that’s not what Paul told Timothy, his protégé. He told him the truth. The fine print. He told him what he needed to know. And it’s what we need to know if we truly want to follow Jesus in such a time as this.

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Message: “The Ministry of Refreshment – 2 Timothy 1:15-18” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” In his brief letter to Philemon, the apostle Paul commended his friend for having “refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people” (Philemon 1:7).

Do you know anybody like that? Do you have people in your life who “refresh” you spiritually? When you’re down, they’re able to lift your soul back up and to cause you to walk away feeling encouraged, hopeful, spiritually stimulated, and grateful for the time you spent together.

Spiritually refreshing people are like an oasis in the midst of a desert. When we find them, we tend not to let them go – and for good reason!

But if we value this trait so much in others, shouldn’t we then consider how we can offer a similar ministry of refreshment to those around us?

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Message: “Good Friday” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Resurrected (just as He said).”

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Message: “Resurrected (just as He said) – Matthew 28:1-6” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Resurrected (just as He said).” History tells us that Jesus the Nazarene died by crucifixion, but then three days later He did the unthinkable: He came back to life. He resurrected. He beat death. And then He proved it by appearing to a variety of different people over a 40-day period of time.

People were changed in every unexpected encounter with the risen Jesus. Their feelings of despondency, hopelessness, unbelief, and shame were replaced with zeal, hope, belief, and freedom.

Jesus did what no one else had done before or has done since. He conquered death and came back to a new life that will never die again. And in so doing, He made a way for everyone to live now and forever. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not. We’ll see why today.

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Message: “Jumping the Hurdle – 2 Timothy 1:6-14” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” Talking about our faith isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it can feel like a hurdle that we just can’t get past. Fortunately for us, we aren’t the first people to feel this way, and we can learn from those who have gone before us. This week, we’ll see when the early Christians seemed to struggle with sharing their faith and how they coached themselves to improve.

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Message: “Always On My Mind – 2 Timothy 1:1-5” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Rock Solid.” If you pay attention to what a person talks about and prays about, you can get a pretty good read on what’s on their mind.

And there are a lot of things that can be on a person’s mind. From fun to work. From happy thoughts to sad thoughts. From conflict and stress to peace. From God’s words to worldly wisdom. From anger and bitterness to love. From despair to hope. From “What college should I go to?” to “What’s for dinner?” You get the idea.

So what does this have to do with you? A lot. The things that are always on your mind are indicators of what’s most important to you in your life. And while there are a lot of things in life that are important in their own way, only a few are most important. Two of those most
important things that should always be on our minds as believers, will come into focus as we begin our study today in the book of 2 Timothy. They are two matters that were on the Apostle Paul’s mind, that made him the amazing person he was, even to his dying day.

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Message: “Great Expectations – James 5:17-18” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Only by Prayer.” It’s been said that “If you expect nothing, you’ll never be disappointed.” As much as we’d like to think differently, the same applies to prayer.

In our times of prayer with God, great expectations precede great results. Even beyond what you could have thought or wished for.

Sure, your day-to-day life may be a lot easier if you lower your expectations, but it will also be a lot less than it could be. And with prayer, you may never see what God could and would do if your expectations were equivalent to the Lord’s. Today, through the life of Elijah, we’ll see what God-sized expectations entailed in his life, and the practical impact similar expectations could have in ours.

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Message: “The Struggle is Real – Genesis 32:22-32” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Only by Prayer.” Wait for it…..keep waiting…..still no answer…..

Have you been there? What were your prayers like during those seasons? For many of us, our prayers were persistent. They were constant. Ongoing. Frequently repeated.

What might be surprising to us is that we are exactly where God wants us to be when we are praying this way. And in fact, we may need to travel through persistence to find a breakthrough.

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Message: “Why Bother? – 1 Samuel 1:1-20” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Only by Prayer.” We all go through seasons in which our passion for certain activities decreases. Maybe we simply lose interest over time. Or we get busy doing other things. We encounter some crisis or resistance that shakes our confidence. We begin to question if it’s worth the time and energy we’re investing. We lose heart.

The same can happen in our prayer lives. If we’re not careful, we can lose our motivation and, before we know it, either stop praying altogether or fall into patterns of puny, formulaic prayers in which we hastily come before God and mindlessly and superficially run through a list of things we’d like Him to do in our lives.

God doesn’t ever want you to forget who you’re talking to in prayer. Nor does He want you to be satisfied with a half-hearted prayer life. He wants you to earnestly and boldly seek Him with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:12-13) and to trust that He is able to move mountains.

Never underestimate the influence of an ordinary person who comes before an extraordinary God in prayer.

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Message: “In Over Your Head” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Only by Prayer.” Committed. Generous. Gifted. Loving. Selfless.
Encouraging. A student of God’s Word. Full of faith.

Most followers of Christ would love to be described by others in any of these ways. But what if someone were
to describe you as desperate?

When we think about someone who is desperate, we likely think about someone who is needy. Incapable. Weak. Helpless. Hopeless.

Who wants to be thought of like that? We’d rather
people see us as self-sufficient and capable, not
desperate. Is it possible, though, that you are actually more desperate and helpless than you realize? And what if God is simply waiting for you to fully embrace your desperate condition and stop leaning on your own understanding and self-sufficiency, so that He can finally bring about the breakthrough in your life for which you’ve been waiting and hoping?

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Message: “Banking on Mercy – Psalm 51” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Only by Prayer.” Sometimes the way forward is to reverse. Sometimes we need to review what has gone wrong in order to see what is right. Sometimes we need to stop pretending and covering and making excuses and, instead, take an honest look at ourselves.

As you prepare for today’s service, ask God to help you pray, “Have mercy on me, oh God, a sinner.”

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Message: “I Can’t, But God Can – Mark 9:14-29” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Only by Prayer.” God can break through without your prayers, but then again, a breakthrough may not come until you pray, in more than just a superficial way. What if God is waiting for you to come to Him in dependent prayer and ask for His help before He brings a much-needed breakthrough your way?

Today we begin a 40-day all-church focus on prayers that see breakthrough results. Over the next six weeks we will be learning from a number of Bible passages and stories where God broke through. What we learn could help us all experience God-sized breakthroughs in our own lives.

Today our Only by Prayer series begins by looking at the importance of truly relying on God. We will see that God can do what we can’t do, if we will rely on Him in prayer.

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Message: “Called Out to Call ‘Em In! – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21” from Doug Valenzuela

A message from the sermon “Called Out to Call ‘Em In!.” Oftentimes we as believers think that only a “special few” can be involved in God’s amazing plan of world evangelism.

We limit ourselves due to our lack of biblical understanding of what God’s complete salvation includes.

Our lives really do count, not only for eternity, but also for the here and now! God has not only “given” you salvation rich and free, but he has “given you a ministry,” that is, something to do with this great salvation.

The apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 5:16-21 brings this truth to our hearts as we discover “anyone in Christ” can be a true ambassador for the Kingdom.

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Message: “Warning to the Secure – 1 Timothy 6:20-21” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Does it matter what we believe? If so, does it only matter initially or do we need to continue in certain beliefs? If we don’t continue with our beliefs, what are the consequences?

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Message: “High Yield Investments – 1 Timothy 6:17-19” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” We think about money, a lot. Probably every day. Throughout the day. We think about how much we have. How much we wish we had. How to acquire more. Where to get the best deals. Should we give some of it away? What can we do to save more?

This week, as our study in 1 Timothy is nearing a close, our focus is on a passage that speaks to the “rich.” Don’t even think that’s not you. It’s all of us in close proximity to Bridges Community Church.

The thing is, people with money need wisdom for making the best high yield investments possible. That’s to say, not all investments are created equal. Some are better than others. Especially the ones we’re focused on today.

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Message: “Living Against the Grain – 1 Timothy 6:11-16” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” The Bible tells us that those who seek to follow Christ are to live and walk by faith. That doesn’t mean the Christian life is easy or effortless. On the contrary, it often takes significant effort, determination, and commitment to stay strong and obey God in a world frequently indifferent or even hostile towards Christianity. That’s why, in the face of temptation, persecution, or difficult choices, it’s always much easier to just give up or give in and conform to the standards and values of the world.

Timothy, the young protégé of the apostle Paul, faced similar challenges in his day. Feeling alone in the midst of a challenging culture and a frustrating ministry setting, Timothy needed some encouragement to keep going and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). Maybe you could use that same encouragement in your own life.

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Message: “What Do You Want? – 1 Timothy 6:6-10” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Today in our continuing message series in the book of 1 Timothy, we’ll be considering a question that everyone would do well to ask: What do you really want out of life?

The number of things that a person could have on their “want” list could go on and on: good health, meaning, happiness, a home of your own, a dream vacation, a spouse, a couple kids, a new job, good friends, money… You get the idea.

How about just the basics? You know, like food and clothing. Would you be content with that? Would that
satisfy you? Would that fill your heart with what your heart longs for? And if it wouldn’t, is it wrong to want more? That’s what we’ll be looking at today.

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Message: “Polar Opposite People – 1 Timothy 6:3-5” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” You’d like to think that the church is a safe place. One big happy family focused on truth-telling, uplifting and loving relationships, with no sign of greed or self-interest.

We’d like that to be true. We long for that to be true. God longs for that to be true. More godliness and less ugliness.

This Sunday our continuing study in 1 Timothy will help us take another step toward becoming the people—and the church—that the Lord wants His children to be.

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Message: “One Rule for Everyone—No Exceptions – 1 Timothy 6:1-2” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” It is the traditional time for resolutions. Many of those can sound like, “Improve myself. Get ahead. Accomplish something.” What if God were to write your resolution? Would it sound the same as yours?

What if, as crazy as it might sound to our modern ears, God wrote a resolution for a slave? What would that say? And what might that mean for us in our lives?

Today we will look at God’s desire for all of us—whether we are a slave, a slave owner, or just an average person in 2019.

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Message: “Receive Your King – Christmas Eve” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Just What We Need.”

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Message: “Living a Meaningful Life – John 17:4” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Living A Meaningful Life.” If you’re looking for a life of meaning, welcome to the crowd! Everywhere you go you’ll find others on the same search.
We long for meaning. Jesus called it abundance – a life of purpose. One that satisfies the cravings of our souls.
This Sunday, before the New Year begins, our focus on the meaningful life could make all the difference in the kind of life you live in 2019.

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Message: “Just What We Need – Luke 2:8-16,20” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Just What We Need.” Hearing a loved one at Christmas say “It’s just what I need” is music to the giver’s ears. It sure beats a quizzical look followed by what could be a hurtful “What is it?” or “Seriously?” question. After thinking carefully about what to buy, where to buy it, and how much to spend – a less than enthusiastic response isn’t your idea of Christmas cheer.
One thing is for sure: when God gives, His gifts are “just what we need” every time. Especially when it came to Jesus’ birth. After years of planning and preparation, the gift God gave to the world is what the world needed then and still needs now. It can change our lives now and forever.
This Sunday we’ll see why. The answer is in the forefront of the Christmas story, which has “just what I need” written all over it. It’s beneficial, amazing, undeserved, life-changing, and more.

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Message: “It Will All Come Out – 1 Timothy 5:17-25” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” For as long as there have been people, there has always been scandal and, at the same time, there have always been others who strive to remain faithful—which means there have always been church leaders in both groups. Since the church will have seasons of each, how are we to respond biblically, compassionately, and helpfully to all of those involved?

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Message: “Religion at Its Best – 1 Timothy 5:3-16” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Religion continues to have a bad reputation in the world today. That’s not hard to understand, especially when professed faith often plays out as a form of religion rather than a changed life. It makes sense that people would question the legitimacy of professed faith when it’s simply a list of do’s and don’ts, or something you do on Sunday mornings.

Even Jesus wasn’t always big on religion. In fact, some of His strongest words and actions were directed at religiosity, and how it stood in the way of God’s true work in the lives of people He loved and longed to see live lives of love toward God and others.

Today in our continuing series in 1 Timothy, we come to the topic of religion. And it’s a good thing to consider. Especially in light of the bad reputation religion has in our world. The passage we’ll be studying will help us see what can be done about that problem.

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Message: “Your Next Hard Conversation – 1 Timothy 5:1-2” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” If you’re like most, you’d like to avoid hard conversations. If given the choice, we’d like someone else to step in and give whatever counsel, caution, or correction is needed in others’ lives.

The fact is, at some point everyone will face the need for a difficult, heart-to-heart conversation with someone. That’s life in every family, including God’s.

If you could benefit from some godly counsel that can help you the next time you are called into a hard
conversation, today’s message might be just for you.

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Message: “Thankfulness – Colossians 3:15-17” from Gabe Pethtel

A message from the sermon “Thankfulness.” Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae was written around AD 60-61. His letter was written in response to a growing type of false teaching in the church which led people to believe Jesus Christ was not divine, so not equal to God the Father.

The particular verses we’ll look at today from Colossians chapter 3 allow Paul to call the church not to extended argument and fighting, but to peace, membership in one body, thankfulness, encouragement, admonishment, singing to one another and God, and to give thanks to God in all things.

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Message: “Worth Your Best Effort – 1 Timothy 4:9-16” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Some things in life are too important for half-hearted effort. Doing things without much effort or without much interest in school, on the job, or in your home will most likely keep you from reaching your God-given potential; and therefore from seeing your life have maximum spiritual impact.

There are a lot of things in life that call for our best efforts. Academic pursuits, family life, diet and exercise, a chosen career, and even a hobby. The matter we come to this week in our continuing series in 1 Timothy might be off the radar of many, which is sad, because today’s focus is worth our best efforts.

That includes all of us. Everyone together giving their best for the sake of a matter that everyone should care deeply about.

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Message: “Decontaminate – 1 Timothy 4:1-8” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Is there a right way to think about God? Are there wrong ways? How can we know that the way we think about God is the right way? What is at stake if we think about Him wrongly?

Perhaps surprisingly, these questions are not new. People have been searching for and discussing answers to them for as long as there have been people. Today we will look at how the first Christians understood these matters and what they did to stay on the true path.

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Message: “Who, Not What – 1 Timothy 3:14-16” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Church, like many words, means different things to different people. Some think of a building. Others might think of a particular denomination, a recognizable pastor on TV, or perhaps something else entirely.

But even if you were able to get a group of people to agree upon one common definition of church, the next challenge is to see if you can get everyone on the same page on other related and relevant questions: What is the purpose of the church? Why go to church? Does the church actually matter?

These questions are far more complex—and certainly more divisive—than you might think. And when you add in the myriad ways in which the culture influences and shapes much of Christianity today, these questions are more pressing than ever. Thankfully, God’s Word has the answers.

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Message: “Worthy Of Respect – 1 Timothy 3:8-13” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” It would appear that respect, here and around the world, has taken a nosedive. That’s sad to see, but not hard to understand. Many would say it’s because fewer and fewer people are worthy of respect.

This week we come to a Bible passage in our study through the book of 1 Timothy that focuses on being a person worthy of respect. What that looks like, and how that plays out, will be our focus. But we’ll also do some thinking about how and why we should show respect to those who are not worthy of respect.

Any way you look at it, the Lord wants His church to lead the way in showing others respect. Hopefully today’s focus will make a world of difference in seeing that become a reality in our lives.

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Message: “It’s Like Being a Dad – 1 Timothy 3:1-7” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” What do elders do, exactly?

What kind of character do they need to fulfill these responsibilities?

As we’ll see today, the answers look quite similar to what we expect from a good dad. But like being a good dad, to become a qualified elder is a process of grace, which happens through reliance on Christ.

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Message: “The Best Because – 1 Timothy 2:9-15” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Since childhood we’ve asked the “why” question. Usually when someone said “no” to something we wanted or something we wanted to do. More often than not, our why question was answered with a because.

And not “just because.” But a convincing because. An authoritative because. One that we had to accept, even if we didn’t like it or it didn’t make sense to us.

Sunday, we’ll come face-to-face with what could be “the best because.” First, because it came from God. Second, because it answers a tough question. One that many people were asking then, and many are still asking today.

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Message: “How Prayer Changes the World – 1 Timothy 2:1-8” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Our culture says that you can believe whatever you want…just as long as you don’t impose your beliefs on
others. This sentiment is especially true when it comes to spiritual beliefs, which can make it highly uncomfortable for us as Christ-followers to share with others that there is only one path to heaven and only one way to be made right with God: through Jesus (Acts 4:12).

Nevertheless, even though our message is exclusive, our Christian witness should not be. The absolute and exclusive claims of the gospel message are to be made known to everyone, because God’s desire is for all people to come to know Him. And God wants and calls you to be part of helping those in your life, and even those around the world whom you may never meet, to know about this message of salvation through Jesus.

So, as a follower of Christ, what should you do? How can one person make a difference? And what if you’re an introvert? Where are you supposed to start?

Today’s message reminds us that the first step to changing the world is much easier than you might think.

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Message: “I Don’t Deserve This – 1 Timothy 1:12-17” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Chances are you’re getting more than you deserve. Much more. And not just because you’re living in America. But especially if you’re a Christ-follower. As Christians we are getting way more than we deserve.

That is a concept with which Paul, AKA Saul of Tarsus, was very familiar. He had been a bounty hunter seeking out Christians and even having them killed. He considered himself the worst of sinners.

Yet in spite of all that, he was amazed at all that God had given him that he didn’t deserve. But then again, isn’t that the case with everyone who connects with God through Jesus Christ? Today we’ll see why.

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Message: “This Is Us – 1 Timothy 1:8-11” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Christians have a unique perspective on what standards of holiness are meant to do. Unlike other religions whose regulations can make us feel like we are in a never ending race to measure up, the law in Christianity is meant to point us to freedom. This means, if we feel burdened by the weight of our inadequacy, we might have missed something. We might not have yet reached where the law is intended to lead us. Today we’ll experience what Jesus means when He says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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Message: “The Good Fight – 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 18-20” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Believers are called to be people of peace, but there are some things in life worth fighting for. Some of the obvious things would include our health and safety, our families, those who are poor and defenseless.

Though most of us aren’t the fighting type (and that’s good!), a willingness to fight for what’s right can be the right thing to do, especially when it comes to the matter we find in today’s message. And it’s as important today as it was when Paul gave this charge to Timothy, especially if we hope to be a light in this dark world.

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Message: “The Power of Two – 1 Timothy 1:1-2” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Think Biblically.” Rugged individualism is deadly. It could be your undoing. Especially when it comes to living the Christian life and impacting the secular world around us.

It would be good for every new Christian to receive the following alert: “Warning – Do not attempt to do this in your own strength. Do not attempt to do this alone.”

That will be our focus in I Timothy today at our Annual Celebration. It’s our hope that the passage we study will help you decide to never again try to live the Christian life on your own.

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Message: “Even If… – Habakkuk 3:16-19” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Even If….” Dealing with uncertainty can be difficult. We want to know where the provision is going to come from. We want to know if things are going to turn out the way we hope or expect. We want the security of being able to control or to alter our circumstances if our best-made plans go awry.

The fact is that there will be times when we don’t know how God will provide. Plans will fall through. People will disappoint us. Things will go wrong. There will be seasons of uncertainty. What then?

Fortunately, the uncertainty we face is only apparent uncertainty. Even if things seem uncertain to us, our future, our provision, and the reason for our hope are certain to God.

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Message: “What If? – Isaiah 26:3-4” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “What If?.” No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, and no matter how much biblical knowledge or theological training you may have attained, there’s one thing you can be sure of: God will frequently confuse you. There will be countless moments in your life that make no sense or when you simply won’t understand what is going on.

If your faith is based on your ability to fully understand the past, present, and future, then your moments of confusion will become moments of weakening faith.
But the reality is that we are not left with only two options—understand everything and rest in peace or understand little of what is going on around you and be tormented by anxiety.

The Bible tells us that there is a third way. A way to have sturdy, lasting peace that doesn’t rise and fall
with the circumstances of your life. A way to be able to face the unknown and the chaos in your world with joy and confidence.

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Message: “Peter’s Closing Briefing – 1 Peter 5:8-14” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” brief·ing (brēfiNG) noun – a meeting for giving information or instructions.

Most of us love briefings because they are usually short and to the point. It’s not a time for a lot of chit chat.
Important information is shared, and then you’re done. It’s time to go get to work.

As parents we often give briefings to our kids before they head out the door. It’s dangerous out there and we want them to be safe. We want them to make good choices.
So we figure another short reminder can’t hurt. Which is why we say things like: “Be careful” or “Don’t talk to strangers” or “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

Today we complete our study through the book of 1 Peter. But not without a final briefing from Peter that could make the difference in whether we will win or lose the war we are in. You know that we are in a war, right?
Danger is all around in this fallen world, and we need to be battle ready. Peter’s closing words will help us do that.

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Message: “The Care You Need – 1 Peter 5:1-7” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” God cares. He really does. He loves you and He cares about what’s happening in your life. All of it! Not just the big stuff, but the small things, too.

This week’s message in 1 Peter is a testament of God’s care. In it we will see both His direct and indirect plans for eagerly caring for His children.

That’s right, He eagerly cares for His children. And He wants His children to care for each other in the same way. We’ll see what that means today.

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Message: “Suffering and Glory – 1 Peter 4:12-19” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” We all want comfort, and why wouldn’t we? Anything else is, well, uncomfortable. But what if there could be something better than comfort and the only way to get there is going through something quite uncomfortable? What if we could experience glory?

Today we’ll look at Christ’s sufferings, how they are tied to ours, and what God is accomplishing through them.

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Message: “Godlike Relationships – 1 Peter 4:8-11” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” We’ve all been the recipient of love and service from time to time. And we’ve all experienced the loneliness and despair that can happen when we feel like someone is withholding much needed hospitality.

So perhaps we would instinctively reach out to others in these ways since we’ve felt the difference it can make in our lives. But do we?

When others think of us, do they consider us hospitable servants of love who speak with words of grace? Is that what they think of Christians in general?

Today we’re looking at what can empower us to be among the most hospitable and loving people in the world. For Christians, these behaviors aren’t a way to earn something from God; they are simply the result of knowing Him.

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Message: “From This Day Forward – 1 Peter 4:1-7” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Commitments of any kind are only as good as what happens after the commitment is made. Will the commitment stick? Is it worth the effort? Was it just a nice idea or could it actually become reality?

We’ve all made commitments of many kinds: to a marriage, or a diet, or a new job, or a friend. “You can count on me,” we pledge. “Things are going to be
different from here on out,” we vow.

Of all the commitments a person could make, the one we’re looking at today is a big one. In fact, it’s one of the most important commitments a person can make in this present life. One that has “for better or worse” written all over it. It’s a commitment that God not only wants each of us to make, but also to follow through on!

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Message: “Greatness On Display – Psalm 92:4-5a” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Greatness On Display.” If you’re like most people, you’ve spent at least a little time in an art gallery. Maybe around this time of year while on vacation. You just had to see the work of Van Gogh, Monet, Michelangelo, Picasso, or Da Vinci. You wanted to see one of these famous artist’s masterpieces in person.

Every day there are opportunities all around us to see greatness on display. Especially when it comes to the greatest work of all.

Today we’ll be spending some time focusing on a work that everyone needs to see. More than once. In fact, as often as possible because of the impact it will have on your life.

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Message: “You Must Be Brought – 1 Peter 3:18-22” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” If you’re like the rest of us, your mom brought you into the world. How else, right? Actually, what began at birth continued. Before you were old enough to drive, you were brought to school, the movies, the doctor, even church. Do you remember the first time you were “brought on” at a job? Has anyone ever brought you to a members-only Country Club for an exclusive round of golf? Or
somewhere else that would be impossible for you to get into on your own?

You get the idea. Some things in life can’t happen unless you’re brought. In our self-made world, that may be hard to accept. We’d like to think that given enough time and resources, we can make things happen on our own. And sometimes, we can actually make that happen.

But it’s not going to happen when it comes to a relationship with God. The Bible just comes right out and says “you must be brought” to God. There’s no other way, as we’ll see today.

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Message: “A Winsome Witness, Part 2” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” If you are a Christ-follower and anyone were to ever ask you why you believe what you believe, would you feel very prepared to give an answer? If you stop to think about it, how is it even possible to be ready to defend something as profound as our faith, and to do so with the right amounts of conciseness, clarity, wisdom, and boldness? Where are you supposed to even begin?

On top of these concerns, what if no one ever asks why we believe what we believe? Is that an indictment on our Christian witness? And if no one ever asks, does that mean we’re off the hook or that people in our culture simply aren’t interested in Christianity?

This Sunday’s text will help us to find answers to these important questions.

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Message: “A Winsome Witness (part 1) – 1 Peter 3:8-12” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” In the 1744 edition of Poor Richard’s Almanack, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.”

While many of us might reasonably scratch our heads at that statement and wonder why in the world a person would ever want to attract flies to begin with, the point of his statement is simply this: The more kind or gracious you are or the more appealing and persuasive you are in your approach towards others (as opposed to being mean-spirited or argumentative), the more likely you are to be successful in winning the other person over and to achieving your goals.

The same principle holds true for Christ-followers. We live in a world that is often hostile towards Christianity. Therefore, if we are to enhance our Christian witness with those around us and improve our chances of being heard, we should absolutely be concerned with the approach we take towards others and how we conduct our lives on the stage of this world.

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Message: “Husbands, Give Attention to This – 1 Peter 3:7” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Wherever you go these days, someone is talking about ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s a concern because it impacts so many people, both young and old. Those with ADD have a much harder time than the average person staying focused on one thing at a time.

The fact is, in our modern world that is filled with a myriad of distractions, even those of us without ADD struggle to some degree to stay focused on what matters most. Husbands and wives, moms and dads, boys and girls, friends and co-workers. It’s very easy to get distracted by all the other things that are trying to get our attention, and neglect the things that are truly important.

Lack of focus on things that are important can make life much harder. But it also can have other consequences that we might not readily see. Today we’ll be talking about one of those areas that could be standing in the way of God hearing your prayers.

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Message: “Won Without Words – 1 Peter 3:1-6” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” We’d like to think that with convincing facts, skillful persuasion, and just the right words and tone of voice,
we can talk someone into believing what we believe — whether it’s related to politics, a new diet plan, or spiritual beliefs. And often, even when they’re just not getting it, we still keep trying, conversation after conversation, year after year.

The fact is, most people aren’t going to be talked into believing what you want them to believe. Even when it’s something you really think everyone should believe. But that’s not a cause for despair. Though as we’ll see this Sunday in our continuing message series in the book of 1 Peter, it may be a signal for a change.

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Message: “We Can Do This – John 1:35-46” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “We Can Do This.” A few times a year, we as a church community gather in one worship service. Today is one of those days. We’re all together for a special time of celebration and anticipation as we kick off our summer ministries here at Bridges.

The past nine months of ministry were amazing, and as we anticipate what’s ahead in the coming months and
beyond, we sense there’s a lot to look forward to. The faith journey God has us on is amazing, isn’t it?
Impossible and possible at the same time. Let’s celebrate together as we move into this new season of following God’s leading.

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Message: “‘In His Steps’ Means This – 1 Peter 2:21-25” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” The book In His Steps has sold over 30 million copies. Even if you’ve never read it, you may have seen or owned a WWJD bracelet that’s based on the same Bible passage found in 1 Peter 2, which we’ll be looking at this Sunday.
Though you may be familiar with the “What Would Jesus Do?” question that this passage surfaces, you may be surprised by the context. We’ll see that it can move that question even deeper into our lives than we may have imagined.

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Message: “Compellingly Different – 1 Peter 2:11-20” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Christians claim that God has begun a work in them and they are, therefore, being changed to look less and less like the rest of the world. Meaning, the hopes, dreams, and goals of a Christian should be different from those of the neighbors across the street. More deeply, the neighbors should notice this difference and be so captivated by the beauty of Christian faith, that they are drawn to it instead of repelled from it.

This week, we’ll look at what some of those differences are, and what has happened to Christians to make them so (supposedly) compellingly different.

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Message: “The Cornerstone – 1 Peter 2:4-10” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” We all build our lives around something. We all make sacrifices in order to achieve the goals that we value most. But what is actually worth sacrificing for? What is the best cornerstone on which to build our lives?

In today’s message, not only will we see Jesus as worthy of this position, but also as the only one who fills it without failing.

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Message: “You Need All, Not Just Some, of This” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” We all know that we need food to survive and to grow. And we also know there are some foods that are better for us than others. Yet we often gravitate toward the things we really like (Chocolate? Ice Cream?) instead of the things we really need (Broccoli? Apples?). And that can cause all kinds of problems for our bodies.

The passage in I Peter that we will be looking at today tells us about a food that we all need. And it’s not something we can just pick at. God wants us to devour it. All of it. Because it can fill our hearts and our souls. It can make us better at loving each other.

Find out what that amazing food is today.

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Message: “Flippant Faith Ends Here – 1 Peter 1:17-21” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Our focus today will reveal if our faith is flippant or not.
Do we take God, and our relationship with Him, and our walk as a believer, seriously enough? Or are we too casual about it all? Maybe even to the point of being disrespectful? Possibly without even realizing it?
Flippant faith is a problem. Partly because there’s a chance it’s not even really faith at all! But also because our God, and our relationship with Him, are not things to be taken lightly. Our God is holy. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the One who deserves our love, honor, and deepest respect.
The passage we will be studying today in I Peter will help us make sure we have put an end to flippant faith.

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Message: “A Thing Of The Past – 1 Peter 1:14-16 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Getting past our past can be a challenge. Call it our sinful nature, habits, preferences, or just our way of doing things – some things are harder to let go of than others.

“Yeah, I know I shouldn’t be drinking as much coffee as I do, but I just can’t stop myself.” “I know, I know…pizza and ice cream are not good for my cholesterol count, but I just can’t say no. You know?”

We know! We’ve been there. Some of us are there right now. It’s hard to say no to something when another part of us is saying yes. That’s reason enough to join us this Sunday, as we focus on getting past the things that need to be a thing of the past.

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Message: “The Greatness of Salvation – 1 Peter 1:10-13” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Do you ever think about all the things you take for granted each day? Many of us tend to take for granted that we’ll be able to get up in the morning and have air to breathe, food to eat, and clean water to drink. We also take our time and our freedoms for granted. Moreover, we often take important relationships for granted, whether it be a spouse, a family member, or a friend.

If we’re not careful, we start taking something else with far greater eternal significance for granted: We forget
how needy and broken and hopeless we are apart from God’s mercy, and we equally forget the great lengths to which God has gone to demonstrate His faithfulness and provision and love to us, time and time again.

Sunday’s message will hopefully give us all a much-needed reminder of why we should never underestimate, underappreciate, or undervalue the greatness of the free gift of salvation that is available to all through Jesus Christ.

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Message: “Good Friday – Isaiah 53:5-6” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Easter.”

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Message: “A Pick Up for Down Days – 1 Peter 1:6-9” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Between 2 Worlds.” Though there are many things in this world that bring us joy, whether we like it or not, life in this world also includes a lot of pain, suffering, grief, and tears. It’s been that way ever since sin came into the world, and it will be that way until God creates a new heaven and earth.

When Jesus said “in this world you will have tribulation,” He wasn’t kidding. And when James said “when you encounter trials,” he was putting everyone on the alert. Trials will come. Be ready. Suffering will come, and when it does, we can use all the heavenly help we can get.

In this Sunday’s message, we’ll be looking at a much-needed perspective that can help the next time you’re in the midst of pain.

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Message: “I Have Hope – 1 Peter 1:3-5” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Easter.” We could use an infusion of hope. Would you agree? Every one of us. Large amounts of hope to ward off discouragement, disaster, and life’s difficulties. Hope in the midst of hopeless circumstances is a welcome friend.

For our world, and those living in it, Easter couldn’t come at a better time. For the mom or dad, husband or wife, teacher or student, healthy or sick, even a glimmer of hope could change our outlook on life.

Just like hope changed people in the 1st century in Jesus’ day, hope can do the same for us in the 21st century. Not an “I hope so” hope, but the kind of hope we’ll be looking at this Sunday that we find in the Easter story.

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Message: “Living as Exiles – 1 Peter 1:1-2” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Between2Worlds.” Whenever we hear the term exile, our minds often run to an image of someone separated from their homeland or family. This could take the form of a refugee or an immigrant, but we could also broaden the term to perhaps include the Christian teenager who doesn’t fit in, the Christ-follower who is undergoing opposition for their beliefs, the person who feels hopeless about their current circumstances, or anyone who feels like they are living outside of where they long to be.

Today, we as Christians are, in a sense, exiles. That’s because, as we’ll see in our new sermon series based on the book of 1 Peter, we are living between two worlds. Our current world is tainted by sin, suffering, hostility, and persecution, but our future home – the one we long for and look forward to – is one that ought to fill us with inexpressible joy and hope. So, no matter where you are experiencing exile, remember that you’re not home yet. God promises that there’s a better day coming for all who put their hope and trust in Him.

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Message: “We Are Family – Ephesians 2:19” from Multiple Speakers

A message from the sermon “Perfectly One.” This past week we as a church family wrapped up our Perfectly One 40-day focus on church unity. Now it’s time to celebrate and reflect on the good work God is doing among us.

This Sunday morning we’re planning to join together at 10am, as God’s family, and party!

We at Bridges Community Church have a lot of reasons why a celebration is in order, beginning with the fact that we are family. We’re members of God’s forever family. A family that we were adopted into by God Himself. A family that is open to all who are willing to come through Jesus. So let’s celebrate!

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Message: “Expecting God to show up – Acts 1-2” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Perfectly One.” We don’t like being told we can’t do something, especially in this area where there are more than the average number of high achievers. We like pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, making something of ourselves, and patting ourselves on the back when it’s all said and done.

But Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Spirit to arrive before they tried to do anything. He didn’t even want them to attempt to go out into the world until God’s Spirit came to do the work for them.

In this message, we’ll see that we have the same, if not a greater need, for God’s supernatural intervention in our lives.

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Message: “Unity in Diversity – Romans 14” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Perfectly One.” Have you ever noticed how easy it is to overlook your own personality quirks and habits? But then you get a roommate or get married and discover that other people’s quirks and habits conflict with your particular quirks and habits. And then you eventually have kids who somehow pick up your spouse’s most irritating quirks and habits. And then perhaps you decide to become part of a diverse church community made up of even more people who don’t quite have the same appreciation for your quirks and habits that you do. “If only everybody else could be just like I am,” you think to yourself, “things would sure go a lot more smoothly!”
We’ll be taking a look this week at how we as fellow believers in Christ – with such diverse personalities, backgrounds, preferences, and opinions – are to work through our problems and differences with one another. Which disagreements should we speak up and say something about, and which ones are less urgent or important in the grand scheme of things? How can we differentiate between what really matters and what doesn’t without compromising on that which is essential? How can we maintain unity in spite of our diversity?

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Message: “How to Forgive in Three Simple Words – Colossians 3:13” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Perfectly One.” Forgiveness doesn’t come easy. If someone has hurt, wounded, or abused you in some way, the last thing you’re thinking about is forgiving them. It’s more likely you’re thinking about punishing them and inflicting pain on them since they inflicted pain on you.

It’s a good thing Jesus doesn’t share that mindset. None of us would have a chance. We’d all be in big trouble.

We are all imperfect people. And imperfect people need a lot of forgiveness. On an ongoing basis. More often than we’d like to admit, we need forgiveness from God and from others. The implications of that are mind-boggling, and vital for us to come to grips with. We all need to be forgiven, which means we are all surrounded by people that we will need to forgive. This Sunday we’ll see what it takes for that to translate into reality.

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Message: “When Conflict Strikes – Joshua 22” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “Perfectly One.” Perhaps you’re familiar with the saying, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The truth, however, is that there is also a third certainty in this world: Conflict.
We’re surrounded by conflict, each and every day, whether at home, at work, at school, within families, among friends or coworkers, on the TV, on the news, and yes, even within churches. And while some of these conflicts are relatively minor and short-lived, others may start as small sparks but, if left unchecked, can ignite into firestorms that can devastate everything in their paths.
Fortunately, conflict doesn’t necessarily have to be destructive or painful. It doesn’t always have to ruin relationships or devastate the unity of a church body. This week will show us that, when approached biblically, conflict can turn even the most challenging relationships into peaceful ones.

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Message: “Finding joy and unity in humility – Mark 10:35-45” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Perfectly One.” We are taught that civilizations advanced through the survival of the fittest principle. The strong and talented rise to the top and crush all competitors. But Jesus taught a different way. He taught we are to be humble, counting others as more significant than ourselves.

While we might push against that out of fear of losing the best for ourselves, the reality is the opposite. Only by embracing humility will we find unity with other believers and joy for ourselves.

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Message: “One Big Happy Family – John 17:20-23” from Dave Gudgel

Relationships are sweet when two become one. And that possibility isn’t limited to marriage. It’s what we long for in every relationship, at least at some level. Harmony beats disharmony, anytime.

Jesus was all about oneness. Relational oneness. He wants His church to be one. Like God who is three and yet one. That may seem impossible, but it’s not.

Jesus intentionally prayed that all of His followers would be one – with each other, and with God. And not just one, but perfectly one. If that’s going to happen in us, we need to see unity from Jesus’ point of view. That’s what we will be looking at this Sunday as we begin our 40-day focus on unity in the church.

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Message: “Our Only Boast – Galatians 6:11-18” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “FREE.” We may not freely admit it, but all of us are adept at one thing: boasting. We boast every day, whether publicly or privately, about seemingly anything and everything: family, possessions, abilities, achievements, grades, social connections – you name it. You may even be inwardly boasting right now about the fact that you don’t boast as much as other people do!
The point is that we all boast about, or take pride in, something. And what we choose to boast about actually says a lot more than we realize about who we are at our core, about what we really value, what drives and defines us, what validates us and makes us feel more significant, and even what gives us hope.
There are lots of things – even legitimately good things – about which we can choose to boast. But can you say that you are daily boasting in the one thing that matters more than anything else in life?

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Message: “The Law of the Harvest – Galatians 6:6-10 ” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Some of us have heard “you reap what you sow” so frequently we may not realize the phrase comes from the Bible. While most of us don’t have fields that we sow, nearly all of us have goals–things we want to happen and things we don’t want to happen.

This week, we will see how this little ancient phrase about sowing and reaping can help us get to where we want to be and avoid where we don’t want to be.

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Message: “Doing Life Together – Galatians 5:26-6:5” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Relationally challenged. That’s us. And sadly there’s not a pill your doctor can prescribe that will make your relationships all better. There’s no quick relationship fix.

But before you give up and decide you’ll just shut people out, it would be good to take a long look at this week’s Bible focus found in Galatians 5:26-6:5. What you’ll see is relational hope and some much-needed, timeless counsel that can immediately be applied to the relationships you share with others.

If you’d like to make relational progress, and help others do the same, our message focus this Sunday is just what the doctor ordered.

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Message: “Intentionally Intentional – Luke 19:10” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Intentionally Intentional.” With 2017 behind us, it’s typical to begin the new year with good intentions. This year I intend to lose weight, read a book a month, and spend less time at work and more time with family. You get the idea…

Of course, seeing our good intentions translate into reality… well that’s another story! Many can’t seem to find our way out of the land of good intentions. But not Jesus. Jesus did everything He intended to do.

“Yes,” you say, “but He was God. And I’m not.” True. But all of us can learn from the One who lived an intentionally intentional life. Especially in the one area where we struggle most. We’ll see how, this Sunday.

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Message: “The Key to a Happy New Year – Lamentations 3:21-25 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “The Key to a Happy New Year .” The end of a calendar year naturally lends itself to reflection. Lists of newsworthy moments and significant events are everywhere, reminding us of the ups and downs from the past twelve months. For some, 2017 was a year to remember: new life, new friends, new loves, and new beginnings. For many, though, who’ve experienced some type of pain, disappointment, or loss, the year probably can’t seem to end soon enough.
Regardless of which way this past year went for you, you can face whatever lies ahead in 2018 with renewed faith and peace. This week’s message will tell you how.

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Message: “Here Is Our Hope – Luke 2:10-11” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Here Is Our Hope.” Ours is a world that could use an infusion of hope. A lot of hope. Let’s face it, with all that’s happening around us – in our cities, in our nation, and in our world – a large dose of hope is needed and welcome.

The story of Christmas is a story of hope. Genuine hope. Ginormous hope. Life-changing hope.

It’s not an “I hope so” kind of hope. It’s definite. Guaranteed. A sure reality. How that’s possible will be our focus this year on Christmas Eve.

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Message: “Here Is Our Hope – Luke 2:10-11 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “Here Is Our Hope.” For Pastor Dan Stockum’s Sermon Click Here
Ours is a world that could use an infusion of hope. A lot of hope. Let’s face it, with all that’s happening around us – in our cities, in our nation, and in our world – a large dose of hope is needed and welcome.

The story of Christmas is a story of hope. Genuine hope. Ginormous hope. Life-changing hope.

It’s not an “I hope so” kind of hope. It’s definite. Guaranteed. A sure reality. How that’s possible will be our focus this year on Christmas Eve.

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Message: “The Great Light – Matthew 4:16” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “The Great Light.” “…people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

No matter how dark your Christmas may seem, at this time of year we celebrate the dawning of the Light. Rather than needing everything to be perfect to enjoy the holidays, Christians can rejoice because of the One who came into the world to set everything right.

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Message: “In Step with The Spirit – Gal 5:16,18,22-25” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” One can only imagine what our lives would be like as believers if we were to actually become more and more like Christ every day as we walk through this fallen world. If we all became more loving, joyful, patient, kind, and gentle. If our default became to be at peace, no matter what circumstances rocked our world. If we intentionally and consciously walked step by step through our days with God, instead of sometimes losing control – whether from fear, or anger, or even from just living on auto-pilot.

I can only imagine how awesome that would be. But is it possible?

In our study this week in Galatians we will be looking at what God had done to make it possible, and what we are each responsible for if we want Him to do that work in us.

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Message: “The Flesh-Driven Life – Gal 5:13b-17, 19-21 ” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Let’s be honest: There’s not a day that goes by when either by thought, word, desires, or action we fail to demonstrate that we’re needy people. Maybe it’s an outburst of anger. Maybe it’s a flash of envy or selfishness. Maybe it’s an ugly moment of pride. Maybe it’s bending the truth to your own advantage. Or perhaps it’s an unwise moral decision that you hope no one will ever notice.
We’ve seen over the past several weeks of our current sermon series that one of the primary themes of the book of Galatians is that those who are in Christ have been set free from the law and from sin. But if we are free, why do so many of us continue to find ourselves feeling enslaved and stuck and powerless, making sinful choices and repeating the same selfish behaviors again and again? Why do we promise ourselves, “I’ll never do that again!” only to impulsively end up making the same foolish mistakes just a few days later?

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Message: “Cultivating a Grateful Heart – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24” from Dave Kellejian

This time of year we often talk about being thankful. We may even decorate our homes with items that call us to count our blessings, but is being thankful really part of the fiber of your being? Do you regularly set aside time to ponder God’s goodness in your life? Is your level of thankfulness dependent upon your circumstances and possessions? Is it possible to live a life that is characterized by joy and thankfulness, regardless of hardship and desires?

This week’s message will explore what the Scriptures have to say about having a grateful heart in all circumstances.

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Message: “Too Valuable to Lose – Galatians 5:1-13a ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” There are a lot of things in life that we can lose – keys, teeth, cell phones, hearing, job enthusiasm, health, friends, loved ones. Some of those things are more significant than others. Some can be replaced, while some can’t. But whichever they are, for the most part, we don’t like losing things.

This week, in our ongoing Galatians message series, we are focused on a spiritual matter that’s too valuable to lose. But unfortunately, the probability of losing it is high. Especially if one fails to do what Paul calls to his hearers’ attention in this letter.

This week we’ll see what we must do if we hope to hold on to and benefit from this thing that every believer needs, so we can live in the abundance of what the Lord wants for His children.

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Message: “The Awareness Factor” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Getting past one’s past is easier said than done. Especially when a person’s past is steeped in religious activity and works. It will be difficult to say good-bye for good to any “rules or regulations” that once were valued and dearly practiced.

For some, letting go of past rules and rituals may seem unimportant. Like, who cares? Why bother? As long as they don’t hurt me or others, so what? Well, to the Apostle Paul, “rules and rituals” are a big deal. Enough for Paul to call into play “the awareness factor.”

Just like awareness matters when it comes to how much gas is in your car, knowing the place of religious rules and regulations could be the difference between a powerless works-driven faith and a faith that works.

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Message: “At Wits’ End – Galatians 4:8-20” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” When someone says, “I’m at my wits’ end,” their condition usually connects with someone or something that’s got them baffled. Perplexed.

That was the Apostle Paul’s reaction to the believers living in Galatia. They were loved ones who were dear to him. People he deeply cared about. But whose beliefs and behaviors had gone askew. They were messing up big time.

He could have said, “We’re done. See ya. Have a nice life.” But he didn’t. Instead, he did what we need to do the next time we find ourselves at wits’ end with a friend, family member, co-worker, schoolmate, and even fellow Christian. That’s what our message is about this Sunday.

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Message: “Inheritance -Galatians 3:26-4:7” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “FREE.” From rags to riches. The slave who becomes king, or the transformation of an outcast stepsister into Princess Cinderella. These stories captivate our attention and warm our hearts. But could they be our story? Can knowing God and trusting Christ change us into someone resembling royalty?

This week, we’ll look at God’s promised inheritance through Christ and the new status we have as a result.

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Message: “Scanned – Galatians 3:15-25” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “FREE.” If we are accepted by God through faith in what Christ did on the cross and not by behaving a certain way, then why are there “rules” in the Bible? If the ten commandments aren’t a check list to perform to gain favor or blessing from God, then what are they? If following the rules have absolutely no bearing on how God views us, then why are there so many of them?

At some point, every Christian ends up asking these questions. This week, we’ll look at the piece of Scripture which answers them.

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Message: “Live Like You Began – Galatians 3:1-14” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Getting past our past is one of the biggest challenges we will face in life. One that many people fail at. Addictions, habits, thoughts, sins, bitter feelings, or worries often continue to plague us. Even though we’d like to leave them in the past, for good!

You’d think once someone became a Christian they would be able to quickly and easily get past their past, with God’s help of course. Unfortunately that’s not always the case. Old habits die hard. Even Christ-followers can find themselves right back in that same ditch they’ve fallen in so many times before.

Thank God there’s help for anyone who would like to get past their past and move forward into a better life. The key to seeing that become a reality will be our focus this Sunday.

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Message: “A Hill Worth Dying On, Part 2 – Galatians 2:11-21” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Since the Garden of Eden, one of the constants in our world has been the reality of warfare. There have been big wars and small wars, lengthy wars and relatively brief wars. World wars, civil wars, wars of independence, religious wars, preemptive wars, undeclared wars, and cold wars.
But there has been a particular war or battle that has been raging for more than 2,000 years or so that has largely been overlooked. It’s a battle that, from its inception, had enormous implications for the early Christian church, and it’s a battle that continues to this day. This particular battle is not some trifling political debate, nor is it a mere disagreement or misunderstanding about preferences. And the stakes for this battle have never been higher.
What is this particular war, and why should it matter to us today?

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Message: “A Hill Worth Dying On, part 1 – Galatians 2:1-10” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “FREE.” Experienced leaders eventually learn that every hill is not worth dying on. Meaning, there will always be certain issues and conflicts and problems that will be brought to a leader’s attention throughout the course of a day, and that leader will need to quickly decide which battles are truly worth expending valuable time, energy, and resources to fight, and which battles to move on from or to ignore altogether.
Christ-followers must also do the same thing in an effort to grow in our faith as believers, to preserve our Christian unity and fellowship, and to spread God’s love and good news to the world around us. Some battles are worth fighting, and some aren’t. The problem for us today is that the one primary hill upon which all Christ-followers should be willing to battle and die, if necessary, is still left open to attack from enemies, both within and outside the church – just as it was when the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians. What is that particular hill, and why is it still worth dying on today?

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Message: “Called Into Question – Galatians 1:10-24” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” It’s bound to happen. Someone is going to come along and question the why behind what you do. Teachers, parents, students, friends, spouses, and even pastors aren’t exempt. Someone will come along and make assumptions about your motives, methods, qualifications, and even character.

That certainly played out in Paul’s life and ministry. But what would you expect? His message was hard for some to swallow. Could they trust the message? Could they trust the messenger? I mean… this was Paul, who used to be Saul!

That’s the rub, isn’t it? There’s always someone ready to question what you’re saying and doing. And when they do, it would be easy to simply say “I don’t need this” and back off. Quit. But not Paul. He kept pressing on. What helped him can help us, as we’ll see this Sunday.

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Message: “Every Spiritual Parent’s Nightmare – Galatians 1:1-9” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “FREE.” There are a lot of things in life that you could walk away from. A career, a spouse, a college major, sweets, meat, sports, money, infomercials… And even faith!

Yes, faith. People do it all the time. They walk away from their once held spiritual beliefs and replace them – or add to them – with other beliefs or practices. That’s what was happening among the believers in Galatia.

If that’s you too, this Sunday’s message is worth considering. It will hopefully remind you of the importance of standing firm in the simple truth of the Gospel.

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Message: “20K – 2 Timothy 4:5” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the sermon “20k.” Each year at our Annual Celebration we focus on a ministry matter that we hope will impact our lives and ministries in significant ways in the year to come. This year, our focus will be on evangelism. Specifically, our commitment as individuals and as a church to do the work of evangelism.

In this message Pastor Dave shares his heart from a personal, biblical, and ministry perspective on something that our leadership prays will increase our evangelistic passion in the coming year. It’s our prayer that we as individuals, and as a church body, will intentionally love unbelievers in greater ways in the days ahead.

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Message: “The Friend at Midnight – Luke 11:5-13” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “The Stories Jesus Told.” Prayer. Simple enough for a child, yet necessary for all of us, Jesus’ followers requested, “Teach us Lord, to pray.”

Whether you’ve never prayed or you have daily conversations with God, Jesus’ response gives assurance all of our prayers are vital, welcomed, and answered.

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Message: “The Gravity of Greed – Luke 12:13-21” from Steve Durand

A message from the sermon “The Stories Jesus Told.” Printed across the back of a dollar bill are the words, “In God We Trust.” But is that motto really true? For many of us, we might say we trust in God, but in our everyday lives, we’re tempted to trust, serve, and worship the very money on which that slogan is printed.
Jesus spoke more about money than He did any other topic, except for the kingdom of God. Why? It’s because the way we think about and handle our earthly treasures reveals the true state of our hearts. In other words, what you do with your money shows what you really value and trust.
So, where have you been placing your trust lately?

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Message: “Passion for the Lost – Luke 15” from David Brickner

A message from the sermon “The Stories Jesus Told.” This Sunday at Bridges, we are talking about developing a passion for people who are lost in this world. In Luke 15, Jesus told three stories about lost things: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and two lost brothers. Each story reflects a different perspective on God’s love for lost people. How does our heart reflect the heart of God? A passion for the lost begins with a renewed understanding of God’s grace, mercy, and love towards us.

A passion for the lost is strengthened with renewed sense of urgency in the search, in the care and concern for those people who come across our path. A passion for the lost is further built upon an understanding of the true nature of repentance in light of the Father’s love and grace toward us. May we all develop a renewed sense of “A Passion for the Lost.”

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Message: “One Shrewd Financial Dude – Luke 16:1-12 ” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “The Stories Jesus Told.” The passage we’re looking at today could be the most baffling story Jesus ever told. Go ahead and read it. You’ll find it in Luke 16:1-10. Those who have studied Jesus’ remarks after he told this story have been known to say, “Huh. Are you kidding me?”
It helps to remember that Jesus was known to be shrewd, in all of the right ways. And for the right reasons. We’ll see that in this week’s story. And if you’d like a hint, it’s connected to money.
If you like to talk about, think about, or make the most of your money, today is for you. Who knows? You could end up being a shrewd financial dude. For all the right reasons.

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Message: “The Myth of Private Religion – Luke 11:33-36” from Dave Gudgel

A message from the series “The Stories Jesus Told.” All right, it’s time we had a talk about religious privacy. You know, the thought that religion is a good thing—as long as it remains private.

You’ve probably had a conversation or two, or 200, with people who have religious beliefs of some kind but vow never to talk about them with others. They say that spiritual beliefs are a private thing.

Kind of like politics…something that should not be discussed in polite conversation.

Are you interested in what Jesus had to say about sharing religious beliefs? His thoughts on religious privacy? He had a few things to say about this potentially explosive topic which will be our message focus as we continue learning from The Stories Jesus Told.

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Message: “The Laborers in the Vineyard – Matt 20:1-16” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The Stories Jesus Told.” We can all relate to times when we felt like life cheated us. We worked hard and didn’t get what we wanted while someone else barely worked at all and seemed to get everything. If God is in charge of life, and we’ve worked extensively for Him, doesn’t He owe us something for our labor?

In this message, we’ll see exactly how much we’ve done for God and what He owes us in return.

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Message: “The Two Debtors – Luke 7:40-50” from Dan Stockum

A message from the series “The Stories Jesus Told.” Messy, morally flawed people loved Jesus. Religious people hated Him. The few times Jesus spoke with harsh judgement, it was against the respected morally upright leaders while He spoke with tenderness and compassion to the sinful failures.

In which group do you belong?

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Message: “You’re Invited to The Party – Matt 22:1-14” from Dave Gudgel

Parties R Us. We love to rejoice with those who rejoice. To celebrate birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and promotions. It’s why we spend so much time and energy and money when the occasion warrants a celebration.

The biggest party – the biggest celebration of all time – is coming. It’s still in the preparation stages. And only God knows when the party will be. But when it comes, it’s going to be the party of all parties.

And here’s the good news. You’re invited. You. Ordinary you is invited to what’s going to be an extraordinary party. Will you come? Will you say yes to God’s invitation? This Sunday we will talk about that party and why it should be a “can’t miss” occasion for all of us.

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Message: “Love of Another Kind – Luke 10:25-37” from Dave Gudgel

All around us are people with needs. Legitimate needs. Some are people we know, while others are strangers. Some have needs we can see, while others have needs we’ve only heard about.

Everywhere you look there are people with needs. Hurting people who need others’ help.

Of course, we could easily dismiss their needs as not our problem. We could tell ourselves that someone else would be better able to step up and help. And then again, maybe not. Maybe we actually could help. Which is why Jesus told a story about what God expects from His children when they come across someone in need.

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Message: “Merit or Mercy? – Luke 18:9-14” from Steve Durand

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
“Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“God works in mysterious ways.”
“God won’t ever give you more than you can handle.”
“We’re all God’s children.”
While these frequently-uttered phrases sound like they are found in the Bible, they actually are not. But perhaps even more common than these sayings is the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves.”
Scripture, however, teaches us that our help is only found in one place – and it’s not ourselves.

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Message: “Small Beginnings, Big Possibilities – Mark 4:26-29” from Steve Durand

When planting a garden, it’s common to create mental snapshots of what you hope the end-product will eventually look like. Despite your best-laid plans, however, growth can sometimes be painfully slow, imperceptible, or even non-existent. Instead of getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor, perhaps all you wind up with is a sore back and a bruised ego as you ponder what might have been and where things might have gone wrong. It’s easy to wonder in those frustrating moments if it was all worth it.
What’s true in the garden is also true of our spiritual lives. It’s tempting to want to throw in the towel when we or the things or the people around us don’t seem to be changing and growing at the rate we think they should. If you can relate, then this week’s message has some encouragement for you.

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Message: “Valuable Beyond Comparison – Matthew 13:44-46” from Dave Gudgel

At one time or another we’ve all asked the “Is it worth it?” question. When faced with a purchase. A commitment. A sacrifice. Even a tiramisu dessert. Will a “just this once” detour from my diet be worth it?

The “Is it worth it” question is really an issue of value. For you to give your hard-earned cash or limited time to someone or something, its value must exceed the cost. At least that’s what we hope for.

This week’s message is focused on something that has value beyond comparison. Something that is definitely worth the cost. That investment of a lifetime will be our focus this Sunday.

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Message: “Three Questions to Ask Yourself This Summer – Mark 1:36-39” from Dave Gudgel

Summertime is here. Let the fun in the sun begin! At least as much fun as is possible within the limitations of time.

This time thing always seems to come up. Too much to do and not enough time. Life in the Silicon Valley has a way of consuming our time, doesn’t it?

If ever someone got the upper hand on time, it was Jesus. He also had too much to do, yet He always had sufficient time to do what mattered most at the time.

There are a lot of things you can do this summer from getting a tan to not even seeing the light of day. It could be a lazy summer or a crazy summer. But one thing is sure, if you make time to ask yourself the three questions we’re focusing on this Sunday, it could make a world of difference in what you do with your time this summer. And in the year to come.

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Message: “The Final Word – Ecclesiastes 12” from Steve Durand

Why do musicians wait until the end of a concert to play their biggest hit? And why do we save dessert for the end of a meal? It’s because, as the old adage says, you save the best for last.
The same is true in the book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon – after having explored almost every form of worldly pleasure imaginable in an effort to find meaning and satisfaction in his life – saved what is arguably his best, most valuable piece of wisdom for the end of the book. And he summed it all up for us in one important, final word.

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Message: “Go for it – Ecclesiastes 11:1-10” from Dan Stockum

Are you on the verge of a major decision? Maybe it’s just a minor one. Should you or shouldn’t you?

What if it doesn’t work out? Is it worth the risk?

Maybe we’ve been circling for years, always playing it safe. Could it be time to take a step forward?

If God wants us to venture out, where can we find the courage to…go for it?

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Message: “You’ll Never Get Enough of This – Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:20” from Dave Gudgel

In our continuing series in Ecclesiastes we will focus on something a person can never get enough of. If you have an infant at home, your first thought might be “sleep.” That’s understandable! Most moms (and dads too!) with a newborn baby could use a lot more sleep than they are getting right now.

As important as sleep is, our focus this Sunday will be on another need. An insatiable need that we’ll live with not just for a season of life, but for a lifetime.

Solomon intentionally chased after this thing that we’ll never get enough of in this lifetime. And this time he was chasing after something really worthwhile. And because of that, he came to a better place in his life than where he started. What we’ll focus on could do the same for us.

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Message: “In His Hands – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10” from Dave Gudgel

Many of us have childhood memories of Sunday School or summer camp where we sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” And we learned that God’s got you, and me, and babies, and mommies, daddies, brothers, and sisters all in His hands. He’s got everyone and everything in His hands.

If you believe in God, the thought of God holding the world in His hands could be comforting or troubling. It depends on your view of God’s work in the world and in the lives of people who inhabit it.

When the Cold War was escalating in the 1950s, the fear of nuclear war with Russia was threatening, and a newspaper editorial even announced that “God is Dead,” it was a child’s voice in song that calmed people’s fears. God was not dead. And He had the whole world in His hands. He was very much alive and at work in the world. Could it be that the same message today, as found in the book of Ecclesiastes, could do the same for us?

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Message: “Out of Control – Ecclesiastes 8:2-15” from Dave Gudgel

Most of us are control freaks. We like to be in control, rather than controlled. But the fact is, we spend most of our lives dealing with situations that are out of our control. Would you agree?

Have you ever lost a job that was not connected to your doing, but was simply a decision that the company made? Or have you ever gotten sick, even though you were trying to eat healthy and exercise and stay away from germs? These are just two examples of life circumstances that are out of our control.

We could talk about a lot more OOC happenings because our lives are loaded with them. That’s why OOC circumstances get primary focus in this week’s message learnings from Ecclesiastes 8. Sure help for people who’d like to be in control, but aren’t.

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Message: “The Better Life – Ecclesiastes 7” from Steve Durand

If you’ve ever played the party game “Bigger and Better,” you know that the basic objective of the game is for each team to start with a small, insignificant object and then try to upgrade that object by negotiating trades with random strangers for different items that are progressively deemed better by comparison.
Ironically, we’ve adopted a similar strategy in how we conduct our own lives. We all want our lives to be better than they currently are, so we dream about and chase after objects, titles, relationships, and experiences that we think will help make that happen.
The question is, how do we know what’s actually better? Is it possible that we end up settling for that which is merely good, mediocre, or even bad when there’s something out there that’s altogether better for us?

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Message: “The First Easter Sunday – John 20:1-18” from Dave Gudgel

Our lives are marked by significant days. A birthday, graduation day, wedding day, or the day you got your driver’s license – something happened on those days that changed your life forever. And you haven’t been the same since.

Of all the significant days that our lives could connect to, Good Friday and Easter are two days that without a doubt could change lives forever. That is, if God is God and Jesus is God’s Son.

This Easter our focus will be on these two unprecedented days. What happened on each of these days didn’t just dramatically change the lives of people in the first century. Their impact can still be felt twenty-one centuries later. In our day. We’ll see why this Easter weekend.

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Message: “The First Good Friday – Luke 23:32-33, 39-43” from Dave Gudgel

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Message: “Satisfaction Granted – Ecclesiastes 5:1-6:11” from Dan Stockum

Most of us would like to be satisfied. Enjoying life. Glad in heart. Happy.

But most of us…aren’t.

Maybe we’re looking for it in the wrong places. Or maybe we know we should find in God, but don’t seem to be able to find it all the time.

In this message we’ll see where we should look for contentment, and how to keep increasing it once we’ve found it.

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Message: “The Art of Looking and Learning – Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16 ” from Dave Gudgel

Life is filled with opportunities to learn new things. And not just on a school campus or in a local library. Virtually everywhere we go – on the job, in the home, in the community – the possibility of learning something valuable is there for the taking.

Even when life is hard. In fact, maybe a better way to say that is… especially when life is hard.

If ever there was a person who mastered the art of looking and learning from whatever life threw at them, it was Solomon. And this Sunday we’ll be looking at what he learned. Hopefully it will help each of us see the value of looking and learning from the challenges that come our way.

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Message: “A Time-Conscious Life – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15” from Dave Gudgel

If you’re like most, you’re time-conscious. At least when it comes to getting to a class, work, a movie, or a lunch appointment on time. Punctuality is something most people value, even when they can’t make it happen all the time.

But in reality, punctuality is just a small part of living a time-conscious life. We’ll see in Ecclesiastes 3 that King Solomon came to understand a broader perspective on time.

He shows us two matters of utmost importance when it comes to living a time-conscious life. They are two matters that could make a significant difference in how we live our lives. Both are well worth making time for this Sunday.

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Message: “It’s Off To Work We Go – Ecclesiastes 2:17-26 ” from Dave Gudgel

Some people love their work, others hate it. The first group has a skip in their step and a smile on their face when they leave home for work. The second drags themselves into the office with thoughts of dread or boredom.

However you feel about work, it’s something we’re destined to do. For about fifty years or so. That’s why the message focus this week in Ecclesiastes can have immense value for all of us. The sooner we learn what Solomon learned the hard way, the better off we’ll be when it’s off to work we go.

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Message: “Trivial Pursuits – Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:16” from Steve Durand

Many of us have lives that are full. Compared to those living in other parts of the world or at other times in history, we have full pantries and full bellies, full closets, full calendars, full trash cans, full purses and wallets, and full email inboxes. So why is it that many of us, despite being so full, feel so empty?

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Message: “Man Without Meaning – Ecclesiastes 1:1-11” from Dave Gudgel

If you’ve ever longed for something more. If you’ve been plagued by dissatisfaction. Gone through the motions. Felt empty, exhausted, hopeless, or bored. This Sunday is a can’t miss at Bridges.

The Chase, a new teaching series, begins this Sunday morning. Yes, the Chase. The chase for more. The chase for a better life. The chase for satisfaction. The chase for meaning in a meaningless world.

If ever there was a man who struggled with this chase, it was King Solomon. This week we will dive into his journal of regret, Ecclesiastes. What we’ll see will give us much-needed help in a world that’s on the chase for more.

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Message: “Perfecting Faith – Hebrews 11:8-12, 17-19” from Dave Gudgel

We love it when things are perfect. Probably because achieving a state of perfection is so rare. The odds of pitching a perfect game in baseball are 1 in 18K+. In professional bowling the chances of scoring a perfect 300 are 460 to 1. It’s no wonder a perfect game makes headline news.

And when it comes to a life of faith, what are the chances of living a perfect life? Well, unless you’re Jesus Christ, the answer would be zero. Which means every single person who would like to live with perfect faith, won’t. It’s just not going to happen this side of heaven.

But that isn’t a cause for depression or for giving up and deciding to simply “eat, drink, and be merry.” Actually, it can give one the perspective needed for progress in faith. Perfecting faith. The kind we’ll be focusing on this Sunday as we look at the life of faith that Abraham lived.

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Message: “Fear-Facing Faith – Hebrews 11:29”

We all have fears sometimes. What will happen with my job? Will my marriage survive? Will my kids be okay? Are world tensions going to escalate? Or maybe our biggest fear could be acting on something we know we are supposed to do.

Then there is God, who is always reminding us to trust Him…have faith in Him.

In this message, we’ll see how to let go of our fears and turn to the God who can carry us through any circumstance.

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Message: “Practicing Faith – Hebrews 11:32-33”

There’s a big difference between someone who only has professing faith and someone who is actually practicing their faith. All talk and no action isn’t commendable in God’s eyes. Taking a “be warmed, be filled” approach toward someone who is without clothing and food isn’t faith at all.

This week we once again dive into the matter of faith by learning from Daniel, someone who not only professed faith but practiced it too. He is among the ones noted in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews with exemplary faith. There is much we can learn from this man of faith who spent a night in a Lions’ Den… and survived. That experience would certainly elevate one’s faith. It did his, as it can ours the next time we find ourselves in a death-like situation.

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Message: “Strong Faith – Hebrews 11:30”

If you’re a person of faith, it’s just a matter of time before your faith is tested. Problems, hardships, trials, and scary situations are going to hit you like they hit everyone else.

That’s when faith can make all the difference in the world. Especially strong faith. The kind that stands firm when faced with gigantic life-threatening fear-producing situations that come your way.

The Israelites faced their share of circumstances that could have easily freaked them out. Like the one at Jericho – a city that stood between them and the Land of Milk and Honey. What they learned and did, not only led to a better outcome in their day, but it could do the same in ours.

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Message: “Expectant Faith – Matthew 15:21-28”

It’s always easier to have faith in God’s ability to solve somebody else’s seemingly unsolvable problem. However, it’s much more difficult to have faith when you’re staring at your own dilemmas, when those little seeds of doubt begin to take root in your mind and blossom into a whole forest of questions about God’s ability and/or willingness to take care of them. Maybe you can relate.
If you’ve begun to lose, have already lost, or have never had, confidence in the power, goodness, and wisdom of God, you’re not alone. This week’s message is a much-needed reminder that God is a God who cares, and He’s a God who is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20).

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Message: “Commendable Faith – Hebrews 11:1-6”

Everyone has faith to some degree. Some more than others. In something or someone. Be that person a doctor, pharmacist, cook, teacher, pilot, or babysitter, faith inevitably comes into play when we rely on them for something.

It’s the same in our relationship with God. Or at least it should be. A relationship with God demands faith. But not just any faith. The right kind of faith. Saving faith and commendable faith. Both are essential.

This Sunday our focus is on the kind of faith God commends. The kind of faith each of us should want to have. Daring faith is commendable faith, like the faith of those we’ll be reading about and learning from this week in our 40-day Daring Faith focus.

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Message: “The Antidote for Shrinking Faith”

At the start of this New Year, some of us would like to see some things shrink. Like our waistline! That’s why a lot of people this month are watching what they eat and heading to the gym.

Faith, on the other hand, is probably not on your “things I’d like to see shrink” list. But if you’re not careful, that’s exactly what could happen – often in the midst of hard times, when a faith increase is needed.

Shrinking faith is certainly not the path to pleasing God, nor will it benefit our lives or those we connect with. How we can help our faith grow instead of shrink is our message focus this coming Sunday.

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Message: “Man Up!” from Dan Stockum

A message from the sermon “Man Up.” Ever hear anyone say, “Why can’t I find a good man?” Ever wish one of the men in your life was more…manly? But what do we mean by that? What exactly makes a good man so good? And what does God have to say about all of this? What does God require men to be?

In this message, we will see the responsibility each man carries, his failure to uphold this calling, and what God plans to do about it.

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Message: “Put Some Fear Into Your Year “

Every year we start the same way. We vow to do things differently. We make promises. We resolve to change. We all have things about ourselves we’d like to change, but none of these changes ever seem to last because they put “me” at the center of our change projects. However, God also has a big agenda for change in our lives. So, how can we use the New Year to get our hearts and priorities more in line with what God wants?

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Message: “Priceless Treasure”

The Christmas season is filled with value decisions. Often before making a purchase of some kind, or committing ourselves to do something, we ask ourselves “Is it worth it?” The answer to that question impacts what we do next with our time or money.

From the day Jesus was born until now, people everywhere have connected with Jesus based upon His perceived worth to them. Each person decides “What value does He have to me?” Their answers draw some to worship Him while others dismiss Him as unimportant.

This Christmas weekend we at Bridges hope to see Jesus for who He is, that we might value Him as the treasure He truly is.

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Message: ” Christmas Is All About a Tree “

Have you ever tried to start reading a book in the middle? How about walking into a movie theater in the middle of a feature film? If you want to make sense of the plot, the conversations, the characters, the decisions, and the reactions along the way, it’s better to start at the beginning.
In the same way, in order to truly appreciate and understand the story of Christmas, it’s helpful to start at the beginning – not with the shepherds, the wise men, the angels, the innkeeper, or even the manger. What will you discover if you go back to the beginning? You’ll find that Christmas is really all about a tree.

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Message: “Think Outside Yourself”

Every day throughout our lifetime we have hundreds of opportunities to build others up. A kind word, an unexpected deed, a common courtesy, even a simple smile can reap benefits in the lives of those with whom we come in contact.

The Apostle Paul was big on building others up. It was a recurring theme in his writings and in the way he lived. He truly wanted to see everyone—both within and outside the church—become all that God intended for them to be.

Last words often carry immense importance. Today we’ll see some of the last words Paul wrote to the church at
Thessalonica in his first letter to them. Words that focus on the “how” of building others up.

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Message: “Keep the Fire Burning “

Fires typically won’t last very long if you don’t carefully tend to them. You need an ample amount of fuel supplies, enough heat to ignite the fuel, and enough oxygen to sustain combustion. Without any one of these three elements, a fire will simply die out.
The same concept is true of us spiritually. Our faith is like a fire, and if not fed or monitored, if taken for granted or ignored, it will begin to fizzle out and grow cold.
If you are a Christ-follower, how can you keep your fire of devotion to God burning strong, particularly when your spiritual fervor and love for God begins to wane?

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Message: “No Matter What “

Some of us come into Thanksgiving with a full heart for all the wonderful blessings in our lives. Others of us feel like we can’t give thanks for much of anything at all.

Yet God guides us to be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what.

If you’re wondering how we can accomplish this list, in this message, we will see these aren’t simply a set of commands. They are the natural outflow of a life deeply rooted in God and His promises.

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Message: “Where Death and Hope Meet”

When it comes to death, we’d like to skip it. We’d like to take the direct route to heaven, like Elijah did. Without dying! Lifted out of this world and into heaven by a heavenly whirlwind. Wouldn’t that be great?

While a “get out of death free pass” would be wonderful, if the rapture doesn’t happen in our lifetime, we’re going to die. Or someone we love is going to die. Either way, we will have to deal with death and the pain, sorrow, and grief that come with it.

When death comes, we can either face it with hope or without hope. Which is why Paul wrote about the subject of death in his letter to the church at Thessalonica. What he said to them can also give us hope when death comes knocking on our door.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Increase This: Brotherly Love”

Looking to improve your love life? You should be! And not just you. Everyone you know. The fact is all of us came into this world love-challenged and we’re a challenge to love. We need to learn how to be more loving and lovable.

That’s why the matter of love keeps coming up in Paul’s correspondence with the church in Thessalonica. They, like us, hadn’t arrived. They still needed a lot of improvement in their love lives. Not eros love (sexual) but phileo love (brotherly).

This Sunday, in our world that gives a lot of attention to sexual love, we’re going to give some much-needed attention to brotherly love – with a focus on how to love each other more than we do right now. That’s an area where improvement is always needed.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Learn This: Sexual Boundaries “

God has a good plan for our lives. Part of this plan involves how we approach sexual intimacy. The more we live within God’s design for us, the more happiness and freedom we will experience. But as we stray from God’s loving instruction we will find hurt and regret.

In this message, we will discover the boundaries God intends, why they are wise to follow, and the strength to live within them.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “When You Can’t Be There”

It’s pretty much impossible to go through life without having to deal with separation sadness. We encounter it in many different ways: a parent drops a child off for their first day of kindergarten; a high school graduate heads off for college; a good friend moves away; a military family faces a deployment. Separation sadness happens.

This Sunday our continuing message series in the book of Thessalonians can give us some much needed insight that can keep us from coming apart when we are apart from the ones we love.

What Paul and his co-workers did is as relevant to our lives today as it was in the first century. And it can help us when we can’t be there with people we love.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Welcoming the Word”

No teacher has greater satisfaction than to know that his or her students are learning, growing, and benefitting from that which has been taught. The apostle Paul was no exception to that. It filled him with such gratitude and joy any time he received reports that one or more of the churches he taught and helped to plant had not only heard God’s Word, but it was also greatly impacting the way they lived.
What impact does the Word of God have on your life?

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Message: “Superior Relational Intelligence”

It’s one thing to know what it takes to have great relationships, but it’s another thing to actually have great relationships. There’s a big difference between book smarts and street smarts.

Most of us know a lot about relationships – the importance of sacrificial love, listening, patience, empathy, kindness, encouragement… The list is endless.

But like a parent who knows patience is required in child-raising, actually living with patience is easier said than done. And when it becomes a reality in someone’s world, others notice. And if they’re smart, they learn from what they see. We have an opportunity to do that this Sunday.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Measures of Success”

Failures come in all kinds and can be hard to take. Some hurt more than others. And perhaps the worst failure could very well be a perceived failure that’s not really a failure.
If you’re not careful, you could fall prey to the crowd’s measure of success. That’s easily done in a world where one’s identity is often connected to what others think and say. You could end up feeling like a failure when you’re really not.
Such was the place the Apostle Paul and his colleagues found themselves. Which could have been to their undoing.
But they knew better. What they knew not only helped them see failure and success from a healthy perspective. It also helped the church at Thessalonica. And it could do the same for us.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Great Impact”

There are people and organizations all around us that are making a life-changing impact in our world. They are difference-makers. Teachers and students. Employers and employees. Parents and children. Doctors and nurses. Inventors and entrepreneurs. Leaders and managers. From farmers to cooks, we are better for the part they have in our world.

Certainly the church should be on the “making an impact” list. Somewhere near the top, due to the life-changing impact she has on people near and far. Indispensable, immediate, and eternal impact.

If ever there was a church that impacted her world, the Thessalonian church would qualify. She had both local and global impact. Why and what she did, that we can still do today, will be our focus this Sunday.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Great People”

Even churches get ratings. If not online, in people’s minds. I liked the music. The sermon was too long. No one said anything to me. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.

Fair or not, we all have our opinions about what a church should be. Which makes this Sunday’s message of interest to all as we begin a series in the book of 1 Thessalonians.

The church at Thessalonica was a local congregation like Bridges Community Church with strengths and weaknesses. With hopes and dreams. With people like you and me who were hoping to make progress in their relationship with God and others. And in their case, that was happening. We’ll see how this Sunday.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Odd Joy”

Rejoice while suffering? Can God be serious? How could He command such a thing?

At the same time, imagine how wonderful it would be if we could always be filled with joy—no matter our circumstances. What if there were a way to walk with hope and even rejoice during our darkest days?

In this Sunday’s message, we will see how God provides for this paradoxical joy.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Let’s Grow”

Healthy things grow. And in the Christian life, it’s not only expected, but it’s also needed. It’s something God wants for our lives. And hopefully we want it too.

This coming Sunday we’ll be focusing on the second half of the Great Commission, where we find a plan for spiritual growth. What we’ll see will reveal if what we’re doing will result in growth, or not.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Let’s Go”

We are busy, busy, busy people. Always going – here, there, everywhere. Non-stop going. Going is what we do.

If we were to stop going, at least for a few moments, that could be a good thing. If for no other reason than to ask a few questions about all that “going.” Are we actually accomplishing anything? Are we accomplishing the things we really want to accomplish? Are we doing good things? Is God pleased with all the things we’re doing?

Those are questions worth considering. Which is exactly what we plan to do this Sunday as we begin our new 2-part “Let’s Do This” series.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “A Humble Perspective for Planning”

Have you ever thought about your size in comparison to the universe? How are we to go about planning for the future if we are “mists that appear for a little while and then vanishes”? We barely have a grasp on the future and yet we spend so much of our time planning for it. James offers practical advice on how we ought to plan all the while explaining its root in pride.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Rediscovering Your First Love “

With the demands of family, work, school, relationships, and never-ending to-do lists, it’s easy to get our priorities messed up. And if you are a Christ-follower, the place where we most often mess up is in getting our eyes and hearts off of our relationship with God and putting them onto something else. It’s called leaving your first love, and there’s only one remedy for it.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “The Lone Rescuer”

There are many who offer a path to God and many more who promise peace and contentment, but there is only one offering rescue. Jesus cuts through the stress of performance and provides true salvation.

If you feel like you’re falling short of God’s standards, or if you feel like you can never be good enough, right enough, long enough to measure up in life, Jesus’ arrival will be a breath of fresh air.

Today we will see just how unique and necessary His offer is.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “…When You’re Isolated”

At times life can make you want to get away from everyone and everything. Just you and your thoughts. You and the Lord. After all, even the Lord modeled the importance of time alone away from the crowds and daily demands of life. That can be a good thing.

But sometimes, when we isolate ourselves from others, it can be the opposite of what we need. There are times when we need others to come along side us. To remind us that we’re not alone as we walk through this world. That we need their care, support, and encouragement.

This week the matter of aloneness comes into focus in our Replenished series as we finish our look into the life and ministry of Elijah. He had something to learn about aloneness that was essential for seeing God’s best in his life. And so do we.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “…When You’re Deflated”

When it comes to the spiritual life, a person can be either hot, cold, or lukewarm in their relationship with God. Of course God wants our love for Him to be red hot.

But in this fallen world, sometimes it’s not. Even if your name is Elijah. He was a prophet who went from being “very zealous” for the Lord to “had been very zealous” for the Lord.

It could have ended there for Elijah. But it didn’t. God intervened in a totally unexpected way in Elijah’s life. How and what came out of what God did is our focus this week. What we’ll see could be just what you need, that you might see God do a replenishing work in you too.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “…When You’re Depleted”

It’s been described in a number of ways. At the end of your rope. Ready to throw in the towel. In the pit of despair. Had enough. Fed up.

It can happen to anyone who is emotionally depleted, which can happen to anyone in our stressful, driven, pressured, crazy-making world here in the Silicon Valley.

Even the good guys get fed up and say they can’t take it anymore. That was certainly the case with Elijah the prophet. He’s the perfect case study for anyone who is in need of emotional replenishment, which is a place we will all be at some point in our lives.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “…When You’re Exhausted”

If you’re among the millions in our world that feel exhausted and physically spent, you’re in good company. Even the best of God’s people similarly suffered.

The prophet Elijah knew the highs and lows of life. What it was like to be up one day and down the next. To be exhausted, and depleted, and running on empty.

Who hasn’t been there? Maybe you’re there right now. Hurting. Exhausted. Spent. Rung out. Feeling like you can’t go on. In need of hope? You could find it this Sunday as we learn from the life and times of Elijah.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “The Willing Unknowns”

History is paved with the names of people who are familiar to us for their heroic exploits or extraordinary achievements. We are indebted to many of them for their leadership and significant contributions.

But there are also others whose names and faces, while equally deserving of our attention and admiration, are the forgotten heroes, the “nobodies” who paved the way for the “somebodies.” Few people know and remember these individuals, but their contributions are invaluable. They are the “willing unknowns,” and it is to them that we turn our attention this morning.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Adopted “

When was the last time you thought about adoption? Perhaps it was when you recently came across an inspiring adoption story on television. Or maybe it was the time when someone close to you – a coworker, a relative, or a friend – decided to look into the possibility of adopting. Either way, though, it’s probably safe to say that, of all the subjects that run through our minds in a given day, adoption is not typically near the top of the list. Maybe that is because adoption stories always seem to be somebody else’s story. But what if adoption is more than that? What if adoption was part of your story?

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Walk Thru Open Doors”

It’s said that public speaking is one of our greatest fears. But it also seems that most Christians are also afraid of speaking in private, when they’re telling others about their faith in Christ.

God wants to use His followers to spread the Gospel to the lost world around us. As a follower of Jesus, at some point God will open a door for you to tell someone the truth about who God is and what it means to walk with Him. Will you be ready?

We will be looking at some of the things that helped Paul share his faith with others. We can all benefit by what he has to teach us, so we will be ready when God opens a door.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Pray for Open Doors”

Many of us struggle to share our faith with others. Some of us don’t think faith is something that should be shared at all. For those reasons and possibly others, “evangelism” can be an intimidating word.

But God doesn’t want it to be that way. God shares His life with us out of joy and love and wants us to have the same experience passing along the blessing we’ve received.

For sure, there are unique challenges when articulating the Gospel in our context, but today we will see the first steps in sharing our faith well.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Wow Your Employees”

Give some thought to a time in your life when you worked for a great boss. One that would be on your wow list. Do you remember why? What was it that made this boss standout? How did this person make your job better?

You have to love the fact that God takes an interest in how a boss leads and manages. Their approach, attitude, and actions are all important to Him. Which is why God, through Paul, talks to masters in the book of Colossians.

This Sunday our focus zeroes in on a few words that pack a big punch. What we will see can make a world of difference in our careers (and homes too). Especially when we find ourselves in roles where we are leading and directing others.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Wow Your Employers”

Mindset is everything. Especially when it comes to work. If you’re a hired hand, simply getting the job done so you can get on with the rest of your life can easily occupy your thinking. We love Fridays more than Mondays, which is why this week’s message could give us some much needed help in the work we do.

What if work was a “Wow!” for you? And your work was a “Wow!” to your boss and others. Not likely? Perhaps. But then again, it’s possible… if you have the mindset Paul describes in Colossians for those who are working for someone else.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “One Thing Parents Shouldn’t Do”

What comes out of the Silicon Valley is amazing. People throughout the world benefit by what’s invented and developed here. It’s downright amazing…and dangerous too.

Yes, dangerous. If we’re not careful, our culture to be more and do more so we can accomplish more and have more can wreak havoc on our homes and families. The outcome of our driven environment may be good for the world and yet be the undoing of our personal lives.

That possibility makes what we will be looking at in the book of Colossians this Sunday seriously relevant, as we examine a matter that has life-giving or life-threatening implications for the homes we long to build.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “One Thing Kids Need to Know”

Some things in life are obvious. If you’re a Life Guard, you need to know how to swim. If you want to get an A in Chemistry, you need to know what the teacher wants you to know. If you’re an employee, you need to know what your boss expects of you. Obviously.

But what if you’re a kid? Or a parent raising kids? What do you need to know?

If you join us this coming Sunday for our continuing series in Colossians, you will learn what you need to know. And once you know, you’ll put yourself in the best place possible when it comes to your relationship with your family and with God.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Who Would’ve Thought”

This coming Sunday we as a church family will be celebrating God’s faithful work among us over the past 21 months. Yes, that’s the length of time we’ve been displaced from our worship center.

Displaced? That’s how we might describe it. But I think God sees it differently. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His plans are usually different than our plans.

This Sunday when we return to our newly remodeled worship center, we do so with anticipation, excitement, praise, and faith. New faith. Stronger faith. Celebrative faith. We will celebrate together the God who’s done more than we could have asked or dreamed.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “The Heart of Marriage”

If you want to know the best definition of love, you won’t find it in a dictionary, a magazine, or a song. You also won’t get it from Browning, Shakespeare, or Keats either. And you certainly won’t get it from Wikipedia.
No, the reality is that love – the kind of unconditional, self-sacrificing love that God commands husbands to demonstrate to wives – is best defined not by a set of abstract concepts, but by an event. And it’s this particular event that provides the path for you to discover God’s purpose for your marriage.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Marriage & The “S” Word”

The great news is that most – if not all – couples want to have a great marriage, and many of us are willing to do what it takes to have it. The bad news is that we often don’t know where to start or are already overwhelmed with the complex demands of marriage.

But here’s the really good news: God’s way for marriage may not be easy to live out, but it is easy to understand. And it all starts with one fundamental principle that, when understood and applied, will change your perspective and potentially even your marriage.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Don’t Just Do it”

Life is filled with roles and responsibilities. Take a moment and think of the ones you’re tasked with: Dad, mom, child, student, employer, employee, parent, friend, Christ-follower, developer, fixer… The list goes on and on.

So how are you doing with doing the things you are responsible to do? Are you accomplishing a lot? Moving forward? Enjoying the ride? On the verge of a breakthrough and not a breakdown? Are you getting things done?

Unfortunately, Nike’s advice to “just do it” isn’t really enough according to God. Even if you are getting a lot done, you still might be missing out on what matters the most in what we do. What that is will be our focus this Sunday in our continuing series in the book of Colossians.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “This Is Church”

Think for a moment about a favorite place. What makes it special? Is it the location? The weather? The feeling you get when you’re there? Does fun come to mind? Is it connected to food? People? Coffee?

Did the church come to mind? The Body of believers? The family of God? Would you say gathering with believers is on your list of favorite things to do? In or outside a church building?

This coming Sunday in our continuing series in Colossians we’re going to see what a healthy church looks like. The kind of fellowship that people return to over and over again. One they can’t get enough of because it’s one of their favorite places to be.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Living Hope”

It’s been said, “Human beings can live for forty days without food, four days without water, and four minutes without air. But we cannot live for four seconds without hope.”

Even though that isn’t literally true, the point is well taken. Hope keeps us alive. That’s why novelist Pearl S. Buck said, “To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.” Man cannot live on bread alone.

If ever there was a reservoir that can provide the hope we need, it’s the Easter story. This Easter Sunday we will see how that is true, and the daily impact this hope can make on the ups and downs of life that come our way.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “On With the New “

In 1975, John Molloy wrote a book called Dress For Success, which became the fashion guidebook for many people trying to climb the corporate ladder. Molloy’s advice centered on a basic premise — always dress like your boss.

Every day we dress for work, school, or recreation and we have to decide what to wear — even in the Silicon Valley, people strive for the “right look”.

Like John, God also provides us with a “dress code” for success. As His chosen people, we are to clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Above all things we should encompass these virtues in love.

Do you begin everyday by putting on and following this “dress code” for Christ? What does it look like to wear these traits everyday? Are these virtues visible to others? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s time for a change!

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Over and Done”

Think back to the last time you said, “I’m over that.” “I’m done with that.” “I’m moving on.” Did you move on? Were you done? Did you cut your losses? Burn some bridges?

If you’ve ever deliberately put something in the past, you know how tough and yet rewarding it can be to move on. Letting go of something that’s brought you pleasure isn’t easy, but when faced with the promise of a better future, it only makes sense. Especially when it comes to cutting ties with “the old life.”

This week we’ll get an up close look at the “old life” everyone would do well to say good riddance to. Want a hint? It has nothing to do with your age.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Upward and Forward”

If you’re not careful, you can end up focused on the wrong things. The temporal instead of the eternal. Projects instead of people. Rules instead of relationships. Desserts instead of vegetables.

Who hasn’t lost focus? It happens to everyone. And not just in old age. It can happen at any time and any place in our lives.

God’s Word speaks to us right where we need it most. Which is why this Sunday’s message, focused on focus, has relevance for all. That is, if we can get focused long enough to get what God says about focus.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Seven Levels of Godly Anger”

Have you ever heard a sermon about Jesus’ good anger? Have you ever asked God to help you be angry like Jesus? Although most Christians know that Jesus was perfect, we have mostly overlooked the example of perfect anger Jesus gives us. This week’s message will help us to see that godly anger is an aspect of real love.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Ripped Off by Religion”

When Dan Kimball wrote the book, “They Like Jesus But Not The Church,” several matters were brought into focus worthy of consideration – that the church might become all that God intended for her to be and have the greatest positive impact possible in our irreligious world.

Almost 2,000 years before Dan wrote his book, the Apostle Paul addressed a similar concern in his letter to the Colossians – that the church at Colosse might not fall into religiosity.

This Sunday in our continuing message series in Colossians we come to Paul’s final proactive exhortation to a church he cared for enough to call their attention to what needed their attention. His desire was that they, and people like us, might focus on that which matters most.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Practice Preventive Thinking”

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevention is the best medicine. That’s why many take low dosage aspirin, get cancer screenings, go in for vaccinations, and drink a lot of water.

Preventing something bad from happening is better than having it happen and then trying to deal with it.

The same can be said for the spiritual life. Proactive preventive thinking trumps reactive corrective actions.

Paul, in his letter to the church at Colosse, brings into focus some much needed preventive thinking that we can all benefit by.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “U Could B”

If ever there was a place focused on progress, the Silicon Valley is that place. We thrive on forward thinking. Innovation. On not just what is, but what could be. It’s in our DNA.

Progress was foremost in the Apostle Paul’s thinking too. He longed to see Christ-followers, having come to Christ, become more and more like Christ. To experience transformational change.

Why and where progress is needed in our personal lives is our focus this Sunday in our continuing message series in Colossians. This is a topic with relevance for all because everyone is a work in progress.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Christ in You”

Today countless Christian authors and speakers claim that almost every conceivable worship
style, program, book, group, doctrine, building design, or leadership structure is the key to a
successful church.
Who is right? How can a person tell if a church is genuinely healthy? Where should a church be
focusing its energies and directing its resources? What should a God-glorifying church in the
21st century even look like? What should be its motivations?
Join us as we continue our series in the book of Colossians and explore these questions.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “You in Christ”

When we compare our achievements, our relationships, and our lives to a world that is airbrushed, cropped, edited, and made to look perfect, we’re often left feeling inadequate or incomplete. However, one of the central themes of the book of Colossians is that, if you are a follower of Jesus, you already have everything you need because of who Christ is and what He has done on your behalf. You are, in fact, complete in Him. How is that possible? That’s what this week’s message is all about.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “First Place”

Someone or something gets first place in your life. It’s just the way things are. The way things work out. Case in point? The Alabama football team. When it comes to college football, they are number one. At least for now. They have the highest rank because they deserve it.

Our lives are a record of what we deem most worthy of first place. A home, relationship, job, animal, hobby, income. You name it. Every day we decide where our focus will be and what to invest our time, treasures, and talents in. We decide what’s first.

In our continuing message series through the book of Colossians, we’ll be looking into what we’re putting first in our lives. Is it what should be first? Let’s find out what God’s Word has to say about that.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “I Got Your Back”

When someone says, “I’ve got your back,” it’s a sign that they care. They’re watching out for you. They are committed to doing all they can to insure your well-being.

This week we begin a new message series in the book of Colossians. At the beginning of this letter, Paul, the writer of Colossians, wants the church at Colossae to know that he cares. That he’s got their back.

What he shares with them is as relevant today as it was when Paul wrote this letter. His words can help all of us learn to care more for others in tangible ways, so that we can honestly say, “I’ve got your back.”

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Weight Loss! “

Opening video Falling Plates

Sermon Slides
Have you ever exercised for a race, to lose weight, or just to be healthy; only to realize you’re not losing weight because exercise without a change in diet does nothing?

Sin is just like that. Simply being a Christian isn’t enough; similar to only exercising is not sufficient to losing weight. We must throw off everything that “hinders” and “sin” that easily entangles us and fixate our eyes on Jesus. Are you spiritually fit? Are you losing the weight of sin? Are your eyes fixed on Jesus?

CONTINUE READING

Message: “The End is Near”

The last Sunday of the year is a good time to take stock – looking back and evaluating, looking forward in anticipation. In today’s world with widespread concern about terrorism, economic uncertainty, and political discord we have a heightened need for scripture to guide our year-end reflections.

The apostle Peter wrote a letter to ‘exiles’, who suffered persecution, poverty and the apparent triumph of evil under the boot of Roman domination. He called on Jesus’ followers to gain God’s strength in their suffering, and to live by faith serving as examples to outsiders. The text before us, 1Peter 4:7-11, begins by observing, “the end of all things is at hand”. What follows, perhaps surprisingly, is not a challenge to storm the ramparts, but rather a call for practical holiness in four areas. These are: attention to prayer, persistent love for one another, generous hospitality, and deploying the spiritual gifts we have been given.

It is common to set a better course for ourselves as we approach a new year. May Peter’s call to practical holiness guide our 2016 choices so that God is honored among us and outsiders are attracted to the Savior.

CONTINUE READING

Message: ” Stupendous Joy”

Chances are, unless your name is The Grinch or Scrooge, Christmas brings a smile to your face. That’s good, because the Christmas message is all about a bundle of joy that brought stupendous joy for everyone.

Newborn babies have a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face. And that was especially true when Jesus was born. He was – and is – the promised Messiah. God’s gift of love to the world.

This Sunday we celebrate Christmas. With joy. Stupendous joy. The kind that’s meant to change our lives, now and forever. Joy to the world! Now that’s a message that all need to hear and be changed by.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “One Of The Hardest Things To Learn”

Learning is what we do – especially here in the Silicon Valley. We’re committed to lifelong learning.

Of course some things are harder to learn than others. Things like: how to say no; how to live on a budget; how to work through relational conflict in a healthy way. And of course how to lose weight and keep it off.

Every one of those learnings is hard, but perhaps not as hard as the learning we will be focused on at Bridges this Sunday. This week we bring our message series in Philippians to a close as we look at a passage that has huge ramifications about how we think, feel, spend, live, and more. It’s a learning worth learning. Come and discover for yourself the difference it could make in your life.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “What To Feed Your Mind”

Everywhere you turn it seems more people and businesses are in to eating better food. Have you noticed? Even Costco is now selling a lot of organic foods. Bacon is out; kale is in. If you just have to eat chocolate, make sure it’s dark.

The saying “You are what you eat” isn’t just applicable to our bodies. It also connects with our minds. We are what we think. Garbage in… garbage out. Do you believe it?

Paul certainly did, which is why it’s a topic of concern in Philippians. This week our study in Philippians is focused on our thought life. We’re going to think about thinking. And hopefully we’ll walk away with a new commitment to feed our minds the food that gives life.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “Yours For The Taking”

Are you good at taking hold of whatever life gives you? At getting the most out of whatever comes your way? If you are, you’re a rare person.

Most people who have smart phones or tablets are content with the basics. But the ones who want to benefit the most from their techie gadgets take the time to dig in and discover every feature they can. Not simply for the sake of knowing, but so they can get the most out of their investment.

When it comes to the Christian life, the book of Philippians says a lot about “taking hold” of all a relationship with the Lord offers. In Paul’s letter he tells the Philippians (and us) to make the most of this life. Our study about this topic this week can be a great benefit to all of us.

CONTINUE READING

Message: “The Cure for the Common Conflict”

Intro video

We all deal with conflict from time to time in our relationships, but it’s extremely disappointing when it takes place among Christ-followers. After all, if I love God and you love God, then shouldn’t it be easier for us to work through personal differences and get along? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
When a church experiences conflict, the results can be devastating: couples divorce, families and friends become divided, factions form, gossip and rumors spread, churches split, and ultimately our witness for Christ is lost. How can you live in harmony with others and work through conflict before it erupts and tears the church and your most important relationships apart?

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Message: “Living for Eternity”

How often do you think about eternity? Do you approach each day with an eternal perspective, remembering, as the Bible teaches, that this world and the things in it are impermanent? Do you live with hope in your heart, eyes to the future, and hands holding this present world loosely? What if you were able to face the difficulties and disappointments of this life with peace rather than panic, knowing full well that they are intended by God to make us long for the life that is to come?

One of the good things the Bible keeps in front of us is that this is not all there is. There is more to come. The world and everything in it is marching toward eternity, and when we understand that, everything changes.

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Message: “Still Running Strong”

It’s been said “It’s not how you start but how you finish.” Do you agree? Maybe not if you’re in the Silicon Valley where starting well is paramount to success. In this area, if you don’t get off to a good start, you’re in big trouble.

A start up, a new adventure, a new relationship, a new baby – all are usually begun with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. But when difficulties, hardships, sleepless nights, unmet expectations, pain, and other troublesome times come along, we find out just how strong our faith and perseverance really are.

This week we examine Paul’s passion to finish well. It wasn’t a last minute addition to his bucket list. Throughout his years as a believer, he focused on the goal that was before him. He never gave up. He kept pressing on. His example can be a great help to us wherever we are in our life’s journey.

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Message: “I’m Not The Same”

When you show up for your twenty-five year high school reunion, unless someone is talking about your agelessness, the comment “you haven’t changed a bit” may not be a good thing. Especially if they’re referring to your dark side. You’d hope things would have changed for the better after twenty-five years.

If ever someone changed, Saul – who Jesus renamed Paul – did. Big time! When we read his letter to the Philippians that was written twenty-five years after he met Christ, we see that he wasn’t the same person he once was.

One of the obvious changes in Paul’s life showed up in his religious practices and beliefs. This week we’ll take a look at those changes in our ongoing study in Philippians. What we’ll see could be an immense help in the pluralistic, religiously diverse culture we live in.

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Message: “Look Who’s Coming to Town”

Take a minute and think about someone who’s “coming to town” would give you great joy. If given the opportunity to meet with this person, would you carve out time to be together?
What if that person “coming to town” was you? Do you think others would be excited about your coming and make time to hang out with you if given the chance?
The answer to that second question depends on the kind of person you are. This week’s message will get us thinking about this relevant matter, and hopefully we will be encouraged by what we learn.

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Message: “Unity Through Humility”

The negative neighbor.
The critical co-worker.
The selfish family member.
The frustrating person at church with whom you don’t see eye to eye.
Let’s admit it: We can all be challenging to get along with at times, but it sure seems there are certain people who are especially gifted at it! However, before you put someone in a headlock, lose your temper, or walk away from a relationship altogether, let’s take a look at what the Bible reveals to be the starting point for dealing with – and even learning to love – the difficult people in our lives.

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Message: “Unfazed by Uncertainty”

The future is filled with uncertainty and unpredictability. We want to know where the provision is going to come from or if our loved one is going to pull through the procedure or how this child is going to turn out or if our job will still be there next month or if we’re simply going to make it through this trial.

You may be uncertain right now about how a particular circumstance in your life will turn out, but you can have absolute certainty about one thing: Life may be uncertain, but God isn’t. As we continue our sermon series in the book of Philippians, we’ll discover how we can not only cope with unpredictability, but actually rejoice in it.

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Message: “It’s All Good”

The Bible says, “Rejoice always!” How are you doing with that? Talk about a lofty goal. Who can say they rejoice always. 100% of the time? Would you come in somewhere around 50%? Or maybe 25%?

The book of Philippians has a lot to say about living with joy. How it’s possible in a world filled with sin and pain, even when you just don’t feel like rejoicing.

Paul, who wrote Philippians, did a lot of rejoicing – in some of the most surprising places. One of which we’ll see this Sunday. And in seeing, we’ll discover a sure way to add more joy to our lives.

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Message: “The First 10%”

When it comes to crucial conversations, it’s been said that we should give special attention to the last 10% – that part of the conversation that is often neglected because it’s too awkward or difficult to talk about.

It’s true, the last 10% is vital in a conversation if you want to come to a healthy conclusion. But the first 10% is important too. It’s tone. The first words spoken. The whole approach one takes at the beginning of a crucial conversation can make or break the rest of the conversation.

This week, as we dig into the first 10% of Philippians, we’re going to see the approach Paul took as he began his “I have some things I need to share with you” conversation. It’s my hope that it will help us all learn how to better approach future crucial conversations.

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Message: “A Work in Progress”

If you use Google for driving directions, you’ve heard “you’ve arrived at your destination.” And when you hear it you breathe a sigh of relief; thankful you made it to your destination.

Have you ever thought of the Christian life as a journey? We’re heading toward a great future, but we haven’t arrived yet. So as long as we’re in this fallen world, we take it one day at a time, learning and growing, little by little moving toward the future God has planned for us.

Along the way, most of us will experience times when we’re weary of the journey; times when we could use an infusion of joy. The wisdom found in the book of Philippians can give you that. This week we’ll see why, as we begin our journey through Philippians. It will be an encouragement for all of us who are still waiting for the day when we’ll hear God say “you’ve arrived at your destination.”

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Message: “No Gloom”

Some people are downright negative. That sounds like I’m one of them! Maybe, but I hope not. But those closest to me would know. Just like those closest to you know which side of the positive-negative continuum you are on.

Would you say you’re a “Yes” person or a “No” person? Is your first response optimistic or pessimistic? Do you default to being negative or positive?

Your outlook on problems, and life in general, matters. It really does. Enough that God would address it in the grandest HERE to THERE story found in the Bible. That story, which we’ll look at this Sunday, can help each one of us with our negative attitudes. And it will help each of us grow deeper in our understanding of what it means to follow God.

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Message: “No Fear”

Fear happens. Especially when things change, like at this time of year. What will the future bring on the job, at school, at work, in our homes, with our kids as they leave home? Fear is a natural emotion.

This week at Bridges we begin a new series focused on God – the one who said, “Do not fear, for I am with you.”

God with us. What a thought! If He’s with us, then He’s got this. And if He’s got this, we need not live with fear. We’ll see how that’s possible this Sunday.

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Message: “Taste and See”

When the cancer is in remission, we say, “God is good.” And when the pay raise comes, or when the university admits us, or when things work out in our favor, we announce, “God is good.” But would we say the same thing under different circumstances? In the cemetery as well as the nursery? Whether we’re gainfully employed or out of work? In days of recession as much in days of provision?

Is God always good? How should we define good? If we call God good when things go right, does it mean He’s not good or not all-powerful when things go wrong? This week’s message will explore what the Scriptures have to say about these questions as they relate to the subject of God’s goodness.

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Message: “Connect the Dots!”

Do you remember the game connect the dots? Remember how you could never see the full picture without connecting them all. Student Ministry is a lot like that game, but instead of connecting dots, your connecting young souls to God. Think back to when someone helped you connect with God, when you felt disconnected with life. Regardless of our age, there are moments when we all feel disconnected on our journey and need help connecting the dots.

In Psalms 122, we read David’s song of the invitation God extends to the Israelites to come and reconnect. For forty years they wandered in the wilderness feeling disconnected from God, and missed out on a richer relationship with Him. Countless people journeyed with the Israelites from Moses to Aaron. Our students are on their own journey trying to connect the dots. Will you be their Moses and Aaron?

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Message: “GOOD NEWS!”

The mission of The Gideons International is to win the lost for Christ, and our unique method is the distribution of Bibles and New Testaments in selected streams of life. Gideons have placed or distributed more than 2 billion complete Bibles and New Testaments in 200 countries, territories and possessions around the world . . . so far. Having God’s Word can lead people to faith in Christ, and we invite you to explore this website to learn more about the Gideons and how you can help us provide God’s Word.

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Message: “When Life Takes Unexpected Turns “

Has there ever been a time in your life when you thought you knew how things would turn out, only when you got there you found things to be completely different from what you had expected? …Are you kidding? This happens all the time. Life is full of surprises. And this was no exception for the Apostle Paul. But whereas many of us are thrown by the unexpected turns life sends our way, he made the most of them. This week we will look at the final chapter in the book of Acts to consider how we too can thrive when life takes unexpected turns.

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Message: “When You’re In a Storm”

The Bible is not shy in using storms as a metaphor for facing challenging life circumstances. Storms are so rich and powerful in imagery: the waves and wind, for instance, mirror the uncertainty and intensity of our trials and suffering.

Last week we started our final series in the book of Acts, “Unstoppable”, and saw HOW we can follow God in the midst of challenging circumstances. But this week, as we come to the great storm the Apostle Paul found himself in, we will consider WHY we can trust God when we’re in the middle of storms of our own.

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Message: “When the Outcome Is Uncertain”

None of us like to be in situations where the outcome is uncertain. I mean, who likes to lose things like stability, comfort, and security? And yet, for each of us there will come times when we really don’t have the control over our lives we wish we had. So… what then?

As we finish up our series in the book of Acts, we see in these final chapters the Apostle Paul in one impossible situation after another. His life was completely out of his own control, and yet he gives us a wonderful example on how we too can face situations like these, and thrive.

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Message: “Powerful Weakness”

What do you do when there is seemingly nothing you can do about a particular circumstance in your life? What do you do when there is a problem that seems to have no solution, a question that doesn’t have an answer? What do you do when there’s seemingly no way forward and no way out? What do you do when there is no relief in sight?

It’s at times like this that we feel most vulnerable, exhausted, and weak. And yet it’s also at times like this when God begins His greatest work in us.

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Message: “Worth Your Attention”

Having and keeping someone’s attention is easier said than done. Cell phones, text messages, electronic gadgets, and schedule pressures are only a few of the growing number of things that can divert someone’s attention.

The fact is, we all need help in paying attention to that which matters most, when that which matters most needs our attention.

This year for Fathers Day we will be focused on a message that has application to all. It’s one that’s worth everyone’s attention. It concerns faith, and transferring that faith to others which is unlikely to happen without focused attention on two matters which matter most.

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Message: “Compelled to Replicate”

Based on the great commission, it is our job not to make decisions, but to make disciples for Jesus.

Easier said than done. Agreed? It is hard enough to lead someone to Christ let alone help them grow up in Christ.

This Sunday, gifted evangelist Tim Reilly will be with us to share a message that is applicable to all. His message, Compelled to Replicate, will show us how to help people come to faith and grow to become more like Christ.

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Message: “The Best of Times”

When you think about “the best of times” what comes to mind? A trip? A relationship? An accomplishment? A project? An experience?

One thing is sure, we prefer the best of times over the worst of times. That’s why this week’s message focus could put a big smile on your face.

This week we get a glimpse of the Apostle Paul’s personal life. Definitely in his “best of times list.” Something he talked about a lot so others would benefit too. And now it’s our turn to benefit by it too this Sunday in our continuing study in Acts 22.

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Message: “The Worst of Times”

This side of heaven, we will face hardship. We wish it wasn’t true. But if Jesus, who was perfect, suffered, His followers certainly will. In fact, Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.”

Persecution certainly hit the Apostle Paul. Hard. Unfairly. And it hurt. But it didn’t knock him out of the race.

That’s why this week’s message in Acts can be so helpful to all of us. When life doesn’t go as planned. When we suffer unfairly. When the very thing that Jesus said would happen, happens. When life hurts.

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Message: “Christian Resolve”

Sometimes God calls his followers into challenging circumstances. Jesus himself said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This essentially means we can expect hardship!… which, of course, we don’t particularly like. I know I don’t! And yet, Christians are called to be faithful even when it might otherwise be hard because it’s precisely these times that are often the most helpful in advancing of the gospel.

This Sunday, as we continue our series in the book of Acts, we’ll see how the apostle Paul was able to faithfully follow God in the midst of incredible hardship and trial. And the hope is it will help us, when the day comes (or perhaps for you that day is now!), when we too might glorify God in the midst of challenging circumstances.

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Message: “A Biblical Perspective on Leadership”

If you were to describe a good leader, what character traits would you want at the top of a list? Many want leaders who are great… communicators, delegators, activators, persuaders, and the like. Obviously, these traits can make for really good leaders! But what’s interesting is that when the Bible talks about leadership, it often commends traits in a leader that we might not naturally put at the top of our lists.
We’re all leaders in some respect – in the workplace, the classroom, our homes, on the playing field – so it’s important to consider how we’re influencing others. This week, we continue our series in the book of Acts, studying scripture that shows us what makes good Christian leadership.

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Message: ” What Mom Taught Me “

Mom’s teach. More than you might think. In good times and hard times. In small ways and large ways. They teach by what they say and by what they do. When you think about who you are, you can probably list a number of things that you can directly relate to something you learned from your mom.

Today we give thanks for our moms; for the many good things we learn from them. And hopefully we’ll even learn something today as we honor them. That would probably make our moms really happy.

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Message: “The Persuader”

Per-suade verb Cause to believe. Convince.

Have you ever had someone talk you into something that you didn’t want? They persuaded or convinced you. It happens a lot, doesn’t it? It’s what sales people try to do all the time.

This week our study in Acts brings persuasion into focus through a person who was characterized as the persuader.

We’ll see what that meant and ask if it’s the kind of person God wants each of us to be too. Especially when it comes to sharing our faith with others.

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Message: “The Teammates”

The Silicon Valley is all about working in teams. The bigger the project, the greater our need for teammates. Trying to get a huge job done alone is not smart.

Jesus was into working with teammates. From the start, a team approach to ministry was key to the accomplishment of His heavenly goals.

But in reality, working with teammates can often be a monumental challenge. That’s why this week’s focus in Acts can be helpful for all of us. What makes a great teammate and how can I be one? This Sunday we’ll learn from the example of two people who got the teammate thing right.

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Message: “The Cultural Relevance of the Gospel”

People today frequently equate cultural relevance with that which is modern, progressive, or cutting-edge. Consequently, ancient Christian perspectives are increasingly deemed as antiquated and out-of-touch with the current cultural landscape. After all, if Christianity is so old, why would we bother listening to it? Can a movement that was founded in the Middle East 2,000 years ago really have anything to say to us today?

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Message: “The Personal Relevance of the Gospel”

Many church leaders have been telling us for a long time that, because we live in a postmodern era when Christianity is no longer the baseline around the world for cultural identity and discourse, the Christian faith and message are becoming increasingly irrelevant and out-of-touch.

Is that true? Is the gospel message personally and culturally relevant to people in the 21st century? Does it still have a direct bearing on our lives today?

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Message: “Say Goodbye to Unbelief”

Easter is grounded in belief. We believe Jesus rose from the dead. That’s why Bridges Community Church will once again gather for Easter services this coming Sunday.

Everyone believes in something or someone. We believe in family, marriage, eating, sleeping, education, faith, the benefits of kale… or maybe not that one.

In Jesus’ day, many did not believe he was who he claimed to be. Even his brothers were among the unbelieving crowd. Should you believe? That’s our focus this Easter. We hope you’ll come and bring a friend.

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Message: “The One Baton Pass We Must Make”

Be One, Make One Week 4 Handout

Relay races are often won or lost in the baton pass. If the baton is dropped, defeat is pretty much guaranteed. However, a skillful baton pass along with a race well run could lead to a life-changing win.

If you’re a Christ-follower, God placed a baton into your hand. The most important baton you will ever hold. You must try your best to get what you’ve been given into someone else’s hands.
This Sunday as we bring our “Be One, Make One” series to a close we’ll see how Barnabas passed the baton he was given to Saul. What he did can help us run our leg of the race well.

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Message: “The One Time We Shouldn’t Walk Away “

Be One, Make One Week 3 Handout

Child neglect. It tragically happens, to the detriment of a baby whose well-being depends on the care they receive from sacrificial, loving parents.

Like children need parents, God’s children need spiritual parents. Disciple-makers. Loving people who care for them and help them grow up to be mature Christ-followers.

This Sunday we will see how important spiritual pediatrics was on Paul and Barnabas’ 1st Missionary journey. Spoiler alert: It was way more important than you might think.

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Message: “The One Person We All Need “

Be One, Make One Week 2 Handout

You are what you are because others have shaped your life. In some way, in your early years, in your later years, you are better or worse due to the impact of others on you.

When Jesus invited Simon and Andrew to follow Him and become fishers of men, He had every intention of impacting them for the better. He was going to teach them to have a life-changing impact on others.

That’s what discipleship is all about. One life impacting another for good. We need mentors and we need to be mentors. That topic comes into focus today as we continue our Be One, Make One series.

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Message: “The One Thing We’d Rather Not Be”

Be One, Make One Week 1 Handout

This Sunday we begin a new topical study in the book of Acts focused on making disciples. It’s a subject that got significant time and attention in Jesus’ life and ministry. And it’s also something that He called His followers to have as a priority in their lives.

Do you have the disciple-making thing figured out? Are you making disciples? If you get to heaven and God asks you about it, will you be able to say, “YES! I made disciples!”

Unfortunately, most Christians aren’t doing very well at making disciples. Many just leave that job up to the church. Many aren’t making disciples because they’ve never been discipled themselves. We at Bridges hope to see that sad but common reality change. That’s why our “Be One, Make One” series has importance for all, wherever you are in your disciple-making.

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Message: “Unity – What It Actually Takes”

Unity in diversity reflected in the body of Christ is so beautiful. But boy, can it take hard work! Christians so often bring differing points of view, non-essential beliefs, and cultural preferences that make alignment in vision and purpose a real challenge.

It was a challenge for the early church, but somehow they were able to do it – even in the face of tremendous conflict. This week, as we conclude our “We Are Family” series, we’ll take a look at their struggle to find unity in Acts 15, and in turn consider what it takes for us to reach – and preserve – unity today.

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Message: “Becoming More Multicultural”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.” Sometimes we’d like to think American churches are post-racial, diverse yet united – but the reality is even today they are not. According to a recent sociological study, very few church communities here truly qualify as multi-ethnic.
We all know becoming more multicultural is an important goal. We all know it’s God’s ultimate plan for the church. But how do we get there? This Sunday we see not only how becoming multicultural was a struggle for the early church, but also, through their example, the path forward.

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Message: “Your Point of View “

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Message: “After”

Have you ever realized that you have been walking around with toilet paper stuck to your shoe? Or wearing an item of clothing inside-out? Or that you have a blob of ketchup on your cheek? When someone finally pointed out the problem, you likely felt a small-to-moderate sense of embarrassment. You had been walking around assuming certain things about yourself and your appearance, but in that moment you discovered that reality was otherwise and your perception of yourself was inaccurate.
Is it possible that someone could have an equally inaccurate perception about their own spiritual condition – to think that they are a Christian, but not actually be one? What constitutes a “genuine” conversion experience? What is the proof or evidence that a person is truly a follower of Jesus? God’s Word has the answers to these all-important questions.

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Message: “Before”

Churches are not full of perfect people, but somewhere along the way, that’s the perception many people have developed of Christianity. Perhaps part of this perception comes from the way we tend to elevate certain individuals in Scripture: Saint Peter, Saint John, Saint Paul . . .
Wait a minute . . . Saint Paul? The same Paul who referred to himself as a “blasphemer, persecutor, a violent man, and the worst of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:12-16)?
If you know anything about the apostle Paul and his past, you know that he was far from perfect and would have been appalled to ever be called “Saint Paul.” He was arguably the least likely candidate in history to repent and commit his life to follow Jesus. However, the good news for Paul – and for us – is that God loves unlikely candidates. No one is beyond hope. If you question that, remember Paul.

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Message: “Come But Then…”

As Pastor Dave & Bernice Gudgel launch their new book Bible StoryBoards out into the world, we are using it at BCC to work our way through the Bible in a three-week series that began on Jan. 11. Between Sundays the Bible StoryBoards blog will highlight one StoryBoard each day, from the previous Sunday’s lesson. Join us for this journey at biblestoryboards.com/blog.
If you like big finishes, you’re in for a treat this Sunday as we finish our Bible StoryBoards series. Incredible. Unfathomable. Amazing. Unheard of. A dream come true. All appropriate descriptions of what’s before us as we finish our journey through the Bible.

Want a hint? All of history was leading up to this. It was predicted for thousands of years. It changed everything and will change everything.

One thing is for sure – what was, and is, and is to come, is from God’s hand. And it’s all connected to God’s love. The love God has for us and the love God seeks from us.

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Message: “Faith then Failure then… “

Three steps forward, two steps back is an appropriate description of the Christian life. We move forward with faith for a time but inevitably experience failure when we begin doing what seems right to us, instead of trusting God and following Him.

This “on again, off again” relationship with God isn’t new. It’s been like this since the first man and woman lived on planet earth. And even after all these years, we still can’t get our act together. It’s not an excuse, it’s simply the truth.

What’s unfathomable is God’s response. If we were in His place we would have said, “I’ve had enough. I’m done with you people” a long time ago. But thankfully God is not like us. This week we’ll be taking a look at His incredible love and patience with difficult people like us, as we dig into the second week of our journey through the Bible with Bible StoryBoards.

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Message: “Paradise Lost But…”

As Pastor Dave & Bernice Gudgel launch their new book Bible StoryBoards out into the world, we are using it at BCC to work our way through the Bible in a three-week series that began on Jan. 11. Between Sundays the Bible StoryBoards blog will highlight one StoryBoard each day, from the previous Sunday’s lesson. Join us for this journey at biblestoryboards.com/blog.
Any way you look at it, God’s love is amazing. We don’t deserve it. We’re like Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and a host of others who’ve walked out on God. Not just once, but repeatedly. Yet through it all God hasn’t walked out on us. When we’ve given up on Him, He hasn’t given up on us.

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Message: “Busy, Busy, Busy”

If you’re not busy, you’re one of the few. Busy is what we are in the Silicon Valley. Non-stop activity. Day and night. Weekdays and weekends. We have too much to do and not enough time. At least that’s how it seems.

Since it’s the beginning of a new year, a time of inventory is in order. How are you using your time? What is it that’s keeping you so busy? Are you spending time on the things that matter most?

This Sunday, before we get too far into 2015, we’re going to take time to think about how we’re using our time. We’ll see how Haggai’s words have as much value in our day as they did 2,500 years ago. Timeless, helpful words for those who are busy, busy, busy.

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Message: “Good, Good, Good”

The more you live, the more you lose. Something that was good—a relationship, a season, an outlook—is gone. It stabs you with nostalgia only to remind you that you that no longer have it. Plus, the possibilities for future loss seem endless. Something cries within us, “It’s not supposed to be this way!” Jesus, as the good shepherd, knows of a different way. In John 10, he speaks to the hearts of those of us who have suffered loss or fear suffering loss.

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Message: “Right On Time”

Christmas is just around the corner. Are you ready for it? Are you looking forward to it?

We at Bridges love Christmas. And we love helping people keep the focus on Christ in the midst of all the other things that fill up our holidays, because when we truly understand the message of Christmas, it not only affects our Christmas but also our lives.

In this week’s message we will be focusing on God’s timing and how that came into play in the birth of Christ. And how it comes into play in our lives.

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Message: “Grace Under Fire”

Stephen, often remembered as the first Christian martyr, was more like an unsung hero who just happened to be discovered because he was martyred. This by no means downplays the significance of his death; but we often don’t realize the significance of his humble, faithful life leading up to it. Stephen never sought the attention of those that eventually opposed him. He was not an apostle, nor a missionary, nor a church-planter. He was a layman selected to help manage a crisis of poor administration. And yet, some scholars describe him as the leading example of faithful Christian witness in the Bible, second only to Jesus!

On Sunday, we take a look at the only biblical narrative that covers Stephen’s life. So… what of this quiet hero’s life is worth modeling ours after? How are Christians to learn from and live more like him? This is what we’ll consider together.

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Message: “Growing Pains”

A lot has happened in the first five chapters of Acts. By this point, we’ve seen the early church survive some pretty fearsome attacks – two in particular: There was the attack of physical persecution in chapter 4 (then again at the end of chapter 5), when believers were rounded up, thrown in jail, and beaten to the point of death. Then, in chapter 5, there was the attack of moral corruption when we saw how a little fudging of the truth had disastrous results. In short, both attacks could’ve ended the early Christian movement in its tracks.

This week we see perhaps the most cunning attack of all. It’s an attack that’s much more subtle than the other two, and arguably most stunting to spiritual growth in the church today. What is it? What can we do about it? Come consider it with us on Sunday!

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Message: “Choose Gratitude”

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! To celebrate, we’re having our annual Songfest with more singing and a chance to give thanks. The focus of the message aims to calibrate our hearts to all that the Lord has done for us. If you’re in town, be sure to come and celebrate with us! It’s also a great week to invite friends!

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Message: “Filled With Allegiance”

al·le·giance – noun
Loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.

Most of us have made pledges of some kind. Frat pledges. Fund Raising pledges. Bible pledges. Scout pledges. Professional pledges. Sobriety pledges. Internet safety pledges. And of course we as citizens of the United States have pledged our allegiance to America.

Allegiance isn’t something we do much talking about today, but maybe we should. It’s an expression of loyalty, dedication, commitment, devotion, sacrifice, and much more.

The early church demonstrated serious allegiance to the cause of Christ. So much so that it got them in trouble at times. But it was a good trouble. This Sunday we’ll see why as we continue our study in the book of Acts.

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Message: “Filled With Fear”

When it comes to excuses for not plugging into a local church, hypocrisy is high on the list. “I’m not interested. The church is full of hypocrites.”

Fakers, frauds, and fabricators. Tragic isn’t it? Especially when you consider the story of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 5, the biblical passage we will be examining this Sunday. Through this incident, God Himself made it very clear to the early church that He takes lying very seriously.

But to this day, good people – church people – fake it. What’s up with that? We’ll find out this Sunday.

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Message: “Filled With Courage “

Thank God for courageous people. Do you know some? Firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and a myriad of others are included in that group. They put themselves in harm’s way for the well-being of others.

Would you call yourself courageous? You need to be. God longs for you to be. God even made it possible for you to be courageous. More courageous than you are right now.

This week we zero in on courage. Why does it matter? Where does it come from? What’s needed to have it in greater measures than we already do?

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Message: “The Filling of the Holy Spirit”

All it takes is a brief power failure to make us realize how much we benefit from an invisible resource called electricity. Electricity enables us to charge our electronic devices and even our cars. It cools and cooks our food. It can freeze water and make bread pop out of a toaster. And when it’s dark the lights come on, all because we have available to us an invisible power.
The invisible, available power we have in our homes is nothing compared to the exceedingly great power that all who follow Jesus have in their lives in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He is the invisible presence and power of God, and one of His chief roles is to empower ordinary believers to live supernatural lives. This week’s message will help us to get better acquainted with this powerful One who has been made available to us.

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Message: “The Person of the Holy Spirit”

Many Christ-followers could probably come up with a quick and fairly accurate description of God the Father and of Jesus. But what about the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit your conscience? Is it karma? Is it like the force in the Star Wars movies? Is it those goosebumps you get while hearing a good song or hearing a stirring message? Why do some churches seem to be obsessed with the Holy Spirit while other churches virtually ignore the subject? Just who is the Holy Spirit and what role does he play in the world today? As we continue our sermon series on the book of Acts, this week’s message will push us to stretch our thinking about how we see God and His activity in our lives through the Holy Spirit.

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Message: “Look Out”

Look around. What do you see? Do you see a field white and ready for harvest? Jesus did. Shouldn’t we see the same and then act on what we see?

When the first Christians started to see like Jesus saw, the impact in Jerusalem was huge. Everywhere they went they talked about Jesus. Soon their hometown was filled with the Gospel of hope. And thousands, having heard the good news, were saved.

Wouldn’t it be great if the same were to happen here in the Silicon Valley? It hasn’t happened yet, but it could. The chances of that happening are greatly increased if we have what the first followers did. And that is what our focus will be this coming Sunday.

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Message: “Look In”

At the moment someone says yes to new life in Jesus Christ, they are adopted into God’s family. And from that point on life will never be the same – which could be a good thing or not, this side of heaven. It all depends.

The early church, as brothers and sisters in Christ, did family life really well. And people by the thousands wanted in on what they had.

This Sunday we will be looking into the family life the early church shared. The factors that made them magnetic in Jerusalem, if translated into our lives, could make us the same.

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Message: “Look Up”

Awesome! Many of us use that word from time to time. And when you think about the word itself, it makes sense that we usually use it to describe something we’re really excited about. Something awe-inspiring. Astonishing. Mind-boggling. A jaw-dropping accomplishment, performance, or outcome. Something totally unexpected.

We’re often astonished by something we did or someone else did. But can you think of the last time you were astonished because God showed up and did what no one expected and the results were… well…astonishing?

There’s a reason awesome, astonishing things happen. We’ll be talking about that reason this Sunday. And Lord willing our time together focused on this subject will result in frequent astonishing works of God that blow our minds.

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Message: “Everywhere”

Most Christ-followers today can probably attribute the ancestry of their faith back to the apostle Paul. He was called the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” and was the first to take the good news of Jesus beyond Judea and Samaria out into the better part of the then known world. Other than Christ himself, Paul has probably had the single most profound impact on spreading the Christian faith. As such, there’s a lot we can learn from him!

Join us this Sunday as we consider what made Paul so effective – particularly his ability to reach any person, anywhere.

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Message: “There”

Imagine that you have a message that you want to go viral, to spread to the masses. How should you go about it? Despite the merits of attractive pricing and a big advertising budget, marketing experts still generally agree that word of mouth is the most effective way to reach others. We love to share stories, news, and information with those around us. We gladly tell others about great vacations spots, recommend books, chat about good deals, write online reviews, email helpful links, post funny video clips, and tweet about recipes. Put simply, word of mouth is a powerful strategy, and it’s the very same strategy God wants His followers to use today to spread the greatest and most beautiful story and reality the world has ever known.

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Message: “Here”

Jesus’ final words just before He returned to heaven focused on witnessing. He told His followers to witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Jesus envisioned the gospel rippling out from his disciples to Jerusalem to the whole world. From where they lived to everywhere anyone lived.

It would seem the Good News message has spread throughout the world, but then again not really. Know anyone who is yet to hear the Good News? The real story? We are the ones called to get God’s life changing message out to the world. This Sunday we begin a new message series in the book of Acts. It’s a book that is as relevant now as ever. Witnesses are still needed. Right here in the Silicon Valley.

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Message: “Are We A Great Church?”

This week we celebrate the past ministry year. We give God thanks for who He is and for what He has done. He blessed us in numerous ways. Too many to mention. But we are going to do our best to remember some of the ways His loving kindness was new every morning. His faithfulness was great!

Lost people were found. Broken people were restored. The vulnerable were protected. Love grew. Change was embraced.

This Sunday we reflect on the work God did among us and through us and beyond us. We are a part of something special. Life-changing. Eternity-changing. It doesn’t get any better than that! Come and join us as with loud praise we say thank you to the God who smiled on Bridges Community Church this past year.

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Message: “Supernatural Healing”

God wants to use Christ-followers to bring supernatural healing… which, is kind of a crazy thought, isn’t it? The Bible teaches that, in Christ, we have access to a healing power that is literally out of this world. The problem is we don’t often see it this way. Instead, we tend to minimalize what God is doing – or wants to do – in the lives of those around us. And as a result, we can fail to join him in some amazing work.

This week, we finish our summer series in the book of James, “Faith Does”, to see how we can effectively join God in bringing supernatural healing to those around us.

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Message: “When You Hit The Wall”

You don’t have to run a marathon to hit the wall. Anyone can come up against something that makes them want to quit. To give up. To walk away from something or someone.

That’s what happened to the early Christians who James wrote his letter to. They evidently had hit the wall. They had had enough. They were considering giving up. Their patience and perseverance were just about at their limits.

Sound familiar? If you can relate, you’re not alone. That’s why this Sunday’s message from the book of James is as relevant as it gets. Everyone needs a hope lift. And this week’s study in God’s Word can be that.

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Message: “How Much is Too Much?”

Printed across the back of a dollar bill are the words, “In God We Trust.” But is that motto really true? For many of us, we might say we trust in God, but in our everyday lives, we’re tempted to trust, serve, and worship the very money on which that slogan is printed.

So, where have you been placing your trust lately? What should be our primary objective with regards to our money and possessions? Does having more really equal more in terms of happiness or security? Is it wrong to be rich, to save, or to spend on myself? And would cutting my spending make a difference anyway?

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Message: “Smart Enough To Know”

You’re smart! At least that’s the way it looks. After all, you live in the Silicon Valley where the schools are great, the weather is incredible, crime is low, and the opportunities for fun are sky high!

Yes, there are a lot of smart people in this area. But there’s a difference between smart and wise. Between knowing and doing.

James agrees, which is why he gets into a matter that needs to get into us. Theory needs to become reality. Information needs to be translated into application. Smart people who are wise will get that. We’ll see how that’s so this coming Sunday.

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Message: “Little Tongue, Big Trouble”

Here’s a riddle for you: we all possess something that can make us feel like a prisoner or set us free; can make us feel like a criminal or like a king; can build us up or break us down; can start a fire in our hearts or put it out.

Give up? Come this Sunday to find out! (Just kidding, it’s in the sermon title). We all know the words we speak have incredible potential for good or ill. Thing is, we aren’t mindful enough of this reality and it can cause serious damage…to ourselves and to others. This Sunday, we get some important reasons from Scripture for why we need to keep a watchful eye on the words we say.

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Message: “Jesus Who?”

If someone were to stop you and ask for directions to the grocery store, you could probably point the way. Even if you didn’t use street names, you could most likely get them there. “Keep going up this road until you come to the first signal. Then turn left. Go two blocks. Then turn right and the best grocery store in town will be just up the street on the right side.”

We know where the grocery store is because we’re there so often. We need food and we know where to go to get it.

But can the same be said about your ability to help someone find Christ? To guide them to the source of everlasting life?

If you’re not sure what to say or where to point someone who’s interested in knowing more about Christ, this Sunday’s message – whether you hear it at Bridges or at the beach – will help you.

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Message: “Faith: Dead or Alive?”

Most everyone has faith of some kind, in something: God; some other god or spiritual beliefs; a doctor; science; fate; the value of hard work; whatever.

According to the Bible, when it comes to getting into Heaven, a person must have faith. But not just any faith. Faith of a certain kind. You see, there’s faith that saves, and faith that doesn’t save.

This Sunday we dig into the matter of faith and ask the question, “Will my faith get me into heaven?”

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Message: “The Problem of Partiality”

Aren’t you glad that you can’t read the minds of others regarding what they think about you? And what if others could read your mind regarding what you think about them?
The reality is that for every negative or critical thought you have about some of the people around you, there are also people who have equally negative thoughts about you. Even if you are a Christ-follower, there is just something within each of us that causes us to jump to conclusions about certain people. We are quick to categorize and judge – and often for incredibly shallow, trivial, or illogical reasons.

If we want to have a faith that works, we need to embrace a different path: seeing people through God’s eyes and honoring those that we have a tendency to judge. That’s what this week’s message is all about.

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Message: “True Religon”

Did you know it’s quite easy for the Christian to think their spiritual walk is fine, only to be completely mistaken? It’s like the dying tree that may look beautiful on the outside, but in actuality it is no longer bearing fruit. The Biblical writer, James, warned his readers – people we would assume were devout followers of Christ – that they could very well be deceiving themselves about the vitality of their faith.

This week we continue our series “Faith Does” to diagnose our own Christian walk, and see how God invites us to grow in Him.

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Message: “Preventive Care”

Given the choice between preventive care and acute care, most people would choose the former over the later. Every time! That’s not surprising. Eating a healthier diet to fend off a heart attack is easier than living through the aftermath of one.

This week, in our ongoing message series in the book of James, preventive care takes center stage. A God-designed RX for staying out of temptation’s deadly grasp.

Temptation is unavoidable. It happens. But its disastrous consequences are avoidable with the right kind of preventive care. We’ll discover how this week.

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Message: “When You Need Help”

At some point everyone needs help. Sometimes the help you need is just a small thing – like getting the groceries from the car into the house. Sometimes the need is really big – like in a life threatening situation, when knowing who to call is essential.

You probably know who to ask for help with the groceries. And it’s highly likely you’re prepared to call 911 in an emergency. But do you know how to ask God for help in such a way that you can be sure you’ll get it?

This Sunday our summer message series in James will give us insight into how to ask for God’s help. What we’ll discover could make the difference in whether you get His help or not.

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Message: “Unfathomable Joy”

This Sunday we begin a summer message series in the book of James – a short book that’s filled with biblical and practical life-changing counsel from beginning to end.

Take for example the first topic James addresses: living with joy when life is anything but joyful. When your days are downright hard. Painful. Filled with tears.

When you’ve been going through a hard time, was that your first thought? To “Count it all joy?” Anything but! So how exactly is James’ joy advice helpful? This week we will find out.

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Message: “Getting Off The Grid”

This week we finish our Finding Balance series – but not really. Though the message series will be over, finding balance will be a lifelong challenge. One worthy of our best efforts and unceasing dependence on God.

Jesus lived in perfect balance. Even when His life was chaotic, demanding, and depleting. When there were still so many needs to be met. He knew the importance of finding balance.

How Jesus responded in the midst of the pressures of life is as applicable today as it was then. This Sunday we’ll see why, as we focus on a final matter that can give us help for living with the balance we need.

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Message: “We Need Each Other”

Most of us would agree that community is important. But few of us – especially in our driven, consumerist Silicon Valley – are willing to make the effort or sacrifice that true community (as God defines it) requires. We’re all busy. We all have things to do. At the same time, we all want life-giving, strong relationships. So why then, when it comes down to it, do we so often find the necessary steps toward community taking a back seat in our lives?

This Sunday we continue our “Finding Balance” series to see why it’s not only important to invest in true Christian community, it’s vital.

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Message: “I.D.”

How do you define yourself? How do others define you?
Our natural instinct is to define ourselves or get our identity based upon our worth, how we look, our achievements, what we do, what we know, who we are connected to, or by what others think about us. Unfortunately, though, the more we base our identity on these things, the more overwhelmed and out-of-balance that we become.
There is a solution, however. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, this week’s message offers good news and a powerful reminder to moms, but also to anyone else who is exhausted from the pressure to do more, earn more, and be more.

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Message: “Learn to Say No”

Are you good at saying no? No to another piece of See’s candy? No to hanging out with your friends so you can do homework instead? No to another charge on your credit card? No to driving faster than the speed limit? No to reading that text or answering your phone while you’re driving?

Your ability, or inability, to say no says a lot about who you are and who you’re becoming. In fact, it affects what you do or don’t do, which can have a huge impact on the direction your life will take.

This Sunday’s message is focused on some must knows for saying no. Three principles from God’s Word that can help us all do better at knowing when to say no.

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Message: “This Is Just Crazy”

If you’re not careful, the busyness of life will make you crazy. Overwhelmed, overworked, overbooked, over committed. It’s all enough to stress us out.

Our God cares. He knows the world you live in. The pace you’re trying to keep. The pressures you’re under. The demands you face.

Looking for relief? A divine prescription? This week we’ll look at a solution found in Psalm 127. One that can bring help and hope in the midst of our crazy-paced world.

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Message: “God Is the One Who Saves”

This weekend we celebrate by focusing on the Easter message which is filled with hope and promise – for this life and the life to come.

Easter is all about life after life. Jesus did the unimaginable. He beat death. And In so doing, He made it possible for all to beat death. To live after we die.

One thing is certain, these earthly bodies we are in are all going to die (unless God intervenes and gives us a free pass directly into heaven!). What isn’t certain for all is whether or not God will save us from death after this life. Could He? Will He? This Sunday we’ll gain some insight into what the Bible has to say about this extremely important matter.

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Message: “God is King”

People like to think Christianity is if you just believe in God he will bless you. But the reality is Jesus preached and taught that his followers would have to suffer. He was a king with a throne, but first he had to go to the cross. And in order to be his follower, he said we must suffer and be rejected as well – indeed, that we would have to “pick up our cross and follow [him].”

Why would we sign up for this? What would make it worthwhile to suffer? This week we continue our “God is…” series to see how Jesus’ claim as King makes suffering something not just to be avoided, but embraced.

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Message: “God Is Just”

Pastor and author John Ortberg points out that at a baseball game, we hire people whose specific job it is to maintain fair play on the field: the umpires. But when Tim Lincecum throws four strikes right down the heart of home plate and an umpire calls them balls, things get ugly. There is a traditional chant that goes up from the stands. Fans don’t just yell, “Educate the umpire!” or “Send the umpire back for remedial training!” Instead, people say, “Kill the umpire!” We love justice.
That is, we love justice until someone starts to talk about God being just. How could a just and loving God send people to hell? How could a just God allow the suffering we see in the world today? If God is so just, why don’t I see more of it in my life right now? We’ll tackle these issues and more in this week’s message.

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Message: “God Is Faithful”

When life doesn’t look anything like Disneyland, and you’re tempted to throw in the towel or have a pity party…what do you do?

Jeremiah, the man who was known as the weeping prophet, knew what to do. In fact, he had a precise action plan that is transferrable to our lives today.

This Sunday we will look at what Jeremiah learned about getting through tough times. He will show us how to come out on the other side of hardship, disappointment, and pain better rather than bitter.

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Message: “The 12th Man”

This year when the Seattle Seahawks football team won the Super Bowl, coaches and players thanked the 12th man – their loud and proud fans. The Seahawks said they couldn’t have done it without their support.

Some say the 12th man terminology was born in 1922 when Texas A&M played Centre College in the Dixie Football Classic. That may be true. But this Sunday we’ll go back even farther to the time of Moses, when the entire nation of Israel was given child raising responsibilities.

When it comes to raising a family, God never intended for us to do it on our own. We’ll have a much easier time of it, and a much better chance of success, if we get the 12th man involved.

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Message: “Game Plan”

There are certain people in life you don’t want to hear say “Oops!” The person who cuts your hair, your mechanic, and your surgeon come to mind. Another is your parents. None of us wants “Oops” to sum up the influence we’ve had on the lives of our kids.
The bad news is that those “ten easy steps to rearing perfect kids” that we all want just don’t exist. The good news, however, is that with a little effort and a solid game plan, you can give kids what they need to build a solid framework for lifelong faith. What is that game plan? How can we move beyond accidental parenting to intentional parenting? That’s the focus of this week’s message.

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Message: “Playing For Keeps”

If you’re a person of faith, you have something everyone needs. But what would you say are the chances of your faith helping others have faith? Highly likely or not?

Helping our family, friends, and others connect with God is an honor, privilege, and responsibility. It should not be taken lightly. Too much is at stake – in this life and the life to come.

Some essential help, for helping others embrace God, is our focus this Sunday. You can play a significant role in others’ faith journeys. This Sunday we will see how.

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Message: “Is it in You?”

You say eating a healthy diet is important, but do you eat a healthy diet? You say exercise is important, but do you exercise? You say broccoli is the vegetable of champions. Well….I don’t think I believe you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson nailed it when he said, “Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.” Your level of impact on others is connected more to the person you are than the words you say.

When it comes to matters of faith, and impacting others with the faith we claim to have, this truth is so important to understand. Especially when we’re talking about passing our faith on to our family and friends. That fact makes this Sunday’s message invaluable for all.

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Message: “Just Win, Baby”

How do you know when your favorite team is winning? It’s obvious. An enormous scoreboard is placed in the middle of the stadium or arena so everyone can see how the team is doing and monitor their progress.

But how do you know if you are succeeding and thriving in your marriage or family? Since you don’t have a scoreboard to refer to at home, what determines success for you in these areas? How do you know if you are “winning?”

Whether you’re a couple, parent, grandparent, single, or student, this week’s message will offer a powerful reminder of what God intended when He created your family and will help you to clarify what it means to win at home.

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Message: ” How To Do What You Do”

You would think a church would stay clear of trying to tell people how to do whatever it is that they do, especially in the Silicon Valley where people are highly educated, incredibly gifted, and meticulously trained. Well think again…

This Sunday as we finish our “Taking Care of Business” series, we’ll do the unthinkable. We’re going to attempt to tell you how to do what you do! And if you’ll bear with us, the passage of Scripture that we are focusing on this week could give you something that you’ve been missing all along that could make a world of difference in how you do what you do.

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Message: “Your Work, God’s Work”

Does the thought of sharing your faith in the workplace seem at all daunting? Perhaps you don’t feel like you know the right words. Or maybe it’s that you’re worried about the reactions you’ll get from your co-workers or boss…

As Christ followers, we know the good news of Jesus Christ is not meant to be kept to ourselves but taken into the world, which of course includes the places where we work. This Sunday we continue our “Taking Care of Business” series to focus on scripture where Jesus himself engaged people who weren’t all that interested – at least initially. And we’ll see some very practical ways in which we can share our faith in the workplace.

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Message: “Let’s Get This Right”

Central in the Gospel message is setting right that which is wrong. From the day sin entered the world until now, God has relentlessly worked to right what’s wrong in our relationship with Him and each other.

In this Sunday’s message focus we hope to join God in the work that He is doing, by making right something that’s wrong. Not something that’s wrong on the other side of the world, but right here. Among us. In the Silicon Valley.

If you like fixing things, or simply seeing things be fixed, join us this Sunday. We are praying that what comes out of our time together will result in much good that will spread from here out to the whole world.

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Message: “Choose to Cheat”

For many, the word cheating has unpleasant connotations, whether it’s cheating on a spouse, in school, on income taxes, or even cheating in a game of cards.
In a certain sense, though, we’re all cheaters. With only 24 hours in the day, we simply can’t fit everything into our lives, so we “cheat.” We give up one thing in hopes of gaining something else of greater value. We say yes to some things while saying no to other things. The issue is never, “Am I cheating?” but rather, “Where or who am I cheating?”
Have you ever cheated your spouse, your kids, God, or something else important for the sake of work? If so, you’re not alone. This week’s message is about regaining balance and discovering how to work and live in accordance with God’s priorities for your life.

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Message: “Our Unique Calling”

What drives you to work in the morning? (…and I’m not talking your Honda). What motivates you to show up? Is it to pay the bills? Is it to keep the mortgage? Or is there something deeper? We all yearn, as the essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “to leave the world a bit better.” But is what we’re doing making a difference? Does our work matter? What does it mean for work to matter?
This week we continue our “Taking Care of Business” series to focus on “Our Unique Calling,” and we’ll see how each of us can find meaning (and power!) in our work.

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Message: “Point of View”

Back in the days of black and white TV the sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis got a lot of laughs out of Maynard Krebs’ comical reactions to the word “work”. Even just a brief mention of the word drew an adverse yelp in response.

We’re all familiar with TGIF – Thank God it’s Friday! But I’ve never heard anyone switch that up to TGIM. We love the weekends, but Monday? Not so much.

This Sunday we begin a new series focused on the thing that consumes most of our time and attention once we become adults. Work. How does that word make you feel? Are you shaking your head and saying “ugh”? Or are you excited and ready to shout “TGIM!” The difference could be in your point-of-view which we will explore this coming Sunday.

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Message: “New Year’s Revolution “

Every year we start the same way. We vow to do things differently. We take steps that we hope will result in this year being better than last year. We resolve to change. We make promises. We set new priorities. And we start strong, with the best of intentions. But inevitably we fall short, either settling back into mediocrity and habit, feeling guilty and frustrated about not being able to achieve lasting change, or simply forgetting about what we resolved in the first place.
This week’s message will remind us of powerful and transformational truths that will change the way you think about change.

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Message: “God is Everlasting”

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Message: “God is Peace”

Peace on earth, good will toward men. That’s what the Christmas story promises. We believe it’s possible someday when God sets everything right again. But is it really possible now? In the midst of this fallen world?

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Message: “God is Powerful”

If ever there was a message of hope for exhausted people, this is it. When the Messiah, Jesus, came into this world He not only brought strength and power, but He also said we could have it too. Strength beyond our means. More than we could ask or think.

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Message: “God is Wise”

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Message: “In-and-Out”

Last year, people in the United States spent $11.7 billion dollars in their search for self-improvement. We are all searching for help. Help for our problems. Help to become what we aren’t. Help to become more than we are. So we read books, follow blogs, watch videos, join gyms, attend seminars…

In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?” Are you happier, thinner, richer, wiser, hotter? Finally ready to take on the world with your newly elevated self-esteem?

The comedian George Carlin once said he went into a book store and asked a sales woman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said, “If I tell you, it will defeat the purpose.”

The search for help. Anyway you look at it, we want it and need it. Jesus not only offered help, He gave it. This Sunday we’ll take a look at the help He can give.

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Message: “Dive In”

How many people do you know who have been turned away from the church because of religion, without experiencing or understanding the good news of Jesus Christ? How many of your friends do you think could even articulate the difference between religion and what Jesus offers? …Could you?
This Sunday we continue our “Rethinking Church” series, looking at one key question – why we believe – and what role the local church should have in it.

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Message: “No Hoops Required”

There are very few things that can make us feel smaller than to be on the outside of something we wish we were a part of. Take church, for example. Have you ever showed up to church with the expectation that you would be in, but for whatever reason the church or another Christian told you or made you feel like you were out, that you weren’t welcome? If so, you’re not alone.
Ever since its inception, the Christian church has had a reputation for being more exclusive than inclusive. But is this what God intended? What does the Bible have to say about this, and what should be our response? Perhaps we need to “rethink church.”

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Message: “You’re The Man”

God is BIG on encouragement. Really big! That’s not surprising since He is described as the God of all encouragement. And since God longs for His children to walk in His steps, it makes complete sense that He wants His children to be big encouragers too.

Are you? Would you like to be? Would you like others to be big on encouraging you?

This morning we’ll look at the whys and hows for elevating encouragement among us. We especially need help with this here in the Silicon Valley where everything is so competitive and encouraging words can be few and far between – in our workplaces, homes, neighborhoods, and even in the church.

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Message: “Reaching Our Full Potential”

How would you feel if Jim Harbaugh (Coach of the 49ers) happened to see you throwing your first football and said, “That’s incredible! You have the potential to become a Hall-of-Famer in the NFL!” Or what if Yoyo Ma heard you playing the cello and said, “Wow, you have the potential to become a concert virtuoso!” I’m guessing a part of us would be ecstatic – “I can’t believe these experts think I have it in me to be so great!” But then on the other hand, I’m sure a part of us would dismiss it as pure fantasy – “They must be delusional!”

This week, we take a look at a passage where the apostle Paul describes the potential of the Christ-follower as becoming “…mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Talk about unparalleled potential! (to be like Christ?!) And as we continue our ONE sermon series, we’ll see how Unity is at the center of reaching our amazing, God-given potential.

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Message: “I Act Like I Don’t But I Do”

Early in life we welcomed help because we needed it. Feed me, burp me, change me, hold me. The sooner the better. Crying is hard work.

The help that we once craved and parents sacrificially gave can often be dismissed in adulthood. After all, grown ups are supposed to act, look, and live like they have it all together, right? Or are they?

The fact is, whether we want to admit it or not, we never stop needing help. And as followers of Christ we should never stop giving help. That’s why this Sunday’s message is a perfect prescription for hurting and needy people like us.

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Message: “A Culture of Honor”

If you ever travel, you know that it can be helpful to receive cultural advice beforehand on local etiquette and traditions that you’ll need to be aware of in the places you’re going. You’ll quickly learn that every culture has its own ideas, both about proper ways to show honor and about things you can do that dishonor people.

Many feel we live in a time and in an American culture in which the concept of honor has been lost. The reality is that we all have room for improvement when it comes to living with honor. We have confused it with respect. We think honor is something we can and should withhold from someone based on their performance. Based on how much we like them. But that’s not biblical honor. In the Bible, honor is weight. Honor is value. It’s something freely given. And it’s something that can transform a church, a marriage, a family, and a culture. It’s time for a re-education.

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Message: “Work It Out”

If God had a wish list, peace would be on the first page. It’s been there since the beginning of mankind. When sin entered the world, relational friction came with it. Marriage turned into a battle ground. One of the first two brothers was murdered at the hands of the other. Prayers for peace became more than a nice thought but something this fallen world desperately needed.

If you are among the billions of people who grew up with a sibling, along the way you probably heard the words “work it out.” Remember? Straight from your parent’s mouth aimed at ending the argument caused by someone other than you, right? Did you work it out and go on to become a pro at working life out with relationally challenged people? For most of us the answer is probably no.

This Sunday’s message is very applicable for all of us because we live in a world where peace continues to be an elusive dream. That makes Jesus’ command to “be a peacemaker” of interest to all.

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Message: “On the Same Page”

Ours is a world of diversity and difference. God intended it to be that way. We have different ethnicities, backgrounds, preferences, personalities, gifts, loyalties. Is it no wonder that some at this time of year are rooting for the Dodgers and others are, well, thinking about next year?

If we’re not careful our differences can easily divide us. Especially when we major on what’s minor or have to have things our own way.

This Sunday’s message is relevant for all of us as we look at God’s counsel about how to live in unity in the midst of our diversity. His words are as relevant today as it was when it was written and timely in our oft splintered world.

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Message: “Too Good Not To Share”

Think back to the last time something really good happened to you: you lost a few pounds; passed your driver’s test; got an unexpected raise; found out you’re pregnant; ran a mile for the first time since high school; found a service station with gasoline priced under $3.00 a gallon.

How did you react? What did you do? You probably did the same thing a group of four lepers did after they stumbled across some unexpected food, horses, sliver, and gold. Talk about a mood shifter. A life changer. What they did is exactly what we need to do.

That’s why this Sunday, as we celebrate what God has done this past year at Bridges Community Church and look forward to the coming year, four lepers are going to teach us. No, not in person. But through the pages of God’s Word as we ask Him to help us get the coming ministry year off to a great start.

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Message: “Wherever. Whenever. Whatever.”

Ever watch a sporting event and see someone holding up a sign with a Bible verse on it? These signs always seem to use the same verse: John 3:16, which invites anyone to believe in Jesus and receive God’s eternal love. But when was the last time you saw someone at a game hold up a sign that said ‘Luke 9:23’? You know, the one that invites us to deny ourselves and to die daily? Probably never. Not quite as appealing an advertisement for Christianity, is it?
Verses like Luke 9:23 remind us that following Jesus is a narrow, costly, uncomfortable path – something the people in this week’s message found out the hard way.

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Message: “Living as One Who’s Been Sent”

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Message: ” God the Defender”

We live in a world that is very concerned with safety, and justifiably so. We are constantly reminded of threats to our welfare on a daily basis. However, we worship a God who is the ultimate Defender.

This Sunday we will explore not only how God defends us, but his call upon his people to reflect his heart as a Defender in this world where the wicked seem to prosper and God may at times seem uninvolved.

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Message: “Sex and the City”

When it comes to technology, a wide chasm separates the 21st century and the 1st century. Technologically, life now is completely different in every way imaginable. But when it comes to sex, things are pretty much the same.

We are still as sexually messed-up in the 21st century as men and women were in the 1stcentury. We have the whole sex thing backwards. Which in our world is having the same devastating impact it did in the biblical world on both married and unmarried relationships alike.

This Sunday’s message is a sex talk. That’s right. We’re going to try and get the sex thing right. What we’ll look at is applicable to both married and unmarried people. We can all learn from taking a look at this subject from God’s point of view.

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Message: “It’s 5 O-Clock Somewhere”

Anyone who is interested in justifying their drinking at any time of day need only look to the popular expression, “It’s 5 o-clock somewhere.” As one beer company puts it, “anytime is the right time” for a beer. Do you buy that?

Some of you are shaking your head and thinking “That’s just wrong.” Others are thinking “So what’s wrong with hanging out with some friends, having a good time, and having a few drinks?” Good question. In fact, Jesus himself was big on hanging out with friends. And not just “religious” friends. At one party He even went out of His way to replenish the wine supply when it ran out.

This week we’ll be focusing on what the Bible teaches about drinking. Not what we think it says or what we want it to say. What it actually says. Where do you draw the line when it comes to drinking or not? What we’ll discover could lead to the best party ever. 5 o-clock or not.

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Message: “Entertainment Tonight”

Ours is an entertainment driven world. We love the enjoyment and escape that comes from TV, movies, games, computers, music, and more. On a global scale, we are entertained to the tune of $2 trillion a year.
Laughter, King Solomon said, is good for one’s health. Israel’s third King made that clear when he wrote: “A merry heart does good like medicine.” There certainly is “a time to laugh” and entertainment can make that happen.
But not all that entertains is good for us. Which is why this Sunday’s message can be just what the doctor ordered. Knowing what’s healthy and what’s not is vitally important before turning on the TV, or going to the theater. It could make all the difference in the level of health we enjoy.

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Message: “Profound Faith”

This Sunday we continue our 2-part series – “Jesus Said WHAT?” – looking at a passage in scripture where Jesus essentially calls a woman a dog. … That’s right; you read correctly! No need rub your eyes or adjust your computer screen.
Does that sound like the Jesus you know – to insult others? Of course not! So then if that’s not what’s going on, why did he say it? Or maybe better put: why is it preserved for us to read today?
What we’ll find is one of the most fascinating interactions Jesus had with another person in the Bible. And we’ll see in this woman a model for how to pursue God in the midst of hardship, even when it may seem like He’s against you.

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Message: “Money Matters”

Have you ever had a wake-up call? I’m not talking the kind when a hotel receptionist gives your room a ring. I’m talking when your life needed a course correction or dramatic shift in perspective. The kind when you thought everything was going along just fine, only when something came along and upended everything as you knew it. Maybe it was losing a job, a sudden change in a relationship, or a pointed word of correction.

Next week we’re starting a 2-part series called “Jesus Said WHAT?!” – looking at passages in the Bible when Jesus said things that were either off-the-wall, counter-intuitive, or downright controversial to our ears. And we kick it off looking at the parable of the Shrewd Manager when Jesus commends a guy caught up in some shady business practices. What was Jesus getting at? But maybe even more important to ask, why would Jesus tell such a quizzical and provocative story? It seems he had something so important on his mind that he had to shock his followers in order to get their attention. Jesus wants to give us a wake-up call.

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Message: “Time For A DTR”

Call it commitment-challenged. If it were a disease, our world would be infected with it. It shows up in numerous ways. Take for instance the decision to attend events. Can you say “last minute”? What’s up with that? You say, “I like to keep my options open, just in case something better comes along at the last minute.” I say, “Commitment-challenged.”

Or how about this scenario. “How long have you been dating? Four and a half years?!” So when are you going to get married?” Commitment-challenged. Is it no wonder couples routinely have DTR chats?

DTR’s aren’t new. Jesus had one with His disciples right before He gave them His final ministry charge. Why? Because they needed to get the commitment thing nailed down. Like we do – if we ever hope to see God do more than we could ask or dream in our commitment-challenged world.

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Message: “Gone Fishin’”

Rarely in the Silicon Valley would you find a Gone Fishin’ sign hung on a shop window. We’re too busy for that sort of thing. But truth be known, most of us are fishin’ prone and would have fit in perfectly with Apostle Peter and his fishing buddies in Jesus’ day.

You may recall Peter was a career fisherman. It was in his blood. And Jesus planned to capitalize on that desire and give it a new twist. The Lord invited his followers to shift their life focus from catching fish that are alive and will die, to catching fish that are dead and can be brought to life.

You’d think after 3.5 years Jesus’ disciples would have been pulled hook line and sinker into that new calling. But not so. Which is why Jesus paid an unexpected visit to his fellow fishermen who had gone back to their former occupation. What Jesus said not only reminded them of their new calling, it can do the same for us as we try to live out our vocation through our occupation.

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Message: “Made For This Part 1”

Ever notice how influential a simple traffic cone can be? It’s amazing how just a few pounds of strategically-placed orange cones made out of plastic and rubber can control the direction of two-ton vehicles. Traffic cones simply exist to show us where we should head and, conversely, where we should avoid heading.
The Bible passage we will be considering the next two weeks is a bit like these cones. It gives us insight and brings us into alignment with God’s plan and direction for our lives, points us in the direction of the satisfying and meaningful life God intended, helps keep us from drifting or getting lost along the way, and provides a blueprint for greater health in your family, relationships, and in the church.

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Message: “What Dads Need Most”

This week we honor fathers. Where would we be without dads? How you answer that question most likely depends on the kind of relationship you have, or had, with your father. For better or worse. Richer or poorer. In sickness and health. And you thought those words only applied to a married couple!

All of us in some way are bound by blood to a father. An imperfect dad who just like you needs help. Most dads would say, “A lot of help.” All far from perfect. Still learning. Still growing. Still trying to get the dad thing figured out. Which is why our focus this Sunday is vitally important when Pastor Dave and a panel of four fathers focus on four biblical and practical ways all of us can help dads be the fathers God wants them to be.

Join us in praying for this Sunday’s Father’s Day focus and its possible impact on all of our lives.

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Message: “Take Heart”

In our world filled with unparalleled tragedy and frequent heartache, the words of Psalm 34:18 are a welcome relief to our souls: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The fact is – we need God’s healing touch. Day after day after day.

This Sunday we’ll see the embodiment of God’s compassionate care on display in Jesus’ soothing words given to his disciples who were living with heavy hearts. When they were filled with devastating grief, Jesus spoke to them of relief. What he said is as relevant today as it was then.

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Message: “When the World Opposes You”

This week we look at a passage where Jesus says to his followers, “You do not belong to the world…that is why the world hates you.”
These are strong words, no? What makes them even more interesting is they come just hours before Jesus heads irrevocably toward the cross. In other words, he knows his time with his disciples is short, so he’s choosing his words carefully.
Why would Jesus want his followers to understand that they’ll come across opposition, and what does he want you to know about it? This Sunday, we continue our study through the book of John to find out!

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