LOVE At The Bridge 02-14-2020

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  I John 4:11-12
Happy Valentine’s Day!

V-day can be a lot of fun
- a day we celebrate “love” with flowers, candy, gifts and romantic cards...and anything else Hallmark can get us to buy. But for some, all the cultural focus on romantic love can remind us of love lost or love unattained.

The love these scriptures and most of the New Testament scriptures refer to, however, is (in Greek) Agape love. This is the love that is selfless and motivated by a deeper, Godly view of the intrinsic value of each person as a precious creation of God. It’s a love that isn’t inspired by beauty, reward or personal pleasure. It is the love that God showed us in His Son Jesus when He laid down His life for us. A sacrificial love. An unconditional love. A love that...loves whether its expression is returned or not. It’s a love that puts the needs and desires of another before their own.

Today, I simply want to tell you, you are loved. God loves you. Let that sink in...But because His love is alive in us, I love you. We love you. You are loved.

I also want to encourage you to allow this love to be like a river in you, not a pond. A river flows. God’s love is meant to flow, not become a stagnant pool. This means I must first receive God’s love toward me; embrace it and increase my awareness of it. But then, I must let it go. I must share it, first with God in adoration and worship, but then with those around me. Risky, I know. But love never expressed is no love at all.

I need to know love. I’ve gotta believe you do too. And there are hundreds around us who need to know His love as well. So build a bridge. Start a conversation. Lend a hand to someone in need. Speak a kind word. Share a hug or a smile. Spread the love of Jesus wherever you go. So show your sweetheart how much you love them today - if you have one. Then make sure it doesn’t stop there. Partner with God to find someone else to share His Agape love with today...and tomorrow...and the next day.

NEXT Class: This Sunday you can catch Engage 3.0. In this class, we want to help you understand how to engage the mission and find your place on the LifeBridge team. We will discuss our serving teams and how to find the right opportunity for you. February 16th, 1:00pm at the church. Lunch will be provided and we will supply all materials. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Milan.

We Care Warm Your Heart Campaign: We Care has lined up a bunch of great ways you can help keep people warm this winter as you enjoy and connect with our community. Participate in one, or all, of these special events, and your donations will help We Care ensure that our neighbors in need stay warm and safe, can feed their families, and make end meets during emergencies or challenging times. Click here to see a calendar of events and ways you can help.

XO MARRIAGE CONFERENCE: Join us as we host our third annual marriage conference at LifeBridge. Make sure you set aside March 12-13 and keep your eyes open for more information and registration details.   

The youth have spoken - a lock in is comingAll youth 6th-12th grade are invited to join us a we venture to Craig's Cruisers Grand Rapids on Friday, March 20th for a night of unlimited activities, food, and fellowship. We will be gathering with other local youth groups at their annual event. We plan to meet at church at 8pm and return for a pancake breakfast around 5:30am, with student pick up at 6am (Saturday, 3/21). Cost for this event is $30, scholarships are available. You will not want to miss this event! 

NEW LOCATION: Holy Communion, The Lord’s Supper, The matter what you call it, this small observance is a huge deal. At LifeBridge we know that for many of you this is an important, weekly reminder of God’s grace. Our Elders have graciously committed to making communion available every Sunday between services (11:10-11:30am). The new location is just inside the main lobby doors and to the left. Ask a member of our Guest Services team if you need directions to the new location. Melissa Brown has done an AMAZING job preparing this communion/prayer space. At least step in and check it out.
Camp! Can you believe it’s already time to be thinking about camp. If you are interested in camp or know a young person (grades 4-12) who may be, click here to go to the Lake Ann website where you can get any information you need or even go ahead and register for camp. We are organizing and will provide transportation for week 4 (July 6-11).

Some of you have been faithful to help us raise scholarship funds for camp. Lake Ann is a bit on the expensive side, but we have chosen this camp experience for LifeBridge students for many reasons. We truly believe Lake Ann consistently produces an outstanding adventure and spiritual experience for young people at such a critical stage of life. If you would like to help us make opportunities for kids to afford camp, please click here to go to our online giving portal where you can make a contribution to our camp scholarship fund.
Some people have asked, “How do we know if church is closed or cancelled due to weather?” Well, our general rule is that unless the police have declared an emergency and closed the roads, LifeBridge will still hold services for those who can make it. We will send an email to the Life At The Bridge mailing list if we decide to close. Now, if you ever feel unsafe coming out in the weather, PLEASE DON’T! If you are serving that day, simply call your team leader and let them know you are not coming in. We will make the adjustments necessary. We know that on a crazy snowy day, we won’t have everyone in their places. But we will be there whether there are 5 or 500.
Pierce Manning is doing this fun-for-a-cause Pink Out Event for his Bloomingdale High School senior project. The event will take place on Saturday, February 29th @ Noon at Lakeside entertainment in South Haven. $20 per person for four games, with a bowl off for the top three scores. For questions or to pre-register call or text 269-355-0768. Click here to find the event on Facebook. Join us to support Pierce and raise money for breast cancer research.

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