Content banner image:   542F4670-C2D8-4730-8D6E-6285C8

27 March 2020: Psalm 27v7-8

Tom Roberts, 27/03/2020

Permalink

26 March 2020: Psalm 27v4-6

Matt Bownds, 26/03/2020

Permalink

25 March 2020: Psalm 27:2-3

Tom Roberts, 25/03/2020

Permalink

24 March 2020: Psalm 27v1

Matt Bownds, 24/03/2020

Permalink

On Sunday 22nd March, and every Sunday for the time being, we’ll meet together as The Bridge Church with one big difference.  


Due to the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 we won’t be meeting at Pontprennau Primary School, instead we’ll be meeting online using an application called ZOOM. Lots of what we do this week will be the same as we often do... We will be reading the bible, praying and singing together as church family.  Matt will share a talk from the bible and we’ll have the chance to catch up with, encourage and share life with one another.

In these challenging times we want to work hard to ensure that we continue to meet together. Hebrews 10 says…

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

As the format of our meeting over the coming weeks will be quite different we thought it would be helpful to some share ways that you might prepare yourself and/or your families in advance!

 

Let’s Spend Time Together


We’ll be using ‘breakout rooms’ at the start and end of our times together to give people the opportunity to chat and catch up with one another. As you join the meeting you’ll be welcomed by a host and put into a small group meeting space with others. We’ll all come back together after a little while. You’ll also have the opportunity to stay around after for coffee and church family time in break out rooms as the youth meet together.
 

Let’s be Family Together


Don’t think that you need to have a wonderfully clean living room and perfectly behaved children. Don’t worry if the lighting is all wrong or you haven’t done your hair… the important thing is that we meet together! Meeting in this way will not be always be easy - at times it may be frustrating, at times hilarious, at times you will love it and I have no doubt that it will feed a longing for ‘normal’ church which in turn feeds our longing to be together in worship with Jesus in heaven one day. Let’s remember that we are church family together now the same as always… “living stones being built together into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2)

We will be building time into our meeting for the children and providing resources for parents to print in advance that the kids can work through. The youth will continue to meet after the service in their own ZOOM meeting space.

 

Let’s Sing Together


Lines will be muted throughout the meeting including during the singing because the natural telecoms delay will make it very hard for us all to hear each other when we sing together. Colossians 3 vs 16  teaches us the value of corporate worship as “...the message of Christ dwell(s) among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

So week by week we’ll be asking members of the church family to lead us in singing.  We will all hear them so that we can join with them, singing the words that are on the screen. We won’t all hear each other but we can be encouraged in seeing each other as we worship together in our homes. I would encourage you to do the following:

Embrace the weird! Weird very quickly becomes wonderful! If you’re a musician you can play along in your own home too… no one else will hear you except those in your home with you but it will add to our corporate worship! Involve your family if you have one - find some shakers or tambourines for your kids… lay out some saucepans with a wooden spoon as a drum kit or maybe...dance! Let’s make a joyful noise together!

I’m sure there are other things that we’ll learn as we meet together in this way but let’s get started and see how God will bless us and help us to continue to belong, serve and grow together through this challenging time.

Steve
 Smith

Steve Smith, 21/03/2020

Permalink

A message from Matt... 

...to help us to think about how we should follow Jesus in the current situation, as we trust God and as we serve our families, our church and our neighbours.
Matt Bownds, 20/03/2020

Permalink

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

In my journaling Bible, I have these scrawled words – written in 2012 - next to Romans 12:11: “this would make a great motto verse”!

But as I read and re-read Romans chapter 12 during the Christmas break, I couldn’t resist the pull of the very next verse: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Of all the verses I was reading, this little triad of imperatives - like mutually reinforcing points of a triangle - seemed to sum up what it has means for us members of The Bridge Church family to live the gospel-transformed lives that Paul urges in Romans 12:1.

Being joyful in hope is not the same as being happy in circumstances. Now, who wouldn’t want to be happy in their circumstances, right? But joy in hope is something deeper and better and stronger. It’s experiencing something now of the overwhelming wholeness and sweetness that we will one day perfectly know. Jesus-followers have a hope (a sure expectation) of seeing Jesus in all his glory and being like him in that glory (see Romans 5:2), which is what causes joy to spring up – by the Spirit - from deep within us. But we aren’t passive in this. We are urged by Paul to be joyful in our hope. Meditate on what lies in store and let it transform the now. The circumstantial happinesses of life are just pale reflections of what this joy is and what it will one day blossom into.

And joy in hope is what helps us to be patient (steadfast, trusting God, waiting on him) in affliction. Afflictions are as inevitable for Christians as they are for anyone else, but the believer is constantly pointed and projected past the current hardships by thinking much about his or her future prospects. And so suffering is not made easy but is transformed by grace into something which actually reinforces – not reduces - the joy we have because of our assurance of being with Jesus.

And if these truths don’t make us want to be faithful in prayer, what will!? As my joy grows because I am meditating on my hope, my trials are illuminated by heaven’s light and I feel the breeze of heaven, even in tribulations. And all this makes me want to communicate more constantly, talking to and praising my Saviour. In turn those prayers are heard and used by the Lord to strengthen me, sweeten the hard things and fuel the joy that is rooted in heaven’s hope.

What a trio of encouragements! These will be amongst my resolutions for 2020. I wonder if you’ll join me in them?   

Matt Bownds

Download this verse as a phone wallpaper image here.

Matt Bownds, 09/01/2020

Permalink

Meet Clive  

Tom Roberts, 15/12/2019

Permalink

Meet Aravind  

Tom Roberts, 07/12/2019

Permalink

There are loads of great Christian books you could buy for someone this Christmas...


All these books are available from 10ofthose.com. If you buy here, the church will receive a portion of the sale price to use for our ongoing work of sharing the good new of Jesus.
 

For Adults

MealChester 
Meals have always been important across societies and cultures – a time for friends and families to come together. An important part of relationships, meals are vital to our social health. Or as author Tim Chester puts it, Food connects....

He urges sacrificial giving and loving around the table, helping readers consider how meals can be about serving others and sharing the grace of Christ.

PhoneReinke
When the smartphone was introduced, many of us quickly adopted it into our lives—too quickly to stop and think about the future costs we were unboxing along with the device. Now blessed with this revolutionary piece of handheld technology, we try to wield it with wisdom, fending off anxieties about how our digital habits impact our spiritual health. Drawing on the insights of numerous thinkers, published studies, and his own research, writer Tony Reinke identifies twelve potent ways our smartphones have changed our lives—for good and ill. Reinke calls us to cultivate healthy habits for smartphone use in the digital age, encouraging us to be grateful for technological advance, develop skills aimed at maximising the blessing that we (and others) can receive through our phones, and grow in the wisdom we need to avoid the many pitfalls that exist with such a powerful tool.
 
ProverbsKeller
Pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller writes the follow-up to his hugely successful devotional 'My Rock My Refuge'

Keller is known for his ability to connect a deep understanding of the Bible with contemporary thought and the practical issues we all face. In this inspiring new devotional - consisting of all-new material - Keller offers inspiration for every day of the year, based on the book of Proverbs. Working through the entire book, Keller brings this ancient wisdom to life and shows how to apply it to the realities of our daily lives. Just as 'My Rock My Refuge' taught readers how to pray, so 'The Way of Wisdom' teaches us how to live lives that are rooted in wisdom.

For Kids

EverythingKNT

Encourage your little ones to learn and grow with God with Everything a Child Should Know About God from bestselling author Kenneth N. Taylor. Designed for parents to read aloud to children, this book features whimsical illustrations throughout, each chapter has a brief explanation and a related question to pose to children. Dr. Taylor explains in child-friendly language the essential Bible truths you want your child to know.

This revised edition has a Bible reference on each page to help you show your children where these doctrines can be found in the Bible. 

EveryoneCHW
It’s never too early to introduce the next generation to some of the heroes of faith. In this book children will meet 52 christian men and women (one for each week of the year) from all walks of life who wanted to live for their friend Jesus. There are missionaries, martyrs, writers, reformers, politicians and poets. Their stories are exciting and inspiring and will show children that any of Jesus’ friends can do remarkable things for him - even them!

GoodIdeaTN
A true story about God's design for people - we are all made in his image so we are all the same.... but we are also all different! We look different, speak different and play different - but we are all valuable. That's because, in the beginning, God had the very good idea of making us that way. This is the story of his idea - and how you can be a part of it!

Dippers
Fun, interactive Bible devotions for the whole family to enjoy!

Devotional dippers are a great way to get your whole family to open up the Bible together. Each stick includes a theme, a Bible reference for you to read, a question to discuss together and a prayer point to encourage you to speak to God


For Teenagers

HangingDickson 
Hanging in There is a book about God, you, the Bible, prayer, church, relationships, sex, feelings, doubts, love and, above all, ‘hanging in there’ as a Christian. If you’re new to the Christian Faith or a long–serving Christian who could use a bit of encouragement, this book is for you. 

SuspicionDickson
A Sneaking Suspicion is a book about things that matter... things that are important but which we don’t often talk about.

John Dickson writes:
‘For me, what began as a sneaking suspicion has blown into a huge reality. Like most Aussies, I had a hunch there was something more to life than beer and footie. I also had a hunch that the ‘something more’ could be found by looking into Jesus. When I decided to go with my hunch, I discovered more than I ever bargained for.’

For Parents

ParentingTripp 
Sometimes parents wish there was a guaranteed formula for raising good kids—a certain list of rules to follow to ensure they’d have obedient children. But if moms and dads view their role through the lens of God’s grace, they will see that the gospel must first shape how they parent before they can effectively shape their children. In this book, Paul David Tripp unfolds a more biblical perspective on parenting than merely adhering to a list of rules. He lays out fourteen gospel–centered principles that will radically change the way parents think about what it means to raise up a child, informing everything they do as a parent.

TalkYounts 
The most important conversations you will have with your kids will be in the context of everyday life. 
In ‘Everyday Talk’, author John Younts explains how to use ordinary conversations to talk to your kids about God and his world. You’ll be delighted by his clear, practical insight and biblical wisdom.

Buy this book and read it. But don’t stop there, put it into practice. Your children will thank you!

 

Book descriptions from 10ofthose.com 

Tom Roberts, 02/12/2019

Permalink
 

All Posts

 
Tom Roberts
02/12/2019
Matt Bownds
20/03/2020
Matt Bownds
29/07/2019
Steff Elis
19/05/2019