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Review: Psalms Vol 2 by Shane & Shane 

I was driving to work recently and a song came up on my Amazon playlist simply entitled 'Psalm 46'.  The lyrics were strong and powerful, lifted from the bible and interpreted wonderfully in song.  The song reminded me that God has promised to defend and deliver His people - that He actively fights for us if we have trusted in Jesus and belong to His family by faith.  Whatever situation I find myself in I can be confident that God is with me, leading me and that there is no better or safer place to be found but in Him.  As I finished my commute I read through the Psalm and some context around it...  

Slide4At the time of writing Judah was under siege by the Assyrian army.  Surrounded on every side by brutal enemies intent to kill, destroy and overtake Gods people.  There was nothing that the King or their armies could do in their own strength but they prayed to God and trusted Him (2 Kings 18-19).  God defended His people miraculously and, overnight, struck down the enormous 185,000 strong Assyrian army (2 Kings 19:35).  Imagine the terror, awe and wonder the next morning when God's people wake a scene of desolation and strewn carcasses that signified a seemingly impossible victory, freedom and deliverance by the hand of God.  In this context the words of Psalm 46 ring out...

Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.  He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire.  He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  The Lord Almighty is with us; The God of Jacob is our fortress.

I have since immersed myself in the album Psalms Vol. 2 by Shane and Shane and have been encouraged, comforted and challenged by the songs of victory, songs of desperation, songs of deliverance, songs of repentance, songs of praise, songs of contentment, songs of wonder, of rest and reassurance in our Mighty God.  I have found myself committing to memory words from the Psalms and understanding them with a deeper connection.  I'd thoroughly recommend downloading or purchasing the album - especially as we spend a few weeks in Psalms together on Sunday mornings throughout the summer.  Why not take a look?

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, 09/08/2019

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Join us for our short summer series in the Psalms, the prayer-book and song-book of the church.

Be challenged and uplifted and stirred by the songs that Jesus both inspired and sang, and that have kept and nourished the people of God through the centuries.  

Aug 04     Psalm 139 - Matt Bownds       
Aug 11     Psalm 96 - Steff Ellis
Aug 18     Psalm 4 - Graeme Hunter
Aug 25     Psalm 66 - Dave Gobbett

Don't forget, if you miss a sermon, you can catch up here.

Matt Bownds, 29/07/2019

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Book Review: Sing! by Keith and Kristyn Getty 

54fb4c86797d7535b4bc752692eb7aRecently we thought about how we should ‘Be Worshippers’, and one of the things that we do when we worship together is sing! It’s a crucial part of our corporate worship, and so it is important to consider why and what we sing. This book is a useful tool to help us find out what the Bible says about singing and help us use song as a means of glorifying God and encouraging one another both on a Sunday morning and throughout the week.

This book aims to protect us from simply ‘going through the motions’ when we sing; instead it strives to help us to engage our hearts and minds when we sing. It challenges our view that singing is something for ‘me’ to enjoy and shows us how Biblical singing can declare God’s greatness, strengthen the church and be a witness to the world.

The book starts by giving three reasons why we should sing. It talks about how we are created to sing. God has designed us to be able to sing and to enjoy the beauty and creativity of music. Secondly, we are commanded throughout the Bible to sing. In the same way as we are told to pray and read our Bibles, we are commanded to sing because it is good for us, as we point each other to Jesus. The third reason is that we are compelled to sing because of what Jesus has done for us. Of all the people on earth – haven’t we got the greatest reason to sing?! 

The second half of the book goes into more detail about how singing can have a positive impact on different areas of our lives – our personal spiritual lives, our families, our fellow believers, and non-believers. Singing gospel truths continually lifts our eyes to Jesus and reminds us of our unity to Christ and community with one another. God can use our singing as a witness, to engage  the hearts of those who don’t yet know Him.

Admittedly I am someone who enjoys singing anyway, but this book has had a big impact on me. I have been challenged to keep teaching my children songs filled with gospel truth that will stay with them for years to come. Singing together in church on a Sunday brings me greater joy as I am reminded of the gospel and that we are a family. I have been prompted to pray that as we sing, others will wonder at the hope we have as Christians and will want that hope for themselves.

Some of you may love singing; others of you less so. Either way I would encourage you to read this book because understanding what the Bible says about singing will help you love God more. As the book says:

“We do not worship the created art of singing; we worship Him. Don’t sing primarily because you love singing or keep quiet because you do not. Sing because you love Him who made you, and formed you and enables you to sing”.

Whatever you sound like, we have a great God who is worthy of our praise and loves to hear us sing.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts, 25/07/2019

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Book Review: Heaven by Randy Alcorn 

Heaven- Randy AlcornFor most of us, it seems that our beliefs about heaven and eternal life have accrued layers of misconceptions over the years. 

Randy Alcorn’s book, ‘Heaven’, does a wonderfully effective job of scraping away those layers of preconceptions and bringing us back to what scripture actually says. I found myself thrilled afresh, as I read this book, about the future I have in Christ. A future in a renewed creation that exceeds my imagination, but about which I am told an awful lot in the Bible.

There’s a lot here, but portioned up in nice short chapters. And with subjects like the following, you won’t be bored: What will the resurrected earth be like? What will our lives be like? What will our relationships be like? What about animals? What will we do in heaven? You won’t have to agree with all of Alcorn’s conclusions to be encouraged and built up by this book. Take up and read! 

Matt Bownds

Matt Bownds, 18/07/2019

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Book Review: What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile 

Healthy ChurchMatt spoke to us this Sunday about the wonderful, eternal family that we are part of as Christians. Jesus loves the church - he loves us so much that he died to purchase us as his bride - what a wonderful truth this is! But it's sometimes confusing to know how to make the most of belonging to our Church family. This book is here to help us.

The author writes  "The Lord's intent is that you play an active and vital part in his body, the local church. He intends for you to experience the local church as a home more profoundly wonderful than any other place on earth... This little book is written in the hope that you might discover or rediscover what it means to be a healthy member of a local church, and what it means to contribute to the overall health of the church."

This book takes us through 10 different ways that we can play that active and vital role. It's easy to find fault with our own church, with its odd personalities, long prayers and songs we don't like! No church is perfect, but together we can strive, with God's help, to be more like that perfect bride that we will one day be transformed into. 

We learn how to listen to sermons better, how to talk about Jesus more effectively, how to love our spiritual brothers and sisters more sacrificially, how to grow as a disciple and how to pray more intently. 

This book has helped me to appreciate sermons more, be encouraged by God's work amongst my church family even when things seem to be going wrong, and to marvel at how God chooses to use people - even sinners like you and me - as instruments of grace.  It might just be the best two hours you spend reading this summer!

Click here to buy from our church bookshop.

Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts, 18/06/2019

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It’s good sometimes to go back to basics in life.

It's good to regularly ask what we’re doing and why, what really matters, what sort of life we want to live and what sort of people we want to be. A kind of life audit.

That’s especially true in the Christian life and the life of the church, and that’s what we’ll be doing in the months of June and July. The ‘Basics @ The Bridge’ series will cover five topics that are core to who we are and what we do as the family of God. 

We could’ve added more topics to the list, but we’re going with these five leading up to the summer holidays and we’ll be applying them to our life as the Bridge Church family. Come and do a life audit with us!
 

Catch up here if you miss any sermons!

Matt Bownds

Matt Bownds, 06/06/2019

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Book Review: Connected by Sam Alberry 

Connected AlberryBeginning to understand Trinity is one thing; what to do with it is another thing altogether! Is it only me who, at times, finds relating to a God who is - by nature- relational so mind-bendingly confusing? What does that mean? And how does it affect in my life?

I found Connected by Sam Alberry very helpful. Not only because the first section is devoted to explaining how God is one and that God is three persons existing in overflowing love from eternity but also because the second section deals very well with how to live with it. Alberry does this by exploring and explaining the Bible in a helpful, easy-to-understand way. 

When you read Connected, you'll see how all of Trinity is intrinsically involved in our salvation, with us when we pray and gives us a pattern for how we live in the Church and with each other. 

It turns out that wrestling with this rich truth isn't so much a chore as it is a joy; well-worth-it effort that shows us more and more beauty and depth in who God is and how knowing him affects every corner of our lives.

Buy now from the church bookshop.

Steff Elis  

Steff Elis, 19/05/2019

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"Easter is a funny time of year. You come back from the Christmas holidays, you hit the ground running then all of a sudden the clocks go forward and you’re in April.

Now Christmas is known as the celebration of Christ...and though sometimes it may not be celebrated, the clue is sort of in the name.

But what about Easter? Some chocoholic Bunny and a sugar rush on Easter weekend...there's gotta be more to the story.

When it boils down to it - Easter is foundational to the Christian faith. Who would have thought that 3 days would have been so key to the fate of humanity? And it's all cos that tomb was empty."
  
Tom Roberts, 20/04/2019

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Independence Sunday 

 

Many parents and children know the sweet-yet-sad reality of a child growing up to become independent. Pastor Matt reflects on Sunday 6th January 2019, a slightly sad, but very sweet, day. 

Back in January 2012 the Highfields ‘parent’ congregation established the Highfields Pontprennau ‘daughter’ congregation, and after a process of prayer and deliberation over the last couple of years, it was agreed that the Pontprennau church family had become autonomous enough to step out on its own. 

indep morning

But independence doesn’t mean isolation, which is why it was so lovely, after our first morning worship as an independent fellowship, to join on the Sunday evening with our brothers and sisters in the Highfields congregation for our commissioning service. 

indep evening

To sing together, pray together, sit under God’s word together and take communion together was a particularly special blessing and a wonderful testament to God’s faithfulness to both Highfields Church and The Bridge Church. We will always be grateful to God for leading the people of Highfields to plant a church in this part of the city, and we look forward to his future grace and faithfulness and to all he will do through us all, in Cathays, Pontprennau, Cardiff, Wales and the world. 1 Samuel 7:12 – Thus far the LORD has helped us.

Matt Bownds
Matt Bownds, 11/01/2019

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New Sermon Series: Mark's Gospel

Jesus has always fascinated people, and there are lots of opinions in our society and our world today about who he is.

In the coming weeks we will be looking at who Jesus really is through the Spirit-inspired words written by Mark. He paints a punchy, vivid, historical portrait of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, and answers vital questions for us like: 

-Who is he?
-Why did he come?
-What does it mean to follow him?
 
So why not join us as we follow Jesus, from his baptism to his resurrection, and walk Palestine’s dusty streets with him? Our prayer is that those of us who know him will come to know him and love him better, and that those who don’t yet now him will come to meet him, and want to follow him, for the first time.

Catch up on any sermons you miss here.

Current Sermon Series

Matt Bownds

Matt Bownds, 11/01/2019

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Matt Bownds
29/07/2019
Steff Elis
19/05/2019
Matt Bownds
18/07/2019