Dear Lifers,

So here we are. Like a fresh blanket of snow, we have a new year spread out before us. Untainted. Wide open. A blank canvas. A fresh slate. So, what are you going to do with your brand new year?

I used to think that God was an old, out of touch, blast from the past. God seemed to be more about what had happened in my rear-view-mirror than what I was seeing through my windshield. Us church folk haven’t exactly helped His reputation in that department. Often times stepping into church world (Where God supposedly lives) is like stepping 50 years into the past.

The enemy would love for you to hang on to that image of God that causes us to leave him in the dust of our lives. It keeps God out of your future. The enemy knows that your future is where the power is…and so does God. You can’t do a thing about your past. But the future is the real estate on which your life is yet to be built.

But it is Jesus who said, “Behold I make all things new”, and “If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation – the old is gone, the new has come.” Jesus is the one who takes our broken past and redeems it with His plans – “for I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you…” Because of what Jesus has done, is doing and will do, I often say, “In Christ, our best days are always ahead.”

So will you try to build the next year of life with some new philosophical spin to life, some new trend or fad, or will you lean into the eternal contemporary – the God who created the Universe, who hails from eternity past and who has already secured the fate of eternity future? Today is the third day of 2019, and the first day of the rest of your life. You get to choose for yourself whom you will follow into the coming year. My hope is that 2019 will be a year of forward momentum – discovering all that God has already ordained and planned for you.

Now check out these other LifeBridge opportunities:

Eight O’ Clock Encounter: Leonard Ravenhill said, “No man is greater than his prayer life.” Wow, that explains a lot. No, seriously, our connection to God is very connected to our success as a human being. We must remain in the vine to receive His life. I believe the same is true of a church. If God’s people gather to “do” all kinds of things, but don’t gather to “seek” His presence…then we have missed the only truly important thing. Join us Saturday mornings at 8:00 to seek Him together.

This Sunday: Life is messy. It seems I am always cleaning up, going through or heading toward some kind of mess in my life. Often we are embarrassed about the mess and see God with arms crossed wondering when we are going to get off our butt and clean it up. But we discovered at Christmas, the reality is God took on human flesh and stepped into our mess – He came to help us clean it up. Isn’t it good to rest in the knowledge of the depth of God’s love? But He doesn’t clean up the mess with some wave of a magic wand. This Sunday we are going to discuss part of God’s plan for helping us tackle the mess. My hope is that this Sunday will be a refreshing and inspiring look at God’s plan to help you “clean up in aisle you.” 8:30 / 10:00 / 11:30am.

LifeGroup Season is here: Attending church on Sundays is just one small piece of what it means to be part of The Church. Connecting in LifeGroups is critical to spiritual growth and vitality. In the lobby on Sundays 1/13 and 1/20 we will have tables set up where you can look over the LifeGroup options and talk to a caring leader who can answer questions and help you get connected to a group. If you are interested in being trained to lead a group, you can also attend a training at 1:00pm on Sunday, January 13. Please e-mail Kim at lifegroups@webuildbridges.org for more info or to let her know you plan to attend.

The Living Room Winter Hours: We would love to have you come and visit us at our café (520 Phoenix St. South Haven) where you will find a cozy place to chat, read, work or simply relax over a great cup of coffee. Please visit us during our winter hours between 9am and 3pm Monday through Saturday.

Teen Lock-in: Calling all 6th-12th graders! LifeBridge Youth is partnering with Hope Church and Truth Skate Church to bring you an epic Lock In on Friday, January 4th. Cost is $15 and will include games, bowling, pizza, and much more! Drop off @ 9pm & pick up @ 7am at Hope Church. We hope to see you and your friends there! Click here for more details.

LOST & (WAITING TO BE) FOUND @ LifeBridge: We are finding lots of miscellaneous things — shoes, coats, mittens, hats AND sunglasses, eye glasses, keys, bibles AND jewelry. Please check the totes in the coat area for found things that you are missing. If you are missing glasses, keys, bibles or jewelry, please ask at the Information table in the lobby. Items left more than 4 weeks will be taken to The Rescue Mission Thrift Store. You can pick them up there for a small fee.

Beyond our walls:

Crossing over to 2019 in Power: Noah Semitimba and friends will be hosting two more nights of prayer, worship and ministry services at LifeBridge Church starting at 6pm on Saturday (1/5) and Sunday (1/6). Click here for more information. Please note, there will be no childcare provided and children cannot be left unattended.