Dear Lifers,

For some of you, the thought of God as a Heavenly father is so comforting, it’s what gives you peace in the midst of a crazy world. For others, it’s simply terrifying. Depending on your experiences and perceptions, knowing that God is our Father and desires to be present in our lives can mean lots of different things.

Sometimes these perceptions are influenced by what we have seen in the “fathers” in our lives. But we have to remember that we may (or may not) be like God, but He is not like us. I had a great earthly father, but even he could never measure up to the kind of Father that God is.

This perception will have a profound influence on how we view God and how we live before Him. If we see Him as someone who is fed up with His disobedient and sinful children, we will envision a God who is just waiting for us to screw up so He can remind us how stupid we are or punish us. Or if we see Him as basically unattached and absent, we might wonder if He cares about what is going on in our lives or understands us at all. Psshhh, why even listen to someone who doesn’t even care? Many would rather just avoid Him for these kinds of reasons.

So, what DOES it mean that God is our Father? And how does this affect the way we live as parents, as children and as brothers and sisters in this life? I hope this Sunday’s message will give you clarity and help you to get a clearer view of who your Heavenly Father is and how He feels about you. Join us at 9:01 or 11:01am and bring someone you hope to introduce to their Heavenly Father.

Check out these other LifeBridge opportunities:

Eight O’ Clock Encounter: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” Phlippians 4:6-7 You ever find yourself frustrated with life, with people, with the world around you? Often we stress ourselves out by simply hanging on to things that should be given to God. There are SO MANY injustices in the world we live in. We can whine about it or pray about it. Join us Saturday mornings at 8am as we pray Kingdom prayers for our families, our churches, our community and our world.

Fall Trunk or Treat – BridgeKids is hosting a Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 27 from 6-7:30.  Wear your favorite costume and come out for some fun!  We also are looking for people that want to participate by decorating their trunk and being a part of the fun!  If you would like to do a trunk, reply to this e-mail and we will send you more details. One last thing, we also need candy to give the kids in our community.  We will have a bin near Bridge Kids entrance at the church where you can donate bags of fun sized candy to give away that night.

Ripple Effect Missions Conference: The Wave is Coming! Ripple Effect: Making Waves. Our second annual missions conference is November 10th and 11th. This Sunday, Oct. 14, get your tickets for the banquet at the table set up in the lobby. Tickets will be $15 each for people ages 10+. This year the banquet will be catered by Taste! We are really looking forward to celebrating our partnerships with 8 different missions partners and seeing the impact that happens when we work together to make waves in God’s kingdom.

Operation Christmas Child: BridgeKids has a goal of sending at least 100 shoeboxes this Christmas.  Every week we are collecting a new themed item for our boxes.  Drop items in the BK check in area. Learn more at samaritanspurse.org/occ. This week we are collecting hygiene items.  Please note, Operation Christmas Child can not send any liquids in the package.  We can only accept solids and accessories.

Youth Group – Opportunity to love our local teens: It has come to our attention that some of the youth we are serving on Wednesdays are not always getting meals on a regular basis. I know this may be hard to believe, but consider this…South Haven schools are now providing free lunch to EVERY student up through 8th grade. This means that there is a need in THIS community that warrants that level of state aid. The youth ministry is going to start providing meals for teens as they come in on Wednesday evenings. Would you like to be part of God’s answer to their hunger – physical AND spiritual? Please reply to this e-mail and I will get you connected to those who are putting these meals together.

Beyond our walls:

Date Night Idea: Looking for something artsy and fun to do on a Saturday in the fall? This might be a great date idea. Transformations Art Barn is hosting “Falling In Love With The Arts” tomorrow evening. Click here for more info. And if you decide to go, PLEASE tell Sandy Pastor Milan sent you.

Speaker Gracia Burnham: In a torturous prison camp, the Burnhams befriended their guards, comforted fellow hostages and kept their faith in a God who seemed to have abandoned them. Gracia lived to tell her story. Come hear her speak at Listiak Auditorium on Sunday, October 21st, 6:00pm. For more info contact Bethel Baptist Church (637-1089)

THE CROSSING, a Christian Celtic band from Chicago, will be playing Saturday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Kibbie Christian Reformed Church.  Suggested donation is $5.00, with all proceeds going to the band. You will love it, unless you’re allergic to bagpipes. THE CROSSING is associated with JPUSA, which operates ministries including a homeless shelter and senior apartments on Chicago’s north side. For more information, please call or text Don Bemis at 269-906-0160, or email don@donbemis.com

Holiday Hospice Luminaries: Hospice at Home, invites you to join us in lighting up South Haven in a beautiful holiday display.  Luminaries will line the streets from City Hall down to the beach for the Holiday in the Park celebration event on Friday, November 23rd.Luminaries can be purchase for a $5 donation in honor of a friend, family member or even a pet.   If you’re interested in purchasing a luminary, click here to order online.