Dear Lifers,

So…when was the last time you felt loved? I mean you felt that warm, life-giving, rush of joy that comes from realizing that another person really cares deeply for you.

The other day I was in a conversation with a couple other people where one looked the other right in the eye and said, “You know that your Heavenly Father loves you, right? And He doesn’t love you because of what you do or don’t do or how you perform. He loves you because of who you are to Him.” I was shocked when the statement hit me between the eyes. “Well, of course Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.” For some reason, something struck me in that moment. I knew it in my head all along, but I haven’t downloaded that to my heart recently.

I’ve been busy running a church, checking boxes on a never-ending to-do list, meeting with all kinds of people to work through all kinds of challenges. If anyone would have asked me if Jesus loved me or them, a “yes” would have shot out of my mouth without hesitation. But what I realized in that moment was that I have not stopped recently to absorb that truth and let it burn in my spirit for a while. I haven’t meditated on that truth so it could breathe life into me.

The truth had never changed, even in my mind. But it had lost some of its ability to shape my heart. I wasn’t feeling the effects of it. It wasn’t filling me with joy and confidence. In a moment of reflection later, I realized how crazy life can get…and how fast it can get crazy when that anchor has become dislodged. Hmmm, something so simple had slipped my mind. It only took a few minutes of dwelling on that thought for joy and peace to begin washing over me again.

Jesus told us when He was talking to the disciples about what will happen in the end of times: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” Is that an accurate prediction or what? We do live in a cold world. And I know this message is longer than usual, but I couldn’t resist the urge today to look you in the eye and say, “You know your Heavenly Father loves you, right?”

My prayer for you is that you can know this…with your head and in your heart. If you need a little help, take a minute to read just a few statements to remind you. (Ephesians 2:4-5, I John 3:1, Galatians 2:20, Jeremiah 31:3, Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 8:37-39) Take some time…and let that joy wash over your heart again today.

Now, check out these other LifeBridge opportunities:

Eight O’ Clock Encounter: Prayer is the FUEL for this movement of God. Some pray out loud, others pray silently. ALL are blessed by coming together to seek God on behalf of our families, our people, our community and the Church of Jesus Christ around the world. A true Christ follower doesn’t fight like the world. We fight from our knees. Join us Saturday mornings at 8am. Everyone is welcome.

Advent Conspiracy Week 2: Last week we kicked off the conspiracy with the question: Who’s story get’s the glory this Christmas? It’s just a fresh look at who or what will get the focus of our worship during this holiday season and how that affects our celebration of Christmas. If you missed it, simply click here to watch that message and catch up. This Sunday we will have a new question and a new perspective on HOW to answer that question in a way that leads to a more intentional celebration of Christ birth. Join us at any of our three services – 8:30 / 10:00 / 11:30am Sunday.

Christmas Eve Service: For years we have been asked if LifeBridge will be hosting a service on Christmas Eve. We never have. But now…the time has come. This Christmas we will have our first Christmas Eve service ever. We hope your whole family will join us for a special event (with lots of music) to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. The service will be held at 4:00pm on Monday, December 24th.

Holiday Meal Baskets: Last year many of you partnered with LifeBridge Church and We Care to provide Christmas meal baskets for local families that struggle to put together a nice meal with which to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. This is a great project for a family, LifeGroup, team or neighborhood to take on. If you are interested in putting together such a basket, please click here for more info, see the attachment for what to put in the basket and reply to this e-mail so we can put your name on a list. One of our office staff will call you with all the details and to make arrangements to drop your basket off at LifeBridge Church by Wednesday, December 19th at 3pm.

Building Workday: We are making exciting progress on the office/Bridge Kids wing of the building project, but we still need your help. We are scheduling a workday for Saturday December 15th starting at 9:30am. If you are able to help for a few hours or even one hour, put it on your calendar and let us know by replying to this e-mail.

NEW LifeBridge Office Hours: Thanks to an amazing group of new volunteers, we are able to make the LifeBridge Church office open to serve you Monday through Thursday, 9am-4pm. There is still room for more individuals with administrative skills to help us staff the office and work on the administrative details of our active church life and ministries. If you would like to be part of this team, please reply to this e-mail and let us know.

Serving Opportunity: In light of making room, we are ready for more people to hug some BridgeBabies!  If you have been waiting for the perfect time to rock babies, now is the time.  We are looking for several more adults to serve our precious little ones in nursery space.  This would mean serving during the 8:30 or 11:30 service at least every other week. If you are interested, reply to this e-mail and David George will follow up with you.

Thanks to church family: This is a message from the family of Jim Ward who passed away unexpectedly last month. They wanted me to share their appreciation with all of you:

To Milan/Jen and our LifeBridge Family, your prayers, support and outpouring of love has given our family strength in a time of storm.  As we are overcome by feelings of loss, we thank you for being here for us in our time of grief.  The food, flowers, time, prayers and continued encouragement have helped us and will continue to in the days ahead.  We love you.  God Bless – Connie Ward + Family