DECEMBER 2016 FAMILY NEWS

 
Sharing the Good News
by Pastor Paul Brown

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them 
many things. (Mark 6:34 - NASB95) 

I had the privilege of driving recently through some heavy traffic in downtown Los Angeles. Boy, was I glad I had been studying on the topic of anger; it made the ride so much more enjoyable. Anyway, I noticed that in the great City of Angels there are a lot of people. Millions of them! So many of them are hustling from one place to the next with no clue as to what will happen on the other side of death. They may be very religious, but like the people in Jesus' day, they are on a broad path leading to destruction (Mt. 7:13-14). It made me think of the passage above in Mark 6:34 and how Jesus responded when He saw a big crowd of religious but lost people. Please note that He not only had compassion on them, but that His compassion motivated Him to teach them many things.

How about you? Do you see the people around you like sheep without a shepherd? Is God increasing the compassion in your heart for them and motivating you to teach them the truth about their sin and need for the Savior? You may or may not be gifted to be a teacher or a preacher but God has called all of us to bear witness to who Jesus is and what He has done for us (Acts 1:8). I want to give you a few suggestions on how you can participate in sharing the good news of the Gospel with people around you:
  1. Share your testimony. Write out your testimony and refine it so you can share it in 1-3 minutes. Share what your life was like before Jesus, how you came to know Jesus, and what has changed since you came to know Jesus. Practice sharing it with other believers and then go share it frequently with those who don't yet know Jesus. People love stories and would enjoy hearing of the amazing things God has done for you and in you.
  2. Give Christmas bags to your neighbors. Put a bag together with some special gifts for your neighbors. Perhaps some baked goods, a letter with your testimony in it, a gospel DVD (you can get free ones to give out at: https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/), and an invitation to our church.
  3. Invite your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to Christmas events at TBBF. There are a number of events this month where they can hear the Gospel and have an opportunity to respond.
  4. Host a Christmas Eve event at your house. Have an Open House on Christmas Eve and invite your neighbors to come and join you. Serve snacks and drinks, play Christmas music, ask about their Christmas (or other religious) traditions, and share your testimony of how Jesus changed your life.
  5. Teach or help in Sunday School or Wednesday Night. Every week there are opportunities to help our largest percentage of unreached people at TBBF - our children. What a privilege to point them to Jesus and/or help them grow in Jesus. Call Xiomara Bueno in the church office and find out how to get involved.
  6. Teach or help in Child Evangelism Fellowship. Every week we send out teams to local elementary schools where they share the Gospel with the children. Ask Mary Ann Lapointe how you can get involved!
  7. Start a Bible study at your work. Take a lunch time each week and lead your co-workers through a study of God's Word.
The possibilities are endless and the opportunities are as well. There are somewhere between 1.6 - 1.8 million people in the San Fernando Valley alone. Join me and ask God to give us the compassion of Jesus and the courage to go out and tell people everywhere about eternal life through Jesus Christ. 
New Changes for the New Year
by Pastor Randy Leinen

As most everyone knows, there has been a lot of activity going on around our campus for a while. And it is picking up speed as we hurdle towards the new year. This December is going to be quite a busy month, even if there were no Christmas rush. But it's all good! So I thought it would be good to provide a quick summary/list of all the major AWESOME changes that are going to be in place by January 8 ,  2017, Lord willing, of course! Here is a quick list, in no particular order.
  1. The New Bridge Kids Building (aka E-bldg). It has been a long time coming, but it IS going to be ready for all of our kids on January 8, 2017, and it IS going to be fantastic!
  2. The New Adult Ministry Building (aka I-bldg). It is also being given quite the makeover. Six great classrooms and four really nice restrooms will be unveiled.
  3. A brand new (and kind of old) main driveway entrance is coming to the south side of the E-bldg. It's kind of old because it was there before! But we're still awaiting final permit approval from the city for this, so please pray that this comes soon so that we can make it happen before... January 8, 2017!
  4. Fast Internet! We are installing a fiber network that will accommodate all of the devices that people are using on our campus. Do you have a smartphone or a tablet? You do? Ok, so you're the problem. Just kidding. But seriously, we have a LOT of internet traffic on our campus, and the FIBER is going to help speed things up a bit.
  5. One English Service. One Sunday School. One Hispanic Service. Do you see a pattern? ONE. Some people get to sleep in a little longer. Some people "get" to get up a little sooner. Everybody wins! :-)
This is just a partial list of some great changes that are planned for the near or long term future. Some of the changes I did not mention will be a surprise and you will just have to wait and see. Stay tuned.

As always, please pray that the Lord will help us as we try to finish a lot in DECEMBER! (Are we crazy or what?)  But seriously, give some encouragement to Dean and Kiko. They are working really hard and NONE of this would be possible without them.

Bring on 2017! 
A True Worshipper
by Pastor Steve
 
As we enter the Christmas season again, I am impressed with how Mary, the mother of Jesus, demonstrated to us the qualities of a true worshipper. In Luke 1:28-56, we are given the account of how she heard of God's plan for her to bear the Messiah. Indeed, it was a miraculous way for God to bring salvation and reconciliation to Mankind. But, equally important was Mary's response. She showed at least 5 characteristics that give us an example to follow as worshippers:

  1. She was someone who spent much time getting to know God. When she was fist greeted by the Angel of the Lord, she recognized His servant (v.27-34). Even though she was "perplexed" by his greeting, she knew that what he was saying could be trusted because she knew her God was a miracle-working God!
  2. She was a humble servant. A true worshipper knows their place in relationship to our Sovereign God. She was a "bondservant" (v. 38).
  3. She was immediately obedient. She didn't ask if she could have a few days to "sleep on it" or confer with friends and relatives, or even Joseph! She simply responded by saying "Be it unto Me according to your word" (v. 38).
  4. She testified to others. "She arose and went in a hurry...and greeted Elizabeth" (v. 39).
  5. She gave glory to God!  In verses 48-55, she first exalts in God.  She then shows how well she knows Him by recounting His qualities and nature-He has given her joy, He has given her salvation, He has shown His kindness, His mercy, His provision, His holiness, His might, His righteousness, His justice, and His faithfulness. Oh, that we were such intimate worshippers that we could praise Him so specifically and give the same testimony about Him to others.
 I pray that as we go through this Christmas season and hear the familiar story of Mary, that we would evaluate our own personal worship in light of her trusting response.
 
Merry Christmas!
News from Bridge Youth
by Jimmy Augur

Over the past couple of months in the Bridge Youth, we have taken an in-depth look at the topic of prayer, as well as continued our studies through the first chapter of James on Wednesday nights, and learning lessons from "Biblical Heroes" on Sunday mornings. Each time we gather together, it is a special opportunity to grow in Christ and develop relationships with one another that will lead to changed hearts and lives for Jesus. It is our goal each week that both the students and staff grow in their relationship with God and develop a greater love for Him and trust in Him.

I am super excited about our amazing Christmas party coming up on Wednesday, December 14th, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. in E-Lower Level.  We will spend time fellowshipping together through fun games, a gift exchange, delicious food, and the celebration of our Savior's birth! Students: Bring a wrapped gift, $5-$10 value, for our gift exchange. 

Please continue to pray for Joe and me as we lead this ministry, as well as our faithful staff and of course, for the students, as God continues use this ministry to mold and shape us all into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
 
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18644 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
phone: 818.776.1500 | fax: 818.881.0327