Randy’s Top 10 – April 2024 Edition

1. Staff highlight – Osloy

We are blessed to have a new person who has joined our maintenance team. His name is Osloy Alvarez. He recently immigrated to the US from Cuba with his wife, Lisi, and his two boys, Abraham (9 yrs) and Ibrahim (5yrs). They have a wonderful testimony of God’s work in their lives, especially how He provided for them to come to America. And they have been attending our Hispanic congregation for almost one year. Osloy is taking online courses to learn English and he is making good progress. Both Darren and CJ love the great help that he brings to their team. It is a blessing for the Bridge to have such a hard worker in an area for which we have been seeking assistance for a long time.

2. Ministry Highlight – Transformation Groups (TG)

Since August of last year we have been promoting our “smaller” discipleship groups called “Transformation Groups.” These are gender-based groups of 3-5 people, which typically meet 2-4 times per month, and are designed to focus on keeping us growing in Christ. In this smaller group setting it is easier for people to “get real” about their walk with the Lord. The good and the bad. There is a level of godly accountability that can only happen in groups such as these, which is why I’m in two of them. I want to continue to grow in my faith, and I need other men to help me with that. How about you? If you are not part of a Transformation Group and you would like to be, go to the church app and you will find a sign-up link there.

3. Sherman Way Face

We’re continuing to finalize the scope of the project to revitalize our property along Sherman Way. After our Architect made the final designs and presented them to us and to our General Contractor, the budget for implementing that design came out too high. The elders, along with our project team, decided to reduce the scope in order to make the project more affordable. We’re hoping to have the final designs in a format that we can show to you very soon. And we’re also hoping to begin the construction work (plan check) in the next 2-3 months, then a 3-month build time.

4. Summer Nights @ The Bridge Series

Starting on Wednesday, July 3rd we will begin our “summer tradition,” that we call, Summer Nights @ The Bridge. Come prepared for a BBQ dinner, a programs for the kids, youth, and for us old people. You will be hearing more about this in the weeks to come. But I want to let you know about the topic of our series for adults – Biblical Discernment.

We live in a time where we are confronted with very advanced and rapidly changing technology. As an example, the other day I spoke into my watch to set up a reminder for a task that I needed to perform later. Anybody remember Dick Tracy? If you do, you certainly never would have thought, back then, that “Dick Tracy” technology would ever become more than just science fiction. But it has. As someone who has loved technology and change for many years, I have to admit that these technological advancements have taken a very negative toll on us, our kids, our grandkids, and on our society as a whole. But technology is here to stay, at least until Jesus returns. So, how should we, as Christians, live and use this “unrighteous mammon” to glorify God? What limits should we place on it? How do we protect our kids from its evils? These are the types of questions that we are going to answer during our summer series. We hope that you and your friends are willing and able to be part of this.

5. Recent Stats (last 3 month averages)

  • Worship Service Attendance
    • English – 278
    • Hispanic – 133
    • Online Connections – 60
  • Parking Usage
    • 9 am Lot = 89%
    • 11am Lot = 83%
    • 9 am Field = 11%
    • 11 am Field 17%
  • Bridge Kids Attendance
    • 9 am = 35
    • 11 am = 40

6. Summer Preaching Series 

Pastor Paul is leaving! But only for 3 months. 🙂 He will be taking a sabbatical from July through September. So who is going to fill in for the 13 Sundays that he is gone? Answer: A lot of us – Me, Joe, Larry, Jeff, Marc and Zach. What are we preaching on? Good question. Answer: We will be doing a very quick survey through one of the most ignored, but important, portions of the Bible – the Minor Prophets. There are twelve of them, so we will be covering one book each week, except for Zechariah which will be two weeks. In preparation, I think you would benefit greatly if you began reading those books of the Bible. But don’t just read them. Study them. Read introductory information about each book (from a study Bible). Write down questions about each book and submit them to us in an email. Trust me, it is going to be a very fun and exciting ride that we are going to go on as we learn so much from this portion of God’s Word.

7. Transitions

Most of you know that Pastor Tom is moving down to San Diego to plant a new church. He and Dawn will be leaving here at the end of May. Please continue to pray for them as they start this new adventure, bringing the gospel to unreached people in that area.

Of course, this will leave a hole that needs to be filled with our college and young adult ministry. Not wasting any time, we’ve asked Pastor Joe to lead that ministry in addition to his responsibilities in directing our worship ministry. Please pray for Joe and the team that he will be developing to serve and grow that vital ministry. These collegians and young adults are the next generation of leaders. May we take on the important responsibility of supporting Joe and his team.

8. Graduation story: Pastor Phil

One of our most recent Graduates to Heaven is Phil Ensley. I just wanted to include a few words about him and a cute little story.

Phil is one of the most friendly and encouraging people I know. EVERY time I would see him, in the parking lot, or somewhere else (even Denny’s), he would always want to tell me something encouraging. He would ALWAYS tell me that he prays for me every day. Wow! What a blessing that is. Maybe someday, when I join Phil, I will learn of how my life was different because of his faithfulness to pray.

Another memory I will always have is because of my two grandsons, Jaxson and Charlie. Every Sunday, my wife Susan (and sometimes me), will walk Jaxson and Charlie over to the Bridge Kids building from their house, which is across the parking lot. Usually, Phil would be standing out there by the walkway between K Building and the Worship Center. When they would see him they would always greet him very boisterously, “Good morning Pastor Phil!” He loved that! And so did we!

9. Passage highlight

Susan and I have been reading through John in our morning devotional time. In John 6:48, Jesus tells his disciples (lots of them, not just the Twelve), “I am the bread of life.” He then continues to explain this with some very difficult words that are hard to understand and accept. Ultimately, in John 6:60 we read, “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” And then in verse 66, “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”

I wonder if we tend to look down upon those who walked away from Jesus with contempt, thinking they were so foolish. The Twelve did not leave. But Jesus tells them in verse 70, “Did I myself not choose you?” Except for Judas.

Two applications I take from this passage, in the form of personal questions: One, how thankful should I be that Jesus chose me? And how often do I express that gratitude to Him? Two, are there difficult things that Jesus tells me in His Word that I am tempted to not accept because I don’t like it? Every word in the scriptures is from Him. I must accept the things that I like and the things I don’t. Why? Because he chose me, and like Peter said in verse 68 – “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”

10. Quiz (if you dare)

Without looking at your Bible, or any other resource, purely from memory, send me an email (randy@bridgbible.church), with the names of the Minor Prophets, in the order they appear in your Bible, with the correct spelling. Even if you are unable to do this completely, just give it a try and send me as much as you know (or think you know). There may or may not be a prize for those who take the quiz.

Your friend,

Pastor Randy

Share this