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Chris Lizotte In Concert September 30th

Chris Lizotte

Next Saturday Night September 30th at 7pm at The Bridge Chris Lizotte will be with us for an evening or worship and music.

Chris Chris Lizotte has released 8 solo albums for Metro1 Music and Vineyard Music. He has led worship for events such as: The National Youth Leaders Convention, Promise Keepers, Campus Crusade as well as many other events across the Nation and Europe. Chris’s songs have been recorded by Kim Walker-Smith, Crystal Lewis, Vineyard Music and Maranatha Music. He is currently the Worship Pastor at Little Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach, CA.


If you are not familiar with him you can check out some of his latest music on his website http://chrislizotte.com or spotify

Because we only have so much room and to help with costs of getting Chris here we are selling tickets for just 10$ a tickets. To reserve tickets email andrew@thebridge spokane.com or text 509-294-4808

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Change

Change… 
 
That is not a word that most of us like. In fact studies have shown that almost 90 percent of humanity does not like change! However the ironic, sad, scary, frustrating (whatever you want to label it) reality is…  life is constantly changing. We can’t escape change and if we try to we either end up frustrated, discouraged or completely isolated from reality. 
 
The simple solution is of course embrace change! Unfortunately like most challenges in life that is not something we can do with mere will power alone. We need something outside of or greater than us and our ever changing world to hold on to. We need an anchor or for you Lost fans we need a “constant”. 
 
Of course modern pyscology and our self-help culture tells us that we are responsible to create those anchors. The idea is that we can sow into and focus on something until we create something that can stand untouched by the forces of change. Career, finances, religion and family are all reputable and encouraged anchors to hold onto. There is just one problem in that… not one of those things has ever been able to starve off change!
 
Careers suddenly end, finances can disappear like water down a drain, religion is ever morphing with each new culture and its fads and families, well they are all about change. Babies change into toddlers, toddlers change into children, children into teenagers and you catch my drift. Its seems that nothing is outside of changing so how can we have a reliable anchor? 
 
I believe that there is only one answer, one anchor, one constant that won’t fail us, that truly will not change… JESUS. 
 
Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
 
Hebrews 1:10 “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe, like a garment they will be changed.  But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”

 
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 
God does not change! He is the same from beginning to end.  As the writer of Hebrews says from yesterday, today and forever. We are being reminded of that truth as we look at the book of Judges. God has not changed, He has always been sovereign, always been loving, always operated with grace! What a securing thought in our ever changing world! There is an anchor that will not fail, there is a constant that will not change and we know him! Beyond that He knows and loves us!
 
So why change? Why do we live in a world were everything is always in flux? If God never changes why is so much of His creation subject to change? 
 
Let me take a crack at those questions… We live in a world full of change so that we can learn to better know, trust and focus on our anchor! Our lives will always be encompassed in change so that we stay in trusting relationship with our constant…  with Jesus. Change is actually an agent of grace to keep us aware of our need for Jesus!
 
If that is true then do we maybe need to think about and relate to change differently? Instead of something to avoid, fear, worry about, fight against or complain about what if change was  something we embraced knowing its designed to bring us into deeper relationship with our anchor, with Jesus? What if we saw change as an agent of grace to bring us into deeper and closer relationship with Jesus?
 
Last week we talked about some of the changes we going through as a church community. The way we meet, the people we meet with and the things God has called us to engage with are all changing… I had to laugh last week when I walked into the church and saw even the physical look of the building was changing again!! Yes change is happening all around us… my encouragement to us is lets change the way we engage change! 
 
I propose we let all this change empower us to fold into our anchor in a greater way than ever! Let’s be a people who encourage one another to trust Jesus and his grace more than ever before. Let’s start to see change as a opportunity to walk closer to Jesus, experience more of His freedom and come alive to His will in our life. When we start to feel the fear that often comes with change and new season creep in lets engage with our constant, Jesus the one who never changes and never lets us down and watch how He will empower us to engage change!

 

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“The Doctrine Conundrum” by: Aaron Tilbury

Recently, I’ve been blessed with the expansion of relationship with other brothers and sisters outside my direct church family – and like The Gospel will do – like JESUS will do – those lines become blurred and the family just becomes …well…more family. Still church…still the body…just MORE connected.

In this season I’ve been given the grace to walk through some doors in ministry to young people at a local high school. Which in turn has young people loving one another, which in turn has teachers asking “How?” and allows us to once again say, “Jesus.” Awesome grace and utterly without merit by us.

Maybe as significantly for me, I have been walked and hand-held by Christ and His Holy Spirit through some things; how I am made, who I am in my family and in my greater community…growth that has resulted in new freedom. Through hiccups to be sure, my family and I have gotten better at loving people and being loved by them. That is freedom. Looking at the title of this essay side by side with the truly wonderful season we are in – it wouldn’t be a reach to say, “What is the conundrum then? Love is abounding! Seems pretty simple to me. Enjoy it!”

In all of these recent experiences one theme has been prevalent in discussion and in the hearts of people who have shared time with me – doctrine is bad and we just need to love one another. But the more I pray about this, the more I see that love sometimes just really isn’t simple. Because love isn’t an accident.

My first thought as I write this for example, is “God is Love.” Where did I get that from? From scripture as many of us know – The Bible. In fact, that statement is part of a larger whole statement that also tells us what love looks like when it plays out on the planet. Scripture says “…and this is how we know what love is, that we lay down our lives for our people.” I won’t spend too much time sidetracking but you have to admit that those two statements are both awesome and life-changing if we comprehend them. And if God is love and love is laying down our lives – then it makes sense that Jesus would be our Messiah. So you see, The Bible points to Jesus always…but the point is, that is a doctrinal argument. It is not a simple feeling.

One of the many theological issues I have had a chance to discuss with peers recently is the afterlife. I couldn’t help but notice here is an area where there are an array of beliefs within any given church community – and where I see many churches who teach a doctrine on the subject – flat out misinterpreting scripture and context of The Word. Yet it is in scripture that while addressing the Pharisees and their faulty views on judgment Jesus said, “Is this not why you are wrong? Because you know neither the scriptures or the power of God?” The fact is that Jesus argued doctrine more than once. Paul made a career of doing it and Peter wasn’t a slouch. James loved arguing doctrine it seems. By all accounts – all the people we revere in our faith – doctrine was both important and a way of knowing God and repenting.

Last Sunday our pastor tore it up. He spoke to what we believe as Christians. That Christ is the Son of God. Lived perfectly. Died sinless. Rose again. Gave His Spirit into His believers and bought our salvation. I have never heard so many amens in my church. Ever. It was AWESOME.

But. Those are doctrinal statements of faith. They aren’t simply our pastor loving us. They were our pastor, in The Spirit, loving us with GRACIOUSNESS & TRUTH. In the same way that, in scripture, we are told to worship in Spirit and in Truth. You see, I can worship in Spirit and freely feel however I want…but when I worship in TRUTH, when I pray in TRUTH, when I let go of the supposition that love must be free for ME to define and I allow Jesus to tell me WHO HE IS…I am torn asunder. Broken down. Revealed for what I am…dependent upon God to define me. No longer able to legalize love and call it freedom of expression. I am dust with His life the only life in me. Simply the clay. I do not get to define what love is – make it simple or complex – for LOVE IS HIM. Love is a lion. Love is a Sword. Love is a shield. Love is a baby crying in a manger. Love is a covenant God made with himself. Love is a man-God-god-Man we can never comprehend. Love is a rebel. Love is a rascal! Love is….

Anything but simple.

I know we like to say it is simple. That we have made things too complex – how could we not look at the American Church or The Christian Machine and not agree with that (unless we are an avid part of it)? It can truly feel simple when love is at its most complete in us – when we abide – it can feel effortless. After all, it is freely offered to us, His precious grace is, and it is equally available to all of us in equal measure.

But what if the feeling of simplicity is also grace? That we can rest in Jesus and feel rest is awesome…but is feeling love and rest synonymous with being simple?

Is it possible we have become so weary of bad doctrine that we reject doctrine as a notion in its entirety? That we have swung so far away from the good doctrine when we reject doctrine entirely. We lose sight of the fact that JESUS IS THE DOCTRINE.

And He is anything but simple.

Look, we must always reject the idea that Our Lord can be put in a box. That The Law brings life to us – but we must also never forget that the Cross is not simple. He just makes it simple for us to be accepted. He makes it simple for us to relate to Him…all that is true. But the places He may ask us to go are not simple. The person He made YOU to be – is NOT simple. And ultimately we need doctrine as much as we need love because it is the same thing. We do not advance in our love so far that we stop needing scripture or else we believe it is NOT the revelation of Jesus and that the Word is alive. We do not advance in our spirituality to a point where we can afford to forget doctrine leads others to Christ as well – so we should know what we believe and why. There may be but one thing we should stand firm on. Christ and Christ crucified. But that is doctrine.

So let us reject the doctrine of man – always. Even if it seems freeing to make our own rules. Let our spirits lead some of us on crusades to limit the damage false doctrine can do. Let’s throw out the bells and whistles! But let us also follow the doctrine of Our Lord Jesus Christ when He said |Today the scriptures are fulfilled in me.”