Hello again. We missed you the last few weeks, and hope everyone is having a great start into the new season.
We have some catching up to do, but first …
A personal thank you to my Starbucks supplier. Before leaving North Carolina last month, he contacted his connections and arranged a gift card drop off to me. I’m never one to turn down coffee. You’re the greatest, Brother Gill. ( …sips coffee)
Looks like we’ve eased into fall. Goodbye light cardigans. Heyy, pumpkin spice and cooler mornings. And football. And Hallmark movies. And hot chocolate. Enough gettin’ all cozy. God’s Church is triumphant and every direction you turn on The Bridge today, you’ll see it. He always comes through. Every time.
ALL THE BUZZ ABOUT THAT PRAYER LINE AND A SONG.
That service is still in the spotlight. The Lord said ‘He’ll Do It Again’ and then that Sunday night tapped us on the shoulder. Elder came down and started praying for people, faith perked up, and the line got a lot longer. No one saw that coming.
O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
I shall come forth as gold.
The song, singers, and band were a combo that said ‘open your hearts’. We did, and God blessed. The Holy Ghost spread from the Ministry to the people, from pew to pew, from brother to brother, from sister to sister. Heaven came in and for those who got even a few feet from the altar, we were immersed in the healing waters. Sometimes the spirit comes flooding in like a mighty rushing wind. That night His power just kept coming. His presence came down, covered every inch of the building, and settled. It was beautiful to behold.
“Rejoice in the Lord” officially made it to our playlist shuffle, especially now that it’s tied to that Sunday night’s life-changing altar call. If you stop by and they’re singing it, be warned. It will make you cry. Tear up. Don’t fight it.
In case you’re feeling big regret for not stepping out to get a place in line when you could have received prayer from the Apostle, we’ve been there too. Eating after-church pints of ice-cream and posting inspirational quotes trying to forget. Now you have to wait until next time. Palm meet face.
Elder said he could feel someone so strong while he was praying for people. Turns out the very next day, he got a call from B. Coy. “I thought he was going to leap through the phone. He was so excited telling me how God healed his daughter after getting prayer that Sunday night.” Elder told us all about it that next Saturday. Yes, it ranks pretty high in ahh-mazing answers to prayer and healings.
Spoiler: The Lord turned the tide for many people that night. We’re talking miracles. Expect to hear about them over the next few weeks and months. The devil is not gonna like it, since we laid our burdens down.
GOING FORWARD, FORWARD.
Think how Joshua and Caleb felt as they walked into the Promised Land. There was no time to mourn those who didn’t get in or who almost made it. After all, everyone had seen the ‘No Grumblers Allowed’ sign.
This past year the Lord did wonders for our Church that kept it moving forward. He watched over us, protected us, and led us in a way that only our Heavenly Father can. God was one step ahead of us. Again.
Unity-ish Theme, Timmmber. Last summer when a boisterous “au contraire” to unity among brethren echoed four days in a row, our Apostle knew. Salvation was being traded for money, politics, business, and numbers, numbers, numbers. Feeling uneasy? Same here.
Picture: Shade thrown. Jaws picked up off the floor. Eyebrows raised. Did I hear that right? Meanwhile, the big numbers were saying ‘Oh hi’ to more of our congregation in living room meetings by invitation only. Yikes.
Does God’s Ministry work that way?
Hold On. Looking Up Scriptures. No. That is not in the Bible. Throw in secret meetings, private streamings, and whispered side convos and it gets juicy. But we’re not. Ephesians 4, anybody? God’s Church stands strong and remains unmoved on the Foundation. Christ came to teach truth, He suffered for the sake of it, and then gave His life for it so we could be saved—on that Foundation. The very one God preserved all the way down the line through men He called to carry the torch and continue building on His foundation. Now we’re on it. That’s a lot, so don’t stray.
Well, This Was a Nice Surprise. After doing major number-crunching during the four day convention, a decision was made to remind small churches how loud other amens can get. Now you hear them. Now you don’t. Our key leadership got up and brought a powerful message from God. Cue ‘shuuushhh’ on the overhead prompter. In front of everyone. Pop some corn and check it out on DVD. Seriously, we have it.
Stop That. You know that annoying relative who keeps discussing politics and business at the family dinner table? Taking up God’s time and using the pulpit for business peddling and unleashing personal political winds … is not cool, or righteous. Honoring God’s minister and his wife is a good thing though. “We can see heaven from our house” is fine too.
Staring Out My Window Daystreaming. What Did I Miss? There were the meetings you heard about. Then there were meetings you didn’t. We said ‘not okay’. Presenting unified (which is tricky when God’s unity isn’t really your strong-suit) was exposed naked in front of us. Helloooo, discord, we see you. Awkwardness.
Interesting Lessons. One, we didn’t sign up for advanced jujitsu, and we’d like to see someone to cancel. Not happening, so keep fighting. It’s never time to throw in the towel. Two, when you go through trials as a family, you become a stronger family. Three, time does not heal all wounds. God heals all wounds.
Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
We’re With Him. Elder, that is. He’s not budging off God’s foundation, and neither are we. If God be for us, who can be against us? Without the right foundation, you can build, but nothing of value. We’ll just keep walking on the straight path God put us on, thank you very much.
Path to the Promised Land:
The Apostle Follows Christ | Ministry Follows the Apostle | We Follow the Ministry | We All Move With the Cloud
Move along, nothing more to see here.
LEAN ON US: WHAT FRIENDS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST SAY TO EACH OTHER HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY.
Heard about what’s going on in the world? We have too, and it’s not comforting. Carnality is escalating to a whole new scary level and looking hip while doing it. Every day it tugs at our youth and says ‘let’s be friends’. Stakes are high, so get behind what’s influencing this generation to move forward in a positive direction knowing they can make it, loving each other, staying focused on Jesus, keeping the faith, and living by the Bible.
Brother Taurean approached Elder with something weighing on his heart. Brother Kevin, a lifelong friend and brother in the Lord, is in The Church at Atlanta working hard. How about some of our young people take a trip down and let him know how much we love and miss him?? Elder thought this was a really really good idea, so he made it happen. Brother and Sister Gavin packed two vehicles full of young people and headed southwest to our church in Georgia.
Even though they took a hit with being tired, they came back saying it was well worth it. This story is not just about a visit. It’s our young adults taking initiative to help each other move forward. It’s friends reaching out to each other. It’s staying tight as a family.
Their testimonies warmed our hearts and we thought they would yours. Voices were humble as each recounted how thankful they were to be with the family of God in Atlanta. And did you catch that bit about the Lord opening their eyes to what’s really important? What they brought home to us is GOLD.
B. JaQuel. “I realize you can be spoiled. We have a nice band and more people to help with everything. In Atlanta, they have a lot more work. I got a chance to fellowship with B. Taylor and B. Isaac, who just graduated school. My co-workers couldn’t believe that we traveled that far to fellowship our good friend and spend just one night and one day. I’m glad I got a chance to fellowship and see my brother, Kevin.”
B. Taurean. “I’m thankful I could go. God made a way. I asked Elder if some of the young alumni could go fellowship with B. Kevin. When we got there, we weren’t concerned with ‘doing stuff’. It didn’t matter what we did, the most important thing to us was to fellowship each other. I enjoyed being with all the brothers and sisters in Atlanta.”
S. Kelsey. “I’m chiming in with B. JaQuel. There is more work there just to set up for Church. It made me appreciate everything they’re doing there and how hard they’re working. Being with my family there helped me and encouraged me. I’m also thankful for being with my friends on the trip. I’m thankful I could go.”
S. Hannah. “It blessed us that the spirit was the same as here. It was encouraging to see the Wrights’ strength despite everything they and we went through. It was humbling to see all that we have here. I came back with an awakening and refreshed. (with tears) We are spoiled here with more people. It was encouraging and I’m looking forward to next time.”
S. Lauren. “I spoke to a girl in the Army Reserves. She said it was nice to see people wanting to be a part of church. I took so much from this trip. (with tears) It was a blessing. Very humbling. I’m thankful I was there and for their testimonies. You could see Atlanta growing.”
S. Tonia. “I was thankful to go. It was humbling. This trip let me know who my real friends were. I got to see others have the same struggles. Getting to know everyone was a blessing. I love Brother and Sister Gavin—they are such a strong couple. I and S. Bailey testified there even though we are both quiet. These people have my back. I can trust everyone here and know they love me. They love me for who I am.
S. Emily. “I’m thankful Elder and S. Jean made this trip possible and for Brother and Sister Gavin for going with us. It was an encouragement for them, but also for us. I’m thankful I got to go.”
B. Taylor. “The trip to Atlanta was a blessing. One brother there called the Bible ‘meat and potatoes’. He’s right. It is our food. I saw the church growing and I’m very thankful I went. I love and appreciate you all.”
B. Isaac. “We had a great time. Just the fellowship in the car driving was worth a lot. The people in Atlanta wanted to work. It made me think how I need to come back here and work. When we started singing together, it was calming and you could feel the spirit. This trip was inspiring and encouraging.”
B. Aaron. “I’m thankful to Elder for making a way for us to go. It’s the same spirit there as it is here. We struggle anywhere. It’s best to struggle with people in the Body of Christ. In Atlanta, they have to put things together to set up and break it all down after. They had a full house! I appreciate Brother and Sister Gavin. They are a beautiful couple and oversee getting us there and they take good care of us. There were no bad moments. Everything was encouraging. I appreciate my dad and mom. Everything that happened on this trip and in Atlanta guided us to continue on this straight path.”
B. Everett. “I am thankful I got the opportunity to go to see my brother and friend. The main thing I came back with is that I got more than I could give. The order was exactly the same as here at The Church at Onslow. There was a great spirit!”
Good job, everyone. Elder ended the testimonies with Brother Gavin and Sister Kendra.
S. Kendra. “It is important to me to be an example to our young people. The youth need to know that we’ve got their back. When you’re older, you have older-people problems putting wear and tear on your physical body, but to anchor just one person in the Body of Christ—it’s worth it ALL. (with tears) The school is in my heart. Young people need us. Sometimes they just need us to pray with them. I stand behind this Ministry and put all else behind. Numbers don’t matter. One person can do a lot in God. I love the young people and they are special in my heart.”
B. Gavin. “I’m so thankful to be part of such a great family, the family of God. He called us all here and put us in different areas to be pliable in His hands. We go places and help Be Builders in the Body of Christ. I was thankful to be able to encourage the Wrights. They come here and encourage us. We have great young people with the spirit of God in them. We came back blessed. I appreciate the Elder’s labor. I appreciate going on this trip. I appreciate God sending a man to this area to give us what we need to overcome.”
Topping off an already super night in his something-good-is-about-to-happen style, Brother Monte brought the excitement and impact home reminding us what we have here. But in a way more exciting voice than I just used.
GO BROTHER MONTE.
Give honor to a man who has blazed the trail, Elder LaFleur. Young people, your testimonies touched my heart and made me think of this scripture:
2 Corinthians 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
I’m thankful for this wonderful people. Thankful for Elder and Sister Jean and their love so we can have what we have. Through a situation going on, the Wrights have been so willing of themselves (2 Corinthians 8:3). Brother Wright says: Righteousness will always prevail. We need brothers and sisters to get on their knees and pray as in that scripture “…and this they did.” We look back and see what the Lord has done. We are going forward. Something good is about to happen!!
2 Corinthians 8:7, we’ve been abounding and we have a beautiful place, band, people, Ministry. Sister Jean, you have built us on love. I appreciate the Gavins for being willing to go—you could feel their love. We are rich here, 2 Corinthians 8:9. We see love for one another. 2 Corinthians 8:11, let’s ‘perform the doing of it’. Don’t raise and close your hand. Elder taught us to raise your hand and keep it open. Blessings come to you and blessings are given to others.
God will not forget your labor. Our abundance may be their supply, and vice versa.
2 Corinthians 8:13-15, For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality. As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
Read the rest of this. It’s real good!!
We have such a wonderful Ministry. We faint not, 2 Corinthians 4:1.
Blessed be the Lord, my strength, Psalm 144:1. Elder told us last night we have to go through the Lord. We shall Not fail. We can take the land. I ask myself, who am I that I could be called in His truth, light, and way. We can sing a new song!
Psalm 144: 13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets.
Decide to stay. You are called to be a saint in the Body of Christ. Stay. And Don’t Complain. (This message was positive and delivered on a high note. Everyone was feeling it. Love you, B. Monte.)
A PREVIEW OF WHAT’S COMING.
Smile everyone, this is good news.
The Church at Onslow rolled out a big welcome mat last month during Labor Day weekend as it hosted an outstanding meeting. It was productive and the Ministry got stuff done. Not a meeting people felt obligated to attend, but one we all couldn’t wait to get to. A lot is going on in the world and in the Body of Christ, and this meeting cued us in on where to pay attention.
God blessed the every part of the meeting and every person there. And then there was this phenomenal Psalm:
Psalm 150 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
Want all the highlights from those services? We want you to get them too, so at The Bridge we’ll be hitting our notebooks to make sure you have access to words of life on your mobile devices for inspiration on the go. Follow us at https://bridgetheword.com/ and we’ll show up in your inbox. Just like that.
Everyone at The Bridge and all our Churches hope your first month back in the swing of things has been a good one. We’re praying for a fantastic and successful year as you learn, learn, learn. That goes for you college students, too. You’re all on track to make A’s because Jesus is with you. Take a scripture every day that gives you confidence. Talk to Him between classes. Oh, and don’t forget you have a big, big family. We’ve got you when you need to lean on us.
THANKS FOR POPPING IN.
Who knows, if you keep hanging around, you might decide to type our church address in your GPS one day and we’d get to meet face-to-face. That’d be awesome. (Contain your excitement.)
Life can be tough. When you want to know how to win, you ask a winner. Meet us here at Victory Lap where Elder is giving strength, encouragement, and enlightenment that will move you forward. Think: no more manic Mondays. Instead, slide into the week smiling, positive, and confident.
At Victory Lap, Elder focuses on how you can be a blessing, be positive, and rise above your challenges. He’s giving scriptures to lift up your hope and raise you higher to reach success. Come with us. Our Churches, readers, and followers on The Bridge are running this race together in a place we can win.
HERE’S YOU RUNNING THE RACE LIKE A CHAMPION
Give God the Glory. All the Glory. Run the race so you may obtain. As you run, be temperate in all things.
I Corinthians 9:24-30 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Reach for those things that glorify God. He gave us His glory so that we may be made perfect in ONE.
John 17:22-24 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Forget those things which are behind and reach for things that are before. Victory starts when we turn our minds around to the right direction. Don’t give up–even if you don’t see any signs of improvement. Believe. Have faith. God has it in His hands along with exciting things in store for His people. Important: Leave the past behind or you can’t move forward.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
To God Be The Glory for All He Has Done. Have a great week 🙂