12.18.2016 – Ps. Duane White – Christmas At The Bridge Church

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Last Sunday, December 18th, 2016, Pastor Duane White shared a brief message with us as we celebrated Christmas at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

Christmas At The Bridge

On Sunday, we had an amazing Christmas service featuring vibrant worship, special musical and dance presentations, as well as a song from our Bridge Kids. We were blessed to be able to give away a $250 shopping spree and a new Xbox One S to two lucky guests, and we handed out stockings to every child.

Pastor Duane White also shared a few thoughts as we begin enter the Christmas season.

“I would have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand.” – Unknown

This phrase is what the gospel is all about. It is also what Christmas is about. The thread of the whole Bible is God becoming one of us, so that we could see, hear, and understand Him.

You might remember the line from the popular 90’s song sang by Joan Osbourne: “What if God was one of us?” Well, He was one of us, in the form of Jesus, so that we could see, hear, and understand Him.

Until we grasp the concept of Emmanuel, God with us, and until we believe the incarnation, we can’t see, or hear, and we don’t really understand who God is, or what life is really all about.

“They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.” (Psalm 135:16-18, NIV)

All of life and religion, politics, and society try to define Him with their blind eyes and their deaf ears and their warped understanding. Literally like the blind leading the blind or the “birds leading the birds.” As they lead, you come crashing into a window time after time.

They shout that God is:

  • A Judge
  • An Evil taskmaster
  • The “man upstairs” somewhere in the distance
  • Impersonal
  • Uncaring
  • Condemning

Jesus came to change that perception, so that we could see, hear, and understand. He came so we could see love in action. A love like no one had ever displayed. Selfless love. Sacrificing love. Unconditional love. He came so we could hear the good news. That’s what we call the gospel. 

The good news is what Jesus did what you could not do. He paid what you could not pay. He earned what you could never earn.

The good news that it’s not about your effort, but His. That’s the best news ever!

He came so that we could understand the true meaning of life, and the true meaning of life begins with an understanding of what forgiveness really means by understanding words like grace and mercy and acceptance. 

Religion is man trying to be good enough to earn his way to God, but true Christianity is a good God coming to man. Religion is man trying to work his way to heaven when Christianity is God, in Jesus, bringing Heaven to earth.

Jesus left heaven to enter our world and show us the way.

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (John 1:14, The Message)

People say it wasn’t fitting for a KING to be born in a cow trough, but Jesus wasn’t coming to show us his Kingship yet. He came to show us that He identified with all of us.

If you believe that today, Jesus wants to come to you. He’s still willing to roll up his sleeves and come into your neighborhood. He’s still willing to enter your world and show you the way. If you’ve never accepted that, today you can and this could be the first day for you to see, hear, and understand. 

There are a lot of ways He could have come. He’s God. Creator of the universe. Will you let Him come meet you today?

“Though sins were scarlet I’ve made them white as snow.”

“Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.” (Isaiah 1:18a TLB)

Will you let Him come to you today?

 


12.11.2016 – Ps. Duane White – REfuse the Scrooge, REceive the Season

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This Sunday, December 11th, 2016, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message on how to REfuse the Scrooge, and REceive the Season here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

REfuse the Scrooge, REceive the Season:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.’ When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” (Matthew 2:1-12, NKJV)

Never has there been a time in our nation where society has tried so hard to reject Christmas or kill the real meaning of it, as is the case right now. Even Christians are taught, either subtly or openly, to reject Christmas for many reasons.

Her are some reasons we reject the season:

  1. The ghosts of Christmas past – past hurts and loss
  2. The ghosts of Christmas present – present challenges, financial pressures, loneliness, etc.

All of these can add up to a mental stance that, even if you don’t want to reject Christmas altogether, you at least dread its activities… Bah Humbug! This what you call the Scrooge Spirit. 

A Scrooge Spirit is any stance toward receiving Christmas that chooses to dread its reality, reject its presence, or attempts to kill it. In reality the Scrooge Spirit could also be the King Herod Spirit. Herod was the original Scrooge.

Here are some ways to identify the Scrooge spirit, as found in King Herod:

  • He wanted to kill the Christ child.
  • He murdered his own wives. Including the one he loved the most that he strangled to death.
  • He lies saying that he wants to worship the child, but in fact he wanted to kill him.
  • He was a model of duplicity and self-centeredness, which ultimately led to hatred.
  • He was well schooled in Judaism.
  • He was actually not Roman, but part Jewish.
  • He knew the scriptures, he knew the culture, and he knew what the coming of the Messiah would do to threaten his position.

The Scrooge Spirit is self-centered, self-seeking, double-minded, and, no matter what it professes, it wants to kill the Christ in the Season.

We need to enter into the season in the opposite spirit, in a way that mentally, emotionally, and spiritually connects to it. We need to make the connection with the Christ of Christmas.

A lot of people “flip the switch” of this season, but their connection is corroded. The great thing is you can remove it by the grace of God and a conscience choice to REfuse the Scrooge and REceive the season. 

By looking at scripture, here are some keys to doing just that:

  1. REfuse to let the times depress you.
  2. REfuse to let puzzling surprises or confusing circumstances stop you from worshipping Him.
  3. REfuse to simply know “where to find the King,” but “go there.”
  4. REfuse to doubt that God will manifest Himself in unlikely places.
  5. REfuse to disallow joy to come over you.
  6. REfuse to give anything less than your best.
  7. Refuse to leave the season the same way you came into it.

The reality is that these principles are true of every season that we find ourselves in. In each season of life – whether natural, emotional, or spiritual – we must engage and activate the Christ in the season. Engage with the God who ordained the purpose in that season. You can’t allow yourself to dread, reject, or attempt to kill the seasons of your life, or any season of your life. You must find Christ in them.

Just because of past hurts, present stress, or future dilemmas, you mustn’t be sucked into the “Bah Humbugs!” You must REfuse the Scrooge and REceive the Season!

You can pray, “Lord don’t let me leave this season the same way I came into it, but let me be changed as I leave it.”

To watch more on REfusing the Scrooge and REceiving the Season, watch the full message here:


2016 Christmas Service in Denton

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you’re looking for a Christmas service in Denton, Texas, we’ve got a special lineup of events and services just for you!

Join us for Christmas at The Bridge!

Sunday, December 11th

10:30 AM – Kids Christmas Party during service in the Life Center
6:30 PM – Unhinged Christmas Candlelight Communion Service

Sunday, December 18th @ 10:30 AM

Join us for a special Christmas service for the whole family, featuring vibrant worship and an interactive message! We’ll also be giving away some amazing prizes! Be sure to invite your friends and family!

Special Giveaways
  • $250 Shopping Spree giveaway for adults
  • Stockings for every child (4 years old – 5th grade)
  • Xbox One S for teens (6th-12th grade)

Sunday, December 25th @ 11:00 AM

Join us for a special 1-hour family service on Christmas morning. All kids will be in service this day to worship together as a Bridge family. Children are invited to bring their favorite Christmas present to show Pastor Duane.

Sunday, January 1st @ 11:00 AM

Join us for another special 1-hour family service on New Year’s Day.  Nursery will be provided for ages 0-3 years old.

Visit www.christmasindenton.com for more information!


December 27th Family Service

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Join us this Sunday, December 27th at 11:00am for a special 1-hour family service! All children are invited to bring their favorite Christmas present to show Pastor Duane. There will be no childcare provided on Sunday, as this is always a special time to worship together as a Bridge family.