BridgeWay Community Church

A Message for You

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

Unlikely Rescue by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Imagine yourself lying on the beach, watching the waves lap against the shore. It’s another record breaking day of heat and humidity, with no relief in sight. You decide it’s time to take a dip and cool off, but as you wade into the water a huge fish swims towards you. Just before it beaches, its’ enormous jaws open and out comes an ear deafening belch. The deep bellowing ‘burrrrp,’ produces a large amount of seaweed, several half digested fish, a volleyball named Wilson, and to your great surprise, a man who is barely alive. The smell is overwhelming, but the man reaches out his slimy hand and says, “Hi my name is Jonah. Man, is it good to be out of there!” It’s one of the strangest verses in the bible, “And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:10). I’m sorry if you are reading this while sipping a cup of coffee or eating a cinnamon roll, but I will never forget hearing this story as a little 6 year old in my Sunday School class. These are the stories adult teachers relish, “Do what God says, or a giant fish will eat you.” It was a toss up whether I was more scared of Jonah’s fish or a ferocious shark named Jaws. God wants our obedience, that’s true. But the really good news for Jonah is that God cared enough to rescue him the moment he asked. Jonah went from fish food to rescued the moment he cried out to God. Sure, it looked like vomit, but it was better than death. What would rescue look like for you? Maybe you’re like Jonah and the problems of life have absolutely swallowed you. The boss is unbearable. The kids are a mess. Financial burdens are weighing you down. Maybe your life is swallowed up by sin and disobedience. It’s never to late to call out for rescue. Deep in the belly of whale, God heard Jonah’s prayer “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O Lord. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:7-8). May that be your prayer today, […]

RHS senior story one of work, reward

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

by TAYLOR BUSKARD For most high school students, senior year is a year to remember: A time for friends, and a time for relaxing. It is the time to go fishing, and the time to stay out late. Many look back on their senior year with memories of parties, trying to find the right dress for prom, and of course the classic senior pranks. But for me, my senior year will always be something more than that. Imagine a hole dug in the ground for a bathroom, a room with a dirt floor, and a crowd of quiet strangers full of despair. This is my glory; this is what will without a doubt be one of the most unforgettable memories in my life. From 1960 to 1996 the country of Guatemala experienced heartbreak and warfare. A civil war tore through the land and left behind in its path thousands of orphans and widows. They were alone, frightened, with no place to call their own. Victims watched their children and spouses suffer; they smelled the smoke as their very own homes were burned to the ground. Cries of sorrow rang throughout the villages as young children ran for their lives into hiding. Although the worst may have ended in 1996, the despair has still yet to be extinguished. People struggle day to day to survive, living in places that are not sufficient enough for survival. Last week, I, as well as 16 others from BridgeWay Community Church, had the chance to reach out and help these innocent people. Our high school youth group raised enough money to travel to Guatemala and purchase building materials. We then traveled 10 hours by bus to a remote village where we were able to build 10 homes for widows who had almost nothing. Although they had no way to pay us back, they gave me so much more than they could ever know. When first arriving at the village, everything was in slow motion. As we all stepped out of the bus together, we were met by dozens of curious eyes. I can imagine we looked like quite a sight with our light complexions and big goofy rain boots. My eyes gazed the crowd, stopping when I noticed little girls […]

A Message for You

July 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

Midlife Crisis by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church There was a hit song by Paul Simon back in 1986 that can best be described as a man experiencing a midlife crisis. He’s walking down the street and his head full of unanswered questions. Why am I so soft in the middle? Why am I short of attention? Why are my nights so long? Where is my wife? My family? What if I die here? Who’ll be my bodyguard, now that my bodyguard is gone, gone? “You can call me Al” and if you feel like you are living more like Al than you’d care to admit, I’ve got good news for you. These are the questions that most ask. Research indicates that an actual “midlife crisis” is a myth. Not everyone that hits their 40’s and 50’s actually experience a crisis. They don’t all by Corvettes, timeshares and dream of breaking par. David Almeida, PhD at Penn State says the crisis is definitely a myth but “this certainly is a stressful time of life for most people.” These years bring affluence allowing you to finally afford the luxuries you’ve always dreamed of while at the same time having to navigate the heavier demands dealt out by the boss and family. Add to that the likelihood of having to also care for aging parents, and it feels like a midlife crisis is upon you. There is another way to look at the middle years of your life. I’m finding that there really is a difference between “living” my life, and just “doing” life. Doing life looks like a schedule that is consumed with things that have no purpose, and ultimately no passion behind them. Living life means you look for the opportunities that will bring greatest joy to both you and the people around you. Joshua was crystal clear on this, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Serving is living, and serving the Lord brings the greatest life. Let God be the object of your service, your bodyguard, and the answer to all your questions.

Fire fails to take hold in historic structure

April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Papermill long considered a dangerous fire to fight by BETH ALTENA Plainfield Fire Chief Dave Peterson said his officers found a small fire in the Childsdale Papermill structure on Tuesday, April 10 but were successful in stopping the blaze from taking hold in the 100-year-old mill. A dozen first responder vehicles, including five pumper trucks from Plainfield, firefighter vehicles, Michigan State Police and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department quickly responded after a passerby called the township with report of smoke visible from the buildings just after 3 p.m. “They found a small fire in the downstairs and are putting it out with water,” Peterson stated. Firefighters have long considered the building a dangerous one in which to fight fire, considering its age, condition and size. BridgeWay Community Church has been in the process of raising money to purchase and renovate the mill. Brian Pankratz, lead elder for BridgeWay, said firefighters were unable to pinpoint the source of the fire. “They are not one hundred percent sure what happened,” he stated. “We are very grateful. The firefighters did a great job putting out what was there.”

A Message for You

April 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church The book “Unbroken” by Laura Hilenbrand, captures perfectly what it means to live a long, prosperous life. Louis Zamperini was a rebellious youth who found his gift in running. He was fast! Dashing records in the mile in high school, college at USC, and became the U.S. hopeful for Olympic gold. Until WWII broke out, and Louis would put his running career on hold to serve our country as a bomber in the Air Force. A perilous military assignment, to say the least, and after surviving several close calls, his B-24 bomber was shot down over the Pacific. Most of his crew were killed at impact, but Louis and two other servicemen survived. On a small raft adrift for over 2,000 miles with no food or water. Minimal rain and the occasional raw fish barely kept the men alive. The raft was a magnet for sharks, who constantly circled it, even lunging up onto its sides in attack. After 47 days, death was imminent, so Louis prayed in desperation: “God if you save me, I will dedicate the rest of my life to serving you.” The immediate answer seemed cruel as he was captured by the Japanese and placed in a prison camp. His wiry athletic frame wasted away, dropping from 150 to just over 70 pounds. One prison guard, nicknamed “The Bird,” stalked him and beat him every day. For two-and-a-half years, Louis was verbally assaulted, starved and beaten, but he was never broken. Then, the war ended. Post-War life wasn’t any easier for Louis. He had deep-seeded resentment toward the Japanese, became a raging alcoholic, struggled with his marriage, and had no money. Then, in 1949 he heard a young preacher named Billy Graham. The message was simply: “For God so loved the world that he gave his son Jesus.” Then Louis remembered that prayer on the raft. He gave his life to the Lord, and immediately felt the peace that had eluded him. He found instant relief from the addictions and went on a mission to forgive his enemies. I think it would be more accurate to label the book “Broken,” because that’s what Louis really was. And that’s exactly the kind of life God […]

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