BridgeWay Community Church

A Message for You

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Thankful  by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church Johnny Carson may have said it best: “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.” Now, I hope that isn’t true for you. Beyond giving thanks for turkey, stuffing, banana cream pie, uncle Eddie’s unique personality, and a competitive Lions team, we need to be thankful for all ways we’ve been blessed. As easy as it is to say, “Be a thankful person,” there are real enemies that rob us. The first enemy is isolation. We were created for community and God says it is not good for us to be alone. When we isolate ourselves, we lose the connection we were created for and we forget how wonderful the people around us are. So, make time during these holidays to have coffee with an old friend or to call a relative you miss. Another enemy is busyness. The schedule can be so full, that getting through the day is all we feel like we can do. We’re told, “Busy people get the most done.” So we over commit and instead of being thankful, we resent our busy lives. As tempting as it is, resist the need to fill the calendar. Use the extra time to pray to God, and thank Him for the life you’ve been given. Finally, guard against the enemy of entitlement. It’s so easy to think that people are here to serve us. “I deserve it!” I order my coffee at Starbucks, where my addictions are most satisfied, and how do I respond? Am I thankful for the person who got up much earlier than I did to make it? I may have paid for it, but does my heart express with words how thankful I am? Followers of Jesus Christ should be the most thankful people anyone ever meets. God gave of His son, so that we might have eternal life. So “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and have a wonderful holiday season.


July 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

When God Says No  by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church As a parent, sometimes you find that “No” is not only the best answer, but also your best friend. There are crazy requests: “No, you can’t jump out of your second-story bedroom window into the kiddy pool!” Sometimes it’s for practical reasons, like “No, you can’t have a cell phone, you’re too young.” Other times the answer saves you: “No, we can’t get a cat. Cats have fleas, they bite, and smell like spoiled milk.” As you can imagine, I’m not popular, but am successful at keeping cats out of our home. I’m a father, and often reminded that I’m far from perfect. But, what do you do when your perfect heavenly Father says “No”? We don’t like to hear “No.” Whether we are children or adults, our preoccupation is with hearing “Yes.” Yes, you can have a raise and a more comfortable lifestyle. Yes, you can have a dream house and a dream spouse, with dreamy obedient kids. We gasp to think we couldn’t have what we want. Then our dream job ends in corporate downsizing. A lifelong friend walks out. Someone we love dies of cancer. Our prayer requests seem to go unanswered. The “No” can leave us questioning if God is even out there. One of the greatest heroes of the bible heard “No” but learned the greater “Yes.” The apostle Paul describes a time in his life when he faced a severe physical issue, a proverbial “thorn” in the flesh. Three times he pleaded with God to remove the affliction, and the response was “No.” God actually answered him by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Beyond the “No,” God wanted Paul to rely on a greater strength. Your faith should not depend on how God answers your prayers. Instead, your faith rests in whether you trust his power in your weakness. When God says “No,” it’s your perfect Father in heaven wanting to use your greatest weakness to display His great strength.


May 19, 2011 // 0 Comments

Eraser by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church Imagine for a moment, your child is born and in the delivery room you’re handed a script of their life and an eraser. Doctor says you have five minutes to edit the script of this little life before a day of it is lived out. What would you erase? How would you decide what should be included? You read that your child will have a learning disability, and while reading comes easy for most kids, your daughter will struggle immensely. But in the next paragraph you read that with the help of a caring teacher she makes a breakthrough and overcomes to earn the respect of peers, staff, and a full ride scholarship. Later you read that she gets a great job, only to lose it in an economic downturn, only to find a new job and meet her future spouse. What do you erase? How do you rewrite this story? If you could erase every failure, disappointment and painful experience, would that even be a good thing for your child? Minnesota Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett was a legendary clutch hitter and class act. Kirby was fun to watch and even cheer for when at bat against my beloved Tigers. However, on September 25, 1995, Cleveland’s Dennis Martinez accidentally drilled Kirby in the right eye, causing irreversible damage. It shortened Kirby’s career, forcing him to retire well before his time. Everyone thought Kirby would forever hate Dennis. But Kirby saw it differently and in press conferences, when asked about the circumstances that forced his retirement, Kirby said simply, “Dennis Martinez is my good friend.” Kirby knew that there was no eraser and embraced love, forgiveness and hope. In 2001, despite what analysts would consider average baseball statistics, Kirby was admitted into the Hall of Fame. There’s no eraser. Instead there is an opportunity to live by faith, trusting God completely, in all areas of your life. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’” Jeremiah 29:11. Let go of the eraser and reach for God and the future he has in store for you.  

A Message for You

March 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Can’t See… by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church Vision is something we take for granted. I’m reminded when I go to the eye doctor and they put those drops in that make things all fuzzy for a couple hours. I think they are secretly testing me for when I’m older. Another time, I was trimming some tree branches with a chainsaw and one snapped back and whacked me in the face. It hit me so hard I saw stars, like a cartoon character. But the vision returned and I was left only with a bloody lip and a bruised ego for being so careless. A moment I’ll never forget was when I was 10 years old and the bat boy for an amateur baseball team. I was setting up the bats, helmets, getting the pine tar rags all folded and ready for the game. The pitcher was warming up too and, like a scud missile, his fastball sailed over the catcher’s mitt and as someone yelled, “Look out!” I turned right into it. Strike, directly into my left eye. It hit me so hard that I spun headfirst into a post with a big eye bolt sticking out of it. Care to guess where the eye bolt hit me? Yup, right eye. Disoriented, I tried to get up and run, only to trip over all the equipment I’d just set up. Ok, stop laughing. I was miserable. They called my parents as the ambulance rushed me to the hospital. Raw steak face, both eyes swollen shut and my mom didn’t even recognize me. But after a month of looking like a Ricky the Raccoon, my eyes opened, and eyesight was completely restored. The doctor said I was lucky, almost blind at age 10. Like I said, vision is something we take for granted. What a gift to have sight, and what a tragedy to have it and not look for the God that gives it. My eyes met those of my wonderful wife, Shawn, over 20 years ago. I’ve seen the miracle of life and watched five perfectly healthy children open their eyes to this world. I’ve seen God transform a crowd into a church, and open individuals’ eyes to the grace of Jesus. […]

Childsdale paper mill in the process of rezoning for new use

March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Church considers rehabilitation of riverfront structure by BETH ALTENA On Monday, March 7, Plainfield Township trustees described the progress of a potential rehabilitation of a historic 17.58 acre property and former paper mill at 7700 Childsdale Avenue. BridgeWay Pastor Ron Aulbach said current owners, Rockford Paperboard Company, have offered to donate the waterfront property to the church, which currently meets at East Rockford Middle School. The ten year old church is considering using part of the existing structure and demolishing 60-percent of the building. BridgeWay has asked the township to rezone the property from light industrial to a Planned Unit Development. A public hearing on the proposed change will take place in April. The land last changed hands in December of 1998 when it was sold by Central Leasing to Rockford Paperboard Company for $432,000. Assessors have the value of the building today at $309,500 with a taxable value of $292,861. The structure is actually listed on tax rolls as five different buildings, an office building with 2,271 square feet, three additional buildings of 15,580 square feet, 10,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet and a warehouse of 65,800 square feet. According to Township Manager Bob Homan, the structure is an eyesore and a cobbled together monster that dates, in part, back to the original building of 140 years ago. “It is a terrible, horrible building,” he said. “It was probably a terrible and unsafe place to work. There are probably places better than that in Pakistan and and India.” Homan said the building has not been used in over a decade and then the owners were operating at the barest of margins. He also said it was added to over the years with no regard to code and “is like a ruin.” Aulbach said the donation depends on the results of environmental testing and the company the church is using is in the process of Phase I and Phase II evaluation. Phase I is an eyeball overview of the facility and Phase II will consist of water and soil sampling. He said the church estimates it will cost a million dollars to demolish much of the existing building and rehabilitate the remaining 40 percent on the easternmost side of the structure. “It’s kind of […]

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