We're so excited for BridgePointe's Happy Christmas services this year! Here is a playlist, tips for families with young children, and a few other things that we hope will help you get ready for the service.
Before Jesus my life was on a dead end road, nothing went well and I felt like something was missing. Many of my friends and family kept talking to me about Jesus and I began to be interested. I tried to believe in Jesus by faith but needed to read His word to learn how to live for Him. That’s when I began to read the entire Bible from beginning to end and fell in love with Jesus even more. I want to give my life to Jesus through baptism because it's my next step in my walk with Jesus. I’m thankful that I’ve found a church family where we can worship as a family and pursue Jesus together in love. Thank you for praying for me, I am ONE.
Deciding to commit my life to Jesus is something that I've been thinking about for some time now. As bad as it may sound, it always seemed like I was just “too busy” to stop and put Him first. For the past three years I've worked weekends and so to me that made it impossible to make it to church on Sundays. I always said to myself, "Well, I'm the sole provider for myself and my children so God will just have to understand." That actually sounds crazy when I say it out loud, but that was my excuse. Last year my health took a turn for the worse and I was forced to undergo a major operation. After my surgery my recovery was so amazing even the doctors were blown away, I knew it was God. And from that point I made a promise to put Him first. With all the blessings that I've received in my life I've always acknowledged that I know it wouldn't be possible without my Lord and Savior. Today I am fully ready to commit my life to Jesus. Thank you for praying for me, I AM ONE.
I broke the vow of my marriage, gave up on marriage counseling, and started a relationship with another woman. We both divorced our spouses together to be together as a blended family, and recently that relationship fell apart. I am carrying so much weight. I am asking for forgiveness and for God to "break the chains" as the lyrics of the song that we sing on Sundays "Chain Breaker" by Zack Williams describes. I look forward to be cleansed as the song says. I need and want to be cleansed to live a new life through Christ, to live as He wants, and not as I want. God bless!
I was raised and born Buddhist. I thought I was doomed and would not enter heaven because I was born a female which just added to all my sins. My life was a mess and the further life went on, I just kept digging myself in a deeper hole.
I began to pursue a relationship with Jesus when I hit rock bottom and gave up on life. In the last breathe in my near death experience I prayed to God to take care my friends, family and daughter. During blacking out I thought it was the end. Somehow, I regained consciousness. Which then raised the question in my daily struggles, “ Why am I here? Why am I alive today?"
Life and curiosity has led me here. I repeatedly asked God the question on a daily basis and as crazy as it may sound, He responded. Over and over again He is always listening and guiding us to where we need to be. I can write a novel about the accounts I had to steer me here. The most significant story in it would be that he gave me my best friend, who was a devout Christian and thought I would go to hell at the time for not being a believer of Christ, but none-the-less he prayed for me. It was his mission to pray for me and here I am today.
I am here today to get baptized because it is something that I believe that I should do in return for the countless blessings that God has given me. He gave me life and salvation. He showed me that there is hope in this world for positive people and the church. Today I declare my affirmation to God and Jesus that I will keep praying for ONE.
Walking anew with Jesus and His Church excites me because I know that we can make the world a better place especially for our children.
Prior to coming to BridgePointe I wasn't going to church or really thinking about Jesus at all. I was having a tough, trying time and just couldn't seem to get back on my feet. My parents had mentioned trying to find Jesus and that He could help me in ways nobody else could. One day I was asking myself if it was something I should try but I didn't know the answer. That same night I walked into my son's room and for the first time that I had ever seen he was reading his Bible and telling me that he wanted to go to church. I immediately felt something I couldn't explain but made the decision to start looking for a church to go to. I also started to get a handle on the tough time I was having. I later realized that it was Jesus guiding me and my family to where we needed to be. I am ready to commit myself to Jesus through baptism. Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE.
I was never very religious. I grew up Catholic but only went to church on the occasional holiday. I am a skeptic by nature and was always looking for "proof". I liked the idea of believing in Jesus, but thought I could believe in Him and pray to Him wherever. It didn't have to be in a church. But in the years since I had my children, my perspective has changed. One night I checked on my son after bedtime and found him reading his children's bible he had gotten as a baby. He asked us several questions about the stories he read and asked to go to church. That was the beginning of our journey that lead us to BridgePointe and it is here that I have realized what Jesus means to me and my family. There was something about walking into BridgePointe that first Sunday – a feeling came over me that made me feel at home and welcome by everyone, including Jesus!
Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE.
My life before committing to Jesus was a complete disaster. As much as I tried to find joy and purpose in my life, I simply couldn't. I have made many mistakes in life that I am not proud of, and the only one that can truly forgive me for my sins is Jesus.
As a man born into sin, I am confronted by the temptations in life. These temptations continue to haunt me daily. Regardless of how I try avoid them, I finally realized that I cannot go through life fighting these demons alone. It was then that my passion for following Jesus grew more and more. I am committing my life to Jesus because I've made the decision to trust His Will, and not mine. Without Jesus in life, I feel completely empty. I am mostly excited about living a Christian life that will bring joy to my family.
My life has many peaks and valleys, and the truth is I still don’t have that part figured out yet. Even during the tough times of life my faith in Jesus has never wavered, even in dark and tough days. I knew this was something I needed to do because Jesus practiced Baptism and I put that part off as long as I could. I’m giving my life to Jesus through Baptism because I know I need to continue taking steps toward Him. Please continue to pray for me as I begin taking steps to be more like Jesus. Thank you for praying for me I AM ONE!
My life before I committed to Jesus was unfulfilled or discontented. I was seeking answers to why I was put on this Earth. I accepted Jesus in my heart after I learned that God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for me and all of His children. Then I felt whole again.
I realized I was put on this Earth to live for Jesus because He loved me unconditionally. He intended a good life for me filled with love, happiness, and more importantly: to be humble. I am thankful for all God has done for me and my family. I am amazed, simply astonished to be a witness to what a powerful, gracious and merciful God we have. I am most excited to see what God’s plan is for me now. And to spread the Good News. God is good!
Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE.
I've been coming to BridgePointe for almost six months and I've been learning about Jesus. I believe in Him and am ready to commit to Him. I know I need Him to guide me now, more than ever, because I leave tomorrow for Basic Training in the Army.
Noah St. Dennis
I have always had Christ in my life. I have attended church since I was born and attended a Christian school for my first four years.
It has been since I attended the winter retreat and summer camp with BridgePointe’s youth group that I feel I am ready to commit my life to Jesus. I want to learn more and be more connected with our God. I will do this by studying God’s word, praying more and attending youth group.
I am excited about this new chapter in my life because I will become a great servant to Jesus and I know I am never alone.
Jesus has been part of my entire life. I was baptized as an infant and brought up Roman Catholic. I am forever grateful that my parents instilled Jesus into my life.
Jesus eventually became on a "Sunday" thing. I found myself only practicing my faith one day a week.
This past Christmas Eve I walked into BridgePointe and since that day I have made Jesus a part of my life EVERY single day. His presence makes me feel whole and He shines light into the dark times. In March of 1983 my parents chose baptism for me. Today I choose baptism for myself and choose to live each day as Jesus wants me to live.
Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE!
My journey of faith began when I was 8 years old and my parents decided to enroll me in VBS where I saw a kind of faith that I had not experienced before. Although I don’t believe I was saved at that time, it did plant in me a seed that would take root and blossom when the time was right.
As time went by I forgot about Jesus and tried to go about life the best way I knew, unfortunately my way led to sin and distance from God. It wasn’t until I was at my lowest point when I remembered Jesus, turned my focus toward Him and allowed God to work in my life. He was able to lift me out of the pit I had dug for myself.
So today I am making it official and publicly proclaiming my faith to God and the body of Christ through baptism. Thank you for praying for me. I am One.
I have always been a believer. As a child, I attended a school in which religion was taught daily and the Bible was memorized. Yet, somehow, I thought deeds brought us closer to our Lord and sin, further away.
When I sinned in a way I believed was unforgivable, guilt and fear chained me for many years. I felt anything that happened to me was deserved and the only thing to do was tolerate it.
I tried to be the best I could be in hopes ofregaining my place in God's eyes yet no matter how hard I tried, I always felt empty and alone. I finally was enlightened and slowly began to understand. My cup has been emptied by the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who gave his life to save mine from sin.
Today, I rejoice in God's presence and give thanks to the One who provides divine grace and mercy. I am excited to follow Jesus and pray for one person!
Thank you for praying for me. I am One.
On Sunday June 11th, BridgePointe kicked off Summer Together at Bristol Town Beach. We had food, fun, caught up with friends, and had a chance to make some new ones. Five people made the decision to be baptized as their next step in following Jesus.
John's story is one of not having any interest in church due to an incident of abuse by the church to a family member. After years of apathy and avoidance, BridgePointe became a place where for the first time, John felt that he wanted to attend on Sundays and was able to make the decision to pursue a relationship with Jesus.
Paul has been coming to BridgePointe for a short while, and was very excited for the opportunity to be baptized. For him baptism is a bold step to go all in for Jesus.
Jamie and his wife Fatima made the decision to be baptized to say no to a life without God and to silence the demons of addiction and fear that have been tormenting them. As they made the decision to say yes to Jesus and publicly commit their lives, they are praying to turn over a new leaf and find a newness of life that only comes by the Holy Spirit.
You can see more lots more photos from the Kickoff on our Facebook page.
Marie and her grandson were baptized at the noon service on April 23rd. Here is Marie's story:
"Last year when I entered BridgePointe, I did so saying to myself, "I'm only visiting." Well, I'm here to stay and I'm so blessed that I walked through the door. The welcoming I received was so awesome and loving, the music was fantastic, and Jared's sermon was by far the best I've ever heard. I've learned so much in my short time here and I'm so blessed. I've certainly sinned a lot in my life, all of which I have now asked forgiveness for and I know the Lord has forgiven me. I still struggle with forgiveness and God bless Steve and Val for being there for me through this. I'm so blessed to have them in my life. Today, I want to be baptized and be closer to my Lord and to do all good works for Him, as I've found out the hard way that my way does not work. Thank you for this blessing of being baptized. I am so grateful. "
My life before committing to following Jesus seemed empty. While I always believed in Jesus I don't feel that I was fully committed. I am committing to Jesus today because I really found such hope in the message of staying on the path - it is not restricting, it is freeing and that is exciting as well as the message about what Jesus has so willingly done for us. That is powerful. Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE.
Before coming to Jesus my life was about me and my will. After I was lead to church by a friend, I desired a new way to live and my heart began to soften. Today I am choosing baptism as a sign of my commitment to live His way and not my way. I am excited to be part of BridgePointe's family where I feel I will continue to grow in my faith, together with others!
My life felt disorganized and chaotic before my commitment to follow Jesus. I noticed that my prayers were being answered and then realized that Jesus does save. I want to give my life to Jesus. I feel as though I've carried my worries and fears for much too long. Today, I wish to give him all my worries, fears and sins and start fresh. "God can restore what is broken and change it to something amazing, all you need is faith." Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE.
My life without Jesus in it: I was born with two teenage parents and lost my father in my first five years. Raised in abusive drug addiction, suffering from both parents, my childhood had sins that carried through my mother's life into my sister's and mine. I knew of so many sins, drinking, smoking, fornicating, I thought of suicide twice, almost killed myself after having my first born daughter. I gave up on life.
I began to pursue a relationship with Jesus because God put the right people in my life to help me get to Him, family and elders who guided me out of my old habits. Two women in my life, a great aunt and a good friend of my past gave me Bibles. My friend taught me the Word, ministered to me, brought me to church every week for two months.
Why I am committing myself through baptism today: Since consistently reading the Bible and learning in group I felt the Holy Spirit for two weeks straight convicting me. My prayer is that my family see me for who I am, that they see the past few years of change. The day I chose to be baptized, March 19th, 2017, I felt such a holy warmth, chilling presence on my heart. My mind was at peace, tears were drops of pain, in relief that Jesus wants me, believes in me. I am being baptized to get out of the traps in my blood of myself so I can live within His Spirit, beyond my flesh. Teach my heart, through His Spirit, that I can love God more than my desires, that His people love me and want to uplift me, that He will give me gifts to use on the path He chooses for me.
I am excited about this new journey in life with Jesus because I know and believe He has changed me for my family. My daughter can be guided to know His love, I can teach youth, others, that He is almighty and can be triumphant in all of our battles in life. He is love beyond every measure. I'm excited to learn to be more like Him. Let me be an example for Jesus to save another.
Thank you for praying for me. I am ONE.
Up until this point I have thought I could get through life on my own. I didn't think I needed God. I gave into drugs at a young age and it consumed me. I always knew something was missing, despite having the feeling that I was indestructible. Ten years ago, I got the best job of my life, my dream job. I knew that the drugs had to end. I was able to kick my addiction, but still I was blind and thought I did that on my own. My job became my distraction to keep me away from a life I had known for so long. My love for drugs then became a love for money.
Anyone who knows me knows I don't like change and I don't like going out of my comfort level, but my friends kept urging me to go to BridgePointe. After several weeks of their persistence, I figured I would give it a shot. As I entered the doors I was so nervous and I didn't know what to expect, but what ended up happening was life changing. I now know I have never been alone. God has been on my side the entire time, waiting. He loved me more than I could have ever realized, even with all my flaws and my past. Today is my way of saying that I am committing myself to Jesus. This is my starting point in drawing closer to Him and saying that I am never going to look back. I'll never forget the things of my past because that makes this moment mean even more to me. I am only looking forward from this point on. Thank you for praying for me, I am ONE.
At BridgePointe we were blessed to celebrate the start of 2017 with eight baptisms after our Sunday services. Here are their stories in their own words.
WILL & MICHELLE SIVELS
If it wasn't for the power of God, we wouldn't be standing here today. He truly answers prayer. If the enemy had his way, we would have destroyed ourselves and our family. We were slaves, slaves to addiction, bad habits, deceit and bitterness. Our family was destroyed. We ran from God and thought that in our blindness we could find happiness, save ourselves and our family. We were wrong and made a mess of our lives every chance we could and only ended up hurt, broken and empty. We knew we couldn't run anymore and we were tired of being slaves to sin. It was time for a change and we decided to make a choice.
By no means are we perfect, this is an every day process, we are a work in progress. We know only God can save our family, our marriage, our souls. Today we end one chapter of our lives and being another. As husband and wife we are taking a stand to let Christ be the light to our path, so we can give glory to Him and show our children a better way. We are so thankful to God for leading us to BridgePointe. We feel welcomed and accepted here. We ask you to continue to encourage us as we may also be an encouragement to you.
God has been pursuing me for years, but it was only when I fully surrendered to God, admitting that I can no longer be in charge of my life, that God revealed to me the worth He sees in me. Today, on this new year I want to start it off with honoring God by being baptized and pursuing Him to the fullest. I pray before God that I always go forward through the doors that He opens for me. May my pursuit of Him never get dull or end, and may I always remember the worth He sees in me, for He sent His only son Jesus for me. Thank you Jesus.
A little over a year ago, I finally surrendered to God. I could not ignore God's voice calling me and convicting me to come back to Him. I made a choice and surrendered to God. Since then, my life has changed. I long to worship God and to become like Jesus. I never in my life would ever expect to have this relationship with God and Jesus. I see and know him now as a friend and a father. I have been blessed beyond what I could have imagined. God has healed my most deepest wounds and even though I have difficulties in trusting, I find myself fully trusting God to an extent that I never knew I could. That is why today before my God and all my brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to be publicly baptized and honor God.
Before my life was committed to Jesus, it wasn't that great. I acted out a lot and did bad things, and my parents were not happy with my actions. What made me decide to pursue a life with Jesus was that I wanted to be a better person not only for myself but for my family. I want to be proud of my decisions and actions. I'm committing to Jesus through baptism today because I want to be like my father and have a big, warm, conscientious heart and do what is morally right. I want to be a new and better me. What I am most excited for entering this new life with Jesus, is peace, love, and happiness. Thank you for praying for me, I am One.
I am happy to be baptized today. My life before I committed to Jesus was always filled with the unknown. I never knew what the next day was going to bring. I'm committing my life to Jesus because I saw what it has done for my father. I want to be just like him because he has a big heart and always wants to spend time with me. I love him more than ever! I am happy and look forward to a life of peace and joy with my family and Jesus Christ. Thank you for praying for me, I am One.
My life before I committed it to Jesus was a long, painful and hurtful story. As an eight year old girl, I was molested for three and a half years by my father. I was also secretly molested and abused by my uncle for two years as well. This stayed with me for years, and I suffered silently.
I met my daughter's father when I was 18 and got pregnant. He beat me so badly in my eighth month of pregnancy that I ended up delivering my daughter who died from trauma to her brain. A year later I was pregnant again, and he beat me through the entire pregnancy, but this time I took my baby and hid out at a battered woman's shelter. A year later, I met the father of my last two children, who at first was too good to be true. Well, let's just say alcohol and drugs took over his life, so I left him.
I began to drink every single weekend to try and cover the hurt and pain. In 2000 I was diagnosed with hepatitis c and liver cancer. I got on my knees and cried out to God, "Please forgive me of my sins and anything I've done. If you spare me my life, I will pray every day. I will stop smoking and drinking and try my hardest to learn to live following you and glorifying your name." Three weeks later, my doctor calls me in for updated blood work and an MRI. There were no traces of hepatitis c or cancer.
I honored what I had promised, I just couldn't find a church for years. I met Brandee Cooper who invited me to BridgePointe. I hadn't been to church in years, but still read my bible, prayed, and honored God. I just knew I couldn't do it alone, something was missing. BridgePointe was missing!
I am committing myself and my life 100% today because I want to learn to live more like Jesus. I know I'll never be perfect, but I know God is real, He loves me no matter what my past was... as long as I believe in Him and I commit to Him. I am most excited about my new life with Jesus and BridgePointe so I can help teach my grandkids to live following Jesus and set a good example for them. Thank you for praying for me! I am One.
My life before committing to follow Jesus was me smoking marijuana everyday, sometimes twice a day, to try to get rid of thoughts of what happened to me when I was a little girl. I even went as far as being with a woman, but I knew deep in my heart it wasn't right and that's not the life for me. Seeing my children wanting to pursue a relationship with Jesus made me want to pursue my relationship with the Lord even more. I always knew something was missing from my life.
After meeting and talking to Brandee Cooper about my children and myself and my mom wanting to find a church to go to, she suggested her church BridgePointe. The first day going to BridgePointe I met Gay Scholler the kindest and most caring women I had met and after a few weeks she asked me if I wanted to serve by passing out programs which would help me meet new people and do communion and offering. With a smile on my face I said yes because I knew deep down this was what I'm supposed to be doing.
I'm committing to Jesus through baptism because I want to follow his Word. I want to better my life through Jesus. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing, I want to know more about Jesus everyday. I'm most excited about giving my life to Jesus - this is it! I'm all in and excited to continue to learn more so I can teach my children. I now know it's better together than trying to do it on my own.
Over the Christmas season, we had six holiday baptisms, one on December 18th and five on Christmas Day. Here are their stories in their own words.