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Open Thread – Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2008

This is an open thread. Use the comments section to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and tell us what you’re doing this week to celebrate.

Looking forward to being together again on Sunday!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. josh permalink
    December 22, 2008 8:58 pm

    PS – I’ll start. We’re up in Indiana with Jana’s family (who are awesome) gritting out -6 degree weather. Merry Christmas to all! We wouldn’t choose another church family for the world.

  2. Shi permalink
    December 22, 2008 9:44 pm

    Merry Christmas everyone! We will be enjoying our first Christmas as a married couple at home then going to Alabama sometime Christmas Day to spend time with Alan’s family. We’re having an ugly sweater contest (LOL), exchanging gifts and planning to eat and have a lot of fun while trying to stay warm! We love The Bridge and everyone who is a part of it. We are so thankful for all the ways God is blessing the church and look forward to a new year and new opportunities for service and growth! We can’t wait to get back for service on Sunday! (I apologize if this is too long):-)

  3. December 22, 2008 10:17 pm

    Shivonne! Let’s connect in Alabama. We’re going there for Christmas TOO!!

    We started the festivities today with my family. Christmas eve we read the Christmas story and then the next morning we’ll celebrate, just the 5 of us, and then Christmas noontime we’ll drive to Atlanta to visit Nathan’s family. Then, that weekend we’ll drive to Alabama to visit more family. Then we’re coming home and hopefully sleeping and dropping our laundry off at one of your houses. Who’s game?

    Bridge family, wishing you a sweet time of sharing with your families and enjoying and celebrating the precious gift of Jesus!

  4. Scott Shoopman permalink
    December 23, 2008 12:15 am

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!! What a great family we have at The Bridge. Too Blessed to be Stressed”… looking forward to a quiet Christmas in Nashville with my parents, Hannah and Jordan and Jeff. Our traveling was this past weekend in KY – a great time with MRS family.

  5. songbea permalink
    December 23, 2008 2:22 am

    We will celebrate with a birthday cake for “baby God” (McKenna’s name for the baby in the nativity set) and we’ll light candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus…and will read the Christmas story to the kids…I will have to watch George Bailey figure out what a wonderful life he has at some point on Christmas Eve…and Christmas morning after gifts we’ll have angel biscuits with strawberries and cream and sausage…and fall asleep watching football…later we’ll wake up, eat some more…and fall asleep watching football…so Andrea, as much as I’d like to help with the laundry thing, you can see from my scheduled events that I’m swamped…otherwise I’d be there for you…!

    There are no words for the blessing The Bridge has been to our family…Merry Christmas to all of you…may it be filled with new wonder and amazement about THE most amazing gift ever given!

  6. Serena permalink
    December 23, 2008 10:06 am

    Merry Christmas to everyone! We truly miss everyone at The Bridge but we are so thankful that the Lord lead us to you last year. What a blessing you all have been, especially in the last several weeks. I am especially thankful to those of you who have come by to visit, bring food and call with words of encouragement (thanks Susan, Shivonne, Sue, Jenny, Eva and Sheri). I think Ben has only had to cook once! This little miracle growing inside of me is such a precious gift from God not only for Christmas but for my birthday as well (yes, I am actually turning 35 today).

    The doctor did okay us going to my parents for Christmas since they live relatively close so we took the girls down there this past weekend and had a wonderful time. On Christmas Day (this is also our first married Christmas) Ben and I will get to come up with a few traditions of our own. Given that he has been working so much lately, I’m sure he will enjoy the bed rest with me!

    Merry Christmas everyone! We can’t wait to be able to come back and worship with you soon! Love, Ben and Serena

  7. Susan Howerton permalink
    December 23, 2008 11:17 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SERENA!! Can’t wait to have you guys back with us, too!

    Well, these Howertons will be spending Christmas Eve at “Room in the Inn” with “the least of these” precious people God has used to impact my life in great ways and about 20 other Bridgers that will be there. Then we’ll return home and together read the Christmas story from Luke and sing some carols. Dad usually read the story… don’t know who that will be this year. We will greatly miss him. Lance will go help cook a HUGE breakfast at 5:00 am Christmas morning for the Room in the Inn guests and then return home for gift sharing with family and hopefully lots of grazing foods and movies and cards. Then, on Sat. we leave to spend time with my family in B’ham, AL and celebrate New Year’s there. We will miss being with our Bridge family this Sunday. We feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing group of servants… family.

    As my niece’s boyfriend (soon to be fiance) returns from Iraq today safely and as I remember those we will be missing this year from our Bridge family I am reminded and awed by the life we have in Christ and how thankful I am God offered His Son for our salvation so we have that eternity secure with Him and those we love who have already gone ahead. What a mindblowing, incredible Christmas they will have this year… celebrating in the PRESENCE of Jesus singing with His angels! How I miss these precious family but rejoice with them having the best seat in the house for celebrating this year. My prayers are with each of you who will have a very different Christmas this year without them. We miss you, Steve and Mike and Dad! Three awesome godly men who were incredible examples of what God can do with someone sold-out to Jesus. We were blessed to do life with them and just to know them. Thinking of each just makes me smile… God has His hands full now for sure!

    We love each of you and pray your celebration will be amazing, safe, restful, memorable, and worshipful. Can’t wait to be back with you in January 2009.

  8. Marlene permalink
    December 23, 2008 11:20 am

    Heather and I are in North Carolina with my family. It has been a tough year with many challenges. We are very thankful that God lead us to The Bridge. Your love and support is greatly appreciated. We look forward to 2009 and anticipate a great year serving the Lord with our Bridge family!

  9. Shelley permalink
    December 23, 2008 1:04 pm

    The Stedmans are very thankful to have “landed” at The Bridge this year, after feeling God’s call to find a church family in our own community. We feel blessed by all the friendships we are making and wish you all a very meaningful and memorable Christmas.

    We will find a Christmas Eve service, and have Christmas day at home, then join all of Shelley’s family (who were here this past weekend for baby twin dedication) just this side of Knoxville after Christmas for a few days. Pretty low-key & hopefully a simple Christmas!! Safe travels to all of you who are on the road!

    p.s. this whole blog idea is so cool — that even those of you who are already out of town can stay connected! technology is awesome!!

  10. Becky permalink
    December 23, 2008 2:26 pm

    We’ll leave bright and early Christmas Eve to drive to Ohio. We’ll spend Christmas Eve evening at my step-mother’s house ~ having fun but missing Dad. And eating Giovanni’s Pizza which is only the best in the world! Then Christmas morning we will celebrate at my mom’s house with Mom, my sister and her family. All the grandchildren who are able take turns reading the Christmas story from Luke do so. Then that evening we’ll head to Jimmy’s parents luckily in the same town and spend time with them. Rest on Friday!! Then Saturday we have my mom’s retirement party. Can’t wait for that! Sunday morning Jimmy will preach at the church I grew up in, we got married in, and my mom still attends. That evening we get to see the church Christmas play that my mom has directed for years. We don’t always get to see it, but the Lord let the electricity go out last week so they postponed it. Can’t wait to see what they do this year.

    We LOVE our Bridge family and look forward to an amazing 2009 with ya’ll. Merry Christmas to all! Now off to do more laundry and pack…

  11. alan hood permalink
    December 23, 2008 3:21 pm

    Shi explained what we will be doing for Christmas. I wanted to tell everyone what a joy the Bridge has been to us the past few months. This time next year I will have officially been the Student Pastor for a whole year(God has to be in this for me to be in a leadership role) Me and Shi can’t imagine serving anywhere else. We love ya’ll. Have a Merry Christmas.

  12. Sue permalink
    December 24, 2008 3:19 pm

    We are participating in Room in the Inn as a family….can’t wait for that…. for Christmas Eve. Christmas day will be a quiet day. We’ll open gifts then spend the day baking, watching Christmas movies and any sports that are on TV. On Friday we’ll leave for Marietta, GA to spend Fri and Sat w/ my two sisters and their husbands.

    We are so thankful for The Bridge and our “small group”. (I put “small” in quotations because we are by far the largest small group at The Bridge – 27 or 28, I lost count.) We are looking forward to what God is going to continue to do in and through The Bridge in 2009.


  13. Eva Howard permalink
    December 26, 2008 10:36 am

    Leave it to me to reply after Christmas is over. Yet we were anticipating going to be with John’s daughter, Whitney, at Eglin Air Force Base near Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Her husband, Josh who is a captain in the Air Force, has been in Iraq for the past six months replacing the radar systems in their equipment there in Bagdad. Hew was scheduled to come home last week yet was not allowed on the commercial flight due to the government issued weapons he was checking in his bags. They were securely locked and had no ammo yet he was denied boarding the plane. This made us all very sad. Their 4 year old son, Luke, had only ask for one thing for Christmas and that was his Daddy.

    He managed to get on a military flight to Germany this past Monday yet was still not sure of when he would get a flight from there to the US. Whitney was told that he would be on a flight arriving Ft. Walton, FL early Tuesday morning. She loaded up the three boys, ages 10, 4 and 1 and arrived at the gate watching everyone come off the plane with their “Welcome Home Daddy” signs in their little hands yet Josh does not appear. She later found out that he missed his connecting flight and was trying to get on the next flight available. Everyone of them were devastated.

    We knew that if Josh did not make it home that we would need to be there with Whitney and the boys to help ease the burden of doing Christmas alone. GOD intervened and Josh arrived safely home late Tuesday evening. HIS timing is always on time.

    We spent Christmas Eve with many of you at the Room In The Inn and then Christmas day at home with a big Christmas breakfast and just the four of us. We will be traveling to Birmingham on Saturday to be with all of my family there and travel back Saturday night to be with our “Faith Family” at The Bridge on Sunday.

    I win the prize for the longest message!!!

    Love and Joy to you all,
    Eva Howard

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