Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Annual Bridges Christmas Update!

Dear Family and Friends,

Time for the Bridges’ Family Christmas update! The past year saw God make some big changes in the Bridges’ household. As we mentioned last year, God called us to step out in faith and quickly led us to a new church home at Wakefield Baptist Church in Wake Forest, NC. We have enjoyed getting to know the loving and supportive family of Christ there over the past year. Randy was called as their new part-time Minister of Music in June. It was not easy to leave our friends at Watkins Chapel, but it has been a blessing to keep up with many of them and hear about what God is doing in their lives.

Obviously the change in ministry has had the greatest impact on Randy. He has enjoyed the opportunity to focus on Music Ministry and his teaching at NRCA. The music ministry at Wakefield continues to grow, and Randy is seeing God work in great ways. At NRCA, the school’s recent expansion allowed Randy to teach all seventh graders for the first time. He has a great group of students this year. God is also providing many ministry opportunities in the lives of his students and their families. Randy is trying to read all he can, including a great book by David Platt, called “Radical”. He highly recommends it. Another highlight for Randy this year was taking Daniel to the beach for some discussions on biblical manhood. It was a great trip and an opportunity to spend time together.

Felicia continues to manage Human Resources for the Turnpike Authority, but is really most excited about the progress in her writing over the past year. In January, her friend Daphne suggested they attend the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest, NC, in May. After much prayer about the resources and time away from work, Felicia committed to the trip in faith. God provided a full scholarship from the Cecil B. Murphey Foundation, and Felicia almost missed receiving it because she thought the email notification was junkmail! The conference was an incredible opportunity to meet and study under published authors, discuss current projects with agents and publishers, and learn just how much she did NOT know about writing. She forged some wonderful friendships and has spent the last five months trying to apply all the wonderful things she learned to her manuscript. One of the most helpful aspects of the conference has been her connection with a critique group which has allowed her to get regular weekly feedback on each chapter as she continues to re-write, re-write, and re-write. She is currently praying about whether God might provide a way for her to go back to BRMCWC in 2011, hopefully with a completely re-written manuscript ready to pitch to those editors!

Felicia and Jerry B. Jenkins, one of her favorite authors and keynote speaker for the conference.
Megan has had a few changes over the past year as well. She did a great job at NCSU her freshman year, earning all A’s and B’s while acting in three productions. She even won a “Hammy” award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Milky White in “Into the Woods”, in which she stole the show, or at least the first Act! She also decided to change majors to International Studies – Europe which she believes will line up better with the call she feels to missions. Her current plan is to fulfill the study abroad requirement for her major by spending six weeks in Prague, Czech Republic this summer. She spent most of last summer looking for a job and finally landed one working at Red Robin. She even got to exercise her theatrical skills being the bird, but learned that was not quite as fun as it might appear. She was happy to get back to her on-campus job this fall managing the information booth each day at lunchtime. She also had the opportunity to get some backstage experience this semester serving as Assistant Stage Manager and then as Costumer.

Megan in her award-winning role as Milky White

Kelsey says her schoolwork has eaten her life. Taking two Advanced Placement courses and three Honors level courses is definitely keeping her busy, especially during Marching Band season. Serving as Squad Leader again, Kelsey and the Marching Knights had a great season, winning numerous awards at the three competitions they attended. As a Junior, this year is filled with college visits, SATs and discussions about possible majors. She is interested in Medical School and even thinking about going to UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad, much to the horror of the entire family! Kelsey started working at Chick-Fil-A last summer and loves it. They’ve been very understanding about her band schedule and, of course, she gets Sundays off. She and Spencer continue to spend time together, mostly with friends in the band, and will celebrate three years together in January.

Kelsey and her boyfriend, Spencer Holding

Daniel is enjoying sixth grade and feeling like a big man on campus in Middle School. He played Knights League basketball last winter and is thinking about joining the track team this spring. He’s ready for his exam week to come even though he only has to take one because he had almost all A’s this year. He’s found an interest in reading and writing books. He has been reading the Percy Jackson series and is about to start reading the last book. Daniel continues to play trombone in the school band and has joined the youth praise team on drums. He is very excited about being in the church youth ministry. With Daniel turning twelve this year, Randy took him to the beach for some male bonding and life lessons in preparation for his teen years. They had a great time, and Daniel probably learned more than he wanted to know about living as a Godly man!

Matt is in third grade this year and making straight A’s, and makes it look really easy. He has discovered a love for writing and has completed his first play, “A Valentine’s Carol – A Lesson about Kindness.” He tells us it is based on Matthew 5:44. He is singing in the Children’s Choir at church and also played Knights League last winter with Randy as his coach. He just found out he’ll be in the “garage band” in the third grade musical this year at school. Matt’s love for action movies continues, and he is always making up his own movies as well. We’re sure he will be a famous writer one day. But one of Matt’s most important qualities is a heart that shows love to everyone. He is always ready with a hug or a kind word that melts your heart.

Well, that is all the news we have from the Bridges’ home. You can follow us throughout the year on Facebook, Twitter, and our blogs (psalms204.blogspot.com and rbridges2.blogspot.com). We hope that you and your family have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior and that the New Year draws you ever closer to Him!

Merry Christmas !!!

Randy, Felicia, Megan, Kelsey, Daniel, & Matt Bridges