Archives for Dawn M.

Joyful Honor

“So joyfully welcome him in the Lord and make sure you honor such people highly.” -Philippians 2:29

Honor: admire, give special recognition, hold in high esteem, respect, privilege, fulfill or keep in agreement.

Joy: a feeling of great happiness or pleasure.

Hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Holy Spirit has a beautiful thread theme of honor, joy, and hospitality He has been showing and teaching me in relation to leadership, relationships, and ministry. Recently, I felt led to share on honor during a morning staff prayer gathering. The conversations and expressions that came out of that prayer time were precious and valuable to me!

“Obedience to the will of God is the pathway to perpetual honor and everlasting joy.” -Charles Spurgeon

I was joyful to share on honor as well as my recent experience and revelation of honor.  I was so excited to honor precious people in my life and share about a recent and fresh experience I’d had with honor. Holy Spirit has been teaching me the value and power in honor and the price it takes for my heart to be a heart motivated by honor. The experience of honor, stationed me to pause and reflect deeply upon the securing power and the bond of unity created through the strength of honor.

Recently, I was in a situation where I was experiencing honor and dishonor at the same time – by different people. Although I did feel dishonored, the power and love of honor outweighed the distraction of dishonor. During those moments, I felt safe, secure and stable, loved, and capable because of honor. This allowed and invited me to release gentleness.  Honor soon flooded my heart with compassion and respect for this other person. Despite the anxiety and pain my friend felt, I pray the honor and gentleness that was released and within the atmosphere encourages her heart and reveals her true identity.

As a leader who experienced and received honored purely for being who God designed me to be, I am more secure and more encouraged to take bigger steps of faith. I feel a fresh faith and joy coming upon me to take and embrace bigger steps of faith, to ask for “wilder” dreams and visions, and to also expect those prayers to be answered! Wow, the power of honor!

On May 11th, Bridgehaven will be hosting our Gala event. We are celebrating our 35th anniversary as we focus on our past, present, and future.

During times of mediation on honor, joy, and hospitality, a connection to the Gala came up in my spirit. Truly, it is a joy and honor to serve in such a ministry as Bridgehaven.  Bridgehaven is a place of safety, a dwelling place of the love and truth of Jesus, an oasis of honor and dignity. We desire honor and hospitality to be a posture of our heart that is felt, given, and received. As we prepare for the Gala and seek God on what today and tomorrow for Bridgehaven looks like, the need for big faith, big honor, and big steps of action seem to be consistent in the vision we are receiving. I just know confidently that honor, joy, and hospitality are a part of that growth-culture and life-transforming eternal work of lives in our community.

Imagine what honor feels like when one has not experienced or known honor:

Safety.

Respect.

Value.

Real identity of who the Father created them to be!

We extend a personal invitation for you to join the eternal work and purposes of Jesus through Bridgehaven. Please join us for “A Night with Bridgehaven.” Come and see what Jesus is doing and hear real-life client stories that will honor the name of Jesus, move you to tears of joy, and help us continue with joy, honor, and a spirit of Kingdom hospitality! Your loyalty to the call and mission of life is more important than ever. We can’t wait to see you there!

Loyalty: strong feeling of support or allegiance.

Lord, I pray for each person reading this blog and connected to Bridgehaven.  I desire and pray that they all experience the depths of honor, joy, and hospitality that I recently was blessed with, with an increase measure! We feel that we are being obedient to Your calling and Kingdom purposes by stepping out bigger in faith and vision here at Bridgehaven. We know in Your Presence is fullness of Joy and that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. Jesus, we depend on Your joy and honor to do the work and resourcing of this life-giving ministry. Thank you for honoring Your people, your Word, and being the best at hospitality. You invited us and created a Way for us to be in Your Kingdom. We choose to extend that same invitation to others.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

“Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.” -Psalm 34:5

With joyful honor and one-ness of heart,

Dawn Michaels

Dawn Michael

Director of Client Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come to the Table

Easter is such an amazing and anointed time to testify the goodness and consuming love of Jesus, the victory of the cross, the gift of forgiveness, the tearing of the veil, and friendship accessibility we have with our Redeemer!

May we make and take opportunities to uplift others who may not know Jesus, His Resurrection Life that is still powerful and alive today, and those who simply need fresh encouragement.
May we take this opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s love by welcoming others into the hope we have in Jesus!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It is adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us- an unbelievable inheritance! Romans 8:15-17

He is worthy of celebrating!

On Thursday, March 22nd, Bridgehaven’s Earn While You Learn program is hosting our “Come to the Table – Easter” food distribution. This event is made possible by volunteers, donors and our partnerships with HACAP and Hy Vee. Canned food was donated from Target and a grant covers a $10 voucher to Hy Vee towards the purchase of a ham, turkey or chicken. Clients are invited to shop for food for their families and also receive a voucher.

The purpose and heart of this event is to offer support and means for families so that they may enjoy and celebrate an Easter meal with their family. I love the value and importance of eating together in the Christian faith; such an act of covenant and community. The breaking of bread, the celebration and proclamation of blessings, and the sense of unity.

 

There is so much to celebrate and reflect upon in this season, may there be such a demonstration of Resurrection Life and Love!

And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and saif, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

This year, we had 70 clients sign up to participate in the event. Volunteers serve in a variety of ways in this event – whether it is organizing set-up, supporting clients during their shopping experience, or taking care of the clean up process, all phases of serving are important and valuable! We are thankful for those who labor, give, support, and champion the wide displays of love for people through events like this.

Additionally, we created brochures of local churches and times of worship so clients are equipped with church information and able to join in the Resurrection Season with the body of Christ. What a beautiful season to hear the word of God and allow His grace to impact our lives.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on Earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

May you enjoy the song “To the Table” by Zach Williams.

Lord, we bring ourselves to your banqueting table of grace, love, and forgiveness!  Thank you for making your table available to us, may we all accept this grand invitation!  Thank you that we may be filled with You and Your Food at your table! We celebrate Your Fellowship and Presence!

Dawn Michaels

Dawn Michael

Director of Client Support

Focus: Church Engagement and Kingdom Building

At the 2015 Care Net conference, Roland Warren, President of Care Net, shared with us and other pregnancy support centers from around the country that God had given him a vision. That vision was to see pregnancy support centers re-evaluate and incorporate a mind and heart to work to the next level of ministry to build up of the Bride of Christ through effective evangelism, discipleship, and connecting our clients to local churches and faith communities.

Since 2015, Client Support has focused on church engagement: encouraging clients to be connected to the local Body of Christ. We’ve communicated this focus within Client Support to build a foundation of this vision with our clients.

In 2018, the focus and intent of this engagement is increasing!
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Earn While You Learn: Class Update

Our Earn While You Learn class topics and desires continue to be focused on empowering families with truth, knowledge, emotional and spiritual support that point to the love and knowledge of Jesus. Our four foundational areas of growth are: parenting and family classes, relationship building, life skills and spiritual growth. How encouraging and rewarding that we are able to offer clients support that enrich and transform their lives!

Our exciting and abundant fall class line-up include several first-time classes along with classes that have been a part of the EWYL legacy for many seasons. Let me share with you…

Prenatal: Covers the entire length and development of pregnancy, labor, delivery, birth, breast/ formula feeding.

Baby Basics: Baby Basics teaches parents what to expect during their baby’s first 12 months of life: bonding, when to introduce foods, teething, physical and social developments, infant massage, sign language, safe ride and safe sleep practices, and swaddling.
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Carolyn’s Story

“I call Him the Risen King because He is alive!” – Carolyn.

I have the privilege of knowing Carolyn for 7 months now, she is a part of the Earn While You Learn program at Bridgehaven. Carolyn is a single mother of 3 children and a lover of Jesus! Carolyn experienced a life-threatening situation this summer; she clearly understands and communicates she is alive and well because of God’s faithfulness. She feels like she has been given a second chance at life and she is taking every opportunity to proclaim and share her story with others. Upon recovery, Carolyn shared her testimony with me of what the Lord brought her through. During our time together, I was moved with compassion, my faith rose, and God’s faithfulness swept over Carolyn and I as she shared her testimony detail by detail! All I could do or proclaim was, “Wow, God, You are beyond good and so worthy of our worship!”

I knew Carolyn’s testimony needed to be shared and released! It is with honor and gratefulness that I introduce you to Carolyn, a woman of God that worships the King of Kings!

“Worship is an it-is-well-with-my-soul experience.” – Robert Webber

Dawn Michaels

Dawn Michael

Director of Client Support

Freely Given


It’s achingly important to me to share the Good News to others that have not heard of the amazing love story of Jesus; His unfailing Love and Creative Authorship over our lives. It’s equally valuable to me to share those authorship stories of victory and personal walks with Jesus with the Body of Christ. I want to introduce you to a woman who is pursuing Jesus and allowing Jesus to pursue her wildly. In her own words, she briefly shares her journey with Jesus and Bridgehaven.

I pray her story edifies, exhorts, comforts you and brings endless glory to our King and Savior. For He is worthy!

Edify: to build up, to strengthen
Exhort: to stimulate, to encourage, to admonish
Comfort: to cheer up

(Dawn) Q: Will you share about your family?
(Client) A: “Our family of five consists of me, my significant other, our five-year old son, and our three-year-old and four-month-old daughters. We have one income so our budget is considerably tight. Bridgehaven helps us make ends meet.”
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Kirkwood Scholarships


We have generous donors that believe in the power of higher education.

Bridgehaven receives a yearly donation designated for scholarships for clients attending Kirkwood. Clients in the Earn While You Learn program have the opportunity to complete an application, essay, and interview with us. Each year, we are blessed and inspired by the stories of goals, overcoming obstacles, reliance on God, and the power of determination.

This year, we had three applicants apply for the scholarship, and all three were awarded amounts that complemented other grants and scholarships they were receiving. Two clients received Kirkwood scholarships through Bridgehaven last year and can now continue their education in the fields of nursing and human services. They have been very successful in their programs with honors and high recognition! Bridgehaven is so proud of them and honored to be able to walk alongside them in their journey.

Following are portions of their stories, motivations, and dreams surrounding their educational goals. Join me in celebrating and offering up thanks and praises for these people and their educational desires.
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Back to School

“Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.” — W.B. Yeats

For the past decade, a rich practical way of sharing the gospel has been available for families through the Back to School Supply Distribution program. This annual event offers support, encouragement and provision in the lives of parents and children in the Earn While You Learn program at Bridgehaven. Client Support will be accepting school supplies that will support our active clients in the Earn While You Learn program for this coming school year.

The goal and prayer for the Back to School Distribution is to ease the financial burden and stress for families, especially single-parent households, to promote community connectedness and establish Kingdom demonstrations of God’s goodness.

The Earn While You Learn program is a transformational model that promotes growth, learning, healthy relationships and accountable support. Clients earn material assistance and yearly benefits, such as school supplies by attending empowerment-focused classes (i.e. life skills, parenting, relationship, and Bible studies).
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A Mind to Work and the Call to Fish for Men


Earlier this week, Bridgehaven hosted its Fundraising Gala and I want to share the heart message of the event and trumpet call to be fishers of men.

The Gala was an amazing night of inspiration, praise, focus, and clarity of what our work is in the pro-abundant life, pro-family, pro-marriage realm and the fruit of our labor thus far.

Our Gala theme was “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:17

Our theme was so appropriate for the conversations and messages shared from the various speakers. It also reminded me of a past blog I wrote in 2015: A Mind and Heart to Work. I was inspired to write that blog after attending Care Net’s (our center’s national affiliate) annual conference. That year, Care Net launched a vision of restoring fatherhood and the design of family God intended through the means of evangelism and discipleship; truly, being fishers and equippers of men. That vision of being fishers of men continues to stir and build into 2017, establishing momentum and clearer directives for Bridgehaven.
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Rooted and Built Up

On March 17th and 18th, Cedar Rapids was blessed to host a Beth Moore Live conference; a faith gathering of over 2,500 women. Bridgehaven received several tickets for clients who wanted to attend.

Beth Moore does 12 yearly conferences and extensively prays and studies specifically for the community and women she will be teaching. Each conference is unique and dependent on the leading of the Holy Spirit. When Beth was praying and preparing for the Cedar Rapids Live event, she received the message of “Taking root in the family tree of God.” As a Bridgehaven community, we were thrilled to receive a great confirmation of our mission and vision through this event.

Rooted for Life

As we celebrate and settle in to our new space for Client Support, I want to draw your attention to the fresh identity, appeal and heartbeat of Client Support: being “Rooted for Life.” Cheryl Klopfenstein, Client Support Assistant, blessed us with her creative art skills and brought to life a vision of “strength” in the Rooted for Life mural (shown above). It is our desire and prayer that you would experience and encounter love and establish a firm, rooted faith foundation in Jesus. – Excerpt from January 2016 Good News (Client Publication)

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