I’m praying for you

I'm praying for you
This month I want to tell you a story about Ben Turner. For those of you that don’t know Ben, he’s a retired homebuilder, a very astute businessman and is married to his lovely wife Becky. One day Ben called me and asked if we could meet. He said he had something to give me.

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Transformed Lives

Transformed LivesHere’s a very pointed question for you to consider. Has Jesus Christ transformed your life? If so, how? That’s really where the “rubber meets the road” in terms of our faith isn’t it? The church exists so that people can encounter Jesus Christ and have their lives transformed by Him. Our mission at Bethel is “To live transformed lives by experiencing, embodying and extending the grace of Christ.” What does a transformed life look like? It looks a lot like Stephen McWhirter. Stephen is the lead vocalist for Iron Bell Music. Iron Bell Music has a hit single called “The God That Saves.” Before Stephen was a successful Christian artist with a hit single he was a drug addict. Here’s Stephen’s story in his own words:

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Joy to the World

Joy to the World
My grandfather’s name was Graham Lester and he was more than a grandfather to me; he was probably my best friend. As I child, I’d often spend the night at his house and when I got my learner’s permit I’d drive him to doctor’s appointments and we’d spend the day together. One quirky thing about him was that he didn’t want to be called Grandpa or anything like that, he wanted me to just call him Graham.

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Be Rich in Good Deeds

Be Rich in Good Deeds
I got an opportunity about a month ago to tour the Powhatan Free Clinic. They offer free healthcare, not only to the residents of Powhatan, but also to the residents of Chesterfield, Amelia, Goochland and Cumberland. The tour was an eye opening experience. I had no idea how great the need is for this service and I also didn’t know the extraordinary lengths that people go to in order to obtain health care. For example, I learned that there are a couple of older ladies who actually walk 6 and 7 miles to get to the clinic.

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Share Your Faith

Share Your Faith

Who introduced you to Christ? How does someone come to a place where they are willing to hear the gospel and ask the Lord into their life? For many of us, including me, it is a process. I grew up going to church and because of some very caring, loving Sunday school teachers and pastors, I learned about the Lord and eventually asked the Lord into my life and began to follow. But what if you’re like most folks today and don’t grow up going to church? How can we share our faith with them?

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Brokenness

Brokenness
One doesn’t have to be in the ministry for very long before one thing becomes abundantly clear; we are a people who live in brokenness. We encounter brokenness everyday with the loss of loved ones, couples that divorce, affairs that break up marriages, parents and children who no longer speak to each other, job losses, the list goes on and it takes its toll on our souls.

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Never Give Up!

Never Give Up
Last month we had to say “goodbye for now” to Warren Tooley, a beloved member of Bethel. He passed away on Sunday, July 9th from complications from multiple myeloma. I was actually planning on writing a newsletter article about Warren before he passed away because Warren inspired me during one of our visits together. Shortly before he was hospitalized I visited Warren in his home and he was struggling. He was having a difficult time breathing and walking; even conversation seemed to make him uncomfortable. What impressed me was Warren’s attitude in the face of suffering.

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Let me tell you a story…

Let me tell you a story...
Let me tell you a story…those six words cause our ears to perk up as we anticipate what we’re about to hear. Who among us doesn’t love a good story? Some of the best stories I’ve heard are your stories. One of the things that I love about being a pastor is that I get to hear the stories of how you’ve lived your life; the ups, the downs, the hilarious and the tragic. Have any of you heard the story

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Beyond Labels: Homeless

Beyond Labels: Homeless
One of the most difficult funerals that I’ve participated in was a funeral of a distant relative of mine. His name was Robert. Robert’s early life was full of promise and hope.  He was a bright young man and was within a semester or two of finishing college at Old Dominion University, but sadly Robert suffered from the debilitating disease of alcoholism. He battled that disease his entire life and it ended up wrecking his life.

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Every Story is a Redemption Story

Redemption Story: Robert Day
One of our Bethel Mileposts is “Every Story is a Redemption Story.” Redemption is one of my favorite words because nestled within this word there is another word, HOPE! Hope that God can take the brokenness and messiness of our past to create a future that is full of purpose and blessing. I’d like to invite you to make a special effort to be with us on Mother’s Day to hear one of the best redemption stories I’ve heard. It’s the story of a gentleman named Robert Day. Who is Robert Day?

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