Pastor’s Blog

by Pastor Todd Bradbury

Transformed Lives

Here’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

 
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

 
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

 

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

 
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!

 
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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