Pastor’s Blog

by Pastor Todd Bradbury

BE the Church…wherever God leads you

At Bethel we often talk about what it means to BE the church; to BE the Body of Christ in our homes, schools and places of work. The church is not a building. The church does not have an address. The church is the people of God who have been called by God to bless the world by pointing people toward a loving, saving relationship with the King of the World, Jesus Christ.

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Immersed in the Spirit

Immersed in the Holy Spirit

Immersed in the Spirit
This month I want to introduce Debbie Salyer and share her story of how the Lord helped her overcome a difficult divorce and how the Lord gave her not only a new relationship, but a new ministry as well. These are Debbie’s words:
 
“It was 2009 when I faced the fact that my 28-year marriage was finally over. During that time, I was attending a very small church ironically called “New Beginnings” where everyone had grown very close and they were so supportive of me during that dark time that I am not sure how I would have gotten through it all without them.

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Listening Is a Form of Love

 
One of the things that continues to be impressed upon me is the value of a listening ear. I believe listening is a form of love. Not only do I believe it, but I also believe that part of being faithful to the Greatest Commandment, “Loving God and Loving our Neighbors,” means creating space where we can actively listen to God and listen to each other. To this end I’m excited to announce the formation of Bethel’s first Prayer and Listening (PALs) Group. A PALs group consists of a group of people who are dedicated to the idea of coming together to share each other’s stories, to listen to one another and pray for each other.

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The Dark Days

Our mission at Bethel is to lead transformed lives by experiencing, embodying and extending the grace of Christ to others. How we each go about fulfilling this mission will be unique to each one of us and fulfilling this mission will likely reveal our “ministry.” All of us are called to be ministers of the gospels. That doesn’t mean we will each preach, teach, or lead a small group, but every Christian is called to love God, love others and minister to others. To quote C.S. Lewis, “Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
 
Anne Brandon with her two sons Michael and CarterThe Lord has given Anne Brandon a unique ministry, but before I share her calling, let me share a little bit about Anne. Anne is literally a life long Bethel member. She was on the “Cradle Roll” at Bethel. She grew up in Midlothian and she has two wonderful sons, Michael and Carter. Anne has a very successful Real Estate career. She’s worked for Long and Foster Realtors for over 40 years. While Real Estate is Anne’s vocation, her calling is to help remove the stigma attached to mental illness and to love and care for people who are suffering with mental illness.
 
This is Anne’s testimony in her own words,

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Joy in the Journey

Joy in the Journey

Joy in the Journey
 
Have you been at a place in your life where you wanted to throw your hands in the air and shout, “Lord help! I’m not sure how much more I can handle!” Ed and Jennie Watson know that feeling, and certainly had reason to shout these words from the rooftops. In 2011, the couple relocated to Blacksburg, VA where Ed had accepted a position with Virginia Tech. With a well-developed career in construction and design of academic facilities across the state of Virginia, Ed was ready for the challenges that a major university would offer, and Jennie, ready to support Ed and his career goals, resigned from her teaching job, sold their home in Midlothian, and joined Ed for this new adventure. For most of 2011, this couple drove from Blacksburg to Richmond (to visit their son), to Raleigh (to visit their daughter), or to Greensboro (to visit Jennie’s aging parents) every weekend. Then, in April 2012, the unthinkable occurred.

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The Lord Has Been Wonderful to Me!

 
It’s truly a privilege to be a pastor because my work allows me to meet some exceptional people who inspire my faith. One such person is Bobby Brooks. Bobby is the cousin of long time Bethel member Robert Brooks. Bobby was born on November 9th, 1946 and he was born with Cerebral Palsy. Bobby has been in a wheel chair nearly his entire life. His father was a military man and Bobby spent his younger years moving around the world as his dad’s duty station changed. Bobby lived in Germany, San Francisco, New Orleans and then the family moved to Florida when his dad retired. Bobby went to schools that could accommodate his special needs and he is a high school graduate. Robert says, “Bobby is smart. He can do the Jumble in the daily paper with no problem and that’s something I struggle to complete.”

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