Pastor’s Blog

by Pastor Todd Bradbury

The Comforter

I hear the most wonderful stories at our Sacred Circle Prayer and Listening Group on Wednesday nights. John and Judy Pulley told the group about the first time John felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Their story takes place in 1985 when John and Judy were dating and Judy perceived that there was a problem. According to Judy, John’s mother didn’t like her; at least that’s how Judy tells it. The reason Judy believed that John’s mom didn’t care for her was because this was a second marriage for Judy and she had four children and John’s mom wasn’t too happy about John having an instant family.

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The Importance of Relationships

The Importance of Relationships

The Importance of Relationships
Early on in Scripture we get a hint of what God’s design for creation is: It’s all about relationships. Genesis 2:18 tells us that God made Eve for Adam because, The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Christ himself sums up the entire meaning of the Old Testament with the implores to “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” The bottom line is: We need one another. The truth of this statement is made crystal clear when we lose someone we love. Martha and Leonard Vaughan know all too well about loss.

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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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